Corporate Social Responsibility in the Garment Industry. How Effective is the Practice in Bangladesh?

Seminar Paper, 2019

102 Pages





- Introduction
- Background of the problem
- Statement of the problem
- Purpose of the study
- Research Questions
- Significance of the study
- Definition of terms
- Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations
- Organization of Chapters

- Introduction
- Search Description
- Theoretical framework21-
- Review of Research....28-

- Introduction
- Survey
- Research Deign
- Population and Sample
- Research Questions and Hypotheses
- Instrumentation
- Data Collection
- Data analysis
- Conclusion

- Introduction
- Findings
- Conclusion

- Introduction
- Summary of Findings
- Discussion
- Suggestion for Future Research
- Conclusion


I would like to express my deepest acknowledgement and gratitude towards my supervisor Ms Nor Haniza, who has been a rock at my side with a massive attitude and the substance of genius she posses, she continuously and convincingly amped me up for the research, provided me with excitement towards her way of teaching. Without her guidance and persistence this dissertation would not be possible.

I would like to thank my other professors who have continuously helped me demonstrating a vibrant concern towards my education. They helped to be competitive in life and keep my education intact wherever I go. I express my deep sense of gratitude to them for providing me with valuable guidance, keen interest and encouragement at various stages of my academic career. My final regards goes to my family. Thank you all for being so understanding, considerate and sensitive towards my needs during the research. I am really grateful and proud that you all believe in my strength and abilities. This dissertation would not have been possible without your supports and everlasting love.

Limkokwing University

Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Saad ibne shafi


1.Population sample size

1.Distribution of Garment workers in different sections

2.Summary of major Areas of CSR practiced by firms

3.Condition of toilets in the factory

4.Transport Facilities

6.Association between behaviors of male to female workers

List of Figures

1. Theoretical Framework

2. Relation of CSR

3. Isomorphism

4. Sex of RMG workers

5. Age distribution of workers

6. Martial status of RMG workers

7. Level of education

8. Types of residence of RMG workers

9. Workers by different positions

10.Workers opinion of doctors visit

11.Use of First aid box

12.Safety measures

13.Workers Conditions

14.Practiceoffireand drill

15.Security status of RMG workers

16.Monthly salary by different positions

17.Reasons for leaving previous job

18.Drivers of CSR

List Of Abbreviation

1. RMG: are manufacturer and exporter of Ready Made Garments.

2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Corporate social responsibility helps the company to be socially responsible and accountable to the stakeholders and public.

3. Work Environment: Is circumstances in the working environment.

4. CSR activities: Can help forge a stronger bond between employee and corporation.

5. Carroll’s Pyramid: The pyramid was selected as a geometric design because it is simple, intuitive, and built to withstand the test of time. Consequently, the economic responsibility was placed as the base of the pyramid because it is a foundational requirement in business.

6. Legitimacy Theory: Legitimacy theory has the role of explaining behavior of organizationsin implementing and developing voluntarysocial and environmental disclousreof information to fulfill social contract.

7. BGMEA: Bangladesh Garments manufacturers and exporters assosiation.



1.1 Introduction

In the highly competitive business world of today, effective human resource management is very critical. In order to survive or stay ahead of their competitors, many organizations now have directed their attention, more and more, to the importance of human resource management. Organizations are dynamic systems operating within the ambit of society and since time immemorial; they have concentrated on wealth and profit maximization. To achieve this goal, the ways and means have been enough, often at the cost of stakeholders. As a consequence society at large has suffered and industry is not insulated from the effect of these consequences as it is part of this society (Mahmood & Ahmad, 2006).

The social responsibility of companies has gained an increasing amount of attention over the last few decades, and has come to be conceptualized largely through terms like ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). As a study of CSR, the thesis is concerned with an area that has largely been conceptualized from a perspective on business as entailing self- regulatory approaches to social issues. Taking a sociological perspective on this area instead emphasizes the need to situate CSR in broader social con- texts, and to avoid an “atomized” view of how companies engage with CSR- related issues (Granovetter, 2012).

Over the past several decades, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has grown from a narrow and often marginalized notion into a complex and multifaceted concept. However, these discussions were confined to small group of academics and professional. Barnard (2015) conferred that CSR is analyses economic, legal, moral, social and physical aspects of environment. According to the EU Commission (2002) 347 final: 5 “CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with their shareholders on a voluntary basis.” Among the first academics to debate the topic were Columbia professor Adolf A. Berle and Harvard professor E. Merrick Dodd, in a series of articles featured in the Harvard Law Review. In a classic exchange, professor Dodd (2002) asked ‘For Whom corporate managers are trustees?’(p.1145). Answering his own query that corporate managers were responsible to the public as a whole, and not just to shareholders (Cochran, 2007)

Corporate Social Responsibility assumes that the companies are socially conscious to discharge their social obligation for the well being of the society (Imam, 2000). CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and continue to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large (Monir, 2001). It is evident that from the study conducted by Belal (2010 that most of the CSR studies have been in the context of developed countries. Very few studies are available as the CSR practices in the context of Bangladesh. Give the different social-economic context to developing contraries it is argued that it is important to learn about the CSR practices in those countries.

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates about $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garment. The industry provides employment to about 3 million workers of whom 90% are women Schultze, E. (2019).

In this study its been seen that Ashulia and Tongi area are one of the most industrialized zone in Bangladesh. However, there is no water management treatment plant in dying Industry basically in local garments industry. If we consider Ghorashal, we will find the same story as like Ashulia. It mixes liquid poison near the rivers and water is fully black in dry season, which is changing the ecological balances of the areas. Some people and animals are using this poison water, which is more harmful for health. It also threat for Bangladesh’s society (The daily Ittefaq 2007). But situation has been changing; CSR dimensions are typically practiced in RMG sector in EPZ area. The RMG largely depend upon export. The EU buyers and US set guidelines to RMG industry to ensure the standards. The 1992 Hrkin’s Bill and subsequent consumer and industry boycott of RMG products by USA and the consequent remedial moves by local RMG sector is one example. Moreover, some buyers from EU visited the sites of recently collapsed garments factories. Recently, the RMG sector employees have embarked on an industry wide movement to establish their rights (Professor (Dr.) M Alimullah Miyan, September 2006).

On the other hand, the proponents of CSR emphasize that the practice of CSR comes with vast amount of benefits, which outweighs its costs; and that engagement in CSR is a necessity for businesses. For instance, one argument in favor of CSR holds that to facilitate appropriate functioning of businesses, immediate CSR actions that can ensure the long-term viability of businesses must be taken as soon as possible. Another view in favor of CSR holds that effective practice of CSR will hold off government interventions through regulations and legislation. This infers that if business policies conformed to certain CSR standards and fulfill societal expectations of business corporations, government interventions – through legislation and regulations can be effectively forestalled. (Qazi Yousuf-

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the general term often used for the actions that firms ‘voluntarily’ undertake, in order to improve the conditions of their suppliers. Whether CSR is really voluntary one could speculate, because firms are under pressure of several actors and stakeholders, like for example consumers, Non-Governmental Organizations, trade-unions and activist groups (Corporate social responsibility(CSR) Business Ethics). CSR has its practical outcomes in various ways, but is often embodied in codes of conduct, corporate standards and certificates. CSR practices are known for their ambivalent outcomes, while they are formed in a very transnational context that pinches with local contexts and stakeholders. Also, firms have different aims and interests than other involved stakeholders, like employees.

However, in developing nation like Bangladesh, the practice of CSR is rather of negative impact, as structural approaches - through which CSR is administered and regulated in developing countries - are often flawed and lacked practical applicability. Evidence infers that the main reason for this is the ineffectiveness of the governments of developing countries in framing policies and regulations that are capable of adequately addressing issues related to CSR. The governments policies and regulations and so fourth have been null or void as most of the industries are not cooperating with social responsibilities. Which is making the country loose standards in the eyes of the foreign industries. As, globally the roles of CSR are followed or taken up as to the upmost importance whereas Bangldesh which is still developing nation is far behind.Hence, as globalization is likely to lead to the continual presence of multinational corporations in developing nations, it suffices to say that the issue of practice and regulation of CSR need to be addressed in such nations; and this represents the platform upon which this research study is based. (Qazi Yousuf-


Corporations have poured billions of dollars into building CSR teams and conducting social audits since the 1990s, when the sweatshops supplying Nike and Kathie Lee Gifford came to the world's attention. So why are people still dying on their watch.

Part of the problem is that some companies think CSR is sending employees out in matching T-shirts to paint a wall or writing cheques to museums. That stuff is nice, but it's not saving any lives.

CSR is about a company owning its impacts on individuals and communities. It is a constant battle to prevent the next Rana, the next Tazreen, the next Deepwater Horizon, being waged every day by a global invisible army of people deep inside multinational corporations. On some days, these CSR leaders succeed. But like anyone who plays defence – a football goalie, a counterterrorism agency – the scoreboard counts not their saves but the ones that elude their grasp.(Christine Bader, 2013)

Within the ready-made garment industry, this problem had been noticed long before the Rana Plaza incident happened. Despite the fact that CSR reports released by brands operating in Bangladesh have always been positive, reality behind the scene was different. A study analyzing the RMG sector in Bangladesh pointed out “safety regulation and intervention are relegated more to a routine than to any prevention or inspection function, based only on the whims and desires of the factory owner. Over decades no worthwhile safety audit has been seen, not even any kind of investigation or positive measures from the RMG factory owners or inspection authorities. As a consequence of substandard buildings, poor emergency procedures, inadequate and blocked fire exits and overcrowded workplaces, the work-related death toll in Bangladesh is high. Between the years 2006 and 2009, 414 garment workers were killed in at least 213 factory fires. A further 79 workers lost their lives in 2010 in 21 separate recorded incidents. Many of the workers killed in these accidents were manufacturing clothes for European and North American brands and retailers. The ILO Committee of Experts has regularly criticized Bangladesh’s failure to implement a robust and credible labor inspectorate. For example, the Committee highlighted the fact that there were only 80 personnel involved in inspection activities in the entire country at the time of their report. These 80 inspectors had jurisdiction over 24,299 registered factories and roughly three million shops and establishments. With the recent growth in interest in CSR such questions are very much on the agenda, but they are not new. Concerns about the social aspects of corporations in fact have a long history, and can be traced back to the medieval era (Cheney et al., 2007) and even as far back as the ideas on business practices and moral principles advocated by thinkers such as Cicero in first- century BC Rome and Kautilya in fourth-century BC India (Blowfield and Frynas, 2005). The term CSR is more recent, and can be linked to the societal changes that have occurred with industrialization and globalization (Cheney 2007; Seeger and Hipfel, 2007). Early conceptions of CSR were developed by Clark in 1916 and Bowen in 1953, both of whom argued that corporations have obligations beyond economic performance (Bowen 2013). Interest in the subject has since increased and particularly since the 1990s, evidenced by the establishment of multiple national and international associations for CSR and the fast growth of these garments factories (SRI Zorn and Collins 2007).

Corporate Social Responsibility assumes that the companies are socially conscious to discharge their social obligation for the well- being of the society (Imam, 2000). CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and continue to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large (Monir, 2001)

It is evident that from the study conducted by Belal (2010 that most of the CSR studies have been in the context of developed countries. Very few studies are available as the CSR practices in the context of Bangladesh. Give the different social-economic context to developing contraries it is argued that it is important to learn about the CSR practices in those countries.

Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the importance of corporate social responsibility in the garments sector of Bangladesh where thousands of lives are lost and are at stake as the factories do not comprehend the necessary responsibilities needed for the development of workers who are working for a very minimum wage. This survey will be by questionnaire conducted with the employees of certain garments factories. The findings will be useful for manufacturers and garments owners who are trying to take responsibility of the workers.


The factory collapse in April 2013 which happened in front of our very own eyes in Dhaka cut loose a lot of discussion. It was disgusting and out of contrast as this happened because of Bad safety regulations. Such an event opened doors to other circumstances such as the negligence of decentrigation, abuse and violation of rights. This shoking tragedy lead to mass media slaughter of big brands who come fourth to Bangladesh in making money and giving very less to social , economic and other factors which must be reformed. Thus the firms which were in the wake of getting stripped of being responsible came forth to develop reputation as to be rsponsible. However, the question was how will these firms develop sustainabe strategies and social empower ment programs. With such devastating circumstance of death of nearly 150 persons came organizations who would be socially responsible in following the rules and principles of CSR.

The aim is to look through Corporate social responsibility as a whole in the garments industry where millions of workes are at risk.AS, such Bangladesh whilst being on the edge of globalization. By the RMG factories of the country this country is one of the most important financial resource for Bangladesh.

Identifying the current problems which run alongside CSR in the ready made garments industry, are seen to be in line with the debate of being relevant of Caroll’s CSR pyramid to the developing countries. also, an astounding need for stakeholders who can bring about change in earning profit and being socially contributed to the society around.

The problem of this study aims to reflect on the difficulties faced by workers for garments factories which donot follow CSR thus , there is a great deal of lives lost. Every year about 150 innocents have died due to unjust practice and not being responsible.(World News, 2017). On April 2013 at least 1,136 people were murdered and hundreads injured when an eight storey building housing five garment factories supplying global brands collapsed on the skirts of Dhaka. The collapse of the Rana Plaza was the worst industrial accident in Bangladesh and the worlds most deadly industrial accident since the 1948 Bhopal disaster in India. (World news, 2017).

Crisis such as these requires innovative solutions.Henceforth, I have compiled a general population of 384 garments workers who are related to garments factories for their livelyhood. Which make it rather more easier to ascertain the difficulties caused when garments factories do not follow CSR.


This paper will examine and explore weather CSR practices are practiced by the multinational garments factories in Bangladesh. Which will provide a better understanding of the present social responsibility situation in garments factories in Bangladesh. Also, provide evidence of the loss of life due to incompetence of the applicability of CSR.


- What are the roles of CSR (Corporate Code Of Conduct) in garments industry?
- How effective is the regulation and practice of CSR in Bangladesh?
- How can the present CSR situation in garments industry be improved?
- Will Ethical and legal responsibilities help in the improvement of RMG role of CSR?


The result of this study is useful to the section dealing with human resource management. Perhaps the result of this study might lead to a greater understanding of workers who are in dire need of acceptance and care for their livelihood. The policy development should be withheld by managers who has outmost care and responsible to the associated parties and showing support to the workers in the multinationals, which as a result will create a better world for the workers.


The definitions of the terms for this study are as follows:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Corporate social responsibility helps the company to be socially responsible and accountable to the stakeholders and public.

Work Environment: Is circumstances in the working environment.

CSR activities: Can help forge a stronger bond between employee and corporation.

Ready made Garments (RMG): Are mass produced finished textile products of the clothing industry.

Carroll’s Pyramid: The pyramid was selected as a geometric design because it is simple, intuitive, and built to withstand the test of time. Consequently, the economic responsibility was placed as the base of the pyramid because it is a foundational requirement in business.

Legitimacy Theory: is a mechanism that supports organisations in implementing. developing voluntary social and environmental disclosures in order to fulfil their social contract that enables.

BGMEA: Bangladesh Garments manufacturers and exporters assosiation.


This thesis assumes every worker in the clothing industry must be safe and sound following some responsibility taken up by the company owners. The importance of the uses of CSR will be highlighted as, the use of it will be saving lives and helping the workers in the garments industry to look forward for a better future.


