Meet the makers...

Following on from last weeks post, here is the second part of our series to meet the makers of Unoa. Aamena went to Karachi, Pakistan to visit the factory and the people who work there. She was very lucky to interview two ladies who have worked for us. 

Meet Irma, 21

Meet Shagufta, 35

Who do you live with?

Irma: My parents and siblings.

Shagufta: My husband and 6 children.

What’s your job title at the factory?

Irma: Stitching operator

Shagufta: Stitching operator

Briefly describe your role and responsibilities?

Irma: Attaching patterns (specifically shoulders on rompers and legs on trousers. Working with both children and adult clothing). I have set targets based on the size of the order, which I usually find easy to achieve. If there’s an unusually high order, my targets are removed or relaxed.

How long have you been working as an employee at this factory?

Irma: 3 years

Shagufta: 2 years, with an additional 9 years of stitching experience in other factories. 

What does your working week/day look like? 

Irma: 7:30 AM arrival and check-in, which includes a security check and breakfast, ready for an 8:15 AM start. 1 -2 PM lunch break, tea is provided. Finishes at 4 PM. During busy periods I have the choice to do paid overtime.

What is your commute like?

Shagufta: a 20-minute journey by either bus or car

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Irma: Familiarity and friendship with other staff members.  Relationship with my managers is polite and respectful. It’s a nice working environment.

Shagufta: It's a calm and patient working environment. Men are polite and treat female colleagues with respect, which is different to factories I have worked in in the past. I like the atmosphere and team spirit here. 

What do you see yourself doing in the near future?

Irma: I would like to get married and start a family. If I was to return to work after having children, I would like to come back to this factory. 

What changes would you like to see at work? 

Irma: Targets should be performance-driven with both individual and team bonuses. 

Shagufta: I really enjoy stitching and want to progress into supervisory and managerial positions. My immediate target is Line Supervisor.

Do you feel as if there is scope for progression and equal opportunities for women?

Shagufta: I have seen people including women at my position progress into higher-paid roles such as line supervisors and team leaders. There are various women working in each team and women, who are supervising teams of 20 operators, lead some. I am looking forward to moving up in the ranks here. 

What changes would you like to see at work? 

Shagufta: I have 6 children so I am often late to work due to our morning routine and the school run. I have to explain this to my managers and they always understand but it would be good to have a slightly later and more flexible start time so I am not always late. 

We appreciate all the individuals who work at our factory so ensuring the welfare of the workers is very important to us especially after hearing some of their experiences from previous factories. Having happy workers, we think, shows in our standards of clothing. We thank you for choosing to shop ethically with Unoa and we know that Irma and Shagufta are grateful too. 


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