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H&M urges Bangladesh government to raise minimum wage

Swedish fashion retailer H&M has called for an increase in the minimum wage for workers in the Bangladeshi textile industry.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

H&M urges Bangladesh government to raise minimum wage

Swedish fashion retailer H&M has called for an increase in the minimum wage for workers in the Bangladeshi textile industry.

The company’s chief executive, Karl-Johan Persson, met the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday to request an increased minimum wage and annual wage reviews for the workers.

Persson said in a statement: "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."

H&M has urged the Bangladesh government 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 been revised twice, in 2006 and 2010.

The company said a proper review system would help address the basic needs of the workers and bring greater stability to the market. 

Bangladesh is an important buying market for H&M and the retailer is one of several major Western companies that buys products from the country. H&M said it does not own any factories in the Bangladesh or make decisions on wages, but had "a responsibility towards everyone contributing to the success."

In statement H&M said: "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."

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