Early identification of employee-related issues is crucial to ensuring not only basic Code of Conduct compliance but also to creating an engaging workplace, by supporting effective and genuinely open lines of communication between managers and workers.
During audits at all of our third party contractor facilities, we also verify that grievance mechanisms are in place.
At all of Gildan’s administrative offices and manufacturing facilities, we accomplish this through formal grievance mechanisms featuring:
- Open Door Policy to encourage any employee to contact management on any matter and receive immediate feedback
- Employee management roundtables with clear deliverables and follow-up:
- Roundtables are organized by the management team and employees in order to identify best practices, discuss grievances, and to collectively develop an action plan for remediation
- Provide immediate feedback to the employee
- The frequency of the roundtables varies according to the region: monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis
- Worker-management committees
- Several worker-management committees have been created at our various locations in order to share opinions and help manage a variety of issues in the workplace
- In addition to the health and safety and ergonomics committees, other committees have been established and meet monthly to discuss subjects including transportation, cafeteria and environmental initiatives, or to address specific issues in a particular facility or office
- The following are examples of committees that were created, and of some of the excellent initiatives that have been developed as a result:
- In Honduras, an environmental committee has been created to oversee all environmental activities at our textile complex, such as recycling, reforestation, and circulation of educational bulletins
- In the Dominican Republic, various committees were formed for employees from various shifts to work on opinion survey results and establish an action plan to work on identified areas of improvement
- In Barbados, a staff committee is responsible for planning staff activities. It also acts as an information conduit for employees
- In Bangladesh, a Worker’s Participation Committee comprised of workers and management representatives is in place. The committee meets once every two months to discuss subjects presented by workers’ representatives.
- Suggestion boxes
- Suggestion boxes located on the production floor and in cafeterias at every manufacturing facility in Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Bangladesh are one of the grievance mechanisms used by the employees to report their concerns
- Written messages from the boxes are collected every other week by a regional employee who is independent from the facility management
In Honduras, we received a total of 1,940 suggestions in 2012. The majority of the concerns were issues regarding middle management, cafeteria and human resources matters, all of which can be resolved through the human resources offices.
In the Dominican Republic, we received a total of 685 suggestions related to cafeteria, human resources issues and services, as well as middle management issues.
We have seen an increase in the past few years regarding the number of suggestions received. We attribute this increase to the various activities that have been done to promote grievance mechanisms to employees.
For instance, over the years, many successful programs have been initiated based on employee suggestions originating from these suggestion boxes, such as the implementation of the Credit Union program at the Rio Nance facilities in Honduras, the construction of a covered parking area for motorcycles at San Miguel, and the establishment of the Green Committee in Barbados.
We also believe that since all suggestions are addressed and that employees receive feedback on their ideas, there has been an increase in suggestions over the years.
- Toll-free Integrity and Social Responsibility Hotline and website link
- A toll-free Integrity and Social Responsibility Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, enabling Gildan employees to anonymously and/or confidentially report concerns in English, French, Spanish, Creole and soon Bengali
- This hotline is part of our whistle blowing policy launched in 2004 and is used as a tool for reporting alleged violations of the Gildan Code of Conduct and
- The hotline is tested annually by the Company’s internal audit department
In 2012, we received a total of six complaints; all of which related to Human Resources issues, and more precisely to labour issues and workplace conduct. Every complaint has been investigated and followed up by the Employee Concerns and Questionable Acts Committee at the Company’s Head Office.
Each one of the reported complaints is investigated and followed up by management teams or, if submitted through the Hotline, by the Employee Concerns and Questionable Acts Committee. If senior management is involved in the complaint, the Board of Directors is consulted.
During 2012, we trained all U.S. employees at our recently acquired company, GoldToeMoretz, on the Integrity and Social Responsibility Hotline. Approximately 525 employees were trained. Hotline posters were posted throughout all facilities. In 2013, we will train the remaining GoldToeMoretz employees located in Asia on how to use this hotline.
Employees of our newly acquired Anvil facilities will also be trained in 2013 on the Integrity and Social Responsibility Hotline.
Using creativity to promote grievance mechanisms
At Gildan, we proactively promote available grievance mechanisms and we provide specific training on these mechanisms as part of the induction training for new employees. Colourful posters promoting the Integrity and Social Responsibility Hotline are also displayed in the common areas of our facilities and offices.
In 2012, Gildan created an interdisciplinary grievance mechanisms committee to review all of the responses provided by each facility to ensure that employees concerns are appropriately answered. This information is also shared with Directors and Vice-Presidents.