WRC Factory Investigation

Lianglong Socks Co. Ltd.

Factory: Lianglong Socks Co. Ltd.

Key Buyers: RJ McCarthy, Walmart

Last Updated: 2009

Case Summary

Lianglong Socks Co. Ltd. is a producer of hosiery for RJ McCarthy Ltd, a supplier of school uniforms to members of the WRC’s Ontario Catholic School Boards Affiliate. The WRC conducted the assessment of Lianglong as part of the organization’s project to assist this group of Catholic District School Boards in Ontario, Canada, with enforcement of their “Fair Labor Policies” which apply to manufacturers of student uniforms.

The WRC assessment identified a number of serious labor rights violations at Lianglong including forced and excessive overtime, with many workers required to work every day of a given month, without a single day off; failure to properly compensate workers for overtime hours worked; the illegal withholding, for an extended period of time, of a substantial amount of workers’ monthly pay; failure to provide legally mandated social benefits; and run-down, unclean, and inadequate dormitory accommodations and bathrooms. RJ McCarthy has agreed to press Lianglong to correct all of the violations identified by the WRC assessment. The factory has not yet agreed to do so with regards to many areas of concern, including all overtime violations and all wage violations. The factory has stated that it has taken action or plans to do so with regards to concerns related to the dormitories and bathrooms as well as mandatory social benefits, but substantial clarification is needed with regards to the changes the factory has pledged to make in these areas.

Despite promises made by the factory to RJ McCarthy to undertake corrective action in certain areas, a follow-up investigation by the WRC in March 2009 found many of the violations cited earlier still persisting. These outstanding violations are detailed in the WRC’s May 15, 2009 report on remediation. The WRC recommended to R.J. McCarthy that any further orders with the factory be contingent upon the violations being corrected. Although R.J. McCarthy has accepted this recommendation, its influence with the factory is limited by the fact that its orders represent a very small percentage of the plant’s business.

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