Published: 19/06/2013

A worker at the Mondelez factory in Hub, Baluchistan has died of injuries suffered while he was preparing to return home after having worked consecutive 12-hour shifts. Muhammad Zohaib, 19 years old, suffered fatal injuries while preparing to go home on June 5. Near collapse from exhaustion, he was crushed outside the factory gate when the van used to transport workers to and from the factory suddenly reversed.

The factory has no arrangements for treating or transporting injured workers in need of care and no ambulance. Zohaib was taken to a private medical center which administered first aid but would not treat him because he lacked medical insurance. He was then taken to Liyari General Hospital where he died of his injuries.

Muhammad Zohaib was a contract worker – there are no permanent production workers at this factory producing one of the mighty Mondelez billion-dollar ‘power brands’. Tang here is made by 150 precarious workers employed through the labour agency HRS Global and supervised by Mondelez ‘management officers’.

The van that struck Zohaib inflicting fatal injuries was owned and operated by a private transport company contracted by the Mondelez factory to transport workers to and from the factory for both shifts.  The van struck Zohaib just outside the factory gate where they are dropped off and picked up.

The factory operates 24/7 with two 12 hour shifts, with 4 hours compulsory overtime in each shift (8+4). Workers are often required to work a second shift, i.e. 24 hours, with minimal breaks for meals and tea. It was after an exhausting double shift that Zohaib was struck by the van and died of his injuries.

Since Zohaib was employed continuously for 4 months he was legally entitled to automatic registration with the government pension and ESSI for medical/accident/ death benefits schemes. But he had no medical insurance at the time of the accident because he had not been enrolled in these mandatory schemes.

According to Mondelez, “Every day, our success depends upon 100,000 capable, dedicated and diverse Mondelez International employees around the world. Treating them well and providing them with a workplace that is safe is the right thing to do and essential for our long-term success.”

Muhammad Zohaib, like many workers in the Mondelez system, made products and profits for Mondelez but was employed through a third party. He was denied the right to a safe workplace and a reasonable work schedule.