Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Labour rights issues ‘industry-wide’: H&M

Labour rights issues ‘industry-wide’: H&M

Customers ride escalators in an H&M store in New York. A report by Asia Floor Wage Alliance into H&M supplier factories in Cambodia found that a number of workers were improperly employed on fixed-duration contracts. Bloomberg
Customers ride escalators in an H&M store in New York. A report by Asia Floor Wage Alliance into H&M supplier factories in Cambodia found that a number of workers were improperly employed on fixed-duration contracts. Bloomberg

Labour rights issues ‘industry-wide’: H&M

Swedish apparel giant H&M yesterday responded to a new report that alleged labour rights abuses in its Cambodian supplier factories by saying such issues plagued the entire industry and were difficult for any one company to fix.

The independent investigation by Asia Floor Wage Alliance, which interviewed 201 workers at 12 H&M supplier factories in the Kingdom, found a large number of workers at nine factories were employed on fixed-duration contracts, while many were forced to work long overtime hours and threatened with termination if they became pregnant.

H&M press officer Thérèse Sundberg said partnerships with organisations, such as the International Labour Organization [ILO] and trade unions, were important in addressing such shortcomings. “The issues addressed in the report are industry-wide problems,” she said. “They are often difficult to address as an individual company and we firmly believe that collaboration is key.”

Meanwhile, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika rejected the results of the study, saying the sample size was too small. “Also, it’s likely to be [more] subjective than objective,” he said.

Working conditions in the garment industry were more accurately reflected in reports by the ILO’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) program, he added.

A BFC report last July found slight improvements, although it cited continuing issues with overtime and occupational safety and health.

BFC communications assistant Ly Sokheng said officials hadn’t reviewed the new report yet, but were “looking forward to a constructive discussion” on the “important topic” at the International Labour Conference in June.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all