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Gap, Walmart stand in way of factory reforms in Bangladesh

Thursday, May 16, 2013

All that favorable PR chatter earlier in the week about San Francisco-based Gap and other major U. S. clothing retailers moving quickly to sign on to garment industry reforms in Bangladesh—didn’t happen. In fact, the Mercury News says opposition to the agreement by Gap and Walmart in particular was likely responsible for keeping other big retailers from signing on to an international accord to improve factory conditions. The retailers apparently felt the agreement was too favorable to garment workers and left them open to lawsuits. An excerpt (after the jump):

Resistance from Gap and Wal-Mart probably deterred other retailers from getting on board, experts say. And sharp criticism from the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation, which Wednesday lambasted the accord for serving union interests, is likely to discourage many more American retailers from joining. That could undermine the overall effect of the accord -- about 80 percent of the Bangladeshi garment exports go to Europe and the U.S.

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