Key Buyers: Fruit of the Loom, Gear for Sports, Hanesbrands, Knights Apparel, Russell
Multiwear, a factory located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti closed its operations on March 15, 2016. At the time of the closure, Multiwear employed approximately 2,000 workers who were represented by three independent trade union bodies. During the closure, the WRC engaged with factory management and the key buyer, HanesBrands, to ensure that workers’ legal rights were respected and that the factory engaged in dialogue with worker representatives to negotiate the terms of the closure. Ultimately, the company agreed to pay the workers severance above the amount required by law and provided them with the opportunity to continue to work at a new factory being opened by the Multiwear owner, Richard Coles.
For several years prior to the closure, the WRC had engaged with Multiwear and its buyers regarding the payment of the minimum wage following a 2013 report issued by the WRC on the widespread noncompliance with Haitian minimum wage. The WRC successfully pressed HanesBrands to require its suppliers to pay the appropriate wage and, as a result, Multiwear significantly increased its wages, came into compliance with the minimum wage, and negotiated a 2014 labor-management agreement dictating the terms of implementation of the wage commitment and requiring the payment of approximately $4,200 in back pay. In 2015, HanesBrands arranged access for the WRC to conduct an onsite payroll review confirming Multiwear’s compliance with its minimum wage commitments.
WRC Memo re Multiwear – October 6, 2016