VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG, Complaint 715

Payment of a living wage Legally binding employment relationship

On 24 May 2019, a worker who working at QC Department called the FWF helpline to claim that workers have no way to resign according to labor law regulations. There are 5 workers in this department who want to send their complaints to FWF to help them terminating their long term labor contract lawfully.

On 25 May 2019, a worker from Line 3 called the FWF helpline to complain about him-herself and 4 workers in his/her line are not free to terminate their contract with reasonable notice.

On 6th August 2019, one more worker filed a complaint saying that (s)he filed a resignation letter 4 months ago without it being approved.

On 12th August 2019, another worker working at the factory since 2015 filed a complaint. (S)he said that (s)he has applied a termination letter to terminate his/her labour contract about 6 months ago but not yet approved.

All complainants stated that they have no way to terminate their employment with reasonable notice. They did send termination letters to either their direct line leader, production manager, HR department or contacted the Union leader. They want to terminate their long term labour contract and give a 45 days of prior notice as required by labour laws. But there resignation letters are not taken into account, thus workers resign at some point as they are tired of waiting for approval (and without official notice). However, in doing so they need to pay a fine of approximately 2 months salary to factory for illegally terminating their labour contracts. This fine is very difficult for them to pay.

Besides, they are not entitled to social insurance benefits as the factory does not settle and return it to them. According to complainants, most resigned workers have to pay a the fine if they wan to get their social insurance books back.

They want to help them to terminate their labour contract lawfully, receiving all due payments and getting access to their social insurance books.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2019-07-01 Remediation

Factory manager and Brand CEO met together with FWF Director to discuss remediation at this factory, and clarify FWF expectations.

2019-07-29 Remediation

After three complainants had shared their identity, the factory solved their cases.
The factory shared with the brand the following proofs:
A minute of the meeting including worker, line leader, and production manager confirmed worker agreed to continue working at the factory and he/she will not have to work overtime.
Two resignation letters had been approved by the factory. A worker at QC will terminate her job on 6 August 2019 and a worker at Line 3 has left on 31 July 2019.
The complaints handler checked with the three people and they confirmed.

From the remaining complainants: two workers resigned without following the legal process. Three are not willing to share their identities and one shared his/her identity to help resolve his/her claim.

2019-08-07 Remediation

One worker who shared her identity on 1st August saw his/her resignation approved and will be able to quit at the end of August.

4 resignations have been approved out of 11, some workers are afraid to share their identities.

2019-08-22 Remediation

Two more workers' resignations were approved and they will stop working end of October and end of November.

5 out of 12 resignations have been approved.
1 worker agreed to continue working without overtime.

2019-08-27 Remediation

Out of the 6 remaining workers, 3 have left the factory without giving legal notice because they were tired of waiting on their resignations' approval.
3 other workers dropped their complaints and chose to continue working at the factory.

2019-10-06 Investigation

One more worker called on October 6. He/she said that he/she did send the termination letter to the production supervisor in March 2019 but the approval was delayed many times; he/she was promised it would be approved on the 15 September, then end of Sept, then 10 October, etc., but the resignation has still not be approved.

2019-10-15 Remediation

2 of the 3 workers that left the factory said they received the last payment and Social Insurance books. 1 case received the last payment but not the Social Insurance book yet.

2019-10-28 Verification

The 3rd worker who has already left the factory received the Social Insurance books.

2019-12-26 Investigation

New issue: a worker whose resignation was accepted and who was supposed to stop working on 30 November, was told he/she could not leave and had to work 2 to 4 weeks more.

This will be taken up in a new complaint, as there is also a refusal to that worker to be able to refuse overtime hours.

2020-01-03 Closed

12 out of 13 workers could resign and get their due payments. Those were all very long processes, several months after sending their initial resignation letters, reaching out to the Fair Wear helpline, and after discussions between the member and the factory.

One case is still unresolved and will open a new complaint case. Thus this case is marked as closed and not fully Resolved. The factory and the member should continue working on resignation and dismissal processes, to be in line with the Vietnamese laws.