As if to underscore the urgent need for retailers to insist on major changes in how apparel factories operate in Bangladesh, a fatal fire at a second Bangladesh apparel factory killed at least eight workers. This follows an apparel factory fire in Bangladesh two weeks ago that killed more than 1,000 workers and that forced retail changes.
"It is not clear to us how the accident happened, but we are trying to find out the cause," Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Reuters.
And on Wednesday (May 8), the Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands. Six were cleared to re-open on Thursday after inspectors issued safety certificates, Reuters reported. The government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-story complex for using shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and not obtaining the necessary clearances.
Thus far, Disney is the only U.S. retailer to fully out of Bangladesh apparel factories, but many other chains—including Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Gap (NYSE:GPS)—have been getting close to making key changes.
- See the Reuters story
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