* China pledges more support for small, micro-sized firms:
18:11:58 local time The State Council, or China’s Cabinet, announced on Thursday a slew of measures to enhance the fiscal, financial and taxation support for small and micro-sized enterprises in a bid to ensure their sound development.
China’s small and micro-sized firms are facing increasing operational pressures and rising production costs amid a complicated and uncertain economic situation, and financing difficulties and heavy taxation are adding more pains. read more.
17:11:58 local time VIET NAM
* Vietnam workers in Russia to receive assistance:
Forty Vietnamese workers who are suffering hunger and cold without wages in Ekaterinburg city of Russia’s Sverlov province will be identified and receive assistance, Head of the Overseas Workers Management Department Nguyen Ngoc Quynh said. read more.
17:11:58 local time THAILAND
* Updates about Somyot:
* Reporters without boarders call for Somyot’s release. read more.
* International Metal Workers joins the campaign. read more.
* The ICEM asks its members to support Somyot. read more.
17:11:58 local time CAMBODIA
* Bamboo bends towards sustainable industry:
Quick growing bamboo could become a sustainable industry for building materials and even fibres for the garment industry, according to the organiser of the Bamboo Green Growth and Carbon Finance Conference that took place at Raffles Hotel last week. read more.
18:11:58 local time MALAYSIA
* Minimum wage will structurally alter low-cost industries:
The implementation of minimum wage in Malaysia will eventually automate certain industries because employers will start finding alternative methods of production to reduce reliance on labour. Also, the higher wages will in turn support the move to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation.
“Industries that are highly reliant on low-cost labour will move away from their reliance on manpower to carry out these labour-intensive jobs,” read more.
18:11:58 local time INDONESIA
* Indonesian Government’s Sweet Promises to Workers:
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono offered a few sweet promises to workers on May Day.
“President SBY is paying attention to all aspirations from all parties, including workers,” Daniel Sparingga, a member of the president’s staff said on Tuesday. “There are mechanisms and instruments built in to the system to listen to people’s voices. It is not necessary to wait for a demonstration to hear it.” read more.
* Nike Raises Factory Labor and Sustainability Standards:
Nike, the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, is putting its contract manufacturers on notice: adhere to new labor and sustainability standards or risk losing Nike’s business.
* Govt to build three hospitals for workers:
The public housing ministry will build three hospitals for workers in the Jabodetabek industrial area this year.
“We are going to build three hospitals in the Jabodetabek. The funds and the design are available,” Public Housing Minister Djan Faridz said here Friday.
The government has allocated Rp200 billion for the hospital construction and facilities needed to assure the health and safety of workers. read more.
16:11:58 local time BANGLA DESH
* Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Brave Deadly Fires To Make Luxury
On Dhaka’s northwestern edge, the suburb of Ashulia is a favorite getaway for those seeking an after-hours escape from the fastest growing city in the world.
Street lights are nonexistent, and the late-night trip from the city snakes north along a narrow lane toward paddy fields immersed in complete darkness.
But tread just a little further beyond the darkness, there is a glow of fluorescent lights so bright it seems like daylight, accompanied by the industrial hum of heavy machinery.
These are the garment factories of Savar and Gazipur — an engine of the nation’s economic growth, both a boon to and the bane of existence for a desperate, disposable workforce of 3.6 million people toiling inside into the night. These plants embody what economists call an international “race to the bottom” in terms of wages, benefits and job
security. And these workers are indeed on the very bottom by just about every measure, according to economists, labor activists and the workers themselves. read more.
* Indian importer delays payments to 22 garment exporters of Bangladesh:
Twenty-two garment exporters of Bangladesh are facing an uncertainty in receiving payments worth $5 million from an Indian company troubled by dwindling working capital.
Debt-ridden Lilliput, the largest kids’ wear brand in India, now has been on the lookout for a new owner.
Most of the payments of the Bangladeshi exporters were supposed to be cleared in October-November last year, the exporters said. read more.
* Chinese Sweatshop in Bangladesh:
Posh clothing retailers across Europe, Australia and Canada allow prison-like conditions at their Chinese-owned supplier factories,Rosita and Megatex, in Bangladesh.
The 5,000 Bangladeshi workers at the Rosita and Megatex sweatshops face routine sexual harassment, beatings, corporal punishment, mass firings and imprisonment under false charges. Workers are cheated of their wages and paid as little as 16 cents an hour. The report will provide you with the documentation. read more.
* Support Bangladeshi Workers Fighting for Their Rights at Chinese
For the last several months, we have travelled back and forth to Bangladesh to confront some of Europe’s and Australia’s most prominent retailers.
They have excellent codes of conduct, which are also completely useless. In fact, the high end retailers handed over their production, lock, stock and barrel, to the secretive South Ocean Group-(they do not even have a website)-which is one of the world’s largest knitwear manufacturers. South Ocean in turn, sent production to the Rosita and
Megatex factories, located in the North Bengal region of Bangladesh.
The Chinese management of Rosita and Megatex cheated the workers of their wages and benefits, beat them with clubs, sexually harassed women workers and – when the they protested – illegally fired hundreds of workers, while filing trumped up legal charges against the union leaders and activists for “attempted murder.” The charges are false and ridiculous, but the lives of these union leaders are at stake. read more.
* Huntsman-DBL to drive sustainable excellence in Bangladesh:
Huntsman Textile Effects and DBL Group have embarked on a strategic partnership that is set to drive sustainable excellence, improve overall cost efficiency while enhancing textile differentiation and quality without compromising the pressing needs of the environment.
A global leader in developing total textile solutions across all aspects of the textile chain and a committed player in developing sustainable, high performing processing and effects chemicals that have low environmental impact, Huntsman Textile Effects will support DBL Group to drive environmental and economic sustainability through the implementation of the Productivity Improvement Program (PIP). read more.
15:41:58 local time INDIA
* Young Dalit women exploited in Indian garment industry:
Despite industry’s promises, young Dalit women continue to suffer exploitative conditions, reveals new report ‘Maid in India’
European and US garment brands and retailers have failed in their attempts to structurally improve labour conditions at their suppliers in Tamil Nadu, South India. Despite corporate promises and a range of well-meaning initiatives, workers, mostly very young women, continue to suffer exploitative working conditions. Up until today, thousands of women in the garment and textile industry in Tamil Nadu work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour. These are the findings by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) presented in the report “Maid in India”, published today. read more.
* TN to modernize 5 cooperative spinning mills:
The South India Textile Research Association has formulated a plan for modernizing five cooperative spinning mills in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, at a cost of Rs. 1.04 billion, a policy note laid before the Legislative Assembly stated.
The project would be funded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation, it added.
State Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, Dr. S Sundararaj, announced that the government has resolved to spend Rs. 57.5 million for revamping and reopening the cooperative spinning mill at Ramanathapuram. read more.
* SGS unveils new sustainability service for Indian textiles:
As consumers demand greater environmental accountability for the products they use, SGS, a global leader in inspection, verification and certification for the textile industry launches a new sustainability service for the Indian business community. read more.
15:11:58 local time PAKISTAN
* Competition costs Afghan boot maker:
The Milli Boot Factory in Kabul’s industrial hinterland has been a model of manufacturing success for Afghanistan. Now that’s all gone. – Video by Reuters