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Last Updated: 2013
The WRC is carrying out an investigation into allegations that SAE-A has violated workers’ associational rights at its Nicaraguan facilities. On February 21, 2013, workers wrote to SAE-A, buyers and the WRC alleging a series of violations, including the termination of 16 workers (nine at EINS and seven at Tecnotex) in retaliation for workers’ lawful exercise of their associational rights. Subsequently, workers reported to the WRC that on March 4, 2013, SAE-A management fomented a violent mob attack on workers who were engaged in peaceful protest outside the Tecnotex and EINS facilities.
Based on initial investigative work, which has uncovered clear, unambiguous and convincing evidence, it is the WRC’s preliminary conclusion that, on March 4, SAE-A violated EINS and Tecnotex workers’ associational rights by directing and paying a mob of more than 300 other workers – while on paid company time – to attack these employees, using scissors, metal pipes, and other weapons. During this attack, one worker’s leg was broken in three places. This same person was also stabbed in the face with scissors, causing internal bleeding that is currently impairing his vision. According to a medical report, workers suffered severe bruising on their face, ears, necks, legs, arms, and torsos. Witnesses have also reported that other workers suffered broken ribs and a broken nose.
The WRC has also found, based on evidence gathered to date, that the allegations of retaliatory and illegal dismissals in this case are sufficiently credible and of such seriousness to shift the burden to the company to either present evidence that it has not engaged in such retaliation or take remedial action to remedy the dismissals and the chilling effect on workers’ associational rights.