New Holland Nica, Nicaragua
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. Adidas-Group and Under Armour are buyers from the facility.
The FLA companies had received a complaint from the union Sindicato Trabajadores al Poder de la Empresa New Holland Apparel (“STP union”) regarding violations by the facility’s management of workers’ exercise of their right of freedom of association. The union alleged that management in collaboration with the Union Confederation to which the STP union belongs have been persecuting a group of workers who constituted the Executive Board of a new union in the process of formation, with the factory firing union affiliates who attended a meeting held at the Union Confederation to address internal issues regarding the organization of the union within the context of the election of its new Executive Board.
The FLA investigation concluded that some workers had been fired unfairly, and these workers were reinstated with back pay. In addition, adidas Group and Under Armour, working closely with the facility’s management, put in place a remediation plan that also includes facility management developing detailed policies and procedures regarding terminations and implementing a specialized training program for management, human resources personnel, and union organizations regarding freedom of association.