The workers who died in Bangladesh’s worst-ever factory fire were thankful to be toiling away making garments, according to Fox Business host Charles Payne.
More than 100 garment workers died after a blaze swept through the factory outside of Bangladesh’s capital Sunday. The incident had the highest death toll of any factory fire in the country's history, which is notorious for its garment industry’s poor working conditions; 84 people died during a 2006 factory fire in which the fire exits had been blocked.
“Don’t think that the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t want or need those jobs as well,” Payne, who called himself a “spokesperson for capitalism and the American Dream,” said. “It’s a tragedy, but I think it’s a stretch, an amazing stretch to pin this on Walmart.”
Walmart said in a statement Tuesday that the factory was producing clothes for the retailer without its knowledge or authorization. Instead, a Walmart supplier hired the company in violation of the retailer’s policies.
"Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," Walmart said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."
The blaze sheds light on the poor working conditions in Bangladeshi factories, which often supply American and European stores. Many workers are paid less than $40 a month and those who complain may face retaliation. Labor leaders have accused the government of killing one of their most prominent activists, and the country has an enforcement agency focused on monitoring unrest at factories.
Bangladeshi garment workers' situation is so bad that some retailers have come to their aid. The CEO of H&M, which gets about 25 percent of its products from Bangladesh, urged the country’s prime minister to boost the minimum wage and establish annual wage reviews earlier this year.
(Hat tip: ThinkProgress)