Today in the news on-line 30 March 2012

CHINA
Chinese premier tells Apple to ‘care for workers’:
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has told Apple’s new chief
that foreign firms should protect workers, state media said Thursday,
as the US giant fends off criticism over factory conditions in China.

International labor watchdog groups have said workers in Chinese plants
run by major Apple supplier Foxconn of Taiwan are poorly treated, and
have blamed a string of apparent suicides on the conditions.

more at:
http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/business/top-business-news/20256-chinese-premier-tells-apple-to-care-for-workers

Apple assembly line gets pay raise, fewer hours:
Chinese workers who often spend more than 60 hours per week assembling
iPhones and iPads will have their overtime hours curbed and their pay
increased after a labor auditor hired by Apple Inc. inspected their
factories.

The Fair Labor Association says Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.,
the Taiwanese company that runs the factories in China, is committing
to a reduction of weekly work time to 49 hours, the legal Chinese
maximum.

more at:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/03/30/apple-assembly-line-gets-pay-raise-fewer-hours.html

Fortune 500 firms asked to accept collective salary negotiation:
Labor union authorities in south China’s Guangzhou city have ordered
Global Fortune 500 companies running business locally to put in place
the collective salary negotiation system within the year. Chen Weiguang,
head of the Guangzhou city federation of trade unions, said Thursday
the agency will meet company executives or send working groups to push
hard for collective salary negotiation if any Fortune 500 company
failed to comply before the deadline.

more at:
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90778/7774076.html
&
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-03/30/content_14951381.htm

For young job seekers, low pay is key problem:
THE biggest concern for local young people looking for jobs is
salaries, which they think are too low, according to a survey released
yesterday by the city human resource authority.
The online survey questioned 1,400-plus unemployed people under 35
across all districts of the city. Some 42 percent said they were still
jobless because the salaries they had been offered failed to meet their
expectations, said the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security
Bureau.

more at:
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7773990.html

DyStar’s CSI & TASCII open CSI design studio in Beijing:
Color Solutions International (CSI), a subsidiary of the DyStar Group,
together with TASCII of Tsinghua University in Beijing are proud to
announce the opening of their CSI Design Studio. The Beijing studio is
to serve as a training, resource and inspiration center for both the
professors and budding designers.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109498

PHILIPPINES
PH no ‘global sweatshop,’ DOLE’s Baldoz says:
The government is stepping up measures against abusive contracting and
subcontracting labor practices to prevent the country from becoming a
“global sweatshop” where economic growth lies against a backdrop of
cheap labor.
At least 1 million Filipino workers are currently employed under
contracting and subcontracting system, according to the Philippine
Association of Local Service Contractors (Palscon) but Labor Secretary
Rosalinda Baldoz gave a lower figure of 200,000 workers in the
contracting and subcontracting scheme.
She said economic growth “is about race to the top and not race to the
bottom” as she reminded employers that business growth “cannot be
obtained by circumventing workers’ rights to decent salary and security
of tenure.

more at:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/03/29/12/ph-no-‘global-sweatshop’-dole’s-baldoz-says

A Step Back Into Victorian-era Slavery For UK Domestic Workers:
This week the Guardian reported that in a momentous victory for the
200,000 domestic workers in Singapore, the laws will be changed to
ensure they will be given one day off a week

more at:
http://www.pinoy-ofw.com/news/20669-step-victorianera-slavery-uk-domestic-workers.html

VIET NAM
Local authorities keep heavy handed to slow FDI projects:
More and more foreign direct investment (FDI) projects have been
licensed in recent years. Some slow projects have not been seen their
licensed revoked, but have received firm warnings from local
authorities.

more at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/20502/local-authorities-keep-heavy-handed-to-slow-fdi-projects.html

Stranded Vietnamese workers in Malaysia to get salary:
Vietnamese workers owed back-pay by the Malaysian company Asmana would
receive a minimum salary for February and overtime pay for January,
according to a VietNam News Agency correspondent in Malaysia.
The 69 workers went to Malaysia under contracts with Asmana in June,
2010 to clean hospitals, buildings and public areas in Penang State,
around 300km from Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Their salaries ranged from US$400-500 per month.

more at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/society/20630/stranded-vietnamese-workers-in-malaysia-to-get-salary.html
&
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/social-issues/222832/stranded-vietnamese-workers-in-malaysia-to-get-salary.html

Sweets firm denies Lotte take-over rumour:
Confectionery producer Bibica’s (BBC) general director Truong Phu Chien
denied the possibility that its largest shareholder – South Korean
retailer Lotte – would acquire the company.
During its recent shareholder meeting, Bibica postponed the change of
the company name into Lotte-Bibica.
The incomplete US$10 million factory in northern Hung Yen Province and
damages from a factory fire caused Lotte to halt the change.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/Economy/222851/sweets-firm-denies-lotte-take-over-rumour.html

Vietnamese enterprises attend trade fair in Cambodia:
International Furniture and Handicrafts Fair (HCM City Expo 2012) was
kicked off yesterday in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh by the
Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC).
Entitled “Vietnamese products: More choices – Stronger Trust,” the fair
aims to enhance business partnerships and strengthen the friendship
between the two countries.

