in the news on-line, 28 august 2012

01:39:09 local time map of mongolia MONGOLIA

* Volatility in cashmere:

Unexpected fluctuations in cashmere prices in 2012 have dampened optimism  
in Mongolia’s textiles sector, despite the introduction of incentives from  
the government aimed at streamlining the industry. However, industry  
players say a planned commodities exchange will resolve the issue.

After opening at MNT70,000 ($52) per kg in the March-April buying season
for the country’s pivotal cashmere industry, prices quickly fell to as low
as MNT40,000 ($30) per kg. Local media reported that herders had expected
to see prices climb as high as MNT100,000 ($75) per kg.

Producers and herders blame the dip on traders from China, accusing them of
straying from National Cashmere and Wool Association (NCWA) price
estimates, which were between MNT56,000 and MNT58,000 ($42-43). However,
officials say the instability was a result of government loans being
misused by domestic producers who “conspired” to drive prices up. read more.

01:39:09 local time map of china CHINA

* Fishermen say pollution cause of massive fish kill:

Authorities in Anxin County in Hebei Province attributed the death of 1 million kilograms of fish in Baiyangdian Lake to environmental changes, triggering controversy among fishermen who blamed illegal chemical dumping.

Flooding in the upstream Xiaoyi River sent a large amount of mud and wastes into the lake and decreased oxygen in the water, which caused many fish to die, authorities said.

But fishermen said the lake had turned black and red and emitted a smelly odor because of illegal chemical discharges from factories in the upstream counties, poisoning the fish, Beijing Times reported yesterday.
(…)
The fishermen suspected textile mills and fur processors in Gaoyang and Lixian counties caused the contamination. They said they would bring the plants to the court if they got conclusive evidence, the paper said. read more.

00:39:09 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage increase may be postponed:

The minimum wage is scheduled for rising from January 1, 2013, but the change will be delayed from March to June 2013 if local businesses still faced difficulties in the second half of 2012.

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs recently held a seminar on raising minimum wage in 2013.
Ms. Nguyen Hong Ha, Vice director of the HCM City branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said most enterprises agreed with the increase of minimum wage. However, they said that the Government should make official announcement in September 2012 and the change should begin from March 2013.

Ha said so far this year, more than 30,000 companies have stopped operating or went bankrupt. Local businesses are facing a lot of difficulties.
Mr. Mai Duc Chinh, Vice Chair of the Vietnam Confederation of Labor, said the increase of minimum wage will only make the increase of employers’ pay for social insurance for manual workers. Thus, businesses’ cost will rise. read more.

* Payment for worker’s meager meals appropriated:

Many companies regularly pay VND15,000 (.72 US cents) per lunch meal per worker, but the actual cost of the meals is only VND10,000, and the difference goes to the person who places orders, a Tuoi Tre investigation has found.

By pretending to be someone who wanted to place orders for workers’ meals, Tuoi Tre correspondents met a man who identified himself simply as Tuan, the owner of an establishment that provides workers’ meals for companies in Di An Town, Binh Duong Province.

Tuan said, “We can provide meals at VND10,000 each but we can issue invoices showing that the value of a meal is VND12,000 or higher, at the request of the person who places orders with us. We will make invoices showing the value at the request of our customers. We have to do so to keep clients, otherwise they would seek other meal providers.” read more.

* Vietnam ranks second in footwear export to Colombia:

Vietnam ranked second in footwear export to Colombia with export revenues reaching more than US$28 million, making up 16 percent of the Southern American country’s total footwear import value in the first five months of this year.

However, the Southeast Asian nation ranked fourth in terms of export volume with more than 1.16 million pairs of shoes.
According to the Colombian Association of Footwear and Leather Manufacturers ( ACICAM ), the country imported almost 25.7 million pairs of shoes worth $177.2 million in the first five months of 2012. China was the Southern American country’s largest footwear exporter with more than 19 million pairs of shoes worth over $105 million.
Last year, Vietnam exported almost 2.87 million pairs of shoes worth $66 million to the market, ranking fourth in export volume and second in value.
to read.
& read more.
 

* Vietnam garment firms to discuss trade with Myanmar:

A ‘business matching’ meeting between representatives of Vietnamese firms, including manufacturers of garments and textiles, and their Myanmarese counterparts will be held in Myanmar, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) said.
Last year, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Myanmar was over US$ 167 million, up 9.8 percent year-on-year.
 Textiles and clothing are among the major products imported by Vietnam from Myanmar. read more.

