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Table of Contents 1 Preface: U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement 3 5 7 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 13 14 15 15 16 19 21 22 22 24 27 27 27

What Is To Be Done The Classic Rape Factory in Jordan Is on the Ropes Classic Is Going Backward U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement Rape Victims Demand Justice I. Khaleq Classic Fashion Apparel Industry II. Rani This Is How The Classic Factory Operate: One Alleged Rapist in Charge of Another III. Parul What Must Be Done at Class: Stop the Cover-ups IV. Selina V. Arif VI. Rosaline Costa VII. “Faruk is [Anil’s] pimp.” Sanal Kumar, Classic’s powerful owner “let it go on.” VIII. “...It has been an open secret of of sexual abuse at Classic Factories.” IX. Young Bangladeshi Woman Sewing Operator Raped by Security Chief at Classic Serious Worker Rights Failures in Jordan Must Be Addressed The Need for a Real Union High End Labels Kenneth Cole, Express and Talbots Exposed in Jordanian Sweatshop: Sun Jordan Textile Century Factory in Al-Hassan The Rich Pine Sweatshop Needs Constant Monitoring Recruitment of Young Bangladeshi Women to Work in Jordan’s Export Garment Factories

Addenda 30 A. Job Recuitment Documents of Bangladesh Overseas Employment & Services Limited 34 B. Implementation Plan Related to Working and Living Conditions of Workers

March 2013 Author Charles Kernaghan Research Barbara Briggs, Cassie Rusnak, Elana Szymkowiak, Antoinette Carcia, Allyson Cross, Brennan Kaye Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (Formerly National Labor Committee) 5 Gateway Center, 6F, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 , U.S.A. +1-412-562-2406 | inbox@glhr.org |  www.globallabourrights.org


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Preface

U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement By Charles Kernaghan “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

─ Yogi Berra

Yogi was often right. Who would have thought that after 11 years of failed policies under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement — with guest workers stripped of their rights, facing rampant sexual harassment and abuse, and with no right to organize a real, independent union — there could still be hope. But on January 28, 2013, seemingly out of nowhere, the United States and Jordan “agreed to a new initiative aimed at promoting labor rights and improving working conditions in Jordan.” According to the new Implementation Plan: •

“Under the United States-Jordanian Free Trade Agreement...Jordan confirms its ongoing commitment to protect internationally recognized labor rights and effectively enforce Jordan’s labor laws...”

The Jordanian government will, •

“Address anti-union discrimination against foreign workers, conditions of their accommodations [dorms] and sexual harassment of and gender discrimination against such workers in the workplace...”

“Issue a directive clarifying that Jordan will investigate patterns of discrimination against workers involved in trade union or associated activity...with respect to the non-renewal of work contracts.”

“Issue a directive clarifying the illegality of actions constituting sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and gender discrimination in the workplace.”

Classic Fashion Apparel Industry is Jordan’s largest exporter of garments and, since 2011 has been in the spotlight for alleged sexual abuse young women foreign guest workers. In 2012, Jordan exported nearly $1 billion worth of apparel to the U.S.

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Meeting in Dhaka on February 12, 2012. Former Classic workers testified that they had witnessed and been victim to sexual abuse and rape at the Classic Fashion in Jordan.

“Train Ministry of Labor officials, especially inspectors, on Article 29 of the labor law...for investigating and prosecuting cases of sexual harassment and gender discrimination”....and “to enforce Ministry of Health regulations for factory dormitories.”

Conduct outreach that “would address the rights of foreign workers to join unions and to be free from anti-union discrimination in addition to the right to be free from sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.”

None of this would have happened by chance. We can now account for the rush to improve human, worker and women’s rights under the new U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will land in Jordan tomorrow, Friday, March 22, and remain for meetings through Saturday, March 23. When President Obama and Secretary Kerry meet with King Abdullah II, the issue of the rights of guest workers may very well come up. Perhaps the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement may finally become a success, where women guest workers will no longer face sexual harassment and abuse, and will have the legal right to join a real union. There is hope. See Addendum B for full U.S. and Jordanian Government “Implementation Plan” to assure worker rights and improved living conditions for foreign guest workers in Jordan’s garment export sector.

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What Is To Be Done The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement Is Not in Compliance With Internationally Recognized Worker Rights Standards. 1. A fact-finding delegation of experts, including women’s rights advocates and trade union leaders, will join the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights to travel to Jordan, meet with and assess the practices of the Jordanian General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries. The guest workers are very clear that the Jordanian “union” has done nothing to help them — despite the fact that they have joined the union and pay dues. If that is the case, the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) should be suspended — including dutyfree access to the U.S. — until the Jordanian Government and union finally implement concrete steps to guarantee internationally recognized workers rights standards for Jordan’s tens of thousands of guest workers. A full 11 years after the implementation of the U.S.Jordan FTA, guest workers are still denied their most fundamental human and worker rights. 2. The Better Work Jordan program also appears to be seriously flawed. In light of the failure of the Jordanian union, Better Work Jordan was specifically funded to improve respect for worker rights standards in Jordan’s over 80 garment export factories. Unfortunately, it appears that the “Worker Participatory Committees” that Better Work Jordan is forming in factories across Jordan are fully controlled by factory management, who in fact “elects” the workers to the “Workers Participatory Committees.” The Better Work Jordan program should be suspended until a General Accounting Office (GAO) audit can be conducted to see if Better Work Jordan is violating internationally recognized worker rights standards. 3. Jordan is going backward and discrimination is growing. Factory owners across Jordan are shedding male foreign guest workers and opting to focus on recruiting very young women — 20 to 30 years of age — from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, China and Nepal to staff their plants. For example,

Sanal Kumar — the owner of Classic Fashion, Jordan’s largest export factory, which produces for Wal-Mart and Hanesbrands — is exclusively importing “batches” of young women from poor, third world countries. Kumar recently promoted Faruk Miah, who according to the workers is serial rapist, to the position of General Manager of two of his factories. Purposefully blocking the entry of male guest workers will only exacerbate the widespread sexual abuse of young women guest workers in Jordan. The gender discrimination against male guest workers must be ended. 4. False charges must be dropped against an internationally respected labor rights activist. Mr. Rafiqul Alam, a highly-respected labor rights activist in Bangladesh, who heads up the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’ operations in Bangladesh and Jordan, is still facing trumped-up charges by the management of the Classic Fashion factory. Ms. Alam was in Jordan, along with Charles Kernaghan, director of the Institute, and Tim Waters, political director of the United Steelworkers International Union, to rescue a young woman, Rani, who has testified that she was repeatedly raped by Anil Santha, the general manager of Classic Fashion. Santha has finally been fired and deported back to Sri Lanka. Surely under the U.S.-Jordan FTA, the false charges against Mr. Alam should be dropped. 5. End the Isolation: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must play a role. A critical step to improve labor rights conditions for guest workers in Jordan would be to allow wellrespected, independent women’s rights NGOs from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, China and Nepal to visit Jordan at least twice a year. These delegations must be accorded free access to the factories and dorms, and the ability to conduct confidential meetings with the workers. This is the only way the young women guest workers will be able to learn their legal rights, start to trust each other and to share informa-

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tion regarding the true conditions in their factories and dorms. The young women guest workers will no longer be isolated. To date, the Jordanian National Centre for Human Rights continues to block entry of highly respected women’s rights advocates from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries into Jordan. 6. After the labor fact-finding delegation returns from Jordan, we suggest that a meeting be held at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington, D.C. to discuss our findings and jointly agree upon concrete steps to improve compliance

with internationally recognized worker rights standards in Jordan. The goal is to finally implement the labor rights standards that have been agreed upon — at least on paper — under the U.S.-Jordan FTA for the last 11 years. 7. The Classic Fashion Apparel Industry group of factories in Jordan must be shut down and the guest workers relocated to better factories. It is either that or Classic’s owner should sell the factory and its equipment to a responsible owner who will guarantee the legal human, women’s and worker rights standards.

“Danskin Now” and “Starter” labels, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart were being produced at Classic in January 2013. Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights


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The Classic Factory in Jordan Is on the Ropes We can win this. Please help end the sexual abuse and rape to which scores of young women guest workers at the Classic sweatshop have testified. •

Macy’s has pulled its orders from Classic, according to a very knowledgeable source.

