FOND OF GmbH, Complaint 224

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Legally binding employment relationship
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2017-03-17

The complainant informed FWF that he was told by his supervisor and manager that he and his wife (also working at the factory) were both terminated from the factory because they did not show up for work on Monday 17 March 2017.

Findings and conclusions

On 15-16 March FWF has conducted an audit at the factory that produces for the FWF member company concerned. The following day, FWF received a call to the FWF helpline. The complainant informed FWF that he was told by his supervisor and manager that he and his wife (also working at the factory) were both terminated from the factory because they did not show up for work on Monday 17 March 2017. This followed after the complainant was sick and his wife accompanied him to the clinic.

FWF informed Fond of Bags about the case, who requested a response from the factory management. On 21 March, the General Manager informed FWF that the incident involved a team leader (male) and his wife. Both of them work in the same team. The team leader had been asked to work on the previous Sunday and was given time off the following Monday. The team leader failed to complete an urgent delivery with the team, and as a consequence the company received complaint from a customer for late delivery. Part of the reason was that the team leader’s wife had taken leave very often and this has negatively affected other workers working on the same team, thus causing the delay. When management tried to resolve the situation, the complainant allegedly threatened to assault a manager with a pair of scissors. Management dismissed him and gave his wife a warning for tardiness and disobedience.

FWF decided to conduct further research by conducting worker interviews in the factory. To this end, FWF investigation team visited the factory on 8 April 2017. Though denied by the complainant, several witnesses confirmed that they saw him chasing after the factory manager with a pair of scissors and yelling in a threatening manner. Given the seriousness of the violent action, FWF is of the view that the factory was justified in making its decision to dismiss the complainant. Compensation was paid to the complainant in line with the relevant national legislation. The complainant expressed that he accepted the situation and confirmed that he received the severance payment.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2017-06-29 Investigation

FWF informed Fond of Bags about the case which requested a response from the factory management.
On 21 March, the General Manager informed FWF the following:
• The incident involved a team leader (male) and his wife. Both of them work in the same team. The team leader had been asked to work on the previous Sunday and was given time off the following Monday
• The team leader failed to complete an urgent delivery with the team, and as a consequence the company received complaint from a customer for late delivery
• Part of the reason was that the team leader's wife had taken leave very
often and this has negatively affected other workers working on the same
team, thus causing the delay.
• On 14 March the factory decided to transfer the team leader's wife to other team but they both disagreed. On the same day the team leader's wife made a big dispute with the floor supervisor (Burmese female supervisor) regarding the transfer.
• On Friday 17 March the situation escalated further when the team leader
turned violent and confronted the production manager with a pair of scissors. He was stopped by his wife and other worker before having
inflicted bodily injury to the production manager.
Based on the above, the general manager conveyed the following factory’s decision:
• “The factory takes the safety of its employees very seriously and considers the use of physical violence totally unacceptable behavior. In protection of other employees working in the factory, it was decided to transfer the team leader to another department to isolate him from the production manager, and to terminate him with one month’s notice. Going through the three Warning Letters procedure is not feasible under these circumstances.
• The team leader's wife will be served a warning for tardiness and
disobedience as well as causing disruption at the production floor.” As this was a situation of one word against the other, FWF decided to conduct further research by conducting worker interviews in the factory. To this end, FWF investigation team visited the factory on 8 April 2017. As part of the investigation, FWF interviewed 10 respondents, including several workers nominated by the complainant who witnessed the incident.

2017-06-29 Conclusion of the investigation

FWF concluded that the complainant did in fact make an attempt to stab the factory manager using a pair of scissors. Though denied by the complainant, several witnesses confirmed that they saw him chasing after the factory manager with a pair of scissors and yelling in a threatening manner.
The repair work is said to be the responsibility of complainant. Most of the respondents confirmed that the complainant ignored the instructions of his immediate supervisor, the line manager, and the factory manager.
However, on the other hand, though the grievance was gradually growing at the workplace by the complainant, nobody from the management paid enough attention to make him realize the potential consequences of his, and his wife’s, actions, and tried to counsel or reduce his tension towards the factory manager.
Given the seriousness of the violent action, FWF is of the view that the factory was justified in making its decision to dismiss the complainant. It is done at the labour office and in accordance with legal provisions for the calculation of severance pay.

2017-06-29 Remediation

Both sides already agreed that the compensation was to be paid on 10 April 2017.

2017-06-29 Verification

Compensation was paid to the complainant in line with the relevant national legislation, namely 1.5 months of salary (including overtime and bonuses).

2017-06-29 Evaluation of the complaint

The complainant expressed that he accepted the situation and confirmed that he received the severance payment.

2017-06-29 Closed

This complaint is closed.