While sounding a cautionary note to refrain from vandalism and violence, H&M expressed anxiety over the worker unrest that afflicted the Bangladesh textile industry. The brand came out with a statement recently that it is proactively resolving the worker unrest problem through peaceful means. It also expressed benefiting workers across the value chain.
H&M issued the official statement close on heels to media reports that factories in Bangladesh had sacked thousands of workers who went on a protest note for better emoluments.
The statement follows media reports that the factories sacked thousands of workers for joining the protests for better wages, which included suppliers of H&M.
In a detailed statement, H&M said, “We understand garment workers have recently been dismissed from three factories that produce for H&M group amongst others, and we are closely observing the situation to ensure that the documents and agreements that have now been signed are acknowledged and approved by all parties, outlining valid information and appropriate grounds for termination of employment.”
The official statement further said, “Even though we understand and fully sympathise with the garment workers’ frustrations, we cannot encourage vandalism and violence as a means to an end. We strongly encourage peaceful conflict resolution for all parties in all situations and see ourselves as an enabler to make that happen.”
The matter turned into a major concern when the protesting workers clashed with the local police in January. This in turn led to the government intervening and coercing manufacturers to raise the workers’ wages.