WRC Factory Investigation

AR Jeans Producer Ltd.

Factory: AR Jeans Producer Ltd.

Key Buyers:

Year: 2019

Case Summary

On January 11, factory managers from AR Jeans Producer Ltd. (AR), in Narayanganj, filed a criminal case alleging that, on January 10, AR employees beat up factory staff, locked them in a room, and destroyed property worth nearly $6,000 USD. The WRC interviewed 15 AR employees regarding the protests at the factory on and around that date. Based on credible, mutually corroborating worker testimony from these workers, the WRC concluded that no such violence took place. The criminal case is marred by internal inconsistency. The filing alleges that the wrongdoing was conducted by AR employees. However, of the 63 individuals named in the complaint, at least seven are not employed by the factory.

On January 13, AR Jeans put up a large banner with the names and photos of over 250 employees stating that they were suspended from work. In the following days, the management also put up billboards with the names and photos of these workers around the factory. In addition to these 250 workers, the management also terminated other workers throughout the week (the WRC has not been able to independently verify how many). The WRC consistently found in interviews with workers from dozens of factories that factory managers did not respond to the protests by specifically identifying workers who might have engaged in offenses warranting termination, but rather they engaged in arbitrary mass terminations. In addition, the factory did not implement the legally required procedure for termination.

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