Reprinted from The New York Times by Reuters on March 7, 2017.
Workers demanding better conditions and benefits have destroyed the production line of a Chinese-owned factory making clothes for Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz, in one of the most violent labor disputes in Myanmar in years.
The month-old dispute, which also saw managers attacked, highlights the need for Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to enact social and labor reforms, analysts say, while at the same time reassuring investors looking to tap the opening of one of the world’s fastest growing economies after decades of isolation.
Production at Hangzhou Hundred-Tex Garment (Myanmar) Company, which was one of H&M’s 40 suppliers in Myanmar, has been halted since February 9, workers and managers in the Chinese company said.
“H&M group is deeply concerned about the recent conflict and our business relationship with this factory is on hold at the moment,” the Swedish-based company said in a statement. It declined to elaborate on the impact on its global supply chain. …