Instead of policing on non-compliance WE focuses on creating motivation for change through establishing trust and building effective dialogue.
In the everyday reality of the manufacturing world human rights issues often coincide with other business issues such as rushed delivery times, cash flow and staff turnover. Factory workers, managers, owners, unions, buyers and trading companies all hold competing perspectives on what could and should be done. Workers and managers may both agree that lots of overtime and no hindrances from safety gear are desirable when they want to meet tight deadlines. But at the same time nobody wants injuries due to fatigue and the absence of protective equipment. Examples like these show why there are no simple solutions even though all involved want to improve working conditions.
Right from its beginning WE has moved away from a top-down imposition of social standards. Instead, the program focuses on creating long-term, sustainable change by establishing trust and building effective dialogue between all parties involved: workers, worker representatives, managers, unions and buyers. Tchibo firmly believes that people are the best experts of their own lives - progress and improvements can only be achieved by involving those affected. The WE Program takes into consideration where a factory stands and where its challenges lie. The program starts where the factory is and together with workers, managers and other stakeholders the process towards a desired future is defined.
We have committed ourselves to work with our WE factories towards compliance on two conditions: we want to see real progress in a reasonable period of time and there has to be transparency regarding the challenges. Because acknowledging a problem gives us an opportunity to solve it.
Gaining the trust of the management to be truly open takes time and requires patient, respectful communication. Our facilitators play a vital role in this process.