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11 Dec 2020

Myanmar Times

Thailand: Migrant workers at Royal Knitting garment factory allegedly denied minimum wage, maternity pay and severance

“Thailand’s migrant factory workers denounce harassment and labor rights violations during COVID-19”, 11 December 2020

Mae Sot is Thailand’s main western entry-point and a major trading hub with Myanmar. The border town is home to about 430 factories, which provide jobs for at least 44,500 workers- mainly migrants from across the border. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, factories have been forced to cut jobs, laying-off hundreds of workers. Some employees and organisations have reported workplace abuses, including pressuring or harassing workers to resign.

[Royal Knitting’ closed in April 2020 amidst the first wave of COVID-19. Around 150 workers were dismissed at the factory without notice. They were all compensated 2,500 baht ($82), regardless of their time at the factory.” … Even before the factory closed, the workers were paid between 100 and 200 baht per day ($3.30-£6.60), which is below the minimum 315 baht minimum wage. According to a lawyer at the Labor Law Clinic in Mae Sot, many factory owners took advantage of the COVID-19, using the pandemic as an excuse to close their business. Royal Knitting Ltd declined to comment…