'We want to be transparent, we have nothing to hide and we think the truth will speak for itself'
"Our sincere hope is these long-time, valued customers will accept our invitation and visit our Honduran operations so they can see the conditions for themselves," said Russell Executive Vice President
"The activists making these misleading accusations have never been to
Barfield pointed out that contrary to the charges being made, Russell had already recognized the union status at Jerzees de
The independent report done by The Cahn Group, a corporate responsibility consulting firm, also confirmed the two reasons why this plant was chosen: 1) The need for products sewn there was lower than any of Russell's other factories. And 2) it was the only one with a lease that could be vacated immediately, avoiding unnecessary shutdown costs of more than
Barfield said Russell acknowledged that in 2007, there had been some problems surrounding union recognition. "We admitted the mistakes made by some of our local managers and we fixed them," he said. "We rehired some workers, paid back wages and we took steps to ensure this would never happen again. Independent reports confirm we made good on our word."
Barfield asked why, after the 2007 problems were corrected and Russell received praise in 2008 from the WRC and another independent investigation, the company was being attacked again in 2009.
"The global economic meltdown forced us to close eight plants, only one of which was unionized. Why is that one plant the WRC's sole focus? Why no concern for the people laid off from the other seven?"
The independent reports by A.L.G.I., a group of labor compliance experts that investigated the 2007 violations, included verification visits at two of Russell's Honduran plants, including the one in question, Jerzees de
In a follow up report after the recent announcement of the Honduran plant closing, A.L.G.I. reviewed minutes of monthly meetings between management and union leaders and found no evidence of anti-union activity.
SOURCE Russell Athletic