Despite the sample selection and data analysis, this study has many limitations. One of the major limitations is the data used in the study. The study used data from three garments factory workers where’s, in Bangladesh there are 276 garments industries. Thus, a large number of firms have been excluded.

Secondly the three garments factories I have gathered information from are highly reputed in their respective industries. Hence their reputation seemed to have reduced influence variables like stakeholder power and CSR. A, lot of companies do not uphold their data or share them with the public as they don’t have any CSR expenditure. Thus their unwillingness to show the CSR expenditure becomes a drawback. The Companies Bill 2013 mandated to show the Bangladeshi firms with the CSR expenditure. Hence most of the companies prior to it did not show the report.


The main focus of this thesis was to being out the importance of CSR in the garments sector of Bangladesh, which hasn’t seen the light of the day. This research with 150 participants of workers will be solely used in the preparation for the basis of the importance of CSR in the country.

The use of Carroll’s framework as well will argue as to why garments sector will need CSR to meet social responsibilities. This proposed framework would help the garments owners to improve on the existing CSR or implement framework, which will help to company and workers to grow and prosper. Hence fourth, the uses of likert scale provided us with note down the appropriate response from the workers, which helped us justify the need for corporate social responsibility.

1.8 Organization of Chapters

Chapter one represents the background of the study, objectives and research questions, significance, scope and limitations of the study.

Chapter two reviews the relevant research literature carried out on social responsibility on garment workers in Bangladesh. It presents the current preview of the practices and development of Garment workers and the implication of corporate social responsibility in the garment factories of Bangladesh. Also, factors, which affect the well being of CSR in Bangladesh.

Chapter three elaborates the research method used in data collection and data analysis of the study. Chapter four represents the result of the interviews pertaining to the next phase of the study and Chapter five reports the findings of the quantitative phase of data collection and analysis.

Chapter six concludes the study by giving a summary of the results of the research questions posted in chapter one. It highlights the contributions of the study and makes recommendations of further study.



2.1 Introduction

Early stage of Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a concept developed in the 20-century but business firms or some individual entrepreneurs (business persons) had welfare attitude to their employees' long time back. In the early 18th century, long before the emergence of the welfare state, various paternalistically oriented businesses were already accepting social responsibility for their employees, usually on the basis of an unwritten social contract (social security in return for loyal behavior). CSR was motivated by the businessman's religious or ethical convictions, though the latter often had their roots in fear of workers' revolts and radicalism (German Development Institute-200S).

Business person's 'grace' to their employee was not questioned mentioning their responsibilities in the initial stage but in 1916, J. M. Clark raised the issue of transparency in business dealings posing the question, "if men are responsible for the known results of their actions, business responsibilities must include the known results of business dealings, whether these have been recognized by law or not". The Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in new thinking on corporate responsibility, which is found in different economic and political literature. Debate started whether businesses perform social tasks as well as making profits, but an unequivocal answer was not found at that time. In the early 1930s, Professor Theodore Kreps introduced the subject of Business and Social Welfare to Stanford University and used the term "social audit" for the first time in relation to companies reporting on their social responsibilities. In 1942, Peter Drucker in his "The Future Industrial Man" argued that companies have a social dimension as well as an economic purpose.

The concept of CSR gradually developed from the 1950s to 60s and began to proliferate in the 1970s and definitions of CSR were consolidated. In the 1980s more research was carried out and alternative thematic models emerged and in the 1990s different models transitioned significantly

That led to stakeholder theory, business ethics theory and Corporate Social Performance (CSP).

Definition of CSR In the early 60s of the last century different scholars tried to define the social responsibilities of

Corporations. Different terms were used such as 'social obligation'; 'social responsibility'; 'social responsiveness'; 'corporate responsibility' etc. to demarcate the areas of social responsibilities of the corporate sector. Bowen's (2008) initial definition of CSR refers to the obligations of businessmen to pursue policies, make decisions following the desired values and norms of the society. He emphasized that business firms should be responsible for consequences of their actions. Milton Friedman emphasized corporate responsibility as securing profits and recognized the philanthropic activities after a secured profit. Keith Davis (2006) expands the idea of CSR and mentioned it is beyond the narrow economic, technical and legal requirements of the firms that mean responsibilities begin where the law ends.

McWilliams and Siegel described CSR as "actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interest o f the firm and that which is required by law." A point worth noticing is that CSR is more than just following the law (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001). Alternatively, according to Frooman (2006), the definition of what would exemplify CSR is the following: "An action by a firm, which the firm chooses to take, that substantially affects an identifiable social stakeholders' welfare."

Carroll (2006) argues that corporations should not only be judged by their economic success but also on the non-economic criteria. Thomas M Jones (2009) added value on defining CSR mentioning that the corporate should adopt obligations voluntarily. Dalton and Cosier argued that a firm is socially responsible if it is operating 'legally' and 'responsibly'. Carroll (2006) mentioned CSR is composed of four parts i.e., economic, legal, ethical and voluntary and! or philanthropy. Hopkins (2008) refers CSR as the ethical behavior of business towards its constituencies or stakeholders. The aim of social responsibility is to create higher standards of living, while preserving the profitability of the corporation.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) argued that being socially responsible means firms operating business in a manner that meets or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations that society has of business.

2.2 Research Description

The Literature review addresses the above research questions and further explores various issues peculiar to CSR in Bangladesh. It analyses the prevalence of Multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Bangladesh, and highlights the importance that such MNEs attached to human rights. Additionally, regulations of CSR in Bangladesh will be evaluated within the context of this literature review. More then a hundred decent studies published between 2000 to 2015 has seen there is a very just relationship between companies which are socially responsible and financial performance of the company.

The reason for such dramatic relationship analysis revolve largely around greater labor motivation, resulting in reduced costs increased invitations to tender, increased sales, improved customer/client retention, improved productivity, increased customer satisfaction and improved quality of service/product. So, bearing all these issues in mind, the summary is the hard evidence for a robust correlation between good social or financial performance is weak (Zadek and Chapman, 2010); the area of social performance which has been most strongly linked to good financial performance is related to employee’s welfare; there is little evidence that good social or environmental performance leads to poor financial performance (Hopkins, 2003). Researchers on corporate social responsibility and financial performance have traditionally focused on three hypotheses. McGuire, Sundgren, and Schneeweis (2016) outline these hypotheses as trade-off, positive association, and stakeholder theory. Studies that emphasize the trade-off between CSR and performance generally find a negative or insignificant relationship between the two since it is assumed that costs associated with socially responsible actions put firms at an economic disadvantage.

Since prior studies on social responsibility and firm performance differ in terms of methodology, assessments of financial performance, and measurements of CSR, it is no surprise that results differ as well. Measurements of firm performance include both accounting and shareholder wealth factors. Banker, Chang, and Majumdar (1996) advise using return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) as performance measures, while others including Hillman and Keim (2001) use shareholder wealth to measure firm performance. Measures for social responsibility include Fortune reputation ratings (used by Preston and O’Bannon (1997)), Business Ethics magazine ratings (used by Murphy and Verschoor (1998)), and the Kinder, Lyndenburg, and Domini (KLD) index (used by Waddock and Graves (1997)).


This section discusses the legitimacy theory and Carroll’s CSR Pyramid are integrated in this theoretical framework. The discussion of each theory includes a general introduction, linking the theory to CSR practice, and its predictions about CSR motivations.

As a conceptual framework 'Institutional Isomorphism' is considered that refers to a process

Where by one unit of a population comes to resemble other units of the population - in this case garments manufacturing units of the apparel industry. DiMaggio and Powell (2001) referred to three levels of isomorphic changes i.e., coercive isomorphism, mimetic isomorphism and normative isomorphism.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2.3 Coercive Isomorphism

Illustrates a situation where organizations respond to an issue due to coercive pressure from influential partners. Due to power relations of business dealings, garments companies have to abide by the guidelines and business principles or codes of conduct of the international buyers. Such influence of international buyers can be considered as coercive pressure of their suppliers i.e., the garment manufacturing business firms of the apparel industry in Bangladesh. Externally codified rules, norms or laws assign legitimacy to CSR practices. In the case of CSR in apparel industry in Bangladesh one could argue that industrial and labor law of the government, external pressure such as 'Fair Labor Association’; 'Clean Cloth Campaign' exerted pressure on buyers which came down to the respective suppliers of the reputed international buyers such as Wal-Mart, Nike, Reebok, SEARS, Carrefour, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) are some of the instances of coercive isomorphism which foster the spread of CSR in the apparel industry in Bangladesh.

2.4 Mimetic Isomorphism

Demonstrates a situation where organizations tend to mimic other best players in the ground which may turn out to be rather much more positive. Increased inverness or uncertainty of business pushed business leaders and managers to a continuous search for certain 'best practices' that are accepted or considered legitimate behavior in the value chain or among its stakeholders. Such 'best practices' then take off other players to include similar practices in their business operation. In the area of CSR practices, companies considered developing partnership with other service providers to improve health services for the employee, or management and technological efficiency that resulted in improved competency of workers and productivity. In addition, demonstrating transparency and accountability through reporting, company can share its practices and performances with its stakeholders and wider community in the form of 'corporate citizenship' that could attract others to adopt such practices.

2.5 Normative Isomorphism

Refers to a situation where professional authorities or organizations directly or indirectly set standards for 'legitimate' organizational practices. BOMEA, as a professional authority set certain standard for its members or potential members to practice CSR. Hence, the more managers participate in BOMEA the more the organizations (garments companies in this case) will resemble others in the field of practicing CSR. BOMEA is a legitimate body of garments manufacturing business firms to protect and promote the interests of its members in linking with the international buyers and build capacity of members to respond to the requirement of international buyers. When the child labor issue surfaced as a challenge for the sector to remain competitive in the international market, BOMEA set a rule to abolish child labor from the sector, built its members' capacity to address this issue, which was crucial in protecting the interests of the garment manufacturing business firms. With regard to CSR and its promotion in Bangladesh we can certainly identify some significant rise of pressures from this angle regarding improving the safety-security measures by proper maintenance of emergency exit stairs, periodical fire drill, medical center, group insurance policies for garment workers etc. Besides, BOMEA itself improved its structure in developing compliance cell, safety cell and labor cell etc. to extend services to its members.

Through Isomorphism organizations try to achieve legitimacy of they’re continued operations that's what garments companies in Bangladesh are doing now via CSR and thus I think this framework is more relevant to analyze the CSR practices of garment manufacturing business firms of the apparel industry in Bangladesh.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2.5 Isomorphism in relation to Responsibility

2.6 Legitimacy Theory

Legitimacy theory emphasizes that organizations continually attempt to ensure that they are perceived as functioning within the bond and norms of the society in which they operate (Deegan 2009}. Legitimacy theory implies that a "social contract" exists between a business organization and its respective societies (Deegan 2012; Deegan & Samkin 2012}. This social contract deals with whether an organization operates within the above bounds and norms f society or, simply, the expectations of society. The terms of this contract could be partly explicit and partly implicit. Explicit terms consist of legal requirements, whereas community expectations constitute implicit terms (Deegan eta/. 2014). The factories needs to ensure that these terms are not breached in order to maintain a good state of legitimacy for the factories through which society allows the company its continued existence.

In legitimacy theory, society is considered as a whole without considering individuals separately (Deegan 2015; Bela! 2015). Thus, the theory is concerned with the relationship between the organization and society at large. Organizations do not exist in isolation and they need continued relationships with society. For example, organizations obtain human resources and materials from society and they also provide their products and services to society (Mathews 2016). Above all, waste products of the organization are absorbed by society (the natural environment), usually, without any cost to the organization. According to many scholars, inherently organizations have no rights to these benefits; in order to allow continued existence of organizations, society would expect benefits to outweigh the cost to society (Mathews 2016; Deegan 2017; Belal 2011). Legitimacy theory suggests that the expectations of society at large have to be fulfilled by the organization, not merely the owners or investors' requirements as in shareholder theories such as agency theory. In accord with legitimacy theory, when only these expectations are met, does society allow the organization to continue its operations and ensure its survival (An et a/. 2011). In other words, the theory argues that "organizations can only continue to exist if the society in which they are based perceives the organization to be operating to a value system that is commensurate with the society's own value system" (Gray et a/. 2010, p. 28). Thus, in accordance with legitimacy theory, an organization’s level of legitimacy is of utmost important for its continued survival.

Linking legitimacy theory to CSR

One or all of the Lindblom's (2014) legitimization strategies can be employed by adopting CSR activities and CSR reporting. As an example, organizations generally tend to disclose positive CSR behavior rather than negative news (Gray et at. 2010). This strategy implies that through CSR disclosure, organizations seek to communicate their legitimization actions (Deegan 2002; Deegan & Soltys 2007). As stated by Tilling {2016), two streams exist in legitimacy theory: one is a wider perspective and the other is a narrowed perspective. This wider perspective, generally identified as the "macro theory" of legitimacy theory or institutional legitimacy theory, is concerned with how organizational structures, for example capitalism, as a whole have gained legitimacy from society at large (Tilling 2015). This wider perspective was predominantly informed by Marxian thinking (Tilling 2015; Gray et at. 2010). In a very recent study, Chu, Chatterjee, and Brown (2013) tested the legitimacy theory by investigating the factors driving greenhouse gas reporting in Chinese companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. They examined the top 100 A-share companies' annual reports and CSR reports employing the content analysis technique. In agreement with the expectations of legitimacy theory, they found that most of the companies report only neutral and good news, although relevant negative news existed because "larger companies operating in an industry which has higher level[s] of carbon dioxide emissions tend to have higher levels of greenhouse gas disclosures" (Chu et at. 2013, p. 114).

In another study, de Villiers and van Staden {2015) employed legitimacy theory to explain the reasons for the reductions in environmental disclosures in the South African context. They used content analysis to examine environmental disclosures in South African listed companies, using 140 annual reports over a 9-year period. The reasons for the observed reduction in the disclosures are explained as a matter of legitimization behavior and, finally, they concluded, "legitimizing objectives may also be served by changing the type (general/specific) or reducing the volume of environmental disclosures" (de Villiers & van Staden 2015, p. 763). Although legitimacy theory is still considered as underdeveloped, it does provide some useful insights to the CSR practice.

2.7 Carroll’s CSR

While Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evr changed itself from 1950’s and as for the criticalness of it took years after where it evolved and changed.

The factories in Bangladesh must embrace the efficiency of Carroll’s pyramid as carols pyramid focuses on various factors of responsibility such as ethical, legal, economic and philanthropic. As the death toll still rises the factories must take pre cautions for the employees and the laborers who are very much risking their life every day to meet their daily needs. Archie Carroll has provided us with the pyramid, which to this day we support, and relish it consists of four types of responsibilities. Firstly we look onto the economic responsibility which concerns are profitmaking and so forth. The second is the legal responsibility to obey the laws and ethics as set up by the society. The third one is closely linked to the second one, which tell us to be ethical in everyway possible as compelled to us. The fourth is the philanthropic responsibility. Also, called the discretionary responsibility it can be broken down as financial or other resources given to the society around us.

The pyramid is still one of the most relevant remains of CSR. It is highly debated on and modified sometimes criticized as well. But for the true relevance one must look beyond the debate and other forms of critics the principles are ultimate and they help in procuring a law which is being responsible.

