This was in the news on-line, today, 23 april 2012

PHILIPPINES
* Wage Boards Warned:
Congress can dissolve the regional tripartite wage boards if they
continue to let the country’s workers down by failing to approve
substantial pay increases, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero warned
yesterday. Escudero said that the way they are ignoring the plight of
the workers, the members of the wage boards appear to be living in a
different planet.

more at:
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/357667/wage-boards-warned

——————

* Youth to dominate workforce – BSP survey:
There will be more youths entering the labor force than retirees the
next 10 years. Jenny Reyes tells us this could be good news for the
country but only if there are jobs waiting for them.

more with video at:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/lifestyle/04/21/12/youth-dominate-workforce-–-bsp-survey

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* DOLE: 100,000 job offers available on Labor Day:
Choosing the position that best fits your qualification is the key in
finding the right job out of the 100,000 offers available on Labor
Day, a labor official said yesterday.
“There will be thousands of jobs that would be available, 100,000 of
them at the World Trade Center event, (so) choose the position that
best fits your qualification from the vacancies listing that would be
made available at the fair,” Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda
Baldoz said over the weekend.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=799786&publicationSubCategoryId=63

——————

* Workers press for significant wage hike:
With barely a week before May 1, organized labor pressed their demand
for a significant wage increase as a Labor Day gift for workers.

Labor groups led by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) announced plans to
mount simultaneous protest actions today to demand a substantial
salary hike.
The protest, dubbed “Pambansang Protesta ng mga Manggagawa at
Mamamayan,” would feature noise barrage protests in Metro Manila and
different parts of the country.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=799792&publicationSubCategoryId=63

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

VIET NAM
* A Hard Time For Garment Makers:
After achieving the highest export earnings in the first quarter, the
garment sector is now facing a significant slowdown in its export
growth, especially in key markets such as the US, Japan and the
European Union.
Shrinking markets overseas The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association
(Vitas) says garment exports in the past three months fetched US$3.25
billion (excluding fibres), a year on year increase of 15 percent.
However, exports to the US and EU have started to decline, affecting
the sector’s plan to meet the annual target.

more at:
http://businesstimes.com.vn/a-hard-time-for-garment-makers/

———————

* Garment workers run for safety:
More than 3,500 workers from 35 garment factories in HCM City and the
southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai took part in a Fun Run
for Safety yesterday, April 22.

The event, held in Binh Duong City, was organised by Better Work Viet
Nam, as part of a safety campaign for World Day for Safety and Health
at work, officially on April 26.

This year’s event emphasised health education and safety for workers
through activities such as training, an animated video, a safety slogan
competition and quizzes.
A range of 10 supporting organisations participated and provided
information and advice on breastfeeding, HIV, life skills, personal
financial management and child issues and health information.

“Workers’ safety and health is a priority for Better Work Viet Nam,”
Tara Rangarajan, director of Better Work Viet Nam said.

more at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/society/21508/garment-workers-run-for-safety.html
&
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/social-issues/223819/garment-workers-run-for-safety.html

———————-* Garment firms change focus

* Garment firms change focus:
A decline in exports is seeing Vietnamese textile and garment firms
focus on the domestic market.
Despite the economic downturn, their local sales remain on an upward
trend, according to the Viet Nam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).
Many, like Viet Thang and Phong Phu, have reported revenues of VND1
trillion (over US$47.6 million) and more from domestic sales.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/Economy/223837/garment-firms-change-focus.html

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

THAILAND
* Myanmar, Cambodia probe labour abuse claims:
Migrant workers’ protests misguided, say bosses.
Myanmar and Cambodian officials have been monitoring the working
conditions of migrant workers from their countries following
pre-Songkran protests at seafood processing factories in Kanchanaburi
and Songkhla.
While information from various sources indicated the protest at Vita
Food Factory (1989) Co Ltd in Kanchanaburi might have stemmed from poor
working conditions, the company’s management insisted it was caused by
workers’ misunderstanding of the new minimum wage.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/289959/myanmar-cambodia-probe-labour-abuse-claims

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

CAMBODIA
* Korean-owned factory slammed for firing worker after assault:
Trade unions have slammed a Korean-owned for firing a worker allegedly
hit on the head by administrative staff members and given $1,000 in
exchange for not pressing charges.

In a statement, the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic
Union said two suspects assaulted Bu Sokray who was later dismissed
after asking permission to get treatment.

The statement, released Thursday, said the case should be heard by the
Phnom Penh Municipal Court even though the victim agreed to remove the
complaint.

http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=13&token=ZGQ5OWIxMmQxNGUwNWY5NjMyMGE2MmE5NjFkYzI5

—————————-

* About 500 workers strike at Hong Kong-owned garment factory:
About 500 workers wet on strike at a Hong Kong-owned garment factory
Friday, demanding their new union leader to be reinstated and forced
overtime to be halted, a source said.

