Retailers Take Bangladesh Safety Matters Into Their Own Hands

from The Wall Street Journal..

July 7, 2013

By CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO

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Bangladeshi garment workers staged a protest on Sunday in Dhaka. (Associated Press)

PARIS—Retailers are becoming more stringent about monitoring safety at the factories they use in Bangladesh, pre-empting a safety pact that won’t come into full effect until the fall.

A sense of urgency has permeated retailers in the wake of a factory building collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers in April, illuminating the lack of oversight in one of the world’s largest garment manufacturers. Retailers such as Hennes & Mauritz AB,HM-B.SK +0.55% Zara parent Inditex SA ITX.MC -1.32% and British retailer Primark, part of Associated British Foods ABF.LN -0.11% PLC, scrambled to come up with an industrywide safety pact, which begins to take effect on Monday.

Yet many are also taking matters into their own hands and working with their competitors, duplicating some of the functions of the safety pact. The newfound cooperation underscores the pressure on retailers to adapt how they do business in Bangladesh.

Retailers are hiring specialists and rushing to conduct their own building-safety checks, even before the same buildings are checked by the pact’s chief inspector…

Link to the entire article:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324867904578591792479066534.html?KEYWORDS=Bangladesh

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