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Resources

We try to make sure this resource section of our website is always up-to-date. All documents listed can be downloaded. If you find that anything is missing or any link is broken, please send us an e-mail at info@fairwear.org and we will be more than happy to send the documents to you and/or (re-)upload them to this resource section.

Company reports

performance checks 2016

brand performance checks 2016

Read more about the Brand Performance Checks in our Brand Performance Check Guide

The Brand Performance Check system is updated in regular intervals. If you have comments on the system or particular indicators, please send them to info@fairwear.org with the subject line “Feedback on Brand Performance Check system".

Brand Performance Checks 2016

performance checks 2015

performance checks 2014

performance checks 2013

Brand performance checks 2013

In 2013, FWF is launching a major upgrade to our Brand Performance Checks.  A new more transparent, and more user-friendly format has been developed, along with a Performance Benchmarking system. The remaining 2013 Brand Performance Checks will be published in early 2014 once the new system comes online.

 

FWF has prepared a Brand Performance Check Guide for stakeholders and consumers to further explain how FWF reports on affiliates.

 

performance checks 2012

Reports:

Pama - December 2012

Buttonboss - December 2012

Mountain Force - December 2012

Stanley and Stella - December 2012

ECC Couture - December 2012

Westveer Holding - November 2012

Mammut Sports - November 2012

Deuter - November 2012

Nudie Jeans November 2012

CPT - October 2012

Odd Molly - October 2012 

ODLO - October 2012

nakedshirt October 2012

HempAge - October 2012

Takko Fashion - October 2012

McGregor - September 2012

Tricorp - September 2012

KTC - September 2012

hessnatur - September 2012

Triaz - September 2012

Acne Studios - August 2012

Filippa K - August 2012 

Bierbaum-Proenen - August 2012

Bizniz confectie - August 2012

Switcher - August 2012

Schijvens - July 2012

Dept. BV - June 2012

Kwintet AB - June 2012

De Berkel - May 2012

Jack Wolfskin - May 2012

Blackout - May 2012

Manroof - April 2012

Manderley - April 2012

ProGarments - April 2012

Schoeffel - February 2012

Suit Supply - March 2012

Vaude - February 2012

performance checks 2011

Alteks Brand Performance Check 2011

Araco Brand Performance Check 2011

Bierbaum Proenen Brand Performance Check 2011

Buttonboss Brand Performance Check 2011

Cheap Monday Brand Performance Check 2011

Continental Clothing brand performance check 2011

CPT brand performance check 2011

crown east brand performance check 2011

De Berkel Brand Performance Check 2011

Acne Studios Brand Performance Check 2011

Filippa K Brand Performance Check 2011

Heigo Brand Performance Check 2011

HempAge brand performance check 2011

hessnatur brand performance check 2011

J. Lindeberg brand performance check 2011

J.C. Rags brand performance check 2011

Jack Wolfskin brand performance check 2011

Mammut brand performance check 2011

Mayerline brand performance check 2011

McGregor Fashion Group brand performance check 2011

Nudie Jeans brand performance check 2011

Odd Molly brand performance check 2011

Odlo brand performance check 2011

Pama brand performance check 2011

PWG Brand Performance check 2011

Schijvens brand performance check 2011

switcher Brand Performance Check 2011

Tricorp brand performance check 2011

Van Puijenbroek Brand Performance Check 2011

performance checks 2010

Black Out Brand Performance Check 2010

Buttonboss Brand Performance Check 2010

Clean & Unique Brand Performance Check 2010

Continental Brand Performance Check 2010

ECC Couture Brand Performance Check 2010

Expresso Brand Performance Check 2010

Hempage Brand Performance Check 2010

hessnatur Brand Performance Check 2010

Hydrowear Brand Performance Check 2010

Kwintet Brand Performance Check 2010

Mammut Brand Performance Check 2010

Manderley Brand Performance Check 2010

Manroof Brand Performance Check 2010

Odd Molly Brand Performance Check 2010

Odlo Brand Performance Check 2010

Pama Brand Performance Check 2010

PWG Brand Performance Check 2010

Suit Supply Brand Performance Check 2010

Switcher Brand Performance Check 2010

Tricorp Brand Performance Check 2010

Van Puijenbroek Brand Performance Check 2010

performance checks 2009

Acne Studios Brand Performance Check 2009

De Berkel Brand Performance Check 2009

Expresso Brand Performance Check 2009

Fabric Scandinavien brand performance check 2009

Filipa K Brand Performance Check 2009

Heigo Brand Performance Check 2009

hessnatur Brand Performance Check 2009

Mammut Brand Performance Check 2009

Manroof Brand Performance Check 2009

McGregor Brand Performance Check 2009

Odlo Brand Performance Check 2009

Tricorp Brand Performance Check 2009

Van Puijenbroek Brand Performance Check 2009

social reports 2015

social reports 2015

Fair Wear Foundation members are required to hand in an annual social report. Companies' social reports are part of FWF's requirements on brand transparency. FWF collects and publishes the reports, but does not verify their content before publishing them. The quality of the social reports is checked and reported on through the annual brand performance checks.

 

social reports 2014

Social Reports 2014

Note: Affiliates and factory members are required to hand in an annual social report. Companies' social reports are part of FWF's requirements on brand transparency. FWF collects and publishes the reports, but does not verify their content before publishing them. The quality of the social reports is checked and reported on through the annual brand performance checks.

social reports 2013

these companies have handed in their social reports:

Note: Affiliates and factory members are required to hand in an annual social report. Companies' social reports are part of FWF's requirements on brand transparency. FWF collects and publishes the reports, but does not verify their content before publishing them. The quality of the social reports is checked and reported on through the annual brand performance checks.

 

 

these companies have failed to submit their social report for 2013:
KOI

 

these companies joined after 1 July 2013 and were thus not required to report on 2013:
Kuyichi
LaDress
Salewa & Dynafit
SOL's
Vanilia

 

these companies have a different financial years and will be evaluated in December 2014:
Acne
Crown East
DW Shop
Grune Erde
McGregor
Odlo International
Outdoor & Sports
Permess
Schijvens
UVU

social reports 2012

these companies have handed in their social reports:

Note: Affiliates and factory members are required to hand in an annual social report. Companies' social reports are part of FWF's requirements on brand transparency. FWF collects and publishes the reports, but does not verify their content before publishing them. The quality of the social reports is checked and reported on through the annual brand performance checks.

these companies have failed to submit their social report for 2012:

  • Crown East (member since 2008)
  • Gruene Erde (member since 2010)
  • Hydrowear (member since 2009)
  • ProGarments (member since 2011)
  • Schijvens (members since 2010)
  • Suit Supply (member since 2007)

these companies joined after 1 July 2012 and were thus not required to report on 2012:

  • Alchemist (01-04-2013)
  • Anna van Toor (01-02-2013)
  • K.O.I (01-01-2013)
  • Tailor & Stitch (28-01-2013)
  • Premium Inc. (01-05-2013)
  • Studio JUX (01-6-2013)
  • Kuyichi (01-07-2013)
  • Anchor Workwear (01-07-2013)

these companies agreed to hand in their social report before 1 August 2013:

  • CPT (23-08-2010)

social reports 2011

These companies have handed in their social report

these companies have indicated they will submit their report before the end of August 2012

  • Permess South East Asia (member since 2010)

these companies have failed to submit their social report for 2011:

  • Alteks.co.uk (member since 2009)
  • Crown East (member since 2008)
  • ECC Couture (member since 2009)
  • Grüne Erde (member since 2010)
  • Gsus wholesale&design (member since 2004)
  • Hydrowear (member since 2009)
  • Pama Intl. (member since 2004)
  • Suit Supply BV (member since 2007)
  • Tricorp Textiles (member since 2007)

these companies joined after 1 July 2011 and were thus not required to report on 2011:

  • ALBIRO AG (13-06-12)
  • Deuter Sport GmbH & Co. KG (01-08-11)
  • DW-Shop GmbH (01-02-12)
  • Haglöfs Scandinavia AB (18-04-12)
  • Hakro GmbH (01-12-11)
  • Kümmel & Co (01-05-11)
  • LK International AG (Kjus) (18-04-12)
  • Mountain Force AG (15-08-11)
  • Nakedshirt GmbH (14-11-11)
  • Outdoor & Sports Company Ltd. (01-07-12)
  • RAM Concepts Europe (01-11-11)
  • Scorett Footwear AB (01-02-12)
  • Stanley and Stella S.A. (15-12-11)
  • Swiss Post (13-06-12)
  • Takko Holding GmbH (01-10-11)
  • Triaz GmbH (01-09-11)
  • UVU Holdings Limited (01-11-11)

Social reports and ambassadors

FWF adapted its policy for ambassadors in May 2012. Existing ambassador memberships are in transition. As of 2013 the new policy will apply to all ambassadors. Due to these changes most ambassadors did not hand in a social report 2011. A positive exception is the Dutch Trias Holding (Polichlo and Boudestijn). You can find their social report here.

social reports 2010

Social Reports 2010

The following companies failed to hand in their social report:

  • A. Mauritz en Zn. B.V.
  • Alteks.co.uk
  • Continental Clothing Company Ltd
  • De Berkel B.V.
  • E.C.C. Couture B.V.
  • Hydrowear B.V.
  • Kwintet Far East Limited
  • Kwintet KLM Kleding N.V.
  • Lasaulec B.V.
  • McGregor Fashion Group B.V.
  • Permess South East Asia Ltd
  • Power Workwear B.V. (= Groenendijk)
  • Secur protects@work BV
  • The Cotton Group sa/nv
  • Vereniging Clean & Unique
  • Wiltec B.V.

social reports 2009

Social Reports 2009

The following companies joined FWF after 30 June 2009 and are not required to hand in a social report for 2009:

 

  • Alteks.co.uk
  • Araco International B.V.
  • Bierbaum-Proenen GmbH & Co. KG
  • HempAge
  • Hydrowear B.V.
  • Lasaulec B.V.
  • Jack Wolfskin
  • J.C. Rags
  • J.Lindeberg
  • Manderley Fashion bv
  • Mayerline
  • Nudie Jeans
  • Permess South-East Asia
  • Rivema
  • Schijvens Confectiefabriek Hilvarenbeek B.V.
  • Transa
  • The Cotton Group

The remaining companies have yet to hand in a social report. This will be part of FWF's evaluation of these companies' progress (see MSA reports 2010), reports of which will be uploaded throughout 2010. These companies are:

 

  • ACNE Studios
  • Bo Weevil B.V.
  • Buttonboss B.V.
  • Continental Clothing Company Ltd
  • Crown East B.V. (Faithful)
  • Heigo Nederland B.V.
  • Suit Supply B.V.
  • Tricorp Textiles Europe B.V.
  • Vereniging Clean & Unique

social reports 2009 (ambassadors)

Social Reports 2009 (ambassadors)

FWF currently has thirteen ambassador members. Two of these have handed in their annual reports 2009:

 

    ACP (in Dutch)
    Groenendijk/Power Workwear (in Dutch)
    P&P Projects

 

Four ambassadors were not required to hand in an annual report, as they only joined FWF recently. We look forward to receiving their reports next year:

 

    Lasaulec (joined in 2010)
    Polichlo Safety & More (joined in 2010)
    Secur Group (joined 15 July 2009)
    Wiltec (joined 1 September 2009)

 

The remaining seven companies have failed to hand in an annual report. This will be part of FWF's evaluation of their performance, as transparency is one of FWF's management system requirements.

 

    A. Mauritz
    Bout BV (joined 1 June 2009)
    Dirksen (joined 1 May 2009)
    SBO Group
    Sparkling Ideas
    Joh. Steenkist

social reports 2008

Social Reports 2008

One of the requirements of FWF membership is that both FWF affiliates and FWF ambassadors annually report on their progress. Along with the annual work plans (which are confidential) the companies' social reports form the basis for the subsequent management system audits FWF performs. The social reports are also an important way for companies to tell the world about their CSR efforts.

 

The following companies have reported on their FWF activities in 2008:

 

    Buttonboss
    CCO Poulis Group B.V.
    De Berkel B.V.
    Expresso Fashion B.V.
    Fabric Scandinavien AB
    Filippa K AB
    Groenendijk Bedrijfsschoenen & -kleding B.V.
    Hess Natur-Textilien GmbH
    McGregor Fashion Group B.V.
    P&P Projects B.V.
    Pama International B.V.
    SBO Group
    Secon Group B.V.
    Sparkling Ideas
    Switcher SA
    Van Puijenbroek Textiel
    Tricorp Textiles Europe B.V.

 

The following companies joined FWF in the second half of 2008 or in 2009 and were thus not required to report on 2008:

 

    ACP
    Blackout AG
    Bout B.V.
    Dirksen BV
    E.C.C. Couture B.V.
    HempAge
    Hydrowear B.V.
    Kwintet Far East Limited
    Mammut Sports Group AG
    Manderley Fashion bv
    Manroof GmbH
    Nudie Jeans
    Odd Molly International AB
    ODLO Sports Group AG
    Rivema
    Secur protects@work BV
    The Cotton Group sa/nv
    Vereniging Clean & Unique
    Wiltec B.V.

 

The following companies failed to submit a social report on 2008:

 

    A. Mauritz en Zn. B.V.
    ACNE Studios
    Bo Weevil B.V.
    Continental Clothing Company Ltd
    Crown East B.V. (Faithful)
    Du Pon & De Bruin B.V.
    F. ENGEL K/S
    Gsus wholesale and design b.v.
    Heigo Nederland B.V.
    Joh. Steenkist-Schijfsma B.V.
    Kwintet KLM Kleding N.V.
    Mexx Europroductions B.V.
    Power Workwear B.V. (= Groenendijk)
    PWG Bedrijfsveilige Kleding BV
    SGA Bedrijfskleding BV
    Suit Supply B.V.

Best practices 2009

Best Practices 2009

For the annual members' day 2010, fifteen companies submitted a 'best practice example' of their work in 2009 to improve labour conditions in their supply chains. During the day, these best practices were displayed on a 'wall of fame'. You can download them here.

Complaints

General

FWF complaints procedure

FWF complaints procedure

When a complaint is filed by a factory worker, manager or local trade unionist or NGO worker, FWF informs the affiliate(s) sourcing from the factory in question and investigates the complaint.

Once the investigation is complete, the affiliate is asked to formulate a response and the report, the response and FWF's verification plan are published.

Once the entire procedure is closed and the verification process concluded, the final report is also published.

2016

Bangladesh

On 13 January 216 FWF's local complaints handler received a complaint from 29 employees recently under suspension of the factory since 6 December 2015.  According to the complainant, factory management had allegedly misbehaved by, for example, denying access to drinking water during working hours, severe verbal abuse, unpaid overtime and unfair dismissal of a floor level management staff. No improvements were made after addressing the issues to the management.  The workers decided to protest against the management in November 2015. This case is related to the labour standards of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices ‘Payment of a living wage’, ‘Reasonable working hours’, ‘Occupational health and Safety’ and  ‘Legally binding employment relationship’.


FWF informed Fristads Kansas Group and Solo Invest S.A.S about the complaint. Fristads Kansas Group discussed this case with the management of the factory during a visit in February 2016. The factory conducted an investigation. The internal investigation showed that the complainants had stirred up unrest among the workers and damaged factory properties during a protest. The factory concluded that it was justified that the workers were fired and decided not to drop the case against the complainants. The factory was open for further investigation by FWF. The complainants disagree with the findings of the factory management and have decided to seek justice through the local authority, labour bureau of the district government.  FWF and the complainants agreed to wait for the investigation and conclusion of the local authority. At the moment no investigation is set up by FWF.
 

A complainant said she went on approved maternity leave at the end of 2015, and received the first installment of her maternity pay. She lost her child shortly after giving birth. She went back to work, but could not continue working. She informed management her intention to quit. Management responded that if she quit she would not get her second installment of maternity leave pay. The complainant believed that she was entitled to full maternity pay. 

Both members contacted the factory management, and received a response on February 15. Management claimed that hte worker did not communicate sufficiently through their internal process. Nevertheless, the complaint was solved and no further investigation was needed. The complainant presented her resignation on 14 February. The FWF complaints handler verified that the complainant received her maternity benefits and severance pay according to legal requirements. 

 

china

A worker representative currently employed by the factory contacted FWF because workers heard that the factory management was planning on relocating the factory but had not been informed about any changes. Workers feared that, if the factory relocated around the Chinese New Year, they would be unable to find the factory again and would not receive their compensation. Vaude contacted the factory, which confirmed that there were plans to move the factory. Factory management proceeded to inform the workers of the move once the new location had been confirmed, and with a month of notice. This complies with legal requirements. Since the relocation was within the same city, factory management did not have to pay compensation.


No remediation was needed because the workers have been informed about the relocation plans. FWF advised Vaude to enroll the factory a second time in a Workplace Education Programme training, to enhance dialogue between workers and management.

 

On 2 December 2015 a complainant contacted the FWF complaints handler after being informed on 26 November that she had been laid off, and that her last working day would be 30 November 2015. 

The member contacted the supplier, who assured that the situation was a misunderstanding. According to the factory, the complainant was not laid off. Father, she was offered alternatives after all the work was finished. She could receive 80% of her wage and being able to go home early for Chinese New Year, but with the opportunity to go back. Or she could continue to work but in a different deparment. The complainant denided this. 

The complainant used a public phone to file her complaint. She promised the complaints handler to get in touch if further assistance was needed. FWF did not receive another call, so the complaint has been closed.

 

A worker who has worked at the cutting section of the factory for two years, claimed that the general manager requested her to do a different type of work. The new work was more complicated, and the factory allegedly wouldn't pay more for it. The complainant says the general manager decided to terminate the complainant, because of her dissatisfaction, by asking her to prepare a resignation letter or her wages would not be paid. The complainant said that she did not want to end her employment with her factory but that if no other option is available she wants to receive severance pay.

Upon further investigation, factory management alleged that the complainant had made mistakes in the work floor, and that she was fired due to those mistakes. However, at the time of the alleged mistake, the complainant was not informed of this situation. The local office of Suit Supply visited the factory. During this visit, management agreed to pay the complainant severance pay. Later, FWF's complaints handler was informed that the severance payment would not go through.

Normally FWF would propose a remediation meeting, but because the cost of remediation would be higher than the cost of the severance pay and in light of the complainant possibly not returning to this specific factory after Chinese New Year, it was suggested to Suit Supply that they negotiate with the factory so the management pay severance to the complainant. Suit Supply offered to pay severance to the worker directly, and this was carried out.

 

A 58 year-old complainant claimed he was forced to quit without receiving proper severance. He was given his last due wage and informed he could no longer work because of old age. According to the factory, retirement age for male workers is 55. A month later, the complainant went back to the factory and was given 3 months of wages as compensation. The complainant considers this to be insufficient, as he had worked for the factory for 15 years. The legal retirement age in China is 60.

Further complicating the issue, in that period of time the factory relocated. From the factory's records it seemed that it did not acknowledge the complainant's service for the first 7 years. FWF suggested mediation, but the complainant declined as it would mean travelling back and forth between his hometown and the factory. FWF's country representative investigated the case further by visiting factory management. While payments had been made to the complainant they were lower than the amount the complainant was entitled to. The complainant received the difference.

Another issue was the fact that documentation was often not kept, or it was not given to the workers. FWF strongly encourages the members to make sure all workers of the factory receive a copy of their contract and wage slips. 

 

india

In August 2013, two workers were asked by an engineer at the factory to repair a pipe. To reach the pipe, they climbed on a chair that collapsed. One of the workers fractured a hand. The other worker, the complainant, fractured his spine. After the accident, management paid medical expenses for both workers. The workers were allegedly asked to sign documents in Tamil, a language the complainant does not speak, and to not report the complaint with the police. In December 2013, FWF became aware of the accident, but no case for non-compliance.

In January 2016 one of the workers called the FWF line to explain that his condition had worsened and was unable to work more than 12 days a month in a different area of the factory. He could not show medical documents because they are allegedly in the hands of management. The worker himself only has an appointment letter and an identification card. Due to his health problems, the worker wants to resign and has asked management for compensation payment, which was denied.

FWF first involved Nudie Jeans, and later the other brands. After contact with the factory it was established that all medical bills had been paid so far, and the worker continued in employment during his treatment. The worker fell under the Indian Employee's Compensation Act. This meant that the worker was entitled to compensation regardless of the insurance situation of the worker. Also, the factory should have nformed the police abou tthe accident.

The worker received outstanding compensation. From now on, the factory must ensure that workers in similar cases are compensated according to law, and notify the authorities wherever necessary. Also, workers must receive a copy of legal documents in a language they can understand.

 

morocco

The complainant claimed that during an audit in May not alldocuments were shown and that auditors were misinformed. Among the main complaints are: that non-skilled workers are employed at lower costs; that workers do not receive wages in line with their seniority; that days are not always declared to the Social SEcurity Fund; that workers are deducted fees for transportation costs; and that holiday payments are not made.

 

The complaint is under investigation as to authenticity, because according to the audit team no violations were detected. The factory also said that they operate according to law.

 

tunisia

On 2 May, a worker approached FWF's complaints handler and trade union representatives. He claimed that a factory where he had been working since 2010 on temporary one-month contracts had terminated his employment.

A 2012 audit revealed that short-term contracts were a concern at that factory then already. Further, in 2014 a different complaint was taken to FWF regarding the same issue. Tunisian labour law is not clear on the matter, but stakeholders agree that this is not the intended purpose of the law.

The case is under investigation.

2015

bangladesh

 

On 31 July 2015 FWF received a complaint through the FWF helpline in Bangladesh. The complainant, a security guard, stated that security guards are required by the factory to work 12 hours per day, 4 hours more than stated in their contract, without overtime payments. Security guards are also required to work without compensation during festival (Eid) days.

On 6 August, the FWF local team, including a document inspector and a complaints handler, met with the factory management and the compliance manager of the Takko Fashion agent. Factory managers agreed that there was a discrepancy in terms of the hours of work, and said they change the guards' schedules based on an 8-hour rotation. The issue of proper remuneration during festival days was not addressed.

The remediation plan includes follow up and monitoring of whether the 8-hour roster system is being used, and whether it will solve the underlying issue. The issue of remuneration during festival days should be addressed. A verification audit is siggested for early 2016.

 

A complainant was absent for two days, allegedly without giving notice. Upon return to his work he was informed about a management decision to fire him. He received a payment that was lower than his expected salary, and he did not receive a bonus and other benefits he felt entitled to. The administrative officer alleges there is no such a system in place.

 

The complainant joined the factory in 1994, and was transferred to another factory of the same group in 2006. He worked at this second factory until 15 March 2015. On this date, management informed him that he would be transferred to a different factory.

Due to fears that he would be terminated after joining the new factory he was assigned to, he refused to sign off on his transfer. He was then asked to resign. The complainant has not signed a resignation letter, and management has not taken any steps to settle his final payment.

 

On 30 April 2015, the complainant presented his resignation to the factory management, but it was not accepted. He was able to resign by 24 May. On 7 June he received payment of his final salary, which was 2000 BDT lower than what he was entitled to for the final period he worked there.

On 6 August, a meeting took place between the complainant, the FWF local team, factory management and a Takko agent representative. Upon review, it was established that the complainant was entitled to addtional payment, which was received by 14 August. Further steps for remediation included having the agent act as intermediary between the complainant and the factory, and an analysis of the root causes of the issue, to prevent similar incidents.

 

During a documentary programme in The Netherlands, the ‘Slag om de Klerewereld’, an apparently underage boy was shown in a label workshop. One of the labels showed the Fair Wear Foundation logo and could be identified as a Continental Clothing label. FWF decided to treat the media report as a formal complaint.

Upon investigation – and owing to the cooperation of Continental Clothing and its Bangladesh supplier – the workshop was found. In the same label workshop, labels of one of Kwintet’s brands was also found. Continental’s Bangladesh supplier had not commissioned the labels directly from this workshop, nor had Kwintet’s supplier – but as illegal subcontracting is common in Bangladesh, a  link between the brands and this workshop cannot be ruled out.

Though no longer working at the label workshop shown in the documentary, the boy, aged 13, was identified. Local staff engaged with him and his family to ensure that the boy would no longer work until he was of legal working age. Instead, he is receiving training while still being paid the equivalent of his salary. FWF’s local team is closely monitoring the implementation of the remediation, which is in accordance with FWF’s Child Labour Policy.

 

On 1 February FWF's received a complaint from an individual claiming to be a worker at a factory supplying Stanley and Stella. The complaint related to 'Safe and healthy working conditions', which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

The complainant claimed that two workers reported chest pain to the factory infirmary during working hours on 25 and 28 January 2015. Both of them died shortly after.Since 31 January 2015, more workers reported symptoms including headache, chest pain, vomiting and abdominal pain. Several hundreds of workers demonstrated in front of the factory on 2 February after knowing the incidents.

FWF has informed Stanley & Stella about the complaint. Although Stanley & Stella is in the process of phasing out the supplier, production was recent enough that agreed that Stanley & Stella has agreed to assist with investigating the case. FWF is preparing a further investigation of the situation and possibilities for appropriate responses.

 

On 7 January 2015 FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the labour practice 'Legally binding employment relationship' and might also be relevant to discrimination against anti-harassment committee members.

The complainant, who was an elected member of the factory’s Anti-Harassment Committee, said that she was asked to sign a resignation letter on 31 December 2014. The general manager said that a male co-worker reported that she invited workers to her house to form a group. She was active in helping workers to report their grievances to the management, and setting up the internal system to handle cases on violence against women at the workplace.

The factory’s response was that the complainant resigned voluntarily and a final conclusion could not be reached. A meeting was then organized which included representatives of the factory – which is participating in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme – as well as FWF and Takko. During the meeting, a solution was negotiated: the worker was not reinstated but was paid severance pay equal to the amount she would have been paid had she been made redundant. The worker accepted the outcome and reported to FWF’s complaint handler that she was happy with the outcome.

 

china

The complainant claimed that on 27 November 2015 she received a position transfer notice that she would be transferred to the mending section. She did not want to accept the transfer because the payments in that section are by piece rate. Also, moving would mean that she would receive less money than in her ucrrent section because of the lack of work. According to the complainant, as of 1 December she was not allowed to punch her time card to record working hours in her original section, and was told by management that she would only be able to log her working hours if she agreed to move.

On 11 December, 2015, the complaints handler asked the complainant whether she wanted to make it an official complaint. On 19 January 2016, the complainant informed the complaints handler that she didn't want to raise an official complaint.

 

In August 2015, a worker of a factory supplying FWF member Vaude filed a complaint concerning his contractual position. When returning to the factory after a period of (approved) leave, his position had been changed without his consent. During the investigation, which was launched immediately by FWF and Vaude, the complainant was fired on the grounds that his complaint to FWF had caused damage to the supplier’s reputation. He did not receive severance pay – though he had been working at the factory for 10 years. The factory claims the worker was dismissed for violating company rules, but the worker denies receiving any warning or notification to that effect.

In the course of the investigation, the case was put to the labour department and FWF decided to wait for the outcome of that process before deciding on the complaint. The complainant confirmed the local aritration committee did not support his appeals.

Vaude and its supplier are required to improve the policy for dismissing workers as well as organise training to improve internal communications. Vaude should ensure there is no retaliation for workers filing a complaint through FWF's complaints hotline, or the labour department.

 

On 7 September, a worker called the complaints hotline claiming that they had worked on a statutoryholiday, and they were not aware of whether they would be paid 200% of their salary for working on a holiday. 

All workers enjoyed two more days of holiday, which can be considered deferred rest to account for 3 September. Therefore the factory did not need to pay 200% for working. 

 

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.

 

In September 2015, FWF’s local copmlaints handler in China received a complaint regarding a shared supplier of FWF members Albiro and Haglöfs. According to the worker who complained, the factory had closed down and had not paid the agreed severance pay.

An investigation performed by FWF and the member companies involved revealed that the complaint was grounded. After being prompted by the companies, the factory did pay the workers all of the wages that were due. Mediation by the labour department had resulted in a severance package, and while this package was not compliant with the labour law, it was accepted by the workers. Therefore, no further remediation was required. The complainant confirmed the receipt of the agreed wages.

 

india

 

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.

 

In May 2015, FWF’s complaint handler in India received a complaint about a supplier to DW Shop concerning two employees who said they had been dismissed for refusing overtime. They claimed that their severance pay had been too low and that their salary was below the legal minimum wage.

During an earlier audit conducted by FWF in April 2015, the auditors had found that the workers they interviewed were heavily coached and many of the documents were forged.

Given the audit outcomes and additional information gathered during the investigation about the complaint, FWF concluded that the complaint was likely to be grounded, but it was not possible to prove this. Management of the factory denied all allegations.

FWF and its member company DW Shop outlined a proposal in which additional severance pay was to be made to the complainants. But when the complaints handler called them, they said they had been paid an additional amount by the factory and wanted to drop the complaint.

FWF will add the information collected to the audit outcomes. DW Shop is required to follow up on the ensuing corrective action plan (CAP). FWF will verify the corrective action in early 2016.

 

In June 2015, six weeks after an audit, FWF received a complaint through its local complaints handler in India from a worker from a factory supplying Nudie Jeans. The complainant claimed that the factory has not paid last month’s salary to several workers, some of whom left the factory because of this. According to the complainant, those workers were threatened by management not to complain to anyone. The worker also stated that there was verbal abuse, forced overtime and that during the FWF audit, the factory hid the fact that it operates hostels for its workers.

