This is in the news on-line, today, 31 may 2012

20:20:26 local time map of china CHINA

* Rise seen in urban wages:

Increases in the annual wages of urban employees in China are likely to boost domestic consumption, experts told the Global Times yesterday.

The average annual wage of employees in State-owned companies was 42,452 yuan ($6,717) in 2011, 5,305 yuan more than the year before. For urban employees in private companies, the average wage amounted to 24,556 yuan, up 3,797 yuan year-on-year, according to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Tuesday.

Feng Nailin, director of the Population and Employment Statistics Department of the NBS, attributed the rise in wages to steady growth of the Chinese economy and government efforts to boost the incomes of mid- and low-income groups.

“The growth in wages will boost domestic consumption,” Xu Qiuhua, an analyst at Beijing-based consulting company Lianghua Diam Consulting, told the Global Times.

The combination of relatively high inflation at the moment and low deposit interest rates actually causes losses if people save their money in banks, according to Xu. Also, fewer people want to invest their money due to the poor stock market performance in China. read more.

* ITMA + CITME boast huge showcase from 17 textile sectors:

Some 1,300 exhibitors from 28 countries are gearing up to showcase their latest technology at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2012 as the countdown for the third combined show begins.

The five-day exhibition will open on 12 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). It is expected to draw strong response from Asian buyers, especially Chinese visitors from major textile-making hubs in the country.

“In today’s challenging business landscape, there is always demand for cost-effective solutions. Asian industry players, like their counterparts from other areas of the world, are looking at a greater return on their investment, and they will be able to find everything they need among the comprehensive range of products on show at our forthcoming event” said Miss Maria Avery, Secretary General of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX). read more.

19:20:26 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Russian police raid on illegal VN garment factory:

Russian police have detained 320 illegal Vietnamese immigrants following a raid on an illegal garment factory in Lesnoy Town on the outskirts of Moscow, the Federal Migration Services (FMS) has said.

Most of the detainees had no personal papers and visas. They also could not speak Russian, police said.
According to the workers, their boss visits the factory once a month to pay them.
Interfax news agency quoted a FMS spokesman as saying that recently the Russian government has carried out unexpected inspections at many Vietnamese-owned garment factories in Moscow and found the working environment in most of these so-called “ghost” factories completely unsanitary and seriously violating fire safety regulations. read more.

* EU to keep supporting VN’s global integration:

The European Union will continue to support Viet Nam’s integration into the global trading and investment system via a new European Trade Policy and Investment Support project starting this year.

Franz Jessen, ambassador and delegation head of the EU to Viet Nam, made the statement at the closing ceremony of the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project (MUTRAP) held in Ha Noi yesterday.

MUTRAP is indeed one of the longest Trade Related Technical Assistance programmes we have had in Viet Nam. Its key impacts are the country’s adoption of laws that aligned with international trade regulations, helping its own economic development. MUTRAP has also created greater awareness among Vietnamese exporters on how to access the European market, Jessen said. read more.

20:20:26 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Top Glove to spend RM40mil on automation upgrades:

The world’s largest glovemaker, Top Glove Corp Bhd, will spend about RM40mil this year to upgrade its production lines as part of a strategy to mitigate the effects arising from the minimum wage to be implemented in the beginning of next year.
read more.

* Malaysia’s J Nine plans new outlets, raises sales target:

J Nine International Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor in Malaysia for the world’s softest footwear brand Kybun, intends to achieve increased sales during the next year by increasing its number of stores to eight.
The firm intends to clock a combined sales turnover of around 900 pairs per month from all its outlets during the next year. read more.

20:20:26 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* When unemployable become ungovernable:

When 75 million people aged between 15 and 24 are out of work around the world, it is no exaggeration to call this a crisis. Worse, many are so dispirited by the doors shut in their faces, they have given up looking for work. The 50 per cent jobless rate among youth in Greece and Spain could be higher if these dropouts were counted.

It won’t take much during hard times for poor and disillusioned youth to take to the streets in numbers. Armed with a vote and with nothing to lose, they can become an ungovernable bloc for states facing tough policy choices, as in Europe, Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Such problems can spill over and affect global economic prospects.

Two years ago, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reported that the job squeeze arising from the global financial crisis was so severe for young people they could become a “lost generation”. read more.

