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On 14 November 2018, a person close to a factory's finishing worker lodged a complaint regarding:
1. Unfair payment. Finishing workers are paid differently for the same type of work. Some are paid 7 RMB per hour, some 8 RMB and others 9 RMB.
2. Long working hours and no overtime (OT) premiums. The complainant informed that workers start working around 7:00 until 19:00 or later. However, after the eight regular working hours they are paid between 7 and 9 RMB per hour, with no OT premium. During peak season, they work for the entire month without a day off. Workers feel very fatigued by the long and excessive overtime hours.
FWF reached out to Mini Rodini who informed us that they shared the complaint with the factory.
No response was received but in the meanwhile an audit was planned for the beginning of December. From the audit findings, it was verified that:
Regarding point 1: it was confirmed that the workers from the finishing workshops were indeed paid 6.5 to 8.5 RMB per hour without extra overtime premiums; and this is below the local minimum wage. However, regarding the unfair payments, the audit team thought this was not the case as management determined workers' wages by referring to their skills and efficiency; thus, lower efficiency was paid a lower wage, which cannot be categorised as unfair payment.
Regarding point 2: it was confirmed that workers did work excessive overtime hours as mentioned in the complaint.
During the audit it was verified that there was payment below the minimum wage and that workers did work excessive overtime
FWF requested Mini Rodini to discuss the complaint during the audit with the factory management since Mini Rodini was visiting the factory in December. FWF suggested the factory to start with the following remediation:
1. Ensure that all employees are paid at least the local minimum wage.
2. Monitor the working hours to be no more than 11 hours/day, in other words, no more than 3 overtime hours/day; and ensure at least one day off in a 7-day period.