What is the Fair Wear Foundation – “Complaint Helpline”


Our membership in the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) enables us to keep a close connection to our factories in Asia. It is a matter close to our hearts to make sure, that the labour standards are upheld there. Even when we are not present in the factories, we can learn about possible labour rights violations through the “Complaint Helpline”, which was implemented by the FWF. The workers can file complaints through this helpline when they feel like they are treated unfairly or when the Code of Labour Practices is violated in the factory.

FWF Logo

For this complaint procedure to function, it is necessary, that the workers, the seamsters and seamstresses in our factories in Vietnam, Myanmar, China and India know about their legal rights. We try to educate them about their rights through posters, information sheets and employee interviews.

When and if a single worker or a group of workers feel like their labour rights have been violated, they can file a complaint with a complaint handler, who is selected by the Fair Wear Foundation and to whom all parties involved have a trustful relationship. The complaint handler neutrally passes the complaint on to the Fair Wear Foundation without commenting on it. The Fair Wear Foundation establishes the admissibility of the complaint and starts an investigation. Simultaneously, the FWF informs the member company about the complaint and gives them the opportunity to start further investigations concerning the complaint. After having investigated the complaint, the Fair Wear Foundation suggests a corrective action plan and monitors if the plan leads to a positive outcome. Finally, the Fair Wear Foundation reports about the incidence publically.

Has a complaint been filed in a FOND OF BAGS – garment factory?

 

Yes. In March 2017, a complaint was filed with the Fair Wear Foundation by a garment worker in one of the factories in Myanmar. A worker reported, that his wife and he had been terminated without compensation after having worked overtime for several das and calling in sick for the next day.

The Fair Wear Foundation started an investigation of the case immediately. First of all, the accused production manager was interviewed. He made a contrary statement about the incidence. After failing to complete an important delivery, the wife of the complainant had been moved to a different production line. The wife mad a big dispute, whereupon the worker got violent and threatened the production manager.

Because of the contrary statements of the two parties, the Fair Wear Foundation decided to send a team to the factory to start further investigations. On site, the team conducted interviews with other workers and witnesses, which were named by the complainant.

Was the case resolved?

 

Yes. After having conducted interviews with all witnesses and all parties involved, the Fair Wear Foundation concluded, that the worker did indeed try to bodily harm his production manager. Several witnesses, who were named by the complainant, confirmed this incidence. Only then, the complainant was terminated.

The Fair Wear Foundation mediated between the two parties, which finally agreed to terminate the employment of the worker. The worker was paid 1.5 months of salary compensation including bonuses and overtime. At the same time, the Fair Wear Foundation pointed out, that though the grievance was gradually growing at the workplace by the complainant, nobody from the management paid enough attention to make him realize the potential consequences of his and his wife’s actions, and tried to counsel or reduce his tension towards the factory manager.

 

Fair Wear Foundation report about the complaint.

More information about our membership in the FWF.