Less than a week after a Bangladeshi clothing factory building collapsed, killing as many as 400 workers who were trapped inside, about 30 retailers, including Gap, Walmart and H&M, met to discuss improving the manufacturing infrastructure in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday evening.
At the emergency meeting, which took place Monday in Germany, retailers discussed how to respond to the tragedy, Reuters reports. According to the Financial Times, the retailers agreed to form a panel to oversee labor and safety issues.
In a statement, the European Union voiced concern over worker safety in Bangladesh, according to Reuters:
"The EU is presently considering appropriate action, including through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) - through which Bangladesh currently receives duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the 'Everything But Arms' scheme - in order to incentivise responsible management of supply chains involving developing countries," said the statement, issued on Tuesday by EU foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton and trade commissioner Karel de Gucht.
Separately, Canadian retailers announced plans to revise their trade guidelines, according to Reuters:
The Retail Council of Canada said on Tuesday it will develop a new set of trade guidelines in response to last week's deadly collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory complex that manufactured apparel for western retailers including Loblaw Cos Ltd.
According to the report, rescue officials said on Tuesday that the search for survivors of the factory collapse has ended.