Saturday, June 25, 2022

Thai garment workers win $8.3M in back pay after layoffs

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – More than 1,250 Thai workers who sew bras for Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant and Torrid brands – and who were laid off without legally required severance last year – have received 281 million baht (8.3 million baht) in compensation. dollars) have been found. For worker rights groups Solidarity Center and Worker Rights Consortium.

The compensation will be financed by Victoria’s Secret through a loan arrangement with the workers’ former employer, and it comes after 13 months of effort. The workers are represented by Triumph International Union, which is affiliated with the Industrial Labor Confederation of Thailand.

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which owns the Lane Bryant and Torrid brands, did not contribute, according to the groups. Gular could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Solidarity Center said it was the largest settlement ever related to the theft of wages at a garment factory.

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Following the closure of the Brilliant Alliance factory in March 2021, the Thai government ordered its owner, Hong Kong-based Clover Group, to pay severance payments within 30 days, according to worker rights groups. Clover refuses, saying that the factory workers have no money, and agrees to wait 10 years to pay them in full.

After this the union started a campaign demanding his severance pay. The Worker Rights Consortium and Solidarity Center worked with Victoria’s Secret and Sycamore to say that workers should be paid. After months of efforts, including the Clean Cloth Campaign and campaigns by other non-profit activist advocacy organizations, Clover agreed to pay the workers and Victoria’s Secret is committed to paying Clover through a loan.

Last week, according to Thai law, all workers received their severance, in addition to more than $1 million in interest.

Victoria’s Secret said in a statement on Thursday it was “unwavering in its commitment to doing the right thing” for workers whose livelihoods were affected by the closure of the Brilliant Alliance Thailand factory.

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Victoria’s Secret said, “While the workers affected by the shutdown were not our employees and our goods were not produced at the factory at the time of the closure, we were committed to meeting our obligations to the factory owners.”

David Welsh, Thailand country director of Solidarity Centre, called the agreement a “huge victory” for garment workers.

“Low-wage garment workers left destitute by the injustices perpetrated by global supply chains are nothing new,” he said. “The new thing is that he didn’t accept his fate – and won.”

Welsh said he hopes the agreement will become a model for domestic, government, international and brand partnerships to resolve future cases where apparel workers are left in similar desperation.

Nation World News Desk
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