20:14:12 local time CHINA
* China textile industry growth slower, profits down:
The growth of China’s textile industry slowed in the first five months of the year, as domestic and external demand continued to drop amid a sluggish economy, according to data from the country’s top economic planner.
The gross output value of the textile industry increased 11.81 percent year on year to 2.14 trillion yuan (340.5 billion U.S. dollars) from January to May, down 18.34 percent year on year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) data showed.
The sector’s sales went up 11.35 percent year on year to 2.09 trillion yuan during the period, the data said.
In the first five months, the value of textile exports totaled 90.64 billion U.S. dollars, up 2.06 percent year on year. The rate pulled back 24.47 percentage points from that of the same period last year. read more. & read more.
* Fortune 500 branches required to have collective agreements:
All enterprises set up by Fortune 500 companies in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, are required to have collective agreements on wages by 2012, said local authorities.
Shenyang Federation of Trade Unions and Shenyang Human Resources and Social Security Bureau require that Fortune 500 companies’ branches in Shenyang implement collective bargaining and sign collective contracts with their employees by the end of 2012, said a spokesman with the Shenyang federation.
The wage standards and annual increases should be “specific” in the contacts and should be reached through collective bargaining and passed to employees’ representatives, said Gao Wenfeng with the federation.
“In Shenyang, 57 companies were set up by Fortune 500 which employ 37,000 people in total. Among the companies, 40 have signed collective agreements with employees,” said Gao. read more.
19:14:12 local time VIET NAM
* Pan Asia restructures as orders shift to Vietnam:
Half the company’s factories will be closed
Pan Asia Group, the Saha Group footwear manufacturer, is scaling back its shoe business to rationalise its operations and reduce production costs after losing shoe orders to Vietnam.
The loss-ridden group is now working to reorganise its business and shut down half its shoe and parts factories, said Boonchai Chokwatana, the president and chief executive of Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the distributor of consumer products assigned to rescue Pan Asia Group last year.
Five factories located far from Pan Asia’s major production base in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district will be shut down. read more.
19:14:12 local time LAOS
* Women’s Union urged to create favourable conditions for women development:
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara has urged the Women’s Union of the MICT to create favourable conditions for the equipping of women with knowledge of political theories, professional knowledge and promote their participation in decision making, and the leadership and management of their organisations. read more.
19:14:12 local time THAILAND
* Victims plumb depths of misery in quest of a better future in region:
Statistics, both official and from relief organisations, reflect the widespread activities of vicious human-trafficking rings in this region and the countries most involved in their operations.
They list Vietnam as the biggest source in the Mekong region as a transit point and destination for human trafficking, both for sex and labour exploitation.
More than 500,000 Vietnamese work in foreign countries and some 180,000 Laotians work illegally in Thailand, according to the Thai government.
World Vision says 44 per cent of Laotian families have no idea where their children go to for work. Of those who return home, 13 per cent claimed they were raped.
Singapore – one of many destinations for human traffickers – has no effective anti-human-trafficking laws.
Few Malaysians are trafficked to countries such as Singapore, China and Japan, but trafficking of foreigners within Malaysia is rife.
Human-trafficking sources reported there are more than 100,000 immigrants working in the Thai fishing industry. Job placement agencies estimate that illegal workers generate more than Bt50 billion in revenue for the sector. read more.
* OIE makes weekly checks on five groups of export products highly exposed to euro crisis:
Five product groups including automobiles and electrical appliances and electronics require close watching, as they depend heavily on the troubled European market.
The other highly exposed groups are textiles and garments, jewellery, and rubber products.
Sophon Pholprasit, director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE), said yesterday that the office was tracking the production and overseas shipment figures of these key groups every week. Their status is reported to Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong for analysis and to formulate a strategy to promote exports of those products.read more.
* Guard against ills of industrialisation, govt told:
Civic groups say many have been suffering for the benefits of a few people.
A network of 30 civic groups yesterday called on the government to give higher priority to environmental protection after finding that many communities near industrial areas around the country have been living with pollution for two decades.