Classic’s General Manager, alleged serial rapist, Anil Santha has been fired from the factory and forcibly deported back to Sri Lanka.

In 2010 and 2011, when claims of rape and sexual abuse at Classic were at their peak, Wal-Mart and Hanes accounted for a full 75 percent of total production at Classic, as other labels fled. Hanes and Wal-Mart are now in a trap. Either they cut and run, and admit to rampant sexual abuse, or they deny the evidence that is mounting by the day.

This will be even harder for Wal-Mart and Hanes given that Classic’s wealthy owner, Sanal Kumar, has promoted Faruk Miah — whom the workers also identify as a serial rapist — to be general manager of Classic Factories #4

and #5. Currently, Wal-Mart’s Danskin Now and Starter labels are being sewn at Classic Factories #3 and #4. •

We urge the American people — especially young women across the United States, to reach out to help any Classic rape victims in Jordan. The garments these women sew enter the U.S. duty-free under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. What has been happening at the Classic Fashion factory is a crime. We have the power to assure an end to any abuse and to demand respect for women’s and workers’ rights! Please take a few minutes to read the brief testimonies of the rape victims. You will never forget it. And pass this report on as broadly as possible to your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference.

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Wal-Mart’s “Danskin Now” pants. Danskin Now production has been found at Classic for years.

Other 2% Nepali 2% Chinese 4% Burmese 6%

Indian 8% Foreign guest workers in Jordan’s garment export factories. According to a 2009 census, the majority of workers in the garment industry in Jordan are foreign guest workers. The number of migrant workers have grown since then, and are still the overwhelming majority in the workforce. (Data from Better Work Jordan, Facts and Figures.)

Sri Lankan 36%

Jordanian 21%

Bangladeshi 22%


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Classic Is Going Backward Classic’s owner, Sanal Kumar, is now refusing to hire male workers. He wants only young women guest workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Burma and elsewhere. This first came out five or six months ago, around October 2012, at a senior staff meeting. Sanal Kumar, Classic’s owner, had recently strongly objected to Jordanian Ministry of Labor officials’ request that Classic and other factories recruit more male guest workers. For the Ministry of Labor, it was

obvious: If there were more male guest workers present, they could provide a safety net against possible sexual harassment and rape at Classic. Kumar refused to hire men, and the Ministry of Labor had to back down.

U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement •

Jordan is the 17th largest garment exporter to the United States in terms of dollars.

In 2012, Jordan’s apparel exports to the U.S. totaled nearly a $1 billion ($980,526,000), which was a 9.4 percent surge in production compared to 2011.

Garments make up 16 percent of Jordan’s total exports.

There are over 80 export garment factories in Jordan.

Over 31,600 foreign guest workers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Burma, China and Nepal work in Jordan’s export garment factories. Foreign guest workers in the garment industry account for 79 percent of the total workforce. Jordanian apparel workers account for just 21 percent of total workers. Profile of foreign guest workers in Jordan’s garment export factories: - Sri Lankan: 14,400 (36%) - Bangladeshi: 8,800 (22%) - Indian: 3,200 (8%) - Burmese: 2,400 (6%) - Chinese: 1,600 (4%) - Nepalese: 800 (2%)

Foreign guest workers under the U.S.-Jordan FTA earn less than 43 percent of what Jordanian workers make. Guest workers earn $155.10 USD a month (for the ordinary work shifts working 8 hours a day, six days a week), while Jordanians earn $269.90 USD, which is $114.80 more than the guest workers. Guest workers earn just 74 ½ cents an hour.

Since 2006 — for the last seven years — foreign guest workers in the garment export industry have not received a wage increase. Foreign guest workers’ real wages have fallen by approximately 35 percent due to inflation.

Jordanian labor law does not stipulate maximum overtime or working hours, which is a violation of the International Labour Organization’s internationally recognized worker rights standards.

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Rape Victims Demand Justice What is it that Wal-Mart and Hanesbrands cannot understand? Have Wal-Mart and Hanes executives read the firsthand testimonies of young women guest workers who describe being brutally raped by managers at the Classic Fashion factory in Jordan? Wal-Mart and Hanes “Own” this problem. It is very unusual for just two companies — Wal-Mart and Hanes — to account for a full 75 percent of total production at any factory, but this is exactly what happened at Classic, which is the largest garment export factory in Jordan. The fact that Wal-Mart and Hanes accounted for 75 percent of total production at the Classic factory in 2010 — when sexual abuse and rape claims were at their peak — means that Hanes and Wal-Mart “own” this problem. It is important for Wal-Mart and Hanes to understand that the rape victims are not to blame. Rather, 100

percent of the responsibility lies in the hands of Classic management, Wal-Mart and Hanes. Wal-Mart and Hanes are directly responsible to help any women who were sexually abused while sewing their clothing in Classic. Any rape victims must receive significant compensation — upwards of $100,000 each—from Wal-Mart, Hanes and Classic — so they can begin to put their lives back together again. That is the least they are owed. Especially for women in the United States who purchase Wal-Mart and Hanes clothing, please demand that the rape of young women at the Classic factory in Jordan be immediately stopped. Wal-Mart and Hanes are responsible to make these rape victims whole again. Corruption and incompetence know no bounds. The Jordanian Ministry of Labor has again awarded the Classic factory with its “Golden List” status as a model factory.

In June 2011, using the pseudonym “Nazma,” Rani testified that she was raped in March and again in May, by Classic’s general manager Anil Santha. Seeing little change at Classic, she asked that her real name be used in hopes of helping to assure that no other woman worker would suffer abuse.

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I. Khaleq Interview February 7, 2012

No one with authority, not even Classic’s owner Sanal Kumar, lifted a finger to end the brutal rape of scores of young women workers at Classic. Khaleq, a very smart and principled person whom the workers looked up to, worked at Classic. For seven years, he was a senior machine operator sewing clothing for Wal-Mart and Hanes. He spoke to us about sexual abuse at Classic, including Anil Santha’s alleged rape of a young Sri Lankan named Sagarika. “Sagarika was an innocent girl... Anil used to call her to his office all the time... I saw her crying a lot in the back room... Because of my good relationship with her, sometimes I used to ask her about the crying, to try to find out what was going on... She said that Anil called her in his office and asked her to go out with him to his house in Sarajah, or else she would be fired and sent back to her home county...

house.] She was held there and raped.” When “Sagarika was brought back to the factory, they kept her in the sick room. No one was allowed to go near her.” “Faruk told Sagarika that she would be fired and sent back to her home country within three days because of sharing the incident with the Bangladeshi workers… After a couple of months, one day she became dizzy and fell on the floor… the Sri Lankan workers took her to a doctor for a check-up. The check-up revealed that she was pregnant.” Anil then “ordered Faruk to arrange a plane ticket and send her back to her country.”

[When] we asked Faruk whether it was ok for Anil to conduct illegitimate activities such as raping women...Faruk replied, ‘What can I do? Even Sanal Sir does not want to do anything.’

“Anil made it mandatory that Sagarika go out with him every Thursday or Friday. On Thursdays, Anil always held back Sagarika, well after our punch out time of 8:30 p.m. I became suspicious. So [one day], we waited until 9:00 p.m. I saw Anil taking Sagarika out of the office, holding her by the hand and then forcing her to get in the car. They left around 9:15 p.m… It appeared that Sagarika was about to cry. She was then taken to his house and held there captive on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She returned to work on Monday.” According to Khaleq, the young Sagarika was being held as a sex slave for Anil. “Faruk was there… Four of us, Dulal, Belal, myself and another person went to him and explained how Sagarika was forced to go with Anil to his home. Faruk replied, ‘It’s Anil Sir’s personal matter.’ “Then we said, ‘we are not going to let this go on forever.’ So we wanted to talk to Sanal Sir. We were not allowed to talk to Sanal Sir or bring up the issue.

“[Sagarika] said, Anil forced her to go with him [to his

“Faruk used to abuse Bangladeshi women and Anil used to abuse Sri Lankan women… A month before I joined [the factory] there was a Bengali girl who was abused by Faruk.” Buddica, Sagarika, Nilanka, Taslima, Shanta, Kohinoor and Rani were all raped. “Faruk and Rafiq are still abusing women.

“If you assure the workers that there will be no reprisal and if you create a safe environment like this, I am sure they will all speak, even today.

“They [Jordanian authorities] used to come take bribes and then take no action. They met with Anil at his office. We could see through the glass window. Labor court officials came and met with Anil and Faruk. We could not figure out what was going on but we saw that they called Shaju from the accounts section who gave them a bundle of cash. I don’t know the exact amount, but I would say it was a bundle of 50 bills. “I know he [Anil] worked at Sanal’s factory in Dubai. He used to do the same thing there. There was a QC [quality control] person who knew Anil from Dubai. He told everyone that Anil abused women in Dubai. His name was Chandica. He is in Sri Lanka. He was there [Dubai] for two years.”

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Classic Fashion Apparel Industry Factories 4 and 5 Al-Hassan Industrial Area Ramtha, Irbid Jordan Working Hours: 78-hour work week All overtime is mandatory. The standard works shift is 13 hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., six days a week. All overtime is mandatory. Most Fridays are off, though workers are sometimes forced to toil on Friday. There is a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the evening. Workers are toiling 72 hours a week, including 24 hours of mandatory overtime. Workers are no longer beaten at Classic, but cursing, screaming and vulgar abuse are the norm as supervisors drive the workers to toil faster. Wages: 74 ½ cents an hour Real wages have declined 35 percent since 2006 due to inflation. 74 ½ cents per hour $5.96 a day (8 hours) $35.79 a week (48 hours) $155.10 a month $1,861.20 a year Substandard dorm conditions • • • •

Classic rents several dorms, some of which are close to the factory, while others are 1 ¼ to 1.9 miles away. Eight workers share each primitive and crowded dorm room. There is no heat in the dorm rooms. Until recently, there was no access to hot water. It was only after two workers died in the dorms that management installed hot water. As of January 30, 2013, all dorms have access to hot water.

An Indian worker, Omar, who worked in Classic #4 died in January 2013. Just a month before, a Sri Lankan worker, Darsira, also died. The workers believe that the lack of heat and hot water had something to do with Darsira’s death. The workers held a service after work for Omar on February 10, 2013. Factory Food — small portions Breakfast at 6:30 a.m.: Two to three pieces of pita bread with lentils and tea. Lunch: - Rice plus one small portion of chicken, four days a week - Rice plus a small piece of beef, one day a week - Rice plus vegetables, two days a week (Lentils are always available.) Dinner: Rice, lentils and vegetables are served every night. To survive, workers must buy and cook their own supper when they get back to their dorms at 9:00 p.m. or later. Of course, this means they have less money to send home to their families. On their weekly Friday off, workers mostly spend their time washing their clothes, cleaning their dorm rooms, shopping, cooking and getting some extra rest.

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II. Rani Interviewed June 17, 2011, Amman, Jordan

A young woman describes being brutally raped by Classic’s general manager, Anil Santha.

“I could not understand his language. He [Anil] was speaking in the Sri Lankan language and what he was saying I could not understand... “Then he used his body to push and knock me down on the bed. “I said, ‘No. No.’ He said something I could not understand, but I kept saying, ‘No, no, no!’ I kept pleading, but he did not listen to me. I fought with him. I continued to cry, ‘No, no!’ That day, I was wearing my yellow dress. He grabbed my dress very hard. My dress was torn. He opened my clothing. Then he totally undressed me. I was crying a lot. “I was crying in the bed. Later I covered my body with the bed sheet. “He threatened me that I would go to jail if I tell anybody. I clearly understood the word ‘Jail.’ “...He did not use a condom. He did sex to me for half an hour. “Afterward, I put my dress on and sat on the bed. He pulled my arm to make me stand up. I was crying and he shoved a tissue into my hand... “We got into the van [Classic company van] and after some time he got out of the van and the driver dropped me off at the factory. The driver dropped me off in front of Classic #2, at the factory gate. “My co-workers were asking me where I had been taken. I could not respond to them, as I was crying. It was tea time, around 5:00 p.m. in the afternoon. All my friends were asking me why I was crying. I could not tell them the truth. I didn’t say a word. I continued crying...

told me that Anil sir called me to go to his room. She told me to bring my cards [punch cards, ID and other factory documents.] She added that Anil sir would transfer me to another factory. “Actually, Anil got things done through Juma. I told Juma that I would not go with him. I repeatedly said I would not go. But Juma said again that whatever Anil sir asks, you are obligated to do it. “I sharply said I would not go with him. Then Juma angrily said that I would have to pay back 70,000 taka [$947] to the company in order to send me back home. Juma forced me to go to Anil’s room. “I was forced to go. I got into the van. He said that this time he was really transferring me to another factory. He took his seat in the front beside the driver and I took a seat in the back. “We went into a similar type of room. It was a different hotel [house.] He took me inside. The first time [end of March] he knocked me down, but this day he immediately started to undress me as soon as we entered the room. Before I could say anything, Anil started opening my dress. “It was about 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon. “I tried to push him off, but failed. I tried to fight him off, but I couldn’t. He raped me twice. I pushed him off me but he returned after 10 minutes and grabbed me. “He bit me. Where he bit me was black and blue. “I was so ashamed that I closed my eyes. I did not look at him. I felt so embarrassed I did not look at his body...

“Workers know this. If Anil chooses any woman, she is forced to do this nasty thing. Nobody dares speak about it...

“The women all know about Anil’s bad character. Everyone, all workers, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, even the Indian workers have known his filthy character.

“It happened at the end of March. But [Anil] again called me in May. It was the day after I got paid, around the middle of May.

“Mid-May was the last time he raped me. I heard he was doing similar crimes with Sri Lankan women at the same time. I heard that a [Sri Lankan] woman was deported. I don’t know her whereabouts. She was from Classic #2.”

“He called me through Juma [a supervisor.] Juma

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This is How the Classic Factory Operates: One Alleged Rapist in Charge of Another At first, the only person Rani confided in was one of her dorm mates, Shilpi. Both women were Bangladeshi and worked at the Classic factory in Al-Hassan. It was around 10:00 p.m. one night in late March 2011 when Rani cried as she described to Shilpi how that day Anil Santha, Classic’s general manager, had torn her clothes off and brutally raped her. Less than two months later, in May, Rani was again raped, this time twice, by Anil Santha, who also bit her, leaving a large black and blue mark on her shoulder that was still visible a month later. Shilpi informed two senior male Bangladeshi workers, Dulal and Arif, that Rani had been raped. On June 17, 2011, Shilpi, Dulal, Arif, Tim Waters of the United Steelworkers union, Charles Kernaghan, Barbara Briggs and Rafiqul Alam of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, rescued Rani from the Classic Fashion factory, who was freed and returned to Bangladesh. Not long after this, Shilpi made a series of phone calls to Rafiq Alam and Rani in Bangladesh, explaining that she was under tremendous pressure from Classic management, pressing her to lie. (She was, after all, the only witness, the only person to whom Rani had spoken about being raped by Classic general manager, Anil Santha.) The Institute moved swiftly, working through the Jordanian Ministry of Labor to procure a special visa for Rafiq Alam to be able to enter Jordan. On August 3, Rafiq flew to Jordan to accompany Shilpi out of the country. He spoke with her briefly and arranged to meet her the following morning. At 10:30 p.m., Shilpi called Rafiq, begging him to come with a lawyer to rescue her — to get her out of Classic as quickly as possible, for she feared what might happen. It was agreed they would meet in the early morning. But nothing unfolded as planned. Management was evidently informed of Shilpi’s plan to leave and of Rafiq Alam’s arrival in Jordan. Late that night, members of management arrived at the dorm room that Shilpi shared with several other Bangladeshi women workers. Shilpi was ushered away and held, first in a room in the factory compound, then taken by police to the local police station. Her cell phone was confiscated by Faruk Miah, whom the workers say is also a sexual abuser and whom Sanal Kumar later promoted to General Manager of Classic Factories #4 and #5. Any phone calls to Shilpi went directly to Faruk. Meanwhile, police arrived at the hotel where Rafiq Alam was staying at 1:00 a.m. Rafiq was asked to come to the police station and there was told that the company had accused him of paying Shilpi to make fraudulent statements about the company. At the court hearing in Amman on August 4, 2011, Shilpi was surrounded by Faruk Miah, a Jordanian manager, Mr. Haitem, a Sri Lankan manager, Classic’s lawyer, and Mr. Mohiuddin Momtaz of the Bangladeshi Embassy in Jordan. Mr. Momtaz not only translated for Shilpi but coached her to lie. A Bengali speaker who was present overheard Mr. Momtaz coaching her. If this sounds improbable, it is important to understand that Jordan is among the most corrupt countries in the world. Shilpi was held by Classic management in an undisclosed location for over two weeks. When she returned to work, she was no longer a sewing operator, but (with no training) had been promoted to be a nurse. This was Faruk Miah’s idea to silence Shilpi. In response, Classic’s owner, Sanal Kumar, promoted Faruk to be the General Manager of two Classic factories. The accused serial rapist, Anil Santha, was set free. Several months later, with no explanation, Anil Santha was then suddenly deported to Sri Lanka. We have no idea who was behind this, but we would like to think that the United States Government and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office sent a message to the Jordanian Government that could not be ignored.

