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

BANGKOK, Might 27 (Reuters) – Thai staff who have been sacked last yr from a manufacturing unit supplying world lingerie manufacturers which include Victoria’s Magic formula will get $8.3 million, in what labour activists say is the greatest settlement of its form in the world garment marketplace.

About 1,200 staff were being laid off devoid of severance fork out and wages owed to them by Fantastic Alliance Thai World-wide Co Ltd (BAT) following it went bankrupt and shut down its manufacturing facility in Samut Prakan province in March 2021.

The incident was a single of “hundreds of situations of wage theft” that labour activists say took put in the garment industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The settlement, financed by Victoria’s Magic formula in a financial loan arrangement with BAT’s proprietor, could set a precedent for international brands to much better guard the legal rights of personnel in their provide chains, in accordance to Scott Nova, Govt Director of the Worker Legal rights Consortium, an intercontinental labour advocacy team.

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“World wide brand names have to have to realise that they are not passive traders, but development-setters in environment labour specifications,” reported David Welsh, the Thailand director for the Solidarity Heart, a U.S.-centered workers rights’ advocacy team.

A lot more than a 12 months soon after BAT and its Hong Kong-based mostly operator Clover Team refused to spend the laid-off Thai staff, Victoria’s Top secret & Co (VSCO.N)said this week in an emailed assertion. It will lengthen a bank loan to the owners of Clover to finance the settlement.

It was unclear how a great deal of the settlement Victoria’s Mystery would protect, saying in the statement that BAT’s proprietor were not “in a position to conclude this matter on their personal” so the enterprise “agreed to advance the severance money to manufacturing unit owners,” devoid of revealing the amount.

A Thai labour ministry document observed by Reuters confirmed the complete payment to the staff including linked expenditures was in a whole of 285.2 million baht ($8.36 million).

Clover experienced initially claimed the employees ought to concur to hold out 10 decades to be paid out in entire.

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

($1 = 34.1500 baht)

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

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