Bangladesh: Documents indicate 3 Walmart suppliers made goods in Tazreen apparel factory where 112 workers died - Walmart reportedly pushed back on fire safety proposal

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Article
5 December 2012

Bangladesh: How Rules Went Astray

Author: Tripti Lahiri & Syed Zain al-Mahmood, Wall Street Journal

In the last week of October, a supplier for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. placed an order with garment-maker Simco Bangladesh...Simco subcontracted the work to another company without Wal-Mart's authorization, [a] Simco executive said. Wal-Mart, which said it has strict rules for factories manufacturing its orders, declined to respond to specific queries about the shorts order. When the subcontractor's factory [Tazreen Fashions (part of Tuba Group)]...burned down...killing 112 workers, it exposed the lines that some Bangladeshi manufacturers...cross to get the work done...Wal-Mart declined to comment on the details of the audits of any Tuba Group companies. It said that its supplier...had sourced garments from Tazreen Fashions without authorization and that it had terminated its relationship with the supplier after the fire. [also refers to Sears; C & A; Tuba Garments, Tuba Textile Mills (both part of Tuba Group), Intertek, International Intimates, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association]

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Article
5 December 2012

Documents Indicate Walmart Blocked Safety Push in Bangladesh

Author: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

...[O]fficials who attended a meeting held in Bangladesh in 2011 to discuss factory safety in the garment industry said on Wednesday that the Walmart official there played the lead role in blocking an effort to have global retailers pay more for apparel to help Bangladesh factories improve their electrical and fire safety...Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator for the Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop group based in Amsterdam, said Walmart was the company that “most strongly advocated this position.”...Kevin Gardner, a Walmart spokesman, said the company official’s remarks in Bangladesh were “out of context.”...[P]hotographed documents from the factory indicate that three suppliers — the International Direct Group, Success Apparel and Topson Downs — used the factory to make shirts, shorts and pajamas for Walmart. [also refers to Sam's Club (part of Walmart). Further comments by Walmart included]

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