This is a guest post by Christine Briscoe, manager of FLA’s Category C Licensee Program.
On June 18 -19, I travelled to the Overland Park area in Kansas to visit the headquarter offices of several Category C Licensees to meet staff and learn more about the companies and their labor compliance efforts, and to provide guidance for improvement. Some of the licensees maintain manufacturing or embellishing processes onsite, so it was a great opportunity to observe the facilities in action. Here are some highlights:
- The parent company of Action Custom Sportswear (ACS), Branded Custom Sportswear (BCS), Custom Branded Sportswear (CBS), and DRI-DUCK has created a full-time Compliance Manager position that reports directly to the President of the company. The company’s compliance committee is comprised of senior management from different areas of the company including apparel merchandising, imports and logistics, finance, technology, HR, marketing and licensing, operations, creative, and the warehouse manager. Representatives from the company have attended FLA meetings, trainings and webinars, and even used FLA resources to create the job description for the new Compliance Manager.
- Camp David, which has onsite screen-printing and embroidery, recently organized a company-wide pancake breakfast to roll out its new code of conduct, which reflects the recently enhanced FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. They have a diverse workforce, so the compliance staff member has posted several translations of the new code in the facility. In addition, the company is using FLA’s list of accredited monitors to arrange audits of their facilities.
- Pine Decals has been in operation for 40 years, and still does the majority of its work onsite, producing decals, magnets and mouse pads for colleges and universities.
- Winning Streak Sports produces pennants for colleges, universities, the sports leagues and others. They have a large warehouse onsite and work with two suppliers overseas. Despite the company’s smaller staff size, they manage to visit and interact with their suppliers regularly.
Some of the encouraging takeaways for me were that licensees I visited are instituting systems and training and assigning staff to help improve compliance with the FLA Code of Conduct, which is essential to ensuring that workers are treated fairly when producing collegiate products. By utilizing FLA tools and resources and engaging with others who are committed to social compliance, like their university licensors, these companies are doing their part to promote fair labor standards not just in Kansas, but around the world.