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Wal-Mart wrongfully maligned for refuseing Compensation for Factory Victims

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posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 09:46 AM
now i know wal-mart has some major issues, trust me i have more against them than many people having worked there myself in the past. but i feel that along with sears they are handling this just fine. the articles i see seem to be spinning this in a negative light on the companies however.

Wal-Mart and Sears aren't planning to pay the victims of a Bangladesh factory fire in November that killed more than 120 people who were making garments for the retailers. The two companies ignored an invitation to attend a Geneva, Switzerland meeting where retailers who worked with the factory, Tazreen Design Ltd., were supposed to discuss how to compensate victims and their families, reported Renee Dudley at Bloomberg. Read more:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) have so far declined to join Li & Fung Ltd. and other companies in voluntarily compensating victims of a fire last year at a Bangladesh garment factory. Wal-Mart and Sears also didn’t respond to an invitation to attend a meeting today in Geneva, where companies whose clothing was manufactured at the Tazreen Design Ltd. factory are expected to discuss compensation payments, said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, a Washington-based international labor-monitoring group.

i know it sounds rather hard hearted that i feel that they have NO RESPONSIBILITY to pay. but in this case wal-mart and sears are CONSUMERS. they are not in charge of the factory, and thus responsible for what happened that responsibility is on those that run/own the factory, as well as the government who should have standards in place to protect workers. yes they DO have some limited responsibility to try to insure that their suppliers are safe for their workers, something that wal-mart actually does. it has a three strike and you are out type policy in place. this is done so as the company can work on improvements without suddenly being cut off from their source of income. otherwise many (since this factory handles multiple clients) workers would suddenly be without jobs. in fact it seems that this factory had already struck out at least once so they should have been working on improvements. as such it seems that at least wal-mart was trying to get things done to protect the workers. i would think that it is likely that sears has something similar in place. the fact that they got an "orange grade" a couple years back, seems to indicate that while things might not have been perfect that they were at least correcting them.

A document on the company's website revealed high-risk violations flagged by an "ethical sourcing" official for Walmart. Walmart gave the factory an "orange" grade in May 2011. If it got that grade three times in two years, Walmart would have stopped ordering from the factory for one year. Read more:

so why SHOULD wal-mart or sears pay? should the stores that sold the fertilizer from the plant that blew up in Texas have to pay for those injured and killed? or should CUSTOMERS of a store have to pay for the employees killed/injured if a store catches fire? should home buyers pay for any workers killed on the job when they buy a house or condo? should transit riders be charged when a worker electrocutes himself while working on a subway track? NO because the onus to protect workers is on the company that employs them NOT on those who purchase or use a product they make/sell or provide.

now it appears three companies have decided to "pay off" the workers. i guess that is their choice, more power to them, yet they seem to be going overboard.

Li & Fung, (494) a Hong Kong-based exporter, has agreed to pay $1,280 to the family of each worker who died and to each injured worker via a fund set up by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. A separate foundation will fund the education of victims’ children, Katherine Wang, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re continuing our dialogue with the industry in Bangladesh to determine what else we can do to help,” Wang said. European retailer C&A said it has donated $1,200 per family via its foundation. The company also committed to providing monthly payments of $50 to the children of the dead. Italian retailer Piazza Italia agreed to “participate fully in whatever compensation plan is agreed at the meeting” but declined to attend, Nova said.

while it really does not seem much to many of us. taking the rate they get paid, with just the 2 stated companies the death/injury payout is about 5 years pay then ON TOP of that Li & Fung plans to pay education for the victims children, and C&A has stated they will give $50/month (for how long i wonder) to the victims children, which from what i have seen appears to be MORE than the monthly wage of the workers. WOW what a HUGE WINDFALL for these families.
[sarcasim] gee anyone want to set fire to their workplace so their children can live better?[/sarcasim]. almost sounds like hush money.

pay that can be less than $40 a month. Read more:

yet at the same time wal-mart has given what i would think is EVEN MORE money $1.6 million to set up a fire safety academy, and/or safety enforcement (depending on which article you read). and maligned because it is NOT ENOUGH MONEY given for something that yet again is really not the responsibility of a consumer, but the responsibility of the government of that country. personally i think this is money much better spent instead of "paying off" the worker's families. as well as working with the government to improve things.

Wal-Mart has donated $1.6 million to training and safety enforcement in Bangladesh. Read more:

“At Walmart, our goal is to positively impact global supply chain practices by raising our own standards and by partnering with other stakeholders to improve the standards for workers across the industry,” Gardner said in an e-mailed statement. “Walmart has been advocating for improved fire safety with the Bangladeshi government, with industry groups and with suppliers. We have been actively developing and implementing proactive programs to raise fire safety awareness and increase fire prevention.” Wal-Mart on April 9 announced a $1.6 million donation to the Institute of Sustainable Communities, a U.S. non- governmental organization, to establish an entity called the Environment, Health and Safety Academy in Bangladesh. The school will offer fire safety training to Bangladesh apparel manufacturers, Wal-Mart said in a news release.

like i said i have my own issues with wal-mart, but fair is fair. this negative spin put onto wal-mart over this is just wrong. i see what they are doing as more positive than just "buying off" those injured and killed.

posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 09:53 AM
reply to post by generik

I don't really care too much for big corporations and big business, but I understand why they don't feel obligated to pay for these peoples suffering.

Lets say that you were in the fishing business and I wanted to buy fish from you to make my delicuous fish sticks. How is it my fault when you die because your boat sinks due to you not maintaining it properly? (rhetorical)


posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 10:00 AM
reply to post by MessOnTheFED!

exactly, well said.

i also dislike large corporations, ESPECIALLY wal-mart.
or for that matter the "outsourcing" of manufacturing overseas. but when i read things that are so blatantly spun to put a company into poor light when they actually don't deserve it, just ticks me off.

wal-mart has REAL issues that need to be fixed. shining the light on a NON issue just takes away from actual important issues.

posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 10:09 AM
Well, this does not seem to be Wal-mart's fault. I am a supporter of small grocery stores which employ more people. I think we should have worldwide laws passed on frivolous lawsuits. Any Lawyer caught taking a case where there is not very good evidence or real reason should lose his license. Any person filing a suit like this without a good and just reason should be fined extensively. In the cases like Monsanto, people should charge the company with a crime, not file lawsuits. The Legal system in this country, and in many other places around the world, is full of corruption in design.

posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 10:36 AM
It's only Wal-Marts fault in the respect that they hired an unsafe factory in which to produce their goods. Perhaps they did not do the due diligence that they should have. For example, no union factory is going to have these same safety issues. I think the all the cost of production, which would include the cost of such accidents, should be passed straight down the chain to the eventual end consumer. I.E. You buy that Wal-Mart dress and part of the price is the cost to compensate those families. The cost should also include any welfare received by their employees, the cost of those unemployed due to loss of manufacturing, the higher prices of energy for everything because of energy used to ship across the oceans, the list could go on and on. When the true cost of importing "cheap" goods is taken into account it is clear they are not cheaper, just more profitable.

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