Thousands Protest Garment Fire Linked to Walmart

Bangladeshi workers demonstrate outside of Dhaka

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 2:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Thousands of protesters marched in Bangladesh today after a garment factory fire linked to Walmart killed more than 100 workers this weekend, the Wall Street Journal reports. Angry workers blocked traffic, damaged cars, and threw rocks at factories as some 500 plants declared a "holiday," reports AFP. "Most workers are in shock," a garment union leader said. "They want to see safety improvements to these deathtrap factories." Fires at Bangladeshi garment factories have claimed more than 600 lives over the past six years.

The plant that burned Saturday made clothes for Li & Fung, a global trading group that buys for retailers like Target and Walmart. Documents posted online include a letter, apparently from Walmart, declaring the plant to be "high risk" and warning that two more such ratings over two years would force Walmart to stop orders from the factory. Walmart said it wasn't sure whether the company still bought clothes from there, but the Nation has photos showing piles of an exclusive Walmart brand at the factory.

A Bangladeshi man, right, reacts as he looks for his son's body outside a garment factory where a fire killed more than 110 people Saturday near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo)
Bangladeshis take to a protest through the streets Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 after a garment factory fire killed more than 110 people Saturday on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo)
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