in the news on-line, today, 5 april 2012

CHINA
* Teijin to launch closed loop polyester recycling:
Japanese fibre maker Teijin Limited is aiming to grow its presence in
China through a tie-up with the China Chemical Fibers Association
(CCFA) – an agreement that is already poised to set up a closed-loop
system for recycling polyester.
Under the deal, Teijin group companies and major Chinese firms will
work together to add value and improve production efficiency for
Chinese fibre products. They also hope to develop high-performance
fibres and sustainable solutions.
The closed-loop recycling system will be launched with Zhejiang Jiabao
New Fiber Group Co Ltd, which is based in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province.
It will be based on Teijin’s Eco Circle chemical recycling technology.
China is a key market in Teijin’s growth plans. Howerver, while the
country produces more than 60% of the world’s chemical fibres, fuel and
raw material prices have been rising. At the same time, energy savings
and waste reduction are key goals for the sector under China’s 12th
five-year plan through 2015.
http://www.just-style.com/news/teijin-to-launch-closed-loop-polyester-recycling_id113648.aspx

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* Worker pay subpar in China, report says:
The average wage of Chinese mainland workers is less than half of the
world average when measured by purchasing power, a recent UN report
shows.
The report released by the UN’s International Labor Organization found
wage earners on the mainland made an average equivalent of US$656 a
month, ranking 57th out of the 72 countries the report covered.

more at:
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90778/7777819.html

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* Low wages come in the way of finding a mate:
When will you bring back a daughter-in-law for us?” is the question
uppermost on Xie Kaiqiang’s parents’ minds. Their son has been working
in the capital city for five years and is still single.
With a slender monthly wage of 1,800 yuan ($283), Xie feels he is too
poor to start a relationship with a girl.
“I can barely save any money after paying the rent,” said the
23-year-old from a village in Changzhi city in North China’s Shanxi
province, who works as a property administration clerk for a community
in Beijing.

more at:
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7671024.html

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VIET NAM
* Raising salaries, amending law to reduce strikes:
Strikes have become popular in Vietnam.
Most strikes breake out in provinces and cities in the southern key
economic region and at foreign invested enterprises.
The direct and biggest reasons include: workers being paid very low,
which is far beyond their effort and employers breaking the Labor Code
and the Law on Trade Union.

more at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/special-report/20273/raising-salaries–amending-law-to-reduce-strikes.html

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* Garments become nation’s top export:
Export value of garments and textiles reached US$1.15 billion in March,
making them the country’s largest export earners with $3.23 billion in
total earnings during the first quarter, the General Statistics Office
reported.
The figure represents a 15.4 per cent increase over last year’s first
quarter.
The office said that garments and textiles were the only export staples
that earned the country more than $1 billion in March, adding that it
was an impressive result in the context of a shrinking export market
due to the global economic slowdown.
The Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) said the country’s
textile and garment exports to traditional markets such as the US and
Japan in the first quarter maintained stable growth.

more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/4 at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/20773/business-in-brief-5-4.html

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THAILAND
* Businesses accused of dodging wage hike:
Businesses may be shutting down operations in provinces where the
minimum wage has come into effect, only to reopen elsewhere to take
advantage of lower costs, unions say.
Udomsak Buppanimit, president of the Thailand Council of Workers’
Organisations and Labour Unions, said operators could hire workers
under new conditions after reopening their plants in those provinces
where the 300 baht minimum wage has not yet come into force.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/287492/businesses-accused-of-dodging-wage-hike

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CAMBODIA

+ ATTACHED a pdf from BetterWork:
* For an ethical iPhone, Apple should look to clothing and Cambodia.

