“It is tragic,” contributor Charles Payne said, appearing on “Your World” with host Neil Cavuto. “I don’t think something like this will happen again. Don’t think that the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t want or need those jobs, as well.”
In the wake of the deadly blaze, one of three recent factory fires in Bangladesh, authorities cited lax safety conditions, non-working fire extinguishers and a distinct lack of emergency exits, which could have saved dozens of lives. Workers also claimed that when fire alarms began to sound in the factory, managers for the factory’s owner, Tazreen Fashions Ltd., told everyone there was no emergency and that the employees should get back to work.
As rescue workers sifted through the charred rubble, they discovered numerous garments that had been prepared for sale in the U.S. The brands included Walmart’s “Faded Glory,” along with Dickies, Ace, Enyce, Kebo Raw, Piaza Italia, True Desire, C&A, Fashion Basics and others.
Walmart said Monday that it was not aware its garments were being made in the factory, insisting that the workers had been subcontracted by a Walmart affiliate in contravention of the company’s policy.
“The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh,” a prepared statement from Walmart claimed. The company did not name the affiliate that subcontracted work to Tazreen Fashions, but said the relationship has since been terminated.
“I know we like to victimize everyone in this country, particularly when it comes to for-profit motivation, which is being assaulted,” Payne said. “But, you know, it is a tragedy but I think it is a stretch, an amazing stretch, to sort of try to pin this on Walmart but, of course, the unions in this country are desperate.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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