NY Times: Walmart Blocked Fire Safety Efforts in Bangladesh

A New York Times report says that Walmart played a larger role than the retailer indicated in the garment factory fire that killed more than 100 workers in Savar, Bangladesh last month.

According to the publication, Walmart is primarily responsible for blocking past efforts to improve Bangladesh factory safety. “Two officials 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,” reads the article. “‘It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments,’ the minutes said.”

Bangladesh’s garment industry, the second-largest clothing exporter after China, is notorious for poor fire safety. Fire officials say most of the workers were killed in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory because there were not enough exits.

Tazreen Fashions produces T-shirts, polo shirts and fleece jackets for large clothing retailers including Walmart. For a complete list of companies, click here.

Click here to sign a petition urging immediate action and better working conditions from retailers that buy from Tazreen Fashions.