Accepted paper:

Labor Rights in the Wake of New Labor Governance: The Case of Garment Industry Workers in Bangladesh

Authors:

Mahmudul Hasan Sumon (Jahangirnagar University)

Paper short abstract:

How labor rights can be ensured in an industrial sector which has from the very beginning enjoyed the benefits of neo-liberal policies? How are new regimes of governance affecting the day to day lives of the workers on the shop floor? The proposed paper intends to address these questions.

Paper long abstract:

When it comes to garments production, a new labor governance has been in operation in recent years in Bangladesh. This labor governance is being promoted by different international donors and stakeholders in garment production. Such governance structures often sidesteps the government initiatives of the country. On the one hand you have the government's regulatory bodies and mechanisms of the state, often seen as processes which are slow, lacking resources, effectiveness and often filled with rampant corruption. On the other hand we see the unfolding of what I shall call the transnational regimes of governance which can exert more power because it has made Western retailers and brands party to this governance mechanism. The set of questions I would like to engage with in this paper is how labor rights can be ensured in an industrial sector which has from the very beginning enjoyed the benefits of neo-liberal policies? What is the current situation of labor organization at the factory level? How are new regimes of governance (The Bangladesh Accord for example or Rana Plaza Arrangement) affecting the day to day lives of the workers on the shop floor, when it comes to remediation or compensation?

panel C01
New perspectives on emerging donors: anxieties, intellectual histories, and hybrid identities [Rising Powers SG] (Paper)