Concerning labour standards:
On 18th October, the workers were told by the management that they have to come to the company and work on 19th October as well, which is a big festival day (Dusshera) in that region and is a State holiday.
The workers of two lines went to the management and requested to allow them to enjoy Dusshera holiday but according to them, management bluntly said that if they do not want to work, they can take their full and final payment and leave the job. If they want to be in job, they need to report on duty whenever they are asked and that they have to work on 19th Oct as it is urgent.
Left with no other option one worker called fair wear complaint number.
This needs an urgent action as the factory cannot compel workers to do overtime on a festival holiday.
Other issues reported
1. Almost all, if not all, workers are engaged through contractors
2. There is periodic break in service so that there are very few workers who have continuous service of more than 3 years. According to the complainant, management asks workers who have completed 2-3 years of continuous service to resign and they are rehired again as fresh workers. This is why workers are not able to be eligible for gratuity
3. According to the complainant s/he has been in the company for about 10 years, but continuity of service is only for 2 years, because his service was discontinued in between (he has to write resignation as asked by the management whenever his service was discontinued)
4. Any worker who even appears to be raising their voice are immediately terminated. In such cases they are not given any legal benefits like notice pay and retrenchment compensation; they get only wages for days worked, bonus and earned leave
6. The company is giving very high targets (about 30-40 pieces) and if anyone is not able to complete, he has to compulsorily do overtime to complete it. They also receive threatening—that they may lose job if not working efficiently in terms of completing the targets. It is not that workers do not want to do overtime but sometimes they do not want, but in such situations they are compelled to do.
7. Overtime is generally up to 10pm, but sometimes goes up to 12.30am
8. Overtime payment is only at single hourly rate of wages
9. Out of fear of losing job, the workers dare not reveal the issues before the auditors or any outsiders. According to the complainant, the fear among workers is such that even in interviews outside the factory, workers may not dare to reveal truth if there are other workers nearby.
Findings and conclusions
Overview of the complaint investigation
Fair Wear shared the complaint with the brand the same day and the brand contacted the factory the very next day. Factory shared the list of approved holiday for the factory with brand which was sanctioned by appropriate state authority. Brand shared the list of holidays with Fair Wear on 29th Oct.
10/30/2018 Conclusion of the investigation
Upon checking the list of holidays Fair Wear concluded that the factory management had the permission of keeping the factory open on Dusshera day as it was not in the holiday list. Apparently workers were not properly communicated about this list and the fact that the factory would remain open because this festival was not included in factory's list of holidays.
The factory was right in keeping the factory open on Dusshera day (19th Oct) as it was not in the list of holidays that they got approved/sanctioned. It appears that the workers were not adequately communicated about the holiday list hence they mistook 19th as a holiday as well because it is one of the important festivals.