Dr Dara O'Rourke has spent the last two decades researching the environmental, social and health impacts of global production systems. His research has evolved to include the study of governmental and non-governmental strategies for monitoring and accountability and new models of public participation in environmental and labor policy. He is currently Associate Professor of Environmental and Labor Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and is the founder of GoodGuide, the world's...

[For Part 2, please click here] Boston Global Forum (BGF) had an opportunity to sit down with Professor Kent Jones of Babson College. Dr. Jones specializes in trade policy and institutional issues, particularly those focusing on the World Trade Organization. He has served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation and the International Labor Office and as a research associate at the U.S. International Trade Commission, and was senior economist for trade policy at the U.S. Department of...

Sweat & Tears

Western multinationals are behind disasters like the Bangladesh factory collapse. Will public outrage and a new agreement with unions lead to improvements for workers? On April  24, the Rana Plaza  garment fac- tory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,129 workers and  injuring at least 1,500 more. To read full article please download PDF file Kuttner-1.Bangladesh.Aug13

In the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed more than 1,100 Bangladeshi garment workers, a group of retailers formed a pact to prevent future disasters. Some firms hesitated to sign the legally binding contract, fearing litigation. The labor unions and European firms which created the pact were concerned about the lack of cooperation and the implications for reform in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord On July 8, 2013, over 80 global retailers, mainly...

On April 24, 2013 the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in the Savar industrial district outside of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Over 1,100 people were killed in the worst industrial accident since over 2,000 people were killed (and 150,000 injured) in the Union Carbide plant gas leak in Bhopal, India.  Most of the victims worked for the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza, whose primary clients were European, US and Canadian firms. Export contracts to such firms had helped...