Calls for Caribbean Solidarity with Haitian workers

haiti

The Labour Spokeman of St Kitts and Nevis is calling for region-wide solidarity with Haitian workers seeking an increase in the minimum wage. Widespread rioting has been reported in Haiti as workers underscore their inability to live on wages of less than two dollars per day, which is the current minimum wage. According to news reports recommendation has been made for the minimum wage to be increased to five dollars ($5.00) per day. However the government is proposing to limit the increase to three dollars per day. So the workers have taken to the streets to make their case for a meaningful minimum wage. They write:

. . .  let us be cognizant of the difficulties faced by our Haitian counterparts.
The resources of precious metals have long been exhausted by their early European settlers. They have the reputation of being the only country in the world which emerged independent as a result of rebellion from slavery and colonial domination. However, this has left them isolated over the years, bereft of the capital investment needed for development, and straight-jacketed under a dictatorial regime which sought protect to USA vested interests and maintain a permanent family oriented ruling regime.
We need to shepherd them into the Caribbean fold and support them as they seek to enhance their quality of life.
We must include them in our efforts to harmonize our Labour Laws and to develop a common philosophy of education leading to or arising from a common Caribbean identity.
Let us exhort the Haitian authorities to treat the Haitian workers with the restraint, sensitivity and understanding which their situation requires, knowing that we too in St. Kitts-Nevis have been down that road and we are proud of the gains that we have made over the years.

The complete article can be found at http://www.labourspokesman.com/newsitem.asp?more=business&NewsID=854

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