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H&M launches industrial relations programme in Ethiopia
08
Feb '16
Swedish clothing major H&M, International Labour Organization (ILO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have launched an industrial relations project aiming to improve the development of a socially sustainable textile and garment industry in Ethiopia.

In a statement, H&M said promoting a well-functioning dialogue between the partners on the labour market is a fundamental and important part of the company's fair living wage strategy. ILO highlights the importance of promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining as necessary for workers and employers to negotiate wages and working conditions.

“We share this view and that is why our strategy is focusing on improving industrial relations in our strategy. This three year project will assist the Ethiopian government, social partners and major industry stakeholders in their efforts to promote social dialogue and improve productivity as well as improve wages and working conditions through nurturing sound labour relations practices and promoting collective bargaining,” H&M said.

The project is funded by SIDA and H&M and implemented by the ILO in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions and Ethiopian Employers Federation.

“Well-functioning relations and social dialogue on the labour market is key to improve working conditions and establish fair living wages. We are engaged in projects which have the aim of strengthening employees' rights and their ability to negotiate on their own behalf on their terms and conditions through trade unions and or democratic elected employee representatives. Our goal is for all of our strategic supplier factories to have democratically elected and functional workplace representation in place by 2018 at the latest,” said Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

H&M has an ongoing industrial relation project in Cambodia in collaboration with SIDA and ILO .This project in Ethiopia is part of the agreement between the ILO and H&M was signed in September 2014. It intends to establish a positive and innovative model for other brands and create a global alliance to promote the ILO's Decent Work Agenda in the supply chain of the global garment industry. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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