06:11:10 local time CHINA
* China shoemaker wins EU anti-dumping case:
China’s leading shoemaker, Aokang Group Co., Ltd, has won a lawsuit against European Union (EU) anti-dumping measures on Chinese leather shoes, according to the company.
On Sunday, Aokang received the judgement of the European Court of Justice by which the Court set aside a General Court of the EU ruling in April 2010 which dismissed Aokang’s action against the EU.
The Court also ordered the Council of the European Union to pay the costs incurred by Aokang Group from the lawsuits.
The EU imposed two-year 16.5-percent anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese leather shoes in October 2006 and later decided to extend the policy until March 31 in 2011.
Five Chinese shoe companies including Aokang lodged a lawsuit against the EU measures to the General Court of the EU after the duties were imposed.
* Shoe maker Aokang anti-dumping win ‘positive precedent’:
By winning a lawsuit on Sunday against the European Union’s anti-dumping duties after a six-year battle, Chinese shoemaking giant Aokang Group Co Ltd has encouraged more domestic manufacturers to challenge such unfair policies, experts said.
The European Court of Justice made the final ruling that the European Commission needs to pay all of Aokang’s litigation expenses and refund the paid anti-dumping duties to Aokang’s trading importers, which are estimated to total around 5 million yuan ($802,000).
As the first Chinese shoemaker to begin proceedings in the EU court in 2006, Aokang overcame a loss in a lower EU court in 2010 to receive the news it had hoped for from the European Court of Justice in the subsequent appeal.
“Aokang was the only company among five enterprises that insisted on lodging the second appeal after losing the case in April 2010, and finally won the case with difficulty,” said Wang Hailong, spokesman for Aokang Group, a Wenzhou-based shoemaker that has strategic cooperation partners in Europe, including Geox and Valleverde. read more.
05:11:10 local time THAILAND
* Higher wage to cushion global impacts on Thai economy: Kittiratt:
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on Tuesday insisted the necessity that Thailand raise the minimum wage, especially amid the escalating crisis in the euro zone.
He said that the euro zone crisis is worse than expected and this puts pressure on Thailand’s exports.
“Thailand no longer can depend largely on export income,” he said.
He added that it is necessary that the minimum wage nationwide must be increased to Bt300 as this will bosot domestic consumption. He admitted that the higher wage would raise the production cost, but this could be offset by higher productivity.
The Bt300 daily wage is planned to take effect next year, amid outcry from small and medium-sized business operators. read more.
* ‘Spoling’ Thais with populist policies blasted:
The government should limit the use of populist policies as these will only spoil people but not create sustainable development, while raising the daily minimum wage to Bt300 in some industries hold back development in the value of products, said former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
Speaking on “Ways to Develop Economic and Societal Sustainability” yesterday at a Thai Chamber of Commerce symposium, Somkid said populist policies could trap people into lower development as such measures did not encourage them to learn and develop themselves.
“To promote the growth of the country, the government should increase the opportunity for people to access good education, effective social welfare, and increased capabilities rather than spending huge amounts of money on populist policies,” said Somkid, who is also a former finance minister. read more.
* Firms fightto ease wage hike effects:
The private sector is keeping up the pressure on the state to revise proposed measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with the rising minimum wage next year.
Taweekit Chaturacharoenkhun, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the 27 measures proposed by the Labour Ministry will provide little help for affected companies.
The 27 measures include lending money to help improve production, seeking new marketing channels, lowering corporate income tax and expanding the time frame for loan repayment.
“The private sector has studied the proposals and we found they will help cover less than 10% of the wage hike, but the government thinks it should help 100%,” Mr Taweekit said after a meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking.
Last week, the committee submitted a letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asking to delay the increase in the daily minimum wage to 300 baht nationwide, which is set to occur next year. read more.
* Thai garment firms must explore Indonesian market: Report:
05:11:10 local time CAMBODIA
* Full text of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration:
Herewith the full text of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration adopted by Southeast Asian leaders Sunday:
WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as “ASEAN”), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;
REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;
REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;
CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process;
HEREBY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS.
06:11:10 local time MALAYSIA
* SMEs unsure of minimum wage ruling which will be implemented next year:
Although aware that the Minimum Wage Order 2012 will come into effect on Jan 1, employers in Perak only have a vague idea of how to implement the changes.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Perak branch chairman Datuk Gan Tack Kong estimates that about 85% of companies in the state do not know how to proceed with the implementation.
“The RM900 minimum wage requirement does not only affect those being paid low wages but also creates a knock-on effect for other employees who are paid higher salaries.
