This was in the news on-line, today, 17 april 2012

CHINA
* China criticizes US trade protectionism measures:
China’s Ministry of Commerce urged Tuesday the United States to stop
using trade protectionism in the name of promoting fair trade.
“We hope the United States will not take trade protectionism measures,
which are allegedly meant to protect fair trade but actually have a
strong political background,” spokesman Shen Danyang said.
Shen was commenting on a growing number of anti-dumping and
anti-subsidy cases the US has launched against Chinese products,
including wind towers and solar panel equipment.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/705258/China-criticizes-US-trade-protectionism-measures.aspx

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CHINA/PHILIPPINES
* Foxconn Eyes RpFor Relocation:
Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest computer manufac¬turer,
mulls relocating some of its capacities outside of China due to
rising wage rates and shortage of available workers and has included
the Philippines in its shortlist of countries as investment
destination.

more at:
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/357165/foxconn-eyes-rpfor-relocation

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PHILIPPINES
* DOLE’s drive vs workers’ ‘contractualization’ boosted with MNCs
support: Baldoz
AN increasing number of multinational companies are now abiding by the
government’s implementation of protecting rights of workers to decent
working condition, security of tenure through a labor rule that stops
contractual work terms of six months less.
This after Labor Secretary Rosalinfa Baldoz has called on the strict
implementation of Department Order (DO) 18-A, which is the government’s
response to put a stop to the increasing abusive practice of service
contracting  known as “5-5-5”.

more at:
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/economy/25904-doles-drive-vs-workers-contractualization-boosted-with-mncs-support-baldoz

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* Every business a social enterprise:
I was recently in a seminar at the De La Salle University where Tony
Meloto of Gawad Kalinga (GK) shared the vision and activities of their
new Center for Social Innovation (CSI).
I have to admit that I’m quite inspired by what GK and CSI are
doing—especially their audacity to call on everyone, especially the
young, to build businesses of hope that will serve and empower the
country’s large sector of poor.
GK’s recent recognition for outstanding social entrepreneurship from
the Skoll Foundation is well-deserved.
They have made the process of caring for the poor, and helping them
help themselves, understandable and doable.
They are strengthening the social fabric of the country and inspiring a
new generation to believe that they can make a positive difference in
their country through business activity.

more at:
http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/business/business-columnist/21168-every-business-a-social-enterprise

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VIETNAM
* Vietnam workers to get a pay hike:
Rising costs of living in Asia are forcing most countries to review
their workers’ salaries amid rising concerns that failure to do so may
be a recipe for unrest.
And for the fourth time in four years, Vietnam is planning to raise its
minimum wage by 220,000 dong (USD 10)from May 1, a new government
decree issued Thursday said.
According to the decree, the pay hike will be applied at all
soci0-political organizations, people’s armed forces, state-owned
one-member limited companies and state agencies.

more at:
http://asianbusinessdaily.com/2012/04/vietnam-workers-to-get-a-pay-hike/

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* Thien Nam opens $18m spinning plant:
Vietnam’s leading yarn manufacturer, Thien Nam Spinning Joint Stock
Company, has opened a new $18m spinning plant, which will produce
100% cotton yarn for both export and local markets.

more at:
http://www.just-style.com/news/thien-nam-opens-18m-spinning-plant_id114059.aspx?lk=dm
&
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110118
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* Human rights agency operations discussed:
A workshop on international and regional human rights mechanisms and
links among human rights enforcement and research agencies opened in
the central city of Da Nang yesterday. The workshop is part of a
project to enhance the enforcement of international treaties on human
rights between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Development
Programme (UNDP).

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/social-issues/223569/human-rights-agency-operations-discussed.html

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* Strong supply chain to boost Vietnam’s garment sector:
Developing efficient supply chain is the key to raise competitiveness of
Vietnamese manufacturing industry, including textiles and garments,
officials said at a seminar in HCM City.
The urgent need to develop supply chain for Vietnam’s manufacturing
industry like textiles and apparels was underscored at a seminar
organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the
Multilateral Trade Assistance Project III (EU-Vietnam MUTRAP III).

