Made in Bangladesh

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Ratings: 8.89/10 from 81 users.

Storyline

Made in Bangladesh

Walmart shorts were among the clothes found in the charred remains of Tazreen Fashions factory, but the company escaped accountability. For many western retailers, whose clothes are made in Bangladesh, it's business as usual. Fault Lines travels there to investigate why. The fire started on the ground floor and quickly spread. At least 112 people died, hundreds of others were injured. Many workers were trapped inside because the doors were locked and the building had no fire exits.

The remains of the fire are still everywhere there. Workers jumped out of the burning building onto the roof of a dormitory. There are bars on all the windows so workers had to kick out at the exhaust fans to jump onto the building. Five months after the fire, yet another disaster in Bangladesh captured the world's attention. Rana Plaza, an eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed. More than 1,000 people died. Even though the scale of the collapse eclipsed the fire, the fundamental questions raised by Tazreen were the same.

How could tragedies like these happen and who, ultimately, should be held responsible? Before Fault Lines arrived in Bangladesh, they've received internal documents related to the Walmart shorts order. The paper trail gives them an inside look into the complicated way that Walmart produces its clothing.

Walmart is a pioneer and also the most ruthless practitioner of a sourcing model that has now come to dominate the apparel industry. It's a system that can shield a company from blame when disaster strikes.

Walmart's supply chain is defined by two critical features. The tremendous pressure Walmart puts on its suppliers, and its contract factories overseas, to slash production cost which Walmart knows those factories will do by ignoring the rights and safety of workers. Then, secondly, the utilization of multiple layers of agents and contractors so that Walmart can distance itself from responsibility for the inevitable consequences of those sourcing practices.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Dave Ace

    Awesome... and sad... and completely unnecessary. Walmart, GAP and ALL the others out there and your CEO,s you're all psychopathic filth... an insane pleasure machine being run on human misery and suffering. How can you live with that?

  • Luyang Han

    This situation is not unfamiliar in China: More than 10 years ago it was exactly the same situation, but now completely different, the 23 $/month is an old memory, now one need at least 250 $/month for garment workers.
    Such labor intensive industry was flourished almost at the same time in east Asia, and China was even late on the train. So why the difference? Why Walmart CAN do such things here in Bangladesh? Is it only the company called Walmart to blame?

  • John Defalque

    I had an interview for a Walmart in N. Vancouver. The interviewer wanted to know my last employer, I said the carpenters union. He went on to harangue me for 2.5 hrs on how evil unions were. Since I didn't get the job, I should have said yes, it's wonderful that the 5 Walton heirs have as much wealth as the bottom 42% of all Americans, that their wealth is doubling every decade, and that they have an 8 lane $188 million underground bomb shelter. Would he have enjoyed it if I preached to him for 2.5 hrs about communism?

  • Tammy

    Walmart should be held liable to their workers even if it was through 3rd party asscociates , the shorts should be enough evidence for a law suit...? Some lawyer will do a pro-bono to gain recognition and get him similar cases and fame....it;s a win win situation! Sometimes it is only fear and false threats of bullying that will keep the people quiet!

  • DigiWongaDude

    Psychopathic perhaps...indifferent absolutely.

    ...But then... did you see the Nike one? The workers, seeing the words "Just Do It" plastered up on the factory wall each morning, interpret them quite differently than us. Accidental? I think not...that goes beyond indifference and smacks of psychopathic tendencies for sure.

  • Lancev32

    Not sure why Walmart is to blame for a fire thousands of miles away... The building codes are not set inBangladesh by Walmart... And while some shorts were being made there, I'm still not 100% that they are liable. Why doesn't the Bangladeshi government adhere to safety codes... If doors were locked and windows were barred it should have been shut down, the building owners fined and forced to fix the discrepancies.... Sad incident, but I've been to Bangladesh most buildings are death traps....

  • a_no_n

    it's almost as if the East India trading Company never went away

  • a_no_n

    what other kind of person would have the arrogance and sense of self worth to rise so high?

  • bringmeredwine

    Its a sad world where young children work for slave wages so the mega rich can get richer.
    Walmart pays its North American employees peanuts too, but people need to work, so there's always an endless supply of bodies to fill their ranks.
    Then there's consumers who need to save every cent and must buy what they need (or want) at rock bottom prices.
    Its a vicious circle.

  • lisa

    I am in the U.S. Trying to watch this, yet can not, states "uploader has not made this available in my country..." (approx) // ??? any work arounds re this? I am a subscriber to Al J .America/English~what is the deal w/ your link here???

  • DigiWongaDude

    Hi Lisa, just use a proxy (select a different country to get around the block). Search google for "youtube proxy", there are many. I use proxfree. Hope that helps.

  • alex bell

    at least if Wallmart would have good Quality clothings.

  • Jutta Gyllichsen

    Hugh jackman and Cruise...people screaming USA! USA! How ironic. National socialism is the way!

  • Kenneth Kelly

    The garment industry is the first major world industry to become established in the very undeveloped parts of the earth. This has been true since the invention of the sewing machine. It may seem very cruel to the workers to you, and it is. The problem is that these places are even far more cruel in them selves. The garment industry is just the beginning and as the people become better educated and more affluent other industries will follow and provide better working conditions for people. As the area develops the garment industry will move on to another area to start the cycle again.