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Haiti garment workers launch another protest over wages

May 29, 2017
A factory worker holds a sign that reads in Creole "Fighting workers want a new labor law to protect all laborers" during a protest demanding a minimum wage increase, from $4.67 per day to $12.47 per day, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, May 29, 2017. Workers are also protesting the firing of roughly 40 union members at a Port-au-Prince industrial park. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
A factory worker holds a sign that reads in Creole "Fighting workers want a new labor law to protect all laborers" during a protest demanding a minimum wage increase, from $4.67 per day to $12.47 per day, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, May 29, 2017. Workers are also protesting the firing of roughly 40 union members at a Port-au-Prince industrial park. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Garment workers have taken to the streets of the Haitian capital for the second time in two weeks to demand a minimum wage increase.

The workers at factories making T-shirts, pants and other apparel were also demonstrating Monday against the firing of roughly 40 union members at a Port-au-Prince industrial park.

Reginald Lanfontant is a union coordinator and one of the fired workers. He asserts the dismissals are “abusive” and demonstrations will continue.

They’re demanding 800 Haitian gourdes per eight-hour work day. Based on current exchange rates, that’s roughly $12.47 per day. They now earn 300 gourdes, or $4.67.

Factories are operational at the park that employs some 18,000 people.

Monday’s protest had nearly 500 participants, a far smaller turnout than a May 19 rally that attracted thousands.

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