Workers Denied Maternity Leave and Cheated of their Pay at Hannan Knitwear

September, 22 2016 Share

Click here to read our latest update on progress in Hannan Knitwear.

Hannan Knitwear workers regularly toil seven days a week, 13 hours a day.  Often they are forced to work until midnight, putting in 16 hours.   They are cheated on their pay.  Verbal and physical abuse is common.   Maternity leave and sick leave are often denied.

Please sign a petition to Hannan’s international buyers demanding that they move immediately to end the violations at their contractor’s factory!

Hannan produces Esprit; the Sfera and Dustin labels (owned by Corte Ingles of Spain);  Selected Homme and Jack & Jones labels (sold in the U.S. and Europe and owned by Bestseller company of Denmark).

In April, the Institute met with Hannan Knitwear workers who described the severe abuses at the factory, including long hours of forced overtime, abusive treatment and denial of legal benefits.  One of the workers we met was Kajol Rekha, then nearly six months pregnant.  She had managed to hide her pregnancy so far, but feared that as soon as her bosses found out they would fire her to avoid paying her legal maternity benefits.

On April 25, Ms. Rekha was told she would “not be allowed to come back to work”—that is, she was fired.  She was not paid her maternity benefits, or even her wages for the days she worked in April.

In May, the Institute wrote a letter to Hannan's customers asking that they move to assure that their contractor reduce working hours to legal levels, end the abuses and pay workers the wages and benefits they are legally owed.  The buyers wrote back jointly saying they would investigate and act immediately.

But the abuses have continued. Work hours remain extreme, and Kajol Rekha, who had her baby in July, has received neither her pay nor her maternity leave. 

On September 3 we received this note from the Institute’s office in Bangladesh:

The factory continues to work grueling hours almost every day. The factory works seven days a week. Workers of the factory did not get a day off in August. They worked all the Fridays and a public holiday.  The linking, finishing, packing and ironing section workers often work until 11.00 p.m.,  12:00 or 1:00 a.m.  This is one of the worst factories that we are working on now. Please take some strong action to end the abuses at this factory.

Update, September 21:  The grueling hours continue with workers toiling from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the knitting section, and 40% of the linking and finishing sections are required to work until midnight.

Click here to sign the petition to end the abuses at Hannan Knitwear!