in the news on-line, today, 14 june 2012

22:13:52 local time map of china CHINA

* Esprit trading suspended in HK after price plummets:

Shares in clothing retailer Esprit were suspended from trading in Hong Kong Wednesday after losing more than 20 percent of their value following the chief executive’s resignation.
Chief Executive Ronald van der Vis submitted his resignation Tuesday in the middle of a campaign to revitalize the brand, which he said last year had “lost its soul.”
The company suspended trading after its shares plummeted 21.8 percent on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
“With Mr van der Vis’ departure, it is unclear if Esprit has sufficient management resources and capability to drive and manage its transformation,” DBS Vickers Securities analyst Alice Hui told Dow Jones Newswires. read more.

21:13:52 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Thai textile industry shifting its production base:

Several textile and garment industries of Thailand have decided to shift their production bases to neighbouring countries, te Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has said.
According to FTI Secretary-General Sommart Khunset, the Federation, along with many other industrial sectors of Thailand, has expedited its efforts to develop the potential of the workers in the neighbouring countries to facilitate shifting their production bases, as several entrepreneurs have decided to establish their units abroad to escape the impact of the 300-baht minimum wage hike, which is to be implemented across Thailand in 2013.
The FTI advised the industries like garment and textiles, which require massive manpower, to change their production methods by either cutting their manufacturing costs, particularly cost on energy front, or by adding more machines to substitute manpower to reduce labour costs. read more.

21:13:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* H & L factory workers strike for second day:

About 300 factory workers went on strike for a second day Wednesday at H & L Apparel (Cambodia) Corp after management dismissed three union leaders, a source said.

The source said those dismissed were Cambodian National Labor Union president Sam Seng Van, vice president Va Kanha and secretary Lon Kea.

Sam Seng Van said the workers, who have a list of 18 demands, would march to the Ministry of Labour if management refused to negotiate.
to read.

22:13:52 local time map of malaysia MALYASIA

* FMM says still in dark over minimum wage details:

Manufacturers want the government to delay implementing minimum wage until the nuts and bolts of the new legislation are ironed out.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon said that industry had been kept in the dark about details of the new minimum wage law.
“It has not been a very smooth way of implementing policy. Normally, time would be given to adjust their business.
“Now we don’t even know what allowances are included and not included in the minimum wage,” Yong (picture) told reporters today.
“This will have knock-on effects. We need to organise pay rates. The devil is in the details, we cannot look into it until we have all the details,” he said. to read.

* Minimum wage gazette on July 1, takes effect in January 2013:

Malaysia’s first private sector minimum wage will be gazetted on July 1, giving most employers until the beginning of next year to comply with the controversial plan which businesses say will threaten up to four million jobs due to cutbacks and closures.
This means that the move, seen as part of a slew of concessions to workers ahead of impending federal polls, will take effect on January 1, well ahead of the mid-2013 deadline for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to hold general elections. read more.

22:13:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labour Action in Front of the German Embassy and the British:

Workers who are members of BUSY (For Labor Solidarity with Indonesia Kizone) protested in front of the Embassy (Embassy) Germany, the UK and close the action in front of Hotel Indonesia roundabout. This action on their demands calling for severance of the PT. Kizone International.

“Through the action in front of the embassies of Germany and the UK, we hope they will help us urge Adidas severance pay of the workers,” Aslam said Hidayat, the demonstration coordinator when met after the action, Jakarta, Monday (06/11/2012).

PT. Kizone International itself is a South Korean company is working on orders from Adidas and Nike. But starting in February 2010, the company abandoned by their owners.

Subsequently the District Court of Commerce, Central Jakarta decided that the workers are entitled to severance pay. But the decision by the Bank SBI dikasasi and until now still floating in the Supreme Court.

Then why only Adidas is charged with the responsibility? According to
protesters, Nike had paid 1 million USD while Adidas are obliged to pay
1.8 million USD has not made payment. “Adidas is able to sponsor the
2012 London Olympics, but why did they hang the fate of the workers,”
said Hidayat. via @darisman_man
read the original article.  & read.