“Just a few people benefit but a lot of people have been suffering from industrial pollution in the past 20 years,” said Somboon Srikhamdokkhae, president of the Network of Workers Suffering from Occupational Illness of Thailand.
Somboon, a former textile worker who contracted lung disease from lengthy exposure to dust from cotton processing, was speaking at a public seminar on “20 years of Industrial Pollution in Thailand: Problem and management” organised by the Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand Foundation and its allies. read more.
19:14:12 local time CAMBODIA
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
4. Overseas labour agencies told to stop advertising on TV, radio. read more.
20:14:12 local time SINGAPORE
* Tight labour market lifted workers’ wages in 2011- MOM:
The tight labour market continued to lift workers’ wages despite the slower economic growth in 2011.
Key findings from the Report on Wages in Singapore 2011, released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM), show that total wages (including employer CPF contributions) in the private sector rose by 6.1 per cent, higher than the growth of 5.7 per cent in 2010.
Taking into account the rise in consumer price index (CPI), the increase in real terms was 0.9 per cent in 2011, lower than the gain of 2.9 per cent in 2010.
The corresponding figures when adjusted using CPI excluding imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation were 1.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent. read more.
* Singapore’s workers’ wages continue to grow:
Singapore’s tight labor market continued to lift workers’ wages despite the slower economic growth in 2011, the city-state’s Ministry of Manpower said on Friday in the Report on Wages in Singapore 2011. The report showed that total wages, including the workers’ Central Provident Fund contributions, in the private sector rose by 6.1 per cent last year, higher than that of 5.7 per cent growth in 2010.
However, if the rise in consumer price index (CPI) is taking into account, the real wage growth rate was 0.9 per cent in 2011, contracting from the gain of 2.9 per cent in 2010.
“Over the long term, real wage increases have been broadly in line with labor productivity growth,” said the ministry. The real total wages increased by 1.6 per cent per annum while labor productivity grew by 1.7 per cent per annum during the period from 2000 to 2011. read more.
20:14:12 local time INDONESIA
* In love with ‘ikat’:
Balinese ikat woven cloth is Eddy Betty’s new love as the designer embraces the traditional textile, flaunting its beauty into something more casual and contemporary for his second line, Edbe.
A trip to Bali’s Klungkung and Gianyar seemed to have given fresh yet fruitful imaginative ideas to Eddy Betty and his business partner Ley Puspa Sandjaja to toy with Balinese ikat, locally known as kain endek.
The duo “broke” the rules, creating new yet fun motifs depicting umbrellas, butterflies, polka dots and checkered designs, blending them with classic styles.
18:44:12 local time BURMA/MYANMAR
* Over 300 workers laid off in Hlinetharyar:
Following the strikes and demonstrations by the workers for increase wage in some mills and factories, over 300 workers was laid off from three factories mainly due to decreased work orders and difficulty in getting raw materials.
At the Global Foot Wear Factory situated at block number 181/181, Anawratha Street, Industrial Zone (5), Ward (17) of Hlinetharyar Township, 338 workers — 20 males and 318 females — are employed. In recent months, the orders for shoe were thin and the purchase of raw materials was difficult, triggering to lay off the workers.
* Thai employers fear exodus of Burmese migrants:
The idea of Burmese migrant workers eventually returning to their home country as its economy improve is setting off alarms in Thailand, which depends on Burmese migrant labour in many industrial sectors.
In Trang Province in far south Thailand, leaders are predicting a looming labour shortage in the next few years, according to Trang’s Industry Council chairman Withee Supitak.
He told The Bangkok Post on Thursday: “Industry operators in Trang are worried that there will be a labour shortage crisis because they rely heavily on these migrant workers, especially in manufacturing.”
The industrial sector in the south formerly employed workers from northeastern Thailand, he said, but with more jobs there at the same income rate, fewer Thais are looking for jobs in the south. read more.
