Date filed
25 October 2023
Countries of harm
Current status


On 25 October 2023, Croatian trade union Novi Sindikat, Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) Germany and CCC International office (‘the complainants’) filed a complaint against German company Olymp Bezner KG (‘Olymp’) to Germany’s National Contact Point (NCP). The complainants allege that the German menswear brand failed to act in accordance with the OECD Guidelines by disengaging irresponsibly from its business relationship with Croatian state-owned garment factory Orljava d.o.o., Požega (‘Orljava’), leading to Orljava ultimately going bankrupt and dismissing all its 172 employees.

According to the complainants, Olymp failed to seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts to the workers in its supply chain when ending its business with Orljava, despite an agreement between the two parties that forbid Orljava to sell its products to other major German buyers. The complainants state that when Olymp informed Orljava about their intention to terminate their exclusivity agreement and to cease sourcing products from the factory in October 2020 during the Covid-19 crisis, Orljava tried to find new customers, but failed. Subsequently, Orljava had to declare bankruptcy in July 2021. The severance pay for Orljava’s laid off employees allegedly took over 1.5 years to be paid out to them, which is why, according to the complainants, worker representatives reached out to Olymp, asking them to intervene and provide financial relief for the workers. However, Olymp allegedly never extended any offer to the workers. The complainants therefore accuse Olymp of failing to conduct appropriate risk-based due diligence over the potential impacts of its disengagement from the factory, and failure to meaningfully engage with relevant stakeholders in relation to the decision to stop working with Orljava.

The complainants seek €1000 per worker from Olymp for the alleged harm caused by Olymp’s failure to follow up and the damage caused to workers by delayed payment and high inflation. Additionally, they ask for Olymp to mitigate the alleged harms caused to former Orljva workers by its irresponsible disengagement, for example through supporting former workers in finding alternative employment. The complainants also seek improvements to Olymp’s human rights and/or responsible disengagement policies to ensure timely consultation with workers and their trade union representatives.

The complaint has been filed under both the 2011 and 2023 versions of the OECD Guidelines (specifically, Chapter II, paragraph 12 of the 2023 Guidelines).

Relevant OECD Guidelines

More details