Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourat skating their Time-themed free dance at the 2010 Olympic Games.
Nathalie Péchalat is a chameleon! Hahaha she looks so different!
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.
Contractors for Fruit of the Loom, Hanes and Levi’s worked in close concert with the US Embassy when they aggressively moved to block a minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest-paid in the hemisphere, according to secret State Department cables.
It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:
This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).
Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.
Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.
The revelation of US support for low wages in Haiti’s assembly zones was in a trove of 1,918 cables made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by the transparency group WikiLeaks. As part of a collaboration with Haïti Liberté, The Nation is publishing English-language articles based on those cables.
The Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action Tuesday, but not without a blistering dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Sotomayor said the decision infringed upon groups’ rights by allowing Michigan voters to change “the basic rules of the political process … in a manner that uniquely disadvantaged racial minorities.”
"In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination," Sotomayor added. “This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.”
The court’s 6-2 decision upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan state Constitution that prevents public colleges from using race as a factor in its admissions. As the AP noted, the ruling provides a boost for other education-related affirmative action bans in California and Washington state.
ABC News pointed out that Sotomayor has been open about the role affirmative action has played in her personal life. In her memoir “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor wrote that it “opened doors” for her.
"But one thing has not changed: to doubt the worth of minority students’ achievement when they succeed is really only to present another face of the prejudice that would deny them a chance even to try," she wrote.
Read Sotomayor’s full dissent here.