H&M says working to improve labor conditions in India, Cambodia factories
Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) said it was collaborating with trade unions, government as well as the U.N. to improve workers’ conditions
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) said it was collaborating with trade unions, government as well as the U.N. to improve workers’ conditions after a study found violations in supplying garment factories in India and Cambodia.
The study by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) found workers stitching clothes for H&M in factories in Delhi and Phnom Penh faced problems such as low wages, fixed-term contracts, forced overtime and loss of job if pregnant.
The AFWA, a coalition of trade unions and labor rights groups, accused the Western high street retailer of failing on its commitments to clean up its supply chain.
An official from H&M told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Saturday that the fashion firm has been working actively to improve the lives of textile workers for many years.
“The report raises important issues and we are dedicated to contribute to positive long-term development for the people working in the textile industry in our sourcing markets,” said Thérèse Sundberg from H&M’s press and communications department.
“The issues addressed in the report are industry wide problems. They are often difficult to address as an individual company and we firmly believe that collaboration is key.”
H&M has partnered with the International Labour Organization, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency as well as global and local trade unions to seek out solutions, she added in an emailed statement.
The fashion industry has come under increasing pressure to improve factory conditions and workers’ rights, particularly after the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh three years ago, when 1,136 garment workers were killed.