Haglofs AB, Jack Wolfskin, Schoffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG, Complaint 96

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage Legally binding employment relationship
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2014-04-01

On 1 April 2014, a packaging worker informed FWF she was diagnosed with lung cancer and is now receiving medical treatment in her home town. The worker claimed she has already spent more than 20,000 RMB for the medical treatment. She complains that her employer did not buy her social security from the start of her employment on 22 Feb
2012. Without social security 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. Based on the average wage level of where the factory is located, the estimated amount she proposes is 60,000 RMB.

Findings and conclusions

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.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2014-06-01 Investigation

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.
The worker had already negotiated this complaint with the factory by the internal grievance system and submitted an application to the factory through the Arbitration Commission for Labour and Personnel Disputes of Heshan City, which translated to English and was sent to FWF for reference. The document of arbitration and mediation confirmed the agreements made leading to the lump sum of 35000 RMB.
To investigate the authenticity of this complaint FWF’s liaison officer for China was asked to require a copy of the labour contract and evidence of the worker’s medical expenses. FWF’s liaison officer received the diagnostic report submitted by the worker and confirmed it is valid with a stamp of the local hospital.
The last FWF audit in April 2013 confirmed the factory did not follow local law by not covering the entire workforce with social security insurance. It is a common problem in China that employers commonly do not cover social security for all workers while on the other hand, workers are also often not willing to pay their personal share of the insurance fee.

2014-06-01 Conclusion of the investigation

On the basis of above investigation FWF found the complaint grounded. The case was already negotiated through local arbitration. The worker wanted to ensure the lump sum was a satisfying agreements verified by FWF.

2014-06-01 Remediation

The factory is to pay the lump sum to the worker following agreements by the local labour arbitration office.

2014-06-01 Verification

The plaintiff confirmed the agreement sent to FWF was valid. As stated in the document, a 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.

2014-06-01 Evaluation of the complaint

The plaintiff thanked FWF and the member companies for cooperation in this case.

2014-06-01 Closed

This complaint is closed.