Today in the news on-line 16 March 2012

ASIA
Wages rising rapidly across Asia to avoid unrest:
Businesses and governments across Asia are responding to the threat of
labour unrest by pushing wages up with the result that double digit
wage inflation is now the norm in most Asian economies.

more at:
http://asianbusinessdaily.com/2012/03/wages-rising-rapidly-across-asia-to-avoid-unrest/

CHINA
Branded jeans fail province’s quality tests:
A pair of Levi’s jeans and a pair of Jack & Jones jeans were found to
contain excessive formaldehyde in quality tests, the Liaoning Province
Consumers’ Rights Commission said yesterday.

The Levi’s contained 81 milligrams per kilogram; while the Jack & Jones
pair contained 100 milligrams per kilogram, officials said. Chinese law
states that garments which touch the skin cannot contain more than 75
milligrams per kilogram.

The Levi’s were produced by a company based in Shandong Province, while
the Jack & Jones were produced in Tianjin, officials said.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7760067.html

Qingdao to host textile & garment export fair in April:
Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province of East China, will host
the 16th Qingdao International Textile and Garment Export Fair in April
this year. The fair is being sponsored by the provincial Shandong
government and the China Council for the Promotion of International
Trade.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109003

VIET NAM
Better Work Vietnam: Telling the Story:
Making a difference in workers’ lives — At a factory on the northern
outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City hundreds of women are busy assembling the
latest clothing order from an international buyer. Above the din of the
sewing machines, three of the workers—all women—stop to chat about
their jobs with some visitors.

more to find at:
http://www.betterwork.org/sites/VietNam/English/news/Pages/news.aspx

CAMBODIA
Former Bavet governor makes clandestine court appearance:
Former Bavet governor Chouk Bundith appeared in Svay Rieng Provincial
Court on Thursday, a day before he was summoned to appear, a prosecutor
said.

The former governor, who was demoted last week, is suspected of
shooting three factory workers during a protest in the casino town on
the Vietnamese border last month.

Svay Rieng Provincial Court Prosecutor Hing Bunchea said that
Thursday’s hearing lasted the entire morning and that Chouk Bundith was
then allowed to go home.

Speaking to the Cambodia Herald Friday, he said that three workers who
were injured in the shooting sought a delay in the hearing as they had
been summoned to appear on March 28.
Svay Rieng court officials did not announce Thursday’s hearing to the
public.
http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=15&token=NzAwZDQyY2FmN2UyMDI5MWJhNmU4ZTcwZjc0ZDNm

Union accuses Macau company of forcing work on women’s day:
Free Trade Union President Chea Mony accused M & V International
Manufacturing Ltd Thursday of forcing workers to do overtime on a
holiday. In a letter to Labor Minister Vong Soth, he said employees of
the Macau-owned company in Kompong Chhnang were forced to work on
International Women’s Day on March 8.
He also said that a Chinese boss later threatened workers with
dismissal unless they signed a contract agreeing to work on a holiday.
Chea Mony appealed to the minister to urge the company to respect labor
laws.
M & V International has an estimated 5,600 workers making sweaters.
http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=13&token=NmViOTU5MmViODU5NjVmMDA4ZWNhYjA1YzVjZGMx

Factory uproar: FTU writes to ministry after ‘forced overtime’:
Workers from the M&V factory in Kampong Chhnang were forced to work
overtime on International Women’s Day, according to a letter sent by
the Free Trade Union president to the Ministry of Labour yesterday.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012031655059/National-news/factory-uproar-ftu-writes-to-ministry-after-forced-overtime.html

+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:
1. FTU writes to ministry after ‘forced overtime’.gif
2. Labourers forced to work women’s day, unions say.gif

Cambodian trade unions, right groups urge authorities to arrest
perpetrator for shooting workers:
Thirty-two trade unions and right groups in Cambodia urged the local
authorities to arrest former-governor of Bavet city Chhouk Bandith for
shooting protesting garment workers on Feb. 20, a joint statement
released to the media said on Thursday.
“Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has identified the suspect of the
shooting as being Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith, and we strongly
urge the government of Cambodia to make the suspect’s arrest an utmost
priority,” said the statement.
“We also urge a proper trial and judgment in accordance with the law,”
it added.

more at:
http://www.dap-news.co/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8790:-cambodian-trade-unions-right-groups-urge-authorities-to-arrest-perpetrator-for-shooting-workers&catid=1:local-news&Itemid=18

Factory shooter ‘confesses’:
In a shock development, a court official said yesterday  deposed Bavet
town governor Chhouk Bandith had confessed to shooting three women at a
protest last month in a case that has brought international scrutiny to
Cambodia’s judicial system.

