in the news on-line, 5 august 2012

08:08:27 local time map of china CHINA

* Job market in China tightens once more:

 The job market in China, particularly in the more economically developed eastern provinces, contracted noticeably in the second quarter of this year. According to the latest labour market survey published by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China’s eastern region saw the number of job applicants increase by 132,000 in the second quarter, while the number of job vacancies only increased by 5,000 compared with the first quarter.

The survey indicated that there was still a national over-supply of jobs but that the gap between the number of jobs offered and the number of job seekers was narrowing. In the second quarter there were 6.33 million vacancies compared with 6.04 million applicants.

Workers in the eastern coastal provinces continue to lose their jobs as the manufacturing sector suffers from a downturn in orders. A worker at Zhejiang’s Hikvision, one of the world’s biggest video surveillance products suppliers, said the purchasing department had already let go three or four staff out of 40 people in total, while several others had been demoted. read more.

* Mascot maker feels pinch of rising labor costs:

Gu Feng, whose company has made around 500,000 sets of Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 Olympic Games mascots, is worried as he looks ahead to the 2016 Games in Brazil.

The 55-year-old chairman of Yancheng Rainbow Arts and Crafts Co in East China’s Jiangsu province said his plant is under pressure because of workers’ pay rises and the depreciation of the US dollar.
Although this should be the peak season for selling toys, Gu’s plant is not busy because of a shortage of new orders – except for the Olympic ones. read more.

07:08:27 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment firms snug amid surrounding crisis:

The total export value of Ho Chi Minh City-based Nha Be Garment (NBC) hiked 20 per cent on-year in the first seven months of 2012, exceeding $240 million. Its pre-tax profits reached VND32 billion ($1.5 million) in the first six months.

The company’s success came from flexible management, a comprehensive suite of cost-saving measures ranging from materials to power, initiatives application to boost labour productivity and most importantly, its continued focus on producing items under FOB term, said NBC chairman Pham Phu Cuong.
Producing FOB items requires greater energy from firms who take charge of sourcing materials and producing items using designs either created by themselves or provided by the foreign partners depend on contract terms, thus enhancing their product added value.

NBC pilots a specific FOB division directly managed by foreign experts. The division came into existence two years ago and was considered as a breakthrough in the corporation development to help it gain high profits.

“Right in crisis time, NBC has developed a cost-worthy information system about export and domestic market to serve its development as well as share with other companies in the sector,” said Cuong.
Besides traditional markets, Nha Be took bold steps to break into new markets. In early 2012 in the face of falling export demands it stepped into Russian market through joining international garment sector trade fairs to source partners.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/8. (17th item)

* Cash-strapped firms get tax relief:

The Song Da Garment Co generates about 400 jobs in the central province of Hoa Binh. The garment industry is one of several to enjoy a corporate income tax reduction. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

Struggling enteprises and household businesses will officially enjoy corporate income tax breaks when the Government announces a decree on the implementation of new tax policies.

Under the decree, the Government will slash corporate income tax in 2012 by 30 per cent for small and medium-sized enterprises, not including those operating in the fields of property, securities, finance, banking, insurance and commodity production.

The Government will also reduce corporate income tax by 30 per cent for businesses that employ more than 300 people involved in production, processing, agriculture, fisheries, garments and textiles, and electrical accessories.
The decree will also apply to VAT and personal income tax for household businesses or individuals that run guest houses and lease rooms to workers, labourers and students, as well as those that provide childcare services and supply daily rations for workers. read more.

* Textile exports to China rise significantly this year:

The textile and garment export turnover to China in the first seven months of this year reached over US$100 million, up 41 per cent compared to the same period last year, reports the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association.

Fibre export turnover also increased 27 per cent to $289 million. to read.

08:08:27 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* V.K. Agarwal- Emphasizing a collaborative environment and quality:

Building a collaborative work environment and focusing on quality in every aspect of performance are both important parts of a company’s growth.

“My first challenge was to manage a multicultural staff and to lead them with a common vision in a collaborative work environment,” said V.K. Agarwal, managing director of PT Embee Plumbon Textiles.
Agarwal took over the wholly Indonesian company in 1999, during the dark days of the economic crisis, and transformed it into a successful enterprise. The textile factory has since grown from 500 to 1,500 employees, with an annual turnover of US$150 million.

