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H&M To Launch Project Seeking Better Wages in Its Clothing Factories

Police began pushing, hitting and kicking the demonstrators, eye witnesses and rights workers said after they failed to disperse recent demonstration.
The world’s second-largest clothing retailer says it will support a factory in Cambodia to adopt a fair wage.

H&M says it then hopes to cover 750 factories between Cambodia and Bangladesh by 2018.

Anna Eriksson, an H&M spokeswoman, told VOA Khmer that the company wants to create a factory program as a model for other companies, testing the best practices to drive up wages for workers. One factory was chosen in Cambodia and one in Bangladesh as test cases.

These factories will be a “baseline” to measure “how wages are developing, setting a pay structure in place that clearly compensates workers in regards to their skills and productivity, but also includes measures on how the take home wage including overtime compensation develops,” Eriksson said.

Chea Mony, head of the Free Trade Union, Cambodia’s largest independent union, said H&M’s pledge was “right, because they don’t want to see fainted workers and demonstrations against working conditions and demands for higher minimum wage.”

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, welcomed the news, saying buyers had much influence on the wages paid to factory workers.

Oum Mean, secretary of state for the Ministry of Labor, said that the government is now working on a policy to increase the minimum wage for workers.

Cambodian garment factory workers have for years complained of low pay, claiming their wages are not able to meet the rising cost of living in the country.