in the news on-line, 11 December 2012

07:27:46 local time map of mongolia MONGOLIA

* MNT 200 Billion bond to be issued for leather processors:

There are currently 35 leather processing factories, and 171 producers of  
final leather goods in Mongolia according to the latest government figures.  
Many of these businesses operate only on a seasonal basis up to six months  
a year largely due to the lack of working capital to procure raw materials.

The Government of Mongolia, in particular, the Ministry of Industry and
Agriculture, is proposing a new initiative to address the problem, and
support the leather processing sector in general, by issuing a MNT 200
Billion bond. According to Minister H.Battulga, who introduced the program
at the Economic Standing Committee of the Parliament, once implemented the
initiative will generate 25,000 new jobs and result in the production of
leather goods valued at USD 460 Million.

It is also expected that the whole supply chain of the leather production
will be improved, and processors will be able to use more local raw
materials produced by the herding community. Currently, only 25 percent of
the animal skin and hides are being processed in Mongolia, while the rest
is being exported to China in raw form. read more.

07:27:46 local time map of china CHINA

* Polluting brand names:

Several models, wearing trousers made by global fashion leaders alleged to have been using harmful substances in their clothing process, are set up outside a sewage drain exit at the estuary of Hangzhou Bay on December 4. Photo: Courtesy of Greenpeace

It seems to be an endless fight for 44-year-old villager Wei Dongying. Having been fighting against the water pollution discharged from a nearby industrial zone for years, she now says she is giving up.

“It has been almost 20 years. The pollution is still there. What can we do? What’s the use of appealing to them about environment protection? How many decades does one person have?” Wei asked.

Wei lives in a small county in the Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, one of China’s most economically developed areas. She said the pollution began around 1997 when Nanyang Chemical Industry Zone, one of the earliest industry parks in Zhejiang Province, was established near her village. “Then everything changed as the air, soil and water all became polluted,” she said.
read more.

* Worker jumps off building after application for leave refused:

A shoe factory worker was still in hospital on Dec 10 after she jumped off a dormitory building in a suicide attempt two days ago in Guangzhou’s Panyu district, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Li Shuhua, 44, from Ziyang in Sichuan province, jumped off the third floor on the morning of Dec 8, reportedly because her application for an eight-day leave was turned down by company managers. read more.

06:27:46 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Adidas Vietnam under the tax authorities’ microscope:

The General Department of Taxation has asked the HCM City tax office to review the relations between Adidas Vietnam and a number of companies in the global system of Adidas to determine the costs that this firm declared for tax calculation.

This request was made after the Ho Chi Minh City Tax Department consulted the General Department on the tax policy for Adidas Vietnam.

Based on the report of the Ho Chi Minh City Tax Department and the current regulations, the General Department of Taxation said that the transaction between Adidas Vietnam and a number of companies in the global system of Adidas may be linked transactions (transactions between the parties that have mutual operating, control or capital contribution and investment operations).

Not having sufficient evidence to make conclusion, the General Department of Taxation asked the Ho Chi Minh City Tax Department to check the relations and commercial contracts between Adidas Vietnam and other companies in the global system of Adidas, as well as with retailers. These companies include Adidas AG (parent company), Adidas Singapore, Adidas International Trading BV…
read more.

* Vietnam’s wage growth higher than average: ILO:

Vietnam has raised wages for its laborers at a rate higher than world average, according to a recent report of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

“Vietnam has done well in terms of wage growth compared to the world as new ILO figures show a continuing slowdown in global wages, particularly in developed countries,” according to the ILO’s Global Wages Report 2012-2013.

In contrast to the global situation, in Vietnam, the average nominal wage increased by 26.8 percent per year in the period 2006-2010.

Even when taking into account inflation, which remained high, the real wage (reflecting adjustment for changes in consumer prices) increased by 12.6 percent on a yearly basis, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said. read more.

