Myanmar: Workers at ONLY, VERO MODA & Zara supplier allegedly pressured to deny workers' rights violations at the factory to brands
Date Reported: 30 Mar 2022
CompaniesPrimark (part of Associated British Foods) - Former buyer , Huabo Times - Supplier , Bestseller - Buyer , Inditex - Buyer , Zara (part of Inditex) - Buyer , ONLY (part of Bestseller) - Buyer , Vero Moda (part of Bestseller) - Buyer
Total individuals affected: 5000Workers: ( 5000 - Location unknown , Clothing & textile , Gender not reported )
IssuesIntimidation , Mandatory overtime , Excessive production targets , Gender Discrimination
Response sought: Yes, by BHRRC
Story containing response: (Find out more)
Action taken: Huabo Times allegedly supplies to BESTSELLER (parent company of ONLY, VERO MODA), Inditex (parent company of ZARA) and Primark; all three companies provided responses to a request for comment from the Resource Centre. Primark stated it stopped sourcing from the factory in Oct 2021.
Source type: News outlet
"Workers from Huabo times factory who are violated their rights are being pressured to say there are no violations at the factory", 30 March 2022
...the Huabo Times garment factory has been pressuring workers, when asked by Brands, to answer that there are no workers’ rights violations.
At the...Huabao Times garment factory...workers are being pressured by factory management and managers...to answer good words about the factory when inquired by garment brands on workers rights and challenges.
According to a factory worker in anonymity, "Yesterday there was a meeting by the Factory manager and All supers. After the meeting, they ask[ed] the workers [for their] individual phone numbers...Then workers are instructed to say that everything is fine when contacted...about factory, workplace challenges, and workers rights.”
“If there has been over 70% negative response by the workers, there would be factory closure, suspension of orders, and in turn all workers would lose jobs and become unemployed,” a worker recounted the threat imposed by the factory management.
The worker reported “On the contrary, [t]here has been workers rights violations on many counts. Workers have to work overtime (OT) without a day off. There has been forced raise of daily productivity target and workers have to endure verbal harassment and abuse if we could not reach the said target. To fulfil the impossible numbers set, we do not even have time to go to [the] toilet...Sometimes we even miss our meals. With that daily forced labour and productivity targets, several Quality Control staff [must] come into...work in early mornings before the office hours to tend to them. They are also told that they cannot go back home if they do not finish the quality check...
"We want the Brands to know that workers are pressured by the factory to say good words when they contact the workers. We want the Brands to know the reality on the ground. There is no way the workers could make a proper living with this current commodity prices, the current salary, and the factory's ridiculous productivity target.”...
Workers also face difficulties to file a complaint about workers’ rights violations, harassment, and threat in the workplace...
The factory produces for the ONLY, VERO MODA and ZARA brands.