The fair, which is divided into three main sections for meetings,
commodities and services, has attracted more than 150 Vietnamese
enterprises and 250 booths featuring various commodities and services
such as processed food, interior decorations, garments, cosmetics,
advertising, construction design, software, and others.

more at;
http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/Economy/222826/vietnamese-enterprises-attend-trade-fair-in-cambodia.html

Apparel Industry Expects More Export Orders In Q2:
Apparel enterprises will gain more export orders in the second quarter
following a downtrend in the year to date, said Dang Phuong Dung,
deputy chairwoman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association
(VITAS).
Many member enterprises reported a dip in export orders from
traditional markets in Jan-Feb. Some firms even cut the working time of
garment workers while other small-sized firms must close down in this
month, Dung told the Daily on the sidelines of seminar on apparel
industry organized by Dun& Bradstreet in HCMC on Wednesday.

more at:
http://businesstimes.com.vn/apparel-industry-expects-more-export-orders-in-q2/

Myriad challenges engulf Vietnamese garment sector:
It is not going to be easy for Vietnam’s textile and garment industry
to achieve the export target of …

more at/via:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109524

CAMBODIA
Myanmar’s economic promise no threat to investment here:
Myanma’s moves toward economic and political reform would not subtract
from Cambodia’s regular stream of foreign investment, experts and
insiders said – at least not in the short run.
Word of an investor-friendly Myanmar has spread quickly with the US’s
partial waiver on trade sanctions in early February, and some of the
region’s business players have called the country “ground zero for
investment”.(…)
If Cambodia were to lose foreign direct investment (FDI) to Myanmar, it
would likely be from the Kingdom’s garment manufacturing sector, worth
US$4.25 billion in 2011, or 32.1 per cent of gross domestic product.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012033055328/Business/myanmars-economic-promise-no-threat-to-investment-here-experts.html

ASEAN Youth Group demand 27 points, and their ideas will submit to
ASEAN leaders:
ASEAN youth group on March 29 demanded 27 points and their ideas will
submit to ASEAN leaders to build ASEAN community in 2015.
This year Cambodian chairs ASEAN this year and the country hopes to
gain benefits from this chairman hugely in term of politics and
reputation of the country.
“We, youth leaders from ASEAN countries made one voice to mainstream
our issues and initiate our role in actively promoting, monitoring and
protecting our rights and freedoms as peoples of the ASEAN community.
We urge the ASEAN governments to regulate and restrict policies that
would lead to commercialization of education.”

more at:
http://thesoutheastasiaweekly.com/?p=3756

THAILAND
Labour woes, slow insurance pay-outs hit Japan invstors:
Japanese companies doing business in Thailand are hampered by manpower
shortages and difficulty in receiving insurance pay-outs after the flood
disaster.
“The flooding drove employees away from many firms that suspended
operations for too long.
Those firms now need thousands of new employees, but workers are hard
to find,” a Japanese businessman said at a special luncheon of the
Thai-Japanese Association yesterday.
Japanese and Thai businesspeople said they had been unable to recruit
workers even though they implemented the new Bt300 minimum daily wage
ahead of schedule.
The government should help solve the labour problem, otherwise many
companies will further delay reopening and many industries will run out
of parts and materials, they said.

more at:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Labour-woes-slow-insurance-pay-outs-hit-Japan-invs-30179032.html

INDONESIA
Thousands workers show off against fuel price hike:
More than 5,000 workers from industrial areas in and around Jakarta
staged a mass demonstration at the front gates of the legislative
compound, demanding the House of Representatives (DPR) turn down the
government’s plan to increase fuel and electricity prices in April and
May respectively.

Protesters from the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers Union
(KSPSI), Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (KSBSI),
Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), Federation of
Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FPSMI), Indonesian Workers Organization
(OPSI) and Joint Indonesian Workers Secretariat (Sekber Pekerja
Indonesia) decried the planned fuel price hikes that would certainly
affect their economic livelihood.

more at:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/03/30/thousands-workers-show-against-fuel-price-hike.html

MAP profit jumps 79% in 2011:
Indonesia’s leading lifestyle retailer, PT Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk (MAP)
announced its financial results for full year 2011.
For full year 2011, the company posted record net revenue growth of 25%
to Rp 5,890 billion – up from the Rp 4,712 billion achieved in 2010.
Operating profit grew 39% from Rp 449 billion to Rp 622 billion.
Net profit jumped from Rp 201 billion to Rp 360 billion – a massive 79%
increase over 2010.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109518