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III. Parul Interviewed on August 11, 2011 and February 11, 2012

Parul testified that she was brutally raped and robbed by Faruk Miah, who has recently been promoted to the position of general manager by Classic’s wealthy owner, Sanal Kumar. Parul worked for three years sewing garments for Hanesbrands at Classic. One day, she was sick with the flu and alone in her dorm room. “After he [Faruk] comes inside...he comes over, and as he is talking, he puts his hand on me, like this. I said, ‘what are you doing?’ Then we started struggling, fifteen, twenty minutes, it went on like this. Then I started crying, and he pushed his hand over my mouth. He said, ‘If you try to do anything now, I’ll kill you right here.’ “...He opened my clothes, he opened my pants… I

cried and pleaded, tried to get up again and again, but he wrestled with me, told me a lot of things to scare me. I shouted. He grabbed my throat, and pushed his hand over my mouth... He didn’t use a condom. “He said, ‘If you try to tell the company, I’ll send you to jail here.’ I said ‘Even if you send me to jail, I’m telling the company. You did this... Even if you send me to Bangladesh. My husband will leave me if he finds out. It is better that I die...’ He put his hand up to hit me, and threatened me more.”

What Must Be Done At Classic Stop the Cover-ups: Wal-Mart and Hanes Must Honestly Inspect Factory Conditions “The international buyers should honestly inspect factory conditions. They should press the owner to allow workers trade unions at all the units. In addition, existing managers like Faruk, Rafiq and other abusers should be fired from the factory. “There should be a system to install a secret complaint box where workers can put their complaints directly to the buyers. Those names must not be published to the management. Buyers should take the responsibility and initiate the process. “Classic has been abusing workers for a long time. It must be stopped now. Sometimes workers toil past 8:30 p.m. and on Friday, but their punch cards do not show it. “Buyers should visit the factory at night and on Fridays to check for involuntary overtime and to correct it.” — A Statement from Masuda, who was a senior Bangladeshi worker at Classic for over seven years.

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IV. Selina Interviewed February 7, 2012 Selina sewed pants for Wal-Mart and jackets for Hanes at Classic Factory #4 in Al-Hassan. “I was at Classic from 2005” through August 2011, when “they sent us” — deporting us back to Bangladesh. “Faruk said ‘I won’t allow you to stay in Jordan, you’ll have to go.’” Faruk then cheated Selina of $1,400, which he took out of her social security savings to pay for her return flight to Bangladesh, while under her contract the ticket should have been free of charge. “When the buyers came, they’d tell us, ‘say this and this to the buyer’… They would come to me and say, ‘tell them you work eight hours a day, you have time to eat.’ If we didn’t say these things, they said they’d send us back. And the rapes and things, they told us not to mention these things. ‘Say there are no problems here.’ …Faruk, Rafiq, Jamal — they trained us in what to say before taking us there... In their language they would say, ‘Work like this, say it like this, and if you don’t, we’ll deport you.’” When asked if Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women were being sexually harassed and even raped, Selina said, “Yes, there were…Anil Santha mainly rapes those Sri Lankan women…Sagarika, Kanchona, Rohini…” She explained that Faruk preferred young Bangladeshi women and had raped Taslima and Parul. “Taslima was a supervisor, and they took her even and raped her. Taslima

was raped by Faruk.” Selina confirmed that Priyantha was also a rapist: “He was one of those. The Sri Lankan girls get scared when they see him.” The workers lived in fear. “[The women] would say, if they do this with me [rape me], I can’t say anything. I’ll lose my job. They’ll send me back to Sri Lanka, to Bangladesh.” Speaking English, Selina said, “No help anybody. No help.” Speaking of Anil, Selina says, “...Yes, all the Sri Lanka girls get scared when they see him, and whenever he wants any Sri Lankan girl, he hits them, slaps them, right in front of us, even if they didn’t do anything.” “I believe over 100 women were raped…” When asked, ‘Did anyone come to help you? Jordanian Government? Our Embassy? The Bangladeshi Embassy? NGOs? Unions?’ Selina responded, “No, no, no. Nobody came. They gave money to the police to help them; they have someone everywhere…” “Oh yeah, Shilpi…she had a friend [Rani], who was raped, who told her everything…She knew everything. Before [Rani] left, she told everything to [Shilpi] so she knew everything… But then they gave her money to shut her up and trapped her somewhere for 10 or 15 days.”

I believe over 100 women were raped.

Dozens of Classic Fashion workers gave testimony that Jordan’s general manager had raped and sexually abused many young Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women workers. Anil Santha was fired and deported in 2012.(Photo: AP; edited by the Institute.)

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─ Selina


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V. Arif Interviewed April 30, 2011

A senior and brilliant Bangladeshi leader who worked at Classic for over five years. Arif: You know, the good looking girls that come [to Classic], they [the manag ers] have an attraction, a lust for them…Even now there are two or three girls, Bangladeshi girls, that they are do ing this to… Interviewer:

So you’re saying they were raped there once they go?

Arif: Yes, yes, of course, exactly, this has already happened to two or three girls — they sent two back to Sri Lanka, and sent back one Bangladeshi…well, the ones that get pregnant, they

are sent back. The ones that don’t, they keep to work…

This has happened to three Sri Lankan girls and one Bangladeshi girl that I have seen directly.

Interviewer: Do you know the names of the managers that have been involved in doing this? Arif: There are two involved — Faruk and Rafiq. They do the worst behavior especially to the Bangladeshis, for their own greed.”

VI. Rosaline Costa Interview February 11, 2012. A prominent and highly respected Bangladeshi human, worker and women’s rights activist, who has interviewed many former Classic workers who have returned to Bangladesh.

“Wal-Mart and Hanes Know Exactly What Is Going on at the Classic Factory in Jordan, But They Don’t Care.” “…I know, in Jordan and in other countries, when our women are going there for work…in the garment industry…our women are easily being raped, because…they think…Bangladeshi women, Bangladeshi workers are very cheap. So they can be done with, anything.... “Wal-Mart and other companies…they have contracted the factories…they don’t want to see the conditions of the workers. Even though they know everything…they will not recognize… Because their interest is to get goods… From cheap labor they get cheap things, cheap products, but from cheap products, they earn huge amount of money. So this is their main target... “…the Bangladeshi women…when they are raped, they don’t want to tell anybody… She’ll be neglected, she’ll be targeted, despised by others because she was raped, as if she’s the most criminal… “Management is raping one after another.

“…with Wal-Mart, or Hanes, or Disney, they know what is going on in Bangladesh, in Jordan, about the Bangladeshi workers, or about the Bangladeshi women workers’ situation. They know. They just don’t want to show that they know. Because if they know, some responsibility lies on them… They don’t want to take that responsibility. I said, their main target is to earn money. To become richer and richer and richer. “…when they bring the people from poor countries, with cheap price, they don’t consider them as human beings. That’s, that’s, oh, not even slaves…. But these workers… are so helpless, because once I step in a country, without knowing the language, without knowing where I am going, without having any protection from my own point of view. I don’t have any money; I don’t have my passport, I don’t have my ticket. If something happens, where shall I go? And that is the point the manager, or the abusers of human rights, taking this advantage, and abusing them.”

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VII. “Faruk is [Anil’s] Pimp” Sanal Kumar, Classic’s powerful owner “let it go on.” Group interview with Classic workers, February 11, 2012

Kumar recently promoted Faruk Miah, who according to Classic’s workers is a serial rapist, to be general manager of Classic Factories #4 and #5. •

“There is no doubt,” Classic workers responded, “that women were sexually abused at the factory... They used to torture the women... We were all deported because we chose to protest.” •

Samantha, Darchini, Irsa, Ashuka, Taslima, Kohinoor, Bedana and Rani.

