Jack Wolfskin, Schoffel Sportbekleidung GmbH, Complaint 250

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Employment is freely chosen Payment of a living wage Reasonable hours of work
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2017-06-29

The complainant called the helpline to complain about the working hours and salary at the factory. According to the complainant:
- Workers have to work during lunchtime.
- Workers have to work overtime from 17:00 to 18:00/19:00 without time recording and no adequate payment. The factory uses finger print system to record working time. Workers have to sign out at 17:00 and then return to work until 18:00 or 19:00. Workers must sign the overtime registration sheet when working overtime after 17:00 or on Sunday/Holiday and this is paid separately. Workers must sign the overtime registration sheet and cannot refuse overtime. Factory has locked the gate during overtime hours so workers cannot refuse overtime and go home.
- Factory does not pay the legal premium when workers worked overtime after 17:00 or on Sundays, approximately 10,000VND/hour.
- The complainant saw that pregnant workers and workers who are breastfeeding were not allowed to leave early (at 3:00PM). They must work until 17:00. When the customer visits, the pregnant and breastfeeding workers are permitted go home at 15:00.
- Factory pays piece salary to workers. The complainant worked at the factory for about 10 years and his/her contract salary is around 4.5 mil VND/month (Note that the factory at region 1, so the minimum wage for skilled workers is 4,213,125VND/month). Factory has a policy on top up the salary when workers' piece salary falls below
4,200,000VND/month. According to the complainant, the unit price for piece-salary is low, so most of workers are paid top-up to 4,200,000VND/month. He/She thinks his/her salary is low because salary for new workers and seniority workers is not that different. When (s)he raised issues about the salary with HR, HR replied that (s)he can resign if not happy with it. He/She said that he/she cannot find another job because he/she is too old.
- When the customers visit/audit the factory, all of interviewed workers are coached to answer the interview. Most of them do not dare to share the truth because they are afraid of retaliation.
- The union chairwoman is Vice General Director, so nobody can raise any questions or complaints to the union.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2017-07-01 Investigation

FWF members informed the supplier and received a response within one week. Together with the supplier, Jack Wolfskin set up a Corrective Action Plan in which factory management responded in detail to each accusation. For parts of the complaints, pictures and documents were included to which Jack Wolfskin commented on again and asked follow up questions. FWF's complaints handler also commented on the CAP with additional remarks/questions.

2017-08-02 Conclusion of the investigation

Based on the reply of the factory and collected evidence, parts of the complaint were found grounded. Other part need more investigation and/or verification through the complainant and additional worker interviews. Jack Wolfskin scheduled an unannounced visit in September with own auditors to review documents and interview workers.

2017-11-23 Remediation

Factory must ensure overtime is voluntary and adequately recorded. Factory regularly schedules one hour overtime which needs to be remediated. As the factory uses a piece rate system and registers working hours electronically, it is difficult to very the actual working hours with a risk of workers returning to work after checking out.
Lights have been switched off during lunch time according to the factory and pregnant workers are allowed to leave at 3 according to the time sheets sent by the factory.
According to FWF's complaints handler, the complainant still reported Sunday work with pictures sent as evidence.

2018-06-13 Verification

Verification audit is scheduled for August 2018.

2018-08-26 Verification

The following issues are solved; breastfeeding and pregnant women don't work more than allowed by law, workers can leave the factory freely as long as they inform the factory, workers must sign the overtime registration to accept working OT.
However, some points still need remediation:
- working during lunch break
- recording and payment of overtime
- 30 minutes break for 2 hours of overtime worked
- the piece rate system should be clearly explained to the workers

2019-01-03 Closed

FWF is closing this complaint, it is partly solved. Member brands should continue working on CAP of the latest audit.