Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Takko
On 29 May 2017, FWF received a complaint from a worker who is currently employed by the factory. The complainant claimed that his/her section (Ironing) department was asked to do overtime on that day until 8:30 pm, and overtime was not voluntary. FWF decided that the case is admissible on 29 May 2017. FWF communicated the case to the factory management shortly after the call to get their response. FWF also asked the complainant if he/she told his/her supervisor and he/she said that the supervisor had asked them to do OT. FWF also checked with the plaintiff if he/she raised the issue with the WCC members. However, he/she claimed to not trust the WCC members because they all are supervisors. The investigation showed that there was an OT assignment for the ironing section. FWF concluded that the worker should not feel forced to work overtime.
FWF suggested that management should let the workers know that it is not obligatory to do overtime. Later, the complainant indicated his/her satisfaction that the factory management conveyed that overtime is voluntary and workers are free to leave if they do not want to work overtime.
Initial report of a complaint at a factory in Vietnam supplying Jack Wolfskin & Schöffel
On 29 June, 2017, FWF received a complaint from an employee who is employed by the factory. The complainant stated the following:
– Workers have to work during lunchtime.
– Workers have to work overtime from 17:00 to 18:00/19:00 without time recording and no adequate payment. The factory has locked the gate during overtime hours so workers cannot refuse overtime and go home. The factory does not pay the legal premium when workers worked overtime after 17:00 or on Sundays.
– Pregnant workers and workers who are breastfeeding are not allowed to leave early (at 3:00 PM).
– The factory pays piece salary to workers. According to the complainant, the unit price for piece-salary is low, so most of workers are paid top-up to 4,200,000VND/month. He/she thinks his/her salary is low because the salary for new workers and seniority workers is not that different.
– When the customers visit/audit the factory, all of the interviewed workers are trained on how to answer the interview.
– The union chairwoman is Vice General Director, so nobody can raise any questions or complaints to the union.
FWF decided that the case is admissible on 1st of July 2017. The factory is an active supplier of Jack Wolfskin and Schöffel, members of FWF. The authenticity of this complaint is still under investigation.
Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying DW-Shop
On 10 July 2016, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) received a complaint from a worker formerly employed at the factory. The complainant stated that he took leave for one month on 11 February 2016, but did not return to the factory until 9 June 2016. The management had replaced him due to his long unreported absence. The worker accepted his dismissal and asked management for his full and final payment and the form necessary to collect social security (PF). The HR manager told him to come back in two days as they needed time to prepare the files. The worker returned several times to the factory, but was repeatedly told that it was not yet ready.
On 11 July, FWF decided that the complaint was admissible on the grounds of the following labour code standards: employment is freely chosen, no excessive working hours, and legally binding employment relationship. The worker then called the FWF complaint handler again with a different story, but the complaint handler had a feeling that the worker was being pressured to say this in the presence of factory management. In a subsequent call, the worker said he received payment and all he still wanted was the signed form from management needed to collect social security payments (PF). The complaints handler tried to call him several times without success.
FWF is unable to draw a final conclusion, whether the worker received the full payment and relevant forms to claim social security or not, and has decided to close the case since the worker is not available for follow-up. FWF’s impression is that it is likely that the worker was asked to sign a blank paper in exchange for a lesser amount.
In terms of remediation, DW Shop must explain to the supplier that transparency and the willingness to improve are crucial parts of their business relationship and clarify regulations surrounding dismissal and wage slips.
FWF is pleased to announce that the Vietnamese version of the Fair Wear Formula film is now available online
Intermediate report of complaint in India at a factory supplying Nudie Jeans – August 2016
Between May 2015 and July 2016, 8 workers were dismissed or terminated by the factory. Six of them approached FWF with a complaint between January and July 2016.
The complainants claim that they were dismissed for small violations such as engaging in verbal conflict with co-workers. They claim that they were unable to defend themselves from the allegations, and that the disciplinary action did not follow formal legal procedures.
They further allege that the real reasons they were dismissed from their job was that they had supposedly engaged in unionisation efforts, or that they frequently refused to work overtime after 18:00.
During investigation, already in January 2016, FWF was unable to reach a conclusion, as management claimed workers left on their own volition. The first complaint was closed, but other workers came forward in July 2016, sharing similar stories.
Upon further investigation in July, a pattern of common issues was found, including lack of legal domestic enquiry and lack of opportunity for workers to defend themselves.
FWF required Nudie Jeans to discuss these and other findings with management, to ensure that all cases are re-assessed and structural findings remediated.
