The US Department of Labor is to review alleged failures by the government of Honduras to enforce its labour laws under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).

The move follows a complaint made in March by the US union federation AFL-CIO and more than two dozen Honduran worker organisations.

The groups allege that the Honduran government's actions - or lack thereof - denied workers their rights in a number of sectors including apparel manufacturing. This includes freedom of association, the right to organise, the right to bargain collectively, child labour, and acceptable conditions of work.

They also claim the government amended the labour law in late 2010 to allow employers to hire up to 40% of their workforce on temporary, part-time contracts for work that is full-time permanent work. However, they point out this also weakens workers' rights.

The Labor Department says its review aims to gather information so it can better understand the allegations and publicly report on the US government's views.

A report of the review process along with any findings and recommendations is expected to be issued within 180 days.