This is a story that won’t get lasting attention because of the small number of dead workers, but following the death of 1127 garment workers in Bangladesh, we have another factory collapse in the apparel industry. The roof collapsed in a Cambodian shoe factory, killing 2 workers and injuring at least 9 others. The factory makes shoes for the Japanese company Asics.
Once again, these workplace disasters are a completely acceptable cost of doing business in the apparel industry. Asics could employ these workers directly in its own Cambodian factory. But it is more profitable to shirk the responsibility and instead pretend like it has no fault in the death of these workers. As the linked article notes, Cambodia, like Bangladesh, has workplace safety laws and building standard codes, but they are completely unenforced. The lack of any bite to the regulation is precisely why companies like Asics, Wal-Mart, and Gap outsource factory work there, separating the point of production from the point of consumption by as large a gap as possible. This is why I believe that Asics corporate leads should be held criminally responsible for the deaths under Japanese law, just as if the factory had collapsed in Japan.