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H&M Auckland workers wear black, refuse parts of job in fight for living wage

Workers at H&M clothing stores in Auckland are refusing to return clothes from fitting rooms, do up zips and buttons and serve customers at tills in three days of industrial action over their pay.

First Union says its H&M members are wearing black to mark how depressed they feel about their low pay rates at the international clothing chain.

The union says the workers are fighting for a living wage and almost 100 will be taking part in the partial strike today, tomorrow and Sunday, refusing to carry out parts of their job.

First Union Organiser Sarah Thompson says behind the glam of fashion, these workers are struggling to make ends meet.

JessiMae Teato, a sales advisor from Botany, says she is striking because she'd like to be able to rent a home for her and her two kids, instead of crowding in with her family.

"I want to work in fashion, but I'd earn more at the Kmart across the street or the Bunnings down the road. I don't want to have to choose between a career and a means of survival," she said.

H&M members of First Union in Auckland are wearing black to mark how depressed they feel about their low pay rates. Source: Supplied

H&M this evening told 1 NEWS it's committed to reaching an agreement with the union.

"At H&M we take pride in being a fair and equal employer. We continue to maintain an amicable, collaborative working relationship with First Union and remain committed to ensuring we reach an agreement that first and foremost supports the needs and well-being of our employees," the company said in a statement.

H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. 

The company has three stores in Auckland.

H&M workers in Auckland are wearing black to show how depressed they feel about their low pay rates. Source: Supplied