Workers who are members of BUSY (For Labor Solidarity with Indonesia Kizone) take action in front of British Embassy, Jakarta, Monday (06/11/2012). They requested help from the government of Germany and Britain to urge Adidas severance pay to workers of PT. International KOMPAS.COM/VITALIS YOGI TRISNA

* RI seeks ILO help for workers’ protection:

Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar has asked a leader of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to help improve the protection of around 5 million Indonesians who are currently employed as migrant workers.

Muhaimin met with Guy Ryder, who was recently elected as ILO director general, on the sidelines of the International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva. Ryder, who is now the ILO’s executive director for international labor standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, will begin his five-year term in October.

Ministry spokesman Suhartono, who accompanied the minister in Geneva, said Tuesday that Muhaimin appealed to Ryder to play his role in lobbying user countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East to comply with the 1990 UN convention on protection of migrant workers and their families or include the convention’s content in their national law.

“The two officials discussed the poor protection of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries, including the increasing abuse of female migrant workers and the fate of 164 migrant workers facing death row in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia,” Suhartono said. read more.

20:43:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA- MYANMAR

* Myanmar designates basic daily wage for garment workers:

Myanmar’s labor authorities have designated minimum basic daily wages for workers employed at garment factories where strikes have taken place since in early May, a local media reported Wednesday.
The workers ended their strike after their demands were acceded to by their employers, said the 7-Day News.
The basic pay, prescribed as 1000 kyats (1.25 U.S.dollars) per day plus other living allowances and rewards for good performances, was set to take effect starting this month.
The working hours set for the employees are 44 hours a week while overtime will be 22 hours per week. read more.

* Burma’s clothing industry in downturn:

The world economic decline has caused the value of Burma’s clothing export sector to drop around 30 per cent since 2008, according to the Myanmar Clothing Manufacturers Association (MCMA).
Compounding the fall is Europe’s tariff on clothing imports from Burma when Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam receive exemptions, said Myint Soe, the MCMA chairman.

Also, “the dollar is weak and the kyat is strong,” he said. “Our business are not good in both 2011 and 2012. Sometimes we suffered financial losses and sometimes we broke even, and sometimes we got a little profit. That’s the way we operate. Our businesses cannot grow,” Myint Soe told Mizzima.

Myint Soe said that Burma’s clothing industry needed to attract more market share, increase productivity and hope for a stronger dollar. “We should get a tariff exemption also,” he said.

Another factor that pressures productivity is electricity supply. “Sometimes we get [government] electricity and sometimes we get electricity from diesels [own generator],” he said. He said a worker in Vietnam can produce 20 shirts per day while a Burmese worker produces 10 shirts. read more.

About 1,200 workers at the Myanmar Sunny clothing factory in the Hlaing Tharyar industrial Zone No.2 in Rangoon Region went on strike seeking higher salaries and other benefits. Photo: Min Min Oo / Mizzima


 20:13:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* RMG workers urged to resume work:

Agitating readymade garment workers have been requested to report for work on Wednesday.
The request came from a tripartite meeting attended by factory owners, and government and workers’ representatives following workers unrest at Ashulia on Tuesday morning. Labour Minister Khondker Mosharraf Hossain presided over the meeting held at the Secretariat.
Workers of Artistic Design Limited, a subsidiary of Ha-Meem Group, owned by FBCCI President AK Azad, clashed with police during a demonstration demanding a raise in their salary. The clash ensued as the workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway at Narasinghapur in the morning. read more.

* Fresh Ashulia flare-up:

Owners of readymade garment (RMG) factories, located in Ashulia area, had to shut down around 100 of their units again on Tuesday as workers continued their violent demonstrations for the second day demanding hikes in their salaries. During the demonstrations, traffic movement on the Dhaka-Tangail highway remained suspended for four hours from 9am as the workers put up barricades on the highway to press home their demand, causing immense suffering to commuters.
The workers also vandalized around 20 vehicles and clashed with police in phases leaving at least 50 injured including several police personnel, Abdus Salam, Director General (DG) of Industrial Police told The Independent.
Police and eyewitnesses said, the workers of ADL Garments of Ha-Meem Group owned by FBCCI president AK Azad started staging demonstration in the morning for the second consecutive day as, they said, the owners failed to meet their demand for pay raise even two weeks after assuring them of increasing their wages.
read more.