The factories in Bangladesh must embrace the efficiency of Carroll’s pyramid as carols pyramid focuses on various factors of responsibility such as ethical, legal, economic and philanthropic. As the death toll still rises the factories must take pre cautions for the employees and the laborers who are very much risking their life every day to meet their daily needs.

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Figure 2.7 Carroll’s Pyramid

This is an exploratory research to capture the corporate perceptions and practices of CSR focusing on labor standard. Stakeholder model of CSR is considered to understand to what extent managers and owners of corporations in apparel industry respond to their employees and consumers i.e., international buyers in this case. Core labor standard of ILO, which Global Compact has taken as major principles as an instrument in measuring CSR practices, is considered. ' Institutional Isomorphism' was considered as a theoretical base to understand the behavior of corporate managers in CSR practices. Looking at the different aspects of core labor standards, workplace condition, health, safety and security condition of selected business firms in response to comply with the buyer's requirements, and industrial law of the country, and accordingly the tools of data collections are developed. In the process of tools development core labor standard of ILO, UN Global Compact principles, CDC of international buyers, different studies conducted on RMG sector, labor and industrial law of Bangladesh, BGMEA documents and information available in Internet were considered.

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Figure 2.8 Mimetic and legitimacy theory relating to responsibility

2.8 Review of Research

This research had a lot of similarity with other researches, which have poised a lot of understanding such; articles and journals helped me through my research. They initially gave me a lot of sources and guidance as to why this research is so important and must be made for the betterment of the labor force of Bangladesh. I would like to name some of them as without these researches I would not go as far as to complete my thesis.

Some of the journals and articles which have helped are Cochran, P.L. (2007) The evolution of corporate social responsibility; Moir, L. (2001) What do you mean by corporate social responsibility? , Corporate Governance, MCB University Press, and Belal, A.R. (2001) A study of corporate social disclosures in Bangladesh Managerial Auditing Journal. These are the ones which have poised me to to better understand about the importance od CSR and other factors which help organizations to take in responsibility. Other ones which include Gupta, A.D. (2007) Social responsibility in India toward global compact approach and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (2007), National Bank Limited, Rajshahi Branch, Sobhan, F. (2006) CSR Its Importance for Bangladesh, 16 September, The Financial Express and ILO (2004) Child labor and Responses; Overview note- Bangladesh, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor.

The government plays a vital role in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility as the governments helps to prevent a lot of damage and builds new rules to protect CSR. Some of the articles are Bangladesh Songbad Songstha (BSS), (2017a, January 17). Prime Minister Hasina says govt firm to ensure compliance of Ready Made Garment industry, arua, U., & Ansary, M. A. (2017). Workplace safety in Bangladesh ready-made garmentsector: 3 years after the Rana Plaza collapse, Better work (2017, Bangla case study 22.7 MG.indd), Fire and building safety in the ready-made garment sector of Bangladesh, Gond, J.P., Kang, N. and Moon, J. (2011). The government of self- regulation: On the comparative dynamics of corporate social responsibility. Economy and Society, Hossain, MA, Islam, KS and Andrew, J, (October 2006). Corporate Social and EnvironmentalDisclosure in Developing Countries: evidence from Bangladesh (Asian Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues, Hawai), Belal, A. R. (2006). Stakeholders' perceptions of Corporate Social Reporting (CSR) in Bangladesh, Belal, A. R. (2001). A study of corporate social disclosures in Bangladesh. Managerial Auditing Journal and a lot more but these are the ones which helped me through my research as to the need of Corporate social responsibility in the garments industry of Bangladesh.



3.1 Introduction

Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. It is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured techniques. Some common methods include focus groups (group discussions), individual interviews, and participation/observations.

Quantitative research is mostly conducted in social sciences using the statistical methods used above to collect quantitative data from the research study. In this research method, researchers and statisticians deploy mathematical frameworks and theories that pertain to the quantity under question. Quantitative research templates are objective, elaborate and many a times, are investigational in nature. The results achieved from this research method are logical, statistical and unbiased. Data collection happens using a structured method and conducted on larger samples which represent the entire population.

3.1 Survey Research

Survey Research is the most fundamental tool for all quantitative research methodologies and studies. Surveys used to ask questions to a sample of respondents, using various types such as such as online polls, online surveys, paper questionnaires, web-intercept surveys etc. Every small and big organization intends to understand what their customers think about their products and services, how well are new features faring in the market and other such details.

By conducting survey research, an organization can ask multiple survey questions, collect data from a pool of customers and analyze this collected data to produce numerical results. It is the first step towards collecting data for any research.

Traditionally, survey research was conducted face-to-face or via phone calls but with the progress made by online mediums such as email or social media, survey research has spread to online mediums as well.

There are two types of surveys, either of which can be chosen on the basis of the time in- hand and the type of data required:

Cross-sectional surveys: Cross-sectional surveys are observational surveys, conducted in situations where the researcher intends to collect data from a sample of the target population at a given point in time. Researchers can evaluate various variables at a particular time. Data gathered using this type of survey is from people who depict similarity in all variables except the variables which is considered for research. All throughout the survey, this one variable will stay constant.

Longitudinal surveys: Longitudinal surveys are also observational surveys but, unlike cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys are conducted across various time durations in order to observe a change in respondent behavior and thought-processes. This time period can be days, months, years or even decades. For instance, a researcher planning to analyze the change in buying habits of teenagers over a period of 5 years will conduct longitudinal surveys.

- In cross-sectional surveys, the same variables were evaluated at a given point in time and in longitudinal surveys, different variables can be analyzed at different intervals of time.
- Longitudinal surveys are extensively used in the field of medicine and applied sciences.
-part from these two fields, they are also used to observe a change in market trend, analyze customer satisfaction or gain feedback on products/services.
- In situations where the sequence of events is highly important, longitudinal surveys are used.

I have chosen cross sectional survey as the medium of my research I had to target a limited number of the population and I had compile various variables at a certain amount of time. Thus, Cross sectional survey was my method.

3.2 Research Design

The construction of this research was cross sectional survey. The instrument of this research was a self-administered questionnaire. The 36-item questionnaire was distributed to 150 participants who are current employees in the studied organization. A cross-sectional study involves looking at people who differ on one key characteristic at one specific point in time. The data is collected at the same time from people who are similar in other characteristics but different in a key factor of interest such as age, income levels, or geographic location. Participants are usually separated into groups known as cohorts. For example, researchers might create cohorts of participants who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

This data was collected by distributing the questionnaire to the participants in the last two weeks of December 2018. One week later, the questionnaires were returned randomly. Data analysis took about a month. Three - two weeks were spent to complete the report of the study.

3.3 Population and Sampling

Population is the group of people, events or things of interest that researcher want to investigate. Each person of the population is known as element. Population size is the total number of this element and denoted by “N”. This study is conducting in Gazipur where a lot of the garments factories are situated. And I do estimate around 385 to be my participants. Therfore I am going to focus my direction into covering Iin Gazipur as this has around 103 factories which also has a lot of workers who earn their daily bread from these factories. Especially, in Gazipur where the population of garments workers are overwhelming it is crucial for the factories to take in responsibilities and wellbeing at the same time.

Table 3.3 Keith and Morgan (1970) for determining the sample size of the known populatio

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Therefore, our sample size 384 as the workeris in factories are around 1000000 which makes it impossible to go around and distributing so many of leaflets and questionnaires. Thus 384 was a better structure and that’s how this research wwas established.

3.2 Materials

The inhabitants of this research was employees from every departmentin Stylus Co.Ltd and Shefa garments Ltd. Samples were selected using a non-probability sampling design. The employees were asked, as to whether or not they would be willing to participate in this study. Once they agreed, the self-administered questionnaire was distributed to them for completion. The total number of the target population was about 500 monthly employees who work in Stylus Co.Ltd. And this study recruited about 30% of the 500 employees. Therefore, the sample size was 150.

A questionnaire was used as the instrument for this study. Before the distribution of the final version to respondents, the questionnaire was pilot-tested with 20 respondents in order to check their understanding of information within the questionnaire. Then it was adjusted according to the comments.

The questionnaires were divided into three parts. The first part consisted of closed-ended questions which were used to collect demographic information of the respondents concerning, gender, age, educational background, length of employment and position level.

The second part of questionnaire asked the respondents their opinions for factors affecting loyalty to the organization using Likert’s five-point scale and comprised of 25 attitudinal statements to find their level of agreement.

The scores of each separate scale are as follows:

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The last part provided opinions and suggestions from the respondents.

3.4 Research Question and Hypothesis

The research questions were very direct and are of absoulute in nature

1. Why is CSR in the garments industry of Bangladesh is still missing?
2. Weather CSR has a positive impact on the stakeholders ?
3. How important is CSR to the workers and image of the garments industry?
4. The relationship between CSR and The companys image.

These questions will help to determine the result and importance of the implementation of CSR in the ready made garments industry of Bangladesh.

Factors like being ethical, choosing responsible partners,(RRR)reduse, reuse, refuse, use of natural resources responsibly and working environment as well makes an impact on CSR in the garments industry of Banglaeesh. However, The positive impact on CSR is also based on the companies earnings as well. the compnies earn postve publicity when they fullfill their CSR objectives.

Therefore if any of the basis of the equation changes as mentioned above then CSR itself is going to change or there will be drawbacks on CSR of the company and itself.

3.5 Population and Sample

The population of this study was employees from every department of Stylus CoLtd and Shefa garments Ltd. As, I had a good number of population in some of the other departments it was easy for me to proceed with the sampling.

Samples were selected using a non –probability sampling design.The employees were asked, as to weather or not they would be willing to participate in the study.Once they agreed ,The self-administered questionnaire was distributed to them for completition.The total number of the target populationwas about 500 monthly employeeswho work in both Stylus and Shefa and this study recruited about 30% of the 500 employees.Therefore, the sample size was 150.

In a non probability sampling design the odds of any member being selected for a sample technique cannot be calculated as this was very much cost and time effective thus, using this sampling design was selected.

3.6 Instrumentation

A questionnaire was used as the instrument for this study. Before the distribution of the final version to respondents, the questionnaire was pilot-tested with 25 respondents in order to check their understanding of the informationwithin the questionnaire. Then it was adjusted according to the comments.

The questionnaires were divided into three parts. The first part consisted of close ended questions which were used to collect demographic information of the respondents concerning, gender, age , educational background, length of employment and position level.

The second part of the questionnaire asked the respondents their opinions for factors affecting loyalty to the organization using Likert’s five-point scale and compromised of 25 attitudinal statements to find their level of agreement.

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The last part provided opinions and suggestions from the respondents.

3.7 Data Collection

The data was collected by distributing the questionnaire to the participants in the last two weeks of December 2018.One week later the questionnaires was returned randomly, Data analysis took about one month. Two weeks were spent to complete the report for this study. During the completation of the report I was in contact with the workers and the participants and I did get a better view of all the problems faced by the workers themselves.

Both primary and secondary data were used for the study and structured questionnaire used for survey to cover employee opinion and semi-structured questioners were used for corporate managers and owners interview for collecting primary data. To capture the views of senior executive and management staff, a total of 5 persons were interviewed using the semi-structured questionnaire and 150 garment workers of those firms were also interviewed using the structured questionnaire with few open-ended question. In addition, informal discussion was also done with respective officials of BGMEA compliance cell, safety cell, and research cell to have an overview of the study context and collecting information materials.

Secondary information was collected through reviewing different studies conducted on RMG sector, BGMEA literatures, buyers' web sites, newspapers etc.

3.8 Data Analysis

Once all the questionnaire was collected and re colllcted from the employee, I had to check throughly weather the questionnaire was completed. Thus,I had to throughly analyse and interpret the data of the participant. As, Likerts design was used to measure the level of agreement. The level of employees agreement towards the factors was calculated as follows:

The level of agreement are classified according to the values of mean

4.21 – 5.00 Signifies strongly agree

3.41- 4.20 Signifies agree

2.61 – 3.40 Signifies moderately agree

1.00 – 1.80 Signifies strongly disagree

Part three in the form of an open ended question to seek further suggestion from respondents. As some of the result or answers might surpeise one self but due to certain factors I myself already knew the result. During the analysis I have gone trough lengthy discussion with the employees as well with their supervisors which made me think a great deal on the living conditions and well being of the workers in such factories.

In summary this chapter has shown the subjects, materials, procedures and data analysis of the research. In the next chapter the results of the research will be presented.

3.9 Conclusion

CSR is a household practice among corporations all over the has also been highlighted that, while effective practices of good CSR in Bangladesh will have the potential to culminate in development of economies, creation of jobs,, sustainability and increase in charity work. Poor practices of CSR will definitely create a lot of destruction of the environment and poor image of the corporations. This has also drawn to the fact that the practice and regulation of CSR in Bangladeshand developing countries is intrinsically laden with poor regulatory frameworks and laws.Some of the findings suggests that the CSR in Bangladesh are significantly very weak and out of practice.

However implementation of rightful measure and laws will definitely improve the regulation of CSR in the garments factories of Bangladesh.



4.1 Introduction

Peculiarity of negative Corporate Social Responsibilities to third world countries or lacks of Corporate Social Responsibilities in developing countries have been a subject of major debates and scholarly discourse in recent decades. This research study explores the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) in Bangladesh, and expatiates on the importance and the roles of CSR in general, and particularly in Bangladesh.

Most of the reviewed articles and journals reinforced the already known facts that Corporate Social Responsibility is of significance importance to business corporations worldwide. For instance, I have explained that within modern business environments, CSR is rightly perceived as a vital tool for business growth and sustainability. I have also emphasized that good CSR in the form of respect for ‘human rights’ of workers by the directors or the shareholders of corporations have the potential to result in positive outcomes for the workers and the corporations. Literature 11 also cited sustainability development, creation of jobs, capacity building and transfer of technology as some of the importance and roles of CSR. And literature 2 specifically provided evidence, which reveals that sustainable, developments are achievable in Bangladesh and Pakistan through effective practice of CSR. All these lines of evidences suggest that CRS is very important to the corporations as well as the societies where they operate.

This specific chapter I have divided into four parts wherethe first part represents the respondents demographic information The second chapter relates to or demonstrates mean of level of agreement of the respondents towards the importance of Ethical responsibilities, economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities and Philonthropic responsibilities.which inturn effects all the respondents, the third part relates to Legitamacy theory which inturn effects the organization in going through its norms and the last part represents the Hypothesis testing.

The extent to which the research has been issued or represented or accuretly depict different aspects of the research topic, and the research questions are evaluated in the chapter.

4.2 Findings (Organizaed by research questions or Hypothesis)

This chapter is an attempt to explore corporate perception and practices of CSR in garments industry in Bangladesh.The aim is to bring out the necessary knoweldege of CSR practices and weather carolls theory and the legitamacy theory is applicable to the workers and employees.It also discusses the demographic and socio-economic profile of garments workers, nature of employment and fringe benefits scenerio in this sector. Besides it compares the workers opinion of the practices inside the factories and findings to understand the state of csr in the garments industry.

