in the news on-line, 10 august 2012

21:42:52 local time map of china CHINA

* An introduction to China’s social security system:

Creating an effective social welfare safety net in an era of rapid economic, social and demographic change has proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the Chinese government over the last three decades. The new Social Insurance Law, which went into effect in 2011, was supposed to address these issues by establishing a comprehensive social security framework but many problems with enforcement, transferability and fraud remain.

A new study by China Labour Bulletin provides a detailed introduction to the Social Insurance Law and analyses how effective it has been in practice.  The study focuses in particular on migrant workers and the difficulties they face in transferring their pension and medical insurance between different regions of China. Despite attempts by the central government to facilitate the transfer of social insurance benefits, many local bureaucracies remain intransigent.

Only a fraction of migrant workers have all the social security benefits they are entitled to and local labour departments have been unable or unwilling to force employers to comply with their legal obligations. And even those workers that do have insurance often discover that restrictions on medical and unemployment benefits, in particular, make those polices next to useless.

There is, in addition, a significant problem with the embezzlement or misuse of social security funds by local governments, further fueling workers’ mistrust in the system. And a direct consequence of that mistrust is that workers are still reluctant to spend their salaries on goods and services, preferring instead to save as much as possible in order to shield themselves and their families from adversity in the future.

Unless the Chinese government can create a truly comprehensive social security system that provides tangible benefits to its citizens, China’s households will continue to maintain a disproportionally high savings rate, making it very difficult for the government to achieve its often stated goal of boosting domestic consumption and lessening the country’s current reliance on the export market.

This introduction to China’s social security system is the latest addition to CLB’s Resource Centre, a section of the website designed to provide those relatively new to China with an overview of the key labour issues facing the country today. Other topics include China’s labour dispute resolution system, Migrant workers, Wages and the Reform of state-owned enterprises.
read more.

21:42:52 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* BPAP emphasizes employee safety:

The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) recently advised employees working for business process outsourcing (BPO) to make personal safety and security their principal concern when deciding to report for work during inclement weather.

“Our top priority is the safety of our employees, their families, and the communities we operate from,” said Benedict Hernandez, BPAP president and chief executive. The Office of the President earlier declared August 7 a no-work day because of floods and typhoons, and Information Technology (IT)-BPO employees who cannot safely travel to work are encouraged to remain home for the day.

“Those that desire to work should coordinate travel arrangements with their companies, as circumstances vary from company to company,” Hernandez said.
IT-BPO employees reporting to work are entitled to a 30-percent premium on basic pay according to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. read more.

20:42:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment sector needs to seek new markets:

Seeking new markets was key to boosting consumption of local garment products, said policy-makers and experts at a seminar to discuss ways of boosting the sector.

The seminar on solutions to access resources and expand the garment business globally was co-hosted by the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and Vietinbank with Dun&Bradstreert (D&B) yesterday in Ha Noi.
At the seminar, leading experts in the field of garments and textiles and trade and exports shared experiences and outlined the potential and limits of the local garment and textile industry and solutions to find new customers.
They also looked at ways to attract potential customers in traditional markets and handling current difficulties for exporters.
Slow domestic consumption has been attributed to the global economic crisis.
read more.

20:42:52 local time map of laos LAOS

* Garment and coffee sectors central to employment growth:

While the country’s primary earnings are from natural resources such as mining, non-resource sectors are considered the key to guarantying further sustainable growth in Laos.

The coffee and garment sectors are currently being strongly promoted, as they are considered to be industries which can contribute substantially to national development, especially in terms of employment opportunities.

A development cooperation programme conducted by the Deutsche Gesellschalt fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is set to commence, working to promote further growth in the coffee and garment industries.

The Human Resource Development for Market Economy III (HRDME III) project aims to develop the skills and abilities of workers in the sector, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).Two agreements were signed yesterday to confirm the cooperation project will commence. read more.

20:42:52 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Govt explains pregnancy repatriation rule:

The US ambassador has received a Labour Ministry clarification about its policy to repatriate pregnant foreign workers.

Ambassador Kristie Kenney met Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap at the ministry on Tuesday to ask about the policy.
Mr Padermchai said the government wanted to tackle the problem of employers exploiting the unregistered children of illegal foreign workers as cheap sources of foreign labour.
Mr Padermchai said his reply satisfied Ms Kenney and he also expressed his concern about the US’s inclusion of Thailand on its Tier 2 Watchlist concerning human trafficking.