20:20:26 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Textile Sales Growth Set to Slow Amid Sluggishness in the West:

Growth in Indonesia’s textile industry is forecast to slow next year as demand eases in the United States and Europe.

The Indonesian Textile Association (API) forecasts growth this year to hit 10 percent. But next year the industry is targeting a far more modest increase of2 percent.

API chairman Ade Sudradjat Usman said over the weekend that the sales target for next year was $25.7 billion — $14.7 billion in export sales and $11 billion at home.
read more.

* Betterwork Indonesia Newsletter:

Here you can download the BetterWork-Indonesia Newsletter.

* Labor unions criticize ‘cosmetic changes’ in wage components:

Labor unions have protested at what they call “cosmetic changes” to a ministerial decree on decent living standards, as the minor revisions will not lead to higher wages.

The revision of the ministerial decree initiated by the National Wages Council was supposed to improve workers’ living standards.

In fact, according to the unions, the changes are minor and irrelevant to workers’ real conditions. read more.

* Indonesia to Move to Single Time Zone, Matching Singapore Clock:

Indonesia plans to switch to a single time zone on Oct. 28, allowing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to match clocks in Singapore, Malaysia and China, the country’s trade ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The change will put Indonesia, the world’s largest shipper of thermal coal and tin, eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, according to the ministry. The country that stretches about 5,300 kilometers (3,294 miles) and borders India in the west and Australia in the east, has three time zones.

The move will help accelerate economic development across the country, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said in the statement in Jakarta. After the change in clocks, the country’s stock market will open 30 minutes after bourses in Singapore and Malaysia, from 90 minutes at present.  read more.  

18:50:26 local time map of myanmar MYANMAR

* Suu Kyi tells migrant workers: ‘I will never forget you’:

Jubilant Burmese migrant workers greeted Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday morning, who told them she is working to make it possible for them to return home.
Thousands of local people and migrant workers packed a narrow street in Samut Sakhon near Bangkok to hear her speak during her first foreign trip in 24 years.

Standing on the balcony of the Library and Office of the Migrant Worker Rights Network building, she told the migrant workers that she came to Thailand to learn about their conditions first hand. (…)

Thailand hosts around 2.5 million Burmese who have fled here to work low-skilled jobs as domestic servants or in manual labor industries like fisheries and the garment sector. read more.

* Political Parties Warned to Stay Away from Protests, Strikes:

Burma’s Union Election Commission (EC) summoned leaders of five political parties to Naypyidaw on Tuesday to warn them to stay away from power shortage protests and labor strikes taking place around the country.

According to today’s edition of the state-run Kyemon newspaper, EC Chairman Tin Aye said at the meeting that the commission had received reports of several parties’ involvement in the mass actions that started earlier this month.

The five parties—the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), the National Democratic Force (NDF), the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics and the 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar)—are among 17 registered political parties in Burma. read more.

18:20:26 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Square Textiles declares 16pc cash and 20pc stock dividend:

Square Textiles Limited declared cash dividend at the rate of 16 per cent and stock dividend (Bonus Share) at the rate of 20 per cent to its shareholders for 2011, says a press release. The declaration came at the company’s 17th annual general meeting (AGM) held at Sardaganj at Kashimpur in Gazipur on Tuesday.
The AGM was presided over by the Chairman of the Company Samuel S Chowdhury. read more.

* BPFMEA urges govt to allow import of PET waste bottles:

Local PET flakes exporters have sought government’s permission for importing their basic raw material — Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) waste bottle — aiming to fostering the sector’s growth, said industry insiders. (…)
He said the sector is fully dependent on the local plastic PET bottles in the waste. These are frequently seen collected by poor women, young children, and urchins. Nevertheless, an adequate supply of the materials does not exist to meet global demands. read more.

* Bangladesh-made uniforms for British army:

A Bangladeshi company supplies uniforms to the British army, which is another testimony to the excellence of the country’s garment sector.

Satexco, a garment company inside Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ), has been serving the British army for the last 10 years, said Iqbal Hossain, managing director of the company.
Besides uniforms, the company also regularly supplies army jackets, rucksack, webbing, ammunition pouch, water containers, bayonet holders, pistol holsters and heavy tents, Hossain told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said his company also supplies camouflage dresses, dark olive-coloured dresses, winter jackets, light desert uniforms, wind proof jackets and normal jackets to the army.