00:39:09 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Jobless numbers up and could go higher, says NESDB:

Unemployment has been rising in the wake of the 2011 flood crisis and the sharp hike in the minimum daily wage this year, according to National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) secretarygeneral Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

“Investment and manufacturing facilities have not expanded because of the hike in the minimum daily wage, which took effect in April,” he said yesterday.
The flood crisis late last year had also forced many businesses to close down or suspend operations, he said.

“Many businesses are still unable to resume manufacturing,” Arkhom said. Investors were also concerned about the Eurosovereign debt crisis.
According to the NESDB, the national unemployment rate soared to 0.85 per cent in the second quarter of this year, up from 0.6 per cent during the same period last year. read more.

00:39:09 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Bonuses ‘won’t end strikes’ :


Strikers take a break during a protest outside the Conpress Holdings (Cambodia) garment factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

A pay rise for the nation’s garment workers is imminent, but if recent strikes are anything to go by, the US$10 monthly increase from September 1 won’t be enough to stop them from walking off the job.

Central to the demands of strikers at four garment factories in Kampong Speu, Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces this week has been an increase in bonuses and allowances.
In all cases, those demands have exceeded next month’s approved wage increase and have led to unionists being sacked.

More than 500 workers at King First Industrial in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district yesterday entered their third day of a strike triggered by the sacking of three unionists.
Their reinstatement is paramount, but so are the workers’ demands for better pay, Free Trade Union official Yann Roth Keopisey said.

“[Their] demands include a $10 transport or accommodation allowance, $15 per month for lunches [and] a $12 attendance bonus,” he said.
The Labour Advisory Council, which is part of the Ministry of Labour, agreed last month to a $7 transport or accommodation allowance for garment workers and a $3 increase to their attendance bonus, increasing the minimum wage for a full month of work from $73 to $83.
Sok Vong, one of the three sacked Free Trade Union workers, said employees had a right to have their demands voiced.
“They sacked us illegally,” he said.  read more.

* Union urges minister to get factory to accept returning workers:

Cambodian Confederation of Unions President Yang Sophorn  asked Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng Monday to get Tainan Enterprisess (Cambodia) Co Ltd to let workers return to work.

In a statement, he said the confederation received last week a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs asking the director of the Taiwanese-owned company to allow workers back to work after a strike lasting two months.
The workers returned last Thursday but the factory refused to accept them, he said.
There was no immediate response from Ith Sam Heng.to read.

* AEC: Cambodia sees challenges:

Cambodia sees the future Asean community as a good chance for economic and human resource development although some challenges are expected, a government adviser said.

Sok Siphana, adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Cambodia’s relatively low wages were likely to attract more foreign investment.

Speaking to the Club of Cambo-dian Journalists (CCJ), he nevertheless added that increased employment opportunities meant that Cambodians had to improve their work skills. At the same time, he said services such as accounting, engineering and hospital services need to be standardised in the Asean Economic Community, scheduled to come into effect in 2015.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told the CCJ meeting that the quality of education was very important. “We are weak in some areas compared with other countries,” he said. “We have a lot of schools but the quality is low.” read more.

01:39:09 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Two Million Workers Prepare Strike:

Indonesian Workers Union Confederation (KSPI) claimed that there are two million workers ready to hold mass strike next month. The workers demand the government to remove outsourcing and low wage system.

 Said Iqbal, KSPI President, stated the exact date of the mass strike is yet to be decided. Said revealed the plan while visiting Antasari Azhar, former chief of anti graft commission KPK, in Tangerang Detention Center on August 25th, 2012.

Said also stated the rally will also declare workers’ support to KPK and its effort in eradicating corruption. The workers, according to Said, will suffer further if corruption will still rampant in the country. read more.

23:39:09 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Low jute price hits farmers again:

Farmers in several districts in the country are frustrated by the low price of jute for the past two years as they are not being able to recover even the cost of production by selling the product.
The price of one mound of jute is ranging between Tk 600 and Tk 1,500, depending on the quality, in different districts, whereas the production cost of the same is between Tk 900 and Tk 1200, growers from Jessore, Faridpur and Bogra said.
‘I had to incur huge loss by producing jute’, Niranjan Das of Chandpur Majhiali village under Monirampur upazila of Jessore told New Age correspondent in the district.
He said he had to spend Tk 900 for producing one mound of jute but the price is lower than the production cost.
Ayub Biswas of Rohita village of the same district said he had to spend around Tk 900 to produce each mound of jute, but was forced to sell it for Tk 800 per mound.
Global economic recession and the crisis in the Middleast countries are the two main reasons for the fall in jute price in domestic market, jute officials said.
read more.