The list names those countries which the US says have failed to fully comply with minimum standards under the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act, but which are making significant efforts to comply with the standards.
Mr Padermchai said his ministry will promote government-to-government labour imports to help solve the problem of human trafficking.
Such deals would cut job seekers’ expenses by minimising the role of job brokers. Foreign workers could enter Thailand legally, serve the demands of their employers and not be abused. read more.

* Ceiling raised for workers’ medical fund:

The ceiling on medical compensation for workers suffering from work-related injuries or diseases will be raised from 300,000 baht to 1 million baht next year.

Jirasak Sukhonthachart, secretary-general of the Social Security Office (SSO), yesterday said the board of the Workmen’s Compensation Fund approved the new compensation ceiling, which will come into force on Jan 1 next year.
He said the new compensation ceiling would be more realistic and practical than the current one.
At present, if a worker has a work-related accident with treatment costs of 700,000 baht, for example, the fund will pay the maximum amount of 300,000 baht and the worker has to pay the rest.
This creates a heavy financial burden on employees, he said. read more.

* Chamber renews call to delay minimum wage hike:

The government is being asked to put off its plan to hike the daily minimum wage to 300 baht nationwide next year and instead work out measures to cushion the impact of the euro-zone crisis on Thai exports.

“The crisis in Europe has begun taking its toll on Thai exports and tourism,” said Vichai Assarasakorn, secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. “We’re afraid that the impact will expand and intensify over the next couple of years.”
He cited a survey of seven industries with export values of at least 100 billion baht a year _ textiles, jewellery, electrical appliances and electronics, food, rubber, auto parts, tourism _ that said their export value contracted by 10-15% each in the first half of 2012.
Those industries also predicted that the export outlook would go from bad to worse and that the impact from Europe’s troubles would be long-term. read more.

* Reckless policies need to be reviewed:

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has gone against all odds to complete her first year as Thailand’s first female prime minister.

Her premiership is a clear case of style over substance. In today’s world, style sells. But in the end, substance should prevail when reality strikes.
Yingluck is presiding over the country during a turbulent period marked by the end of the super cycle. External volatility will determine the course of Thai stability, politically and economically.
(…)
The government’s economic policy is most prominent though it is not praiseworthy. The government continues to run a massive budget deficit of Bt300-Bt400 billion a year. The populist economic programmes will drain the national coffers. The rice price pledging scheme, marred by corruption and lack of transparency, will create damage of at least Bt100 billion. The minimum wage of Bt300 per day has created upward price pressure. The first car and first home programmes have created disparity between the middle class, who are in a position to participate in these two programmes, and the rural poor. read more.

* Euro crisis to take toll on exports:

The European economic crunch will have a worsening impact on the Thai export sector, with shipments from six key industries as well as tourism facing recession, forcing more small and medium-sized enterprises to close down this year, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

The study showed that seven sectors – textiles and garments, jewellery and ornaments, electrical and electronics, foods, rubber, automobile parts, and tourism – would be severely affected by the euro crisis as their sales and profits continued to shrink. read more.

20:42:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

1. Malaysia workers reject deal. read more.

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:

2. Gov’t approves nearly $500M in investment. read more.


19:42:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* US remains largest export destination:

The United States of America (USA) remained the singlelargest export destination for local goods in the immediate past fiscal year(FY) 2011-12 as the buyers from the recession hit country preferred to buyrelatively cheaper products from Bangladesh.     

Bangladesh fetched $5.10 billion from exporting variousgoods to the US market during the FY 2011-12, accounting for 21.10 per cent ofthe country’s total export, according to an official figure released by theExport Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The figure shows, the country earned $3.51 billion fromthe shipment of woven garments, $1.01 billion from knitwear, $ 317.63 millionfrom home textile, $51.79 million from frozen foods and $39.15 million fromcaps during the period under review.

“Likeprevious years, the US market ranked the top buying county for localmerchandises followed by Germany, the UK and France, driven by strong presenceof local ready-made garments (RMG) in the world’s largest economy,” asenior  Commerce Ministry official ToldThe New Nation yesterday.
He added the country’s export to the USA market remainedalmost stable during the period despite high tariff barriers in entering localgoods in the market and economic crisis there.
The figure also shows that woven and knit garmentsaccounts for 36 per cent and 10.68 share of the total export to the Americanmarket during the FY 2011-12.
read more.

