in the news on-line, 4 December 2012

20:16:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Textile, garments industry hits a rough patch:

Concerns have been raised over whether the garment and textiles industry would meet its annual export target of US$17 billion this year due to global economic hardships, according to the Viet Nam Garment and Apparel Association (Vitas).

Vitas vice chairman Pham Xuan Hong said that with an export turnover of $1.3 billion in November, down 3.4 per cent over the previous month, the industry had made just $13.78 billion year to date.
Hong said that orders from the country’s main export markets had fallen significantly this year, with Europe dropping 15 per cent against last year.
Revenue also fell as buyers turned their attention from high-end products to mid-range items in an attempt cut costs, Hong said. read more.

* TPP & FTA increases FDI into Vietnamese textile sector:

In order to take advantage of tariff preferences available in Vietnam such as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other Free-Trade Agreements (FTAs), several textile and garment manufacturers worldwide are investing in textile projects in Vietnam.

Last month, several textile enterprises including Chinese home textile manufacturer Sunrise Textile and Garment Company, fabric producer Texhong Textiles, Japanese textile firm Toray International as well as Australia’s Lenzing have approached Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) for a joint venture to set up textile units in Vietnam, according to VietNamNet Bridge.

Sunrise Textile and Garment Company has signed an agreement with the Vietnamese company Thien Nam to produce US$ 24 million worth of woven fabrics. Similarly, Chinese-invested Textong textiles, which manufactures fibres in Vietnam, is planning to set up a third plant in the country in association with Vinatex.
read more.

20:16:52 local time map of laos LAOS

*  Japanese businessmen keen on investment in Laos:

The Japanese businessmen have shown an interest in investment opportunities in Laos, particularly in areas of real estate and garment, said a Japanese official.

General Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Kawasaki, Japan, Mr. Osa Mitsu, who was visiting Laos between 25 and 28 November, said that the Japanese investors were also interested in doing business in motorcycle assembly and hotels.
During his visit, Mr. Mitsu signed an agreement with the President of the Lao National Chamber of Industry and Commerce on technical assistance in economic areas.
His Lao visit schedule also included meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, Minister of Industry and Commerce Nam Viyaket, and Minister of Planning and Investment Somdy Douangdy.
” Kawasaki city is a home of high-tech industrial establishments and plays a key role in Japan’s economy,” said Mr. Osa Mitsu. to read.

20:16:52 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Minimum wage- Relief measures urged:

The Joint Standing Com-mittee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has proposed seven urgent measures to lessen impacts from an increase in the minimum daily wage while suggesting that the government set up a compensation fund for companies hit by the increase.

Some business lobbies expect some operators to take three years to adjust to the higher cost of labour.
The JSCCIB includes the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries and Thai Bankers’ Association.

Pongsak Assakul, president at the TCC, said after the meeting that the joint committee discussed a package of relief measures to mitigate the impacts of the new minimum wage, which will be increased to Bt300 across the nation on January 1.
FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said the committee proposed seven urgent relief measures that could lower operators’ costs after the wage increase.
read more.

20:16:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Loan agreement inked for Cambodia’s first garment training school:

The Garment Manufacturer’s Association in Cambodia (GMAC) signed a $3.5 million loan agreement with French international development agency Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) yesterday to build Cambodia’s first garment sector training school.

The school will train Cambodia’s unskilled garment workers and other Cambodians who wish to undertake high level work in garment factories in order to cancel out the high labour costs of employing people from abroad, Van Sou Ieng, president of GMAC, said at the signing ceremony.

He said that so far, most Cambodians working in the garment industry are unskilled, limiting them to just cutting the cloth and sewing the garments. Meanwhile, for technical work, people need to be recruited from abroad at a higher cost.

“For technical work and higher positions in the industry, we always hire foreigners to come and work in Cambodia as we don’t have qualified Cambodians,” he said. “This signing ceremony is to build the school to train Cambodian workers to get the qualifications for higher positions in the factories and to manage the workers,” he added. read more.

21:16:52 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Textile industry in labour pains:

The Government needs to relax its control on the supply of foreign labour to enable the local apparel and textile industry tap the US market when the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) agreement comes into effect in 2012.

Malaysian Textile Manufacturers Association (MTMA) vice-president Datuk Y.H. Tan said the United States was a key market that absorbed between 35% and 40% of the RM8.9bil worth of apparel and textile products exported from Malaysia in 2009.

Presently our cotton and synthetic man-made fibre products are entering the US market with a 17% and 30% duty respectively. The Malaysian authorities are now negotiating for the duties to be lowered to zero or to a minimum level, he told StarBiz.
read more.

* Minimum Wage Policy Deferred To July 1 For Companies With 5 Employees Or Less:

Companies employing five workers or less need to implement the minimum wage policy only on July 1 instead of January 1, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said companies in that category must submit applictions for the deferment to the National Wages Consultation Council (MPGN) before or on April 1 2013.

“For companies employing six workers or more which have applied for deferment on implementing the minimum wage policy to MPGN, a decision will be given at the latest by the end of this month (December),” he told reporters after handing over a federal government contribution of RM100,000 for upgrading the Thirumurugan Aalaya Paribalana Sabai temple to its chairman Arumugam Maikan at the temple’s ground nearby the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) here Monday night. read more.

21:16:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesia’s Textile Prices Will Increase By 16 %:

The prices of textiles and related products will increase by 16 percent due to a provincial minimum wage hike and an increase in electricity prices in 2013, according to the Indonesian Textile Association (API).

“With an increase in the cost of labour and a rise in electricity tariffs in 2013, textile producers will increase the prices of their products by 16 percent. This way, a certain percentage of the cost of production can be covered,” Indonesia’s Antara news agency quoted the Secretary General of API, Ernovian G. Ismy, as saying on Monday.

According to him, the minimum wage hike, from Rp1.5 million to Rp2.2 million (US$156.45 to US$229.45), will affect textile businesses badly since most of the businesses are labour-intensive in nature. Some of them are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are affected by changes in the country`s regulations.
read more.

* Corporate giants mull wage hike impact; retailers bullish:

As small and medium enterprises and labor-intensive companies protest minimum wage increases in 2013, large consumer good companies have been cautious in gauging the effects on their bottom lines.

Administrations in 25 provinces, regencies or cities have increased their local monthly minimum wages for next year. The Jakarta administration, for example, has upped the monthly minimum wage by 44 percent to Rp 2.2 million (US$229) in 2012.

Elsewhere in Greater Jakarta, officials in Bekasi, West Java, have increased the minimum wage by 54.7 percent to Rp 2.1 million, while Bogor has raised its minimum wage 70 percent to Rp 2 million. read more.

19:46:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar permits 15 foreign investments within 2 months:

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has approved investments from 15 foreign companies within the last two months.

MIC announced that 10 companies were approved on October 29 while the rest on November 5.
Twelve of them are to run their businesses on CMP (cutting, making and packing) basis and they are garment factories, and gloves and clock and watch case makers.
read more.

19:16:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* ASHULIA- TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:

* To hell and back:

Knowledge of past helped her save lives of 20


Ranjana Akter Sathi

Ranjana Akter Sathi knew there was a glass window which was not encased in an iron frame. It was near the sample room on the third floor of the burnt-out Tazreen Fashions Ltd.

“I knew about it as I am an old employee of Tazreen Fashions,” said Sathi, a 25-year-old sewing operator.
“Right when the fire broke, it occurred to me that I could rescue at least 100 workers through that window.”

Without waiting for instructions from the higher-ups, Sathi, who survived the deadly fire at garment factory Tazreen on November 24, immediately reached out for that secret window.
She broke the glass window and started letting out the panic-stricken workers through it.

“After letting out 20 workers through the window, I stood strong and rescued another 80. I shouted and they jumped through it.”
During the conversation with The Daily Star at her home in Ashulia, a severely injured Sathi recalled the frenetic efforts of the workers for their lives that fateful night.
Although some succeeded, many lost their lives.
read more.

