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WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap
Business Insider ^ | June 3, 2011 | Robert Johnson

Posted on 06/04/2011 8:00:03 AM PDT by Pinkbell

A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.

(This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.)

It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:

This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).

Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year ... As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: haiti; minimumwage; obama

1 posted on 06/04/2011 8:00:09 AM PDT by Pinkbell
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To: Pinkbell

Obama’s union lackeys will not be amused.


2 posted on 06/04/2011 8:02:44 AM PDT by crosshairs (The left's hatred of Christianity has blinded them to the REAL threat which is Islam.)
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To: Pinkbell

I think products from Haiti get exempted from import taxes too.


3 posted on 06/04/2011 8:02:49 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: Pinkbell
What Party supports greedy Corporations.

Unions won't say a word.

4 posted on 06/04/2011 8:04:35 AM PDT by scooby321
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To: Pinkbell

That Obama, he’s all about helping poor black people.


5 posted on 06/04/2011 8:05:34 AM PDT by constitutiongirl (The Truth is a Person.)
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To: Pinkbell

And we wonder why Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Where is the outrage from the left on human rights violations?


6 posted on 06/04/2011 8:05:54 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: crosshairs

Our government should not be doing the bidding of multinational corporations. This is fascism.


7 posted on 06/04/2011 8:07:55 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Pinkbell

Levi Strauss = hypocrites


8 posted on 06/04/2011 8:12:08 AM PDT by culpeper (He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people,)
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To: Pinkbell

These are the jeans they charge $100 a pair for?


9 posted on 06/04/2011 8:13:14 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

Where’s the outrage from the right? Where’s the outrage from the middle? Where’s the outrage from anybody? And then everybody’s shocked when Haiti keeps not getting better.

And then everybody starts getting up in arms when the Haitians want to come here to make a decent wage.

And then everybody starts getting up in arms when the Haitians get turned around in the middle of the ocean, but the Cubans get one foot on land and they’ve got it made.

And then nothing changes. And nothing gets better. The one constant is that it always gets worse for the Haitians.


10 posted on 06/04/2011 8:13:33 AM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: Pinkbell

If this happened under Bush, you can bet this would be the top story on every newscast.


11 posted on 06/04/2011 8:14:04 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: smokingfrog

CAFTA


12 posted on 06/04/2011 8:14:11 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings

I guess Haiti needs lobbyists.


13 posted on 06/04/2011 8:15:50 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: dfwgator

It did happen under GW Bush, his USTR Robert Zoellick set all this up.

Pay attention, this is “free trade” and the corporations and government officials involved are free traitors.


14 posted on 06/04/2011 8:16:02 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: ilovesarah2012

The only people who don’t need lobbyists are the people who already have the money to afford them.


15 posted on 06/04/2011 8:16:45 AM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: ilovesarah2012

The only people who don’t need lobbyists are the people who already have the money to afford them.


16 posted on 06/04/2011 8:16:45 AM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings

True, unfortunately.


17 posted on 06/04/2011 8:19:04 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: SaraJohnson; Pinkbell

>>> Our government should not be doing the bidding of multinational corporations

Obama can’t help selling out the poor for the benefit of the Levis Corporation. Blame genetics. It’s in his jeans.


18 posted on 06/04/2011 8:19:30 AM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb

The Goldman Sacks told him to do it.


19 posted on 06/04/2011 8:29:27 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Pinkbell

If Haynes and Levi Strauss made generous campaign contributions to Odumbo and the ‘Rats, they basically own them. It’s just like a few years ago when the minimum wage was increased here but Pelosi managed to carve out an exception for some Pacific island territories where Dole, a major constituent in her district (and generous donor) had significant operations. Dems are for the little guy as long as he’s not employed by a generous benefactor to those same dems.

The media won’t go near this. They are too busy with much more important sturr like charging Palin and her entourage with making turns without using their turn signals.


20 posted on 06/04/2011 8:30:21 AM PDT by Spartan79
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To: Pinkbell

“stuff” not “sturr”. Oops. Thought I’d invented a word, but it turns out Sturr is the name of a really great polka musician.


