Bossini warned to help sacked workers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 May, 2006, 12:00am

Union and student activists yesterday joined forces to urge casual wear retailer Bossini to intervene in a labour dispute in which 800 mainland workers were made redundant by its knitwear supplier.

About 10 of them protested outside the Sai Yeung Choi South Street branch of the fashion chain in Mongkok last night, where they distributed fliers to shoppers to make them aware of the row.

The group also handed over petition letters in which they demanded the fashion chain force its supplier to resolve the dispute.

'As a popular brand in Southeast Asia, Bossini should also have the duty to look after those workers which produce for it and ensure the company's supplier to respect workers' rights,' protesters' spokeswoman Yau Tze-wei said.

The group said the dispute between the supplier, which is also owned by Bossini's parent company, Laws International Holding, and its 800 workers was stirred by the supplier's announcement that it was moving its factory from Longgang in Shenzhen to Zhuhai .

They accused management of evading redundancy payments by claiming that the workers left their posts voluntarily, and then offering to re-hire the workers under lesser terms for the new factory.

When the workers demanded compensation according to labour law and to settle all their outstanding overtime and social insurance payments totalling 4.37million yuan, the management refused to do so, the protesters said.

Ms Yau warned they would escalate their actions if Bossini did not comply with their demands.

Bossini said it would look into the matter further before commenting.