Update: Konffetty (Vive La Fete)
|To:||WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges|
|From:||Scott Nova, Ben Hensler and Tara Mathur|
|Date:||December 4, 2018|
|Re:||Update: Konffetty (Vive La Fete)|
We write to update you concerning the effort to remedy labor rights violations at Konffetty, the sole supplier for licensee Vive La Fete.
Subsequent to the issuance of our report documenting wage theft and other labor rights violations at the factory, and in response to engagement by a number of universities, Vive La Fete reached out to the WRC in October to recommence a dialogue the company previously suspended. The WRC met in person with the head of Vive La Fete, Miguel Lacayo, in late October. There have been multiple follow up communications.
Vive La Fete has indicated a desire to resolve the labor rights issues and come into compliance with university codes of conduct, and we appreciate that Vive La Fete recognizes that it must respect university standards if it wishes to operate in the university market.
At the same time, it remains unclear whether the company, and its supplier factory, will be willing to take sufficient steps to achieve compliance. The primary outstanding questions are 1) whether Vive La Fete will commit to ensure that Konffetty complies, going forward, with all relevant aspects of Salvadoran law in its employment of homeworkers, and 2) whether the company will commit to provide sufficient back pay to compensate workers for previous unpaid wages and benefits.
The WRC and Vive La Fete have exchanged information related to the calculation of wages, both prospectively and in terms of back pay, and related to the company’s overall financial circumstances. The purpose of this exchange is to reach clarity as to whether the steps the company is willing to take are adequate to achieve compliance with all relevant elements of university standards and Salvadoran law. At present, the WRC is awaiting further data from the company. We expect to receive the remaining information this week
We share the concern of affiliate universities and students that the process is not proceeding more swiftly. Our dual priorities, as in all such cases, are to uphold university labor standards and to achieve the best possible result for workers and their families. Given the nature of the labor rights violations in this case, a somewhat slower timeframe for resolution will not compromise workers’ rights in the long run, as long as full compliance is achieved in the end. That said, workers deserve a timely resolution, and we hope and expect to have a clear picture, by next month at the latest, as to whether compliance can, indeed, be achieved.
We will update you again at that point, or sooner if developments warrant.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss.
Worker Rights Consortium