Family claims H&M supply factory worker dies after months of harassment

He was allegedly killed by his supervisor along with the family of a young garment worker at an H&M supply factory in Tamil Nadu, who said he had been lying on the factory floor for several months before his death. She had faced sexual harassment and intimidation until, but she felt helpless to stop the abuse. By continuing

H&M said it killed Jayasree Kathirawal, a 20-year-old Dalit clothing worker, in Kachian Kotai, Tamil Nadu on January 5, in Nachi April, an H&M supplier in Kashmian Kotai, Tamil Nadu. Is launching an independent investigation.

According to police reports, a man working as a supervisor in nachi costumes has confessed and has been charged with kidnapping and murder. Her family alleges she too was abused and is awaiting the outcome of a forensic report.

The family and a local union representing women workers in Nachi April claimed that Kathirul had tried to report harassment and intimidation at work, but no action had been taken. They also allege that gender-based violence was widespread in the factory.

Factory ID of Jayasree Kathiravel
Jesse Kathiravel, 20, was found dead in a field near her home. Photo: Handout

Thevia Rakini, state president of the Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labor Union (TTCU), said, “We have been told by her family and co-workers, representing women working in Nichi April. That Jayasree was being harassed at work but nothing was done. “

“We’ve talked to a lot of workers to say they’re having the same problem but either they don’t know how to file a complaint against their supervisor or they say they’re scared if they talk. If they do, they will face retaliation. “

The factory is owned by Eastman Exports, India’s fourth largest garment export company, a major supplier to H&M and other Western brands.

Her family said Catharwell had been working at an H&M supplier for more than two years to pursue higher education.

“She was the first in our family to have the opportunity to live outside the garment factories,” said Methol Lakshmi Kathirvel, the victim’s mother. “My daughter told me she was being harassed at work. I don’t want other people’s daughters to suffer the same fate.

H&M said it has zero tolerance for gender-based violence in its supply chains. It said it was launching an independent third-party investigation into alleged harassment at Eastman Exports and was working to improve the safety of workers at its factories in Tamil Nadu.

But the international labor rights groups Asia Flour Wage Alliance (AFWA) and the International Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) claim that H&M has its own style of gender-based violence. The act is not to be disclosed to the police or to make sure that there was a “responsible act” after Cathariol’s murder that endangered her family and other women working in the supply chain.

“We believe we have received reports of ongoing sexual harassment, followed by the rape and murder of Jesse Kathirville, the widespread use of Eastman Export and H&M’s gender-based violence and the ensuing violence. Failure to respond to the situation is a direct result of this, ”said Ananya Bhattacharjee, AFWA International Coordinator.

The groups also accused H&M of failing In the weeks following his death, the Eastman Export Managers intervened appropriately to stop the alleged threat to Kathir’s bereaved family.

Following the discovery of their daughter’s body, the family says they were under increasing pressure to accept financial compensation and to sign documents to the HTM supplier to accept responsibility for Kathir’s death. ۔ There is no suggestion that H&M was aware of it or that it was a party.

On January 29, the family claims that Eastman Export organizers brought a mob of 50 people to their village and forced them to enter their home, demanding 000 5,000 (Rs. 500,000). Accept the check and sign the documents they have not read.

In the videos seen by the sponsor of the incident, the TTCU, which supports the local clothing workers’ union, Catherwell’s family and women, screamed for a large crowd of men to sign papers. Can be seen all around. Katherineville’s mother, Methokshmi Kathrynwell, was taken to hospital after the incident and said she was scared for her life.

“I did not want to sign the documents but they threatened me and my family and forced me.”

She said she wanted an investigation into her failure to protect her daughter from sexual harassment and allowing the TTCU union to negotiate with workers.

The Eastman Express said in a statement that the family’s intention to go home was to provide financial assistance to the victim’s mother “at this difficult time”.

“We believe that this arrival will give us the impression that the family of the deceased employee is under pressure or affected. We have instructed all our management staff and people representing Eastman to have any access now.

Eastman Exports also said it has zero tolerance for gender-based violence and has reliable procedures for internal complaints in its factories. It said the factory had not received any reports of harassment from Kathirwal and an investigation by a local NGO concluded that Kathirwal and the man accused of his murder were in “deep love”. And the family did not blame the factory for his death. .

International labor groups say H&M needs to ensure that it uses its power as a foreign buyer to end gender-based violence in Eastman export factories and all its supply chains.

“Fashion brands [such as H&M] The Code of Conduct with Eastman Exports promotes conduct and stability programs. Yet at the end of their supply chains is a pattern of harassed female workers and grieving mothers joined a mob, “said Jennifer Rosenbaum, executive director of GLJ-ILRF.

Rosen Boom said that in 2018 GLJ. An ILRF report revealed several incidents of gender-based violence in the H&M supply chain, but the results did not elicit a significant response from the brand.

In a statement, an H&M spokesman sent condolences to the family and said: “The trade unions involved have explicitly told us not to end our business relationship with the supplier, and instead to leave the workplace. We are in close contact with the supplier and have set some immediate and immediate actions that we expect them to complete so that they can show that they How to guarantee workplace harassment

It said any future relationship with Eastman Exports would depend on the results of an independent third-party investigation.

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