Nudie Jeans Co., Complaint 242

Payment of a living wage Safe and healthy working conditions Legally binding employment relationship

The complainant claimed that he had been working with this factory for the last three years. He started as a tailor and was made Assistant Supervisor in October 2016. A letter was given to the complainant on his new role but there were no changes to his wages.

On 6 April 2017, one of the Production Writers asked him to give a target of 600 pieces per a day. He refused to give the production stating it was not possible which led to a verbal argument between the two. Later, both the complainant and the Production Writer were called for a meeting with the Production Manager. The Production Manager and the Production Writer together yelled at the complainant, in front of others in abusive language, stating that he was useless because he could not give the required production target.

The next day the HR manager was called to settle the issue. The complainant claims that no one heard his side of the story and they asked him to write an apology letter to the Production Writer. When he refused to do so they asked him to resign. He wrote a resignation letter on 7 April 2017, stating he was resigning because of pressure from management but the management did not agree to sign this letter. They re-drafted a new letter which stated that he was resigning due to family problems.

Initially they gave him Rs.5000/- as settlement. He did not agree to take the money and said he would go to the labour court for settlement only then they gave him Rs.15,000/-. He claims that he has asked the HR for his leave list which the HR refused to give.

He wants to know his leave balance for the last three years and the payment that accrues thereof.

Findings and conclusions

On 12 April 2017, FWF's complaints handler in India received a complaint from an assistant supervisor, who claimed that he was forced to resign from his job following an argument with the Production Writer over a high production target, which the complaint thought to be unrealistic. The complainant received a severance pay of INR 15000 but he believed that his earned leave was not paid. FWF declared the complaint admissible and decided to conduct off-site worker interviews to corroborate the grievance prior to informing the brand and factory of the complaint. While the incident in question was not corroborated during the offsite worker interviews, as the interviewees were not aware of it, it became clear that the production writer and production manager were known for using abusive language towards workers. FWF informed Nudie Jeans, the FWF member brand sourcing from this factory, who reached out to factory management and after their intervention the factory management paid INR 10154 towards full and final settlement which the complainant took and signed. This was verified by FWF. Furthermore, due to the internal re-structuring of management the Production Manager and Production Writing left the factory. Based on the documentary evidence and a verification call to the complaint, it can be concluded that the complaint is resolved.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2017-05-24 Investigation

FWF decided to conduct an investigation prior to informing the factory to establish whether other workers had been aware of the incident and could corroborate the grievance. These offsite worker interviews took place on 6, 10 and 12 May 2017. During the investigation six tailors, three helpers, one K/B Operator and two housekeeping staff were interviewed.

2017-05-24 Conclusion of the investigation

The investigation could not clarify the individual grievance of the complainant, as the interviewed workers were not aware of the incident. However, it was clearly established that the production team (production manager, production writer, etc.) often use abusive language with workers. Workers are addressed in a derogatory way in front of co-workers and other staff.

2017-05-29 Investigation

FWF informed Nudie Jeans about the complaint and asked them to inform the supplier.

2018-04-10 Investigation

Nudie Jeans received documentation of a settlement payment to the complainant. FWF reviewed the document and called the complainant.

2018-06-07 Verification

The complainant confirmed that he received the amount shown in the document (10,154 INR).
The worker however maintains that the factory still owes him additional payments:
- Leave payment (he estimated that the total sum would amount to 12,000 INR).
- He had been carrying out the task of supervisor for eight months without it being formally communicated to him, but his settlements were made according to tailor's rate.

Based on the information available so far, FWF cannot conclude which payments are due to the complainant.

Since the complaint was first registered, the factory underwent internal restructuring, which eventually resulted in a part of management, including the staff that had acted abusively towards the complainant, leaving the factory.

2018-06-07 Remediation

FWF asked Nudie Jeans to clarify the points raised by the complainant regarding leave payments and supervisor salary with the factory. The factory should provide documentation of the leave balance of the complainant.

2018-11-08 Evaluation of the complaint

Nudie Jeans discussed this complaint with the factory management during their visit and learnt that the complainant took the payment of INR 10154 and signed the full and final settlement sheet. Keeping in mind that he had submitted his resignation letter at the time of leaving there is no further claim of the complainant on the factory.
Since there was internal change in the management, FWF could not verify the reason of not giving a new contract to the complainant for his new role as Assistant Supervisor.

2018-11-08 Resolved

Based on the documentary evidence and verification call to the complaint it can be concluded that the complaint is resolved.