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

  • No more Africa travel ban but new rules for arrivals

    The Ministry of Health has decided to lift the ban on travellers from or who have travelled through 10 African countries and instead issued a set of standard operating procedures to manage passenger arrivals at Cambodia’s international airports. The 10 African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho,

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • PM blasts Vietnam general over Covid claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 6 expressed dismay after Vietnamese general Hoang Xuan Chien, formerly in charge of Vietnam’s border defences, claimed that Cambodia was a source of Covid-19 transmissions to the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony for National Road 11 connecting Prey Veng