“Is there any doubt at all,” Charles Kernaghan asked, “that women have been abused at Classic?”

According to the workers, some of the women rape victims include: Parul, Ganga, Kumari, Biyata,

The workers say, “Anil was the number one abuser, number two was Faruk.”

“...the auditors from Hanes or Wal-Mart,” Kernaghan asked, “did they help?” “No, they never helped,” the workers said, “They used to scare us.”

Meeting in Dhaka on February 12, 2012. Former Classic workers testified that they had witnessed and been victim to sexual abuse and rape at the Classic Fashion in Jordan.

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17 Kernaghan: How many people here worked in Classic? [Everyone raises hands.] Kernaghan: Everybody, huh? Kernaghan: And, what labels did you make at Classic? Workers: Sara Lee and Wal-Mart. Kernaghan: So, we would like to know what it was like to work at Classic? Worker: They used to force us, keep us captive, and often beat us up. Kernaghan: Were you paid [for overtime]? Workers: No, we never got paid for the overtime. Workers: [We] had to stay at the factory until production targets were met. Worker: He [Anil] used to throw clothes at us if production targets were not met. Worker: The factory owner or the manager usually gave bribes to auditors or paid them handsomely. Kernaghan: The buyers don't talk to the workers? Worker: No, no one was allowed to talk to buyers. Worker: Anil used to line us up and warn us not to go near the buyers. Worker: He [Faruk] used to threaten us with police retaliation. Worker: There was a male staff member named Jamal. He used to torture both female and male factory workers.... Worker: He used to misbehave with us on a regular basis. Worker: Jamal would grab us. He threw garments in the faces of the workers, the body, and workers... (inaudible) Kernaghan: Did they ever hit [the workers]? Or slap you? Or punch you? Worker: Yes, Faruk slapped me. Kernaghan: How long ago? Worker: About 3 months ago. I was deported the same month when it took place. Kernaghan: What's your name and when were you deported? Worker: Karima. Kernaghan: And you were deported when? Worker: About five months ago. Kernaghan: And, did the supervisors ever touch [the workers]? Like touch your hair, and touch your faces? Worker: Yes, the Supervisor did touch the women factory workers. Workers: Yes, we have seen it. Yes, we have [personally] experienced it. Kernaghan: Like what? What did they do? Did they touch [your] hair, touch them? Workers: They used to torture the women. [The women demonstrate on each other what supervisors would do to them, pushing each other, pushing their heads, back and shoulders, and grabbing one another’s shoulders.] Worker: He used to grab us by the hand and often would drag or push us [through the factory floor.] Kernaghan: And, the auditors from Hanes or Wal-Mart, they never really helped? Worker: No, they never helped. Worker: They used to scare us. Kernaghan: It’s a difficult question to ask, but we believe that Anil Santha has abused women at the Classic factory. Do they know anything about Anil? Worker: Yes. Kernaghan: What do you know about it? [Workers raise their hands.] Worker: Anil used to take good looking women off the factory floors for hours. Kernaghan: And how many people had seen this, if they would raise their hand? Worker: We all saw. [Workers raise their hands.] Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights


18 Worker: Anil would single out a woman worker and ask his assistant to bring her to his office. Worker: There was a line leader who used to help Anil [pick women.] Worker: He would tell women workers that they had problems with their visas. Worker: Yes, he would take them away in his factory car. Worker: The factory gave him a place to stay and a car. The house was in Sarajaha. Worker: No, he used to drive them in his factory car. Worker: He used to take out two or three girls at a time. Worker: Faruk was his pimp. Kernaghan: So did anybody actually see Anil in an automobile with these young women? Worker: Yes, we have seen Anil drive those women in his car. Worker: We are 100 percent sure. We all saw. See, we all worked at the same place. Kernaghan: And what happened to the women? I mean did they come back? Were they hurt? What happened? Worker: [Anil] used to drop them at the factory dorm. Worker: Yes, more than one night. Kernaghan: But I mean...[you know] women personally who have been assaulted and raped? Worker: They were Sri Lankan. Worker: Ganga, Kumari and Biyata. [The workers begin calling the names of women they know were raped.] Worker: Samantha, Darchini, Irsa. Worker: All Sri Lankan. Worker: Yes, it did take place... Ashuka Worker: Bangladeshi women workers usually don’t speak up. Worker: Kohinoor. Worker: Taslima was raped by Faruk. Worker: Jamal helped [him]. Worker: She told us before she was deported. Worker: Kohinoor. Worker: Santhosh [Santhosh Kumar, Indian floor-in-charge] took her out of the factory and raped her. She came back to the factory dorm but then was later deported. Worker: She was flown home three days after the incident. Kernaghan: And when was this? Worker: October, 2011. Worker: The house leader helped Santhosh to rape Bedana. Worker: Kohinoor told us about the incident. Kernaghan: And so, how come, why are they allowed to keep doing this? The managers, I mean, why can they keep abusing the women? Doesn't anybody in the company say "stop?" Have they raised this with the management? Worker: Sanal, the owner lets it go on. Kernaghan: And so, is there any doubt, at all, that women have been abused at Classic? Worker: There is no doubt that women were sexually abused at that factory. Worker: We were all deported because we chose to protest. Kernaghan: So you're talking about sexual abuse. Worker: Sanal told the workers that they could no longer work at the factory because of their protest. Kernaghan: So who was the worst sexual abuser? Was it Anil Santha? Worker: Anil was the number one abuser. Worker: Number two was Faruk. Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights


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VIII. “...It has been an open secret of sexual abuse at Classic Factories.” “Unfortunately Sanal Sir did nothing.” Interview with Masuda on March 6, 2013 Miah and 4. Rafiqul Islam [both Bangladeshi]... It became widespread at the end of 2007 when workers went on strike and spoke against Anil about sexual abuse. Initially, Anil abused Sri Lankan women, but we got to know in June 2011 that he also abused Bangladeshi women... Since then it has been an open secret of sexual abuse at the Classic Factories.

Masuda was a senior level employee who worked at Classic for over seven years. She returned home to Bangladesh on August 19, 2012. •

“Anil [Anil Santha, Classic’s general manager] has a good network of people who assisted him in getting women. Some are Sri Lankan and some are Bangladeshi. They are Faruk, Rafiq, Bedana, Juma etc. Anil took the women out during work time so that nobody could doubt him or suspect him. The company gave him an office car and he used the car for abusing the women. Anil in the beginning raped Sri Lankan women. “Since I worked with Sri Lankan and Indian workers, I can speak and understand both Hindi and Sinhalese languages... Some Sri Lankan women victims told me about their being raped... I can name Anusha, Sagarika and Kumari. All of them personally told me before they were deported. I heard that Kumari became pregnant as Anil raped her. Before she left, Kumari disclosed this to many of us. “The management people of Classic are bad. Almost all the management people at Classic are abusers... To my knowledge, the abusers are: 1. Anil Santha, 2. Sarminda – both of them are Sri Lankan — 3. Faruk

“I did not notice any change in factory conditions, production targets, attitude of the managers. Rather, the rapist Faruk [Miah] has been promoted to Factory Manager from Assistant Production Manager. The company rewarded him and Shilpi for protecting Classic from a bad image.

“Now most of the workers are new. The old workers have been deported. There are no men workers at the Classic units. The new workers will never have the courage to protest any injustice done to them. I still think that the new women are vulnerable to sexual abuse. The managers, supervisors, ‘in-charges’ can abuse them as the [young women] workers have no protection.... Workers have no platform to express their resentments and complaints.”

Interviewer:

Could you please tell your official name that is in your passport?

I: How many years did you work there? When did you return home?

Masuda:

My name is Masuda.

M: I worked at Classic #4 for over seven years. I came back home on August 19, 2012. So I worked there for seven years and two months.

I: Do you have any family name? M: No, I have only one name in the passport. I: When did you enter Jordan and where did you work? M: I entered Jordan on June 21, 2005 and joined Classic on June 22, 2005.

I: Why did you decide to come back? Was it that your contract was over? M: I did not like the environment of the factory. In August 2011 once I submitted my resignation letter complaining that Faruk, APM [Assistant Production Manager] hurled abusive words at me, calling me names... Unfortunately Sanal Sir did nothing.