06:27:46 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Thai investors eye 16 Myanmar industries:

Thai businesspeople will visit Myanmar next Monday to discuss investing in 16 industries, according to the Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“They will discuss possible investments in energy, banking, telecommunications, gems, rice exports, fishery products, textiles, distribution, beverages and liquor, hotels, transport, education and business-related media,” a chamber official said in a statement yesterday.  read more.

06:27:46 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Pension scheme ramps up:

A garment worker cuts cloth at a factory in Phnom Penh. To date over 700,000 workers atprivate companies and factories have registered to join a nationwide pension scheme thatwill go into effect in 2015. Photograph: Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post

More than 700,000 workers at private companies and factories across 19 provinces have registered to join a nationwide pension scheme that goes into effect in 2015, Labour Ministry officials told the Post yesterday.

A branch of the National Social Security Fund (NSFF), the pension scheme was legislated a decade ago, but registration was only set to start this year.
Since January, 720,000 employees have registered for theplan, which will be mandatory for all companies with more than eight workers.
But while officials have stepped up their registration efforts, precious few details appear to have been ironed out for a scheme that both industry insiders and the government have pegged as acornerstone of social welfare. read more.

* Labour crisis troubles Cambodian garment industry:

Labour shortage stirred by factors like migration of workers, poor work conditions and good opportunities in other sectors continue to hinder the Cambodian garment industry, according to industry experts.
As reported in The Phnom Penh Post, Ken Loo, Secretary General of the Garment Manufacturer’s Association in Cambodia said apparel units in Phnom Penh are enduring severe labour scarcity.
National Co-ordinator of the International Labour Organization in Cambodia, Sophorn Tun said garment factories do not have enough workers to operate at full capacity to meet production demands. This is because while huge investments are coming to Cambodia, the job market has become diverse as workers get to choose from the various job opportunities in several sectors. read more.

07:27:46 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Thousands of firms seek exemptions from minimum wage:

As workers held mass protests and strikes last week, thousands of labor-intensive companies are seeking government approval to postpone raising workers’ monthly wages to the new rate in the new year.

Companies can petition to delay the raise in wages as long as they can show that they have faced financial difficulties in the past two years, and proof is available for auditing by a public accountant.
Secretary-general of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Suryadi Sasmita, revealed that a number of the firms had submitted requests to local administrations.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jakarta and its environs have expressed strong objections of the increase by 44 percent to Rp 2.2 million in Jakarta, and by 60 percent to Rp 2,002,000 million in Bogor.
Apindo Chairman Sofjan Wanandi said 60 Korean companies producing textiles, garments and shoes in and around Jakarta have proposed delaying the more.

* Government ‘must end cheap wages policy’ to compete globally:

While executives have complained that recently approved wage hikes smell of populism and capitulation to unions, several economists say that the increases reflect a needed update of the cheap labor policy of previous decades.

Cheap wages are no longer suitable with global standards, according to economist Payaman Simanjuntak, a professor at Krisnadwipayana University in Jakarta.

Indonesia, one of a few countries recording growth of 6 percent or more, must meet industrial and labor standards set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other world financial institutions to maintain its economic performance and to compete with other developing countries, Simanjuntak said. read more.

* Workers greet new wages:

Ongoing pressure to increase the minimum wage will be a disadvantage to everybody in the long run, employers say — while workers have greeted the new decisions on the new minimum wages, to be effective in the New Year.
The Jakarta Post’s Ridwan Max Sijabat looks at the controversy in the following reports.

Workers in industrial estates in Riau Islands, West Java and Jakarta hailed the significant raises in wage as a starting point to live decently — like other people, workers said they can now save a little and have a bit of recreation.

Enny Chorifah, 19, who works at an electronic spare parts manufacturer in Muka Kuning industrial estate in Batam, said if her labor contract was extended she might be able to save, or to shop a little more, with the wage increase by 46 percent to Rp 2.04 million (US$220) from the current Rp 1.4 million. read more.

* Transparency key to industrial harmony:

Suryadi Sasmita, the secretary-general of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and the owner of a garment factory and retail shops in Jakarta and surrounding towns, said he was among the employers considering a request to suspend the increase in his workers’ wages.

