A textile mill in Haiti announced in a letter that it will fire 3,500 workers.
S&H Global counts Gap, Target, and Walmart among its clients.
The company cited gang control of the Port-au-Prince oil terminal.
A textile mill in Haiti, among some of the largest, announced in a letter that it will fire 3,500 workers, or half of its employees, due to adverse economic conditions and record-high gang violence.
A local affiliate of the South Korean textile company Sae-A, S&H Worldwide, claimed on Tuesday that multiple “turbulences” in Haiti and the global economic downturn prompted them to make the job layoffs.
The company cited gang control of the Port-au-Prince oil terminal that led to a “two-month forced closure at the end of the year (2022) when the local power plant had to shut down due to a fuel shortage.”
Several customs strikes and unexpected border closures with the Dominican Republic, both of which hampered exports, were also cited as reasons for S&H Global’s decision.
The company stated that client orders have been “redirected elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America, to other reliable suppliers and factories,” due to shipping and production delays in Haiti.
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The Caracol Industrial Park at Cap-Haitien, a sizable city on the north coast, opened in 2012, marking the start of operations in Haiti for S&H Global, which counts Gap, Target, and Walmart among its clients.
Employment at S&H Global’s textile plants kept many of the company’s employees out of the ranks of the half of the population that experiences food insecurity.
A US slowdown forced S&H Global to start laying off employees at its Haitian factory in the summer of 2022, despite the fact that all textiles produced in Haiti enter US markets duty-free.
Foreign textile manufacturers choose Haiti because of its cheap minimum wage, which works out to $4.83 per day, but the country is increasingly afflicted by armed gangs that kidnap people for ransom and steal commercial cargo with impunity.
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