Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Day Two - Melbourne Textile Washing Plant
19th August 2010
I wasn’t really looking forward to today as I wasn’t sure how much more they could show me, my fears were founded as I spent about 5 hours of the day waiting in the meeting room that they had designated as my space, waiting to talk to people who then cancelled on me. Two things I did manage to do today was have a tour around their water treatment plant with the factory engineer – probably fascinating if you understand chemistry – he walked me through every single process and the chemicals used to bind and then neutralize the other chemicals…
In the afternoon I spoke to HR and learnt about their employment practices, probably one of the most impressive factories in this regard. The trainees earn a base salary of 8,500 rupees per month with the opportunity to earn more with overtime and attendance bonus, the most that a more senior person can earn including overtime and incentives is about 17,000 per month. This is well over the average that workers in the garment industry can generally earn. The only thing that worries me about this is that they employ about a thousand workers, only 72 of which are women – so surprise, surprise, the male dominated work place earns well above the minimum wage.
No one had, had a particularly enjoyable or productive day so we all sat about the dinner table and had a little bitch over a vodka tonic – feeling significantly better we sat down to a mind numbing Sandra Bullock film.