18:49:14 local time CHINA
* Adidas suppliers seek redress:
Chinese suppliers are calling on the clothes manufacturer Adidas AG to compensate them for the consequences of its decision to close the last factory it wholly owns on the mainland, saying that they might otherwise turn to the courts for assistance.
Adidas announced its plan to close the factory last week, saying it will shut down an apparel operation in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in an attempt to become more efficient by restructuring its business in China and the world. It also said it will terminate its contracts with five suppliers in the country.
Those companies have been working with Adidas for several years. In 2011, they delivered about 8 million garment pieces to Adidas, said Sun Yingli, general manager of Shanghai Manlang Textile Co Ltd, one of the suppliers.read more & read more.
* Non-state Chinese companies set up labor unions:
Most non-state enterprises in China have set up labor unions, a trade union organization said Monday.
About 3.44 million, or 82.73 percent, of private and foreign-funded companies in China had established labor unions as of the end of June, Wang Yupu, vice-president of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, said at a Monday meeting.
In the first half of the year, 99.29 million, or 72.95 percent, of the companies’ staff joined the labor unions, Wang said. read more.
* Doubts remain after official investigation labels Li Wangyang’s death suicide:
The head of the Communist Party in Hunan has told reporters from Hong Kong that an investigation into the suspicious death of veteran labour activist Li Wangyang in early June had concluded that Li took his own life, the South China Morning Post reported today.
Provincial Party Secretary, Zhou Qiang, claimed the investigation had been conducted by a wide range of forensic, criminal and legal experts and that “the fact that Li committed suicide is crystal clear with verified evidence.”
Zhou claimed that Li’s family accepted the verdict (released on 12 July) but this has not been confirmed because his family and their supporters have been threatened by the authorities, kept under house arrest or disappeared soon after their campaign for justice was launched.
Until all of Li’s family and wide group of supporters are released and allowed to freely express their opinion on the investigation, it is unlikely that many independent observers will accept the report’s findings. Moreover, there are several important questions that the investigation did not even consider such as how Li, 62, ended up virtually deaf and blind and in a very fragile physical state after spending two decades in jail. read more.
* Chinese labor costs remain advantages:
Although labor costs in China are gradually losing their advantage, the advantage will still remain for a period of time, reported People’s Daily Overseas Edition on Tuesday.
Surging labor costs in China have placed pressure on some foreign corporations and commerce organizations, leading them to consider moving factories to lower wage countries in Southeast Asia.
According to the report, research conducted by Natixis, the corporate, investment management and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, predicted that labor costs in China will overtake the United States in the next four years, catch up to euro-zone countries within the next five years and keep pace with Japan in seven years.
Xu Hongcai, vice minister of the Information Department of China Center For International Economic Exchanges, pointed out that inflation has caused a rise in living costs, and with China’s global economic integration, Chinese wage levels have also geared to international standards. These factors have also contributed to the rise in labor costs in China. read more.
17:49:14 local time VIET NAM
* Economy pushes workers to strike out:
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that now was the time for enterprises to give more incentives to workers and shun potential strikes.
“Strikes are often seen in enterprises offering low salaries and allowances, especially amid many enterprises trying to cut production costs,” Vinh said.
On July 20, nearly 1,000 workers from Taiwanese-backed footwear maker Cu Bach Company in northern Haiphong port city launched a strike demanding a pay rise and removal of severe working conditions. After the strike, the company’s leaders vowed to meet the workers’ demand.
In another case, hundreds of workers from British-backed jewellery presentation box maker Hanoi International Packaging Corporation in Hanoi’s Ha Dong town launched a two-day strike in mid-July. The strike came after one female worker fell ill, but the company’s leaders did not allow a rest. Also workers enjoyed no allowances and meager salaries.
Also, on June 7 workers fromCanon Vietnam Company in Hanoi’s Thang Long Industrial Park demanded a bigger pay rise and a reduction in working hours. As a result, workers’ some requirements were met, with the monthly salary raised from VND2.45 million ($117.7) to VND2.7 million ($129.8) and allowance tripled from VND50,000 ($2.4) per month.
On June 6, hundreds of workers from Vietnam-Britain Dacotex Garment Export factory in central Quang Nam province’s Chu Lai Economic Zone went on strike to protest the factory’s salary reductions. Meanwhile, workers had to work overtime with low salary and without social insurance packages. read more.
* Footwear sector gaining ground:
Despite the impact of global economic downturn, the footwear sector has grown strongly over the past five years with the export volumes of shoes rising 163 percent and bags 205 percent.
