Reports

September, 27 2006 |  Download PDF |  Share

Silver Planet Report, Jordan


Eight Workers Fired, Imprisoned, Beaten, Forcibly Deported
For Asking for Their Most Basic Legal Rights

Silver Planet Apparel Co. Ltd.
Al Tajamouat Industrial City
Sahab, Jordan
(Formerly, Al Kawkab Al Fiddi Ltd.)

Phone: 962-6-402-0062
           962-6-402-0064
Contact: Mr. Andel Syed Ali
Email: AKEF@go.com.jo

Ownership: According to the Jordanian government, the owner is Palestinian.  (However, prior to the name change, when the factory was still called Al Kawkab, it was owned by an investor from the United Arab Emirates.)

-Number of workers:  At least 1,000 (450+ guest workers from Bangladesh, 400 from Sri Lanka, 80 from India and 40 workers from Jordan).

-Production:  Currently producing for Wal-Mart-the George label (RN #52469, Girl's size 6, 77% polyester, 20% rayon & 3% spandex).  The workers believe that the majority of production is for Wal-Mart.      

September 2, 2006--Eight Workers-seven from Bangladesh and one from India--Fired, Imprisoned, Beaten and Forcibly Deported for asking for their most basic legal rights:

  • Mr. Eusuf, helper (Passport No. W 0686469)
  • Ms. Tara Miah, operator (Passport No. N 0030012)
  • Mr. Anowar Hossain, helper (Passport No. R 0759966)
  • Mr. Yeasin, helper (Passport No. W 0310212)
  • Mr. Saidan Raham, helper (Passport No. P 0475596)
  • Mr. Arshad
  • Mr. Amzad
  • Mr. Lalzi, operator, (Indian)

Five hundred Bangladeshi and Indian workers struck on May 31 and marched to a local Ministry of Labor office demanding that the Silver Planet factory respect Jordan's labor laws.

The Labor Ministry official, the Jordanian police and the Bangladeshi Embassy did not help the workers-instructing them instead that they must work 10 hours a day, rather than the regular, legal eight hours.

On August 24, the factory owner arrived from Dubai and requested that seven of the workers leaders meet with him.  When the workers approached his office, they were met by 15 to 20 police, who handcuffed the workers and took them to jail.

The workers spent eight days in jail, most often sleeping on the floor and with access to water for just a half hour each day.  On the first day, they were beaten and slapped.

On September 2, 2006, the eight workers were forcibly deported-seven to Bangladesh and one to India.

 


Jordanian Government Accuses the Deported Workers of

Vandalism, Physical Violence and Threatening Other Workers

The National Labor Committee finds this very difficult to believe.  For one thing, some of these workers had been at the factory for a full year, during which there were no reports of violence.  The first accusations of vandalism and violence apparently arose only after the workers became aware of their basic legal rights in Jordan and set out nonviolently to win those rights.  All 500 Bangladeshi and some Indian workers jointly participated in a work stoppage and signing an "application" to factory management asking the company to pay the legal minimum wage and to respect wage and hour laws in Jordan.  There was no violence or coercion.

9/28/2006:  We just spoke with the deported Silver Planet workers in Bangladesh.  They strongly deny the governments charges.  The workers say, "we never committed made threats or committed vandalism.  There is no evidence of any of this in the factory."

The NLC and the deported workers would welcome and gladly participate in an independent investigation of these allegations.  We would also encourage the Jordanian government to similarly investigate human trafficking and conditions of involuntary servitude at the Silver Planet factory.  To our knowledge, the Jordanian government has not launched one single investigation into the hundred or more garment factories that trafficked in foreign guest workers.

 

Download the full report