Apr 30, 2013
By Jane Brown
Toronto-based grocer LOBLAW has set a precedent. After moving to compensate victims of the deadly building collapse in Bangladesh, other merchants are being asked to do the same. Loblaw makes the high profile Joe Fresh fashion line and says they would spend an unspecified amount to help those tied to the 380 or more who lost their lives. Many of them were employed in factories making garments for export. The unusual move is seen as an example of a growing sense of responsibility on the part of globalized businesses operating in an age of instant communication. It also comes as authorities in Bangladesh move to quell criticism that operators of substandard factories face few consequences. The eight-storey illegally-constructed Rana Plaza in a suburb of Dhaka collapsed 6 days ago, as thousands of people worked inside in five garment factories. Fashion and retail companies have made Bangladesh a go-to apparel-making destination after Canada and other countries dropped import tariffs and quotas to help bolster sagging economies of least-developed nations about a decade ago.
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