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Wal-Mart issues ‘zero tolerance’ policy for global suppliers


Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores is tightening the reins on its global suppliers. Effective March 1, the retailer is implementing a "zero tolerance" policy for any supplier who subcontracts work to factories without the company’s knowledge, the Associated Press reported. Previously, Wal-Mart gave suppliers three chances to correct mistakes.

As part of the new rules, Wal-Mart will require all factories in Bangladesh to undergo an electrical and building safety assessment from an independent agency.

"While an overall global approach is necessary, there is a need for heightened attention to the risks specifically related to building structure in Bangladesh," Wal-Mart said in a 10-page letter to suppliers Tuesday.

In addition, beginning June 1, suppliers must have an employee stationed in countries where they subcontract to ensure compliance. In the past, suppliers relied on third-party agents to monitor activity.

Wal-Mart will hold a meeting for clothing suppliers from the United States and Canada on Thursday to explain the new policy changes, the report said.

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