Another Day, Another Asian Garment Factory Disaster:
Today's Asian garment factory disaster is brought to you by Cambodia. The place made shoes for Asics, Japan's largest sporting goods company (and the shoes are available in the U.S.). While only three people died from the collapse of the mezzanine floor of the building, it's not even clear that the owner had a permit to build the factory in the first place, let alone built it to anything close to code.
Of course, this brings to mind the horrific sweatshop building collapse in Bangladesh last month. They stopped looking for bodies there, with the total dead at over 1100. In that country alone, we are assured, there are "hundreds of buildings" like the one that caused the scores of deaths, places where even having clean drinking water is a regulation that is ignored.
These hellhole factories, which assure the United States a steady stream of cheap garments (and garments with amazing mark-ups, like at The Gap), are also, for the female sweatshop workers, seen as "the greatest opportunity that these women could ever have imagined." Seamstresses in the Cambodian factory sewed 450 pairs pairs of sneakers a day. The starting salary was $75 a month, and that's after three strikes that saw wages go up for most workers.
By the way, The Daily Beast has to win some kind of prize for sensitivity and class for this headline in its fashion section:
Wait, were Julianne Moore's toes squashed by the collapse of the Cambodian shoe factory? Shit just got real.