WRC Factory Investigation

Manufacturas Villanueva

Factory: Manufacturas Villanueva

Key Buyers: Fruit of the Loom

Year: 2016

Case Summary

On November 14, 2009, Russell Athletic/Fruit of the Loom signed an agreement with the Central General de Trabajadores (CGT) of Honduras in order to resolve violations of university codes of conduct pertaining to the closure of a Russell/FOTL-owned factory known as Jerzees de Honduras. In this agreement, the company committed to respect workers’ freedom of association at all directly-owned Russell/FOTL plants in Honduras, including the factory Manufacturas Villanueva. Workers organized a union affiliated to the CGT at the FOTL-owned facility Manufacturas Villanueva in 2014 and signed a collective bargaining agreement with the company on June 4, 2015, which provided workers with benefits above the industry standard, including increased production bonuses, educational scholarships for workers and the creation of a savings and loan cooperative.

In October 2015, Fruit of the Loom announced to workers that it would be consolidating the operation of two of its Honduras facilities, Manufacturas Villanueva and Jerzees Buena Vista, into one facility and transferring workers from a regular five-day schedule to what is known in Honduras as a “4 by 4” schedule, under which employees work four long days and are then off for four days while a second shift is at the factory. The company negotiated with the union the terms of the consolidation and, in early 2016, the factory incorporated the Jerzees Buena Vista workers into the Manufacturas Villanueva workforce and transferred the operation of this plant to a “4 by 4” schedule.  

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