During the investigation, the supplier admitted that there had been some cases of late payments in the past months due to outstanding payments of a non-FWF member. It did not, initially, respond to the other allegations. The investigation showed that there were grounds for most of the allegations, though most of them could not be proven definitively. A remediation plan was drafted, which included a root cause analysis of overtime by the factory and Nudie Jeans together, as well as implementing a process for increasing wages.

In January 2016, FWF verified that all complainants had received due payment. Further remediation will be verified at the next FWF audit at the factory, and during the next Brand Performance Check at 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.

 

On 2 March FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Madness. The complaint related to the labour standards 'Legally binding employment relation' and 'No excessive overtime' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

The plaintiff claimed that the factory dismissed him/her without prior written notice and that (s)he did not receive an appointment letter at the beginning of the contract. Also, the plaintiff complained that (s)he had to work excessive overtime, which according to him/her also is common practice. Madness contacted the supplier immediately after receiving the complaint. Factory management stated that they did not dimiss any employees recently and that they had implemented legal binding contracts with their workers.

In May 2015, the worker accepted the settlement payment for one week salary and does not want to pursue his claims regarding further payments. The complaint regarding his case is therefore closed. However, FWF asks Madness to ensure, that the supplier implements legally binding contracts with the entire workforce, including current employees and newly hired employees. This will be verified in an audit later in 2015.

 

Indonesia

 

FWF received a complaint 16th November 2015. The complainant union stated that because of the bankruptcy of the factory, the workers have not received their due wages and any of the severance payments and fringe benefits still owed to them according to Indonesia law. The factory was an active supplier to FWF member Jack Wolfskin.

FWF concluded that the claim of the union is justified. The workers’ claim is supported by the Ministry of Labor and the curator. It looks extremely unlikely that workers receive payment of funds owed to them through pursuing their claim through the bankruptcy process.

FWF looked into the sourcing and business practices of FWF member Jack Wolfskin. FWF concludes that Jack Wolfskin meets the requirements of FWF. It has taken its responsibility to conduct business with the supplier concerned in a responsible way, according to FWF standards and expectations. It has monitored labour conditions at the factory and subsequently motivated the supplier to improve the labour conditions at the factory. FWF cannot find reason to believe that its sourcing practices may have caused or contributed to the bankruptcy. Furthermore, Jack Wolfskin tried to mitigate the harm of the bankruptcy to the workers.

Even though FWF does not require this and there is also no legal obligation for Jack Wolfskin to pay outstanding wages and other outstanding payments to workers, Jack Wolfskin is willing, on a voluntary basis, to support the former workers of the factory in Cikupa, Tangerang, with a financial payment, which reflects Jack Wolfskins share at the factory.

See the complaint at a factory supplying Jack Wolfskin in Bahasa.

Tunisia

In December 2015, FWF received a complaint claiming that management at a factory had recently increased the expected rate of efficiency by 5% without consulting with workers or their representatives. As a result, the complaint alleged, workers now must work overtime. Workers claimed that a meeting with management about the issue was denied. 

Upon investigation, management alleged that in 2012 an agreement had been reached with workers. According to them, workers' salaries would increase in exchange for higher efficiency targets. However, FWF could not find evidence that this process complied with local laws. Later, the member asked the factory for further explanation, but this was not satisfactory. 

 

After the member contacted the factory, there were two meetings between worker representatives and HR personnel at the factory. As a result, the planned efficiency increase was not implemented. Workers indicated hey were aware of the positive role of the member in resolving the complaint. The result will be evaluated at the end of 2016. Based on this evaluation, a decision whether to conduct a verification audit will be made in late 2016. 

 

Vietnam

Complainants claimed that 11 workers had been expelled because the linemanager found teared trousers. The management then llegedly called a group of 11 workers and forced them to write a ltter of volunary resignation, without explanatin or investigation. The group of workers said they ha not made the mistake. The complainants talked with the Factory Trade Union, but it did not provide a solution. A fourth complainant alleged that her application was rejected because of her family ties to some of the other complainants.

The factory claimed that workers were dismissed because of a policythat allowes it to dismiss workers for damaging products.However, there was no evidence to prove who cut the trousers. Later, after a meeting with the complaints handlers, manager mentioned the workers had been dismissed because they had not checked the products at the end of their working day. Had they done so, they would have found the destroyed trousers. According to management this was internal regulation. However, no record of this policy was found. The factory management later claimed that this was relayed orally to the workers.

FWF found that resignation was not voluntary and that the disciplinary policy cannot be applied as a reason for dismissal because there was no proof of who destroyed the trousers and there is no written policy about checking the products at the end of the day. There was no evidence to substantiate a discrimination claim.

The members engaged with the factory and ensured that workers received dismissal compensation. FWF encouraged the brands to discuss formal disciplinar policy and factory regulation, and ensure it complies with the FWF Code of Labour Practices. The workers, who had hoped to be rehired, were nevertheless grateful for FWF for having received compensation.

 

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. 

 

In July, FWF’s complaints handler in Vietnam received a complaint about excessive overtime and failure to pay the legally required overtime premium.

According to the complainant, who worked for a supplier of FWF members Kjus and Mammut, workers are forced to work structural overtime of 2 hours a day and 2 to 3 Sundays a month, amounting to a total of between 45-50 overtime hours a month. In addition, the worker claims that the factory shuts the door to prevent workers from leaving. The total salary, including overtime, does not cover the cost of living.

The factory responded to the claims, explaining the wage structure and overtime policy are all within the law. A recent audit indicated that the pay structure is poorly understood by workers and excessive overtime does occasionally take place, often due to bad planning on the part of the factory and/or its customers.

The factory and FWF members are therefore required to analyse the root causes of the (excessive) overtime. Wage levels should be discussed and dialogue structures should be created to enable workers to be part of collective wage negotiations.

In December of 2015, a Workplace Education Programme (WEP) training was organised at the factory. In January 2016, FWF was informed that workers now work between 7:30 and 17:00, and are given a day off per week.

 

2014

Complaints 2014

On 17 May FWF's complaints handler received a complaint from 12 workers, working for a factory supplying Takko Fashion. The complaint related to the labour standards 'Payment of a living wage' and 'Occupational health and safety, with regard to harassment' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

Workers from the finishing section claimed that the factory did not pay minimum wages. According to the complainants, they needed to work overtime, which was unpaid. The factory did not provide payslips. In addition, the workers said that they would be under a lot of pressure from the management or even got fired if they refuse to do the unpaid overtime. There was verbal abuse reported to women and physical abuse towards men. The factory management responded that all allegations were false. When FWF investigated, it was found that verbal abuse with sexually explicit profanity was common in the factory. Occasionally workers reported physical harassment such as pulling hair, pushing and light slapping. Minimum wages were paid to sewing helpers. Minimum wages were not paid to cleaners. There was double book-keeping in wage records and OT records.

 

Factory has made the first step to reduce harassment at work. Both the factory and the anti-harassment committee members need more time to gradually make more improvements.

 

 

On 10 August FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the labour condition 'Occupational health and safety', which is part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainants called FWF’s helpline and claimed that a worker was missing after a big argument with the production manager. Workers suspected that the management of the factory abducted him. After a few days the missing worker was found and looked healthy but was fired from the factory because of his absence. The missing person and his family were not allowed to discuss with anyone about the incidence. The police office refused to provide information to FWF. At this point, FWF is not able to verify the situation.

 

All workers went on silence strike the same day and demanded the management to release the missing worker. During the investigation process the factory filed a court case against 93 employees, who were believed to behave violently during the demonstration. The factory also blacklisted 13 workers and put their photos up in front of the factory. The 13 workers who were blacklisted said that the factory took their photos off the announcement, but their reputation was ruined. The management requested the court not to punish the 93 workers, who are now all working at other factories. All workers were bailed out and the case will automatically expire in one year if the workers are not involved in other cases.

 

 

On 14 Augustus a local union SGSF (Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation), an affiliated member of IndustriAll, filed a complaint on behalf of a group of workers that was recently terminated by the factory. The case related to the labour standard 'Legally binding employment relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that the factory fired a number of workers in the month of July 2014. The workers did not get their compensations. The union requested FWF to facilitate a negotiation for the union with the factory management on behalf of the workers.

 

FWF informed Takko Fashion about the case. Takko Fashion had responded immediately. Since the union wished to handle the case on its own, FWF decided not to conduct an investigation. FWF agreed to close the case, unless SGSF needs support again in the future.

 

 

On 15 August FWF's received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker, working for a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Legally binding employment relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that he was verbally abused and bullied by his supervisor. According to the complainant, he was forced to resign because he was over 50 years old and the factory did not want to pay him compensation. He felt that he would not find another job, thus he begged the management to hire him back. According to the factory the complaintant slapped his supervisor during the month of July and stayed absent often after.

 

Since the case had been brought to court and a local union, FWF decided that it was not necessary to start an investigation and closed the case. FWF agreed to offer support when local union SGSF (Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation) needs further assistance.

 

 

On 22 September FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. The case related to the labour standards 'No discrimination in employment' and 'Occupational health and safety (related to violence against women at work)', which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that for the last few months she and her colleagues have been harassed by their admin officer. At the time of the complaint, the factory was taking part in a training programme on preventing violence against women. FWF's complaints handler suggested contacting the anti-harassment committee, using the factory's internal process to handle the issue. By October 2014 the situation had escalated. The complainant expressed mistrust of the anti-harassment committee. 

 

On 11 November FWF informed Takko Fashion of the situation, and urged the company to contact the FWF country representative. Further FWF discussed the matter with the anti-harassment committee and factory management.

 

The matter was resolved amicably, with apologies from both sides, partly due to the mediation from the anti-harassment committee. The complainant worked at the factory until June 2015, when she decided to resign due to personal circumstances. In the personnel file of the complainant, a note was found in which management expressed concerned about situations of bad behaviour towards workers.

 

 

china

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

On 26 March FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Jack Wolfskin, Mammut, Salewa and Schoeffel. The complaint related to two labour standards, part of FWF's code of conduct: 'Payment of a living wage' and 'Reasonable hours of work'.

 

The complainant claimed there is no payment for overtime hours in case workers cannot fulfil the production quota (50% of the target volume). Moreover, the worker complained sometimes there are overtime hours on Saturday and Sunday, yet, they are paid 100% of their regular wage instead of 200% as required by law. Another worker from the factory called FWF to inform the entire workforce went on a strike.

 

Through coordinated efforts, the affiliates contacted the supplier and asked for a reply. Factory management stated they followed the law for paying workers’ overtime hours and do not deduct wages due to poor performance. Management stated they have an incentive programme in place for workers’ motivation. Payment of overtime hours should not be based on production quota but on the law. FWF Affiliates are expected to monitor the branch factories and verify if their production is partly subcontracted. An audit to verify improvements took place on 7 and 8 January 2015.

 

 

From March to July 2014 a number of complaints were received by FWF's local complaints handler in China about a factory supplying the brands named above. The case is related to the labour standards 'Payment of a Living Wage' and 'Legally binding employment relationship', which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

FWF received several messages from workers who shared similar grievances: payments for overtime hours and working on Saturdays were not correct; the paid annual leave benefit has been cancelled; they did not receive social security benefits; and the wage payments had been delayed. After investigation it was found that workers are entitled to 5 days of paid annual leaves and premiums for Sunday and Saturday are paid at 200% of the local minimum wage. The offsite worker interviews concluded the payment system is complex and workers had problems understanding the wage calculations. A new system on working hours was introduced on 29 April 2013, reducing it to 10 hours a day but about 1/3 of the workforce is still working excessive overtime.

 

Factory manager and affiliates came to a remediation plan focusing on communication, worker representatives, regular salary payments, recalculation of overtime premiums and higher coverage of social security. The remediation steps will be verified with workers at the end of 2014.

 

 

On 1 April 2014 FWF's complaint handler in China received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying above brands. The case is related to the following labour standard of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices: 'Legally binding employment relationship'.

 

A packaging worker informed FWF she was diagnosed with lung cancer and is now receiving medical treatment in her home town but complains that her employer did not buy her social security from the start of her employment. Without this the worker is not able to reimburse the medical treatment fee from the local government. The worker is now requesting the factory to cover all medical treatment fees for her as well as a compensation for her 12 months' loss of salary.

 

FWF informed the affiliates about the case. The affiliates immediately contacted the supplier and asked for a reply. Factory management stated they were aware of the case and forwarded documents of agreement with the former worker who was diagnosed with lung cancer. The written agreement showed the management was to pay a lump sum of 35000 RMB. Eventhough the case was already negotiated through local arbitration, the worker wanted to ensure the lump sum was a satisfying agreements verified by FWF. The lump sum of 35000 RMB will be paid to the plaintiff. As per the agreement the amount would be transferred by the end of May 2014. Half June 2014, the plaintiff had not yet received the transfer. The plaintiff will contact FWF once the payment if confirmed.

 

 

On 16 May FWF's complaint handler received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Suit Supply. The complaint related to the standard 'Legally binding employment relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that he was forced to resign before the end of his labour contract. Suit Supply immediately contacted the factory who replied that they were not satisfied with the performance of the worker and wished to terminate his employement. With support of Suit Supply, the factory and the worker came to an agreement that was acceptable to both parties.

 

The factory does not provide workers with a copy of the labour contract. Suit Supply is expected to work on the corrective action plan related to this in order to ensure all workers receive a copy of their labour contract.

 

 

On 17 June and 21 July FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler in China two workers working for a factroy supplying above companies. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Reasonable hours of work', which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

Both workers from this factory complained about excessive overtime hours. The two plaintiffs both indicated they work 6 days a week till 22:00 plus occasionally 8 overtime hours on Sundays. The plaintiffs also state in some cases they work 21 days consecutively. According to one of the workers, the time cards are falsified.

 

Based on investigation and the fact that the finding is corroborated by the audit, and similar findings were shared through earlier complaints, FWF finds the complaints regarding excessive overtime grounded. The supplier confirmed they had difficulties planning capacity during the peak season. The affiliates are expected to set up a plan to reduce excessive overtime, to support the supplier in efficient production planning and to avoid putting additional pressure on orders during peak season. The supplier is asked to have regular meetings with workers to provide them with a platform to discuss their grievances.

 

 

On 20 June FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Acne Studios. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Reasonable hours of work' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The plaintiff indicates the hours are too excessive to enjoy life after work. The factory was open and transparent in their reply, confirming they had to ask workers to work overtime in case of tight deliveries and require workers to stay the night shift until 22:00. They wish to avoid this and agreed to reduce the working hours to a limit of 60 hours per week. In cooperation with the affiliate and where possible other clients, the factory must implement a plan to reduce excessive overtime. An audit to verify improvements is scheduled for the end of 2015. The factory will participate in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme in May 2015.

 

 

On 17 July FWF received a complaint from a worker working at a factory supplying the above brands. The complaint was related to the labour strandard 'Payment of a Living Wage' which is part of FWF's COde of Labour Prctices.

