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The complainant, who joined the factory on 21 July 2016, was forced to resign on 6 October, 2017. According to the complainant, his first warning letter was given for not wearing a metal glove while operating the cutting machine, even though there was no internal rule about it. The second warning letter because he sat on the cutting table trying to lay the fabric sheet, and the factory owner saw it. He claimed that he has been laying the fabric for a long time by sitting on the cutting table, and was never told that he could be given a warning letter for such behaviour. The third warning letter was given when a length of fabric was damaged, which happened when the marker paper was misplaced. Although it was the responsibility of another worker who placed the marker paper, he was forced to take the responsibility. The responsible worker came to the office and told the management that the complainant did not make the mistake, but the supervisors and the management did not listen to him or investigate the case. He was brought to the office to sign the warning letter and forced to write a resignation letter. At first, he refused because he believed that they should give him a termination letter. But the Chinese officer (who seems to be the admin manager) forced him one way or the other until he agreed to sign. They mentioned that the problem could be bigger and that he must recompense for the damaged fabric if he did not sign, and they would not let him leave the factory if he refused to do so. The Chinese officer put a pen into his hand, and finally he agreed to sign. Although he is seeking new job, he wishes to return to his previous position in the factory.
Fair Wear conducted onsite and offsite interviews with the witnesses who were involved and present at the time of incident. The brand's local representative also joined the investigation.
According to the workers and the Supervisor, the worker responsible for spreading is usually responsible for placing the pattern on the fabric. It is clear that it is the responsibility of the complainant is to ensure that the pattern is put correctly for fabric cutting. Therefore, it is justified that he received the written warning letter.
Regarding the disciplinary procedures and actions taken against the complainant, the factory asked him to sign in the warranty letter which indicated that he received two warning letters already and thus he understood that he would need to leave the factory if he received a third one.
According to Myanmar employment contract, the termination procedure states that the worker should be given the verbal warning firstly, written warning secondly and thirdly, and dismissal at the fourth time. However, we found out that his third warning letter does not lead to dismissal according to the written workplace disciplinary procedure by the factory. It is stated that if a worker violates the factory rules and regulations, s/he will be given three written warning letters, and then will be terminated without compensation in the fourth time. Although the disciplinary procedure is different between the employment contract and the factory internal rules, the worker can enjoy the rights which is not less than the requirement of existing laws according to 2013 Employment and Skills Development Law Article 5 (c) which is stated as below;
The workplace rules in the Employment Contract shall conform to the rules made under existing laws and the rights of the workers in the Contract shall not be less than those in existing laws. It is found out that the factory standard is above the legal requirement, and thus workers should enjoy all the chances to improve his/her performance. Since he has one last chance before dismissal according to the factory disciplinary procedure, he should be reinstated.
Fair Wear informed the complainant about the result of the investigation, who understood and accepted them.
Fair Wear and the brand followed up with the factory to respond to the investigation report and the recommendation for reinstatement of the complainant.
The factory first said that they would reinstate the complainant as soon as they had a vacancy but they finally let the brand know that they did not want to reinstate him. The complainant was informed accordingly, who was okay with the situation as he had since found new work. This complaint has therefore been closed.