WRC Factory Investigation

Uni Gears Ltd.

Factory: Uni Gears Ltd.

Key Buyers: Outerstuff

Last Updated: 2021

Case Summary

Uni Gears Ltd. in Gazipur, Bangladesh, a supplier to Outerstuff employing over 1,000 workers, made significant reductions to its workforce beginning in May 2020. Workers testified to the WRC that they were forced to resign under threat of violence; in Bangladesh, workers who resign are entitled to considerably less terminal compensation than those who are dismissed. Evidence shows that Uni Gears used these forced resignations as a means to try to minimize its severance obligations.

In the Spring of 2021, after months of engagement by the WRC with Outerstuff (and, through the brand, with the factory management), Uni Gears paid full legal severance and notice pay—equal to four months’ wages, plus an additional month’s wages for each year of service—to workers whom the WRC’s investigation identified as having been compelled to resign without payment of severance benefits.

At that time, there were indications that other former employees of the factory had been impacted as well. The WRC conducted further outreach in the community around the factory and located other former workers who had experienced similar incidents. As a result, an additional five workers received a total of $5,094—an average of ten months’ salary. With this compensation, Uni Gears has now made restitution to all of the workers that the WRC has identified to date as being coerced to resign.

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