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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wal-Mart Has No Idea Where All of Its Cheap Stuff Comes From

Posted by on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 8:22 AM

All of this cheap stuff must just show up from a wormhole or something...

The garment factory in Bangladesh where a weekend fire killed at least 112 people had been making clothes for Wal-Mart without the giant U.S. retailer's knowledge, Wal-Mart said.
Wal-Mart said the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for Wal-Mart but that a supplier subcontracted work to it "in direct violation of our policies."
"Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," America's biggest retailer said in a statement Monday. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."
HuffPo goes into the deep parts of this sad story. It seems some of us are in the dawn of the current century, and many more of us are at the dawn of the previous century:
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 48, and the youngest was 11-year-old Mary Goldstein.

That was then; this is now:

Survivors told how panicked staff, mostly women, desperately tried to escape the factory, which the owner said made clothes for international brands including Dutch chain C&A and the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung company.

"There were more than 1,000 workers trapped in the factory," one worker who gave her name only as Romesa, 42, told local media from her hospital bed.

"I jumped from a window on the fourth floor and found myself on the third-storey roof of another building. Several people fell out of the window and died."


Comments (15) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Robot sewing machines could make 'made in China' obsolete

Americans may never again buy clothes labeled "made in China" if robot sewing machines can beat Chinese costs of labor. The Pentagon has given $1.2 million to a Georgia Tech spinoff company to turn that futuristic concept into reality.

Such computer-controlled sewing machines must precisely move fabric under the needle "stitch by stitch" and carefully track passing threads — a job normally done with human hands and eyesight. Success could lead to automated U.S. factories that "produce garments with zero direct labor," according to the contract issued by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on June 5.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
Imagine what it will be like when 10,000 people are trying to get out of their high-rise microapartments during a fire.
Posted by jzimbert on November 27, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Bailo/Supreme --

I've read Slog off and on for years, and every time, in every thread, that you comment, it makes me sad. Your life is to comment on a blog on the internet.

Day in. Day out. Weekend. Holidays. No matter. You are here.

Think about that. And get a life.
Posted by six five on November 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
long-time reader 4
Walmart: "We have a policy against it. It's not our fault that it's cheaper for our subcontractors to violate the policy, and cheaper for us to make zero effort to enforce the policy"
Posted by long-time reader on November 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this


(a) Herp
(b) Derp

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Granny Smith 6
I once worked in Seattle's thriving garment industry. Now someone in Bangladesh does my job. Fuck you very much walmart.
Posted by Granny Smith on November 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
There were actually a lot more than 112 people.

And the gates were locked, as they always are during work hour, and the workers were told to keep working without worrying about the fire downstairs, as the factory must meet its daily production quota.
Posted by fahima on November 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Wal-Mart isn't the problem, it's one of the symptoms of the real problem.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 9
@3: It really explains why Bailo can't get a date.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on November 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
I'll bet Hillary Clinton knows, since she was on Walmart's Board of Directors (BoD) for around 6 years --- she should be expert on all that stuff....

(Oopsy, I keep forgetting, she's supposed to be a faux crat --- please just ignore the above comment, as well as Hillary Clinton's greenlighting of the Saudi Arabian army entering Bahrain to kill those pro-democracy protesters there, and earlier, as a senator, when Hillary belong to that Bush ultra-neocon bible group, and her record in the senate on voting not so for pro-choice items, and her chairperson position at MCC and the funding of the overthrow of populist and demcratically-elected Zelaya of Honduras, and other stuff....)
Posted by sgt_doom on November 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 12
Can we require Sgt. Doom to start every post in bold, so I know right away not to read it? It really helps.

When he just writes normally, I sometimes get 10 or so words in before I realize it is batshit loony, and then I realize I just wasted a few seconds on a bunch of tinfoil hat nonsense.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Meanwhile the UW dropped Adidas as a clothing supplier due to human rights violations.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Knat 14
@12: He typically starts by making a completely non sequitur name reference, and the alphabet soup of acronyms for different government administrations he's constantly raving about typically stands out within the paragraph. In this case, I only got as far as the name Hillary Clinton before I realized I was reading his batshit.

@1: I find that prospect pretty exciting. I'm sure there are other factors to take into consideration (possibly alluded to in the second to last paragraph, which is pathetically free of details to base their speculation upon), but if it means we don't have to be subsidizing the inhumane treatment of garment workers anymore, it seems worth pursuing.
Posted by Knat on November 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 15
@12 - This so much. At least Bailo is somewhat succinct.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on November 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Oh shit, Hillary Clinton did indeed serve on the board of directors for Wal-Mart. We're gonna have to start embracing Wal-Mart now guise.…
Posted by Spindles on November 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this

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