Puma uncovers supply chain labour problems

15 September 2009

16 September 2009

Sports company Puma has unearthed issues of "non-compliance" in its supply chain.

The German firm found persistent problems including staff working "excessive" overtime and not being aware of their right to a minimum wage and the falsification of staff records.

Puma's sustainability report for 2007 and 2008, out yesterday, also showed "very few" of its suppliers provided legal benefits such as annual, sick and maternity leave.

"We have warned our factories that keeping double sets of time records is a non-negotiable issue and pointed out that our 'puma.safe' auditors would sooner or later detect the falsified documentation. Some factories conceded and eventually discontinued this practice," the report said.

The company said it was addressing the issues through consistent auditing and by working with suppliers to improve conditions.

All of its vendors in China took part in human resource training last year and the project is to be extended to suppliers in Vietnam over the next year, Puma added.

The company's chief supply chain officer, Reiner Seiz, said conditions in China, Vietnam and Indonesia are improving and vendors have access to the most up-to-date machinery.

"More than ever, people just want to know where the products they buy are sourced and the conditions in which they are manufactured. The economic crisis has not changed this," he added.

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