in the news on-line, today, 11 april 2012

BANGLA DESH
* Killing of Bangladeshi Labor Organizer Signals an Escalation in
Violence:
A labor activist who was arrested two years ago for his role in
protests against low wages in Bangladesh’s garment industry was found
murdered outside this city last week, labor rights advocates and the
police said on Monday.
The killing of the activist, Aminul Islam, marks a morbid turn in the
often tense relations between labor groups, on one side, and
Bangladesh’s extensive garment industry, which makes clothes for
Western companies like Walmart, Tommy Hilfiger and H&M.
In 2010, Mr. Islam, a former textile factory worker, was arrested and,
he and other labor activists said, was tortured by the police and
intelligence services.

more at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/world/asia/bangladeshi-labor-organizer-is-found-killed.html?_r=1&src=tp

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* Aminul Islam, a Bangladeshi labor rights activist and former apparel
worker was tortured and murdered last week.
CCC is calling for the Bangladeshi authorities to launch an immediate
and impartial investigation into the killing and for them to work
tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to justice. We are also calling on
supporters worldwide, including EU missions and other organisations to
generate similar pressure on the Bangladeshi authorities in order to
stop the culture of impunity that has led to this tragic murder.

more at:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=917103&l=b81fd9b9d5&id=155492281164975

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* Bangladesh expects a ‘cotton agreement’:
Bangladesh is eagerly waiting to reach an agreement with India on
uninterrupted cotton shipments from Delhi, though production of the
natural fibre would fall in the next season. ‘We are very close to an
agreement on a constant supply of cotton from India,” said Mohammad
Hatem, second vice president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers
and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/finance/104308-bangladesh-expects-a-cotton-agreement.html

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CHINA
* Chinese NGOs say big brands buy from polluting textile firms:
Chinese environmental campaigners have accused 46 Chinese and
multinational clothing brands and retailers of purchasing from
suppliers who illegally discharge polluted water in China.

Multinational companies Zara, Adidas, Nike, Calvin Klein, Armani,
Walmart and Carrefour, and China’s 361 Degrees, Anta and Youngor Group,
were among the companies named, according to a report released Monday
by five Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGO), including Friends
of Nature and the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPEA).
Forty-six out of 48 surveyed clothing brands and retailers were found
to have bought products from Chinese textile enterprises that had
illegal discharge records, the report said.

more at:
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-04/11/content_15021843.htm

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* Italy files complaint against pseudo-name brands in China:
The Italian Trade Commission has submitted a list of 30 well-known
Italian fabric and clothing brands to the Chinese State Intellectual
Property Office, which are being sold in the Chinese domestic market
under pseudo or similar sounding names.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109897

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VIET NAM
* Saigon Tex 2012 Provides Opportunity For Vietnamese Garment And
Textile Enterprises:
300 businesses from 18 countries and territories will attend the
22ndInternational Fair on “Garment and Textile Equipment and
Accessories” (Saigon Tex 2012) to be held in HCMC from April 11th-14th.

The fair is organised by the state-owned Vietnam National Textile and
Garment Group (Vinatex), in association with VCCI Exhibition Service
Company and Hong Kong Exhibition JSC, under the auspices of the
Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Apparel and Textile
Association (Vitas) and HCMC Association of Garment, Textile,
Embroidery, and Knitwear (AGTEK).
Saigon Tex 2012 is seen as a great opportunity for Vietnamese garment
and textile enterprises to exchange experiences with leading businesses
around the world.

more at:
http://businesstimes.com.vn/saigon-tex-2012-provides-opportunity-for-vietnamese-garment-and-textile-enterprises/

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* Textile, leather companies circle US market:
A conference titled “New opportunities to approach the US
market” is being held today in Ha Noi by the Viet Nam Textile and
Apparel Association (Vitas) and the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear
Association (Lefaso).

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/Economy/223310/textile-leather-companies-circle-us-market.html

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THAILAND
* Raising welfare, labor productivity and unemployment effects of the
minimum wage rise in Thailand:
In the 2011 election, Pheu Thai Party promised to increase the daily
minimum wage to 300 Baht a day and that this would mean there would be
a single rate across the country.
At that time, the  minimum wage was between 159 to 221 Baht – with the
amount being higher in urban provinces and lower in rural provinces.
After the election, the Puea Thai-led government stated they would
proceed with this policy.

more at:
http://asiancorrespondent.com/80128/raising-welfare-labor-productivity-and-unemployment-effects-of-the-minimum-wage-rise-in-thailand/

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CAMBODIA
* Labor confederation seeks permission for May Day march:
The Cambodian Labor Confederation said it was seeking permission to
hold a May Day march from a park near Wat Phnom to the National
Assembly.

In a letter to Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema dated Monday, the
confederation said the May 1 march was expected to draw 5,000
participants from nine industry sectors.

In addition to the garment, construction and tourism industries, it
said the march would also include workers from the food and beverage
sector, the informal economy, agriculture, banking and
telecommunications.

