STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2016-Oct-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The signing parties all share the belief that collaboration and a well-functioning dialogue between the parties on the labour market is necessary for lasting improvements for the garment workers in all areas of working conditions, including fair living wages, but also for stable production markets, and in the end; a mature textile industry. The goal of the work is improved industrial relations where the freedom of association is respected, where workers’ representatives have a voice and where trade unions can negotiate collectively.
The collaboration within the Global Framework Agreement has led to several positive results. National monitoring committees – consisting of representatives from IndustriALL’s affiliated trade unions and H&M – have been set up and trained in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Turkey. The committees support employers’ and workers’ organisations to negotiate and to solve conflicts peacefully and in good faith at the factory level. Their work contributes to functioning labour markets in the countries where H&M source its products.
Several cases have been solved thanks to the collaboration within the Global Framework Agreement – for example a conflict at a textile factory in Myanmar earlier this year which started mainly due to misunderstandings and a lack of communication between management and employees. The conflict resulted in strikes and at a later stage also a dismissal of employees. However, after negations initiated and organized by IndustriALL and H&M, all employees were rehired and a union was started allowing the factory to take steps towards sound industrial relations and a reduced risk of future misunderstandings and conflicts.
“The support to factory level unions within the supply chain of H&M has been one key objective of the GFA between IndustriALL Global Union and H&M. Moreover, during the first year of the implementation process, there have been several new factory level unions registered. This is a key step in the development of well-functioning industrial relations. It should be noted that these newly formed trade unions and their management counterparts need to have additional capacity building in order to achieve well- functioning industrial relations. From our experience this year, these newly formed labour/management relations are fragile.”
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