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Old May 14, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Walmart Names Names: Its List of 240+ Banned Factories in Bangladesh
After the disaster in Bangladesh last week — one of history’s deadliest industrial accidents — some of the world’s biggest clothing makers have signed up to a new industry-wide system for monitoring safety standards at Bangladeshi garment factories.

Some, that is. Not all. Wal-Mart has not signed on to the system, instead going ahead with its own set of safety initiatives in Bangladesh announced today. From the WSJ’s Shelly Banjo:

Wal-Mart said it would pay for safety inspections at 279 Bangladesh factories and publish results on its website by June 1. When fire and building safety issues are found, Wal-Mart will require factory owners to make necessary renovations or risk being removed from its list of authorized factories.

Wal-Mart won’t pay for the renovations but will “expect the cost of safety improvements to be reflected in the cost of goods we buy,” said Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s head of ethical sourcing, in an interview. “We don’t want anyone to cut corners to put workers safety in jeopardy.”
Also yet to announce their plans regarding the proposed industry accord in Bangladesh: big U.S. retailers including J.C. Penney, Sears and Gap.

Wal-Mart released a list of all the factories it has already determined to me unsafe. A quick look at the list of around 250 factories, spread through the country but primarily in the two largest cities, Dhaka and Chittagong, shows the extent of the work involved in inspecting all Bangladeshi clothing facilities. Monitoring hundreds, or thousands, of such factories, will be a tall order both for Wal-Mart and for the many manufacturers coming together under the new safety accord.

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