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H&M expresses concern for Bangladesh RMG workers

  • Published at 11:36 pm February 9th, 2019
fashion brand H&M

The statement was issued following media reports of hundreds of RMG workers being dismissed for protesting wage discrimination and clashing with the police in January

In light of the recent sacking of scores of garment workers in the country, global fashion brand H&M expressed “concern about the recent developments in Bangladesh”, according to a press release issued on Thursday.

The statement was issued following media reports of hundreds of RMG workers being dismissed for protesting wage discrimination and clashing with the police in January.

“When workers are listened to, when the parties in the labour market can engage in respectful negotiation and peaceful dispute resolution, and when the minimum wage level is revised regularly, that is when situations such as this one can be resolved long-term,” the press release stated.

Standing against any form of vandalism or violence, H&M cited its formation of National Monitoring Committees under the Global Framework Agreement together with the global union IndustriALL and the Swedish trade union IF Metall.  These platforms consist of local union representatives and local H&M group staff supporting peaceful conflict resolution within their supply chain, where the parties struggle to reach agreements independently and where disputes t are being escalated thus.

“We support increased wages for garment workers as well as the guidelines of the ILO and global unions, which emphasize collective bargaining as necessary for workers and employers to negotiate wages and working conditions.”

H&M further stated that the group is in dialogue with the monitoring committees to monitor and evaluate the situation, where the dispute so far is being managed by the parties without any need for involvement of the National Monitoring Committee.

“We understand garment workers have recently been dismissed from three factories that produce for the H&M group amongst others, and we are closely observing the situation to ensure that the documents and agreements that have now been signed are acknowledged and approved by all parties, outlining valid information and appropriate grounds for termination of employment.”

The issue will remain at the top of the fashion giant’s agenda and they will stay in close contact with suppliers, industry associations, trade unions and other buyers, they further stated.