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UPDATE - Working conditions at the OCEAN SKY factory in El Salvador (NLC report)

March 31, 2011

Herzogenaurach, 31 March 2011 - Our initial response from February 8th, 2011 on the NLC report about working conditions at the OCEAN SKY factory can be found here.
The independent monitor COVERCO completed their investigation at OCEAN SKY in mid March. The team identified a number of non-compliant issues and risks for non-compliant activities, including proper procedures for payment of wages, harassment of workers, overtime requirements, and high temperatures in work areas.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) staff, representatives of the brands, and OCEAN SKY management held several meetings to develop a remediation plan that defined short and long term corrective actions for sustainable improvements in the workplace. Many of these corrective actions have already been implemented by OCEAN SKY, and a supportive consultation started with the Salvadoran women’s rights organisation Mujeres Transformando.

During the COVERCO investigation, the FLA, OCEAN SKY and the factory's buyers agreed to commission a technical group to investigate the drinking water quality and potability. That investigation by the Department of Process Engineering and Environmental Sciences of the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA) did not identify evidence of bacterium for gastrointestinal diseases but it did recommend the development of a Water Safety Plan that will improve the maintenance of drinking water treatment devices and drinking stations as well as steps to attain full compliance with all national threshold values for water quality.
To see the full details of the COVERCO investigation and findings, the Water Safety Plan, the remediation and corrective action plan as well as the FLA’s statement and summary of the OCEAN SKY case, please visit the FLA’s website
It’s important to note that the SEA team did already uncover many of the allegations made in the January report during previous audits carried out between 2008 and 2010. These allegations had been remediated by OCEAN SKY in past years but recurred due to unsustainable remediation. We believe that the benefit of the recent investigation is the engagement of the factory management, multiple buyers and local civil society to build collaborative and sustainable corrective actions.
We are committed to the requisite actions that will ensure that any breaches of the rights of workers to work in a fair, healthy and safe workplace will be addressed in a timely and sustainable manner.