Letter from International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation to Triumph International

I understand that your subsidiary Body Fashion (Thailand) has announced plans to lay off 1,930 workers – half the workforce - at its Bangphi plant effective August 31 2009.

Dr. Markus Spiesshofer

CEO

Triumph International AG

Triumphweg 6

5330 Bad Zurzach

Switzerland

 

 

Dear Dr. Spiesshofer,

 

Please find attached the letter I have today sent to Body Fashion Ltd in Thailand, the contents of which are self-explanatory.

The current economic crisis is having a devastating impact on workers in our sectors and it is of vital imporance that workers and their trade unions be enabled to play a full role in tackling the crisis. It is simply unacceptable that layoffs on such a massive scale should take place without any consultation with the union, whose members and leaders are severely affected by this decision.

I would therefore urge you to intervene with management to ensure the termination notices are rescinded and that urgent negotiations begin with the union. In the first instance, those negotiations should be aimed at trying to avoid the retrenchments. If retrenchments become inevitable, the terms of severance, including severance pay and other benefits, should be negotiated with the union.

In order to enable the union to engage in meaningful dialogue, we ask that you provide the necessary information to enables the union to obtain a true and fair view of the performance of the entity and the enterprise as a whole, in accordance with international standards.

 

I look forward to your urgent response.

 

 

NEIL KEARNEY

General Secretary

cc: Dr Markus Spiesshofer, CEO, Triumph International AG

 

 

Ref LC COR 2260

Managing Director

Body Fashion Ltd

393 Moo 17 2nd Floor

Bangplee Industrial Estate Bang

Saothong, SamutPrakan

Thailand 10540
Fax : 662-3153299

 

Dear Sir,

 

I am writing on behalf of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation, a Global Union Federation bringing together 220 affiliated unions in 110 countries with a combined membership of ten million members, to express concern at reports of massive layoffs at Triumph operations in Thailand.

I understand that your subsidiary Body Fashion (Thailand) has announced plans to lay off 1,930 workers – half the workforce - at its Bangphi plant effective August 31 2009.

In spite of the massive scale of the layoffs, I understand Body Fashion has failed to consult or negotiate with the union which represents many of the workers who have received dismissal notices. Nor, as far as I am aware, has the company consulted the government to allow the authorities to confirm that the layoffs are justified and to monitor the situation.

The behaviour of Body Fashion represents a blatant breach of international standards relating to dismissals for economic reasons and of good industrial relations practices.

ILO Convention 158 on the Termination of Employment states in its article 13:

1. When the employer contemplates terminations for reasons of an economic, technological, structural or similar nature, the employer shall:

(a) provide the workers' representatives concerned in good time with relevant information including the reasons for the terminations contemplated, the number and categories of workers likely to be affected and the period over which the terminations are intended to be carried out;

(b) give, in accordance with national law and practice, the workers' representatives concerned, as early as possible, an opportunity for consultation on measures to be taken to avert or to minimise the terminations and measures to mitigate the adverse effects of any terminations on the workers concerned such as finding alternative employment.

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises state in Chapter IV relating to employment and industrial relations:

Enterprises should, within the framework of applicable law, regulations and prevailing labour relations and employment practices:

1. a) Respect the right of their employees to be represented by trade unions and

other bona fide representatives of employees, and engage in constructive

negotiations, either individually or through employers’ associations, with

such representatives.

2. a) Provide facilities to employee representatives as may be necessary to assist in the development of effective collective agreements.

b) Provide information to employee representatives which is needed for meaningful negotiations on conditions of employment.

c) Promote consultation and co-operation between employers and employees

and their representatives on matters of mutual concern.

3. Provide information to employees and their representatives which enables them to obtain a true and fair view of the performance of the entity or, where appropriate, the enterprise as a whole.

6) In considering changes in their operations which would have major effects

upon the livelihood of their employees, in particular in the case of the closure

of an entity involving collective lay-offs or dismissals, provide reasonable

notice of such changes to representatives of their employees, and, where

appropriate, to the relevant governmental authorities, and co-operate with the

employee representatives and appropriate governmental authorities so as to

mitigate to the maximum extent practicable adverse effects. In light of the specific

circumstances of each case, it would be appropriate if management were

able to give such notice prior to the final decision being taken. Other means

may also be employed to provide meaningful co-operation to mitigate the effects of such decisions”.

I would therefore urge you to rescind the termination notices and begin urgent negotiations with the union. In the first instance, those negotiations should be aimed at trying to avoid the retrenchments. In order to enable the union to engage in meaningful dialogue, we ask that you provide information which enables it to obtain a true and fair view of the performance of the entity and the enterprise as a whole.

If retrenchments become inevitable, the terms of severance, including severance pay and other benefits, should be negotiated with the union.

In the event of retrenchments measures should also be taken to ensure the process is fair and transparent, such as ensuring that the workers who are to be retrenched are selected objectively; that management refrains from recruiting personnel in the same category as the workers who are being retrenched; and that if and when it becomes possible to proceed with the hiring of new workers, the jobs will be offered first to the terminated workers;

Your company should also take measures to minimise the impact on the affected workers, such as assisting them in finding alternative employment or where that is not possible providing active assistance for workers seeking new employment or training.

 

I look forward to your urgent response.

 

 

NEIL KEARNEY

General Secretary

 

cc: Dr Markus Spiesshofer, CEO, Triumph International AG

 

 

International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation

Internet: www.itglwf.org

Source: 
<p>Triumph, Body Fashion, Labour, lay-off</p>