in the news on-line, 10 October 2012

09:15:59 local time map of china CHINA

* Strikes surge again in September led by disputes in the service sector:

The number of strikes in China’s service industries surged once again last month to overtake manufacturing as the country’s most strike prone sector, according to data compiled by China Labour Bulletin.

Out of the 37 strikes and protests recorded on CLB’s strike map in September, over one half (21) occurred in the service sector, including seven in transport, six in retail and two in education. A total of 14 strikes were recorded in the manufacturing sector.
read more.

* Anta to launch 600 new stores:

China’s leading sports brand Anta plans to launch 600 new stores this year, despite a previous claim by the company’s CEO that expansion would be controlled, according to Beijing Business Today.

Anta opened 600 new stores last year, but its profitability is declining. Sales revenue in the first half of 2012 was 3.934 billion yuan, an 11.6 percent drop on the same period last year. Net profit attributable to shareholders fell 17 percent to 770 million yuan, the company’s interim report said. read more.

08:15:59 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment makers seek to improve export turnover:

The textile industry has called on its members to work harder to achieve its US$18 billion dollar export target this year.

This was announced yesterday by the secretary of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), Le Tien Truong, who is also deputy CEO of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).
The call came after garment export turnover reached only about $10 billion in the first nine months of the year as demands of major markets declined.
“Vinatex is now seeking new partners in South Korea and Canada and increasing exports to mainland China, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East,” Truong said.
read more.

08:15:59 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers strike takes Pchum Ben break:

About 600 Tae Young factory workers are back on the job thanks to a court injunction – and the desire to pocket a little cash in time for Pchum Ben – but the return will only be temporary, workers said yesterday.

The decision followed a Kandal Provincial Court injunction ordering them back to the Ang Snuol district factory within 48 hours, but the workers said that after the holiday, they would resume their strike to reinstate 16 workers sacked for allegedly inciting a protest in June.

Worker representative Un Bunkea said yesterday that the need for wages before the holiday, coupled with the court injunction and the factory’s announcement that it would fire workers who continued striking, prompted the decision that all but the sacked 16 should temporarily return.

“I and the other union officials told the workers to return to work, because they have to receive salaries,” Bunkea said. read more.

* Global Apparel Buyers Supporting ASEAN Suppliers:

Marks and Spencer, Target, Benetton and El-Corte Ingles are some of the top global clothing brands and retailers who are in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this week, attending the 3rd Annual SAFSA Global Forum 2012 at the Sofitel Hotel.

Source ASEAN Full Service Alliance (SAFSA) is a member based alliance of textile mills and garment factories in Southeast Asia and the world’s leading garment buyers.

The three day event organized in conjunction with the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) gives high-level sourcing executives the opportunity to conduct B2B meetings with ASEAN based textile and apparel suppliers. During the two days, over 60 meetings are being held between the members and critical issues facing the region’s competitiveness are being discussed.

ASEAN textile and apparel companies are preparing for the move towards a single market in 2015 through the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community.
read more. (with video)

09:15:59 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt to clamp down on outsourcing:

The government has decided on the heels of last week’s labor protests to impose tighter restrictions on the employment of workers through outsourcing.

Speaking at a hearing with lawmakers on Monday, Irianto Simbolon, the director general for industrial relations and social security affairs, said a planned revision to existing regulations would ban outsourcing companies from hiring workers on a contract basis.

“Outsourced workers must be employed permanently by the company that provides the outsourcing service,” Irianto said.
He added that the revision would also require outsourcing companies to give their employees holiday bonuses, 12 days annual leave and health insurance.
Indra Musnawar, the leader of the Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation, said that the government’s proposed revisions would not address the real problem of the outsourcing system in Indonesia.

“The law says that outsourcing is the transfer of non-core job positions inside a company to other parties for the sake of efficiency. At present, there are many outsourcing firms that serve as brokers for firms that need workers [for their core positions],” Indra said. read more.

* The 3rd edition of the Better Work Indonesia quarterly newsletter:

1. Highlight: CSR Forum in Jakarta
2. Meeting: Better Work Indonesia and the Ad Hoc Team of the Ministry of    Manpower and Transmigration
3. Meeting between International Buyers and Disabled Persons Organisations: Access to work in garment industry
4. Figure: Angela Friska: I am no longer ashamed of my disability
5.Better Work Indonesia has issued a protocol to properly manage shadow visits for parties who wish to participate in the  assessment / advisory service.
read more. (click on image)

07:15:59 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Tanneries harm workers, poison communities :

Workers in many tanneries in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka, including children as young as 11, become ill because of exposure to hazardous chemicals and are injured in horrific workplace accidents, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday.

