Enforce Fire Safety Regulations in Deathtrap Factories

Target: Barbara Gregory (Ethical Sourcing, Walmart)

Goal: To enforce fire safety regulations for overseas factories

In the last decade, there reportedly have been several factory fires in Bangladesh that have killed hundreds of people. These factories supply to most major retailers, such as H&M, Gap, and Walmart, and hold no fire drills, safety equipment, or fire safety programs. Please demand that these companies implement safety plans and exercises.

It’s well-documented that most companies in developed countries, such as the United States, get cheap labor from overseas nations like Bangladesh. Most of these factories in Bangladesh hire children for manual labor, which is an issue all in itself. Lovely, a Bangladesh native, who was 11 years old at the time she worked in a sock factory, was trapped in a factory fire on February 23, 2006. As the fire spread, workers tried to escape; however, management had locked the exits. In the end, 63 died and 150 were injured. Now, Lovely is inflicted with lifelong wounds that will not allow her to work for the rest of her life. She was never compensated for her accident. Since she, like most factory workers in that country, comes from a poor family, she cannot seek medical help for the pain that still persists.

In 2010, there were three major fires in Bangladesh from factories that supplied major retailers like H&M, Gap, and Walmart. In these fires, hundreds of people died. These deaths could have been prevented with safety regulations. This is a prime example of the modern exploitation and slavery that is happening throughout the world. To these companies, these poor workers are seen as nothing more than disposable labor. Insist that these companies implement safety guidelines and fire drills for these deathtrap factories.


Dear Barbara Gregory,

There is truly something unethical about sourcing labor from developing countries. Even more so, it is truly disgusting that we source cheap labor from children of these countries. Furthermore, it is truly repulsive that companies likes yours do not enforce any safety regulations, especially after an almost worldwide epidemic of preventable factory fires that killed hundreds of workers. These workers struggle to put even a single meal on their table. If this isn’t a prime example of modern exploitation and slavery, then I’m not quite what is.

Since 2005, there have been approximately 700 deaths from factory fires. It has been reported that these factories lock exits, hold no fire drills, nor implement safety rules for the benefit of these hardworking people – many of whom are children. And for those who survived the fire, there are many cases where these workers can no longer work for the rest of their lives because of the severe injuries that have been inflicted on them. Most of these workers are from poor families so they can barely put food on the table let alone seek medical attention when the pain gets too great. Though our world is becoming more and more industrialized, I surely cannot agree that we have become more “civilized.” Please create safety regulations for these deathtrap factories.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. You would think that they would have learned something after the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire years ago in New York City. This is a carbon copy of the disaster with workers being locked inside with no mercy and jumping to their deaths. The Triangle owners went free and were never prosecuted. Let’s hope that doesn’t repeat this time.

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