A garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 people were killed in a fire over the weekend was used by a host of U.S. and European retailers, an Associated Press reporter discovered Wednesday from clothes and account books left behind amid the building wreckage at Tazreen Fashions Ltd.
The Walt Disney Co. said its records indicate that none of its licensees have been permitted to make Disney-brand products at the factory for at least a year.
Labor activists have argued for a long time that Western companies need to be responsible and make sure that oversea factories which manufacture their products are safe. This recent fire, the deadliest in Bangladesh’s 35-year history of exporting clothing fueled the activists arguments that retailers must insist on safer fire standards.
The Bangladesh garment industry is second only to China in exports. It has provided jobs and revenue for the poor country while in turn producing low-priced products for shoppers in the US and other countries. But the industry has an awful safety record with more than 300 workers dying in garment factory fires since 2006 in Bangladesh.
Survivors of the fire claim that the exit doors were locked, and fire officials say the death toll wold have been much lower if the building had an emergency exit.
Some of the clothing in the building was marked “Disney/Pixar” and among the garments were sweatshirts with images of Lightning McQueen from the Pixar movie Cars.
Register books listed such buyers as Wal-Mart, Disney, Sears and other companies.
- Wal-Mart, Disney clothes found in Bangladesh fire (miamiherald.com)