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Wal-Mart, The Renegade Again

In the annals of “this is no surprise” let me chalk up yet another example of the immoral behavior of the Wal-Mart family: it is not interested in signing on to a broadly accepted new safety code of practice in Bangladesh. No–the greed and avarice of the five Walton heirs, each of whom is worth around $20 billion, has no upper limit. Even if it means people get killed — though I guess if they aren’t white people and they are far away in another land, the Waltons just don’t care.

News via The Wall Street Journal:

Wal-Mart hasn’t signed on to the five-year Building and Fire Safety accord, which was negotiated with worker-safety groups and labor unions and signed this week by retailers including Hennes & Mauritz AB, Zara parent Inditex and France’s Carrefour SA…

Wal-Mart said it would pay for safety inspections at 279 Bangladesh factories and publish results on its website by June 1. When fire and building safety issues are found, Wal-Mart will require factory owners to make necessary renovations or risk being removed from its list of authorized factories.

Wal-Mart won’t pay for the renovations but will “expect the cost of safety improvements to be reflected in the cost of goods we buy,” said Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s head of ethical sourcing, in an interview. “We don’t want anyone to cut corners to put workers safety in jeopardy.”

The plan also calls for setting up an independent call center for garment workers to report unsafe conditions.

The retail giant said it also will make public a list of more than 250 factories whose authorization to produce goods for Wal-Mart has already been revoked.

Worker’s rights groups dismissed Wal-Mart’s plan as a public-relations effort.

“Wal-Mart’s ruthless drive for low production costs regardless of consequences of workers has been single biggest contributor to working conditions in Bangladesh,” said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium in Washington.

Of course. Because Wal-Mart is a corrupt company, willing to bribe people.

Because Wal-Mart is a persistent violator of wage and hour laws in the U.S.

It has been viciously anti-union for its entire history–not a single Wal-Mart store has a union in the U.S.

It’s entire model is based on poverty: poverty of the people who work there and poverty of the people who shop in the stores. And poverty of the people who make goods sold at Wal-Mart, sales that make the Waltons among the richest people in the world.

So, what difference does it make if a thousand lives are snuffed out in a flash? Pshaw. Just another sleazy task on the long list of daily to-dos for the Walton family.

 

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