The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) reports that of the sector’s total exports by the end of 2011, 47.5 percent went to the EU market, 28.2 percent to the US, 3.2 percent to Japan and 21.1 percent to other markets.
The sector is expected to become one of the nation’s key exporters.
Experts say Vietnam’s signing several free trade agreements, such as the FTA and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open up more opportunities for the footwear sector. Currently, Vietnam is placed behind Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India in the list of key footwear producers.
The high quality of Vietnamese footwear is proven through well-known international trademarks such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Bata and Fila.
In recent years, the local footwear industry has successfully concerned the domestic market with its annual sales reaching 60-65 million pairs of shoes to meet half of the local consumer demand. It has a plan to gain more ground as some brand names, such as Timberland, Nike, Adidas and Nine West, have opened retail shops in Vietnam. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/8 (7th item).
17:49:14 local time THAILAND
* UTCC: Wage hike hurts textile industry:
The government’s 300 baht daily wage policy has hurt the textile industry and many businesses are being forced to move their factories to neighbouring countries, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTTC) reported on Tuesday.
Kiatanant Luankaew, director of the UTTC’s research centre said the wage policy already enforced in the provinces of Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom and Phuket is hurting manufacturers in those areas.
Several factories in the Northeast were now forced to either cut the size of their workforce or move to a neighbouring country to cut labour costs, he said.
Small and medium sized enterprises in small provinces were also facing a problem of labour shortages as workers move to bigger provinces to get the higher daily wage, he added.
About 130,000 SMEs would be forced to close down and another 50,000 were now in a critical situation, due to the wage hike policy. About 500,000 to 1,000,000 workers would be laid off as a result, Mr Kiatanant said. read more.
* Year’s export growth could be just 5.9%:
The value of Thai exports is predicted to grow by as little as 5.9 per cent this year, according to a joint study by the Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) and Chulalongkorn University.
The study has come up with the lowest projection among a number of major agencies and institutions as the impact of the euro-zone crisis creates the spectre of a domino effect on all export markets.
It also showed Thailand would face a serious year-on-year export contraction of 2.7 per cent in the current quarter, following zero growth in the second quarter. Slower exports have a direct impact on the Kingdom’s economic growth, as overseas shipments account for more than 65 per cent of gross domestic product.
Exports of textiles and garments will decline more sharply than previously expected, falling by 12-15 per cent this year due mainly to the EU crisis, he said. read more.
17:49:14 local time CAMBODIA
* Labour union turns to new online database:
The Cambodian Labour Confederation will use a new online database to aggregate collective bargaining agreements and compare average wages between unions by 2013.
Prake.org, funded by both Wage Indicator and The National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands(CNV), launched early this year.
The online database offers data sets on minimum wages across various sectors in Cambodia. It also provides information on Cambodian labour law.
“We aim to keep Prake.org an objective website that presents updated, regular information on wages,” said Dannet Liv, the coordinator of Prake.org and Research Manager at Cambodia Institute of Development Study.
“The CLC is an important content provider, and the next stage for us is to have a database that collects and shares the contracts that the CLC provides us with,” Liv added.
Liv said that with a data set on collective bargaining agreements, policy makers will be able to see which unions are netting higher wages for their members. read more.
* Workers in their 70s in factory trap:
Union representatives have appealed to Social, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation Affairs minister Ith Sam Heng to pull 18 elderly garment workers from a formerly state-owned Kampong Cham factory and remunerate them with pensions.
In a letter sent yesterday, Free Trade Union representatives asked Heng to order the release of the Manhattan factory workers following the death of their 72-year-old colleague on July 22, whose family received just $100 in compensation from the company.
The aged workers were state textile workers for the Ambel village garment factory, which was privatised as Manhattan factory in 1999 and is not required to pay pensions under labour laws.read more.
* ILO, Ministry of Labor launch ‘decent work’ initiative:
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced Monday the launch of a “decent work profile” for Cambodia.
A joint statement said Cambodia was one of nine countries implementing the Monitoring and Assessing Progress of Decent Work (MAP) Project, funded by the European Union.
“It is hoped that relevant actors, including the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, can take stock of the progress made in Cambodia since the early 2000s, and identify the remaining challenges and develop required policies and implementation,” a statement said. read more.