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20 I: What do you know about the sexual abuse that happened in Classic? M: Anil joined the factory in 2006, after almost one year of my joining Classic. After several months of his joining, we heard from Sri Lankan women workers that Anil wanted them to go out with him for sex. Anil has a good network of people who assisted him in getting women. Some are Sri Lankan and some are Bangladeshi. They are Faruk, Rafiq, Bedana, Jhuma etc. Anil took the women out during work time so that nobody could doubt him or suspect him. The company gave him an office car and he used the car for abusing the women. Anil in the beginning raped Sri Lankan women. I: How did you know that Sri Lankan workers were raped by Anil? M: Some victim Sri Lankan women workers told me about their being raped... Since I worked with Sri Lankan and Indian workers, I can speak and understand both Hindi and Sinhalese languages...I can name Anusha, Sagarika and Kumari. All of them personally told me before they were deported. I heard that Kumari became pregnant as Anil raped her. Then Anil made arrangement for her deportation. Before she left, Kumari disclosed to many of us. I: When did the rape occur? M: It might have happened in 2007. At the end of 2007 there was strike to oust Anil from the factory. The Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers went for a strike. Sanal Sir immediately sent Anil to Sri Lanka. Anil returned to Classic after one month. I:

Who are the principal abusers?

M: The management people of Classic are bad. Almost all the management people at Classic are abusers except Sanal Sir. To my knowledge the abusers are 1. Anil Santha, 2. Sarminda — both of them are Sri Lankan — 3. Faruk Miah and, 4. Rafiqul Islam. The other managers are less abusers. When I starting working in 2005, I had no knowledge of sexual abuse/rape in the factory but it became widespread at the end of 2007 when workers went on strike and spoke against Anil about sexual abuse. Initially Anil abused Sri Lankan women, but we got to know in June 2011 that he also abused Bangladeshi woman. Since then it has been an open secret of sexual abuse at the Classic factories. It had been going on and on until last year when two Bangladeshi women workers went missing. I heard that Classic again came under immense criticisms when two Ban-

gladeshi women workers disappeared. I: Did you face any sexual abuse at the factory? M: Faruk tried many times — to invite me to go out with him outside of the factory but failed. As a result he mistreated me and called me names. This is the reason I decided to return home. I: Has anything changed? Towards the end of your stay, were there any measures to curtail managers from sexually abusing women workers? M: I returned home in August 2012. I did not notice any change in factory conditions, production targets or attitude of the managers. Rather, the rapist Faruk has been promoted to Factory Manager from Assistant Production Manager. The company rewarded him and Shilpi for protecting Classic from bad image... Now most of the workers are new. The old workers have been deported. There are no men workers at the Classic units. The new workers will never have the courage to protest any injustice done to them. I still think that the new women are vulnerable to sexual abuse. The managers, supervisors, in-charges can abuse them as the workers have no protection. Workers have no platform to express their resentments and complaints. I: What do you think would make a difference? What measures could be taken to protect the women workers from these abuses? M: There is no alternative to having a trade union in the factory, [but] not the Jordanian Trade union. I have no idea what the Jordanian trade union does. They take .50 JD [Jordanian Dinars] from the workers’ wage but are not willing to help the workers. I have not seen a single worker who has gotten any benefit out of the Jordanian trade union. The company must not deport the older women workers. Currently, only 20 to 30 year-old [women] workers are being recruited for garment jobs in Jordan. Women feel comfortable if there are enough men workers. Men workers always take the side of the victimized women. The Jordan Ministry of Labor should allow men workers to work at the factory. I: What would you like to say to the people in the USA and Europe who buy the garments made at Classic? M: The international buyers should honestly inspect factory conditions. They should press the owner to allow workers trade unions at all the units. In addition,

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21 existing managers like Faruk, Rafiq and other abusers should be fired from the factory. There should be a system to install a secret complaint box where workers can put their complaints directly to the buyers. Those names must not be published to the management. Buyers should take the responsibility and initiate the process.

Classic has been abusing workers for a long time. It must be stopped now. Sometimes workers toil past 8.30 p.m. and on Friday, but their punch cards do not show it. Buyers should visit the factory at night and on Friday to check for involuntary overtime and to correct it. [Note: Friday is the weekly holiday in Jordan.]

IX. Young Bangladeshi Woman Sewing Operator Raped by Security Chief at Classic At 1:30 a.m. on October 7, 2011, Santhosh Kumar, an Indian male security officer employed at Classic, went to Kohinoor’s dorm and ordered the night watchman to unlock the front gate. Santhosh Kumar then took Kohinoor to a rented room in Ramtha, where, according to workers then employed at Classic, he sexually abused her and took her back to her dorm at 6:30 a.m.

Santhosh Kumar was terminated and deported to India on October 9, 2011. Kohinoor was also fired and forcibly deported from the Classic factory. Classic’s owner, Sanal Kumar, apparently thought he could cover up the rape of Kohinoor if he deported both of them.

Letter of “confession” written by Santhosh Jumar before he was terminated from Classic and deported.

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Serious Worker Rights Failures in Jordan Must be Addressed I. Under union president Fathallah Al Omrani, the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries has failed completely to represent the 30,000 to 40,000 foreign guest workers employed in Jordan’s export garment factories. The vast majority of guest workers, well over 90 percent, have a union card and pay their dues. For the last three or four years, workers from Classic, Sun Jordan, CCKM, Rich Pine, Jerash, Ivory, Paramount, Fashion Curve, Century, IBG, Hi-Tech, Galaxy and other factories have belonged to the union. At the beginning, the General Trade Union said they would negotiate for the guest workers — to demand legal pay, including overtime; to prohibit excessive or forced overtime; to guarantee one day off each week and proper food and dorm conditions; to end sexual abuse and block illegal deportations. However, in interviews with guest workers across Jordan, we were told: “The Jordanian union does not function to help workers. They are not

“I

The Need

real unions at all. They serve the purposes of the Jordanian Government and factory owners.” Right now, at the Century factory, Burmese workers are on strike. But the General Trade Union is nowhere to be seen. On a personal note, it was very disturbing to see Fathallah Al Omrani, president of the General Trade Union of workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries, meeting very comfortably with Classic’s owner, Sanal Kumar,while, according to dozens of worker testimonies, young women guest workers in Classic were being raped. The General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing does not function as a real union, at least not with regard to foreign guest workers producing duty-free garments for export to the U.S. Eleven years into the U.S.-Jordan FTA, guest workers still do not have the right to organize real unions. This must be corrected.

Real Trade Union the Jordanian union

for a

have no idea what

does.”

“There is no alternative to having a trade union in the factory — but not the Jordanian Trade union. I have no idea what the Jordanian trade union does. They take 0.50 JD [Jordanian dinars] from the workers’ wage but are not willing to help the workers. I have not seen a single worker who has gotten any benefit out of the Jordanian trade union. “The [Classic] company must not deport the older women workers. Currently only 20- to 30- ear-old [women] workers are being recruited for garment jobs in Jordan. Women feel comfortable if there are enough men workers. Men workers always take the side of the victimized women. “The Jordan Ministry of Labor should allow men workers to work at the factory.” - Masuda worked at the Classic factory for over seven years.

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II. The Better Work Jordan program is also failing miserably with regard to worker rights protections. In fact, it has been difficult to find guest workers who are even familiar with Better Work Jordan. Better Work Jordan does have a program at Classic, but rather than allowing workers to vote on whom they want to elect as their “Worker Participatory Committee,” Classic’s owner Sanal Kumar and his top management — some of whom are alleged to be rapists — are the ones who select the “Participatory Committee.” A senior worker told us: “They [the Participatory Committees] are highly controlled and managed by the owner. The Committee does not represent the general workers.” At the Sun Jordan factory, it is more of the same. Workers told us: “The committee does not represent the general workers. This committee is not dedicated to the welfare of the workers,

as they are not elected by the workers. It is a whitewash.” As long as the Better Work Jordan committee are selected and guided by management, workers will remain without a voice, and illegal sweatshop conditions will remain the norm. III. Illegal discrimination is rampant at Classic Fashion under the U.S.-Jordan FTA. • •

Total ban on male guest workers Total ban on women workers over 30 years of age

The Jordanian Government has stopped the hiring of male workers altogether and only facilitates the hiring of young women aged 20 to 30. One guest worker at the Sun Jordan sweatshop factory explained to us that, “...hiring just young women makes the boss’s life easier.”

