H&M does not own any factories and does not set/pay the wages of any factory workers. We believe that everyone in the garment industry should earn enough to live on. One of the basic requirements set out in our Code of Conduct, is that factory workers must be paid at least the minimum wage guaranteed by law. The Code of Conduct also expresses a clear intent that the salary must enable for the workers to support themselves and their families.
Low wages that workers are unable to live on is an industry problem in many production countries. H&M is positive to an increase in salary for textile workers in our suppliers’ factories. Therefore, we cooperate with other brands, and are also driving the need for change, that the minimum wage should be able to live on, at a policy level. We want a permanent change, negotiated between workers and employers. We believe that this should be done through mature industrial relations and social dialogue resulting in collective agreement that all workers in a country could benefit from.
We work intensively to influence developments so that wages for textile workers are increased. For example, H&M’s Managing Director met with the government of Bangladesh in September, when we put forward demands for higher wages and annual wage revisions. All the workers are paid the same wage regardless of which company they are making clothing for. That is why it is important to influence things at a political level, so that the statutory minimum wage is increased and benefits all workers. We also work to strengthen the dialogue between textile workers and the factory owners and so far 570,821 garment workers in Bangladesh received training on their rights since 2008, using short films.