Washington: The Walt Disney Company has announced its decision to pull out of Bangladesh, Pakistan and three other countries by April 2014, citing safety standards of workers in the supply chain. The decision was made before last week's devastating collapse of a factory building in Bangladesh that left more than 400 people dead and over 2,500 injured.
Disney said that its decision was prompted by the November fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka that killed 112 people, and another fire in Pakistan that killed 262 garment workers in September 2012. The decision is likely to badly hit the garment export industry of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Disney will also halt production in Ecuador, Venezuela and Belarus.
"After much thought and discussion, we felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain," said Bob Chapek, President of Disney Consumer Products in a statement on Thursday. He added that our decision is based on a recent report from the World Bank, which assesses how countries are governed, using metrics like accountability, corruption and violence, among others. These five countries had the lowest scores on those measures.
On 24 April, five garment factories housed in the illegally constructed, eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar, a suburb in capital Dhaka.