Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The following appeal to support workers faced by layoffs by the Triumph multinational comes from the Clean Clothes Campaign.
'Triumph' dismissals in Asia attempt to get rid of unions.:
Triumph workers in Bangkok demonstrated earlier this month against the planned close down of their factory by throwing bras in the air in front of the District labour office.Lingerie producer blames global recession for factory closures.

The German/Swiss lingerie multinational Triumph seems to use the pretext of the global economic recession to close down factories in the Philippines and Thailand. A number of these closures are irregular.
On June 29, Triumph's producer in Thailand, Body Fashion Thailand, announced that around half of its 4200 workers would be out of their jobs by the end of August. Earlier this year, another Thai Triumph producer, Worldwell Garment Company, was closed down on Labour Day (May 1), and the entire work force sent home without their last salaries or the legally-required severance compensations.
In the Philippines, 1660 garment workers will loose their jobs by the end of August when Triumph International (Philippines) Ltd. and Star Performance Inc. will close down. Neither in Thailand nor in the Philippines did the Triumph management conduct timely and transparent negotiations with the factory workers' unions as required by international labour standards.
Support these Thai and Filipino workers in their struggle. Send letters to Triumph's headquarters in Switzerland today and forward this message to your friends. Your actions will make a difference!
Take action now!

Triumph cites the global recession as a major reason for downscaling their production. It is clear, however, that Triumph's actions are aimed at hampering the unions in their factories. They are closing those departments and those factories where the unions are strongest. At the same time, they are expanding a new factory in northern Thailand.
Workers unions in Thailand and the Philippines have been organizing picket lines and other forms of peaceful protest against these dishonest practises. We demand from Triumph International that they pursue any major restructuring of their factory operations in cooperation with the established factory unions, rescind the dismissals, disclose the full information that led to the planned retrenchments and closures, generally operate in line with ILO core conventions as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Triumph has a history of ignoring labour-rights violations in the Asian factories where they outsource the production of their luxury lifestyle products. Last year, the Swiss multinational was accused of harassing union leaders in the same factories: see www.cleanclothes.org/triumph-union-continues-fight-for-fairness
In 2002, Triumph was also one of the last international firms to withdraw production from Burma (Myanmar). The Burmese military government has been accused of gross political repression and massive human rights violations.
Please go to the link cited above to send the following letter to Triumph management.
Dear Mr. Spiesshofer,
Re. Triumph's reduction plans in the The Philippines and Thailand.
Through the Clean Clothes Campaign I learned about Triumph International's intention to considerably reduce the workforce at its subsidiary Body Fashion Thailand (BFT) as well as in the Triumph International (Philippines) Ltd. and Star Performance Inc. factories in the Philippines.
I also read that these retrenchments and other major restructurings were done without proper consultation with the workers' unions. The fact that the management did not engage in open and timely negotiations with the union prior to the planned dismissals is a breach of the international standards such as the ILO convention 158 and the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
I am also concerned about signs of union-busting in Triumph International's reduction plans since Triumph International seems to primarily reduce the workforce in unionised factories. In my opinion these moves could be interpreted as anti-union acts and as such could be considered as breaches of Triumph International's Code of Conduct, ILO core conventions and the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.
I was further informed that another Thai factory that produced for Triumph International, Worldwell Garment Company Ltd., was closed down in May this year and the workers have not yet received their last salaries and their full severance compensation fees that they are legally entitled to.
I am writing to you to express my serious concern about these practises. I urge you as the responsible CEO on behalf of Triumph International to intervene at your subsidiaries and to use your influence at the factories where Triumph International has been outsourcing the production in order to guarantee that the unions and workers are treated fairly.
I request you to:
***present full documentation to TITLU and the Triumph workers union in the Philippines, BPMTI, on why Triumph International has opted for the current plan to reduce the workforce in the said factories.
***restart the process of reduction of the workforce in close co-operation with TITLU and BPMTI and in accordance with current CBA, the ILO-conventions, as well as the OECD guidelines.

Keenly awaiting your response and action on these matters,
Yours sincerely,

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