Workers' conditions in the textile and clothing sector: just an Asian affair? Issues at stake after the Rana Plaza tragedy

15-08-2014

More than 70% of EU imports of textile and clothing come from Asia. Many Asian workers have to work in sweatshop conditions, but the issue appears in global media only when major fatal accidents occur, like that at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, in 2013. Long working hours, low wages, lack of regular contracts, and systemically hazardous conditions are often reported. Trade unions, when allowed, are unable to protect workers.

More than 70% of EU imports of textile and clothing come from Asia. Many Asian workers have to work in sweatshop conditions, but the issue appears in global media only when major fatal accidents occur, like that at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, in 2013. Long working hours, low wages, lack of regular contracts, and systemically hazardous conditions are often reported. Trade unions, when allowed, are unable to protect workers.