Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bangladesh:::This Is How You Make Garment Factories Safer

Meeting in Dhaka of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council
Meeting in Dhaka of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council with international safety professionals as part of the rollout of the Bangladesh Accord (Photo: Asiful Hoque. Courtesy: Garrett Brown)
One of the major achievements of the labor movement in the aftermath of last April's Rana Plaza factory tragedy is the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The agreement, which was negotiated by worker advocates and brands last year and is now in its first stages of implementation, is ostensibly a landmark set of health and safety regulations for the country’s burgeoning garment industry. But it is also a political document, and a response to a horrific history of industrial accidents in the Global South. Even more, it symbolizes the tension between the politics of enforcement, and the imperative of public health, where workers now have an opening to win more control over their workplaces.