09:12:10 local time CHINA
* Worker protests on the rise in July:
The number of collective worker protests recorded by China Labour Bulletin in July increased by more than 40 percent over the previous month. Against the backdrop of a slowly rebounding but still uncertain Chinese economy, workers in different sectors demanded pay increases, the payment of wage arrears, as well as compensation for factory relocations and closures.
Of the 37 strikes and protests added to CLB’s strike map in July, just about half (18 in total) occurred in the manufacturing sector and seven (all wage arrears cases) were in the construction sector.
Although 15 provinces and municipalities have increased their minimum wage this year, and consumer price inflation is gradually falling, workers’ demands for higher wages continue to be voiced through collective action. Workers in seven factories in Guangdong, Hubei, Hebei and Liaoning demanded pay increases, including around 1,000 workers at a Hong Kong-owned electronics factory in Foshan who successfully won a 200 yuan monthly bonus after staging a half-day strike. Workers pointed out that the monthly minimum wage in Foshan was only 1,100 yuan, compared with 1,500 yuan in nearby Shenzhen. Also, Hundreds of workers at Japanese-owned Hirose Electric blocked the factory gate while others staged a street demonstration in mid-July demanding a promised increase in their basic salary from 1,160 yuan to 1,300 yuan per month. read more.
* Revised labor law attracts public attention:
Four proposed amendments to the Labor Contract Law have received a massive amount of public interest, with a record number of people contacting authorities to have their say on the law by Sunday night.
Nearly 560,000 online comments were made on the proposed amendments to the Labor Contract Law over the monthlong public suggestion period, according to the website of the National People’s Congress. The number of comments sent by post is unavailable.
It is the highest number of comments that the top legislature has received on a legal revision. The second highest number received was 331,000 regarding the Budget Law.
It is not the first time since drafts of laws started to be published online in 2005 that the labor contract bill has attracted wide attention due to its effect on labor rights.
* Press Conference of “YIWU H&G 2012″& “YIWU S&G 2012” Held in Yiwu:
Textile industry is the pillar industry of China. Although China”s textile industry is experiencing challenges and opportunities under the 12th Five Year Plan, at the same time, the transformation and upgrading is ongoing that China”s textile industry is still keeping healthy development.
Being “One of the Top 10 Exhibitions of Zhejiang Province”, The 13th China (Yiwu) International Exhibition on Hosiery, Knitting, Dyeing & Finishing Machinery (YIWU H&G 2012) and China (Yiwu) International Exhibition on Sewing Machinery & Equipment (YIWU S&G 2012) are always the industry”s highlight. The shows gather the world”s top-notch hosiery, underwear, knitting, garment machinery and provide the sourcing and trading platform to satisfy all sorts of needs of industry players. The exhibition has been held successfully for 12 editions, it is praised as the business barometer as well as the indicator of new technology of hosiery, knitting, underwear, garment machinery and equipment. “YIWU H&G 2012” & “YIWU S&G 2012” will be grandly held on Nov 27 – 30, 2012 at Yiwu International Expo Centre, Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, PR China. read more.
* Adidas suppliers seek redress from contract termination:
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.
Sun said Adidas informed her and her colleagues in April that it wanted to end the contract it has with Shanghai Manlang Textile.
“The original document said Adidas can terminate it whenever they want,” Sun said. “They just have to tell us about that decision six months in advance.” read more.
* Jinjiang puts its best foot forward as companies expand global reach:
City famous for its private enterprises seeks bigger piece of pie on international stage
Undeterred by global financial travails, Jinjiang, a small city in Fujian province, is looking to foster more international brands to further enhance its entrepreneurial and manufacturing prowess.
Jinjiang, roughly the same size as Singapore, is already well-known in China as a major hub of private enterprises in industries like shoes and sportswear. The city, which is a three-hour drive from Fuzhou, the provincial capital, is also home to several private industry clusters and leading domestic brands.
“There are more than 126 nationally certified brands in Jinjiang, the most in any county-level city,” said Liu Wenru, the mayor of the city. “Though most of these brands are well-known names in China, they are hardly known outside the country.”