* 100 hurt as RMG unrest spreads in Ashulia industrial belt:

Over 100 people were injured in sporadic clashes between garment workers and police as RMG unrest spread in the entire Ashulia industrial belt on Wednesday.
The angry garment workers who were demonstrating demanding a hike in their wages clashed with the law enforcers for the third day on the trot today.
Locals said the workers of ADL Garments and Artistic Design of Hameem Group owned by FBCCI president AK Azad staged demonstration on Monday and Tuesday to realise their demand.
But today, the workers of about 200 garment factories of the area joined them.
read more.

* 100 hurt in Ashulia RMG unrest:

Readymade garment workers continued their protest in Ashulia industrial zone for a third day on Wednesday despite a call for resuming the work.
At least 100 people were injured in sporadic clashes between the workers and the police on Wednesday, said Mokhlesur Rahman, an Inspector of the Industrial Police at Ashulia.
After hours of chaos, the protesters withdrew their blockade around 12:30 pm.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse the workers who blocked the Dhaka-Tangail higway at more.

* Budgetary allocation for garment workers demanded:

National Garments Workers Unity Movement demanded adequate budgetary allocation to ensure housing and rationing facilities and healthcare services for the garment workers.
Leaders of the organisation made the demand addressing a human chain in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday.
They demanded categorical announcement in the budget
for providing housing and permanent rationing facilities and healthcare services for the 40 lakh workers.
They also called upon the garment owners to fulfill the demand of garment workers in Ashulia for raising their salaries.
read more.

* Over 100 injured as RMG unrest flares at Ashulia:

Police fired rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse hundreds of garment workers staging violent demonstrations for wage increase at Ashulia in Savar for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
Over a hundred people were injured as the workers fought running battles with police and vandalised over a dozen vehicles forcing suspension of traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail highway for about four hours.
Almost one third of the 350 factories at Narasinghapur, Jamgara, Baipail, Jirabo, Pukurpar, Nishchintapur and Banglabazar at Ashulia, the garment hub on the outskirts of the capital, remained inoperative after thousands of workers joined the demonstrations. (…)

Aminul Islam, a worker of Sharmeen Group, told New Age they wanted minimum wage needed for survival. ‘We will not return to work until there is an announcement of pay increase,’ he said.
Mohammad Ali Mandal, an officer of Hameem Group, said the trouble had begun at the Artistic Design Ltd, a subsidiary of the group, on Monday and spread to others factories demanding wage increase.
The factory of Artistic Design remained closed since the labour unrest flared.
read more.

* Govt asks RMG owners to keep factories open, hold talks with workers:

The government on Wednesday asked garment factory owners to open their units and hold meetings with workers at respective factory gates this morning to address the issue of labour unrest at Ashulia in Savar.
The directives came after a tripartite meeting with factory owners and labour leaders at the secretariat for a ‘peaceful salutation’ to the crisis. Labour minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain chaired the meeting.
‘The garment factory owners have been asked to keep their factories open. We call upon the workers to resume work in the morning [Thursday]. The factories in trouble will hold meetings at the factory gates to address the workers’ complaints,’ the minister told reporters after the four-hour meeting. read more.

* Ashulia RMG situation worsens again:

The readymade garment zone in Ashulia erupted into violence again as the garment workers went on rampage for fourth consecutive day on Thursday.
Production at around 100 factories remained suspended since Thursday morning as the agitating workers demonstrated blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway and Ashulia Bypile road, said Fayezul Kabir, deputy director of Industrial Police.
The demonstration halted traffic movement on the roads since 8:30am causing immense sufferings to commuters. (….)
“All the garment factories in Ashulia will remain open from tomorrow. I call upon the workers to get back to work without fear,” he said after a marathon meeting with leaders of different garment workers federations and law enforcers.

It all began on Monday when about 4,500 workers of Artistic Design Ltd, a packaging factory of Ha-Meem Group owned by FBCCI President AK Azad, took to the streets demanding a raise in their wages. read more.

A file photo of readymade garment unrest in Ashulia.

