Labour rights in the supply chain and corporate social responsibility

Labour rights in the supply chain and corporate social responsibility

Status of Corporate Responsibilty in supply chains in Bangladesh

This report assess labour rights in Bangladesh's export garment industry. It notes that  working conditions in export garment factories had substantially improved over the last two years. Compliance with minimum wage payment has increased and deductions from wages as penalties are becoming rare. Factory owners have started to assign human resources, welfare or social compliance officer to whom complaints can be directed. However many issues of concern remain. Major labour rights violations continue such as:

  • no freedom of association- although unions exist as federations, they are de facto prohibited at the factory level
  • participation committees, where they exist, consist of workers appointed by the management while they should be chosen by the workers

Key recommendations highlighted include: 

  • the Government of Bangladesh must immediately lift the state of emergency and restore fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution
  • factory owners and industry associations must respect and promote fundamental rights at work in factories, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
  • multinational corporations sourcing from Bangladesh should assign board level responsibility for social compliance and commit sufficient internal resources so as to ensure the effective implementation of the company’s social commitments