Advertisement

Transforming the Garment Industry in Bangladesh: Sharing Responsibility

  • Dorothée Baumann-Pauly
  • Sarah Labowitz
  • Nate Stein
Chapter
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)

Abstract

This chapter introduces the concept of Shared Responsibility as a paradigmatically new approach to the immense systemic challenges and ethical shortcomings of large parts of the garment industry in Bangladesh. The chapter starts with an in-depth problem analysis of the situation in Bangladesh after the collapse of Rana Plaza. Industry and Multi-stakeholder Initiatives such as the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety or the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety are being critically assessed and their shortcomings are being identified. Building on this critique the authors suggest an approach of transformative change including the assessment of total cost of remediation as well as collaboration with a greater pool of stakeholders and local actors. The authors stress the crucial role of the Bangladesh government and illustrate their approach based on existing applications of Shared Responsibility. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the transferability of the new approach to other industrial contexts with similar human rights deficiencies as in the textile sector.

References

  1. Accord Progress Overview (2017) http://bangladeshaccord.org/progress/. Accessed 27 Apr 2017
  2. Alliance Board of Directors (2017) http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org/who-we-are/leadership/board-of-directors. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  3. Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety (2017) http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  4. Anner M (2015) Worker resistance in global supply chains. Int J Lab Res. http://lser.la.psu.edu/gwr/documents/2015IJLRWorkerResistanceinGSCs.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  5. Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (2017) http://bangladeshaccord.org/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  6. Better Buying (2016) http://www.betterbuying.org/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  7. Business Social Compliance Initiative (2014) Annual report. http://www.bsci-intl.org/sites/default/files/bsci-2014-05-26-annual_report_2013-uk-a4-mai_2014-def-internet.pdf. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  8. CBC News (2013) Timeline of deadly accidents in the Bangladesh garment sector. http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/timeline-bangladesh/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  9. Clean Clothes Campaign (2017a) http://www.cleanclothes.org/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  10. Clean Clothes Campaign (2017b) Leading retailers withdraw from Bangladesh garment industry’s annual showcase event. https://cleanclothes.org/news/2017/02/22/leading-retailers-withdraw-from-bangladesh-garment-industry2019s-annual-showcase-event. Accessed 21 May 2017
  11. Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan (2014) Every neighborhood has a future... and it doesn’t include blight. http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1173946/detroit-blight-removal-task-force-plan-may-2014.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  12. Exports of Goods and Services Annual Percentage Growth (2017) World Bank Data. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.KD.ZG?locations=BD. Accessed 30 June 2016
  13. Fair Labor Association (2012) Respect survey sheds light on purchasing habits. http://www.fairlabor.org/blog/entry/respect-survey-sheds-light-purchasing-habits. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  14. Huq R (2014) Bangladesh hunts for 29 cents. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303825604579518333605948014. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  15. International Labour Organization (2016) Remediation financing in Bangladesh’s ready made garment sector. https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/650e70d9-3744-41ff-875a-a790840b23b8/Report_Remediation+Financing_Bangladesh.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. Accessed 21 May 2017
  16. International Labour Organization (2017) Vision zero fund. http://www.ilo.org/safework/projects/WCMS_517539/lang--en/index.htm. Accessed 22 May 2017
  17. Al Jazeera (2012) Fire hit second Bangladesh garment factory. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/11/201211266021814214.html. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  18. Labour Behind the Label (2017) http://labourbehindthelabel.org/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  19. Labowitz S (2016) New data on the number of factories in Bangladesh. Available via New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights Blog. http://bhr.stern.nyu.edu/blogs/-data-on-number-of-factories-bd. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  20. Labowitz S, Baumann-Pauly D (2014) Business as usual is not an option: supply chains and sourcing after Rana Plaza. Available via NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. http://www.stern.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/assets/documents/con_047408.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  21. Labowitz S, Baumann-Pauly D (2015) Beyond the tip of the iceberg: Bangladesh’s forgotten apparel workers. Available via NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. http://static1.squarespace.com/static/547df270e4b0ba184dfc490e/t/5672bef1c647ad862c494795/1450360561022/Bangladesh-Report-Final.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  22. Lund-Thomsen P, Lindgreen A (2013) Corporate social responsibility in global value chains: where are we now and where are we going? J Bus Ethics. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-013-1796-x. Accessed 21 May 2017
  23. Manik JA, Najar N (2015) Bangladesh police charge 41 with murder over Rana Plaza Collapse. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/world/asia/bangladesh-rana-plaza-murder-charges.html. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  24. Mathews B (2016) One in four Bangladesh factories face major remediation costs. Ecotextile News. https://www.ecotextile.com/2016062322198/materials-production-news/1-in-4-bangladesh-factories-face-major-remediation-costs.html. Accessed 21 May 2017
  25. Moore B (2015) ‘The True Cost’ documentary tallies global effect of cheap clothes. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-true-cost-cheap-clothes-documentary-20150528-story.html. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  26. Munni M (2016) One-fourth of BGMEA units now non-existent or closed. http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2016/06/14/34040/One-fourth-of-BGMEA-units-now-non-existent-or-closed. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  27. NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights (2015) Garment factories in Bangladesh. http://people.stern.nyu.edu/twadhwa/bangladesh/maps.html. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  28. NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights (2017) Bangladesh factory safety – four years after Rana Plaza. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/547df270e4b0ba184dfc490e/t/590761ded2b8574b0003acf2/1493656030884/Funding+Timeline+FinalVersion.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  29. Posner M (2015) Shared responsibility: a new paradigm for supply chains. Available via World Economic Forum. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_Supply_Chains_%20A_New_Paradigm_2015.pdf. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  30. Poulton L, Panetta F, Burke J, et al (2014) The shirt on your back. http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/apr/bangladesh-shirt-on-your-back. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  31. Reinecke J, Donaghey J (2015) After Rana Plaza: building coalitional power for labour rights between unions and (consumption-based) social movement organisations. Organization 22:720–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Russell M (2016) Cost is biggest barrier to Bangladesh RMG remediation. Just-style. http://www.just-style.com/analysis/cost-is-biggest-barrier-to-bangladesh-rmg-remediation_id128181.aspx. Accessed 21 May 2017
  33. Rutledge B (2016) Cambodia, Myanmar and the EU’s ‘Everything but Arms’ trade deal. http://www.ethicaltrade.org/blog/cambodia-myanmar-and-eus-everything-arms-trade-deal. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  34. Steering Committee Members (2017) http://bangladeshaccord.org/governance/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  35. The Daily Star (2016) No accord, alliance after 2018: commerce boss. http://www.thedailystar.net/business/no-accord-alliance-after-2018-commerce-boss-1210123. Accessed 21 May 2017
  36. Trade Information (2011) Bangladesh garment manufacturers and exporters association. http://www.bgmea.com.bd/home/pages/TradeInformation. Accessed 8 Jul 2016
  37. Van Heerden A (2010) Making global labor fair. TED Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/auret_van_heerden_making_global_labor_fair/transcript?language=en. Accessed 21 May 2017
  38. Van Heerden A, Baumann D (2005) Can corporations protect workers’ rights? Int Cent Trade Union Rights 12(1):3–4. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41936260 Google Scholar
  39. Von Drehle D (2003) Triangle: the fire that changed America. Atlantic Monthly Press, p 40Google Scholar
  40. Zadek S (2004) The path to corporate responsibility. Available via Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2004/12/the-path-to-corporate-responsibility/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothée Baumann-Pauly
    • 1
  • Sarah Labowitz
    • 1
  • Nate Stein
    • 1
  1. 1.NYU Stern Center for Business and Human RightsNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations