in the news on-line, today, 9 april 2012

* Higher pay, better terms dent Foxconn’s profits:
Foxconn Technology’s agreement to improve the lot of its 1.2 million
workers in China who make Apple Inc’s iPads and iPhones is a signal
that China is losing its title as the world’s lowest-cost producer of

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Defending workers’ rights:


* Surviving economic changes in industry:
Wily shoemakers improved company productivity by modernizing plant.
In a factory in the city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, Luo Li,
vice-general manager of shoemaker China Juyi Group, talked proudly
about how new laser machines have helped to improve its productivity.

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* Boycott Nike, says Mu Sochua:
She also warned that global brands and the Cambodian government were
taking a huge gamble by failing to address the causes of the mass
fainting incidents that have plagued the country’s most lucrative
export industry.

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+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:

1. Boycott Nike, says Mu Sochua.gif
2. Hundreds more faint again at Nike factory.gif


* Strike at seafood giant:
About 800 Cambodian workers in Thailand went on strike yesterday
against a major global seafood exporter they accuse of exploiting them.

The factory, which has been identified by workers and rights groups as
Phatthana Seafood Co Ltd in Thailand’s Songkhla province, allegedly
scrapped a 20 baht (US$0.64) daily food allowance after the provincial
minimum wage raised from 176 to 246 baht on April 1.

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* China quick to act on trade promise:
An across-the-board trade and investment deal signed with China’s
Yunnan province on Friday was a jump-start to Chinese President Hu
Jintao’s pledge a week earlier to double bilateral trade with the
Kingdom to US$5 billion by 2017.

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* NRBs stress skilled workforce for service sector:
Non-resident Bangladeshi restaurant owners have suggested the
government set up catering training institutes in the country to build
a skilled workforce amid growing demand for such professionals
The NRBs who run restaurants in parts of Europe and the Middle East
have to hire foreign nationals for a dearth of skilled manpower in the
sector in Bangladesh, said some restaurant owners.

Currently, Bangladeshis operate around 12,000 restaurants in the UK
alone, the owners said.
Skilled Bangladeshi caterers have the opportunity to work for those
restaurants, they said.
“The catering business is booming in the EU. We could employ more
skilled Bangladeshi workers if they have required training in the
related skills,” Yawar Khan, chairman of the Federation of Bangladeshi
Caterers in the UK.
“They have a lot of opportunities to get employed.”

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* Bangladesh seeks duty-free garment exports to US:
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought duty-free access for
Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) in the US market.
Speaking at a meeting on ‘Prospects of trade and investment cooperation
between Bangladesh and the US’, the Prime Minister urged the ‘Friend
Congressmen’ to play a pro-active role in helping Bangladesh acquire
zero-duty access to the US market for its apparels.

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* Ctg businesses count costs of Dhaka-centric pull:
Analysts say the port city deserves more attention.
Chittagong entrepreneurs find business climate in the port city
unfriendly for investment as they have to depend on Dhaka for taking
decisions that costs them time, money and ultimately competitiveness.

From registering a company to getting bank loans, Chittagong has to
wait for Dhaka’s green light that sometimes wrecks havoc on the
The views came at a roundtable on “business climate: challenges for
growth” at the Chittagong office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers
and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday.

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* Gujarat unrest forces Pranab Mukherjee to order 5k-cr cotton buys:
The UPA-II regime, which has just lost key states in assembly polls and
is set to face BJP strongman Narendra Modi in Gujarat next, is taking
no chances with cotton.
Despite stretched finances, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has
given the nod for purchase of 2.5 million bales, worth 5,000 crore, by
state-run Cotton Corporation of India to keep the market significantly
above the minimum support price after farmers in top grower Gujarat
resorted to arson.

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* Minister’s meet to discuss Indian cotton exports issue:
An inter-ministerial group will meet today to thrash out a solution to
the vexed issue of cotton exports between the Commerce and Agriculture
The meeting would also see representation from the Textiles, Industries
and Finance Ministries.
It may be recalled that, the Commerce Ministry had banned exports of
cotton with immediate effect from May 5, 2012.

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* Textiles Ministry to tackle pollution by Rajasthan units:
The Textiles Minister – Mr Anand Mohan Sharma announced setting up of a
committee which would look in to the environmental damages caused by
the fabric dyeing and printing units in Rajasthan.
The committee to be headed by the Textiles Secretary, including
Rajasthan state officials will try to arrive at an economically-viable
solution to tackle the problem.