4.3 Sex Demographic and socio-economic condition of garments workers

The female workers predominantly dominate RMG industry. It is evident from the study that around 86% of the total workforces are female while the remaining 14% are male. The RMG owners prefer female workers particularly the unmarried, separated and the widowed ones compared to their male counterparts. Women workers basically join in RMG industry due to lack of choice. Women are more tolerant, can be more controlled, are less mobile, and less likely to join trade unions. Other causes are the struggling females can hardly bargain thus easily manipulated to work in the factories.

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Figure 4.3 Sex of RMG Workers

4.4 Age

Age structure of the garments workers shown in the graph below reveals the interesting aspect of the use of labor force involved in this export oriented industry. No laborer was found below age 15, although they have no age certificate as our country has no formal birth registration system as to when and where these workers were born. It gives an impression and provides information that child labor is eliminated, which was once a common phenomenon in this sector. It might be the outcome of the pressure of donors to abide by compliance issues, and by civil society, and rights groups.

The graph shows that almost ninety percent (89%, adding the worker numbers of age group 16- 19, 20-24, and 25-29 together) workers belong to the age group ranged 16-29 whereas workers aged more than 30 are least in demand. This group constitutes only 10% of total labor force in garments sector and older age workers are not welcomed. No, worker aged over 50 is found. It tells us that this sector is not interested to provide old age security. I do not know what happened to these people after leaving the job. Female garments workers are youthful because of the fact that garment employer prefer young women for their nimble fingers. It is believed that nimble fingers are better suited for garments work.

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Figure 4.4Age Interval of the Workers

4.5 Marital Status

Married female workers constituted 62% of the total female workers whereas 36% are single and 2% belong to the abandoned category according to the study. Bangladesh is a society, which has traditionally been characterized by very early marriage, and motherhood but the garments workers changed this situation significantly.

Garment employers prefer unmarried or widowed, Separated and Abandoned female workers due to the nature of the garment manufacturing. It is a line work where 25-30 workers work together to produce a unit of product.

The work hampers if a single worker is absent. The married women usually require frequent leave due to childbirth, childcare or household chores. Due to burden of childcare and household chores, married women are unable to provide overtime work. So the employers are likely to prefer unmarried women. But maternity leave and maternity allowances can also be considered as most important reason behind their preference for unmarried women.

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Figure 4.5 Martial Statuses

4.6 Level of E ducation

Level of education of RMG worker is not impressive. Most of the workers passed national primary education level or at least had enrollment in primary school. One question might be asked whether primary education is effective in this sector? Our primary education never provides basic life skills to earn their livelihood. Only the numeracy of primary education helps them to calculate wage or daily life accounting.

Employers are not much interested to educate their workforce. Here a worker needs basic training regarding operating machine and particularly sewing techniques. It is found that 30% workers have a little better education level meaning they passed at least secondary level or got nation's first public academic certificate. Basically these are the workers who are quality inspectors. It is noteworthy to mention that the level of education of garment workers is much higher than that of the national average literacy rate of 49.4% whereas in rural areas it is only 43.8% (BNBEIS 2013).

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Figure 4.6 Level of Education

4.7 Residence

19% workers reside in the unwanted areas of the city or outskirts amenities e.g. The wastages, ablutions and the disposal of everyday things are very unwarranted. . A huge number of workers need to stay in these places shelter as they do not have enough to feed themselves its impossible to rent somewhere better. The dominant groups of workers (42%) staying in houses which are rented are way better then these places.

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Figure 4.7 Types of residence

These houses are poorly constructed in residential areas. It is unfortunate that none of the workers surveyed avail of hostel facilities since seats are limited in the hostels, its location from the respective factory as well as the rents which are mostly expensive and built for better income groups. These among the five selected garment's locations were outside Dhaka like Gazipur where hostel facilities are not available although local workers have facilities to stay at their own homes. Workers of the factories in Dhaka were mostly found living in the slum areas where living conditions are very unhygienic, over crowded and damp. Living condition in rented houses is not hygienic also. It is unfortunate that the migrant young women coming to Dhaka city in search of jobs had to take shelter either in the dilapidated condition of slums and squatter settlements or in the over- crowded mess. A few (2%) are fortunate to live in relative's houses.

4.8 Family Background of the Garment Workers

These people who are the backbone of the economy belong to the lower class of the economic ladder. The crisis around them is very real with families to up bring food on the plate and more over the woman are forced to work in the most hazardous and pitiable circumstances. A lot of them carne from poor families since significant numbers of them (70%) thus they had to move on to look for work when the economy is very doubtful.. A BIDS survey conducted in 1997 showed that in 15% cases where the woman’s background of the household was very different as they were answerable to men who are likely to be pullers, Mechanics, laborers and so on mostly the ones who are living below the economic line.

4.9 Economic Status of the Garment Workers

Economically the garment workers are vulnerable. With poor salary, they can hardly hope to get out of the poverty cycle and therefore pushed by grinding poverty. Hard work, long hours overtime work cannot save them from this evil. Despite this, they struggle hard to provide themselves with two meals a day. Usually, cheap rice and d a l are their chief food. Vegetables or small fishes are a luxury. This impacts on their health and thereby poor performance in the factory is the natural outcome.

4.10 Nature of work

Garments manufacturing is less credited towards using very high level of amenities or physical labor and this is why RMG focuses on female labor, as it is popularly perceived that women have less skill and physical strength. The following chart reveals that 72% work as operators and following them are helpers who comprise the second dominant group (20%) who are basically ' tomorrow's operators.' These two groups, jointly occupy (92%) are mostly women workers and a few of the rest (8%) are engaged in quality inspection and folder led by male workers. Others work in finishing and packaging departments.

There is a culturally impregnated idea that women are far more skilled in sewing as to this skill set relates to their tradition vocation and thus female workers dominate the sewing section where 87% work under the purview of sewing. On the contrary, in the finishing and cutting sections, two of the other important sections (2.4 % and 8.3% respectively) have the lowest female employment. Cutting and Finishing require physical strengths as cutting machines are quite heavy and need strong hands to operate as perceived by employers. Following is a table, which depicts the distribution of workers by different sections of selected business firms of the apparel industry.

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Figure 4.10 Nature of work

Table 4.10 Distribution of Garments workers in different sections

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4.11 Corporate perception on CSR

Corporate responsibility practices in Bangladesh reveals that a significant number of business firms are aware of CSR issues and different dimensions of CSR practices. In most cases, it has found that companies consider human rights and labor standard issues that referred in the ILO Core Conventions, i.e. the basic human rights in the workplace this includes rights of collective bargaining, freedom of association, free from discrimination in employment and occupation and freedom from forced labor, minimum age etc. to ensure wellbeing of their workers. Owners and senior managers of garments manufacturing business firms perceive CSR as synonymous to comply with the codes of conduct of international buyers or guidelines of the UN Global Compact. Two out of the five emphasized on compliance with the country's laws related to labor issues that are good enough to ensure wellbeing of the workers.

To general managers and owners of the garment-manufacturing firms mentioned, CSR is related in the significant good will of the workers and hardly the workers mentioned charity on as CSR. Irrespective of the ownership pattern all the selected garments manufacturing unit managers consider charity is the individual's matter and respective owners can donate his! Her profit. Nevertheless, all the firms have charity donation practices but mostly address

contextual needs e.g., donate to the poor parents for marrying off daughters, education and religious institutions and cultural events. The companies that have Bangladeshi ownership utilize donations as a means of exercising power or maintaining influence in the rural areas. The Chairman of a selected company mentioned that he had to donate for different religious and educational institutes, helping the poor and also ensure employment for the poor of his neighboring village, as his wife is the elected Chairperson of the Union Parishad. Another donates to different social events in his village that includes cultural programs, sports, and education and religious institutions in order to maintain reputation of his predecessor. These donations are voluntary in nature and refer to community investment but it does not have linkages with expanding business opportunities or increase profit of the firms, hence it cannot be termed as 'CSR' although many corporations claim these are CSR practices (APIT 2012).

Existence of Human Resource (HR) policy and human resource development are also grossly referred as CSR by the majority firms. Since HR policy includes employment contract, wages and benefits, working hours etc. a formal HR policy was found only in one firm. But all the firms referred to practices of employee benefits as per the provisions of labor laws of the country or beyond. All the companies follow the minimum wages for their workers but most o f them do not consider all the government holidays. Small and medium firms emphasized on minimum wage and considered it as standard but the big companies go beyond the minimum wage.

Participation in social activities are limited but all the companies mentioned they usually respond to emergencies such as flood, disaster etc. and they prioritize their support and start addressing the immediate needs of its workers and gradually move towards community activities. Only one company considers health services to the workers and their family members while others have medical support only for the workers. Accident compensation are considered by all the selected companies and referred to their association i.e., BGMEA. Building of hospital for the garment workers is an initiative of the BGMEA although it is yet to start construction.

Transparency and accountability issues are considered by most of the selected firms but this significantly varies based on its size and ownership. Firms under foreign ownership introduced suggestions and complaint boxes for the workers and periodically sit with the workers' forum to discuss possible solutions and disseminate decisions among workers.

Complaints related to harassment remain confidential and management authority investigates the matter and takes action. Quality control and maintaining standard of products are considered as accountability to the buyers and measures are taken to control the quality of fabrics, inspection and on time delivery of products.

Small and medium firms felt CSR practices increase cost of operation but large companies see it as an opportunity to attract reputed buyers. Nevertheless, none of the respondent could explicitly mention benefits to the company derived from inclusion of CSR practices. None of the companies have cost-benefit analysis but most of them assume that workplace conditions reduce tum-over of workers, and increase their satisfaction and that might increase productivity.

4.12 Types of CSR Practices

The selected garment manufacturing businesses under both foreign and local ownership mentioned that improving workplace condition by improving health, safety and security measures, are the major areas of corporate social responsibility, although only two of them have policies regarding health and safety issues. All the respondents pointed out that they have introduced group insurance for workers with premium by the companies. Four out of five companies do not have policy on hygienic condition at workplace but all the firms give informal instruction to have clean and hygienic toilets and washrooms. Trade Union activities are discouraged due to eventual political affiliations but they prefer workers' forum. Two companies have elected representatives for the forum, one has selected representatives and the remaining two do not have any such.

One of the organizations have policies on similar payments equalized equals to living standards, free from child and forced labor but all the companies comply with the core labor standard although it varies with the context and capacity of the company. All the companies have lack of written policies but have shown firm commitment towards elimination of child labor, minimum wages, and equal opportunities in employment process etc.

Table 4.12: Summary of Major Areas of CSR practices by Firms Bangladesh

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V.G- Very Good (beyond legal obligation, score-6.25);

G-Good (fulfillment of legal obligation, score-5);

M-Moderate (Moderate fulfillment of legal obligation, score-4);

P-Poor (below legal obligation, score-3); NA- Not Available, score-0).

4.13 H ealth services

Two foreign owned companies have health and safety policies in line with their buyers Nike and Reebok, but locally owned companies do not have such a written policy. None of them have a written policy or guidelines on health safety issues. All the companies have certain measures on health or safety issues considering their capacity and attitude as well.

Medical facilities to the workers varied in different organizations where 3 have permanent nurses and doctors for primary treatment and other two have agreement with medical service providers to provide services at factory premises that ranged from once a week to three days in a week. Service delivery as well as private clinics is practiced to ensure doctor's visit in the factories. Workers of EPZ factories have own primary treatment facilities where nurses provide services and workers visit BEPZA medical center for further services. The companies outside EPZ area have built partnership with NGOS and private clinics. Workers are sent to hospitals outside in emergency situations.

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Figure 4.13 Workers opinion of doctors visit

Nevertheless, most of the factories provide treatment cost for workers and staff who had a great deal of incident in the factory. However, incase of outside incidents they occasionally support some of the workers based on needs and intensity of the incidents. But none of the companies have a specific policy to support incidents occurring outside the factory.

Medicine is available for primary treatment and over 90% of the respondents recognized the availability of necessary equipment’s for the primary treatment and minor accidents. Regarding types o f medical services, 58% mentioned the center has only primary treatment services and 42% mentioned treatment for minor accidents is available in the health centers within the factory premises. The study shows 52% respondents have visited the health care center last month and of them around 75% are satisfied with the services. The findings further reveal poor workplace and health condition of the selected factories although most of them have shown satisfaction with services.

4.14 First aid box

All companies mentioned first aid boxes are situated in a place that is comfortably accessible to the workers per their primary health care and injuries. Information provided to the workers regarding what is in the first aid boxes are also considered by the factory management to ensure its optimum use. Most of the respondents avoid revealing the number of first aid boxes as proportionate to the workers. More than 90% workers reported positively about first aid boxes and over 95% of them are aware of the boxes and its contents. Only 22% o f the respondent stated they do not need to use the first aid box but significant percentage o f workers mentioned they need to use the first aid box, which reflects the importance of first aid boxes in the factory.

Contents that are mostly available in the first aid boxes are paracetamol, bandage, savlon, nix (balm) and ORS. It has been found that around 57% of the respondents used the first aid box every month followed by 18% daily and 15% once in a week while only 10% use the first aid box every day. But only 10% mentioned that they require using the first aid box once in a quarter.

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Figure 4.14 Use Of First Aid Box

4.15 Protection from work injuries

The study reveals 48% respondents reported their co-workers faced injury in the last three months and thus it can be claimed that injuries are common in the workplace. However, only 22% respondents reported they have faced injury in the last quarter. The company pays only 44% workers who have faced injury in workplace reported. I t has been found that 55% respondents do not feel workplace is risky, but almost similar number o f workers gave the opposite option. The reason may be the differences in perception of the receiving free treatment and a large number of workers (52%).

Workers and on the other hand, equal directory of the factory management regarding unlocking the emergency exit, periodical fire drills and an equipped fire fighting team as well as training of workers that helped in reducing fear.

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4.16 Hygiene and Sanitation

Three companies have acceptable capacity and dimension for the free circulation of air with variety of openings such as doors and windows on every floor. Also, the ventilation system must be very adequate. Also to mention the height of roof tops from the flooring are must be tall enough to perish in the heat. However, fans must be placed in locations where the workers can work in relief of sweat and tiredness. On the other hand special fans such as pedestal fans are to be installed in the ironing section.

4.17 Working condition on the floor level

The study reveals that 66% workers perceive their workplaces have adequate ventilation which indicates far better condition of ventilation in the selected factories compared to the study findings of 1990 and 1997 survey conducted by BIDS as mentioned by Paul-Majumder and Begum.

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Figure 4.17 working condition of the floors

The respondents stated that floor condition is not good considering the space. Only 19% Respondents mentioned they found their workplace specious but a significant percentage of workers pointed out that the workplace is congested. Temperature or heating condition of the factories are found poor where 60% of them mentioned moderate heat and 19% mentioned that more heat is created in the workplace. Heat causing accidents where mentioned by 40% of the respondents, of whom 90% mentioned it manifests workers becoming senseless, and in some causes it causes fire. More than 70% mentioned there are some measures followed by factory management to absorb heat which reflect on the poor working condition and goes against the claims of the employers.

Employees have access to reasonable eco friendly water without dirt and must be purified (one toilet for 25-30 workers) and a whole different section for toilets with gender ensclosure of course. All toilets are maintained properly and cleaned at least two twice in a day. Adequate soaps are kept in the wash areas.

4.18 Toilet facilities and hygienic condition

All the respondents pointed out there are separate toilets for male and female workers. Quantity of toilets that are mentioned in the Factory Act was not an issue of the workers but they perceived quality of toilets are crucial to ensure a clean and safer workplace since they had to spent a long time in the factory.