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
18:49:14 local time INDONESIA
* MARKET MOVING: Eratex Djaja obtains subsidy from Govt:
PT Eratex Djaja Tbk, a garment producer and exporter, is optimistic that the company’s performance will increase since it has been selected to receive subsidy from the Ministry of Commerce.
Such achievement will help the company to achieve more orders with diverse variations, Eratex Djaja Corporate Secretary Juliarti Pudji K said. The provision is stipulated in the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 123 -/MIND / PER /II -/2010.
“The replacement of machinery will help the company to achieve more orders with different types of product. It will fill up the production capacity that has increased 48% from the same period in 2011,” he said Monday (7/30/2012). read more.
16:49:14 local time BANGLA DESH
* Garment makers move to right labour wrongs:
Against the background of growing concern over labour rights violation in Bangladesh, garment makers yesterday said they had taken the issue seriously and started to improve work environment and maintain compliance in factories.
They said garment makers have already engaged the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) “Better Work Programme” to ensure labour rights. An international expert is now designing a framework of the programme.
Many factories have graduated participatory committees to take better care of workers. The participatory committees had the equal facilities of a trade union, said factory owners at a discussion with The Daily Star at the newspaper’s office in the capital.
The garment makers also demanded fair and quick investigation into the murder of Aminul Islam, labour leader of Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity. Recently, different rights groups and the US ambassador to Bangladesh have demanded a rapid investigation into the killing. read more.
* Ashulia unrest baffles garment makers:
A 10-day shutdown of garment factories in the wake of labour unrest in Ashulia in June dented the country’s image as one of world’s leading readymade garment exporters, industry people said yesterday.
They are at loss over the repeated labour unrest at the garment factories in Ashulia, although they strictly maintained labour standards and reasonably remunerating the workers.
“We even pay festival bonuses which are not covered by the labour laws,” said one garment owner, citing the rarity of unrests in other industrial belts, particularly Gazipur.
The Ashulia garment owners suspect there is an influential group with vested interests behind the unrest. A lawmaker is accused of having a hand in the violence.
Their comments came at a discussion with The Daily Star at the newspaper’s office in the capital.
“During the unrest, many buyers threatened to shift their order to other countries,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). read more.
* SKOP for workers payment before Ramadan 20:
Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad, an umbrella group of labour rights bodies demanded the payment of wages and festival allowance for all privately owned mills and factory workers including the readymade garments sector before Ramadan 20.
The SKOP leaders made the demand on Tuesday at a human chain in front of the National Press Club.
They also demanded an amendment to the labour law in light of the International Labour Organisation convention 87 and 98, revising the national minimum wage, implementing the rationing of food and other essential items, ensuring low cost transport and treatment facilities and 30 per cent dearness allowance. read more.
* Factories terminating workers ahead of Eid- Labour rights groups:
Some RMG factory owners are terminating workers to avoid giving bonus before the Eid-ul-Fitr, workers’ leaders said on Tuesday.
Addressing a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club, they claimed that more than 5,000 workers have been terminated from their jobs in several factories in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Savar and Ashulia since July.
Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad’s coordinator Mahbubur Rahman Ismail said only a few of the factories are reportedly giving the bonus to the workers until now, but the workers are getting much less than the amount they deserve.
Workers in some other factories are fearing that the bonus will be given only one or two days prior to the Eid, he added. read more.
* New BB rules feared to raise loan defaulters:
Textile millers have urged the central bank not to implement new loan classification, provisioning and rescheduling rules, fearing it would increase the number of loan defaulters.
The central bank in a circular on July 14, 2012 has tightened its loan classification, provisioning and rescheduling policies aiming to ensure efficient and effective credit management in the banking sector.
The industry leaders in a recent letter to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor wrote: “The number of loan defaulters will increase after implementation of the circular as after the sudden ups and down of cotton price in the international market in 2010, most of the millers failed to repay bank’s installments but are trying to refund through different types of adjustments.” read more.
* Dyeing plant fined for pollution:
Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a textile dyeing factory in Gazipur for polluting the river Turag with untreated toxic effluent.
AMC Knit Composite had been operating without environmental clearance since 2008 in Mohna Bhabanipur, said a DoE press release.
Mohammad Munir Chowdhury, director of DoE, handed down the fine of Tk 31 lakh and said the factory had so far released 9.60 crore litres of effluent into the river and destroyed its aquatic life. read more.
* Generation Next IPO gets green light:
The Securities and Exchange yesterday approved the IPO application of Generation Next Fashions Ltd to raise Tk 30 crore from public.
