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Beyond Rana Plaza: Next Steps for the Global Garment Industry and Bangladeshi Manufacturers

  • Motoko AIZAWA and Salil TRIPATHI
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Abstract
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*

Managing Director, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, USA.

**

Senior Advisor, Global Issues, Institute for Human Rights and Business.

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1 Al-Mahmood, Said Zain, and Wright, Tom, ‘Collapsed Factory was Built Without Permit’, Wall Street Journal (25 April 2013), http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323789704578444280661545310) (accessed 14 August 2015).

2 In November 2012, at least 112 workers died in a fire at a garment factory called Tazreen Fashions. In 2005, a factory collapse at Spectrum garment factory in Dhaka killed 64 workers.

3 Banjo, Shelly, ‘Bangladesh Garment Factories Often Evade Monitoring’, Wall Street Journal (3 October 2013), http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304795804579101003566148372 (accessed 14 August 2015).

4 http://bangladeshaccord.org/ (accessed 14 August 2015).

5 http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org/ (accessed 14 August 2015).

6 Chad Autry and Beth Davis-Sramek, ‘Sweatshops Hurt the Bottom Line’ Wall Street Journal (17 August 2015), http://www.wsj.com/articles/guest-voices-sweatshops-hurt-the-bottom-line-1439841604 (accessed 31 August 2015).

7 Devnath, Arun, ‘Bangladesh Raises Minimum Wages for Garment Workers after Unrest’, Bloomberg Business (13 November 2013), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-11-13/bangladesh-garment-factories-to-stay-shut-amid-worker-protests (accessed 14 August 2015).

8 For a detailed chart of the global poverty line, see http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.DDAY (accessed 14 August 2015).

9 Donaldson, Tara, ‘Bangladesh: Factory Upgrades to cost $3 billion’, BASUG (1 January 2015), http://www.basug.nl/nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=296:bangladesh-factory-upgrades-expected-to-cost-3-billion&catid=1:latest-news (accessed 14 August 2015).

10 Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, http://www.bgmea.com.bd/home/pages/tradeinformation) (accessed 14 August 2015).

11 Kabir, Naila, The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi Women and Labour Market Decisions in London and Dhaka (London: Verso Books, 2001).

12 BGMEA, note 10.

13 Al-Mahmood, Said Zain, ‘Bangladesh Factory Owners Wary of Wage Increase’, Wall Street Journal (4 December 2013), http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304579404579235351833424162 (accessed 14 August 2015).

14 Anon, , ‘Rajuk Issues Only Six Occupancy Certificates’, New Age (13 May 2013), http://newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-05-13&nid=49001#.Udfnkj7bp38 (accessed 14 August 2015).

15 Consider, for example, the interview with Nazma Akter at Institute for Human Rights and Business, http://www.ihrb.org/media-centre/voices/nazma-akter.html (accessed 14 August 2015), or the views of Kalpona Akter who opposes boycotts and wants consumer awareness and activism, http://www.thenation.com/article/we-wanted-let-them-know-who-making-their-clothes-qa-kalpona-akter/ (accessed 14 August 2015).

20 BMGEA, note 10.

21 Author conversations with garment exporters. Representatives of several international companies and unions told the authors that Accord and Alliance only apply to exporting factories and acknowledged that a large part of the country’s workforce is not covered by these measures. Local manufacturers one of the authors spoke to agree with that assessment.

22 Chalmers, John, ‘How Textile Kings Weave a Hold on Bangladesh’, Reuters (3 May 2013), http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/03/us-bangladesh-garments-special-report-idUSBRE9411CX20130503 (accessed 14 August 2015).

23 Ibid.

24 Pradhan-Malla, Sapana, ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Asia’, Paper presented at Expert Group Meeting on Violence Against Women: Good Practices in Combating and Eliminating Violence Against Women, Vienna (2005), http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/vaw-gp-2005/docs/experts/pradhanmalla.sh.pdf (accessed 31 August 2015) and Steven Greenhouse, ‘Union Leaders Attacked at Garment Factoriesin Bangladesh, Evidence Shows’ New York Times (22 December 2004), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/23/business/international/attacks-on-union-leaders-at-azim-factories-in-bangladesh-are-documented.html (accessed 31 August 2015).

25 Azam, Jean-Paul and Salmon, Claire, ‘Strikes and Political Activism of Trade Unions: Theory and Application to Bangladesh’ (1997), www.univtlse1.fr/ARQADE/ressources/Cahiers/1997/Cahier9702.pdf (accessed 14 August 2015).

26 Nurullah, Sheikh M, Industrial Relations: Trade Unions and the Role of Government in Bangladesh (The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, 1993).

27 Rahman, Shahidur, Broken Promises of Globalisation: The Case of the Bangladesh Garment Industry (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014).

16 Labowitz, Sarah and Baumann-Pauly, Dorothée, ‘Business As Usual Is Not An Option: Supply Chains and Sourcing after Rana Plaza’ (New York: New York University, 2014), https//www.stern.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/assets/documents/con_047408.pdf (accessed 31 August 2015).

17 Mackinnon, Mark and Strauss, Marina, ‘Spinning Tragedy: The True Cost of a T-shirt’, The Globe and Mail (12 October 2013), http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/spinning-tragedy-the-true-cost-of-a-t-shirt/article14849193/?page=all (accessed 14 August 2015).

18 ‘VF and IFC Distribute First Round of Financing to Bangladeshi Factories for Safety Improvements’ (8 December 2014), http://www.vfc.com/news/press-releases?nws_id=09B51331-F0C1-B0EA-E053-A740E3EAB0EA (accessed 14 August 2015).

19 ‘G7 Leaders’ Declaration’ (8 June 2015), https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/08/g-7-leaders-declaration (accessed 14 August 2015).

28 Social Impact Investment Task Force, ‘Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets: Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Capital for Public Good’ (2013), http://www.socialimpactinvestment.org/ (accessed 14 August 2015).

29 Burke, Jason, ‘Muhammad Yunus Appeals to West to Help Bangladesh’s Garment Industry’, The Guardian (12 May 2013), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/12/muhammad-yunus-bangladesh-appeal (accessed 14 August 2015).

* Managing Director, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, USA.

** Senior Advisor, Global Issues, Institute for Human Rights and Business.

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  • ISSN: 2057-0198
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