in the news on-line, today, 20 june 2012

Global Union Federations

* Textile unions unanimously approve foundation of IndustriALL:

The 11th World Congress of the ITGLWF voted in favour of the establishment of IndustriALL Global Union.
ITGLWF Congress delegates followed in the footsteps of the IMF and ICEM delegates and, meeting this afternoon in Copenhagen, unanimously voted to join the new global union.
Full backing was also given to the nomination of Hisanobu Shimada as Vice-President and Monika Kemperle as Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL.
Speaking at the Congress, ITGLWF General Secretary Klaus Priegnitz said, “Forming IndustriALL is the best way to protect the interests of workers in our sector.” read more.

20:43:08 local time map of china CHINA

* 2012 Survey of clothing sales agents:

Clothing agents take part in China International Clothing and Accessories Fairs (CHIC) year by year. In order to attracting investment, they compared with each other at improving their originality and service levels. At the exhibition brands manufacturers and agents had a face-to-face communication, they talked a lot. But do brands manufacturers really understand their own agents. What changes they have? What difficulties they facing to? How about their future plans? Only knowing ,can they make the personalized solutions. “Textile Apparel Weekly” carried out survey activities to the agents in the 2012 CHIC. The questionnaire was conducted with more than 300 agents. With questionnaire survey and analysis, we knew about recent situation and development direction of agents from multiple perspectives.
read more.

* Nike unleashes uniforms for Chinese athletes:

Nike has unveiled the uniforms that will be worn in London this summer by Chinese athletes competing in Archery, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Tennis, Track and Field, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
Innovations included Nike’s lightest-ever Hyper Elite basketball uniform for China’s men”s and women”s basketball teams and the Nike Pro TurboSpeed Uniform for China Track & Field. read more.

* New EU scheme to hurt China trade:

China’s trade with the EU will be impacted under the EU’s new scheme for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the country will negotiate for further trade liberalization under the WTO system to minimize its loss from the increasing EU protectionism, officials with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and trade experts said yesterday. read more. & read more.
 

* China’s labour shortage: getting worse:

Considering the state of the world economy, a labour shortage is the last thing you’d expect Chinese factory owners to have to worry about.
But finding workers in southern China is worse than last year, according to an annual survey conducted by the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong.
This is surprising given there are fewer orders to be filled. In the first three months of the year, 86 per cent of respondents saw orders fall or stay flat, compared with 72 per cent last year. After all, the lacklustre economies of the US and western Europe still account for most of their business.

At the same time, over 90 per cent are struggling to hire enough workers. On average, they are 14 per cent short of the number of staff they need, compared with 11 per cent last year.
One reason is the Guangdong government’s December decision to suspend a planned increase in the minimum wage. At the time, that decision was cheered by factory owners who were already struggling to cope with a 21.2 per cent rise in minimum wage imposed in 2010. The flip side is that even fewer migrant workers now feel it’s worth their while to work in the province, where the cost of living is among the highest in the country. read more.

* Oerlikon opens Chinese headquarters in Shanghai:

Swiss multi-national high-tech group Oerlikon announced the official opening of its new headquarters in Shanghai. The Chinese headquarters will consolidate the Company’s eight offices currently in operation in Shanghai and unite all five business Segments under one roof.
Oerlikon’s global CEO, Michael Buscher, who attended the opening, said, “China has become Oerlikon’s most important market. The opening of our new Chinese headquarters marks another milestone in the Group’s successful expansion strategy in Asia and is designed to spur further growth in the country. We have a strong commitment to China and we have demonstrated this through our investment of more than CHF 38 million (RMB 254 million) in China over the last three years,” Mr. Buscher said.
Significantly, the new Shanghai building will be the global headquarters of Oerlikon Textile, the largest Segment of the Company. read more.

