WRC Factory Investigation

Confecciones Mazara

Factory: Confecciones Mazara

Key Buyers: Williamson-Dickie

Year: 2008

Case Summary

The WRC carried out an assessment of the Confecciones Mazara 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 Confecciones Mazara factory was disclosed by Williamson-Dickie Corporation to the WRC and the City of Los Angeles as a manufacturer of goods sold by Williamson-Dickie to the City. The assessment was triggered by a complaint from a non-governmental organization known as the Human and Labor Rights Commission of the Tehuacán Valley. The complaint alleged that the Confecciones Mazara factory was discriminating in hiring decisions against workers who had supported an effort to organize an independent union at a nearby factory – known as Vaqueros Navarra – which is owned by members of the family that owns Confecciones Mazara. The Vaqueros Navarra factory closed in January 2008, shortly after a majority of workers voted for representation by the independent union.

The WRC’s investigation found overwhelming evidence that Confecciones Mazara engaged in unlawful discrimination against union supporters in hiring decisions, otherwise known as “blacklisting.” The factory subjected workers applying for employment to a series of screening mechanisms that had the intent and the effect of excluding union sympathizers from potential employment. This practice represents a violation of Mexican law and the requirements of the Sweat-Free Procurement Ordinance. To date, factory management has been unwilling to take necessary remedial action to address the blacklisting issue. The case remains therefore remains unresolved. The WRC’s investigation also found violations in the area of occupational health and safety. The problems identified included a lack of needle guards on the facility’s sewing machines, dirty and unhygienic conditions in the facility’s restrooms, and a lack of clearly marked first aid kits in the production area. The company committed to remedial action in each of these areas. 

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