Twenty-seven years ago, at the age of 11, Nazma Akter entered a Bangladeshi garment factory for the first time, laboring beside her mother. Seven years later, frustrated by the deep politicization of the existing unions—their close ties with factory owners, corrupt bureaucrats, and politicians—she formed her own union, the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, to defend the interests of tens of thousands of Bangladeshis, primarily women garment workers. Lured from the countryside with promises of a better life, too many find themselves in ill-managed and poorly built factories where catastrophes can strike at anytime. Today, Akter is at the front lines of the battle that has enmeshed global brands, crumbling factories, workers, and consumers. Not long after the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza complex in April where more than 1,100 workers lost their lives, she spoke from Dhaka with World Policy Journal editor David A. Andelman, managing editor Christopher Shay,...
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Review Article| June 01 2013
A View from the Sweatshop Floor: A Conversation with Nazma Akter
World Policy Journal (2013) 30 (2): 39–45.
A View from the Sweatshop Floor: A Conversation with Nazma Akter. World Policy Journal 1 June 2013; 30 (2): 39–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0740277513494063
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