“We need to focus on addressing this issue among the 60,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state, 80% of which are in the service sector,” he told reporters last week. read more.
06:11:10 local time INDONESIA
* Environmental envoys apply youthful energy and innovation to help Asia clean up and also create new business opportunities:
Indonesian women in Ciparay and Pangalengan, two small villages located in West Java, today have new careers as seamstresses and marketers for a textile manufacturing company. By theirs is no ordinary garment factory. Unlike others, it uses waste patchwork from other textile companies to make dresses and bags.
This creative idea, aimed at reducing waste in the textile industry and creating sustainable occupations for women, did not come from a senior textile industry executive, but from a fourth-year chemical engineering student at Bandung Institute of Technology.
Vincentius Dito Krista Holanda is among the growing number of young people in Indonesia and across Asia who want to do something about the way their fast-developing countries use natural resources.
University students from nine Asian countries recently participated in the Bayer Young Environmental Envoys field trip in Germany. Each came up with projects that were motivated by the different environmental problems in their countries.
* Joko Waiting for Wage Council Recommendation:
The Jakarta administration cannot determine the minimum wage level for 2013 because it is still waiting for a recommendation on the amount from the city’s Wage Council, Governor Joko Widodo said on Monday.
Joko said that he has yet to receive a copy of the council’s recommendation letter, which was reported to recommend a minimum monthly level of Rp. 2,216,243 ($230).
He said that if the letter was received, he would then convene a meeting between employers and labor unions, to arrive at the best solution.
“The recommendation letter from the Jakarta Wage Council is not yet in my hands. When it arrives, I will invite entrepreneurs and labor unions to meet with me,” Joko said at City Hall. read more.
* Depok to up minimum wage to Rp 2 million:
Mayor Nur Mahmudi Ismail has signed off on a recommendation made by the city’s remuneration board to set the local monthly minimum wage to Rp 2.042 million (US$212.04).
The proposal, if approved by the provincial administration, would take effect in January and provide wages 40 percent higher than the current wage of Rp 1.45 million.
Manpower agency head Abdul Haris said that the proposed minimum wage would be 17 percent higher than the standard cost of living, which was set at Rp 1.74 million for a single worker.
“All parties agreed to the decision made during a plenary meeting on Sunday, including representatives from the employers’ association,” Haris said.
The chairman of the Depok office of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Inu Kertapati, said that the remuneration board could not ignore that neighboring Jakarta and Bekasi have agreed to raise their monthly minimum wages to more than Rp 2 million.
“We faced a dilemma when we decided on the minimum wage, because higher wages would adversely affect the investment climate in Depok,” he said.
Local labor unions had planned to strike from Nov. 19 to 23 if the remuneration board did not agree to a sufficient increase in the minimum wage. to read.
03:56:10 local time NEPAL
* Hetauda Textile Factory trapped in conflicting govt priorities:
Hetauda Textile Factory , which has remained closed for the last decade, has been trapped in conflicting priorities of successive governments.
After the government’s attempt to privatise the factory went in vein, the UCPN (Maoist)-led government in 2008 decided to resume the factory. It initiated the process by appointing a general manager at the factory, but the process came to an abrupt end after the change of the government.
Then, the CPN (UML)-led government decided to liquidate the factory, claiming it cannot be revived amid stiff competition from imported textiles. The government then appointed Daman Bahadur Bista as liquidator. Bista recently submitted the valuation report of the factory’s assets.
But the incumbent UCPN (Maoist)-led government is once again seeking to reopen the factory. Prime Minster Baburam Bhattarai has directed start preparations for resuming the factory. read more.
04:11:10 local time BANGLA DESH
* Labour rights still worry US:
Envoy sees cloud over garment export privilege
Suspension of tariff reductions for Bangladesh’s exports to the US will negatively impact the economic and commercial relationship between the two countries, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena yesterday.
A review on a petition against the tariff reductions known as generalised system of preferences (GSP) has remained pending in Washington for five years, the longest in US history. The review is now underway, Mozena said.
But frustrations mount as the reviewers mentioned a lack of progress in dealing with issues cited in the petition, such as workers’ rights, he said.
Bangladesh has been enjoying the duty-free facility for exporting some non-traditional items under the renewed GSP since September last year.
“This GSP review could send a negative signal on Bangladesh’s commercial relations with America if the review results in the suspension of some or all of Bangladesh’s GSP privileges,” he said.
He, however, hoped that Bangladesh would identify and implement constructive measures to address the concerns raised in the GSP petition, so the petition can be resolved satisfactorily. read more. & read more. read more.
