JoeAnne Dominicana, Dominican Republic
On March 2, 2015, the Federation of Dominican Free Trade Zone, Diverse Industries, and Services Workers (Federación Dominicana de Trabajadores de Zonas Francas, Industrias Diversas y de Servicios, FEDOTRAZONAS) in the Dominican Republic filed a Third Party Complaint with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) alleging violations of freedom of association by JoeAnne Dominicana against the local union United Workers Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores Unidos), affiliated to FEDOTRAZONAS. The complaint further alleged that Joe Anne Dominicana’s management had engaged in a harassment and threat campaign against union members, and had sought to get union members to end their affiliation with the union, dismissing some workers because of their union affiliation. The alleged behavior is inconsistent with FLA Compliance Benchmarks FOA.4, Anti-Union Violence/Harassment or Abuse, and FOA.5, Anti-Union Discrimination/Dismissal, Loss of Other Union Rights, and Blacklisting.
The investigator did not find evidence of the termination of union leaders who are part of the union’s founding committee. The investigator found that union leaders and members were able to openly express their views in the workplace without fear of retaliation from management. With respect to the dismissal of three union leaders with cause in early 2015, the investigator found that while the dismissal process did not follow the steps in the factory’s disciplinary procedures, the factory was within the law in proceeding to effect the dismissal through the Labor Court. The investigator identified some gaps in the factory’s disciplinary procedures that merit the factory’s attention, including lack of uniformity in the implementation of disciplinary rules, lack of a procedure to appeal disciplinary decisions, and overly general language with respect to norms of accepted/unaccepted behavior. Recommendations for improving the current disciplinary system appear in the full report.