* Ashulia still volatile, nearly 300 units shut for today:


Workers of fire-devastated Tazreen Fashion Ltd prepare a list of the factory workers for salaries Nishchintapur High School School Ground in Ashulia on Monday. Photo: Sk Enamul Haq

The authorities shut down most of the garment factories in Ashulia industrial belt for Monday as the angry workers continued their demonstration nine days into Tazreen Fashions Ltd fire.

The devastating fire that swept through Tazreen garment factory on November 24 night claimed the lives of 111 people and injured more than 100.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in association with workers’ leaders started work on making list of the workers of Tazreen Fashion Ltd on Nishchintapur Non-Government Primary School premises since morning.

The list will include the names of all the workers including the dead, injured and missing ones, BGMEA sources said.
The Monday’s demonstration erupted around 8:15am when the workers of Tazreen and other garment factories started demonstration at a road in Jamgara.
read more.

* PM to hand over Tk 4 lakh to each family of fire victims Tuesday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over Tk 4 lakh to each of the families of the identified workers killed in Tazreen Fashions ltd in Ashulia on Tuesday. 

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said this at a press briefing at its conference room on Monday evening.
Asked how many families will be provided financial assistance on the day, the BGMEA chief apparently parried the question and said, “Let’s see how many victim families we can keep present.”
He added that the ill-fated workers in the Ashulia incident would get more assistance in the days to come.  “We’re not seeing things from the legal point of view, but from our hearts,” he said.
(…)
He mentioned that BGMEA could not yet identify 990 workers fell prey to the victims in the Ashulia fire. read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more.
     

* Protest in Ashulia continues – Workers clash with police: 50 injured:

At least 50 people were injured in sporadic clashes between law enforcers and garment workers at Ashulia on Monday.
In this backdrop, the authorities of at least 100 factories declared an impromptu holiday for the day yesterday, fearing vandalism and further labour unrest.
Earlier, hundreds of workers returned to the streets in the morning protesting ghastly deaths of their fellows the Tazreen Fashion Garments, sacking of workers and police harassment on them.
Workers have been demonstrating since last Saturday for remedies and compensation to the deceased’s families injured, workers and payment of salaries.
read more.

* Workers’ demo continues in Ashulia:

100 RMG units suspend operation

Clashes between police and garment factory workers at Jamgora of Ashulia left 50 people injured on Monday, forcing around 100 RMG units to suspend operation for the day in the industrial zone.
Labour unrest in the export-oriented apparel factories intensified after termination of workers by an RMG unit as mourners clashed with police for the 9th day after the worst-ever factory fire killed 111 workers of Tazreen Fashions Limited in Ashulia on November 24.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the stone throwing workers who were protesting at the sacking of their fellows at a factory.
Workers staged violent protests blocking the highway at Jamgora, Shimultala, Gazirchat, Baipail and Narasinghapur and hurled stones at adjacent factories.
Police and witnesses said the workers of Hyun Apparels Ltd at Jamgora staged demonstrations in protest at the termination of its 101 workers last month for their alleged involvement in unrest in the factory. read more.

* Workers gherao BGMEA office:

A readymade garment workers’ platform laid siege to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) office in capital Dhaka on Monday demanding judicial probe into the deaths of at least 110 fellow workers in a factory fire in Ashulia.

The Bangladesh Garments Workers’ Unity also demanded arrest of the Tazreen Fashions Limited owner, Tk 1 million in compensation for the families of each of those killed in last week’s fire, publishing the real number of deceased and arranging for treatment of the injured.

Fire in readymade garment factories are a common phenomenon in Bangladesh which is often blamed on lax security measures, poor wiring, overcrowded workplace, etc. On Nov 24, a devastating fire swept through the ill-fated Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia’s Nischintapur area killing at least 110 workers, according to government estimates. The factory is said to have no emergency exits.
read more. & read more.
 

