Under pressure to take action to improve the safety conditions at Bangladeshi factories that make their goods, 17 American retailers including Walmart, Target, and Gap have signed on to┬áthe Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. However, the plan is already coming under fire from labor and human rights groups who say that the failure to include a third party monitoring system or any labor representation makes the plan, essentially, a “sham.”

The discussion over factory safety continues months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 people in Dhaka. A fire in another factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people in November. In both cases, workers were making garments intended for sale by some of the biggest retail companies in the world. Walmart and Sears claim they didn’t know their goods were being made at Rana Plaza. Read more