Bangladesh Factory Still Making US Products Despite Wal-Mart Red Listing

 @MayaErgas
on May 20 2013 1:32 PM
Building Collapse In Dhaka, Bangaldesh
People rescue garment workers trapped under rubble at the Rana Plaza building after it collapsed, in Savar Reuters

A Bangladeshi garment factory, which was found to have cracks in its walls and has been banned by Wal-Mart, is continuing to manufacture products for U.S.-based VF Corp., Reuters reported on Sunday.

"We are in daily contact with the facility and VF's leadership is closely monitoring the status in this facility and others in our Bangladesh supply chain," a company statement to Reuters, said.

Liz Apparels, the garment factory which makes Wrangler shirts and sold clothing to Wal-Mart, has been put on a “red list” of unapproved vendors after cracks were found on the building walls, Wal-Mart told Reuters. The structure in question is seven-stories tall and houses 3,500 employees, according to Reuters.

A representative for the company that owns the building told Reuters: "The cracks that developed here are not really dangerous, not dangerous for the structure.” Another spokesman said, “the tiny and hair-like crack lines are only on plaster and not the bricks on the main wall.”

After an inspection on May 12, almost three weeks after the April 24 building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people near Dhaka, Liz Apparels was cleared for normal operations. Unlike the collapsed building in Dhaka, which added three unapproved floors, the Liz Apparels building did not deviate from its approved engineering, Reuters reported.

Last Tuesday, Wal-Mart announced it would not be signing a fire-safety pledge that other manufacturers like H&M, and Inditex, which owns clothing retailer Zara, have already signed.

Wal-Mart said its own safety plans will get fast results, Reuters reported. On Wednesday, a separate report said Wal-Mart had, in fact, begun to step up inspections in the 279 factories from which it buys its products.

“While we agree with much of the proposal, the IndustriALL plan also introduces requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals," Wal-Mart said in a statement.

Last week, it was reported that Stitch Tone Garments, a garment maker in Chittagong, had resumed operations despite requests by Wal-Mart to stop production.

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