You'd be hard pressed to find a person in Texas who isn't familiar with the family-friendly Walt Disney Company. What started as a national brand has quickly developed into a global business with international ties in just about every country on the face of the planet. But while operating in other countries allows a business such as this to reach a larger consumer base, it can also cause some international business problems as well.
This could be the case for Disney this month as it deals with backlash from anti-sweatshop activists who are calling for the company to take action in international business matters in response to the building collapses in South Asian countries where the company operates. Although the company announced that it would be removing much of its business from this region, legal issues from past instances could cause international business disputes for the company in the near future.
Disney's decision to stop the production of its products in impoverished South Asian countries came just days after a factory collapsed near Dhaka, Bangladesh killing more than 500 workers. Although Disney points out that it was not producing products at this particular facility, the collapse did highlight the company's concern for worker safety in other countries.
This is not the first time Disney has had to deal with international liabilities cases such as this. A November collapse at a factory where Disney merchandize was being stored claimed the lives of 100 workers. Activists continue to criticize Disney for not compensating the victims, despite the company pointing out that it had no knowledge that their products were being held there at the time of the collapse.
Including Bangladesh, Disney has announced that it will be pulling production from four other countries--Belarus, Ecuador, Pakistan and Venezuela. The company would consider resuming work if safer conditions can be promised for workers.
Source: US News, "Disney Ditches Bangladesh as Factory Death Toll Passes 500," Steven Nelson, May 3, 2013