Table 4.18: Condition of the toilets in the factory

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More than 70% of the respondents opined toilets are hygienic and equipped with disposable bucket, soap and are cleaned every day. However, this study finding did not support the findings of another study conducted by Paul-Majumder and Begum (2006) that found a negative picture of hygienic condition. Hence, it can be claimed business firms are gradually improving workplace conditions to suit workers. Nevertheless, 28% respondents mentioned they needed permission to go to toilets from their supervisors, which hinder normal uses of toilets and compels them to drink less water to reduce the toilet usage with consequential health hazards.

4.19 Safety an d Security

Emergency exit the survey data reveals that all the factories have emergency exits although quality vanes considering the size and ownership pattern of the business firms. Big companies have good conditioned emergency exits irrespective of ownership pattern. However size alone is not a matter to have an improved exit system in place rather it depends on attitude of the owners and managers building pattern etc.

State of emergency exit

- 100% factory have emergency exits
- 3 exits per factory (max 10, min 0)
- 71.7% exits are concrete and 28.3 are iron made
- 84% reported that the factory has marked exit stair
- Average width of stair is 54.7 inches
- 67.3% reported proper maintenance of stair
- 99% reported stair remain open during working hour
- 76.8% reported comfortable movement on stairs
- 73% mentioned above substance blocking in the stairs

The Managing Director (MD) of the small company mentioned he couldn’t improve the emergency exit due to the limitation o f building pattern. Around 77% workers o f the selected companies reported that they can move comfortably through the emergency exit but almost equal percentage of workers mentioned that they have found good blocking the stairs.

- Number of extinguishers per floor (average).7
- Keeping buckets full of water ..….74.7%
- Practice mock fire drill .…95.0%
- Operation and daily fire drill….….65.0%
- Number of workers can operate fire drill (average/floor).….9%
- Factory keeps hose in each floor54.7% x Has emergency bell..…..100% x Has trained and equipped fire fighting team…..…..….78.8%

4.20 Fire and Fire drill

Adequate measures were taken by the BGMEA to improve fire protection measures of its members but still 33% workers are not aware o f how to face fire and 18% o f the workers also opined that they do not know what to do when fire occurs which is surprising. It is evident that a significant percentage of the workers mentioned they would use water and gas (meaning C02) to face the fire but none of the respondents mentioned to call fire brigade.

The survey demonstrates 82% workers are aware of some measures and actions if fire occurs which reflects they had gone through certain orientation processes and can recall their actions. Workers put emphasis on peaceful exit without any panic, which constitutes the opinion of 47% on informing trained workers for further action. Around 80% workers mentioned there is trained and equipped fire fighting team in the factories. Nevertheless, the periodical fire drill (mock fire drill) is not satisfactory. Around 50% workers stated that fire drill occurred once in a month, followed by 32% mentioned once in a quarter that together stands at more than 80% have practices once in a quarter. Moreover, 40% workers was found not aware of the uses of fire drill and others perceive it to maintain discipline and to train workers to cope with the emergency situation. It is evident that none of the worker mentioned that there is a periodical fire drill in the factory but on an average it occurs within three months in most of the factories but no fixed dates are mentioned.

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4.21 Verbal abuse and harassment

Misuse and degradation is a very horrifying issue for the management especially the hr. According to European and American buyers COC, any kind of abuse or inhumane treatment will not be tolerated also the workplace must comply with policies which can help set principles and standards which must be taken up with outmost importance. Two respondents out of three locally owned firms mentioned verbal abuses are used as a means to discipline the workers in order to meet set targets of production. If management believes in it, none can stop the verbal abuses. Supervisors are counseled to improve their behavior but none of them were punished, as management perceived that it occurred to maintain the production targets. Such perceptions of management may consider the perpetrators as a potential employee of the firm who has shown commitment to protect the interest of the firm. Foreign owned companies develop guidelines to have a workplace free from harassment but none of the local companies have any policy or guideline to protect abuses and harassment inside the factory. Some of the selected firms have complaint boxes inside the factory. Respective supervisors and managers were advised not to use condescending words to their near by working employees are to be careful to make the world where the place free from any sort of assault and harassments. All the factories mentioned the strictly handle any form of abuse and Female garment workers face harassment of various sorts. Poor security status is one of them. But interestingly the workers did not tell anything about it rather the data provided by them was completely opposite to the real situation as 50.5% termed security status as good, 28.9%% moderate, 19.6% very good while 1% said poor. This is because of job security. In fear of losing jobs, they are often unwilling to tell the truth.

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Figure 4.21 Security status of the workers

4.22 Nature of harassment to colleague

In this category, 22% tease, 9.8% offer love, 26.8% physically assault, 9.8% use bad words and 31.7% reduce facilities. However, 32% mentioned that harassment is common in the factory but 75% stated environment exists to report the incident of harassment. The survey reveals that of the reported incidents, 56.3% got proper justice, for 40% cases limited action was taken but did not get proper justice and only for 4% cases no action was taken. Reasons for not reporting harassment to the authority are mutual understanding, fear of losing job, and fear of the perpetrator. In this category, mutual understanding score 50%, fear of losing jobs 28.6% and fear of perpetrators 21.4%. All this indicates a disadvantageous and uncomfortable situation for female workers where the employer and perpetrator are pressurizing them as well. Employers perceive the victim as 'bad woman' and thus justice in denied or they do very little to punish the perpetrators.

Nature of behavior of male c olleagues towards female counterparts

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Nature of harassment to female colleagues

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Verbal abuses are common in the workplace stated by around 55% of the respondents while only 33% of them reported the incidents of verbal abuse. Others did not report because they take these things for granted and perceive that nothing would happen if they lodge complaint against the abuser. The nature of verbal abuse are of different types where 28% mentioned superiors have shown temper, 55% used bad words and 17% mentioned they cannot express their bad experiences. Abusive attitude and behavior affect female workers mentally and emotionally that leads to unpleasant situation opined by 59% of the respondents. Around 14% workers stated such unpleasant situation instigates them to leave jobs and 23% mentioned that they couldn’t express the awful condition. Of workers facing abuse, of them more than 70% opined their productivity was hampered due to verbal abuse.

It is also reported that 27.7% female workers faced indecent proposals and 21.4% reported mental stress by the perpetrator. Female workers had mixed response to indecent proposals. Although many complain against it, a significant number of them tried to avoid the situation. While 57.6% reported to authority, 12.1 % tried to manage the event, 27.3% avoided this situation and 3% were forced to surrender. Albeit harassment is pervasive in the RMG industry, the victims seldom received justice. In fact, most of these incidents remain unreported. Employers perceive the victim as 'bad women' and thus justice denied or they do very little to punish the perpetrators.

4.23 Minimum Age of Workers

Foreign owned companies requires character and age certificates from the local government prior to recruitment but local companies usually do not ask for any certification. Moreover the young workers have to undergo clinical checkup for the affirmation of their age as they don't keep any workers below 16 years of age but local companies' respondent did not mention anything regarding medical tests.

4.24 Working Hour

Out of five employers only one is against overtime work as they have experienced that workers' production is relatively lower in the regular working hour and thus they have introduced a target production based on the average production of different lines of the factory.

4.25 Dispensation Facilities

Most of the apparent workers who have had the questionnaire mentioned that they succeed in to labor laws regarding leave facilities except maternity leave. Workers can enjoy weekend and other government holidays but sometimes they had to work on holidays or even at night to maintain in time shipment of all the factories. Locally owned companies do not maintain weekly holidays regularly but none of the respondents mentioned that workers had to work for more than two weekly holidays. Workers who work on holidays are provided with compensatory leave or double payment for those days in large companies but for small and medium companies only overtime payments are considered. Provision for three months maternity leave with pay exist for the permanent workers but large companies have flexibility for the workers to enjoy without pay leave for another three months as required. All the companies have provision o f casual leave, sick leave, earned leave and maternity leave, but none of the firms mentioned about paternity leave for the male workers. Workers mostly enjoy sick leave and take long leave during the festivals particularly in Eid holidays.

It is evident from the analysis of the figures that 61% workers are able to enjoy weekends regularly. In 'The Factory Act-1965 " there is a provision for weekly holiday which is usually observed on Friday and another guidance is, no worker will be compelled into working for a span of 10 days consecutively. However, another 13% report that they also enjoy weekly holiday almost regularly.

Provision for paid sick leave was found in the enjoy paid sick leave survey while 63% workers reported that they can if it is required. But the figure is not inspiring as sick leave (paid) is their legal right. 'The Factory Act-1965' ensures it but unfortunately 37% workers could not enjoy which reflects that companies deviated from the labor law/factory act.

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Figure 4.25 Workers leave Facilities

4.26 Minimum Wage

The study reveals that workers get taka 2297.00 on average as wages per month. However, the take home is a bit higher if overtime payments are added, but still the amount is not adequate for a secure livelihood.

Operators and Folders get Taka 2508 and Taka 2133 respectively as their remunerations. Only quality inspectors get more than TK. 3000 monthly. The helpers or the other staffs are procuring an unbelievable adjacently deceiving salary of (Tk.1332 per month) since they are treated as apprentices as they don't have experience as well as being vulnerable.

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Figure 4.26 Wage of The workers

4.27 Overtime Work

Responding to a question of setting higher targets, respective managers opined, target is set after long observation of the worker's activity and an average production target was fixed considering the capacity of workers and effectiveness standard of the company. Such initiative helped both the workers and company as it created opportunities for increased productivity which raised their income and on the other hand, factory also benefited due to lower utility usage and depreciation cost of the machines.

Four out of five selected companies are practicing overtime hour work have also differences in practices. Factory in EPZ area follows two hour overtime work in a day and for others' practices are different, although all the managers opined that factory usually does not compel any worker to stay long hours for overtime work. Nevertheless, factory management considers overtime work is beneficial for both the employer and employee as it creates opportunity to the employer to best utilization of capital goods that generate better output. On the other hand the employee gets benefits from increased earning. Two companies mentioned that sometimes they had to compel workers for overtime work considering the in time shipment and to make it happen they open the factories even on weekly holidays. Company management usually discuss with workers' representatives prior to work on holidays.

Most of the workers reported that target is appallingly high as compared to their production capacity. They could not achieve it within their normal work hours. Thus within the complex reality, they are doing low paid or even unpaid overtime duty. A worker can earn at best TK. 1000 per month as overtime income. The above graph gives detail information on this issue.

Workers irrespective of sex, designation have to work beyond scheduled time, as workers reported that 39% workers have to do it everyday and always over time duty is not pursued by the workers willingly. Although 72% workers mention that they are discharging overtime duty willingly while 28% workers are doing despite their reluctance. Poor wages pushed workers to work willingly for long time but sometimes the employers had to force workers to do overtime due to the pressure of in time shipment. The employers' interview illustrates usually workers willingly work but some times they had to resort to pressure to ensure in time shipments which enable them to pay regular wages to the workers. Besides, most of the buyers care little of long hour work rather consider in- time shipment and maintaining of quality standard more important.

4.28 Workers' Forum Associations of workers

The study findings clearly indicate that workers association is not allowed in any of the selected garments. A lot of the workers have no clue regarding union activities and did not show interest to participate in such rightful activities. However, some of the workers are members of trade unions but they cannot mobilize others since factory environment is not supportive and the owners' attitude is not positive towards the trade union activities. Workers who are affiliated with the trade union activities have the fear of loosing jobs that restricts them to mobilize workers under trade union activities. Large-scale unwillingness of female workers is also partially attributable to the fear of harassment by the musclemen appointed by the employer.

Foreign owned companies have introduced worker forum since 2003-04. Among the selected five companies four have workers forum where two have elected forum and other two have selected ones. Companies in general does not comply with a likely attitude towards trade union activities considering the political affiliation of trade unions as, they consider such forums to be very unintelligent and negative thus they do not go well with foreign owned companies.

Such forum members are the elected body of the workers but it is a small committee to look after the problems in production as well as mediate problems of workers with the authority. The management provides ballots with the pictures of the candidates for the convenience of the illiterate workers. The authority takes every month the elected body sits with the management to discuss the problems and recommend solutions but final decision. Workers forums are still in an infant stage of collective bargaining as in most cases these are controlled by the management of respective firms. However, it gives an opportunity to the workers to participate in management discussions which is not only enlightening them through interaction but also gives them a feeling that authority is also accountable to them. The meeting minutes are prepared and decisions are shared with the workers. Usually notice boards are used to share the decisions of the meetings.

4.29 Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is almost an illusory agenda In RMG units although buyers' codes of conduct support it. Collective bargaining requires strong political awareness of rights and mobilization capacity to support bargaining, which can be backed by a trade union movement. RMG owners and managers restrict the trade union activities by blaming partisan affiliation of workers. However, to manage the reputed buyers they organize workers' welfare forum that is usually controlled by the owners and managers. Workers who are affiliated with the trade union activities have the fear of loosing jobs that restricts them to mobilize workers under trade union activities that results in weakening collective bargaining. Large-scale unwillingness of female workers is also partially attributable to the fear of harassment by the musclemen appointed by the employer.

4.30 Non-discriminatio n Recruitment

Every company claimed that they follow non-discrimination policy in the recruitment process and workers are employed irrespective of religion, ethnicity, and caste in the factory. Recruitment process is almost similar across the selected companies. Some factories usually hang vacancy notices outside the factory gate as well as important places locally such as hat- bazars; bus-stands and others follow informal notice process by disseminating information through workers. Some of the respondents mentioned that to avoid pressure from the locals they avoid vacancy notice. Recruitment of helpers are usually done by tadbir (request) from the workers of the respective company or outsiders who have connections with the factory management. However, recruitment of operators is done through interview and demonstration of skills prior to employment and fixation of wages. Foreign companies provide appointment letters to its workers and they open personal file against each worker after selection. On the other hand, local companies provide appointment letters with the permanent employee that requires six to nine-months work in the factory. Nevertheless, identification paper is given to the employee to enter into the factory and is treated as an employment letter.

4.31 Nature of employment contract

The nature of employment in the RMG industry is not satisfactory at all as most workers in the firms are employed on temporary basis. They are never supplied with any reported or signed employment agreement. The employees are to sacked readily and with no apparent effort recruited and sacked aswell. As there are no legal documents, the workers cannot raise concerted voice against it. Moreover, trade unions are not strong and committed enough to seek justice for the illegally sacked employee.

One study shows that in the RMG industry, 81% are female in comparison to 67% of male workers are either temporary or contractual workers. Only a few garment workers receive appointment letters. In many cases, the regular workers do not have any written employment contract. The study further reveals that more than 19% female garment workers claimed that they were regular workers whereas about 5% reported that they received written employment contracts (Paul-Majumder, Begum 2006)

Nonetheless, status of employment contract in the RMG industry has improved over time due to the programs taken up by civil society, rights group and the donors. In the meantime the study poll of 1990, the workers especially the female ones were not handed any form of employment deed or contract as a whole, but at the time of 1997 about 5% of female garment workers were found to have received a deed or a welcoming letter to the garments factories.. However, about 92% of garment workers have identity cards whereas during the survey of 1990 only 10% female and 5% male workers were found to have identity cards. The study however reveals a different picture, which can be considered as progressive steps for the garment manufacturing business. It has been observed that over 50% of the respondents stated they have employment contracts, out of whom 80% have permanent contracts and 20% have temporary contracts.