* Garment exports to US on the rise:

Garment exports to the US, the country’s single largest market, marked a rise.

“Exports to the US increased as its economy is on the rebound,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Exports rose 2.32 percent to $2.21 billion in the first five months this year from the same period a year ago, showed data of the Export Promotion Bureau.
Full-year exports to the US were $4.88 billion in 2011, a 13.75 percent increase from the previous year.
“The exports to the US will increase as long as we are competitive,” said an optimistic Mohiuddin, adding that RMG exports from Cambodia and Vietnam to the US are increasing faster than Bangladesh’s. read more.

* RMG workers hold protests for wages, allowance:

Workers of Tuba Garments block Pargati Sarani at Merul Badda in Dhaka on Thursday, demanding payment of their outstanding wages.— New Age photo
Workers of Tuba Garments block Pargati Sarani at Merul Badda in Dhaka on Thursday, demanding payment of their outstanding wages.— New Age photo

Labour unrest continued in different apparel factories in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj on Thursday to push for the payment of their outstanding wages and festival allowance before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Several hundred workers of a factory at Dhakeshwari in Shiddhirganj blocked the Narayanganj-Adamjee road and vandalised some vehicles as they found their factory closed without being paid wages and the festival allowance.
Workers of four garments factories held protests, went
on strike and blocked highways demanding festival allowance and payment of outstanding wages in Gazipur on Thursday.
The factories are DEN Sports at Signboard, EPCOT Apparels at Naljani, Sinkee Garment Factory at Tongi, and Gomati Textiles at Safipur of Kaliakair in Gazipur.
Workers of Style Garments in North Badda also blocked the road for some time demanding their pay and festival allowance. Later, the factory owners paid their salary and the allowance. read more. & read more.
 

* Jute growers face problems for scarcity of retting water:

Jute growers in many areas of the country have been facing problems for scarcity of water for retting jute which is resulting in delay of harvest and increasing the production cost.
Retting water scarcity occurred in parts of the country due to inadequate rainfall, even in the last half of Shraban, the last month of rainy season in Bangladesh.
Water bodies lacked adequate water for jute retting, according to reports received from the jute growing districts including Faridpur, Jhinaidah, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Manikganj.
Farmers in those districts said as the harvest of jute was delayed, aman paddy cultivation on their fields were also being delayed. read more.

* Jute growers deprived of fair price in Dinajpur:

Jute growers of Dinajpur district are deprived of fair price for their newly harvested jute. They are frustrated as prices of the cash crop see decline in the area. Sales of newly harvested jute has already begun in the local markets of the district but the farmers are incurring huge loss as price is falling  due to ample supply of the produce in the local markets.
During a recent visit to different whole sale jute markets like Raniganj hat, Paker hat, Kachinia hat, Kaharol hat, Bochaganj hat, Birganj hat and Bokdoir hat, this correspondent found that raw jute were selling from Tk 900 to Tk 1,050 depending on the quality. Many farmers became reluctant to harvest their crop as they fear they will not be able to recoup their production cost.
While visiting on Thursday, this correspondent observed that jute from Raniganj market went back unsold due to low price. According to the district Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of Dinajpur at least 10,467 hectares of land brought under jute cultivation here in Dinajpur while the target was 7,724 hectare land.
read more.

* Rejected garment products now occupy city’s eye-catching shopping malls:

Exportable garment products that are rejected for ignorable faults are being sold in the posh shopping malls of the city at a price five to six times high which were earlier used to sell very cheap.

Market insiders said, even three or four years back, 100 per cent such rejected garment lots would be sold to the independent brokers who, mostly, used to sell it in the footpath or markets like Banga Bazar which are known as low earner group’s market.
“But now around 90 per cent rejected garment lots are bought by various brand companies to sell those in spacious shops in their eye-catching shopping malls,” said Salah Uddin, a footpath hawker to the Financial Express who used work as a middleman between garment factories and small garment shops.
He said now they cannot purchase garment lots as they are unable to compete with big people of big brands.read more.

* Plea to transfer Aminul killing case to CID:

The Committee for Justice for Aminul Islam (CJAI) on Thursday demanded the government to transfer the killing case of Aminul Islam, a garment workers’ leader to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police immediately. The committee also demanded that the government should ask the concerned authority for proper investigation of the sensational case and arrest the alleged culprits soon.
The demand came out at a press conference organized by CJAI at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) in the capital.
Coordinator of CJAI, AKM Nasim said, the government should transfer the case to the CID as the investigation of this case is running very slowly. After four months of the killing, the police did not arrest any killers, he said, adding that it is very frustrating.
However, he said, CJAI has already sent an application to the prime minister and home minister to transfer the case to the CID of police for better investigation. The government should assist Aminul’s family, he added.
If the government does not solve the case immediately, there will be negative impact on the garments export sector, Nasim added. read more.