The source said workers at Ford Glory Garment (Manufacturing) Ltd also
wanted the factory to stop insulting workers, employ doctors and offer
a $10 monthly rental allowance.

The most immediate demand, however, is for 35-year-old Mot Ramorn to be
allowed back to work following his dismissal Tuesday after being chosen
as union leader, the source said.

Cambodian National Labour Union president Sam Soeun said the workers
will continue striking if there are no solutions.

There was no immediate response from the company which is located in
Steung Meanchey and makes baby clothes, coats, knitted shirts and pants.

http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=13&token=OTAyNzlmZDZmYzg3YTE2ZDMyZTYwY2M4ZjdhM2Yw

—————————-

* Workers to protest ‘discrimination’ in union leader’s sacking:

More than 500 workers at the Ford Glory factory, in the capital’s
Meanchey district, planned to set tyres ablaze and march to the
Ministry of Labour today to protest against the sacking of their union
president, their representatives said yesterday.

About 500 workers at the factory, in Stung Meanchey commune, went on
strike on Friday and Saturday asking for Muth Ravuth, the factory’s
Union Federation for Labour Rights representative, to be reinstated.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012042355713/National-news/workers-to-protest-discrimination-in-union-leaders-sacking.html

————————

* Failing justice, protests, violence: Comment
It was reported in last Friday’s edition of The Phnom Penh Post that
Chhouk Bandith – the former governor of Bavet town suspected of
shooting workers protesting at the Kaoway Sports Ltd factory on
February 20 this year – had been charged with “causing unintentional
injuries” (“Shooting ‘unintentional’ ”, April 20).

Three women were injured in this incident; one of them was shot through
the chest, and the bullet narrowly missed her heart.

It has taken more than two months since the shootings for the only
suspect in the case to be charged, and no arrest has been made.

Considering the circumstances, the charge seems lenient and the
potential prison sentence of six months to two years inadequate.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012042355700/National-news/comment-failing-justice-protests-violence.html

————————

* Cambodia’s garment exports up 17 pct in Q1: gov’t reports:
Cambodia had exported garment and textile products in equivalent to
1.14 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2012, a 17 percent
rise from 976 million U.S. dollars at the same period last year,
according to the reports of the Commerce Ministry on Thursday.

The United States and European countries are the main buyers, and other
clients are Canada, Japan, South Korea, China and some other Asian
countries. Garment industry is the country’s largest income earner.

The industry consists of 309 factories, employing some 335,400 worker
with 91 percent being female. Last year, the sector had exported
products in equivalent to 4. 24 billion U.S. dollars, up 25 percent
from a year earlier.
http://www.dap-news.co/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9035:cambodias-garment-exports-up-17-pct-in-q1-govt-reports-&catid=1:local-news&Itemid=18

——————-

* Union threatens rally over shooting charge:
Outrage over the “unintentional injury” charge handed to a former town
governor in Svay Rieng province accused of stepping out of his car and
shooting three women at a February protest has sparked threats of union
action.
The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU)
has threatened to protest outside Svay Rieng provincial court this week
if the charge against former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith is not
upgraded to attempted murder.

On February 20, three women were hospitalised after Chhouk Bandith
allegedly drove to a protest of about 6,000 garment workers outside
Bavet’s Kaoway Sports factory and shot them.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012042355716/National-news/union-threatens-rally-over-shooting-charge.html

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

INDIA
* High-level meet to decide on cotton, grain exports:
The Centre will take a final decision on export of cotton and other
agricultural produce such as wheat, rice, sugar and onion, at a
high-level meeting on April 30, the Agriculture and Food Processing
Industry Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, has said.

more at:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3335795.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

——————————-

* Bt cotton fails to meet expectations of Indian farmers:
Sunny D’Souza, a farmer and Member of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha
Sangha, said that a drastic fall in the yield from the genetically
modified Bt cotton and increased cost of fertilizers have added to woes
of farmers in the region.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110290

————————

* Karnataka invites investment in textile & apparel sector:
A Road Show was organized by the Department of Handlooms & Textile,
Government of Karnataka jointly with The Southern India Mills’
Association (SIMA), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FICCI), ICCI and Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) on 20th
April, 2012 at Hotel Le Meridien, Coimbatore as a prelude to the second
edition of Global Investors Meeting scheduled on June 7-8, 2012 at
Bangalore.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110293

————————

* IIT Delhi gets patent for Fabric Feel Tester:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has been granted patent for
Fabric Feel Tester, an innovative product developed by the premier
academic institute, which is likely to benefit the Indian textile
industry.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110298

————————

* Weavers urge govt to start work on apparel park in AP:
Weavers in Andhra Pradesh have urged the state government and the
Warangal district administration to immediately begin work on the
proposed apparel park to be set up in Warangal.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110300

