On October 12, 2011, the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights released a report titled, “Dressing Babies in Sweatshop Clothing: Dallas Cowboys, Ohio State and a Creepy Business.” The report alleged a number of noncompliances at the Style Avenue factory in El Salvador, including harassment or abuse and forced overtime. Two collegiate licensees registered with the FLA – Outerstuff and College Kids – were sourcing from the factory at the time of this report. Outerstuff and College Kids commissioned FLA-accredited monitoring organization, GMIES, to investigate the allegations. GMIES has completed its investigation and prepared a report, which is now available on our website. During the investigation, GMIES identified noncompliances and additional risks of noncompliance, including:
- violations of the exercise of workers’ freedom of association;
- harassment of workers;
- hours of work that exceeded the local norm;
- high temperatures in the workplace;
- water that did not meet the Salvadoran potability standard and was not apt for human consumption;
- delays in payment of contributions to the Social Security and Pension Funds Carriers system; and
- failure to grant paid vacations.
Read the full report and remediation plan here.
Outerstuff and College Kids collaborated with GMIES and the FLA on a remediation plan, which Style Avenue management has agreed to implement immediately. The remediation plan focuses on creating sustainable improvement at the factory, and the FLA will monitor progress over the next six months. At that time, FLA will conduct an independent verification of the implementation of the remediation plan and publish a report.
This case is a good example of stakeholders working together to quickly address issues and protect workers. Stay tuned for more information.