18:14:12 local time BANGLA DESH
* Textile mill catches fire:
A devastating fire gutted a huge quantity of garment accessories at a textile mills in Fatulla of Narayanganj yesterday.
Witnesses said the fire started from one of the rooms of Unicom Textile Mills around 9:00am and soon engulfed the entire factory.
On information, six units of fire fighters from Dhaka and Narayanganj rushed to the spot and doused the flames after two hours of arduous effort, said Abdul Matin, officer-in-charge of Fatulla Model Police Station.
Masudur Rahman, deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defence in Dhaka, said the fire might have originated from an electric short circuit.
None was injured in the incident as the mill remained closed due to weekly holiday.
Ashraf Uddin Dewan, chairman of the mill, said at least 75 weaving machines, readymade garments and other chemicals were burnt down in the fire. to read.
* BGMEA seeks special privileges:
Garment makers on Wednesday demanded for keeping the apparel sector out of the central bank’s new rules for loan classification, rescheduling and provisioning as the country’s highest foreign currency earning sector is passing through a critical time.
Bangladesh Bank issued two circulars on the rules of loan classification, rescheduling and provisioning on June 14 stating that an ongoing loan operation will be classified in the event of non-repayment of any installment within three months, instead of the six-month duration now in effect.
Term loans of five years have also been brought under the new regulation.
* Ration for garment workers yet to begin:
Allocating rice and other essential items for apparel workers through rationing system is yet to begin as the price of rice could not be fixed due to a discord between the garments owners and the government. The BGMEA, the platform of the apparel industry wants that the government provide rice to the garments workers at lower than Open Market Sales (OMS) price.
On the other hand, the government wants to give rice at the OMS price. Currently, the government is selling rice at the OMS at Tk 24 per kilo.
The BGMEA wants to get rice at Tk 18 per kg and sell it to the workers at Tk 20 per kg through dealers.
But the government does not want to lower the price fearing such decision might affect rice market. read more.
* Retrenchment of 900 garment workers protested:
Garments Sramik and Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha on Saturday denounced the retrenchment of over 900 workers of a garment factory by Sinha Group.
The workers were dismissed from a garment factory of the Group at Kanchpur in Narayanganj last week, according to a release of the organisation.
Addressing a meeting at its Topkhana Road office in the city, leaders of the organization alleged that the authority took the action against the workers accusing them of taking part in an agitation.
Chaired by Shafiqul Islam, coordinator of the Jatiya Mancha, the meeting decided to submit a memorandum to Labour Minister at 3pm on July 4 to press home their demands for wage hike of the workers and right to trade union.
Mancha leaders Abul Hossain, Abdul Wahed, Ragib Ahsan Munna, Tapan Saha and Shamima Athter Shirin attended the meeting. to read. & read more.
* RMG workers urge owners to stop illegal sacking, oppression:
Garment workers demanded a stop to the illegal sacking of labourers and oppression against them in garment factories following the recent unrest in the sector.
Workers made the demand on Friday at a rally organised by the Garment Workers Trade Union Centre in front of the National Press Club in the city.
Speakers alleged that garment factory authorities had been sacking labourers from their jobs without following rules and most sacked labourers are not receiving their payment.
Furthermore, factory owner’s men had been torturing labourers who take part in different agitatin movements, they alleged, adding that owners had been oppressing labourers as trade unionism was not permitted. read more.
* 2 held for ‘raping’ a garment worker:
Police arrested two youths for allegedly sexually assaulting a garment worker at Narikeltala Cross Dam in the city’s Bandar thana on Friday night.
The arrested were identified as Ershad and Abu Bakr.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Bandar thana Zahidul Islam said the victim, a female worker of Smart Jacket Limited at CEPZ, along with her husband went for a stroll in the area on Friday evening.
The couple was talking sitting beside a sluice gate at about 10pm when five miscreants appeared on the scene and tied her husband with a tree, said Zahidul.
Then the criminals took the woman to a nearby location where they violated her one after another.
On information, police rushed in and rescued the worker and her husband and arrested the duo from different areas in the city the same night.