Svay Rieng provincial prosecutor Hing Bun Chea said Chhouk Bandith had
confessed to the triple shooting, outside the Kaoway Sports Ltd shoe
factory, after going to the court a day early for questioning. Despite
the confession, he walked out of court a free man.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012031655070/National-news/factory-shooter-confesses.html

+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:
3. Factory shooter ‘confesses’.gif
4. Governor free after admitting to firing gun.gif

Workers vow to keep striking:
More than 400 workers at the Hwa Sin Print  factory, in the capital’s
Choam Chao commune, had resumed their strike yesterday after management
failed to meet their demands, a union official said.

Khat Lot, vice-director of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers,
said workers had blocked the factory’s front gate, preventing goods
being taken in and out, to pressure the company to negotiate with
representatives of the workers.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012031655060/National-news/workers-vow-to-keep-striking.html

+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:
5. Workers vow to keep striking.gif

Cambodia’s economy dependent on garment sector – Report:
The garment and textile industry in Cambodia is significantly
contributing to the country’s economy and can be stated as the backbone
of the Cambodian economy, according to a report. The 309 garments and
textile firms in Cambodia employed around 335,400 workers at the end of
2011, with 91 percent of them being women, a Ministry of Commerce
report stated.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109037

BANGLA DESH
1300 textile mill workers retired in 2008 agitate for dues:
Over 1300 workers of Dinajpur Textile Mills Ltd who retired on golden
handshake about four years ago and their family members formed a human
chain yesterday demanding payment of arrears.
The hour-long human chain programme, joined by at least 2500 men and
women, was held in front of the mill in Sadarpur area of Sadar upazila.

A committee formed to realise the arrears of the staffs organised the
programme.
The participants said that 1350 mill workers of the mill retired in
2008 but they are yet to get the retirement allowance and other
benefits.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=226441

Bangladesh to explore alternative sources of cotton:
Bangladesh will soon explore other countries for import of cotton to
decrease its dependence on India.
The decision has been taken in view of a sudden ban imposed by India on
cotton exports earlier this month.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109029

INDIA
Technology a key driver of fashion retail growth:
The third day at India Fashion Forum (IFF) witnessed two insightful
discussions respectively, pertaining to the role of technology in
India’s fashion retail sector and key challenges faced in acquiring and
retaining human capital.
The preliminary session at IFF focused on Technology as a driver of
fashion retail growth.
The session was driven by thought-provoking debates between leading
fashion retail gurus including Rohan Tejura, MD & CTO, RoSoft, Dharmesh
Lamba, Country Manager, Checkpoint Systems, Prashant Lohia, Director,
Ginni Systems, Vinay Bhatia, Head of Marketing, Shoppers Stop and Lalit
Agarwal D-Mart.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109032

Live textile budget snippets from fibre2fashion:
The Finance Minister – Mr Pranab Mukherjee will today announce the
Union Budget for 2012-13. Fibre2fashion will be updating budgetary
policy decisions related to the textile and garment industry minute by
minute, beginning from 11 AM (IST).
Fibre2fashion will also be speaking to industry leaders for post-budget
comments to analyse their reaction to the budget.
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109030

PAKISTAN
Customs agents strike worries Pak garment exporters:
The ongoing strike of customs agents has raised the concerns of garment
exporters in Pakistan, as their shipments are getting delayed.
The strike has been called to protest the rise in goods handling
charges at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109031

map of Asia

ASIA
Wages rising rapidly across Asia to avoid unrest

CHINA
Branded jeans fail province’s quality tests

VIET NAM
Better Work Vietnam: Telling the Story

CAMBODIA
Former Bavet governor makes clandestine court appearance
& Union accuses Macau company of forcing work on women’s day
& groups urge authorities to arrest perpetrator for shooting workers
& Factory shooter ‘confesses’
& Workers vow to keep striking
& Cambodia’s economy dependent on garment sector – Report

BANGLA DESH
1300 textile mill workers retired in 2008 agitate for dues
& Bangladesh to explore alternative sources of cotton

INDIA
Technology a key driver of fashion retail growth
& Live textile budget snippets from fibre2fashion

PAKISTAN
Customs agents strike worries Pak garment exporters

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2