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14 Aug 2023

Chris Barrett, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

We cannot go back to Myanmar’: Rubber giant Ansell accused of abandoning workers in Thailand

See all tags Allegations

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.