The tragic events that occurred at the Tazreen Fashions factory and Rana Plaza in Bangladesh shook the world. Hundreds of lives were lost, and many more were injured in these catastrophic disasters. The reality is that the factories lacked basic safety measures, like fire exits, that could have saved lives.
In the aftermath of these disasters, one of the biggest questions was who is accountable? Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world with clothing made in Bangladesh, had escaped any form of accountability for their involvement. To explore this issue further, Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines traveled to Bangladesh to investigate why this happened.
The evidence found revealed that Walmart shorts were among the clothes found in the charred remains of Tazreen Fashions factory. Documents obtained prior to investigative trip showed a paper trail giving an inside look into how Walmart produces its clothing. Walmart’s supply chain is characterized by pressure to slash production costs and utilization of multiple layers of agents and contractors so they can distance themselves from responsibility for consequences. This system can shield companies from blame when tragedy strikes.
Rana Plaza highlighted even more clearly how unsafe working conditions have become for workers in Bangladesh factories where their rights are violated every day. Over 1,000 people died due to structural issues with the factory building yet again highlighting how tragedies like these happen and who should be held responsible?
Watch Fault Line’s documentary on this critically important issue – “Walmart: Escaping Accountability” – which shines a light on what happened at Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza as well as exploring deeper questions around corporate responsibility and labor rights across global supply chains.