18:32:33 local time CHINA
* Employers feel pressure to retain talent:
Chinese employers are under greater pressure this year to retain high-caliber professionals due to widespread expectation for pay raise, according to a human resources survey released today.
Demand for pay raise has now become the major factor for strained relationship between employers and their employees, according the survey by Hudson Recruitment.
Up to 80 percent of company managers interviewed say they are afraid of losing their most valuable workers as they can’t afford their high pays, according to the survey that covered 3,000 Chinese companies. read more.
* Businesses bleed profits in China as slowdown shows no signs of easing:
After Wang Jihong’s trading firm, which has been struggling to export textiles to markets like Europe and South America, eked out a tiny profit in the first quarter of this year, she hoped the worst was over. Then came April. Europe’s debt crisis intensified and China’s economic activity unexpectedly weakened, raising concerns the world’s No. 2 economy may be in more trouble than most thought. Wang, 46, started to see her business bleed red ink. “Our orders dropped to half from a year ago, mainly because overseas orders fell significantly … while export prices have fallen.” But at least her company, based in the fast-developing western city of Chongqing, has not collapsed yet — unlike “a lot of textile producers around here,” she said. read more- two pages.
* Sewing and garment machinery a new topic at YIWU H&G:
Having been fulfilling and accommodating to the needs of the textile industry for 13 years, China (Yiwu) International Exhibition on Hosiery, Knitting, Dyeing & Finishing Machinery (YIWU H&G) is keeping on evolving and improving itself to meet the changing development needs via the showcase of top-notch equipment and timely information. With the high regards and praise from local and global knitting industry players, YIWU H&G has become a must-attend exhibition for local and overseas knitting manufacturers. read more.
18:32:33 local time PHILIPPINES
* Dismissed union leaders ask RMN to be true to its branding:
“Organizing into a union is one of the rights of employees including those in the media and entertainment.” – Michael Rogas, union president of RMN.
Michael Rogas, 31, had worked for nearly nine years as anchor, reporter and writer of RMN Manila before he was suddenly fired last December. RMN is a radio network that is reputed to be the largest in the Philippines, with almost 60 company-owned AM & FM radio stations nationwide.(…)
The National Federation of Labor Unions claimed that it is no ordinary dismissal, indeed. After Rogas, president of the employees’ union, two more union leaders were fired: Lawrence Tanjoco, union vice-president, and Shane Juan, chairman of the union’s board of directors. The management has also placed on floating status two others: Golden Dove awardee and RN Manila chief reporter Lourdes Escaros-Paet and admin officer Emily Galdo who are both union members. Galdo was reportedly fired this week. read more.
17:32:33 local time VIET NAM
* VN’s growth rate to fall to 5.7% this year:
Viet Nam’s economic growth this year is expected to reach around 5.7 per cent before increasing to 6.3 per cent next year while year-end inflation is forecast to decline to below 10 per cent. The World Bank yesterday released its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report in Ha Noi, saying that while the economy has started to stabilise, the significant tightening of macroeconomic policies along with an uncertain global economic environment were beginning to take a toll on growth.(…) Key labour intensive manufacturing exports such as garments, footwear and furniture continued to grow at 14-18 per cent in the first three months of this year. read more.
* Labor union dues burden businesses:
The voice of businesses
“If the State maintains the unreasonable subscription, businesses would reach the bankruptcy sooner,” said Director of a garment company in HCM City.
The director said that his company has missed an order of exporting jackets to European markets worth one million dollars, because the company could not make payment for the materials. The company paid 60 percent of the value of the contract on material imports and asked the deferred payment for the remaining 40 percent, but the partner refused the proposal.
“If we had not had to pay the union dues of over 400 million dong, we would have had enough money to make payment for the imports,” the director complained.
As a result, the majority of the 300 workers of the company now sit idle because of the missed order. read more.
* Businesses want self-determination on wages:
Tran Chi Dung from VCCI said the decisions by the government to raise the minimum wage level always have impacts on businesses. Every time when the decision on new minimum wage levels is made, the market would be shaken with the prices of goods and services all increasing. Once the input material prices increase, businesses’ production costs would increase which would make products less competitive.
Also according to Dung, there are some enterprises which pay the sky high pay levels of tens of thousands of dollars. But such businesses are scarce. Meanwhile, the remaining 500,000 businesses and 3 million business households are struggling to survive the difficulties. A lot of businesses reportedly have to borrow money to pay workers.
“We need to recognize that the wage adjustment would heavily affect businesses and indirectly affect the social security and the national economy,” Dung said.
Commenting about the wage policies, Dung said employers want to define the pay levels themselves based on the market rules, the productivity of laborers and the business performance of enterprises. read more.
* ILO to continue employment support:
A 2012-16 programme of co-operation between Viet Nam and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), was signed by representatives of relevant agencies in a ceremony held in Ha Noi yesterday. According to Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, the programme’s aim was to promote sustainable employment in Viet Nam, which meant effective work in a safe and fair environment.