Today, the firm is representative of its international focus with a multinational staff.
His determination and attitude of leading by example has been instrumental in the company’s explosive growth.
Armed with a textile engineering degree gained in 1976, Agarwal started on the shop floor in various green field projects, and has since accumulated over 34 years’ experience in the industry. read more.

* Labor inspectors needed for law enforcement:

The West Java administration blamed a lack of labor inspectors for its difficulties in imposing sanctions on companies that fail to register their workers with the state-owned insurance company, PT Jamsostek.

Under the 1992 Social Security Program Law, companies with a minimum of ten workers or that pay at least Rp 1 million (US$106) in monthly salaries to their workforce are required to register their workers with Jamsostek.
The insurance offers health care, occupational accident and death benefit plans to employees. read more.

* Better Work Indonesia- Media Updates:

1. Labor inspectors needed for law enforcement
2. Inflation increases, but still within market expectations
3. Discussion of workers retirement security have not touch the substance
4. Breast-Feeding Boost Sought In Regulation
5. Union: CONFLICT OF WORKERS: The two KSPSI parties held a    reconciliation
6. Workers Opens THR Complaint Posts
7. Employers obligated to pay Id-ul-Fitr allowance: Apindo
read more.

* Minister tells employers to pay bonus on time:

Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar has asked all employers to pay the Idul Fitri bonus on time so that workers can celebrate the upcoming Islamic holiday with relatives in their hometowns.

The minister also instructed the heads of regional administrations to ensure that workers received their pay before the holiday.
According to Ministerial Decree No. 4/1994, paying religious allowances, including the Idul Fitri bonus, is compulsory for all companies, NGOs and foundations.
read more.

06:38:27 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* US extends import sanctions for three years:

The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend a ban on Burmese imported goods and other sanctions for three years and to renew the White House’s authority to waive the restriction if the country continues to make political and economic reforms. The Senate is expected to approve the same authorization and send it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. In the House, the measure was unanimously approved.

Earlier, Burmese officials said the US should remove all sanctions in order to help the government in its restructuring of the country, involving everything from releasing hundreds of political prisoners, granting workers’ rights, rewriting foreign investment laws, reorganizing banks and the monetary system, and removing some media restrictions. read more.

06:08:27 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* RMG exports to US witness negative growth last fiscal:

Ready-made garment (RGM) export earnings from the USA, the largest export destination for Bangladeshi garments, witnessed a negative growth in the last financial year (2011-12), although the sector achieved 0.85 per cent growth during the previous fiscal (2010-11), said an official data.

According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the US market in the just ended fiscal year was $4.553 billion, which was $ 4.63 billion during the same period of the fiscal 2010-11, declining by $10 billion.

“Currently the economic condition is not better in the USA. So, the demand for RMG items has been falling in that country,” Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof. Mustafizur Rahman told the FE on Saturday.
He advised the government to make the diplomatic missions of Bangladesh abroad more active to boost the country’s exports. read more.

* State-run jute-mills’ profit plunges again in FY12:

Profit of most of the state-run jute-mills nosedived again in the just concluded fiscal year (FY) 2011-12, statistics show.

Out of the 18 jute-mills, run by the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), only six could earn profit in the FY12, against nine mills in the previous fiscal.
The mills which could earn profit in 2011-12 were: Latif Bawani Jute Mills, Jatiya Jute Mills, Rajshahi Jute Mills, Gul Ahmed Jute Mills, Bangladesh Jute Mills, and Khalishpur Jute Mills.
The BJMC officials said rest of the jute-mills incurred significant loss in the just concluded fiscal, but declined to disclose the amount of more.