According to Liu, the city is looking to transfer its success in building domestic brands onto the global stage. To that end, it will encourage mergers and acquisitions and other expansion moves by domestic enterprises. read more.
* Olympic patriotism: When flag is a fashion statement:
There was no mystery as to which team Varun Pemmaraju was supporting: His American flag was tied around his neck, the Stars and Stripes floating like a cape behind him.
“I was going for the Superman, Captain America-look,” said the beaming 19-year-old computer science and chemical engineering student from San Jose, California, as he stood a stone’s throw from London’s Olympic Stadium. “I thought America was a little under-represented.”
Patriotism and the Olympics have long gone together, but gone are the days when one just waved a flag. Now flags are worn.
The fashion flags can be found at Olympic Park and around London as shift dresses and smocks, pants and shorts, hats and shoes, even dangly earrings and bracelets. There’s apparently no garment – nor nail polish – that can’t be fashioned into something akin to a national banner.
Although the sponsorship police at the International Olympic Committee can stop merchants from using the five Olympic rings, there’s no trademark police on flags.
Besides, capitalizing on a good fashion idea is not new. In recent years, “fast fashion” has transformed the retail industry, as mainstream companies seize the hottest ideas from the catwalk, copy them as quickly as possible and move them onto the shop floors. Some manufacturers have gotten so fast they can produce wearable creations from factory to store in the same season in which they were created by top designers at Chanel, Ralph Lauren or Dior. read more.
08:12:10 local time VIET NAM
* Seeking a husband – hard job of IZ workers:
At 8am, the night shift finishes after an alarm sounds but up to 20 minutes later–Lieu, a worker of Hoya company, in Bac Thang Long Industrial Zone (IZ), Hanoi, stepped out of the IZ gate with dark circles around her eyes after a sleepless night.
On the way to her boarding house, Lieu pointed to the Thang Long Bridge, sighed and said that she would quit her current job to find a new one and rent a new room on the other side of the bridge.
Lieu said her salary would reduce but she could not stay here. “I’m 28 already. If I keep staying here, I will be unable to find my man,” she added.
Difficult to find a husband
Lieu was born in the northern province of Thai Binh, in a family with five sisters. Lieu left Thai Binh to Hanoi to seek a job after graduating high school.
Lieu has done many jobs, from an Internet café employee to a filling station staff to a waitress and now a worker at the Bac Thang Long IZ.
She said that compared to her previous jobs, the current one was the best because she earned at least VND4 million ($200) a month, including salary, allowances, overtime pay, etc. read more.
* Japanese experts volunteer to help Vietnam firms:
Workers in several businesses across Vietnam have recently been astonished to see several groups of “strange Japanese men” coming to their facilities to observe operations and then start giving instructions on issues ranging from how to collect garbage, to how to manage product quality.
The “strangers” are all retired Japanese economic experts who have volunteered to travel Vietnam under a project to assist the country’s supporting industry.
Two members of the project, Shiozaki Ryoji, 63, and Sugawara Kunio, 64, have been working with the SMC Investment and Commerce JSC in the Ba Ria – Vung Tau-based Phu My Industrial Park over the last six months.
The two have introduced the “5S solution,” which includes seiri (select), seiton (arrange), seiso (clean), seiketsu (care), and shisuke (ready) to SMC workers, and stayed to watch over their implementation.
The Japanese keep their eyes on every small detail of the facility, and their efforts have paid off.
“There is no longer cigarette ash on the floors, and everything has become neater and cleaner than before,” Sugawara told Tuoi Tre in early July.
A week later the man, who has been sticking with Vietnamese companies for two years, moved to the plant of a company based in Tan Thoi Hiep Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12. There, he began to observe and note the operation of the company while developing his assistance plans.
Vietnamese businesses have the strength of cheap and hardworking labor forces, but their machinery and equipment are too old to boost their competitiveness, said Sugawara in explaining why he chose Vietnam. read more.
