1. Worker Safety

    17 Companies Sign Bangladesh Pact

    A Bangladeshi volunteer stands amid rubble as he assists in rescue operations after an eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on April 25, 2013. Survivors cried out to rescuers April 25 from the rubble of a block of garment factories in Bangladesh that collapsed killing 175 people, sparking criticism of their Western clients. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN        (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty

    Three months after a Bangladesh factory collapse killed a record 1,129 garment workers, a group of 17 U.S. retailers and apparel makers have signed on to a five-year safety pact. The agreement will set up basic safety standards and requires inspections in factories within a year. But it's different from guidelines labor groups have been pushing that would use third-party monitoring and labor representation. Worker-rights activists have called it a “shame” and “an attempt to side-step the issue.” The labor-supported plan has been signed by companies like H&M and Benetton, while the new agreement is being adopted by Walmart, Target, and Gap, among others.

    Read it at USA Today