For Immediate Release
Over 140k Demand Hanes Clothing Brand Stop Stealing from Haitian Garment Workers and Join Meeting with Labor Rights Advocates
Hanes’ Top Competitors to Meet with Labor Unions to Pay Haitian Workers Owed Compensation
WASHINGTON - Over 140,000 people in the United States and around the world have signed on to a new petition by SumOfUs.org, a global corporate watchdog, demanding that Hanesbrands Inc., the makers of Hanes clothing, stop stealing wages from garment workers in Haiti, ensure the companies’ suppliers are paying at least minimum wage, and compensate the Haitian victims of wage theft.
At the end of this week, two of Hanes’s top competitors, Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (the maker of Fruit of the Loom branded apparel and the parent company of Russell Athletic and Spalding) and Gildan Activewear, (a major supplier for Under Armour and New Balance), are meeting with labor rights advocates and representatives from Haitian unions to make plans to compensate workers, but Hanesbrands Inc. has refused to join them.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://action.sumofus.org/a/haiti-hanes/?sub=pr
The petition comes after a report by the Worker Rights Consortium that found that, “the majority of Haitian garment workers are being denied nearly a third of the wages they are legally due as a result of the factories’ theft of their income.”
“Haiti has become an apparel-producing powerhouse as global clothing brands like Hanes move factories there to take advantage of some of the lowest wages in the western hemisphere.,” explained Rob Wohl, campaigner for SumOfUs.org. “But workers aren’t benefiting from the boom: with rampant wage theft, most make less than $5 for an eight-hour day, and three quarters of Haitian garment workers can’t afford to provide three full meals a day for their families.”
Factories in Haiti use a number of tricks to deny workers their wages including (1) forcing workers to work off the clock, (2) refusing to pay overtime, and (3) requiring workers to reach totally unrealistic production quotas to get their full wages. On average, Haitian garment workers make more than 30% less than what they’re legally owed.
“Apparel companies are flagrantly breaking the law, but the combination of the garment industry's political clout and its importance to the country's economy means that the Haitian government doesn’t have the appetite to hold them accountable. It’s up to Hanes’ customers to make sure the company does the right thing.” added Wohl.