————————

* ‘New deal’ eyed for migrant workers:
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call on Tuesday to strengthen cooperation
among ASEAN members to protect the rights of migrant workers echoed
recent comments by rights groups who say further protections are
necessary as the 2015 deadline for an integrated economic community
looms.
As that deadline approaches, an increase in regional labour flows has
been accompanied by a steady stream of reports regarding large-scale
human trafficking from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia into Thailand, and
the abuse of Cambodian and Indonesian maids in Malaysia.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012040555449/National-news/new-deal-eyed-for-migrant-workers.html

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* Maid starved to death in Malaysia, police say:
Another Cambodian maid died in Malaysia last week, and starvation by
her employers is the likely cause, Malaysian police said yesterday.
Speaking to the Post by phone, Penang state police chief deputy
commissioner Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said 24-year-old domestic worker
Mey Sichan’s employer had called for an ambulance in the early hours of
March 31, but she was already dead when it arrived.
A post-mortem of the body found irregularities with Mey Sichan’s
gastric glands, suggesting that starvation was one reason why she
passed away, he said.
There had also been injuries on her body, leading police to believe she
had been physically abused, added the police chief.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012040555447/National-news/maid-starved-to-death-in-malaysia-police-say.html

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* Mass factory fainting:
107 workers at the Sabrina Garment factory in Kampong Speu’s Sambo
commune were sent to hospital after becoming dizzy and fainting late
yesterday morning.
Choek Borin, the Labour Department’s Kampong Speu bureau chief, said
that 107 factory workers fainted, with nearly 60 sent to the provincial
federal hospital.
He said that after investigations by officials, it is believed the
faintings were caused by a poisonous chemical used to manufacture
gloves in another section of the factory building.
Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, traveled to the scene and
said that a few workers fainted in the factory after 9am. Two hours
later, there was a mass fainting on the factory grounds which affected
nearly 100 Sabrina Garment employees.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012040555443/National-news/mass-factory-fainting.html
&
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/04/mass-fainting-at-cambodian-garment-factory/

+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:

6. Mass factory fainting.gif
7. More than 100 workers faint at Nike factory.gif
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+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories a pdf:

1.Monitoring, Training and Advisory Services are introduced to footwear
factories, ILO-Better Factories Cambodia organized a footwear meeting.

2. Caring about workers key to success in the garment trade.pdf

3. Kingdom gives region ‘export’ advice.gif

4. March figures from China’s factories leave mixed signals.gif

5. Union wants early pay for workers ahead of New Year.gif

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MALAYSIA
Malaysia to invest in R&D to develop textile industry:
Malaysia’s Ministry of Information Communications and Culture has
directed the Malaysian Handicraft Corporation to undertake research and
development (R&D) to develop the country’s textile industry.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109643

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INDONESIA
* Indonesia Should Spend More on Social Aid, World Bank Says:
Indonesia should more widely distribute the benefits of strong economic
growth and protect poor and vulnerable households from sudden changes
in the economy, the World Bank says.

more at:
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/indonesia-should-spend-more-on-social-aid-world-bank-says/509325

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BANGLA DESH
* ‘Incentives can turn handicraft into a billion dollars industry’:
The handicraft industry can be turned into a billion dollars
industry if policy support is provided like the RMG industry, said
leaders of handicraft exporters association.
“We can develop the handicraft industry into a billion dollars one if
incentives are given,” said SU Haider, president of Bangladesh
Handicrafts Manufactures and Exporters Association (Banglacraft).
Haider was talking to BSS on the sidelines of a seminar ‘Opportunity of
Exploring Handicrafts, home textiles and Leather -Shoe in the US market
through MAGIC Show’ at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.

more at:
http://www.thebangladeshtoday.com/economy.htm
&
http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=57964&date=2012-04-05

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* RMG exports to pick up as orders pour in:
Garment makers link growth to China shift, US economy.
Major garment makers expect a boost in exports as the US economy is
rebounding and orders are shifting from China to Bangladesh.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=229041

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SRI LANKA
* Sri Lankan apparel industry in optimistic mood:

Sri Lanka’s apparel manufacturers see export demand holding up this
year despite concerns about a slowing European economy, thanks to a
focus on ethical manufacturing, factory investment, and the arrival of
new international buyers. Dilshami Samaraweera spoke with firms
showcasing their products at the recent Sri Lanka Expo 2012.

