Monday, April 29, 2013

Owning Up to Responsibility

I just read a report on the BBC News Web site to the effect that Primark will be providing both compensation and emergency food air to the victims of the collapsed garment factory in Dhaka in Bangladesh. Primark is a leading British clothing store chain that had to deal with protestors picketing their stores because of their connection to this catastrophe. The fact that they have been willing to own up to their responsibilities in the name of a "cheap at any price" strategy is impressive. It made me think about Walmart, which is probably similarly involved, if not with this particular factory than with others like in, probably also in Bangladesh. There is no question that Walmart could have contributed to mustering the resources needed at the accident site in the immediate aftermath of the accident, but it is no surprise that they have maintained radio silence while the rest of the world has reported on the rescue efforts. My guess is that Walmart has far more money than Primark to act on this situation, but I have not heard any stories about their stores being picketed. I guess they figure there is no need to act if no one is aware of their involvement.

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