4.32 Bonus

Provisions for different types of bonus exist in apparel industry but festival bonus is limited to the permanent! Regular workers who work for more than six months. However, production bonus and attendance bonus are provided based on the performance irrespective of permanent and temporary workers.

Payment of performance bonus varies in different companies. Attendance bonus ranged from Tk 80 to 100 (per ?) when a worker attend work on all work days in a month and the worker who attends 100% work days in a year is awarded with Tk. 300 to 400. Some companies also award the best worker of the company and the best worker of a production line based on excellent performance. Only one company give prizes to the workers amounting Tk. 50 to 100 for hunting error that occurs during production time and also the best idea providers to increase efficiency of the firm. Every day both workers and management place one idea and at the end of the month a gift is given to the best idea provider. Each festival bonus is equivalent to the amount of basic salary of the respective employee.

Among the five companies provisions of childcare center exists in four companies but there is no childcare center in locally owned companies although they have infrastructure facilities. Child care center of two foreign owned companies are managed with technical assistance from 'Phulki' a development organization that has recognized skills in developing and managing such activities. Initially 'Phulki' talked to the respective authority of these factories to open a childcare center but none of them agreed. Nevertheless, 'Phulki' communicates with the reputed buyers and informed them that their local suppliers are not complying with the country laws and accordingly buyers put pressure on their suppliers that forced them to think about the importance of opening a childcare center.

With assistance from 'Phulki' a policy was developed where children of 1-3 years of age were considered eligible for the center and respective mothers have to pay TK 50 for per child for care giving services and where breastfeeding was mandatory. In the first month 20- 25 workers kept their child there and looking at the benefits most of the workers who have babies less than three years of age showing interest. Furthermore, company organized a rescue team (I for 2 children) for the children during the time of catastrophe. Again the medical facility includes vaccination, which is free for the children also.

Although over 85% workers are female of whom more than 60% are married. The survey data depicts only 16% have breast-feeding babies of whom around 29% are keeping their babies at childcare centers, but a significant numbers of mothers do not have access to childcare services which forces more than 70% of them to keep their babies at home.

4.33 Canteen facilities

Due to limited space most of the factories ignore the provision of canteen and dining facilities, although this provision is mentioned in both the Factory Act 1965 and Factory Rules 1979. However, workers are not aware of these provisions and did not talk to the authority regarding dining or canteen facilities inside the factories.

All the companies with dining hall facilities maintain two shifts to accommodate workers to have comfortable lunch facilities. Workers who live in adjacent areas of the factory used to leave for home to take lunch. Companies who do not have dining hall facilities workers faced difficulties in having lunch and usually they have to take lunch on the rooftop. Corridor, passage or staircase in a sub-human manner.

Companies have different policies regarding lunch break where lunch duration varies from 30 minutes to one hour. In the selected factory of EPZ area, authority provided lunch to the workers but at one stage they had to stop it as the workers showed dissatisfaction on supplied food. Currently they provide meal allowance to the workers and workers are asked to provide their own lunch. Factories outside EPZ area do not provide meal allowance to their workers but all the companies have provisions for providing a light meal / snack if the workers work beyond 6.30 p.m. and allow a break for 20 to 30 minutes.

4.34 Transportation facilities

Among the five companies two large company provides free of cost transportation facilities for the workers and another one considered transportation services only to the workers who worked at night shift. The factories in EPZ area provide transportation allowance to the workers who do not use office bus but locally owned company do not provide any transportation allowance.

RMG industry does not genuinely bother about transport facility of workers much. This reflected in the following table, though some factories arrange transport facilities for worker, most of them do not have clear-cut policy on it. Only 47% respondents mentioned that factories provide transportation facilities to the workers. However, mode of transportation facilities differs among the service providing companies.

Table 4.34 Transport Facilities

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4.35 Transport facilities offered by garments factories

For the valid cases 75% respondents mentioned the companies provide drop and pick support to the workers and others considers only drop. Moreover 52% percent reported that they receive free transport arrangement while 48% percent said that they received it partially and 18 percent reported that the factory provides transport allowance.

4.36 Reasons for leaving job

Graph shows that about 48.1% and 21.2% worker leave the job for higher wage and promotion respectively followed by locale of residence 11.5%, problem of security 9.6%, problem of housing 3.8%, irregular payment of wage 3.8% and sickness 1.9%. Although around 10% workers stated security problems pushed them to leave the workplace but it is adequate to understand the poor security status in the sector.

It has been found that 22 operators left jobs for higher wages while 10 for promotion, 6 for residence problem, 5 for problem o f security and 2 for irregular payment of wages apart from these, 1 quality inspector and 2 helpers left the job for higher wages and problem of housing forced 2 helpers to leave the job.

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Figure 4.36 Reasons for leaving the previous job


The findings thus suggests there have been some improvements in the structure which in this cases are the various hospitals and first aid tool kit which are set up to accomplish a better environment for the workers. However, there are still deaths and misery all over the garments industry due to the negligence of the owners and the negligence of obtaining corporate social responsibility as a whole. The findings do suggest a lot of other reasons relating to the misery of the workers such as the family or personal life always come in between their work life as well. Therefore, to implement CSR in factories there after will take a lot of time and patience as to implement and get the best out of the workers making it safer for them to work and survive.

Chapter 5

Conclusions, Discussion, and Suggestions for Future Research


5.1 Introduction

This chapter is focused on analysis of findings particularly searching for motivations as to why the business firms have taken initiatives to improve labor standard by improving CSR practices within the garment-manufacturing units. It revealed briefly the voices of the garment workers to have a deeper understanding of workplace conditions particularly in the area of health, safety- security and its relation’s productivity. It describes the conditions and its consequences on health of workers and productivity. It also describes limitations of business firms that hinder such practices and analyze the context of good practices and reports on a comparative picture of different manufacturing units based on size, location and ownership pattern.

After the removal of the quota system, garment-manufacturing business has entered in to a new era of competition. It was much anticipated that MFA phase out would result in significant consequences on garment manufacturing business but it has been found that business has increased and that demonstrates the maturity and stability of the apparel industry. Looking at this context it can be argued that technical efficiency helped this sector to be competitive considering the cost, product quality and in-time shipment. Visible presence in global market is no longer limited to technical efficiency but includes social standards particularly the labor standards and environmental issues and thus to sustain in the global market by developing labor standards and improving human rights situation by humanizing workplace condition i.e., incorporating CSR practices are crucial.

Perception about CSR among the garment managers and owners seems not strong enough and they could mention about only welfare of the workers in regards to CSR. Most of the respondents mentioned existence of Human Resource (HR) policy as CSR, but only one firma has such written HR policy. The firms have considered minimum wage as standard but do not have provision for enjoying all government holidays, though there are differences in small and large firms, the study reveals. Regarding transparency and accountability practices there are differences observed between locally and foreign owned companies. First- generation RMG owners and managers had little concern about the work environment rather labor exploitation was considered to earn profit and thus child labors were regularly recruited. Removal of child labor from this sector was also not voluntary but gradually accepted by all and paves the way for new thinking for improving workplace conditions.

5.2 Summary of Findings

The study purposely selected business firms from diverse location, ownership patterns and sizes assuming that size and ownership pattern certainly have effects on CSR practices and found large firms under foreign ownership are relatively better in addressing CSR. Looking at the rating it would not be wise to claim that size or ownership are the prime factors of CSR practices as the small firms scored higher rate than the medium one irrespective of local ownership. On the other hand, positive relationship was found in improved CSR practices and dealing with reputed buyers. It has been found that both the overseas firms have business dealings with Nike and Reebok who those are seriously concerned about social compliances. It can be claimed that dominant power relationship of the buyers with the suppliers coerced them to comply with the code of conduct referring to improved labor standard. It has also revealed that buyers were attracted due to the good practices of large firms although they adopted certain changes having business relationship with the reputed buyers. Chairman of local large firms claimed improved

The study findings depicts business firms have felt pressure from the external buyers, trade association and also from the competitors that drives their decision to adopt CSR practices at initial stage but gradually they are driven by the values to remain competitive in the market. Value shifting occurs due to both mimetic and normative pressure that pushed them to introduce legitimate behavior to their stakeholders. Employee welfare found as the prime concern of the selected firms and health, safety and security measures are considered for continuous improvement. The selected firms mentioned that in improving work place condition by improving health, safety and security measures are the major areas of corporate social responsibility, although only two large overseas firms have policies regarding health and safety Issues.

Owners and senior managers of garments manufacturing business firms perceive CSR as synonymous to comply with the codes of conduct of international buyers or guidelines of the UN Global Compact. Two out of five emphasized on complying with in country law related to labor issue is good enough to ensure wellbeing of the workers. Small and medium firms emphasized on minimum wage and considered it as standard but the big companies go beyond the minimum wage. Such views reflect that current practices are mostly coercive either from the regulatory bodies of government or the code of conduct where labor standard and workers well being in many cases are not the prime issue.

Small and medium companies felt CSR practices will increase cost of operation, but the larger ones saw it as the opportunity of further business growth which can be supported with an instance of not placing the order by H&M to the medium sized factory as mentioned by the respective manager. The study observed that there is strong realization among the managers about positive relationship between healthy work environment and productivity and therefore they are willing to improve CSR practices substantially. Pressure from international buyers, such as Reebok, Nike, Wall Mart, H&M for better working environment as well as quality of work have strong influence on CSR practices corporate managers opined.

Corporate managers based on their experiences, emphasized on improving health and safety measures as these directly affect productivity and efficiency. Locally owned firms based on experience, identified some of the reasons of high turnover and lower productivity where healthy work environment is a prior its and accordingly initiated measures to improve workplace conditions and improve facilities of workers to reduce health hazards and injuries, although it is poor in medium and small firms. Workers of large firms have apron, mask, ear protector, needle guards, eye guards, hand gloves etc. but in the medium firms needle guard, mask and hand gloves are considered where as safety equipment’s status is poor in the small companies. Nevertheless, all the companies mentioned they have adequate fire extinguishers and trained fire fighting team and periodical fire drills to make the workers aware of fire protection and disciplined evacuation if emergency arise. Managers opined such initiatives reduced number of sick leave of workers although they could not mention any figure. If true why did the small and medium firms equally not adopt such safety measures? It can be assumed that economies of scale might have certain affect to outweigh the cost of safety equipment’s and relevant measures. However, none of the firms practice incident reporting thus reduction of incidents is only assumptions. This study reveals 75% workers mentioned about having health care services within the factory premise and more than 67% of them reported the availability of a MBBS doctor where 25% mentioned that doctor sits permanently in the factory. Arrangement of primary treatment in factory premises is not the requirement of buyers but all the firms take measures to reduce outside movement of workers even after a minor injury considering its consequences on productivity. All the respondents recognized that there is room for further improvement in health and safety measures in the factory that illustrate their commitments to improve the labor standard.

The BGEMA had some special recruits and managers who would monitor those factories and conditions of the fulfillment od corporate code of conduct. A significant improvement has been observed in the area of unlocking the emergency stairs. The reasons for improving such practices are learning from recent fire incidents of different manufacturing units and special drives from BGMEA to improve the practices of opening of the stairs during the work hour. Data reveals that 99% workers mentioned emergency stairs are open in their factories. A female worker mentioned, "I do not feel threaten of fire incident anymore now 1 can concentrate more on my work" which demonstrate the importance of unlocking the exit stairs.

Business managers emphasized on ventilation to reduce health hazards and improve productivity. However, for the medium and small firms it was difficult. The reasons of inadequate ventilation include use of rental houses for the factory and also location of factories in busy residential areas. During operation the large numbers of machine create sound which often faces serious complaints from the residents; hence they need to close the window to cope with the neighboring community where it operates. Here, the dilemma is to protect from the noise pollution that affects community and corresponding good ventilation facilities to the workers.

Their aunts and grand mothers at home usually look after babies of working mothers and that makes them tensed thus affecting productivity both directly and indirectly. Some of the respondents mentioned thinking about their babies, they often become oblivious to their surroundings that increase mistakes and injuries. One of the respondents mentioned, "I need to change the workplace and should join where 1 can keep my breast-feeding baby, if 1 wish to continue my job." Another one mentioned, "I do not know what to do... 1 can leave the job to care for my baby but without my earning she will suffer again." On the other hand, a mother who keeps her baby in the childcare center stated "I do not feel 1 am doing hard work at the factory since 1 am allowed to breast-feed my baby here ... I feel 1 am at home." Statements of working mothers reflect the importance of childcare centers at workplaces to increase productivity as well as continuation of job for the skilled workers. One of the respondents mentioned some of the female workers left factory and joined in another one having child care facilities although remuneration was not higher, so opening of child care center might help in reducing the migration rate of female workers. Manager of a large foreign firm mentioned that opening of child care center exerts tremendous influence not only among the workers of the factories but it also allured skilled workers from neighboring factories to avail this facility. One can argue if it is important for the foreign owned companies why it is the not same for the locally owned companies and why women workers are not keeping child in the children care centers in those factories? And why these companies are maintaining the infrastructure if it is not utilized are Company owners maintaining those centers merely to show their commitment to their buyers?

The freedom associated with workplace any sort of abuse may be considered essential to ensure productivity and keep women employee turnover to a minimum from the factory mentioned irrespective of there size, types of ownership and locations of the firms. All the respondents mentioned they took initiative to make their workers about sexual harassment and assault and asked for reporting such incidents either directly or indirectly to the management. Reporting of incidents and punishment to the perpetrators discouraged others to from harassment and verbal abuse and that gives a sense of security to the women workers. Foreign owned companies claimed they introduced training for the employee how to behave with colleagues and also the punishment issues for any incidents helped them to improve workplace conditions.

CSR practices depend on various factors, e.g. attitude, understanding and worldview of corporate owners and managers to respond to social and environmental causes, etc. considered as incentives for business. Most of the respondents mentioned about taking adequate steps to improve CSR practices with the view of investing in employee welfare and accordingly developed different strategies to highlight the policies and working condition. Initially the buyers' order was an incentive for the firms but over time it has changed towards increase in productivity e.g. transportation facilities to the workers are not legal bindings or buyers requirement but some of the firms are considering such services for increased productivity. Chairman of a local firm mentioned that they have introduced bus services to save time, money and ensure timely presence of workers in the workplace. Transportation services also provide a sense of safety and security to the workers and thus workers can concentrate on overtime work. Another foreign owned firm provides free of cost transportation to the workers of the night shift who came to work within 20 km with the intention of the workers security. However, increasing productivity still are assumptions of the firms, which is not supported by facts and information by any of the respondents. Nevertheless, the association tests based on workers opinion indicate that the relationship is positive and statistically significant; supporting the view that socially responsible corporate performance can be associated with a series of bottom-line benefits.

5.3 Discussion

Changes in global business scenario affect the export oriented business venture. Bangladesh did its business in RMG sector up-to 90s but was not familiar with 'social compliance'. International buyers started talking about compliance issues after 1990 in a changed scenario of global trade. 'Compliance' means to comply with certain standard that are internationally recognized regarding workplace condition particularly focusing on workers ' safety and health issues or to abide by the local laws. It includes minimum wages, work hours, workers' platform, workplace free from child labor and forced labor etc.

