in the news on-line, today, 26 june 2012

05:41:44 local time map of china CHINA

* Chinese provinces lower wage growth targets:

More than one-third of China’s provincial-level governments have released wage growth targets for workers this year, with most of them trimming down salary increases as companies face decreasing profits amid a slowing economy.
Of the 12 local governments that have released wage plans, most have targeted 14-percent wage growth this year, the Economic Information Daily reported Monday.
However, the growth target was relatively low compared to that of last year. For example, the targets set in Hebei and Shaanxi provinces as well as Shanghai this year were lowered by as much as three percentage points, the report said.
read more. & read more.
 

04:41:44 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vinatexmart stores to double this year:

Vietnam Garment and Textile Fashion Trading Ltd. Co., the owner of the supermarket chain Vinatexmart, is planning to double the number of its supermarkets this year compared to the original target for the year.
Speaking to the Daily, Duong Thi Ngoc Dung, general director of Vinatexmart, said the target set by Vietnam National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex) as the mother company was to open some 20 supermarkets this year, raising the total to around 80. Luckily, with a deep price fall in the property market, Vinatexmart can now speed up its expansion by doubling the target, she added. read more.

* Tight rein held on trade deficit:

The trade deficit in the first half of the year was at US$685 million, a 10 per cent rise over the same period last year, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO) on Friday.
Director of the GSO’s Trade Department Le Thi Minh Thuy said the low trade deficit was due to high steady growth in exports along with declining growth in imports.
During the first six months import value saw a year-on-year increase of 6.9 per cent to $53.812 billion, while export value surged 22.2 per cent to $53.127 billion, said Thuy. (…)
Other products gained high increases in export value of 30 per cent to $685 million for cashew nuts, a 24.4 per cent rise to $2.22 billion for wood and wooden products, a 12.5 per cent increase to $3.83 billion for crude oil and a 8.7 per cent rise to $6.76 billion for textiles and garments. read more.

04:41:44 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Pregnant migrants to be sent back home:

Female migrant workers will be deported if they become pregnant while working here under a new Labour Ministry regulation being drafted by the Labour Protection and Welfare Department. read more.

04:41:44 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers strike for third time at Gap supplier:


Factory workers take part in a strike outside Zongtex Garment Manufacturing yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai

More than 1,600 garment workers from the Yung Wah Industrial (Cambodia) Co Ltd factory in Kandal province’s Takhmao district went on strike yesterday morning, demanding better working conditions.

Sath Chheanghour, president of Cambodian Workers Economic Federation, said yesterday it was the third time workers had stopped work to try and secure a US$15 transportation and housing allowance, a 3,000 riel daily lunch stipend and a 4,000 riel good performance bonus, as well as improved wages. read more
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* Workers were to get more, letter claims:

Hundreds of thousands of workers in the garment and footwear industries may already have been in line for an increase in bonuses before the Free Trade Union threatened a nationwide strike on Friday, according to a letter from Labour Minister Vong Sauth obtained by the Post yesterday.

The June 20 letter, issued to employers and workers, announced that the ministry’s Labour Advisory Council will meet on July 11 to discuss employee benefits, including travel and accommodation bonuses, but did not mention figures. It also called on workers to avoid resorting to strikes if they had a grievance. (..)

Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, said the workers’ demands for $10 bonuses were realistic “as long as all stakeholders, namely the brands, are engaged in raising real wages, in the sense that there is enormous room to get workers up to a living wage through a combination of allowances [and] food programs”. read more.

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

1.  As strike starts, another ends  read more.
2. Workers were to get more, letter claims read more.


* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:

3. Unions, manufacturers to discuss wage hike read more.
   

04:11:44 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

 * Can Myanmar emerge as threat to SE Asian garment sector:

Can Myanmar emerge as the next low-cost destination for global apparel brands and retailers, following China losing its sheen as a cheap production hub? Should this new development also worry garment makers in other South East Asian countries?
The vibes emerging from leaders in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan seem to indicate that Myanmar could emerge as a potential destination for sourcing clothing for worldwide retailers and brands. However, they do not see Myanmar as a threat to their country’s apparel sector in the immediate future.
It is a known fact that garment brands are in constant search for low-cost production hubs and in their quest, production hubs have moved from US and Europe to China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This year in April, in a historic decision, the European Union (EU) suspended most of its sanctions against Myanmar, due to the sweeping democratic changes adopted by the present government and also in an effort to encourage further reforms. read more.

* South Korean garment businessmen to meet in Rangoon:

South Korean businessmen from eight companies will discuss opportunities in the clothing and textile sectors with their Burmese counterparts in Rangoon on Wednesday. The garment sector has been badly hit by sanctions and the downturn in the world economy.

