Haglofs AB, Outdoor & Sports Company Ltd., Complaint 880

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Employment is freely chosen Payment of a living wage
STATUS
New issue
DATE
2020-04-27

This complaint was filed by three workers at the factory in question.

1) The first complainant has worked at the factory since 1 November 2018. On 15 February 2020, The Human Resource Manager informed the complainant that his/her labour contract would be terminated on 15 February 2020 because (s)he collected the signatures of workers to ask the factory to adjust the workers' salary in January 2020. The complainant then tried to meet with the trade union leader but factory management denied him/her access to the trade union leader and escorted him/her out of the factory. The complainant explained that he/she wrote and sent the management a suggestion letter to suggest adjusting the workers' salary in January 2020. On 18 February 2020, the factory paid him/her the remaining salary of February 2020 and compensation for 26 days.
The complainant called the Fair Wear helpline on 27 April 2020 and claimed that his/her labour contract was terminated unlawfully by the factory management and wanted the factory to compensate her/him in accordance with Article 42 of the Labour Code.

2) The second complainant has worked at the factory since 12 April 2019 and took maternity leave from 1 April 2020. The complainant called the Fair Wear helpline on 2 May 2020 and complained about the following issues:
1. The factory management issued a written notice to terminate her labour contract from 20 April 2020 while she was absent due to her maternity leave.
2. Her salary for March 2020 paid lacked VND 690,000.
3. She has not received the maternity allowance which is paid by the Social Insurance office through the factory.

3) The third complainant has worked at the factory since 17 October 2018 and she is nursing a child under 12 months of age.
The complainant called the Fair Wear helpline on 3 May 2020 and complained that the factory management terminated her labour contract unlawfully while she was nursing a child under 12 months. The factory paid her a month of basic salary but she does not agree with the compensation.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2020-05-04 Investigation

The first complainant shared the termination decision with the Vietnamese complaints handler on 30 April 2020.

The Fair Wear member brands sourcing from this factory informed factory management about the complaint on 4 May 2020. They asked factory management for feedback as well as documents related to the three employment terminations and labour law articles references for any decision made regarding dismissals.

The Vietnam labour code references for this complaint provided by Fair Wear's complaints handler are:
Article 38 of the Labour Code
Article 39 of the Labour Code
Article 42 of the Labour Code
Article 155 of the Labour Code

2020-05-06 Investigation

The factory provided feedback to member brands on 5 May 2020. Below is included the factory's response about the issues brought forth by each of the complainants.

Complainant 1: Former permanent worker
In February 2020, the factory reached an agreement with the complainant.
According to factory management, workers are encouraged to make their comments and suggestions through the union or feedback channel. Factory management is also willing to communicate and consult with workers' representatives. However, factory management stated that they have clear company rules and regulations on the timing and method of salary adjustments. These rules and regulations state that any action taken by an employee that requires the company to meet its demands by threatening with a potential strike is subject to dismissal.
According to the factory, since the worker violated the company's regulations many times before, the factory decided to terminate his/her labour contract.

Complainant 2: Former permanent worker
Factory management stated that the contract for this worker will expire on May 12. Per Vietnamese labour law, if the employer does not renew the contract, the worker should be informed 1 month before the contract's ending date. The HR staff made a mistake on the expired date and will correct it now and compensate the worker according to Vietnamese labour law.

Complainant 3: Former permanent worker
According to factory management, this complainant belongs to the list of 38 workers whose contracts were terminated in April. The compensation paid does meet the Vietnam labour law. According to the factory, the termination of the complainant's contract is only related to her/his insufficient job quality.

2020-05-15 Investigation

On 11 May 2020, the factory provided the minutes of the disciplinary meeting held about the first complainant and the agreement to terminate his/her contract. Both documents have the complainant's signature but the complainant said that she/he never signed these documents.

Complainant 3: The factory provided a skills evaluation form about the complainant, where all criteria are marked poor/bad with the signature of an assessor. The complainant said that he/she does not know about the evaluation form.

2020-05-27 New issue

Another worker called the Fair Wear helpline on 27 May 2020 and claimed that he/she was dismissed unlawfully. The fourth complainant has worked at the factory since August 2019 and took sick leave from 5 April 2020. According to the complainant, he/she has not received the salary for working hours in April, compensation (a month of basic salary like the other workers who were dismissed due to Covid-19) as well as his/her social insurance book. The complainant said that the Human Resource officer contacted her/him by phone with the information that his/her contract will be terminated because of downsizing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The complainant has contacted the Human Resource many times but the claim has not been resolved.