finaL REPORT COMPLAINT IN China AT FACTORY SUPPLYING TAKKO
In November 2012 the German magazine Der Spiegel published an article containing allegations that Takko Holding GmbH had sourced products from a prison in China. FWF has treated that report as a complaint.
Takko has acknowledged to Der Spiegel and to Fair Wear Foundation that their products were made in the factory in question. The order was placed through agents, and Takko asserts that they had already terminated the business relationship with the agents due to reliability concerns. Takko has stated they were unaware of the use of prison labour by the agent.
FWF required Takko to implement a number of measures to address the conditions which lead to the inclusion of a prison factory in Takko’s supply chain. FWF has verified how these measures have been implemented during Takko’s next Brand Performance Check.
intermediate REPORT COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY SUPPLYING TAKKO
In May, FWF received a complaint about a number of issues at a supplier of Takko Fashion, including forced and excessive overtime and coaching of workers before an audit.
An investigation showed that parts of the complaint were grounded. Takko Fashion has been informed and is currently working with its supplier on (the implementation of) a corrective action plan, which FWF will verify and publish a final report about.
final REPORT COMPLAINT IN india AT FACTORY SUPPLYING mexx
In 2006, a complaint was filed concerning the FFI factory in India from which Mexx (Liz Claiborne) was sourcing. The complaint included a number of major issues, like severe (physical) harassment of workers, unlawful dismissal and forced, unpaid overtime. The complaint and ensuing process received a lot of publicity in The Netherlands in 2006-2007. The report for this procedure can be downloaded here.
FWF Guidance for Members on Sumangali 2015
The Sumangali Scheme, a form of forced labour in India, is said to have begun two decades ago. The word “Sumangali” in Tamil refers to a happy and content married woman. In a traditional Hindu arranged marriage, it is a practice for the bride’s parents to provide the groom’s family a substantial dowry (illegal by law since 1961), and to bear the expenses of the wedding. If they don’t meet the expectations of the groom’s family, the bride may be subjected to ill-treatment in her marital home.
This is why the Sumangali Scheme is also known as the “marriage assistance system”. Spinning mills employ agents who use the vulnerability of poor families from lower castes, tempting them with a lump sum payment at the end of three years to be used by the parents for their daughter’s wedding. Ostensibly, this system meets the needs of poor families and provides stable workforce to factories in Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore region). Girls aged 14 to 20 are lured by misleading advertisements by “voluntary” consent to work in factories. Once the contract is signed, young girls are under the control of the factory or the agent. They know very little about the hardships of working in spinning mills when they enter the factory.
final REPORT COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY SUPPLYING mayerline
In December, a worker from a factory supplying Mayerline (see complaint below) contacted the FWF complaints handler. The worker had resigned according to Chinese labour law but was afraid the factory would force her to continue working by withholding part of her salary.
After an investigation, the complaint was found grounded. After intervention by Mayerline on behalf of the factory, a compromise was reached between the worker and the factory, and she was let go with her full salary, albeit one full week later than the resignation date she had been entitled to.
Mayerline also requested the factory to end the practice of keeping workers from resigning by withholding salaries.
Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Vaude
In 2012 FWF followed up on one complaint that had been filed in December 2011 by workers from a factory supplying Vaude. This complaint concerned excessive overtime and general communication in the factory. Vaude developed an action plan to address this issue. In October 2012 FWF verified improvements in the factory. It was found that overtime was decreased in general in 2012, and that no excessive overtime had occurred as of June 2012 onwards. With regard to communication & consultation, the factory had made some improvements through training by an external service provider. The audit team identified that further improvement was still needed, particularly with regard to the disciplinary policy in the factory.
finaL REPORT COMPLAINT IN china AT FACTORY SUPPLYING Mayerline
In October, a worker from a factory supplying Mayerline contacted the FWF complaints handler. He had been fired from his job upon refusing to work (unreasonable) overtime and the factory had attempted to force the worker to sign a resignation letter, which would mean he would forfeit the right to severance pay.
The investigation by FWF showed that the complaint was grounded. Mayerline immediatley contacted the factory, while the worker contacted the local labour bureau. After some negotiations, the worker was re-hired. Verification by FWF showed that the issue had been resolved and the worker was satisfied with the way the complaint had been handled.