This was in the news on-line, today, 2 may 2012:

 ASIA

* Asian Workers Demand Pay Hikes at May Day Marches:

May Day moved beyond its roots as an international workers’ holiday to become a day of mass protest on Tuesday, with rallies throughout Asia demanding wage increases and marches planned across Europe over government-imposed austerity measures.

Thousands of workers protested in the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan and other Asian nations, with the demand for wage hikes amid soaring oil prices a common theme. They said their take-home pay could not keep up with rising consumer prices, while also calling for lower school fees and expressing a variety of other gripes.

read more.

21:26:20 local time map of china CHINA

* China lowers goal for trade growth:

Reacting to slower world economic growth and rising domestic costs, China has set itself a lower goal for increasing its trade and says it expects a larger share of its trade to occur with emerging economies.  read more.

* All work, little play is the norm, poll finds:

Every three in 10 employees on the Chinese mainland work 10 hours or longer per workday, according to a new survey.

But even the average worker on the mainland toils eight hours and 40 minutes a day, concluded a survey of 30,000 residents in 28 cities who were asked about their work and life in the last three months. Nearly half of the respondents work longer than the eight-hour workday stipulated by Chinese labor law. read more.

21:26:20 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Aquino rules out P125 wage hike:

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday ruled out a P125-across-the board wage increase demanded by workers, saying this will result in economic losses.In his Labor Day speech, Aquino said the demanded increase – costing P1.43 trillion a year – would be taken out of an economy that was worth P8 to P9 trillion. read more.&  Aquino expected to announce ‘good news for workers’. read more
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* No wage hike for private sector:

ON the eve of Labor Day the chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment yesterday admitted that the passage of the proposed P125 across-the-board daily wage hike remains dim.

Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong, chairman of the committee, said private workers cannot expect good news from his panel as of the moment.  read more.

* DOLE reminds employers of pay rules for Labor Day:

Employers, especially those who required their workers to report for duty on Tuesday, were reminded by the Department of Labor and Employment to observe the pay rules for Labor Day. read more.

* ‘PH minimum wage already one of highest in Asia’:

The Philippines has the highest wages for workers among third world countries in Asia, according to the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP).

This after President Aquino shot down proposals for a P125 across-the-board wage increase during his Labor Day speech.  read more.

* Wage board hikes minimum daily wage in Region II by P10:

The Regional Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Region II has agreed to issue a new wage order granting a daily pay hike to minimum wage earners in the private sector in the region, bringing to five the total number of regional wage boards that approved wage orders this year.  read more.

20:26:20 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Supply woes tie up garment sector:

Weak raw-material supply is challenging the domestic garment industry, according to the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association.

The association reported that each year, Vietnamese garment companies needed 6 billion metres of cloth, of which 5.2 billion metres had to be imported. read more.

20:26:20 local time map of thailand  THAILAND

* Higher living costs eat up hike in daily wage:

The Labour Ministry will monitor the cost of living over the next three months to determine if any additional adjustment is needed to the minimum daily wage.

From April 1, workers in seven provinces have already earned at least Bt300 a day thanks to a significant hike pushed by the Pheu Thai-led government and approved by the Central Wage Committee. And the daily minimum wage will soar to Bt300 in 70 other provinces from next January.  read more.

* Hike may see more than 100,000 SMEs go under:

Widespread layoffs likely when rise implemented nationwide

The rise in the minimum wage to Bt300 a day in seven pilot provinces could force up to 130,000 small and medium-sized enterprises out of business, according to a survey. read more.

* Workers demand the govt heed their needs:

Labour Day rallies call for better welfare, lower cost of living
Workers’ representatives demanded social security reform, including better health benefits, and government action to offset the rising cost of living, which they said exceeded the increase in the daily minimum wage, as labour unions marched in Bangkok on Tuesday to mark the annual International Labour Day.Members of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC.) and State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation this morning marched from in front of the parliament to the October 14 Memorial on Bamrung Mueang Road where they announced their needs. read more.

20:26:20 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 5,000 workers march to ask for better working conditions:

Some 5,000 workers took part in a May Day march from Wat Phnom to the National Assembly Tuesday to hand over petitions to lawmakers asking for better working conditions.

Among the 14 requests was one to more than double the basic minimum monthly wage from $61 to $131 and for government workers to get at least $200 a month. read more.

* PM Hun Sen issues May Day call for labor harmony:

Prime Minister Hun Sen called on workers, factory owners and unions Tuesday to cooperate by adhering to the law during labor disputes.

“If there were no employers, there were would be no employees,” he said during the opening of a Japanese-funded special economic zone at the Port of Sihanoukville.

“So they should cooperate as they are interconnected,” he added. “If workers are in good health, they will produce more products for factories.”  read more.

* Cambodia faces labor scarcity: PM

Cambodia has been facing labor shortages in sectors such as agriculture, construction and industry, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday, calling employers to pay more attention to employees’ well-being and salaries.

“The country currently is facing the shortages of laborers everywhere, especially in agriculture, construction and industry,” he told about 1,000 laborers at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on the Labor Day celebration. (..)

He said in order to tackle the labor scarcity, investors should pay more attention to their workers through building dormitories for them and offering them competitive salaries.

read more.

* PM urges migrants to return home:

As about 5,000 workers marched through the streets of Phnom Penh yesterday to lobby for better pay and fairer conditions, Prime Minister Hun Sen used International Labour Day to talk up the opportunities arising from a labour shortage fast approaching 30,000 jobs. read more.

21:26:20 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Accept Minimum Wage, Do Not Politicise It, Says Subramaniam:

The private sector minimum wage must be accepted and not politicised as it was arrived at by economic experts, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

“The minimum wage was not set by politicians but was based on input from the Technical Committee of the National Wage Advisory Council (MPGN) and the World Bank which studied the matter in depth before the rate was accepted by the councils representing employers and workers,” he told reporters after the 2012 National Public Sector Workers Day celebrations here today.  read more.

* ‘New minimum wage is good for employer and employee’:

The minimum wage for the private sector between RM800 and RM900 per month was in the interests of the employer and the employee, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin.

He said the government had considered the interest of both the employers and employees before deciding on the wages. read more.

21:26:20 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesian Workers Take to Streets on May Day:

As more than 160,000 workers held rallies across the country to mark May Day on Tuesday, an economist said the government had its own work to do in improving the welfare of laborers. read more.

* Employers say government must change employment law:

Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Sofjan Wanandi declared that the government must change its employment law (Law no. 13 of 2003) to eliminate outsourcing practices.

“Employers only follow the law. If the workers want to eliminate outsourcing practices, the government must change the law,” Sofjan Wanandi said here on Tuesday.

Although almost all countries worldwide implement outsourcing practices, Sofjan remarked that Indonesian employers would accede to their elimination. read more.

19:56:20 local time map of myanmar MYANMAR

* All forms of forced labour should be eliminated once and for all for enhancing the eternal principles which are justice, freedom and equality:

The following is the full text of the message sent by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Agga Maha Thayay Sithu, Agga Maha Thiri Thuddhamma U Thein Sein on the occasion of May Day:- read more.

19:26:20 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* May Day today:

The historic May Day will be observed today (Tuesday) in the country as elsewhere in the world with a renewed pledge to protect the rights of workers.
The day is observed across the world every year since 1886 commemorating the supreme sacrifices of workers at the Hay Market in the United States to establish the rights of eight-hour working day and with a renewed pledge to uphold the rights of working class. The day is a public holiday. Different political and labour organisations, particularly the labour wings of political parties, professional bodies and cultural organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the day. read more.

* Bangladesh welcomes India’s end of cotton export ban:

Bangladesh has welcomed the Indian decision lifting ban on cotton exports but said Dhaka needs more importing sources of this natural fibre.“We welcome this decision,” said Monsoor Ahmed Secretary of the Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA). Ahmed, however, issued caution and said it would take time to understand the implications of the Indian decision.  read more.

* PM Workers driving force of the economy:

She asks them to improve skills to face challenges of global recession

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the workers to develop their skills and attain the capability for applying technologies to face the challenges of ‘global recession’.

”The country’s production sector is facing a stiff competition due to the global economic meltdown. To face these challenges, I call upon you to attain the capability of increasing efficiency and application of technologies,” she said while inaugurating the May Day programmes at Osmani Memorial Hall in the city.  read more.

* Sports manufacturing in Bangladesh: behind the scenes – video:

With the Olympic Games approaching, the spotlight has fallen on working conditions at the companies making sports kit for some of the world’s most recognisable athletes. This footage shows a hand-operated production line, from sole to packaged product. read more.

18:56:20 local time map of india INDIA

*A comment by IBNlive: On May Day, trade unions at crossroads:

 

Even as trade unions the world over are celebrating May Day with rallies, holidays and discussions, questions are being asked about the role of labour outfits in the changed liberal and globalised scenario. “Trade unions everywhere are losing their revolutionary character and are seen degenerating into litigation committees, striking deals and bargains with managements. Their preoccupation is no longer waging a class struggle or sharpening the political consciousness of their members but winning small mercies from the establishment,” says socialist commentator Paras Nath Choudhary. read more.

* Suspend new registrations for cotton exports: CITI:

The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has said the government must suspend further registration of cotton exports. Substantial quantities above the exportable surplus have already been shipped and unrestricted exports of cotton would create a serious cotton shortage in the last few months of the current cotton year ending September 2012, CITI said on Tuesday. The Centre on April 30 lifted the ban on cotton exports.  read more.

 * Unemployment to affect over 200 million people in 2012:

The unemployment rate in 2012 will increase up to 202 million and it is on an upward trend for 2013, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported on Monday. In its 2012 World of Work Report, the organization describes as alarming the trends in Europe, where unemployment rates have been increasing to almost two-thirds since 2010.  read more.

