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Gap Investor Meeting Soured by Bangladesh Safety Issues

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Gap, Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy gave his annual shareholders presentation yesterday in San Francisco with a backdrop of 50 picketers outside protesting the only thing investors inside wanted to talk about: the 1,100 factory workers killed in Bangladesh recently.

The San Francisco Business Times reports that investors demanded to know why the company would not sign an international accord addressing factory safety in that country.

Reiterating statements Gap made last week, Murphy said the company would not sign the European accord because of legal liability issues. And until changes are made to the pact on how conflicts are resolved in courts, Gap won't budge, he said.

14 other North American companies including Walmart, Macy's and Sears have also refused to sign. PVH, which includes Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, and Abercrombie & Fitch are the only U.S. retailers to sign the five-year commitment to conduct independent safety inspections and pay up to $500,000 per year toward safety improvements. Retailers abroad have been more supportive of the agreement—Marks & Spencer, H&M, Carrefour and Kelly Hansen are just a few who have signed on.
· Gap's Annual Meeting Overshadowed by Bangladesh Safety Accord [SF Biz Times]
· Gap [Official Site]
· Would You Pay More for Philip Lim's Collab if It Were Ethically Made [Racked]