CSR practices depend on various factors that are considered as important incentives for business to incorporate new practices or improve existing practices. Since business is not charity it always looks for either short-term or long-term benefits derived from any initiatives. Incorporating new practices or improve certain practices have cost implication for the investors or shareholders, so any initiative that can harm or challenge interests of those stakeholders are daunting tasks. Nevertheless, it depends on attitude, understanding and worldview of corporate owners and managers to respond to social and environmental causes.

Apparel industry due to its export orientation largely depends on global market scenario, as the manufacturers of RMG product are only the suppliers in the value chain. Supply of RMG products depends on external factors where the attitude of end users and consumers are catered. Consumers of the developed countries are becoming more value-sensitive and thus they are not satisfied only with the quality or standard of the product; rather interested in the production process, whether the source of production incurred costs to the society by violating human rights with sub-human workplace standard as well as polluting the environment.

Apparel industry in Bangladesh is gradually developing and coping with the global competition considering its quality, competitive prices, and good corporate practices. It would be misleading if we give a generic statement that RMG manufacturing business firms are only considering the buyers' pressure. Changes in attitudes of corporate owners, investors and managers are crucial and it happened due to increased understanding of global business trends, interaction with buyers' community, participation in trade association particularly in BGMEA activities, identification of business opportunities as well as risks ,they have gradually shifted values and demonstrated commitment on improving labor standards. Business firms are considering future business more and realized improving CSR practices could do it.

One of the respondents mentioned that strategic changes in business are crucial to survive in the competitive world market where price margin is not only the factor that can help in continuing and/or expanding business opportunities with reputed buyers. Export orientation of this sector makes it dependent on international buying companies for work orders. Changes in consumer behavior of importing countries affect international buying companies to push for incorporating certain standards in RMG industries prior to placing orders in Bangladesh. This trend is continuing and it is expected that pressure will be created on other importers to maintain similar standards. Strategic changes in business are therefore a must to sustain ability in the RMG manufacturing business. Most of the respondents in the survey mentioned working a long time with the renowned buyers before realizing that employee welfare could be their main investment and therefore took adequate steps to improve CSR practices Accordingly they developed different strategies to highlight the factory policies and working condition in producing quality products.

Another respondent mentioned they have experienced that excessive overtime Increases absenteeism of workers due to sickness that results in lower productivity and efficiency. Such observation helped them to realize there is a positive relation between healthy work environments and productivity, which was an incentive for them to improve CSR practices focusing on employee health and safety and workplace condition to improve business performance.

Business leaders experienced that international buyers consider the quality of work equally with the working condition for the workers, which can be considered as push factors for improving certain facilities that can improve the work condition. Initially it was completely buyer driven and felt accountable to the buyer only, but gradually they have become sensitive to the workers' right to have safe and clean work environment. International pressure for eliminating child labor from the RMG sector was a signal to the corporate owners and managers to improve workplace condition and not to be accused for festering sweatshops. They have experienced that a large number of factories are not getting orders from international buyers due to non- compliance of human rights issues of the workers and thus subcontracting to others' work to exist in the market which is a threat to expansion or even to remain in business in future. Analyzing the situation the factory management thought to overcome the potential risk by complying with the code of conduct of internationally reputed buying companies as well as the county law in operating the manufacturing units. In addition, BGMEA interactions and dissemination of best practices of other business firms also enlighten them to improve CSR practices.

The Factory Act 1965 emphasized on effective suitable work condition with adequate ventilation by circulating fresh air, comfortable temperature and freedom from dust producing reasonable conditions of a suitable environment.

The reasons of inadequate ventilation include use of rental houses for the factory and also location of factories in the busy residential areas. During operation large numbers of machine create sounds, which often face serious complaints from neighboring the residents; hence they need to close the window to place the community where it operates. Here, the dilemma is to protect from noise pollution that affects community and good ventilation facilities for the workers.

Narrow vision of business firms limits them to think about those buyers who are reluctant to improve workplace condition. These restrict them to incorporate or improve CSR practices and thus lose opportunities of business dealings with reputed buyers. On the other hand in the changed global trend existing buyers may also ask them to comply with the standard due to consumer or peer pressure in importing countries, which could definitely put them in a dangerous situation if CSR practices are not improved.

Workers' well-being and productivity are inescapably integrated and complementary in multiple ways. The owners or the management of garment factories have to look into the well-being of their employees- most often the female workers. Hard work and inadequate opportunities to have rest take toll on their health, which reflects on frequency of sickness, suffering from malnutrition and other diseases. This contributed to their poor performance. Overtime work creates more pressure on female workers and curtails their leisure and sleeping time since they have to maintain household chores as well.

Different organizations and federations of workers are complaining about lack of services and facilities for the garment workers that hamper their productivity gradually. One of the basic premises of the study is to investigate whether health problems and any sickness affect productivity. In the survey the workers were asked whether they had sickness during last three months and if it affected their productivity. Among the respondents to this question (71% responded) nearly 50% suffered sicknesses during last three months and of them almost 90% (29 out of 32) opined that their sickness hampered productivity in the industry (see following table). On the other hand, a greater portion of the respondents who didn't have any sickness also had similar opinion about association between sickness and productivity. These views have been reflected and evidenced by the test results, where Pearson Chi-square test indicates stronger association (p value is .000). Likelihood ratio test also nullify the hypothesis of no association between sickness and productivity.

5.4 Hindering factors of CSR practices

Competitive pricing is one of the major obstacles considered by many business firms to look into the welfare of workers and improving workplace conditions. Some of the corporate managers and owners consider maximization of profit at the cost of workers welfare. It might be true to earn a short-term gain but suitability of business requires systemic thinking of an effective and efficient production system, which cannot be ensured without having a friendly work environment.

- Poor understanding of corporate managers on global business trend.
- Factory owners feel it would increase cost
- Adequate supply of labor and inadequate bargaining power
- All buyers do not care about the workplace condition
- Pressure from civil society and trade unions are not adequate
- Poor infrastructure facilities limits improving working condition.

Reputed international buyers place order to those factories considering the capacity of the firm along with its labor standard practices. Some companies strictly follow their 'code of conduct' prior to placing an order, and strictly follow the guidelines during the production period and help local manufacturers to be compliant. Reebok, Nike, Levis, CGAP, Wall Mart, H&M are widely considered as strict followers of compliance issues. On the other hand large numbers of buying companies are only concerned about quality of production and in time shipment ignoring the workplace condition. A large number of business firms are the suppliers of those buyers who are reluctant about the labor standard and thus they do not have pressure from their clients, which sometime hinders good practices.

The Factory Act 1965 emphasized on effective suitable work condition with adequate ventilation by circulating fresh air, comfortable temperature and freedom from dust producing reasonable conditions of a suitable environment.

The reasons of inadequate ventilation include use of rental houses for the factory and also location of factories in the busy residential areas. During operation large numbers of machine create sounds, which often face serious complaints from neighboring the residents; hence they need to close the window to place the community where it operates. Here, the dilemma is to protect from noise pollution that affects community and good ventilation facilities for the workers.

Narrow vision of business firms limits them to think about those buyers who are reluctant to improve workplace condition. These restrict them to incorporate or improve CSR practices and thus lose opportunities of business dealings with reputed buyers. On the other hand in the changed global trend existing buyers may also ask them to comply with the standard due to consumer or peer pressure in importing countries, which could definitely put them in a dangerous situation if CSR practices are not improved.

Workers' well being and productivity are inescapably integrated and complementary in multiple ways. The owners or the management of garment factories have to look into the well being of their employees- most often the female workers. Hard work and inadequate opportunities to have rest take toll on their health, which reflects on frequency of sickness, suffering from malnutrition and other diseases. This contributed to their poor performance. Overtime work creates more pressure on female workers and curtails their leisure and sleeping time since they have to maintain household chores as well.

Different organizations and federations of workers are complaining about lack of services and facilities for the garment workers that hamper their productivity gradually. One of the basic premises of the study is to investigate whether health problems and any sickness affect productivity. In the survey the workers were asked whether they had sickness during last three months and if it affected their productivity. Among the respondents to this question (71% responded) nearly 50% suffered sicknesses during last three months and of them almost 90% (29 out of 32) opined that their sickness hampered productivity in the industry (see following table). On the other hand, a greater portion of the respondents who didn't have any sickness also had similar opinion about association between sickness and productivity. These views have been reflected and evidenced by the test results, where Pearson Chi-square test indicates stronger association (p value is .000). Likelihood ratio test also nullify the hypothesis of no association between sickness and productivity.

Different rights based organizations and workers federations frequently raise the complaints about security status of female workers in the garment factories and the blame go to the male workers at all levels. There is strong evidence that the line managers or supervisors behave roughly with the female workers that might seriously affect not only productivity but also the security status. The study investigated the issue of security of female workers and behavior of male colleagues.

Table 5.4 showcases Behavior of male workers towards female workers.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

While ranking their security status, the female workers scored at different scale, eg. Very good, good, moderate and poor. To run the association test scales like moderate and poor status merged into one. Nearly 50% of the respondents mentioned about enjoying 'good' security status, and around 30% reported 'moderate' or 'below standard' security status. It is noteworthy that most of them who ranked their security status in different scales (except the respondents who ranked 'moderate' and 'poor') didn't think that their male colleagues behaved roughly towards them. In case of 'moderate' opinion the respondents attributed rough behavior of male workers for below standard security status (50% had such opinion). The chi-square test signifies the positive association between good behavior of male workers and good security status of female workers. The p values in this regard are very high.

5.5 Suggestion For Future Research

In the wake of the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh, our society have been thinking a lot about the issue of corporate social responsibility. The factory was making clothes for western companies including Primark of the UK and Loblaws of Canada, and in many ways the clothing companies have been among the most focused in recent years at trying to police their supply chains to ensure safer working conditions and decent wages. Yet at least 430 people were killed working to meet deadlines set by western companies in a facility that should have been torn down years ago.

The focus on corporate social responsibility as a response to weak labor standards in developing countries was always a poor second best. In the early 1990s, he points out, there had been a big effort by trade unions and other NGOs to include social and labor clauses in trade agreements, with the goal of increasing pressure on developing country governments to protect labor rights and uphold sound environment regulations. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), whose negotiations I covered as a reporter, pioneered this approach by including labor and environmental “side accords.” But the effort was largely ineffectual, in part because developing country governments fought the inclusion of social clauses in trade agreements as a form of disguised protectionism. While labor and environmental chapters are still included in U.S. trade agreements, their real world impact has been minimal.

The future does seem bright as CSR is getting a lot of hype and importance. Which surely will make it a lot better then the past. But there are still labourers and workers facing problems for a little amount of money which is making it a lot worse. The mo re research is done on CSR the improvement or the implementation of the policies will genuinely go through faster.

The United States has a strong interest in encouraging progress. Apart from better protecting workers in developing countries, rising standa rds around the world can discourage global companies from flocking to countries like Bangladesh in search of ever lower labor costs. The trickle of manufacturing back to the United States is coming in part because rising wages in China are reducing that co untry’s once enormous cost advantages. It is in the U.S. interest to encourage the same trends in other countries. Despite its long development, much CSR research remains controversial and underdeveloped. For example, scholars hold different views on some CSR-related concepts such as corporate social performance (CSP), which can be defined as ‘a business organization’s configuration of principles of social responsibility, processes of social responsiveness, and policies, programs, and observable outcomes as they relate to the firm’s societal relationships’ (Wood, 1991: 693). Some scholars believe that CSP is the outcome of CSR activities (Aupperle et al., 1985), while others argue that CSP includes CSR principles (Wood, 1991). Another debate surrounds the relationship between CSP and corporate financial performance (CFP), with some studies suggesting that the two are positively correlated (e.g., Waddock and Graves, 1997 Lev et al., 2010;), while others, in view of the results of different samples and causal patterns, suggest that the relationship is neutral (Aupperle et al., 1985). A further source of ambiguity is embedded in the link between CSP and CFP. It is still unclear whether good CSP leads to growth in revenues or whether firms with a better CFP possess the capabilities to conduct more CSR activities.

Although business practitioners and researchers advocate CSR, researchers mainly for three reasons have criticized it. First, from an ethical point of view, some researchers question the need for CSR. Basically, it is argued that the sole purpose of doing business is to maximize profit, and CSR may interfere with essential business operations such as capitalizing on evolving business opportunities and profitable activities (Cogman & Oppenheim, 2002; Friedman, 1970). For example, business activities, such as the use of legally contestable markets (e.g., tobacco, gambling, alcohol, and sex), the development of new technologies, entry into third world markets, and moving from the public to the private sector, may fulfill legal and financial purposes but clash with CSR principles (Robins, 2005). Thus, Devinney (2009) asserted that the socially responsible corporation is fundamentally impossible due to the naturally conflicted nature of the corporation.

CSR has been criticized for its true purpose. L’Etang (1994) pointed out that the true reason why corporations engage in CSR practices is to address external pressures imposed by the environmental activists rather than to integrate long-term CSR policies that will benefit the community. Many companies still consider CSR as merely a marketing gimmick to enhance their market presence through cosmetic, public relations stunts rather than as an aiding source for the community in which they operate through the CSR initiatives (Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008; Porter & Kramer, 2006). This superficial CSR approach produces minimal social impact, generates consumer skepticism, and ultimately fails to deliver business value (Du, Bhattacharya, & Sen, 2011).

Although the need for CSR is criticized from both ethical and business standpoints, its benefits, such as brand image enhancement (Brown & Dacin, 1997; Lii & Lee, 2012) and favorable product and service quality perceptions (Marin et al., 2008; Reich et al., 2010), are far more significant to a company than its concerns. CSR can be considered as one of the offensive marketing strategies designed to obtain additional customers, encourage brand switching, and increase purchase frequency, whereas service recovery is one of the main defensive marketing strategies that reduces customer exit, brand switching, and negative word of mouth through customer complaint management (Fornell & Wernerfelt, 1987). By extending the CSR effect to customer retention strategies, this study examines the effect of CSR on customers’ perceptions and behavioral intentions within a service recovery context.

A suggested agenda for future research, that considers context in more depth, includes:

1. Consideration of ideological and hegemonic regimes and their attitude towards CSR. This research would consider potential positive and negative impacts of the political and governance system. In China, for example, the potential for Communist Party ideology to increase environmental protection and improve social conditions is vast, and is starting to be seen to have a strong impact on firm behaviour. Examination of this over time will provide an important contribution to understanding the role of government beyond the more common analysis of environmental protection regulation.
2. Greater examination of sociocultural variables in different countries, beyond analysis of religious influence, and beyond the use of Hofstede. Understandings of concepts such as CSR in countries in Asia, the Middle East and the Asian sub-continent, are known to differ from those in the West, so understanding their potential to lead to better (worse) CSR outcomes is important. The variety of variables that could be included is vast, but some clearly important issues include: language, secularism, freedom of the press, access to information, homogeneity of values and attitudes, and the existence of a national figurehead or identity.
3. Longitudinal examination of the process of economic development. Countries where the economy is developing rapidly, such as China and the Middle East; and countries where the historical economic context differs dramatically, such as in Sri Lanka where the need for development is borne out of conflict, provide rich backgrounds to consider how CSR is developing alongside economic developments.

