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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015: www.maquilasolidarity.org

Gildan Activewear: The El Progreso Story (2003-2006)

In December 2003, MSN, together with the Canadian Labour Congress and the Independent Federation of Honduran Workers (FITH), filed a formal complaint with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) concerning the unjust firings of workers suspected of union sympathies at Gildan Activewear's El Progreso factory in Honduras. The complaint alleged that there was a pattern of violations of freedom of association at the factory. On January 6, the same parties filed a complaint with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). Investigations by both the FLA and WRC confirmed MSN's allegations of violations of worker rights at the factory.

When Gildan subsequently announced it was closing the El Progreso factory in the midst of the complaints process, the FLA put the company's membership under review and the WRC reported that Gildan's decision was likely motivated by anti-union animus and in order to avoid taking corrective action.

Grassroots campaigns targeting Gildan Activewear in Canada and the United States succeeded in pressuring Gildan to enter into an agreement with MSN and the WRC to provide first-hire preference to all former El Progreso workers, including union supporters, at its other sewing facilities in Honduras. It also agreed to cooperate with verification of compliance with the agreement by the Honduran Independent Monitoring Team (EMIH).

In September 2006, MSN, the WRC and EMIH released a joint final report showing that while Gildan hadn't fully complied with the agreement, it did make serious efforts to do so in later months of the process.

In December 2006, the FLA published its final report on the case, based on a verification audit conducted by the Guatemalan Commission for the Verification of Codes of Conduct (COVERCO). That report states that Gildan "has remediated most of the noncompliance issues" arising from the 2003 complaint in its remaining factories, but still needs to address some outstanding issues and "provide better and more effective trainings, particularly on freedom of association."

 

Gildan under the glass

December 3, 2006

Fair Labor Association Final Report on Gildan El Progreso Case

In December 2006, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) published its final report on the Gildan El Progreso case, based on a verification audit conducted by the Guatemalan Commission for the Verification of Codes of Conduct (COVERCO). That report states that Gildan "has remediated most of the noncompliance issues" arising from the 2003 complaint in its remaining factories, but still needs to address some outstanding issues and "provide better and more effective trainings, particularly on freedom of association." Download the FLA's Final report on Gildan Activewear here.

September 27, 2006

Chronology of Gildan Activewear El Progreso Case

2001-02
The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) and the Honduran Independent Monitoring Team (EMIH) carry out joint research on the investment strategy and labour practices of Montreal-based T-shirt manufacturer Gildan Activewear. Research is also carried out by local groups in Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti.

September 26, 2006

Worker Rights Consortium Final Update on Gildan El Progreso case

The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), the Honduran Independent Monitoring Team (EMIH), and the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) has released the second and final update on the verification of Canadian T-shirt manufacturer Gildan Activewear's compliance with a January 2005 agreement to give priority hiring opportunities to approximately 1,800 former employees of the company's Gildan El Progreso factory in Honduras. The update on Gildan's compliance with the January 2005 priority hiring agreement includes a series of recommendations to Gildan based on the El Progreso experience.

May 9, 2006

Worker Rights Consortium First Update on Gildan El Progreso case

In January 2005 the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) reached an agreement with Gildan Activewear to remediate the mass termination of employees and closure of Gildan's El Progreso factory in September 2004. We can now provide an initial assessment concerning Gildan's adherence to the agreement. The results of our review are mixed.

January 24, 2005

Gildan agrees to corrective action plan

(January 24, 2005) Montreal T-shirt manufacturer, Gildan Activewear, agreed to a corrective action plan to repair the damage caused by its decisions to fire approximately 80 union supporters in 2002 and 2003 and to close its El Progeso factory in Honduras during a third party complaint process.

January 22, 2003

A Canadian Success Story?

Gildan Activewear: T-shirts, Free Trade and Worker Rights

A revealing look at the impacts of free trade on the lives of maquiladora workers who make Gildan T-shirts in Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador. Offers concrete recommendations to the company and stakeholders on ways to improve working conditions and labour practices.

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