* ‘Stabilise politics to turn apparel a $ 50b industry’:

Ensuring political stability is one of the big challenges for implementing the proposed budget and to take RMG industry to a new height, said a leading trade body Tuesday.
“Both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs want their investment safe and expect commitments from the government in this regard,” said DCCI president Asif Ibrahim at a post-budget press conference at its office. Concerns of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) came in a time when the country’s political situation is boiling over the caretaker government issue.
“Political turbulence will hurt the economic growth– this is not our lone view,” Ibrahim said citing Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the world’s second-largest clothing retailer that recently expressed its worry over the political unrest and violent strikes, is also concerned.
H &M sources 25 percent of its products from Bangladesh and aims to increase the volume. read more.

* Tax blow for Bangladeshis:

The Bangladesh parliament votes by the end of this month on what is likely to be the government’s most important budget before elections are called by January 2014 at the latest, with the economy beset by falling exports, high inflation and burdened by costly debt.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, presenting the budget last Thursday for the fiscal year to June 30, 2013, proposed higher taxes, increased borrowing from overseas, and renewed efforts to pull into the legal economy the large amounts of undeclared income that evades the tax net in what is one of the world’s most corrupt countries. read more.

* Exporters protest proposed tax hike:

The government’s pitch to double tax on exports will further erode the country’s competitive edge, exporters said yesterday.
The budget has proposed raising the tax at source to 1.2 percent from the 0.6 percent currently enjoyed by the garments sector, and 0.7 percent by the other sectors.

At a discussion organised by The Daily Star on the recently announced budget, exporters said the ongoing economic crisis in Europe, which accounts for over 60 percent of Bangladesh’s exports, has already impacted the readymade garments exports.
The tax hike therefore could not come at a more inopportune time.
“Our exports have been acutely affected,” said Mohammad Hatem, acting president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
read more.

* Indian leather industry faces ‘Bangladesh threat’:

Indian leather industry faces its biggest competition in the international market from Bangladesh in addition to China, Vietnam and Indonesia, says Aqeel Panaruna, regional chairman, south, Council for Leather Exports (CLE).

“Several foreign firms look at Bangladesh as an additional source for leather footwear owing to factors such as availability of cheap labour and lower cost of production when compared with India,” Panaruna told The Hindu. read more.

* BD knitwear export to S Africa to increase three times if trade barriers removed:

Bangladesh knitwear export to South Africa will increase three times in five years subject to the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers and simplification of visa and banking procedures.
Bangladesh is the second largest knitwear exporter of the world and also aims to be the second largest knit exporter in S Africa after China. read more.

 19:43:52 local time map of india INDIA

* Factory raids reveal child labor persists in India:

Police raids on factories in the Indian capital revealed dozens of migrant kids hard at work Tuesday despite laws against child labor.

Police rounded up 26 children from three textiles factories and a metal processing plant, but dozens more are believed to have escaped. Those captured had all come to New Delhi from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

“Some of them were working in acid and metal,” with the task of breaking down metals and mixing alloys, said Kailash Satyarthi of India’s charity Save the Child.

Some were embroidering women’s clothing including saris and had been coached to deflect questions from authorities about their work. read more.

 * 45 lakh people became jobless in the textile sector in last two years:

(1 lakh=100.000  & 1 crore-10.000.000 – j.)
About 45 lakh people in the textile sector have lost jobs in the last two years mainly due to global economic slowdown and problems at domestic front, apparel exporters body AEPC said.

“About 7-10 per cent people have already lost their jobs in the textile sector in the last two years and still it is continuing. If the government will not intervene immediately, more and more people may lose their jobs,” Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said.

The textiles industry employs about 4.5 crore people. He said that domestic banks are not cooperating and this is acting as a double-whammy for the sector, which is already in trouble due to economic crisis in the US and Europe. These two markets account for  almost 65 per cent of the country’s textile exports. read more.

* Indian textiles sector sees job losses due to slowdown:

The Indian textiles sector has witnessed job losses during the past few years owing to closure of several manufacturing units following economicslowdown, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has said.
The AEPC estimates that around 4.5 million jobs were lost in the textiles sector during the last two years, which is more than 10 percent of the approximately 40 million people employed in India’s textiles industry that includes weaving, spinning, apparel, handloom and handicraft sectors.
During the past three years, more than 125 cotton and man-made fibre textile mills have closed down in the country, AEPC said. read more.