5.6 Conclusion

Findings of the study reveal that garment manufacturing business firms are gradually moving towards good practices and considering positive steps to improve workplace conditions and labor standard. Consider the very little number of factories under study it is very difficult to make a generic comment on the sector as a whole. However, the size, locations and ownership pattern of the firms under study was diverse, and thus the findings of the study may represent the sector well. CSR training and being ethical concerns a lot on different entities, such as. attitude, knowledge and worldview of the big firms and establishments which can adhere to social and eco friendly circumstances, etc. considered as incentives for business. Incorporate new practices or improvement of methods certain have certain costs from the investors, so less or more initiatives that can overhaul the interests of the big corporations and business aredaunting tasks. Most of the respondents mentioned about taking adequate steps to improve CSR practices from the point of view of investing in employee welfare and have accordingly developed different strategies to highlight the policies and working condition.

The study observed that there is strong realization among the managers about positive relationship between healthy work environment and productivity and therefore they are willing to improve CSR practices substantially. Pressure from international buyers, such as Reebok, Nike, Wal-Mart, H&M for better working environment as well as quality of work have strong influence on CSR practices by the managers. Peer pressure e.g. from BGMEA was also found effective. The dominant views towards the RMG business firms are buyers' pressure compelling them to initiate good practices but this study finding challenged such views to some extent. Mimetic and normative isomorphic relations changed the attitude of business leaders and managers that shifted in values and business strategies.

Workers' wellbeing and productivity are inescapably integrated and complementary in multiple ways. The study found positive relations between poor work conditions and productivity. Nearly 50% mentioned suffering sicknesses during the last three months and almost 90% (29 out of 32) opined that their sickness hampered productivity in the industry and Pearson Chi-square test indicates stronger association (p value is .000). Sickness might be the result of many causes, e.g pollution, poor ventilation etc., and anise from conditions both inside and outside the industry environment in work places. The test results for assessing association between sound pollution and hearing problems also support stronger relationship. Both Pearson chi-square and likelihood ratio test (p value is .002) shows a high value signifying positive association between sound pollution and hearing problems. Association between proper ventilation system and suffocating air is also strongly evidenced by the test results. While assessing relationship between rough behavior and security status the chi-square test signifies the positive association between good behavior of male workers and good security status of female workers. All these emphasize the importance of improving good practices that can improve labor standard.

Some firms have cramped understanding about CSR as they relate to it as a heavy weight or freight, and this observation comes from locally relatively small factories. The reasons of such views are many that include initial capital investment, poor of production capacity, competitive pricing, and razor then margin of profit restrain them from considering the positive side of a better workplace. Since the companies did not have a cost-benefit analysis they can only assume that huge initial costs against the potential increase of production would not outweigh the cost. However, a cost- benefit ratio by calculating the productivity and opportunity foregone and cost saved would be a useful incentive for the business firms to persuade then to initiate CSR practices.

Coercive pressure may introduce CSR practices but to continue these good practices it requires changes in attitude and mindset i.e. shifting of values to develop a corporate culture. Therefore regulatory pressure by formulating policies by the government cannot develop or improve CSR practices. However, in this free market era of economic globalization .The state has to playa supportive rule that can induce and enable changes in the corporate sector. Business should develop its own strategy that would go beyond mere legal obligations. This study also brings a few examples of good practices that encouraged workers to improve product quality, innovation to reduce cost and improving efficiency that paves the way of double benefit to the company.

The study also reveals that in many cases the potential risks are not considered equally as the cost. With minimum cost a company can reduce risks of accident and risk of losing buyers or losing the opportunity of attracting buyers to sustain in the business. Developing workers' skills in the area of production, maintenance of factory property and workplace would have the potential to increase productivity as well as to prevent workers sickness. Reduction in sickness would save the treatment cost as well as add value in the production process.

Findings of the study shows the garment workers are very much innocent and after 30 years of working and dealing there are fewer of workers in this sector. However, it can be argued that at this age workers become skilled but surprisingly disappeared from the workforce. Paul-Majumder estimated that the services a garment worker may provide are 4 long years and mentioned poor health conditions lead them to quit their job which is their lively hood. Hence, improvement of the firms wellbeing is pivotal for the benefit from the gradual participation of craft, talent and ability of workers. The medical supplies in the factory alongside the premises improved, the companies are expanding medical services through developing partnership with NGOs and private clinic. Such partnership should be further strengthened.

Harassment was found commonplace at workplace and it has different forms and study findings reveals that around 10% workers leave jobs due to harassment. Provocation and vexation are not really reported considering the punishments given to them by the perpetrator. Besides, garment workers faced irritation outside the factory whilst going and coming to and fro from their residence. To reduce harassment business firms should take appropriate measures by enabling a reporting system, developing awareness and sensitivity among the workers and managers. However, to secure workers from outside vaxation, business firms could consider improving transport services as well as hostel facilities for the garment workers. It is true it requires a sizeable investment for the owners, which might not be feasible for all, but they could involve BGMEA and NGOs to improve such services. NGOs can consider this service provision as income generating opportunities. Government can also provide land support to BGMEA or NGOs to construct hostels for the garment workers.

Overtime work hour is a pressure to the health of garment workers although most of them are willing to continue long work hours due to poor wages. In time are shipment is important for the garment business that this creates pressure of overtime work even during holidays. Increasing wages as well as improving the facilities would alter this situation. Government needs to take measures to improve the lead-time by improving infrastructure particularly port services, reduce custom delays and supporting backward linkages. Workers are grossly unaware of workers' rights and are not active in trade union activities.

The employers that create pressure among the workers to exercise their rights discourage trade union activities. Workers Welfare Forum that exists in four out of five selected firms was not found active in collective bargaining to establish their rights. Hence, appropriate measures should be undertaken by the government to implement the Industrial Relation Ordinance XXIII of 1969 to protect workers' right to form associations.

Some of the firms are willing to improve workplace condition but the physical structure of the rented houses does not usually permit it, as these buildings were not constructed for such a purpose factory. However, they do not want to move outside Dhaka due to lack of service facilities in the districts or adjacent areas of Dhaka city. Government should take appropriate measures to provide the support to the companies with adequate facilities that could enable them to protect the environment and human rights to secure right of the workers. Fringe benefits are still poor and inadequate in the RMG sector, so appropriate measures need to be taken to protect future unrest in the factories.

International buyers are diverting their pressure to the suppliers to comply with labor rights, improving services and workplace conditions but do not consider a better price for the product. Since buyers are in the value chain they should also take responsibilities to improve labor standard but unfortunately just providing certain guidelines to their suppliers to comply with that is not adequate to fulfill then responsibilities is. Their responsibility is thus limited to instruction and monitoring of those instructions but seldom contribute in developing the workplace condition, improving other facilities e.g., hostel, medical services, transportation, human resource development etc. Nari Uddug Kendra, an NGO runs hostels for the workingwomen especially for the garment workers having support from an international buying company who takes supply of RMG goods from Bangladesh as part of their social responsibilities. Such initiative needs more publicity to sensitize other buyers to support such activities. BGMEA could consider international campaign to hold buyers more responsive to improve labor standards in supplying countries. Government of Bangladesh could also raise this issue in different international for a to raise support from international community and pressure groups.

Government should take affirmative measures to support good practicing companies by providing easy access to loan and other services to improve labor standard. BGMEA can find out good practicing companies and publish those through newsletters or media briefing. BGMEA could also introduce best performing award to companies not only on economic or export earning performance but rather on socially responsible behavior. BGMEA could also arrange sharing meetings with its members and the representatives of international buyers where best practices would be shared to create a learning environment so that the sector as a whole can learn from each other.

Developing the strength of its safety cell, compliance cell, labor cell and research unit to support its members providing information and relevant skills to the business owners and managers should increase BGMEA support services to its members. BGMEA could consider a week or month in a year to publicize the responsible behavior of business. They should also monitor their members' performance and prepare periodical reports from its research cell to update the international buyers about their members.

Government should provide supportive measures that would enable the sector to sustain its visible presence in the international market. Regulating business is required but considering the context government is not equipped enough with its number of staff who can monitor over 4000 companies. So, instead of regulating business by developing policies and its implementation framework government should support BGMEA to develop its codes of conduct so that the sector as a whole can follow the same codes irrespective of buyers. Such codes may create a level playing field for the companies in this sector. However, considering the size of the companies special measures should be taken to cope with the environment to growth instead of driving them out from the market.


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Employee Survey in Garment Factories

Information provided in this questionnaire will be kept strictly in confidence and will be used only for research purpose. Data on individual will, in no case, be published without prior permission. Findings of the survey will be used for preparing a dissertation report that is prerequisite/or Masters in Human Resource in Limkokwing University.

In providing information to the survey, you will make an important contribution to prepare an academic research report on Corporate Social Responsibilities in Garment Industries in Bangladesh. Thank you for your cordial cooperation.

Information on Individual

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Work Experience

2. Work experience related information

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Previous work experiences

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3. Why did you leave your previous job?
4. Current Salary
5. What did you produce yesterday?
6. How many products did you deliver yesterday?
7. How many times did you do mistakes in the last month?

Disease prevalence (During last three months)

8. Did you suffer from any sickness during the last three months? 1-Yes, 2-No

If yes then describe the sickness

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9. Do you think your health affects your productivity? 1-yes, 2-No

Workplace Conditions

10. Do your workplace has emergency exit? I-Yes, 2-No .
11. If yes, how many emergency exits are there? no.
12.Do the factory properly marked the way of emergency exit? I-Yes, 2-No
13. What is the type of emergency stair? I-Iron made, 2-Pucca
14. How wide it is? inch
15. Does the factory maintain this exit system properly? I-Yes, 2-No
16.Does emergency stair remain open during the work hour? I-Yes, 2-No
17.Do you feel workers can comfortably move out if emergency arises? I-Yes, 2-No
18.Did you ever find any substances on the stair that hindered free movement? I-Yes, 2-No
19.Is their alternative lighting in each floor and stair in case of emergency? I-Yes, 2-No

Fire and Drill

20.Do you know what to do when fire occur?
21.Do you know how to face fire?
22.How many fire extinguishers at your floor? no.
23.Does factory regularly keeps buckets full of water to face fire? I-Yes, 2-No
24.Does the factory practice mock fire drill? I-Yes, 2-No
25.In what frequency the factory arrange mock fire drill?

I-once in a w eek, 2-once in a month , 3-once in a quarter , 4-once in six month, 5-once in a year

26. Do you know what the use of fire drill is?
27.Do you know how many people can operate fire drill at your floor? I-Yes, 2-No
28.Ifyes, how many? No. Workers
29.Does the factory keep hozril at each floor? I-Yes, 2-No
30.Does the factory have emergency bell? I-Yes, 2-No
31.If yes, what is the type? I-electric bell, 2-gong bell
32.Does the factory have trained and equipped fire fighting team? I-Yes, 2-No

Health Care Centre

33. Do the factory has health care center? I-Yes,2-No
34. How many staffs are there in the health center? ,no.
35. Is there any MBBS doctor in the center? I-Yes, 2-No
36. Is the doctor permanent in the center? I-Yes, 2-No
37. In what frequency the doctor sits or visits the center?

I-daily, 2-weekly, 3-biweekly, 4-once in a month

38. What kinds of medicine available in the center?
39. Does the Centre have necessary equipment for minor accidents? I-Yes, 2-No
40. Did you have to visit the center? I-Yes, 2-No
41. Are you satisfied with the service of the center? I-Yes, 2-No
42. What types of services are available in the center?

I-only primary treatment, 2-treatment for minor accidents, 3-treatment for major accidents

43.How many floors in the factory? No.

What is the condition of the floors? I-congested , 2-moderatcly congested, 3 -clean , 4- s pacious

44.How many workers the factory has? , No.
45.How many machines the factory has? No.

Physical structure of the factory and condition (Floor, machines, sound, indoor air etc.)

46. How many machines the factory has? No.
47. What types of machines?
48. Do the machines well placed? I-Yes, 2-No
49. Do the machines extract toxic elements? I-Yes, 2-No, 3- don't know
50. Is there any heavy metallic machine? I-Yes, 2-No.
51.Does the machine create too much sound? I-Yes, 2-No
52. Do you think the sounds are disturbing and creating hearing problems? I-Yes, 2- No
53. Do you think the factory has too many workers? I-Yes, 2-No
54. Is the factory noisy due to too many workers? I-Yes, 2-No
55. Does each floor in the factory bas proper ventilation? I-Yes, 2-No
56. Is the air within the factory suffocating? I-Yes, 2-No


57.Do the male workers/colleagues behave roughly towards the female workers/colleagues? 1-Yes, 2-No
58. If yes, what is its nature? _
59.Did you face any harassment in the factory? I-Yes, 2-No

If yes, what was it?

60.Do you know, your colleagues faced any type of harassment in the factory? I-Yes, 2-No if yes, what was it?
61.Is the harassment common or frequently happen in the factory? I-Yes, 2-No
62.Do you or your colleagues feel environment exist to report any form of harassment? 1-Yes, 2-No
63. If no, then what makes you or your colleagues so silent? _ _
64. if yes, did you or your colleagues report any incident of harassment to the authority?

1-Yes, 2-No, 3- Not Applicable If yes, what actions did the authority take?

65. If-No action taken, 2-action taken but didn't get proper justice, 3-got proper justice What level of male staff is involved in harassment? I-Managers, 2-workers. 3-co workers

Accident (rate, compensation, etc.)

66. Would you please describe frequency and types of accidents in the factory?

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67. Would you please describe any major accident happened in your factory (in near past)?

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68.How did it happen?
69. Did your factory bear the treatment cost to the worker? I-Yes, 2-No
70. How much was it? Tk.
71. Did the factory approve leave to the worker during treatment? I-Yes, 2-No
72. Do you know your factory has policy for bearing treatment cost to the workers? I- Yes, 2-No
74. Do the factory has first aid box for the workers? I-Yes, 2-No
75. How many? (Per floor) _
76. What the box contains? Medicines
77. Are you aware about the box?
78. Do you need to use the box? I-Yes, 2-No
79.I f yes, how frequently?

1-Yes, 2-No, 3-don't know

80. How the factory manages the toxic elements?

I-No measure, 2-passes through pipe or some other measures

81.Do you get sick due to these toxic elements? I-Yes, 2-No
82.Does the factory have any protective measures from toxic elements? I-Yes, 2-No
83.If yes, what are those? I-Musk, 2-Protector, 3-Apron, 4-others specify_ _ _
84.Does the factory have enough lighting system? I-Yes, clearly visible; 2-feel adequate
85.If no, are the floors under darkness or shady? Feel inadequate I-yes shay,2-not adequate
86.What is the ventilation system of the factory in each floor?

l-enough ventilation in each floor , 2-inadequate ventilation, 3-ventilation don't exist in every floor , 4 –no ventilation

87.What is the condition of heating of the factory?


Excerpt out of 102 pages


Corporate Social Responsibility in the Garment Industry. How Effective is the Practice in Bangladesh?
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
Human Ressources and Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
The dissertation is solely based on research through surveys, sampling and questionnaires.
corporate, social, responsibility, garment, industry, effective, practice, bangladesh
Quote paper
Saad Ibne Shafi (Author), 2019, Corporate Social Responsibility in the Garment Industry. How Effective is the Practice in Bangladesh?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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