JBC n.v., Complaint 730

Employment is freely chosen Payment of a living wage Reasonable hours of work Legally binding employment relationship

1. There was excessive and forced overtime:
a) The normal working hours should be 9:30 to 18:00 but there was almost regular OT up to 22:00 for male workers and up to 19.45 for female workers. Female workers (and probably some male workers in finishing department and sampling) were working from 8:00 to 19:45. While others were working from 9:30 to 22:00. Only for QC there was no OT and they work up to 18:00.
b) Almost all weekly offs were also worked.
c) Overtime is paid only at single hourly rate. In salary slips only half of OT was shown and payment was shown at double hourly rate of wages. When the workers inquired about it, HR told them that that was their total OT payment, only that it is written differently in the salary slip.
2. The workload fixed per hour was very high, for example for checkers it was 30-35 pieces per hour, and this productivity needed to be maintained for total working hours including OT hours. Workers found it very very difficult to achieve and maintain this target for total working hours. Such was the case with all production workers.
3. When workers refused to work OT on normal days or on weekly offs, they were threatened of termination. Moreover, leaves (whether paid or unpaid) were not easily sanctioned. So workers felt that overtime was often forced.
4. Workers who were not able to complete the targets per hour, faced abusive language from supervisors.
5. Workers were fired without following any legal procedures and without giving any severance compensations.
6. Leave was not easily sanctioned and many workers went on leave even if not sanctioned, when they returned they were fired and rehired as fresh workers and so they lost their length of service.
7. There was general fear of getting fired and so no one dared to raise their voice. They did not want to leave their job as they considered it a relatively good factory in terms that it took almost all workers on rolls, provided them I-cards and also salary slips.

New complaint

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.

Overview of the complaint investigation