Victoria’s Secret agrees to finance $8.3 million settlement for laid-off Thai workers

BANGKOK, Might 27 (Reuters) – Thai workers who ended up sacked final 12 months from a factory giving global lingerie brand names including Victoria’s Key will get $8.3 million, in what labour activists say is the biggest settlement of its form in the world garment business.

About 1,200 workers had been laid off with no severance pay and wages owed to them by Outstanding Alliance Thai Global Co Ltd (BAT) soon after it went bankrupt and shut down its manufacturing unit in Samut Prakan province in March 2021.

The incident was 1 of “hundreds of cases of wage theft” that labour activists say took position in the garment sector in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The settlement, financed by Victoria’s Mystery in a personal loan arrangement with BAT’s proprietor, could established a precedent for world-wide manufacturers to superior shield the rights of personnel in their offer chains, in accordance to Scott Nova, Govt Director of the Worker Rights Consortium, an worldwide labour advocacy group.

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“World wide makes require to realise that they are not passive buyers, but pattern-setters in location labour requirements,” mentioned David Welsh, the Thailand director for the Solidarity Middle, a U.S.-primarily based personnel rights’ advocacy group.

Far more than a calendar year immediately after BAT and its Hong Kong-based proprietor Clover Team refused to spend the laid-off Thai employees, Victoria’s Mystery & Co (VSCO.N)said this 7 days in an emailed statement. It will increase a financial loan to the homeowners of Clover to finance the settlement.

It was unclear how significantly of the settlement Victoria’s Magic formula would include, saying in the assertion that BAT’s proprietor were not “in a posture to conclude this make any difference on their have” so the organization “agreed to progress the severance cash to manufacturing facility house owners,” without revealing the amount of money.

A Thai labour ministry document viewed by Reuters showed the total payment to the staff including similar costs was in a full of 285.2 million baht ($8.36 million).

Clover had initially reported the workers must concur to wait 10 yrs to be compensated in entire.

Emily Lau, an govt of Clover and a board member of the bankrupt BAT reported on Friday the payment will be built with “the personal means of owners, Angie and Emily Lau” but did not point out the bank loan from Victoria’s Mystery.

($1 = 34.1500 baht)

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Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat Modifying by Kanupriya and Nick Zieminski

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