Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights
2011 was a difficult and often dangerous year for workers throughout world, with those who dared stand up for their trade union rights facing dismissal, arrest, imprisonment and even death. That in essence is the picture that emerges from the annual survey of trade union rights violations published today by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). This year’s survey examines 143 countries. (…)
Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, workers are facing alarming levels of “precarious work” – a term used to describe work that is not-permanent, indirect, informal and/or otherwise insecure. read more.
20:18:49 local time CHINA
* Ralph Lauren joins a host of other foreign fashion brands planning to expand in China:
The scramble and partition of the Chinese fashion market is on if the number of foreign fashion brands planning to expand in the world’s second largest economy is anything to go by. Among those planning to further spread their wings in China is Ralph Lauren, an American fashion brand expected to open up to 60 new stores in the south Asian country by 2015. read more.
* Gymboree plans massive China expansion:
US children’s clothing maker Gymboree Corp said it plans to open at least 200 retail stores in China within three years as it hopes to benefit from the increasing spending of parents on their kids.
The retailer now has 11 stores in Shanghai and this will grow to 30 to 40 within two years, said Sun Yiding, president of Gymboree China. read more.
* AC Carpi Apparels selects Datatex NOW ERP solution:
AC Carpi Apparels Ltd is a leading manufacturer of vertically integrated circular seamless products. Specializing in Santoni seamless knitting technology with a product range covering all genders casual wear, functional sports, active wear intimates and underwear.
The production facilities, located in both Hong Kong and China are equipped with top of the range modern equipment. Each piece of garment is strictly controlled, developed and produced from within the factory.
The need for high quality, competitive pricing, short lead times and production accuracy which became key to run the business profitably, lead Carpi to look for the best of breed software solution.
Evaluating other solutions available in the global market and the local alternative solutions, AC Carpi decided to choose the “NOW” solution from datatex a proven industry specialized international ERP solution. NOW was implemented by Chemtax Ltd., Datatex partner in China.
The solution functionalities implemented are:
• Sales management from order entry through tracking, packing, shipping and invoicing
• Planning and machine scheduling
• Production including seamless knitting, garment dyeing and finishing
• Shop floor data collection to monitor and track production across the entire production cycle.
• Purchasing control from ordering through receipt to billing control and supplier evaluation
• Inventory management of from yarn accessories, dye stuffs, spare parts and all other materials
• Product standard costing and analysis
* Buyer beware:
It takes every ounce of willpower for Yu Zhan, a 31-year-old office worker in Beijing, not to load her shopping cart with Mini Dior, Gap and other brand-name clothes for her little daughter.
She and her husband make around 16,000 yuan ($2,510) a month and spend an average of 3,000 to 5,000 yuan a month on their 15-month-old daughter, 800 yuan of which goes toward clothes, much more than Yu spends on her own wardrobe.
Her last luxury purchase for her daughter as a birthday gift was a foreign brand 1,200 yuan princess dress.
However, her craze for children’s fashion has been dampened by a series of recent reports on the discovery of harmful chemicals in some children’s clothing.
“I feel so discouraged and indignant that I spent that much money on brand-name children’s clothes only to find they also have quality problems,” she said.
“If those brand names have quality problems, how can I trust lesser-known brands?” she asked.
A quality test by the Beijing Consumer Association last week found that 33 percent of 63 groups of children’s garment samples produced or distributed by 47 companies nationwide did not meet quality and safety standards.read more.
20:18:49 local time PHILIPPINES
* TUCP warns of workers’ unrest:
THE Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) yesterday warned of massive workers’ unrest if the P30 wage increase for Metro Manila workers which took effect on Sunday, June 3, is reduced, repealed, or nullified by the wage board.
“It’s a grave abuse of the law and the highest sin to workers for anyone to reduce, repeal or nullify the P30 wage increase dictated by Wage Order Number 17 issued by the Regional Wages and Productivity Board-NCR last May 18,” said TUCP President Atty. Democrito “Kito” Mendoza. read more.
19:18:49 local time VIET NAM
* Textile firms in paupers’ clothes:
Textile and garment businesses have yet to find the right fit.
For example, Thien Nam Textile Garment director Tran Dang Chuc said the company had exported nothing in the past few weeks since the price of fibre products fell 15-20 per cent.
Thien Nam’s 1,800 workers are performing perfunctory production since major import markets China and Turkey sank in volume and price.
“We need to weigh up interest rates and the material situation as if we export more, the bigger the losses will be,” said Chuc.
Garmex Saigon general director Nguyen An said since garment product retail sales in Europe shed 30 per cent in the past months, its big customers in this market announced a 30 per cent drop in orders from Vietnam.
