WRC Factory Investigation

All-Sportz Apparel

Factory: All-Sportz Apparel

Key Buyers: Varsity

Year: 2020

Case Summary

In March 2019, the WRC received a complaint from workers at the All-Sportz Apparel factory located in the Dominican Republic. These workers alleged that, following the creation of a Union Formation Committee at the factory, management responded with actions that violated their freedom of association.

The WRC investigated the complaint and found violations of workers’ right to freedom of association under university codes of conduct, Dominican labor law, and international labor standards. These violations included:

  • Threats by All-Sportz managers and supervisors of termination, blacklisting, violence, and plant closure in retaliation for workers’ exercise of freedom of association rights;
  • Financial penalties levied against several workers and the discriminatory dismissal of one other employee for engaging in associational activities;
  • Physical and social isolation by management of several pro-union workers and conduct that violated personal privacy of another worker in order to suppress the exercise of freedom of association; and
  • Management’s permission for non-union employees to engage in anti-union activities on company time and provision of other material support for the same purpose.

Initially the company refuted the WRC’s findings and refused to take steps to adequately remedy the violations that occurred. The WRC engaged with the factory’s licensee, Varsity Spirit Apparel, a subsidy of Varsity Brands, and, following this engagement, the factory owner agreed to implement all of the WRC’s proposed corrective actions.

The WRC will continue to monitor the factory’s compliance with its commitments.

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