Deuter Sport GmbH, Complaint 861

Safe and healthy working conditions

According to the complainant, the drinking water provided to workers is not clean nor adequate. This has been the case for a month. The complainant stated that the tank that is used for drinking water stopped working a month ago. This means that the drinking water and running water from the sink and in the toilers are from the same water source. If a lot of people use the toilets, a shortage of drinking water follows. While the complainant did say that the drinking water provided to the workers is passed through a filter system, it does not seem clean or safe. As a result, the workers do not dare to drink the water.

The complainant stated that workers have raised the issue to union and management but it has not yet been resolved.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2020-04-17 Investigation

On 15 April 2020, the member brand informed the factory about the complaint.

The factory replied two days later saying that:
They have been using underground water for drinking and residential purposes, but they changed it to tap water since last March. The reason they gave for the change was that the Vietnamese Authorities had requested it.

Currently the factory uses two water sources:
- Underground water: for toilet use (with a limited amount)
- Tap water: for drinking (with water purifier) and general use
The factory heard some complaints from workers that there was a little smell from the tap water, but stated that it is a disinfectant smell comes from necessary treatment of tap water.

The factory replaced all filters of the water purifiers again, said that they will inform the workers, and promised to conduct a water test, whose results they will share.

Deuter told the factory that they should make announcements to the workers and posts information about such changes so that the workers are aware of what is going on.

2020-04-24 Investigation

On 24 April 2020, the complainant said that he/she does had not seen any change or improvement.
1) Shortage of drinking water in the toilet time, such as from 8:00 - 9:30,10:40 - 11:00 or 13:30 - 14:30, etc. because according to the complainant, drinking water and water for toilet are the same water source. Therefore, when many people use toilets there is a shortage of water for drinking.
2) He/she does not believe in the quality of the drinking water, so he/she does not dare to drink it. She/He brings water from home.

It is recommended from the member brand and Fair Wear, that the factory should share the water testing results with workers, and inform them clearly of the changes made.

Besides, the factory has a dialogue mechanism and the dialogue meetings are organised every three months. Fair Wear recommends that this issue is discussed during such a meeting together with workers.

2020-05-29 Investigation

Deuter shared the water test report and evidence showing meetings held with line leaders and union representatives.

An audit for this factory is planned at the end of the June. The opportunity will be taken to further investigate the complaint during the audit.