* Workforce shortage a structural problem:
Li Qiang, a 22-year-old migrant worker from East China’s Anhui
province, decided to return to Beijing from his hometown in March, but
only after his boss promised to raise his daily wage from 200 yuan
($32) to 250 yuan.
Li, an interior decorator, first arrived in Beijing in 2006, following
in the footsteps of a fellow villager.
His monthly income, he said, has increased tenfold, from less than 800
yuan to nearly 8,000 yuan, in the past six years. “I would still prefer
to go back to my hometown and build a house there once I’ve saved
enough money,” Li said, adding he doesn’t have a sense of belonging in
Chen Han, also 22, is still striving to settle down in the capital. The
college graduate has yet to secure a permanent job, despite attending
more than six job fairs so far this year.
* More US trade friction predicted:
China and the United States will experience more trade friction in the
high-end manufacturing sector, as Washington protects its domestic
industries, officials said on Sunday.
* Record 1.1m overseas buyers set for Canton Fair:
A RECORD number of 1.11 million overseas buyers have been invited to
the 111th Canton Fair, which opened yesterday in Guangzhou.
* 1.4M Pinoy families are ‘squatters’:
An estimated 1.4 million poor Filipino families nationwide are
considered as informal settlers, and some 70,450 of them facing
Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said in a statement that the government
should impose moratorium in the demolition of squatters.
* Rich, poor gap a threat to stability:
Income divisions are rising markedly in Asia, causing a wide gap
between the rich and poor that threatens to undermine the region’s
stability, according to a recent report of the Asian Development Bank
The ADB’s annual flagship economic publication, Asian Development
Outlook 2012 (ADO 2012), said that Asia’s rapid growth is leaving
* Waging a new war against low salaries:
Vietnam’s new minimum salary regulations will put a smile on
blue-collar workers’ faces.
The latest draft of the Labour Code’s Article 88, scrutinised by the
13th National Assembly, outlines the minimum salary on an hourly,
daily, weekly and monthly basis, with calculations based on
geographical areas and different jobs.
The government is also tasked with fine tuning the minimum salary based
on consumer price index (CPI) movements, with a revision determined by
the National Salary Council.
The minimum salary must ensure workers’ minimum living standards, based
on the CPI of each geographical area.
* Debt-ridden firms default, bargain away assets:
Many local small- and medium-sized enterprises have fallen into the
vicious circle of borrowing loan – clearing debt, with the debts
continuously expanding, forcing the debtors to bargain away their
The Hoc Mon-based TT garment facility was full of workers a year ago.
* Firms want tax aid to offset wage bills:
Food manufacturers want the government to consider waiving import taxes
for raw materials and subsidising energy prices to help them cope with
the 40% increase in minimum wages.
* Tariff Commission sits today to discuss cotton import:
The Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) will sit with
stakeholders on Monday to take opinions on cotton import from India,
said an official on Sunday.
* Bangladesh trying to secure cotton supply from India:
In order to ensure a regular cotton supply for domestic spinners,
Bangladesh is looking at inking a deal with India, world’s second
largest cotton producer, for importing 1.5 million bales (1 bale=170kg)
of cotton each year.
* FBCCI urges US to sign FTA with Bangladesh:
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce And Industry (FBCCI) on
Monday urged the United States to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
with Bangladesh to help grow trade relations between the two countries.
“We don’t want aid but we want business support,” FBCCI president AK
Azad told a discussion on Bangladesh-US trade relations at its
US Ambassador Dan W Mozena and business leaders were present at the
business discussion. Speaking on the occasion, Mozena said, “Bangladesh
must create an environment conducive to attracting massive inflows of
investment and greatly expanding trade to reach the next gear in the
* India factory collapse ‘traps many’:
Several people are feared trapped under the debris of a blanket factory
which collapsed in the Indian city of Jalandhar late on Sunday night.
Emergency workers searched through the debris and more than 60 people
have been rescued so far, police said. About 90 people were working in
the factory at the time of the collapse, a senior police officer said.
* Henkel eyes Rs 1,500 cr turnover over next 5 years:
Germany’s Henkel AG is planning to consolidate its operations in India
with an eye to achieve a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore in the next five
The company, which had sold its consumer products business to
Jyothy Laboratories last year, currently has interests in adhesives and
cosmetics segment in India.
* Save our soles… let’s go barefoot:
A warning call for shoes that keep the wearers grounded, in ‘touch’
with the earth.
