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October, 02 2003 |  Download PDF |  Share

Sean John Setisa Report

Read the testimony of a worker from this factory.
More updates and news at Successful Turnaround at P. Diddy Factroy in Honduras

 

Current production is for Sean John (Sean "P. Diddy" Combs clothing line) and Rocawear (co-founded by rap-artist Jay-Z). In September through early October 2003, approximately 80 percent of total factory production was for the Sean John label, which were multi-colored red, yellow and gray sweatshirts (SJ6 Ski Division). The sweatshirts, which retail for $50, should begin appearing in outlets like Bloomingdales in the first week in November. The remaining 20 percent of production, long-sleeved t-shirts, is for
Rocawear.

Production for Nautica and Timberland is scheduled to begin in late October.

Prior to September, the Sean John label was being sewn on five production lines, accounting for some 33 percent of total factory production, the largest percentage of any label. Men's sweatshirts and t-shirts were being sewn. Following Sean John, GAP's Old Navy label was being sewn on four assembly lines, accounting for 27 percent of total production. Old Navy's production also consisted of men's t-shirts and sweatshirts invarious colors. Polo Sport was being sewn on three lines, Nautica on two and Gear on one. In the past, it appears that the SETISA factory also produced collegiate logo apparel for Smith College.

 Sean John label  
Rocawear label
 Sean John label  
Sean John label
 Sean John label  Sean John labels
Rocawear label

SUMMARY: WORKING CONDITIONS/VIOLATIONS

  • Hours: Mandatory 11 to 12 hour daily shifts, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. five and six days a week / No overtime pay / At the extreme, workers could be at the factory 61 to 69 1/2 hours a week.
  • Wages: Sewers earn 75 to 98 cents an hour, or $33.15 to $50.18, for an average 51-hour workweek.
  • Excessively high production goals: A worker must sew 36.4 Sean John sweatshirts each day, or 4.2 per hour, and one every 14.4 minutes. Each worker must sew 57.4 long-sleeved Sean John or Rocawear t-shirts each day, or 6.53 per hour, and one every 9.18 minutes. For short-sleeved t-shirts carrying various labels, a worker must sew 160 t-Shirts a day, or 18.29 per hour, completing one t-shirt every 3 1/4 minutes. Workers cannot leave the factory until their production goal is completed. Supervisors stand over the workers, screaming and cursing at them to go faster. Workers can be suspended for three days or more, without pay, for failing to reach their production goal.
  • Workers earn just 24 cents for each $50 Sean John sweatshirt they sew; 15 cents for each $40 long sleeved t-shirt they sew for Sean John or Rocawear, and just five cents for each short-sleeved t-shirt they sew. Wages amount to less than one-half of one percent of the retail price.
  • Mandatory pregnancy tests, women testing positive are immediately fired.
  • In what is an extremely serious violation, the SETISA company has not inscribed its employees in the country's Social Security Health Care system, which is mandatory for all companies.
  • Workers need permission to use the bathroom, and must present a 'toilet pass' stamped by a supervisor to the security guard at the toilet.
  • Body searches: Guards search the workers when they enter or leave the factory.
  • Speaking is prohibited.
  • Drinking water is filthy, containing fecal matter. Also, access to drinking water is
    monitored and limited: Workers drinking "too much" water are called to the office and given a warning. If repeated, they will be punished.
  • Workers report suffering from repetitive motion wrist and back injuries.
  • Corporate audits a farce: Visits are known in advance. The factory is cleaned. Soap and toilet paper are put in the bathrooms. Workers are coached and threatened to lie, instructed to tell the auditors that factory conditions and treatment are good and that all their benefits are paid. Anyone saying negative things regarding factory conditions will be fired. 
  • Denial of freedom of association/atmosphere of intimidation and fear: The plant's production manager, Delia Cruz, constantly threatens the workers that if they dare attempt to organize, "the Company will close, we'll go out of the country, and you will be left with nothing." In June and August, 15 workers suspected by the company of organizing were fired. The reason given was a drop in orders. However, the company immediately hired new people—this time temps, who lack any legal rights, hired for just two months at a time. Workers in the plant are frightened. They want their rights, but they cannot afford to be fired and blacklisted with impunity.

The workers feel they have no voice and are in a trap.

 

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