More than 100 workers died in a garment factory fire on November 24 in Bangladesh. The Dhaka plant, which was making products for Walmart and Sears, had no emergency exits or emergency evacuation procedures.
But in a meeting last year, Walmart officials decided against agreeing to pay suppliers more so that they could upgrade their manufacturing facilities and pay for the costs of safety improvements. “Specifically to the issue of any corrections on electrical and fire safety, we are talking about 4,500 factories, and in most cases very extensive and costly modifications would need to be undertaken to some factories,” Walmart officials said in documents obtained by Bloomberg News. “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”