January 30, 2004
Responsibility · Manufacturing
Gildan Activewear Requests Independent Audit Of Honduran Sewing Facility
Montreal, January 30, 2004 - Gildan Activewear Inc. (NYSE: GIL; TSX: GIL.A) today announced that it has requested the Fair Labor Association (FLA), in which Gildan is a Participating Company, to conduct an independent audit at one of its Honduran sewing facilities. The audit is related to a complaint filed with the FLA, alleging that Gildan had engaged in actions intended to impede workers' right to freedom of association. The complaint was filed by a Canadian-based activist group and a Canadian labour union.
Gildan stands by its performance in providing positive working conditions in all of its manufacturing locations and in respecting the laws of all countries in which it has operations. "We have dedicated a lot of effort and resources towards developing leadership as a socially responsible corporation and promoting respect for labour rights," said Stéphane Lemay, Vice- President, Public and Legal Affairs. "We are committed to maintaining excellent standards of working conditions in our facilities as well as those of our outside contractors."
Under FLA rules, Gildan is prohibited from further discussing the complaint while FLA is conducting its audit. However, Gildan has offered to release the results of the audit once they are available, in a timely manner.
The FLA is recognized as one of the most highly respected independent verification agencies in the world. A non-profit coalition of companies, universities and non-governmental organizations, it promotes adherence to international labour standards and conditions.
About Gildan Activewear
Gildan Activewear is a vertically-integrated manufacturer and marketer of premium quality branded basic activewear for sale principally in the wholesale imprinted activewear segment of the Canadian, U.S., European and other international apparel markets. The Corporation manufactures and sells premium quality 100% cotton and 50% cotton/50% polyester T-shirts, placket collar golf shirts and premium quality sweatshirts in a variety of weights, sizes, colours and styles. The Corporation sells its products as blanks, which are ultimately decorated with designs and logos for sale to consumers. Gildan employs more than 9,000 full-time employees and is committed to providing a socially responsible workplace for all its employees and to the principles of sustainable operations. More information on the Corporation may be found at www.gildan.com.
The FLA is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose goal is to complement other international and national efforts to promote respect for labour rights worldwide. It represents a multi-stakeholder coalition of companies, universities and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) committed to a rigorous program of Code of Conduct implementation, monitoring and remediation in order to bring their manufacturing sites into compliance with FLA standards. Over 175 colleges and universities have joined the FLA to promote fair and decent conditions in the production of goods bearing their logo, requiring their licensees to participate in the FLA licensee program. It also includes human and labour rights advocates and organizations which compose the FLA NGO Advisory Council facilitating the involvement of local and international NGOs to ensure worker empowerment and the meaningful protection of workers' rights. The FLA issued its first public report in June 2003. This report and additional information on the organization can be found at www.fairlabor.org.
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