The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Saturday, May 18, 2013

U.S. Retailers Are Refusing To Help Stop Slave Labor

Earlier this week, major European retailers announced their plans to implement a sweeping safety agreement to protect garment workers in Bangladesh. But Walmart and Gap refuse to sign on to the plan. According to the New York Times, Gap has expressed concerns that "overzealous American lawyers could seize on the agreement to sue American companies on behalf of aggrieved factory workers in Bangladesh." Walmart opposes "governance and dispute resolution mechanisms," saying these worker protections are, "appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals." Instead, Walmart will use its own so-called safety plan, which labor groups have characterized as "merely aspirational." We must stand up for those who aren't given a voice, and start voting with our dollars to let these companies know we won't stand for their use of slave labor. If Walmart and Gap refuse to protect workers, we'll start supporting the companies that do.

No comments: