El Salvador: Labour group reports forced overtime, filthy drinking water, poverty wages at Ocean Sky factory supplying major brands

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Article
23 February 2011

Ocean Sky El Salvador - report on working conditions & company responses, Jan 2011

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In January 2011, the National Labor Committee, a US-based NGO, issued a report on working conditions at the Ocean Sky factory in El Salvador...
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies [named in the report] to respond:
- Ocean Sky response
Buyers:
- Adidas/Reebok response
- Columbia Sportswear response
- NFL [response]...
- Old Navy/Gap response
- Penguin/Perry Ellis response
- Puma response
- Talbots response

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Article
31 January 2011

Ocean Sky Update

Author: National Labor Committee

The Salvadoran Ministry of Labor is deciding how to respond. The Fair Labor Association wants to conduct an investigation ....but has little credibility. Management cracks down: Following the release of our report, Ocean Sky management told the workers that there were "problems inside the plant" and that cell phones -especially ones with camera or video capacity-are now strictly prohibited. Anyone caught carrying a cell phone into the factory "will have serious problems." We are demanding a meeting with the workers, in the Ocean Sky factory, where for the first time, U.S. Government officials together with representatives of the Salvadoran Ministry of Labor and the labels, clearly explain to the workers their legal rights. This is a necessary first step to end the abuse and to pressure both the U.S. and Salvadoran government to finally enforce compliance with the labor rights protections contained in the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

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Article
24 January 2011

Ocean Sky: Workers Paid 8 Cents for Each $25 NFL T-shirt They Sew

Author: National Labor Committee [USA]

Women at the Ocean Sky sweatshop in El Salvador are paid just eight cents for each $25 NFL T-shirt...Workers [on] NFL, Reebok [part of Adidas], Puma, Old Navy (GAP), Columbia, Talbots and Penguin (Munsingwear) [part of Perry Ellis] are drenched in their own sweat...Drinking water is filthy...They are cursed at...Garments hurled in their faces...Surveillance cameras monitor the workers' every move...Overtime is forced...Wages of 72 to 92 cents an hour-one quarter of what a family needs to survive... Anyone even asking for their rights will be immediately fired and blacklisted.

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Article
24 January 2011

[full report] Ocean Sky Sweatshop In El Salvador: Women Paid Just 8 Cents For Each $25 NFL Shirt They Sew

Author: National Labor Committee

The 1,500 mostly women workers at Ocean Sky are locked in a Free Zone, surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by guards armed with shotguns. Ocean Sky also produces garments for Reebok, Puma, Old Navy (GAP), Columbia, Talbots and Penguin (Munsingwear). The clothing enters the U.S. duty-free, despite the fact that El Salvador is in blatant violation of the labor rights standards in the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement. Workers report being drenched in their own sweat, since afternoon factory temperatures reach 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Workers are constantly cursed at and humiliated...Factory drinking water is filthy and contaminated with fecal coli which can cause diarrhea, intestinal illness and infections. Six workers were fired for daring to alert their colleagues that the factory water was unsafe to drink.

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