19:43:08 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Exports to EU on the rise:

Viet Nam’s export turnover to the EU in the first five months of this year increased 22 per cent against the same period last year due to booming sales of computers, electronic spare parts and mobile phones, said the General Department of the Viet Nam Customs.
The higher earnings were attributed to the rising turnover of leather and footwear, rubber, garment, computers, electronic products and spare parts, and in particular mobile phones. read more.

* India textile companies seek new partners:

Executives from 12 leading Indian cotton manufacturers and exporters met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City yesterday to explore business opportunities.
They are in the country as part of a delegation from the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India (Texprocil).
Amit Ruparelia, Texprocil chairman, said: “Vietnamese importers are keen on looking at alternative sources for raw materials … Indian exporters of cotton textiles with their product range are geared to meet the needs of any gaps created in the Viet Nam cotton textile chain through this business matchmaking”.
Nguyen Van Tuan, chief representative of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association in HCM City, said the country had to import 98-99 per cent of its cotton needs at a cost of US$1 billion, mostly from the US, India, Brazil, and South Africa.
read more.

19:43:08 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Euro crisis could take Thai export growth below 12%:

The euro-zone crisis could shave 150 billion baht off Thailand’s export revenue in the worst-case scenario, so exporters should try to price their goods competitively, says the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).
Aat Pisanwanich, dean of the economics faculty, said Thai shipments to EU countries were worth 700 billion baht last year or 10% of the total.
Standing to be hardest hit are rubber and related products, electrical appliances, gems and jewellery, and garments. read more.

 19:43:08 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Striking M & V workers pull the plug on factory:

Workers at M & V International Manufacturing Ltd went on strike Tuesday by switching off factory lights and generators, a source said.

The source said the workers were demanding bonuses of $10 for transport, $3 in addition to seven existing bonuses and 4,000 riel for working on Sunday or a public holiday. to read.

* U.S. Supports Cambodian Textile and Hand-made Products:

Newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. William E. Todd has pledged to encourage the American people to support Cambodian products with an aim to improve the living standard and increase more jobs for Cambodian people.
The commitment was made known during his recent visit to a small textile handicraft at Bati district of Takeo southern province.
The visit is aimed to show the American people’s support to Cambodian textile and hand-made products, especially the traditional products.
Some 70 percent of textile and garment products made in Cambodia have been exported to the U.S. market……to read…

* Sewing machines fall silent at H&M supplier:

About 3,000 workers from a factory in Kampong Chhnang province that supplies Swedish clothes brand H&M switched off their sewing machines and refused to work yesterday after their demands for better working conditions were refused.

Noun Sam Ol, the Free Trade Union’s representative at M&V factory, where hundreds collapsed in two separate mass fainting incidents in August, said workers wanted US$10 per month transportation and attendance bonuses, $2 extra for working holidays and Sundays, and the option to work overtime during the week instead of working Saturdays.

“I met with the factory’s administration manager to talk about the workers’ demands and he said the company had asked them to wait and they will find a resolution for them for the first and second points in the next two months and the other two points in the next two weeks,” she said. read more.

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

1. Sewing machines fall silent at H&M supplier. read more.

* To read in the printed edition of theCambodian Daily:

2. Garment workers strike, demand higher wages. read more.

20:43:08 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Malaysia has signed ILO convention on safety at work place:

Malaysia ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Occupational Safety and Health on June 8, joining the ranks of developed nations to place importance on occupational safety and health measures at the work place.

With the ratification, Malaysia also agreed to be under ILO’s scrutiny on matters related to safety and health measures at work places and adhere to its high standards, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.

He said Malaysia already had a well-established safety policy to ensure safety measures were implemented and adhere to it at all work places and it was only consistent that it ratified the convention. read more.

* Wage floor needs relook, Chinese firms tell Putrajaya:

An umbrella body representing over 28,000 Malaysian Chinese businesses told Putrajaya today that a more comprehensive study is needed before the minimum wage policy is enforced, cautioning that hasty implementation would result in business closures.
The warning from the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) today comes even as the government readies itself to formalise the controversial policy on July 1, despite fears that it would threaten up to four million jobs due to cutbacks and closures. read more.