Classic Fashion factory compound.

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Brutal Sweatshop Conditions Persist in Jordan

High End Labels Kenneth Cole, Express and Talbots Exposed in Jordanian Sweatshop

Sun Jordan Textile Attempted Rape

Sun Jordan Textile Co. Ltd. Ad-Dulayl Industrial Park Qualified Industrial Zone Zarqa, Jordan Phone: +962-538-25983 Fax: +962-538-25985 Email: mail@sunjordan.com • • • • •

Attempted rape; 14- to 16-hour shifts, six and seven days a week; Workers shortchanged on their mandatory overtime hours; Crowded, filthy dorm rooms with no heat; Workers wash using small plastic buckets, splashing water on themselves.

Sun Jordan is a subsidiary of the Sahinler Group. Established in Turkey in 1984, Sahinler Holding is the worlds 18th largest textile company and Europe’s third largest producer of ready-made garments with operations in Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, India and Bangladesh. The Sun Jordan factory produces clothing for the Kenneth Cole, Express and Talbots labels. Kenneth Cole markets its products in 4,700 department and specialty stores. Express has over 600 stores across the United States and Canada with total revenues for the year ending January 1, 2012 of $2.073 billion. Talbots, headquartered in Massachusetts and with 516 stores across the U.S. catering to professional women, is owned by Sycamore Partners. Something has gone seriously wrong: The Kenneth Cole Foundation supports “civil liberties,” “freedom of expression,” “disaster relief” and “HIV/AIDS.” Express’ CEO, Michael Weiss, supports the right of Freedom of Association by which “workers lawfully exercising those rights shall not be threatened or penalized.” Yet Sun Jordan remains a brutal sweatshop.

While we were in Jordan, on May 14, 2010, we met with a young Bangladeshi seamstress, Aklima, who cried as she explained how a male Bangladeshi manager at Sun Jordan,Sumon, attempted to tear her dress off in order to rape her. She was able to fight him off, but it was a terrifying experience. She carried her torn dress to our meeting. But at the moment she was beginning to speak, Jordanian intelligence police raided our meeting with the workers of Sun Jordan, threatening the workers with arrest. Thankfully, the dozens of workers present quickly escaped, leaping over fences and vanishing almost into thin air, as if they knew this drill all too well. The police did confiscate our passports. Aklima had brought her documents, court papers and her torn dress as evidence. Shortly after we met her, instead of seeing justice, Aklima was forcibly deported and returned to Bangladesh as if she were a criminal.

Sun Jordan Textile Co. Ltd. As of March 2013, there are 750 workers employed at Sun Jordan, of whom approximately 650 are Bangladeshis, including 400 young women recruited in the last year or two. Most of the women are 20 to 26 years of age. There are also male workers from India, along with men and women from Sri Lanka. (It appears that the Government of India prohibits young Indian women from travelling to Jordan to toil in the country’s sweatshops.) Sun Jordan management is in the process of recruiting young Burmese women as well. There used to be some 1,150 workers at Sun Jordan, but during production slow-downs in November and December 2012, 400 “older” male workers were deported. The Sun Jordan I factory has been temporarily shut down since November 2012. The Bangladeshi workers went on strike for 10 days in October 2012 to stop the deportation of the “older” male workers, but their effort failed.

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Grueling and Illegal Hours, Forced Overtime, Workers Paid Late And Shortchanged of Their Wages •

• • •

• •

14- to-15-hour shifts are the norm, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 or 10:30 p.m., six or seven days a week. There are also 16-hour shifts, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. before shipments must leave for the U.S. Workers are allowed just two days off each month. On average, workers are routinely at the factory 88 ½ to 94 ½ hours each week! Workers receive just two breaks totaling one hour during their 14- to 16-hour shift — 45 minutes for lunch at 1:00 p.m. and a 15-minute tea break at 6:00 p.m. All overtime is strictly mandatory. It is common for workers to be forced to toil five or six hours of mandatory overtime each day. Workers are forced to toil 143.3 to 173.3 hours of overtime each month. The workers are shortchanged of their legal overtime wage, since management refuses to pay more than four hours of overtime per shift while the

workers are actually required to toil five or six hours of overtime. Workers are always paid late. Instead of being paid at the end of the month for the work done that month, management makes workers wait a full month — to the end of the following month. This is, of course, illegal.

Primitive and Filthy Dorm Conditions •

• •

• •

Ten workers share each crowded and filthy dorm room. There is no cleaning staff, while the workers themselves toil 14- to 16-hour shifts six or seven days a week. There is no heat in the dorms. During the winter months, many workers fall sick due to the cold. Moreover there is no adequate supply of hot water. Workers must use a small plastic bucket — their ration of hot water — to splash water on themselves to bathe. The toilets are filthy and the stench is horrible. Management does not supply soap or toilet paper. During the summer, it is not uncommon for the dorms to lack running water.

Ten workers crowd into each dorm room, sleeping on narrow bunk beds. The dorms are dirty and lacking in heat. Water is rationed. The workers wash themselves using small plastic buckets. Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights


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Factory Food Is Getting Worse

Breakfast, 6:30 a.m.: Two pieces of pita bread, lentils, tea

Sick leave is not allowed. When workers fall ill, they must pay for their own medicine.

Workers face constant and relentless production speed-ups by management. There are many crude supervisors who yell, curse at and humiliate the workers, especially new workers.

Workers receive absolutely no help from the Jordanian Ministry of Labor, the Jordanian “union,” Better Work Jordan or the Bangladeshi Embassy in Jordan. Workers are very emphatic that the socalled Jordanian “union” is completely useless. Nor has the Jordanian Ministry of Labor lifted a finger to protect the legal rights of the guest workers.

Garment factory workers across Jordan are rapidly shedding male workers, as the owners turn to more young women recruits. Senior male workers are too vocal for the owners, who have no desire to see the legal rights of the guest workers enforced.

The foreign guest workers in Jordan have not received a single minimum wage increase over the last seven years! The wage in U.S. dollars is just 74 ½ cents per hour. But it is even worse than it appears in that the Jordanian dinar has lost over 35 percent of its value due to inflation. The foreign guest workers in Jordan are going backward.

Lunch: Rice and one small piece of chicken – two days a week Rice and a small piece of beef – one day a week Rice and eggs – two days a week Rice and vegetables – two days a week Supper: Rice, lentils and vegetables (Workers say the lentils are very watery and have no taste.) Workers say that the factory food is getting worse each year. To survive, workers must purchase food and cook for themselves, as the cafeteria portions are small and inadequate. In their work contract, management is supposed to provide adequate and healthy food to its workers, which is obviously not being done.

Workers Report No Improvements at Sun Jordan •

No real improvements regarding factory working conditions or dorm conditions over the last four to five years.

Labels collected from the Sun Jordan factory in February 2013. Sun Jordan produces clothing for U.S. companies including Express, Talbots, Lane Bryant and Kenneth Cole.

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Century Factory in Al-Hassan Thirteen Hundred Burmese Women Workers Go on Strike! Century is among the Largest and Worst Factories in Jordan. Workers at Century routinely toil from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or 11:00 p.m., putting in shifts of 12 ½ to 16 hours a day. Workers receive just two days off a month. There are over 4,000 foreign guest workers at the Century sweatshop: 1,300 Burmese, 1,500 Bangladeshis, 300 Indian men and 1,000 Sri Lankan workers, who are mostly young women. Of the 1,300 Burmese workers, 1,200 are women. On February 14, 2013, the Burmese workers went out on strike demanding: 1. An increase in the basic monthly wage (not counting overtime) to $200 per month from $155.10, which has been the wage for the last seven years, since 2006. With inflation of approximately 35 percent over the last seven years, the workers’ real wages are going backward.

2. The Century factory must improve the quality of the food: Supper is cooked at 3:00 p.m. and is served whenever the workers return from the factory, between 3:30 p.m. (which is rare) and as late as 11:00 p.m., when the workers end their mandatory shift. By the time the workers sit down to eat, their food has been sitting unrefrigerated for up to seven and a half hours. 3. Verbal and physical abuse must end: Burmese supervisors routinely curse at the women, screaming over minor mistakes and sometimes using the garments to lash the women. Some women workers have been slapped. Along with rotting food, filthy dorm conditions and lack of sufficient hot water, workers are demanding their right to freedom of association and to a wage increase.