While production, transportation and security costs have risen by 75 percent, the new wage hike could raise labor costs by 30 percent, he said. To stay competitive increasing prices is not an option.
The Bogor regency recently decided on a wage rise of 70 percent to Rp 2 million (US$207.68).

The Jakarta administration increased the monthly minimum wage by 44 percent to Rp 2.2 million for 2013. In Greater Jakarta, officials in Bekasi, West Java, have increased the minimum wage by 54.7 percent to Rp 2.1 million. With such increases, Suryadi reckons employers will suffer an annual loss of at least 7.5 percent.
read more.

* Aslam Hidayet, ex-worker Kizone factory: ‘Adidas deceives us’:

More than 5000 of you wrote on adidas’ and Justin Bieber’s Facebook wall to push them to pay the severance pay of the Kizone workers. Justin Bieber failed to respond, and adidas simply sent us a letter arguing that the workers were satisfied with the food vouchers they had been issued with.

The letter from the workers below, highlights why this is an absurd argument.

The good news is that in the US the University of Washington and Rutgers University have now cut their contract with adidas for university goods, joining University of Cornell and Oberlin College. The President of the University said: “I fully agree with the committee’s conclusion that, by taking the position that it had no responsibility for severance payments to its supplier’s former workers, adidas falls short of the University’s expectations for its licensees.”

The pressure will continue. People and Planet, the UK students’ campaign, held demonstrations outside adidas stores across the UK on Saturday 1st December.
Thanks again for your support!

Aslam Hidayat, ex-worker at the Kizone factory:

We would like to thank the supporters, unions, and others in Europe and America who have supported us in our struggle to win our rights.

Adidas has said that the workers were satisfied with the vouchers from adidas – but that is a lie. The Kizone workers can’t think about “satisfaction” in a real way. We aren’t naive, we of course are pleased. But we are not satisfied. Many of our coworkers sold the vouchers to other people, to cover debts and buy things they needed that you can’t buy at Alfamart, the only supermarket where we could use the vouchers. Adidas is deceiving the Kizone workers.

On behalf of the Kizone workers, workers are very grateful for what you do, not just for workers in Indonesia but to fight for truth and universal justice. We know that the struggle is not always smooth.
Only because we have the certainty that what we believe is true, we will not cease to fight.

We know that we must tell the brands and the people who use the products manufactured by workers in Asia and Latin America to eliminate slavery on the face of this earth. Right now, it is our chance to be a tiger in that global movement.
Please keep standing with us!
In solidarity, Aslam Hidayat
to read.

 05:57:46 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

*  ‘Thousands’ of new factories coming: MGMA:

Factory employees stitch garments at a site in Yangon. (Photo: Myanmar Times Archive)
Myanmar’s garment sector is set for a major boost following the enactment of the amended Foreign Investment Law and further easing of US sanctions, an industry association spokesperson said last week.

U Aung Winn, vice chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), made the comments after announcing in late November that a garments and textile fair will be held in Yangon in mid-December.

“More than 300 garment factories operate in Myanmar,” he said. “It is quite a small number compared with neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia. The garment industry can create thousands of jobs.

“In the near future, thousand of garment factories will appear in Myanmar,” he said, adding that many Western companies were in discussions with local partners to set up in Myanmar, while Japanese and Thai firms were also lining up. read more.

05:27:46 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH


* Bangla fire exposes apathy of global clothing brands:

One lakh people attended the burial ceremony of 53 workers whose bodies could not be identified

The fire alarm shattered the monotony of the Tazreen Fashions factory. Hundreds of seamstresses looked up from their machines, startled. On the third floor, Shima Akhter Pakhi had been stitching hoods onto fleece jackets. Now she ran to a staircase.

But two managers were blocking the way. Ignore the alarm, they ordered. It was just a test.

