Poverty drives wages down

H&M has made promises to raise wage levels and increase worker influence in the garment factories of Cambodia. The validity of these supposed ambitions is being criticized. ”What have they actually achieved? Nothing!”, says Sajsa Beslik, sustainibility banker at Swedish Nordea.
08
May

Poverty drives wages down

H&M has made promises to raise wage levels and increase worker influence in the garment factories of Cambodia.  The validity of these supposed ambitions is being criticized. ”What have they actually achieved? Nothing!”, says Sajsa Beslik, sustainibility banker at Swedish Nordea.

At night, mosquitos make their ways through the crack of air between the corrugated metal roof and the aged plaster of the cement wall, untroubled by a long row of steel doors.

Seng Chhun Leng, 26, opens the padlock on her street level 15 square meter room. Several mattresses line the floor. She sleeps here together with her younger brother and his fiancée. She recently moved out of a room that cost just over 50 dollars per month.

”This was cheaper, just over 40 dollars, so I chose it instead”

She lives in the Toul Sangke area, part of Cambodia’s sprawling capital city Phnom Penh. It’s late afternoon. A few hours before dusk.

Seng Chhun Leng has just come home from the Roo Hsing Garment factory where she has sewn seams on 1150 short pants for delivery to the Swedish fashion retailer H&M. She knows her exact numbers of production as she is paid on a fixed piece rate.

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