Thai Union Group Calls Labor Abuse in Seafood Industry ‘Unacceptable’

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Thai Union Group Plc, the largest maker of canned tuna, stated on Monday that the claims of abuse in the seafood industry are simply “unacceptable.”

The company statement came after a report from The Associated Press that claimed shrimp processing plants in Thailand were using forced child labor. One of the accused plants is reportedly a supplier of one of Thai Union’s subsidiaries.

Greenpeace has also called on the Thai seafood sector and Thai Union Group to take action and resolve the issue.

Okeanus, the group’s subsidiary in question, has severed its ties with the suspected supplier and has made the decision to stop using external shrimp processing plants. Thai Union, whose buyers include Costco and Wal-Mart, stated that they will begin using in-house processing operations starting January 1. Thai Union will offer jobs to one thousand of the workers at these external plants.

But Greenpeace is calling on the company to do more, stating that the company needs to “audit and clean up” all links in its seafood supply chain.

Thai Union shares were down 1.68% on the news to 17.60 baht Monday.

Thailand is the third largest seafood exporter in the world, but has been facing global scrutiny as reports continue to emerge of slave labor in the industry. The European Union gave Thailand six months to address issues that allowed illegally-caught fish to enter the supply chain.

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