* BGMEA probe body misses deadline:

The probe committee formed by the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd failed to submit its report by the deadline expired on Sunday.
The probe committee convenor, SM Mannan Kochi, however said that they had completed the investigation and the report might be submitted today.
The committee missed the deadline as it could not work for two days at the beginning of the five-working day timeframe due to labour unrest in the area, he said.
Probe committee sources said they had visited the factory at Ashilia and recorded the depositions of the survivors.
The committee found negligence of the mid-level management of the factory, some of whom made obstacles to the exit way of the workers, the sources said.
The probe body will recommend punishment of those mid-level officials, the sources said.
BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said that the association would make the probe report public. to read.

* BGMEA enlists 990 Tazreen workers to pay wages, compensation:

The BGMEA enlisted names of 990 workers of the fire-ravaged Tazreen Fashions Ltd who will get wages for the month of November along with compensation equivalent to three months’ pay, officials said.

The list has been prepared for payment of wages and compensations to the employees according to their wage-structure, Joint Secretary of the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association) Mr. Rafiqul Islam told the FE Monday evening.

The workers, who were appointed three months to one year ago, will get compensations equivalent to his/her wages.

However, the workers who served for one to two years in the factory will receive compensation equivalent to their three-months’ wages.
read more.

* Compensate– Trade unions urge Walmart:


Bilkis Begum, a worker of Tazreen Fashions, shows the photo of her deceased daughter Munni Akhter at Nishchintapur Primary School ground at Nischintapur of Ashulia yesterday. Bilkis went there to register their names to receive wages. A deadly blaze at the garment factory on November 24 claimed at least 111 lives. Photo: Sk Enamul Haq

Three trade unions yesterday demanded that US retailer Walmart compensate the families of those who were killed or injured in a deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia on November 24.

Walmart is one of the foreign buyers of Tazreen Fashions, a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, according to its website. Its other clients include Carrefour and IKEA.
Apart from compensations, the unions in a letter asked Walmart to bear all expenses of the required treatment of the injured.

An official of the local office of Walmart confirmed that they received the memorandum.
Leaders of the workers’ rights groups requested the world’s largest retailer not to stop outsourcing to Bangladeshi factories. Cancellation of orders would only add to the plight of garment workers, leaving many of them jobless.

“So, you should come to a solution and change your decision,” the memorandum said.
The letter pleaded with Walmart to use its influence to ensure that the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining is respected in its supply chain.
read more.

* 10 injured in (other) Ashulia fire:

At least 10 people were injured after a fire broke out at a garment factory of Birds Group in Ashulia under Savar upazila on Sunday night.

Sources said the fire originated at the finishing and cutting section of the factory in the building’s third floor around 7:45pm.
Finishing and cutting section packing man Joynal Abedin told banglanews, “Noticing fire at a carton, we doused it with fire extinguishers,” he said.

On information, two units of fire fighters rushed in around 8pm. But the fire already doused.
Meanwhile, at least 10 people were injured while trying get out of the factory in a hurry.
Later, the workers of the factory along with others brought out a procession demanding their security at their work place. read more.

* Savar garments catches fire; 24 workers injured while scrambling to get down from factory:

A fire broke out at a multi-storey ready-made garments (RMG) factory at Bus Stand in the upazila town on Monday afternoon.

Locals and firefighters said at least 24 workers were injured while scrambling to get down from the 9-storey Razzak Plaza which houses the RMG unit, to save selves from the fire.
Fire Service and Civil Defence sources said the fire originated at the 4th floor of the building where the sewing section of `Pacific Blue Jeans`- an export-oriented RMG unit, is situated.

As alarm bell was rung, panicked workers scrambled to get down from the 4th floor through a narrow staircase, leaving 24 injured, some of them seriously.
read more. & read more.
 

* Ctg fire service launches drive at RMG units:

Fire Service and Civil Defence in Chittagong launched a 20-day drive on Monday to check the fire safety measures at around 916 readymade garments factories in the port city.

The inspection came nine days into the devastating fire that killed 111 workers and injured over 100 others at Tazreen Fashion Ltd in Nishchintapur of Ashulia.
The fire brigade will submit a report to its headquarters on completion of the drive, reports out Chittagong correspondent.

