Addressing Workers’ Rights Violations in Apparel and Agricultural Supply Chains through Binding, Cost-Sharing Accords

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Abstract

Apparel and agriculture are two sectors historically marked by extreme levels of exclusion and abuse of worker rights. Global trade regimes have protected developed market economies at the expense of developing countries, and lead firm consolidation in agriculture and apparel supply chains has created downward pressure on wages and working conditions. However, it is precisely in these more precarious sectors of the global economy that an innovative strategy of binding cost sharing accords is emerging. This dynamic of the sourcing squeeze and a binding, cost-sharing accord to address the problem of exclusion of worker’s rights is illustrated by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which is the focus of this article. The Bangladesh case is then briefly compared to working conditions in agriculture and the Fair Food Program in the United States. This article argues that these efforts have been more successful than other state and non-state initiatives because they bind lead firms in supply chains to share in the cost of better conditions of labour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-114
Number of pages22
JournalAgrarian South
Volume8
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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