WRC Factory Investigation

Palm Apparel

Factory: Palm Apparel

Key Buyers: Gildan, MV Sport, New Agenda, Top of the World

Last Updated: 2023

Case Summary

In 2020–2021, the WRC investigated the chronic failure of Haitian garment factories to make legally required contributions to the country’s public healthcare and pension systems. This failure contributed to the avoidable deaths of two workers that occurred after each of them was unable to access lifesaving medical treatment. The WRC’s investigation found that the factories where these two workers were employed, Palm Apparel and Sewing International (SISA), were responsible to provide compensation to the families of the deceased workers, since evidence indicated that the factories’ failure to make the legally required healthcare contributions were a contributing factor in their deaths. The WRC engaged with Gildan Activewear, which supplies products from both factories to university licensees and, as a result of this engagement, the owner of both factories, Palm Apparel Group, agreed to provide significant financial compensation to the families of the deceased workers.

In 2023, additional violations of worker rights were remedied by Palm Apparel. In 2021, the factory closed one of its two facilities. Though other employees from the closed facility were offered the opportunity to transfer to a second facility owned by Palm Apparel, the WRC found that the factory committed violations of freedom of association when it refused to offer union leaders positions at the second facility. After the WRC engaged with the licensees and the buyer, Palm Apparel agreed to pay significant back wages to 19 affected union leaders and to make offers of priority rehiring for these workers.

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