The Cowboys Have It Wrong

October, 14 2011 Share



The Cowboys Have it Wrong:

Dallas Cowboys Football Garments Sewn at Style Avenue Sweatshop in El Salvador

Charles Kernaghan

October 14, 2011


Style Avenue workers confirm with 100 percent certainty that they sewed "Dallas Cowboys Football" baby creepers in July and August 2011.  Workers independently interviewed from three different departments at Style Avenue-sewing, cleaning (cutting loose threads) and packing-all verify that "Dallas Cowboys Football" creepers were made at their factory.

When our skilled researchers first met with the Style Avenue workers in a safe location on August 13, the workers were asked, when they returned to the factory the following day, to start writing down the names of the NFL creepers they worked on.  On August 20, the workers gave us their list.  The first name the women had written down was "Dallas Cowboys."  Other NFL teams were also mentioned-Green Bay, Steelers, Miami Dolphins, New England, Chicago and others.

The GLHR then purchased several sets of Dallas Cowboys creepers, including from a Dallas Cowboys store in Austin, Texas.  We photographed the creepers and emailed the photos to our researchers in San Salvador.  On Friday, September 28, the workers immediately recognized the images of the pink girls and gray boys "Dallas Cowboys Football" creepers purchased at the Cowboys store in Austin.  However, they did not recognize two other Dallas Cowboys creeper styles.

In fact, one of the women who founded the union at Style Avenue not only recognized the "Dallas Cowboys Football" creeper, she was working on this very garment when she was illegally fired at the end of August.

The workers themselves also confirm that unauthorized subcontracting is the norm in El Salvador.  It happens all the time.

Style Avenue workers also report that the Apple Tree factory, which the workers use-is a sweatshop, just like Style Avenue.

The head of Dallas Cowboys Merchandizing must not have much hands-on experience with production in poor developing countries.  Factories like Style Avenue are the norm in El Salvador-where workers have no rights and are forced to work grueling hours, while being shortchanged of their wages.  There is not one single export factory in El Salvador where workers have the right to organize or have a collective contract.  If sweatshop factory owners routinely violate worker rights, why would the Cowboys Merchandizing trust them not to illegally subcontract out some of their work?  This is the norm, and to think otherwise is rather naïve.

It would be important for the Dallas Cowboys Merchandizing Corporation to acknowledge  and support the legal rights of workers sewing their garments across Central America-their right to organize independent unions and to a collective contract.  This would be the most important step the Cowboys could take to end sweatshop abuse.

As more information becomes available, we will post it on our website.


See Dallas Cowboys' response to GLHR's report in "Dallas Cowboys Vehemently Deny They're Making Clothes in a Salvadoran Sweatshop," Dallas Observer, 14 October 2011.

Campaign: Style Avenue/El Salvador-NFL, NCAA & Walmart Caught in Sweatshop Scandal

Report: "Dressing Babies in Sweatshop Clothing: Dallas Cowboys, Ohio State and a Creepy Business" English / Spanish