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Published by:
Amity Research Centers (2014)
14 pages
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The disaster at the Bangladesh ready made garment industry brought to light the stark realities of worker rights violations, the abysmal lack of safety norms, child labour, the avarice of foreign retailers and an apathetic government. Fires and building collapses seemed to be the norm in the garment industry in Bangladesh, and not much had been done about it. All laws and norms were only on paper with nothing much being actually implemented. While the building and factory owners, who were usually politically well connected, were rarely punished for lapses, foreign retailers normally crouched under the guise of 'unauthorized production'. The Rana Plaza collapse had drawn world-wide attention and many condemned the evils of the Bangladesh garment industry. Following the collapse, the government and other international bodies had triggered a series of reforms and action trying to improve the pathetic condition of the workers in these sweatshop garment factories. On their part, foreign retailers, contributed to uplift the safety conditions in these factories and to improve the plight of the workers. Although the industry itself was booming, profitability was slumping and shifting production bases near home markets seemed to be the trend. While the industry had contributed substantially to the Bangladesh economy and had helped many people out of dire poverty, the moot point was whether it was possible to reform the industry, whereby the foreign retailers gained through low labour costs and without hurting worker rights. With none of the stakeholders taking onus for such disasters, it remained to be seen how the future of the garment industry would evolve.


Corporate social responsibility; Ethics; Ethical supply chain; Sourcing; Outsourcing; Third-world economy; Sweatshops; Garment industry; Manufacturing; Ethical sourcing; Bangladesh; Wal-Mart
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