Victim’s husband filed a case with thana. to read.
* World Bank is ‘corrupt’:
Corruption and lack of accountability make The World Bank, dubbed one of world’s most powerful institutions, one of the “most dysfunctional” in the world, says a report by one of world’s most respected publications.
Fingers have been pointed at the Bank’s immediate past President for failing to rein in the systemic slide. “No one, starting with outgoing President Robert Zoellick, has laid out an articulated vision for what the World Bank’s role is in the 21st century,” says Forbes magazine in a long and detailed report.
“It is an endlessly expanding virtual nation-state with supranational powers, a 2011 aid portfolio of $57 billion and little oversight by the governments that fund it,” says the magazine. read more.
17:44:12 local time INDIA
* Decision on Massimo Dutti’s India foray today (29e):
The world’s largest clothing retailer Inditex will know the fate of its year-old investment proposal for India at a Foreign Investment Promotion Board meeting on Friday.
The Spanish company had proposed a joint venture with Tata Group-owned Trent for apparel brand Massimo Dutti on July 18, 2011. But the government needed convincing on three counts: Massimo Dutti’s parentage, the intellectual property rights of its sub-brands, and whether the brand will be sold exclusively. read more.
* “Knitwear cluster lacks enlightened leadership”:
The Tirupur knitwear cluster lacks enlightened leadership which is one of the main reasons for the industry here to plunge into the lean phase through which it traverses now, according to S. Gurumurthy, renowned chartered accountant, corporate consultant, and columnist.
“Considering the inherent strengths possessed by the apparel production chain in Tirupur over the last few decades, no one can imagine that the cluster would have fallen into the predicament in its present form,” he said.
He appealed to the entrepreneurs to give strength to the industry leadership so that Tirupur as a cluster gets rejuvenated in the shortest possible time.
Mr. Gurumurthy was giving a special lecture here on Saturday.
He reminded that Tirupur got its name at the global level in the past not because of any individual successes but only as a region/cluster. to read.
* THE AHMEDABAD TEXTILE MILLS STRIKES:
* Textile workers’ agitation ends:
The more than three-week-old textile workers’ strike concluded as the impasse between striking laborers and mills ended. With textile companies accepting to take back the sacked workers, more than 6,000 striking labourers resumed work on Saturday.
On June 4, a group of 300 workers from denim maker Arvind’s Naroda plant went on strike demanding a 40 per cent wage hike. In a chain effect, another 4,000 workers from Ankur, Ashima and Asarawa textiles went on a strike. Arvind and Ashima termed the strike as illegal and around 400 workers were sacked. Later workers asked for an interim relief of Rs 1,600 per month till the wage hike issue is finalized.
17:14:12 local time PAKISTAN
* Readymade garment exports fetch US $1.2bn:
The exports of readymade garment industry has contributed US $ 1.2 billion to national kitty during last nine months of this year.
Though it showed a decline of 4.8 per cent as compared to same period during previous year when such exports brought US $ 1.3 billion precious foreign exchange, the government was adopting measures to achieve better results.
According to official figures, the garment industry provides highest value addition in the textile sector.
The industry consisted of small, medium and large scale units most of them having 50 machines and below.
Large units are now coming up in the organized sector of the industry. to read.
* Bearish trend prevails at cotton market:
Bearish trend prevailed at the Karachi cotton market with fine lint in focus and firm spot rate, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Thursday.
The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 6,100 per maund, floor brokers said.
They said buyers in Sindh and Punjab stations remained eager for fine lint during trading and bought lint on competitive prices at around Rs 6,000 per maund and Rs 6,250 per maund. read more.
* UN Teams Up With Fashion Industry To Fight Poverty, Aid Women And Children:
The United Nations has announced a partnership with the fashion industry to fight poverty and provide assistance to millions of women and children worldwide through the Fashion for Development (F4D) initiative.
“The fashion industry in the past several years has redefined how to market, how to brand, how to raise awareness and how to inspire others,” said Ray Chambers, a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocate at a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday. read more.