The clothing giant issued a statement on Thursday saying it is working closely for peaceful conflict resolution for the well-being of workers in its supply chain.
The statement follows media reports that the factories sacked thousands of workers for joining the protests for better wages, which included suppliers of H&M.
“We understand garment workers have recently been dismissed from three factories that produce for H&M group amongst others, and we are closely observing the situation to ensure that the documents and agreements that have now been signed are acknowledged and approved by all parties, outlining valid information and appropriate grounds for termination of employment,” H&M said.
“Even though we understand and fully sympathise with the garment workers’ frustrations, we cannot encourage vandalism and violence as a means to an end.”
“We strongly encourage peaceful conflict resolution for all parties in all situations and see ourselves as an enabler to make that happen.”
The layoffs come after days of protests and clashes between police and workers in January that prompted the government to intervene and compel manufacturers to raise wages.
“Workers who chanted slogans or left factories and joined in processions to demand wage increases, and the ones who have any link to trade bodies, are now losing jobs,” Reuters quoted Kazi Ruhul Amin, head of the Bangladesh Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre, as saying.
At least 7,580 workers from 27 factories had been laid off in recent weeks, according to the Reuters report that cited Babul Akhter, head of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation.