May 17, 2013

Our View: L.L. Bean should join safety deal for Bangladesh factories

The Maine company's iconic brand would add clout to an important international effort.

When we commented Thursday that Walmart should sign on to an international accord between retailers who pledge to take responsibility for safety conditions at clothing factories in Bangladesh, we didn't know that Maine's own L.L. Bean Co. had also refused to sign on.

Now we know, and we are concerned. We hope L.L. Bean will rethink its position and join this very responsible and legally binding aggreement.

Like Walmart, Bean's plans to conduct its own inspections of vendors factories but that misses the point.

By joining forces and taking responsibility for worker safety, the retailers have the power to make a difference -- more power than the cash-strapped government of Bangladesh, which would not be able to stand up to their country's most important industry.

L.L. Bean should find a way to join the accord and add its iconic brand to the battle against inhumane treatment of workers in the global marketplace.


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