First time victory: migrant workers in Mae Sot Thailand win full wages owed

NBCUniversal finally agreed to pay up the Kanlayanee workers stitching their Despicable Me T-shirts! Migrant garment workers in Thailand who were illegally underpaid while making products for major brandsTesco, Starbucks, NBC Universal and Disney at the Kanlayanee factory have received all the wages legallyowed to them. The payment, which followed a global campaign from the Clean Clothes Campaign network, marks the first time that underpaid migrant workers in the regulatory 'black hole' of border region Mae Sot In Thailand received not only full severance pay but also the full amount owed to them for minimum wage violations.  The wage theft case sets a global precedent for other brands to follow in terms of brand accountibility in an industry made up of 80% women and where migrant labour is rife. Having lost their jobs prior to covid-19, their situation of debt and poverty was excerberated by the virus outbreak, the cancellation of orders and the following sudden lack of jobs, leaving them foraging the side of streets for weeds to eat. What seems like nothing to these brands, means the world for the workers. With this compensation, they can repay debts, send money to their family back home in Myanmar and rebuild their lives.


For two years a group of Burmese migrant workers were illegally paid less than a dollar an hour, were forced to work unpaid overtime, and had their holiday pay withheld at the Kanlayanee factory in Mae Sot, Thailand. Last year, in Sept 2019, the Kanlayanee workers bravely spoke out to stop the labour abuses. A few weeks later, the factory suddenly closed after Starbucks cut orders, leaving the workers with nothing. The former Kanlayanee workers have been fighting for justice ever since; demanding that they receive the money they are legally owed for making products for four major global companies: Disney, Starbucks, NBC Universal and Tesco. The workers have been blacklisted as a result, leaving them unable to find alternative work.

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Don't treat garment workers like #minions! 26 Burmese migrant workers were exploited making your products. They are owed just $16,000. BE KIND @NBCUniversal! Make sure the Kanlayani workers get their wages. #NBCUYoureNext ! @NBCUTogether @NBCUdiversity

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Burmese migrants worked 12 hours a days for just over $10 to make @NBCUniversal products. Now they are owed just $16,000 after their factory closed. BE KIND @NBCUniversal! Make sure the Kanlayani workers get their wages. #JusticeForKanlayaneeWorkers @NBCUTogether @NBCUdiversity

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26 Burmese migrant workers were robbed of their wages while making #DespicableMe products. @NBCUniversal we like the #RockCenter Christmas tree, but we like workers' rights even more! #NBCUYoureNext #PayUp #TopOfTheRock #RockefellerCenter

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Starbucks, UK supermarket brand Tesco and Disney have all made a commitment to pay up! Thanks in large part to concerned citizens raising the alarm! We now need your help to push NBC Universal to do the same. Share this tweet or this message on Instagram. The amount needed is less than $16.000 USD, a pittance for a global brand with their headquarters in the centre of New York. Tell NBC Universal that the people making their products are not minions but people with rights.