Once again in 2012 the Christian Initiative Romero put well-known outdoor gear companies to the test: As in the previous two years, individual outdoor gear manufacturers were required to provide information on the social standards and work conditions in their production locations. TATONKA also took part in the survey. The implementation of the complex Social Standards SA8000 of the previous year and the company’s own project “Open Factory”, that also began in the previous year, prove high level awareness of responsibility to man and the environment.
In its assessment the INKOTA-Network expressed criticism that the Code of Conduct at Tatonka was not precise and showed omissions in some parts. TATONKA CEO Andreas Schechinger took up this criticism in an official statement pointing out that this Code of Conduct represented an addition to the international Standards SA8000 – and for this reason, for example, in the Code of Conduct it is not explicitly specified again that child labor is not permitted, since this was excluded anyway under the provisions of SA8000. Moreover, the international standard SA8000 also expects there to be a legally valid contract of employment and regular payment of an appropriate wage, which is more than the legally valid minimum wage.
The working conditions and social conditions for the workers in the company’s production plant Mountech Co. Ltd. can be found here
As emphasized by Andreas Schechinger, the international standard SA8000 does not provide for a monitoring system but is implemented in the company and inspected by the TÜV at regular intervals and certified accordingly. The SA8000 is based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization and the United Nations.
Open Factory: A look behind the scenes at TATONKA
Since March 2011, interested outdoor enthusiasts have been able to see for themselves the social and working conditions in the production plant Mountech. Co. Ltd. Every Friday, visitors who have booked the tour are able to form their own opinions in the “Open Factory” and can publish their impressions and experiences on the homepage www.openfactory.tatonka.com
Free expression of opinion for a fair contract of employment
For fair and co-determined working conditions, TATONKA GmbH in Mountech encourages free expression of employees in the internal company meetings in which there is unrestricted freedom of speech and opinion. The employees can submit their wishes, ideas and complaints to a suggestion box installed at a central place, such that the working conditions and social conditions are always given a high status.
“MADE BY” verifies the TATONKA observance of high social standards
Although the Clean Clothes Campaign and therefore also the INKOTA network do not recognize the SA8000, adherence to the regulations is inspected by the non-government organization MADE BY: MADE BY certified TATONKA in July 2012 as having achieved the social standards of Class A to one hundred percent and this for all TATONKA products without exception. (Link to announcement)
SA8000: International Standard
The standard SA8000 primarily monitors transnational companies in respect of requirements in terms of social and work standards. In order to receive the certificate a company may not operate with child or compulsory labor, must not discriminate its workers and psychological and physical punishments are prohibited. The wage level should be appropriate and above that of the legal minimum wage; moreover, the company shall fulfill certain standards in respect of health protection and safety at work. The hours of work are restricted and workers must be allowed to join a trade union. In addition, certification to Standard SA8000 also includes further requirements for the management.
Assessment by the INKOTA Network