SOLO INVEST S.A.S, Complaint 623

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage Safe and healthy working conditions Legally binding employment relationship
STATUS
Resolved
DATE
2019-02-07

According to the four complainants, their designation as per their ID card was sewing assistant, while in fact they worked in the store as assistants. Before the minimum wage increase in December 2018, their salary was equal to grade 4 (operator level), but after the minimum wage rise the factory management only gave them the salary of grade 7 (helper). The complainants felt that they were not receiving their entitled wage increase.

Moreover, according to the wage gazette, the job of Assistant Store would fall under grade 2 in Schedule B (employee) which would even entitle them to a salary above the operator category (grade 4).

Findings and conclusions

On 6 July 2019, FWF received a call to the complaint helpline in Bangladesh. According to the complainants, their designation as per their ID card was sewing assistant, while in fact they worked in the store as assistants. Before the minimum wage increase in December 2018, their salary was equal to grade 4 (operator level), but after the minimum wage rise the factory management only gave them the salary of grade 7 (helper). The complainants felt that they were not receiving their entitled wage increase. Moreover, according to the wage gazette, the job of Assistant Store would fall under grade 2 in Schedule B (employee) which would even entitle them to a salary above the operator category (grade 4).

FWF informed the FW member brand sourcing in the factory, Solo Invest. Solo Invest requested a response from the factory management. As a result, the management changed their grade into 2nd and fixed their salary accordingly. The FWF team audited the factory and then reviewed the personal files of the four complainants. After reviewing the personal files of the workers, the FWF audit team talked to the complainants to cross check. The audit team confirmed that from May 2019 they were receiving their proper salary according to their new grade. However no promotion letters were found in the personal files.

The complainant called the helpline number again and informed that the four workers concerned, including the complainant, all received transfer letters. The letters indicated that they were transferred to 4 different factories of of the Group to which the factory belonged. All the production locations based in Narayanganj, 70 to 75 KM far from current factory. According to the complainant, the management became irritated towards the complainants because the FWF audit team verified their issue during the audit. The complainants believed that management decided to transfer them as a form of punishment for having complained to FWF.

Two complainants joined their newly assigned location. One complainant, however, was assigned to work with a loader which he had not done before. He felt uncomfortable to handle that post so decided not to continue. However, later the complainant reconsidered his decision and indicated that he would accept the new position. The two remaining workers felt that it was not possible for them to accept work 75 km away and resigned on 7 August. The factory management paid them their final settlement amount on 20 August (which did not include full termination benefits).

FWF country representative met with the managing director of the group and discussed the possible way to solve the issue. It was decided that management should give full termination benefits (including service benefits) to the two workers who resigned. Furthermore, the worker who initially resigned but then reconsidered should be given the opportunity to rejoin the new location he was assigned to work. This message was also supported by the brand towards the factory management.

The two resigned workers received the termination benefits they were entitled to. Payment details were shared via the brand and double checked with the two complainants. The worker that resigned but reconsidered was set to go to the factory to meet with the general manager on 12 December to discuss rejoining the factory again. However, in the meantime he reconsidered his decision again as he found a job with another factory and decided to work there. The complaint is considered resolved.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2019-05-02 Remediation

FWF informed the FW member brand sourcing in the factory, Solo Invest.

2019-05-30 Evaluation of the complaint

Solo Invest requested a response from the factory management. As a result, the management changed their grade into 2nd and fixed their salary accordingly.

2019-07-06 Investigation

FWF team went for audit and then reviewed the personal file of the complaints.

2019-07-07 Remediation

The FWF team went for audit and then reviewed the personal files of the four complaints. After reviewing personal file of the workers, the FWF audit team talked to the complainants to cross check. The audit team confirmed that from May 2019 they are getting their proper salary according to their new grade. However no promotion letters were found in the personal files.

2019-07-31 Investigation

The complainant called the helpline number again and informed that the four workers concerned, including the complainant, all received transfer letters. The letters indicate that they were transferred into 4 different factories of of the Group to which the factory belongs. All the production locations are based in Narayanganj, 70 to 75 KM far from current factory.

2019-08-03 Investigation

According to the complainant, because of FWF audit team verified their issue during the audit, the management became irritated against the complainants. Complainants believe that management transferred them as a form of punishment for having complained to FWF. The 4 workers want to continue working in the factory as before and want help from FWF in this matter

Two workers joined their newly assigned location. One Complainant, however, was assigned to work of a loader which he had not done before. He felt uncomfortable to handle that post so he decided not to continue over there. However, later he reconsidered and indicated that he will accept the new position/location.

2019-08-07 Investigation

The two remaining workers felt that it was not possible for them to accept work 75 km away and resigned on 7th August. The factory management paid them their final settlement amount on 20 August (which did not include full termination benefits).

2019-12-03 Remediation

FWF country representative met with the managing director of the group and discussed the possible way to solve the issue. It was decided that management should give full termination benefits (incuding service benefits) to the two workers who resigned. Furthermore, the worker that initially resigned but then reconsidered should be given the opportunity to rejoin the new location he was assigned to work. This message was also supported by the brand towards the factory management.

2019-12-08 Resolved

The two resigned workers received the termination benefits they are entitled to. Payment details were shared via the brand and doublechecked with the two complainants.

The worker that resigned but reconsidered was set to go to the factory to meet with the GM on 12 December to discuss him rejoining the factory again. However, he reconsidered yet again, as he found a job with another factory and preferred to stay there. The complaint is considered resolved herewith.