The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 26, 2013

Toll in Bangladesh building collapse passes 300

(Continued)

Wal-Mart said none of its clothing had been authorized to be made in the facility, but it is investigating whether there was any unauthorized production.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the collapse underscored the "urgent need" for the Bangladesh government, as well as the factory owners, buyers and labor groups, to improve working conditions in the country.

Human Rights Watch says Bangladesh's Ministry of Labor has only 18 inspectors to monitor thousands of garment factories in the sprawling Dhaka district, where much of the nation's garment industry is located.

John Sifton, the group's Asia advocacy director, also noted none of the factories in the Rana Plaza were unionized, and had they had been, workers would have been in a better position to refuse to enter the building on Wednesday.

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