 

The complainant claimed his bonus was deducted without justified reason. Factory management stated the bonus is related to performance and the plaintiff did not perform his responsibilities well enough to allocate the bonus. Remediation is not required given that the factory did not violate the labour law. The factory can decide not to allocate bonuses up to its own discretion. However, the factory must continue its efforts to raise awareness among workers for its policies and establish effective channels for workers to communicate about possible grievances.

 

 

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.

 

 

On 18 September FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Salewa. The complaint related to the standard 'Payment of a living wage' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed the factory delays the payment for at least 4 or 5 days every month. FWF’s complaint handler in China informed FWF the practices of delaying the payment was not a violation of the law. China labour law states wages should be paid latest at the end of the following month. Given the above, FWF finds the complaint not grounded. Despite this, a training as part of FWF’s Workplace Education Programme would support the factory in improving efficient communication between workers and management and setting up a payment structure in cooperation with workers.

 

 

On 4 November FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker sorking for a factory supplying Acne Studios. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Payment of a living wage' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The plaintiff complained he had some arguments with his supervisor. Thereafter; the worker felt his supervisor treated him unfairly by deducting his salary. The factory stated they were aware of the issue and it would be looked into with the factory management. Based on the reply of the factory the complaint was found grounded and is under investigation at the moment.

 

 

india

On 19 January FWF received a complain through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying McGregor. The complaint was related to two standards of FWF's Code of Labour Practices: 'Payment of a living wage' and 'No excessive working hours'.

 

The plaintiff complaints about the high production target which cannot be met. Workers who do not finish the production target need to stay overtime without extra pay. Books show that working hours are from 9am to 5.30pm with 30 minutes lunch break. Management and workers stated that overtime is happening occasionally but with advance notice and on free will. Overtime is limited from 5.30pm to 7pm. All overtime hours are paid double. No remediation is needed as the findings show that the factory complies with the law.

 

 

On both 19 January and 3 May FWF's complaints handler in India received a complaint from two workers from a factory supplying McGregor. Both complaints related to the labour standard 'Safe and healthy working conditions', which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

Both workers complain that they are verbally and physically abused by the supervisor. The supervisor would shout at them. They sometimes get scolded. Factory management denies sexual harassment at its factory. FWF has conducted a verification audit to investigate this complaint on 27 and 28 June 2014. Workers informed the audit team that the mentioned supervisor has been dismissed from the factory. None of the workers complained about physical abuse both during the external and internal interviews from the time they have started working.

 

 

On 24 January 2014 FWF's complaints handler in India received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying the brands above. The complain related to the folowing labour standards of FWF's Code of Labour Practices: 'Legally binding employment relationship', 'Safe and healthy working conditions' and 'Payment of a living wage'.

 

Two workers claim getting incorrect treatment after an accident that happened at the factory. After the complaint was addressed to the factory, immediate response was given. FWF's Audit Report of December 2013 indicates that not all workers are covered by social securities. The complaints handler is currently checking the social insurance calculations with the FWF documents inspector. FWF suggests consulting an independent doctor (paid by the FWF affiliate, not factory) to inspect the level of disablement of both workers and to clarify correct payment and compensation.

 

 

Between 26 January and 3 May several calls were received by FWF's complaints handler in India from 7 workers working for a factory that supplies McGregor. All complaints are related to the labour standard 'Payment of a living wage' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

In total seven different workers called stating that they have resigned their job at the factory and are missing their settlement of provident fund, earned leave and bonus. During the follow up calls, the complaints handler got to know that two out of the seven workers have addressed the outstanding payments with the Welfare Officer and they have received their money. Factory management denies holding back money from workers who are not working at the factory anymore. FWF has conducted a verification audit to investigate this complaint on 27 and 28 June 2014. The plaintiff has been informed about the audit results. In case they have not yet collected their final installments, they have been requested to check with the factory together with the complaints handler. No remediation is needed as the findings show that the factory complies with the law.

 

 

On 3 April FWF's local complaints handler received a complaint from a worker working at a factory supplying Triaz and hessnatur. The complaint related to FWF's labour standard 'Payment of a living wage'.

 

The plaintiff was asked to resign in November 2013 and accused of having been involved in a theft which (s)he claimed was not involved in. The theft was the reason given for the resignation. In addition, the worker said (s)he had to forcefully sign an empty sheet of paper. With the signature, the plaintiff says (s)he had to agree to the payment of 30% for the last month salary only as a compensation for the theft.

 

FWF did not have sufficient evidence/arguments for finding the complaint grounded. FWF cannot verify whether the signed papers (which indicate that the plaintiff accepts only 30% of the last month salary as compensation for the theft) have been with or without text at the moment of signing. Given that the case could not be grounded, remediation is not applicable.

 

 

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

 

 

On 3 May FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying McGregor. The complaint related to the standard 'safe and healthy working conditions' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The worker complaints that the drinking water provided to the workers is not clean. During the month of March 2014, there was water shortage for a couple of days. Workers were instructed not to wash their lunch box at the factory premises. There was no water shortage of drinking water and water in the toilet. Documents showed that the annual maintenance contract for water filters was available. Management stated that everybody in the factory drinks the same water, also them. No remediation is needed. FWF advises the factory to explain in more detail problems coming with water shortage to the workers to ensure they understand the problem and know when water supply is provided again.

 

 

On 13 May FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler in India from a worker working for a factory supplying Scorett. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Legally binding employment relationship' whcih is part of FWF's code of labour practices.

 

The complainant claimed that after returning from 3 days sick leave, the factory management dismissed the plaintiff. The plaintiff has not informed the factory about his/her absence. Factory management claims that the plaintiff was absent since December 2013 several times with/without prior notice and that the management needed to take action as otherwise other workers could also take off more frequently. FWF does not have sufficient evidence to know when the plaintiff has been absent and whether it is the factory management or the worker stating the right situation about having been absent or at work. However, FWF knows that workers at this factory are not aware of the procedure of taking leaves.

 

The factory management is expected to set up policies on leave procedures according to the Indian law and to follow their rules. Since the dismissal was not according to Indian law (termination without one month’s prior notice in written), the factory management is expected to re-hire the plaintiff under the same conditions as before termination of employment immediately.

 

 

On 16 May FWF's complaint handler received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Suit Supply. The complaint related to the standard 'Legally binding employment relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that he was forced to resign before the end of his labour contract. Suit Supply immediately contacted the factory who replied that they were not satisfied with the performance of the worker and wished to terminate his employement. With support of Suit Supply, the factory and the worker came to an agreement that was acceptable to both parties.

 

The factory does not provide workers with a copy of the labour contract. Suit Supply is expected to work on the corrective action plan related to this in order to ensure all workers receive a copy of their labour contract.

 

 

On 18 May FWF received a complain form a worker working for a factory supplying Blackout. The complaint related to the labour standard 'No exploitation of child labour', which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that there are workers in the factory who the plaintiff considers children at work. None of the workers interviewed confirmed child labour at the factory. Both investigators have observed the factory from very early in the morning when all workers were going in until the very evening until lights were shut off at the factory. Observations have highlighted again issues which have been brought up already during earlier audits. As the case is not grounded, no remediation with regard to child labour is asked for. However FWF highlights the importance to seek for remediation of the audit report findings focusing on the observations during the investigation of the complaint.

 

 

On 22 June FWF reiceved a complaint through it's local complaints handler in India, from a worker working for a factory supplying Triaz. The case related to the labour standards 'Safe and healthy working conditions' and 'Legally binding employment relationship' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that (s)he has been asked to clean the premises, offices etc. The plaintiff denied as (s)he felt that (s)he has been given lot of work outside the purview of his/her work duties. This denial led to an argument which ended with the plaintiff being slapped, beaten up with the broom and finally beign dismissed.

 

The management stated that cleaning the office would be part of the assignment of the complainant and confirmed that there had been an argument. They were hesitant to confirm that they have beaten the worker but confirmed the dismissal saying that the complainant has signed a paper stating that '(s)he was at fault and (s)he accepts his/her termination with the terms and conditions proposed by the management'. After two months of trying, FWF complaints handler reached the complainant who stated that (s)he holds his story true, thanked FWF for all efforts but does not want FWF to investigate further as (s)he is working at another factory premise now.

 

 

On 16 July FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. A second call from the same plaintiff was received on 30 July 2014. The complaint related the labour standard 'Legally Binding Employment Relationship', which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practice.

 

The complainant resigned from the factory to start his/her own business. During the employment, (s)he had borrowed INR 8,000 from the factory as an advance money. The plaintiff reported to FWF that the company denies payment of his/her provident fund without receipt of the borrowed INR 8,000. Under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 - the employer has no right to withhold the PF amount.

 

Takko has investigated the case immediately and received immediate response from the factory management proofing that the provident fund has been settled for the complainant. Factory management stated that they have borrowed more than INR 8,000 to the worker and that (s)he has paid back everything except the missing INR 8,000. The complainant did not pick up his phone to follow up the complaint for the following two months.

 

 

On 10 December FWF received complain from a worker, working for a factory supplying Odd Molly. The complaint related to the labour standards 'Payment of living wage', 'Legally binding employment relationship' and 'No excessive working hours', which ar epart of FWF's Code of Lbaour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that (s)he receives the legal minimum wage but that overtime hours (which are frequent) are not paid extra and that there are no paid leaves. The complainant stated that according to the factory management social security payments and taxes are paid. Workers do not receive any pay slip indicating proof for the amounts deducted which is why the complainant doubts the payments are made according to law.

 

FWF informs Odd Molly about the case. Odd Molly is expected to contact the supplier and ask for a reply within one week. The case is under investigation.

 

 

On 18 December FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working at above companies. The complaint related to the following labour standards that are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices: 'Legally binding employment relationship', 'No excessive working hours' and 'Payment of a living wage'.

 


The complainant stated that (s)he has started working in a department but despite the change, did not receive a wage increase and that working hours are excessive from 8.30am to 7.45pm. Besides this (s)he claims that complaints committees are installed but that they are kept dysfunctional from the factory management and that the factory deducts social security payments from the monthly salary.

 

Factory sent documentation that was reviewed and verified by the complaints handler. The social security payments were indeed outstanding at the time the worker complained. At a later point FWF got to know that the social security payments have been made 2 days before the complaint was submitted to FWF.

 

 

macedonia

In May 2014, five workers from a factory in Macedonia supplying FWF member Albiro called FWF’s complaint helpline. They claimed that a new wage calculation method had pushed their wages down to below the legal minimum. They also complained about forced overtime and harassment. The investigation showed that wages had indeed dropped to below the legal minimum wage when the new wage calculation method was introduced. And while harassment and forced overtime couldn’t be proven, there were no systems in place to avoid forced overtime and the internal grievance mechanism was found wanting.

To remediate the wage issue, the factory should work with the worker committee to revise the wage calculation system. Overtime registration must be improved and a proper consent procedure implemented. The internal grievance mechanism will be improved. An audit to monitor the improvements is planned for the last quarter of 2015.

 

pakistan

On 1 July 2014, FWF's complaint handler received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the standards 'Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining' and 'Legally binding employment relationship' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that multiple rights were violated related to the freedom of association, workers have to do excessive overtime and some are paid below minimum wage. Takko contacted the supplier and asked for a reaction. Other brands sourcing in the same factory were contacted as well. Management recognised two of the three present unions. The investigation showed that there is a general lack of awareness among workers about their right to association and collective bargaining. The conclusion of the research was that the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining at the factory were hampered, and that minimum was not ensured for 30 workers, hired through a contractor. Due to lack of clarity of records no final conclusions could be drawn whether excessive overtime was found.

In February of 2015, the registration of one of the unions at the factory was cancelled. In October of that same year, CCC information showed that wage calculations for some workers was below legal minimum wage. Further investigations were carried out, but they were incomplete. It became apparent that Takko had no current orders at the factory, therefore an audit could not be planned. 

 

Further, despite several reminders, FWF did not receive feedback from the complainant. Because the FWF member does not have leverage, FWF decided to close the case. 

 

romania

On 19 September 2014 FWF received a complaint from a worker, working for a factory supplying Gerhard Rösch. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Safe and Healthy working conditions'which is part of FWF's Code of Labour practices.

The complainants, currently employed by the factory, claimed that workers are (physically) restricted to leave the factory during working time. In case of emergency there are not enough exit routes. The two staircases open for workers are quite far away from certain working places. FWF requires Gerhard Rösch to make clear to the factory all exit doors need to be open during production. FWF highly recommends Gerhard Rösch to promote Workplace Education Program implementation at the factory, to stimulate dialogue between factory management and workers.

 

 

thailand

On 1 April 2014 FWF was informed by local stakeholders that the local media reported a situation in a factory supplying Jack Wolfskin. The case related to the labour conditions 'Payment of a living wage' and 'Reasonable hours of work' which are part of FWF's Code of Lavour Practices.

 

The complaint claimed that migrant workers from Myanmar (Burma) working at the factory had to work 14 hours a day and received less than minimum wages; were fined when they took sick leave or emergency leave; and were instructed to hide the information from external inspectors. Four NGOs, FWF and Jack Wolfskin discussed a plan to follow up on the corrective action plan for the factory. Jack Wolfskin informed FWF that it has been difficult to communicate with the factory since August 2014. The factory was not active in discussing the corrective action plan. Aside from the fact that the factory had paid minimum wages until September 2014 and no overtime was reported, thereare still some problems to be resolved.

 

The factory had decided to close down on 10 December 2014. FWF has required Jack Wolfskin to support and require the factory to pay dues and full compensation according to local law. FWF will verify the situation with workers in a later stage.

 

 

 

On 25 August FWF received a complaint from MAP foundation on behalf of workers working in a factory supplying Jack Wolfskin. The complaint related to the labour standards 'Freedom of association and collective bargaining' and 'A legally binding employment relationship', which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Pactices.

 

The complainants claimed that 13 workers representatives were dismissed by the factory management due to their efforts and activities to represent the migrant workers at the factory. The factory management responded that some workers intended to attack the wife of the factory owner and factory manager. The 13 workers representatives were suspected of leading the attack. Three workers were fired for other reason that were unfair according to FWF and Jack Wolfskin. FWF and Jack Wolfskin agreed that the factory should negotiate with the remaining 10 representatives to come to an agreement for reinstatement or settlement. 

 

In October, FWF was informed by some workers that the factory did pay certain compensation to the fired representatives. The exact amount was not verified as FWF did not have access to the factory due to lack of communication between Jack Wolfskin and the factory. In order to facilitate FWF verification process, Jack Wolfskin is expected to provide documentation from the factory on the payments to the fired worker representatives.

