By Sakthi Prasad,Reuters
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to cut ties immediately with suppliers who subcontract work to factories without the retailer’s knowledge, changing its policy after a fire killed more than 100 garment workers in Bangladesh, the Wall Street Journal reported. Wal-Mart is warning suppliers that it is adopting a “zero tolerance policy” for violations of its global sourcing standards and the company’s new plan would begin taking effect from March 1, the Journal said. The tougher code replaces Wal-Mart’s prior “three strikes” approach to policing suppliers, which gave the suppliers three chances to address problems before being terminated.
“Obviously our three-strike policy wasn’t working as well as it could have,” Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s vice president of ethical sourcing, told the Journal in an interview. “Our message of zero tolerance is meant to get people’s attention.” Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours. More than 100 workers were killed in a Nov. 24 fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh. Wal-Mart has said repeatedly that its Faded Glory clothing should not have been in production at the factory, a facility Bangladeshi authorities said was not safe for use.