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110112

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LAOS
* Reducing Poverty in Rural Communities:
Improving quality of life through better access to basic
infrastructure and services:
The Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF), established in 2003, is now the
largest multi-sector community-driven development project in Lao PDR.
The PRF has provided basic services to the poorest rural remote
communities in the country and built local capacity and institutions.
Specifically, the fund has supported the increase in better access to
roads, primary education, clean water and healthcare, which have all
resulted in significant improvements in the quality of life for 650,000
beneficiaries, especially women and ethnic groups, in the most remote
parts of the country.

The PRF has also supported training for approximately 68,000 community
members to play a central role in project implementation and more than
310,000 local facilitators to support participatory decision-making.
In a country where top-down planning is the norm, the project’s
participatory and bottom-up approach is highly innovative.

more at:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/EASTASIAPACIFICEXT/0,,contentMDK:23168719~pagePK:146736~piPK:226340~theSitePK:226301,00.html?cid=3001_3

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THAILAND
* Low-income group to gain more:
A proposed overhaul of the personal tax system would increase
exemptions for the lower- and middle-class, according to Satit
Rungkasiri, the director-general of the Revenue Department. Personal
income taxes are based on five tiers, ranging from zero to 37%, with
the first 150,000 baht in taxable income waived from tax.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/289119/low-income-group-to-gain-more

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CAMBODIA
* Longines keeping watch on Asian economy, fakes:
The Phnom Penh Post’s Ramady Moun recently caught up with Walter Von
Kanel, the long-time president of Longines Watch, a member of Swiss
Swatch Group, during the BaselWorld 2012 in Switzerland.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041755600/Lifestyle/longines-keeping-watch-on-asian-economy-fakes.html

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MALAYSIA
* It’s not about BN or PR — it’s about changing the system:
(…)
The system is the set of political and economic arrangements,
relationships and mindsets under which government and society operate
and with which they interact. A democracy like Malaysia is defined by
government under the control of the public, using everything at its
disposal to unerringly serve the public interest. The basic
understanding is that the people are the owners and controllers of
their political and economic destinies. In a democracy, therefore, the
system can have only one legitimate purpose: it is to give its all in
the service of the people’s interest.

more at:
http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/from-around-the-blogs/48740-its-not-about-bn-or-pr-its-about-changing-the-system

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SINGAPORE
* Singapore employees concerned over company’s financial health:
27% of respondents ranked it as the top priority when choosing an
employer according to a survey.
After a turbulent period for the global labour market, employees in
Singapore have ranked the financial health of a company as the most
important factor when looking for a new workplace, according to the
2012 Randstad Award survey.
In the Singapore survey, 4000 employees ranked the financial health of
a company as their top priority (27%) when choosing an employer,
followed by long-term job security (18%) and competitive salary and
employee benefits (17%).
Randstad Asia Pacific Managing Director, Ms Deb Loveridge, says the
findings suggest the global economic downturn and ongoing Euro debt
crisis have affected workers everywhere, despite the strong
fundamentals of the local labour market.

more at:
http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/news/singapore-employees-concerned-over-companys-financial-health

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INDONESIA
* Govt Anticipates Large May Day Rallies:
Despite holding a special meeting on Monday to prepare for massive
rallies on May Day in Bogor, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
publicly tried to play down the possible demonstration.

A number of labor organizations have vowed to take to the streets
across the country on May 1 to voice protests against government’s fuel
price hike plan and demand better wages for workers.

more at:
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/govt-anticipates-large-may-day-rallies/511888

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BANGLA DESH
* Duty-free garment exports to US hinge on new trade deal:
US Ambassador Dan W Mozena yesterday linked Bangladesh’s demand for
duty-free access for garment exports to the Trade and Investment
Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) that both countries may sign in
future.

