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23 Sep 2020

Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thailand: Migrant workers launch legal action after being paid below minimum wage by garment factories supplying global grands

“Migrant factory workers in Thailand launch legal action after wages expose”, 22 September 2020

A group of garment workers in Thailand who were illegally underpaid while making products for global brands … are taking legal action to demand compensation after losing their jobs last year.

… [D]ozens of migrants … working at several factories in the western region of Mae Sot were paid less than the daily minimum wage of 310 Thai baht ($10.15).

Following the expose, officials raided two garment factories and ordered the owners to pay wages owed to their workers.

Interviews with workers by local and global rights groups found that her factory was making goods for several major brands from Universal Studios to Britain’s largest supermarket Tesco.

Disney, Starbucks and Tesco said they were working with local representatives and civil society groups to support the workers from Kanlayanee’s factory and find a solution.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company terminated its relationship with the factory in December, and was looking for a way to “remediate the situation with the involved parties”.

Disney and Tesco said the factory was not authorised to make their products and they were seeking to help the workers.

NBCUniversal, which owns Universal Studios, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.