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29 Dez 2022

Emily Dugan, The Guardian (UK)

Thai police screen ex-workers at former Tesco supplier over sweatshop claims

Thai police and civil servants have begun screening more than 100 former workers at a factory that supplied Tesco to determine if they were victims of forced labour....

Thailand’s department of labour protection and welfare conducted interviews with former workers at VK Garment factory (VKG) on Wednesday, alongside police at an immigration building in Mae Sot. Police said the interviews were due to continue on Thursday.

The move follows a raid by Thai police at the factory last week, less than 48 hours after the Guardian published its first article alleging sweatshop conditions...

Oliver Holland, a solicitor leading the case at the law firm Leigh Day, said: “We are aware that the Thai authorities are today investigating the VK Garments factory used by Tesco to make F&F clothing, including interviewing over 100 of our clients to find out whether forced labour was occurring at the factory.

“Our clients allege that they experienced issues such as retention of identity documents, retention of wages, lack of freedom of movement, intimidation, threats, physical and sexual violence. These all fall under the International Labour Organization’s (“ILO”) indicators of forced labour.” ...

“I feel as if they turned blind eyes to us,” ... said [ Phyo Phyo Mar, a former line leader at VKG ], “because of this experience, I don’t have much hope.”