Severance pay remains a struggle for Southeast Asian workers

Garment workers at Thailand’s Brilliant Alliance factory were granted leave, only to learn their employer had shut down when they returned to their worksite in early March 2021. 

“Everyone was abandoned and never went back to work, there was nothing from the company about compensation,” said Jitnawatcharee Panad, a union leader who worked at Brilliant Alliance for 25 years.

None of the 1,250 workers received the severance pay to which they were legally entitled. Severance can include compensation for seniority and lack of prior notice of termination. 

Across Southeast Asia, garment workers have spent years campaigning for companies such as Nike and Uniqlo, a Japanese casual wear brand, to provide severance compensation when their suppliers failed to do so. 

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