Radio programs are giving garment workers in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu a platform to address factory working conditions, according to this Reuters’ story. Callers to the show are sharing personal examples of poor factory working conditions including harassment, long working hours, and inadequate wages. One caller discussed the impact a lack of toilet facilities personally had on her.
“This is a perfect illustration of workers not feeling heard,” shares Elena Fanjul-Debnam, Vice President of Workplace Options’ Labor Solutions division. “Listening to workers is key. A simple change like adding more bathrooms can drastically improve workers’ quality of life.”
The article shares that workers are hesitant to use grievance boxes available in most factories to report factory issues. “Workers are scared to use anonymous grievance boxes because they aren’t really anonymous. Workers can be seen using them, and they fear retribution,” shares Fanjul-Debnam. “Without an effective grievance system in place, managers do not have an effective way to respond to employees’ needs.”
In 2018, the Labor Solutions team at Workplace Options launched WOVO, a worker voice and wellbeing solution that allows workers to report concerns anonymously using mobile phone technology. The tool also offers workers access to personal and professional e-learning, as well as confidential wellbeing support.