Walmart fires supplier that used burned-down Bangladesh garment factory

Published: November 27, 2012

The bodies of some of the victims of a deadly fire in a garment factory are lined up on the ground prior to burial at a graveyard in Dhaka on Nov. 27, 2012. AFP/Getty Images

ARUN DEVNATH AND RENEE DUDLEY
BLOOMBERG

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, fired a supplier that made apparel at a Bangladesh factory where more than 100 people died in the country’s deadliest ever blaze at a garment facility.

“The Tazreen factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for Walmart,” Kevin Gardner, a Walmart spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies. Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier.” He declined to name the supplier.

The factory, owned by Tazreen Fashion Ltd., had no emergency exits, and many workers were burnt alive, as they got trapped in heavy smoke, said Muhammad Mahboob, a director at the Fire Service and Civil Defence. Some workers jumped from the eight-story building to escape the flames, according to Mohammad Sharif, who runs a local grocery store and whose parents-in-law worked at the plant.

At least 124 people were killed in the fire on Nov. 24, said Habibur Rahman, superintendent of police for Dhaka. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, estimates the death toll at 113.

Textiles contribute more than 10 per cent of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product and about 80 per cent of the nation’s exports, mainly to the U.S. and the EU, according to the manufacturers’ association.

Bangladesh’s High Court yesterday opened a probe into the nation’s worst garment factory fire. After four human rights organizations filed a writ petition, two judges in a ruling asked the government to explain what steps it has taken to implement an earlier High Court directive to ensure the safety of garment workers.

About 700 apparel industry workers have died since 2005 because of unsafe buildings in the Asian country, the International Labor Rights Forum said in a statement. The second deadliest fire was in 2006 when 54 people died at KTS Textile and Garments in the port city of Chittagong, according to the manufacturers’ association. As wages have risen in China, companies such as Li & Fung Ltd., the world’s largest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers, are tapping Bangladesh and other lower-cost Asian countries.

The factory that burned down has produced apparel for Li & Fung, which has said it is in contact with the factory’s owner and that it will conduct its own investigation.

The fire won’t have any material impact on the company’s financial performance and the total value of orders placed by its U.S. subsidiary for the year amounted to $111,000, Li & Fung said yesterday. It hasn’t placed orders for other customers with Tazreen, it said.

Walmart has visited supplier factories to identify those deemed “high risk for fire safety hazards,” it said on its website. In 2011, the company stopped working with 49 factories in Bangladesh due to fire safety issues, it said.

Tazreen Fashion, a unit of textile manufacturer Tuba Group, employs 1,200 workers and exports goods worth $36 million a year, mainly to the U.S. and Europe, according to the company’s website.

 






Featured

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Narendra Modi condemns ‘extremely disturbing’ Ottawa shootout

IANS New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Wednesday’s shootout near the Canadian parliament in Ottawa as “extremely disturbing”. “News of the attack in…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »