Police fire on factory protesters in Haiti, injuring three: AP | Protests News

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According to the Associated Press, a shooting in Port-au-Prince took place at the start of a new three-day strike organized by factory workers.

Men wearing police uniforms fire on a group of people during a demonstration in the Haitian capital, after thousands of Haitian factory workers launched a new strike to demand higher wages than those announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week.

The Associated Press reported seeing the men firing from inside a car with police license plates on Wednesday, injuring at least three people, including two journalists covering the event.

A police spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment to AP and the condition of the injured was not immediately clear.

Earlier, police fired tear gas as protesters threw rocks at them and used trucks to block a main road near Port-au-Prince’s international airport.

It was the first day of a three-day strike organized by factory workers who also closed an industrial park earlier this month to protest their wages, which were then around 500 gourdes ($4.80 ) for nine hours of work per day.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced a new daily wage of 540 gourdes ($5) for those working in restaurants and agriculture [Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters]

The developments come amid deteriorating economic and political conditions in Haiti following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July last year. The situation has the potential to escalate into a political stalemate as interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s term ended on February 7, triggering a crisis of legitimacy and compounding the country’s economic problems.

Henry insisted on remaining in office until an election could be held. No date has yet been set.

Haiti is currently reeling from a host of other crises. In 2010, the Caribbean island was rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed an estimated 360,000 people and devastated much of the island. Amid continued insecurity and gang violence, Haiti is struggling to recover and rebuild.

Then in Augustthe island was hit by another earthquake, killing more than 300 people and devastating much of the south of the country.

On Sunday, Henry announced minimum wage hikes in an attempt to quell the protests.

But the increase of 185 gourdes ($1.80) a day for factory workers only enraged them. “Can you imagine? I have two children and I have to pay for a house,” said André Saintil, 38. “The government keeps us in misery.”

“People can’t do anything with this miserable salary,” said Jean Wilkens Pierre.

Factory workers chant anti-government slogans during a protest demanding a pay rise, in Port-au-Prince, HaitiWorkers employed in factories that produce textiles and other goods charge a minimum of 1,500 gourdes ($14) per day [Odelyn Joseph/AP Photo]

The 39-year-old factory worker said the salary barely covers food and transportation costs at a time when Haiti is experiencing double-digit inflation. He said he would accept nothing less than a daily minimum wage of 1,500 gourdes ($14).

He was part of a crowd carrying tree branches and chanting, “You’ve raised the gas, but haven’t raised our wages”, referring to the prime minister’s recent announcement that the government could not can no longer afford to maintain fuel subsidies.

“They probably think we can’t resist, that we’ll get tired of protesting, but it’s going to be an ongoing fight…for them to understand that we are human beings,” Saintil said.

Henry announced other wage increases, including a new daily wage of 540 gourdes ($5) for those working in restaurants and agriculture and 770 gourdes ($7+) for those working in supermarkets. , car dealerships and funeral directors.

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