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Myanmar: Primark responds to reports of 2000+ workers owed wages following factory closure

In November 2020, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) invited Primark to respond to reports that 2,000 workers in its supply chain in Myanmar have allegedly received only partial payment of wages owed after losing their jobs from Shinsung Tonsang International Co., Ltd in May 2020. In its response, Primark said Shinsung Tongsang International Co Ltd closed in May 2020 due to the pandemic, and all workers were subsequently paid severance pay in line with the local regulations. It said they have worked with SMART Myanmar, a recognised EU funded initiative, to verify the relevant documentation.

BHRRC also asked Primark to respond to calls by labour groups for further details on Primark's wage fund that was set up to support affected workers in its supply chain during the pandemic. Primark said the wages fund became an advance payment for the wage proportion of orders due for handover by 17 April after it had announced it would be able to take these orders on 20 April, and the fund has paid out £23m to those suppliers concerned. The full response is included below. The full response is included below.

We also invited Primark to respond to allegations of unpaid wages faced by 5,500 workers from KAC Fashionwear Limited in Bangladesh and 800 workers from New Best Global Textile Co. Ltd in Cambodia. Primark said its last order from New Best Global Textile Co Ltd was handed over in September 2019 and this factory is no longer an approved supplier, and it suspended KAC Fashionwear Limited in November 2019 and no further orders have been placed with this supplier since.

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