Complaint and redress mechanism
Complaints and requests
In 2007, labour rights groups, trade union officials and workers approached SEA on more than 600 occasions, seeking help or redress to issues in partner factories.
Where there was an allegation or complaint, an investigation was conducted, the facts behind the case established and, where proven, action was taken.
Improving the complaint and redress mechanism
We have further strengthened the transparency of our complaint and redress mechanism by taking the following steps:
- Our complaint and redress mechanism has been incorporated in the Contact section of our corporate website.
- The Contact section also includes a link to the FLA third-party complaints channel.
- For the complaints and redress mechanism to be truly useful, we recognise that we should ‘close the loop’ and include worker feedback when we are commissioning new projects.
Open Letter to workers and worker hotlines
Following the 2006 review of our monitoring programme and Workplace Standards, we decided to enhance our direct communication to workers through the publication of an Open Letter in each supplier factory. The Open Letters provided local language information on the Workplace Standards, described our compliance programme and featured a single contact number for our local SEA staff or a hotline number in those places where we had partnered with an NGO service provider. The information shared through the Open Letter, complemented the long-established practice of our field monitors of sharing their contact numbers with any worker interviewed on or off-site.
The Open Letters were distributed in the first quarter of 2007 and the hotlines went live in the beginning of June 2007. Since then SEA was contacted by more than 1200 workers. The most common complaints related to strikes and disputes, unfair dismissal, discrimination, incorrect payment of wages and benefits, harassment and intimidation, excessive overtime, disciplinary practices, food quality and poor workplace conditions.