WRC Factory Investigation

Alamode, S.A.

Factory: Alamode, S.A.

Key Buyers: Fechheimer Brothers, Lion Apparel

Year: 2013

Case Summary

The WRC carried out its first assessment of the Alamode facility pursuant to our role as the monitor contracted by the City of Los Angeles to verify compliance with the City’s Sweat-Free Procurement Ordinance. The Alamode factory was disclosed by Lion Apparel as a manufacturer of goods sold to the City of Los Angeles. The WRC’s assessment was initiated in response to a complaint received from Honduran civil society organizations alleging past and ongoing labor rights violations at the Alamode facility. The WRC’s investigation was carried out by members of the WRC staff and inspectors from the Independent Monitoring Team of Honduras, a local labor rights monitoring organization based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The assessment included interviews with production workers, supervisors, and managers, as well as a review of relevant documentation and a physical inspection of the factory premises. The investigation uncovered evidence of several areas of non-compliance with Honduran law and other applicable standards. This included instances of non-compliance related to health and safety, payment of the minimum wage, overtime, legally mandated severance and health benefits, and discrimination on the basis of gender.

The WRC provided Lion Apparel with an outline of findings and a set of recommendations for remedial action. Ultimately, Lion agreed to press the factory to undertake corrective action in most areas of noncompliance identified by the WRC’s assessment. In December 2008, the WRC conducted a verification audit at Alamode and found that in many of the compliance areas in question, the factory had implemented the recommended corrective action. When the WRC issued its final, public report based on this first investigation in October, 2009, there were several areas in which further remediation was still necessary. These included additional reforms to ensure workers’ safety on the job, to ensure overtime is performed voluntarily, and to ensure that workers receive all legally mandated terminal benefits.

A second assessment at Alamode was carried out in 2012-2013 pursuant the WRC’s role as independent monitor for the City and County of San Francisco in compliance with the City’s Sweat-Free Contracting Ordinance. For this assessment, Alamode was disclosed as a manufacturer for the City of San Francisco by Galls, which purchases the factory’s products from Fechheimer Brothers. The second assessment, published in June 2013, found continued violations of workers’ rights and non-compliance with the City of San Francisco’s Ordinance in the areas of payment of legally mandated health care benefits, payment of wages, hours of work, legally mandated terminal benefits, gender discrimination, harassment and abuse, occupational health and safety and freedom of association.

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