retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports this morning on yet another Asian factory disaster, as the ceiling of a footwear factory in a small Cambodian village collapsed, killing at least two workers and injuring a dozen more. The factory was manufacturing, among other things, Asics sneakers.

The collapse, the Times writes, served to underline "global worries about factory safety in poor countries." It was ironic that the collapse took place in Cambodia, since "multinational clothing retailers have been considering Cambodia as one of several countries that could be alternatives to Bangladesh for manufacturing after the disaster three weeks ago at a garment factory complex there that killed at least 1,127 people. The collapse and the grueling search for survivors prompted an international outcry for retailers to assume more responsibility for the safety of workers at their suppliers."

No reason was immediately established for the collapse.
KC's View:
These cases may be happening in Cambodia and Bangladesh. But they are right there on our computer screens, as if they happened next door. And I think that this issue of global sourcing and, sometimes, global exploitation, will have to be confronted by US corporations.