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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia