WRC Factory Investigation

Global Manufacturers & Contractors

Factory: Global Manufacturers & Contractors

Key Buyers: Hanesbrands

Last Updated: 2013

Case Summary

Since 2011, the International Labor Organization and International Finance Corporation’s Better Work Haiti factory monitoring program has consistently reported overwhelming noncompliance by Haitian export garment factories with the country’s legal minimum wage. A report from Better Work Haiti in April 2013 indicated that every one of the country’s export garment factories was violating the law. The WRC’s new report details for the first time, however, the massive scale of the unlawful denial of wages taking place in Haitian garment factories and its severe impact on Haitian garment workers and their families, revealing that these workers ‒ some of the poorest in the world ‒ are seeing roughly a third of their legally earned wages being effectively stolen every pay period.

The report urges licensees and other North American apparel companies doing business in Haiti to immediately require their supplier factories in the country to begin paying their workers in accordance with the minimum wage law and to provide full back-pay to workers for past wage-and-hour violations. As already noted, the fact that there have been ongoing and widespread minimum wage violations in the country’s garment sector has, or should have, been known to licensees and other companies sourcing from Haiti ‒ both from the public reporting of Better Work Haiti and, we must assume, from each company’s own supply chain monitoring ‒ for some time. Yet this epidemic of wage theft, which, as this report details, leaves Haitian garment workers and their families without access to adequate food, shelter and medical care, has continued unabated for several years, with buyers failing to take effective corrective action. Several brands producing in Haiti, including Gildan Activewear and Fruit of the Loom, have committed to remedy both current and past non-compliance with the minimum wage. However, Hanes, the primary buyer from Global Manufacturers & Contractors, has not made any commitment to ensure that their supplier factories comply with the minimum wage.

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