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Gap and Walmart Face Up to Bangladesh Plant Safety

Oct. 15, 2013
Major multinational retailers have acknowledged the need to improve living conditions and safety of people working in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 workers in New York City more than 100 years ago led to workplace safety and health reforms, culminating many years later in the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the birth of OSHA. But while today’s U.S. workers may enjoy the benefits of modern building codes and safety regulations, laborers in developing countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan have suffered from the same kind of workplace safety ignorance and neglect that characterized the U.S. garment industry of the early 20th century.

In just the past year Bangladesh alone exported goods worth more than $20 billion—nearly 12 percent more than a year earlier. To address the safety of the workers making those numbers possible, Gap, Walmart, Disney and others  say they are taking steps to improve working conditions in their extended supply chains. Read the full story at EHSToday

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