Final Report China Complaint Acne Studios, Jack Wolfskin, Kjus, Odlo, Schoeffel and Vaude 2015
On 25 March 2015 FWF received a complaint through it’s local complaints handler in China from a worker working for a factory supplying the above brands. The complaint related to the following labour standards, part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices: ‘Employment is freely chosen’, ‘Reasonable hours of work’, ‘Payment of a living wage’
The complainants reported that workers were forced to do excessive overtime hours in case of tight delivery and that these overhours weren’t paid at all. Moreover, the complainant indicated workers are coached to give favourable answer to the audit team’s question during the interview process.
FWF informed the four affiliates about the case and requested the affiliates to contact the supplier and ask for a reply. FWF analysed the most recent audit that took place at this supplier in March 2014. The audit did not conclude excessive overtime for the packing department.
However, the complainants provided further details about their woking hours. The factory confirmed they cannot prevent overtime during peak season, particularly given the tight deadlines required by their clients. The factory argued that overtime is always voluntary, meets government requirements and is paid in compliance with government requirements. Complainants said they worked extra hours without recording them, so they are not checked and monitoring.
FWF recommended a root cause analysis of excessive overtime and discussing with the factory how production planning can take pressure off the factory. However, the six FWF members have leverage of less than 6% at the factory. In the Corrective Action plan for a verification audit from November 2015, it was also stated that the Factory must adopt a system where all working hours are recorded and monitored via punchcards.
There was a verification audit in early November 2015, and it was seen that workers were no longer coached during the audit. There were no findings of excessive overtime, but then a third complaint about excessive overtime was received a few days after the verification audit.
Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Deuter
On 14 November FWF received a complaint through a news report forwarded to FWF’s contact person for Deuter. The complaint to the labour standards ‘Employment is freely chosen’, ‘Payment of a Living Wage’ and ‘Safe and healthy working conditions’, which are all part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practice.
In November, approximately 2000 workers of two of the production sites were on strike to ask for better payment of overtime hours, better food quality and a salary increase. A report of the NGO ‘Viet Labor’ following the strike highlighted a number of issues. FWF’s worker interviewer of South Vietnam spent 3 days conducting interviews with workers outside of the production locations to verify the abovementioned points. Aside from the 2 factories mentioned in the NGO report, the investigation was conducted at 3 production sites that all produce for Deuter and fall under the same management.
FWF recommended that Deuter follow up the findings with factory management, focusing on toilet restrictions, payment system, overtime hours and the canteen hygiene. Most importantly the factory must work on strengthening the communication between workers, management and supervisors.
To verify remediation, FWF audted the production sites in September 2015. Progress was observed in all areas, although it is not always clear whether workers can talk to outsiders. Workers stated that the factory accept applicant resignations without any deduction, provided they follow legal procedures. Nevertheless, payment after resignation still takes place later than allowed by law. Overtime is paid at a rate higher than the legal requirement, but workers still work more overtime than the legal limit, and overtime voluntary agreements are signed by the line leader, and for a whole month, rather than individually. Workers confirmed that toilet restrictions were stopped after the Lunar New Year, and that the canteen subcontractor has obtained a food safety and hygene certificate. Workers also confirmed they were paid for the days they went on strike.
The production sites participated in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme in August 2015. The audits verified that comunication between workers and management improved, and that there is more awareness of the FWF Code of Labour Practices, complaints mechanism and relevant legislation. A written grievance procedure has been developed, and information about FWF’s hotline is posted in places that are convenient for workers.
finaL REPORT COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY SUPPLYING mammut
On April 11 a complaint was received bij FWF’s local complaint handler in China. The complaint was filed by a worker, working for a factory supplying Mammut and related to the standard ’employment is freely chosen’ which is part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.
The worker was still in his probation period and wished to resign from the factory as soon as possible. His probation period was from 18 February to 18 April 2014. Mammut immediately notified the supplier. Shortly after, the plaintiff had a meeting with his employer where they came to a mutual decision that he will resign from the factory at the end of May 2014. The plaintiff was happy to stay a bit longer at the factory. He thanked FWF and Mammut for the cooperation
final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES mammut
On 27 August FWF received a complaint through it’s local complaints handler. The complaint related to ‘Employment is freely chosen’ which is part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.
According to the worker, his monthly wage is too low, which is why he wishes to resign, but his application was denied even though he followed the legal procedure and applied for resignation 30 days in advance. Management stated the worker has only worked in the factory for 2 months and his wage level corresponds with all newly employed workers.
According to management, the employee only submitted an oral request for resignation and his supervisor asked him to reconsider. Management confirmed on the worker submitted a written resignation form on the 1st of September, which was approved. This case was quickly resolved after Mammut informed the supplier of the complaint. Earlier cases indicated several workers experienced difficulties to resign from this factory. Mammut is to monitor the situation with its supplier to ensure workers are able to resign when following the legal resignation procedure.
