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Company Response

1 Oct 2018


Response by H&M

We invited H&M to respond to the new research findings. H&M sent us the following statement.

We are working towards the same vision as the one expressed in the [CCC] report: that textile workers should earn a living wage. We agree that wages are too low in garment producing countries. This is one of the most important questions for our industry, but also one of the most complex issue as it requires an industry solution where brands like ourselves, worker representatives and unions, government and other actors need work together towards transformative change on industry level. We share [CCC]’s concerns – which is the very reason why we are so committed to our work within this area. We have a responsibility and as a big company we can also work with others to influence change.

To ensure long term solutions, this work needs to involve all actors. Change will not happen overnight, but gradually we do see positive change. It is essential to stick to such solutions that will bring about change for all garment workers and that stands the test of time– no matter at which factory they work or for which brands they produce. For this to happen we need to drive change for workers on factory level, establish social dialogue on industry level and towards governments to establish an enabling legal framework that supports regular wage revisions, freedom of association and collective bargaining. On factory and industry level it is also important to do so by empowering the workers’ voices and strengthening their skills to be able to negotiate their own wage, just the way we do it in Sweden. Our view is that wages shall be sat through fair negotiations between workers and employers, and this is a view that we share with the ILO, the global trade union federation IndustriALL and Swedish IF Metall.

This is how we view our role in bringing about a higher wage level - to ensure the tools are there but not disempower the workers and cheat them of their own negotiation skills and empowerment by dictating a wage level only for thus producing in factories with H&M products. Both ILO and UN stress the importance of strengthening workers’ voices.

By working for freedom of association and collective bargaining in countries where our goods are produced, making sure purchasing practices are enabling fair and good wage processes and supporting our supplier factories to implement good workplace dialogue and wage management systems that supports transparent, fair and progressive wage setting principles we are working towards our vision of fair living wages for textile workers. Considering this, we launched our fair living wage strategy 5 years ago, which is currently being evaluated by the aid of a third party to inform the way forward and integrate lessons learnt over the past five years. So far, we have reached 930.000 factory workers in 655 factories covering 10 countries with our fair living wage strategy. See more at: https://about.hm.com/en/media/news/financial-reports/2018/9/3057029.html