“The garment sector eyed a 30 per cent decline in export orders, driving small firms into a fix due to their low competitiveness,” An added.
In this context, several firms have found way-out such as Garmex Saigon.
read more (at the end of) BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/6 .
19:18:49 local time THAILAND
* LEATHER Industry must consider Asean expansion:
Leather businesses should export to Asean markets, as robust export growth as in years past is unlikely in the sector, says Witoon Simachokedee, the industry permanent secretary.
“Thailand faces a labour shortage and a scarcity of raw materials, as consumers tend to be loyal to brand name products from overseas,” he said.
“As the industry can no longer compete based on cheap labour, businesses need to focus on adding value, product design and quality.”
Somkiat Bongkotpanrai, chairman of the Thai Leather Cluster, said small and medium-sized enterprises in the leather sector, especially bags and shoes, are starting to import products and raw materials from China in order to rebrand them.
19:18:49 local time CAMBODIA
* Workers strike at Taiwan factory:
About 500 workers went on strike Wednesday at Taiwan’s Horus Industrial Corp in Stung Meanchey in Meanchey district.
A worker said the strikers had a list of 12 demands.
Stung Meanchey authorities were negotiating with the company but it was not clear if a solution had been reached.
Horus has about 1,200 workers producing sportswear, jackets and pants. It is 90 percent-owned by a Taiwanese company with a Cambodian partner holding the remaining 10 percent. to read.
* Union out of loop in MoU negotiations:
The garment industry could be close to renewing an industrial relations memorandum of understanding, but an independent union believes it is being edged out of negotiations because it opposes the use of short-term and fixed-duration contracts.
Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said yesterday the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia was trying to exclude one of his unions, the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), from discussions.
“Recently, when we suggested signing a new MoU, employers suggested [articles] that talk about ‘short-term contracts’,” he said. “Because C.CAWDU has expressed it is against these contracts, GMAC is upset with us.”
The MoU, which GMAC and unions groups including the CLC signed in September 2010, included agreements that parties would support collective bargaining and examine the use of short-term and fixed-term contracts, which Ath claims are being used by “70 to 80 per cent of employers” and lead to workers losing benefits.
It also outlined conditions that must be followed before a strike could be called.
* SL factory strikes to slow Cambodian garment industry:
A sharp increase in garment factory strikes this year has raised eyebrows among industry insiders, who say the disputes could lead to a decrease in year-on-year export growth.
The Arbitration Council, which hears work-related disputes such as factory strikes, saw claims nearly double during the first five months of the year compared with 2011, data from the council shows.
The strikes would slow the Kingdom’s garment manufacturing industry, Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said yesterday.
Strikes at the SL Garment Processing factory, one of the biggest garment processing facilities in Asia, had had a particularly large effect on the industry, Loo said.
“Of course, any strike is definitely affecting the industry. But we understand that we were close to an election, so that will cause an increase in strikes. read more.
* Third party canteens favoured by Garment Manufacturers:
The Chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Van Sou Ieng, said that even if nutrition is an important factor in productivity, it should not the sole responsibility of the factory owner.
“The deduction that the nutrition will automatically improve productivity is not necessarily true. When people are healthy it is better. You can be very healthy and still be lazy,” he said. read more.
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
Puma factory reaps rewards of paying for workers’ meal. read more.
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
20:18:49 local time INDONESIA
* Trisula eyes 105% sales growth:
PT Trisula International Tbk is eyeing 105.21% sales growth this year. The clothing manufacturer and distributor is expected to be listed in the near future.
The company is aiming IDR591.41 billion sales in 2012, said President Director Lisa Tjahjadi.
“Sales from retail might reach 25% of total consolidated shares while the rest is from manufactur,” she said after attending due diligence meeting on Tuesday, June 5.
read more. & read more.
18:48:49 local time BURMA-MYANMAR
* Labor Organizations Law enables in forming 25 workers organizations:
Thanks to the Ministry of Labor, the recently enacted Labor Organization Law has enabled to form the Labor Federation, the Basic Employers Organizations and the Basic Workers Organizations numbering 25 units so far.
The Labor Organization Law was promulgated late last year and hailed as a breakthrough in workers’ rights. Drafted in close consultation with the International Labor Organization, it sets out a process for workers to organize independent labor organizations, which have been banned for several decades in Myanmar. According to Chapter II of the law, which relates to the establishment of the labor organizations, both employers and workers can freely form labor organizations to campaign for their rights.
The recently formed organizations are: one labor federation; 14 basic workers’ organizations; and ten basic employers’ organizations. The Myanmar Seafarer’s Association has formed the labor federation.
