Bangladesh Workers Solidarity Network

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One Year after the Rana Plaza Collapse: Where Do We Go from Here


A workshop




Bangladesh Workers Solidarity Network (Boston)


left forum 2014

Session 6
Room 1.81

Sunday June 1, 2014 - 12:00pm - 01:50pm

 John Jay College of Criminal Justice

524 W. 59th St (Between 10th and 11th)

New York, New York


 One year has passed since the infamous Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh, in which over 1100 workers were killed. No significant change in labor rights, factory safety, or social attitudes has taken place since then. Factory owners, government officials and retailers in the west have fast returned to “business-as-usual” amnesia. The NGO machine in the North has occupied the vacuum created by the incapacity of the left to respond in any meaningful way. They produce an exclusive focus on corporate responsibility choosing to shame 'bad apples' into this or that concession avoiding entirely the questions on neo-colonial structures imposed on weak Southern countries demanding private export oriented industry via structural adjustment policies, starvation wages, and political subservience from the local ruling class. Other countries enjoying such fruits of brands' benevolence include Cambodia and Haiti. The questions become complex in countries where garments produce bread in millions of households but brutally exploit workers and ruin water resources. How can countries, themselves rocked by political instability reassert themselves? How are workers organizing? What is the role of international solidarity? What are practical ways to build solidarity with workers while working towards dismantling neo-colonialism in the South?


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