WRC Report on Hanes Dominican Shirt Factory
The Workers Rights Consortium, an investigative body set up by participating colleges, universities and nongovernmental organizations to document conditions at a variety of factories that make clothing for Americans, recently released its report on labor conditions at the TOS Dominicana, which is owned and operated by Hanesbrands, Inc., the corporation recently spun off from Sara Lee and which sells Hanes shirts. I encourage you to read the entire report; this executive summary from the report indicates what is to be found within:
TOS Dominicana is owned and operated by Hanesbrands, Inc. (hereafter referred to as â€œHanesbrandsâ€). The facility manufactures fabric, primarily for t-shirts; sewing operations are scheduled to be added to the facility later this year. Employing roughly 1,100 workers, the facility is one of the largest textile producers in the Dominican Republic and the region. The fabric is sold to garment manufacturers in the Dominican Republic, including the university logo goods producer Grupo M, to Wal-Mart, and is also used to manufacture Hanesbrandsâ€™ own line of blank t-shirts. Hanesbrands is a supplier of blank t-shirts to numerous university licensees.
The WRC began its investigation in October 2006. On-the-ground fact gathering was conducted during five separate missions which took place on the following dates: October 29-31 of 2006; February 9-12, 17-19, and 26-28 of 2007; and May 10-12 of 2007.
The WRC found substantial, credible evidence that serious violations of domestic law and university codes of conduct have occurred at TOS Dominicana. These violations include the unlawful coercion of workers to sign new employment contracts and complaint waivers reducing workersâ€™ employment rights and benefits, forced and unpaid overtime, failure to pay the legally mandated premium for work at night, verbal harassment and abuse, and the use of a range of illegal means to thwart workersâ€™ efforts to exercise their associational rights.
The WRC has notified Hanesbrands of these findings. Unfortunately, Hanesbrands representatives have neither acknowledged that violations have occurred nor committed to take corrective action. In some areas, violations have worsened subsequent to Hanesbrands being informed of the WRCâ€™s findings.
If you find yourself concerned, please read the full report to inform yourself further. Then contact Hanesbrands Inc. at 1000 East Hanes Mill Road, Winston Salem, NC 27105, or leave a comment directly here.
If you sell Hanes shirts via the CafePress system, please reflect on your choices and their outcomes.