After Rana Plaza: From Building Safety to Social Dialogue

47 Pages Posted: 3 May 2017

See all articles by Samira Manzur

Samira Manzur

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Drusilla K. Brown

Tufts University - Department of Economics

Jette Steen Knudsen

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Elizabeth Remick

Tufts University

Date Written: May 2, 2017

Abstract

The 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse was the worst industrial accident in the history of the apparel industry. The tragedy occurred in the context of decades of sometimes violent industrial relations in Bangladesh. The policy response included a change in Bangladeshi labor law, international buyer-coordinated building inspections, tariff penalties, and attempts at improved social dialogue coordinated by international buyers, unions, the Bangladeshi government, and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Analyses based on historiography, statistical analysis of World Bank Enterprise Surveys, and semi-structured interviews indicate that there was a structural break in industrial relations as a consequence of the tragedy at Rana Plaza and subsequent policy reform. The initial response by factory managers reflected the historical tension between labor and management in Bangladesh. The subsequent policies increased receptivity to compliance with safety inspections and technical labor standards. However, resistance remains to the protection of foundational labor rights.

Keywords: Labor Standards, Rana Plaza, Social Dialogue, Occupational Safety and Health

Suggested Citation

Manzur, Samira and Brown, Drusilla K. and Knudsen, Jette S. and Remick, Elizabeth, After Rana Plaza: From Building Safety to Social Dialogue (May 2, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2961808 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2961808

Samira Manzur

International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

Drusilla K. Brown

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States
617-627-3096 (Phone)
617-627-3917 (Fax)

Jette S. Knudsen (Contact Author)

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Elizabeth Remick

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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