Philippines: Over 100 workers producing for intl. brands owed severance & holiday pay after layoffs from FCO International bag factory; Incl. company responses
In December 2020 it was reported that over 100 workers were owed severance and holiday pay after being laid off in September from FCO International bag factory in the Cebu Economic Zone in the Philippines.
According to publicly available information, FCO International produces for international brands including L Brands (Victoria's secret), PVH and Hanesbrands (Champion).
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) invited L Brands, PVH and Hanesbrands to respond to the allegations. PVH said it does not source from FCO (FCO appears on its September 2020 supplier list - PVH said it updates its supplier lists on a biannual basis). Hanesbrands said 124 probationary workers that had their contracts ended in September were paid for the proportionate 13th month pay and the deferred holiday pay, which was paid on the last day of their contract. L Brands said it was investigating. The full responses are included below.
In January 2021, BHRRC received a rejoinder from Partido Manggagawa, which affirmed the workers had been working for the company for over six months (the maximum that a worker can be considered probationary) and therefore are owed severance pay according to local law. While the issue of severance owed to workers remains contested, workers have decided not to contest this in the courts.