When we used to talk about what life would look like when the year hit 2020, we all were expecting flying cars, high-tech architecture and perhaps AI domination.
We’re now in 2022 – Happy Belated New Year! – and flying cars haven’t happened just yet, high-tech architecture is a thing, and AI domination is unfolding as we speak. We didn’t, however, think that when talking about life in 2022 that we would still be having conversations about unfair treatment to garment workers – enter Victoria’s Secret.
On 10th March 2021, Brilliant Alliance Thai Global, a Thai lingerie supplier for brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Torrid and Lane Bryant, shut down its business, without informing its 1,388 employees. All 1, 388 employees were left without wages, overtime, holiday and severence pay, according to IndustriALL union. A Reuters article reported that the company was told shortly after to pay their employees 242.22 million baht ($7.81 million) within 30 days or they would face a criminal lawsuit.
Please note: Reuter’s article was published on 24th March 2021 and can be read here.
The above image can be found on Victoria Secret’s website under the corporate responsibility page, after clicking on the supply chain link. We highlighted Victoria Secret’s own words in which they “strongly believe that the quality of [their] merchandise begins with the treatment of the people who create [their] products.”
As of today, the garment workers who sewed Victoria’s Secret lingerie as well as Torrid and Lane Bryant are still due severance.
So, For A Fairer Life says: Untrue.
The sentence before that reads: “We hold ourselves and each other accountable to our values in all we do.”
For A Fairer Life says: Untrue.
On the 26th December 2021, Clean Clothes announced on its Twitter page that over 40,000 people had sent an email via their website to the brands – including Victoria’s Secret – whose supplier owe garment workers the $7.81 million, telling them to pay their former workers.
Has there been any response? No.
Victoria’s Secret also claim to be a champion and advocate for women, per their Twitter page.
All women it seems, but the ones who make their lingerie.
So, again, untrue, and cue the collective sigh.
It’s incredibly common for brands to write the prettiest sentences that show no true reflection of where they truly stand. The fluffy sentences are nothing more than empty words meant to make their customers believe that the brand actually cares.
We know exactly where Victoria’s Secret stand: not with their garment workers. How do we know? Well, apart from the above as evidence, the lingerie brand have said nothing. At all. Not one single comment since last year – remember we told you to note that Reuters reported this in March 2021?
How does that good old proverb go? Something like, ‘Actions speak louder than words’?
Victoria’s Secret could have put pressure on their former supplier to pay their workers, but not even that seems to be worth it to them. We’re not sure if they don’t know or just don’t care that it reflects poorly on them and makes them appear disingenious – we’re leaning towards the latter.
Please take a moment to watch the below video of some of the garment workers who have been directly affected by this and how this injustice is still affecting them today.
Please help your associates!
— คณะก้าวหน้า – Progressive Movement (@ProgressiveThai) December 22, 2021
Please take another moment to join great movements such as Labour Behind The Label and Clean Clothes who are pushing to create awareness; take action here by sending an email via payyourworkers.org.