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Safeguards

Safeguards are a set of tools that enable the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to address instances of significant and persistent noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in production facilities used by FLA affiliated companies, suppliers or university licensees.  Safeguard measures include:

  • Third Party Complaints
  • Brand-commissioned Independent Investigation with FLA Verification
  • FLA-commissioned Special Independent Investigation
  • Stakeholder Dialogue
  • Projects

Safeguards tools, which may not be mutually exclusive, offer the opportunity to engage stakeholders more proactively and effectively on issues that are important to them and may relate to systemic and entrenched concerns that are not amenable to resolution using narrowly-focused approaches.

The Third Party Complaint procedure is the cornerstone of Safeguards. Pursuant to the Third Party Complaint procedure, any person, group or organization can report to the FLA allegations of instances of persistent or serious noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in a production facility used by an FLA-affiliated company, supplier or university licensee.  The goal of the Third Party Complaint procedure is to remediate any noncompliances that might be identified.  The FLA maintains a chart tracking the progress of our investigations into recent Third Party Complaints. 

Brand-commissioned Independent Investigations with FLA Verification and FLA-Commissioned Special Independent Investigations are tools that can be used to address situations where there is a perceived need to investigate a potential serious violation of worker rights and carry out remediation, but a formal Third Party Complaint has not been filed or is not appropriate. Standards of independence of investigations, remediation, and transparency characteristic of Third Party Complaints are also applied in the application of these Safeguards.

Stakeholder dialogue and projects are two ways in which the FLA identifies and addresses systemic issues affecting specific labor markets. These activities might be initiated by the FLA on the basis of information received from staff or from stakeholders or could take the form of a specific project developed by an affiliated company on an issue of broad interest to FLA stakeholders.

Apple Tree in El Salvador

Publication date: 
Monday, August 6, 2018
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On December 6, 2017, the Fair Labor Association (“FLA”) initiated a Third Party Complaint from the Union of the Textile, Similar and Related Industries of El Salvador (“SITSCES”), affiliated with the Union Federation of El Salvador (“FESS”). FESS/SITSCES alleged violations of labor standards and of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct at the factory Apple Tree S.A. de C.V. located in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Sawbwa VT in Myanmar

Publication date: 
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands engaged in improving workplace conditions for garment workers, informed the FLA of allegations concerning violations of freedom of association at VT Group, a Participating Supplier of the FLA. At the time of the complaint, FLA-affiliated companies Patagonia and adidas were sourcing from Sawbwa VT.

Brooklyn Manufacturing in El Salvador

Publication date: 
Friday, May 18, 2018
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On December 18, 2017, the FLA accepted for review a Third Party Complaint filed by a worker – who requested anonymity -- at Brooklyn Manufacturing in El Salvador, making a number of allegations regarding violations of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct at the factory. Brooklyn is affiliated with the FLA as a Participating Supplier. An assessment by Brooklyn management corroborated some of the allegations in the Third Party Complaint but not others.

Triangle Apparels, Unit VI, India

Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On July 25, 2017, the FLA accepted for review a Third Party Complaint filed by the Garment Labour Union in Karnataka, India with regard to the factory Triangle Apparels, Unit VI, in Karnataka, India. FLA-affiliated companies adidas Group and Puma were sourcing from the factory at the time of the complaint.

Akin Corap, Turkey

Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On November 5, 2017, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) received a Third Party Complaint from the Deriteks union in Turkey regarding the factory Akin Corap, located in Giresun, Turkey. The union alleged that factory management had carried out illegal dismissals of union members and engaged in other anti-union practices. The factory was a supplier of socks to FLA-affiliated brand Hugo Boss as well as to other buyers.

L.D. in El Salvador

Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On December 14, 2016, the Fair Labor Association accepted for review a Third Party Complaint filed by the Federación Sindical de El Salvador (FESS) with regard to the factory L.D. El Salvador S.A. de C.V. The complainant alleged a number of violations of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct at L.D. with respect to freedom of association, health and safety, hours of work, and compensation.

CSA Guatemala

Publication date: 
Monday, December 18, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On August 2, 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) instituted a Third Party Complaint investigation with respect to the factory C.S.A. Guatemala Sociedad Anónima located in Guatemala City. The complaint, filed by the Ad Hoc Committee of United Workers of the Enterprise C.S.A. Guatemala Sociedad Anónima, alleged a range of worker rights violations, centering on freedom of association. The allegations appeared to violate a number of Compliance Benchmarks associated with FLA Code.

Topy Top S.A., Peru

Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On August 10, 2015, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) received a Third Party Complaint from the Sindicato de Trabajadores Obreros de Topy Top S.A. (SINTOTTSA) in Peru. The union alleged a series of violations of worker rights, principally freedom of association and anti-union discrimination, at the factory Topy Top S.A.

Textiles Opico, El Salvador

Publication date: 
Monday, October 2, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On February 10, 2017, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) received a Third Party Complaint from the Sindicato de Trabajadoras, Trabajadores, Sastres, Costureras y Similares (SITRASACOSI) at the factory Textiles Opico S.A. de C.V. (hereinafter TEXOPS) in El Salvador. TEXOPS has been a Participating Supplier of the FLA since June 2012.

Style Avenue, El Salvador

Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On Dec. 15, 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) received a Third Party Complaint from the Federación Sindical de El Salvador (FESS) alleging violations of labor standards and of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct at the factory Style Avenue, located in San Salvador, El Salvador. FLA-affiliated companies Outerstuff and College Kids were sourcing from the factory at the time of the complaint, and conducted an assessment using an independent monitoring organization that is frequently used by FLA brands.

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