Style Avenue, El Salvador
On March 19, 2015, the local union at the factory Style Avenue in El Salvador filed a Third Party Complaint with the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The complaint alleged that over the period from January 28 to February 8, 2015, the factory suspended operations and only paid workers for three of those days, in violation of Salvadoran law. The factory stated that its suspension of activities was consistent with domestic law and occurred because of a shortage of raw materials. The complainant challenged the applicability of the law to the situation at Style Avenue – where lack of artwork rather than raw materials caused the delay. The FLA accepted the submission at Step 2 of the Third Party Complaint procedure and so informed the complainant and the FLA-affiliated companies Outerstuff and College Kids, which were sourcing from the factory.
FLA-affiliated companies Outerstuff and College Kids informed the FLA on June 4, 2015, that Style Avenue management, in discussions with unions at the factory (including the complainant), had agreed to pay in full salaries to the workers affected by the suspension of work. The FLA was informed that the payments would be made by the end of June 2015. FLA staff subsequently received confirmation from the complainant that workers received the wages owed to them, and that further remediation efforts were ongoing.
UPDATE, JAN. 2016: In August 2015, at the request of Outerstuff and College Kids, the FLA engaged labor rights expert Katya Castillo to revisit Style Avenue to assess the status of ongoing remediation efforts. The verification reports below provide updates on this remediation, including new workplace protections for pregnant workers, a new policy statement on gender diversity, and the completion of a heat and thermal stress investigation. Further issues related to training, union relations, payment of sick time, and use of personal protective equipment continue to require improvement at the factory.