WRC Factory Investigation

Dress Master Apparel Private Ltd.

Factory: Dress Master Apparel Private Ltd.

Key Buyers: Gap

Last Updated: 2021

Case Summary

Dress Master Apparel Private Ltd., a Gap supplier in Bangalore, India, closed in May 2020, leaving 1,200 workers without $346,134 in legally owed severance. Dress Master was part of the Indian company Raymond Limited, which owns three brands and operates five other subsidiaries.

Reduction of workforce began two months prior when workers report that management encouraged them to resign because the factory had few orders. Due to a government-mandated lockdown, the factory was largely closed for several weeks in March and April 2020, with only a small number of workers at the facility to produce face masks. When the factory reopened on May 17, it called back only half the workforce. Then, in June, workers were told the factory would shut temporarily due to a lack of orders and that they would be rehired when the factory reopened. Nine months later, Dress Master remains closed and, though it paid workers some owed benefits (an annual bonus and accrued leave pay), it has not paid severance.

Gap claims that Dress Master paid the workers in full. However, worker representatives continue to report that workers have not receive a single rupee of severance, and the WRC has concluded that Gap has been misinformed by Dress Master’s owners.

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