in the news on-line, 9 august 2012

20:12:38 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* More pay on wet days:

 The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has announced the rules for wages for private sector workers when the Office of the President declares a no-work day due to floods and typhoons.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Tuesday the “no work, no pay rule” applied to daily wage earners in the private sector.
But “if a worker or employee works, as required by the employer, on the day declared a no-work day, the employee is entitled to premium pay for a special day equivalent to 30 percent of his or her basic pay. This premium will apply to both daily paid and monthly paid workers,” Baldoz said. to read.

19:12:38 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Public ‘must be consulted’ for EU pact:

A public hearing will be needed in addition to parliamentary endorsement before talks on any free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union are held, FTA Watch says.

In an open letter sent to Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom yesterday, the alliance _ which acts as a Thai free trade agreement watchdog _ demanded a guarantee of transparency and accountability from the government as it proceeds with the FTA.
FTA Watch said it was concerned that some groups with vested interests may benefit from the agreement rather than the public at large. read more.

19:12:38 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strike by workers at US-affiliated garment factory:

Employees of a US-affiliated garment factory in Kampong Speu went on strike Wednesday for a third day with a list of 15 demands, sources said.

The sources said the demands of the workers at Calacam Investment Co Ltd included monthly payments of $15 as bonuses as well as $10 for accommodation and transport.
Other demands include $0.50 for lunch, having doctors on the premises, not dismissing workers without a clear reason and keeping factory gates open.
read more.

* Malaysia workers reject wage deal:

Cambodian garment workers at a factory in Malaysia that supplies major international brands were on strike for a third day in a row yesterday, refusing an agreement on accommodation and demanding higher salaries.

Representatives of the workers at the Honsin Apparel Sdn Bhd factory in Jahor state’s Batu Pahat town have said there are more than 200 of them at the factory, a number the company disputes, who are paid just 21 ringgit (US$6.77) per day.

Worker Yon Naron, said that 16 Cambodians were locked in the company’s office for three hours after they rejected a raise to 26 ringgit per day, because the company would be deducted 130 ringgit per month in accommodation fees – though there appears to be confusion about what was actually being offered. read more.

20:12:38 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Oerlikon Balzers opens a coating center in Malaysia:

Oerlikon Balzers announced the opening of its new coating center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
At the same time, Oerlikon Balzers has also opened two new sales representative offices in Penang and Johor Bahru. This expansion will enable the Coating Segment to meet an increasing demand for its coating solutions, especially in the emerging markets. Today, Oerlikon Balzers runs 88 coating centers in 33 countries worldwide.
Commenting on the opening of the new center, Hans Brändle, CEO Oerlikon Coating said “The opening of the new center in Kuala Lumpur marks an important milestone for us in our global coverage of high-performance coating solutions from Oerlikon Balzers. read more.

* Influx Of Imitation Batik Jeopardises Local Batik Industry:

The indiscriminate dumping of imitation batik from abroad has drained the colour out of the local batik industry, particularly in Terengganu, leading to fears that a bleak future awaits the state’s batik industry.

This effect clearly evident since last year, whereby consumers preferred imitation batik because its price is much lower as compared to original batik.
As a result, this has impacted local batik entreprenuers who inadvertently find themselves in dire straits.
Batik entrepreneur Wan Ruzima Wan Abdullah, 44, noted that the economy of local batik entrepreneurs had been badly affected. read more.

18:12:38 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Causes of RMG Unrest:

REFAYET ULLAH MIRDHA brings out the whole gamut of real causes that trigger incidents of frequent labour unrest in Ashulia and suggests ways to quell them.

Everybody will agree that the ready-made garment (RMG) sector is the lifeblood for the Bangladeshi economy. Maintaining higher export growth every year, now the sector is the largest contributor not only to overseas trade but also to the national economy. The sector alone directly employs 3.5 million skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Indirectly, the garment sector, which started its journey in Bangladesh since the early 1980s, employs a few crores of people in the country.

The multi-billion dollar worth garment sector has reached the current stage after a long struggle as Bangladesh does not produce the majority of its raw materials. Bangladesh is mostly dependent on imported cotton, fabrics, yarn and capital machinery. Yet, the country is in an advantageous position in global trade market for its competitive workforce. Despite all those troubles, Bangladesh is the second largest apparel supplier worldwide after China. The country is a lucrative destination to the globally renowned brands and retail chains like Hugo Boss, Adidas, Marks and Spencer, H & M, Zara, Olymps and many more because of price competitiveness, enhanced sustainability standards and skilled workforce.

Shafiqul Alam

In spite of all the success stories, the garment sector is jolted with volatility. It faced severe labour unrest for wage hike in 2006. Since then labour unrest took place in the sector almost every year. Many experts and industry insiders describe it as a conspiracy by certain national or international vested quarters, although it requires adequate evidence to prove the involvement of such conspirators. Even during the latest labour unrest at Ashulia in May and June, the sector people, experts, researchers, government officials and lawmakers tried to know the real causes behind the unrest as it was not related to wage hike. read more.

* RMG workers rally for festival allowance, dues:

At least 2,000 workers of three readymade garment factories in different parts of Ashulia demonstrated on Wednesday, demanding hike in piece rates and immediate payment of festival allowance and dues.
The police said the workers of Magpie Sweater Factory at Jirabo in Ashulia came to the factory at 8:30am and started demonstrating for a third consecutive day. They demanded their salary for July, hike in piece rate and job security.
At least three workers were injured as police baton-charged workers when they blocked the busy Dhaka-Tangail highway.
Additional police rushed to the spot and controlled the situation, witnesses said.
Workers said that the management of the factory agreed to pay their July salary on Sunday but did not do so. On Monday the management paid the workers, but paid them less than what they expected. read more.

* Garment factory owners mulling ways to implement ILO programme:

Country’s garment factory owners are now working on how to implement the Better Work Programme of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to establish a better relationship between the workers and the factory managements, said a press release.

President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md Shafiul Islam held a discussion meeting with senior design adviser of the Better Work Programme of ILO Lejo Sibbel at BGMEA headquarters in city.

He said in 2009, the US Department of Labour asked Bangladesh government to implement the ILO’s Better Work Programme. read more.

* Women leaders, professionals concerned over move to amend GB ordinance:

Women leaders and professionals on Wednesday voiced deep concern over the government’s move to amend the ‘Grameen Bank Ordinance’.

“We’re deeply shocked and saddened by the government’s move to amend the Grameen Bank Ordinance,” said a joint statement issued by them.
(….)
The women leaders denounced the government action and urged all conscious citizens to call upon it to refrain from taking this action over the bank jeopardising its future and depriving the majority-women board members of playing their role in making decisions.
Grameen Bank is owned by mostly (97 percent) poor women and the government owns a mere 3 percent of it.
“Through this amendment, the government aims to deny the owners of Grameen Bank their right to have a say in the management of their bank. Grameen Bank is a Nobel Prize-winning bank and its women borrowers have brought honour and glory for the country,” the statement said.  read more.

* RMG workers to get Eid holidays in phases:

The government and the RMG owners on Wednesday agreed to sanction Eid holidays for the workers in phases in a bid to curb the sudden rush on homebound people ahead of the festival.

The decision was taken at a reevaluation meeting on Eid holidays in the RMG sector held at the Shipping Ministry with minister Shahjahan Khan in the chair, said a handout.
It said RMG workers will get the holidays phase by phase so that they can avoid any sudden rush and enjoy safe and comfortable journey. read more. & read more.
  

* Weavers passing busy hours:

The weavers of Tangail have been passing busy hours ahead of the Eid and the Durga Puja.
The district has worn a festive look ahead of the Eid.
The weavers have been working round the clock in producing the traditional, famous and historic Tangail saris. Though the price of yarn is high, yet the weavers are continuing to produce saris. The weaving enriched villages have become busy overcoming the chronic economic depression. The weavers are producing as per customers’ demand. About 50 to 60 thousand pieces of Tangail sari are being exported to India per week, which have created extra load on the weavers.
It is gathered that Tangail saris are famous at home and abroad. Pathrail, Putiajani, Nolsudha, Nolua, Borotia, Chinakhola, Mongolhore under Delduwar upazila, Balla, Rampur, Elanga under Kalihati upazila, Bajitpur, Korotia, Kalibari under Sadar upazila are famous for Tangail sari producing areas. High quality saris are being produced at Tangail Sadar and Delduwar upazilas. read more.

