12:00 AM, November 29, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 29, 2012

Break-up with Walmart may send Tazreen to bankruptcy

BGMEA president says the retailer's decision to end ties with the garment maker is deceitful

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Refayet Ullah Mirdha

The Walmart's decision of cutting ties with Bangladeshi garment supplier Tazreen Fashions is 'deceitful', said BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin yesterday.
Such a unilateral decision might push the garment maker to bankruptcy, he said.
The US retail giant terminated its relationship with Tazreen after at least 111 workers were killed in a deadly fire in the garment maker's factory in Ashulia on Saturday night, mainly due to lax safety measures.
“The Walmart met neither the BGMEA leaders nor the government high-ups, and took the decision unilaterally. It is a deceitful one,” Mohiuddin told The Daily Star by phone.
“But I hope the orders placed by Walmart with other factories in Bangladesh will not be affected for cutting the ties with the affected Tazreen Fashions,” he said.
Being one of the topmost buyers, Walmart purchases more than $1 billion worth of garment items from Bangladesh every year.
Mohiuddin said Walmart should have taken the decision after an in-depth analysis of the incident.
“We will contact Walmart officials soon to discuss all the related issues,” said the chief of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association).
“I heard a senior official of Walmart is in Dhaka now, but did not communicate with us until now,” he added.
When contacted, Delwar Hossain, managing director of Tuba Group, the owning company of Tazreen Fashions, said Walmart was yet to communicate with him.
“Recently Tazreen Fashions was in talks with Walmart to become a supplier, but there was not any final agreement yet,” Hossain added.
Walmart on Tuesday said Tazreen had been making clothes for the retailer without its knowledge.
In a statement released on Monday, the US retail giant said Tazreen was no longer authorised to produce merchandise for Walmart. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this tragedy.”
“A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorisation and in direct violation of our policies. Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier,” the retailer said.
“The fact that this occurred,” Walmart said, “is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh.”

reefat@thedailystar.net

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