Final report of a complaint at a factory in Turkey that supplies Maier Sports – June 2017
A complainant needed time off to take care of their children’s health. Factory management agreed to give the individual some flexibility as they were interested in the person’s skills. However, after a salary raise the complainant realised they were being paid at a lower level of skill, and thought this was because of the time they needed to take off due to child care.
Management did not want to increase the wages of the complainant nor did they want to pay compensation to the worker for leaving the factory. In the end, the complainant was dismissed and is at home, caring for their children.
Final report of a complaint in Tunisia at a factory supplying Nudie Jeans — October 2017
The complainant claimed that he often works overtime hours. Due to the new Tunisian law, the worker believes that overtime hours are not that beneficial. Furthermore, he also had problems with his supervisor. Therefore, he proposed to management to change jobs within the factory. Management had not given him a response.
Even before FWF could inform Nudie Jeans, the case had been resolved. FWF had to check several details before forwarding the complaint to Nudie Jeans. In the meantime, management had talked to the worker and agreed to transferring the worker to another job in the factory. The worker kept its level of salary.
The complainant was satisfied with the transfer and wished that the other worker who took his previous job will perform well
Final report of a complaint at a factory in China supplying Suit Supply – August 2017
On 29 August 2017, a complainant called FWF claiming that the factory had shortened the lunch break from one hour to a maximum of 30 minutes, because of changes to the boiler system led to increased energy costs.
FWF contacted Suit Supply who, in turn, contacted the factory. Factory management had already seen that this change affected workers too much, so they had already changed the lunch period back to one hour.
Final report of complaint at factory where members Continental Clothing, Epona, Manroof, Nudie Jeans source from – July 2017
On 30 April 2017, a worker stated that the factory was not paying the corresponding premiums for working on a Sunday or working overtime. Also, there is no way the worker can verify the amount paid, as no payslips are given by the factory. Finally, the worker said the salary is not enough to make it a living wage.
From FWF’s investigation and findings, workers at that factory need to be actively informed about their working hours and wage and overtime calculations. The factory must begin issuing either weekly or monthly payslips, which must contain the breakdown of payment. Also, all overtime work must be paid at a premium rate, and records clearly kept.
The complainant was informed about the outcome of the investigation and confirmed receiving additional payment.
Final report of complaint at a factory in India that supplies Odd Molly – 21 July 2017
On 3 February 2017, a worker contacted FWF’s helpline to complain that work had been offered at a different factory from the same owner in the understanding that employment at the previous factory would be terminated and final payment provided. However, full and final payment has not been received. Further, piece rate workers at the factories were not getting social security benefits, or most of the legal protection that hired workers have, such as notice pay or earned leave.
As the factory was unwilling to cooperate on the complaint and the brand has since stopped business relations, no further remediation can take place. The complaint is closed and remains unsolved.
Final report of a complaint at a factory in Turkey supplying Heigo, Vaude, and ClubKollektion
On 9 September 2016, FWF received a complaint from a worker who is currently employed by the factory. The complainant claimed that there are many noncompliance issues in the factory, including Turkish and Syrian workers who are unregistered, and that there is excessive overtime, especially in June, 2016, when they normally worked until midnight. The complainant also claimed that line supervisors do not receive a premium for overtime work.
FWF informed Heigo, Vaude and Klubkollection about the case, who contacted the supplier and asked for a reply. The supplier claimed that there is no unregistered Turkish worker in the factory. Two unregistered Syrian adult workers are working in the factory with the same payments as Turkish workers. The supplier wants to register the Syrian workers and he said that one of the Syrian workers is so talented that he increased his monthly wage, but his social security agent said that they cannot be registered. The supplier said that no excessive overtime occurred in the factory in June. The supplier agreed that the main problem in the factory has to do with the communication between management and line supervisors, and between line supervisors and workers. The supplier replied that FWF is welcome to conduct an inspection at any time.
Fair Wear Foundation staff offered guidance on how to register the Syrian workers, explaining the registration procedure. The supplier agreed on a date for the inspection visit: 2 February 2017. Two members of the FWF team, including the Arabic-speaking complaints handler, participated. The visit did not turn out to be a usual inspection visit although there was open dialogue on the issues raised by the complainant. The supplier also mentioned that he is willing to participate in communication training. The FWF complaints handler contacted the complainant. According to the complainant’s statements, all the problems have been solved.
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 Turkey supplying Schijvens
On 12 March 2017, FWF received a complaint from a worker who was formerly employed by the factory. The complainant claimed that he/she was dismissed after refusing to work overtime until 23.00 (just on one day). The complainant said that he/she spoke to his/her supervisor and mentioned he/she had to take care of a patient at home that night and consequently could not stay for overtime work. However, the next day he/she was dismissed. He/she also has not received social security insurance coverage for the full duration of his/her employment.
On 21 March 2017, FWF informed Schijvens about the case. Schijvens contacted the supplier and asked for a reply.
The supplier states that:
1) Overtime is not compulsory, only voluntary.
2) And they mention that there are indeed workers who do not have social security but the reason behind is that the workers do not want to have it because of the unemployment benefit or the constraint on wages.
Our complaint handler talked to the complainant again to check his/her overtime hours and salary. According to the notes of the audit team members of the recent audit, the calculations at this factory were correct. After dismissal, the sole request of the complainant was to receive his/her monthly salary before the payment day. The payment was made on payment day, so this complaint can be closed.
Final report of a complaint at a factory in India supplying Odd Molly
On 28 December 2016, FWF received a complaint from a worker who recently left the factory. The complainant claimed that management informed him/her on 26th December that his/her work was no longer needed at the company. He/she was asked to sign a resignation letter in order to receive his/her final payment, but did not receive a receipt or breakdown of this payment. He/she believes that not all money owed has been paid.
FWF informed Odd Molly about the case. The factory only replied on 3rd March 2017. FWF verified the shared document (full and final payment receipt) and discussed management’s response with the complainant who had since started working at another factory and was not interested in pursuing the complaint further. The investigation revealed that overtime was likely not being paid at the proper rate.
FWF recommends the following points for remediation:
– Legal procedures must be followed in case the factory wishes to dismiss/terminate a contract.
– Overtime must always be paid at double rate. The factory should pay outstanding overtime wages to the complainant.