* Krishidhan launches new BT cotton seed:

Agri-biotech and plant breeding company Krishidhan Seeds, a developer of commercial hybrid seeds for Indian agriculture market has announced the launch of Praja, a new variety of BT cotton seed. (…)
India is the second largest producer of cotton in the world, after China, and has nearly 121 lakh hectares under its cultivation, which is almost a third of the land under it globally. The cotton producing states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Orissa. read more.

* Uttarakhand hikes minimum wages for workers:

The Uttarakhand Government today increased the minimum wages to Rs 4,500 per month for workers and also hiked the Dearness Allowance (DA) of government employees to 65 per cent.
“The government employees, who were getting DA at the rate of 58 per cent of the basic salary, would now get it at the rate of 65 per cent,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Mr Vijay Bahuguna, told reporters here.
He said the higher DA would be payable with retrospective effect from January this year. The higher DA for the month from January to June would be deposited in employees’ GPF while from July, it would be paid in cash along with the salary, he added. Mr Bahuguna said his government has also decided to make it compulsory for contractors to pay their workers through cheques only.
“It has been seen that contractors are paid by government or private companies through cheques but they pay their workers in cash only,” he said, adding, the government would bring an Ordinance for the purpose.
He said since the Ordinance would be brought to make an amendment in the Central Act, it would be sent to the President for the final approval.
The Chief Minister also announced to increase the minimum wages for workers and take them at par with the parent state of Uttar Pradesh. read more.

* Bw!tch to use Lycra fiber in cotton stretch garments:

nvista, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, has associated with premium lingerie label Bw!tch, to introduce garments with Lycra fiber. To start with Bw!tch will introduce cotton stretch panties with Lycra fiber and will soon introduce it to other garment segments as well. This brings together two leading players to provide customers with better fit, comfort and superior quality of products. Bw!tch cotton stretch panties will carry the Lycra fiber hand tag, an assurance of superior quality of the product.

Traditionally Indian consumers have preferred 100% combed cotton fabric but with the fast evolving intimate apparel market, consumers are increasingly looking for improved fit and comfort. Therefore Bw!tch, from the House of Genesis Colors that also has popular brands like Satya Paul, has decided to take a step in this direction by associating with Invista to use its flagship  Lycra fiber to develop cotton stretch panties. read more.

19:13:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* World Day against Child Labour: 31% of Pakistani children underweight:

Around 336 million people are chronically hungry in South Asia, with one-third of all child deaths linked to malnutrition.

Issues such as the one mentioned above, were discussed by participants at the South Asian Regional Knowledge Forum on Tuesday to encourage the world community to provide innovative ideas and timely intervention to save the lives of around one billion children suffering from chronic hunger. read more.


map of Asia

* Esprit trading suspended in HK after price plummets

* Thai textile industry shifting its production base

* H & L factory workers strike for second day

* FMM says still in dark over minimum wage details
* Minimum wage gazette on July 1, takes effect in January 2013

* Labour Action in Front of the German Embassy and the British
* RI seeks ILO help for workers’ protection

* Myanmar designates basic daily wage for garment worker
* Burma’s clothing industry in downturn

* RMG workers urged to resume work
* Fresh Ashulia flare-up
* 100 hurt as RMG unrest spreads in Ashulia industrial belt
* 100 hurt in Ashulia RMG unrest
* Budgetary allocation for garment workers demanded
* Over 100 injured as RMG unrest flares at Ashulia
* Govt asks RMG owners to keep factories open, hold talks with workers
* Ashulia RMG situation worsens again
* ‘Stabilise politics to turn apparel a $ 50b industry’
* Tax blow for Bangladeshis
* Exporters protest proposed tax hike
* Indian leather industry faces ‘Bangladesh threat
* BD knitwear export to S Africa to increase three times if trade barriers removed

* Factory raids reveal child labor persists in India
* 45 lakh people became jobless in the textile sector in last two years
* Indian textiles sector sees job losses due to slowdown
* Krishidhan launches new BT cotton seed
* Uttarakhand hikes minimum wages for workers
* Bw!tch to use Lycra fiber in cotton stretch garments

* World Day against Child Labour: 31% of Pakistani children underweight

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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