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US body reports of worker abuse in QIZ garment unit
21
Apr '10
The National Labour Committee (NLC) of the United States has condemned the pitiable conditions of emigrants working in two International British Garments (IBG) factories in the Duleil QIZ and has accused the company of gross labour violations.

The committee claimed that 1,200 workers from countries, such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India are demanding that, the government and the G4S Corporation, which owns IBG, shield workers, who spoke against their employers.

These guest workers were trafficked to Jordan, stripped of their passports and the workers were held under inhuman conditions by the employers. Around 75 percent of these foreign workers are women.

NLC noted that the IBG factories were placed in the Labour Ministry's 'Golden List' of good companies and enjoyed special privileges. However, the committee claims that, these factories have violated almost each labour law in Jordan, for more than a year.

In the report, NLC demanded an independent investigation to get a complete picture of the Labour Ministry's failure for disclosing the factory's labour law violations, as well as to take into consideration its decision of including the IBG sweatshop in the Golden List.

According to the Ministry, a team, comprising of representatives from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile Industries (GTUWTI), and the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), has been formed to undertake investigations of the issues mentioned by NLC.

The team paid visits to several QIZ factories in Duleil, along with the IBG plants, and have taken action against the violators of labour law and workers' rights. They have also taken out IBG from the Golden List after finding it violating regulations.

According to NLC report, the emigrant women workers in QIZ factories were forced to work 16-hour for seven days a week along with a compulsory all night 23-hour shift at least once a week. Besides, the workers were also cheated of their legally mandated wages.

Though, 74.5 cents an hour is the minimum wage in Jordan, workers in these factories receive just nine cents for each pair of women's pants stitched by them. In addition, the workers were also threatened if they asked for their passports and/or suitable payments.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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