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Olympia Snowe

North American retailers set five-year Bangladesh factory plan

Nearly 20 North American retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc unveiled a 5-year safety plan for Bangladesh garment factories on Wednesday that would include inspecting every factory within a year.The announcement in Washington by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety on Wednesday comes after 1,129 workers were killed in the collapse of a Bangladesh garment plant in April and another 112 people perished in November fire at a Bangladesh factory.A separate safety plan including coordinated inspections was announced by a group of mainly European brands on Monday.A few student protesters were outside the building in Washington, where the plan was announced. The group United Students Against Sweatshops handed out fliers, saying "Gap and Walmart: Bangladeshi Workers Reject Your Fake Safety Plan."Funding for the North American plan is based on how much production each retailer has in Bangladesh; those at higher levels will pay $1 million a year for five years.So far, $42 mil...

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