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
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