H&M group is working to train suppliers in ten production countries; Turkey, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Pakistan, on how parameters such as skills, experience and responsibility should be included in wage management systems – and why this is important. Local teams from H&M group based in these countries support the suppliers and follow up on how the implementation of the wage systems is moving forward, H&M said on its website.
"One prerequisite for a positive and motivating work environment are well-functioning wage management systems ensuring that wages take everybody’s individual skills and experience into account. Equally important is that all factory employees know why they receive a certain wage and that they have a possibility for skill development – and that such development is rewarded. Likewise, it is crucial that there is a sound dialogue between employer and employees at the workplace. This is what H&M group’s work within this area is all about," Julia Bakutis, sustainability manager at the H&M group production office in Turkey.
Before the work to improve wage management systems begun, the workplace dialogue at some factories was more or less non-existent which led to misunderstandings and conflicts. H&M group is therefore supporting suppliers to create a well-functioning dialogue between employers and employees. This has resulted in more than 600,000 textile workers around the world now having democratically elected worker representatives that speak on their behalf in work-related matters. This is also the case at Ekpen Tekstil, where meetings every other week are now held between management and worker representatives allowing the workers to raise problems at the workplace as well as suggestions on improvements. For example, Ekpen Tekstil has involved worker representatives in the discussion on which parameters the wage should be based on and what kind of skills development should be offered.
"I believe this system makes the workers aware of their contribution to the company through their work, but also of that they can have a career plan and develop through vocational training. It gives workers more opportunities and increase their trust in the company. It also contributes to a happier work environment as well as improved productivity," said Ahmet Yavuçehre, owner of Ekpen Tekstil.
"Our work is about making it possible for textile factories to be good employers. The steps taken by Ekpen Tekstil to implement wage management systems taking employees’ individual skills, education and experience into account supported by open and constructive communication contribute to a more positive work environment. It’s a win-win situation for everyone," explained Bakutis. (RR)
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