Confederation president Ath Thorn said the marchers planned to present
petitions to the National Assembly and government as well as the ASEAN
Secretary General.
http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=13&token=MjY4MTc2NDdlZTIwNDJjZmRmYjk2MmRjYjYyYmUz

———————-

* The Lineup: Adidas, MLS announce ‘smart tracking system’; workers
faint at Nike-contracted factory in Cambodia:
(…)
Nike’s statement says:

We have been made aware of a potential violation of the health and
safety provisions in Nike’s Code of Conduct. We take these matters very
seriously and have sent in Nike’s Sustainable Manufacturing auditing
team to conduct an investigation and speak with workers.
At the conclusion of that audit, Nike will determine next steps.
The audit should be concluded soon.
Nike has requested ILO Better Work Cambodia, the industry supply chain
governance body in Cambodia, to include this incident in their current
research into the causes behind mass faintings in the region.

more at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2012/04/the_lineup_adidas_mls_announce.html

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* Nike investigating faintings at Cambodian factory:
Nike Inc. on Tuesday said it is investigating working conditions
at a Cambodian supplier after several hundred workers fainted while on
the job last week.
The Phnom Penh Post reports that more than 300 workers at the Sabrina
Manufacturing plant in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province fainted in two
separate incidents last week.
The Cambodia Daily reports that more than 100 female workers fainted
last Wednesday in an event reportedly triggered by industrial glue used
while tiling floor. But another 300 workers fainted Friday, after the
tiling was completed.

more at:
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2012/04/10/nike-investigating-faintings-at.html?page=all

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* Nike execs to swoosh in:
NIKE executives will meet with executives of one of their suppliers in
Phnom Penh today to discuss fainting incidents at its factory in
Kampong Speu, union and industry representatives said yesterday.

Free Trade Union leader Chea Mony said the Nike executives would also
discuss allegations of violations of workers’ rights at Taiwanese-owned
Sabrina (Cambodia) Manufacturing, which he said employs about 8,000
workers.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041155565/National-news/nike-execs-to-swoosh-in.html

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+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories:
1. Nike exces to swoosh in.gif
2. Nike representatives visit factory, talk faintings.gif

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* Passports in hand, strikers eye return:
More than half of the 800 Cambodian workers who accused police of
threatening them with guns and firing into the air during a protest at
Phatthana Seafood Co in Thailand on Monday were preparing to return
home yesterday, a strike representative said.

Sok Sorng said employees were told factory management would return
their passports and release them from their contracts if they wanted to
leave, following negotiations with CDM Trading Manpower, the Cambodian
company who sent the workers to the factory. About 500 have taken them
up on their offer, he said.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041155562/National-news/passports-in-hand-strikers-eye-return.html

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* Banned Chea Vichea doc earns a Peabody:
A documentary about the assassination of a Cambodian labour leader has
been awarded a Peabody Award, one of the United States’ top media
honours, presented by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of
Journalism and Mass Communication.

Directed by American Bradley Cox, Who Killed Chea Vichea? investigates
the still-unsolved 2004 murder of garment worker Chea Vichea, and has
been banned in Cambodia.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012040955495/Lifestyle/banned-chea-vichea-doc-earns-a-peabody.html

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SINGAPORE
* Local economist suggests second wage revolution:
To tackle rising income inequality and an excessive
reliance on cheap foreign labour, one prominent local economist is
proposing a three-year restructuring plan that includes a wage freeze
for top income earners and sizeable pay hikes for the lowest paid.

more at:
http://business.asiaone.com/Business/News/Story/A1Story20120410-338821.html
&
http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,485432,00.html?

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INDIA
* Outsourcing blues: India takes US visa fee hike to WTO:
India is challenging the United States at the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) over increased visa fees for skilled workers that have hit the
country’s flagship outsourcing firms, an official said Tuesday.
“We are pursuing this at the consultation level,” a senior commerce
ministry official said on the condition of anonymity. “It is our hope
we reach an amicable conclusion.”

more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/WorldEconomy/Outsourcing-blues-India-takes-US-visa-fee-hike-to-WTO/Article1-838622.aspx

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* ‘Servants’ of destiny:
The relationship between domestic worker and employer is in a crisis
It is urban India’s most unresolved relationship. A relationship that
goes to the heart of the inequality every affluent Indian unthinkingly
accepts, a relationship on which even the values of the Constitution
founder.
The “servant” exists in a realm that we dare not analyse too
deeply, for fear the horrifying social tension that the institution
embodies may threaten the comforts of cheap domestic labour.

more at:
http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/sagarikaghose/223/63364/servants-of-destiny.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PAKISTAN/INDIA
* Pakistan may push for duty-free access to Indian textile market:
Pakistan may exert pressure on India for duty-free access to its
textiles and garments markets when the two commerce ministers meet
later this week, but India may give no more than an assurance that
the issue would be considered sympathetically.

more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/pakistan-may-push-for-duty-free-access-to-indian-textile-market/articleshow/12616780.cms

map of Asia

BANGLA DESH
* Killing of Bangladeshi Labor Organizer Signals an Escalation in
Violence
* CCC is calling for the Bangladeshi authorities to launch an immediate
and impartial investigation
* Bangladesh expects a ‘cotton agreement’

CHINA
* Chinese NGOs say big brands buy from polluting textile firms
* Italy files complaint against pseudo-name brands in China

VIET NAM
* Saigon Tex 2012 Provides Opportunity For Vietnamese Garment And
Textile Enterprises
* Textile, leather companies circle US market

THAILAND
* Raising welfare, labor productivity and unemployment effects of the
minimum wage rise in Thailand

CAMBODIA
* Labor confederation seeks permission for May Day march
* The Lineup: Adidas, MLS announce ‘smart tracking system’; workers
faint at Nike-contracted factory in Cambodia
* Nike investigating faintings at Cambodian factory
* Nike execs to swoosh in
+ ATTACHED from BetterFactories
* Passports in hand, strikers eye return
* Banned Chea Vichea doc earns a Peabody

SINGAPORE
* Local economist suggests second wage revolution

INDIA
* Outsourcing blues: India takes US visa fee hike to WTO
* ‘Servants’ of destiny

PAKISTAN/INDIA
* Pakistan may push for duty-free access to Indian textile market

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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