BOSTON — The debate over Bangladesh has shifted from worker safety to workers’ rights.
At a recent conference at Harvard University, government and industry officials, union representatives and academics engaged in one of the most public and contentious discussions about the nation’s apparel industry in years. The discussions involved U.S. congressmen and Bangladesh ministers, labor leaders, a delegation from Bangladesh, academics from American universities and representatives from the International Labour Organization, International Finance Corporation and BRAC, the rights organization. The labor groups have pushed for greater safety and workers’ rights in garment factories in Bangladesh over the last 18 months, after the collapse of Rana Plaza and the Tazreen fire that cost more than 1,200 workers their lives.
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