WRC Factory Investigation

Crystal Martin

Factory: Crystal Martin

Key Buyers: Walmart

Last Updated: 2021

Case Summary

The apparel industry’s chronically low wages left most garment workers with no savings on the eve of the Covid-19 crisis. Since most governments in apparel exporting countries provide little or no unemployment benefits, the only thing standing between an out-of-work garment worker and immediate poverty for her family are the legally mandated severance benefits that most garment workers are due upon termination.

Research by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) reveals that many garment workers who were fired during the pandemic have been denied some or all of this essential compensation, in violation of the law and the labor rights obligations of the brands and retailers whose clothes they sewed.

Crystal Martin is one of the 31 export garment factories identified in the WRC’s report, Fired, Then Robbed: Fashion brands’ complicity in wage theft during Covid-19, which still owed workers legally mandated terminal compensation as of April 2021. In June 2020, Crystal Martin dismissed 2,017 workers. As of April 2021, these workers were still waiting for $3,905,000 in legally owed compensation.

Crystal Martin (Cambodia) Ltd., a sewing facility located at Vihear Sour Choueng, Vihear Suork Commune, Khsach Kandal District, Kandal Province, Cambodia, is one of the 20 manufacturing facilities across five countries owned by Crystal International Group Limited, which employs 80,000 people. Crystal International is incorporated in Bermuda and trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Walmart acknowledged in a January 2021 email to the WRC that Crystal Martin is a Walmart supplier. Import records indicate that brands doing business with the factory’s parent company, Crystal International Group, include Gap Inc., Third Love, and Uniqlo.

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