20:43:08 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Textile export affected by European crisis:

The volume of textile and textile products from West Java has dropped by 2.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, and is being blamed on the economic crisis in Europe.

West Java’s Trade and Industry Agency head, Ferry Sofwan Arief, said his office and the West Java chapter of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) had made efforts to boost markets in African, Middle Eastern and Latin American countries to offset the export decline so as to prevent a permanent negative impact on the textile industry in the province.

The office recorded an export volume of West Java textile and textile products of 263,332 tons from January to March this year, or a value of US$1,588,144, a drop compared to 264,040 tons, valued at $1,629,582, during the same period last year.
to read.

19:13:08 local time map of myanmar BURMA-MYANMAR

 * Thais hope to boost anti-trafficking ties:

THAILAND wants to strengthen cooperation with Myanmar against human trafficking, the Thai representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights said in Yangon last week.
Dr Sriprapha Petcharamesree was speaking at a meeting of the commission focusing on the ASEAN human rights declaration which was held at the Parkroyal Hotel in Yangon on June 6.
“Human trafficking is not a concern for one particular country, but an issue of common concern for the whole region,” Professor Sihasak said at the meeting, the first to be held by the commission in Myanmar since the government of President U Thein Sein came to power more than a year ago. read more.

* Mae Sot Factories exploiting Myanmar migrant workers :

Migrant workers of Myanmar are being exploited by factories in Mae Sot, located on the other bank of Thaungyin River near Myawaddy, which they think is a place of work for them.

In nine townships of Tak County of Thailand, including Mae Sot Township, there are 280 factories running legally or illegally. Among them, only four factories pay a daily wage of Bk 226 as fixed by the Thai government.  But the workers from other factories are being paid a daily wage of Bk 60 to 100.

“Out of these four factories, only one provides living expenses for its employees according to the directive of the Thai government. Most of the workers are being paid Bk 65 to100 a day and it is unfair to the Myanmar workers,” said Ko Htwe Naing of Yaung Chi Oo. read more.

18:43:08 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Reinstatement of sacked Khalishpur Jute Mills workers demanded:

Workers of Khalishpur Jute Mills in Khulna on Monday demanded reinstatement of all its sacked workers and make the employment of all irregular labourers permanent.
The demand was made by leaders of Khalishpur Jute Mills Saramik–Karmachary Swartha Sangrakhkhan Committee at a press conference at Khulna Press Club on Monday morning.
They said the mills, which used to be called Peoples Jute Mills, was declared closed after sacking all its labourers on July 11, 2007 and it was reopened with the new name of Khalishpur Jute Mills on March 3, 2011.
But most of the sacked labourers were not appointed when it was reopened as Khalishpur Jute Mills.
General Secretary of the committee, Sardar Ali Ahmed, read out a written statement spelling out the demand and complained that Khalishpur Jute Mills workers had been deprived of their rightful wages and all government facilities.
The labour leaders urged the government to ensure national wages and benefits like yearly two festival bonus and medical and housing facilities that were provided in other state-owned jute mills. read more.

* Workers go berserk in Ctg over road crash death:

Several thousands of readymade garment workers took to the streets in Double Mooring area of Chittagong city Wednesday morning protesting the death of a fellow worker in a road accident.
The marauding workers also torched two minibuses and vandalised nearly six vehicles during their blockade, reports our Chittagong correspondent.
They also damaged the windowpanes of a building adjacent to their factories. (…)
As soon as the news spread, several thousands of garment workers came out of their factories and blocked the road in front of their units.
A huge contingent of law enforcers was deployed in the area to bring the situation under control. read more.

THE   ASHULIA GARMENT WORKERS STRIKES:

* RMG Violence: Both workers, owners push their causes harder:

20120618
Though the weeklong violent protests by RMG workers in Ashulia industrial belt has apparently calmed down, both the owners and workers push their own causes harder, clouding the prospect of the fast-growing apparel industry.

Production in over 300 units remained suspended as the owners, in response to a call by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), shut down the factories for an indefinite period since Sunday.

BGMEA leaders on Monday decided to continue the closure after a meeting with factory owners of the Ashulia and other industrial belts in the country. The meeting was held at BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.

Abdus Salam Murshedi, former president of BGMEA, told UNB that representatives of the factory owners in Ashulia were determined to continue the closure, while the factory owners of other industrial belts also expressed their solidarity with the decision.

“The factory owners of Dhaka and the adjoining regions have handed over a symbolic key to the BGMEA president,” he said, “In apprehension of incidents similar to Ashulia, they gave him the authority to close down factories anywhere across the country if he thinks it necessary.” read more.

* RMG crisis deepens:

20120618
The ongoing crisis over unrest in RMG factories is worsening with the owners of other areas threatening to shut down their factories and trade union leaders’ announcement to wage movement if the factories would not be resumed soon. The RMG owners in Dhaka and its adjacent areas on Monday handed over token keys of their factories to the president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expressing solidarity with the garment owners of Ashulia.
They threatened to shut down their factories if the government would fail to provide security to the entrepreneurs and their factories. read more.

* RMG workers renew call to reopen factories:

20120619
Bangladesh Garments Workers Unity Council (Garments Sramik Oikya Parishad) on Tuesday urged the government to take initiatives to reopen the closed garment factories in Ashulia immediately.

Sirajul Islam Ronny, coordinator of the Garments Sramik Oikya Parishad, came up with the demand at a press conference at Shahid Asad Auditorium in the capital.

He said the ready-made garments (RMG) units in Ashulia remained closed for the last three days, alleging that owners unilaterally took the decision to shut the factories which led to immense sufferings to the `innocent` factory workers.

Renewing call to immediate reopen Ashulia RMG units the Oikya Parishad leader said owners are playing a dubious role by keeping the factories closed despite repeated demands by the workers to reopen those. “There’s no scope to sabotage the movement of the garments workers by creating anarchy,“he warned.
read more. & read more.
 

* Prime Minister asks ministers to detect causes:

20120619
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the ministers concerned to dig out the causes of an endemic unrest in the readymade garment sector which is the highest foreign-currency earner for the country.
“She ordered the state minister for labour and employment Begum Monnujan Sufian, who is a former labour leader, to look into the unrest in RMG sector seriously,” a state minister quoted the premier as saying at the weekly cabinet meeting held at the secretariat Monday.
The prime minister asked the ministers concerned to investigate whether it is a conspiracy as unrest in RMG sector usually takes place at the time of pick season when foreign buyers give more orders, the state minister told daily sun.
She said it is imperative to find out whether it is a pre -planned attack on the garment industry, he added.
The prime minister also asked the food ministry to distribute fair-price cards to the RMG workers, said a minister who also attended the cabinet meeting.
The owners at a meeting Saturday decided to shut down all garment factories in Ashulia for an indefinite period due to ongoing labour unrest in the apparel industrial hub.
They also said it is not possible to open garment factories unless adequate security is provided. to read.

* Hasina asks ministers to resolve RMG unrest:

20120619
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked the ministers concerned for taking necessary steps to resolve the ongoing situation of the garment sector through discussion with the owners of the garment factories and leaders of different association of garment workers. The premier also asked the food minister for introducing ‘Fare Price Cards’ to the garment workers as soon as possible, a cabinet minister told reporters after the Monday’s cabinet meeting quoting the Prime Minister.
Sheikh Hasina asked her colleagues that the garment sector was facing one of its worst moments. At least 300 garment factories were vandalized by a section of garment workers in Ashuliya and Narayanganj areas. At least 800 workers were injured and 22 others were arrested for involvement in vandalizing the garment factories. read more.

