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(The New York Times)   In the wake of a tragic fire Walmart is doing everything it can to promote worker safety in its factories, except for those measures which cost money   (nytimes.com) divider line 37
    More: Stupid, worker safety, Wal-Mart, fire alarms, internal communications, Bangladeshi, trade policies  
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2234 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 Dec 2012 at 4:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



37 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-12-29 01:59:29 PM
penis
 
2012-12-29 02:55:27 PM
I stopped reading here (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/29/world/asia/) and I think I got the gist of the article.
 
2012-12-29 03:33:02 PM
"We will not buy from an unsafe factory," Mr. Duke told the audience. "If a factory is not going to operate with high standards, then we would not purchase from that factory."

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and call BS on this.
 
2012-12-29 03:46:19 PM
Low cost buildings. Low cost inventory. Low cost employees.

All easily replaceable. At low cost.
 
2012-12-29 03:50:54 PM
"In the event of fire the employee should continue to work until the fire reaches the employee's work station. At that point the company policy for bathroom breaks will be suspended to allow the employee to urinate in the direction of the fire.
If urine stream is ineffective and the work station is at risk the employee should immediately clock out and then move toward whichever exit isn't just a door painted on the wall."
 
2012-12-29 03:58:10 PM
i1129.photobucket.com
Tragic Wal-Mart fire? dnrtfa
 
2012-12-29 04:34:19 PM
So Walmart is the Ebenezer Scrooge of retail. Got it.
 
2012-12-29 05:05:06 PM
Each employee will be given a plastic ribbon emblazoned with the slogan "I'm fire retardant!"
 
2012-12-29 05:05:27 PM
Rather hard to maintain that policy when you hand off actually sourcing stuff to a local agent who then finds someone to make it and there's little in the way to stop whoever they contract from subcontracting the work, which happens quite regularly in Bangladesh.
 
2012-12-29 05:09:05 PM
MaoMart has stockholders to feed. Fark the employees. you're living in Freedomville now.
 
2012-12-29 06:19:38 PM
Walmart doesn't have factories.
 
2012-12-29 07:02:29 PM
I don't get it - how is this about Apple raping its workers again?

/oh - this is about another company...
 
2012-12-29 07:03:25 PM
i1125.photobucket.com
What Walmart employees may look like.
 
2012-12-29 07:08:35 PM

cabbyman: Walmart doesn't have factories

T

his.   The headline isn't truthful.
 
2012-12-29 09:04:53 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: "In the event of fire the employee should continue to work until the fire reaches the employee's work station. At that point the company policy for bathroom breaks will be suspended to allow the employee to urinate in the direction of the fire.
If urine stream is ineffective and the work station is at risk the employee should immediately clock out and then move toward whichever exit isn't just a door painted on the wall."


What an absurd comment.

Everyone knows you're expected to clock out *before* attempting to urinate on the fire.
 
2012-12-29 09:25:27 PM
FTFA: "We will not buy from an unsafe factory," Mr. Duke told the audience. "If a factory is not going to operate with high standards, then we would not purchase from that factory."

This is absolute horsesh*t. The savings that Walmart passes on to its consumers comes specifically from selling products that are made in countries which have lower standards of living and much less restrictive safety and environmental regulations. This is how they can keep the prices so low. If the safety regulations were the same in those other countries, the products would be more expensive and would be less attractive to Walmart's corporate buyers. The phrase Duke uses, "high standards," is a throwaway. It doesn't have any real meaning, especially in this context.

I still find it ironic that the title of the book about Sam Walton's empire is called Sam Walton: Made in America. Sam may have been made in America, but the only thing American about Walmart is the company's corporate home office in Bentonville, AR, and even a good number of the jobs that used to be located there are now overseas.
 
2012-12-29 09:29:23 PM
Have they tried covering the employees in asbestos? It just makes sense.
 
2012-12-29 10:25:57 PM
They hate the Jews.
 
2012-12-29 11:07:28 PM
They just fire and blacklist anyone that has an accident. Problem solved.
 
2012-12-29 11:28:39 PM

AcneVulgaris: Each employee will be given a plastic ribbon emblazoned with the slogan "I'm fire retardant!"


Everyone is a winner in the special olympics.
 
2012-12-30 01:11:07 AM
Maybe they need to practice more fire drills...
 
2012-12-30 01:34:57 AM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "We will not buy from an unsafe factory," Mr. Duke told the audience. "If a factory is not going to operate with high standards, then we would not purchase from that factory."