The tanneries, which export hundreds of millions of dollars worth of leather for luxury goods throughout the world, spew pollutants into surrounding communities, the New York-based rights body said in its report.

The 101-page report, ‘Toxic Tanneries: The Health Repercussions of Bangladesh’s Hazaribagh Leather’, documents an occupational health and safety crisis among tannery workers, both men and women, including skin diseases and respiratory illnesses caused by exposure to tanning chemicals, and limb amputations caused by accidents in dangerous tannery machinery. read more. & read more (+video).

* Workers still in danger:

Safety issues ignored, relevant laws not enforced

Tannery wastes — solid and liquid — get stuck in a low land of Hazaribagh in the capital. Despite outcries from the media and locals, tanneries continue to release pollutants into the city’s environment, posing threats to public health. The photo was taken yesterday. Photo: Rashed Shumon

The government has not enforced environment and labour laws in the leather sector, owing to which workers’ safety issues remain mostly ignored, says a report of the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Workers of 90 percent of the tannery industries at Hazaribagh in the capital have been exposed to hazardous chemicals and often put at risk of on-job accidents, leaving them partially or completely disabled, according to the report.

However, the leather workers, estimated to be more than 15,000, are the ones contributing to the annual export growth of $41 million in this sector since 2002.

The report, “Toxic tanneries: the health repercussions of Bangladesh’s Hazaribagh leather”, produced yesterday was based on a field survey conducted between January and May. In the survey, the rights body interviewed 134 people, including current and ex-tannery workers and officials, slum dwellers, healthcare professionals, officials of government and non-governmental organisations and leaders of trade unions. read more.

* RMG workers rally for arrears:

Workers of two readymade garment factories and a sweater unit on Tuesday demonstrated for arrears at Chashara in Narayanganj.
The workers of Fatulla Molla Garments, Monara Garments and Arpat Sweater Factory demanded arrear wages, eight-hour duty and payment for work on overtime.
to read.

* Hallmark’s textile unit closed:

Production has been suspended at Baby Knitting Industry, a textile mill owned by the Hallmark Group, at Nandakhali of Savar in Dhaka after the arrest of the group’s managing director Tanvir Mahmud.
Earlier an apparel factory of the gorup was shut  down in the wake of Hallmark’s forgery of about Tk 2686.14 crore from Sonali Bank.
Workers of the textile mill and the apparel factory have now been employed to guard the closed factories and the land said to have been grabbed by the group in the area.
Tanvir and the group’s general manager Tushar Ahmed were arrested on Sunday night over the embezzlement of the Sonali Bank money.
Since the arrest of the two, tension has prevailed at Nandakhali as several groups of hired musclemen have been deployed in the area.
Local people said that Hallmark had beefed up security in the occupied area. The hired goons armed with sharp weapons kept guarding the area, especially at night, at the directives of the factory’s general manager Shamim Ahamed.
read more. & read more.

* Bangladesh seeks more cooperation in RMG trade:

Bangladesh has the opportunity to grab a significant portion of apparel trade made among the Developing 8 (D-8) member countries, an analyst said.

D-8 is an important market as it has around 1 billion people with an average per capita income of $2,750, said Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue.
Although the D-8 countries export around $49 billion worth readymade garment (RMG) products annually, they also import over $5 billion worth of apparels from other countries, according to Rahman.

“So there is an enormous opportunity lying for Bangladesh,” said Rahman at a seminar, “D-8 Co-operation in Textile and Garments Industries: Way Forward”, held at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday.
In his keynote, GKM Towfique Hassan, an adviser to Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), said Turkey is the most promising market among the D-8 nations for RMG exports from Bangladesh. read more.

* Lack of policy support bars RMG access to D-8 countries: seminar:

The country’s textile and garment business failed to make inroads into the market of D-8 member countries because of lack of policy support and energy and infrastructure shortage, said experts at a seminar in Dhaka on Tuesday.
They also said inefficient manpower, less productivity and poor labour management made the prospect of the sector even less attractive to the foreign investors, including the Developing Eight countries.
‘We have major export potentials of garment in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and other D-8 member countries but the local problems are hindering the garment and textile sector to enter the markets,’ said former president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association Matin Chowdhury at the seminar, held on the sideline of the working group meeting at the 3rd D-8 ministerial meeting on industry. read more.

