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14 Sep 2022

Next's response to allegations of abuses in Myanmar garment factories - September Update

Our local team in Myanmar has investigated the situation and we can provide the following update:

  • meetings were held with the factory owner and HR manager, workers who were involved in the incident, the management of the bus company and the driver
  • approximately 100 workers from the sewing and finishing sections were voluntarily working overtime until 9 pm. At the end of the overtime shift, 32 workers took a bus which is a regular arrangement organised by the factory. On the night in question, we understand that the regular driver was absent from work, so the bus company arranged for another driver to replace him. The new driver was unfamiliar with the routes used to transport the workers and took a wrong turn which caused some concern amongst the workers who contacted the factory HR manager. The HR manager responded immediately and corrected the routes with the driver. All workers returned home that evening and were back at work at the factory the next morning.
  • we have seen evidence provided by the factory and corroborated this by speaking directly to workers who were involved; we understand this to be an isolated incident which was swiftly resolved and later misrepresented on social media