This is absolute horsesh*t. The savings that Walmart passes on to its consumers comes specifically from selling products that are made in countries which have lower standards of living and much less restrictive safety and environmental regulations. This is how they can keep the prices so low. If the safety regulations were the same in those other countries, the products would be more expensive and would be less attractive to Walmart's corporate buyers. The phrase Duke uses, "high standards," is a throwaway. It doesn't have any real meaning, especially in this context.

I still find it ironic that the title of the book about Sam Walton's empire is called Sam Walton: Made in America. Sam may have been made in America, but the only thing American about Walmart is the company's corporate home office in Bentonville, AR, and even a good number of the jobs that used to be located there are now overseas.


Wait, I'll do it: Duke sucks.
 
2012-12-30 03:33:12 AM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "We will not buy from an unsafe factory," Mr. Duke told the audience. "If a factory is not going to operate with high standards, then we would not purchase from that factory."

This is absolute horsesh*t. The savings that Walmart passes on to its consumers comes specifically from selling products that are made in countries which have lower standards of living and much less restrictive safety and environmental regulations. This is how they can keep the prices so low. If the safety regulations were the same in those other countries, the products would be more expensive and would be less attractive to Walmart's corporate buyers. The phrase Duke uses, "high standards," is a throwaway. It doesn't have any real meaning, especially in this context.

I still find it ironic that the title of the book about Sam Walton's empire is called Sam Walton: Made in America. Sam may have been made in America, but the only thing American about Walmart is the company's corporate home office in Bentonville, AR, and even a good number of the jobs that used to be located there are now overseas.


Speaking of Walmart's HQ my company is installing some high end switches into their IT environment up there so they can have high speed data links between sites and the stories I hear from the actual Walmart IT people about how bad it is working there make me glad I have the job I do. No one has a clue what is going on, no one has the authority to make a decision or will pull the trigger and everyone is scared because if they do make the call then they can get axed in a heart beat.

Their IT also makes people who work in the same area everyday fill out a form requesting permission to that area or they won't let them in for work. So these poor saps have to turn in this form every single day. Now I understand you want logs of people in critical areas and I know the government works this way for some security clearances but give me a break this is Walmart you can not make it so hard for you people to do their job. I also had a friend for a few years work in their accounting division, he said it was about just as bad and that everyone gets the same crappy insurance that you would get in the store. Overall that is one place I am glad I never had the pleasure of working for.
 
2012-12-30 04:30:31 AM
"Walmart has been advocating for improved fire safety with the Bangladeshi government, with industry groups and with suppliers," Kevin Gardner, a Walmart spokesman, said in an e-mail. "We firmly believe factory owners must meet our supplier standards, and we recognize the cost of meeting those standards will be part of the cost of the goods we buy. We know our customers expect this of us and our suppliers."

Ha. Your customers expect the lowest price, and that's all. Customers expecting ANYTHING else shop elsewhere.
 
2012-12-30 05:23:02 AM
So this is the thread where everyone trashes WalMart and ignores the fact that a dozen other retailers in the US get their crap from the same places that were burned down on purpose. Yeah, did you miss the article that said it was arson?

Let's set our sights low. Let's start with giving your employees a way out of the building in case it catches on fire.
 
2012-12-30 05:28:53 AM
I don't care who has to die; so long as those prices keep rollllling back!
 
2012-12-30 09:18:59 AM
MaoMart: we exploit cheap communist chinese labor so you don't have to!!
 
2012-12-30 09:19:40 AM
I wonder if Hilary still has her Walmart stock? It would explain why Clinton signed the permanent most favored trading nation status to China. He did that less than 12 months after China ran over some of their unarmed college students with tanks.
 
2012-12-30 10:34:28 AM
So, these workers get free heat, and all they can do is biatch about it?
 
2012-12-30 11:14:21 AM

gameshowhost: penis


Pen is what?
 
2012-12-30 11:18:59 AM
FTA: a grisly fire that had killed 112 workers at a Bangladeshi garment factory used by several Walmart suppliers

To what degree should a company monitor the safety procedures of its suppliers? I understand a company refusing to do business with suppliers with poor safety procedures. I understand a company going "hey wait a minute" if they know a supplier has good safety procedures but does business with a sub-contracter that doesn't. But what about beyond that? Where should the line be drawn and why should it be drawn there?
 
2012-12-30 12:26:44 PM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: FTA: a grisly fire that had killed 112 workers at a Bangladeshi garment factory used by several Walmart suppliers

To what degree should a company monitor the safety procedures of its suppliers? I understand a company refusing to do business with suppliers with poor safety procedures. I understand a company going "hey wait a minute" if they know a supplier has good safety procedures but does business with a sub-contracter that doesn't. But what about beyond that? Where should the line be drawn and why should it be drawn there?


