Protest planned for S.C. port over shipment of clothes from deadly Bangladesh factory

A picket is planned for Thursday, Dec. 20 at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina where garments made in the Bangladesh factory where over 100 workers died in a fire last month are being delivered before making their way to Walmart stores and other retail outlets.

The South Carolina Workers Rights Coalition is organizing the protest at the Wando Terminal in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The organizers are calling for the garments to not be unloaded from the Carolina Maersk until Walmart agrees to donate the clothing to the needy and to compensate the Bangladeshi fire survivors and families of the dead.

On Nov. 24, a blaze broke out in the Tazreen Fashion factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing at least 117 people and injuring at least 200. The factory produced clothing for various companies, including Walmart.

The South Carolina port protest comes two days before a nationwide vigil being organized by Interfaith Worker Justice, faith leaders and worker advocates to express solidarity with workers in Walmart stores and throughout its supply chain. Earlier this year, hundreds of non-unionized Walmart warehouse and store workers across the United States went on strike against the company.

Though Walmart has tried to distance itself from the Bangladesh factory fire, Bloomberg News and other outlets have reported evidence that a third of the production lines at the Tazreen factory were supplying the Arkansas-based retail giant.

For more details on the Charleston protest, click here. You can also follow updates on Facebook and on Twitter at #blocktheboat.