On 23 March 2021, The UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) will host the webinar “The Garment Industry in Bangladesh under COVID-19: Lessons from the Rana Plaza Disaster on How We Understand Worker Safety” from 16:00-17:00 UTC/GMT +2 hours (Helsinki time).
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the worldwide economy and its supply chains. The ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh has been especially hard hit as consumer demand for apparel has plummeted, leading to global retailers cancelling orders and revising their sourcing strategies.
To situate what is currently happening to the industry under this global pandemic, Dr Sanchita Banerjee Saxena will draw some lessons from an earlier crisis in Bangladesh — the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, one of the worst industrial disasters in history. This presentation will focus specifically on the distorted notions of what constitutes safety for workers (primarily for women workers), which continue to perpetuate the cycle of labor violations for those at the very bottom of global supply chain. Banerjee Saxena argues that the lack of progress in many key areas created a situation that was ripe for suffering under an unanticipated and unprecedented global pandemic.
Maheen Sultan will join as discussant. She will be sharing insights on the role of labour unions in the context of state-business-labour relations in the RMG sector and how the various COVID-19 related stimulus packages for the sector were designed, managed, and followed through by government agencies.
The event will be chaired by UNU-WIDER director Kunal Sen.
For more information, and to register, visit the UNU-WIDER website.