Garment workers in a Rangoon industrial zone have gone on strike in recent months for higher wages. Many workers successfully negotiated a higher pay rate. The garment industry has been in a slump the past several years. Photo: myanmargarment.net( Garment workers in a Rangoon industrial zone have gone on strike in recent months for higher wages. Many workers successfully negotiated  a higher pay rate. The garment industry has been in a slump the past several years. Photo: myanmargarment.net)

The business delegation is interested in exploring opportunities in sectors including textile, garment, dying, printing and raw materials. read more.

03:41:44 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Wage issue needs to be tackled first:

The country’s RMG sector needspeaceful workers-owners relation to achieve higher productivity levels, besideshaving the capacity to defeat conspiracies to destroy the industry by forcesfrom home and abroad, workers leaders said.

Talking to The New Nation lastSunday evening some of the leaders, wanting anonymity however, said they areapprehensive that the factory owners are not really concerned about theirplight in the present day economic situation marred by soaring prices ofessentials and high cost of living.

One leader said workers arepanicked by last week’s excessive use of force and threats of arrest. Thereopening of the factories at Ashulia has taken place basically on understandingbetween the RMG factory owners and the government, sidetracking the workersconcerns. read more.

* RMG workers demand new wage structure:

Garment workers organisations on Monday demanded the formation of a new wage board to raise their wages and announce 50 percent dearness allowance.

They put forward their five-point demand through a letter submitted to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

Their demands also include the introduction of full rationing and the formation of trade unions in all factories.

Advocate Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, president of Bangladesh Textile-Garments Workers’ Association, told UNB that the workers’ leaders have communicated their demands in writing to the owners’ association as per the Chapter XIV of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006.  read more.

* Garment labour panel demands higher wages:

Garment Sramik Songram Parishad, a platform of six associations of workers, yesterday demanded a minimum wage of Tk 7,000 against the backdrop of rising inflation and house rents.
They made five demands to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
Ehsan Ul Fattah, secretary general of BGMEA, received the demand paper at its office in the city. read more.

* Garment workers demand daily commodities through fair price cards:

Garment workers on Monday demanded they be provided daily commodities including rice, pulses, oil, salt, sugar and powdered milks at a lower rate through fair price cards.
They also demanded a 30 per cent dearness allowance on their basic wages.
Over one hundred garment workers, carrying red flags and festoons, made their demands at a human chain organised by the National Garment Workers Federation at the National Press Club in the city.
Speakers welcomed the prime minister’s June 18 announcement to provide fair price cards to garment workers, but they said it was not clear to them what will be available through the cards. read more.

* 3 garment and textile exhibitions start in city July 3:

Three garment and textile exhibitions will start at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on July 3.
The Conference and Exhibition Management Services Limited – Global USA, in association with CEMS Bangladesh, will organise the three international exhibitions scheduled to end on July 6. read more.

* Sonargaon Textiles approves 10pc stock dividend:

Sonargaon Textiles Ltd has declared 10 pc stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2011. The announcement came out at the 26th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company held at Barisal Club, Barisal on Saturday, says a press release.Company’s managing director AKM. Azizur Rahman presided over the while directors, senior officials and a large number of shareholders of the company were present on the occasion. to read.

03:11:44 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile fabric tearing again?:

When Ranchhodlal Chhotalal established the first ever textile mill on the Indian soil in 1861, little did he know the impact of his action. He was shaping the identity of a city and a state too. He was snatching the limelight from a city in Britain. He was also pioneering the Made in India brand. It was perhaps the first processed and manufactured product from India that was in demand world over. Two and a half centuries later Indian textiles drape the rich and the poor alike, the world over. (..)

However, the recent labour unrest has seen the production going down to nearly 50%. The workers are striking in protest of the untenably low wages – in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000.They are demanding at least 40% hike on the current salaries. Nearly, 8,000 workers of at least four mills have joined the strike in the past week. The total strength of the mill workers in Ahmedabad is pegged at about 13,000.

Ironical as it may sound, India’s largest corporate house Reliance Industries was reportedly considering exiting its iconic textile business including its Naroda plant for brand Vimal, as it is proving to be a loss making business. However, the reports have been rebutted by the company.

The Strike began with over 4,000 workers of Arvind Mills on June 4. This was soon followed byover 1,500 workers of Arvind’s unit, Ankur Textiles on June 18. In last two days, workers of two more mills — Ashima and Asarwa Mills — 1,200 each,have joined the strike. read more.

* Ban on second-hand imported textile machinery:

The usage of hi-tech textile machines and equipments designed by the indigenous manufacturers in the country is set to increase in the domestic textile industry following the ministry of commerce and industry imposing a ban on the import of second-hand textile machinery and equipments from the foreign countries, mainly from China, Japan and Korea, Thailand and Malaysia.

