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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Where There Are Few Unions: Health and Safety Education for Organizing in Export Zones

  • Author(s): Branfman, Judy
  • et al.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, was one of the world’s deadliest industrial disasters. Killing over 1,100 garment workers, it set the stage for a renewed discussion about working conditions for the people who make the clothes Americans wear.  Roughly 97% of the clothing sold in the US is made internationally, largely in export factories and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) scattered across the globe. The dramatic expansion of these factories and EPZs in their various forms has occurred without an increased commitment on the part of manufacturers, producers, investors, or governments to workers’ health and safety on the job.

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