Giant retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT) says it will not sign a safety agreement in Bangladesh.
The company — which uses 279 factories inside Bangladesh — instead says it has created its own accord that exceeds the requirements of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, The Guardian reports.
In the wake of recent factory incidents that have claimed more than 1,000 lives, more than 12 major international retailers have agreed to sign the accord. By signing the legally binding agreement, they agree to allow inspections and pay fines if building safety does not meet standards. Up to 65% of factories may be inspected and the results of each must be published within 45 days.
Walmart claims its agreement — which is not legally binding — will require inspections in 100% of plants in Bangladesh used by the company, and the findings must be published immediately. However, it doesn’t require the company to provide financing to groups promoting fire and building safety, nor does it require that Walmart blacklist factories that do not pass inspection.
“Walmart’s so-called new programme is simply more of the same ineffective auditing that failed to prevent the Rana Plaza disaster, or the deaths of 112 workers at Tazreen, who were producing Walmart goods,” Sam Maher of Labor Behind the Label said.