Sri Lanka’s top apparel manufacturers were among firms showcasing their
products at Sri Lanka’s biggest post-war trade event, Expo 2012, last
week in Colombo.

Organised by the country’s Export Development Board, the Expo was aimed
at raising international awareness of Sri Lanka’s post-war export
industries – and, of course, to attract export orders.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who officially opened the event, said the
large foreign investor presence was a vote of confidence in Sri Lanka.
The government also hosted the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment
Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks in parallel with the exhibition, which
allowed exporters to show their products to a top level US trade
delegation.

Apparel – Sri Lanka’s biggest export product – not surprisingly made a
strong showing. Clothing and textiles accounted for 52% of total
industrial exports from Sri Lanka last year in value terms and
accounted for about 40% of the volume of total products exported. The
industry expects a good year in 2012 with most companies reporting full
order books for the next few months.

Export demand seen holding up
Brandix, Sri Lanka’s biggest apparel exporter said export demand is
expected to hold up despite concerns about a slowing European economy.

“The first quarter of 2012 has been better than last year for a number
of reasons,” Mr M Raghuraman, the chief executive of Brandix Market
Watch, told just style. “Mainly it’s because China is becoming more
expensive and Vietnam is getting over-heated with manufacturers moving
from China into Vietnam. So the overflow has been coming into Sri
Lanka.”

Although export data is only available for January this year, export
incomes for textiles and garments have shown a 1.6% growth compared to
January 2011. Last year, apparel and textile exports grew by 24% with
export incomes of US$4.2bn.

Brandix says at least some of the growth can be attributed to ethical
manufacturing standards in Sri Lankan apparel factories.

Although ethical positioning through the ‘Garments Without Guilt’
campaign, has not brought in higher margins for made-in-Sri Lanka
garments, it has pulled in more orders. It has also allowed Sri Lankan
garment factories to differentiate themselves in international markets.

“There are lower cost destinations like Bangladesh, but they have an
ethical question mark hanging over them,” said Mr Raghuraman.

“Now, with more consumer awareness, compliance matters. It’s not like
before. Buyers are now getting into ethical sourcing. That’s where we
have been able to do better. They are not paying us more for ethical
products but they are giving us more orders.”

New international buyers
The end of war has also helped the apparel industry. With travel
warnings letting up after the end of a 25-year civil war in May 2009,
new international apparel brands are now placing orders with Sri Lankan
factories.

“Since the end of the war we have seen some new brands coming to Sri
Lanka. Previously there were restrictions, like travel warnings. But
now anyone can come to Sri Lanka. It has also become easier for our
long term customers as well, and they have also increased their outputs
from Sri Lanka because there are no security issues now,” said Mr
Raghuraman.

more at:
http://www.just-style.com/analysis/sri-lankan-apparel-industry-in-optimistic-mood_id113969.aspx

map of Asia

CHINA
* Teijin to launch closed loop polyester recycling
* Worker pay subpar in China, report says
* Low wages come in the way of finding a mate

VIET NAM
* Raising salaries, amending law to reduce strikes
* Garments become nation’s top export

THAILAND
* Businesses accused of dodging wage hike

CAMBODIA
+ ATTACHED a pdf from BetterWork
* ‘New deal’ eyed for migrant workers
* Maid starved to death in Malaysia, police say
* Mass factory fainting
+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories

MALAYSIA
* Malaysia to invest in R&D to develop textile industry

INDONESIA
* Indonesia Should Spend More on Social Aid, World Bank Says

BANGLA DESH
* ‘Incentives can turn handicraft into a billion dollars industry’
* RMG exports to pick up as orders pour in

SRI LANKA
* Sri Lankan apparel industry in optimistic mood

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

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