WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor released a report Friday that it said “raises serious concerns” about the Honduran government’s enforcement of labor laws, outlining a review of a submission filed by several unions that alleged labor law violations in sectors ranging from apparel manufacturing to agriculture to port operations.
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The report, a response to a 78-page complaint filed by the AFL-CIO and 26 Honduran unions and civil society groups, highlights alleged labor violations at 17 work sites in Honduras, including at factories owned by Hanesbrands Inc., as well as others producing apparel and footwear for major brands.
The unions, which filed the complaint with the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs’ Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, are alleging the Honduran government violated the labor provisions under the Central American Free Trade Agreement by failing to effectively enforce its labor laws. The DOL said it found evidence of labor law violations in “nearly all of the cases” submitted by the AFL-CIO and Honduran labor groups, according to the report’s executive summary.
“This report is an important opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with Honduras in addressing critical labor rights concerns,” said Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
The AFL-CIO and other unions alleged labor violations related to collective bargaining and freedom of association at several factories owned and operated by Hanesbrands Inc.; Dickies de Honduras, owned and operated by U.S.-based Williamson-Dickies Mfg. Co.; Pinehurst Mfg. Inc.; Ceiba Textiles S. de R.L. and A.tion Honduras S.A. de C.V.
The agency noted that the Honduran government has taken certain steps to address the concerns identified in the report, but stressed it “has not seen measurable progress and important concerns remain.”
The report called for consultations to develop and implement a monitoring and action plan and provided recommendation to address the concerns within 12 months. DOL also unveiled the launch of a $7 million cooperative agreement with World Vision to implement a project to combat child labor and improve labor enforcement capacity in Honduras.