08:12:10 local time LAOS
* Lao export strategy unveiled:
Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials said last week that the government had approved the Manufacturing and Trade Strategy, aiming to provide direction for the government to establish a policy and financial support for the sectors concerned to boost development of the processing industry sector in the country over the next 10 years.
According to the strategy, Laos will have to establish at least three more export products by 2015 and another three by 2020, aiming to generate foreign exchange for the country and reduce the trade deficit to secure sustainable economic growth.
At present, there are six major foriegn exchange earners: mining, electricity, garments, wood and wood products, agricultural produce and tourism. read more.
08:12:10 local time CAMBODIA
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
1.Worker relieved of factory job.read more.
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2.Lawmakers to discuss deal to send Cambodians to Qatar.read more.
09:12:10 local time MALAYSIA
* Malaysia’s Padini Group & F J Benjamin Group Signs Exclusive 10 Year Agreement:
Malaysia’s Padini Group, leader in the multibillion textile and garment industry, and Singapore’s F J Benjamin Group, a leading fashion retail and lifestyle company, have signed an exclusive 10-year deal for the latter to distribute the Vincci (VNC) brand of women shoes and accessories in Indonesia.
VNC products are sold under the Vincci label in Malaysia and are produced by the Padini Group.
The Master Franchise Agreement was inked in Kuala Lumpur today by Yong Pang Chaun, Managing Director of Padini Holdings Bhd, Nash Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of F J Benjamin Group and Ronnie Bong, Chief Executive Officer of Indonesia’s PT Gilang Agung Persada. read more.
09:12:10 local time INDONESIA
* Textile industry: Synthetic Fibers Consumption Increases:
Textile industry consumption to the synthetic fiber raw materials is projected to reach 650,000 tons this year, increased 8.3% compared with 2009 which amounted to 600,000 tons.
Such increase was caused by stable price of one of the textile industry raw materials.
Based on data from Indonesia Synthetic Producers Association (Apsyfi), synthetic fiber prices had touched US$1.4 a kilogram in April and May 2012. However, the price dropped to US$1.3 per kilogram in June.
The condition was different if compared to natural fiber (cotton) price which tends to fluctuate. read more.
* Govt urged to end outsourcing:
Labor unions have threatened to stage a nationwide strike next month if the government does not act to end outsourcing practices.
The unions, including the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (KSBI) and nine other labor union federations announced in a joint press conference on Monday that in addition to the planned strike, more than 1 million workers were expected to picket industrial areas in 14 municipalities and regencies in mid September.
“The strike will proceed peacefully but if the government refuses to listen to our demands, we will step up our efforts by occupying toll roads and other public facilities until the government enacts a moratorium on outsourcing practices, which contradict the Labor Law,” KSPSI chairman, Andi Gani Nena Wea, said. read more.
07:12:10 local time BANGLA DESH
* Poor Eid sales worry northern weavers:
TopBuyers and sellers liven up the wholesale market for saris at Shahzadpur in Sirajganj. Bottom left, Sellers display wares to buyers at the market. Bottom right, A weaver works on a handloom.Photo: STAR
More than three lakh handlooms in 10 upazilas of Pabna and Sirajganj are abuzz with activities targeting sales during this Eid season.
But the weavers in the major handloom clothing zone of the country are worried about low sales even in this peak shopping season.
“I sold around 80 saris in the last two days although the number was more than 200 on every market day during last Ramadan,” said Md Habil Uddin, a marginal weaver at Norina village of Sirajganj.
Habil Uddin is not alone. Many other weavers of Shahzadpur, Ullahpara, Chowhali, Kazipur, Belkuchi, Sirajganj Sadar, Bera, Santhia, Sujanagar and Pabna Sadar are facing the same situation.
“I produce at least 400 saris everyday with 40 looms in my factory. Although this is the peak season, 150-200 saris remain unsold everyday due to a poor demand,” said Haji Badsha Miah, a weaver at Dogasi village in Pabna Sadar.