Well, they did have the opportunity to help the factories fund fire safety, but decided that it wasn't 'financially feasible' at the time.
 
2012-12-30 12:49:08 PM

natewill: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: FTA: a grisly fire that had killed 112 workers at a Bangladeshi garment factory used by several Walmart suppliers

To what degree should a company monitor the safety procedures of its suppliers? I understand a company refusing to do business with suppliers with poor safety procedures. I understand a company going "hey wait a minute" if they know a supplier has good safety procedures but does business with a sub-contracter that doesn't. But what about beyond that? Where should the line be drawn and why should it be drawn there?

Well, they did have the opportunity to help the factories fund fire safety, but decided that it wasn't 'financially feasible' at the time.


Why should a buyer be held accountable for the safety standards of it's supplier? I don't see this as a Walmart issue. If the government of Bangladesh wants to implement better safety regulations it can do so. Why is the government of Bangladesh not being held accountable? Expecting companies to voluntarily implement costly safety measure didn't work in the U.S. It's not going to work anywhere else either. It needs to be mandated and enforced.
 
2012-12-30 01:00:50 PM

fozziewazzi: natewill: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: FTA: a grisly fire that had killed 112 workers at a Bangladeshi garment factory used by several Walmart suppliers

To what degree should a company monitor the safety procedures of its suppliers? I understand a company refusing to do business with suppliers with poor safety procedures. I understand a company going "hey wait a minute" if they know a supplier has good safety procedures but does business with a sub-contracter that doesn't. But what about beyond that? Where should the line be drawn and why should it be drawn there?

Well, they did have the opportunity to help the factories fund fire safety, but decided that it wasn't 'financially feasible' at the time.

Why should a buyer be held accountable for the safety standards of it's supplier? I don't see this as a Walmart issue. If the government of Bangladesh wants to implement better safety regulations it can do so. Why is the government of Bangladesh not being held accountable? Expecting companies to voluntarily implement costly safety measure didn't work in the U.S. It's not going to work anywhere else either. It needs to be mandated and enforced.


I'm with you here; I just don't see how it's Walmart's job to pay for fire safety equipment, etc at its suppliers.

I bought a shipment of tires from a Michelin factory. I guess I'm now responsible for running their fire drills and testing their extinguishers?
My son's restaurant buys bread from a local bakery. I guess he'll have to run down their later and test out their sprinkler system.
 
2012-12-30 02:12:32 PM

fozziewazzi: Why should a buyer be held accountable for the safety standards of it's supplier? I don't see this as a Walmart issue. If the government of Bangladesh wants to implement better safety regulations it can do so. Why is the government of Bangladesh not being held accountable?


But Walmart's answer was "we don't want to pay for it right now." Not "it's not our responsibility" or anything related.

Expecting companies to voluntarily implement costly safety measure didn't work in the U.S. It's not going to work anywhere else either. It needs to be mandated and enforced.

This is exactly what they're trying to do. Only, Walmart is not going along with it at all. Also, from the article I posted: "At the April 2011 meeting in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, retailers discussed a contractually enforceable memorandum that would require them to pay Bangladesh factories prices high enough to cover costs of safety improvements." This is an agreement that other retailers have already voluntarily signed. Other American retailers are taking partial responsibility for improving worker safety and conditions overseas, which makes sense anyways since the retailers basically invoked these factories into existence in the first place.
 
2012-12-30 02:12:58 PM

Fark Me To Tears: FTFA: "We will not buy from an unsafe factory," Mr. Duke told the audience. "If a factory is not going to operate with high standards, then we would not purchase from that factory."

This is absolute horsesh*t. The savings that Walmart passes on to its consumers comes specifically from selling products that are made in countries which have lower standards of living and much less restrictive safety and environmental regulations. This is how they can keep the prices so low. If the safety regulations were the same in those other countries, the products would be more expensive and would be less attractive to Walmart's corporate buyers. The phrase Duke uses, "high standards," is a throwaway. It doesn't have any real meaning, especially in this context.

I still find it ironic that the title of the book about Sam Walton's empire is called Sam Walton: Made in America. Sam may have been made in America, but the only thing American about Walmart is the company's corporate home office in Bentonville, AR, and even a good number of the jobs that used to be located there are now overseas.


Because keeping the factory fire exit doors unlocked in Bangladesh costs SO much money......
 
2012-12-31 10:04:07 AM

cabbyman: Walmart doesn't have factories.


No, they just supply factories that sell exclusively to them... Totally different.
 
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