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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.

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.

Apple Tree, El Salvador S.A.

Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On August 8, 2015, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) accepted for review a Third Party Complaint filed by a representative of the union Sindicato Salvadoreño de Industrias Textiles y Similares (SSINT), a union undergoing the legal registration process as the time the complaint was filed. The complainant alleged that the factory Apple Tree El Salvador S.A. violated the right of freedom of association of a worker who was dismissed by the factory despite the worker enjoying fuero sindical protection.

Aydinli Deri, Turkey

Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On February 21, 2016, the Deriteks trade union in Turkey filed a Third Party Complaint with the FLA regarding the factory Aydinli Deri Konfekslyon San. ve Tic, S.A. located in Istanbul, Turkey. FLA-affiliated company Hugo Boss was actively sourcing from the factory at the time of the complaint.

Troon Manufacturing, Nicaragua

Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On March 7, 2016, the newly-formed Carlos Fonseca Amador union at Troon Manufacturing (also known as Pinehurst Nicaragua), located in Tipitapa, Nicaragua, filed a Third Party Complaint with the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The union alleged a number of violations of freedom of association.

New Holland Nica, Nicaragua

Publication date: 
Monday, November 7, 2016
Report type: 
Investigation
In November 2015, affiliated companies adidas-Group and Under Armour requested that the FLA engage an independent expert to examine freedom of association-related issues at the factory New Holland Nica (also known as New Holland Apparel S.A.), located in the Zona Franca Astro, Managua, Nicaragua.

Hugo Boss Izmir, Turkey

Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On November 5, 2015, the FLA received a Third Party Complaint regarding freedom of association at a facility owned and operated by Hugo Boss in Izmir, Turkey. The Teksif Union, which filed the complaint, alleged harassment of union members by management and that the dismissal of a union member in October 2015 was motivated by the worker's union activities. Subsequently, the FLA received a second complaint, also from the Teksif Union, alleging that another union member had also been dismissed.

Han Embroidery, Bangladesh

Publication date: 
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On March 9, 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) accepted for review a Third Party Complaint filed by the University of Washington regarding lack of payment of compensation and benefits at the factory Han Embroidery Ltd in Savar, Bangladesh. FLA-affiliated company Zephyr Graf-X sources from the factory Han Apparels Ltd (“Han Apparels”); Han Embroidery was a subcontracted embroidery factory to Han Apparels.

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