VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG, Complaint 151

Legally binding employment relationship

The complainant claimed that he and his colleagues at the factory heard that the factory is going to relocate to another region. However, workers are not informed of the new
location or the exact time of relocation. Because the workers are going back to their hometown for Chinese New Year very
soon, they are afraid that once they return after the Chinese New Year, they will not be able to find the factory again. Workers are afraid they cannot get any severance pay if the factory does relocate, without informing them of the new factory address. The
workers representative informed the complaints handler that many workers have been working at the factory for 10 to 20 years already. If they were to be dismissed because of relocation they would be entitled to severance pay. According to the worker representative, workers have asked the management team many times for information, but no response was given to them. On 28 and 29 January the entire workforce commenced on a strike, however, the management has not responded yet to the inquiries of relocation.

Findings and conclusions

On 29 January 2016, FWF's complaints handler in China received a complaint from a worker representative currently employed by the factory, who claimed that he and his colleagues had heard that the factory was going to relocate to another region, but that the workers were not informed about the new location or the exact time of the relocation. They were afraid that when they would return from visiting their home towns over the Chinese New Year, that they would no longer be able to find the factory. FWF declared this complaint admissible and informed Vaude, the FWF member brand sourcing at this factory. Vaude reached out the factory management, who stated that they did indeed plan to relocate to another place in the same region in March/April. Vaude was informed by the factory that middle management had informed the workers about their moving plans at the end of April on 25 March with exact details and dates. No remediation is needed as the workers were informed about the moving date and new location in accordance with local law. On 8 April, FWF's complaints handler reached out to the complainant, who confirmed that the workers had been informed about the new location and date of moving. The complainant is satisfied.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2016-03-25 Investigation

FWF informed Vaude about the case on 29 January. Vaude contacted the supplier and asked for a reply as soon as possible. The supplier informed the member that the management team indeed agreed to move to another place in the same area, but did not know the exact location yet. The plan was not to move right after Chinese New Year, but end of March / beginning of April.

The complaints handler informed the worker representative about this on 2 February. In the first week of April, Vaude was informed by their supplier that middle management informed its workers about their moving plan on 25 March, with details about location and date.

2016-04-07 Conclusion of the investigation

The workers have been informed about the details of relocation on 25 March 2016, which is one month in advance as per law. By law workers are entitled to relocation compensation when the factory moves to another city. The supplier of Vaude moved within the city and therefore none of the workers were entitled to compensation.

2016-04-07 Remediation

No remediation is needed because the workers have been informed about the relocation plans. FWF advises Vaude to enroll the factory a second time in a Workplace Education Programme training, to enhance dialogue between workers and management.

2016-05-02 Verification

On 8 April the complaints handler asked the complainant whether they indeed have received detailed information about the relocation. The complainant confirmed that workers were informed about the new location and date of moving. FWF’s complaint handler tried to call the complainant again at the beginning of May to check how many workers have already moved to the new location, but could not get hold of the complainant.

2016-05-03 Evaluation of the complaint

The complainant is satisfied with the information given by FWF complaints handler on 2 February, and the detailed information given by management of the supplier on 25 March about the plans for relocation.

2018-07-03 Resolved

The complaint has been resolved.