Remediation of Wage Violations at Style Avenue (El Salvador)
|To:||WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges|
|From:||Scott Nova and Ben Hensler|
|Date:||August 24, 2015|
|Re:||Remediation of Wage Violations at Style Avenue (El Salvador)|
Please see the most recent update from the WRC on successful remediation of wage violations at a garment factory in El Salvador, Style Avenue, which is a supplier to the collegiate licensees, Outerstuff and College Kids. Worker representatives at the factory reported to the WRC that the company had failed to pay wages to roughly 300 employees during a two-week period in January and February 2015, during which the factory was temporarily shut down but still legally obligated to pay its employees.
The factory disregarded a determination by the Salvadoran Ministry of Labor that these wages were legally due, and, instead, informed workers that it would only compensate them if ordered to so by one of the country’s courts, an outcome that, in El Salvador, could have been years away. The WRC contacted Outerstuff and College Kids and urged these licenses to press the factory to remedy the violation in a timely fashion, rather than forcing workers to wait for these much-needed wages. Style Avenue paid the owed wages to its workers on June 26, 2015.
Under university codes, licensees are required to resolve violations once there is clear evidence of noncompliance rather than allow factory owners to take advantage of the inadequacies of local legal systems ― in this instance, by denying payment of wages that were clearly due. This case highlights how, by communicating with supplier factories the need to promptly comply with national law, licensees can help bridge gaps in code compliance caused by the lack of enforcement of labor laws in many countries where collegiate apparel is produced.