A total of seven teams, each consisting of four officials, started inspecting in the city garments around 10:00am, Ruhul Amin, deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defence in Chittagong, told The Daily Star.
If the teams find any factory without fire protection measures, they will give it a one-month time to set up fire fighting equipment, he said. read more.

* They got some fire tools, not training:

Firemen inspect 20 garment factories in Ctg, find safety measures scanty

Most garment factories in the port city have at least a few sets of fire fighting equipment but the workers do not know how to operate the extinguishers, officials of Fire Service and Civil Defence found yesterday.

The factories also do not have adequate water storage capacity and sufficient exits for emergency, said the officials who found the picture after visiting around 20 factories across the city.
Farid Ahmed Chowdhury, senior station officer of the government department in Chittagong, said his team visited five factories yesterday.
Firemen will visit 916 garment factories in Chittagong to check their fire safety measures as a part of an inspection of the country’s garment units after a fire in Ashulia killed at least 110 workers last month. read more.

* Insurers worried over rising RMG accidents:

Insurance companies are concerned over the growing number of accidents in apparel factories as the insurers’ compensation for their clients in the garment sector has been on the rise over the years.

In a move, the companies have decided to devise new policies to handle the menace, especially the fire accidents that kill people and occur mainly due to poor factory management.
“We are the worst sufferers of accidents in factories as we are the leading insurer in the country,” said Nasir A Chowdhury, managing director of Green Delta Insurance Company. read more.

* Ashulia garment fire and after:

The issue of safety in garment factories has again been brought to the fore after the horror of Tazreen Fashions fire. The result of the inspections carried out at the garment belt in the Ashulia area by fire service officials has provided the answer as to why the factories are so susceptible to fire.

Fire service officials inspected 163 factories out of 574 in the Ashulia after the November 24 fire, until Saturday. The findings were appalling. 53 of those inspected factories lacked minimum fire safety standards. They had no fire safety licences; neither had they sufficient number of fire extinguishers, hose pipes, water reservoirs and trained workers.

That means we have kept our garment factories forever ready to be caught on fire. A BGMEA estimate states that during the last 22 years, 275 workers died in fires that broke out in garment factories. This estimate does not, however, take the 111 deaths in November 24 into account.

The outcries, far and wide after the latest incident, again seem to have pricked the conscience of the government, the factory owners and leaders of the industry’s apex body BGMEA. But have such occasional awakenings helped things improve so far? Have the lives of the garment workers become any safer than before? read more.

OTHER NEWS:

* 22 knitwear factories demand dues from Indian buyer:

Owners and workers of 22 knitwear factories on Monday formed a human chain in the city demanding dues worth US$ 50 lakh from an Indian buyer, Lilliput Kidswear Ltd.

They staged the protest in front of the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) during the launching of a three-day trade fair, titled ‘India Show’ there.
Lilliput Kidswear Ltd. owes about US$ 50 lakh to 22 apparel and knitwear companies in Bangladesh that has been pending for the last 14 months, the owners alleged.

Managing director of Purnima Apparels Ltd Sarder Keramot Ali said, “Lilliput received the consignments form Bangladeshi companies inside the Indian border against all sight LCs that requires it to clear the payment within 60 days. But 14 months have passed… we didn’t receive the money.” read more. & read more. & read more.
   

* Unsettled import bills to be among major issues for discussions:

Settlement of outstanding import bills by businesses will be one of the major issues to be discussed at the Bangladesh-India commerce secretary-level meeting in Dhaka today (Tuesday), sources said.

Businessmen of both the countries have been alleging about scores of import letters of credit (LCs) remaining unpaid for years.
They also alleged non-honouring of irrevocable LCs on due date, non-payment of accrued interest charges for delays, and returning LCs without payment.

The Bangladeshi apparel exporters alleged that twenty-two factories faced non-payment of US$5.0 million by Liliput Kidswear Ltd – an Indian importer — for years, putting them on the verge of closure. read more.

