BENTONVILLE, Ariz. — A spokesperson for Walmart today announced that the company’s new plan for overseas factory safety would eschew traditional measures and “leave the whole thing up to God.” The plan was developed by 17 North American retailers and brands—Walmart and Gap the largest among them—to improve conditions at Bangladeshi garment factories, and will do nothing to address safety concerns except require that the companies “pray really, really hard that no more buildings collapse.”
The new plan is a response to the April Rana Plaza disaster, in which a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed, killing over 1000 workers. The 17 companies, led by Walmart, declined to support another plan that would include extensive safety improvements, would be legally binding, and is backed by 70 companies in the industry.
“We at Walmart felt that that plan just wasn’t bold enough,” a spokesperson for the corporation said. “As long as humans are involved, there will be error, structural vulnerabilities, etc. Only God—who operates outside the laws of physics—has the power to make sure a building is completely and truly safe.”
“We’re confident that leaving it in the hands of God is what Jesus would do,” he added.
Another plan developed by Walmart, Gap and 15 other companies lacked any legally-binding measures, and didn’t involve workers in their factories’ governance in any meaningful way. Critics of that plan have called it a “sham” and argued that it would do nothing to improve working conditions.
Walmart says that it took those arguments into consideration when planning the new strategy. “We heard all the complaints about our original plan,” said Mike Duke, current Walmart CEO. “And we agree that it wasn’t ideal. But this time we’ve got it all figured out.
“I mean, think about it,” Duke said. “Steel support beams aren’t half as strong as God’s will, and what’s a well-ventilated working space when compared to the rejuvenating breath of the Lord?”
Duke said that, unlike the last plan, this one will include legally-binding measures: “All CEO’s for companies that use these factories—myself chief among them—will be legally required to say 25 ‘Our Father’s every night before going to bed, and, while doing so, concentrate really hard on asking God to protect the factories.”
And if a factory does happen to collapse, Duke said, “we will know that that’s what God wanted, and we couldn’t have stopped if we tried.”
Critics have already begun attacking the plan, calling it “wildly insufficient and downright offensive,” but Duke says that anyone who disagrees with the new strategy “must be an atheist, and isn’t welcome shopping at Walmart anyway.”