03:41:10 local time INDIA
* Indian Garment Industry to Receive Human Rights Trial:
Local trade unionists condemn GAP for refusing to attend
Bangalore – Garment workers’ unions and human rights groups will hold a tribunal in Bangalore this week to hear evidence of systematic human rights abuses in the Indian garment industry.
Supplier factory owners, government and industry representatives, multinational brands including H&M, and over 100 factory workers will give evidence in front of a panel of judges from 3 continents on the topic poverty pay and poor working conditions.
Wages below poverty levels are a ongoing problem in the Indian garment industry, which exports EUR7284 million of clothing for European consumers each year. The monthly minimum wage for garment workers in Bangalore is Rs 4472, (around EUR64), which is said to be only 43% of a living wage enough to support a family.
Multinational fashion retailer GAP, who are big buyer in the Indian export market, have refused to attend the tribunal or present evidence on their role, despite the fact that a number of human rights abuse cases are due to be brought to the tribunal by workers from its factories.
Anannya Bhattacharjee, the President of the Allied Workers Union in North India, said: ‘If brands like GAP refuse to take part in worker-led processes that could see real change fostered in the industry, these problems will never be solved. This is a
multistakeholder problem that requires everyone to work towards the solutions. GAP’s CSR promises are hollow if they refuse to hear from workers who experience the daily results of their pricing and sourcing practices.’
Ashim Roy, General Secretary of India’s New Trade Union Initiative, said: ‘Change is absolutely critical. India’s development must no longer be enslaved to western brands pricing policies. The evidence brought to the tribunal will demonstrate once
and for all that a collective effort is needed now to work towards paying the Asia Floor wage to workers in India.’
A series of regional hearings have already taken place to gather evidence from thousands of garment workers from all garment production centres in India. Evidence has been gathered which demonstrates issues such as, illegal compulsory overtime, inhuman productivity measures, wage theft1, systematic denial of social security payments, sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and active suppression of the right to freedom of association.
International workers’ rights group the Clean Clothes Campaign will also participate in the tribunal and will urge governments and global buyers sourcing from India to take the findings very seriously.
“With this tribunal we hope to see some real commitment from big brands buying from India to start addressing the real needs of their workers – a living wage should be at the root of these policies,” said Jeroen Merk, Clean Clothes Campaign International Secretariat.
The ‘National People’s Tribunal on the Right to a Living Wage’, is taking place from 22-25th November in Bangalore – one of India’s garment production centres. It has been organised by the International Asia Floor Wage Alliance in collaboration with Indian garment workers’ trade unions and workers’ rights groups, and seeks to make public the relevant concerns of those employed in the Indian garment sector.
* Tribunal on garment workers’ conditions from Thursday:
Bangalore to host the event from November 22 to 25
A people’s tribunal on ‘Living Wages for Garment Workers’, the first-ever attempt in India to draw workers from all major apparel hubs from across the country, is being held in Bangalore from November 22 to 25.
An alliance of 16 trade unions and non-governmental organisations, in collaboration with the Asia Floor Wage (AFW), is holding the tribunal that will have workers from places such as Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupur, Gurgaon and Delhi presenting testimonies on their living and working conditions.
The jury will comprise several eminent national and international representatives, including Coen Kompier, International Labour Organisation’s India representative; Utsa Patnaik, economist and professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University; Mary E. John, former director of the Centre for Women Development Studies; Gianni Tognioni, Secretary-General of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Italy; and advocate Hemalatha Mahishi. read more.
* Weavers mull hiking textile workers’ wages:
As the country’s biggest man-made fabric industry is set to face a severe shortage of textile workers, the weavers in the city are faced with the issue of increasing their wages.
The Diwali vacation in the textile sector has pushed out about three lakh migrant textile workers from the city to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, etc. The industry fears about 40,000 workers are not likely to return.
The man-made fabric industry, which houses about 6.5 lakh powerloom machines, 400 dyeing and printing units, over 50,000 embroidery machines, more than 1 lakh texturizing machines, employs 4 lakh migrant workers.
Industry experts said migrant workers have lot of employment opportunities in their hometowns following fast-paced development of infrastructural projects there. They also have ample opportunities to earn money in different government schemes like NREGA. read more.
* ‘Textile sector offers good opportunities’:
A guest lecture on ‘Opportunities in Textile Industry’ by B. Suman, Competence Developer, Inditex Group, which is one of the world’s leading fashion retailers, was organised at the School of Chemical Engineering, Vignan University, on Monday.
