Nike says it only left the factory because Gildan, the Canadian apparel manufacturer that recently purchased American Apparel, forced it to. ”It was not Nike’s decision to exit the STAR factory, owned by Gildan Inc, in Honduras,” Nike said. Nike insists it has worked with Gildan to minimize the job losses.

USAS is not convinced. “Nike has the ability to pressure Gildan to address this, and so far they have not,” Solis says.

Gildan acknowledges that it took over production at the facility, which it acquired when it purchased Anvil Knitwear in 2012. It has used that factory and one other to make clothes in Central America for other brands, and says it consolidated Nike’s production in the other facility to optimize its Anvil production.

The reasons for the change were explained to the unions, says Gildan spokesperson Garry Bell. “It is important to say that these changes were not made in any respect because of the existence of a union in this facility,” he says. He also adds that workers were offered the opportunity to relocate to their other factories in Honduras. Many did, while others left voluntarily, he says.

This story has been updated with Gildan’s response. It has also been corrected to clarify that University of Washington has not yet cut ties with Nike or chosen to let its contract expire.

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