Target: Kevin Gardner, Wal-Mart spokesperson
Goal: Make Wal-Mart commit to providing financial resources for necessary safety improvements in international supplier factories
Wal-Mart has recently been under fire for continuing to receive shipments from banned suppliers in Bangladesh. These suppliers were banned from the company for not measuring up to safety standards which have been heightened after the recent deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building which killed more than 1,000 workers.
Wal-Mart has released a list of more than 200 suppliers it would no longer receive products from due to serious or repeated safety problems, labor violations or unauthorized subcontracting. However, at least two of these banned suppliers have continued to send massive shipments of girls’ and women’s garments long after the ban. One supplier, Mars Apparels based in Bangladesh, has sent women’s garments to Wal-Mart locations as recent as late May, almost two years after Wal-Mart claimed to ban the company.
Although ending business dealings with Wal-Mart would ruin these small garment businesses, Wal-Mart is taking advantage of these companies by allowing serious safety violations to continue, putting the lives of employees at risk. Wal-Mart should either uphold these safety and labor standards, or provide these suppliers with the resources to make the necessary safety improvements in order to continue business dealings with the Wal-Mart Corporation. By providing the resources to make the necessary improvements, Wal-Mart would be ensuring job security for the employees at the garment factories, and would also ensure their safety and well-being by enforcing safety and labor laws.
Demand that Wal-Mart enforce safety and labor standards in dealing with suppliers.
Dear Kevin Gardner,
Wal-Mart’s recent behavior in receiving shipments from banned Bangladesh garment suppliers is appalling. The corporation claims to uphold labor and safety standards, as evidenced by the release of your banned suppliers list; however the company continues to do business with these banned suppliers behind closed doors. This behavior simply perpetuates safety hazards in foreign garment supplier businesses, leading to disasters like the Rana Plaza tragedy, in which the building collapsed killing more than 1,000 workers.
Uphold the safety standards your company claims to value. Either stop doing business with companies that fail to meet these safety standards, or provide the resources for the garment manufacturers to make the necessary safety improvements in order to continue doing business with Wal-Mart. Other major retailers have invested in their suppliers, and it would be noble and right for Wal-Mart to do the same, as ending business with these suppliers would be detrimental financially for the business owners and employees alike. Invest in your suppliers and protect them from potentially deadly safety hazards.
[Your Name Here]
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