H&M seeks minimum wage review in BangladeshThursday, 06 September 2012
Fashion retail chain H&M is calling on the Bangladeshi
government to increase the minimum wage and conduct a review for workers in the Bangladeshi textile industry.
The retailer’s CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, earlier this week to discuss the minimum wage for the textile industry, as well as urging the country to consider an annual review of the local minimum wage that takes national inflation and the consumer price index into consideration.
Since the minimum wage for textile workers was first set in 1994, it has only been revised twice, in 2006 and 2010. Since 2010, there has been an increase in the inflation rate that has been recorded by World Bank data in 2011 and 2012, and H&M believe that a proper review system would help address the basic needs of the workers and bring greater stability to the market.
Persson said in a statement: “Since foreign trade plays a major role in the development of countries as a source of economic growth, we believe that it is in the interest of the Bangladeshi textile industry, as well as in our interest, that the industry continues to develop into an advanced and mature textile industry.
“Stable markets in which people are treated with respect, and where the workers are properly compensated by their employers, are of the utmost importance.”
H&M doesn’t own any factories or make any decisions on wages, but like all companies buying products from Bangladesh it does have an invested interest in the region, and stated that it had "a responsibility towards everyone contributing to the success”.
Continuing on to add: "As a company with a clear commitment to workers’ rights and to doing business in Bangladesh, H&M looks forward to prompt action regarding the minimum wage issue and the question of annual wage reviews for workers in the Bangladeshi textile industry."
The Bangladeshi government is the only body with the power to increase the minimum wage in Bangladesh.