 

 

tunisia

On 29 April FWF received a complaint through its local complaints handler in Tunisia of a worker, working for a factory supplying Nudie Jeans. The complaint related to the labour standards 'Legally-binding employment relationship' and 'Safe and healthy working conditions' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

The complainant claimed that he has only received employment contracts for 1 or 2 months. Furthermore, he was suspended from his work and the manager has threatened to not renew his contract. Finally, the worker claims that his manager shouts at and offends workers. The factory has indicated that in general there is a problem with dialogue and communication between workers and management, as well as the issue of short-term contracts, which is common in Tunisia.

 

Four concrete actions were outlined by factory management as a response to the complain. With regards to the short-term contracts, further remediation is necessary as the use of these contracts is widespread in the Tunisian garment sector, and therefore FWF must work together with brands and local partners to investigate the root cause and propose remediation of this issue on a national level. As a first step towards remediation, Nudie Jeans is recommended to discuss the issue of short-term contracts with factory management and communicate the desire to have this practice ended and  to enroll the factory in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme.

 

 

On June 9 and 10 FWF received a complaint from two workers, working for a factory supplying Bierbaum Proenen. The complaints related to the labour standards 'Safe and healthy working conditions' and 'Legally-binding employment relationship' which are both part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

One day after a FWF audit the Tunisian manager of the factory had a meeting with workers who were interviewed during the audit and questioned them. After a dispute between manager and workers, several female workers were not allowed to work for 3 days, using an excuse of quality and productivity issues. For one of them work was stopped indefinitely. Above issues were backed up by signed suspension notices that were all dated a few days after the meeting took place and were for relatively light infractions. Since the meeting, workers were also asked to sign only short-term (1-3 month) labour contracts, some after having worked for more than a year without having to sign new contracts.

 

It seems that the signing of short-term contracts could have been used as a means to control workers and make them scared. Bierbaum-Proenen must address this issue with factory management. An active policy should be installed on appropriate and proportionate disciplinary measures at the factory. During the meeting held on November 25, factory management presented a number of steps the factory will take to prevent similar issues in the future. All workers were allowed to return to work.

 

 

turkey

 

In February 2014, three employees of a Turkish supplier of Hess Natur filed a complaint regarding unfair dismissals. The three workers claimed they had been dismissed because of union membership. A verification audit showed that the dismissals were carried out in accordance with the law, and during the workers’ official trial period. At the same time, though, the factory told the auditors that it did not allow union members in its factory. Workers were required to provide management with their ‘e-state’ passwords – through which social security information as well as union membership can be viewed. As this creates a high risk of violations of Freedom of Association and the right to Collective Bargaining, Hessnatur is required, as part of the remediation of this complaint, to ensure that the e-state passwords are no longer collected. In addition, it will engage with its supplier to improve communications internally.

 

 

On 31 January FWF received a complaint through its local complaints handler, the complaint was related to FWF's labour standard 'legally binding relationship'.

 

The plaintiff, who was working at the accused factory starting from 16 January 2014 without legal social security registration, was dismissed by the factory management on 30 January 2014 without payment of earnings so far. Action required was to ensure the payments to be done. On 5th of February plaintiff confirmed that he received his payments.

 

 

On Febrary 5 the local complaints handler of FWF had a meeting with the representative of the union in Istanbul, in a reaction to a newsitem about one of the suppliers for Hessnatur. The issue related to FWF's standard 'freedom of association'.

 

According to the information provided by representatives of the Textile, Knitting and Clothing Industry Workers' Union of Turkey (Teksif) 140 workers, of whom 110 are union members, were dismissed. Plaintiffs also claimed that there is a blacklisting among textile factory owners.

 

The investigation showed that the group of workers and the union are willing to get in communication with the factory management to settle down the issue. FWF and the affiliate involved, together with three other international brands (non FWF mebers) collaborated, proposed factory to maintain an open dialogue with the Trade Union, to reinstate the dismissed workers as the factory started recruiting new workers, and FWF workplace education programme to be implemented in the factory. None of these proposals was accepted by the factory management.

 

 

On 24 April FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler from a worker working for a factory supplying Hess Natur. The case related to the labour standards 'Legally binding employment relationship' and 'Safe and health working conditions', which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

Plaintiff has the condition of high blood pressure. After working at the sampling department, the managementrecently made her work at finishing department. She needs to achieve production targets and must work standing whole day. She claims that she cannot work in these conditions because of her high blood pressure. She communicated this to the management and submitted a statement of doctor about her condition; however the factory management did not accept to change her place. The case is yet to be investigated.

 

 

Vietnam

On 14 November FWF received a complaint through a news report forwarded to FWF’s contact person for Deuter. The complaint related 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 Practices.

 

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.

2013

China

On 25 January 2013 FWF’s complaints handler in China received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying Kjus (LK International AG). The complaint related to the FWF's labour standard ‘Legally Binding Employment Relationship’.

 

The worker informed the local complaints handler that the factory was prohibiting her to resign from the factory per 31 January 2013, despite earlier agreements that were made. The worker needed to leave the factory earlier, due to arragements to visit family for Chinese New Year. Because of time pressure in this case, FWF immediately asked the affiliate  LK International AG to contact the supplier and to find a solution acceptable for both management and the worker. When the FWF complaints handler checked the outcome with the worker, he was informed that she had reached an agreement with factory management.

 

As a result of the rapid and effective action of LK International AG and the willingness of the supplier to facilitate a solution the case could be settled without a detailed investigation.

 

 

On 27 March 2013 a complaint was received by FWF through its local complaints handler in China, filed by a worker of a factory supplying Hessnatur and Triaz. The complaint was related to FWF's labour standards 'reasonable hours of work'.

 

In both March and April FWF received a complaint from a worker about forced excessive overtime. Factory management admitted to overtime due to the fact that the factory had to catch up with production tasks because of the 9 day-off period after Chinese New Year. After considering all findings, FWF concluded excessive overtime took place in the factory. The case indicates there is no efficient production planning that can manage regular reasonable working hoursFWF suggested that the factory would benefit from a training on dispute handling in the workplace and recommended a WEP training at the supplier, which then took place on 10 July 2013. Despite several attempts, FWF has not been able to get in touch with the plaintiff again to receive an update after the WEP training was conducted.

 

 

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.

 

On 21 September 2013 FWF received a complaint related to FWF's standard 'payment of a living wage' from a worker, working at a factory supplying Vaude.

 

The plaitiff complained the factory did not pay her wage on time. Soon after the plaintiff informed FWF that there was a meeting for all workers. The factory owner indicated they had financial difficulties and therefore had to delay payments. The day after plaintiff received her payment.

 

On 25 September 2013 FWF received a complaint related to the standard 'reasonable hours of work' from a worker, working for a factory supplying LK International AG.

 

The worker informed FWF's complaints handler that she expected that workers were not allowed off during the upcoming national holidays due to a thight delivery. At the time of the complaint, the violation did not yet occur but FWF decided to contact LK International AG in order to seize the opportunity and see if the affiliate could avoid the violation from happening. At the time no production was being done for LK International and they could not make any delivery extensions in order to influance the situation.

 

When checking after the holidays, the supplier confirmed that workers had to work on one of the three days of holiday. For monitoring purposes, the complaint has been included in the Corrective Action Plan of the audit that was conducted in the beginning of September. LK International will further work on remidiation of the Corrective Action Plan. In this specific case the plaintiff was paid correctly for working during the holiday. 

 

On 7 October 2013 FWF received a complaint through its local complaints handler, the complaint was related to FWF's labour standards 'reasonable hours of work' and 'payment of a living wage'.

 

Although management of the factory denies it, excessive overtime and issues regarding payment of a living wage was found during the latest audit in September 2013 and corroborate the findings from the plaintiff. The affiliate has put forward a proposal to the supplier to have management sit down with workers and dicuss the piece rate calculation. Given that production at this supplier is being phased out, Odlo is no longer in the position to follow up on complaint. FWF will verify affiliates' effort to analyse and set up a plan to reduce excessive overtime.

 

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.

 

On 28 October FWF's complaints handler in China received a complaint related to the FWF's Code of Labour Practices standard 'payment of a living wage'.

 

The plaintiff complained about the low piece price at the factory and indicated that workers are not aware of the piece price until the pay date thus cannot negociate. Jack Wolfskin coordinated a shared response to the factory and asked for a reply. The factory showed willingness to improve and was open to suggestions. It is difficult to make judgment on whether the piece price is fair or unfair. Most important is an open dialogue between workers and the management on setting a piece price. The piece price shall be announced before workers proceed with a new item. FWF affiliates are expected to facilitate a meeting between workers and management to find a solution satisfying both parties.

 

On 7 November 2013 FWF received a complaint regarding several standards of FWF's Code of Labour Practices in which the worker referred to a recently conducted audit.

The first step was to check whether the audit the plaintiff referred to was initiated by Kwintet, which was not the case. Kwintet did an annual audit on 28 February and 1 March 2013 and shared the report with FWF. After reviewing the report, they concluded the findings from the complaint did not appear in their report. In consultation with Kwintet, FWF decided to schedule an audit to investigate the status by a Fair Wear Foundation audit team of which the findings can be read in this document. Kwintet is requested to analyse and reduce excessive overtime at the supplier.

 

On 24 November FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler in China from a worker working for a factory supplying LK International AG, hereafter Kjus. The complaint related to the labour standard 'Payment of a living wage' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

The plaintiff informed FWF that the contract fulfilment bonus of 20% had been cancelled. The suppliers confirmed they cancelled the year-end bonus because the employee breached the contract. The contract fulfilment bonus is not mandatory by law. Management indicated the bonus is only paid in case workers complete their one year labour contract; this internal bonus system is accepted as it is no law violation. Given that there is no legal ground for requiring a bonus payment, remediation is not applicable in this context. Kjus will work with the factory on improving its payment system, starting with improving the labour contracts to reflect the actual wage of workers. A training as part of FWF’s Workplace Education Programme took place on 14 March 2014.

 

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.

 

On 2 and 4 December FWF's complaints handler received a complaint from a worker, working for a factory supplying Jack Wolfskin, Vaude and J. Lindeberg. The complaint related to the standard 'payment of a living wage' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

One plaintiff claimed that she had been subject to unfair treatment because she was relocated to a different position. As a result, she decided to resign and wishes to receive severance pay as she feels she was forced to resign. The second plaintiff claimed the factory decreased her wage. As of January 2014 J. Lindeberg is no longer a member of FWF. Jack Wolfskin and Vaude suggested meeting during ISPO in January 2014 to discuss the matter and further investigate the issue. Management showed willingness to improve and is open to suggestions. On 9 March, FWF’s complaints handler spoke to the worker of the second complaint who confirmed the wage structure was explained to her and is now clear and that the wage gap was compensated.

 

On 17 December 2013 FWF’s complaints handler received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Mammut, Jack Wolfskin and Haglofs. The complaint related to the standard ‘reasonable hours of work’ which is part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.

FWF informed the affiliates about the case. Mammut contacted the supplier. Factory management confirmed they worked overtime hours during peak months. The supplier indicated the main reason for having overtime hours is lack of workers during peak season before Chinese New Year and bad quality of fabric.

Mammut, Jack Woflskin and Haglofs are expected to analyze and set up a plan to reduce excessive overtime. Mammut scheduled a meeting for March to discuss next season’s order schedule and capacity booking. A verification audit was conducted at the end of March 2014. The audit verified workers have one day off every 7 days. Excessive overtime was still an issue, particularly during peak season. Contrary to the previous audit finding, the working hours are now completely recorded by the fingerprint attendance system.

 

On 30 December 2013 FWF’s complaints handler in China received a complaints report from a worker working in a factory supplying Blutgeschwister. The complaint related to the standard ‘Payment of a living wage’ which is part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.

The plaintiff claimed three 3 month wage was withheld and that 7 other colleagues experience the same delayed payment. The workers are planning to report the case to the local labour bureau. On December 31 FWF informed Blutgeschwister, who took immediate action by instructing management to pay and announcing that this matter will get top priority. On 6 January 2014, management of the factory replied it had indeed difficulties to pay October wages due to tight funds. Management also informed the company the case was reported to the labour bureau.

On 9 January 2014 Blutgeschwister received the message the due wages were paid on 9 January. Both the adequate reponse by Blutgeschwister and the interference of the local labour bureau sped up the process for the factory to not further delay the payment.  The affiliate will prioritize the payment of living wage issues in the Corrective Action Plan. FWF’s complaints handler has verified with the plaintiff on 6 February 2014 that all the due wages have been paid.

 

turkey

On 27 September FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying three affiliates. The complaint related to the labout standard 'legally binding employment relationship'. The worker was forced to agree on a loan-structe when receiving seniority and legal notice period compensation.

 

Accused factory was open during the dialogue with affiliates and confirmed that the case occured as plaintiff explained. After communication of the affiliates the plaintiff visited the factory on October 11, 2013. The same day the plaintiff confirmed that he received the payment for the exact amount that was not paid.

 

On 14 September 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Nudie Jeans. The complaint related to the labour standard 'legally binding employement relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

Plaintiff claimed that his contract was terminated by factory management without any valid reason. After communication on affiliate with factory management, factory proposed plaintiff to be reinstated with a salary increase. Plainstiff accepted the proposal and started working in the factory again.

 

On June 2nd FWF received a complaint through the local hotline. The plaintiff claimed that the line supervisor limits the acces of workers to the in-house doctor. The complaint related to the labour standard 'safe and healthy working conditions' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

In the system as it is now, supervisors are in the position to allow or deny workers time off, and it is not registered which requests were denied. Actions required are communicating to all supervisors clearly that there shall be no limitation in access of workers to in-house factory doctor and outside medical services, and establishing a management system that allows registration of all requests of workers for time off, so that the implementation can be monitored.

 

May 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Hessnatur. The complain related to the labour standard 'legally binding employement relationship' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

Plaintiff claimed that employment contract was terminated after being open during the worker interview of an audit. In addition, she did not receive all of her earnings of the month. The relevant article of the Turkish Labor Code banning unjust termination was not implementable for the plaintiff, as the article covers workers with 6 or more months of seniority. Overtime payment for all hours was received by the plaintiff.

 

 

india

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.

 

On 13 September FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying McGregor. The complaint related to the labour standard 'safe and healthy working conditions' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices. The worker fell down factory steps and got fractured. Factory management neither paid the full amount for medical expenses nor sick leave.

 

FWF staff met with the plaintiff and factory management. McGregor stressed the importance of accurate payments towards the factory management. November 2013 the full amount has been given to the worker as agreed.

 

 

bangladesh

On 4 June 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Pama. The complaint related to the labour standards 'discrimination in employement' and 'safe and healthy working conditions' that are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

FWF informed the affiliate - Pama International. The brand discussed the issue with the manager of the supplier immediately. The factory admitted the problem and paid complainant, who finally resigned. The factory has sent photos to Pama International on the improvements regarding the issues of the complaint. FWF strongly recommends Pama International to enroll the factory in the Workplace Education Programme.

 

On 14 June 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the labour standards 'discrimination in employement' and 'safe and healthy working conditions' that are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

FWF informed Takko Fashion on 16 June 2013. The factory paid the 1st installment of maternity leave benefit to the complainant on 20 June. The process was supervised by Takko’s local compliance staff. It also promised the affiliate that the 2nd installment will be paid once the worker returns after maternity leave. FWF will monitor the payment of the second installment when the worker returns to the factory.

 

On 28 August 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying Takko throught the workers helpline. The complaint related to three labour standards: 'no discrimination in employement’, 'safe and healthy working conditions' and 'legally binding employment relationship'.

The complainant claimed she was fired unjustly. Fair Wear Foundation formed a team of three persons to investigate the issue of which the findings can be found in this document. When Takko Fashion tried to set up a meeting for the investigation team and the factory, it was informed that both the factory and the agent have decided to end business relationship on 31 October due to other business reasons. Therefore it was not possible to follow up or verify. FWF was informed by the son of the complainant that she had returned to her hometown and has not been able to contact her since.

 

On 10 October 2013 FWF’s complaints handler in Bangladesh received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the FWF's labour standard ‘payment of a living wage’.

Plaintiff complaimed that waged were not payed out in time. Workers were very concerned and talked to the management through Employees Participation Committee. However the management did not give a satisfactory response to the issue.

The factory was late in paying wages. Payment was settled before the investigation had taken place. FWF planed a verification audit for 2014 to verify payment dates of the factory, but Takko has not foreseen to work with this supplier in 2014.

 

On 22 October 2013 FWF received a complaint through its liaison officer in Bangladesh, filed by a local trade union. The complaint related to the labour standard 'legally binding employement relationship' that is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

The trade union claimed that the factory fired 16 workers without compensation. Takko Fashion contacted the agent about the supplier, who responded that the supplier was not producing for Takko, however Takko was willing to follow up and use its leverage whenever possible. The factory refused to participate in this process and issued a letter to Takko that they prefer to handle the case with BGMEA and local government. Since there is no production going on in the factory, both FWF and Takko could not interfere in the case. Takko had decided not to start business relationship with this factory while they are not willing to dialogue with the union.

 

On 22 October FWF received a complaint from the local trade union National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) through FWF’s liaison officer about a factory supplying Kwintet. The complaint related to the labour standards 'No discrimination' and 'Legally binding employment relationship' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

NGWF claimed that a female worker was harassed at the factory. A number of workers organised a protest on this event. The management fired 59 workers. In addition, the factory filed cases against 19 workers on the ground of criminal offence and for leading violent activities.

The investigation by FWF local audit team found that the cause of the unrest was the frequent verbal and psychological abuse of floor level management. The factory does not have a very strong grievance handling mechanism and effective communication in place. The top management informed the workers that they had taken disciplinary action against 10 abusive floor management staff. The management also agreed on withdrawing the criminal case filed against 19 workers. FWF has verified that the layoff compensation for fired workers was paid according to local laws and will schedule training sessions with management of the factory.

 

On 27 October 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker fired from a factory supplying Takko. The complaint relates to the labour standard 'legally employment relationship'.

The complainant claimed that he was fired by the factory unjustly. He had taken approved leaves to visit his hometown. He was one day late when he returned to the factory. He was informed by the management that he was fired and he did not get any compensation.

Takko Fashion contacted the factory through an agent and learned that the worker was fired because he was absent frequently and the retrenchment compensation was made according to the law. FWF complaint handler tried to contact the complainant to start the investigation, however the worker has not responded. The factory was previously audited by FWF and no similar issues linked to this complaint were found. The case will not be further investigated.

 

On 28 October 2013 FWF’s complaints handler in Bangladesh received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying Takko. The complaint related to the FWF's labour standard ‘legally binding employement relationship’.

The complainant claimed that she was forced to sign a resignation letter by the time keeper of the factory. Now she is allowed to rejoin with a new contract. She is afraid that she will lose her benefit as she will become a new employee under this condition.

FWF informed Takko Fashion regarding the case. The agent of Takko informed the company that the business relationship with this factory was terminated. FWF could not organise any investigation due to the above reason.

 

 

On 29 October 2013 FWF received a complaint of a group of workers who had recently been fired by the factory. The complaints related to the following labour rights that are part of FWF's COde of Labour Practices: 'No discrimination', 'Safe and healthy working environment' and 'Payment of a living wage'.

On 27 October 2013 workers started demonstration against the factory because of high level of abuse, harassment and high risk of fire safety. In addition, the workers did not have legal benefits. In a conflict that arose form this, a number of workers and some management staff were injured. A police case was filed against 98 workers, who were then fired by the factory. The audit found that there were a number of health and safety issues, which have high priority to be fixed. The factory is under the Bangladesh Accord and has promised to share the Accord audit report and remediation plan once it is audited.

Takko organised a meeting for FWF's liaison officer and the factory owner to discuss the followup. Two top management members who were accused by workers of being abusive have been fired. Also, FWF was requested to implement the Workplace Education Programme at this factory and another factory of the same owner. FWF will help the factory to organise a human resource management training. Factory management will follow up on the corrective action plans of the audit but did not want to reinstate the 98 workers who went on demonstration. The dismissed workers have received compensation.

 

 

italy

On 8 July 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying Nudie Jeans. The complaint relates to the labour standards 'payment of a living wage', 'reasonable hours of work' and 'safe and healthy working conditions', which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

On- and off-site worker interviews are needed to establish the truthfulness of the documentation. FWFs local complaint handler will continue to get in touch with plaintiffs again to verify the complaint.

 

ukraine

On 28 August 2013 FWF received a complaint from a worker working in a factory supplying De Berkel. The complaint related to the labour standard 'safe and healthy working conditions' and 'payment of a living wage' which are part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

De Berkel instructed the factory to offer plaintiff compensation following FWFs proposal. Factory and plaintiff agreed to solve this matter through court. FWF decided to let the case be handled through local legislation. March 2014 the worker confirmed that the full amount of compensation had been received and thanked FWF for its commitment to realise a solution.

 

 

bulgaria

On 12 December FWF received two complaints of a worker, representing five people, working for a factory supplying Heigo. The complaints related to FWF's standards 'reasonable hours of work' and 'living wage'.

 

Heigo contacted the supplier immediately. The excessive overtime was the result of a number of factors. Heigo responded quickly and effectively to the complaint and undertook a number of steps which can be read in this repport. FWF will conduct a Verification audit at the end of 2014 to check whether or not the issue of excessive overtime has been resolved effectively in terms of working hours and proper payment of overtime. At the next Brand Performance Check, FWF will check to see if Heigo’s efforts to reduce excessive overtime have been implemented effectively.

 

 

tunisia

On 23 January FWF received a complaint through it's local complaint handler from a worker, working for a company supplying Expresso. The complaint related to the labour standard ‘Payment of a Living Wage’ that is part of FWF´s Code of Labour Practices.

 

The worker informed FWFs complaints handler that since a few months workers have been receiving their salary late. In addition, according to the worker, the employer has indicated that the annual bonuses will not be paid.

 

The owner of the factory indicated there has been a change in the monthly payment date, which was discussed and settled with the workers council of the factory. Given recent changes in the market, the factory had to postpone the payment of the annual bonus. FWFs complaints handler concluded from local labour law, the annual bonus has to be paid before the 25th of January. The workers reached an agreement with the owner, who agreed to pay the bonus in three instalments. Expresso Fashion will monitor timely payment of wages. Since the non-compliance is already solved, no further action is required.

2012

China

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.

 

In July 2012, a worker of one of J.Lindeberg's Chinese suppliers filed a complaint concerning refusal of the factory to pay her the legally required overtime premiums.

 

The worker had resigned, but the factory was withholding her last salary payment until she had signed a statement relinquishing her right to overtime premiums. Investigation by FWF showed that the complaint was grounded.

With the support of FWF's complaints handler, the employee filed a lawsuit through the local court and managed to negotiate a settlement with the factory. As this was not the first complaint filed by workers from this factory, FWF will keep a close eye on the progress made on the Corrective Action Plan.

 

In May, just after an audit on behalf of FWF affiliate J.Lindeberg, a complaint came in from a factory worker, who stated she had been coerced into signing her resignation after disclosing information about excessive working hours to the audit team.

 

FWF's investigation did not positively confirm that the resignation had been coerced. J.Lindeberg, in agreement with both worker and the factory, focused on making sure the worker received her (legal) dues.

 

On June 14 2012 FWF received a complaint through it's local complaints handler in China. The complaint was related to the labour standard ‘a legally binding relationship’ which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices. According to the worker the factory had not paid its full share of social insurance contributions. A verdict was made by the arbitration committee, stating that the plaintiff was entitled to a payment of 3578 RMB by the factory.

 

After an audit in May, a complaint came in regarding overtime and payment of the overtime hours. Both issues had been raised during the audit as well and were part of the corrective action plan. Kwintet has demanded that the factory prioritise these issues and resolve them within a month. FWF will verify in 2013.

 

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.

 

On 26 September 2012 FWF received a complaint from a worker working for a factory supplying Filippa K. The complaint related to the labour standards ‘reasonable hours of work’ and ‘payment of a living wage’, which are part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practices.

 

One of the workers informed the complaints handler that they were forced to continue working during a long national holiday, without getting the adequate compensation for working overtime on national holidays. Moreover the worker filed a complaint about the longs days the factory generally expects them to work.

 

After research conducted by FWF, Filippa K is expected to prioritise the correct payment of working overtime and to analyse their own production planning. FWF is monitoring this process closely and is in contact with the complaints handler to see how this evolves.

 

On 26 October FWF received a complaint from several workers working for a factory supplying McGregor. The complaints came in during an FWF audit as part of McGregor's monitoring activities and warned the auditors that information that was received was falsified. The factory employed a consultant to train the workers to give favorable answers concerning their hours of work and payment of salary.

 

This complaint related to FWF's labour standard 'Reasonable hours of work', and after an investigation McGregor was informed about the situation. As a result, McGregor is required to give priority on the findings regarding working hours and continuously monitor the situation. FWF will plan an audit to verify improvements.

 

turkey

Update November 2013: An audit to verify improvements was implemented in July 2013. During that audit management and workers stated that the management have started paying for the annual paid leaves of the previous years, however the documents of payments and annual leave records were not consistent, hence could not be verified.

 

In June 2012, FWF received a complaint from a factory supplying Nudie Jeans. The worker filed a complaint stating that his employer is forcing workers to sign an annual leave document, without actually providing these leaves.

 

FWF researched the complaint and informed Nudie Jeans. They took immediate action and discussed the matter with factory management. Currently FWF and Nudie Jeans are investigating if the workers are getting their leave after all. The FWF Affiliate is asked to give priority to remediate this issue and FWF will conduct another audit to verify remediation in January 2013.

 

In a factory supplying FWF affiliate Mayerline, 37 workers were fired from the knitting department when they protested changes that were being implemented in the department. The workers were all union members.

 

The complaint was filed by the local union when the fired workers had already been protesting outside the factory for 80 days. With the support of FWF and its affiliate, a representative of the workers negotiated with the factory. As a result of these negotiations, the concearned workers were given the opportunity to be reinstated. 19 workers decided to accept, the others will receive a compensation. The factory and the worker representative agreed to continue the dialogue on working conditions from now on. 

 

Update June 2013: The local complaints handler communicated the issue with factory management. The factory registered the plaintiff to Social Security Institution for an additional duration of three more months. That additional registration for three months also monitored by plaintiff and local complaints handler via records of Social Security Institution. At the end of this additional period, plaintiff started to work for another textile factory with a legally binding employment contract. With this the complaint is closed.

 

In April 2012, FWF received a complaint from a worker who said he had been working for a factory intermittently for five years, without adequate social security payments being made. An investigation showed that at least part of the complaint was grounded, and the factory is required to pay the required social security payments for the periods the worker was employed by the factory. Verification will follow

 

In November 2012 FWF received a complaint from a worker from a factory supplying ACNE Studios. The complaint related to FWF’s labour standard ‘Living Wage’.

 

The filing party claimed that the workers at the sewing department at this factory did not receive the promised rate per produced piece for the last four years. Moreover their overtime on Saturdays and Sundays were not paid the overtime rate, but just the regular rate.

 

The plaintiff, who was a representative of all piece rate workers at that department, raised the issue to his supervisor. His supervisor refused to confront the management with the issue.

 

An FWF auditor visited the factory in January to investigate the complait. The complaint was considered valid, and together with the member company FWF urged the factory to solve the problem. Now, the workers get a higher income. However there is still room for improvement, as overtime work is still not paid for accordingly. This corrective action is monitored by the affiliate and will be verified by FWF.

 

In October 2012 FWF received a complaint from workers working for a factory suppying Mammut and Shoeffel. The issue related to the labour standard 'no excessive overtime' which is part of FWF's Code of Labour Practices.

 

All three plaintiffs indicated they do excessive overtime. The accused party approved that excessive overtime is a problem for two sections of the factory and decided to buy three additional machines. The factory sent photos of the new machines and one of the affiliates sourcing there will visit the factory in July 2013 to verify that the machines are being used.

vietnam

In December 2012 FWF’s local complaints handler in Vietnam received a complaint. The complaint related to FWF labour standard ‘Legally Binding Employment Relationship’.

 

Two former workers of Vaude Vietnam contacted FWF’s complaints handler to raise that they had not been given back their insurance books by the HR department after their resignation from work. The workers stated that they had contacted the HR manager of the factory many times but that the problem had not been solved. The workers then sent a letter to the local trade union office.

 

With the efforts of FWF and the member company, the complaint was solved and workers confirmed that they received their insurance books in the end. 

2011

Complaints in 2011:

China

In December, FWF received a complaint about an accident that happened on the grounds of a factory supplying J.Lindeberg. On 20 December, a worker from the factory was hit by a (private) car. She suffered multiple injuries. As the car was privately owned, the factory denied responsibility and refused to provide the worker with the documentation she needed to claim insurance. She was also not compensated for the time she was unable to work.

Negotiations between J.Lindeberg and the factory eventually resulted in full payment of all medical fees as well as compensation for the time the worker was unable to work, paid jointly by the factory and the driver of the car.

 

  • factory supplying Mayerline - report

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.

 

  •     factory supplying Mayerline - report

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.

 

  •     factory supplying J.Lindeberg - report

In May, shortly after an audit, a complaint was filed concerning the 'living wage' and 'Freedom of Association' standards. As the issues raised in the complaint were confirmed by the audit report, no separate investigation was needed. J.Lindeberg followed FWF's recommendation and sent a formal letter to factory management. Negotiations between factory management and workers followed. After FWF and J.Lindeberg were informed that the issues were resolved, FWF's local complaints handler contacted the workers who had filed the complaint. While they had resigned from the factory, they had received legally required compensation. FWF will carry out a verification audit in 2011 or 2012 to check that factory management is sticking to its commitment to payment of legal minimum wages.

 

Indonesia

  •     Factory supplying Jack Wolfskin - report

Update July 2013: In spite of repeated efforts to convince the supplier to realise improvements, Jack Wolfskin decided to phase out production at the facility. The report describes how the company rolled out a responsible exit strategy and how compensation was arranged for the dismissed workers.

 

Update January 2012: when an audit in November showed that the factory was not (sufficiently) addressing the non-compliances, Jack Wolfskin required the factory to start implementation of the Corrective Action Plan immediately and report on progress on a monthly basis. Failure to comply will have consequences for JW's business relationship with the factory.

 

In April 2011, FWF received a complaint through the Indonesian trade union SBGTS. The complaint touched on a number of labour standards, including freedom of association. Members of SBGTS were dismissed by management in relation to their activities as members of the trade union.

An investigation showed that the complaints were grounded. FWF member Jack Wolfskin was aware of the problems and had been working on remediation for quite some time. Seeking cooperation with other buyers from the factory, Jack Wolfksin will make one more attempt at improving the situation. Should this attempt fail, then FWF will expect Jack Wolfskin to implement a responsible exit strategy.

 

Turkey

In November 2010 a complaint was filed against one of JC Rags’ Turkish suppliers. According to the complaint, unionised workers had suffered several forms of discrimination including unjust dismissals and threats by supervisors. Several brands sourcing from the factory decided to cooperate in order to resolve the issues. Dutch branch organisation MODINT coordinated the collaboration between buyers, involved industry organisations, BSCI and FWF.

From the start this coalition urged the involved parties in Turkey to negotiate directly with each other in good faith. As this did not resolve the deadlock, an extensive Freedom of Association assessment was done at the involved facilities in cooperation with FLA. The assessment showed that the complaint was grounded and made with a number of recommendations. Shortly after the completion of the assessment, the trade union and the factory managed to sign a collective bargaining agreement. During 2011, several or the recommendations from the assessment report have been implemented jointly by the factory and the trade union.

 

Vietnam

  • factory supplying Vaude - report

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.

 

2010

2010

In 2010, the following complaints were filed:

 

China

The complaint concerns excessive overtime and overtime payments. Mammut and Odlo are in the process of executing the corrective action plan together with the factory. Verification will follow in 2011.

  •     factory supplying Araco - report

This complaint concerned the legally binding employment relationship - a worker without a contract and for whom no insurance premium was paid resigned and was refused the remainder of her wages. A quick response from Araco and factory management resolved the complaint quickly and the worker received the payments she was due.

  •     factory supplying Blackout - report

Similar to the previous complaint, this also concerned the legally binding employment relationship. Prompt action by Blackout resulted in the worker receiving the payments he was due.

  •     factory supplying Gaastra (McGregor group) - report

This complaint concerned a legally binding employment relationship, excessive overtime and payment of a living wage. The immediate complaint - the worker had been refused the rest of her wages after resignation - was solved through quick action by Gaastra. The remaining issues - excessive overtime and payment of overtime compensation - need to be integrated in the corrective action plan Gaastra is working on with the factory.

This complaint concerns excessive overtime and payment of a living wage. As the complaint came in very shortly after the audit and confirmed the findings from the audit, corrective action will be integrated into the corrective action following o the audit. Verification will take place in 2011.

  •     factory supplying Fabric Scandinavien - report

This complaint, filed on 30 December 2010, concerned a number of serious issues, including child labour, attempts to coach workers before an audit and refusal of resignation. Upon investigation, no child labour was found, though there were unregistered juvenile workers. The other parts of the complaint were (partially) grounded and a process of remediation has been discussed with Fabric Scandinavien. FWF verified in March that the most serious complaints have been remedied.

India

A (former) worker in a factory supplying Odd Molly filed a complaint that concerned unlawful dismissal (legally binding employment relationship), excessive overtime and payment of a living wage. The worker had been dismissed for leaving the factory without permission, when no permission was granted upon request. He was not paid his last salary and received no severance pay. He also complained about excessive overtime and non-payment of overtime premiums. The ensuing investigation confirmed the findings and a corrective action plan was drafted. The worker, meanwhile, received the salary he was due and some retrenchment compensation, though still not in compliance with the law. In 2011, FWF should verify that the corrective action has been implemented. As Odd Molly, for reasons unrelated to the complaint, has decreased production and may leave the factory altogether, verification may not be feasible.

 

Tunisia

  •     factory supplying Expresso Fashion - report

The complaint in Tunisia concerned unlawful dismissal of several workers and late payment of salaries. While salaries had been paid late on one occasion, this had been repaired at the time of the investigation. The dismissals were found to be within the boundaries of the law.

 

Turkey

In May 2011, a complaint was filed anonymously regarding harsh treatment, including physical and verbal abuse, by the factory management.

FWF conducted a factory audit, which confirmed the abuse.

In 2011, Acne negotiated a corrective action plan with the supplier.

  •     factory supplying McGregor Fashion Group -  report

A complaint in Turkey concerned a factory supplying FWF affiliate McGregor. The complaint was filed by local trade union representatives and concerned unfair dismissal of union members. The dispute was settled in court in favour of the workers, but the factory kept refusing to reinstate them or where they did, harassment followed. After action by McGregor, an agreement was reached with the trade union, resulting in the dismissed workers being compensated. McGregor is currently working with the factory to improve the situation concerning Freedom of Association.

  •     factory supplying hessnatur - report

A former employee of one of hessnatur's turkish suppliers filed a complaint in March 2010, claiming unlawful dismissal because of union membership and harassment of workers who wanted to join a union. FWF found the complaint to be justified and set up a corrective action plan with hessnatur which included either re-hiring or financially compensating the worker. The factory, however, refused to comply until hessnatur, after repeated attempts to pressure the factory management, decided to halt production. The worker was reinstated after that. However, due to other - business - reasons, hessnatur decided not to go back to the factory, making further improvements and verification by FWF impossible.

 

Vietnam

  •     factory supplying Kwintet Far East - report

A number of workers from a factory supplying Kwintet Far East complained about structural, excessive overtime. An investigation showed that overtime did take place and was not properly recorded, making it difficult to judge whether the overtime was excessive. As the failure to register overtime had also been found during the audit that had taken place two months earlier, the complaint was closed and corrective action integrated in the corrective action plan following the audit.

2009

2009

In 2009, complaints were filed regarding nine factories in China and three in Turkey. FWF finds that complaints are usually filed soon after an audit has been performed, as during the audit the complaints handler - who is usually also the worker interviewer - is better known to workers and the threshold to complain is much lower. Thus, affiliates who do many audits are more likely to receive complaints about their suppliers.

When a complaint is filed within three months after a factory audit and the issues confirm the audit findings, the complaint is usually integrated with the corrective action plan that resulted from the audit.

 

China

For five of the nine complaints in China, this was the case and no seperate report will be published (see annual report 2009). Two of the complaints were inadmissible. The reports for the two complaints that were investigated separately can be downloaded here:

 

Turkey

In Turkey, two consecutive complaints concerned a factory supplying a company with whom FWF engaged in a pilot between May 2008 and June 2009 to evaluate how an affiliation to FWF might work. The complaints touched on a wide array of Code Standards and included verbal abuse and harassment of workers, forced overtime, and serious wage issues. The investigation confirmed almost all of the issues. In spite of efforts by both FWF and the company's local agent, the company decided to stop sourcing from the factory, making further action on the part of FWF impossible.

The third complaint in Turkey concerned a factory supplying FWF affiliate Blackout AG. A worker claimed she had been unlawfully dismissed, that there were unregistered workers, breaks were refused, the work pace was excessive and workers were verbally abused. The investigation was delayed while the results of legal proceedings were pending. When this dragged on, FWF decided to conduct offsite interviews. Just when the investigation was concluded, the court case was decided in favour of the plaintiff, awarding her legal compensation for the unfair dismissal. Most of the other complaints were found justified and Blackout has received FWF's recommendations for remediation. Verification will take place when a corrective action plan has been implemented.

2008

2008

See also the FWF complaints procedure.

When a complaint is filed by a factory worker, manager or local trade unionist or NGO worker, FWF informs the affiliate(s) sourcing from the factory in question and investigates the complaint.

Once the investigation is complete, the affiliate is asked to formulate a response and the report, the response and FWF's verification plan are published.

Once the entire procedure is closed and the verification process concluded, the final report is also published.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

In 2008, seven complaints were received.

There were six complaints in China, of which three were deemed admissible.

 

April 2008: supplier of Expresso Fashion

April 2008: supplier of Mexx Europroduction

May 2008: supplier of Mexx Europroduction and McGregor Fashion Group

 

A factory supplying Expresso Fashion paid wages much later than is required by law, there was excessive overtime and wage slips were unclear or not handed out at all. While management at first denied, extra research showed the complaint to be justified. Management then admitted the problem and the Expresso Fashion hired a consultant to guide the factory in the remediation process. In 2010, FWF audited the factory to check the remediation process. While the wage situation has improved, overtime is still a structural problem. Expresso Fashion will look into the root causes of this problem.

 

Also in China, two complaints were filed about the same factory. One concerning late payment, which was paid two days after the complaint was filed. The second complaint was more complex: the factory was not allowing workers to resign, withholding payment if they did. Wages were far below the legal minimum, let alone the living wage and (unpaid) overtime was excessive. The food in the canteen - where workers were forced to eat - was bad.

 

The two FWF affiliates sourcing from this factory were informed of the complaint. As together they are buying around 95% of the factory's production capacity, they are able to apply considerable pressure on the management. The two companies are currently working on addressing the problems and verification by FWF is pending.

 

In Turkey, there was a complaint concerning failure to register workers for social security (required by law). The complaint was deemed admissible. The FWF affiliate sourcing from the factory in question has incorporated the complaint in the current corrective action plan. Verification by FWF is pending.

 

April 2008: supplier of McGregor Fashion group

2007-2006

2007-2006

See also the FWF complaints procedure.

 

When a complaint is filed by a factory worker, manager or local trade unionist or NGO worker, FWF informs the affiliate(s) sourcing from the factory in question and investigates the complaint.

 

Once the investigation is complete, the affiliate is asked to formulate a response and the report, the response and FWF's verification plan are published.

 

Once the entire procedure is closed and the verification process concluded, the final report is also published.

 

The complaints procedure as described above was established in 2009. Complaints filed before 2008 are listed below.

------------------------

In 2007, three complaints were filed about factories in India, Tunisia and Vietnam. The report for the complaint in India can be downloaded here.

 

In the case of Tunisia, the FWF affiliates terminated their business relationships with the factories concerned, making it impossible for FWF to proceed with the procedure. On the case in Vietnam, the report is pending.

 

In 2006, a complaint was filed concerning the Metraco factory in Turkey where (then) FWF affiliate O'Neill was sourcing. The complaint involved unlawful dismissal of union members and harassment of others, constituting an infringement on the right to Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining and was found justified. The report can be downloaded here.

 

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.

General policy

FWF Charter (including Code of Labour Practices)

FWF Complaints procedure

FWF Complaints procedure

Download the FWF complaints procedure here.

 

FWF believes that the best grievance procedure is one that is fair and effective – and local.

 

While it would be ideal that companies’ efforts would ensure good conditions, the reality is not there yet. What’s more, workers often lack access to fair and effective complaints channels locally.

 

FWF’s complaints procedure serves as a safety net. It is designed to ensure workers in member companies’ supply chains always have recourse in instances of noncompliance – but only in instances where workers are not able to access local grievance systems. FWF’s system only applies when other options, such as factory grievance systems or local labour courts, are not fair, effective, and accessible.

 

In every country where it is active, FWF has a local complaints handler. This ensures that workers making products for FWF affiliates can safely and fairly seek redress for violations of the Code.

 

For a complaints system to be effective, workers need access to it. FWF complaints handlers therefore need to possess key skills and competencies.

 

All FWF complaints handlers…

 

…are accessible: Because they are based locally, they can be reached in the time zone and on a local number. In most cases, complaints handlers are also the worker interviewer during audits, which means workers have seen them and can put a face to the name on the information sheet.

 

…can understand: They speak the local language(s) and English, allowing them to follow up on details with workers, FWF staff, and FWF affiliates. This means better and faster follow up.

 

…are trustworthy: Handlers are usually female representatives from labour or women’s NGOs. They are able to communicate with workers in a way that enhances trust.

Subcontractors and homeworkers

FWF subcontracting policy

In the FWF subcontracting policy, FWF's requirements towards its member companies regarding subcontractors, including homeworkers, are laid out.

guidance on home-based work

FWF's guidance on home-based work explains the responsibilities of FWF members towards workers in a home-based workshop. 

The Questionnaire regarding the use of home-based work is a tool for companies to better monitor

for auditors and service providers

FWF audit manual

terms for audits

financial terms for service providers

FWF on counterfeit

FWF on counterfeit

Companies affiliated to Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) are sometimes confronted with counterfeit: imitations of branded goods, produced and sold with the intent to take advantage of value built up by a brand. Counterfeit weakens companies’ efforts to make sustainable improvements of labour conditions in their supply chains.

Download FWF's statement on counterfeit here.

FWF and Fairtrade

FWF and Fairtrade

It is not uncommon for people to ask online and at public events ‘How is Fair Wear Foundation different from Fair Trade@f2’ or ‘Is FWF the same thing as Fair Trade@f3’ While it is valuable to recognise the distinctions between these approaches, it is also important to recognise how much they have in common. In fact, it may be consumers’ recognition of the common goal we share at our core – i.e. fair treatment for the people who make the goods we use – that leads them to ask this question.

 

FWF has always had a close working relationship with Fair Trade organisations: fair traders sit on our board and are involved in our multi-stakeholder efforts at the local level. And, as both FWF and Fair Trade mature, we are finding new opportunities to work together. So the response to such questions is: ’FWF and Fair Trade differ in some significant ways. Yet these differences – combined with shared core values – are what make the two approaches complementary.

 

Read more about FWF and Fairtrade here.

FWF Low risk policy

FWF Low risk policy

FWF Code standards vs Legal requirements

FWF anti-corruption guidelines

FWF anti-corruption guidelines

the Fair Wear formula

elements of the Fair Wear formula

Poor labour conditions can only be solved through multi-faceted solutions. The FWF approach brings together the key components needed for sustainable change. It means companies work step-by-step to improve conditions in their supply chains. It also means cooperation among a slew of stakeholders, and accountability among all of us. When fully executed, the FWF approach means results.

Download a pdf of the Fair Wear formula here, or watch our video  for an animated explanation of FWF's approach.

 

FWF process approach

Step-by-step towards better working conditions

‘Supply chain responsibility’ requires companies to make sourcing decisions that ensure good working conditions wherever their goods are made. It also requires companies to have management systems in place to consistently monitor conditions and support improvements. That’s a lot to tackle at once, especially for companies just starting out in CSR.

