Today in the news on-line 27 March 2012

CHINA
Wearing our conscientiousness on our sleeves:
Check the label: It’s organic, vegan, of European origin and has a
carbon footprint equivalent to driving a car for 18 kilometers.
No, it’s not a pear or an eggplant at the market, rather a linen jersey
knit dress by the brand Honest by.
It’s “the world’s first 100 percent transparent company,” the Belgian
designer Bruno Pieters told The Times.
His avant-garde brand, which is mostly sustainable and organic, made
its debut on January 30.
Wearing our conscientiousness on our sleeves How something is made,
where a product comes from and whether it is good for the environment
and ourselves are no longer issues just for the food we consume.

The fashion world is asking the same questions, hoping that our concerns
extend to the clothing we wear.
A pair of vegan boots used to be hard to find, never mind attractive.
But now, luxury fashion, designers and mass-market retailers are making
a stylish mark in a responsible way.

more at:
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2012-03/25/content_14914016.htm

Weiqiao Textile FY profits slump, sales drop:
Chinese cotton textiles producer Weiqiao Textile saw its full-year
profits decline 90.3%, following decreased demand for products overseas.

The company’s net profit reached CNY246m (US$40m) for the 12 months
ended 31 December. Revenues were down 14.8% to CNY15.23bn due to a drop
in sales volume. Earnings per share (EPS) were CNY0.21, a decrease of
84.6% compared with the previous year.
However, transportation costs decreased by 38.4% to CNY130m, due to
decreased demand for its products. It attributed the decline to the
sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which led to depressed demand for
textile products and apparel in overseas markets.

“2011 was a challenging year for China’s cotton textile industry,”
Zhang Hongxia, chairman of Weiqiao Textile said. “In particular, the
high volatility of the cotton price negatively affected the industry
across the board.”
However, the company remains confident that it will regain overcome the
challenges it faces once the market recovers.
“Looking ahead, there are many uncertain factors in the economic
growth. Weiqiao Textile will further improve product mix, encourage
innovation, and strengthen its good brand name in the market. We
believe these initiatives will further enhance sales,” Zhang added.
http://www.just-style.com/news/weiqiao-textile-fy-profits-slump-sales-drop_id113880.aspx

Investors grapple with higher wages in low-cost China:
US lawnmower manufacturer Briggs & Stratton is used to worrying about
turnover – just not the human kind.
Like many foreign investors in China, the Milwaukee-based firm has been
hit by a steady rise in wages – which puts it in the same boat as many
US businesses in China responding to a survey released on Monday by the
American Chamber of Commerce.
After decades of aggressive expansion in China, foreign employers like
Briggs & Stratton face a relative shortage of experienced,
English-speaking engineers and managers, and find it increasingly
expensive to recruit and retain good staff.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=227856

PHILIPPINES
DTI, DOLE tie up in training OFWs become entrepreneurs:
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor
and Employment (DOLE) are collaborating in training overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) to become entrepreneurs which will hopefully help
strengthen the Philippines’ exporting capability.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=711938&publicationSubCategoryId=66
&
http://www.pinoy-ofw.com/news/20542-mcdonalds-summer-jobs-philippines.html

Young abantero: A child laborer’s tale in Balabag mines:
Just before the break of dawn, Ricky (not his real name) started his
day by packing up his pick, mullet and ore bucket.
After sharing a cup of coffee with his father, he then squeezes himself
into one of the over 200 tunnels in Warik-warik gold mine where he
spends most of his day.

Born from a poor family, Ricky has no option but to endure the work for
a meager salary of P40 per day.
At 13 years old, he is among the more than 100 child workers that toil
the gold-rich hill of Balabag in Bayog town here.
He has been working underground for nearly three years now as a
frontline digger (locally known as abantero) for a small-scale mining
operation in the area, Children, some of them as young as 10 years old,
are part of the over 2,000 workforce of small-scale mining operations
in the area.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=791539

VIET NAM
Local garment shipments to EU plummet:
Vietnam’s garment export to the European Union (EU) from January to
mid-March dropped 25 percent -30 percent compared to the same period
last year, said the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association.

Pham Xuan Hong, vice chairman of Vitas, ascribed the lower textile
export to the euro zone debt crisis, tightened spending and shrinking
import markets.

“EU importers are switching from Vietnam to Cambodia, Laos and
Bangladesh to fend off the 10 percent import tax imposed on imports
from Vietnam because those three countries still enjoy the EU’s
most-favored-nation (MFN) tariffs with a zero tax for developing
countries,” Hong said.

more at:
http://tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/business/local-garment-shipments-to-eu-plummet-1.66301
&
http://businesstimes.com.vn/local-garment-shipments-to-eu-plummet/

CAMBODIA
Two injured as marching workers clash with police:
Two workers from Win Shingtex (Cambodia) Co Ltd were injured Tuesday
when about 1,000 workers from the Hong Kong-owned company marched down
National Road 4 and clashed with police, a source said.
The source identified the victims as Ti Bunthoeun and Ry Mom, both 21.

