How a Walmart “safety” scheme is dividing the Democrat Party
In the latest sign of Democrats’ divisions on Walmart, the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has urged a Walmart-backed Bangladesh safety group – which congressional Democrats have called everything from a “missed opportunity” to an “important initiative”– to incorporate training factory managers to accept and cooperate with unions as part of its agenda.
As I’ve reported, western retailers have been under increased scrutiny following the deaths of over 1,200 Bangladesh workers in a November fire and an April building collapse. Both disasters took place in factories from which Walmart had previously sourced garments; in both cases Walmart placed blame on rogue suppliers for filing orders. Following the disaster, over seventy companies, the vast majority of them outside the US, have joined a union-backed “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh,” which labor groups hailed as a new precedent for establishing binding commitments and involving workers in the process of monitoring their own conditions.