Ocean Sky Update: Supervisor Threats Continue, Women's Group Asking for Change

June, 21 2011 Share

In January 2011, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and Women Transforming, a women’s rights nonprofit organization in El Salvador, jointly published a report revealing labor rights violations at Ocean Sky apparel factory in El Salvador. After the release of the report, workers have won significant improvements. However, Supervisors at Ocean Sky continue to threaten and verbally abuse workers.

Women Transforming urges the management of Ocean Sky to correct abusive behaviors of its supervisors.

Companies produce at Ocean Sky include Adidas, Puma, Perry Ellis, Columbia Sportswear and Gap.


Letter to Ocean Sky (English/Español)

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



San Salvador, June 22, 2011

Mr. Danny Goh
Ocean Sky International Limited


Dear Mr. Goh

I write you with urgency to ask your intervention to put an end to the verbal abuse, threats and various pressures on the workers on the part of some line supervisors at Ocean Sky El Salvador. We have received visits, telephone calls, and messages from workers informing us that some line supervisors have, since several weeks ago, again begun to yell at and mistreat workers. In doing so, they are failing to comply with the commitment made by you, your company and the brands, which were all present at the meeting in San Salvador in March 2011.

In the press release published with the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, we recognized the improvements that the management implemented after our earlier report and corporate audits that confirmed the workers' denouncements. These improvements made by the factory are the first steps towards complying with the most basic Salvadoran labor laws.  

Nevertheless, it worries us that the workers are reporting verbal abuse, pressures and threats against their dignity. The supervisors tell them things like, "You are all worthless," "Stop simply warming the seat and work faster," and even warning them that, "They'll find out who is spreading information about the factory." The supervisors have told the workers, "You are all ungrateful," and that "They're giving you work so that you can eat, and you don't even appreciate it." They've also intimidated them with, "When the factory closes you'll all be crying because you won't have anything to eat."

The workers gave us the following names of line supervisors that continue to verbally abuse workers: Estela del Carmen Alfaro, Fredy, Isabel, Virginia and William Tung.

The workers inform us that supervisors are receiving training sessions on Saturdays in order to improve the treatment of workers; but that even now, those supervisors continue to abuse their authority, again creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the factory.

As the Association Mujeres Transformando (Women Transforming), we recognize that the brands have followed through on their promise to not cut their production; in fact, we have been informed that the workers of the lines that sew for Puma are currently working daily shifts of 15 hours and 45 minutes, two or three times weekly, in order to complete the orders for shipments. The workers leave their shifts at 10:30 at night, obligated to work extra night hours due to the meager salaries that the maquila factories pay in El Salvador.

We await your positive response to this demand of which the workers have made us aware.




Montserrat Arévalo

Director Mujeres Transformando



CC: Charles Kernaghan, Director IGLHR

Ken Tai Fluey Chain, Gerente, Ocean Sky El Salvador

Gregg Nebel, Adidas Group

Remedios Arguello, Adidas Group

Julián Vargas Salcido, Adidas Group

Franklin Chavarria, Fair Labor Association

Maik Pflaum, Christliche Initiative Romero

Dr. Reiner Hengstmann, PUMA

Nicole Zwick, PUMA

Perry Ellis, Yanire Avila,

Sandra Cho, Columbia Sportswear

Darryl Knudsen, Gap Inc.

Nancy Contreras, Gap Inc.

Lynda Yanz, Red Solidaridad de la Maquila

Sergio Chávez, Oficina Centro American IGLHR