Victoria’s Secret pays US$8.3 million settlement to sacked Thai staff

Victoria’s Secret pays US.3 million settlement to sacked Thai staff

BANGKOK: Greater than a thousand sacked Thai garment staff who made bras at a manufacturing unit supplying lingerie large Victoria’s Secret have acquired a landmark US$8.3 million settlement, labour rights activists mentioned on Saturday (Might 28).

Sensible Alliance Thai closed down its Samut Prakan manufacturing unit in March 2021 after going bankrupt.

However the 1,250 laid-off staff – lots of whom had labored on the manufacturing unit for over a decade – didn’t obtain severance payouts mandated underneath Thai regulation.

The manufacturing unit additionally produced underwear for plus dimension American manufacturers Lane Bryant and Torrid, owned by Sycamore Companions – however solely Victoria’s Secret contributed to the settlement by way of a mortgage association with the manufacturing unit’s house owners.

Victoria’s Secret confirmed in a press release that an settlement had been reached, however didn’t point out the quantity concerned.

“Over a number of months we had been in energetic communication with the manufacturing unit house owners to facilitate a decision,” the corporate mentioned.

“We remorse they weren’t finally able to conclude this matter on their very own so to make sure the employees acquired their full severance quantities owed, Victoria’s Secret agreed to advance the severance funds to the manufacturing unit house owners,” it added.

Former employee Jitnawatcharee Panad had clocked up 25 years on the manufacturing unit and mentioned greater than two-thirds of the sacked staff have been ladies aged 45 or older.

“If we hadn’t fought for honest compensation, we would not have acquired something,” Jitnawatcharee, who can also be president of the Triumph Worldwide Employees’ Union of Thailand, advised AFP.

“The doorways of the labour ministry have been locked once we went there to hunt assist and the minister did not appear to need to take heed to our drawback.”

The settlement is the most important ever wage theft settlement at a person garment manufacturing unit, the worldwide staff rights group Solidarity Centre mentioned.

“I believe it is extraordinarily unprecedented and represents a brand new mannequin – the dimensions of severance and curiosity paid on it … in addition to direct engagement by the model,” Solidarity Centre Thailand nation director David Welsh advised AFP.

For the previous 12 months, sacked staff and Thai union representatives have protested outdoors Authorities Home in Bangkok calling for his or her pay.

Confederation of Industrial Labour of Thailand president Prasit Prasopsuk mentioned some protesting staff had been charged with prison offences, together with violating public gathering guidelines in the course of the pandemic.

“This case serves as a lesson sooner or later for the federal government … to make sure that international corporations doing enterprise in Thailand allocate some portion of month-to-month revenue for honest compensation when these corporations stop home operations,” he mentioned.

A Employee Rights Consortium report from April final 12 months mentioned it had documented related wage theft circumstances at 31 garment factories in 9 nations.

Employee Rights Consortium government director Scott Nova mentioned these circumstances have been simply the “tip of the iceberg” and the difficulty of wage theft within the garment trade had exploded in the course of the pandemic as clothes orders declined.

He estimated garment staff worldwide have been owed US$500 million because of manufacturing unit closures and unpaid severance.

Some staff on the Samut Prakan manufacturing unit had acquired the equal of greater than 4 years’ wages final week, he mentioned.

“It is just like the equal of a employee’s life financial savings… and it is merely stolen. What it means to lose that and get it again is troublesome to seize in phrases,” Nova added. 

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