H&M Hennes & Mauritz's head of sustainability Helena Helmersson was in Cambodia last week to meet with ILO/Better Works Cambodia on how to improve working conditions in export garment factories.

Helmersson said in a blog post that the lack of dialogue between workers and factory management on one hand, and unions and the employers' association on the other, "seems to be one of the main reasons for the incidents we have seen recently".

The company is focusing on getting a functioning dialogue system in place, said Helmersson.

In October last year, more than 200 workers fainted at a factory producing clothing for H&M, one of a many that has occurred in the country in recent years.

Helmersson also visited the M&V4 factory to see the improvements being made to address the mass faintings, and to discuss the "importance of dialogue between employers and workers and how they can benefit from an open dialogue".

In collaboration with stakeholders, the retailer is working on a social dialogue project to strengthen knowledge about negotiation skills and conflict resolution at its suppliers' factories.

Before the trip, Helmersson met with the Vice Premier Minister of Cambodia on his visit to Stockholm to discuss the importance of a framework for dialogue and negotiations.