This is a new complaint that FWF has just filed. At this point in the procedure, the complaint is pending investigation, and FWF has not yet proven it to be grounded. Updates to the investigation will follow. The brand is requested to share the complaint with factory management and to get their perspective. Ideally, this includes obtaining documental evidence in addition to a statement from management.
Concerning labour standards:
The complainant has reached retirement age and wants to retire with all benefits, but when he/she discussed this issue with the HR department they said that the company can pay him/her only INR 25 000 as full and final settlement. However, the complainant thinks that the benefits would be more than INR 25 000 (including gratuity, earned leave etc).
The complainant claims to have been working in the company for several decades. He/she started working when the factory was located in a different location and continued working after the move to the present location. The worker does not have proof of continuous employment (no factory identity card, appointment letter or salary slip). He/she explained that his/her attendance is by way of punching in and out, so there may be attendance records with the company.
The complainant claims that when the factory moved to the new location (7 years back) he/she was not covered by social security so no deductions for ESI or PF were made.
According to the complainant, on 9 January 2018, the factory informed him/her, along with a few other workers, not to come to work for a couple of days as there was not enough work. He/she later learned that an audit was scheduled to take place during those days. This created doubt amongst workers regarding their employment records with the factory. The workers who were asked not to come were mostly those who were 60 years of age or older and the majority of these workers were demanding retirement with proper benefits.
According to the worker there are about 25 workers in the company who are dealing with this problem. The complainant has asked FWF to support him/her as well as other workers affected to receive the retirement payment that they are legally due.
General issues raised by the complainant:
1) According to the complainant, the majority of workers are not provided with a formal employment contract, they do not receive an I-card or salary slips and they are not covered under ESI and PF.
2) The wages, as reported by the complainant, appear to be lower than the minimum wage. Several workers are paid as piece rate workers and a skilled worker might receive about 7000 INR per month. The minimum wage in the state (April-September 2017) is INR 7400 for unskilled, INR 8140 for semiskilled and INR 9118 for skilled workers.
3) The complainant reported that daily work is from 9.30 to 19:00. He/she also said that the company bus service, which transports the workers from the factory to their homes, starts at 19:25. This means that workers work for at least 30 minutes of overtime on a daily basis.