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Jordan Urgent Action Alert: Concord Garments

June 1, 2007  |  Share

June 1, 2007

Concord Garments
Cyber City Industrial Park
Irbid, Jordan

" Young women workers routinely beaten and kicked;
" Mandatory 13-to-14-hour daily shifts;
" Workers cheated on overtime pay;
" Workers threatened with forcible deportation.

In February 2007, after the NLC alerted Jordanian authorities, some improvements were made at the Concord Garments factory, as guest workers' passports were returned to them and necessary residency permits issued.

However, following these initial improvements, conditions at the Concord factory have seriously deteriorated, as management, apparently, is seeking to take revenge against the workers for speaking publicly about the abusive conditons.

Women workers beaten and kicked: 
Since the workers first made their denunciations in February 2007, management has responded with increased repression, beatings and threats.  Seventy percent of the 250 Bangladeshi guest workers at the Concord factory are women.  Supervisors often beat, slap and even kick the young women workers.  The male workers say it is almost impossible to watch, knowing that if they attempt to intervene, they would be badly beaten and deported.

Forced 13-to-14-hour shifts, but cheated of their wages:
At Concord, the regular workday is eight hours, as mandated by law.  Concord management easily gets around this by setting wildly excessive daily production goals and locking the workers in until they meet their target.  Each day, workers are forced to toil five or six hours of overtime to meet the target, but management only records and pays for two hours of overtime.  Many weeks, the workers are forced to work over 80 hours.

Also, the Concord workers did finally receive the legal minimum wage of 110 JD a month.  But management then turned around and began deducting 26 JD from the workers' pay for food.  The remaining take-home pay of 84 JD is below the legal minimum wage.  The workers' contracts stated that all food, housing and medical care would be free.

No sick days, holidays, vacation:
The Concord workers have no paid sick days, no public holidays and no annual vacation time as mandated by law.

Three ordered to change jobs, beaten and threatened with deportation:
Management recently ordered three women to leave their work in the factory to become cooks in the company cafeteria, where they would earn less money.  Of course, this was also not in accordance with the contracts they signed.  When the women refused, supervisors beat the women and are now threatening them with forcible deportation.  The three women needing help are:  Morsheda, Parvin and Momtaz.

The workers say that they have tried to appeal to the Ministry of Labor for help, mentioning a Dr. Amin and two other officials named Munir and Noman.  However, the same thing happened:  following the denunciations, the repression increased.

Currently the Concord Garment factory is producing women's clothing for Cameron Industries, which also supplies apparel to major retailers such as Target and Kohl's.

There is urgent need for immediate intervention at the Concord factory to control management and stop the ongoing abuses, especially the beatings and threats of deportation.



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