He said Guntur district was a major producer of cotton with 400 plus ginning and above 150 spinning mills and these industries were creating good opportunities to textile technocrats.
Due to the scarcity of technical people in Andhra Pradesh, around 40 per cent of the present requirement is being fulfilled through outsourcing from other States.
Mr. Suman discussed about various opportunities available in areas like research, design and development, production, quality control, plant maintenance, customer service and sales in industries like spinning, weaving, chemical processing, garment manufacturing and retail. read more.
* Textile units threaten to shift out of Madhya Pradesh:
The textile industry of the state has threatened to move out of Madhya Pradesh if the state failed to fulfil its commitment to revisit the policy. A delegation of the Madhya Pradesh Textile Mills Association had called on the senior officials in Bhopal on November 5 to apprise them off the matter.
The delegation comprised of representatives from textile firms like Bhaskar Industries, Vardhman, Nahar, Saluja and Trident. Interestingly, Saluja had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government during the Global Investors Summit (GIS) for its plan to invest Rs 7000 crore in the state.
The association highlighted that while the existing policies in the state appeared restrictive, the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Maharashtra were offering far more concessions to the sector in forms like interest, power tariff & capital subsidies, VAT concession, entry tax exemption, training and setting up industrial parks.
Presently, there are 45 textile units in the state and 37 out of them were exporting their products abroad. read more.
* Indian cotton output to dip 5%: Cotton Association:
* Branded textile producers attract good valuations:
Textile manufacturing companies have never been darlings of Indian stock markets, mainly because of their capital intensive and cyclic nature of the business.
However, Indian textile firms which are in to branding of fabrics and apparels are potential companies which can attract eyeballs of stock market investors.
For instance, the share price of Mandhana Industries is currently trading at twice the book value. As on November 16, the share was trading at Rs 240.55 while its book value is Rs 120. It is also trading at a very low discount to its two year PE average of 11.79 against the current PE of 10.79.
Mr Mitesh Shah – CFO at Mandhana Industries which reported revenues of Rs 9.80 billion in fiscal year 2011-12 says, “Textile companies in to branding have more visibility as compared to other textile firms.
He adds, Textile firms in to branding spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing than other normal players, which increases the awareness of these companies among stock market investors”. read more.
03:41:10 local time SRI LANKA
* Apparel exports dip 4.3%; exports to US up 6% :
Export earnings from textile and garments declined by 4.3% during the first three quarters of this year, largely due to the declining demand from the European Union despite a growth in exports to the United States, according to a report compiled by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Exports ear nings from exports to the United States grew by 6% year-on-year (YoY), amounting to US$ 537 million during the period in question.
The US market constitutes 40% of Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports, whilst the European Union accounts for 50% of apparel exports.
Sri Lanka was one of the few countries to record export growth to US markets during the period in question, with many of the top 15 suppliers to the US recording declines in export earnings, particularly India and Pakistan, which recorded declines of 18% and 22%, respectively.
China is the top supplier of apparel to the US, with export earnings between the two countries being tallied at US$ 10.9 billion, followed by Vietnam at US$ 3.1 billion, an increase of 8% YoY. Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Jordan and El Salvador were the only countries out of the US top 15 suppliers to post increases in export earnings during the period in question. read more.
03:11:10 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile Policy 2009-14 : MinTex achieved only 22% of textile sector uplift target in 3 years:
The Ministry of Textile (MinTex) could only manage to achieve 22 percent of its targets for the development of textile sector in the country during the last three years.
The implementation of the Textile Policy 2009-14 was facing shortage of funds and against a total allocation of Rs 123 billion, Ministry of Finance (MoF) has only released Rs 24 billion (20 percent) of the allocation for textile exports initiatives.
Sources in the MinTex said on Monday that the ministry wrote many letters to the MoF but it could not reply positively.
Due to paucity of funds for textile policy implementation, many of the key policy initiatives were not launched, which caused resentment among the textile industry members. read more.
* PCGA issues figures for cotton production:
Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has issued fortnightly figures of domestic cotton production.
Accordingly, all countrywide ginning factories have so far received seed-cotton (phutti) equivalent to 8,519,075 cotton bales up to 15th November, 2012, that’s 550,257 bales (7pc) in excess to previous year corresponding arrivals.
However according to PCGA report seed cotton arrivals in ginning factories of Punjab are 5,723,266 bales up to 15th November which are less to the tune of 363,354 bales (7pc) than corresponding date of last year whereas arrivals in ginning factories of Sindh are 2,795,809 bales that are 913,610 bales (48pc) higher than corresponding date of last year. read more.
