Thai police have raided a clothing factory formerly owned by Tesco. of lawsuit in the UK over alleged diaphoretic conditions.
Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that Burmese workers who manufactured F&F jeans for Tesco in Thailand said it was trapped in, in effectforced labor, 99-hour workweek for illegally low wages in appalling conditions.
MP of Thailand national police chief General Surachet Hakparn personally raided the VK (VKG) garment factory. in May Sot on Tuesday. With team of senior police and labor inspectorates, they checked the working conditions of VKG and interviewed the workers.
Tesco faces historic lawsuit in UK from 130 former Working VKG and semi-year- old lady who was raped in factory housing while her mother worked all evening making F+F clothes. They are suing Tesco. for alleged negligence and unjust enrichment.
workers in lawsuit made jeans and other F&F clothing for adults and children for thai branch of Tesco business in the period from 2017 to 2020. Tesco, which did not participate in daily running of factory, said the allegations were “incredibly serious” and that it would “put an end to our relationship.” with this supplier immediately “discovered that [the] questions”.
Surachet said in statement: “As soon as I became aware of the incident, I immediately contacted the of labor and welfare to test the plant. i had a tour of factory site, work areas and interviewed workers. I found what the company has issue with payment of wages to workers and what’s the matter so far in process with labor court.
Police and branch of labor, work protection and welfare officials plan to interview more than 130 former factory workers.
Somchai Homlaor, head of The Thailand Foundation for Human Rights and Development said that The Guardian report attracted “big attention from government authorities.” He added that while police attention may prove useful for former workers: “I don’t think in for a long time term it issue will be dealt with systematically.
Former VKG employees describe the opening of the factory as a puppet bank Accounts for them to make it look like they were being paid the minimum wage and were being paid much less in cash. Some stated that their immigration documents were kept at the plant.
The workers said they were paid only £3 a day for work until 23:00 with just one day off per month, and were told they worked nights at least once a month for large F&F orders. Some also reported serious injuries they said occurred while on the job in unsafe working conditions.
Oliver Holland, Attorney at Leigh Day leading UK case against Tesco said the police raid “illustrate how the main thing is international spotlight on a business. Statements from our clients of forced labor was the subject of Thai proceedings have been ongoing since 2020, but only now there is a response from the authorities.”
An appeal has been launched last week in Thailand by the same workers after a Thai labor court ruled they were only entitled to pay of severance pay and notice allowance from the factory after dismissal in 2020.
Thai labor experts say the country’s courts are notoriously ineffective in enforcing compensation for workers, even in the rare occasions when they do win.
bram press, director of non-governmental organization MAP Foundation, said: “Big brands are still with impunity, purchases from factories in it area where is it open secret what are they doing money by underpaying their vulnerable workforce of migrants from Myanmar. Someone needs to be held accountable and pay these workers their legal wages. In the supply chain, right? lead to brands?
A Tesco spokesman said: “Protecting the rights of everyone works in our supply chain is absolutely essential to how we do business. To meet our stringent human rights standards, we have a robust audit process in place. in place throughout our supply chain and the communities where we operate.
“We understand that the Thai Labor Court has awarded compensation those involved and we will continue to encourage the supplier to reimburse employees for any wages due to them.”
Sirikul Tatyawongpaibul, Manager director of VKG confirmed that the verification took place on noon of December 20, with some senior officers present. She said that they found nothing illegal, adding: “We have provided a safe working environment for all employees. We are regularly audited by independent auditors who not connected with company to maintain good working conditions for our staff and how required in accordance with the law.”
Tatiyawongpaibul disputed previous posts in The Guardian, calling them “rumors”. She said that they should be presented in court and cannot be commented on in view of the pending appeal in Thai labor courts.
She is also said placement in the factory compound was provided by the third party.