WRC Report: Gildan (Dominican Republic)

To:Primary Contacts at WRC Affiliate Colleges and Universities
From:Scott Nova
Date:January 25, 2011
Re:Gildan (Dominican Republic)

Please find here an interim report concerning labor rights violations at Gildan Dortex in the Dominican Republic, a textile facility owned and operated by Gildan Activewear, a supplier of blank t-shirts to a number of university licensees. Gildan has engaged in a systematic and ongoing effort to deprive workers at this facility of the ability to exercise fundamental rights. Despite numerous efforts at dialogue, and various remedial commitments from the company, the problems have persisted and, in recent weeks, worsened.

This has been particularly disappointing considering that Gildan has, for a number of years, presented itself as a leader on the issue of corporate social responsibility – ever since the exposure of severe labor rights violations at one of the company’s factories in Honduras (see related WRC reports at this link). Unfortunately, Gildan’s actions at the Dortex facility do not reflect a commitment to respect the rights of employees, as protected by applicable law and university codes of conduct. While we continue to hope that Gildan will cease its violations of workers’ rights and will implement necessary remedial measures, recent indications have not been encouraging.

While Gildan is a major producer of university clothing, and one of the world’s largest producers of t-shirts, the company is not itself a licensee, and therefore does not have a direct relationship with universities. Instead, Gildan’s relationship is as a supplier to licensees. The WRC is informing licensees that are Gildan customers of these findings.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about this report. We will update you as this case proceeds.

Scott Nova 
Worker Rights Consortium 
5 Thomas Circle NW 
Washington DC 20005 
ph  202 387 4884 
fax 202 387 3292 
[email protected]