Excessive overtime: the case of Rahima

Line and floor managers are often under a lot of pressure to meet delivery targets. So they request workers to work extra hours. In Bangladesh, overtime is regulated by law, but the rules are not always applied. Rahima’s case illustrates very well how the issues of low wages, overtime and harassment are linked.Rahima works at a factory where some workers have been recently laid off. So there are fewer people at the factory floor, but the work remained the same.

To meet the deadlines, it is not uncommon that workers work 2 to 3 hours after their shift has ended. Many of the workers are happy to work overtime, because it means they can earn some extra money for their families.

However, because their overtime is not always recorded, they don’t always receive the money that they are entitled to for their extra work.

And, to make matters worse, there was a case at the factory where a worker refused to work the overtime, and he was grabbed by the neck and thrown out of the factory. So many workers did not complain, for fear of being yelled at, hit, or worse, losing their job.

When Rahima complained through the Anti-harassment Committee, however, the complaint was investigated. A system is being set up so that overtime is recorded appropriately, and all line and floor managers are now aware that they cannot force the workers to stay behind to finish orders.

 


This and other cases presented in the portal are based on real cases that have been reported through FWF’s complaints hotline. Read more about the complaints procedure.

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