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New York - Wal-Mart Tightens Supplier Policy After Factory Fire

Published on: January 22, 2013 08:33 AM
By: Reuters
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FILE -  Bangladeshi social organisation, Magic Movement, organize a gathering of symbolic dead bodies as a protest against the deaths of the garments workers in the Ashulia fire in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) office in Dhaka, Bangladesh 29 November 2012.  EPAFILE -  Bangladeshi social organisation, Magic Movement, organize a gathering of symbolic dead bodies as a protest against the deaths of the garments workers in the Ashulia fire in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) office in Dhaka, Bangladesh 29 November 2012.  EPA

New York - Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to cut ties immediately with suppliers who subcontract work to factories without the retailer’s knowledge, changing its policy after a fire killed more than 100 garment workers in Bangladesh, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Wal-Mart is warning suppliers that it is adopting a “zero tolerance policy” for violations of its global sourcing standards and the company’s new plan would begin taking effect from March 1, the Journal said.

The tougher code replaces Wal-Mart’s prior “three strikes” approach to policing suppliers, which gave the suppliers three chances to address problems before being terminated.

“Obviously our three-strike policy wasn’t working as well as it could have,” Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s vice president of ethical sourcing, told the Journal in an interview. “Our message of zero tolerance is meant to get people’s attention.”

Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

More than 100 workers were killed in a November 24 fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh. Wal-Mart has said repeatedly that its Faded Glory clothing should not have been in production at the factory, a facility Bangladeshi authorities said was not safe for use.


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 Jan 22, 2013 at 08:44 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

Leaping into action after only sixty days! With a punishment that starts ninety days after the fire! Such speed!

2

 Jan 22, 2013 at 02:40 PM Skeptical Says:

Walmart can play all of the games that it wants to. The fact of the matter is that is buyers visit these factories, and negotiate to get the best deals. There is no way that Walmart didn't know that its suppliers outsource their manufacturing activities. Also, there is no way that Walmart management doesn't know (even though it is illegal), that its stores are still occasionally asking people for photo ID, when they present a Mastercard or Visa card. When this illegal policy was presented to numerous Walmart executives, the silent response on their part was deafening! Even when that illegal policy was brought to the head of Mastercard's legal department, his silent response was twice as deafening! Mastercard does not want to upset Walmart, so it permits them to violate its own policies!

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