WRC Factory Investigation

Mazava Hispaniola

Factory: Mazava Hispaniola

Key Buyers: Fruit of the Loom, Gorilla Marketing, SanMar

Last Updated: 2023

Case Summary

An investigation by the WRC found violations of sexual harassment against at least two women workers, and subsequent retaliation against these workers for resisting the abuse at Mazava Hispaniola, a Haitian garment factory owned by the Hong Kong-based Winds Group.

The WRC’s investigation found that a factory manager committed gender-based violence and harassment by sexually propositioning two women workers; making obscene and degrading sexual comments at work; threatening workers with retaliation for rejecting his sexual propositions; and having both women workers terminated in retaliation for resisting his sexual harassment and propositions. The WRC communicated to the factory and to buyers that the appropriate remediation for these violations was full payment of back wages and reinstatement for both workers as well as other steps to ensure greater protections for workers from future violations of gender-based violence and harassment.

During the period in which the WRC was engaging with the factory and with buyers for remediation of the violations, Mazava Hispaniola announced that it was permanently closing operations. The factory fully closed down its operations in October 2023, and the WRC confirmed that the active workers at the time of closure were paid all terminal benefits owed to them under the law.

In light of the closure, the WRC proposed modified remedial recommendations given that there was no factory to which the workers could be reinstated. However, the factory and its primary buyer, SanMar Corporation, refused to comply with these recommendations. The university licensee Gorilla Marketing, which had disclosed Mazava Hispaniola for the production of university licensed apparel, informed the WRC that it did not have a relationship with the factory and, to its knowledge, had never sourced goods from this factory. Despite this fact, the licensee agreed to remedy the violation by making a humanitarian contribution to each of the two workers. The contribution was transferred to workers in November 2023.

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