New York Times editorial: 'Bangladesh’s Crackdown on Labor'
*Image courtesy New York Times
In a lead article in the New York Times, the NYT's editorial team echoed UNI and its partners' view that the Bangladeshi garment workers are still paying an unacceptable price for clothes destined for the West.
The article begins by indirectly referencing the work done by UNI Global Union, IndustiALL, our NGO partners and the brands under the Bangladesh Accord after Rana Plaza in 2013. The Accord has improved safety and work conditions in the garment factories. However, the current crackdown, that has seen union leaders and workers fired and detained without due cause, is strong evidence the Bangladeshi government has not learnt the lessons of Rana Plaza and continues to allow workers to be exploited for profit.
The article reads, "International pressure following the 2013 collapse of a garment factory building in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people brought improvement in workplace safety and forced the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to amend the country’s labor laws. Yet it would be a mistake for Western consumers to assume that clothing made in Bangladesh is now produced under safe, fair conditions. A brutal recent crackdown on protesting garment workers is proof that clothing manufactured in Bangladesh is still exacting a terrible price from the people who make it."
"By some measures, conditions have improved. But the brands now say the arrests and firings could undermine the progress they have made."
Rob Wayss, the executive director of the Bangladesh Accord is also quoted, “Such situations damage the industry’s reputation and confidence levels, which we, together with the government and social partners, are all working so hard to bolster,”
Read the whole article here