This was in the news on-line, today, 8 may 2012

ASIA

* Abuses still exist in Olympic supply chains:

Workers making Olympic sportswear for London 2012 for top brands and high street names including adidas and Next are being paid poverty wages, forced to work excessive overtime and threatened with instant dismissal if they complain about working conditions, according to a new report from the Play Fair 2012 campaign published today (Monday).

Last autumn researchers working on behalf of Play Fair campaign (which includes the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation and the Clean Clothes Campaign) visited ten factories – eight of which were producing Olympic goods – in China, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Across the three countries they talked to 175 workers about their working conditions.

read more.

00:11:59 local time map of mongolia MONGOLIA

* First Mongolian female representative at UNESCO receives State Labour Honour

The following is an interview with the senior diplomat L.Ider. She is the first Mongolian female diplomat, with the title of Official Ambassador, to be a representative at UNESCO. read more.

00:11:59 local time map of china CHINA

* China issues policies to raise wellbeing of working women:

A new regulation, made public Monday, provides employed Chinese women with better welfare policies, including extended maternity leave and higher workplace protection.

According to the regulation adopted by the State Council in April, maternity leave has been extended from 90 days to 98 days, which is in line with the 14-week minimum standard set by the International Labour Organization. read more.

00:11:59 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* 13,000 Hired On Job Fairs:

The number of job applicants that were hired-on-the-spot (HOTS) during the recent Labor Day Jobs Fair has reached more than 13,000.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in an update report, disclosed that 13,760 workers were hired-on-the-spot during the simultaneous nationwide job and livelihood fairs

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said the number of applicants who got hired represented over 19 percent of the total 64,916 applicants who have qualified.  read more.

* Fashion Trends:

As the Filipino middle-class expands more rapidly in the coming years, one of the sunrise industries catering to the domestic market is that of fashion.

Filipino fashion designers and fashion companies will have a reasonable chance to compete with the foreign brands that are increasingly appealing to the large youth market. Having been nurtured in a multicultural society, Filipino fashion designers are among the most creative in Asia and can actually influence fashion trends in the whole of the Asia Pacific region.

There is an opportunity for such cities as Manila and Cebu to follow the examples of fashion capitals in Europe like Paris, Milan, Madrid and Barcelona. Leadership in fashion, however, will not be handed to the Philippines on a silver platter. Another strong contender for fashion leadership is Jakarta where the fashion industry faces an even larger domestic market of 250 million consumers. read more.

23:11:59 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnamese labour market looking up:

The number of jobs created last quarter was higher than expected; due to the Governments policies to bolster certain sectors, said Dang Quang Dieu, Director of Vietnam General Confederation of Labour’s Institute of Workers and Trade Union.

Dieu predicted that the second quarter will be difficult for many enterprises. “However, because the Government has made certain essential adjustments in economic policy, such as reducing interest rates, extending categories of loans and seeking ways to help the real estate market, more businesses have access to credit. This, in  turn, helps production. By the third quarter we should see a rebound in the job market,” he said.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs showed that some 12,000 enterprises, most of which operated in industrial and processing zones, were forced to stop production, many even going bankrupt in the first quarter, leaving about 240,000 workers unemployed or underemployed. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/5 .

* Textile JSC invests in new products:

The 10/10 Textile Joint Stock company has cooperated with its Denmark partner to invest VND300 billion (US$14.3 million) in installing a new production line equipped with German technology in Hung Yen Province.

The investment aims to raise its production capacity from the current 1,000 tonnes to 1,600 tonnes of mosquito nets per month to help the company reduce raw materials from China, Bangladesh and Thailand.

It is expected the new production line will be operational in September this year to create more than 150 jobs. The company’s main products include various types of tulle, net, curtains and mosquito nets. to read.

23:11:59 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* A brave struggle for decent work:

The Arthur Svensson Prize 2012 is awarded to the Cambodian textile workers union C.CAWDU (Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Union). – C.CAWDU is fighting a brave struggle for decent work. Now, it’s time for major players like H&M and GAP to clean up their act, argues Leif Sande, chairman of the prize committee. read more.

* Cambodian Workers left in limbo on union law:

Almost six months after the latest draft of the proposed trade-union law was sent to the Council of Ministers for approval, employers, unions and workers’ rights groups are left asking the same question: What’s happened to it? read more.