“We also supply uniforms and other stuffs to some other European countries like France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.”

He said sometimes he supplies uniforms to the Royal Air Force as well.
“We have a good opportunity to grab a bigger market of military uniforms among the NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation] countries, as we have already proved our strength in the segment in major European nations.”  read more.

* H&M to raise apparel sourcing from Bangladesh:

Sweden-based Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, is looking at increasing its sourcing from Bangladesh, Dow Jones Newswires said quoting H&M Head Helena Helmersson.

The H&M Head said they have already informed the Bangladesh Government, other stakeholders and clothing producers regarding their growth plans in Bangladesh.

However, as they intend to grow in Bangladesh, the ongoing labour unrest in the country is restraining suppliers from planning production, as strikes and protests often hamper production and cause delays, she added.

She said that a stable market would prove to be greatly beneficial for the company as well as its suppliers and workers.read more.

17:50:26 local time map of india INDIA

* Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee okays resetting of Rs 35,000-crore loans for debt-ridden textile sector:

The debt-ridden textile sector can look forward to some relief as the government has allowed restructuring of Rs 35,000-crore loans.

Following a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Textiles Minister Anand Sharma said, “The RBI will now be discussing the restructuring of loans.”

Sharma also discussed funding of export incentives that he proposes to announce in the annual Foreign Trade Policy on June 5. The meeting was also attended by commerce secretary and the director general of foreign trade.

According to Sharma, the total debt of the sector has risen to Rs 1.5 lakh crore, of which Rs 35,000 crore needed immediate restructuring and the government would soon direct the banks to do the same.

An inter-ministerial committee would be set up soon to help fast-track the restructuring. Further, it was decided that the restructuring package would be on a case-to-case basis and would be taken up by each bank separately.

Though the industry demand for restructuring 1-lakh-crore loans was not granted, still various sector stakeholders, such as the Apparel Export Promotion Council, welcomed the move. read more.

* Tirupur exporters welcome textile industry debt restructuring package:

The Tirupur Exporters’ Association has welcomed the Rs 35,000-crore debt restructuring approved by the Finance Ministry for the textile industry.
According to a press release from the Association, the Finance Ministry approved the debt restructuring deal today after a meeting of the Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry and the Finance Minister.

The Exporters’ Association President Dr A. Sakthivel, said in the release the restructure package, once the Finance Ministry recommends to the RBI, provides special dispensations in non performing asset rules to not classify the textile industry loans as bad loans, allow a two year moratorium on the term loan to the industry and convert the eroded working capital into working capital term loan repayable over a period of three to five years.

The knitwear garment export sector and other stakeholder units in Tirupur are eagerly awaiting the announcement to tide over the ongoing slowdown in exports since they are struggling to service their loan. The debt restructure for the units will be a major relief to all and lift the sagging morale of the textile industry. read more.

* Reebok India fraud referred to Serious Fraud Investigation Office:

The government has referred the fraud at Reebok India to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) after finding anomalies in the company’s books. Corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily said “something wrong” had been found in books of Reebok India, which has accused two of its former top executives for a Rs 870-crore fraud. He said the step was taken after a non-invasive scrutiny of the books of accounts of the sportswear maker.
The report of the non-invasive scrutiny, carried out by the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Delhi, was submitted to the ministry on Monday. The corporate affairs ministry had last week ordered an enquiry into the books of accounts of Reebok India on the basis of a complaint from an investor. read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.

      

* Bata India earmarks Rs 100 cr for expansion:

Footwear manufacturer and retailer, Bata India Ltd, has earmarked Rs 100 crore for the expansion of its manufacturing units and stores this year.The company plans to invest Rs 15 crore on strengthening its manufacturing facilities and about Rs 70 crore in setting up new stores across the country. read more.

* Fire accidents cause panic in city:

Garment showroom at Abids, chemical godown at Mallapur catch fire

Tension gripped the busy Abids area, as fire broke out in a ground plus three-storeyed building housing Fantoosh garments showroom forcing a handful of customers and shop assistants in the building to scamper to safety on Wednesday evening.

