abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

The content is also available in the following languages: 日本語

Article

1 Apr 2024

Author:
iNews

Jordan: Abuse at Under Armour, Columbia and American Eagle supplier factory allegedly led to suicide of migrant worker

ILO

"Suicide and abuse revealed at Under Armour, Columbia and American Eagle supplier", April 1 2024

The sportswear giants Under Armour and Columbia have been hit by claims of forced labour in a factory making their clothes, after systemic abuse and exploitation allegedly led to a worker’s death by suicide...

The two companies have launched urgent inquiries over the death of a young Bangladeshi woman at a major supplier’s facility in Jordan ...

American Eagle, a major retailer with more than 1,000 stores in the US, admitted that it also uses the site and is taking remedial action.  

Tureza Akter, 21, died in her dormitory in November last year....

Ms Akter is said to have been fined many times for missing excessive targets. She was abused by a supervisor hours before she died, an official report states.

[...]

The factory owners have launched an independent review and say they are supporting Ms Akter’s family after her “tragic” death. 

i began its investigation after being alerted by Labour Behind the Label ...

[...]

A report by a senior member of Jordan’s labour ministry, seen by i, verifies that Ms Akter died by “suicide due to the mistreatment [by] her supervisor”. 

...A local news article published in September revealed that another worker from Bangladesh also “took her own life”. 

....Many [workers] went on strike, despite this protest being against local laws.

[...]

The workers demanded that the supervisor who abused Ms Akter should be sacked, together with two male managers. The company agreed, according to the report. It is not known what has happened since to these three individuals.

.....harassment is common for women in the factory, who receive “improper suggestions from male supervisors”. 

[...]

Supervisors check workers who leave the factory floor to ensure they have not stolen any clothing. But this is an excuse to make the women strip down to their underwear for the “sexual pleasure” of supervisors....

[...]

Standard hours are from 8am to 5pm, but commonly workers must stay at the factory until 10pm, sometimes even midnight ... They are only paid a maximum of three hours’ overtime, so any work after 8pm is unpaid. 

[...]

Impoverished migrant workers at factories such as Fine Apparel are enlisted in developing nations, believing they will earn more abroad than they could at home and will be able to send money back to their families. 

When they arrive, however, they often realise they have been deceived on pay and conditions...

[...]

An Under Armour spokesperson said that the company has initiated an urgent investigation. “Under Armour is deeply concerned by the alarming reports out of one of our supplier factories,” they said. 

[...]

A spokesperson for Columbia said their company is “aware of the tragic events surrounding the death of a person who worked at our manufacturing partner, Fine Apparel”. 

.....“We are also concerned about allegations regarding labour violations in the supply chain at other factories in the region. These alleged practices are prohibited by our code of conduct...."

[...]

An American Eagle spokesperson revealed the firm learned of the allegations in November and took them “very seriously”, saying: “We immediately engaged with Needle Craft and worked with the company to implement remedial actions.” 

[...]

Better Work said in a statement that it is “deeply concerned and saddened about the tragic death” of Ms Akter and the “many reported violations of workers’ rights at Fine Apparel”. 

[...]