It would be developed based on the achievements that Viet Nam had made in co-operation with the ILO in previous years and the Government’s priorities in employment and social protection. read more.
17:32:33 local time CAMBODIA
* Strikers back at table:
Workers from SL Garment factories and union representatives held their second round of talks at the Ministry of Social Affairs yesterday as strikes at the Levi’s, Gap and H&M suppliers continued for the 12 day straight.
The first round of negotiations had broken down on Tuesday, and an Arbitration Council ruling that ordered protesters back to work failed to end the strikes.
Ek Sopheakdey, legal officer for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said workers lowered their demands from $10 to $8.50 for transport and living allowances, but held firm on their attendance bonus. Legal complaints against union officials had to be withdrawn.
As workers awaited the outcome of their demands, expected today, Ek Sopheakdey warned that the management’s continued refusal would have wider implications.
* Silk producers look to sew up EU market ties:
Cambodia’s silk producers say they must cut costs in order to continue reaching troubled European markets, the primary target for the Kingdom’s sericulture products.
Insiders said Cambodian companies must start producing their own silk for the industry to survive.
Silk craftspeople import some 400 tonnes of silk per year from China then export finished products. read more.
18:32:33 local time INDONESIA
* Protocol shows promising signs for workers in Indonesia:
The region’s first Freedom of Association Protocol is showing promising signs for factory workers in Indonesia, several Indonesian union leaders report.
Adopted in June last year, the Freedom of Association Protocol was the product of an 18-month negotiation process between Indonesian unions, factory management and international brands, including Nike and Adidas. The Protocol binds the parties to a set of standards and procedures to ensure that factory workers have the freedom to form unions and organize for their rights.
Indonesian law has required respect for freedom of association since the country ratified ILO Convention 87 in 1998. However the Protocol provides greater detail on what this freedom means in practice for factories and workers who are trying to achieve better conditions. It also requires brands to take direct responsibility and ensure workers’ rights are implemented in their supply chains.
Indonesian unions KASBI, SPN, Garteks, TSK and GSBI have played a leading role in the protocol negotiations. These unions collectively represent more than half a million workers of whom 70% are women. The negotiation process was supported by a number of local and international NGOs including Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, the Play Fair Alliance and Oxfam. read more.
17:02:33 local time MYANMAR
* Labour strikes spread across industrial zone in Yangon:
Labour strike started at Hi Mo(High Art) Artificial Hair Factory of Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone in Yangon on 9 May cannot be settled until 19 May, and demands of workers are also happening at other factories in this industrial estate. The Hi Mo factory workers asked to increase their basic salary from K 8,000 (US$ 9.6) to K 30,000 (US$ 36.15) per month. Although the management of Hi Mo factory discussed and agree to pay demand of their workers on 10 May evening, the formers did not keep their promise, causing strike again on 15 May. The responsible persons of this factory could negotiate again with the labours on 16 May afternoon. However, when the labours came to the worksite on 17 May, the responsible persons of this factory who signed the agreement did not come to factory and no one fulfilled the demands of workers. Then strikes occurred again. At present, these labours have no contact with the boss and the manager of this factory from Myanmar side. The workers said they were informed that shareholder of factory from South Korea will come and solve the problem on 23 May. read more.
16:32:33 local time BANGLA DESH
* Textiles Sustainability Seminar in Bangladesh:
Brands and Retailers are becoming increasingly concerned about the circumstances under which their products are made. In addition to social conditions in factories, environmental aspects are now receiving more and more attention as well. Increased interest in textile sustainability from raw materials selection to more sustainable production practices is a lasting trend. Topics receiving increasing attention include waste generation, effluent emissions, efficient utilization of resources such as water and energy, the substitution of hazardous chemicals and restricted substances in final products. read more.
* Big names join hands to boost ‘clean production’:
Leading global brands, the Netherlands, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and local manufacturers have joined hands together to develop a clean production mechanism for the garment sector to enhance its long-term competitiveness and sustainability.
A three-year project on clean and responsible production mechanism will help local factories adopt cleaner production practices and encourage them to invest in technologies to reduce water consumption and effluents.
“As a result of the programme, the sector will be more resource-efficient and more competitive, and surrounding communities will have a cleaner environment,” said a media statement of IFC on Tuesday.
Leading global brands AB Lindex, C&A, Carrefour, Espirit, G-Star, H&M, Kappahl, Levi Strauss & Co, New Look, Retailers Ltd, Primak, Tesco and We Europe have come together to help the producers implement the project. read more.
* Exports to fall $3 billion short of target:
The county will miss the annual export target by around three billion US dollar because of continuous slump in outbound shipments.
The issue was discussed at a meeting between the exporters and the Export Promotion Bureau officials at the EPB office in the capital on Wednesday, the meeting sources said. (…)
Representatives of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Frozen Food Association participated in the meeting held at the EPB office. (…)
About 88 per cent of the exports remained limited to six products, namely knitwear 41.36 per cent, woven garments 36.38 per cent, jute goods 4.86 per cent, home textiles 3.44 per cent, frozen foods 2.37 per cent and leather products 1.54 per cent. read more.
