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After the audit there is no improvement in the factory. Actually the conditions worsened.
There are total about 30 workers including 22 Tailors [skilled workers].
All workers have a fixed daily wage and this is for working from 9:00 to 20:30. For example, Tailors (skilled workers) have a fixed wage of Rs 600 per day and this for working from 9:00 to 20:30.
There is no daily signatures of workers for in and out time, but management maintains a register and itself enters the actual in and out time daily for all workers. The workers have no access to this register.
There is one more register on which workers are required to sign once in a month for all days they worked. In this register the -in and -out time is mentioned 9:00 to 18:00. When some workers questioned the management on this, they said, not to bother about this as it is maintained for the purpose of audits etc
All skilled workers are engaged on daily wage basis and no paid leaves or paid holidays are provided. ID cards, joining letters and salary slips are not provided to any workers yet. Bonus was not paid to any worker.
ESI is deducted from the wages of workers but only few have got the ESI-card, so majority of them are not getting benefits from ESI. Majority of them are not covered in PF, probably due to the fact that their salary is shown above the limit, but considering the fact that they do not get any paid leaves and their wages is Rs 600 per day, earnings of most of them are actually within the coverage limit. The new problem that started at new location is: workers are scolded or has wage cuts if they are going for toilets for more than 3-4 times a day. The guard keeps a watch and records which worker is going to toilets and how many times. The workers have a fear of loosing job, therefore they do not dare to raise voice.
Fair Wear shared the complaint with the brand and the brand in turn shared it with the factory. The factory denied the complaint saying that their working hours are between 9:00 and 18:00 for sewing operators and from 9.30 to 18.30 for finishing staff. It was added that the factory has showed all the records to verify this in the audit conducted in December and has already confirmed that they will be putting a bio-metric attendance machine in February.
The factory further added that all workers are paid through bank accounts and this also can be verified in the next audit while bonus is due only for the next year. Factory ensured that they would pay the Provident fund wherever it is applicable. The factory said that they have never restricted the movement of the workers and they are allowed to access the toilets on their wish.
The verification audit conducted in December 2019 showed that good improvements had been done since the previous audit which was conducted in May 2019. It could be verified that wages and working hours records are maintained correctly. Time records are maintained on a daily basis. Full and final settlement has been done for all the thirty workers who were entitled to receive the same. There is no reported verbal abuse and none of the workers reported that they are restricted in going to the wash rooms. There is legally binding employment as appointment letters and identity cards are issued to all workers.
It was found out that medical insurance was not provided to employees who are not covered under employees' state insurance.
Fair Wear recommends the management to take medical insurance for the employees who are not covered under employees's state insurance.
The verification audit conducted in December 2019 showed that the individual complaint points as highlighted in the claim of the complainant have been successfully resolved. Fair Wear has already recommended the factory to take medical insurance for the employees who are not covered under the employees' state insurance. Since this is just a recommendation as a good practice to be followed and not requirement as per law, this case is considered as resolved and Fair Wear would check the medical insurance issue in the future during an audit.