19:12:52 local time map of india INDIA

* Trade unions seek revision of minimum wages:

Trade unions have requested chief minister Naveen Patnaik to declare the revised minimum wage in the state soon. These trade unions are INTUC, AITUC, CITU, Bharat Mazdoor Sabha (BMS) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) stated that the government is yet to declare revision of minimum wage even though more than one month has passed since the labour department submitted its final proposal to the finance and law departments.

The final proposal came from labour and ESI department after it invited suggestions, objections from public and labour organizations on department’s wage hike suggestion. Earlier, the labour department in a notification on April 20 had proposed a hike in minimum wage for unskilled workers from Rs 90 to Rs 125 and for semi-skilled workers from Rs 103 to Rs 145 a day. So also the minimum wages for skilled and highly skilled labourers were increased from Rs 116 to Rs 165 and Rs 129 to Rs 180 respectively.

Different trade unions had protested this hike proposal and suggested the government for its revision according to the recommendations of the state-level minimum wage advisory committee. The trade unions in their fresh memorandum submitted to the government requested that the government takes a serious note over this hike proposal and declare it at the earliest. read more.

* Steps to boost apparel exports on anvil:

Union textiles ministry is mulling a series of measures to boost export of readymade garments (apparel) despite growing competition from countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kampuchea and China, a senior official said on Monday.

“We are chalking out a two-pronged strategy to accelerate apparel exports in the short-term and medium-term, as the readymade garments segment has a huge potential to increase our market share in traditional and new markets worldwide,” textiles ministry joint secretary V Srinivas told newspersons here. For the short-term, the ministry has set an export target of USD 18 billion (Rs.99,000 crore) for this fiscal (2012-13), which is 32 percent higher (YoY) than USD 13.6 billion achieved in last fiscal (2011-12).

“In the medium term, our export target is USD 50 billion for the 12th Five-Year Plan, which ends in 2016-17. To achieve the ambitious target, we are enhancing the technology upgradation funding scheme to Rs.15,808 crore, anticipating an investment of Rs.1.5 trillion (Rs.150,000 crore) over the next five years,” Mr Srinivas said on the margins of an interactive session with about 60 apparel exporters from across the country. read more.

* No fiscal implication for R35,000-cr debt of textile cos- Meena:

Banks have been asked to restructure debt worth R35,000 crore for ailing textile firms and there will be no fiscal support from the government, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to parliament on Wednesday.

“The restructuring of the debt for the textile sector by banks has no financial burden on the Government,” Meena said. “No time line has been prescribed for the said restructuring,” Meena added.
As per the recommendation of BOB Capital Markets, the government has asked banks to restructure R35,000 crore of loans to textile companies. read more.

* Odisha govt signs MoU with Nabard for revival of Handloom sector:

The Odisha government today signed an MoU with the NABARD and Union government for the implementation of revival, reform and restructuring package of handloom sector announced by the Union government in the state. NABARD CGM K K Gupta and Director Textile Gagan Bihari Swain signed the MoU in presence of Minister of State for Textile, Handloom and Handicrafts Sarojini Hembram.
The Minister said under the package around 8,000 weavers of 434 potentially viable Primary Weavers Cooperative Societies, one Apex Weavers Cooperative Society and some individual weavers would be benefitted. As per the agreement 100 per cent of loan principal and 25 per cent interest will be provided by the Central government and the state government at the ratio of 80:20 respectively.
The balance 75 per cent interest would be borne by the concerned Bank. In Apex Society the share of the Central and the state government will be 75:25. In case of individual borrower, the maximum loan waiver is Rs 50,000. Ms Hembram said a sum of Rs 30 crore had been provided in the 2012-13 state budget for its implementation.
The total overdue of Handloom weavers and Cooperative societies of the state by the end of March 2010 tentatively stood at Rs 284 crore. read more.

* NIFT-TEA Institute action plan suggests setting up multi-department coordination committee:

The NIFT-TEA Knitwear Institute has come out with an action plan for the development of Tirupur knitwear cluster that incorporates among other suggestions the need for setting up multi-department coordination committee to look into industrial grievances and simplification of Value-Added Tax (VAT) refund mechanism.