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

SRI LANKA
* Apparel industry posts $ 4 b revenue in 2011:
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is exploring the posibility of entering
into preferential trade agreements with India and Japan whilst sharply
penetrating a number of non traditional markets for exports.
(…)
Several closed down factories in the recession period have now been
taken by major brand names in the industry and are working in full
capacity now. Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) General Secretary
M P T Cooray said. “Nevertheless, We see stiff competition from other
garment manufacturing countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

more at:
http://www.dailynews.lk/2012/04/19/bus01.asp

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

BANGLA DESH
* RMG sector ‘can’t progress with unfed workers’:
Trade Union Center (TUC) president Shahidullah Chowdhury has called
for implementation of minimum wage structure and meeting other
demands of the workers to keep the current tempo of the readymade
garment (RMG) industry.
“By torturing and keeping the sector’s 4 million workers unfed, we
will not be able to help the sector go forward,” he observed.
Shahidullah was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the fifth
national conference of Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center in front of
the Jatiya Press Club on Friday.

more at:
http://biz.bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=4&id=222878

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

BANGLA DESH/PAKISTAN
* Pakistan begins relocating textile mills to Bangladesh:
Pakistani entrepreneurs are shipping a good numbers of knit textiles
machineries and dyeing plants to Bangladesh, as law and order
situations there worsened coupled with severe energy crisis.

On the other hand, the imports of textile machinery by Pakistani
industrialists have slumped by 59 percent during March this year due
to the phenomenal decrease in textile export according to Business
Recorder, a biz news portal of Pakistan.

“Manufacturers have started exporting the existing functional machinery
to Bangladesh because Pakistan has growing issues of energy shortfall
and routine violence in Karachi,” said former Chairman of Pakistan
Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), Saleem Parekh.

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/finance/105904-pakistan-begins-relocating-textile-mills-to-bangladesh.html

—————————

PAKISTAN
* Cotton market faces range-bound trading session:
Lint prices remained strong with range-bound trading activities on
higher demand of fine lint during the past week, traders at the Karachi
Cotton Association (KCA) said on Saturday.

During the past week mills bought lint of all grades while sellers with
fine grades offered their produce on slightly higher prices at around
Rs 6,700 per maund, traders said.

more at:
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C04%5C22%5Cstory_22-4-2012_pg5_13

———————

* Rains affect cotton, wheat crops:
Recent spell of rains and windstorm have caused damage to crops of
wheat, canola, gram and sunflower, but at the same time the showers
have left some positive effect on sugarcane crop.
Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal said this while
talking to the media here on Saturday.
He claimed that rains damaged cotton crop over an area of 25,000 to
30,000 acres, forcing farmers to cultivate their land again.

more at:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/368160/rains-affect-cotton-wheat-crops/

———————

* Capitalism with a human face:
We need social enterprises along with commercial bodies to respond more
effectively to the demands of development, with real structural
changes so that the poor can access the market in the same way the
rich do, argues Hilda Saeed Years ago, in 1974, Dr Muhammad Yunus,
economics professor in Bangladesh, met a group of poor village women
while he was out on an evening stroll.

He asked if they could improve their lot with a little capital. The
women agreed that they could set up a small business.
So began Grameen Bank, with the grand sum of $27, from Dr Yunus’s
personal funds.

more at:
http://dawn.com/2012/04/22/capitalism-with-a-human-face/

map of Asia

PHILIPPINES
* Wage Boards Warned
* Youth to dominate workforce – BSP survey
* DOLE: 100,000 job offers available on Labor Day
* Workers press for significant wage hike

VIET NAM
* A Hard Time For Garment Makers
* Garment workers run for safety
* Garment firms change focus

THAILAND
* Myanmar, Cambodia probe labour abuse claims

CAMBODIA
* Korean-owned factory slammed for firing worker after assault
* About 500 workers strike at Hong Kong-owned garment factory
* Workers to protest ‘discrimination’ in union leader’s sacking
* Failing justice, protests, violence: Comment
* Cambodia’s garment exports up 17 pct in Q1: gov’t reports
* Union threatens rally over shooting charge

INDIA
* High-level meet to decide on cotton, grain exports
* Bt cotton fails to meet expectations of Indian farmers
* Karnataka invites investment in textile & apparel sector
* IIT Delhi gets patent for Fabric Feel Tester
* Weavers urge govt to start work on apparel park in AP

SRI LANKA
* Apparel industry posts $ 4 b revenue in 2011

BANGLA DESH
* RMG sector ‘can’t progress with unfed workers’

BANGLA DESH/PAKISTAN
* Pakistan begins relocating textile mills to Bangladesh

PAKISTAN
* Cotton market faces range-bound trading session
* Rains affect cotton, wheat crops
* Capitalism with a human face

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The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
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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
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