Liability Fear or Greed?

So it seems the reluctance of some U.S. Garment Companies to sign on to improve conditions at Bangladeshi Sweatshops (where over 1000 have died recently in building collapses and fires) is that they may be exposed to law suits by former slaves employees about the inhumane conditions they previously worked under.

Actually I take that back.  This is exactly like the arguments made by Slaveholders about their “human” assets that represented over 50% of the entire wealth of the United States at the time of the War of Southern Rebellion.

U.S. Retailers See Big Risk in Safety Plan for Factories in Bangladesh


Published: May 22, 2013

American retailers remain sharply opposed to joining an international plan to improve safety conditions at garment factories in Bangladesh as their European counterparts and consumer and labor groups dismiss the companies’ concerns about legal liability.

A few shareholders at Gap’s annual meeting this week questioned the company’s refusal to sign on to a plan that commits retailers to help finance safety upgrades in Bangladesh, where 1,127 workers died when the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed on April 24.

“In the United States, there’s maybe a bigger legal risk than there is in Europe,” Gap’s chief executive, Glenn Murphy, responded. “If we were to sign onto something that had unlimited legal liability and risk, I think our shareholders should care about that.”

Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, gave another reason for opposing the Bangladesh plan, saying it “seeks to advance a narrow agenda driven by special interests,” a reference to the labor unions that helped shape the plan and then pressed retailers to sign on.

In rejecting the accord, Wal-Mart outlined its own proposals that it said would meet or exceed the accord’s goals. The company, the world’s largest retailer, predicted quicker results, saying it would inspect all of the 279 factories it uses in Bangladesh over the next six months.

While Wal-Mart, voicing concern about potential liability, said the plan “introduces requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government.”

Totally in keeping with our history of subjugating brown people long after the “civilized” world has moved on.


  1. ek hornbeck
  2. terryhallinan

    Has all America gone color blind?


    Are we using smell or radar or something to get around and don’t know it?  

    At least the Chinese staff in a Japanese restaurant with skins whiter than those of us half Irish, the most pigment-challenged people on earth and therefore the most subject to skin cancer, could use their eyesight in thinking my Chinese daughter-in-law was Japanese or Korean until she spoke to them in hers and their native Mandarin.

    Is anyone so racist as to think the overseers or American retailers gave a damn about the pigmentation of the bodies, live or dead?

    Just my pet peeve with the endemic racism that blinds us all to much of the reality of the horrors all around us here and abroad.

    Thanks for posting this, ek, and please try to forgive the rant.  

    Best,  Terry

  3. ek hornbeck

    Spartacus!  (Kirk has a cute dimple).

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