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6094: Manufacturing (Dorce, Knowles & Burnham) (fwd)

From: Phil Knowles <Phildk@prodigy.net>

Dorce and I agree on this: let's see what plans Aristede has, and support
his best efforts. Asking for reconsideration of low cost manufacturing in
Haiti is not to say I wouldn't, or don't support President Aristede.  If he
makes progress without inviting foreigners in to set up sewing machines to
make clothes for Macy's or Disney, hurrah!  If he does decide in favor of
such imported work, we should lobby for basic, decent working conditions,
and wages which are as high as possible within the restraints of competition
for these jobs.

Jean Poincy wrote: "To sum up, the sound economic argument is not about the
presence or
absence of the sweatshops in Ayiti and the low wages. It revolves
instead around the non/existence of linkages between the factories and
other economic sectors in the production process".
Does this mean (linkages) for example that garment manufacturers would be
required to buy some or all of their cloth in fabric?  Sounds good to me,
assuming -  well, Haiti grows cotton and makes cloth. Is coffee a good
example of linkages?  Could anyone suggest a way to create linkages for
Thius kind of study makes a lot of sense.  It's closer to the discovery of
solutions than our theoretical discussion about the ethics of low wage jobs.

The discussion was good, showing both sides, including personal stories by
people (unlike myself) who have experienced low wage manufacturing in Haiti.
Perhaps after some years, Haiti will have reestablished trade connections
with other countries, built a reputation for stability, will resume making
baseballs (or whatever)  - and maybe some of the 'hi tech' gear that now all
comes from China.

I'm off to Haiti!

Phil Knowles