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* Italian luxury apparel maker in JV with Tirupur firm:
Canclini Tessile, an Italian luxury apparel producer, has entered into
a joint venture partnership with Emperor Textiles, a firm based in
India’s Tirupur, to stitch its shirts.
The Italian firm, which is famous for its fabrics across the globe,
produces shirts which are vended under the brand name Via Montenapo.

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* Indian garment exports losing out to other countries:
Apparel exports from India are gradually losing out to other smaller
nations and the country is …

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* Employers engaged in anti-union activities, unfair labour practices:
Draft national policy addresses archaic labour laws, but employers
seen violating labour rights.
While there is a need to reform archaic labour laws, enforcement must
be strengthened as a matter of priority as workers are increasingly
being discouraged from forming trade unions with employers resorting to
anti-union activities and unfair labour practices, especially in the
export processing zones, while threats to employment surface in the
economy, a draft policy document spearheaded by the Senior Ministers’
Secretariat says.

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* Sri Lanka Marxist party calls upon people to defeat oppressive
Sri Lanka’s Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has called on
the country’s people to rise to defeat the oppressive powers prevailing
in the country.

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* Industrialists, traders protest ‘dark times’:
All traders in the eight Clock Tower bazaars and other areas observed
a black day against power outages, imposition of fuel adjustment
surcharge and recent increase in petroleum prices.

The call for the black day was given by the All-Punjab Textile Council
and trader associations.
The markets of Katchery, Rail, Karkhana, Montgomery, Jhang, Bhawana,
Aminpur and Chiniot bazaars besides Jaranwala Road, D Ground, Sattiana
Road and Madina Town remained closed for three hours.
After observing the protest, a number of shopkeepers opened their
The associations draped Clock Tower, one of the oldest monuments in
Faisalabad, and buildings situated near it with black fabric, which was
symbolic of economic turmoil.
Similarly, black flags were hoisted on different buildings and
Black banners inscribed with slogans were unfurled at various places.
The industrialists and textile exporters wore black suits and staged
protest rallies.
They chanted slogans against the federal government and demanded smooth
supply of electricity and withdrawal of fuel adjustment charges and
increase in petroleum products’ prices.

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* Karachi violence takes economic toll:
A bloody wave of violence sweeping Karachi has claimed hundreds of
lives this year, and experts say it is also taking a punishing
financial toll on the city that is Pakistan’s economic heartbeat.

Pakistan’s biggest city has escaped the worst of the four-year Islamist
bombing campaign that has plagued other parts of the country, but it is
wracked with crime and political and ethnic bloodshed.
Last year nearly 1,800 lives were lost as drug, land, gun and extortion
mafias linked to ethnically-based political parties threatened to
plunge the city of 17 million people into urban anarchy.
“Local industrialists, mainly textile businessmen, are shifting their
investments to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia because of law and
order and energy shortages,” said a government minister on condition of

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* Fashion Pakistan Week Tradition weds contemporary and you’re invited:
Real fashion is that which protects the workmanship and culture of the
country it belongs to.
And after a gap of more than two years Fashion, Pakistan Week returned
on stage with a glittering lineup of designers.
Day 1 held at the Pearl Continental in Karachi on Saturday reflected
the tradition of the country and of course the socio-economic and
cultural changes Karachi is going through.

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“Freedom For All”
Gendjer Gendjer (Filastine)
An adaptation of the controversial song “Genjer Genjer.”
The song’s lyrics were about the poverty in Banyuwangi, East Java in
While its subject was about a poor woman picking genjer (a flat-tasting
river plant) to sell at the market, the song was used as a rallying
theme for the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
When Suharto took power in 1965, the songwriter was killed and the song
You can hear & see it:



map of Asia

* Higher pay, better terms dent Foxconn’s profits
* Surviving economic changes in industry

* Boycott Nike, says Mu Sochua
+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories
* Strike at seafood giant
* China quick to act on trade promise

* NRBs stress skilled workforce for service sector
* Bangladesh seeks duty-free garment exports to US
* Ctg businesses count costs of Dhaka-centric pull

* Gujarat unrest forces Pranab Mukherjee to order 5k-cr cotton buys
* Minister’s meet to discuss Indian cotton exports issue
* Textiles Ministry to tackle pollution by Rajasthan units
* Italian luxury apparel maker in JV with Tirupur firm
* Indian garment exports losing out to other countries

* Employers engaged in anti-union activities, unfair labour practices
* Sri Lanka Marxist party calls upon people to defeat oppressive powers

* Industrialists, traders protest ‘dark times’
* Karachi violence takes economic toll
* Fashion Pakistan Week Tradition weds contemporary and you’re invited

*”Freedom For All”

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