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Unicord Reacts On Finnwatch Accusations Thailand, February 1, 13

Unicord has issued a public statement in reaction to the Finnwatch report that has accused them along with Thai Union of poor social practices, with heavy accusations such as child labor.

The full and complete statement from the Unicord / Seavalue management on the accusations you find below:

While we appreciate the work that Finnwatch does globally we refute their findings in the recent survey of Unicord Plc. that they did.

Unicord Plc. is committed to providing a safe and respectful work environment for all staff and employees and stand by the fact that we do not abuse our workers or use child labor.

We take exception that unconfirmed statements by some workers speculating that some of the other workers are using falsified official identification and are actually only 14-17 years old, without substantiating this with facts, is poor and misleading reporting.

In addition, statements that some workers say that working overtime was compulsory and other workers saying they were punished by having their overtime reduced if they did not show the Managers respect are conflicting and should have been investigated further to get at the facts.

We believe the report is inaccurate but that Finnwatch was acting in good faith; they just did not thoroughly investigate their findings and depended on speculation and unsubstantiated interviews that were presented as facts for the basis of their report.

An area that we do see room for improvement is to ensure that all the workers fully understand the rights and privileges that they are legally entitled to. From the interviews that Finnwatch did it is clear that there are some workers that were not as informed as they should have been and we will make a concerted effort to improve in this area.

Below is our statement of the individual findings that Finnwatch presented in their report:

• All workers do not have a work contract:
Unicord Plc. has a uniform contract for all of its factory workers and it is in effect upon being hired. It appears there has been a delay in the workers receiving a copy of their contracts and this will be looked into and rectified.

• There is little information about the terms and conditions of work in the collective agreement:
Unicord Plc. uses both meetings and notice boards located throughout the factory to advise workers of policies and conditions of employment. We will look into better ways to improve on how we disseminate information in future.

• The factory confiscates work permits:
Unicord Plc. does not confiscate work permits or passports. These are the property of the employee and we do not have anything to do with the storage or safe keeping of these items.

• Workers have to pay for their work equipment:
Workers do not have to pay for their work equipment unless they lose or damage it outside of normal wear and tear.

• The factory reduces the salary of the workers if they commit offences:
Unicord Plc. does not make any deductions; we issue warning letters in line with company policy.

• Workers have not received health insurance cards:
As we stated in the interview with Finnwatch, the delay in issuing insurance cards is caused by Thai officials but at no time is the employee not covered nor be denied treatment as a result of this delay.

• Some managers bully migrant workers:
Unicord Plc. has strict policies in place against harassment and will discipline anyone not following these policies.

• There are not enough toilets for men in the factory:
Unicord Plc. fully complies with Thai and international laws and regulations on the number of toilets we have but as this point has been raised we will look into it and correct if found that people are inconvenienced.

• There are problems with the translation services provided by the factory:
Unicord Plc. will look into this and correct as needed.

• Worker are not familiar with their social security right and benefits:
Unicord Plc. will make improvements to ensure all workers understand their rights.

• There are dangerous machines in the factory:
Unicord Plc. makes every effort to ensure the work environment and equipment meet the highest safety standards possible and will look further into this allegation.

• Workers have not had the right to choose the hospital themselves:
Unicord Plc. endeavors to deliver the best treatment available for all our employees. If there is some concern that there could be better choices in treatment we will look into if it can be improved.

Finally, even having comments to Finnwatch report, Unicord Plc. will continue working with Finnwatch team in Thailand based on the mutual understanding and transparency with the objective to improve the migrant working situation in our company.