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Kathie Liee Gifford

In 1996, investigators from the National Labor Committee discovered teenage women sewing clothes for the apparel line of Kathie Lee Gifford, the actress, singer and co-host of television talk-show Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. The clothing, produced at the Global Fashion plant in Honduras, was deemed to have come from a sweatshop in which 13- to 15-year-old girls worked up to 75 hours a week at a reported 31 cents per hour.

The Wal-Mart chain carried the Kathie Lee line, and in May 1996, after a firestorm of negative publicity for both Wal-Mart and Gifford, she announced she would establish an independent monitoring program for all of the factories producing her clothing - including one in New York City, a short distance from where her talk-show was itself produced.

In 1996, Gifford ended her relationship with the Honduran clothing producer; several years later, she petitioned Wal-Mart to return to Global Fashion manufacturers, providing conditions at the plant had been improved and were in accordance with internationally acceptable work practices.

In August 1996, she was hailed by President Bill Clinton for her quick response to the issue. That month, Clinton also announced a plan in which some of the best-known clothing labels would begin placing disclaimers on their garments to assure buyers that children had not exploited in their manufacture. These included: L.L. Bean, Liz Claiborne, Warnaco, Phillips-Van Heusen, Nike, Tweeds, Patagonia, Nicole Miller, Karen Kane and Lucky Brands, among others. She was also appointed by the White House to the Apparel Industry Partnership White House Task Force.

Today, Gifford still performs and records as a singer, acts on television and in theatre, and continues with her signature clothing line. After 15 years on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, she left the show in 2000. Wal-Mart still carries the Kathie Lee clothing line. Kathie Lee Gifford's website is: www.kathieleegifford.com.

 Featured Audio
 

News and Current Events #40
In addition to the Kathy Lee Gifford story, Alberta Today, evening edition, broadcast May 23, 1996 covers the news items:

  • Peter Jang Trust Fund - his father Wong Jang is very thankful

  • Passenger flights cannot transport oxygen generators

  • Reform party to debate 48 resolutions at a Calgary conference

  • The Photographer's Sweethearts, a novel by Diana Hartog

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