Remembering the Rana Plaza Workers: Change or Status Quo?

by: Mark Heuer, Lizette Smook

Publication Date: January 18, 2016
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 1-430-437

Core Disciplines: Marketing/Sales, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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The eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory has just collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,134 and injuring hundreds. Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a global labor advocacy group, is assessing the situation. Urgent action must be taken immediately to implement a long-term, broad-based program to address the health and safety of workers in the garment sector. But how will she convince consumers of fast fashion to drive retailers toward creating safe environments for garment workers?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Analyze the relationships among stakeholders in the textile global supply chain to assess the roles and responsibilities of retailers, government, factory owners, and garment workers.
  • Recognize the impact of resources and capabilities in developing countries to regulate global supply chains.
  • Identify gaps in the trade policy approach of the World Trade Organization and the implementation of its policies.
  • Critique the Walmart and H&M approaches to address the Rana Plaza tragedy and evaluate the underlying assumptions of both.