Who is responsible for preventing apparel factory fires in Bangladesh?

An article in the New York Times (December 29, 2012) describes the struggle between apparel retailers who outsource manufacturing to factories in Bangladesh, labor advocates and the government. While the $37 a month wage rate makes Bangladesh an attractive sourcing location, enforcement of building codes, fire exit laws and reaction to fires is a sovereign right for the country, claim importer groups for retailers. Labor advocates claim that WalMart, Sears etc have to contribute to improve worker safety, but their auditors claim lack of jurisdiction over enforcement. Should the poor enforcement and associated costs to get safety standards implemented be included as part of sourcing costs and be paid by the importer? Should enforcement of safety be a Bangladeshi government responsibility? Or should a global cooperative audit group across retailers be permitted to certify working conditions before a supplier is used, even at the risk of antitrust violations?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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