00:11:59 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum wage for Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan higher than median wage – Maznah:

The RM800 monthly minimum wage set for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan is far above the current median wage, Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan said today.

She said the current median wage for Sabah and Labuan was RM577 whereas in Sarawak it was RM738.

“In Sabah, for example, the RM800 minimum wage is 39 per cent more than the median wage, which means that no less than 50 per cent of workers in Sabah will get a raise of at least 39 per cent,” she said after opening the Human Resource Ministry-National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) executive discourse on “Implementation of Minimum Wage Catalyst for a High-Income Nation”, here.

Maznah said the minimum wage set for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan was agreed upon by representatives of both employees and employers, after taking into consideration the different factors affecting the states involved.  read more.

* Minimum wage ‘the right thing to do’:

Putrajaya’s new base wage policy for workers was the “right thing to do”, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has insisted, attempting to quell dissent from both employer and employee groups over the proposed salary levels.

Najib had announced last Monday a base wage of RM900 for the peninsula and RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak with a grace period of six months, or double that for micro-enterprises, after much months of heated negotiations with those from both sides of the divide.

“In principle, I am clear that this is the right thing to do,” the prime minister said in a posting on his www.1malaysia.com.my blog late yesterday.  read more.

22:41:59 local time map of myanmar MYANMAR

* Workers, activists highlight labour law issues on May Day:

ACTIVISTS have called on the government to ensure a new labour law that allows workers to establish labour organisations is properly implemented. read more.

* Govt seeks answers to power shortages as industry sweats:

FACTORY owners in Yangon’s industrial zones said last week they hoped the city’s electricity supply board would be able to provide them with more power in the near future.read more.

22:11:59 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Human Rights Monitoring Report For April 2012:

Allegations of disappearances after being picked by law enforcing officers .Political violence and hartal(Shutdown).Extra judicial killings continue.Torture in police custody.Criminal cases withdrawn out of ‘political consideration’.Indian BSF’s destruction on Bangladesh territory .Slum eviction without alternative shelter arrangement.Odhikar condemns the statement made by the Deputy Leader of the Parliament.Attacks on religious minority groups.Violence against readymade garments workers.Violence against women.  read more.

* Cabinet okays labour policy:

The cabinet on Monday approved the national labour policy.

Cabinet secretary Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the meeting held at the Secretariat with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair finalised the policy.

The secretary said the fresh labour policy clearly defined the issues related to expatriate labour and those working in agriculture and the labour rights at institutional and non-institutional levels. to read.

* Indian co defaults payments to Dhaka’s RMG exporters:

An Indian apparel importing house is failing to pay its exports from Bangladesh at a time when it has been hard hit by failing business and financial troubles. As a result, 22 garment exporters of Bangladesh are facing uncertainty in receiving payments worth $5 million, the sources said.  The company has been troubled by dwindling working capital, the exporters’ sources said.
Debt-ridden Lilliput, the largest kids’ wear brand in India now has been on the lookout for a new owner.  read more.

* India to go extra mile for better ties with Bangladesh:

Holding out the assurance that India would not take any unilateral action that would harm the interest of Bangladesh, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Sunday that India would walk an extra mile to establish a warm, respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with Bangladesh.  read more.

21:41:59 local time map of india INDIA

* Adidas may shut 200 India stores in addition to the Reebok outlets:

Adidas AG could shut down 200 Adidas stores in India over time, in addition to the Reebok outlets whose closure was announced last week, as it seeks to make local operations profitable.

The option of shuttering the stores was discussed at a global market meet in Phoenix, US, in March, a few days before then India chief executive Subhinder Singh Prem was sacked under controversial circumstances. While the company has declared its intention to shut down a third of Reebok stores (around 265) in India, it has not announced any plans for Adidas outlets. The company has over 650 outlets in India.

read more.

* Taxmen snoop on Reebok India accounts:

The Income Tax department has begun scrutiny of financial documents and transactions of global sportswear manufacturer Reebok after its owner Adidas recently announced commercial irregularities in its India operations. The I-T department has collected documents related to sales and purchase made by the firm during the last fiscal year and few others, including trade receipts processed by the company.

“Certain government/regulatory bodies were seeking clarifications about Reebok India Company in regards to the announcement made on Monday (May 2). We have shared the required details with them,” the Adidas group said in a statement. read more.

