Some of the world’s largest clothing brands have warned the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia of possible business ramifications should the factory representative continue with plans to impede labour monitoring.
Thirteen major buyers, including Gap, H&M, Levi’s, Nike and Puma, have signed a letter to GMAC expressing “concern” over its recent directive advising factory owners to “exercise discretion” before admitting monitors unaccompanied by government officials.
“The undersigned brands therefore respectfully request that GMAC withdraw its 30 September notice to its members and make no further effort to undermine BFC’s operations,” the October 15 letter reads, referring to monitor Better Factories Cambodia.
All of the brands “further encourage GMAC to take a broader and longer term view of the implications of GMAC’s recent members’ directive and consider its potential negative implications on trade with Cambodia”.
Better Factories Cambodia last month announced it would resume publicly disclosing reports on labour standards in Cambodia’s garment factories. Disclosure will begin in January and be based on inspections starting this month.
GMAC responded to the disclosure plan with the directive to factory owners and with advertisements in local media, stating its members had not been given enough time to assess the initiative. The association, which counts some 450 factories as members, also said it had been “undermined” in its partnership with BFC. …
Daniel de Carteret