Concerning labour standards:
The factory verbally terminated the complainant's employment on 12 October 2017. The complainant is also the union leader. The reason given for the dismissal was that he/she was absent from work for three days (9 October – 11 October). The complainant claims that the leave had been approved by his/her direct supervisor. However, the Production Manager informed the complainant that the leave was not approved, regardless of the supervisor's signature. The complainant responded that the production manager was not able to approve the leave request because, when the complainant applied for leave, the production manager was on leave abroad. Furthermore, the ALL Supervisor was sick at that time, which is why the complainant had asked for approval from his/her direct supervisor. During this particular time, many factory workers were on leave due to local festivities, leave that extended past the dates the factory was closed. According to the complainant, his/her leave request was the only one rejected by the production manager. The HR department stated that the factory manager rejects leave if the production manager does not approve it, and that, therefore, the complainant's employment was being terminated and that he/she did not need to come to work the next day.
The complainant also indicated that he/she filed a complaint at the township conciliation body, and has an appointment to explain the details at their office. The complainant said that he/she intends to sue the factory.
Findings and conclusions
The factory terminated the complainant's employment verbally on 12 October 2017. The reason given for the dismissal was that the complainant was absent from work for three days (9 October – 11 October) without approved leave. The complainant claims that the leave had been approved by his/her direct supervisor as the factory manager was absent abroad. The brand requested a response from the factory management, which indicated that the worker requested leave for one day, but was absent for two additional days. Factory management also indicated that the worker manually changed his/her leave form to state three days, instead of one.
The complainant also filed the case at the Township Conciliation Body. On 13 October 2017, he/she informed FWF that the factory refused to reinstate him/her when they were called to the township office for negotiation, and another appointment was made on 16 October 2017. The day following the second township office meeting, the factory management confirmed that the complainant was reinstated to his/her former position and department due to arbitration by labour department. The factory management has accepted the decision, and the complainant confirmed that he/she was reinstated.
Overview of the complaint investigation
The brand sent an email to the factory's general HR manager and the factory manager informing them of the complaint and asking to share their point of view. FWF simultaneously followed up with the complainant.
10/13/2017 Conclusion of the investigation
Factory management responded that:
• The complainant applied for leave for 9 October 2017
• He/she received approval from his/her direct supervisor, who signed the leave slip
• After the approved leave, the complainant did not show up for the following two days as well – without any excuse
• Upon request, the complainant showed the leave slip that showed leave from 9 October until 12 October. The end date on the leave slip had been manually changed by the complainant.
• This was reason enough for the factory to dismiss the complainant (aside from showing up for three days without handing the leave slip to HR)
The FWF country representative has had regular contact with the complainant in order to be updated about the situation. The complainant indicated that he/she also filed the case at the township Conciliation body. On 13 October 2017, the complainant informed FWF that the factory refused to reinstate him/her when they were called to the township office for negotiation, and another appointment was made on 16 October 2017.
Factory management confirmed that the complainant has been reinstated into his/her former position and department due to arbitration by labour department. The factory management has accepted the decision.
During a FWF visit to the factory, factory management, the union leader, FWF and the brand agreed on the following action:
o To hold a monthly meeting between union and factory management
o Strengthening of the role of the union leader by posting his/her position and responsibilities on the notice board
o Strengthening of grievance channels
The complainant confirmed that he/she was reinstated.
10/17/2017 Evaluation of the complaint
The complainant indicated that he/she was satisfied with the resolution of the complaint case.