21 posted on 06/04/2011 8:33:47 AM PDT by Spartan79
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To: dfwgator
If this happened under Bush, ...

I can't remember if Pelosi's raising the minimum wage was under
Bush or Obama, but she didn't she try to exclude the increase
from US territories in the Pacific? That is, protect her campaign
donors that have canneries there?

22 posted on 06/04/2011 8:37:16 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Pinkbell

the democrat plantation.


23 posted on 06/04/2011 8:38:53 AM PDT by ken21 (liberal + rino progressive media hate palin, bachman, cain...)
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To: ken21
It did happen under GW Bush, his USTR Robert Zoellick set all this up.

Troll.

24 posted on 06/04/2011 8:41:32 AM PDT by scooby321
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To: Pinkbell
My package of Hanes socks bought at Walmart say they are made in the USA.

Having said that, slavery didn't end with the Civil War.

25 posted on 06/04/2011 8:48:53 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Pinkbell
Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.

Express that $1.6 million on a per t-shirt, or per garment produced basis and it will be miniscule, very few pennies per garment.

26 posted on 06/04/2011 8:52:41 AM PDT by Will88
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To: Pinkbell

Once again the Obombast Organization decided to go “shorts”!


27 posted on 06/04/2011 9:11:40 AM PDT by Young Werther ("Quae cum ita sunt" Since these things are so!)
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To: Pinkbell

So ‘da peeps are being held down by the Man... but the Man is a brutha. No wait, maybe Obama thinks $.31/hour is a ‘living wage’ because he plans to re-distribute more of our wealth there.

Like Richie ‘Gerbil’ Gere says, he’s our best president ever...


28 posted on 06/04/2011 9:16:24 AM PDT by Made In The USA (This post may be recorded for quality purposes.)
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To: Pinkbell

"They don't say 'Hanes' until I say they say 'Hanes.'"

29 posted on 06/04/2011 9:17:55 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Pinkbell

Once again the Obombast Organization decided to go “shorts”!


30 posted on 06/04/2011 9:18:20 AM PDT by Young Werther ("Quae cum ita sunt" Since these things are so!)
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To: Spartan79
And when the minimum wage did go up for these Polynesian islands, the canning factories left as it was no longer profitable to stay there.

The leftist hypocrites know that minimum wage is a job killer. The goal is to move jobs out of the USA, per the Franklin School of Marxism. Make it miserable enough here, and folks will clamor for socialism.

The Dems aren't for the little guy, or they would not be behind the minimum wage - as that dries up the labor market for the littlest of the little guys.

31 posted on 06/04/2011 9:20:54 AM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: slowhandluke

It’s still plenty ‘profitable’ but just not quite as much when the wages go up. So off to a worse hellhole for the companies.

And these are the guys we are supposed to be for?


32 posted on 06/04/2011 9:23:26 AM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: Pinkbell

Paging Sean Penn.


33 posted on 06/04/2011 9:39:08 AM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
And then everybody starts getting up in arms when the Haitians get turned around in the middle of the ocean, but the Cubans get one foot on land and they’ve got it made.

And then nothing changes. And nothing gets better. The one constant is that it always gets worse for the Haitians.

While I strongly agree with the sentiment of posters who say the government should not be doing the bidding of corporations...

WAIT JUST A COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE HERE.

Since when is it the job of Americans to secure a future for Haitians?

The fact that they have our companies as employers is a BONUS not some form of entitlement. Perhaps they should get off their butts and make their own companies and their own jobs and their own economy?

34 posted on 06/04/2011 9:52:26 AM PDT by EvasiveManuever (Shakespeare got it wrong. Not the lawyers... journalists.)
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To: tlb

Obama can’t help selling out the poor for the benefit of the Levis Corporation. Blame genetics. It’s in his mom jeans.

Fixed.


35 posted on 06/04/2011 9:53:30 AM PDT by EvasiveManuever (Shakespeare got it wrong. Not the lawyers... journalists.)
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To: Will88

But a cut of 6-7% of their net profit is not miniscule.


