India complaint DW-Shop July 2016

Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying DW-Shop

On 10 July 2016, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) received a complaint from a worker formerly employed at the factory. The complainant stated that he took leave for one month on 11 February 2016, but did not return to the factory until 9 June 2016. The management had replaced him due to his long unreported absence. The worker accepted his dismissal and asked management for his full and final payment and the form necessary to collect social security (PF). The HR manager told him to come back in two days as they needed time to prepare the files. The worker returned several times to the factory, but was repeatedly told that it was not yet ready.

On 11 July, FWF decided that the complaint was admissible on the grounds of the following labour code standards: employment is freely chosen, no excessive working hours, and legally binding employment relationship. The worker then called the FWF complaint handler again with a different story, but the complaint handler had a feeling that the worker was being pressured to say this in the presence of factory management. In a subsequent call, the worker said he received payment and all he still wanted was the signed form from management needed to collect social security payments (PF). The complaints handler tried to call him several times without success.

FWF is unable to draw a final conclusion, whether the worker received the full payment and relevant forms to claim social security or not, and has decided to close the case since the worker is not available for follow-up. FWF’s impression is that it is likely that the worker was asked to sign a blank paper in exchange for a lesser amount.

In terms of remediation, DW Shop must explain to the supplier that transparency and the willingness to improve are crucial parts of their business relationship and clarify regulations surrounding dismissal and wage slips.

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