FWF will contact all workers at a later stage to verify whether their cases were re-assessed and solved in a legally compliant manner. FWF will conduct a verification audit in 2017 to assess whether structural remediation steps have been implemented.
Final report on complaint at factory in India supplying DW-Shop
On 10 July 2016, a worker who was dismissed from the factory claimed that he had been working there since 2013. He allegedly took a one-month leave on 11 February, but did not return to his position until 9 June. Management had replaced him upon his return, and did not want to take him back. The worker accepted the dismissal, and asked manager for his full and final payment and his social security forms so he could collect social security. He was told to return two days later. The payment and the social security form did not materialise after he returned to the factory.
The worker called the FWF complaint handler again on 12 July and informed that he had been to the factory and met with management. He then said that he had been paid in full and that he had complained so hec could be reinstated.
On 13 July, DW-Shop received an email from the factory where they claimed the worker had been paid in full on 8 June, but that they were unable to rehire them.
On 15 July, FWF called the worker to verify the situation. The worker stated that he had been called by management and been offered a lump sum–lower than the sum mentioned by the factory–and made to sign a blank form. He accepted as he needed the money. He only wanted further help getting his form to collect social security payments.
Taking into account that the worker communicated to FWF that he accepted is dismissal, FWF’s impression is that it is likely that the worker was asked to sign a blank paper in exchange for a lesser amount.
As the worker was not available for further follow-up, FWF has closed the complaint. The claims regarding excessive overtime and lack of formal contracts/regular wage slips are difficult to verify without further investigation. They are however consistent with previous audit findings.
Final report of complaint at a factory in India supplying Takko
On 3 August 2016, a former worker presented a complaint against a factory claiming that, after complaining about excessive overtime, the worker was told to stay home on the day of a visit by a FWF auditor. This led the worker to resign. Further, it was unclear whether this overtime was paid at the established rate.
On 5 August, FWF auditors visited the factory to investigate the complaint, interviewing more than 18 workers, and conducting a visual inspection among other measures.
Based on all information collected during the investigation, FWF concluded that the complaint was not grounded. The complaint is now considered closed.
The complainant was informed of the outcome, and said to have learnt from workers still employed at the factory that the HR manager called a meeting after the visit by FWF to ask workers to approach him
instead of calling the FWF hotline in case of complaints.
Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Deuter
On 14 November 2014, a news report was forwarded to FWF’s contact person for the member brand. An Australian NGO, Viet Labor, released a report after investigating several issues at the production sites after a strike. Workers were asking for better payment of overtime, better food quality and salary increases.
According to the report, workers were threatened if they spoke to outsiders, they faced toilet restrictions, unhygienic meals, late payments, and incorrect overtime payments, among other issues. FWF did off-site interviews, and concluded that the member should contribute to remediation focused on toilet restrictions, payment systems, overtime hours and canteen hygiene. Also, there was evidence of lack of communicaiton channels or internal grievance mechanisms to air grievances. FWF also suggested conducting a factory training.
intermediate REPORT COMPLAINT IN India AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Madness
In July, a (former) employee of a factory in India filed a complaint, claiming that he had been forced to resign when he refused to work (excessive) overtime. In addition, the wage he was paid didn’t cover the overtime he had already worked, and he did not receive full social security benefits.
The complaint was investigated, and on the basis of available documentation, the situation was mediated by FWF to the satisfaction of both parties. Nevertheless, the complainant filed a police report regarding alleged assault by a supervisor, and this is being pursued outside the FWF complaint mechanism.
As part of its remediation efforts MADNESS should continue to facilitate and support the application of legally binding employment documents and the provision of social security according to Indian law. It should also help ensure that wage structures are clearly communicated, and that the root causes of overtime are addressed.
These points under remediation will be verified during a verification audit in the first half of 2016, and during the 2016 Brand Performance Check.
Intermediate REPORT COMPLAINT IN India AT FACTORY SUPPLYING nudie jeans
On 11 August, three workers, all migrant workers from a different region, stated they wanted to terminate their employment with the factory for personal reasons, but management refused to accept their resignation. Further, according to the complainants, factory management said they would not receive social security settlement and bonus if they left. On 19 August there was a call between the brand, factory management and FWF’s country representative to discuss the situation. The factory claimed that workers were free to terminate their employment within legal notice periods, and that payments would be made according to law.
By September, FWF learned that all three workers had resigned and received their due wages, as well as their social security numbers, so now they are able to claim social security. Those workers who were elegible also received a settlement payment. FWF further suggests that the member support the development of a resignation and leave policy at the factory, in dialogue with workers.