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Preliminary Agreement on Labor Conditions at the Fribo S.A. Apparel Factory

July 5, 2007  |  Share

July 5, 2007 

I.  The management of the Fribo S.A. apparel factory has agreed to take all of the necessary steps to bring the factory into full compliance with Guatemalan labor law and the relevant codes of conduct on labor compliance by its U.S. customers, so that the legal rights of the workers are respected.

II.  These steps will include immediate action to do the following:

1. Negotiate an agreement with the relevant Guatemalan government institutions, including the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security and the Ministry of Labor, to assure that all workers at the Fribo factory are properly enrolled as expeditiously as possible for benefits under the social security system.  The results of this agreement must also appropriately address the proper credit for the workers with regard to IGSS contributions previously deducted from wages by Fribo but not paid to the IGSS.  The support of the Guatemalan Apparel Association (Vestex) to achieve the agreement with IGSS will also be sought by the management of Fribo.

2. Put in place proper and transparent  systems to fully track all hours worked, including overtime, as well as other benefits including vacations, and assure that all wages and benefits are fully provided.

3. Provide safe and potable drinking water for workers at all times.

4. Provide clean and adequate toilet facilities with adequate toilet paper, towels and soap.

5. Provide adequate chairs and tables for the lunch area at the plant.

6. Establish a no tolerance policy for any form of worker harassment and a management system to effectively review and take action on any credible complaint with regard to improper verbal abuse or other harassment, by a manager or supervisor.

7. Resolve outstanding complaints with regard to wages or benefits owed to Efrain Vasquez Nalasco, Maria Cara Sebaquipay Zil, and Carmen Lopez Gonzalez.

III. In order to assure the effective implementation of these commitments and to help improve communication between workers and management at Fribo going forward, the management of Fribo commits to no less than weekly meetings at the factory with the independent, non-governmental organization, CEADEL, the Center for Studies and Support of Local Development, and at other times and locations jointly agreed by the parties.  As a part of such meetings, CEADEL will be given access to the factory and workforce.  If necessary and useful to the effective implementation of the agreement, at the request of CEADEL, Fribo management will provide additional access to the factory and workforce.  The agenda for these meetings will initially focus on the agreed steps, but either party may raise additional matters of concern for consideration, including wages and benefits.

IV. Based upon the effective implementation of these commitments from Fribo management, P.A. Group or its affiliated companies, while having had only limited production in the past with Fribo, agrees to take steps to place additional production in the Fribo factory as soon as practicable given existing production needs and sourcing commitments.  CEADEL and the National Labor Committee will also encourage other past, current and potential customers of Fribo, including Dress Barn, Wet Seal, Filia, Ikeddi Enterprises, and Pretty Girl Inc., to consider making similar commitments.

V. The National Labor Committee and CEADEL welcome these commitments, and supports the current agreement as an important framework to establish Fribo as a compliant factory, and pledge their support for the agreement and the efforts of all parties involved.  The hope is that with continued improvements Fribo will emerge as a model factory.



Fribo, Guatemala Campaign Page

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