FWF’s process approach meets companies where they are. Some companies working with FWF have more than a decade of experience in workplace compliance; some join just as they are entering the CSR field. Whether a CSR leader or newcomer, each company uses FWF guidance to identify areas where the changes they make can have the greatest impact. Subsequent steps build from there. This step-by-step process leads to real and lasting improvements in workplaces throughout supply chains.

Learn more:

Syrian refugees in Turkish factories

Risks related to Turkish garment factories employing Syrian refugees

FWF Policy for Resource Allocation to Production Countries

FWF Workplace Education Programme

FWF Workplace Education Programme

A lack of awareness and poor communication in workplaces are bad for business. Not knowing about the workplace standards, and not being able to discuss issues that arise can also be risky, because in workplaces like those, there is a higher likelihood of workplace violation. 

 

The FWF Workplace Education Programme (WEP), aims to move companies from auditing and corrective action towards truly collaborative workplaces, where issues are raised, and resolved through effective communication. 

 

Download the introduction to FWF's Workplace Education Programme and read more how it works. 


WEP Basic training is available at a fee of 960 Euro for:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • Turkey
  • Romania
  • Tunisia
  • Macedonia

We are currently rolling out the training-program in Bulgaria and Myanmar. In 2017, we’ll also add Indonesia. WEP Basic training invites will soon be available in local languages so that they can be shared with the factories.

 

The Violence Prevention Capacity Building-trainings in India and Bangladesh are free of charge.

The programme focuses on establishing and supporting anti-harassment committees. Managers and workers are also trained on the Code of Labour Practices and the FWF Complaints Mechanism. Download the invitation for India and the invitation for Bangladesh.

The supervisor training is available in South India free of charge. The training focuses on improving the working relations between line supervisors and workers and on training female workers with human resources skills, technical skills and soft skills to become line supervisors. The invitation to the supervisor training is available now.


The WEP Advanced trainings on communication are under development and in 2016 FWF will start a pilot in China.

 

An updated version of the Factory Guide will be available later in 2016. This online training tool aimed at factory managers explains FWF’s approach and provides factories with the information they need to work with brands on improving labour conditions. FWF members and factories that would like to test the Factory Guide can write to factoryguide@fairwear.org.

To know more about the terms and costs of the different modules of the Workplace Education programme, press here.

Policy & labour standards

employment is freely chosen

There shall be no use of forced, including bonded or prison, labour.

  • Download a short paper on the Sumangali scheme, a form of forced labour prevalent in South India, here
  • More on the Sumangali scheme on the India page.

no discrimination in employment

there is no discrimination in employment

 

The Standing Firm report discusses the findings of the first two years of FWF's Workplace Education Programme work in India and Bangladesh, which is focused on the reduction and prevention of workplace violence against women.

 

Standing Firm against Factory Floor Harrassment

 

Recruitment, wage policy, admittance to training programmes, employee promotion policy, policies of employment termination, retirement, and any other aspect of the employment relationship shall be based on the principle of equal opportunities, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, political affiliation, union membership, nationality, social origin, deficiencies or handicaps (ILO Conventions 100 and 111).

 

no exploitation of child labour

no exploitation of child labour

There shall be no use of child labour. The age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, not less than 15 years." (ILO Convention 138) "There shall be no forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour. [...] Children [in the age of 15-18] shall not perform work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm their health, safety or morals." (ILO Convention 182).

FWF child labour policy - October 2012

freedom of association

freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively shall be recognised. (ILO Conventions 87 and 98) The company shall, in those situations in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are restricted under law, facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers. Workers' representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to carry out their representation functions. (ILO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143)

payment of a living wage

Competition law and living wages

Fair Wear Foundation has requested law firm Arnold & Porter’s opinion on the
impact of EU competition law on the implementation of FWF’s living wage standard.

 

 

Climbing the ladder to living wages is a summary of FWF's living wage research in 2011 and 2012.

 

Climbing the ladder to living wages

payment of a living wage

Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week shall meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and always be sufficient to meet basic needs of workers and their families and to provide some discretionary income. (ILO Conventions 26 and 131). Deductions from wages for disciplinary measures shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted. Deductions shall never constitute an amount that will lead the employee to receive less than the minimum wage. Employees shall be adequately and clearly informed about the specifications of their wages including wage rates and pay period.

 

Working towards living wages

Ivo Spauwen gives a presentation on how Fair Wear Foundation works towards payment of living wages.

 

reasonable hours of work

reasonable hours of work

Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards. In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate. (ILO Convention 1)

 

safe and healthy working conditions

Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh

Following a number of tragedies in Bangladesh, including factory fires and a collapsed building, FWF is intesifying its Fire and Building safety efforts in Bangladesh while also supporting international collaborative action.

FWF Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh - May 2013 - in German - in Dutch

 

 

FWF guidnace paper on abrasive blasting

Exposure to dust is a serious health hazard for workers in the garment industry. This is especially true for those working with abrasive blasting of garments. Workers exposed to crystalline silica (sand) through abrasive blasting of garments like jeans are at great risk of contracting silicosis, a deadly lung disease. The connection between silicosis and sandblasting of jeans is well-documented.

 

Given the fatal risk associated with abrasive blasting and sandblasting in particular, and the challenges of controlling a supply chain in such a way as to guarantee that no unsafe abrasive blasting is done, FWF requires affiliates to ban all abrasive blasting throughout their supply chain. The use of sandblasting - techniques which use more than 1% of crystalline silica - while all other use of abrasive blasting should be phased out.

 

For more details on the steps required by FWF of its affiliates, download our guidance document on abrasive blasting here .

For member companies

guidance for members

Licensees and subsidiaries

The questionnaire on licencees and subsidiaries ensures members communicate about FWF's Code of Labour Practices to other companies that produce using the member's logo or brand.

 

brand performance

FWF's main membership type is open to companies that produce their own sewn goods - clothing, bags, footwear, home textiles etc.

By becoming a member of Fair Wear Foundation, a company commits itself to implementing the Code  of Labour Practices throughout its supply chain. Whether a CSR leader or newcomer, each affiliated company uses FWF guidance to identify areas where the changes they make can have the greatest impact. Subsequent steps build from there. This step-by-step process leads to real and lasting improvements in workplaces throughout supply chains.

communications policy

All FWF member companies are bound by FWF's communication policy. It contains information on how to use the logo and on the conditions that have to be met for different kinds of communications.

The communications policy was completely revised in 2012.

Download the policy here.

 

Third-party flyer

FWF's member brands are evaluated on transparency. Part of this involves how resellers and third-parties communicate about FWF membership (indicator 6.1). FWF has created a Third-party flyer which explains FWF communication rules for resellers in a clear and concise manner.

Download FWF's Third-party flyer here.

 

policy for ambassadors

Ambassador membership is designed for companies who want to contribute to better working conditions by reselling other FWF member brands. Ambassador members commit to sourcing at least 40% of their sewn products from FWF affiliates or members of comparable initiatives, with special recognition for those reaching  60% or 90%.

Policy for FWF ambassadors

 

manual for factory members

Fair Wear Foundation is currently piloting factory membership  with a small number of companies. The membership applies to manufacturing companies which supply active affiliates of Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). A factory member is expected to commit itself to implementing the Code of Labour Practices in all production sites and its subcontractors. In addition, the factory member submits to independent, multi-stakeholder verification by FWF.

Manual for FWF factory members

 

young designer programme

Fair Wear Foundation is often approached by young designers who have just started their own fashion brand. These brands want to work in a fair and sustainable way from the outset, and contact FWF for help. To guide them in this process, FWF is developing a Young Designer programme. Learning and best practice sharing will be the focus of this programme.

Young Designer Manual

templates for annual documents

worker information sheets

A note on the worker information sheets

All workers in factories supplying FWF affiliates should receive a worker information card, which contains the FWF Code of Labour Practices, an explanation of FWF's work and the complaints procedure as well as the contact details for the local complaints handler.

 

There are also worker information sheets with the same information available in several languages. A worker information sheet should always hang in a visible place at each production site of a FWF member. 

 

The brand's logo must be visible in the worker information sheets. The right hand corner has a dedicated space for the company logo, which can be inserted into the document. To add your brand's logo to the worker information sheet you must:

1.  Download the file to your hard drive

2.  Open it using a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
3.  Follow the simple instructions for your logo on the Worker Information Sheet.

 

Worker information sheets in countries where FWF maintains a local complaints helpline:

 

Bulgaria

Bulgarian

 

China

Simplified Chinese

Traditional Chinese

 

India

Hindi

Kannada

Tamil

 

Macedonia

Macedonian

 

Romania

Romanian

 

Tunisia

Arabic

 

Turkey

Arabic

Turkish

 

Vietnam

Vietnamese

 

The worker information sheets are also available in the following languages for countries where FWF does not have a local complaints helpline. Workers can contact FWF directly via email.

Arabic (only for use outside of Tunisia and Turkey)

Armenian

Bahasa

Burmese

Croatian

Czech

English

French

German

Greek

Hindi (only for use outside of India)

Hungarian

Italian

Korean

Lithuanian

Nepali

Polish

Portuguese

Russian

Serbian

Serbian Cyrillic script

Slovak

Spanish

Thai

Ukrainian

Urdu

membership fee tables

audit quality assessment tool

audit quality assessment tool

FWF affiliates often ask for a tool to help assess the quality of audit reports prepared by other organisations. The verification team therefore developed the FWF audit quality assessment tool, which provides an easy-to-use checklist of questions for evaluating audits. The checklist is an editable PDF, which means information can be typed into the file and saved, and can be downloaded here.

health & safety guides

Health & Safety guides

FWF has developed guides for member companies to monitor the health and safety of workers in apparel factories. The purpose of these tools is to allow staff of member companies who visit the factory often to do a preliminary scan of elementary health and safety issues.

 

There are two versions:

  • one for use by CSR staff and others with some Health & Safety training, see here
  • one for other brand employees - such as product managers and buyers - with no Health & Safety training, see here

Every factory visit is an opportunity to check on common health and safety issues, and to make clear to factory managers that your brand takes good working conditions seriously. These guides can help to spot health and safety issues between formal audits. However, they are never a substitute for professional audits carried out by trained (FWF) audit teams.

logo FWF

logo FWF

Use of the FWF logo is subject to approval by FWF. Please contact info@fairwear.nl for questions.

NB: some browsers will not open the logos. Where this is the case, simply right-click on the relevant link and 'save link/target as...'

Print

For printing, we have a full colour logo (jpg, photographic in cmyk on white background) which is the preferred option. In addition, a black & white (jpg, photographic on white background) logo and a reversed out  logo (png, freestanding) are available. The default background for our logo is white, but for printing on an existing, coloured background, we also have a freestanding version (at request).

Digital

On their website, affiliates and ambassadors have several options. We have the logo available on white background (jpg) or the logo freestanding (png). We also created a flash file (as on our home-page, with the logo turning around on mouse-over and revealing the back of the embroidery), which links to our website.

Hangtags/labels

As of 2009, FWF has a new communication policy for members, allowing for the use of the FWF logo in hangtags and/or labels, provided certain conditions are met. If you are interested in using the FWF logo on a hangtag or label, please contact FWF’s communications manager Sophie Koers.

FWF publications & reports

FWF reports

fwf reports

Artwork focus group project

Stories from the lives of women garment workers in Bangladesh and India.

Standing firm against factory floor harassment

Report on preventing violence against women garment workers in Bangladesh and India.

 

Climbing the Ladder to Living Wages

An update on FWF’s Living Wage research 2011-2012.

 

Minimum Wage Implementation in Bangladesh's Garment Sector

This report provides guidance to FWF members and other companies sourcing in Bangladesh on commonly-reported issues related to implementation of the new minimum wage law.

 

Living Wage Engineering

A study by Fair Wear Foundation – with initial observations about the links between outdoor industry brand practices, wages, pricing, and the cost to consumers.

 

An experiment with Factory Training to Enhance Social Diologue in Turkey

FWF set out on a two-year project (2011-12) to pilot a training programme designed to answer these questions. This report summarizes the project approach, its outcomes, and key takeaways that can help shape future efforts to support social dialogue in Turkey.

FWF publications

Acquisition brochure

Early 2010, FWF published an acquisition brochure in seven languages. Right-click on the required language to download the brochure in PDF or e-mail FWF for hard-copy.

Consumer Brochure

In January 2012, FWF published its consumer brochure. If you would like to order the paper version, please contact our office.

A version in German is also available.

alt

FWF and Fairtrade organisations

It is not uncommon for people to ask online and at public events ‘How is Fair Wear Foundation different from Fair Trade@f0’ or ‘Is FWF the same thing as Fair Trade@f1’ While it is valuable to recognise the distinctions between these approaches, it is also important to recognise how much they have in common.

Read more about FWF and Fairtrade here.

The Fair Wear formula

In March 2010, FWF published the Fair Wear formula, in which the FWF approach is outlined. The design by Ruben @ Buro RuSt combines with the texts by Anne Lally to create an innovative, attractive description of the FWF approach to improving labour conditions in garment supply chains. In hardback or paperback. For a demonstration, visit Buro RuSt. To order a copy (the beautiful hardcover is € 10, the paperback for free!), please send an e-mail to our office. Or download the pdf here.

press releases

Bangladesh building and fire safety

Press release 9 July 2013

DW-Shop joins Fair Wear Foundation

press releases

Member portraits

FWF Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Click here to download the FWF Annual Report for 2015

Click here to download the FWF Annual Report for 2014

Click here to download the FWF Annual Report for 2013

Click here to download the FWF Annual Report for 2012

Click here to download the FWF Annual Report for 2011

Click here to download the FWF annual report for 2010

Click here to download the FWF annual report for 2009

Click here to download the FWF report for 2008

FWF country information

Bangladesh

China

Country plans

country study

fwf reports

other resources

India

Turkey

Country plans

country study

Social Dialogue

In July 2013 FWF published the results of the two-year project to pilot a training programme to enhance soical dialogue in Turkisch garment factories. To read the full report, please see the English version.  

 

Social Dialogue seminar October 2012

other resources

Country studies & strategic plans - other countries

Other country resources

other country resources

FWF Country guidance papers

FWF is occasionally asked whether FWF membership is possible for companies sourcing from Burma or North Korea. These guidance papers are intended as a response to these questions and as guidance documents for (prospective) affiliates of FWF.

 

Guidance paper for companies sourcing from Burma

Guidance paper for companies sourcing from North Korea (also relevant for companies sourcing from South Korea and China)

Other resources

other resources

external resources

Vacancies

2016

To strengthen its Amsterdam team, Fair Wear Foundation is looking for a

  • Financial project administrator (24 hrs) - deadline 30 June 2016

We are looking for an experienced and hands-on financial project administrator who strong affinity with the goals of the organisation. He/she will be part of the finance team that consists of the financial controller, a financial administrator and the office manager. The project administrator will take the lead in project administration, ensuring proper reporting towards donors. He/she will be supportive to FWF’s overall administration.

Please download the full description of the position here.