KCBS News Radio spoke with Saint Mary's Global Marketing Professor and Associate Dean Tomas Gomez Arias about major clothing retailers signing an agreement to ensure worker safety in Bangladesh clothing factories. Gomez-Arias discussed the decision by fashion giant H&M, and other major retailers, to adhere to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
Among other insights, the Saint Mary's professor said while the agreement mandates important safety protocols for workers, he added that to really make a change in the industry, it might require giving the workers in those factories an opportunity to organize and have a voice about their own working conditions, and maybe even share in profits of the factories..
More than 1,100 workers died when a factory that supplied clothing for popular international retailers collapsed on April 24, prompting global protests and calls for labor safety changes in the South Asian country. Bangladesh is the world's second largest exporter of western apparel after China.