* Exporters in Dhaka threaten shutdown:

20120619
Garment owners yesterday threatened to shut down all their units in Dhaka and its adjacent areas should the labour unrest in the sector continue.
The warning came in the aftermath of the closure of more than 300 garment factories at Ashulia for an indefinite period from Sunday following a weeklong spate of street violence by the workers in the area demanding a pay raise.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) on Saturday announced the shutdown.
Yesterday, Syed Faizul Ahsan Shamim, managing director of the Gazipur-based Dotcom Sweater Ltd, handed over a token key to BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin at the association’s office to express solidarity with the factory owners of Ashulia. read more.

* Massive protests planned if RMG units not reopened by June 20:

20120619
Workers organisations in the readymade garments sector plan to launch massive protests, including work abstention all over the country, from next week, if the garment factories, now under closure, are not reopened by June 20.

They also urged the owners to sit with the workers’ representatives to find a way out of the crisis that has severely been hurting the country’s economy.

Leaders of 30 workers’ organisations, mostly left-leaning ones, met this week in the capital and took the decision after analysing the situation in Ashulia industrial belt.

Readymade garment (RMG) workers have been staging demonstrations, demanding over 50 per cent hike in their monthly wages that rocked the country’s key apparel industrial hub in Ashulia near Savar, to the north of the capital city, over the last few days. read more.

* Labour leaders demand reopening of Ashulia factories:

20120619
Labour leaders yesterday demanded that all 300 garment factories in Ashulia be reopened soon.
The factories were declared closed by owners following labour unrest on Saturday.
Some leaders expressed concerns over the sudden shutdown of the factories because of ‘unilateral decisions’ taken by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
They urged the government to immediately resolve the ongoing issues by holding a tripartite meeting with representatives of factory owners, workers and government officials.

“Garment workers cannot lead a normal life due to the price hike of essentials, rising transportation costs and soaring inflation,” said Wazedul Islam, coordinator of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad. read more.

* Ashulia crisis may end by Saturday- Munnujan:

20120619
State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian has assured BGMEA leaders of resolving the ongoing crisis in the Ashulia industrial belt by Saturday.
“People who instigated the labour unrest in garment sector will be identified and brought to justice,” she said on Tuesday.
The state minister was talking to reports after a three-hour meeting with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders and intelligence agencies at the ministry in the afternoon.

As the journalists asked her about the government stance regarding the Ashulia issue, she said, “We are yet to decide anything about it but hopefully will reach a decision by Saturday.”
Munnujan said she will hold a meeting with workers Wednesday.
She further said the Ashulia unrest was not flared up only for pay hikes, but for something else.
She however did not elaborate on the comment.
After the meeting, BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin termed the recent unrest as “anarchy”.
Asked whether the factories would be opened by Saturday, he said, “We all are trying to find a solution to this end. We did not set up factories for keeping those closed.”
read more.

* Govt sees Ashulia crisis over by June 23:

20120619
A meeting with readymade garment factory owners on Tuesday has given State Minister for Labour Monnojan Sufian hope that the unrest in the sector will be over by Saturday. The ‘crisis management core committee’ formed by the government had a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association at the Secretariat over the ongoing workers unrest at Ashulia industrial zone. “We have discussed the problems with the owners. We will sit with representatives from garment workers (on Wednesday). Measures to resolve the crisis in the sector will be taken after discussing issues with both parties,” said Sufian.
“We are hopeful about a solution to the problem by Saturday,” she added.
read more.

* HC asks BGMEA, BKMEA to explain legality:

20120620
The High Court on Tuesday asked the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association to explain in four weeks why the decision of indefinitely closing 350 factories in Ashulia, in the outskirt of the capital,
should not be declared illegal.
The bench of Justice Farid Ahmed and Justice Zafar Ahmed also asked the two associations to explain why they should not be directed to withdraw the closure order issued on June 16 by them and why they should not be directed to keep the factories open, as before.
The court also directed the home secretary and department of labour director to explain why they should not be directed to take necessary steps to provide adequate protection to the factories in Ashulia Industrial Zone.  read more. & read more.
 

