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PORT-AU-PRINCE – Police in Haiti violently broke up a demonstration by garment workers in support of demands for an increase in the minimum wage. Unions claim the police fired tear gas and beat protestors with batons outside the Sonapi Free Trade Zone in Port-au-Prince. Industriall Global union says there has been widespread violation of labour rights in the garment industry, most recently at Centri Garments where 60 workers have been dismissed for protesting against unfair wage practices. Shipping records show Centri is a supplier to Gildan Activewear Inc, a Canadian, American manufacturer of branded clothing. The company also supplies branded and private label athletic, casual, and dress socks to retailers in the US.

Haiti’s garment factories mainly export to retail markets in the US and Canada.

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