The strike of employees of Haiti’s ministry of trade and industry (MCI) and the temporary closure this week of the Port of Lafiteau have adversely affected the textile sector, according to Georges Sassine, president of the Association des Industries d'Haiti (ADIH), who said it has prevented issuance of export visas and businesses cannot import raw material.
Since the beginning of this week, MCI employees have been on a strike demanding better working conditions and ending nepotism within the institution.
Following the discovery of 16 falsified customs slips that allowed exit of containers at Port Lafiteau on April 14 without authorisation and inspection, the authorities had announced the port’s closure as a precautionary measure for the ongoing investigation.
After ADIH wrote a letter to minister of trade and industry Ronell Gilles requesting him to find an emergency solution to the problem, the port has been provisional reopened from April 26 following pressure from many customers whose goods are blocked, according to a report in a Haitian newspaper.
Also adding to the situation was the crisis caused by the unanimous vote of the deputies—without consulting the stakeholders—on March 26 of a bill raising the minimum wages of subcontractors by nearly 80 per cent. Industry officials have threatened to lay off workers and transfer some factories to more competitive countries like the Dominican Republic. (DS)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India