9 March 2016
To Our Valued Licensors,
Zephyr Graf-X is committed to upholding fair labor practices throughout its supply chain. Our ongoing efforts to ensure this through our own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program include accreditation and collaboration with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. As the Social Compliance Manager at Zephyr, I would like to take an opportunity to emphasize our dedication to protecting workers’ rights and inform you of our progress.
An important component of our CSR Program is transparency. We believe our customers have a right to know the happenings behind the products they are buying. I invite you to visit our website’s Social Compliance page where I will be posting updates on our work, and this will be accompanied by quarterly newsletters, the first of which will be sent out at the end of this month.
As I further this work on increasing our transparency I would first like to make you aware of a serious issue in Bangladesh that we gratefully acknowledge the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) in bringing to our attention. A subcontracted factory within our supply chain closed last fall without paying the full worker severance wages as outlined by Bangladeshi law. The 164 retrenched workers employed by this factory are therefore legally owed compensation. Zephyr will not tolerate this labor violation and is taking necessary measures to remediate this issue. Investigation is ongoing with the help of the WRC and the FLA, and I will be visiting Bangladesh myself in a couple weeks. We are firm in our expectation of a full resolution.
To prevent a similar situation from happening again, especially without our knowledge, we are rolling out efforts to more closely monitor our contracted and subcontracted factories. I am expanding my continued correspondence with factory management at our production facilities, and we are working with our accreditors to improve the robustness of our CSR scope.
We thank you for your relationship with Zephyr and your support of workers’ rights. Reputation aside, we strongly believe in our moral responsibility to maintain fair labor standards in our business practices, and we anticipate significant progress in this area.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Social Compliance Manager