18:46:52 local time map of india INDIA

* Abuse reported at Indian garment factories:

Workers provide evidence of exploitation and harsh work conditions at a national tribunal

Recent factory fires which claimed more than 100 lives in Bangladesh has raised safety concerns for garment factory workers in neighbouring India.
Workers are providing evidence of exploitation and difficult working conditions at a national tribunal.
However, laws are not being implemented and factory owners refuse to comment.
see more (video).

* Commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination  of Violence against Women, FWF hosted an expert panel discussion on reducing harassment of women workers in  the garment industry.
The event was part of  FWF’s ongoing consultations with stakeholders to identify root causes of problems in the industry,  and to develop strategies to address those problems.

Sexual harassment in the workplace,  including verbal and   physical  abuse,  has been widely identified as one of  the key problems facing women working in India’s garment industry.  As part of  an ongoing proces to address the root  causes of  this problem and to identify practical  solutions,  Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)  convened  a  multi-­‐sector panel discussion of experts to commemorate the International Day for Elimination of Violence  Against Women.
FWF has over 20 European-­‐based member brands sourcing in India.
Here you can read more & download the event overview.

* Ministry to give thrust to weaving sector:

The Union Ministry of Textiles will give a thrust to the weaving sector during the XII Plan period.

Speaking at the inaugural of the ninth edition of India ITME, a six-day textile machinery exhibition, here on Sunday, Textiles Commissioner A. B. Joshi said that processing was one of the weak links of the textile value chain, and the XI Plan focussed on the processing sector. “We need to improve the weaving sector now,” he said. Hence, the policy prescriptions would be high for this segment and it would be in different forms such as subsidy and interest subventions.

Apart from the support of the Union Government through the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), several State governments too had textile policies and the textile machinery manufacturers should see these as an opportunity for investment. read more.

18:16:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Local textile millers fear being ‘crowded out’ by Indian counterparts:

Pakistani textile millers, particularly producers of synthetic fabrics, are suspicious of their Indian counterparts due to the fact that the neighbouring country might corner the market of synthetic fibre in Pakistan as local industry continues to limp due to domestic issues.

Indian textile millers are showcasing their synthetic fibre and rayon products at the two-day Intexpo Pakistan exhibition in Karachi and Lahore.

“We welcome bilateral trade; however we cannot provide easy ground to the Indians,” said Mian Anjum Nisar, owner if ATS Synthetic, a Lahore bases textile manufacturer. Pakistan’s textile industry is efficient in coastal accounts – thick thread products used in producing denims, bed sheets – whereas India has an edge in final accounts – thin thread fabrics used in making dopattas, sarees – he said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
   

* Ready-made garments export grows by 14.59%:

The export of ready-made garments from the country during the last four months of current financial year registered growth of 14.59pc as compared to the same period of last year.

As many as 8,964 thousand dozens of ready-made garments worth $604m exported during the period from July-Oct 2012 as compared to the 8,294 thousand dozen valuing $ 27.12m in same period of last financial year. The exports of towel from the country surged by 6.62 per cent as about 53,526 metric ton towel worth $254 million exported during the period under review. read more.

* Cotton prices likely to remain on rising tide:

Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has issued fortnightly figures of domestic cotton production and accordingly all country-wide ginning factories have so far received seed-cotton (phutti) equivalent to 9,582,560 cotton bales up to 30th November, 2012, that’s 67,542 bales (0.7pc) less to previous year corresponding arrivals.
However according to PCGA report, seed cotton arrivals in ginning factories of Punjab are 6,605,379 bales up to 30th November which are less to the tune of 934,930 bales (12pc) than corresponding period of last year whereas arrivals in ginning factories of Sindh are 2,977,181 bales that are 867,388 bales (41pc) higher than corresponding year. read more.

      THE KARACHI FIRE:

* Short circuit, all of Karachi to blame for tragedy, says tribunal:

An electrical short-circuit may have been the initial cause of the Baldia garments factory that claimed the lives of more than 250 people but the “entire system” is responsible for the cause of deaths.