* Wave of global economic shock hits leather exports:

The wave of global economic meltdown has finally hit exports of Bangladesh made crust leather.
Buyers of Bangladeshi crust leather, such as South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong, who make leather goods and re-export, have cut orders significantly, according to Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA).  BTA leaders said the Asian importers are not placing enough orders as their exports to Eurozone and American markets have declined.
During the last two months, July and August, exports from some processing plants fell between 25 to 40 per cent, according to leather exporters.
Due to the prolonged financial crisis in the EU and American markets, the manufacturers of crust and finished leather turned worried over their heaps of inventories.
They say they would not be able to accomplish export target worth US$ 400 million set by the government for the incumbent fiscal year.read more.

23:09:09 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile mills may import 1.2 mn cotton bales in year ended Sept 12:

The Cotton Advisory Board has estimated that Indian textile mills may import 1.2 million bales of natural fibre in the current season (October-September).

“The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) has estimated cotton imports in 2011-12 season (ending September 30, 2012) at 1.2 million bales, including short staple cotton,” Textile Minister Anand Sharma said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
In July 2012, prices of Indian cotton crossed world cotton prices, making imports of other varieties of the natural fibre more economical, he said.

Other reasons for India’s rising natural fibre imports include availability of international credit finance at lower interest rates, savings in the carrying cost for textiles mills, higher yarn realisation and better quality cotton, the minister added.
Till date in the current season, 480,000 bales of natural fibre have been imported, Sharma said. In the 2010-11 year, the natural fibre imports stood at 5 lakh bales.
read more.

* TextileMin for buyback deals on raw silk, cotton:

The textiles ministry is pursuing procuring raw silk and cotton from overseas markets to ensure long-term availability of the products.

For silk, the government has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan under a buyback arrangement for processing and other downstream production activities. This would be the first ever vertical integration of manufacturing value chain in the world, said an official source associated with the development.

For cotton, too, the ministry has begun talks with African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Chad, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana.
India is the second largest producer of silk next to China, contributing 18 per cent to the world’s production. It is also the largest consumer of silk in the world. read more.

* Indian govt releases Rs. 577mn subsidy for jute mills:

Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State in the Ministry Of Textiles, has informed that there are 83 composite jute mills in the country.
Out of the total 83 jute mills, 64 jute mills are located in West Bengal, 3 each in Bihar and U.P., 7 in Andhra Pradesh, 2 each in Assam and Orissa, 1 each in Tripura and Chhattisgarh.  State-wise data about production and export of jute bags is not readily available and shall be laid on the table of the house in due course of time.

During the last year, the average price of jute bags has shown a decline with respect to the previous two years when there was a substantial increase over earlier years.  This trend, however, is in sync with the Government price for the jute bags procured through the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D). read more.

* Labour movements losing importance- union leader:

Radhakrishna, State president of the All-India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), has said that there is a need to launch a trade union movement free from all kinds of compromises.

Addressing delegates at a State-level conference of the union here on Sunday, Mr. Radhakrishna expressed concern over what he described as struggles and labour movements losing importance because of enmity within unions and the presence of multiple trade unions all claiming to be leftists.

Mr. Radhakrishna claimed that the AIUTUC, established by Marxist Shivadas Ghosh, was the only organisation capable of eradicating capitalistic society and striving for the welfare of the working class. Mr. Radhakrishna appealed to the people to support the AIUTUC and participate in the protests launched by it.
read more.

* Adidas asks Reebok franchisees to accept new terms:

Adidas, the German sports goods manufacturer that acquired Reebok globally in 2005 and merged operations in India in 2011, has strictly directed around 70 franchisees in Delhi-NCR to accept the new terms and conditions or close shops by August 31, 2012.
 
Until now, Adidas operated franchisees under a minimum guarantee (MG) scheme, whereby the company paid a minimum fixed amount to the franchisees, irrespective of their sales.
However, with the launch of a three-pronged strategy for its Reebok India operations, the company, which is eager to revive its Reebok business in India as soon as possible, has proposed to end the MG scheme, and instead start offering stocks to franchisees at a reasonable discount. read more.

