Support Haitian Workers’ Right to Protest and Organize

Call and Tell Gildan: Stop Beating Workers Who Make Your T-Shirts!

MHI received the following request for support from Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network:

Garment workers in Haiti are among the lowest paid and most oppressed in the world. The garments they produce are for export, for companies such as Walmart, Hanes, and Gildan.In October 2012, the minimum wage rose to 300 Goud ($7.06 US) per day. This is not enough for basic survival, but still factory owners have been refusing to pay even this paltry amount! Not only do they deny the right to organize, increase production quotas to impossible levels, harass and arbitrarily fire workers– now they BEAT THEM TOO!Premium Apparel in Port-au-Prince, owned by Clifford Apaid, is one of the factories refusing to pay the minimum wage. In early February 2013, Leo Vedél, a worker at Premium, asked to be paid the minimum wage. When this was denied, nearly all of the workers in the factory organized a protest. What happened? A manager named Gédéon BEAT VEDÉL FOR REFUSING TO ACCEPT BEING ROBBED OF HIS RIGHTFUL WAGE! Vedél had to go to the hospital. And on top of that, he was fired!

Premium Apparel produces clothing for Gildan, based in Canada. Gildan takes in profits of $169 million a year (averaged over the last five years), gained through the labor of workers, and yet they fail to guarantee that the workers in Haiti who make their products are paid even the minimum starvation wage of 88 cents per hour! Instead they pressure factories to increase production and cut costs, no matter what vile acts are committed in the process.

Batay Ouvriye (Workers Fight), an autonomous workers’ organization, is waging struggle against this outrage. They insist: “In the face of this situation WE MUST STAND UP to face all the illegal practices that the bourgeoisie are implementing in the factories. We must STAND UP to PROTEST! To DEMAND, THESE ARE OUR RIGHTS!”

Join the Rapid Response Network in building international solidarity to support this fight! We must hold importers accountable for the conditions in the factories where their products are made!


1) Give Leo Vedél his job back.
2) Pay him for the days he was out.
3) Pay compensation for his injuries.
4) Respect the rights of all workers.
5) Fire Gédéon, the manager who hit Vedél.

Jason M. Greene (Director of Supply Chain)
Gildan’s Corporate Office, Charleston, SC
Direct line: 843-606-3750
Main line: 843-606-3600

From Greene’s LinkedIn profile: “Top record of performance in reducing operating inventories…and shortening lead times.”

From Gilden’s website: “With approximately 30,000 employees worldwide, Gilden owns and operates highly efficient, large-scale, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing facilitates in Central America and in the Caribbean Basin and has begun the development of a manufacturing hub in Bangladesh…”



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