Sweden / Switzerland – H&M, International Labor Organization (ILO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have launched an industrial relations project aiming to improve the development of a socially sustainable textile and garment industry in Ethiopia.
Promoting a well-functioning dialogue between the partners on the labor market is a fundamental and important part of H&M’s fair living wage strategy. ILO highlights the importance of promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining as necessary for workers and employers to negotiate wages and working conditions. We share this view and that is why our strategy is focusing on improving industrial relations in our strategy. This three year project will assist the Ethiopian government, social partners and major industry stakeholders in their efforts to promote social dialogue and improve productivity as well as improve wages and working conditions through nurturing sound labor relations practices and promoting collective bargaining.
The project is funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and H&M and implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions and Ethiopian Employers Federation.
-Well-functioning relations and social dialogue on the labor market is key to improve working conditions and establish fair living wages. We are engaged in projects which have the aim of strengthening employees’ rights and their ability to negotiate on their own behalf on their terms and conditions through trade unions and or democratic elected employee representatives. Our goal is for all of our strategic supplier factories to have democratically elected and functional work¬place representation in place by 2018 at the latest, says Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M.
H&M has an ongoing industrial relation project in Cambodia in collaboration with SIDA and ILO .This project in Ethiopia is part of the agreement between the ILO and H&M was signed in September 2014. It intends to establish a positive and innovative model for other brands and create a global alliance to promote the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda in the supply chain of the global garment industry.