International Journal of Political Science and Development

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International Journal of Political Science and Development Vol. 1(2), pp. 3241, October, 2013

DOI: 10.14662/IJPSD2013.010.  ISSN: 2360-784X©2013 Academic Research Journals


Governing Mechanisms for Controlling Labour: The case of the Ready-Made Garments Industry in Bangladesh


Kazi Mahmudur Rahman


School of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4067, Building 39A (General Purpose North), level 5. E-mail: kazi.rahman@uqconnect.edu.au

Accepted 9 October, 2013




Dominant discourse of trade led development justifies the treatment of workers by subordinating their needs to the overarching imperatives of development. The official transcript of Ready-Made Garments (RMG) trade induced development is interpreted as progress, while for workers it is associated with the decline in the quality of life and as forms of suffering and even as enslavements. Based on a field survey on workers, in-depth interview on factory owners and observation, this article also provides an account of the political power relations underpinning the “worker/employer” constellation in the RMG sector in Bangladesh by investigating the formal and proto-formal arrangements/provisions. Since labour power is a critical input into RMG Industry (RGI), this article also identified the various modes of labour control in the RGI in Bangladesh. The analysis also shows the efforts in legitimizing those controlling practices. The core of this paper is an exposition of the governance mechanisms through how the new international division of labour (NIDL) wassustained despite the worker’s struggles. At the end, it envisages to expose the gap between stated governance objectives and governance as experienced.

Key words: Ready-Made Garment (RMG), International Division of Labour (NIDL), Trade and Governance, Labour Relations, Labour Rights, EPZs.



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