The basic workers’ organizations are formed at the Tai Yee Shoe Factory; Pawar Minthamee Garment Factory, the Shwe Zin Aye Garment Factory; the Pyinsa Thondari Garment Factory; the Opel Garment Factory; the Boe San Pipe Factory; and the Aung Tile Factory.
The basic employers’ organizations are formed the garment factories owners and the overseas employment agencies. read more.
* Factory Workers End Strike:
Employees of the Hi Mo High Art wig factory and five other factories in Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone returned to work on Wednesday after reaching an agreement with management late Tuesday night.
The agreement, which comes nearly a month after workers at the Hi Mo factory first walked off the job to demand higher wages and improved working conditions, is the second since the labor dispute began.
“This is just a temporary agreement to end the current crisis until a minimum wage has been set by Parliament,” said Ko Ko Gyi, a leader of the 88 Generation Students group who was present when the agreement was signed.
“We are encouraging the workers to form a union to continue working for their basic labor rights and to make their demands for a minimum wage,” he added. read more.
18:18:49 local time BANGLA DESH
* Fire in Islam Garment:
Properties worth about TK 2 crore were gutted in a devastating fire in a garment factory of Islam Group at Konabari under Gazipur Sadar upazila on Saturday. Workers of the factory said the fire originated at about 8:00pm from an electric short circuit in the second floor of Islam Garment unit-2 and soon engulfed the 3rd and 4th floors of the factory building. On information, fire fighters from Gazipur, Tongi, Kaliakoir and Savar rushed to the spot and doused the fire under after two hours of frantic efforts. to read.
* Bangladesh’s changing perception among US RMG buyers worrying:
US Ambassador Dan Mozena on Wednesday voiced deep concern over the recent incidents in the country’s highest export earning sector and said these changes potentially threaten the economic wellbeing of Bangladesh.
He said the emerging developments in the United States, Bangladesh’s single-largest export destination for RMG, could coalesce into a perfect storm that could threaten Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Brand in America and could drive away key American buyers of Bangladeshi RMG.
“I believe, the changing perception of Bangladesh among American RMG buyers potentially threaten the economic wellbeing of this country, one about which I care most,” he told a meeting with BGMEA leaders at its conference room. read more.
* ‘No TIFCA, no duty-free RMG access’:
Bangladesh’s readymade garment products will not get duty-free access to its single largest export destination market in the United States unless Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) is signed, the US ambassador in Dhaka says.
Ambassador Dan W Mozena made it apparently clear at a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Wednesday when he sounded an alarm about the industry’s future exports amid labour unrest and volatile politics in Bangladesh.
He described how American buyers were getting ‘negative perceptions’ of Bangladesh garment industries because of Labour activist Aminul Islam’s murder and fire incidents at factory zones.
He said it could ‘drive away’ key American buyers, but ‘I think Bangladesh needs American market’. read more.
* Mozena fears ‘perfect storm’ in garment sector:
US Ambassador Dan Mozena yesterday warned Bangladesh that restive developments in the garment sector could undercut apparel exports to the US market.
He called for efforts to resolve issues such as political instability, work environment and trial of the killer of labour activist Aminul Islam.
The recent political development and the incidents in the garment sector sent negative signals to major US buyers, Mozena said at a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on duty-free market access to the US market. read more.
* 13th Textech Bangladesh Int’l Expo begins July 3:
A four-day 13th Textech Bangladesh- 2012 International Expo, largest of its kind in textile and apparel industry, will begin in the city on July 3.
The annual exhibition on textile and apparel technology, machinery and allied services would be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
CEMS-Global, USA-Conference and Exhibition Management Services Ltd in
association with CEMS Bangladesh is organizing the expo.read more.
* Country achieves 74.63pc export target till April:
Commerce Minister GM Quader on Tuesday informed the House that the country has achieved 74.63 per cent of the export target till April of current fiscal year.
“The export target for the fiscal 2011-12 was set at $26.50 billion, of which, $ 19,777.04 million has been achieved from July to April of the fiscal,” he said in reply to a scripted question form treasury bench member Nurunabi Chowdhury.
Replying to a question from Mohammad Subed Ali Bhuiyan, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister M Faruk Khan on behalf of the commerce minister said the ready-made garments (RMG) sector has exported 78 percent of its target in the last fiscal. The sector earned $17,914.46 million by exporting RMG items in the last fiscal year 2010-11, he said. In the international export market Bangladesh has the second position in knit items and fourth in oven items, the minister added.
He said the government has taken a number of initiatives to diversify the country’s export basket, apart from the RMG products. Country’s ship building industries, light engineering, pharmaceuticals and IT sector have emerged with strong export potentials, he added.(UNB) read more.
