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Case alert: Massive layoffs at Triumph factories in Thailand and the Philippines

Dec 03, 2009

A union delegation from Thailand and the Philippines filed a complaint at the Swiss NCP against Triumph for massive layoffs without prior consultation with the unions at garment factories in Thailand and the Philippines.

In August 2009 nearly 2000 workers, representing half of the workforce, lost their job at a Thai Triump factory due to retrenchment. In the same month two factories were closed in the Philippines, causing 1663 workers to lose their jobs. All three affected factories were for 100% owned by Triumph International. Most of the laid off workers were union-members, including many members of the union-leadership. According to the complainants, the management of the factories have repeatedly demonstrated anti-union behaviour and the massive layoffs are the lowlight of a long conflict between the management and the unions. 

Contrary to the OECD Guidelines, the management has not previously consulted the unions in place and no social plan was negotiated with them. Despite several attempts for contact with the headquarters in Switzerland, invitations for direct talks with Triump CEO Markus Spiesshofer were turned down. In the complaint procedure and campaign tour throughout Europe early December 2009, the Thai and Filipino unions are supported by Berne Declaration (BD) and international Clean Clothes Campaign.

Read more about the case in the OECD Watch case database.


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