* Businesses worried over RMG labour unrest:

20120620
Different trade bodies have expressed deep concern over the present labour unrest in the readymade garments sector and urged the government to take immediate steps to control the situation.
Twenty percent of the total export income in the garment sector is generated by the factories located in Ashulia, where the current labour unrest is taking place.
“Ashulia is a hub of large garment factories, which are completely compliant with the foreign buyers’ requirements,” Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) said in a statement yesterday. read more.

* BGMEA Chittagong region leaders concerned at Ashulia situation:

20120620
BGMEA leaders of Chittagong region have expressed deep concern at the shut down of more than 300 garment factories at Ashulia in Savar. They met in an urgent meeting at the association’s regional office in Chittagong on Monday to review the situation there.
Presided over by first vice president of the BGMEA Nasir Uddin Chowdhury the meeting was addressed among others by director of the association AM Chowdhury Selim, former president SM Fazlul Huque, former first vice presidents Khalilur Rahman, Ershad Ullah, MA Salam and Moinuddin Mintu, former director Istiaque Rahman, former CSE president Nasiruddin A Chowdhury, Emdadul Huq Chowdhury and BKMEA leader Shawkat Osman. read more.

* CCCI calls for tripartite meeting to end RMG tension:

20120620
Nurun Newaz Salim, acting president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), yesterday urged the prime minister to solve the garment sector trouble in Ashulia with due urgency.
He advised Sheikh Hasina to arrange a tripartite meeting between the government, garment factory owners and workers of Ashulia, so that a fair deal for all can be reached.
The shutdown of 300 garment factories over labour unrest is causing a loss of around Tk 32.8 crore each day to the economy, Salim said in a statement.
The garment exports that account for 80 percent of the country’s total shipments, have already been badly hit by the global recession; persisting with the strife will only compound matters, Salim said. to read.

* 84pc of RMG workers unbanked -IFC:

20120620
Around 84 percent of a 30 lakh garment workforce in Bangladesh remains without access to banking services, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said in a statement yesterday.
The report was a collaborative effort of UK’s DFID, European Union, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, IFC-managed South Asia Enterprise Development Facility and Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, according to the statement.
Only 16 percent of the labour force in the $16 billion industry has bank accounts. This leads to most workers taking wages in cash and not being able to manage it better and running into hardships by the month-end. read more. & read more.
 

* RMG workers create huge banking prospects:

20120620
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has released a study that finds banks have a significant opportunity to extend services to an overwhelming number of the country’s 3 million readymade garment workers so that they can have access to savings and credit services. The study analysed how barriers to access to finance for 86 per cent employees of the $ 18 billion readymade garment industry can be addressed.
The South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, managed by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and the European Union, carried out the study. read more.

* Workers flee Ashulia amid police raids:

8 more RMG workers held, govt expects solution by Saturday

An eerie calm descended on the working class neighbourhoods at Ashulia as garment workers started leaving their homes fearing arrest and also amid uncertainties over reopening of the factories.
Workers at Narasinghapur, Kathaltala, Ghoshbagh, Shimultala and Jamgora said that police had raided several homes of workers overnights causing panic in the areas.
The Ashulia police arrested eight more garment factory workers on Tuesday on charge of their being involved in the violent demonstrations that broke out on June 11 for wage hike.
The government is expecting a solution to the labour unrest in the apparel sector by the end of this week as it has initiated fresh talks with the factory owners and workers.
‘You can expect a positive outcome from our talks with the factory owners and workers. We hope the crisis will be over by next Saturday,’ state minister for labour Monnujan Sufian told reporters Tuesday after a meeting of the crisis management core committee with factory owners at the secretariat. read more.

18:13:08 local time map of india INDIA

* Arvind sacks more workers on strike:

On the 16th day of indefinite strike by its employees, denim major Arvind Ltd, on Monday, sacked some of the workers. The company said it is “relocating some of the machines to another location” to resume production.
In a statement issued here this evening, after the company informed the bourses, Arvind Ltd admitted that about half of the 1,100 workers at Ankur Textiles, a division of Arvind Ltd that manufactures voiles fabrics, have also joined the “illegal strike”. Ankur manufactures 36 million metres of voiles and other fabrics, of which 90 per cent of unprocessed fabrics are outsourced.
The company has already appointed contract workers and is hopeful of “significantly increasing” the output in finishing department in the next eight to 10 days, it added.

