Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Loblaw commits to safety

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TORONTO -- Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) said Tuesday it will sign a pact to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of a factory in that country that killed more than 1,100 workers.

The company had items for its Joe Fresh clothing label made in the building.

"This decision reflects the company's pledge to stay in Bangladesh and underscores its firm belief that active collaboration by retail and manufacturing industries, government and non-governmental organization, is critical to driving effective and lasting change in Bangladesh," the company said in a statement.

"The accord aligns with and addresses the company's commitments to a new standard that all of its control brand products must be made in facilities that respect local construction and building codes."

Loblaw also said it will keep its promise to have its own people on the ground in Bangladesh who will report directly to the company.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety is a five-year, legally binding factory safety contract aimed at improving worker safety in the Bangladesh garment industry.

Several other big retailers have also signed the pact, including Benetton, trendy Swedish fashion chain H&M, C&A of the Netherlands, British retailers Tesco and Primark, and Spain's Inditex, owner of Zara.

The agreement requires that the companies conduct independent safety inspections, make their reports on factory conditions public and cover the costs for needed repairs.

 

-- The Canadian Press, with files from The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2013 A10

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