Workers' rejoinder calls on brands to facilitate a dialogue between factory and worker representatives about concerns over mass dismissals
"Workers' Rejoinder to Brand and Factory Response", 12 October 2020
- No due notice and non-transparency on criteria: Workers to be terminated were only notified on the day itself and then asked to sign quit claim and waivers on the spot—thus there was no opportunity for employees to seek advise or make an informed decision. The so-called business orientation in August merely mentioned the possibility of retrenchments and the necessity of forced leaves. No memo or written document explained the criteria for choosing the workers to be retrenched.
- Increased quotas after retrenchment: Immediately after the quarter of the workforce was laid-off, production quotas were raised. Workers of whole production lines who cannot reach the higher quotas are then punished by putting them on forced leaves. This belies the argument that the retrenchment was necessitated by reduced orders. In truth, Sports City is exploiting covid to squeeze more productivity out of workers.
- Reinstatement of workers: Some 130 workers or 3% of the 4,420 fired have not accepted the termination. Likewise, a number of workers who signed the termination notices out of duress have filed illegal dismissal complaints in the labor court (National Labor Relations Commission). We demand that all of the workers who have not signed the termination notices or have filed illegal dismissal cases be immediately reinstated. This becomes an imperative given that more workers are needed in production as shown by the higher quotas imposed.
- Written agreement on rehiring: Sports City has made a verbal commitment to the terminated workers for priority rehiring. We ask that this commitment be made written and formal as part of an agreement with workers’ representatives.
- Social dialogue with workers: We demand that the brands facilitate a dialogue between Sports City management and duly-elected worker representatives about the concerns listed above and any other workplace grievances.