WRC Factory Investigation

Royal Knitting Co. Ltd.

Factory: Royal Knitting Co. Ltd.

Key Buyers: Otto, Peter Hahn

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.

Royal Knitting 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 April 2020, Royal Knitting dismissed 195 workers when it closed. As of April 2021, these workers were still waiting for $1,062,000 in legally owed compensation.

Royal Knitting Co. Ltd., located 15/19 Ratchakarnratdamri 1 Rd., Mae Sot, Mae Sot District, Tak Province, Thailand, was a subcontractor of Yamaken Apparel Ltd. registered at the same address and with the same board of directors as Yamaken. The Thai Department of Labour Protection and Welfare ordered Royal Knitting to pay unpaid wages and terminal compensation to the workers, but it failed to comply. Otto Group listed Yamaken Apparel Ltd. in its March 2020 and October 2020 supplier disclosure. Labels furnished by Royal Knitting workers included multiple Otto Group brands—Rick Cardona by Heine and Ashley Brooke by Heine—and Peter Hahn GmbH, owned by TriStyle Group.

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