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Wal-Mart and Sears won’t compensate factory fire victims

Blaze in Bangladesh killed 112; companies say they didn’t give suppliers permission to work with that factory

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are standing strong in their positions not to pay out to victims of last year’s factory fire in Bangladesh.

The blaze at Tazreen Design Ltd.’s factory, which manufactured clothing for Wal-Mart, Sears and other retailers, killed 112 workers and injured many more. Investigators found Wal-Mart and Sears garments among the charred remains within the factory.

But both Wal-Mart and Sears say suppliers contracted the Tazreen factory without their permission, and neither company employs workers in the factory. The companies, which have instituted worker safety programs in Bangladesh, are not legally obligated to pay the victims.

At a meeting last week in Geneva, Switzerland, companies that manufactured clothes at Tazreen met to discuss compensation. Wal-Mart and Sears didn’t respond to invitations, nor did they show up, according to Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, a Washington-based international labor-monitoring group.

Read more about this story on Bloomberg.

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