Bangladesh has been demanding a duty-free access for garment products
to the US market for long, as the country pays more than 15 percent
tariff to get in.
“Soon we hope to conclude a bilateral TICFA, which will establish a
forum that will identify and address obstacles for increased trade and
investment between the two countries,” Mozena said at a discussion on
US-Bangladesh Trade Relations at the FBCCI office in Dhaka.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230459
&
http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/others/105086-dhaka-can-sign-tifa-if-beneficiary-us-envoy.html
&
http://thenewnationbd.com/newsdetails.aspx?newsid=36875

&
* ‘Smaller US investors turning to Bangladesh’
http://biz.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=222593&cid=4

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* EU-India free trade to hurt Bangladesh exports:
Analysts say Bangladeshi garments will lose competitiveness in EU.
Bangladesh’s exports to the EU are likely to be affected if the
proposed India-EU free trade agreement (FTA) is signed and apparel
items are included in the deal, said an official of the commerce
ministry of Bangladesh.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230460

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* RMG workers block road over pay:
Several hundred workers of a ready-made garment (RMG) factory in the
city’s Mohakhali area staged angry demonstrations blocking the busy
Airport Road on Monday demanding compensation for shifting their
factory.
All kinds of vehicular movement on the Airport Road remained suspended
for three hours till 12 noon causing enormous sufferings of the school,
collage and office going city-dwellers.

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/paper-edition/frontpage/129-frontpage/105058-rmg-workers-block-city-road.html
&
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230462

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* Higher duty takes shine off handmade shoes:
Handmade shoes face stiff competition from the imported ones due to a
narrow price gap between the two types.
Imposition of a supplementary duty on import of raw materials in the
current budget has reduced the price difference. A body of the footwear
makers, who use their hands rather than machines to make shoes, shared
their problems at a pre-budget discussion at the National Board of
Revenue (NBR) yesterday.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230465

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* Natore transport workers union leader hacked, injured:
Miscreants hacked a Natore transport workers union leader, leaving him
injured at Hajranatore in the town on Monday night.

The victim is Selim Mandal, 35, publicity secretary of Natore Zila
Paribahan Sramik Union and also a local Sramik League leader.

more at:
http://www.unbconnect.com/component/news/task-show/id-74039

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INDIA
* Maharashtra to review purchase tax on cotton, oilseeds:
Cotton and oilseeds traders in Maharashtra can breath easy.
The State Government has decided to put on hold the 5 per cent purchase
tax which was announced on these commodities in the State Budget.
The Finance Minister of Maharashtra, Mr Ajit Pawar, on Friday said that
in view of the persistent demands from industry associations and
farmers’ representatives, the Budget announcement proposing to levy the
tax would be reviewed.

more at:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3317730.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

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* Jalandhar factory collapse: Owner held, many trapped:
Prominent industrialist Sheetal Vij has been arrested after a factory
building owned by him collapsed, leaving at least six workers dead
and many trapped under the debris, police said on Tuesday as rescue
teams continued to hunt for survivors.
Vij was arrested on Monday night and  booked for culpable homicide not
amounting to murder.
The Punjab government has ordered a probe by a senior officer into the
collapse of the four-storeyed building of Sheetal Fabrics, a blanket
manufacturing unit, Sunday night.

more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Punjab/Punjab-factory-collapse-Owner-held-many-trapped/Article1-841736.aspx
&
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/jalandhar-factory-collapse-100-still-trapped/249376-3.html

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* India warns UK on tough visa norms; Indian firms may relocate:
India today warned the UK that its IT majors may relocate their
business to other European countries, if the British government insists
on tough visa rules which affect Indian IT professionals.

more at:
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/242526/india-warns-uk-tough-visa.html

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* Rising rural, urban wages aiding inflation: RBI report:
Rising wages in both rural and urban India have contributed to
inflation, and managing price levels when wages are rising is key to
deriving benefits from higher growth, the Reserve Bank of India has
said.
“The pressure on generalised inflation from sustained increase in
wage costs has been one important characteristic of the recent high
inflation episode.
Wage increases for unskilled labourers in rural areas continue to be at
a rate faster than the comparable rate of inflation,” the RBI’s annual
macroeconomic and monetary developments report said. The wholesale
price-based index inflation for March dipped to 6.89%, down from 6.95%.

more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/rising-rural-urban-wages-aiding-inflation-rbi-report/articleshow/12696442.cms

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* Indian fashion accessories brand to enter apparel space:
Holii, the India-based company engaged in business of designing and
distribution of fashion accessories, is planning to enter the apparels
segment by unveiling a couture line by December 2012.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110115

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* Pakistani textile brand Sefam to expand in India:
Sefam, a Pakistani textile brand offering dress materials, is planning
to extensively boost its presence in India.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110117

