A Fox Business host said Monday that the 112 Bangladesh workers killed in a factory fire over the weekend were actually thankful just to have jobs, regardless of their working conditions.
“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.”
More than 700 people have died in Bangladesh garment factory fires since 2005, according to the International Labor Rights Forum. The Associated Press noted that many Bangladeshi garment workers earn less than $40 a month.
Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the blaze, saying they suspect a short-circuit sparked flammable materials. They also haven’t ruled out arson.
This video is from Fox News, aired Monday, November 26, 2012, as snipped by Think Progress.
This video is from The Associated Press, published Monday, November 26, 2012.