I was interviewed for this Jake Blumgart article at Alternet on attempts by United Students Against Sweatshops and others in the U.S. to hold apparel corporations accountable for the terrible conditions in Bangladesh. I think groups like USAS can play a really big role. USAS had its heyday in the late 90s anti-sweatshop campaigns and then faded a bit as young activists became more motivated by the Iraq War. It’s made a nice comeback however and its ability to inform everyday consumers of the social costs of the clothing they purchase is an important action since most people have no clue about these matters.
Also of note in the piece is that the Obama Administration might have suspended trade privileges with Bangladesh last week but the AFL-CIO is disappointed it did not also provide a roadmap and timeline of reforms, including asserting the right to collective bargaining is respected. These specifics are necessary to make any of it meaningful.