Vietnam Complaint Deuter November 2015


On 14 November FWF received a complaint through a news report forwarded to FWF’s contact person for Deuter. The complaint to the labour standards ‘Employment is freely chosen’, ‘Payment of a Living Wage’ and ‘Safe and healthy working conditions’, which are all part of FWF’s Code of Labour Practice.

In November, approximately 2000 workers of two of the production sites were on strike to ask for better payment of overtime hours, better food quality and a salary increase. A report of the NGO ‘Viet Labor’ following the strike highlighted a number of issues. FWF’s worker interviewer of South Vietnam spent 3 days conducting interviews with workers outside of the production locations to verify the abovementioned points. Aside from the 2 factories mentioned in the NGO report, the investigation was conducted at 3 production sites that all produce for Deuter and fall under the same management.

FWF recommended that Deuter follow up the findings with factory management, focusing on toilet restrictions, payment system, overtime hours and the canteen hygiene. Most importantly the factory must work on strengthening the communication between workers, management and supervisors.

To verify remediation, FWF audted the production sites in September 2015. Progress was observed in all areas, although it is not always clear whether workers can talk to outsiders. Workers stated that the factory accept applicant resignations without any deduction, provided they follow legal procedures. Nevertheless, payment after resignation still takes place later than allowed by law. Overtime is paid at a rate higher than the legal requirement, but workers still work more overtime than the legal limit, and overtime voluntary agreements are signed by the line leader, and for a whole month, rather than individually. Workers confirmed that toilet restrictions were stopped after the Lunar New Year, and that the canteen subcontractor has obtained a food safety and hygene certificate. Workers also confirmed they were paid for the days they went on strike.

The production sites participated in FWF’s Workplace Education Programme in August 2015. The audits verified that comunication between workers and management improved, and that there is more awareness of the FWF Code of Labour Practices, complaints mechanism and relevant legislation. A written grievance procedure has been developed, and information about FWF’s hotline is posted in places that are convenient for workers.


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