Clarification of Report on Unpaid Health Benefits and Two Worker Deaths in Haiti

To:WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges
From:Scott Nova, Tara Mathur, and Ben Hensler
Date:June 23, 2021
Re:Clarification of Report on Unpaid Health Benefits and Two Worker Deaths in Haiti

Last week we shared with you a new WRC report concerning two factories in Haiti making university logo apparel, Palm Apparel and Sewing International, that had to failed to pay legally mandated health benefits for their workforce—a violation of Haitian law and university codes that contributed last year to the deaths of two workers. As we noted in our report, at the time the violations occurred, several licensees sourced university goods from the factories’ owner, Palm Apparel Group, including New Agenda, MV Sport, and Top of the World.

Fanatics, which owns Top of the World, has asked us to clarify that these violations occurred prior to Fanatics’ acquisition of the Top of the World brand from Vetta Brands in September 2020, and the relationship between Top of the World and Palm Apparel Group did not continue after the acquisition. Importantly, Fanatics has acknowledged that, even though these violations occurred before the acquisition, Fanatics is still responsible as Top of the World’s owner for addressing them.

As our report discusses, we are encouraged that Fanatics, as Top of the World’s new owner, is cooperating with the WRC’s current efforts in this regard, as are New Agenda and MV Sport. Moreover, since failure to provide legally required health benefits is a problem that has been found to affect a majority of Haiti’s export garment factories, as we also reported, we are engaging with all of the other licensees that source university goods from that country as well, including College Concepts, Gorilla Marketing, Knights Apparel, New Era Cap, Uscape Apparel, and Uniform Shoppe. To date, of these licensees, only Uniform Shoppe has failed to respond.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss.