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Paradigm shift or business as usual? Workers’ perspectives on multi–stakeholder initiatives in Bangladesh after Rana Plaza

Kabeer, Naila ORCID: 0000-0001-7769-9540, Haq, Lopita and Sulaiman, Munshi (2019) Paradigm shift or business as usual? Workers’ perspectives on multi–stakeholder initiatives in Bangladesh after Rana Plaza. Development and Change. ISSN 0012-155X (In Press)

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Abstract

The scale of the tragedy at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 galvanized a range of stakeholders to take action to prevent future disasters, acknowledgement on their part that business as usual was not an option. Prominent in these efforts were the Accord for Fire and Building Safety (hereafter the Accord) and the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers’ Safety (hereafter the Alliance), two multi-stakeholder agreements which brought global buyers together in a coordinated effort to improve health and safety conditions in the industry. These agreements represented a move away from the buyer-driven compliance-based model which hitherto dominated corporate social responsibility initiatives to a new cooperation-based approach. The Accord in particular, which included global union federations and their local union partners as signatories and held global firms legally accountable, was described as a ‘paradigm shift’ with the potential to improve industrial democracy in Bangladesh. This article is concerned with the experiences and perceptions of workers in the Bangladesh garment industry regarding these new initiatives. It uses a purposively designed survey to explore the extent to which these initiatives brought about improvements in wages and working conditions in the garment industry, to identify where change was slowest or absent and to ask whether the initiatives did indeed represent a paradigm shift in efforts to enforce workers’ rights.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14677660
Additional Information: © 2019 International Institute of Social Studies
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 11:57
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 00:25
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102722

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