Generation Next hopes to raise the sum through three crore ordinary shares at Tk 10 each using the fixed price method.
The textile maker, whose earnings-per share was Tk 2.09 as of December 2011, will use the IPO proceeds for loan repayment and business expansion. read more.
* Flamingo selects Oracle E-Business Suite:
Flamingo Fashions Ltd., a business unit of DBL group and one of the largest knit garments manufacturers and exporters in Bangladesh, has selected the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 to help integrate their business processes across several business units, enabling them to obtain real-time information and to make quicker business decisions, said a press release
With the help of the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1, management will now have a complete 360 degree view of real time information, enabling them to have instant insight into financial reports helping Flamingo Fashions to better manage assets, inventory and workforce, while making informed decisions. read more.
16:19:14 local time INDIA
* Power failure hits industries:
Even as distribution companies scrambled to restore power in the district after the failure of the Northern Grid, industrial areas bore the maximum brunt of power outages.
After power was restored at 10.30am, residential sectors continued to have intermittent outages throughout the day even as supply increased to around 300 MW by 2pm.
Supply was restored to industries around 11.30am, but was shut down an hour later. The possibility of early restoration of power to industries turned bleak when Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) held a review meeting in the afternoon and decided to suspend supply to industries till the grid became fully operational. The review meeting was held after supply touched 400MW in Noida by late afternoon against a total demand of 800MW.
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* Not again, cries Ludhiana on power cut:
Even before the city could come to terms with the northern grid-spurred blackout, Tuesday brought the agonizing memories back a tad too soon as electricity supply remained disrupted yet again till late evening.
While this reminded Gurdev Nagar’s Manpreet Singh of stories about powerless days that he had heard from his grandparents, BRS Nagar’s Archana Sharma thought the blackout had catapulted them back to pre-Independence era.
The chief engineer of PSPCL, Ludhiana, K L Sharma, had no encouraging words to offer. “We were yet to come to terms with the earlier problem… but things just went worse. We have been told that some power is being released by the BBMB. But I can’t comment on when things will normalize,” he told TOI.
With the snapping of power supply, residents had to face problems like insufficient water supply and disrupted rail schedule. read more.
* India takes the lead in national standards for organic textiles:
India has become the first country in the world to introduce national standards for organic textiles.
This follows the Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, on Monday launching the “Indian Standards for Organic Textiles” (ISOT). The standards will be introduced in the National Standards for Organic Production (NPOP) and will be administered by the Commerce and Industry Ministry as part of the Foreign Trade Policy, an official statement said.
There are over 1,000 branded organic products produced in India and each one is backed up with certification and traceability. Last year, India supplied certified organic products worth Rs 1,866 crore to Europe, Asia and the US, Mr Sharma said. “The NPOP includes norms for organic production and processing of agriculture crops and certification standards.read more.
* Apparel units go lean to beat order slump:
European apparel importers have reduced the order-to-delivery time from 12 -15 weeks to 7-8 weeks in order to avoid creation of inventory.
This has forced Indian apparel units to opt for ‘lean manufacturing mechanism’ pioneered by automobile giant Toyota. They are getting rid off migrant labourers and are using local workers to deliver orders at the shortest possible time. These initiatives have enabled textiles units to increase efficiency at the shop level from 45% to 60% and maintain margins in tough times.
‘Lean’ is a production practice that considers expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end-customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Gautam Nair, owner of Matrix Clothing, said: “We have already opted for this type of production, which has improved our efficiency and eliminated wastage.” read more.
* Arvind eyes Debenhams, Next’s business:
Arvind’s Sanjay Lalbhai may acquire the operating stores and rights of British fashion retailers Next and Debenhams from Planet Retail, triggering another retail industry consolidation , said two sources directly familiar with the developments.
Arvind’s wholly owned subsidiary Arvind Lifestyle Brands is holding advanced talks to buy a large portfolio of retail assets, including Nautica stores, from Planet Retail. “Arvind is doing due diligence to takeover operations of Next, Debenhams and Nautica, and a deal could be clinched shortly,” said one of the sources mentioned earlier.
Lalbhai’s move follows Aditya Birla’s decision to buy department store chain Pantaloons and Reliance Retail’s continuing strategy of striking partnerships with a slew of international fashion brands. Arvind would gain control over high-street brands providing fresh impetus to its fashion and retailing business , which brought in more than Rs 1,200-crore revenue in FY12.
