WRC Factory Investigation

Delta Apparel Honduras

Factory: Delta Apparel Honduras

Key Buyers: Image Source, J America Sportswear, MV Sport, New Agenda

Year: 2019

Case Summary

The WRC investigated a complaint filed by workers at Delta Apparel Honduras (DAH), a garment factory located in Villanueva, Honduras. Delta Apparel produces collegiate licensed apparel for J America (Vetta Brands), The Game and American Threads (MV Sport), New Agenda, and Image Source. The WRC conducted off-site interviews with workers and management and an onsite inspection at the DAH facility in early 2017. The WRC found that the practices of DAH violated Honduran law and university codes of conduct in the areas of wages and hours of work, legally mandated benefits, health care, harassment and abuse, gender discrimination, freedom of association, and occupational health and safety. Following the investigation, the WRC shared its findings and recommendations with Delta Apparel Incorporated, the factory’s parent company. While Delta agreed to remedy a limited number of violations outlined in the WRC’s report, it failed to commit to adequate remediation regarding the majority of the violations, despite having several months to do so. The WRC continues to urge Delta Apparel and its licensees to take the necessary steps to remedy the violations of university standards outlined in the WRC’s investigative report.

In July 2019, the WRC announced that the South Carolina-based firm Delta Apparel had committed to remedy all of the violations of university labor standards that had been identified by the WRC at the company’s Delta Apparel Honduras (DAH) factory.

In 2016, the WRC launched an investigation of DAH, which is located in Villanueva, Honduras, in response to a complaint filed by workers. At the time of the investigation, DAH was producing collegiate licensed apparel for J America (Vetta Brands), To The Game and American Threads (MV Sport), New Agenda, and Image Source.

The WRC’s investigation found violations of Honduran law and university labor standards in the areas of wages and hours of work, legally mandated benefits, healthcare, harassment and abuse, gender discrimination, freedom of association, and occupational health and safety.

Initially, DAH and its parent company, Delta Apparel, agreed to remedy only a portion of the violations outlined in the WRC’s report, leaving significant violations unremedied.  As a result of Delta Apparel’s unwillingness to fully comply with Honduran law and university codes of conduct, three collegiate licensees, Vetta (J. America), Lakeshirts, and MV Sport, independently decided to cease sourcing from the factory.

When Delta continued to refuse to fully remedy the violations, the WRC informed licensees that disclosed other Delta Apparel factories as suppliers of collegiate apparel of the Delta’s noncompliance with university codes of conduct. Subsequently, an additional 20 licensees that had disclosed Delta Apparel as a supplier indicated that they would not source university products from the company until the violations at DAH were remedied.

In June 2019, Delta finally agreed to remedy all of the outstanding violations identified in the WRC’s report. Among other commitments, Delta pledged to provide US$334,000 in back pay; ensure that all pregnant workers are provided with appropriate light duty accommodations without loss of earnings; add additional medical personnel to the factory’s health clinic; and provide training on harassment prevention to all workers and supervisors.

Read More: