DW-Shop GmbH, Complaint 174

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage Reasonable hours of work Legally binding employment relationship
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2016-07-18

The complainant claimed that while his/her agreed salary is above legal minimum wage levels, the monthly salary (s)he received in the last half year was several times below legal minimum wage. The complainant stated that workers are expected to work every day of the month without a weekly day off and usually work from 9 am to 7-8 pm. If workers arrive after that time or leave earlier or do not work on a weekly day off, wages are cut. Hence, their salary can drop below legal minimum wage levels.

Findings and conclusions

On 17 July 2016, FWF's complaints handler in India received a complaint from a factory worker, who claimed that while his/her agreed salary is above legal minimum wage levels, the monthly salary (s)he received in the last half year was several times below legal minimum wage. The complainant stated that workers are expected to work every day of the month without a weekly day off and usually work from 9 am to 7-8 pm. If workers arrive after that time or leave earlier or do not work on a weekly day off, wages are cut. Hence, their salary can drop below legal minimum wage levels. FWF declared this complaint admissible and reached out to DW Shop, the FWF member brand sourcing at this factory.

An audit was conducted at this factory in June 2016 where it was found that:
- Wage records were not available. Workers claimed that they were unhappy with the wage levels and generally receive between INR 3500 and 4000.
- Overtime happens on Sundays, at night and on holidays without paying double wage.
- No personnel files were maintained.

DW Shop informed FWF that they will phase out production at the supplier due to their lack of willingness to cooperate/remediate crucial issues related to legal wage payments. In May 2017, DW Shop updated FWF that they have started to reduce orders, will not place any new orders at the supplier and last production will take place in 2018.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2016-07-20 Investigation

FWF informed DW-Shop about the case on 20th July to contact the supplier and ask for a reply.
FWF also reviewed a FWF audit report from June 2016.

2016-08-30 Conclusion of the investigation

The supplier did not reply in detail to the points raised in the complaint, but made a general statement that they care for the welfare of the worker. Management claimed that they have reduced overtime hours and pay according to legal requirements. He refused to produce documentary evidence to support these claims or to show that legal minimum wages are paid.

The FWF audit in June 2016 found that
- Wage records were not available. Workers claimed that they were unhappy with the wage levels and generally receive between INR 3500 and 4000.
- Overtime happens on Sundays, at night and on holidays without paying double wage.
- No personnel files were maintained.

DW Shop informed FWF that they will phase out production at the supplier due to their lack of willingness to cooperate/remediate crucial issues related to legal wage payments. In May 2017, DW Shop updated FWF that they have started to reduce orders, will not place any new orders at the supplier and last production will take place in 2018.

2017-05-15 Remediation

FWF recommends DW Shop to try remediating the points raised in the audit report and complaint, while the sourcing relationship still exists.

2017-05-15 Verification

FWF was unable to verify the improvements claimed by management since the factory did not provide documentary evidence.

2017-05-15 Evaluation of the complaint

The FWF complaint handler tried reaching the worker several times to update him/her about the complaint, but his/her phone was switched off. No calls were returned.

2017-06-02 Closed

As DW-Shop stopped sourcing at the factory, FWF was unable to verify improvements since the factory did not provide evidence, and the complainants handler was unable to reach the complainant, this complaint has been closed.