We cannot go back to Myanmar’: Rubber giant Ansell accused of abandoning workers in Thailand
Date Reported: 14 Aug 2023
CompaniesAnsell - Employer
Total individuals affected: 42Migrant & immigrant workers: ( 42 - Myanmar , Manufacturing: General , Gender not reported )
IssuesWage Theft , Restricted mobility , Harassment (other than sexual) , Failing to renew visas , Dismissal , Access to Non-Judicial Remedy , Intimidation
Response sought: Yes, by The Resource Centre
Story containing response: (Find out more)
Action taken: In their response, the Resource Centre invited Ansell to outline what steps have been taken to ensure terminated workers are able to access full owed dues and benefits, and what support they are being offered to remain in employment and in Thailand. Ansell's response can be read in full below; in the statement Ansell states "at no time was it ever Ansell's intention to withhold severance payments until the workers returned to Myanmar" and said that severance payments were made to correspond to the length of time workers were directly employed by Ansell, in line with Thai labour law.
Source type: News outlet
Glove-making giant Ansell has been accused of leaving workers from Myanmar high and dry and afraid of being forced back to their conflict-ravaged home country after laying them off suddenly from its factory in Thailand.
[...] migrant worker advocates and leading human rights lawyers claim the company has left workers at risk of forced labour and human trafficking by “severely underpaying” them in compensation packages after they were abruptly told last month that they would no longer have jobs.
In a statement, an Ansell spokesperson said final payments to the workers comprised remaining wages, an additional month’s pay as notice and severance pay, and the company had been in discussion with Thai authorities about their options to remain in Thailand and find new employment.
“Ansell has met all its obligations under Thai law, including on severance payments, to former employees of its Bangkok plant,” the spokesperson said.
“The company acknowledges the complex situation that migrant workers in Thailand currently face. We have been in contact with our former employees and continue to seek constructive dialogue with their representatives as we work through options for providing additional financial support as they transition to new employment.”
Independent migrant worker rights specialist Andy Hall said the Burmese workers were in danger of being exposed to forced labour and trafficking with their immigration documents having expired. They feared deportation to Myanmar, where they could be sent to underground camps just across the border, he said.