WRC Factory Investigation

Industrias Florenzi

Factory: Industrias Florenzi

Key Buyers: Barco, Disney, Pierre Cardin

Last Updated: 2021

Case Summary

Industrias Florenzi dismissed workers in groups, throughout the winter and spring of 2020, finally ceasing operations in July. The factory failed to pay 210 workers the terminal compensation to which they are legally entitled: Under Salvadoran law, the factory owes the former employees unpaid wages, severance, and unpaid vacation and bonuses, as well as money that it deducted from workers’ paychecks for national healthcare and pension contributions, then unlawfully failed to deposit with these government programs. The Salvadoran Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare has confirmed that the factory owners have not paid these legally required funds.

For many months, the Industrias Florenzi workers pressed the factory’s owner to pay them, with no response. The workers’ efforts culminated in early 2021 when they went on hunger strike for seven weeks.

Industrias Florenzi was a longtime manufacturer of Disney goods, producing for Disney’s licensee, Barco Uniforms, and also made garments for the Pierre Cardin brand. Notably, the decision of Barco Uniforms, which had been producing Disney-branded goods at the factory for more than 15 years, to end its production was a major cause of the plant’s closure. Workers provided testimony to the WRC that orders for Disney-branded Barco products were still being manufactured at the factory as late as December 2019. In January 2020, just one month after the last Disney goods were boxed and shipped, the factory began suspending workers en masse without pay or severance. In March 2020, after the Salvadoran government ordered nonessential businesses to temporarily shut down operations, Industrias Florenzi suspended additional workers, who it never called back. By June 2020, only eight workers were still employed at the factory. The next month, it closed permanently.

The WRC has engaged Disney and its vendor, Barco, as well as Pierre Cardin, to urge these companies to fulfill their responsibility to ensure that the workers receive the estimated $1.3 million they are owed in unpaid wages and severance alone. The WRC will report publicly on the results of this engagement.

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