Canadian T-shirt manufacturer Gildan Activewear has responded to a Fair Labor Association audit carried out at its El Progreso, Honduras, sewing facility earlier this year.

By doing so, Gildan says it fully complies with FLA's code of conduct.

The FLA is reported to be currently reviewing this response, in collaboration with Gildan.

The El Progreso factory has been the focus of recent investigations on alleged worker rights violations.

However, Gildan has decided to shut the facility "for economic and operational reasons" at the end of September 2004.

In a statement, Gildan said it intends to use its response as a model upon which to further refine standards for its other sewing facilities in the region.

"Although we currently have in place excellent working conditions in all our facilities making Gildan a leader in its industry on the social responsibility front, we found the FLA process and the introduction of an independent point of view very useful," said president and co-chief executive officer, Glenn J Chamandy.

"While some of the FLA findings were definitely more concerning than others and required immediate redressing, the concerns are all manageable."