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Committees implementing GFA with H&M meet to strengthen industrial relations

2 October, 2017The National Monitoring Committee (NMC) system is the implementation arm of the Global Framework Agreement (GFA) between H&M and IndustriALL. The Committees are set up in five countries and met on 1-2 October in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M and Jenny Holdcroft, IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary welcomed participants and looked forward to successful in future collaboration.

"You are the direct link to workers, a crucial part of our social agenda, with this comes the responsibility of all of us to make sure that we have stronger, well-functioning industrial relations. My expectation for the next two days is that we share best practice," said Brun. "You have helped us to become a better buyer. The National Monitoring Committee is an innovative way of working. I wish you all very constructive discussions."

The NMC system’s purpose is to develop the national short term and long term plans and strategies for implementation of the GFA at H&M suppliers, for now it is set up in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Turkey. The Monitoring Committees are composed of trade unions on the ground as well as H&M representatives.

"It has been a short history for the H&M GFA but there have been very positive developments. The National Monitoring Committee system creates a space for our unions not only to develop as responsible social partners but also to increase their organizing and collective bargaining capacity, which is needed for unions to develop and strengthen," said Holdcroft.

Steffan Herrström, Swedish Ambassador to Thailand, Myanmar and Laos addressed the National Monitoring Committees (NMC) on the second day of their meeting.

"What you are doing here, as partners of the H&M GFA to strengthen collaboration and team building, is an important step to improve industrial relations and collective bargaining mechanisms in the countries where you work. It is inspiring to see this happening. I realize that it is challenging and I am strongly convinced that this is the way forward to make social dialogue work, and in that way promote sustainable business that at the end of the day benefits all of us," said Herrström.

The Committees prepared their 2017 annual country reports that they will present to the Joint Industrial Relations Development Committee (JIRDC). Chrisina Hajagos-Clausen, IndsutriALL textile, garment, leather and shoe industries director said: 

“We want to see NMCs set up in more countries and we also want to see more of these types of implementation mechanisms in other GFAs, in order to ensure that we have agreements that work.”