* Form bodies to curb labour unrest: B’desh RMG makers told:
Bangladesh’s Labour and Employment Minister, Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, has urged the readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers in the country to form “participation committees” at the factory-level to fight labour unrest.
Addressing an emergency meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in Dhaka, he said the prevailing labour unrest situation is due to absence of common platforms for the garment workers and owners to hold dialogues. read more.
* BGMEA places skill development on top priority:
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has placed skill development on its top priority agenda.
The skill development programmes, being carried out in collaboration with Government of Bangladesh and various development agencies, are aimed at stimulating a sustainable growth of the Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry through employment generation, poverty alleviation and empowering women for the sector.
Under the Skill Development banner, BGMEA currently runs a number of skill training programmes through eight centers. The programmes are jointly funded by BGMEA and BGMEA Institute of Fashion & Technology (BIFT). read more.
16:02:33 local time INDIA
* Garment exporters flay Govt’s numbers, say orders shrinking:
Garment exporters have raised concerns over the Government’s recent export figures on the sector saying that the numbers are “inflated” and the situation is not as robust as the official numbers indicate. According to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), exports of garments for April-March 2011-12 stood at Rs 65,651 crore compared with Rs 52,917 crore in 2010-11, registering a 24 per cent growth.
But exporters don’t buy this. “There is discrepancy in the numbers that the government has provided. We believe the growth is flat. International buyers are cautious. However, we may get some windfall gain due to appreciating rupee,” Mr Rakesh Vaid, former Chairman of AEPC and also an apparel exporter said. read more.
* Reebok India alleges fraud by top executives:
Sportswear manufacturer Reebok India has lodged a police complaint against two former top executives accusing them of fraud that had led the company to lose millions of dollars.
The company, owned by Germany’s Adidas, is accusing former India Managing Director Subhinder Singh Prem and former Chief Operating Officer Vishnu Bhagat of financial wrongdoing resulting in the loss of $157m (8.7bn rupees), police in the northern city of Gurgaon said on Wednesday.
The alleged fraud would be the most high-profile corporate scandal in India since 2009 when Satyam Computer’s former chairman and founder Ramalinga Raju revealed that the company had overstated profits and falsified assets for years. read more.
* India’s woolen export orders plunge on eurozone crisis:
Wool and woolen garment exports from India have declined owing to the ongoing financial crisis in eurozone.
“Wool and woolen apparel exports are not doing well at present and the orders have declined by around 25-30 percent, mainly owing to the economic uncertainty in Europe and America,” Ashok Jaidka, Chairman of Wool and Woollen Exports Promotion Council (WWEPC), told fibre2fashion. read more.
15:32:33 local time PAKISTAN
* Meeting of NA Standing Committee on Textile Industry:The National
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Textile Industry was informed here on Wednesday that the textile sector will continue facing 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas shortfall and gas load management till September 2012.
During the next fiscal year this shortfall will increase from 500 mmcfd to 700 mmcfd for the textile sector.
The committee was shocked to know that gas shortages would continue for the textile sector till September 2012 and the committee expressed its serious concern over it and directed the authorities to make sure of uninterrupted gas supply to the labour intensive export-oriented industry.
The committee met in the Parliament House with Member National Assembly (MNA) Haji Akram Ansari in the chair. Ministry of Textile Industry secretary informed the committee that the ministry has sought Rs 30 billion for implementation of Textile Policy initiatives for next fiscal year 2012-13.read more.
* Trading improves slightly at cotton market:
Trading improved slightly at the Karachi cotton market as 8,000 bales were traded with fine lint in focus amid firm spot rate, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Wednesday.
The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 5,800 per maund, floor brokers said.
Around 8,000 bales changed hands in Punjab and Sindh stations during trading session.
Traders said mills remained eager for fine lint even on slightly higher price, as stocks were shrinking particularly in Sindh stations besides general buyers bought lint of all grades on competitive price. read more.
* Pakistan govt to set up cotton trading house in Multan:
To encourage cotton trade and production in the country, the Government of Pakistan will set up a modern cotton trading house in Multan. The new trading house will be equipped with latest technology to help cotton cultivators, buyers and sellers.
The state-of-the-art trading house would provide various facilities for cotton trade under one roof, including quality control cells, seed testing labs and certified seeds and pesticides that ensure a rise in productivity as well as quality of crop. read more.
15:32:33 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbekistan: Spring field activities – forced child labor continues:
Despite Uzbek authorities’ high-sounding statements and adoption of several national and international norms banning forced child labor this practice is still wide spread in the country’s agricultural sector. Moreover the practice of forced labor has also started involving other groups of the population. A closer look at the official statements reveals that the Uzbek authorities have never
acknowledged the forced child labor problem and have avoided any public promise to eradicate it.
The reason to it is simple – the problem of forced child labor in harvesting cotton has turned into a serious dilemma for the authorities; they fear to acknowledge this
problem and can’t solve it. read more.