The march followed a 10-day strike by the workers at Win Shingtex,
which makes cot
http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=13&token=ZDQ1MmJkN2ExMTBlOTZjYmJiMDNmN2Y1OWM3YzBh

More maids missing in Malaysia: parents:
Parents of four girls sent to work as maids in Malaysia filed a
complaint with Adhoc yesterday in Preah Vihear province saying they had
not heard from their daughters for anywhere from two to nearly five
years.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012032755256/National-news/more-maids-missing-in-malaysia-parents.html

THAILAND
Survival calls for 8% increase in output after wage hike: TDRI study:
Training should follow rise in labourers’ daily pay; move of
low-productivity workers from SMEs to other sectors seen Companies must
increase the productivity of their workers by 8 per cent if they want
to survive after the new daily minimum wage of Bt300 is implemented on
April 1, according to a study by Thailand Development Research
Institute (TDRI).
The study, which will be submitted to the government after a
brainstorming seminar to be held next month, also states that the
government should collaborate with the private sector to increase
labourers’ productivity.

more at:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Survival-calls-for-8-increase-in-output-after-wage-30178803.html

Thailand : Thai investors prefer Myanmar as garment base – Report
Thai textile and garment businesses hunting for new locations to set
up production bases to retain their …
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109347

MALAYSIA
Ramatex takes initiative for ‘Road to Zero’ goal:
Ramatex, a leader in the textiles industry and a world-class
manufacturer for textiles and garments, is taking the lead in its
industry to begin the process to eliminate the discharge of hazardous
chemicals in their manufacturing processes.

Since the release of the ‘Dirty Laundry’ reports by international
environmental campaign group Greenpeace, six of the world’s leading
brands have publicly committed to the goal of eliminating hazardous
chemicals through the joint roadmap ‘Towards Zero Discharge of
Hazardous Chemicals.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109380

BANGLA DESH
Procter & Gamble high official speaks about the constraints his company
faces in Bangladesh.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) plans to introduce more of its products to
Bangladesh to tap the market potential, as the steady economic growth
of the country is fuelling demand for consumer goods. But higher import
duty for personal care goods acts as a barrier to the world’s largest
consumer goods company to launching more of its items in the market of
16 crore people. Samuel S Kim, vice president for Asean and Asia
development markets of P&G Asia, shared this view with The Daily Star
in an interview during his recent visit to Dhaka. Import duty and
supplementary duty together stand as high as 110 percent for shampoo,
he said.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=227887

Export-oriented industries only to get electricity:
The Power Development Board (PDB) will supply electricity to
export-oriented industries and security installations in all
industries, as it has decided not to implement its previous decision to
stop providing electricity supply to factories from 6 pm to 6 am during
the Boro season, under serious pressure from the chamber bodies.

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/paper-edition/frontpage/129-frontpage/101866-export-oriented-industries-only-to-get-electricity.html

INDIA
Top-level changes at Adidas India:
Adidas Group’s top executives in India — managing director Subhinder
Singh Prem and chief operating officer Vishnu Bhagat — abruptly left
the local unit of the world’s second largest sports goods manufacturer
after it plunged into losses amid talks of financial
misrepresentations.

more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Top-level-changes-at-Adidas-India/articleshow/12421414.cms

DCI to commercially launch handloom denim apparels:
Denim Club India (DCI) will be commercially launching handloom denim
products by showcasing a complete range of fabric, garments,
accessories and home furnishing items made out of handloom denim at the
upcoming InDIGO 2012 fair to be held on April 20-21, 2012 at Gurgaon,
near New Delhi in India.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109376

Restructure Indian textile sector loans, says Committee:
Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Textiles has informed
that The Confederation of Indian textiles Industry (CITI) has reported
that out of 287 companies listed in the Bombay stock exchange 122
companies have reported net losses in Q1 of 2011-12 and 166 companies
have shown poorer results compared to previous year.
Many companies are reported to be finding it extraordinarily difficult
to repay term loans and finance working capital and have reported that
they may default on loan repayment.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109375

UK single-brand apparel retailers keen to enter India:
Several UK-based apparel brands, including House of the Gods, Voi
Jeans, Religion and Ringspun, are evincing interest in seeking local
partners to open their retail outlets in India.
The organized retail sector in India is estimated to account for only
7-8 percent of the country’s US$ 500 billion-a-year overall retail
industry. Of this, the fashion and apparel items are estimated to
contribute about 17 percent.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109383

Union Budget forgets garment export sector, GEA:
While appreciating some progressive measures in the Union Budget, Mr.
Rakesh Vaid, President of Garments Exporters Association (GEA) feels
that the Budget proposals could have taken better care of the genuine
needs and demands of the garment export sector.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109377

PAKISTAN
Business strike in Faisalabad, Sialkot today:
All trade and industrial associations in Faisalabad and Sialkot will
observe a complete strike on Tuesday (today) against massive power
outages and imposition of fuel adjustment surcharge.

more at:
http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/27/business-strike-in-faisalabad-sialkot-today.html

map of Asia

CHINA
Wearing our conscientiousness on our sleeves
& Weiqiao Textile FY profits slump, sales drop
& Investors grapple with higher wages in low-cost China

PHILIPPINES
DTI, DOLE tie up in training OFWs become entrepreneurs
& A child laborer’s tale in Balabag mines

VIET NAM
Local garment shipments to EU plummet

CAMBODIA
Two injured as marching workers clash with police
& More maids missing in Malaysia: parents

THAILAND
Survival calls for 8% increase in output after wage hike
& Thai investors prefer Myanmar as garment base

MALAYSIA
Ramatex takes initiative for ‘Road to Zero’ goal

BANGLA DESH
Higher duties thwart P&G’s expansion
& Export-oriented industries only to get electricity

INDIA
Top-level changes at Adidas India
& DCI to commercially launch handloom denim apparels
& Restructure Indian textile sector loans, says Committee
& UK single-brand apparel retailers keen to enter India
& Union Budget forgets garment export sector, GEA

PAKISTAN
Business strike in Faisalabad, Sialkot today

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