Garment workers in Turkey campaigning for the settlement of severance pay from a factory supplying to brands including Zara, Mango and Next, have accepted partial payment.

Workers for the Bravo factory have been campaigning for the severance pay they are owned from the factory that closed overnight in June 2016. This has included leaving notes in the pockets of clothes, which resulted in more than 300,000 people supporting their petition.

According to labour rights group Clean Clothes Campaign, 140 workers have accepted partial payment towards the 2,739,281.30 TRY (US$668,917) owed to them.

The payments are from a "hardship fund" established by the brands, as an initial contribution towards the debt owed. Clean Clothes Campaign says they are clear that their acceptance of these payments in no way constitutes an acceptance that this amount covers their legal due. They continue to demand that until the full debts are paid, Inditex, Next and Mango remain in breach of their obligations to remedy the human rights violations that took place at Bravo.

The amount paid into the fund by the brands was originally calculated on the basis that only certain blue collar workers would be provided with payments. According to Clean Clothes Campaign, although the three brands ultimately agreed to the principle that the fund should be used to provide payments to all employees, they refused to increase the total, meaning the lower paid workers were expected to subsidise the newly-agreed payments for higher paid supervisors and managers.

Consequently, the labour group says 20 workers have been left with nothing and the lowest paid workers have received insignificant payments of around 5,000 TRY, while the highest paid have received over 30,000 TRY.

"Clean Clothes Campaign believes that to deny these workers their payment is tantamount to wage theft and calls on all the brands involved to ensure these workers receive what they are owed.

"International standards, like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, are crystal clear – brands retain full responsibility for their supply chains. Yet, big brands continue to deny their responsibility and offer 'voluntary' hardship payments that leave workers locked out of the negotiating table and dependent on these handouts," the labour group said.

"Brands must take immediate steps to ensure workers in their supply chain are protected should their suppliers go bankrupt, particularly when deciding to pull orders from the supplier."

A spokesperson for Next told just-style: "Next settled this matter (financially) a while back - and all the workers were paid, so nothing more is owing."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Inditex told just-style the claims made by the Clean Clothes Campaign are unjustified.

"Since the owner of the Bravo Tekstil factory fraudulently disappeared in July 2016, Inditex worked in an agreement alongside IndustriALL Global Union, his local Disk Tekstil, and with Mango and Next, to support those workers affected through a complete hardship fund. As a result of that a deal was signed that commits Inditex in coordination with IndustriALL, local union Disk Tekstil, Mango and Next.

"Inditex had met all of its contractual obligations to Bravo Tekstil, but we have gone above and beyond our obligations because we understand and sympathise with the deeply unfair situation these workers have been left in by their employer. The fund is not intended to replace, nor does it prejudice, the outcome of any legal claims the workers may make against the factory owner."

Mango did not return a comment at the time of going to press.