- What we stand for
- Our members that move with us
- See the impact we create
- Knowledge sharing
Fair Wear received two calls from two complainants who reported several ongoing issues in the factory.
The complainants stated that the production pressure is passed on from the Chinese supervisors to the local supervisors and finally, to the workers. It is claimed that the local supervisors are fined at least 5,000 MMK by the Chinese supervisor when the sewing lines under their supervision fail to meet the production target. The complainants witnessed some of the local supervisors borrowing money from workers because they did not have 5,000 MMK cash in hand.
Due to this practice, the supervisors pressure the workers to complete the target even if it means asking them to work during their free time.
The complainants stated that due to the constant production pressure, the workers are being asked to work more. The complainants claimed that the supervisors have been asking the workers who arrive at the factory early, to work before regular working hours. Even during lunchtime, the workers are asked to work. Supervisors who patrol during lunchtime and scold the workers if they are resting and ask them to start working even though the lunchtime is not over yet. On 12 June, the supervisors asked the workers to scan their faces at 18:20 and continue working for another 20 minutes. Moreover, the complainants claimed that they have been working 6 hours of overtime on Saturday instead of 5 hours. Note: The law allows maximum 5 hours overtime on Saturday. The complainants stated that they cannot refuse overtime because if they do, the supervisors will not give them the chance to work overtime in the future.
Extra bus fare:
Since one more hour is added on Saturday, the bus drivers have to wait 1 hour longer than usual. Therefore, the bus drivers have been told by the COC manager to charge the workers 500 MMK more. The workers do not want to pay more from their pockets. The complainants have not experienced it but she heard that from her friends who are on other buses.
COVID 19 measures:
When the complaint handler asked one of the complainants about the COVID-19 measures in the factory, it was learnt that the factory enforced physical distancing for entering and leaving the factory in the beginning, but this is no longer practised. It is not possible to keep 6 feet distance between workers on the production floor and the masks are almost no longer used. Moreover, pregnant workers are still working in the factory despite the instruction from the Ministry of Health and Sport, asking all pregnant workers to stay home from March onward. Note: Pregnant workers, who are on COVID-19 leave, will be provided with 60% of their wages by Social Security Board.
Additionally, the complainants claimed that the factory only paid for 15 days in April. They are not sure if they would be paid for the other 15 days. Note: The government announced that they would pay 40% of the wage for the days the factory had to close for factory inspection. From 20 April, the factories were closed for inspection and the opening date differs from one factory to another.
This is a new complaint that FWF has just filed. At this point in the procedure, the complaint is pending investigation, and FWF has not yet proven it to be grounded. Updates to the investigation will follow. The brand is requested to share the complaint with factory management and to get their perspective. Ideally, this includes obtaining documental evidence in addition to a statement from management.