Complaints > Myanmar > Deuter Sport GmbH, Complaint 523

Myanmar - Deuter Sport GmbH, Complaint 523

Status
Closed
Country
Myanmar
Date
09/12/2018
Complaint ID
523
Member involved
Deuter Sport GmbH
Filing party
Worker, Union
Filed against
Factory management
Grounded
No

The case

The complainant, a representative of the factory union, claimed that the factory management discriminates among workers depending on their positions.

A supervisor, who was sued by the union for using bad language to communicate with the workers, was sentenced by the court that she shall be jailed for 15 days or pay 30,000 MMK as fine since she admitted her misconduct. She chose to pay the fine and was allowed to continue service in the factory.

A few days before the court made the decision, two workers from the cutting department had a fight. Since it violates clause (3) under serious misconduct, the management decided to terminate both of them. The union requested the factory to reconsider as one of the workers’ wife was going to deliver a baby very soon but the management did not change the decision.

Hence, the union is not happy with the arbitrary decision made by the management, which is considered unfair and discriminatory. The supervisor is not dismissed even when the Employment Contract Clause number (12) clearly specifies that being arrested due to a crime or sued and sentenced by the law, is a cause for immediately termination without any compensation, while the two workers in the Cutting section were immediately dismissed for the misconduct under Employment Contract clause 3 (fighting).

The complainant claimed that the management does not apply the same rules for all employee due to discrimination. He seeks help for justice and elimination of discrimination at workplace. In this regard, it should be noted that the union does not want to the supervisor to be disciplined further, but it request that the two workers from the Cutting Department be given a second chance and be reinstated.

Findings and conclusions

On 12 September FWF received a call to the complaints helpline in Myanmar. The complainant, a representative of the factory union, claimed that the factory management discriminates among workers depending on their positions. A supervisor used bad language to communicate with workers, was sentenced to pay a fine of 30,000 MMK since she admitted her misconduct. She chose to pay the fine and was allowed to continue service in the factory. The supervisor made apologies to the workers concerned who accepted. A few days before the court made the decision to fire two workers from the in cutting department who had a fight. Since it violates clause (3) under serious misconduct, the management decided to terminate both of them.

The union is not happy with the arbitrary decision made by the management, which is considered unfair and discriminatory. The supervisor is not dismissed even when the Employment Contract Clause number (12) clearly specifies that being arrested due to a crime or sued and sentenced by the law, is a cause for immediately termination without any compensation, while the two workers in the Cutting section were immediately dismissed for the misconduct under Employment Contract clause 3 (fighting).

FWF immediately contacted the member brand Deuter which contacted the factory management and asked for its response. FWF member brand Deuter also informed FWF that it would visit the factory the week after. The meetings took place in the week of 22 October and included interviews with the factory management, concerned supervisor and union leader. The investigation showed that the decisions of the factory management were based on severity of the offence committed and not based on discrimination due to the position the workers hold. Case 1 (bad language) was considered by the labour office which advised how to rule. A fine was paid by the supervisor and an apology was made to workers concerned who accepted the apology. For the second case, workers were caught fighting which resulted in serious bodily harm. The factory has a zero tolerance for fighting and the decision to fire the two workers seemed justified.
See details

Overview of the complaint investigation

10/02/2018 Investigation

FWF shared the complaint with FWF member brand Deuter, which, on 9 October, requested a response from the factory management. The brand also indicated that it would travel to Myanmar the following week at which time it will also follow-up on the case.

10/15/2018 Investigation

On 15 October the brand received a response from the factory management stating that the two cases are incomparable.

Case 1: The supervisor used bad words in June. She subsequently apologized to the 6 workers who accepted her apology. Finally, the court said she is not guilty.

Case 2: two workers from the cutting division workers got into a fight with each other and one worker lost his tooth. According to factory rules, anybody who is caught fighting would be fired.

11/14/2018 Investigation

FWF member brand Deuter informed FWF that it has visited the factory in the week of 22 October and had meetings with the factory management, concerned supervisor and union leader. The following was reported:

Case 1: The supervisor confirmed that she used slang language, as she was emotional at the time. The case was referred to the labour office, she admitted to using bad language and the court ruled that she must pay a fine of MMK 30,000 and apologize to the workers. Apologies were made subsequently, which were accepted by the workers concerned. The HR Manager also explained that she consulted the labour office to get their opinion on how to interpret the labour contract which says that a prosecuted worker should be terminated. The labour office advised that an apology is acceptable in this matter.

Case 2: Both workers were advised to clean the floor. One worker, who was older than the other, told the younger one to mob the floor whereas he would do something else. This lead to shouting which then turned into a fight. One worker lost a tooth and it took several other workers to separate them. Both workers were fighting for quite a while endangering others who tried to break them up.The HR Manager indicated that the factory avoided to call the police since both workers could have ended up in jail. However, as the factory has a zero tolerance policy for fighting, both workers were dismissed.


12/10/2018 Closed

The investigation showed that the decisions of the factory management were based on severity of the offence committed and not based on discrimination due to the position the workers hold. Case 1 (bad language) was considered by the labour office which advised how to rule. A fine was paid by the supervisor and an apology was made to workers concerned who accepted the apology. For the second case, workers were caught fighting which resulted in serious bodily harm. The factory has a zero tolerance for fighting and the decision to fire the two workers seemed justified.


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