"In the meantime, much has been learned about security issues, but the treatment of workers, especially women, is still looking bad", says a textile worker six years after the Rana Plaza disaster. On 24 April 2013, the eight-storey factory near the capital Dhaka in Bangladesh collapsed, burying 1,134 people. In a collaborative effort, an international and interdisciplinary project alliance spent three years investigating how occupational safety and labor conditions in the country's clothing industry have changed since then and the regulatory approaches being pursued by politics, society and employers.
Importing companies have understood that they must be more careful about who they buy from.
Under the leadership of Elke Schüßler, Professor of Business Administration at the University of Linz (previously FU Berlin), five teams of researchers took a close look at the long supply chain – starting with the workers and managers employed at the textile factories in Bangladesh and extending to the brands and trading companies in Sweden, Great Britain, Germany and Australia. They also analyzed the local social environments and held talks with non-governmental organizations, trade unions, politicians and investors: "This gave us a comprehensive picture of how the political and social levels in the five countries – including Bangladesh – reacted to Rana Plaza," says Elke Schüßler.