17:48:49 local time INDIA
* Indian exporters hail trade policy incentives:
India Inc and exporters yesterday said measures announced in the Foreign Trade Policy would help in sustaining export growth momentum amid global uncertainties.
“We welcome the FTP announcements. The policy will help exports a lot during the time when there is economic problems in the USA and European markets,” Ficci president, RV Kanoria said. (…)
“The announcements have exceeded our expectations. Labour-intensive sectors such as textiles have been the thrust area of the FTP. We welcome the steps,” Ahmed added.
Apparel Export Promotion council chairman A Sakthivel said the measures would give a huge boost to the textiles sector. read more.
* Garment exporters hail continuation of interest subvention:
The Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) has welcomed the continuation of interest subvention to garment sector as it would provide some relief when the bank rates are ruling high.
In a statement, Mr A. Sakthivel, President, TEA, said the measures announced by Mr Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, in the Foreign Trade Policy, addressed all the requirements of garment sector. He said the extension of 2 per cent interest subvention to readymade garments up to March 31, 2013, was a relief to the Tirupur knitwear exporters at a time when the interest rates were ruling at 11.5 – 1 3.5 per cent. The extension of Market Linked Focus Product Scheme for export to the US and the EU would help increase the competitiveness of exporters. read more.
* Adidas asked us to manipulate Reeboks’s accounts:
The two former executives of Reebok India, at the centre of an alleged Rs 870-crore alleged fraud, have accused German sports goods maker Adidas of attempting to hammer down the valuation of the Indian unit, as part of its strategy to reduce its payout to the minority shareholder in the company. read more.
* Indian workers earn much less than counterparts in rich nation:
A vast majority of workers in India get just about 10 per cent of what their counterparts in the developed countries make by doing the same work under identical working conditions and technology, says a study.
The research paper by Orley Ashenfelter, a professor at Princeton University, documenting wages of workers at McDonald’s restaurants said a McDonald’s worker in India gets just USD 0.46 per hour, while his/her counterpart with same skills set and under identical working condition in the US earns nearly 16 times more. read more.
* Reliance Brands, Brooks Brothers ink pact:
Reliance Brands, a unit of energy major Reliance Industries, is bringing the oldest American men’s clothier chain Brooks Brothers to India as it looks to create a strong portfolio of foreign labels in the fashion space. Brooks Brothers is privately owned by Italian billionaire Claudio Del Vecchio, son of the founder of Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company whose brands include Ray-Ban and Oakley. It will hold a 51% stake in the new entity with the rest being held by Reliance Brands.
This partnership, which was in the works for nearly 15 months, will be Reliance’s fifth joint venture after Iconix, Paul & Shark, Diesel and Ermenegildo Zegna. It was in February that Reliance invested in a joint venture with Iconix, grabbing the ownership rights of 20 international lifestyle brands.read more.
* Indian apparel retailers post hike in like-to-like sales:
Apparel retail firms in India have witnessed a growth in their sales from like-to-like (LTL) stores, which have helped them in registering healthier bottom lines last fiscal.
Arvind, Shoppers Stop, Raymond and K-Lounge are among the clothing retailers to have posted good LTL sales during fiscal 2011-12. read more.
* New measures in FTP will benefit Indian weaving sector:
The predominantly cotton based textile industry in the country has been facing challenges in the post-WTO era due to stiff competition in the market. The weaving sector with its old technology has been struggling to accelerate and keep pace with the growth of other sectors.read more.
17:18:49 local time PAKISTAN
* Pakistan textile exporters unhappy with Budget 2013:
Textile exporters in Pakistan have expressed their disappointment over the Government’s failure to take adequate measures to address their issues in the Federal Budget for 2012-13.
None of the numerous issues troubling the textile exporters in the country have been satisfactorily addressed by the Federal Government in the new Budget, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef claimed.
Commenting on the budgetary measures for the country’s textile industry, the PTEA chief said the Government rightly identified energy crisis, withholding tax on exports and outstanding duty drawback claims as the three major issues concerning the industry, but has failed to find out a permanent solution to address these issues.
* Cut in turnover tax to benefit textile sector: PRGMEA:
The reduction in turnover tax, announced by the Government of Pakistan through Federal Budget for the financial year beginning July 1, 2013, would benefit the country’s textile and garment sector.
Commenting on the Budget, Mr. Shehzad Salim, Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) told exclusively to fibre2fashion, “For the textile industry, the turnover tax has been reduced from the current 1 percent flat to 0.5 percent, which is bound to benefit the sector.”