business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that Walmart, Gap, Macy's and Target are among the companies that plan to meet in Chicago today "to start implementing a Bangladesh factory-safety plan announced last month amid criticism it lacks teeth to enforce company promises.

"The group, made up of 20 companies known as the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, will also announce its board of directors, reveal new signatories like Costco Wholesale Corp. and finalize common fire- and building-safety standards it pledged to put in place by Sept. 10 ... The group is the U.S. industry's response to pressure to improve working conditions in facilities in Bangladesh and prevent disasters like the deadly garment factory collapse in April."

The companies, which have made a five-year commitment to address factory safety issues, already have started disbursing $45 million to Bangladesh factories, but still needs to hire an executive director and staff to manage the effort.
KC's View:
I'll repeat what I said above in a different context ... that shallow support would be worse than no support at all.

But I also think that this stuff matters more than ever...because the information is out there, and an increasing number of people are willing to make buying decisions based on the social responsibility demonstrated by companies.