Industry sources said the textile entrepreneurs in the country’s biggest man-made fabric hub in Surat were importing second-hand textile machinery from China, Korea and Japan to increase the production and get benefits under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) from the past few years. read more.

* Optimism in Tirupur knitwear cluster:

Measures announced by Reserve Bank of India on capital account transactions to arrest the slide of rupee on Monday, has generated a wave of optimism among debt-ridden knitwear exporters who were struggling for capacity expansion owing to ‘extreme volatility’ of rupee in last few months.

Repayment

The most welcome of the monetary steps in the RBI’s package as far as the knitwear exporters were concerned, has been the decision to allow Indian companies in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, having foreign exchange earnings, to avail themselves of external commercial borrowing (ECB) for repayment of outstanding rupee loans towards capital expenditure and/or fresh rupee capital expenditure under the approval route. read more.

* THE AHMEDABAD TEXTILE MILLS STRIKES:

* Striking textile workers elect two to push their demands to ATMA:

The 10,000 odd striking textile mill workers on Sunday have formed a unified front under the Textile Labour Association (TLA) after 20 days of their protest and elected two members to represent their demands for a hike in their wage to Ahmedabad Textile Mill Owners’ Association (ATMA).

The strike began on June 4 with 4,000 employees of denim major Arvind Ltd demanding a 40 per cent hike in wages. read more.

03:11:44 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Sri Lankan Army-run apparel units to be upgraded:

Ranaviru Apparel industries at Alawwa and Yakkala, run by disabled personnel of the Sri Lankan Army, will be upgraded to international standards under a new modernization programme, which includes raising the quality of the apparel products.
In early 2010, the world-wide accepted 5S practice was introduced at Yakkala Ranaviru Apparels in order to improve standards, productivity and efficiency.
The very next year, the apparel unit successfully received the “5S Excellence Special Award” in recognition of its efficient manufacturing strategies.
read more.&  read more.
  

* Sewing Caf‚ demonstrates intricate sewing the brother way!:

Office Network Pvt. Ltd. The authorized distributor for Brother Office Equipment and Home Sewing Machines in Sri Lanka conducted the ‘Sewing Caf‚” workshop recently at Park Street Mews, Warehouse 2, Colombo.

This iconic brand of sewing machines has been in existence since the 1980’s and is a household name amongst sewing lovers and experts. The workshop focused on sewing art techniques and related ways for new entrepreneurs to start an embroidery business.


A sewing demonstration in progress

“Sewing Caf‚” was the first of a series of workshops lined up since the introduction of new models to its existing product range at the product launch held in November 2011. The much awaited event was a launching pad for sewing hobbyists, entrepreneurs and housewives to avail themselves of the opportunity to update their skills, especially in the use of more sophisticated techniques in sewing, embroidery, appliqu‚, patchwork, Quilting etc. Sewing experts were specially flown in from brother Singapore to enhance the quality of the demonstrations. read more.

* Sri Lankan footwear, leather sector poised for leap:

The Sri Lankan footwear and leather industry is growing at a good pace and it has the potential to develop into a sector catering to the domestic as well as international markets, Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Rangith Hettiarachchy said in a statement.
He said the Government is working on a three-pronged strategy to develop the domestic footwear and leather industry, while emphasizing on technology and training aspects. read more.

 

map of Asia

CHINA
* Chinese provinces lower wage growth targets

VIET NAM
* Vinatexmart stores to double this year
* Tight rein held on trade deficit

THAILAND
* Pregnant migrants to be sent back home

CAMBODIA
* Workers strike for third time at Gap supplier
* Workers were to get more, letter claims
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post
1. As strike starts, another ends
2. Workers were to get more, letter claims
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily
3. Unions, manufacturers to discuss wage hike

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Can Myanmar emerge as threat to SE Asian garment sector
* South Korean garment businessmen to meet in Rangoon

BANGLA DESH
* Wage issue needs to be tackled first
* RMG workers demand new wage structure
* Garment labour panel demands higher wages
* Garment workers demand daily commodities through fair price cards
* 3 garment and textile exhibitions start in city July 3
* Sonargaon Textiles approves 10pc stock dividend

INDIA
* Textile fabric tearing again?
* Ban on second-hand imported textile machinery
* Optimism in Tirupur knitwear cluster
* THE AHMEDABAD TEXTILE MILLS STRIKES:
* Striking textile workers elect two to push their demands to ATMA

SRI LANKA
* Sri Lankan Army-run apparel units to be upgraded
* Sewing Caf‚ demonstrates intricate sewing the brother way!
* Sri Lankan footwear, leather sector poised for leap

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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