German sports goods manufacturer Adidas is going to offer employees in six factories the possibility to report social abuses via texting. In the testing stage in one factory, complaints were mainly about restructuring, working hours and insurance.
Test project in Indonesia
Adidas started the system in the second half of 2012 for employees of a factory of sports shoes in Indonesia. Employees were able to send a text to Adidas if they felt their rights were being violated.
That way the company will get notified much quicker when something is awry and this way, the company can respond to problems before they become an issue for a large part of the employees and public opinion. The project was inspired by the International Labour Organisation and the fact that most factory workers have a mobile phone and are active users of texting.
During the testing period, most texts were used to ask questions about restructuring, working hours and insurance, but also to make suggestions to management. Because of its success Adidas is expanding the project to five other factories in Indonesia and Vietnam.