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Walmart's first response to the garment factory fire that killed more than 100 workers in Bangladesh was to deny that any Walmart clothes were made in the factory. Then clothes from Walmart's Faded Glory brand were found in the factory, so Walmart switched to claiming that it had stopped doing business with that company but a rogue supplier had subcontracted to the factory, so really, Walmart had nothing to do with it. But it turns out it wasn't one rogue supplier subcontracting to a factory Walmart had stopped doing business with. Five different Walmart suppliers were doing business with the Tazreen factory, accounting for five of its 14 production lines in September, documents show.

Scott Nova, executive director of the Workers Rights Consortium, told Steven Greenhouse that "It stretches credulity to think that Walmart, famous for its tight control over its global supply chain, didn’t know about this." It does indeed, but that's Walmart's M.O. Whether it's a factory in Bangladesh making clothes for five different Walmart suppliers or a warehouse in California moving goods exclusively for Walmart, the retail giant exerts tight control while blaming abuses on a maze of subcontractors, as if those subcontractors weren't entirely beholden to Walmart.

Predictably, a spokesman continues to insist that the company had terminated its relationship with the Tazreen factory and that its goods shouldn't have been being manufactured there. Of course, the same spokesman also insists that Walmart is "advocating for improved fire safety" in Bangladesh, despite the fact that the company said no to paying suppliers enough to make safety improvements possible.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:45 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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