* Greaves Cotton to expand product range:

Keen on expanding the product range of its construction equipment division, Greaves Cotton has forged a technology agreement with Samil Korea Co Ltd.

Using the technology provided by the Korean firm, the division will manufacture S-Valve concrete pump and boom pump at its facility in Gummidipoondi, near Chennai. Announcing this, Sunil Pahilajani, Managing Director and CEO, Greaves Cotton, said: “In two or three quarters, we will start production of the two products.” read more.

* Maharashtra unveils website for new textile policy:

The recently announced Textile Policy will attract investments of around Rs 400 billion in the next five years and generate jobs for around 1.1 million people, said the Chief Minister of Maharashtra – Prithviraj Chavan.

Mr Chavan said this after inaugurating the website of the new textile policy. Mr Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan – Maharashtra Textile Minister said the website will provide all information related to the policy to potential investors.  read more.


18:56:20 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* PM: Working class support will never be forgotten:

The yeoman support by the working class in defeating all reactionary forces against the country will never be forgotten, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said in a May Day message.

The message: “It is with pleasure I am issuing this message for the May Day rally which will be held under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the theme ‘Country first’ at the Colombo Municipal Grounds. read more.

* Income inequality on the rise:

Sri Lanka’s recent labour data shows impressive progress but inequality, youth unemployment and better jobs are still areas of much concern, a new report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) showed. read more.

18:26:20 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Impact of resumption of Indian exports:

Local cotton traders in frenzy overexpected reduction in international lint prices.

The global cotton prices will likely decline by around 4.0 percent after resumption of Indian exports by May 15, 2012, casting a bleak shadow over the local cotton exporters, experts said Monday.

The Indian exports of cotton would probably put pressure on four big producers of cotton in the world, besides the international market is already over supplied, they added.  read more.

* Labour Day: Nawaz, Shahbaz appear together to increase wages by Rs2,000:

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif – in a rare occurrence appeared together to address a gathering organised to commemorate International Labour Day on Tuesday. read more.

* Labourer sets himself on fire on May Day:

 

A labourer, 45 struck with continued unemployment and poverty in utter disgust set himself on fire on the May Day here, Geo News reported.

The incident occurred in the Ward No. 4 here, as the labourer Abdul Razzaque Ansari in utter disgust of his persistent unemployment and poverty sprayed petrol on his body and set himself on fire.

However, Abdul Razzaque critically burnt was rescued by the passers-by and shifted to the Civil Hospital.

Abdul Razzaque is the father of six daughters. He was employed in a sugar mill and had lost his job four months ago.    from.

 * Labourers renew appeal for better wages, other rights:

Various labour organisations on Tuesday arranged rallies and seminars in connection with the International Labour Day in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to pay tribute to the struggle and sacrifices of Chicago workers for the labourers’ rights, asking the government to take steps for protection of the rights of skilled and unskilled labourers. read more.

* Minimum wage increased to Rs 8,000, EOBI pension to Rs 2,000:

The minimum wage of workers in Pakistan has been increased to eight thousand rupees, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Tuesday.

Additionally, the Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Institution pension has been increased to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,500. read more.

map of Asia

ASIA
* Asian Workers Demand Pay Hikes at May Day Marches

CHINA
* China lowers goal for trade growth
* All work, little play is the norm, poll finds

PHILIPPINES
* Aquino rules out P125 wage hike
* No wage hike for private sector
* DOLE reminds employers of pay rules for Labor Day
* ‘PH minimum wage already one of highest in Asia
* Wage board hikes minimum daily wage in Region II by P10

VIET NAM
* Supply woes tie up garment sector

THAILAND
* Higher living costs eat up hike in daily wage
* Hike may see more than 100,000 SMEs go under
* Workers demand the govt heed their needs

CAMBODIA
* 5,000 workers march to ask for better working conditions
* PM Hun Sen issues May Day call for labor harmony
* Cambodia faces labor scarcity
* PM urges migrants to return home

MALAYSIA
* Accept Minimum Wage, Do Not Politicise It, Says Subramaniam
* ‘New minimum wage is good for employer and employee’

INDONESIA
* Indonesian Workers Take to Streets on May Day
* Employers say government must change employment law

MYANMAR
* All forms of forced labour should be eliminated

BANGLA DESH
* May Day today
* Bangladesh welcomes India’s end of cotton export ban
* PM Workers driving force of the economy
* Sports manufacturing in Bangladesh: behind the scenes

INDIA
* trade unions at crossroads
* Suspend new registrations for cotton exports
* Unemployment to affect over 200 million people in 2012
* Greaves Cotton to expand product range
* Maharashtra unveils website for new textile policy

SRI LANKA
* PM: Working class support will never be forgotten
* Income inequality on the rise

PAKISTAN
* Impact of resumption of Indian exports
* Labour Day: Nawaz, Shahbaz appear together to increase wages by Rs2,000
* Labourer sets himself on fire on May Day
* Labourers renew appeal for better wages, other rights
* Minimum wage increased to Rs 8,000, EOBI pension to Rs 2,000

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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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