Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

More retailers join Bangladesh safety effort

Labels of garments made in Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan from a Walmart store in Atlanta are displayed.

Associated Press (2012)

Labels of garments made in Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan from a Walmart store in Atlanta are displayed.

Six major retailers, including Carrefour, Marks & Spencer and El Corte Inglés, announced on Tuesday that they would participate in a landmark plan to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh, joining five European companies that signed onto the plan on Monday.

With only one American company joining — PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger — consumers, investors and labor groups are pressing Gap, Walmart and other American retailers and apparel companies to sign onto the effort. The plan will require participating companies to agree to rigorous inspection of the factories they use in Bangladesh and to help underwrite needed safety improvements at factories with violations.

Late Tuesday afternoon in response to growing criticisms that it was not doing enough to improve factory safety, Walmart announced that its factory monitors would "conduct in-depth safety inspections at 100 percent of the" 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh.

Walmart said it would immediately stop production at factories where urgent safety problems were found and would notify factory owners and government authorities of the need to take action. Walmart stopped short of committing to help underwrite the needed improvements — one of the key aspects of the landmark Bangladesh safety plan that more than a dozen European retailers and apparel brands have embraced since Monday.

Walmart said it would complete reviews of every factory within six months and would post results of these inspections, although it did not say how much information it would post. "Transparency is vital to make progress in improving factory conditions," said Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president of Ethical Sourcing for Walmart.

Once numerous European companies began joining the plan on Monday — led by H&M, the Swedish company that is the largest purchaser of apparel from Bangladesh — a division has appeared between European and American companies about what needs to be done to respond to the April 24 factory building collapse in Bangladesh in which more than 1,100 workers died.

Walmart has maintained a distance from the collapse, even though Ether Tex, one of the factories in the collapsed Rana Plaza building, had listed Walmart as a customer on its Web site.

More retailers join Bangladesh safety effort 05/14/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It's fake

    National

    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    A framed copy of Time magazine, dated March 1, 2009, that hangs in at least four of President Donald Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland, is fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time. The real March 2, 2009, issue of Time featured actor Kate Winslet on the cover. But the issue makes no mention of Trump. [Left, Time; right, Angel Valentin for the Washington Post]
  2. Editorial: The human cost of slashing Medicaid

    Editorials

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no choice Tuesday but to postpone voting this week on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that is just as devastating as the version passed by the House. The Congressional Budget Office's estimate that Senate bill would eliminate health care coverage for 22 million …

    Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  3. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Blogs

    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  4. Editorial: Scott's poor choice for CFO

    Editorials

    Gov. Rick Scott didn't reach too deeply into Florida's talent pool in appointing his friend Jimmy Patronis to fill a vacancy as the state's new chief financial officer. This is an exceptionally weak choice for a Cabinet post that requires a sophisticated understanding of banking and other financial services, and it …