Back to work. A few women laughed nervously. Pakhi and other workers returned to their sewing tables. She could stitch a hood to a jacket in about 90 seconds. She arranged the fabric under her machine. Ninety seconds. Again. Ninety more seconds. She sewed six pieces, maybe seven. Then she looked up.

Smoke was filtering up through the three staircases. Screams rose from below. The two managers had vanished. Power suddenly went out throughout the eight-story building. There was nowhere to escape. The staircases led down into the fire. Iron grilles blocked the windows. A man cowering in a fifth-floor bathroom called his mother to tell her he was about to die. “We all panicked,” Pakhi said. “It spread so quickly. And there was no electricity. It was totally dark.” read more.

* A rallying cry for fire safety:

The deaths of about 400 workers in two recent fires at Asian garment factories that made clothes for American and European brands should outrage consumers and become a rallying cry for higher safety standards. Just as the 1911 fire at the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York ushered in a sweeping overhaul of industrial regulations in this country, these tragedies should lead to comprehensive changes in developing countries that have become the biggest suppliers of clothes to the Western world.

Accounts of the fires, in Bangladesh and Pakistan, clearly show that there would have been few, if any, deaths had the factories met basic safety standards. Owners of both factories had barred windows to prevent theft, and neither building had usable or safe fire exits, making it impossible for the workers to escape the flames and smoke. At the Bangladesh factory, Tazreen Fashions, managers initially stopped workers from leaving by dismissing a fire warning as a false alarm.

These fires were the latest in a series of garment factory calamities. The Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop group, estimates that more than 500 workers have died in factory fires in Bangladesh since 2006, not counting the most recent disaster. That country has more than three million workers employed in the clothing industry and is now the world’s second-largest exporter of garments, after China.
read more.

* Tazreen fire an outcome of unplanned expansion, ignorance: Labour Minister:

Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju on Monday said the devastating fire incident at Tazreen Fashions is a reflection of the unplanned expansion of the readymade garment sector and ignorance among the owners about the compliances.

“We don’t realise our mistakes unless there is an incident. The incident at Tazreen has opened our eyes. There has been ignorance in this concern before it,” he said, inaugurating a crash training programme for mid-level garment employees on fire control, organised by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at is headquarter.

The minister said there has been no planned development of the RMG sector since the very beginning.
Mentioning the sheer ignorance that prevails among most of the owners and workers about the compliances, he said: “We don’t know what needs to be done.”
read more. & read more.

* Documents Reveal New Details About Walmart Connection to Tazreen Factory Fire:

Documents uncovered at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 workers died in a fire two weeks ago indicate that not one but two American apparel makers supplying goods for Walmart were using the factory around the time of the fire.

Two days after the Nov. 24 fire, Walmart said in a statement that it had stopped authorizing production at Tazreen and that despite that move, a single supplier, later identified as Success Apparel, had “subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies.”

The documents — found in the factory by officials from the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity — show that a subcontractor for an additional Walmart supplier, International Intimates, was having women’s robes and nightgowns made at the factory for Walmart’s winter season. The documents show that the factory was also making women’s nightwear for Sears.

The documents contain a June 2012 e-mail from International Intimates’ subcontractor to officials at the Tazreen factory confirming plans to produce a robe and nightgown for Walmart, as well as a robe and pajama set for Sears. The documents also contain a production report from September 13 showing plans to produce 117,000 of these garments for Walmart. read more.

* After fire, Wal-Mart vows to tighten source safeguards:

A factory fire that killed more than 100 garment workers in Bangladesh has led the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, to concede that it needs to do more to control its supply chain and keep unauthorized manufacturers out.

In an interview with Reuters, his first since the November 24 Tazreen Fashions fire, Wal-Mart Vice President of Ethical Sourcing Rajan Kamalanathan said the company’s current controls could only go so far in preventing a factory Wal-Mart did not approve of from making its clothes, as was the case here.

“If a supplier or an agent chooses to subcontract without informing us, then that is a problem,” Kamalanathan said. “We can put all kinds of controls in place, but if they don’t tell us where they’re putting our order, then that is a problem.”

