How to Join
the Fashion Spot / Front Row / Fashion... In Depth
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
11-12-2013
  436
V.I.P.
 
lucy92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 12,516
it's a scam. they won't say what the "living wage" actually is. washingtonpost:

H&M says it will pay factory workers a ‘fair living wage.’ It doesn’t say what that means.

Posted by Lydia DePillis on November 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm

H&M's "roadmap." (H&M)

On Monday, H&M announced what looked like bold progress towards paying its factory workers something above poverty wages for the hours they spend pumping out flimsy garments. The Swedish company's "four-pronged approach" went into wide media release, and at a time when most other retailers are still dithering over how to help in the wake of the catastrophic building collapse in Bangladesh in April, positioned it as the socially responsible corporation to beat.
But how real are H&M's proposals? They're summarized on a cute one-pager, mostly rendered in the non-committal passive voice, as follows:
  • "H&M will support factory owners to develop pay structures that enable a fair living wage, ensure correct compensation, and overtime within legal limits. This will be explored by implementing the Fair Wage Method in our role model factories, from which we will source 100% of the products during five years."
  • "H&M's strategic suppliers should have pay structures in place to pay a fair living wage by 2018. By then, this will reach around 850,000 textile workers. Our strategic suppliers are currently 750 factory units producing about 60% of our products."
  • Starting in 2014, H&M will "Develop our price method to ensure the true cost of labor. By doing this we secure that we pay a price which enables our suppliers to pay their textile workers a fair living wage and reduce overtime."
  • "H&M will encourage governments to engage in a process to identify a living wage level, set a legal minimum wage accordingly and review wages annually thereafter."
Plus a few things about educating workers, strengthening unions, and strengthening their "social dialogue" project.
What's missing here? An actual number for what it'll pay workers. The closest H&M comes to that is saying it'll use the "Fair Wage Method" developed by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, who manages wage policy at the United Nations' International Labour Organization. The Fair Labor Association describes it as a 12-step way of determining whether rates are in fact fair, including factors like productivity and prevailing wages, and providing for annual review. But it's not exactly a formula, and therefore would be difficult to dispute when -- and if -- H&M arrives at a final number.
Those who've been working around these issues for a long time find the lack of specificity exasperating.
"If they want to pay living wages, they should pay living wages. They should give themselves a near-term deadline and give the world a number," said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium advocacy group. He was at a meeting in Stockholm a few weeks ago where H&M announced the initiative to stakeholders like labor unions and NGOs, and didn't make much of what it had to offer. "Just staying 'we're for a living wage, in 5 years we're going to pay an undefined amount in a subset or our factories,' that's not credible."
How much would paying a living wage even cost H&M? According to the WRC's calculations, labor comprises about 6 percent of a factory's costs, and only 1 or 2 percent of the final retail price. Bangladesh, where two of H&M's pilot factories are located, is proposing to double its minimum wage to about 31 cents an hour. The WRC estimates that a living wage would be more like $1.50 an hour. That would increase the price of a tank top, but not by much.
Meanwhile, H&M is already a member of the Fair Labor Association, which has a code of conduct that addresses adequate wages (the FLA certifies H&M's work only in China). Even so, it still pays the same rock-bottom prices as Wal-Mart and Nike.
"We've been down the road many times. This has all the hallmarks of fluff," Nova says. "Where H&M has the power to make it happen now is in the factories now. If they are willing to take the steps necessary, they can achieve it. Why are they not doing that, is the question."

__________________
Large Avatars for Everyone!
  Reply With Quote
 
11-12-2013
  437
Power to the 99%
 
fashionista-ta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hardly ever at Barney's
Gender: femme
Posts: 14,723
^ But it would be a different number in each and every country where they'd have factory workers, right?

__________________
There's a need for more individuality today, and my job is to cater to women, not dictate to them.
--Alber Elbaz
  Reply With Quote
11-12-2013
  438
V.I.P.
 
lucy92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 12,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
^ But it would be a different number in each and every country where they'd have factory workers, right?
that depends on how the trans pacific partnership treaty goes. a draft of the treaty was leaked recently which listed that companies could export items from (vietnam for example) into the US (and other countries where H&M have markets and are included in the treaty) duty free (versus made in china which has an import tax)

if this happens than H&M will likely pull out of countries that require the duty entirely.

it's a race to the bottom to find the lowest cheapest wage possible with no duty or taxes.

__________________
Large Avatars for Everyone!
  Reply With Quote
07-01-2014
  439
V.I.P.
 
lucy92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 12,516
H&M Plans to Pay Garment Workers Fair Wages. Here's Why That's Probably BS.


—By Dana Liebelson
|


Terry Chay/Flickr
I recently wrote about the Indian sumangali scheme, wherein girls from poor, rural families are recruited to work in clothing factories, on the promise that they will earn enough money for a dowry. Instead, many toil in exploitive conditions, earning far less than recruiters told them they would. Many of these factories sell to American companies. H&M has been accused by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations of using sumangali labor in the past, but the company is trying to rid its factories of the scheme by 2014. Shortly before Black Friday, H&M announced that it also plans to start paying 850,000 workers at 750 factories—out of its some 1,800 total factories around the world—a fair wage by 2018.
Fair-trade experts say that the announcement is a step in the right direction, but some point out that the plan has major holes. Most notably, the factories that will be covered under the fair-wage program produce just 60 percent of H&M's products, and the company did not say whether it would eventually extend the plan to its other factories, as well. Here are a few other red flags:
H&M won't say how much it will pay workers in each country. Anna Eriksson, a spokesperson for H&M, told me that that the company does not believe US buyers should dictate a minimum wage to its factories; instead, it expects factory employees and factory owners to work together to come up with a fair wage. Wages will depend on the country and the factory, and must meet the Fair Wage Method, which was developed by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, who oversees wage policy at the United Nations' International Labour Organization. This standard is based on a number of factors—such as promoting "acceptable living standards" and being "comparable to wages in similar enterprises in the same sector." H&M also plans to support unions that empower workers to negotiate for wages, and encourage governments to identify a living wage level.
But Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, criticizes the company's plan to rely on governments and factories to set wages. Nova told the Washington Post, "Just saying 'we're for a living wage, in 5 years we're going to pay an undefined amount in a subset or our factories,' that's not credible." Jefferson Cowie, the chair of the Department of Labor Relations, Law, & History at Cornell University, echoed those concerns. "It is hard to see governments taking a strong role in boosting wages in the short run," he told me. Fair wages can also be hard to enforce. I saw this firsthand while reporting my sumangali story: In India, the government does have a minimum wage for textile workers—but many of the female workers I spoke with were not being paid that wage, and didn't have access to a union.
H&M claims that increasing wages somehow won't raise prices consumers pay for its clothing. Eriksson says that the company will keep its clothing prices steady for Western consumers by using in-house designers, buying clothing in large volumes, and finding other efficiencies. But Elizabeth Cline, the author of the 2012 book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, says that she doesn't believe that H&M can pay garment workers a living wage without raising retail prices. "How can that be true?" she says. "It makes me think that the company is just riding on unsustainable expansion [and] will just continue to sell more and more low-quality clothes to make up for this increased cost." However, Joel Paul, a law professor and expert in trade policy at the University of California-Hastings, speculates that the claim could, in fact, be true: Because foreign garment factory labor accounts for a tiny percentage of a shirt's total cost, he says, increasing workers' hourly wages from 15 cents to a $1.50—an estimated living wage in Bangladesh—wouldn't substantially undercut profits.
The wage increase won't affect any of H&M's spinning mills. H&M's fair-wage promise does not extend to all of its subcontractors, which include the factories that spin the cotton into thread (also known as spinning mills). In India, most sumangali schemes take place in spinning mills. That the plan doesn't include subcontractors could be a big problem: If some factories in the supply chain are not required to pay a fair wage, garment factories can simply outsource more of their labor to those cheaper operations. When I asked H&M how the company plans to address the challenge of factories outsourcing labor to subcontractors with potentially exploitive conditions, spokesman Håcan Andersson said, "We are not able to assist you further in this matter."
Despite the plan's significant problems, Cornell's Cowie says he believes that H&M deserves some credit for taking baby steps toward fixing a notoriously exploitive industry. "Do they have the perfect solution?" he says. "Absolutely not. If they wanted to pay the highest wages, they wouldn't be shopping for labor in Cambodia and Bangladesh in the first place. But making an open commitment to workers matters—as long as it does not end up being just a cover for their old practices." (motherjones)

__________________
Large Avatars for Everyone!
  Reply With Quote
22-03-2015
  440
V.I.P.
 
lucy92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 12,516
Human rights watch has published a 140 page report on cambodia's garment industry and spotlighting human rights abuses at H&M's factories there.

here's an excerpt:
Quote:



Factory 1 subcontracts work to many other smaller factories.[328] In November 2013, Human Rights Watch visited a subcontracting factory whose workers said that H&M was one of the brands they produced for, work that was ongoing as of April 2014. The factory had no visibly displayed name board. Workers identified the factory using a nickname. The subcontractor factory managers did not issue workers identity cards or written contracts.
In one case, team leaders in the factory 1 told workers that they should work Sundays at an unauthorized subcontractor to help meet production targets. Workers were not paid any special overtime rates for work on Sundays and public holidays. This allowed factory 1 to bypass labor laws governing overtime wages and a compensatory day off for night shifts or Sunday work.[329]
Human Rights Watch spoke to five workers from one subcontractor factory who said they were supplying to factory 1 or one of its branches. They knew they were producing for H&M because the managers had discussed the brand name and designs with workers. The factory also subcontracted with other large factories in the Svay Rolum and Sethbau areas in Kandal province that produce for international brands. The workers were paid on a piece-rate basis and when the factory received many orders, workers said they were forced to work overtime on Sundays and public holidays. On some days they were also forced to do overtime until 9 p.m. and sometimes overnight until 6 a.m. The workers said they were not given any overtime wages.[330]
Workers said they were fearful of forming a union and that eligible workers did not receive maternity leave or pay. From employee accounts, some workers were children younger than 15, the legally permissible age in Cambodia. One woman estimated that 20 of the 60 workers in her group were children. Children worked as hard as the adults, they said, including on Sundays, nights for overtime work, and public holidays when there were rush orders.[331]
features.hrh.org

