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The complainants stated that this was the best company a year before but things changed when new Factory Manager joined the factory. The owner used to hear their grievance but things changed after new Factory manager has joined.
After he joined, he started scolding workers, fire experienced workers and does not allow the workers to work if there are late to factory even by a minute.
Factory never provides leave on Government Holiday. If they announce leave, they will have continuous shift for day and night. If the Factory management want to work on Sundays, they announce night shift. In such instance one of the complainant’s child was sick and she was compelled to work in spite of that. Factory Manager uses abusive language if they have to take leave. He also scolds when they have to take breaks for using the rest room. There are 5 toilets for female and it is not sufficient for 200 workers. Workers are squeezed to reach their target.
One complainant was on leave on 5 and 6 August 2019 when she returned, she got to know from the co- worker there is no work for Checkers from 7 to 9 August 2019 and so she didn't go the factory. The complainant went to the factory on 12 August 2019 and at 9.30 Factory Manager told her to leave saying that he may call her in the coming week if there is sufficient work.
Workers are concerned about their safety and job security as well.
FWF shared the complaint with the brand and brand in turn shared the same with the factory for their feedback.
FWF checked the audit report and it was found out that there were 81 workers out of which 29 were male and 52 were female as on 27 June 2018 when the audit was conducted. Further investigation will be done as required.
FWF would suggest that the new rule with bio metric system and rules to be followed by workers when late should be actively communicated to workers. From complaints it is clear that workers are not aware of joining at tea time if they are late in morning hours.
The repeated complaints against the new factory manager of him being abusive has to be corrected. Treatment of workers should be in a mutually respectful manner.
High production targets and very few breaks for workers has been a regular complaint and this matter needs to be looked into.
Given the number of complaints on production target and abusive behaviour of production manager Fair Wear suggests a partial audit of this factory to find out whether the case is grounded or not.
Complaints handler has checked with the complainants to check whether the factory's stand on the number of toilets is correct and the complainant said that there are enough number of toilets and this issue may be considered as resolved. One of the complainant said that the Factory Manager is treating the workers with respect after the complaints have been made.
Though some of the issues were found to be resolved, the other structural issues mentioned by the complainant will be verified during the audit.
Factory has shared digital proof on the formation of special grievance handling committee, its election process and increasing the awareness among workers on the usage suggestion boxes. However, there is no response about the behaviour of the Factory Manager.
An unannounced visit was made to the factory on 5 February to check if the complaint was admissible or not. Management was absolutely fine with the investigation and cooperated completely and allowed access to the factory sites, documents and interviews. Off-site workers interview was also conducted on 6th Feb as a part of investigation.
Physical walk through revealed that there are 16 toilets, 8 for women and 8 for men and it is more than as required by law. It was observed that list of National holidays is displayed for the knowledge of the workers. It could be verified that all National holidays are paid holidays . Workers interview revealed that there is no lay off and there is work for all days. Workers reported that they never did OT at night and confirmed that OT is never forced on them. Time cards are mentioned for all workers.
There is no reported gender-based violence during the investigation. None of the workers reported that Factory Manager uses abusive language. In fact, the migrant workers were happy that he understands Hindi [ language spoken by them] and therefore communication with him is easier. Workers added that their mobility is not restricted and they are free to access drinking water and toilets whenever necessary.
Since visual inspection, workers interview and documents inspection clearly indicated that there are enough number of toilets, and there is no forced overtime, no lay off , no unlawful termination of workers, no verbal/physical abuse and no reported gender based violence, it is concluded that the complaint is not grounded and hence closed.