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Update: Delta Apparel

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To:WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges
From:Scott Nova and Jessica Champagne
Date:April 12, 2019
Re:Update: Delta Apparel

I am writing to provide you with an important update regarding Delta Apparel Honduras. As per our previous communication to universities, the factory’s U.S.-based parent company, Delta Apparel, Inc, has refused to remedy the multiple serious violations of university codes of conduct at the factory that have been identified by the WRC. Accordingly, the WRC has now informed all licensees that any licensee doing business with Delta Apparel is not in compliance with university codes of conduct.

In February, the WRC began engaging with licensees disclosing Delta Apparel facilities, other than Delta Apparel Honduras, as collegiate suppliers. Since then, a number of licensees have reported to the WRC that they have terminated the sourcing relationship and made it clear to Delta that they will not be sourcing from any of Delta’s facilities, until the violations of university codes at Delta Apparel Honduras are resolved.

Among the licensees who have taken appropriate action so far are All Colors, South by Sea, and State Discount Corp. In addition, New Agenda (Perrin Wear), which had sourced from Delta Apparel Honduras, has now severed its relationship with Delta. We will continue to update you as to which licensees have committed to stop sourcing from Delta Apparel.

In the face of licensees taking such actions against the company’s violation of university standards, Delta has resorted to knowingly making false statements – about both the WRC’s efforts to secure Delta’s compliance with university codes and about Delta’s own labor practices in Honduras.

According to a company document obtained by the WRC, Delta managers are apparently instructing their customer relations representatives to tell licensees that the WRC asked Delta to pay money to the WRC in return for favorable treatment.

This statement is, of course, a fabrication. As you know, the WRC does not accept – and has never accepted – money from any factory owner, much less solicited it.

The WRC has formally asked Delta to cease-and-desist from and retract its false and defamatory statements. We have yet to receive a response. We do note that the most recent communication to licensees by Delta does not repeat this fabrication.

In the document obtained by the WRC, Delta also claimed that the company is working collaboratively with the factory union to ensure the factory is in compliance with the law. In fact, it is the union that brought the original complaint about Delta’s noncompliance and has continued to advise the WRC to this day that Delta refuses to comply with the law.

This latest conduct underscores university concerns that Delta is a company that refuses to take a responsible approach to its obligations to licensees, universities, and its own employees.

Scott Nova
Executive Director
Worker Rights Consortium

nova@workersrights.org