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H&M to help strengthen industrial relations in Cambodia
Oct '13
H&M has observed that the majority of the strikes that has occurred during last year have been in connection with terms and conditions of employment, including wages. It believes that the Cambodian government should conduct an annual review of the minimum wage, taking into consideration national inflation and the consumer price index.

If an effective review system is created and implemented, these revisions will help address the basic needs of the workers. When working conditions are more stable, both suppliers and buyers can focus on productivity and on developing the textile industry in Cambodia.

During autumn 2013, H&M is about to launch a unique project in partnership with the Swedish Embassy, UN body ILO and the Swedish union IF Metall, aimed at strengthening industrial relations in Cambodia. Cambodia is a country with excellent conditions for a functioning labor market, but need support to take advantage of them.

H&M can support them in the importance of signing contracts, negotiation techniques and conflict resolution and teach them the importance of cooperation and collective agreements. Its goal is to create opportunities for dialogue and strengthen the textile workers' influence.

H&M believes that it is in the interest of the Cambodian textile industry, as well as in its interest, that the industry continues to develop into an advanced and mature textile industry. Stable markets, in which people are treated with respect, and where the workers are properly compensated by their employers, are of the utmost importance.

Foreign trade plays a major role in the development of countries as it is a source of economic growth. It helps to lift people and nations out of poverty. Textile production accounts for a large portion of Cambodian exports, so the development of the industry is vital to the country’s future.

By being present in Cambodia and by using its influence to promote good practice H&M can help to consistent change. H&M indirectly creates work for hundreds of thousands of people in the countries it buys from and by being in a country like Cambodia, it can influence the workers’ situation.

Cambodia is an important buying market for H&M. H&M has been buying from suppliers in Cambodia since 1998 and opened its production office in Phnom Penh in 2000. The textile industry in Cambodia has developed tremendously over the past fifteen years.

Today the Cambodian textile manufacturing industry offers products that require technically advanced equipment, skilled labour and entrepreneurial owners. While significant progress has been made, many challenges still remain for the textile industry in Cambodia.


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