* Garment shipments to India soar 52pc:

Bangladesh’s garment exports to India soared by more than 52 percent to around $55 million in fiscal 2011-12.

But the overall exports declined by 2.7 percent.
According to Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran, apparel exports rose as India gave a duty- and quota-free market access to Bangladeshi readymade garments in September 2011.
The decline in the overall exports was due to a fall in the prices of jute, which accounts for 23 percent of Bangladesh’s total exports to India, he said. read more.

* Export up but misses target:

Export earnings in the first quarter of the current fiscal (FY 20012-13) posted a growth of 2.07 percent but missed the target mainly due to failure in woven and frozen food sector.

During the Jul-Sep period, Bangladesh exported goods worth around $6.29 billion missing the $6.64 billion target by 5.19 percent, according to the latest figures of the Export Promotion Bureau.
However, the amount was higher than the $6.16 billion earnings during the same period in the previous fiscal.

The largest export earner, the knitwear sector met the target and even exceeded it by 1 percent but still was 1.54 percent lower than the same period in the last fiscal.
The woven garments sector was 5.13 percent below the goal, even though the earning from the sector rose by 10 percent in comparison to the previous fiscal.
read more.

* Demand for sophisticated BD garments on rise in Japan:

Japanese buyers in large number are importing high- valued readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh, industry people said.

Export to Japan has increased by over 85 per cent during the July-August period of the current fiscal year (FY), Export Promotion Bureau data showed.
BGMEA research cell shows the total Japanese demand for clothing in 2008 was estimated at $ 14 billion while the total demand in 2012 has been projected at $ 20 billion.
Bangladesh’s export to the country in FY 2011-12 was $ 400 million.Japanese buyers in large number are importing high- valued readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh, industry people said. read more.

* BGMEA set to go for test run of modern testing lab for RMG products:

The BGMEA is set to go for test run of the country’s first testing lab for RMG products with a view to rendering better services with lower prices to the local exporters, officials said.

After going for commercial operation, the lab would save a significant amount of hard- earned foreign currencies as all the testing labs presently operating in the country are of foreign origin that regularly siphon off a large amount of profits, they added. read more.

06:45:59 local time map of india INDIA

* Weavers block road in protest against 18-hour power cut in Salem:

Protesting against the 18-hour power outage that led to crippling of their production activities, around 150 weavers staged a road block in Udayapatti near the TANGEDCO office, disrupting traffic movement on the Salem – Attur National Highway for an hour on Tuesday morning.

Protestors said that power supply was not continuous even for a few hours. Production activity was completely stopped and their earnings had been affected.
Both during the night hours and daylight hours, erratic power supply keep them in their dark, affecting their livelihood.

“We need a minimum of five-hour continuous supply which TANGEDCO was unable to provide in spite of many representations,” they added. read more.

* Weavers to observe extended Diwali vacation:

The weaving sector in the country’s biggest man-made fabric hub in the city, which is passing through a tough phase due to dwindling demand of polyester fabrics, increasing prices of yarn and financial crisis, is planning a month-long Diwali vacation from November 5.

An official decision to this effect along with production cut, payment terms and demand for relief in electricity tariff is likely to be taken on Wednesday by the weaving associations in the city under the leadership of Federation of Gujarat Weavers’ Association (FOGWA).

Weavers in most of the industrial estates have already implemented five-days a week norm in their units to bring down the production of grey fabrics. This is likely to continue till November.
The sector employs about 5 lakh textile workers, mainly migrants from Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, etc. The textile workers employed in the weaving units are paid wages per day and the closure of two days in a week is likely to affect a large section of them. read more.

* Garment exporters slam US child labour report:

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on Tuesday rejected a US labour department report, which had said that garments were among 21 Made-in-India products using child or forced labour.

In a statement, AEPC said it has sought removal of garments from the list and has already presented data to support its claim that child or forced labour was not used. It also pointed to Indian laws and recent steps to discourage employment of underage workers.

“The garment industry of India is deeply engaged in ensuring compliance with the law and that its efforts encompass the informal sector, including home workers, and facilities serving solely the domestic market,” AEPC chairman A Sakthivel said.
read more.

* Punjab textile sector keen to follow Tirupur model:

Senior bureaucrats, pollution control board officials and textile entrepreneurs from Punjab visit Tirupur

A high-level team of senior bureaucrats, pollution control board officials and textile entrepreneurs from Punjab visited Tirupur knitwear cluster to study the ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ (ZLD) systems installed by various effluent treatment plants here, and thereby, adopting the technique back in Punjab.

The 14-member delegation also held talks with Tirupur dyers, apparel manufacturers and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials during the visit here on Monday in an attempt to assess the feasibility and benefits of the ZLD methodology followed in Tirupur cluster subsequent to a court direction last year. read more.

* Cotton futures continue uptrend:

Cotton futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange were trading on the positive note after gaining nearly two per cent on Monday on the back of strong demand.

October contract opened higher at Rs 16,220 a bale on Tuesday against the previous close of Rs 16,140. It was up 0.62 per cent at Rs 16,250 a bale at 12.45 pm.
Cotton output estimates were recently lowered to 334 lakh bales against 352 lakh bales registered last year. The area under cotton cultivation was down at 114 lakh hectares against 120 lakh hectares registered last year.
Cotton prices in major spot markets were close to the minimum support price of Rs 3,600 a quintal set by the Government. This will cap any sharp spike in cotton prices. to read.

* India cotton seen stable as higher supplies meet demand from mills:

Cotton spot prices in India are expected to remain stable this week after four flat days as higher supplies from the new season crop are likely to meet demand from textile makers.

“Mills have started buying as cotton stocks with them are very low and this could support prices despite higher supplies from the new season crop and poor demand from exporters,” said Arunbhai Dalal, a trader based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
read more.

* Textile body stresses use of technology to raise cotton productivity:

Cotton production during the current year is expected to decline to 33.4 million bales from 35.3 million bales last year

The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has strongly advocated the extensive use of technology to resolve the problems of stagnating area and production of cotton in India.
CITI Chairman S V Arumugam said in a note on Tuesday that technology could resolve the problems of stagnating area and production of cotton.

Area under cotton in the country is stagnating between 11 and 12 million hectares and cotton production during the current year is expected to decline to 33.4 million bales from 35.3 million bales last year. Improving productivity is the only way to ensure that the increasing cotton requirements of the industry are met. He observed that cotton accounts for over 60% of fibre consumption in the country and over 80% of fibre consumption in export production. read more.

* Textile mills seek VAT exemption on high speed diesel oil:

With nearly 14 hours of power cut a day across the State, except Chennai, the textile mills have appealed to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) and the State Government to take measures that will encourage the High Tension (HT) consumers to purchase power from private sources and use the captive generator sets.

This will not only bring down the duration of unscheduled load shedding but also give relief to domestic consumers from the long hours of power cut.

In a memorandum to the TANGEDCO, Southern India Mills’ Association chairman S. Dinakaran has said that many industries were not using the generator sets as it was not viable. In order to encourage the units to operate the generator sets, the Value Added Tax (VAT) levy could be waived for industries that use the diesel for generators. Use of generator sets by more industries would help the TANGEDCO to give relief to domestic consumers from the long hours of power cut. read more.

06:45:59 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* New laws to corner errant job agencies defrauding EPF, ETF benefits:

Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge yesterday warned that many manpower companies, which were supplying employees to different organisations, such as textile factories, industrial complexes, supermarkets and large and medium scale enterprises, were evading the payment of Employee Provident Fund (ETF) and Employee Trust Fund (ETF) benefits to their employees on a regular basis.

The Labour Ministry had found that though some employers had been contributing EPF and ETF benefits along with emoluments to the manpower companies, yet many such companies fraudulently retained such contributions, the Minister said.
read more.

06:15:59 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* ‘Textile sector be given priority in gas supply’:

The textile industry suffered production suspension, diminished exports and falling employment due to 180 days of gas suspension in the preceding year. PHOTO: FILE

The textile industry should be given top priority in gas supply because of it being the mainstay of national economy, said Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Asghar Ali.

Gas supply to other sectors could be the priority of the government, but what about the industry that contributes $1 billion to the gross domestic product monthly and provides jobs to millions of workers, he asked in a statement.

Current economic situation demands that the government take steps to save millions of jobs to keep the wheels of industry running. There could be thousands of alternatives to domestic and compressed natural gas (CNG) needs, but there was no alternative to jobs and investment, he added. read more.

* Opportunity for Pakistan Indian cotton exports going down:

Cotton export from India is expected to witness a massive decline due to lack of interest by foreign buyers. Cotton traders said that the India has set a production target of 34.3 million bales for current year, which is some 6 per cent lower than the target of last year.

Last year cotton exports from India were 12.78 million bales, highest in Indian history, this year the exports are feared to decline massively mainly due to the lack of interest shown by Chinese buyers in Indian cotton.