Many of the 4,000-odd workers at Arvind Ltd’s Naroda plant went on indefinite strike on June 4, demanding, inter alia, a 40 per cent rise in wages. Their number increased subsequently, bringing production to a near-halt. Despite multi-pronged efforts, the company has been unable to break the logjam. Other textile mills’ workers have also, meanwhile, threatened to join the agitation. read more.

* Arvind strike intensified as Ankur workers join in:

Trouble refuses to die down for denim-maker Arvind Ltd. As the ongoing labour strike swelled on Monday with over 600 workers from Ankur Textiles, a division of Arvind which manufactures voiles, joined the unrest. Operations at Arvind’s Naroda unit have remained marred since June 4 as around 3,500 workers went on a strike demanding higher wages. Ankur Textile manufactures 36 million metres of voiles and other fabrics of which 90% of unprocessed fabrics are outsourced.

Arvind in a statement said that they have started fresh recruitment which has helped them partially resume production. “The company has intensified recruitment process and is hopeful that it will be able to increase production further within next week. The company has terminated the services of few workers as the positions have been filled up by fresh workers. The company will continue to terminate the services of more workers as fresh recruitment’s are made,” the company said. read more.

* RBI policy disappoints knitwear exporters:

Knitwear exporters expressed their disappointment when the RBI on Monday left its key policy rates untouched.“After continuous increase in the policy rate, the RBI, had only in the last revision reduced the rate by half-a-per cent and we were expecting a cut by another 50 basis point in its mid-quarter review this morning. We were terribly disappointed to note that the RBI preferred to maintain the status quo rather than tinker the rates. The garment exporting units are struggling to survive. A rate cut at this juncture would have given the sector the necessary fillip to compete and sustain in the global market,” the Tirupur Exporters’ Association President, Mr A. Sakthivel, said. to read.

* Finnish textile & apparel design brand eyes Indian market:

Banking on Indian people’s fascination for bold and vibrant colours, and inspired by the economic growth achieved by the country, Finland’s leading textile and clothing design firm Merimekko is eagerly eyeing penetration in the Indian market.
After meeting success in the Japanese and Chinese markets, the brand, which is all about bright and bold colours and designs, and inspirational and quality lifestyle, is keen to present itself before the Indian audience. read more.

* Exporters to get interest subsidy for one more year:

The Reserve Bank of India, on Tuesday, extended the 2 per cent interest subsidy scheme by another year on rupee export credit to the labour-oriented and small scale sectors to cushion them from slowdown in markets such as the U.S. and Europe.
Exporters of handicrafts, handlooms, readymade garments, processed agriculture products and carpets will be eligible for interest subvention to be available up to March 31, 2013, the central bank said. to read.

 18:13:08 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

 * BOI approves twin apparel factories in Mannar:

Sri Lanka’s Timex and Fergasam Group (T&FG), a manufacturer and exporter of high quality garments is ready to commence the construction of twin apparel factories in Mannar Industrial Zone for which Board of Investment (BOI) has granted approval. This proposed US $ 5 million worth factory, a first in the Mannar region will be ready for commercial operations by January 2013. The new factory complex is expected to provide over 1,200 employment opportunities for the people in the area.

The group is now mainly focused on going green due to the increasing concerns about environmental impact from industries, particularly global warming. Keeping with the principals of minimizing environmental impact, the new factory premises will incorporate a number of measures to reduce energy consumption and water usage. According to the Group Maintenance Manager the company is planning to install Solar PV system and Net Metering system to the factories where the excess energy will be added to the national grid. read more.

