Denial in an Age of Corporate Responsibility
The news about Wal-Mart’s part in the tragic event that left 112 workers dead in Bangladesh keeps coming out, and every day we learn a bit more about globalization Wal-Mart style. In an article in today’s printing of the New York Times, reporter Steven Greenhouse revealed that in 2011 Wal-Mart executives were warned about the potentially disastrous conditions of many factories in Bangladesh. Government representatives, NGO advocates, and factory owners requested that Wal-Mart make a relatively small investment in Bangladesh factories that would dramatically improve safety conditions across the country. Wal-Mart denied the request, claiming that the move was not “financially feasible” for the world’s most wealthy corporation.
This news places Wal-Mart’s denial of their relationship with the factory in Bangladesh in context, clearly suggesting that the company thrives on this cleverly manufactured mystification of their global reach; the company never admits to wrongdoing, does not reveal or discuss its contracts with sourcing companies, and refuses to take responsibility for the devastation of human life it produces. We should strongly challenge the effects that Wal-Mart’s expansion into new markets will have, and we should expect similar attempts to cover up the destruction it sows.