Md Haidar Ali, vice president of Bangladesh Handloom and Power loom Owners’ Association, said there are more than three lakh handlooms in Sirajganj and Pabna.
read more. (1 lakh=100.000)
06:42:10 local time INDIA
* Lakme Fashion week: Designers cutting costs in various ways:
It seems the recent financial meltdown is not just affecting businesses, but the fashion industry too is feeling the impact. The ongoing fashion week has seen a few designers tightening their purse strings more than usual.
Designer Debarun Mukherjee who also owns a garment export firm has seen a decrease of 60 per cent in sales. “The financial state of the country has affected us designers too. I have stopped expensive brochures for my show. I’ve also made my garments at an affordable price range so that they sell more. People are definitely more cost conscious now,” he says.
Designer Ritika Bharwani shares a similar view. She says people want pieces, which are value-for-money. “Price points are important today.I’ve spent on my collection but kept my stall relatively simple. Having a celebrity showstopper is an added cost, hence I’ve avoided it this year.” It’s not just designers who are feeling the impact. read more.
* Not consulted on single brand IKEA FDI move, says MSME ministry:
Global single brand retailers like IKEA may find it tough to get easing of norms for compulsory sourcing from the Indian tiny and small units, with the Ministry of MSME strongly opposing the move of the commerce and industry ministry.
“I am opposed (to it) if you will say that you will not procure 30 per cent from India and will procure everything from abroad,” Additional Secretary in the MSME Ministry Amarendra Sinha said on the sidelines of a function jointly organised by software provider INTUIT and the ministry here.
The government has eliminated 51 per cent cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) for single brand retailers like IKEA, Adidas, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
However,those opting for taking FDI beyond 51 per cent will have to source at least 30 per cent of their merchandise from the domestic micro and small enterprises.
* Sourashtrians’ plea for MBC status:
A plea to include Sourashtra-speaking people in the Most Backward Classes category has been made at the Global Sourashtra Meet that concluded here on Sunday.
In a resolution passed at the two-day conference, it was pointed out that 80 per cent of Sourashtrians were into weaving and other vocations that earned daily wages and hence lived below poverty line. The conference also appealed to the government to provide monsoon subsidy for handloom workers who found it difficult to continue with their profession during the rainy season. Steps should be taken to offer investment loans at low interest rates for handloom workers to start an alternative industry.
The handloom industry as such was sick and those involved in it found it difficult to make a living. The meet, organised by the Sourashtra Munnetra Kazhagam and other Sourashtra organisations, wanted the government to extend all concessions and subsidies that were available for special economic zones to silk and handloom industries.
Though handloom industry was the second largest employment provider, next to agriculture, it did not have an exclusive ministry at the Centre. An exclusive ministry should be created in the Union government for handloom textiles. read more.
* 36 kids freed from factory:
Thirty six child labourers were rescued from northeast Delhi on Tuesday. The children, aged between 6-14 years, had been working in jeans and shirt production units and dhabas in the Gandhi Nagar area of Old Seelampur.
“The children were rescued from eight sites. Eight employers were also held,” said sub-divisional magistrate (Gandhi Nagar) Sandeep Gulati. The operation was conducted by the SDM, Delhi Police, officials of labour department and NGO Bachpan Bachao Aandolan after a tip-off.
Coincidentally, one of the buildings from where these children were rescued houses the political office of Delhi’s education minister Arvinder Singh. Later in the day, a statement was issued from Singh’s office saying they had nothing to do with the property. read more.
06:12:10 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile crisis brewing- APTMA chairman:
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Gohar Ejaz has said textile crisis demands immediate government intervention as energy shortage and inventory losses due to sudden decline in cotton prices worldwide has hit viability of the industry.
He said $10 billion investment on machinery is becoming redundant owing to 10- to 12-hour load shedding of electricity and no gas supply for 150 days a year.
There is no standby arrangement of electricity and it is very difficult to operate on alternative fuel other than gas to keep Captive Power Plants operational, he said.
“Cotton season is on full throttle and industry would have to procure one million bales in August, followed by another two million bales in September,” he said, adding that the industry lacks resources to procure the much needed raw material. read more.