Friday, June 07, 2013

The Washington Post, May 26, 2013, Sunday

The Washington Post

May 26, 2013, Sunday

The Washington Post (full article)

After Bangladesh, labor unions can save lives

By Lance Compa

The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers should be a pivot point for the global apparel industry, moving consumers to demand more accountability from brand-name companies that subcontract production to supply-chain factories around the world. Sadly, the history of workplace tragedies in so many of these factories suggests that after consumers in rich countries express horror and call for reforms, the demands for better worker protections die down and the marketplace for cheap apparel abides. But this cycle can finally be broken if demands for change start to focus on workers’ right to form trade unions.

Lance Compa teaches international labor law at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.