Wikileaks Haiti: U.S. pushed to lower minimum wage

Haitian employees working at ODEVI's factory making Levi's jeans and Hanes brand clothing in Haiti. Getty Images

The Nation published a scoop - momentarily - on its website about Wikileaks cables revealing pressure from Washington on Haiti's government not to raise the national minimum wage to 61 cents an hour.

The story, which got pulled, will be reposted next Wednesday, the Nation wrote, in order "to accord with the publishing schedule of Haiti Liberté," which collaborated on the article.

However, the Columbia Journalism Review has written up a summary of the Nation piece, recounting how American clothing makers with factories in Haiti were displeased after the government raised the minimum wage more than two and a half times the previous minimum 24 cents an hour.

The U.S. State Department subsequently brought pressure to bear on Haiti's president, "who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies."

But the US Embassy still wasn't pleased. According to the Wikileaks report excerpted by the CJr: "A deputy chief of mission, David E. Lindwall, said the $5 per day minimum "did not take economic reality into account" but was a populist measure aimed at appealing to "the unemployed and underpaid masses."

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