Simultaneous Labor Protests In Four Countries Target Hemisphere’s Largest Supplier of Adidas and Nike

Workers’ unions in the four countries formed the Gildan Union Network (Red de Sindicatos de Gildan in Spanish and Réseau de Syndicats de Gildan in French), and are demanding a meeting between top Gildan executives and representatives for each union. Gildan denied the meeting in separate letters to each union, saying such dialogue would “not be productive” due to differences in each country’s labor law. On July 25, each union delivered a letter emphasizing the abuses they face are violations of international conventions and Gildan’s own “Code of Conduct”, again urging the company to meet jointly with the unions.

During the week following the protest, the workers were joined by college student anti-sweatshop activists in Montreal, who distributed leaflets at Gildan’s headquarters.

College anti-sweatshop advocates are outraged at Gildan’s pattern of labor abuse and rejection of dialogue with worker representatives. With its purchase of Anvil, Gildan newly began producing sportswear for U.S. universities, many of which contractually require labor rights compliance of their apparel producers. “We will not allow Gildan to remain in flagrant violation of our campuses’ labor standards and continue to profit from the sale of clothes with our schools’ names and logos,” said Teresa Cheng, International Campaigns Coordinator for United Students Against Sweatshops. “If Gildan wants to stay in the college market, it must radically change its attitude towards labor rights now.”

Unions’ joint letter is at and photos at United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) is North America’s largest student-run campaign organization, with affiliated organizations on over 150 college campuses advocating for the rights of workers on our campuses, in our communities and making our college apparel.