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The False Promise of Corporate Living Wage Commitments

Published: June 1, 2019

In the face of mounting pressure from workers, unions, and civil society organizations who have documented widespread labor exploitation in global supply chains, apparel brands have adopted ambitious public commitments to provide living wages to the workers sewing their clothes. But according to a new study by researchers at the University of Sheffield, the world’s…


Published: April 3, 2019

The WRC’s assessment at SMC found violations in the areas of wages and hours, statutory paid time off, maternity benefits and occupational health and safety.

Alta Gracia

Published: February 15, 2019

The WRC is currently engaged in monitoring and public verification of working conditions at a factory that makes a unique apparel product: university t-shirts and sweatshirts sewn by workers who are paid a living wage, are represented by a democratic union, and face none of the abusive labor conditions that continue to plague apparel workers around the world. The shirts are sold by Knights Apparel under the company’s new Alta Gracia brand, and are available in campus bookstores across the country and online. The Alta Gracia brand, and the robust labor rights monitoring process outlined on this site, represent an extraordinary step forward for worker rights in global manufacturing and are the product of two years of work by Knights Apparel, the WRC, student activists, university leaders, and worker representatives in the Dominican Republic where the garments are sewn.

Alta Gracia Update

Published: January 22, 2019

To: WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges From: Scott Nova Date: January 22, 2019 Re: Alta Gracia Update I write with an update concerning developments at Alta Gracia. As you may know, the company temporarily suspended production last week at its Dominican Republic factory, after a prospective investor unexpectedly withdrew its offer to provide growth capital…

JoeAnne Company International Factory (JoeAnne Dominicana)

Published: December 22, 2015

In 2013, the WRC conducted an investigation of JoeAnne Dominicana in response to a complaint alleging that employees had been dismissed in retaliation for exercising their associational rights. The WRC’s investigation found compelling evidence that at least five workers were terminated in retaliation for participating in a meeting with representatives of a union federation. The WRC also found evidence that at least one worker was dismissed for perceived union activities after being seen conversing regularly with identified union leaders and another worker was fired after stating that she believed workers had been fired for attempting to form a union. These actions violate both university codes of conduct and Dominican law.

ITIC Apparel

Published: February 8, 2012

The WRC’s investigation found that ITIC Apparel violates the Sweatfree Contracting Ordinance’s requirements in the areas of wages and hours, freedom of association, harassment and abuse (including sexual harassment), legally mandated benefits, and occupational health and safety.

Gildan Dortex

Published: January 20, 2011

The WRC launched an investigation of Gildan Dortex, in Guerra, Dominican Republic, in August 2009 in response to a worker complaint. The ensuing investigation documented serious violations of freedom of association including repeated threats and intimidation against workers who were forming a union affiliated to the federation FEDOTRAZONAS.

Propper International / Suprema Manufacturing

Published: December 10, 2010

The WRC’s investigation found credible evidence of violations of relevant laws in the areas of wage and hour, freedom of association, sale of work tools to employees, and medical leave.

TOS Dominicana

Published: August 19, 2009

The WRC found substantial, credible evidence that serious violations of domestic law and university codes of conduct have occurred at TOS Dominicana. These violations include the unlawful coercion of workers to sign new employment contracts and complaint waivers reducing workers’ employment rights and benefits, forced and unpaid overtime, failure to pay the legally mandated premium…

Empresas T&M

Published: June 8, 2009

The WRC initiated the assessment of Empresas T&M in February of 2007. The assessment identified a number of violations of the provisions of applicable labor rights procurement policies and of domestic law. Violations were documented in the areas of legally mandated terminal compensation and leave, occupational health and safety, overtime, and freedom of association. Factory management was cooperative during the assessment process and agreed to take steps to address many of the instances of non-compliance in each area.