Regis clothes line Protested

Monday, June 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — First it was Kathie Lee Gifford and sweatshops.

Now labor activists have accused her morning show co-host Regis Philbin of attaching his name to a clothing line made by a company with a history of production at abusive foreign factories.

Philbin appeared at Macy's earlier this week to introduce a shirt and tie line called ``Regis by the Van Heusen Company.''

On Friday, members of the UNITE garment workers' union demonstrated inside Macy's near a display of the cotton shirt and satin tie ensembles that have become Philbin's trademark attire on his quiz show, ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire.''

``We're giving him a chance not to put his name on clothing made by a company with ties to labor abuses,'' said UNITE spokeswoman Jo-Ann Mort.

A call to the Phillips-Van Heusen offices in New York was not returned Friday.

Last year, the company was named in a class-action lawsuit claiming that workers on the Pacific island of Saipan worked in sweatshop conditions. Phillips-Van Heusen, and other garment makers, promised to establish a fund to finance an independent monitoring program and provide money to the workers.

Gifford, in response to accusations that her clothing line is produced in sweatshops, has hired monitors and joined a national task force that acts as a watchdog for labor conditions.