Experts have estimated some 50 per cent decline in cotton exports from India during fiscal year 2012-2013 as China is the largest buyers of Indian cotton and it procured some 7-8 million bales during last year from India.

In this regard a former executive member Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), said that this would be a better opportunity for Pakistani traders. However, he added, the Indian traders might export their cotton stocks to other countries at lower prices, resulting in negative impact on cotton prices in Pakistan. read more.

* Propping up: China to help carpet industry achieve competitiveness:

A Chinese business delegation, which is in Pakistan to look into joint ventures that promote economic activities between the two countries, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA).

It has offered research and development facilities to Pakistani handmade carpet manufacturers, in order that the latter capture the growing market for handmade carpets in China.
On the occasion, Huang Guojun, Director General of the Administrative Committee of Nanchuan Industrial Park, said that the delegation’s visit to Pakistan has been fruitful.
“China has set globalisation and localisation trends for the economic development of the world. We would be happy to help the Pakistani carpet industry upgrade and later capture the emerging market of China,” Guojun said. read more.


* Witnesses forced to testify against accused, JM told:

In an unexpected move, two eyewitnesses deposed on Tuesday against police for allegedly detaining and coercing them to testify against the accused in the Baldia factory fire case.

On a request of the investigation officer, a judicial magistrate recorded the statements of Abdul Majeed, an accountant, and Mohammad Zubair, a supervisor, under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code in the presence of the suspects.
Both the witnesses said they were present at the industrial unit when the deadly fire engulfed it and deposed that they had been in police custody for around three weeks and forced to sign the statements recorded by the IO under Section 161 of the CrPC.

They alleged that the investigators were pressing them to depose against the accused in order to strengthen the case of the prosecution.
They deposed that in case of non-compliance, the police had allegedly extended threats to them and their families. read more.

* Two witnesses testify factory doors were open:

The Baldia factory fire’s investigation took a turn on Tuesday when two of the 301 witnesses testified against the police in a district and sessions court, saying that their previous statements were “forced”.

On September 11, Karachi saw one of its worst industrial fires at Ali Enterprises in which 258 workers were burnt or suffocated to death.
According to the two witnesses, Muhammad Zubair and Abdul Majeed, they were pressured by the police to say that the factory doors were closed when the fire started. They informed the court on Tuesday that the doors were open and that is how some of the workers managed to escape as there was no other way out.

Zubair, supervisor of the finishing department in Ali Enterprises, stated before the court that he was present on his floor when the fire started and informed the labourers about it.
“I started evacuating my floor through the stairs as soon as I learnt about the fire,” he said. “Around 100 women and 80 men escaped through the main gate.”

Zubair alleged that he was tortured in police custody for the last 22 days and needed protection for himself and his family. “My life is in danger and I need protection,” he urged the judge. read more.

* Police accused of extorting statements against Baldia factory owners:

Two witnesses in the Baldia garments factory fire case recorded fresh statements on Tuesday accusing police of forcing them to record false statements against the owners of the industrial unit.

Appearing before Judicial Magistrate (West-II) Sohail Ahmed Mashori, the two witnesses – accounts manager Abdul Majeed and supervisor Zubair of the ill-fated factory — withdrew their earlier statements recorded by the investigation officer under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Majeed said he was arrested 25 days back and forced by police into giving evidence against the owners of the factory, where a Category 3 blaze had killed 259 workers on September 11.

He claimed that the owners of the factory had provided full assistance in saving at least 82 male and female workers from the inferno.
Zubair backed Majeed’s account and said the police had forced them to record their statements against the owners. read more.

* IO allowed to record two owners’ statements:

Judicial Magistrate (West-II) Sohail Ahmed Mashori on Monday allowed a plea of the investigation officer (IO) to record statements of Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila, two of the owners of the ill-fated garments factory in Baldia Town where a fire had killed 259 workers last month.

IO Jahanzeb was empowered to get the custody of the two and bring them to court on October 9 so their evidence could be recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The investigation officer said Additional District and Sessions Judge (West) Abdullah Channa had not confirmed the bail of the two owners and had sent them to prison on Saturday, enabling him to investigate the case with the permission of the court.
read more.

* China donates Rs2m to victims’ heirs:

The Chinese government has donated Rs2 million to the families of the victims who died in the Baldia factory fire. The foreign affairs ministry’s deputy chief of protocol, Rehan Naseer Siddiqui, handed over the cheque to the Sindh chief secretary, Raja Muhammad Abbas, at a meeting held at the chief secretary house on Monday. The labour secretary, Arif Illahi, and the newly appointed commissioner of Karachi, Hashim Raza Zaidi, were also present. to read.