* Total ban on child employment on cards:

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday is expected to clear the proposal to amend the anti-child labour law which proposes a complete ban on employment of children up to the age of 14 in any industry — hazardous or non-hazardous.

According to the proposal, children between 14 and 18 years can be employed, but only in non-hazardous industries with property safety mechanism.

As of now, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, permits employment of children of up to 14 years of age in industries not considered to be hazardous. read more.

* Child labour below 14 to be banned:

Employing a child below 14 years in any kind of occupation is set to become a cognizable offence, punishable with a maximum three years imprisonment or fine upto a maximum of Rs. 50,000.

The Union cabinet is likely to approve the Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition) Act, 1986 today which will allow employing children only between 14-18 years in non- hazardous industries like forest gathering, child care etc. Children between 14-18 years have been defined as “adolescents” in the amended Act.

The existing Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, while prohibiting employment of children in hazardous industries allows children below 14 years of age to work in industries not considered to be hazardous.
The amended Act, being moved by the labour ministry, also puts a blanket ban on employing anybody below 18 years in hazardous occupation.
Such hazardous occupations have also been re-classified in line with the increase in the minimum age of child labour from 14 to 18 years. read more.

22:39:09 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Exports of sports goods go down in July:

Exports of sports good decreased by 8.72 percent during the first month of current fiscal year as against the exports of the same month of last year.

The sports exports were recorded at US$26.627 million during July 2012 as compared to the exports of US$29.170 recorded during July 2011, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.
As compared to the exports of US$ 29.336 million recorded in June 2012, the exports of sports good during July 2012 witnessed negative growth of 9.23 percent, the data revealed.
Among the sports good, the exports of footballs decreased by 10.77 percent and 17.30 percent as compared to July 2011 and June 2012, respectively.
The exports of footballs during July 2011 stood at US$11.581 million against the exports of US$ 12.979 million in July 2011 and US$14.004 in June 2011, according to the data. read more.

* Trading remains bullish at cotton market:

Lint trading remained bullish on Monday with firm spot rate amid fine lint in focus, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said.

The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 5,850 per maund in order to support baseline prices level for raw grade farmers, floor brokers said.

During the trading session, spinners in Punjab and Sindh stations purchased lint of all grades on competitive prices at around Rs 5,675 per maund and Rs 5,875 per maund while fine lint changed hands at around Rs 6,050 per maund, traders said.
read more.

* ‘Value-added textile sector tumbling down’:

It is indeed, a great irony that whiles the exports of the vital sector of our economy – the value-added textile sector is tumbling down, some associations exporting raw material, which includes our precious energy are cheering and celebrating which is a sorry state of affairs, lamented Muhammad Mushtaq, Chairman, Value Added Textile Forum.

He said that during the year 2011-12 as compared to 2010-11 exports of this vital value added textile sector have greatly declined, which is evident from the facts and figures. Exports of knitwear declined by 22.2 per cent in quantity terms and 14.37 per cent in terms of value, bedwear exports declined by 19.11 per cent in quantity terms and 16.30 per cent in terms of value, readymade garment exports declined by 25.95 per cent in quantity terms and 7.84 per cent in terms of value, towel exports declined by 17.18 per cent in quantity terms; 10.25 per cent in terms f value. read more.

map of Asia

MONGOLIA
* Volatility in cashmere

CHINA
* Fishermen say pollution cause of massive fish kill

VIET NAM
* Minimum wage increase may be postponed
* Payment for worker’s meager meals appropriated
* Vietnam ranks second in footwear export to Colombia
* Vietnam garment firms to discuss trade with Myanmar

THAILAND
* Jobless numbers up and could go higher

CAMBODIA
* Bonuses ‘won’t end strikes’
* Union urges minister to get factory to accept returning workers
* AEC: Cambodia sees challenges

INDONESIA
* Two Million Workers Prepare Strike

BANGLA DESH
* Low jute price hits farmers again
* Wave of global economic shock hits leather exports

INDIA
* Textile mills may import 1.2 mn cotton bales in year ended Sept 12
* TextileMin for buyback deals on raw silk, cotton
* Indian govt releases Rs. 577mn subsidy for jute mills
* Labour movements losing importance- union leader
* Adidas asks Reebok franchisees to accept new terms
* Total ban on child employment on cards
* Child labour below 14 to be banned

PAKISTAN
* Exports of sports goods go down in July
* Trading remains bullish at cotton market
* ‘Value-added textile sector tumbling down’

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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
    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

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