Last year, 112 workers died in a factory fire in Bangladesh.

Walmart among companies choosing not to compensate workers in factory fire

April 16, 2013 6:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We've discussed some of Walmart's previous high-profile legal battles already on this blog. Whether it's the company's strict stance on not operating with union labor or questionable business practices with intellectual property, the retail giant has been a frequent visitor to the courtroom in recent years. Now, it appears that the company has found itself wrapped up in another front page story. However, it won't be alone.

According to reports, Walmart has joined Sears as the only companies that have apparently refused to pay damages to families of the victims involved in a fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh last year. Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, a Washington-based international labor-monitoring group, told Bloomberg News that the retailers were not present at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland where companies whose products were manufactured at the Tazreen Design Ltd. factory were expected to discuss how they would compensate the workers' loved ones.

The fire in question occurred on November 24, 2012 and resulted in the deaths of at least 112 workers. Three managers at the factory were detained following the incident after reports emerged that the factory's exits were closed in order to prevent employees from escaping. Walmart claims that it had previously pulled its products from the factory and that items found there were from suppliers using the facility without its permission.

"It's so important for Western retailers to be at this meeting," Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, said to Bloomberg News. "If they're not there, they're totally giving the message that they are supporting these death traps and they really don't care how many lives go to make these clothes."

When a manufacturer or supplier undergoes an accident such as this, businesses are encouraged to seek out a Phoenix small business attorney in order to make sure they are protected.

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