36 posted on 06/04/2011 9:56:03 AM PDT by EvasiveManuever (Shakespeare got it wrong. Not the lawyers... journalists.)
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To: Pinkbell

$3 a day starts putting their wages too close to the $100 a month the workers make in the socialist paradise of Vietnam. Lose a war to us and you get high-paying factory jobs. Fight us to the end and your people earn $100 a month. Iraq? Afghanistan? Libya? Do you see the message here?


37 posted on 06/04/2011 10:01:19 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: EvasiveManuever
Since when is it the job of Americans to secure a future for Haitians?

...Never said it was. What I'm saying is that it's not the job of Americans to actively screw over people who already have nothing, especially considering all that will do is drive them to leave their country... and try and come to ours... where we also don't have enough jobs.

Perhaps they should get off their butts and make their own companies and their own jobs and their own economy?

Not sure how feasible that is, considering you can't abracadabra start-up capital out of thin air with a workforce making thirty cents a day:
Already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the damage to Port-au-Prince caused the country's GDP to contract an estimated 5.1% in 2010. (CIA World Factbook)

GDP (per capita) $1,200 per year
Unemployment rate: 40.6%

Does this sound like the next great industrial power in the making to you?
38 posted on 06/04/2011 10:26:20 AM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: Pinkbell

Just out of curiosity, I wonder what MLB pays the Haitians to stitch their baseballs together?


39 posted on 06/04/2011 10:34:10 AM PDT by Tucker39
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To: Pinkbell

Think this will be covered by the MSM? Outrageous.


40 posted on 06/04/2011 10:34:36 AM PDT by americanophile (Paul Ryan 2012)
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To: Tucker39

Probably not enough for someone to save up his earnings and start up his own baseball-stitching factory.


41 posted on 06/04/2011 10:48:34 AM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: Pinkbell

Levis is a super lib corp. They are big on supporting gun grabbing.


42 posted on 06/04/2011 11:00:30 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: EvasiveManuever
But a cut of 6-7% of their net profit is not miniscule.

Nice try, but 1.6 out of 211 is only about 0.75%. They probably pay more than that in bribes lobbying expenses annually.

43 posted on 06/04/2011 11:14:03 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Made in America, by proud American citizens, in 1946.)
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To: Pinkbell

Stock up on the cheapest brands of the toughest jeans that you can find. Do all that is necessary to prepare, then starve the tyrannical beast. Start a hobby of manufacturing your own jeans while living independently. Then, when the regulatory offices close (default ahead),...


44 posted on 06/04/2011 11:24:47 AM PDT by familyop (Shut up, and eat your brains!)
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To: Pinkbell
Raising the minimum wage (or having one at all for that matter) is the stupidest thing a poor country like Haiti can do. There's almost no capital and so labor will comprise a bigger percentage of business costs.

Minimum wages just price the low-skilled out of work.

45 posted on 06/04/2011 11:24:52 AM PDT by BfloGuy (Under capitalism everybody is the architect of his own fortune. -- Ludwig Von Mises)
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To: Pinkbell

Eventually the ChiComs will move into Haiti, and establish a base there. Say Buh-Bye to the Monroe Doctrine.


46 posted on 06/04/2011 11:27:55 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: EvasiveManuever
But a cut of 6-7% of their net profit is not miniscule.

There is no 6%-7% cut in their net profit. Depending on their tax rate (probably around 30%), their pretax profit would drop by $1.6 million of $211 million, and their after tax profit would drop by only about $1.2 million. That's just over 1/2 of 1% drop in net profit (.57).

And with Hanes' volume in various undergarments, it would amount to practically nothing per garment. They could adjust prices to make that up and no customer would ever know it.

47 posted on 06/04/2011 5:09:17 PM PDT by Will88
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To: Tolsti2

No, it is not ‘plenty profitable’. It is now ‘less profitable’ to do the work there (in Polynesia) than elsewhere. Some of the value of the lowered minimum wage was a subsidy just to have any work at all available way out there. One of the canning companies actually moved some work back to the USA. Labor might be more here, but the other costs of running a factory are lower.


48 posted on 06/04/2011 8:05:36 PM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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