* TN spinning mills’ body seeks relief from power restrictions:

The Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association has urged the State power utility to do away with restrictions on power supply to industrial consumers.

The representation to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd comes at a time when increasing wind power generation has helped bridge the prevailing power shortage that necessitated the restrictions in the first place. read more.

* India to raise FY13 textile & apparel export target:

Despite the economic volatility and downtrend experienced in the Western markets, including the EU and the US, India plans to achieve a higher textile and garment export target during the current fiscal.

The EU and the US, which jointly account for more than half of India’s textile exports, are hit by financial crisis. read more.


21:41:59 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Trade unions in Sri Lanka to complain to ILO:

Trade unions in Sri Lanka have decided to complain to the International Labor Organization (ILO) about an alleged move by the government to suppress trade union activities in the country.

The Joint Trade Union Alliance (JUTA) has accused the government of suppressing trade union activities through court intervention. read more.

* Sri Lanka trade union leaders linked to corruption in public enterprises:

The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera says that some trade union leaders are also connected to the massive frauds of public money in certain public enterprises.

The COPE recently revealed that several public enterprises are paying the income tax of their employees with the funds of the enterprise. read more.

21:11:59 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Fashion through the ages:

Fashion trends have morphed through the ages from patent leather in the 50s to the Uggs revolution at the turn of the millennium. Some have become recurring trends, some have been discontinued but all have contributed to fashion today. read more.

* To be or not to be: Does Pakistan stand a chance to climb the ladder?:

 Outside the US, Pakistan is one of the very few countries which has the potential to become self-sufficient in energy, food & water. Punjab province was the breadbasket of pre-partition India while Balochistan region is home to large, mostly unexploited reserves of oil, gas, gold, copper and other minerals. The public face however is, of people dying in terror related incidents at average of 10 per day or 20% of world total. So why discuss Pakistan now? After all, its $200 billion economy is less than US state of Massachusetts, and its capital market depth of $36 billion (1/1000th of world) is hardly significant in a global investment context.

read more.

FAIR GAME?

“We are forced to take overtime work so at least it supplements our take-home pay. Otherwise, how can I survive with such meagre income, how can I pay rent for the small room where I stay, cope with my daily necessities, and send some money for my family in the province? At the end of the day it is zero balance; there are no savings left for whatever uncertain things may happen to me and my family.”

A worker at an adidas Olympics supplier factory in the Philippines, working on minimum wage for 10 years without a pay-rise.

A new report shows that Adidas and other Olympic suppliers are still not respecting workers’ rights. You can help.

The Fair Games? report investigated working conditions in 10 sportswear factories in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines where they produced sportswear that will be bought by consumers and used by athletes and volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

You can take action today to tell the brands featured in this report that they must face up to the reality of rights in their supply chains and commit to raise the bar on workers’ rights. read more.

 

map of Asia

ASIA
* Abuses still exist in Olympic supply chains

MONGOLIA
* First Mongolian female representative at UNESCO receives State Labour Honour

CHINA
* China issues policies to raise wellbeing of working women

PHILIPPINES
* 13,000 Hired On Job Fairs
* Fashion Trend

VIET NAM
* Vietnamese labour market looking up
* Textile JSC invests in new products

CAMBODIA
* A brave struggle for decent work
* Cambodian Workers left in limbo on union law

MALAYSIA
* Minimum wage for Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan higher than median wage
* Minimum wage ‘the right thing to do’

MYANMAR
* Workers, activists highlight labour law issues
* Govt seeks answers to power shortages as industry sweats

BANGLA DESH
* Human Rights Monitoring Report
* Cabinet okays labour polic
* Indian co defaults payments to Dhaka’s RMG exporters
* India to go extra mile for better ties with Bangladesh

INDIA
* Adidas may shut 200 India stores in addition to the Reebok outlets
* Taxmen snoop on Reebok India accounts
* TN spinning mills’ body seeks relief from power restrictions
* India to raise FY13 textile & apparel export target

SRI LANKA
* Trade unions in Sri Lanka to complain to ILO
* Sri Lanka trade union leaders linked to corruption in public enterprises

PAKISTAN
* Fashion through the ages
* To be or not to be: Does Pakistan stand a chance to climb the ladder?

* FAIR GAME?

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

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