The report, prepared by the research team of the Institute under its chairman Raja Shanmugam, will be submitted to the State Government soon for swift implementation.
Institute sources told The Hindu that formation of the committee, comprising representatives of officials from various State departments with the development of Tirupur knitwear cluster and industrialists, would help address the grievances of different segments in the apparel production chain with the welfare of the entire industry taken into consideration.

In the fiscal front, a major recommendation that find a mention in the plan document was the need to simplify the procedures involved in the refund of VAT levied on input materials meant for production of apparels for exports. “Our suggestion is to adopt a methodology similar to the ‘Form H’ procedure followed in the case of VAT fixed on finished goods purchase (i.e. purchase of finished apparel exports which in turn is exported). read more.

* Knit Show to feature water-saving technology:

The 12th edition of the annual event ‘Knit Show’, to be held here from August 12 to 14, will be showcasing some of the latest water saving technologies in dyeing process, apart from exhibiting a wide array of fabrics, accessories and machinery.

Deliberations
The fair, organised by City Leaves Media Events Private Limited at Velan Hotel fair ground, will also be providing a platform for deliberations involving garment manufacturers, exporters, buying agents and fashion designers on topics related to improving competitiveness of textile trade.

M. Mahendran, director of City Leaves Media Events Private Limited, said that about 300 stalls would be put up at the exhibition to enable the garment manufacturers to source high quality machinery required at various chains of garment production, value-added fabrics, fashion accessories and high quality yarns under a single roof.
Companies from Austria, Portugal, China, Germany, Japan and Korea which manufacture digital printing machines, zips, buttons and other inputs needed for apparel making had confirmed participation. read more.

* ASEAN-India plan of action: $70 million projects being processed:

Projects worth over $ 70 million are being processed to enhance people to people contact and institutional connectivity between India and the ASEAN grouping, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said.

Addressing the first round table of ASEAN-India network of think tanks here, he also said high priority is accorded to enhance physical connectivity within the area and discussions are on for a new India-Myanmar-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia highway.

“ASEAN Secretariat is currently processing projects worth over $ 70 million suggested by India under the ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2010-15. These are across sectors to enhance people-to-people and institutional connectivity between ASEAN and India,” the minister said.

Observing that the region’s future lies in its youth, he said, “We together constitute a 1.8 billion people, a market with resource and demand, a region with complementary capacities and resources.” read more.

* High density cotton planting to be undertaken in Rajasthan- CITI:

The Cotton Development and Research Association ( CDRA) of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will undertake a pilot project for high density planting system for increasing cotton productivity in Rajasthan. Dropping productivity of the cash crop despite BT recolution in the last decade is hoped to be sorted out through these trials, CITI said.

After achieving significant increase from less than 300 kilos to more than 550 kilos per hectare during 2003-2008 on the strength of BT seeds, productivity has again come down to less than 490 kilos during the last two years. Efforts of government and the textile industry for improving cotton productivity through extension activities have been able to achieve only limited success so far. Bayer Crop Science (BCS) along with the Rajasthan government and CITI will undertake experiments to improve cotton yield on the lines of countries like Brazil which have achieved huge productivity using high density planting, said P.D. Patodia, chairman of CITI’s Standing Committee on Cotton in a press statement on Friday. read more.

* A class apart:

Dastkar Andhra’s handloom experience is back again in the city, bringing with it an incredible range of saris, yardage, dupattas and made-ups. From jewelled to mellow tones in natural and reactive chemical dyes and touches of innovative design the Dastkar Andhra product stands apart.

At Dastkar’s exhibition of ‘Saris, Yardage and Dupattas’ now on in the city, there are amazing choices on offer: saris and dupattas woven with stripes, checks and an interweaving of colours; Ponduru khadi saris and yardage with typical borders which once graced dhotis in a range of natural dyes; block-printed khadi silk and kalamkari motifs.

Every product at the exhibition is the work of 450 weavers from Andhra, whose lives have been transformed by Dastkar Andhra’s initiative of design inputs, technological and marketing support with a commitment to ensure work for the weaver throughout the year. This mini revolution has also been innovative and aesthetic, focusing on revival of indigo vat dyeing, an introduction of eco-friendly reactive chemical dyes and creation of a design language which combine existing skills, design formats and weaves with innovation. read more.

