Hygiene Austria, a joint venture between Lenzing and Palmers for the production of masks in Austria, insists that its activity was lawful. “There was no undeclared work, there were never unreasonable working conditions, all masks delivered by Hygiene Austria have confirmed and documented top quality. There are no unlawful financial transactions, there were never any attempts at enrichment or circumvention,” said the management on Monday.
The company is under massive pressure because the masks were advertised as “Made in Austria”, but some of them were bought in China. The company does not provide any precise information on the proportion of Chinese masks and only writes of a “comparatively small number”. In addition, a few dozen former employees have turned to the Chamber of Labor and claimed missing wage payments. Hygiene Austria sees the committed temporary employment agencies responsible for this. They paid 20 to 30 euros per hour and employee to the temporary employment agencies. Former employees appearing anonymously in the media also accused Hygiene Austria of insufficient cleanliness in production and of covered up work accidents.
“All processes were carried out with the necessary commercial due diligence and in compliance with the legal framework,” writes the management of Hygiene Austria in a broadcast on Monday evening. More than a week ago, the mask manufacturer set up its own website for questions, answers and certificates at https://hygiene-austria.at/pages/transparenzoffensive.