£80k pay out from
Campaign win – a Thai success story
For two years a group of Burmese migrant workers were illegally paid less than a dollar an hour, were forced to work unpaid overtime, and had their holiday pay withheld at the Kanlayanee factory in Mae Sot, Thailand. It was a supplier to Tesco, Disney, Starbucks and NBC Universal.
In Sept 2019, the Kanlayanee workers bravely spoke out to a journalist to stop the labour abuses. A few weeks later, the factory suddenly closed after Starbucks cancelled orders, leaving the workers with nothing. The former Kanlayanee workers fought for justice demanding that they receive the money they were legally owed for making products. The workers were blacklisted as a result, leaving them unable to find alternative work.
After we took up the case, Tesco was the first brand to agree to pay and other American companies followed suit after global campaigns pressured them all to contribute to the pot. The success of this wage theft case set a global precedent for other brands to follow in terms of brand accountability in an industry where migrant labour is rife and workers are often more vulnerable to exploitation through lack of access to advice and legal support. We are proud to have supported the workers in this case.
How did we win?
What campaigners did: You took part in online action to lobby Tesco including hundreds sending tweets, and collectively commenting on facebook posts, calling for Tesco to act.
What LBL staff did: We raised the case with Tesco staff, lobbied and phoned on multiple occasions, and took part in a case group with others around to world to coordinate pressure on all brands at the factory, including Starbucks, NBC Universal and Disney.
The result: Tesco paid their share of £80,000 in compensation to Burmese migrant workers who had been scammed out of their pay by bosses, which led to other brands (Disney, Starbucks and NBC Universal) eventually also contributing to the pot and ensuring workers received their full compensation that was legally owed to them.