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Fault LinesViews across Haiti's Divide$
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Beverly Bell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452123

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452123.001.0001

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Mrs. Clinton Will Never See Me Working There

Mrs. Clinton Will Never See Me Working There

The Offshore Assembly Industry

(p.176) 22 Mrs. Clinton Will Never See Me Working There
Fault Lines

Beverly Bell

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides an overview of Haiti's offshore assembly industry in the post-earthquake period. According to a 1926 article in Financial America, “Haiti offers a marvelous opportunity for American investment. The run-of-the-mill Haitian is handy, easily directed, and gives a hard day's labor for 20 cents, while in Panama the same day's work costs $3.” Today, the minimum wage in the export assembly sector is 125 gourdes, or US$3.13 a day. This chapter discusses the working conditions and wages in Haitian factories, including those found in free trade zones, as well as workers' rights. It concludes by quoting Misericord St. Anne, who ran an embroidery machine in a clothes factory from 2005 to 2008: “I will never go to whatever factory Hillary Rodham Clinton has opened. Mrs. Clinton can have her factories. But she'll never see me working there.”

Keywords:   assembly industry, Haiti, minimum wage, working conditions, factories, free trade zones, workers' rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

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