New Report: Posmi Sweaters Ltd. (Bangladesh)

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To:WRC Affiliate Universities and Colleges
From:Scott Nova and Laura Gutierrez
Date:January 30, 2020
Re:New Report: Posmi Sweaters Ltd. (Bangladesh)

Please see here a report of the findings and remediation of the WRC’s investigation of violations of labor law and buyer codes of conduct at Posmi Sweaters Ltd. (Posmi), a sweater factory located in Gazipur, Bangladesh. Posmi produces sweaters for Primark, El Corte Inglés, and METRO, among others. Posmi previously produced collegiate-licensed goods for Accolade Group. The factory employs 1,020 workers.
 
The WRC initiated an investigation in response to a complaint from the Akota Garment Workers Federation (AGWF), brought on behalf of seven Posmi employees, alleging their retaliatory and illegal termination. While investigating the termination of the seven workers, the WRC found a number of violations of university codes and Bangladeshi law, including severe wage and hour violations affecting the workers employed in the factory’s “jacquard” section, where the seven complainant workers were assigned.
 
As detailed in this report, the areas where the WRC identified violations of university codes and Bangladeshi law include the following:

  • Wages and hours of work—including coerced overtime, excessive overtime, unpaid “off-the-clock” work, unlawful delay in the payment of wages, and the practice of falsifying records to conceal these abuses; and
  • Illegal termination of seven employees.

After extensive engagement with Posmi regarding the WRC’s findings, the company signed a memorandum of understanding, which, if properly implemented, would fully remediate the violations of university codes of conduct and relevant sections of Bangladeshi law uncovered by the WRC during its investigation.

Posmi’s commitment to fully remediate the violations uncovered by the WRC is a promising development, especially since wage and hour violations are common throughout the industry, and suppliers are typically unwilling to proactively acknowledge and rectify them. The WRC will continue to closely monitor Posmi’s actions to ensure that they meet their commitments and actually achieve full remediation of outstanding violations.