KTC, one of the first garment factories to join Fair Wear Foundation, joined FWF in May 2011. KTC has factories in China and Laos, where it produces performance wear.
KTC has full ownership of both of its factories (China and Laos) and is in the process of implementing FWFs management system requirements for member factories.
The company has a system to determine the appropriate lead time and price for every order. If the lead time given by the client is too short, KTC negotiates with the brand company on price and lead time. In 2012, the company was able to improve on early order placements, which decreased pressure on working hours. KTC informs its customers in detail about the linkage between their purchasing practices and working conditions in the factory.
In April 2012 FWFs local audit team carried out an audit at the factory owned by KTC in China to verify improvements after previous audits in 2010 and 2011. In May 2012 FWFs local audit team carried out an audit at the KTC facility in Laos. During both audits it was found that no violations took place with regard to child labour, forced labour and discrimination. All wages and benefits are in compliance with local minimum standards.
In China wages for a regular working week of some workers (mostly in the cutting and inspection department) are below the living wage benchmarks that FWF collected from local stakeholders. In comparison to the previous audit, realised improvements included a higher percentage of workers that was fully registered with national social insurances, improvement of all issues regarding occupational health & safety and guaranteeing a weekly rest day for all workers. Two issues need further improvement: There is still a risk of excessive overtime in some departments and union representatives are appointed by management.
During the audit in Laos it was found that no violations took place with regard to child labour, forced labour and discrimination. All wages and benefits were found to be in compliance with local minimum standards. FWF was not able to compare wage levels in the factory with local living wage benchmarks, since these are not available in Laos. The factory in Laos still had to improve to develop a functioning grievance policy. The factory also needed a number of improvements on health and safety, and there exists a risk of excessive overtime.
FWF concludes from the above mentioned audits that the site of KTC in China has a well-functioning management system to implement the Code of Labour Practices. FWF will verify further improvements in both facilities in 2013-2014.
KTC actively responds to inquiries by journalists and publishes discussion articles that relate to working conditions in factories.
In its Chinese factory KTC conducted a wide ranging worker satisfaction survey. The survey indicated that whereas no major problems are perceived by workers, the company should improve the quality of communication between workers and management. The survey results will be used as input for further steps to realize improvements. As a first step the company is now making preparations for training of top and middle management, focusing on inter-departmental communications, conflict handling and resolution.
"For 40 years within the garment industry KTC has invested in Knowledge, Craft and Technology. We have strived to lead the world in the "art of performance manufacture". At KTC we know that we are only as good as the people who work for us. We will only be the best in the world, if we employ the best talent in the world. It is our people who make us what we are. That is why KTC is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and that is why we support Fair Wear's mission to improve labour conditions across our industry."
Wharf T&T Centre,
Harbour City, 7 Canton Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 2317 3111
Fax: (852) 2730 0454