Access to the busiest thoroughfare of the State capital had to be blocked for vehicles as fire tenders raced from different locations as far as Sanathnagar and Malkajgiri as blaze spread. Customers of the Big Bazaar and a footwear shop on either side of the building too were vacated by authorities.

Vehicular traffic went haywire, as motorists slowed down and took the circuitous route from Ramkrishna theatre to Troop Bazaar via MJ market side.

More than 40 fire-fighters manning ten fire tenders battled the fire for nearly four hours to bring the situation under control. Thick plumes of smoke rising from the structure could be seen from far off places too.

No one injured

Thousands of people lined up the street to watch the fire fighting operations. None was injured in the incident. read more.

* German apparel brand s.Oliver plans expansion in India:

s.Oliver, Germany’s premium apparel brand, is planning to enhance its presence in India.
The company plans to have 55 outlets and 150 shop-in-shops pan India by 2016 and intends to invest a sum of Rs. 1.4 billion for the same.
In tune with the plan, the company has devised an aggressive expansion strategy for Tier-II cities, and cut its entry-level prices by more than 40 percent.read more.

17:20:26 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Cotton market observes firm trading session:

The Karachi cotton market witnessed a firm trading session with higher demand for fine lint and firm spot rate, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Tuesday.
The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 5,600 per maund, floor brokers said.
Traders said mills bought fine grades to strengthen their inventories in Punjab stations on competitive rates, while fine stocks shrinked in Sindh stations.
read more.

* FESCO settles billing row with Galaxy Textile Mills:

Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) has settled the long standing dispute over billing amount with Galaxy Textile Mills, Jhang, without furthering any undue concessions, FESCO has announced.
FESCO said it is one of the best power distribution companies, and has been meeting all the targets set by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). This could only be achieved with total consumer satisfaction and when full recoveries are made, the company said. read more.

* Long hours load shedding hits Pak textile mills production:

Spokesman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has expressed concern over massive announced load shedding upto 10-12 hours a day causing serious production, exports and job cuts across the Textile Industry.

He said the textile mills situated in DISCOs including Islamabad Electric Supply Co (IESCO), Lahore Electric Supply Co (LESCO), Faisalabad Electric Supply Co (FESCO), and Gujranwala Electric Power Co (GEPCO) are being hit hard by unannounced load shedding for long duration.

APTMA spokesman said the government had withdrawn the exemption from load shedding to the textile industry on independent feeders and temporarily announced four hours a day load shedding during high demand period. Since last one week, industry is being forced to endure load shedding like domestic consumers for long durations spanning 10-12 hours a day.  read more.

 

map of Asia

CHINA
* Rise seen in urban wages
* ITMA + CITME boast huge showcase from 17 textile sectors

VIET NAM
* Russian police raid on illegal VN garment factory
* EU to keep supporting VN’s global integration

MALAYSIA
* Top Glove to spend RM40mil on automation upgrades
* Malaysia’s J Nine plans new outlets, raises sales target

SINGAPORE
* When unemployable become ungovernable

INDONESIA
* Textile Sales Growth Set to Slow Amid Sluggishness in the West
* Betterwork Indonesia Newsletter
* Labor unions criticize ‘cosmetic changes’ in wage components
* Indonesia to Move to Single Time Zone, Matching Singapore Clock

MYANMAR
* Suu Kyi tells migrant workers: ‘I will never forget you’
* Political Parties Warned to Stay Away from Protests, Strikes

BANGLA DESH
* Square Textiles declares 16pc cash and 20pc stock dividend
* BPFMEA urges govt to allow import of PET waste bottles
* Bangladesh-made uniforms for British army
* H&M to raise apparel sourcing from Bangladesh

INDIA
* Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee okays resetting of Rs 35,000-crore loans
* Tirupur exporters welcome textile industry debt restructuring package
* Reebok India fraud referred to Serious Fraud Investigation Office
* Bata India earmarks Rs 100 cr for expansion
* Fire accidents cause panic in city
* German apparel brand s.Oliver plans expansion in India

PAKISTAN
* Cotton market observes firm trading session
* FESCO settles billing row with Galaxy Textile Mills
* Long hours load shedding hits Pak textile mills production

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

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2