17:43:08 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* US, China continue to determine world cotton production, prices:

The United States (US) and China continued to determine the world cotton production and prices.
Lint experts said on Monday that if all fundamentals are intact with favourable weather conditions, the world production in 2012-13 would increase by 6.0 percent to 8.0 percent on average in major lint producing countries.
Talking to Daily Times, a fibre expert Fazal Ahmad from Lubbock Texas said China would start buying around one million tonnes of cotton from fresh US cotton output this year.
China, the world’s biggest cotton user wants to pile up government stocks, which will likely increase prices.
The China National Cotton Reserves Corporation, responsible to make stocks on behalf of the government, has bought 160,000 tonnes since last week. read more.

* Trade remains range-bound at cotton market:

The Karachi cotton market witnessed a range-bound trading session amid fine lint in focus, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Monday. read more.

* Bucking the trend: Ashfaq Textile Mills hits record profits as others falter :

 Its peers may be struggling with power outages, failing to meet export orders, and laying off workers, but Ashfaq Textile Mills appears to be bucking the trend, with soaring profits and an expanding workforce.

The Faisalabad-based company manufactures grey, dyed and bleached fabrics and exports most of its products to the United States and the European Union. Even while other exporters have complained bitterly of how the power crisis has increased their cost of doing business and hurt their ability to meet export orders, Ashfaq Textile has seen its profits hit record levels. read more.

map of Asia

Global Union Federations
* Textile unions unanimously approve foundation of IndustriALL

CHINA
* 2012 Survey of clothing sales agents
* Nike unleashes uniforms for Chinese athletes
* New EU scheme to hurt China trade
* China’s labour shortage: getting worse
* Oerlikon opens Chinese headquarters in Shanghai

VIET NAM
* Exports to EU on the rise
* India textile companies seek new partners

THAILAND
* Euro crisis could take Thai export growth below 12%

CAMBODIA
* Striking M & V workers pull the plug on factory
* U.S. Supports Cambodian Textile and Hand-made Products
* Sewing machines fall silent at H&M supplier
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post
1. Sewing machines fall silent at H&M supplier
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodian Daily
2. Garment workers strike, demand higher wages

MALAYSIA
* Malaysia has signed ILO convention on safety at work place
* Wage floor needs relook, Chinese firms tell Putrajaya

INDONESIA
* Textile export affected by European crisis

BURMA-MYANMAR
* Thais hope to boost anti-trafficking ties
* Mae Sot Factories exploiting Myanmar migrant workers

BANGLA DESH
* Reinstatement of sacked Khalishpur Jute Mills workers demanded
* Workers go berserk in Ctg over road crash death

THE ASHULIA GARMENT WORKERS STRIKES:
* RMG Violence: Both workers, owners push their causes harder
* RMG crisis deepens
* RMG workers renew call to reopen factories
* Prime Minister asks ministers to detect causes
* Hasina asks ministers to resolve RMG unrest
* Exporters in Dhaka threaten shutdown
* Massive protests planned if RMG units not reopened by June 20
* Labour leaders demand reopening of Ashulia factories
* Ashulia crisis may end by Saturday- Munnujan
* Govt sees Ashulia crisis over by June 23
* HC asks BGMEA, BKMEA to explain legality
* Businesses worried over RMG labour unrest
* BGMEA Chittagong region leaders concerned at Ashulia situation
* CCCI calls for tripartite meeting to end RMG tension
* 84pc of RMG workers unbanked -IFC
* RMG workers create huge banking prospects
* Workers flee Ashulia amid police raids

INDIA
* Arvind sacks more workers on strike
* Arvind strike intensified as Ankur workers join in
* RBI policy disappoints knitwear exporters
* Finnish textile & apparel design brand eyes Indian market
* Exporters to get interest subsidy for one more year

SRI LANKA
* BOI approves twin apparel factories in Mannar

PAKISTAN
* US, China continue to determine world cotton production, prices
* Trade remains range-bound at cotton market
* Bucking the trend: Ashfaq Textile Mills hits record profits as others falter

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