Complaints and disputes

In 2017, an independent Complaints and Disputes Committee was established. Workers or parties adversely affected by a business that has signed the Agreement, can turn to this committee with a complaint or dispute.

The Committee has its own information page where, among other things, the rulings of the Committee can be consulted as well as the status of complaints that may be being processed.

Complaint

Workers or parties adversely affected by a signatory to the Agreement (which is made visible in the production location list) can file a complaint when their rights are violated. Workers at production locations can, for example, submit a complaint about living wage, child labor or environmental damage. Representatives of employees or other civil society organisations that represent the interests of people, the environment or animals can also do this. The Committee has the power to make binding decisions. Complaints can be submitted to the Committee via AGT-complaints@internationalrbc.org.

Disputes

In addition, the Committee focuses on resolving any problems (disputes) between companies and the secretariat or between parties to the covenant. The Committee has the power to make binding decisions. The Steering Committee has decided to no longer submit any dispute to the Complaints and Disputes Committee in the last phase of the Agreement (1 July – 31 December 2021).

Documents

Filing a complaint based on the production locations list

Every year, the secretariat publishes an aggregated list of production locations with which participating companies have ties. People and civil society organisations with information about (alleged) malpractices at certain garment and textile production locations can use this aggregated list to find out whether any of the participating companies are associated with these production locations. If so, they can contact the secretariat at AGTsecretariat@ser.nl.

The secretariat will then contact the company or companies in question, draw their attention to the (alleged) malpractice and encourage them to conduct effective due diligence with a view to understanding the (alleged) malpractice and, if there is indeed a problem, to tackle it and do everything in their power to eliminate or minimise the malpractice, to prevent a recurrence and, where necessary, to arrange for compensation.

Effective due diligence in any case involves entering into dialogue with the person reporting the (alleged) malpractice. That way, the complainant and the company in question can resolve the problem by mutual agreement.

If, over time, the person reporting an (alleged) malpractice considers that a company has taken little or no action to address the problem, that person may submit a complaint to the Complaints and Disputes Committee at AGT-complaints@internationalrbc.org. Because the Committee is an independent body, complaints are not handled by the secretariat. The secretariat is therefore not informed about any such complaints.