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relationships is hard to obtain in the context of a formal interview.

The ten

ex-workers who cited worsened family relationships may represent a more general problem of deterioration of gender-relationships garment workers’ households.

what is in fact in retrenched

Conclusion

In recent years many foresaw a gloomy future for Bangladesh in the post-MFA era, experts frequently predicting a loss of 1 to 1.5 million jobs in the Bangladesh RMG industry (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions 2004; Steps Towards Development 2004; Fritsch 2003; Siddiqi 2003).

In August 2005, when I visited Bangladesh in order to prepare for this survey, Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a reputed expert on the RMG industry, stated that information about closure of factories and retrenchment of workers remained

anecdotal. of all the completed

In his opinion, ‘smart factories’, which account RMG factories, are expanding their production.

for 10 They

repositioning

of

production

in

the

form

of

factory

to 15 percent have already restructuring,

increase in production machinery and expansion of their high-end markets. According to him, it will be the which will first face closure, and this will have gender

design sections, targeting sub-contracting factories implications because the

share of female workers mentioned that the growing

is particularly high in those importance of knitwear exports

factories. He

also

would likewise

work

negatively against women.

This is because knit RMG

and

a

capital-intensive

restructuring

is

in

progress

in

multi-skills is being introduced. operate such machinery.

Male

workers

are

is more male-intensive, which machinery with generally employed to

In another interview conducted in August 2005, an owner of woven RMG factories and an executive of BGMEA pointed out the sharp reduction of Cutting

and Making (C & regime, quotas gave

M) charges Bangladesh

after the factories a

MFA withdrawal. bargaining edge in

Under the

MFA

negotiations

on C

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