H&M fails to pay its workers a living wage

Photo: Marko Miletić / Mašina

Contrary to the promise it made five years ago, H&M pays its workers less than living wage, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) has established.

The research the CCC conducted in four countries the H&M’s strategic suppliers are operating in revealed that the company will fail to fulfil the promise it gave its workers. The results of the research indicate that the salaries of the workers employed in the production chain fall well below the minimum income estimated to be necessary for workers to meet their basic needs.

In 2013 the H&M company announced that it will provide an income allowing decent life (living wage) to all the workers employed in the production chain. The research conducted in Bulgaria, Turkey, India and Cambodia exposed the actual wages to be far below the level needed to meet basic needs. The biggest discrepancy is in Bulgaria, where the workers earn merely 10% of the estimated living wage.

According to CCC’s data, H&M don’t produce their goods in Serbia. Still, the working conditions in the textile industry in Serbia are alarming.

The wages in the textile industry in general are far below the living wage. In many cases they are even below the minimal wage set by national law, as the CCC’s research done last year has revealed.

Appalling working conditions, frequent lack of proper air conditioning, prolongation of the working hours, regular overtime expectations, workplace abuse and prevention of unionizing plague the industry. At the same time, the textile industry is one of the industries receiving largest Government subsidies.

The Clean Clothes Campaign is a global organization which observes working conditions and labour rights in the textile industry.

S.A., B.T.

Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić


This article was originally published in Serbian on Sep 24, 2018.


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