Global fast fashion brand H&M are still refusing to negotiate a living wage, and strike action is escalating today in Auckland as staff from Commercial Bay and Sylvia Park will walk off the job to demonstrate in the central city outside one of the company’s most lucrative stores.
Friday 21 May, 13:30-14:30
Outside H&M Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland Central
H&M is the second-largest global retailer of fast fashion products, but here in New Zealand, they have made every attempt possible avoid paying a cent more than minimum wage despite huge profits, and a new Collective Agreement remains unsigned despite months of attempts to negotiate, says FIRST Union organiser Nathalie Jaques.
"These are young and enthusiastic workers whose jobs in retail simply aren’t living up to the hype of what the company promised them. They are underpaid and understaffed, and despite wage subsidies and massive profits, H&M don’t want to pay them a cent more than the absolute minimum."
"H&M will ask them to work on the frontline during a pandemic but doesn’t think they are worth a living wage - that’s an employer telling their staff that their wellbeing is of no value whatsoever and they are disposable as the products they sell."
"This is the first group of retail workers to go on strike while negotiating a new agreement this year, and it’s a chance to show H&M and others like them that staff in New Zealand will not accept the bare minimum to work hard for an absurdly rich global company that doesn’t seem to care about them at all."
"H&M aren’t even meeting their own commitments under ILO Conventions by refusing to pay a living wage to retail staff, and New Zealand has to hold them to their word as other governments around the world are doing."