H&M in ‘constant talks’ with both sides during deadly garment factory dispute

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
18 November 2013

Fashion brand H&M says it has been in “constant talks” with workers and management during an industrial dispute at a garment factory in Cambodia that turned deadly last week.

H&M has also been in dialogue with other brands that source from SL Garment Processing in Phnom Penh and it wrote to the company urging it to resume negotiations.

The violent industrial dispute has been going on since August and it involves pay and the reinstatement of sacked union officials.

A bystander was shot and killed when protestors clashed with police on 12 November.

H&M said SL Garment was a subcontactor to one of its suppliers.

A spokeswoman said: “H&M is in dialogue with other brands which are sourcing from SL Garment concerning the unrest situation. We sent a letter to SL Garment at the end of September to require the management to resume negotiations.

“We have, since the negotiations stranded in the middle of August when the strike and unrest broke out, been in constant contact with the two parties urging them to resume negotiations in good faith.”

H&M is among many high street brands that source from SL Garment, including Gap.

Gap said it was “very concerned” about the protests.

A spokesman said: “We understand the Cambodian government recently issued an order to bring about an end to the strike this week, and we are hopeful that the order will lead to a peaceful and equitable resolution soon. We have urged SL management to address worker concerns, and we and other brands have actively supported efforts by the United Nation’s International Labour Organisation’s Better Factories Cambodia and the Cambodian Arbitration Council to resolve the situation."

SL Garment did not respond to SM’s request for comment.



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