Final REPORT COMPLAINT IN China AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Outdoor SPorts
On 9 March 2014 FWF’s complaints handler in China received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying Outdoor & Sports. The complaint related to FWF’s labour standards ’employment is freely chosen’ and ‘payment of a living wage’.
Plaintiff complained she asked for resignation which was not approved by the factory. Thereafter, the plaintiff left the factory on her own initiative and stated the factory did not pay her wage of Jan and Feb 2014.
Outdoor & Sports immediately contacted the supplier and received a reply the same day. After investigation, FWF found the case not grounded. Both factory management and plaintiff confirmed that the plaintiff did not follow the 30 days’ notice and did indeed recieve the correct salary. The plaintiff thanked FWF for explaining the side of the factory after which she understood her rights and accepted the outcome.
finalINITIAL REPORT COMPLAINT IN China AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Outdoor Sports
On March 19 FWF’s local complaints hander in China received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Outdoor & Sport. The case is related to the labour standards ‘Employment is freely chosen’ and ‘Payment of a living wage’ which are part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.
Three issues were raised by the plaintiff regarding the permission of temporary leave, the monthly salary and retroactive return the previous deductions. Regarding the wage level, it became clear the worker is not aware of how his wage is calculated; given that he was under the impression his salary was a fixed rate. The plaintiff resigned from the factory without 30 days’ notice and with this he gave away his rights, which he accepted. Regardless of what other allowances or benefits the factory provides, the deduction is still illegal and should therefore be reimbursed. Outdoor & Sports has been able to agree with the supplier that the factory reimburses this deduction.
FWF’s complaints handler spoke with workers of the factory who stated that deduction policy was ceased but the previous deductions were not yet reimbursed to workers. The deduction will be paid in parts and fully paid by the end of 2014. Outdoor & Sports has scheduled another meeting for October this year where this topic will be on the agenda.
intermediate REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Maier Sports
On 24 October FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Maier Sport. The complaint related to four labour standards: ’employment is freely chosen’, ‘reasonable hours of work’, legally binding employment relationship’ and ‘payment of a living wage’
The plaintiff filed mutiple complaints but given that Maier Sports will no longer continue working with this supplier, no remediation at this factory can take place. Verification with the plaintiffs was not possible, since FWF’s complaints handler was not able to contact the plaintiffs again. At the next Performance Check, FWF will verify the affiliates’ effort to analyse and set up a plan to reduce excessive overtime and to improve the social security coverage at Chinese suppliers. In addition, as part of the Performance Check FWF will review the affiliate’s efforts to implement steps towards payment of a living wage.
Final REPORT COMPLAINT IN China AT FACTORY SUPPLYING mammut
On 26 November and 16 December 2013 FWF’s complaints handler in China received a complaints report from a worker working in a factory supplying Mammut. The complaints related to the following standards of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices: ‘Employment is freely chosen’ and ‘reasonable hours of work’
Two workers informed FWF that the factory limits workers to resign from the factory. According to the plaintiff, workers lose their last month’ salary if they do leave the factory. Also, workers have to work excessive overtime when they cannot complete production quota.
One of two plaintiffs was willing to disclose his identity, Mammut was able to resolve his case in cooperation with the supplier. Mammut is expected to analyze and set up a plan to reduce excessive overtime. FWF encourages Mammut to schedule another audit in March 2014 to verify the above.
Final REPORT COMPLAINT IN india AT FACTORY SUPPLYING odd molly
On 9 May 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Odd Molly. The complaint related to the labour standards ‘employment is freely chosen’, ‘reasonable hours of work’ and ‘payment of a living wage’ that are part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.
In August, Odd Molly informed FWF that the brand has shifted the production to another production site in India due to financial difficulties of the factory. Hence the brand has no more means to follow up the complaint. To ensure that such labour standard violations do not happen at the new production site, FWF expects Odd Molly to investigate especially concerning the three labour standards which have been addresses in this complaint at the brands’ production sites. The complaints handler got in contact with the plaintiff, the worker is not employed at the production site anymore.
Final REPORT COMPLAINT IN China AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Suit Supply
On 20 July 2013 FWF received a complaint through its local complaints handler in China, filed by a worker of a factory supplying Suit Supply.
The worker informed FWFs complaints handler that he had submitted a written resignation letter on 19 Jul 2013. According to the worker, the management team refused to accept the resignation letter and did not approve his resignation. Despite following the local law to resign with a 30 days’ notice, the worker stated he still needed approval by management before he can quit.
Suit Supply immediately contacted its supplier after the complaint was received. The company discussed the matter with management of the factory and stressed that the factory should accept workers’ resignation when they have followed the law. Shortly after, the factory officially accepted the resignation request.