Seen from the USA, Bangladesh looks like one giant ongoing human tragedy. Poverty is extreme, wages paid at the factories that make clothes to be sold in richer nations are pitiful, and working conditions in them are hazardous. In November, 112 people died in a garment factory fire. Last week, eight lives were claimed in a fire.
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This pact is far more extensive than anything previous. It would forge a more direct line of responsibility to the Western companies, which in turn would force them to demand more accountability from their contractors.
subject at hand. Calls for Western apparel companies to stop doing business in Bangladesh are counterproductive to the cause of improving the lives of workers in developing countries.
There is no reason that things have to stay that way. In the years after World War II, counties like Taiwan and Singapore were similarly placed as low cost producers with workplaces often well below Western standards. Today, they are economic success stories.
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The better answer is for companies to stay and fight to improve working conditions. Clothing and textiles account for 80% of Bangladesh's exports, so Western retailers have enormous leverage or would have it if they chose to use it.
gradually improve under the right circumstances stable government, improvements in infrastructure and education, and continued investment by foreign companies.
Bangladesh garment pact needs U
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To date, many have taken the attitude that what they don't know can't hurt them. They contract with companies that provide little information about where their products are being made and under what conditions. Indeed, it wasn't until rescue workers started pulling labels out of the wreckage at Rana Plaza that it became clear which companies' products were being made there.
Their behavior is as foolish as it is tragic. Why not earn the right to another label instead: We support worker safety in Bangladesh. There should be some corporate value in saving lives, not taking them.
It's a testament to globalization that the death of at least 1,127 people three weeks ago at the Rana Plaza garment plant in Bangladesh continues to outrage Americans.
This is not to say that conditions in Bangladesh could turn around overnight. But they might Harden Imma Be A Star Buy
Companies leaving Bangladesh could, and almost certainly would, migrate to other countries with lax regulations. They have done so in the past looking for ever cheaper labor. They could do it now responding to public pressure.
A positive step was taken this week when four major clothing retailers, including H a multinational company that is expanding rapidly in the United States, said they would sign a contract requiring them to order independent safety inspections, make public reports on working conditions and pay for necessary improvements at garment factories. Two others, including the maker of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger branded clothing, had signed the agreement before the tragedy.
retailers have been embarrassingly reluctant to join in.
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