Textile workers at a Bangladesh factory. H&M producers 80 percent of its clothes in Asia. Photo: Scanpix

H&M criticised by Bangladeshi union

The Swedish clothing giant H&M responds to criticism from one of the biggest textile workers' unions in Bangladesh. Helena Helmersson is the company's sustainability manager tells Swedish Radio News that "this is a problem that exists in society at large".

According to the trade union, multinational companies - including H&M - are not doing enough to make sure that their suppliers are meeting safety standards.

Helena Helmersson says she does not think it is correct to criticise H&M specifically. "The competency in the whole industry needs to improve and then you have to work together and in co-operation with authorities and the government to make this happen," she says.

In a recent meeting with H&M the union BGIWF advised the company to make factory inspections together with electrical and construction engineers, as well as a fire safety expert and a labour rights lawyer. Only by employing experts can H&M be sure that building safety and workers' rights are being respected, says the union.

H&M writes to Swedish Radio News in an email that an international team of fire safety and construction engineers will be recruited.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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