Private Equity Firm Sycamore Partners’ Brands Must Ensure Garment Workers Receive $7.8 Million in Unpaid Compensation
The clothing store chains Lane Bryant and Torrid are portfolio brands of private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The Brilliant Alliance Thai Global garment factory supplied Lane Bryant and Torrid – until March 2021 when the company closed and laid off more than 1,300 workers.
Workers reported that they received no advance notice that the plant would be shutting down, although Thai law requires companies to give workers one month’s notice before ceasing operations. The Bangkok Post reported that workers showed up at the factory on March 11 only to find that it had been permanently closed.
Bangkok Post, October 8, 2021: Group wants factory staff to be paid
That same month, according to Reuters, Thailand’s Labour Protection and Welfare Office ruled that Brilliant Alliance had violated Thai labor law and ordered them to pay the equivalent of $7.8 million in severance and other terminal compensation to those workers within 30 days. However, Brilliant Alliance said that it would pay the workers in monthly installments.Workers report that ten months later, they have received very little money so far and that their situation has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reuters, March 24, 2021: Thailand orders lingerie maker to compensate workers in rare case
In October 2021, the Labour Network for People’s Rights and the Triumph International Workers Union of Thailand gathered at the Government House in Bangkok to demand compensation for the more than 1,300 factory workers.
Sycamore Partners has not responded to inquiries regarding the nonpayment of severance. The private equity firm must ensure that workers and their families receive their legally mandated compensation.