19:12:52 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* US buyer suspends orders to Lankan garment exporter:

Crew Operating Corporation of the US has suspended granting orders to Mirai (Pvt.) Ltd., a Sri Lankan garments exporter, accusing it of having infringed on the rights of its workers.

This is the first such instance involving a multinational corporation and a Sri Lankan manufacturer, BBC Sandeshaya reports.
The Geneva-based Global Federation of Trade Unions has refuted an allegation by the Sri Lankan Employers Federation that trade union activities were to be blamed for the suspension of the orders by the US buyer.
FTZ Trade Unions Federation’s Anton Marcus has said that there had been employee-employer dispute at Mirai Ltd and accused the management of repressing the unions.

J Crew had been informed of the situation because neither the government nor the Labour Department had intervened, he said, adding that the J Crew decision was a clear indication that the international community was there to safeguard labour rights.
to read.

* US buyer severs ties with Lankan supplier over labour issues:

The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) says that the recent decision by US retailer J Crew to pull out further orders from its Sri Lankan supplier Mirrai Pvt Limited, after the manufacturer refused to correct serious labour violations, is sending a message to the garment industry that codes of conduct can be more than paper tigers.

Secretary of the FTZGSEU Anton Marcus told The Island Financial Review that the Industrial Global Union has written to the Ceylon Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) criticizing its knee jerk reaction of blaming the union for the loss of orders and urging the industry to instead tackle the real issues in order to build a viable and sustainable export industry.

General Secretary of the Industrial Global Union Tyrri Raina in a letter to the local supplier has made it very clear that J. Crew’s reason for severing its connections with Mirrai was not the allegations brought by the union nor any violations, but rather its refusal to partner with J. Crew in order to remedy the labour violations.
When Mirrai tried to crack down on its workers last year, the FTZGSEN tried to resolve the problem through dialogue, but when they refuse to even meet, the union sought intervention of the labour authorities, but there was no progress. read more.

* US retailer J Crew pulls out of Sri Lanka:

The recent decision by US retailer J Crew to pull future orders from its Sri Lankan supplier Mirrai PVT Ltd. after the manufacturer refused to correct serious violations is sending a message to the industry that codes of conduct ‘can be more than paper tigers’, a global union has said.

IndustriALL Global Union has written to the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) criticizing its knee-jerk reaction of blaming the union for the loss of orders and urging the industry to instead tackle the real issues in order to build a viable and sustainable export industry.
“In a letter addressed to its supplier, the retailer has made it perfectly clear that its reason for leaving the factory is not the allegations brought by the union, nor even the existence of violations, but rather Mirrai’s refusal to partner with J Crew in order to remedy those violations,” says Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union in his letter.

The union press release said that late last year, when Mirrai cracked down on workers who were trying to organize, IndustriALL affiliate FTZGSEU tried to resolve the problem through dialogue. When the company refused to even meet, the union sought the intervention of the labour authorities, but still no progress was made. So the union then took the next logical step and asked the buyer, J Crew, to intervene to ensure respect for its code of conduct. read more.

* Sri Lanka should learn from J Crew’s exit:

The recent decision by US retailer J Crew to pull future orders from its Sri Lankan supplier Mirrai PVT Ltd. after the manufacturer refused to correct serious violations is sending a message to the industry that codes of conduct can be more than paper tigers.

IndustriALL Global Union has written to the Ceylon Employers’ Federation criticizing its knee-jerk reaction of blaming the union for the loss of orders and urging the industry to instead tackle the real issues in order to build a viable and sustainable export industry.

“In a letter addressed to its supplier, the retailer has made it perfectly clear that its reason for leaving the factory is not the allegations brought by the union, nor even the existence of violations, but rather Mirrai’s refusal to partner with J Crew in order to remedy those violations,” says Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union in his letter. read more.

* Don’t blame the whistle-blower: Mirrai responsible for loss of orders:

Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL reproach the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon for lashing out at the trade union FTZGSEU.

The federation blamed the union for J Crew’s withdrawal from Mirrai PVT in Sri Lanka, rather than firmly placing responsibility for the exit with Mirrai. In a letter to Mirrai, J Crew explains that the reason it will no longer place orders at the factory is not the allegations brought by the union, but rather Mirrai’s failure to partner with J Crew to remedy the violation of workers’ rights.

