A poor country clothing the rich countries: Case of garment trade in Bangladesh
journal contributionposted on 19.03.2018, 00:00 by MM Ali, Anita MedhekarAnita Medhekar
The ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh is one of the largest formal manufacturing sectors. It has played a key role in the country’s process of industrialisation, empowerment of women, export oriented development and growth. Workers from poor socio-economic backgrounds are working in the garment industry. Their health, safety and working conditions are very poor and not protected. There is a lack of regular inspection and compliance with local law in buildings and factories. This led to the collapse of the eight story Rana Plaza building in the capital Dhaka on the 24th of April 2013, “killing 1,100 workers and 2,500 injured”. The main aim of the study is to assess the impact of Rana Plaza Tragedy, where RMG workers make garments for multinational brands of Australia, Europe and USA, and the advantage which took these companies of the absence of labour laws, workplace health and safety standards, building standards, long working hours and low wages in Bangladesh. The study used both primary and secondary data including related case studies. The practical application of the study is to develop formal ethical, labour-law, health and safety standards for a factory worker; construction; institutions and courts for monitoring the supplier’s behaviour onshore and large multinational firms offshore. The study recommends to protect the rights of women workers who are sowing garments for the fashion conscious consumers from the developed countries. Future research will explore inclusive growth for workers and how to stimulate inclusive sustainable business for export led garment industry.