17:42:38 local time map of india INDIA

* New textile policy, a boon to Maharashtra:

At a time when industries are holding back their investment, the textile industry in Maharashtra is swimming against the tide.

In the last four months, Maharashtra has managed attract several small investments aggregating Rs 2,101 crore in 218 textile projects.
These investments have come under the new State textile policy. The approvals for new textile projects are being fast-tracked under the new policy.

The policy had come into effect in April and most of the investments are for setting up new weaving, power loom, cotton spinning, and ginning units.
A senior Maharashtra Government official said these projects have managed to get funding from the banks and have achieved financial closure.
In the coming three years, the investment (Rs 2,101 crore) will create employment for about 16,000 persons in the State. read more.  (1 Indian crore = 10 million)

* 6 more farmers commit suicide this month in Vidarbha:

Nature’s vagaries have once again put Vidarbha’s cotton growers in a quandary this year. First, the paucity of rains at the onset of monsoon season dried up crop and later, torrential rain over the last fortnight washed away crops sowed again. At least six farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha this month as they could not generate funds for second sowing.

According to reports reaching here this evening, among these six victims, three were from Yavatmal, two from Bhandara and one from Nagpur district. They were identified as: Sanjay Mohture (35) of Gurtha village, Lallu Ramaji Kar (32), Kanhargaon (both Bhandara district), Chitra Mankawde (50), Jamgaon (Nagpur), Santosh Malekar (40), Rahapal, Sitaram Chavan (60), Vithala and Subhash Ramgade (37) of Yarad village (all in Yavatmal district). Almost all the farmers ended their lives by swallowing pesticides, reports said. With the deaths of six farmers this month, the toll has touched 482 this year while the figure was 918 last year.

It was a difficult task for Indutai Balkrishna Ashtakar (50) of Sakhre village in Yavatmal district to cope up with the situation as first her cotton and soyabean crops dried up because of paucity of rains and now the second time, resowed crop was washed away following incessant rains in the region for the last several days. Her husband, Balkrishna Ashtakar, ended his life on January 24, 2010 over failure to reclaim his 9.5 acre land despite repaying the loan with interest to the moneylender.
read more.

* Apparel exporters seek help in loan restructuring:

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on Tuesday wrote to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram seeking his help on loan restructuring for the textiles industry.
Citing Textiles Ministry data, AEPC said out of the total outstanding debt of the textiles sector of Rs 1,55,809 crore, debt of Rs 35,000 crore needed restructuring. AEPC Chairman A. Sakthivel in his letter said, the Department of Financial Services had already recommended to the Reserve Bank of India to bring out directions to help restructure the loans. “However, RBI has not issued directions . read more.

* Development in Jute Textile Industry:

Essay on the development of Jute Textile Industry in India

Jute Industry is one of the oldest industries of India. It is a major foreign exchange earner for the country as such plays a significant role in the economy of the country.

Jute is one of the most important fibres. It is used for manufacturing various items like hessian, gunny bags, ropes, rugs, carpets, etc. Jute bags are in great demand for the storage of agricultural and industrial products such as wheat, rice, gram, maize, pulses, sugar, fertilizers, cement etc.
The other jute products are used for various other purposes. The demand for jute products has increased mainly on account of development of agriculture and industries in the world.
The history of jute manufacturing in India dates back to 1854, when the first mill was set up at Rishra near Kolkata, by an Englishman, George Aukland. By 1860, the Hoogly basin became the centre of jute mill industry in India.

Before independence, India had a monopoly in the production of raw jute and jute manufacturing’s in the world. The partition of the country inflicted a severe blow to the jute industry, with the result that jute mills remained in India, whereas a major portion of jute producing area went over to Pakistan.

In 1947-48 production of jute was 16-5 lakh bales as against pre-partition output of 65-7 lakh bales.
This situation created a crisis in the jute textile industry and it was further worsened, when the Pakistan Government stopped supply of raw jute to India.
Thus, efforts were made by the Government of India for the extension of area under jute in the country after independence. From a paltry production of about 16-5 lakh bales in 1947-48 the production of raw jute rose to 60 lakh bales in 1961-62 and 120 lakh bales in 1985-86.