The Rich Pine Sweatshop Needs Constant Monitoring The standard shift at Rich Pine is 14 ½ hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Workers are routinely at the factory six days and 87 hours a week. The workers are also forced to toil one or two Fridays each month as well — supposedly their weekly day of rest. This means that on average the Rich Pine workers could be

at the factory 91 ½ hours a week. On January 21, 2013, Ms. Can Choli, the Chinese supervisor “floor-in-charge,” slapped a Burmese woman named Emon, who had fallen behind on her mandatory production target.

Recruitment of Young Bangladeshi Women To Work in Jordan’s Export Garment Factories In the three months from January through March 2013, 1,478 young women guest workers from Bangladesh have been recruited to work in export garment factories across Jordan. • • • •

Rich Pine recruited 300 Bangladeshi women. Hi-Tech Textiles recruited 200 Bangladeshi women. Rainbox recruited 90 Bangladeshi women. Jerash Garments recruited 88 Bangladeshi women.

• •

Ivory recruited 200 Bangladeshi women. Sun Jordan recruited 600 Bangladeshi women.

The women applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 30. Anyone who has turned 30 will not be accepted. Once a worker leaves Jordan, even if she is still under 30 years of age, she will not be permitted to return to work in Jordan.

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Recruitment Ads distributed in Bangladesh. Jerash Garment and Fashion Manufacturing Co Limited, Feb 12, 2013 seeks to recruit 88 young women workers: “Applicants should have practical experience and must be between 20 and 30 years of age.” “Job Conditions: 1.) Daily 8-hour shift, six days a week and voluntary overtime (according to Jordanian law.)”

Hi-Tech Textile LLC Jordan, Feb 13, 2013: Machine operators. (See Addendum A for full original text and translation.)

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“More Reports of Abuse in Jordanian Garment Factories” By Migrant Rights on March 5, 2013 “Over 100 Nepali workers in Jordan recently requested repatriation to escape abusive conditions at a garment factory,” which appears to be Needle Craft. “Five Nepali women who have worked at the factory for nearly two months lodged official complaints with Nepali authorities. They claim a range of violations, including underpayment, verbal abuse, overwork and unsuitable living conditions.” Moreover, the workers complain that they were shortchanged of their wages, were often forced to toil 18-hour shifts and denied paid sick days. The workers were supposed to be paid $251.00 USD a month, while they were actually paid just $148.00 a month — which is below the minimum wage. “Jordanian authorities are also culpable for failing not only to regulate employment conditions, but for their unwillingness to penalize factories with sustained records of abuse.” “Furthermore, Jordan’s negligence contravenes several components of the ILO’s Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which the nation has neither signed nor ratified. These include the prohibition against slavery or servitude and forced compulsory labor (Art. 11), the right to employment contracts (Art. 54 (D)), as well as equality with nationals in terms of minimum wage, hours, and conditions of work (Art. 25.)” Original article by Migrant Rights

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Addenda A. Job Recuitment Documents of Bangladesh Overseas Employment & Services Limited

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Translation: Bangladesh Overseas Employment & Services Limited (BOESL) (A manpower exporting agency under the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment) Incorporated in 1984 In the process of recruiting workers for foreign job BOESL has no agent/sub-agent/representative Direct interview for women workers for Jordan garment jobs with low cost under the management of the Government of Bangladesh Ad number: 1428/2013 Date: February 13, 2013 Hi-Tech Textile LLC Jordan will recruit following women workers through BOESL: Serial # Name of the Position 01 Machine Operator

Number of women 200

Monthly Basic wage 110 JD

Applicants should have practical experience and must be between 20-30 years old. Job Conditions: 1. Daily 08 hours, six days a week and voluntary overtime (according to Jordanian law.) 2. The contract is for three years. 3. The company will be responsible for accommodation, food, primary healthcare and transportation. 4. The company will provide tickets for entering into Jordan and at the end of contract after three years to return home. 5. Other conditions are applicable based on Jordanian labor law. BOESL’s Service Charge and other costs: For selected candidates: Tk. 8, 800 for BOESL service charge, Tk. 1, 200 Embarkation tax, Tk. 1, 500 Vat 15% , Tk. 200 for BOESL registration fee , Tk. 250 for wage earners welfare fee —total Tk. 11, 950. Additionally security deposit is Tk. 10,000 through two separate pay orders. This deposit will be given back to the family/guardian after six months of joining workplace. Things that you need to bring during interview: 1. Four copies of passport and six color photos, 2. Original passport and four photo copies of passport, 3. Attendance card or ID card given by present employer All interested candidates are asked to appear at the interview/test with the documents mentioned above at 8.00 a.m. on February 22-23, 2013 at Bangla-German Technical Training Center, Mirpur, Dhaka-2. If you need any information please call 02 9361125, 9336508. Helaluddin Ahmed (Joint Secretary) Managing Director BOESL does not receive any cash money so do not deal with cash money anyone. Office address: Prabashi Kallyan Bhaban (5th Floor) Contacts: 71-72 Eskaton Garden (Old Elephant Road) Phone: 8802 9345724 (MD) Ramna, Dhaka-1000 8802- 9336508, 9361515, 9361125 Bangladesh Fax: 8802 8356577 or 93306752 Email:info@boesl.org.bd web:www.boesl.org.bd

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33 Translation: BOESL Logo (Bangladesh Overseas Employment & Services Limited (BOESL) (A manpower exporting agency under the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment) Incorporated in 1984 In the process of recruiting workers for foreign job BOESL has no agent/sub-agent/representative Direct interview for women workers for Jordan garment jobs with low cost under the management of the Government of Bangladesh Ad number: 1429/2013 Date: February 12, 2013 Jerash Garment & Fashion Manufacturing Co. Limited recruits following women workers through BOESL: Serial # Name of the Position Number of women Monthly Basic wage 01 Final Checkers 10 Tk. 13, 600 02 Single Needle Machine Operators 25 Tk. 12, 400 03. Over Lock Machine Operators 25 Tk. 12, 400 04. Kansai Machine Operators 20 Tk. 12, 400 05. Flat Lock Machine Operators 08 Tk. 12, 400 Applicants should have practical experience and must be between 20-30 years old. Job Conditions: 1. Daily 08 hours, six days a week and voluntary overtime (according to Jordanian law.) 2. The contract is for three years. 3. The company will be responsible for accommodation, food, primary healthcare and transportation. 4. The company will provide tickets for entering into Jordan and at the end of contract after three years to return home. 5. Other conditions are applicable based on Jordanian labor law. BOESL’s Service Charge and other costs: For selected candidates: Tk. 8, 800 for BOESL service charge, Tk. 1, 200 Embarkation tax, Tk. 1, 500 Vat 15% , Tk. 200 for BOESL registration fee , Tk. 250 for wage earners welfare fee — total Tk. 11, 950. Additionally security deposit is Tk. 10,000 through two separate pay orders. This deposit will be given back to the family/ guardian after six months of joining workplace. Things that you need to bring to interview: 1. Four copies of passport and six color photos, 2. Original passport and four photo copies of passport, 3. Education certificate/experience certificate (if any) All interested candidates are asked to appear at the interview/test with the documents mentioned above at 8.00am on March 01, 2013 at Bangla-German Technical Training Center, Mirpur, Dhaka-2. If you need any information please call 02 9361125, 9336508. Helaluddin Ahmed (Joint Secretary) Managing Director BOESL does not receive any cash money so do not deal with cash money anyone. Office address: Prabashi Kallyan Bhaban (5th Floor) Contacts: 71-72 Eskaton Garden (Old Elephant Road) Phone: 8802 9345724 (MD) Ramna, Dhaka-1000 8802- 9336508, 9361515, 9361125 Bangladesh Fax: 8802 8356577 or 93306752 Email:info@boesl.org.bd web:www.boesl.org.bd

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B. Implementation Plan Related to Working and Living Conditions of Workers In January 2013, the United States and Jordan concluded the Implementation Plan Related to Working and Living Conditions of Workers to protect internationally recognized labor rights and effectively enforce Jordan’s labor law.

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President Obama May Very Well Clean Up The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement  

Tens of thousands of young women guest workers toil under brutal sweatshop conditions, sewing Wal-Mart, Hanes and other labels.

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