BANGLA DESH
GM Quader sees WTO chief’s visit as recognition to country’s recent
trade progress:
Commerce Minister GM Quader sees the visit of the Director Genereal of
the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy as a recognition to the
country’s recent trade- related progress and future penetration in the
global market.
“Of course, Lamy is coming here for his interest in Bangladesh having
trade potential,” Quader told BSS on Thursday. Lamy, the fifth DG of
the WTO, is scheduled to arrive here Saturday on a two- day visit.

more at:
http://www.thebangladeshtoday.com/economy.htm

Efforts on to find solution to India’s cotton export ban:
Officials of Bangladesh, India talk trade issues.
India and Bangladesh yesterday decided to find a solution to the
problems arising out of New Delhi’s ban on export of cotton that has
threatened spinning mills in Bangladesh.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=228275

Garment exports to Germany not hurt by debt crisis:
Garment exports to Germany, the single largest export destination of
Bangladesh in the Eurozone, maintain a steady growth despite an ongoing
debt crisis in the region.
Readymade garment is Bangladesh’s main export item for the German
market, accounting for more than 90 percent value of the total exports
a year.
Globally the country is the second largest export market for Bangladesh
after the US.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=228276

Land prices boom as population pressure mounts on Dhaka:
Land prices in the capital and its surrounding areas are going up in a
much faster pace than one can imagine as there is no effective
mechanism to regulate the land market.(..)
A study, titled ‘Land Price in Dhaka City: Distribution Characteristics
and Trend of Changes’, says the pressure on limited land in Dhaka has
not only intensified urbanisation, it has also led to indiscriminate
filling of lowlands in and around the city to make way for unplanned
urban development.

more at:
http://www.unbconnect.com/component/news/task-show/id-72444

BEPZA receives IFC’s CEO Gender Award:
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank
Group, has recognized the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority
(BEPZA) as one of the top three winners of its annual CEO Gender Award
for a project promoting the cause of nearly 200,000 women workers.

Theproject is the first of its kind to address gender issues within
special economic zones, and is essential for Bangladesh, where women
constitute 64 percent of workers.
The project aims to establish the development impact and business case
for investing in women in the workforce.
The Zones Authority project is supported by the Bangladesh Investment
Climate Fund, managed by IFC, in partnership with the UK Department for
International Development and the European Union.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/daily-textile-industries-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109511

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Turkey to decline:
Readymade garment (RMG) exports from Bangladesh to Turkey are likely to
witness a sharp decline of nearly xx percent …

more at/via:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109535

INDIA
India, Bangladesh extend trade protocol; to liberalise trade :
India and Bangladesh on Thursday agreed to renew the bilateral trade
agreement, which expires on March 31, for three years and agreed to
further liberalise two-way flow of goods and investments.
(..)
The Bangladesh side expressed concern over uninterrupted export of
cotton by India.
“It was decided that a contractual agreement between the Cotton
Corporation of India and its counterpart Organisation in Bangladesh
needs to be worked out,” a joint statement said adding Bangladesh side
emphasised that they would require uninterrupted export of at least 15
lakh bales every year.

more at:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-bangladesh-extend-trade-protocol/243903-3.html

Sports brand Lotto opens its 15th store in New Delhi:
Lotto Sport Italia, the Italian sports company, opened its 15th
exclusive outlet in the capital region at the one of the biggest and
most crowded market of the capital region – Connaught Place.
Lotto stores are already operational in India at major locations in
Delhi/NCR, U.P, Punjab, Haryana, Pune, Calcutta, M.P, Raipur,Jammu,
Assam, Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Orissa and Bihar.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109512

Electricity tariff hike irks Surat textile sector:
The overall Surat textile industry is going through a tough period,
following the hike in industrial gas charges and now electricity, which
will be applicable from April 1. The supplier of industrial gas in the
textile hub has increased gas prices a few times in the last 15 months.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109525

Modernized NTC textile mills generate profits:
Thirteen of the 23 textile mills modernized by the National Textile
Corporation (NTC) have generated cash profits during 2011-12. This was
stated by Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi, In a
written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Upper House of India’s Parliament.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109528

Fall in excise duty may not impact Indian apparel prices:
The next time you enter an apparel garment retail store; do not expect
prices to have fallen, following the relief provided by the finance
minister in the budget.
The finance minister had provided a marginal relief by increasing the
abatement to 70 percent from 55 percent on branded clothing.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109533

Cotton prices may slide further in Maharashtra:
“The 5% VAT on cotton is not acceptable because, finally it is the
farmer, who will suffer.
VAT has been imposed on bales; so naturally, the bale purchaser will
ultimately pass on this tax to the farmers”, a top official of
Maharashtra State Co-operative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation Ltd
(MSCCGMFL), said.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109540

