1,250 workers win US$8.3M in back pay after layoffs

More than 1,250 workers who sewed bras for brands Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant and Torrid – and who were laid off last year without their legally required severance – have received 281 million baht (US$8.3mil or RM36.5mil) in compensation, according to worker rights groups Solidarity Center and the Worker Rights Consortium.

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

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which owns the Lane Bryant and Torrid brands, did not contribute. Sycamore couldn’t be reached for comment.

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

After the Brilliant Alliance factory shuttered in March 2021, the Thai government ordered its owner, Hong Kong-based Clover Group, to pay severance within 30 days.

Clover refused, telling the factory’s workers it had no money, and they should agree to wait 10 years to be paid in full.

The union then launched a campaign demanding their severance pay. — AP

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