* Country to import 2m bales as local cotton cost high:
The country has imported around 500,000 cotton bales so far and the figure may touch 2 million bales by the end of the season, as the cotton prices in Pakistan are above the international prices by more than Rs200 per maund.
The industry is being overcharged by Rs200 per maund for Pakistan cotton whereas international cotton can easily be imported at Rs6,000 per maund on Pakistani cotton parity basis, observed All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) central chairman Ahsan Bashir at a briefing.
The central chairman, flanked by the APTMA Punjab chairman Shehzad Ali Khan and Punjab Cotton Committee Convener Shahid Mazhar, said that Pakistani spinners have made agreements in the international cotton market for purchase of around 2 million cotton bales during the last couple of weeks. Resultantly, he said, this may lead to surplus cotton in Pakistan at the outset of next cotton season.
* ATP may boost Pakistan’s textile exports to EU:
THE KARACHI FIRE:
* Many families of Baldia victims yet to be compensated:
Although two months have passed since the devastating fire at a factory in the Baldia Town area claimed the lives of nearly 300 people, only 165 families of the victims were compensated by the authorities for their tragic loss, stated a report of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) which was shared exclusively with The News. It added that a number of these heirs were unaware of the procedure to follow to get the compensation.
It said that the relevant authorities could not even produce a DNA report for the 61 families whose loved ones’ bodies were yet to be identified. The trade union revealed that there were only 27 bodies in the mortuary, whereas 61 families had yet to get the corpses of their relatives. Identifying and locating the bodies was not only important to the families for burial purposes, but also to get the compensation promised by the federal and provincial governments.
This report was complied by Zohra Akbar Khan, the education research secretary of NTUF, in collaboration with some other trade union activists of the federation. The prime minister announced Rs400,000 as compensation for the families, while the Sindh chief minister declared that around Rs300,000 would be paid to the legal heirs of those who perished. In addition, prosperous businessman Malik Riaz also announced Rs200,000 for the families.
Meanwhile, a committee had also been formed to oversee the compensation; however, not a single trade union or federation activist was included and neither were the people affected by the fire.
The News also attempted to get a list of the compensated families, but it was yet to be made public. Many families, who were yet to receive the bodies of their relatives, had also not been compensated. read more.
* Factory gates were closed on the day of fire, witnesses tell court:
Two witnesses to the Baldia Town factory fire of last week told court on Tuesday that the entry and exist gates of the ill-fated factory were closed on the day the incident occurred.
The witnesses, both employees of the garment factory, Ali Enterprises, recorded their statements before Judicial Magistrate (West-II) Sohail Ahmed Mashori under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code.
The unprecedented industrial tragedy, which saw 260 labourers lost to the inferno on September 11, prompted calls for an overhaul of poor safety standards. A case was registered against the owners by the SITE-B police.
A machine operator of the 3,000-square-yard factory, Umer, and accountant Khurram Iqbal said in their statements that the owners were present at the factory when the Category 3 broke out. read more.
* Garment factory blaze : SHC issues notice to prosecutor general:
The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued a notice to the Prosecutor General Sindh in a petition seeking bail of owners of a garment factory of Karachi facing murder charges for death of more than 250 people in the fire at the factory.
The petitioners, Arshad Abdul Aziz and Shahid Abdul Aziz, submitted that there was clear contradiction in the story of the prosecution and evidence on the record.
They submitted that district police had failed to collect and preserve the relevant evidence, which was their professional duty to collect initial information for the investigation and instead they waited for the day to register FIR and incorporated the facts in a distorted manner. It was submitted that version recorded in the FIR was motivated. Subsequently every effort was made only to strengthen the version of FIR instead bringing truth to the record. It was submitted that truth was otherwise what was mentioned in the FIR and police tried to withhold each evidence favouring the factory owners. read more.
* Owners told to file asset details by Nov 26:
The owners of the fateful Ali Enterprises garment factory have been given until November 26 to submit complete details of their property in court.
The Sindh High Court division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir issued this directive on Monday on an application filed on behalf of different non-governmental organisations.
The assets of the factory owners – Abdul Aziz Bhailla and his two sons Arshad and Shahid – were frozen following the tragic industrial blaze that claimed the lives of over 250 workers on September 11. Recently, the owners managed to obtain an order from a court through which they were allowed to use up to 20% of their assets.
However, they have still not filed the information of their assets despite high court orders issued on September 25. The petitioners’ lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, appealed to the court to call the details of properties owned by the Bhaila family. read more.