Wal-Mart has said repeatedly that its Faded Glory clothing should not have been in production at the Tazreen factory, a facility Bangladeshi authorities said was not safe for use. The building was not cleared to be used by any party manufacturing garments for the world’s largest retailer. read more.

* 251 left-out Tazreen workers paid:

Two hundred and fifty one left-out Tazreen workers were paid their wages and benefits at the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Monday.
The association also handed over compensation money of Tk one lakh each to 37 workers injured in the tragic blaze at Tazreen Fashions Limited on November 24.
On Saturday, more than 100 workers of fire-devastated Tazreen staged a demonstration in front of BGMEA building demanding unpaid wages and benefits.
They alleged that they were not paid wages and other benefits as their names were not on the list prepared by the factory authorities and the association.
They had, however, postponed the demonstration after the association vice-president SM Mannan Kochi assured them of payment of the wages and benefits by December 11.
As per the assurance, the left-out workers reached the BGMEA building at about 3:00pm on Monday by buses arranged by the association. to read.

* Workplace safety must for Bangladesh to become RMG leader:

Bangladesh needs to ensure workplace safety immediately if it wants to be the world’s biggest readymade garment exporter, analysts said.

Workplace safety has become the biggest challenge for the garment industry in the aftermath of the Tazreen fire that left 112 workers dead.

The garment industry has overcome three major challenges — child labour, elimination of multi-fibre agreement quota and global financial crisis — successfully over the last two decades, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
“Workplace safety is now the fourth challenge. It is possibly the biggest challenge the sector has faced to date.”

Bhattacharya said Bangladesh is at a crossroads now: the country needs to decide whether it would entertain conspiracy theories and do nothing, or take the necessary steps to prevent such incidents happening again. read more.

* BGMEA launches fire training for workers:

Safety issues in factories have become a major concern for international garment buyers, said an official of a US retail giant at the launch of a fire training programme for workers in Dhaka yesterday.

Bangladesh is a lucrative destination for international buyers who outsource for renowned global brands, said Jenefa Jabbar, regional social responsibilities director of JC Penney Purchasing Corporation, a garment sourcing company.

Referring to the faulty construction of the Tazreen Fashions building, where more than 110 workers died in a devastating fire last month, Jenefa said every licensing authority should play their due role while giving licences to the factory owners.
read more. & read more. & read more.


* Bangladesh may ease investment norms to help RMG sector:

Earnings from the readymade garment (RMG) and all other sectors are expected to get a major boost, as the Government is reviewing its Foreign Exchange Act with an aim to liberalize it to draw more investment in diverse sectors, the Chief Economist of the Bangladesh Bank Dr. Hassan Zaman said in his inaugural address at the Bangladesh Investment Summit in Singapore.
Asian Investor and Finance Asia organized the one-day summit to help Asia’s key wealth funds, public and private pension funds, family businesses and other financial investors to explore trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh. read more.

* Full compliance stressed for sustainability of RMG growth:

Experts at a seminar on Sunday stressed the need for compliance, trade union rights and prudent economic diplomacy for the sustainability of the growth in the readymade garments sector.

They said the sector had shown a thriving growth for the last two decades but it still faced some challenges including poor infrastructure, power and gas crisis, unskilled labour, dependency on imported raw materials and political instability.
The remarks came at a seminar titled ‘opportunities and challenges for the readymade garments industry of Bangladesh in the changed global sourcing scenario’ held at the Westin Hotel in the capital. read more.

* Bangladesh hopes to ‘export $1.0b RMG to China within a few years’:

Experts at a seminar Sunday said Bangladesh can contribute US$ 29.71 billion worth textiles and clothing in a $500 billion world merchandise trade by 2015 by taking care of its’ infrastructure, image related problems, political stability, productivity and compliance issues.

They also said China alone has become a huge potential market for Bangladesh as it loses its’ competitiveness in the global apparel export and shift to high-tech industries and is ready to import clothes for its’ domestic consumers from Bangladesh at a lower price. read more.

