WRC Factory Investigation

Honeys Garment Industry Ltd.

Factory: Honeys Garment Industry Ltd.

Key Buyers: 7-Eleven, Aeon Group, PARCO Group

Last Updated: 2021

Case Summary

From August through November 2019, the Worker Rights Consortium (“WRC”) conducted an assessment of working conditions and labor practices at the Honeys Garment and Honeys Garment Industry Ltd. apparel factories in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Both factories are owned by Honeys Holdings Co. Ltd. (“Honeys Holdings”), a Japanese online retailer, and are located in Mingaladon Township, on Yangon’s northeastern outskirts. The older of the two Honeys facilities, which is located in Mingaladon’s Yangon Industrial Zone, is referred to by factory managers and workers as “Honeys 1”, while the company’s newer plant, which is situated in the Mingaladon Industrial Park, is known as “Honeys 2”.

The WRC’s assessment of Honeys 1 and Honeys 2 identified violations of Burmese labor law, international labor conventions, and other relevant standards in the following areas:

  • Working Hours – including involuntary overtime, excessive overtime, and insufficient break periods;
  • Wages and Benefits – including payment of wages below the legal minimum to workers hired on daily contracts and subcontracted security guards, uncompensated overtime, unlawful wage deductions, and restrictions on use of statutory sick leave and casual leave;
  • Employment Contracts – including illegal employment of workers under successive one- day contracts;
  • Underage Workers – including unlawful employment of adolescents for excessive work shifts;
  • Freedom of Association – including illegal dismissal of worker representatives, retaliatory mass termination of more than 400 workers for exercising their right to strike and other associational activities, retaliatory filing of civil and criminal complaints against a worker representative, and blacklisting of former union officers;
  • Harassment and Abuse – including verbal abuse and profanity toward workers by supervisors, and inappropriate surveillance of workers while the latter are in the factory’s onsite health clinic; and
  • Occupational Health and Safety–including hazards in the areas of fire safety, ergonomics, lack of adequate machine guarding and personal protective equipment, excessive workplace temperatures, restrictions on access to toilets, and slip-and-fall hazards in the factory.

This report also includes information in response to the WRC’s preliminary findings provided by Honeys Holdings on July 31, 2020. As discussed in this report, the WRC finds that Honeys Holdings’ response substantially acknowledges, either explicitly or implicitly, the WRC’s factual findings concerning practices at these factories that violate Burmese law and/or international labor standards. Honeys Holdings’ response mostly consists of attempts to justify or downplay the significance of these practices, while either acknowledging or failing to dispute their existence and/or unlawfulness.

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