“The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively shall be recognized. The company shall, in those situations in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are restricted under law, facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers. Workers' representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to carry out their representation functions.”
An obligation in and of itself is not enough, of course. Therefore, all of our producers are regularly and independently audited by organizations such as Fair Wear. Auditors carefully review whether there are violations of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. This is verified through interviews within and outside the production site and by reviewing documents.
Nearly all of our producers in high risk countries have already received training with the Fair Wear Workplace Education Program. This program focuses on communication between employees and management.
Our Fair Wear audits show that there are still many findings in this area. Common findings include:
In 2019 the first VAUDE Vendor Club for our Asian producers took place in Vietnam. As part of the Vendor Club, we conducted a "Social Dialogue" training course for our producers. We see dialogue as the key to improving working conditions. Concerns and problems can be identified and solved together only when dialogue is successful.
The workshop included the following content:
The workshop was a complete success and was very well received. Social dialogue will be intensified in future Vendor Clubs and we will begin with implementation.
All of our production sites in China, Vietnam and Myanmar have already participated in Fair Wear Workplace Education Training (WEP).
The training is refreshed every 3 years and it is well accepted by producers as well as by their employees. VAUDE assumes the costs for the training.
The Fair Wear-training has the following content:
Training is performed separately for employees and management. One reason for this is that the content is different for each target group. Another reason is that when workers are among themselves, they ask more questions and raise concerns more freely than in presence of senior executives.
At least 10 % - 20 % of employees participated in WEP training. The reviews showed that the training was effective, as most of the workers of our production sites are familiar with the content of the Code of Labor Practices.
Our CSR employee in China completed his WEP trainer course in 2018 and conducts WEP trainings in our production facilities. This enables VAUDE employees to lead training sessions as they visit the factories and make their own contribution to raising the awareness of labor rights.
In 2019, a survey was conducted on employee satisfaction at our producers in Vietnam. The aim of this project was to find out what our partners need to do in order to increase their employee satisfaction and to remain competitive in the search for skilled workers.
The survey was conducted together with other companies and professors of the University of Cologne. The results of the study were then comprehensively evaluated with the help of these professors and made available to our partners. We are currently discussing further steps with our cooperation partners in order to begin the improvement process.