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The worker called the complaints handler on 29 April 2014. After discussion with FWF complaints handler and liaison officer, the worker decided to make a complaint directly to the management of the factory. On 5 May, the worker informed FWF that the internal grievances handling process was not functional. FWF requested support from Takko Fashion headquarter on 7 May 2014.
On 28 April 2014, the complainant claimed that two line supervisors yelled at her when they found one faulty piece out of the 10 garments she worked on. While she tried to correct the mistake, the supervisors requested her to correct all faulty garments from other processes in the same production line. The complainant believed that it was not her responsibility and refused to do so.
She then got into a dispute with two supervisors, in which she claimed that a supervisor hit her with a piece of fabric. The floor-in-charge brought all three persons to the Production Manager.
According to the complainant, the PM scolded at the complainant with sexual profanity and made her signed a resignation letter on 29 April 2014. The complainant signed for resignation and called FWF’s helpline.
Since the factory has established anti-harassment committee and it is a participant of the Workplace Education Programme, FWF’s liaison officer suggested the complainant to use the internal grievance system, and report the case to the HR manager and anti-harassment committee.
On 5 May, the complainant informed FWF that she was denied access to the factory and was not able to reach the anti-harassment committee. She requested FWF to consider this case as an official complaint.
FWF informed Takko Fashion about the case on 7 May 2014. Takko Fashion’s local office has already been informed by the factory and its agent. A meeting has been organised by Takko to discuss the case with the factory on 8 May.
FWF local team encouraged the top management of the factory to investigate the issue on its own together with the anti-harassment committee. Takko Fashion and FWF local staff would observe the process, and support the factory in conducting the investigation.
The focuses of the investigation were:
1. To find out whether worker was verbally or physically harassed and how.
2. To find out whether the worker was voluntarily resigned. If yes, then find out whether her dues are paid. If not, then discuss with the factory and the worker if she could be reinstated.
After the internal investigation, the factory informed FWF that they found no harassment against the complainant. In addition, the factory management said the complainant was not terminated. The factory agreed to reinstate the worker. The factory’s investigation process was not transparent and it did not reply any detail on the case.
The complainant told FWF that she was blacklisted by the factory management and refused by another factory nearby. The factory denied the allegation. There was not enough evidence to investigate on this issue.
A few days later, the complainant reported to FWF that she had found another job and was not interested to follow up. She wished FWF to close the case because she did not want herself to be blacklisted again by the factory management.
Due to the above reasons, FWF was not able to come to a final conclusion on the case.
However, FWF could conclude that the factory’s internal system to prevent harassment and violence against women was not functional. Since the factory has participated in FWF’s training programme to establish and enhance such system, FWF decided to following up through improving the factory’s management system.
In the end of May, top management of the production department of Takko Fashion visited Bangladesh and met with the management of the factory. He had an open discussion with the factory on Takko’s commitment, FWF’s complaints procedure, the importance of participating in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme and setting up internal grievance process. The meeting was welcomed by the top management of the factory.
The factory had agreed to work with FWF’s training team to improve its internal grievance process and raise awareness on labour rights among the workers.
FWF could confirm that the trainers had completed training sessions on labour rights and prevention of harassment to management staff and the workers. The anti-harassment committee was set up through a voluntary process. Many workers confirmed that they could trust the committee. Committee members of the factory had regular communication with FWF.
Since May there had been a number of new issues. For some of them the FWF helpline was called, the issues were then dealt with the anti-harassment committee members. These indicated that more workers were aware of their rights and FWF’s helpline. It also showed that the factory’s internal grievance procedure had been improved gradually.
FWF planned a verification audit at the factory by the end of 2014.
The complainant was satisfied with the help of FWF to handle her case.
The complaint has been closed