At MASCOT, we sow all of the workwear ourselves. 2400 people are employed in the manufacture of our workwear and winter workwear at MASCOT's four factories in Vietnam and Laos. Here, our employees work in line with a European working culture with safe and secure working conditions.
MASCOT's first factory in Asia was opened in March 2008, and now more than 2400 MASCOT employees currently work on the production of workwear and winter workwear in both Laos and Vietnam. At the moment, our factory in Laos is undergoing significant expansion.
The vast majority of MASCOT's products – from our winter clothing to our workwear – is made at our very own factories. When many millions of quality products need to be produced each year in an effective production chain, there is a definite need for skilled and dedicated employees. That is why we have our own, experienced HR departments, both in Vietnam and in Laos. They are responsible for the recruitment of all new employees and naturally make sure to employ individuals with the right qualifications and mindsets in much the same way as the HR departments in MASCOT's European operations. Since we recruit all of our employees ourselves, we can guarantee compliance with the minimum age limit for full time work and ensure that there is no child labour at our factories. All employees have good employment conditions with good salaries, and there is complete transparency with regards to remuneration and bonuses. Any overtime hours are reported in advance and remunerated in accordance with higher percentage rates. Employees naturally have freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
MASCOT's HR department is also in constant dialogue with relevant organisations and authorities, such as the Ministry of Employment, in order to ensure that we implement the highest possible working conditions. We have received several prizes for our good working environment and for standing out as an employer that offers high quality and secure workplaces.
New Year's party is a huge occasion for our Asian Mascoteers. Our New Years' celebrations have both official elements as well as more informal aspects such as dancing, singling and theatre competitions. Competitive employees train for weeks in advance to present the best performance and try to win the competition.
Right from day one, safety has been at the top of our agenda. Because of our dedication, we were able to build our factories without any occupational accidents at all. And that is a rarity in Vietnam and Laos. We have been able to achieve this as a result of our fundamental and thorough safety training programme for all construction employees, strict regulations regarding the use of safety helmets and other gear, clear safety procedures and through daily monitoring of the construction site. This last initiative was undertaken in order to ensure compliance with all regulations and to make sure that only approved individuals could access the construction site.
Safety training is a very important aspect of daily operations at the factories as well. All employees take part in a safety training programme from their very first day of employment with subsequent training sessions being held on a continuous basis thereafter, so we can make sure that there is no doubt as to how machines should be used, etc. In addition, MASCOT also carries out daily safety inspections and appoints safety managers in all departments. MASCOT registers all safety incidents, and the health and safety committee evaluates all events that occur. In addition to training related to daily work, MASCOT also holds fire fighting exercises, evacuation drills and first-aid training sessions at regular intervals. There are even courses on traffic safety awareness.
When a company opts to locate its production in one or several developing countries, they simultaneously make a commitment to the employees and local environment there. This entails a range of broad measures that are needed in order to create a good working environment, ensure high levels of safety and, not least, to safeguard good health for all employees. That is why we have had our own medical clinics on site at the factories right from day one. These medical clinics provide free medical assistance from competent doctors and nurses as part of the employment package. These health clinics are officially registered and certified by the state.
The healthcare staff also contribute to employee health by undertaking preventive healthcare initiatives and running information campaigns. Through these information campaigns, MASCOT aims to give employees the knowledge they need to look after their health by eating well and by looking after their personal hygiene. Moreover, the healthcare staff also run information campaigns about (infectious) illnesses and epidemics.
Every day, all employees are given a good and nourishing meal for free in the cafeteria. The menu is carefully put together on a daily basis using fresh ingredients that have the right nutritional content, ensuring that our employees get healthy and filling meals at work. MASCOT's doctors and nurses conduct daily reviews of MASCOT's cafeteria. They take food samples every day in order to ensure high levels of quality and to avoid food poisoning.
All of MASCOT's own production sites are certified in line with the strictest CSR certification programme there is – SA8000. This certification requires two external audits per year, which place focus on working conditions, safety and employee health. Read more about SA8000 here.
Almost 80 percent of the workwear that we send out to our customers is produced at our own factories in Vietnam and Laos. The remaining share of MASCOT products (about 20 percent of the goods we dispatch) are produced using very specific methods of production; e.g. safety footwear, socks and kneepads. These products are produced externally at sites which are specialised in the precise production methods required. MASCOT visits and inspects these sites of production itself, and it also uses well-known third party certification institutes to audit the factories and thereby ensure a high level of quality for both people and the environment.