There are 69 jute mills in the country with a total installed capacity of 44,376 looms. The industry has absorbed about 2-5 lakh industrial workers….read more.

* India to have its very own organic textile standard:

India, the largest producer of organic cotton in the world is all set to have an Indian Standard for Organic Textiles (ISOT) of its own. The unique selling proposition (USP) of this standard is that it will cover the life cycle of the cotton fibre right from crop to clothing.

“The main objective of ISOT is to maintain credibility of organic cotton in India, create a sense of social responsibility and last but not the least the standard stretches right from the cotton crop to clothing”, reveals the Advisor to National Accreditation Body (NAB) for Organic Cotton – Dr PVSM Gauri.

Speaking exclusively to fibre2fashion, she says, “GOTS starts from the stage of processing of cotton. This does not permit to maintain traceability and integrity of organic textiles. While in case of ISOT, it begins right from the first stage of cotton farming to end products in the whole textile value chain”. read more.

17:42:38 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Private sector trade union of Sri Lanka gathering views on pension scheme:

A private sector trade union affiliated with Sri Lanka Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has commenced a programme to gather views to prepare a proposal on a pension scheme for the private sector.

The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) says that the private sector is in need of a proper pension plan and it will hand over the proposed pension scheme to the government.
The union has called on trade unions and private sector employees to submit their views and proposals on a private sector pension scheme to the union.
ICEU Organizer, B.I. Abdeen says that the views expressed by the unions and the working masses would be forwarded to a committee of intellectuals to prepare a set of proposals to be submitted to the government. read more.

17:12:38 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Taxes on textile industry- a plea:

While our country badly needs to encourage exports for earning precious foreign exchange, our government has recently imposed a five per cent income tax on import of textile machinery by industries and three per cent income tax if an exemption certificate from the IT department is submitted.

This is indeed illogical to presume that industries importing textile machinery for modernisation or expansion or renovation will earn any taxable profit by just installing imported machines.
Rather industries with the help of the machinery will develop their production and expand exports for the benefit of the country, in addition to creating more jobs.
It is unjust to impose any income tax on import of textile machinery by genuine industries which are planning to install imported machines in their factories.
This move by the government must be protested at all levels by all stakeholders.
read more.

* Further rise in prices on cotton market:

Prices maintained an upward trend on the cotton market on Wednesday as mills did not show any reluctance in fresh buying, dealers said. The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) raised official spot rate by Rs 25 to Rs 5700, they said. In the ready business, over 15,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 5650-5800, they said.

The prices of seedcotton in Sindh and Punjab were firm at Rs 2575-2650, they said. Some brokers said that the cotton prices maintained firmness on the back of strong demand by mills and spinners. They said that non-stop purchasing by the mills and spinners is giving an impression that India and some other countries may show interest in importing of cotton due to less monsoon rain in their countries during the current monsoon season.read more.

map of Asia

PHILIPPINES
* More pay on wet days

THAILAND
* Public ‘must be consulted’ for EU pact

CAMBODIA
* Strike by workers at US-affiliated garment factory
* Malaysia – cambodian garment workers reject wage deal

MALAYSIA
* Oerlikon Balzers opens a coating center in Malaysia
* Influx Of Imitation Batik Jeopardises Local Batik Industry

BANGLA DESH
* Causes of RMG Unrest
* RMG workers rally for festival allowance, dues
* Garment factory owners mulling ways to implement ILO programme
* Women leaders, professionals concerned over move to amend GB ordinance
* RMG workers to get Eid holidays in phases
* Weavers passing busy hours

INDIA
* New textile policy, a boon to Maharashtra
* 6 more farmers commit suicide this month in Vidarbha
* Apparel exporters seek help in loan restructuring
* Development in Jute Textile Industry
* India to have its very own organic textile standard

SRI LANKA
* Private sector trade union of Sri Lanka gathering views on pension scheme

PAKISTAN
* Taxes on textile industry- a plea
* Further rise in prices on cotton market

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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
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I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

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