__________________
Large Avatars for Everyone!
  Reply With Quote
22-03-2015
  441
Power to the 99%
 
fashionista-ta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hardly ever at Barney's
Gender: femme
Posts: 14,723
^ Wow.

__________________
There's a need for more individuality today, and my job is to cater to women, not dictate to them.
--Alber Elbaz
  Reply With Quote
04-10-2015
  442
V.I.P.
 
lucy92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 12,516
Most of H&M’s “best” factories in Bangladesh still don’t have working fire exits
Marc Bain/qz.com

Factory fires pose one of the greatest dangers to Bangladesh’s garment workers.
After the 2013 factory collapse at Rana Plaza, more than 200 clothing brands from around the world signed a binding commitment to create (pdf) a Bangladeshi garment industry “in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses, or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures.”
The first brand to sign the commitment was H&M, which is the single largest buyer of garments from Bangladesh. But a study released Oct. 1 (pdf) by the Clean Clothes Campaign, in collaboration with several labor groups, says the company is “dramatically behind schedule” in making actual improvements in the factories it sources from. Many of those delayed improvements would ensure worker safety in case of a fire.

What’s more worrisome, the report only looked at H&M’s “Platinum” and “Gold” suppliers—the factories that supposedly boast the highest standards in labor and environmental protections. They account for 56 of the 229 factories H&M uses in Bangladesh.
About 61% didn’t have fire exits that met the accord’s standards, which demand that fire exits have enclosed stairwells and fire-rated doors. Without those measures, exits can quickly fill with smoke in a fire, effectively trapping workers on a factory’s upper floors.

It’s not a small risk. Factory fires are a persistent hazard in Bangladesh, as the New York Times noted after the 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashions that killed 112 people.
“[Lack of appropriate fire exits] is the defect that has been the primary culprit in virtually every mass fatality fire in the Bangladesh garment industry,” the report states, estimating that this violation alone puts nearly 79,000 workers’ lives in danger.

Other major fire hazards included lockable doors, as well as sliding doors and collapsible gates, all of which can make it difficult for workers to escape quickly in an emergency.
The Clean Clothes campaign is a coalition of European organizations that advocates for garment workers’ rights. For this report, it collaborated with the International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network, and Worker Rights Consortium, with research assistance from Fordham University’s School of Law.
A spokesperson for the Clean Clothes Campaign told Quartz the report focused on H&M because it is the largest buyer from Bangladesh, and therefore has significant leverage in the country.
H&M has also “communicated to consumers through their sustainability reports that all significant repairs are complete,” according to the spokesperson. The report was a way to independently check on those claims. Its analysis is based on publicly available information from factory-inspection reports and “corrective action plans” disclosed by the organization behind the accord.
H&M issued a press release in response, stating that every factory H&M sources from meets the accord’s minimum requirements for operation, and tthat “almost 60% of the remediation work is completed and we see good progress. However, the accord is experiencing some delays of the planned remediation process.”
In a separate statement to Quartz, a company spokesperson explained that delays are due to technical and structural issues in the factories that “require more time and access to technology not available in Bangladesh.”that progress is happening, if slowly.
It says in the factories where it’s the lead brand sourcing there A heavy workload for the inspection experts was also a factor.
H&M has shown a commitment to improving conditions for workers in its contracted factories. A few weeks ago, it introduced a “fair wage program” in its Asian factories that will boost workers’ pay. But as long as it continues operations in factories without proper fire safety, tens of thousands of lives are in danger.

__________________
Large Avatars for Everyone!

Last edited by lucy92; 04-10-2015 at 09:19 AM.
  Reply With Quote
04-10-2015
  443
Power to the 99%
 
fashionista-ta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hardly ever at Barney's
Gender: femme
Posts: 14,723
^ H&M's platinum and gold would turn your finger green.

__________________
There's a need for more individuality today, and my job is to cater to women, not dictate to them.
--Alber Elbaz
  Reply With Quote
05-10-2015
  444
fashion elite
 
misstarshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Australia
Gender: femme
Posts: 2,832
That is awful. I won't be buying from them again

  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
brands, clothing, consumer, ethical, fair, human, movement, rights, trade
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 PM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2016 All rights reserved.