* Jute growers, traders ‘to see good days after Eid’:

Though the agriculture officials as well as jute goods manufacturers have predicted a reasonable rise in jute price due to 20-30 per cent fall in its supply this year, the farmers will have to wait for the Eid festival to pass by to see the promised price of their produces, said market analysts and insiders in jute trade.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) director Shamsul Haque told UNB that jute prices at farmers’ level will tentatively rise this year as the demand for the mills is getting higher amid the fall in cultivation.
BJMC general manager (raw jute purchase) Md Hanif said public jute mills have so far purchased 30,931 bales of jute, mostly the cross-grade, at the average rate of Tk 1,285 per mound between July 1 and 31.
“Jute purchase has only begun, and most of the targeted purchase of 12.24 lakh bales will be done after the Eid,” he said. read more.

* Garment waste warehouses burnt in city:

A blazing fire burned down eight warehouses where garment waste was stored at the capital’s Mirpur early Saturday.
No casualty was reported.
Fire service and civil defence head quarter’s duty officer Nilufar Yasmin said the fire broke out about 1:00am, seemingly from a short circuit in the warehouses of an apparel factory on Road-1 of Mirpur Section-13 under the Kafrul police.
Eight fire fighting units from different stations rushed to the spot and put out the flames about 4:00am.
Three CNG-run auto-rickshaws were also destroyed in the fire, the duty officer said.
to read.

* BGMEA Gorbo’12 music contest begins Sunday:

The music contest, ‘BGMEA Gorbo-2012’, with the participation of garment workers will formally be inaugurated here on Sunday.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith will be present as the chief guest at the inaugural session to be held at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel.
Commerce Minister GM Quader, US Ambassador Dan Mozena, diplomats of other countries, economists and civil society members will also be present.

A CD of songs titled ‘Amader Gaan’ sung by the 10 best singers of Gorbo-2010 will also be released at the function that will begin at 4pm.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TV programme-producer Matra to organise the music contest ‘Gorbo-2012.’ read more.

05:38:27 local time map of india INDIA

* Arvind hikes workers’ wages by 27%:

Following the decision taken on August 1 2012, by the Ahmedabad Textile Mills’ Association (ATMA) and Textile Labour Association (TLA) to undertake wage settlements bilaterally between TLA and respective textile mills, Arvind Limited has now entered into a wage settlement agreement with TLA.

As per the agreement, the wages of workers will go up by about Rs 1935 per month effective from July 1, 2012, resulting in an average increase of 27 per cent. Commenting on this wage settlement, Jayesh Shah, Director & CFO said, “We are very pleased that we could settle the wage increase issue in 48 hours after ATMA’s decision to let each unit negotiate its own package. read more.

* US clothing brands make hay in India’s online gray market:

While India’s politicians dither over rules allowing foreign retailers into the country, some online stores are already selling discounted clothing from companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co that have yet to officially enter the market.

Homegrown start-ups including,,,, and HomeShop 18 — which is eyeing a US initial public offering — are introducing India’s growing middle class to mid-market US brands, at discounts of more than 50 per cent.

None of these US chains have opened stores in India, and they have no official licensees. Abercrombie and American Eagle said Indian websites were not authorised to sell their products.

“Our brands do not have any authorised third party websites anywhere in the world; all of our stores and official websites are owned and operated by A&F directly – we do not license or franchise our front-line sales,” Abercrombie said. read more.

* Adidas to invest 70 million euros in Reebok India:

German sportswear maker Adidas said it will stick to its 70-million (Rs 476 crore) plan to shore up Reebok India after reporting 26% slide in Reebok’s second quarter global sales primarily due to alleged irregularities in India.

“While the issue is unpleasant, we will achieve our goal and set Reebok up for a fresh start in India in 2013,” Adidas AG Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told reporters in Frankfurt on Thursday after announcing the results for the April-June quarter.

Adidas reported 18% jump in net earnings to 165 million euros (about Rs 1,123 crore) in the second quarter, helped by its sponsorship of the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football more.

* Apparel exports decline 10.5% in June:

The US and Europe together account for about 65% of India’s total garment exports

India’s garment exports declined by 10.5% year-on-year to $1.1 billion in June due to weak demand in the US and European markets.
The exports stood at $2 billion in the same period last fiscal, according to the data provided by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC). read more.

