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Retailers pledge to pay more for clothes

by Futures Centre, Feb 9
1 minute read

In a letter described as “unparalleled” by a trade union, eight major retailers have pledged to pay more for clothes following a protest by factory workers in Cambodia against low wages in the industry. Thousands of workers dressed in orange t-shirts demonstrated outside their factories in the capital, Phnom Penh, in September 2014. They called for a raise in the minimum wage, which is currently $101 a month. 

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Eight leading retailers – including H&M, Primark and Zara’s owner, Inditex – responded to their cause with a letter to the local Garment Manufacturers Association, stating that they were ready to pay more so that their prices would reflect a fair living wage.

The brands also asked for more co-operation with trade unions in the workplace, so that the price rise would also reflect “productivity and efficiency gains”: higher prices, but in exchange for higher returns. The IndustriALL Global Union, which co-ordinated the demonstration, said: “Factory owners have no excuse not to pay their workers more.” 

Image credit: Will Baxter

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