Target weighs options after deadly factory collapse, fire in Bangladesh

  • Article by: Thomas Lee , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2013 - 6:48 AM

The Minneapolis-based retailer is among U.S. corporations reviewing its operations there after a deadly factory collapse.

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daveandavisMay. 4, 13 2:47 AM

If retailers pull out of Bangladesh, it will only hurt workers. The reason people take those unsafe jobs is because that's the only job they can get. If only the ethical companies pull out, that will also hurt workers by removing safety audits. The best strategies are:(a) ethical companies should remain in Bangladesh and invest more in safety audits, and (b) the U.S. government should impose large fines on U.S. retailers when factory workers are injured are killed. Proceeds from the fines would distributed to injured workers and their families.

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JMarvinMay. 4, 13 7:29 AM

You can't have it both ways. Foreign and illegal labor is so cheap because they don't have to comply with any safety, environmental, wage and hour, child labor, or humanitarian rules whatsoever. Nada. If companies are going to start imposing "safety audits" and/or the government imposing large fines on U.S. retailers, that is going to cost, and you may as well hire American workers. There is no such thing as an "ethical" company that shovels money out for the sole reason that it is good for their workers, or the environment, or anything at all except to bolster the bottom line, actually. A business corporation exists for the sole reason of making as much profit, legally, (and illegally if the risk of doing so is less than the profitability of breaking the law - it's just another cost of doing business). Unless absolutely, positively, forced to spend money by labor or environmental regulations, or if not doing so would damage their reputation to the point that enough consumers would quit buying from them, it's not going to happen. If you believe otherwise, you've been watching too many commercials. You've bought into the common misconception that companies have some sort of duty to promote the general welfare. They don't, and that is as it should be. That is the duty of your government, which has permitted the lines between it and corporations to become so blurred, they don't want us constituents to know which way is up. Anyone who thought eliminating our sensible tariffs to promote "Free Trade" was a good idea is now reaping what they've sown. But they still need US consumers. The slaves aren't going to buy stuff. Neither are the legions of unemployed Americans. Don't buy cheap, adulterated, poisonous, or even dangerous foreign crap. Knock down your representatives' doors demanding reasonable tariffs, and illegal alien enforcement.

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joe_mnMay. 4, 13 9:14 AM

Does Walmart buy clothes made in the USA or India?

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FrankLMay. 4, 13 9:50 AM

One of the clothing companies had a 3rd party do an audit months before the collapse. The problem is that the auditors were not engineers, so they had no way to know it was built on a swamp. This is a problem for the local government to enforce the building and safety rules.

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raholcoMay. 4, 1310:22 AM

When you race to the bottom, the bottom is where you end up.

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falcon1681May. 4, 1310:45 AM

Welcome to the right wing model for the American labor force.

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LicoriceMay. 4, 1311:08 AM

There are no easy answers. The only power I have is as a consumer and a voter. I'm not going to buy anything made in Bangladesh. It's clear that unless demand lessens, "good" U.S. companies will continue to hide behind inadequate third party audits, or subcontractors, and plead ignorance and it will be business as usual.

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svictoriaMay. 4, 1311:39 AM

And, to think of the economic problems we have in this country, nationwide. Target: you can't build a manufacturing complex in your very own country, hiring American workers (and I'd bet you'd find workers for less than $10/hour). You as just another American corporation don't want to pay the environmental costs of doing work in this country.

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greywolfMay. 4, 1312:13 PM

In everything I buy I look to see where it is made. It takes a little work but you can buy many things made in the USA, even clothes. The price is not that much different in many cases. I know there are people out there who will disagree but these free trade agreements were the beginning of the end.

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vannsawMay. 4, 1312:58 PM

And people complain about Walmart? I am very surprised anymore if I check a label and it says made in the USA. Why don't they give people here jobs? The unemployment rate is a joke. So many people have run out of unemployment and would welcome a job like this.

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