* Polyester saris to get costlier as input costs rise:

The low cost nine-yard wonder manufactured in Surat may soon get costlier for the women from the lower and lower middle class families in the country. Textile traders dealing in polyester saris are set to increase the wholesale prices by around 25 per cent to match the increase in the manufacturing cost of the polyester fabric resulting from the steep rise in the prices of yarn, natural gas, chemicals, coal, etc.

This means that saris presently costing Rs 150 per piece in the wholesale market in the city will now be sold at Rs 190. And the same sari on reaching the retail shops across the country would be sold at the prices ranging between Rs 300 and Rs 350.

The textile sector in Surat is the biggest manufacturer of cheap polyester saris ranging from Rs 80 to Rs 150 for which there is a huge demand from the lower and lower middle class families from different states, mainly Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa. read more.

* Market for technical textiles to grow rapidly:

The market for technical textiles is expected to grow faster than its current level during the next five years.

Inaugurating a two-day conference on “Industrial Textiles – Products, Applications, and Prospects” organised by the PSG College of Technology and the Office of the Textile Commissioner here on Friday, Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Textiles, said the market for technical textiles was about Rs. 57,000 crore now. The current annual growth of 11 per cent was expected to increase to 20 per cent during the next five years.

Industrial textiles, which were part of technical textiles, had grown at almost 12 per cent this year. Nearly 34 per cent of industrial textile production was exported. The exporting industrial textile units were located mainly in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. read more.

* Textile processors to shut their units once in a week:

Following the directions from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to the polluting units in and around the district to shut down operation for one day in a week, the dyeing and printing mills have started observing a day’s closure in a week.

Sources said that the GPCB has directed the polluting units like dyeing and printing and chemical units in the city and district to shut their operations one day in a week in order to reduce the burden of treating the effluent at the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in the industrial areas in the city.

The big industrial estates in Pandesara, Sachin and Palsana, which houses the dyeing and printing mills and the chemical units, are having the CETPs. Usually, the CETPs have the capacity to treat effluent water in the range of 90-95 million liters per day (MLD). At present, the CETPs have started getting more than 100 MLD untreated water due to the increase in the production following the start of the festive season. read more.

* Cooperate to compete in the market, Salem industrialists told:

With textile industry obsessed with many problems, the need for stable yarn pricing, cluster development initiative, and plan of action to mitigate risk were the issues discussed during a session on ‘Sustainable Growth for Salem Textile Industry – A Road Map’, held here on Saturday.

Organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Salem District, panelists spoke on topics ranging from creating an identity for industries and taking initiatives to tap the potential market here.
A. Alagarasan, Mentor, Textile Panel, CII Salem District called for fixing of yarn price every six months, as spinning mills were the worst affected due to regular price rise of yarn.
“Buyers seek constant pricing and we can compete globally only if our prices are competitive,” he added.
S.V. Arumugam, Past Chairman, CII Coimbatore Zone called for fixing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for yarn as fixed for cotton. “Government should bring policy accepted by spinning mills,” he added. read more.

* Proposal for reviving handloom sector:

Under the Revival, Reform and Restructuring package for handloom sector, Tamil Nadu has tentatively submitted a proposal for Rs. 548 crore to the Centre, of which the State government share would be Rs. 107 crore, S. Nagaraj, Joint Director (Textiles), Department of Handloom and Textiles, Government of Tamil Nadu, said here on Saturday.

Speaking at a session on ‘Sustainable Growth for Salem Textile Industry – A Road Map’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Nagaraj said that the scheme aims at providing assistance to meet overdue of loans, re-capitalisation of Handloom Weavers’ Societies, individual weavers and women self-help groups as both the Central and State governments would support the scheme. read more.

* India to modernise textile mills in Sri Lanka:

India will work with Sri Lanka for the modernisation of closed textile mills, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma announced here on Saturday. It would also establish manufacturing units in apparel and textiles sector.

Briefing journalists here, Mr. Sharma said that this had come up during his meeting with Sri Lankan Minister for Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.
“Sri Lanka imports yarn and fabrics from India. We feel that cooperation in the textiles sector is very important from the perspective of both the countries as a major component of the economic component,’ he said.
A delegation of leading industrialists in the textile sector will visit Sri Lanka “in the first half of September,” to engage with both officials and captains of industry here.
read more.