* RMG export may triple to $ 44.66b by 2020:

Apparel exports from Bangladesh may triple to US $ 44.66 billion by 2020 if the new opportunities are properly utilized, experts and businesspersons said at a seminar on Sunday.
Implementation of compliance rules by the factory owners and mitigation of labour unrests in the sector is imperative to achieve this goal, the speakers also observed.
BGMEA president M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin chaired the seminar titled ‘Opportunities and Challenges in the Changes in Global Sourcing Scenario’ at Westin Hotel in the capital on Sunday. read more. & read more.

04:57:46 local time map of india INDIA

* Minor children rescued:

Thirteen minor children, who were allegedly subjected to forced labour in three textile units and one workshop situated in the heart of Tirupur city, were rescued on Monday.

The children, including seven girls, were rescued during a raid conducted by volunteers of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a child rights movement, along with anti-human trafficking wing of police, and officials of revenue and labour departments.

Inspector E. Nirmala of Anti-Human Trafficking Wing told The Hindu that four employers of children, Siva Kumar, N. Palanisamy, Renjith Kumar (all running textile units), and V. Veerappan (owner of workshop), were arrested under Section 26 of Juvenile Justice Act and Section 374 (forced labour).

Ms. Nirmala said that of the children rescued, a boy hails from Nepal, two from Bihar and the remaining were from Tamil Nadu.
Fancy Anitha, the district coordinator of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said many of the children rescued were forced to work for almost 12 hours every day after been asking them to stay on the units premises itself. to read.

* US defends Walmart lobbying:

Amid controversy over reports that Walmart spent nearly Rs. 125 crore for lobbying with legislators to get access to the Indian market, the U.S. has said the global retail giant did not violate any American law as far as the matter is concerned.

“On the U.S. side, I don’t have any reason to believe that we have a violation of U.S. law here. With regard to the Indian side, I’ll refer you to them,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Monday, categorically dismissing allegations by Indian opposition parties in this regard.

Ms. Nuland was responding to questions on charges by opposition parties in India that Walmart spent huge sums in four years in lobbying before the U.S. Congress, including on those related to enhanced market access for investment in India. read more. & read more.

* Walmart rocks Parliament even after retail FDI vote:

Even as Walmart rocked Parliament on Monday over its disclosure to the US Senatethat it had spent $25 million on lobbying since 2008, experts argued lobbying was integral to business in any part of the world. Pointing out that legality of “lobbying” was a matter of perception, they said it would be illegal if bribe was part of the deal.

Replying to a questionnaire sent by Business Standard on the $447-billion US-based Walmart’s latest disclosure, a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said, “In accordance with the US law, US companies are required to disclose the issues and expenditures associated with lobbying on a quarterly basis.
The expenditures are a compilation of expenses associated with staff, association dues, consultants, and contributions spent in the US.” The spokesperson added, “Our Washington office naturally had discussions with the US government officials about a range of trade and investment issues that impact our businesses in the US and worldwide, and disclosed this in accordance with the law.”
read more.
& read more.

* Powerloom sector seeks Centre’s special attention:

Powerloom sector leaders have sought special attention from Central government on the grounds that the man-made fibre industry’s condition has continued to deteriorate for the past few years.

At the recent annual general meeting of Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI), an apex body of powerloom industry, in Mumbai, the office-bearers have demanded that the Central government reduce the burden of excise on the textile industry in view of increasing prices of raw material, electricity, natural gas, chemical and textile machinery.

Industry experts said the powerloom sector deserves a special importance as it contributes more than 70 per cent of the fabric produced in India. Despite this, the man-made yarn and fabric attract 10 per cent excise duty against zero per cent excise duty on cotton yarn and fabric. read more.

* India’s cotton yarn exports seen rising 20pc on Chinese demand:

India’s exports of cotton yarn are expected to rise a fifth in the fiscal year to next March, spurred by higher imports by top consumer China and a weaker rupee currency, traders said on Monday.

