A few months ago, our world was hit with unprecedented circumstances. With the spread of COVID-19, which triggered mandatory governmental shutdowns of the private sector and a global impact on the economy, many factories around the world, including ours, stopped production and temporarily closed their doors.
During this difficult time, Gildan is committed to supporting its employees. Our unique business model of owning the facilities that produce the vast majority of our products allows us to work closely with our local teams, and in collaboration with local governments, NGOs and union representatives, where applicable, to ensure employees’ rights are respected and that our employees receive constant support during this crisis.
While our factories were idle, most of our workers were placed under suspension, a mechanism allowed by law where workers are suspended from work without losing their contract but maintain their seniority and all legal benefits to which they are entitled to. During this time, workers are also receiving financial support from Gildan and their respective governments. In some countries where government support is not available, Gildan has stepped in to support employees financially.
“"Caring for our people has always been a top priority at Gildan, even more so during this time of uncertainty. I want to assure you that Gildan remains fully committed to this goal as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our teams are working hard to ensure the welfare of our people and the continuity of our business.”
- Claudia Sandoval VP, Corporate Citizenship
On March 28th, 2020, we temporarily suspended production at our textile and sewing facility in Bangladesh. During the temporary suspension, employees' contracts remain active, and each employee retains their seniority at the Company.
Since the beginning of the shutdown in Bangladesh, we have been paying all manufacturing employees 50% of their salary in addition to their allowances. This represents approximately 70% of the countries' minimum wage.
In addition, workers have also received payments applicable to the Eid Festival, as was required by law, as well as their accrued vacation days or earned leave encashment.