We saw the horrors of precarity, lax safety standards, & weak representation of labour.
What's happened since? #thread
Minimising production costs: seeking low prices then cutting loose, & renegotiating prices (rather than making long-term commitments to suppliers).
How has this changed in Bangladesh, since Rana Plaza?
Lead times fell by 8.14% (2011-15).
This rush incentivises manufacturers to 'sweat' existing workers: forced overtime.
[They could recruit more workers, but this is risky, given short-term contracts]
Since 2013, their real wages have fallen by 6.47%.
Violations of their rights to form unions, bargain, & strike increased by 12%.
After Rana Plaza, some (mostly European, not US) buyers committed to the @banglaccord.
Supporting rigorous building inspections,
Strengthening workers' representation & voice,
Committing to binding arbitration.
--> major improvements in safety
So these factories can no longer supply to any Accord signatory brand.
This helps prevent another Rana Plaza.
This is partly caused by procurement practices:
- Racing to the bottom, then cutting loose
- Sourcing from authoritarian countries, quashing the autonomous worker orgs mobilising for better pay, conditions & rights
Despite price squeezes, some Asian governments have managed to raise minimum wages & improve compliance in garment factories.
Garment workers in Vietnam earn more than counterparts in Bangladesh.
[gotta go on a run but that's our forthcoming paper]