Target: CEO of Walmart Mike Duke
Goal: Stop supporting factories with dangerous working conditions
Since the collapse of a Rana Plaza factory in Bangledesh a few months ago, there has been increased pressure on large supply company to stop supporting and working with factories with unsafe conditions. The Rana Plaza tragedy resulted in the death of over 1,000 factory workers.
Walmart is one of the largest retailers, and one that openly went through factories such as the Rana Plaza factory prior to the collapse. Walmart put out a list last month of 200 factories that it claimed to stop purchasing its merchandise from. However, it has since continued to receive shipments from several of the factories that were listed. Walmart is also one of the few major retailers to have not signed on to an accord created by international labor groups attempting to pay for fire and building safety upgrades to factories in Bangladesh.
Reaz Bin Mahmood from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association commented that “What Walmart is doing at the moment is nothing but saving its own skin. As a responsible business partner they should stay with us and help improve working conditions for the safety and security of workers.”
It certainly seems as though at the heart of this move, Walmart’s primary concern is its own profit, even if it comes at the expense of factory workers who have to work in extremely unsafe conditions. Ask Walmart’s CEO Mike Duke to ensure that workers have the right to safe, humane conditions.
Dear Mike Duke,
Despite having released a list of factories with unsafe working conditions that it would no longer partner with, Walmart has continued to receive shipments from several of these companies. It is becoming more and more apparent that Walmart’s concern is not with the safety of factory workers, but with the company’s profit.
Many other retailers have teamed together to work with international labor groups for safer working conditions and fire safety upgrades, but Walmart remains one of the few to have not yet signed on. I urge you to use Walmart’s substantial influence as one of the largest retailers in the world to set a standard that shows the importance of workers’ safety.
The Rana Plaza factory collapse several months ago shows that there is a dire need to improve the safety of factories in Bangledesh. Over 1000 workers were killed as a result of poor safety conditions. Walmart has a responsibility as a retailer to ensure that such tragedies do not happen again.
Walmart’s current stance on factory safety with its superficial black-listing of unsafe factories is merely continuing to let factories get away with unsafe conditions as long as it can fetch a high profit. I implore you to join with other retailers in working to ensure safety for factory workers so that we do not see more tragedies happen like the Rana Plaza factory.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Walmart store via Wikimedia Commons