This is the crux of the long-awaited report of the Baldia factory fire tribunal which has been submitted to chief minister and home department.

From the setting up of the factory and its drawing plan, from meeting safety standards and the architects who did not make emergency exits, everything counts in the disaster, the report says while criticising the owners for fitting in maximum number of machines into minimum space.  “Not only the owners flouted the rules, officials of civil defence, labour departments were also negligent,” it stated.

The tribunal, headed by Justice (retd) Zahid Kurban Alavi and Khalilur Rehman Shaikh, also refers to several incidents of fire that broke out earlier at the factory, saying all fires were caused by power short-circuits.

Ali Enterprises did not store highly flammable chemicals and the condition of the generators or boilers did not suggest the fire started from there. The tribunal found no evidence against the allegations that factory doors had been locked, wrote Justice Alavi. read more.

* Court questions ability of civic agencies to deal with emergencies:

In a suo motu hearing on Monday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has questioned the ability of civic agencies in responding timely to emergencies.

Almost three months after the Baldia factory fire that left over 250 people dead, the death of Ovais Baig after he fell off the State Life building to avoid the fire – has intensified the debate whether or not our civic agencies can deal with mishaps.

The judges formally started hearing the suo motu case as to why the civic agencies failed to save the ill-fated young man even though he was dangling at the window for 15 minutes. The case has been tagged along two identical petitions seeking judicial inquiry of the Baldia factory tragedy. read more.

map of Asia

INFO:

* In the Menu under “Ashulia Fire ” you can find: an overview of articles about the Garment factory Fire in Ashulia UPDATED.

* In the Menu under “Karachi Fire” you can find: an overview of articles about the Garment factory Fire in Karachi (and Lahore) UPDATED.

* In the Menu under “National Peoples’ Tribunal” you can find: an overview of articles about the Indian National Peoples’ Tribunal for Living Wages and Decent Working Conditions UPDATED

HEADLINES TODAY:

VIET NAM
* Textile, garments industry hits a rough patch
* TPP & FTA increases FDI into Vietnamese textile sector

LAOS
* Japanese businessmen keen on investment in Laos

THAILAND
* Minimum wage- Relief measures urged

CAMBODIA
* Loan agreement inked for Cambodia’s first garment training school

MALAYSIA
* Textile industry in labour pains
* Minimum Wage Policy Deferred To July 1 For Companies With 5 Employees Or Less

INDONESIA
* Indonesia’s Textile Prices Will Increase By 16 %
* Corporate giants mull wage hike impact; retailers bullish

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar permits 15 foreign investments within 2 months

BANGLA DESH
* ASHULIA- TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:
* To hell and back
* Ashulia still volatile, nearly 300 units shut for today
* PM to hand over Tk 4 lakh to each family of fire victims Tuesday
* Protest in Ashulia continues – Workers clash with police: 50 injured
* Workers’ demo continues in Ashulia
* Workers gherao BGMEA office
* BGMEA probe body misses deadline
* BGMEA enlists 990 Tazreen workers to pay wages, compensation
* Compensate- Trade unions urge Walmart
* 10 injured in (other) Ashulia fire
* Savar garments catches fire; 24 workers injured while scrambling to get down from factory
* Ctg fire service launches drive at RMG units
* They got some fire tools, not training
* Insurers worried over rising RMG accidents
* Ashulia garment fire and after
OTHER NEWS:
* 22 knitwear factories demand dues from Indian buyer
* Unsettled import bills to be among major issues for discussions

INDIA
* Abuse reported at Indian garment factories
* Commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
* Ministry to give thrust to weaving sector

PAKISTAN
* Local textile millers fear being ‘crowded out’ by Indian counterparts
* Ready-made garments export grows by 14.59%
* Cotton prices likely to remain on rising tide
* THE KARACHI FIRE:
* Short circuit, all of Karachi to blame for tragedy, says tribunal
* Court questions ability of civic agencies to deal with emergencies

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