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The production of garments and textiles in Bangladesh: trade unions, international managers and the health and safety of workersThis paper offers a view of working practices within the garment and textile (G&T) industry in Bangladesh. The G&T industry accounts for over 84 per cent of Bangladesh exports and is therefore viewed as key to the country’s economic development. This importance is seen in the creation of Export Processing Zones (EPZs), which were created by that state to encourage foreign investment by offering a congenial climate free from cumbersome procedures. Trade unions are outlawed in these areas. Health and safety are poor within the G&T industry. However, the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013, which caused 1,132 deaths and over 2,500 injuries, placed the issue of workplace safety on the international agenda. Arguably, this prompted a change of attitude within Bangladesh and the G&T industry towards health and safety. The presence of international managers appears to have played a significant role in improving health and safety in the working environment, however these international managers do face a range of cultural barriers, which include both language and a different perception of the value of health and safety in the workplace. This paper has adopted a mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative data, collected through interviews and questionnaire surveys within the G&T industry in Bangladesh.