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Swiss underwear maker, Triumph, accused of dirty tactics

Triumph workers in Manila protest at poor wages during a march in July Keystone

The Swiss underwear manufacturer, Triumph, has come under attack for allegedly sacking 21 workers in the Philippines who demanded higher wages.

According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, which fights for fairer working conditions around the world, the unionised workers lost their jobs following a strike in February.

It says the workers walked out after the management turned down their demand for a daily wage of SFr20 ($12). When Triumph said it was prepared to pay SFr14 a day, the workers suggested a compromise of SFr16, which Triumph rejected.

The Clean Clothes Campaign is calling for the dismissed workers to be reinstated. It is asking the public to send protest letters to the Triumph management in Zurzach, canton Aargau.

“Workers everywhere are slaving away in terrible conditions for salaries that don’t even permit them a decent living,” the campaign says. “That has to change.”

The campaign organisers, who have stopped short of calling for a boycott of Triumph products, say the company has yet to respond to the criticism.

Triumph had a turnover of SFr2.4 billion ($1.38 billion) in 1999.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR