The policies that govern our business are based not only on laws and
regulations, but also on dignity and respect for the individual, common
sense, fairness, and good business practices/principles and Sara Lee
Knit Products (SLKP) operating philosophies. The policies that have
traditionally applied to our domestic operations have been, for the most
part, applied to our international operations as they have been
developed. The only exceptions have been in countries where local laws,
regulations, customs or culture have dictated modifications and
departures from our domestic practices.
The fundamental principles of our domestic policies, to the greatest
extent possible, extend to our international locations. Our workforce
has become more diverse and our operations now extend to many countries
and regions. In addition to our own international operations, we also
buy materials and finished products from international suppliers. The
principles that apply to our own operations, also apply, to the greatest
extent possible, to our business relationships with suppliers.
While there is a continued need for development and revision of
formal policies, it is desirable that we restate the principles under
which we have operated in the past and which will continue to apply to
our international operations.
Laws and Regulations
SLKP is committed to adherence to laws, practices and regulations
which apply to the areas where we conduct business. SLKP will conduct a
thorough due diligence of all potential sourcing/joint venture parties
and will not enter into business agreements, sourcing agreements or
joint ventures where parties to such agreements are in conflict with, or
in violation of, local laws or regulations.
SLKP believes in conducting all of its business activities with
honesty, fair dealing and in conformance with high ethical standards
wherever it operates. The company will not make or condone illegal
payments or other facilitating payments, nor will it involve itself in
activities or practices of questionable ethical standards.
SLKP is strongly committed to the strict adherence to all
environmental rules, regulations and standards that are imposed by
local, state and national government authorities. In countries where
standards differ from those in force in the United States, SLKP will
observe environmentally sound practices.
Wages and Benefits
SLKP prides itself on providing employees with competitive wages and
benefits. Regardless of location, SLKP offers wages which are
competitive and which are at or above wages paid by others within our
industry in the area. SLKP believes that an important way to motivate
and retain good employees is to pay them at competitive levels without
causing undue disruptions of local, regional or national economics.
SLKP believes in providing employees with superior working
environments which are designed, built and equipped to the same high
standards everywhere we operate.
Hours worked each day, and days worked each week shall not exceed
legal limitations or requirements within each of the countries where we
The company believes that employees are entitled to work in a
drug-free environment and is actively implementing an extensive
substance abuse policy in accordance with applicable laws to include
educational programs, safety sensitive, accident, applicant testing and
rehabilitation programs in all places where we operate.
SLKP operates on the principle that an informed employee is a better
employee. The company actively encourages two-way communications between
employees and supervisors and supplements such communications with
timely publications, bulletin board notices, employee meetings and video
SLKP is committed to providing a safe working environment. Unsafe
practices will not be tolerated and employees will be trained in safe
practices. Safety rules related to the wearing of safety equipment or
devices will be strictly enforced.
Open Door Policy
SLKP believes that employees have a right to present complaints,
problems, grievances and comments to receive satisfactory responses. If
employees are not satisfied with responses at the first level of
supervision, they are entitled and encouraged to present their issue to
higher levels of the organization.
SLKP believes in a union-free environment, except where laws and
cultures require us to do otherwise. The company treats people with
equity and fairness, and believes that employees themselves are best
able to voice their concerns directly to management. SLKP is committed
to the strict observance of laws and regulations related to union
activity and encourages individual freedom and direct dealing between
employees and management while actively discouraging union
representation of employees where the law allows.
Equal Opportunity and Employee Training and Development
SLKP is an equal opportunity employer. The company actively seeks and
promotes diversity within its workforce and strictly prohibits
discrimination with regard to race, color, national origin, religion,
sex, age or disability.
The company respects employees and believes in the fundamental
dignity and worth of the individual. SLKP offers its employees
company-paid or subsidized work -related training, which enables
employees to improve job skills and to qualify for positions of greater
While the legal definition of children sometimes varies from country
to country, SLKP will not employ individuals who are under 16 years of
Employee Recognition, Empowerment and Treatment
SLKP believes that employees should be recognized and rewarded for
good performance, and actively encourages the adoption of suitable
programs for this purpose.
SLKP is committed to employee empowerment in the belief that
employees have good ideas and should be given the opportunity to voice
those ideas and to implement better and more productive procedures and
methods. SLKP believes that empowerment directly and significantly
contributes to the company's goal of achieving lowest-cost,
highest-quality producer status and that this, in turn, enables the
company to effectively compete in world markets.
SLKP believes in being a good corporate citizen in every community,
locality and country where we operate. All of the company's operating
facilities are actively encouraged to become involved in the life of
their communities by participating in and sponsoring activities that
result in community betterment. Involvement has taken many forms. Some
plants have adopted schools; some have promoted drug education programs;
others have adopted orphanages; while still others have helped establish
child-care centers and community child-care homes.
In some less developed areas, plants have helped establish parks,
recreational facilities, health care facilities, drug abuse programs and
have contributed to the building of housing and infrastructure.
Individual employees are encouraged to become involved in service
organizations, school board, chambers of commerce, industrial park
associations and local government.
In every community where it operates, SLKP actively seeks out
opportunities to contribute money and materials to worthwhile causes.
SLKP wants to make the community a better place for its employees to
live and work. SLKP is particularly interested in programs that benefit
youth, drug education and abuse programs, health, welfare, education,
family, culture and art.
- The above is a summary of key operating principles for our
international operations. For additional detail on covered items,
please refer to more detailed international policies, procedures and
human resources plans.