H and M slammed for Cambodia conditions

The biggest Danish union, 3F, slammed Swedish retail clothing giant H and M on Wednesday over wages it pays workers in a Cambodian factory.

In a newsletter published by 3F, the union, which had visited H and M’s Hung Wah factory in Cambodia, said employees rarely earn more than two dollars a day.

“We used to make one dollar 30 cents to sew 100 polo shirts. But now we hardly get a dollar for the same quantity,” the newsletter quoted worker Kam Sreynet as saying.

H and M rejected the criticism, but acknowledged problems with its Cambodian operations.

“H and M has worked to improve working conditions at our Hung Wah supplier for a number of years,” the Swedish group’s ethics and environment spokeswoman Ingrid Schullström told 3F.

“Seamstresses can earn more than a employee of the Cambodian government,” added Schullström, who visited the Hung Wah factory in October 2005.

“A seamstress earns about 60 to 80 dollars a month compared to an average of 28 dollars for a primary school teacher,” she said.