WRC Factory Investigation

Rongson (Myanmar) Co. Ltd.

Factory: Rongson (Myanmar) Co. Ltd.

Key Buyers: Elie Tahari, Kohl's, Vera Bradley

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.

Rongson 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 May 2020, Rongson dismissed 101 workers. As of April 2021, these workers were still waiting for $37,000 in legally owed compensation.

Rongson (Myanmar) Co. Ltd., located at No. 26 Bloc, Myay Tine Ward No. (1), Industrial Zone 1, Dagon Seikkan Township, Yangon Region, Myanmar, was a Chinese-owned leather goods facility. Workers reported that they produced goods for Vera Bradley, Kohl’s, and Westport, a licensee of Elie Tahari.

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