* Businessmen warn opting full shutdown:

Business community in Karachi remains extremely disturbed and may opt for a complete shut down if the government did not take stringent measures to control deteriorating law and order situation, warned leader of the business community S M Muneer.

Addressing as a chief guest at a dinner reception in honor of newly elected Chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, Mohammad Zubair Chhaya by DSI Group at a local hotel, Muneer said that in a meeting of trade and industry’s representatives it was decided to shut down trade and industry across the country for two days.
On the issue of Baldia Town tragedy Muneer said that it was not possible that a factory owner having Rs.2 billion exports put his own factory on fire. He said that the factory should be reopened so that over 1,500 workers rendered jobless should be given employment.   read more.


* Increase in minimum age for employment to 14 years demanded:

Participants of an award ceremony for the National Photo Competition on Child Labour has demanded the government to increase the minimum age for employment to 14 years as this is in compliance with the ILO Convention number 138 on ‘minimum age in employment’.

The demand was presented in a ceremony organised by Combating Abusive Child Labour project, a European Union funded and ILO implemented project on Combating Abusive Child Labour (CACL-II). The photo competition was organised to highlight the fight against child labour in which professionals, students and the general public submitted photographs. An exhibition of the photos will also be held at the PNCA from the October 11-14. read more.

* IMF labour advice pushes countries into recession and makes people poorer:

International unions have today released a new report showing how IMF labour advice and other institutions including the European Commission and European Central Bank have pushed countries into recessions, made conditions worse for working families and is making people poorer.

The ITUC Frontlines 2012 report gives an over view of global economic conditions and a snapshot of six countries including Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Greece, Indonesia, Nepal, Zambia and where growth, jobs and workers’ rights are in sharp decline.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said the rise in attacks on working people stem from a crisis of political leadership where the interests of banks and financial institutions are put before people.
“Trillions of taxpayer dollars have been transferred to banks in direct grants or guarantees, while working people have had their wages and benefits slashed.

“International financial organisations including the IMF have focused their attentions on fiscal consolidation, with no regard for how this affects working people who have lost their jobs and had their wages slashed.

“From Greece to Indonesia people are taking to the streets to show their anger. If we do not reverse these attacks on workers’ rights, we will see more political instability and social unrest,” said Sharan Burrow.
“Five years since the first signs of the global economic crisis emerged, the democratic contract with voters has been broken in many countries. read more.

map of Asia

Under “special reports” you can find: an overview of articles about the Garment factory Fire in Karachi (and Lahore).

* Strikes surge again in September led by disputes in the service sector
* Anta to launch 600 new stores

* Garment makers seek to improve export turnover

* Workers strike takes Pchum Ben break
* Global Apparel Buyers Supporting ASEAN Suppliers

* Govt to clamp down on outsourcing
* The 3rd edition of the Better Work Indonesia quarterly newsletter

* Tanneries harm workers, poison communities
* Workers still in danger
* RMG workers rally for arrears
* Hallmark’s textile unit closed
* Bangladesh seeks more cooperation in RMG trade
* Lack of policy support bars RMG access to D-8 countries: seminar
* Garment shipments to India soar 52pc
* Export up but misses target
* Demand for sophisticated BD garments on rise in Japan
* BGMEA set to go for test run of modern testing lab for RMG products

* Weavers block road in protest against 18-hour power cut in Salem
* Weavers to observe extended Diwali vacation
* Garment exporters slam US child labour report
* Punjab textile sector keen to follow Tirupur model
* Cotton futures continue uptrend
* India cotton seen stable as higher supplies meet demand from mills
* Textile body stresses use of technology to raise cotton productivity
* Textile mills seek VAT exemption on high speed diesel oil

* New laws to corner errant job agencies defrauding EPF, ETF benefits

* ‘Textile sector be given priority in gas supply’
* Opportunity for Pakistan Indian cotton exports going down
* Propping up: China to help carpet industry achieve competitiveness
* Witnesses forced to testify against accused, JM told
* Two witnesses testify factory doors were open
* Police accused of extorting statements against Baldia factory owners
* IO allowed to record two owners’ statements
* China donates Rs2m to victims’ heirs
* Businessmen warn opting full shutdown

* Increase in minimum age for employment to 14 years demanded
* IMF labour advice pushes countries into recession and makes people poorer

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Convention on the Rights of the Child
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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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