05:38:27 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Recognizing unsung heroines of economy:

It took me a visit to a friend who runs a small garment supplying company, to realize just how advanced the Sri Lankan garment industry is.

She had connections , almost all of them women, to those who supplied design, sampling, cutting, sewing, ironing, washing, accessories and just about everything else that went hand in hand to complete an international class garment manufacturing process. The finished product was a world- class garment, one we could all be proud of.
Which brings me to the topic today. Our unsung heroines who toil behind their Juki machines, a derogatory term also used to address these women as “Juki kello”, and other women who keep the giant wheels of the garment industry in motion, deserve more credit than what merely meets the eye.

Deeply woven
The female garment workers have today become an institution deeply woven into the Sri Lankan identity. They are deeply rooted in the mainstream culture, mainly because their ranks come from the far away villages, which do not offer them the kind of economic empowerment a job in the city does.  In industrial zones such as Katunayake and Ratmalana, an entire sub-economy springs up around these workers, supplying them with accommodation, food, clothing and jewellery.
Today, most of the big apparel manufacturing companies have recognized the contribution of these workers , resulting in empowerment programmes and career opportunities for the talented among them. Yet, there are hundreds of other garment workers who work for small and medium scale manufacturers who do not always find the best opportunities. read more.


05:08:27 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Registration of cotton export contracts resumed:

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have announced the resumption of registration of cotton export contracts.

Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) and Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) had pressured the government to recommence registration of cotton export deals. They also warned the government that Pakistan would lose exports and farmers may not achieve reasonable returns if any delay in exports occurred.

“The decision by the TDAP and the SBP is expected to boost cotton exports, foreign exchange earnings and may improve domestic cotton prices ultimately improving the per acre yield of the cotton farms,” Ihsanul Haq, an executive member of the PCGA said adding that this year due to the pressure from a powerful lobby, TDAP unlawfully declared the Export Policy 2009 null and void and refused to register cotton export agreements resulting in suspension of all cotton exports; causing a deflationary pressure on the prices with apprehensions of a decline in earnings of the cotton farmers. read more.

* Textile exporters urge government to quickly import gas:

 Textile exporters have urged the government to immediately import gas to cover the expected shortfall in supply to keep the national economy running. Addressing a joint meeting of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association and Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Rana Arif Touseef, said that regular and efficient supply of gas was vital for textile industry as processing, printing and finishing of fabric depended on gas heating, they said.

Furthermore, he said, gas was also an alternate energy source for industry in the absence of electricity and a vital base of production. Expressing surprise over the shortage of gas even before the onset of winter, the meeting’s participants said that it was a serious matter. If, they said, the gas supply position was very bad as acknowledged by authorities concerned, then alternate arrangements should be made urgently. read more.

map of Asia

* Job market in China tightens once more
* Mascot maker feels pinch of rising labor costs

* Garment firms snug amid surrounding crisis
* Cash-strapped firms get tax relief
* Textile exports to China rise significantly this year

* V.K. Agarwal- Emphasizing a collaborative environment and quality
* Labor inspectors needed for law enforcement
* Better Work Indonesia- Media Updates
* Minister tells employers to pay bonus on time

* US extends import sanctions for three years

* RMG exports to US witness negative growth last fiscal
* State-run jute-mills’ profit plunges again in FY12
* Jute growers, traders ‘to see good days after Eid’
* Garment waste warehouses burnt in city
* BGMEA Gorbo’12 music contest begins Sunday

* Arvind hikes workers’ wages by 27%
* US clothing brands make hay in India’s online gray market
* Adidas to invest 70 million euros in Reebok India
* Apparel exports decline 10.5% in June
* Polyester saris to get costlier as input costs rise
* Market for technical textiles to grow rapidly
* Textile processors to shut their units once in a week
* Cooperate to compete in the market, Salem industrialists told
* Proposal for reviving handloom sector
* India to modernise textile mills in Sri Lanka

* Recognizing unsung heroines of economy

* Registration of cotton export contracts resumed
* Textile exporters urge government to quickly import gas

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