You’d kick off your shoes, if the Sharath Rajus of the world had their
way, but that’s not to make you go entirely shoe-less. Almost nothing,
it seems, is right with what we wear on our feet. Or the way we move
with them. The toe end is narrow (the wearer remembers the pinch). It
curls up when it should touch down. Beware the cushioning, it can be
our Achilles’ heel, tendonitis, knee pain or worse.
* Over 400 Neyveli Lignite workers held:
Over 400 workers of the State-owned Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC)
were arrested today when they tried to picket the second thermal power
station, demanding among other things, service regularisation and equal
pay for equal work.
NLC, which has three open cast lignite mines and three thermal power
stations, employs 13,000 regular workers and over 14,000 contract
Police said over 400 NLC workers suddenly entered the power station
complex to picket the unit and were arrested. Mr A. Sekar, Secretary,
Cuddalore district AITUC trade union, told PTI that the service of over
6,000 contract labourers, working for more than 15 years in NLC, has
not been regularised, despite an agreement signed on June 16, 2008.
If NLC failed to implement the agreement, all 14,000 contract workers
would go on an indefinite strike from April 18, he said.
Asked about the strike, NLC Human Resources Director, Mr Saratkumar
Acharya, told presspersons today that the contract workers’ demands
were being considered by the company.
* Workers of 3 Assam tea gardens on indefinite strike:
Over 700 labourers of three tea estates in south Assam’s Barak Valley
today began an indefinite strike to demand for payment of gratuity and
the regularisation of contractual workers.
The protesters from Koya, Ramchandi and Moonachoda tea gardens alleged
that they have been deprived of gratuity for “the past ten years’’.
“Our gratuity has not been paid for long. Besides we have no medical
facilities and hundreds of contractual workers in the three estates
have not been regularised despite working for years,” Koya Tea Estate
Workers’ Union President, Mr Rajkumar Koiri, said.
The labourers also pressed for equal wages to contractual employees in
line with regular ones.
* Cotton unchanged despite offtake:
Cotton was unchanged in Gujarat even as millers and exporters bought
It was gained in north and south India.
* Meghalaya to house northeast’s first wool bank:
The Central Wool Development Board (CWDB) and Indian Chamber of
Commerce (ICC) are working in collaboration with the state government
of Meghalaya to set up a wool bank in Shillong, which would be the
first such wool bank in the north-eastern region of India.
* People forced to sell cattle, migrate in search of work:
Severe drought in Harapanahalli and Jagalur taluks of Davangere
district is forcing many people to resort to distress sale of cattle
and migrate from their villages and tandas to coffee plantations in
Chikmagalur and Kodagu in search of work.
* ‘Allow workers to enjoy their Constitutional right’:
The Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions working in four State Road
Transport Corporations on Saturday urged the managements to allow
workers to enjoy their Constitutional right, to have a normal
functioning of trade union.
* What about the right to provide education?
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, known
simply as theRTE, came a century after Gopal Krishna Gokhale made an
impassioned plea to the Imperial Legislative Council for introducing
free and compulsory primary education in India.
* 35 factories located in residential areas:
As a survey to locate industrial units established in residential areas
continues, special teams have traced 35 more factories set up in
various localities of the city during last 24 hours.
The labour inspectors carried out 285 inspections and took action
against 26 defaulters for violating labour rules.
* Punjab: Cotton to be sown on 6.2mn acres:
In Punjab, 6.2 million acre land will be brought under cotton
cultivation this year.
A Punjab Agriculture Department spokesman said on Saturday that poison
should be applied to seed before sowing to have a better yield adding
that it would keep the crop safe from juice sucking insects and leaf
curl virus for 35-40 days.
He said that seed should be sown with the help of Kharif drill in
lining keeping a distance of 2.5 feet. (APP)
* APTMA seeks compliance of energy conference decisions:
The textile industry of Pakistan is in dismay over non-compliance of
the President’s orders and decision of exempting the individual
industrial feeders from power outages and ensuring a five-days-a-week
gas supply to the industry, taken at the Prime Minister’s Energy
* South Asia: The labour force – a bulwark against an economic crisis:
The recession is long from over.
Crises deepen as the world gears up for the ‘centurion’ – a phenomenon
which occurs once in a century or a lifetime and culminates in a global
economic slump. Analysts predict that rising fuel prices, limited oil
supplies, barriers to entry in new markets, and widespread uncertainty
in the coming years can fuel another ‘Great Depression’ that may
cripple the global economy.
An estimated 1.2 million new workers will join the labour force every
month over the next few decades – an increase of around 25 to 50% over
the historical average. The challenge will be to absorb them into the
workforce with rising levels of productivity.
* Because of New Year festivities in some countries, some
news(papers)-online are closed or working at half strength 🙂