Developing Economies

A Day In The Life Of A Haitian Boss

Hatian factory and office, post-quake

Click to enlarge. Working conditions in Haiti. Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR

This is Georges Sassine's textile factory (left) and his office (right). The day before the earthquake his factory was bustling. Now, instead of running a company this was his day:

8am Attend a funeral (this has become a daily morning ritual)
9am Meet with the Dominican embassy. Tell them there's a Haitian company that has 5 containers of t-shirts with no way out. Can they use Dominican ports?
9:30am Meeting with Dominican embassy is interrupted by a call from a Washington DC Congressional staffer. Georges makes his pitch (once again) for expanded trade preferences.
11am Meet with other Haitian textile bosses. Georges tells the group "it is extremely important we show the world that Haiti still exists." They decide they need to make an appearance at an upcoming textile show in Las Vegas.
12pm Lunch at the US embassy.
1:30pm Stop by a nervous Korean textile boss, reassure him orders will keep coming in.
3:30pm Return to the "office" to meet with union representatives. They want to inspect the place to make sure it's safe for workers to return.
4:30pm Rush home to be with his wife, who is grieving for her father

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