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SRI LANKA
* Man dies in Wadduwa police cell:
A 42-year-old  father of three identified who was a key witness in a
Human Right case filed against the Wadduwa Police OIC and Police
constables  was found dead inside the cell of the Wadduwa police
station on Sunday.

more at:
http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/17970-man-dies-in-wadduwa-police-cell.html

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* Sri Lanka’s state power sector employees meet on the 20th to decide
on a date to strike:
Employees of Sri Lanka’s power authority, Ceylon Electricity Board
(CEB), are to meet on Friday (20) to decide on severe trade union
action to win their demands.
Member of executive committee of CEB’s joint trade unions, Ranjan
Jayalal says that all trade union representatives would meet on the
20th and decide on the date to commence a strike action.

more at:
http://www.colombopage.com/archive_12/Apr17_1334634078JR.php

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PAKISTAN
* Shift workers ‘risking’ diabetes and obesity:
Shift workers getting too little sleep at the wrong time of day
may be increasing their risk of diabetes and obesity, according to
researchers.
The team is calling for more measures to reduce the impact of shift
working following the results of its study. Researchers controlled the
lives of 21 people, including meal and bedtimes.

more at:
http://paktribune.com/news/Shift-workers-risking-diabetes-and-obesity-249090.html

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* Stress laid on social entrepreneurship to help poor:
Socialism has failed, capitalism is under stress and the only way to
get out of the current morass is to come up with self-sustaining
business models for those segments of society that the free-market
economy has failed to serve, Acumen Fund Pakistan (AFP) board chair
Zaffar Khan said while addressing AFP’s annual community gathering on
Saturday.

more at:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/331969/stress-laid-on-social-entrepreneurship-to-help-poor/

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* APTMA Punjab criticizes Pepco on power supply issue:
Mr Ahsan Bashir, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association
(APTMA) Punjab has criticized the Pakistan Electric Power Company
(Pepco) for deviating from President Asif Ali Zardari’s directions of
uninterrupted power supply to textile industry on independent feeders
for both prime and non-prime users.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110109

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PAKISTAN/CHINA
* China a good fit for US clothing giants:
As U.S. retailers shutter stores in the U.S., they open them in the
East hoping emerging market growth will keep profits lofty.

— Video by Reuters at:
http://dawn.com/2012/04/16/china-a-good-fit-for-us-clothing-giants/

map of Asia

CHINA
* China criticizes US trade protectionism measures

CHINA/PHILIPPINES
* Foxconn Eyes RpFor Relocation

PHILIPPINES
* DOLE’s drive vs workers’ ‘contractualization’ boosted with MNCs
support
* Every business a social enterprise

VIETNAM
* Vietnam workers to get a pay hike
* Thien Nam opens $18m spinning plant
* Human rights agency operations discussed
* Strong supply chain to boost Vietnam’s garment sector

LAOS
* Reducing Poverty in Rural Communities

THAILAND
* Low-income group to gain more

CAMBODIA
* Longines keeping watch on Asian economy, fakes

MALAYSIA
* It’s not about BN or PR — it’s about changing the system

SINGAPORE
* Singapore employees concerned over company’s financial health

INDONESIA
* Govt Anticipates Large May Day Rallies

BANGLA DESH
* Duty-free garment exports to US hinge on new trade deal
* ‘Smaller US investors turning to Bangladesh’
* EU-India free trade to hurt Bangladesh exports
* RMG workers block road over pay
* Higher duty takes shine off handmade shoes
* Natore transport workers union leader hacked, injured

INDIA
* Maharashtra to review purchase tax on cotton, oilseeds
* Jalandhar factory collapse: Owner held, many trapped
* India warns UK on tough visa norms; Indian firms may relocate
* Rising rural, urban wages aiding inflation: RBI report
* Indian fashion accessories brand to enter apparel space
* Pakistani textile brand Sefam to expand in India

SRI LANKA
* Man dies in Wadduwa police cell
* Sri Lanka’s state power sector employees meet on the 20th to decide
on a date to strike

PAKISTAN
* Shift workers ‘risking’ diabetes and obesity
* Stress laid on social entrepreneurship to help poor
* APTMA Punjab criticizes Pepco on power supply issue

PAKISTAN/CHINA
* China a good fit for US clothing giants

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

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