Exports of yarn, a value-added product used by textile mills, are expected to touch 992 million kg in the fiscal year ending next March.
But overseas sales of raw cotton are likely to fall to 7 million bales (of 170 kg each), down 45.7 per cent on the year ending on Sept. 30 2013, they said. read more.

* Cotton millers protest over taxing NPDCL surcharge:

Cotton, rice and oil millers resorted to a flash protest against the NPDCL surcharges on their mills and prevented cotton purchases at the agricultural market yards across North Telangana districts on Monday.

According to G Malla Reddy, North Telangana cotton millers association General secretary, NPDCL authorities burdened millers with 300 per cent increase in their power bills in the name of surcharge.
For example, for last month’s power bill of Rs 3 lakh, the NPDCL authorities raised a bill for Rs 12 lakh with a surcharge of Rs 8 lakh for a mill. The millers shut down their mills across North Telangana due to which the Cotton Corporation of India did not purchase cotton. Angry farmers took out a rally at Karimnagar and also protested on the Warangal – Karimnagar highway demanding immediate purchase of their cotton arrivals at Karimnagar. They staged a rasta rook causing heavy traffic jams.

At Warangal, many farmers staged dharna in front of the agricultural market committee office at Enumamula. Some of them tried to besiege the market office.
read more.

* Tamil Nadu textile sector gets relief from Govt measures:

Tamil Nadu textile industry, accounting 1/3rd of the country’s textile business, employing over 50 lakh people, accounting 47.5% of the spinning capacity and the hub for global textile business has been seriously suffering owing to unprecedented crisis faced by the industry during 2010-11. The acute power shortage prevailing in the State since 2008 has added to the woes of the industry. 

Mr S Dinakaran, Chairman, SIMA has stated that he met the Hon’ble Chief Minister today at Chennai and submitted a memorandum seeking various relief measures to revive the ailing textile industry from the crisis and regain its global competitiveness. He has stated that the Hon’ble Chief Minister gave a patient hearing to the submissions and promised to take necessary steps immediately. He has mentioned that the Hon’ble Chief Minister has also assured to sustain the competitiveness of the Tamil Nadu textile industry and avoid any investment migrating to other States.
read more.

* Textiles exports down 6% in Apr-Sept to $14 bn:

This decline is due to slowdown in major markets like the US and EU

The government today said India’s textiles exports declined 5.9% year-on-year to $14.1 billion during the April-September period because of slowdown in major markets like the US and EU.

“In the April-September 2012, textiles exports have witnessed a 5.9% drop owing to slowdown in major markets like the US ans EU,” Textiles Minister Anand Sharma said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. read more.

* ‘CSB open to slippages in textile loans’:

Kerala-based Catholic Syrian Bank ( CSB) has high exposure to cyclically weak sectors such as textiles, according to rating agency India Ratings. About 6.9 per cent of its total loans is towards the textiles sector alone, the rating agency said.

CSB works on high financial leverage and weak operating profitability, providing limited buffer against any potential impairment in asset quality, India Ratings said.
The bank will need an additional dose of equity injection to due to its higher exposure to cyclically-weak sectors and to support its plan to grow the loan book at a pace higher than industry average, the rating agency said. read more.

04:27:46 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Goods transporters’ strike: textile exporters fear cancellation of huge foreign orders:

Textile exporters fear cancellation of huge foreign orders due to the United Goods Transporters Alliance (UGTA) strike, which would not only result in huge losses to the exporters, but also to the national exchequer.

About 10,000 containers have been held up following the UGTA’s strike, announced on December 5, 2012 against the on-going harassment by the bhattha mafia and rampant kidnapping of drivers.

This was revealed in a letter written by Javed Bilwani Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), to Makhdoom Shahabuddin Federal Minister for Textile Industry. PHMA approached the Minister for remedial measures to ensure the early resolution of the UGTA’s issues so that the strike is immediately called off. If the strike prolongs further, this would lead to great loss to the exporters, fearing cancellation of vital orders maintained the latter. read more.