In a joint letter, CCC and IndustriALL, the global union for manufacturing workers, echo a request from the FTZGSEU. They want the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to persuade Mirrai to respect national laws and international standards in order to try to safeguard the jobs of the workers it employs, rather than pointing the finger at the union for the loss of orders. You can download the letters & read more.

18:42:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Demos against loadshedding in Kasur:

Powerloom workers protested at Steel Bagh Chowk and blocked roads and raised slogans against Wapda and rulers to condemn severe loadshedding in Kasur.

Meanwhile, workers and members of civil society also took out processions against Wapda and politicians in different parts of the city. Sixteen to eighteen hour loadshedding is being observed in Kasur. Workers, tailors, shopkeepers and owners of powerlooms are facing worst financial crisis. According to people including Zakir Hussain, Tahir, Habib-ur-Rehman and others the rulers and politicians under Indian and American conspiracy were pushing people towards hunger through hike in prices and loadshedding. read more.

* US designer group likely to come back to Pakistan:

The historic decision by commercial court is likely to result in bringing one of the world’s most renowned designer’s wear brand back to Pakistani manufacturers restoring their market share in the global market.

The Special Commercial Court (SCC) headed by its Chairman Sathi Ishaque after umpteenth hearings has ordered the respondents to pay the damages to the tune of $61,000 to the foreign buyer for shipping rejected and damaged goods. SCC Sindh and Balochistan had received complaint of fraud and breach of contract by the owner of a textile firm by D Michael Painter of Quivera LLC, California, USA the sourcing agent for the designer’s wear brand, through Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) that he placed an order for supply of garments worth $50,000 to Shan Textiles, Karachi in 2008 but the latter had shipped damaged and rejected goods to the importer.

On this, TDAP filed a case against Shan Textiles in commercial court in 2009-2010, for which the entire credit goes, besides the legal and trade dispute department to the former TDAP chief executive Tariq Puri, who realising the situation and the reputation of the country, ordered the officials to get it resolved on priority basis.
read more.
& read more.

The case involved a foreign buyer, who had ordered garments worth $50,000 from a Karachi-based textile group in 2008, but the latter shipped defective goods to the importer, leading to the dispute. PHOTO: TRIBUNE FILE
 

* Cotton & Textiles:

1. Firm to rising trend seen on cotton market as gap widens in demand, phutti arrivals
2. Prices tighten on cotton market
3. Punjab government takes steps to increase irrigated cotton production
4 . Further rise in prices on cotton market

to read here.

 

map of Asia

CHINA
* An introduction to China’s social security system

PHILIPPINES
* BPAP emphasizes employee safety

VIET NAM
* Garment sector needs to seek new markets

LAOS
* Garment and coffee sectors central to employment growth

THAILAND
* Govt explains pregnancy repatriation rule
* Ceiling raised for workers’ medical fund
* Chamber renews call to delay minimum wage hike
* Reckless policies need to be reviewed
* Euro crisis to take toll on exports

CAMBODIA
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
1. Malaysia workers reject deal
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2. Gov’t approves nearly $500M in investment

BANGLA DESH
* US remains largest export destination
* Garment exports to US on the rise
* RMG workers hold protests for wages, allowance
* Jute growers face problems for scarcity of retting water
* Jute growers deprived of fair price in Dinajpur
* Rejected garment products now occupy city’s eye-catching shopping malls
* Plea to transfer Aminul killing case to CID

INDIA
* Trade unions seek revision of minimum wages
* Steps to boost apparel exports on anvil
* No fiscal implication for R35,000-cr debt of textile cos
* Odisha govt signs MoU with Nabard for revival of Handloom sector
* NIFT-TEA Institute action plan suggests setting up multi-department coordination committee
* Knit Show to feature water-saving technology
* ASEAN-India plan of action: $70 million projects being processed
* High density cotton planting to be undertaken in Rajasthan
* A class apart

SRI LANKA
* US buyer suspends orders to Lankan garment exporter
* US buyer severs ties with Lankan supplier over labour issues
* US retailer J Crew pulls out of Sri Lanka
* Sri Lanka should learn from J Crew’s exit
* Don’t blame the whistle-blower: Mirrai responsible for loss of orders

PAKISTAN
* Demos against loadshedding in Kasur
* US designer group likely to come back to Pakistan
* Cotton & Textiles:
1. Firm to rising trend seen on cotton market as gap widens in demand, phutti arrivals
2. Prices tighten on cotton market
3. Punjab government takes steps to increase irrigated cotton production
4 . Further rise in prices on cotton market

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