High End Fashion, Low End Ethics: Clothing Workers Action

20-Jun-2011

Clothing workers will take to Melbourne's streets today to demand that high end fashion brand Scanlan and Theodore do the right thing for clothing workers who lost their jobs, pay and entitlements when its major supplier went into liquidation.

"A month ago, knitwear manufacturer Blossom Road shut down, leaving 27 clothing workers without jobs," says Michele O'Neil, National and Victorian Secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia. "This company, which supplied Scanlan and Theodore, went into liquidation owing its workers more than half a million dollars in unpaid wages, annual and long service leave, as well as notice, redundancy and superannuation entitlements."


Mysteriously, a day after Blossom Road liquidated, a business using another name started operating at the premises and has continued to supply Scanlan and Theodore.


"This new company looks like its being run by the sole director of Blossom Road and members of his family," says Ms O'Neil. "This appears to be a case of ‘phoenix trading’ and that's why we will be taking our concerns straight to the retail outlet Scanlan and Theodore at lunchtime today."

The sacked workers are demanding their full entitlements be paid and that voluntary superannuation payments of up to $50 per week which were deducted from their pay by Blossom Road be also paid into their super fund.

"The high end fashion brand Scanlan and Theodore must come forward and demonstrate they will not tolerate the low end ethics of their supplier," says Ms O'Neil. "We will be making this point loud and clear when we visit their boutique in Little Collins St today."

Media inquires and interviews:
Michele O'Neil
mob: 0419 338 853
or
Dave Lane
mob: 0419 156 213
email:
dlane@tcfvic.org.au


BLOSSOM ROAD CLOTHING WORKERS  ACTION                                      JUNE 20, 2011

PROTEST DETAILS

What:
Clothing workers, former employees of fashion house supplier Blossom Road, gather in Melbourne's CBD to protest their sacking and loss of entitlements.

When: Monday June 20, at 12.15 pm.

Where:
  Clothing workers will assemble outside Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston St City  and then walk to the Scanlan and Theodore boutique, 285 Little Collins Street Melbourne.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION


-
On May 19, 2011, after more than twenty years of trading, the sole director of Blossom Road
  Pty Ltd (341 Settlement Road Thomastown) placed the company into liquidation,

- At the time of liquidation, the major and only, client of Blossom Road was Scanlan and
   Theodore, a high end fashion label,

- As a result of the collapse of the company, approximately 27 clothing workers were sacked,

- Workers have lost approximately $519,680.78 in employee entitlements including unpaid wages, annual and long service leave, notice and redundancy pay and employer super contributions,

- Some workers also made voluntary superannuation payments of up to $50 per week which was deducted from their pay; however, this money was not paid to their super fund,

- Blossom Road claims it is unable to pay,

- On 20 May 2011, the business of Blossom Road re-opens under another name,

- Despite his denials, the previous director of Blossom Road appears to begin managing the
  ‘new’ Blossom Road business (together with Scanlon and Theodore) and asks some of the
  terminated employees to start work,

- Scanlan and Theodore continue to get their product made by the ‘new’ Blossom Road, under what appears to be a case of ‘phoenix trading’.