Worker Safety

17 Companies Sign Bangladesh Pact

Three months after a Bangladesh factory collapse killed a record 1,129 garment workers, a group of 17 U.S. retailers and apparel makers have signed on to a five-year safety pact. The agreement will set up basic safety standards and requires inspections in factories within a year. But it's different from guidelines labor groups have been pushing that would use third-party monitoring and labor representation. Worker-rights activists have called it a “shame” and “an attempt to side-step the issue.” The labor-supported plan has been signed by companies like H&M and Benetton, while the new agreement is being adopted by Walmart, Target, and Gap, among others.