Bangladesh may get Indian cotton:
The Government of India is considering selling cotton to Bangladesh by
way of a contractual agreement between the Cotton Corporation of India
(CCI) and its counterpart in the neighbouring country.
During its meeting with India’s Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar, a
visiting Bangladeshi delegation led by Commerce Secretary Md Ghulam
Hussain raised concern over restrictions imposed by India on cotton
exports.
The Bangladesh side said it needs a minimum of 1.5 million cotton bales
from India every year.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109545

Stoll’s three-system knitting machines sales to rise:
Stoll GmbH & Co. KG., the German manufacturer of knitting machines, is
expecting the sales of its three-system knitting machines to grow.
The company said its efficient three-system knitting technology offers
Stoll customers’ faster knitting speeds without increasing their
running costs.
This has increased the popularity of their three-system knitting
technology and there is a growing trend among customers to prefer three
efficient and combined knitting systems instead of the earlier two
systems.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109543

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka’s former LTTE women combatants stage fashion show:
Another 384 former combatants of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka got the opportunity today to rejoin
their families as useful citizens.
The ex-cadres have completed the government’s rehabilitation program
and received vocational training to enable them to find employment or
start self-employment, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier
Dinesh Hettiarachchi said.
At the ceremony held to release the 384 cadres Minister of
Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadheera presented
certificates to 105 Ex-LTTE combatants who had successfully followed a
training course in masonry sponsored by HOLCIM Lanka Ltd.

more at:
http://www.colombopage.com/archive_12/Mar29_1333044878CH.php

PAKISTAN
Cotton farmers in Pakistan shift to other crops:
Absence of a comprehensive national cotton policy has caused farmers
and ginners in Pakistan to suffer a loss of around PK Rs. 200 billion,
which pushed cotton farmers, who used to do the early sowing in
February, to shift to growing potatoes and sunflowers.
Mr. Amanullah Qureshi, Chairman of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association
(PCGA) told fibre2fashion, “In spite of Pakistan harvesting bumper crop
of cotton during the current season, the ginners and cotton farmers
have suffered a loss of nearly PK Rs. 200 billion, mainly owing to lack
of a comprehensive policy.”

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109521

APTMA & GIZ set up Sustainable Production Centre:
Mr. Ahsan Bashir, Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association
(APTMA) – Punjab Zone has said that APTMA in cooperation with GIZ has
established a Sustainable Production Centre to promote cleaner
production technologies and energy efficiency best practices in the
member mills.
He was addressing closing ceremony of four days Energy Manager Training
Programme for the industry professionals involved in energy management
in the industry organised by APTMA in collaboration with Small & Medium
Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), German International
Cooperation (GIZ), and Training and Development Centre for the Bavarian
Employers’ Association (BFZ).

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109523

map of Asia

CHINA
Chinese premier tells Apple to ‘care for workers’
& Apple assembly line gets pay raise, fewer hours
& Fortune 500 firms asked to accept collective salary negotiation
& For young job seekers, low pay is key problem
& DyStar’s CSI & TASCII open CSI design studio in Beijing

PHILIPPINES
PH no ‘global sweatshop,’ DOLE’s Baldoz says
& A Step Back Into Victorian-era Slavery For UK Domestic Workers

VIET NAM
Local authorities keep heavy handed to slow FDI projects
& Stranded Vietnamese workers in Malaysia to get salary
& Sweets firm denies Lotte take-over rumour
& Vietnamese enterprises attend trade fair in Cambodia
& Apparel Industry Expects More Export Orders In Q2
& Myriad challenges engulf Vietnamese garment sector

CAMBODIA
Myanmar’s economic promise no threat to investment here
& ASEAN Youth Group demand 27 points,

THAILAND
Labour woes, slow insurance pay-outs hit Japan invstors

INDONESIA
Thousands workers show off against fuel price hike
& MAP profit jumps 79% in 2011

BANGLA DESH
GM Quader sees WTO chief’s visit as recognition
& Efforts on to find solution to India’s cotton export ban
& Garment exports to Germany not hurt by debt crisis
& Land prices boom as population pressure mounts on Dhaka
& BEPZA receives IFC’s CEO Gender Award
& Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Turkey to decline

INDIA
India, Bangladesh extend trade protocol; to liberalise trade
& Sports brand Lotto opens its 15th store in New Delhi
& Electricity tariff hike irks Surat textile sector
& Modernized NTC textile mills generate profits
& Fall in excise duty may not impact Indian apparel prices
& Cotton prices may slide further in Maharashtra
& Bangladesh may get Indian cotton
& Stoll’s three-system knitting machines sales to rise

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka’s former LTTE women combatants stage fashion show

PAKISTAN
Cotton farmers in Pakistan shift to other crops
& APTMA & GIZ set up Sustainable Production Centre

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