As part of the DUCIGS/Rethinking Diplomacy series on COVID-19 and global supply chain, this session will focus on how disruptions to the apparel supply chain are affecting clothing manufacturers and the garment workers they employ. The focus of the talk will be Bangladesh, one of the world’s largest apparel exporters, and, since the Rana Plaza collapse of 2012, the site of far-reaching reforms designed to improve worker health and safety. In the first part of the talk, Jennifer Bair will discuss developments since Rana Plaza, and the status of the industry on the eve of the COVID crisis. Then Mark Anner will present findings from a survey of manufacturers on the extent of supply chain disruptions, as well as efforts to secure some protection for suppliers and workers negatively affected by declining demand from global brands and retailers.
Jennifer Bair is Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia. She studies global value chains, development, and labor in Latin America, and more recently, South Asia. In addition to a book project with Mark Anner and Jeremy Blasi on labor strategies in global supply chains, she is currently studying efforts to improve labor protections for migrant workers in U.S. agriculture. She has spoken at the United Nations, the European Parliament, the International Labor Office, and the Collège de France about global supply chains and labor standards. (She is also a proud Dukie.)
Mark Anner is an Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and the founding director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights at the Pennsylvania State University. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. His recent publications include “Squeezing Workers’ Rights in Global Supply Chains: Purchasing Practices in the Bangladesh Garment Export Sector in Comparative Perspective” RIPE, and Abandoned? The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers and Businesses at the Bottom of Global Garment Supply Chains, CGWR. In 2019, he was awarded the Labor and Employment Relations Association’s Susan C. Eaton Outstanding Scholar-Practitioner Award.
Professor Gary Gereffi (Department of Sociology, Director of Global Value Chains Center, Duke University) will moderate the discussion.
- Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
- Rethinking Diplomacy