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10 Mar 2023

Cambodia: Reinstated union leaders at VF Corp & PUMA suppliers report retaliation tactics incl. surveillance & intimidation

In February 2023, it was reported that since August 2022, at least 12 workers at the garment factories Bright Flushing and Eastcrown in Cambodia were dismissed following attempts to unionise.

From January 2023, Puma, a buyer at both factories, allegedly helped to ensure the reinstatement of 11 union members following engagement with Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL). However, reinstated workers at the two factories have reported facing intimidation, continued discrimination and surveillance since their reinstatement.

After two out of three dismissed union leaders at Bright Flushing were reinstated, they were allegedly pressured into signing agreements barring them from rejoining their union, and now fear for their security if they speak out. At Eastcrown, where nine workers were dismissed, a reinstated garment worker reported that she faced surveillance by factory management and her boss had become more oppressive once she was reinstated.

In March 2023, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited PUMA and VF Corporation to respond to the allegations and demands of CENTRAL, by providing further information on:

  1. The steps taken to ensure all union leaders have been reinstated and will be protected from repercussions.
  2. The steps taken to ensure agreements union leaders were forced to sign are invalidated.
  3. The actions taken to address the ongoing security risks and threats the union leaders face from the factories.
  4. Steps taken to support the establishment of an independent monitoring group to ensure the outcomes of the mediation are conducted accordingly.
  5. Actions taken to ensure freedom of association without fear of repercussion for all factory workers in your supply chain.. The full responses can be found below.

The full responses can be found below.