 * Gas & power outages continue to plague Pak textile sector:

APTMA Punjab Chairman Shahzad Ali Khan has said that textile industry in Punjab is under serious threat of capacities closure due to gas supply suspension on the one hand and six to eight hours announced/unannounced electricity load shedding on the other. Reduction in gas supply from five days to two days a week has already played havoc with the industry.

Now the phenomenon of unannounced load shedding is going to intensify the situation further and the textile millers are not clear whether to continue operations for five days a week in the absence gas supply and uncertain availability of electricity to mills or lay off the workers in Punjab. read more.

* Textile sector sets deadline for resumption of gas supply:

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), Punjab Chapter has given an ultimatum to the government to provide Punjab-based textile mills with uninterrupted power supply within a week, else, they will be bound to start protesting to save the most precious industry of the country.

“The textile sector Punjab has been hit worst due to the energy crisis, as with gas curtailment, we have to bear up to 10 hours of power outages,” said Shehzad Ali Khan, chairman of Aptma Punjab, in a press briefing. This is a major problem for Punjab which provides $1 billion exports monthly and employment to ten million people, he said. read more.

* Textile millers threaten to stage protests:

Textile millers have warned the government that they will resort to street protests if the ministry of water and power fails to restore normal electricity supplies to the industries in Punjab within a week.

“We would have cooperated with the power suppliers had the electricity shortfall been because of the capacity constraints,” said Gohar Ejaz, group leader of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), during a press conference on Monday.

He said the country’s thermal power generation capacity stands at 14,000 megawatts, while that of hydropower is 6,400mw, which is entirely unused. Currently, the total production is around 9,600mw due to the government’s failure to arrange fuel for full capacity utilisation, though the country’s total power requirement in winter goes up to 12,000mw, he disclosed. read more.


map of Asia


* MNT 200 Billion bond to be issued for leather processors

* Polluting brand names
* Worker jumps off building after application for leave refused

* Adidas Vietnam under the tax authorities’ microscope
* Vietnam’s wage growth higher than average: ILO

* Thai investors eye 16 Myanmar industries

* Pension scheme ramps up
* Labour crisis troubles Cambodian garment industry

* Thousands of firms seek exemptions from minimum wage
* Government ‘must end cheap wages policy’ to compete globally
* Workers greet new wages
* Transparency key to industrial harmony
* Aslam Hidayet, ex-worker Kizone factory: ‘Adidas deceives us’

* ‘Thousands’ of new factories coming: MGMA

* Bangla fire exposes apathy of global clothing brands
* A rallying cry for fire safety
* Tazreen fire an outcome of unplanned expansion, ignorance: Labour Minister
* Documents Reveal New Details About Walmart Connection to Tazreen Factory Fire
* After fire, Wal-Mart vows to tighten source safeguards
* 251 left-out Tazreen workers paid
* Workplace safety must for Bangladesh to become RMG leader
* BGMEA launches fire training for workers

* Bangladesh may ease investment norms to help RMG sector
* Full compliance stressed for sustainability of RMG growth
* Bangladesh hopes to ‘export $1.0b RMG to China within a few years’
* RMG export may triple to $ 44.66b by 2020

* Minor children rescued
* US defends Walmart lobbying
* Walmart rocks Parliament even after retail FDI vote
* Powerloom sector seeks Centre’s special attention
* India’s cotton yarn exports seen rising 20pc on Chinese demand
* Cotton millers protest over taxing NPDCL surcharge
* Tamil Nadu textile sector gets relief from Govt measures
* Textiles exports down 6% in Apr-Sept to $14 bn
* ‘CSB open to slippages in textile loans’

* Goods transporters’ strike: textile exporters fear cancellation of huge foreign orders
* Gas & power outages continue to plague Pak textile sector
* Textile sector sets deadline for resumption of gas supply
* Textile millers threaten to stage protests

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