Arvind Lifestyle Brands owns value retail chain Megamart and a slew of international and local brands, such as Gant, Arrow , US Polo, Elle and Flying Machine. It also holds a 50% stake in Tommy Hilfiger’s India unit. read more.
* Cotton prices seen steady, mills buying more from overseas:
Cotton prices in India are likely to remain steady this week as higher imports by mills could offset declining local supplies amid concerns over next season’s output as scanty rains trim acreage.
“Prices in overseas market are low so mills are buying from there and it could provide some stability to rising cotton prices,” said Ritesh Agrawal, a trader based in Kolkata.
Tight domestic supplies of cotton and lower prices abroad have prompted Indian textile mills to ramp up imports, which are likely to treble in the year ending Sept. 30, 2012, industry officials said on Thursday.
Most of the imports are from African countries, Australia and Brazil, dealers said.
* Ludhiana apparel makers share woes with Textiles Secretary:
* Garment Buyers & Sellers Meet in Kolkata – great success:
West Bengal Garment Manufacturers and Dealers Association organised a 3-Day long Garment Buyers and Sellers Meet from 18th to 20th July, 2012 at Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra, Kolkata.
Shri Madan Mitra, Hon’ble Minister of State for Sports and Transport (Independent Charge), Government of West Bengal inaugurated the 39th Garment Buyers and Sellers Meet.
Inaugurating the Meet, the Minister stated that the State Government has been considering the feasibility converting unutilized tram depots to Multiplex where garment dealers will also be accommodated which will help increased channels for marketing readymade garments. read more.
16:19:14 local time SRI LANKA
* South Asia Textiles awarded WRAP (Gold) Certification:
South Asia Textiles Industries Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. (SATL), received the prestigious Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification with their compliance to the 12 WRAP principles recently. The WRAP certification comes months after SATL was awarded the GOTS certification which is the leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers worldwide.It defines the high level environmental criteria along the entire supply chain of organic textiles.
WRAP is a voluntary social compliance programme focusing mainly on the apparel, footwear and sewn products sectors, and is the world’s largest facility certification program. Facilities receive a certification of six months to one year based on compliance with the 12 WRAP Principles. The WRAP Principles are derived from generally accepted international workplace standards, local laws and workplace regulations which encompass human resources management, health and safety, environmental practices, and legal compliance including import/export and customs compliance and security standards. This is the third year that SATL has received this accreditation and are proud to be re-certified this year with a Gold award for the first time. The certification is valid for a period of one year upto June 2013.
South Asia Textile Industries Lanka (pvt) Ltd. was established in April 2004 as a Board of Investment company and offers a wide array of value additions such as fabric printing, brushing, sueding to compliment their core activities of knitting, dyeing and finishing of weft knitted fabric. read more.
15:49:14 local time PAKISTAN
* SBP refuses to give permission to export cotton:
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has refused to give exporters permission to export cotton, sources in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) said on Monday.
According to SBP, it has not received any information from TDAP to continue export of cotton from the country.
It is said the export permission for cotton expired on June 30, 2012, which was for three years.
Sources said the decision to allow export of cotton would be decided on acceptance of new policy by the ministries of commerce and textile and approval by the concerned departments.
The lint exporters in this context expressed their concern saying why cotton yarn was being exported, which also falls under the same ambit. read more.
* Cotton market: buying by mills improves amid easy phutti supply:
Mills’ buying improved on the cotton market on Monday amid easy supply of phutti due to favourable weather condition, dealers said.
The official spot rate was unchanged at Rs 5600, they said. In the ready business around 12,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 5625-5850, they said.
Fall in Phutti arrivals pushed up rates Sharply as the prices of seedscotton in Sindh low type was at Rs 2625 and best quality was higher by Rs 50 to Rs 2675, in the Punjab rates were at Rs 2500 2600, they added. Market sources said that mills are busy in hectic cotton buying as they are trying to get better quality of cotton at the cheap rate. read more.
* Steep fall witnessed in bedwear export:
A steep fall has been witnessed in the export of bedwear from $2.1 billion to $1.49 billion, ie about $600 million less as compared to last year, Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association, Chairman, Shabir Ahmed, quoting official figures said here on Monday.
“We regret to note that the export of bedwear has gone down in terms of quantity by about 16% and in value terms by about 28%,” he said adding “We have been screaming during the year that we are loosing our valuable markets and unemployment is rising in the country but our deafening demands went unheard.” The export of bedwear had touched $2.1 billion mark in 2006 when there was no increase in cotton prices.read more.