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Article

25 Sep 2018

Author:
Kieran Guilbert, Reuters

H&M accused of failing to ensure fair wages for global factory workers

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Fashion giant H&M is failing to fulfill a pledge to ensure garment workers who supply its high-street stores are paid a fair “living wage”, forcing many employees to work excessive hours in order to survive, civil society groups said on Monday. 

Based on interviews with 62 people in six H&M supplier factories in Bulgaria, Turkey, India and Cambodia, campaigners said none of the workers earned anything near a so-called living wage that would allow them to cover their families’ basic needs...

However H&M - which has more than 4,800 stores in 69 nations - said it had reached at least 600 factories and 930,000 garment workers with its fair living wage strategy, and did not share the CCC’s view of how to create change in the textile industry. 

“There is no universally agreed level for living wages, and wage levels should be defined and set by parties on the labor market through fair negotiations between employers and workers representatives, not by Western brands,” a H&M spokeswoman said...

Many worked overtime hours that exceeded the legal limit without being properly paid, while others were only paid the minimum wage if they worked extra hours and met their quota, which the United Nations defines as forced labor, the CCC said.

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