Following recent reports pertaining to large-scale termination of workers in RMG factories of the country, many of which produce garments for renowned global brands like Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M).
The Swedish brand has reacted to the reports via a statement underlining that it is working closely for peaceful conflict resolution for the well-being of workers in its supply chain.
“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. 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.” – H&M Spokesperson
It may be mentioned here that the reported sacking and detaining of workers who were allegedly part of the recent workers’ protest, have gained global attention with one of the largest unions in North America and Canada, the United Steelworkers, reportedly calling upon the Bangladesh Government to immediately release all garment workers and union representatives arrested on ‘trumped-up charges’.
“We are deeply concerned about the repressive measures taken in the last two months against workers protesting against the wholly inadequate minimum wage increase announced in November 2018, as well as the unequal treatment of workers in different pay grades,” reportedly maintained National Director for Canada of the USW Ken Neumann in a letter sent to Bangladesh High Commissioner in Canada Mizanur Rahman.
As per a Reuters report which cited head of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation Babul Akhter, at least 7,580 workers from 27 factories had reportedly been laid off in recent weeks.