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The complainant said that she was asked to sign a resignation letter on 31 December 2014. The general manager said that a male co-worker reported that she invited workers to her house to form a group. The managing director had made a decision to terminate her contract.
On 7 January 2015 FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the labour practice ‘Legally binding employment relationship’ and might also be relevant to discrimination against anti-harassment committee members.
The complainant, who was an elected member of the factory’s Anti-Harassment Committee, said that she was asked to sign a resignation letter on 31 December 2014. The general manager said that a male co-worker reported that she invited workers to her house to form a group. She was active in helping workers to report their grievances to the management, and setting up the internal system to handle cases on violence against women at the workplace.
The factory’s response was that the complainant resigned voluntarily and a final conclusion could not be reached. A meeting was then organized which included representatives of the factory – which is participating in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme – as well as FWF and Takko. During the meeting, a solution was negotiated: the worker was not reinstated but was paid severance pay equal to the amount she would have been paid had she been made redundant. The worker accepted the outcome and reported to FWF’s complaint handler that she was happy with the outcome.
The factory is a participant of FWF’s Workplace Education Programme focusing on preventing and reducing harassment at work. The complainant was a member of the elected Anti-harassment committee. She was active in helping workers to report their grievances to the management, and setting up the internal system to handle cases on violence against women at the workplace. According to the workers, she successfully negotiated for two extra toilets for women in the last month.
FWF informed Takko Fashion about the case on 13 January 2015. FWF requested Takko Fashion to contact the supplier and ask for a reply. Local office of Takko Fashion could contact FWF’s country representative to discuss on the case.
On 4 February, Takko Fashion submitted a report to FWF based on local staff’s discussion with the factory management on 24 January 2015. The factory responded that the complainant resigned voluntarily on 31 December. The factory had paid for the owed wages in December, plus an extra amount equivalent to one month’s wage. The management said that it was a token of appreciation of the factory owner as the complainant’s daughter was sick.
On 10 February, FWF contacted the complainant, who claimed that she was forced to resign and she did not know why she was fired. She was glad that she received her due payment for the work she did and appreciate the extra money. However she still wished to be reinstated to the factory.
As the investigation did not lead to a convergence in the respective positions, it was proposed to convene a meeting, to be attended by the factory, the plaintiff, and representatives of Takko and FWF. The purpose of the meeting was to find a mutual solution acceptable by both parties.
FWF suggested Takko Fashion to make an appointment for a meeting between the factory management, the AHC president and AHC members and the complainant to negotiate a solution for both sides acceptable. FWF’s country representative and the trainer of AHC would join the meeting to facilitate the discussion.
Against this background, a meeting was subsequently organized which took place on 2 March 2015. The meeting included representatives of the factory, Takko and FWF.
Factory management maintained its position that it didn’t agree that the Plaintiff was forced to resign, but that she resigned voluntarily. However, as the issue/case has raised the concern from the Takko and FWF, the factory agreed to allocate severance payment as if the plaintiff was a worker made redundant. In accordance with the Bangladesh Labour Law, this would provide a legal framework for the plaintiff to be
awarded with additional financial benefit. It was calculated that she was entitled to the following severance payment:
- Basic wage, based on Job duration and tenure (01 year and 10 months) - Taka 4,075;
- Payment for 120 days notice period = 4 basic wage = 4,075 x 4 - Taka 16,300;
- Service benefits, 01 basic wage - Taka 4,075;
- Total amount entitled - Taka 20,375
- Already paid (on 31 Dec ’14) - Taka 6,805
- Remaining amount due to the plaintiff - Taka 13,570
The plaintiff accepted the offer during the aforementioned meeting. As a result, in the presence of FWF and Takko representatives, payment of the amount of Taka 13,570 was provided to the plaintiff by the factory management.
The remaining payment under the severance entitlement was made in the presence of FWF and Takko representatives. FWF therefore considers that this case was brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
The complainant was satisfied with the resolution of the case and with the help of FWF to facilitate a solution.
This complaint is resolved.