in the news on-line, 18 January 2013

ASIA

* Asean A Viable Alternative To China For Sourcing Textiles, Apparels:

A New York-based private consultancy firm that specializes in offshore services believes Southeast Asia offers the “best alternative” to China for US-based textile and apparel companies wanting to source these products.

TigerTrade Services Inc registered in New York is an end-to-end platform for global trade, connecting manufacturers in the Asean region with the United States and international buyers.
TigerTrade works in sectors such as apparel, textiles, footwear, furnishings and home accessories.

TigerTrade has a network of offices and contacts in the Asean region from where American buyers are increasingly sourcing their apparels and textile needs as manufacturing and labour costs in China, a traditional supplier of these products, have soared in recent years. read more.
bernama

14:49:04 local time map of china CHINA

* China’s cotton policy spurs yarn imports:

China’s aggressive cotton stockpiling policy has pushed up domestic prices, forcing the world’s largest textile industry to boost imports of yarn by as much as a third in 2013, while production moves to southeast Asia, drawn by lower costs there.

Beijing’s stockpiling moves, launched in 2011 and designed to support farmers, have held domestic cotton prices about 40 percent above world levels as the country has built a reserve that traders estimate to stand at about 10 million tonnes. read more.
daily times PK

* China donates sewing machines to help Fijian women:

The Fijian Government will this week receive a total of 600 sewing machines donated to the Ministry of Women by China.

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni said the 600 sewing machines would be provided to women groups particularly those who had lodged their requests with the ministry.

“The sewing machines have multiple economic benefits, women can develop their sewing skills, make school uniforms for the children and their families, generate income as well,” she said. read more.
GLOBALTIMES

13:49:04 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* 200,000 may cotton on to jobs:

With export turnover expected to grow 12 per cent this year, the textile and garment sector will create an additional 200,000 jobs.

The sector targets a turnover of US$19 billion this year, according to the deputy general director of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) Le Tien Truong
He was quoted as saying by Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper that for every $1billion in turnover, the industry has typically been able to create an additional 100,000 jobs.

Truong urged textile and garment companies to develop solid strategies to consolidate their status in the increasingly volatile market, suggesting focus be placed on small- and medium-sized orders that require fast delivery turnaround, while improving both productivity and product quality. read more.
VNNews

13:49:04 local time map of thailandTHAILAND

* Asics marketing to chase leaders Adidas, Nike:

Asics, a Japanese sports shoe brand, will revise its marketing strategy in Thailand in order to challenge market leaders Nike and Adidas.

The shoes have been available at the Thai market for four years, distributed by Star 360 (Thailand) Ltd.
“Our performance has gone well year-by-year in the Thai market because of the increasing health concern among people,” said Johnson Lowe, the company’s country general manager. read more.
bangkokpost

13:49:04 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Factory clash has familiar feel:

20130118 PPP
A representative from the Ministry of Labour addresses striking workers at the International Fashion Royal Factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Two protesters and three factory officials were injured in a clash at a garment factory in Kampong Speu province yesterday as a report revealed that more than 60 unionists and workers were injured in such incidents in 2012.

Vann Bun, a Free Trade Union activist, said a factory official used a lead pipe to beat him and others at the Winson International garment factory in Samrong Tong.
“Protesters and company officials pushed each other as the workers tried to get into an [off-limits] area of the factory,” he said.

“The administrative manager tried to record it on video. There was a clash and a factory official used a metal pipe to hit me and other workers.”
The factory’s administration manager, Kang Vannet, said he intended to sue the FTU officials, because he himself had been punched in the head and had his cell phone smashed. read more.
PPP

*  Chea Mony cancels January 27 protest:

 Free Trade Union President Chea Mony cancelled Thursday a protest by 1,000 footwear workers on January 27.

In a letter Thursday to Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema, he said the date of the protest was too close to the royal funeral starting on February 1 and would be rescheduled.
The protest at Democracy Park is to seek justice for three female workers shot during a protest in Bavet last year and demand the arrest of former Bavet governor Chhuk Bundith.

Two other union leaders had agreed to join the protest for the three employees of Puma supplier Kaoway Sports. read more.
CAMHERALD

14:49:04 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Military paid to intimidate Nike workers in Indonesia:

In a shocking development on 15 January 2013, ABC News reported that workers at the Nike factory in West Java city of Sukabumi were allegedly intimidated by military personnel to sign a petition supporting the employer’s petition to be exempted from paying the new minimum wage.

It is important to note that in 2012 millions of workers protested demanding an increase in minimum wages, social security and for better working conditions. In response to the workers’ protests the government increased wages by 46 per cent to IDR 2.04 million (US$220) from the current IDR 1.4 million (US$145).

However, companies were allowed to apply for exemption from paying new wages by providing information on the company’s financial condition and consent from workers. In this backdrop, the Nike factory at Sukabumi allegedly paid military personnel to intimidate its workers to support their application for exemption from paying new wages. Workers were also told that “inside the factory there were a lot of military intelligence officers”. read more.
INDUSRIall

* Workers protest against minimum wage delays:

Thousands of workers took to the city’s main thoroughfares on Wednesday to protest delays in the increased minimum wage and hikes in electricity rates.

The workers from industrial areas in Bekasi, Bogor, Depok, Jakarta and Karawang belonging to the Indonesian Metal Workers Federation (FSPMI), the All-Indonesia Workers Union (KSPSI) and the Indonesian Workers Assembly (MPBI), demanded that Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo instruct companies to immediately comply with the 44 percent raise of the provincial minimum wage to Rp 2.2 million (US$228) for 2013. read more.
jakartapost

* Marubeni, Doosan unveil expansion plans in Indonesia:

Buoyed by Indonesia’s strong economic fundamentals, two major foreign companies, the Marubeni Corporation of Japan and the Doosan Group of South Korea, plan to further expand their business in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Marubeni Corporation president and CEO Teruo Asada and Doosan Group chairman Yongmaan Park unveiled their business expansion plans during a meeting with Industry Minister MS Hidayat in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Hidayat said that Marubeni intended to join state-owned electricity company PLN’s tender for the development of a 660-megawatt (MW) power plant.
(…)
“I told them [Marubeni executives] we needed investment for machinery, especially for the textile industry, and also shipyards where demand is high,” he said. Indonesia’s textile industry is struggling with inefficiency resulting from high energy costs, partly due to the use of outdated machines.

Many of the 1,500 textile firms nationwide urgently need to replace their production equipment, and the government has intervened in recent years with a textile machinery revitalization program. read more.
jakartapost

12:49:04 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Workplace Safety: Buyers also criticised:

In the wake of Tazreen Fashions fire, some members of the European Parliament on Wednesday elaborately discussed what action the EU should take to ensure workplace safety.

At least 112 people, mostly female workers, were killed after the fire raged through Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital on November 24 night, prompting the international media raising questions about the working condition at the Bangladesh garment factories and responsibility of the buyers to ensure compliances.

Speaking at the discussion in the European Parliament, Paul Murphy, a member of the parliamentary group, known as GUE/NGL, condemned the failure of European big business to keep to its own “moral but useless” code of conduct, said a statement posted on the group’s website. read more.
UNB

* BD garment industry looks to revive image:

Shati Akter Shuchona`s voice trembles when she tries to recount what happened when a devastating fire swept through the factory floor she was working on last November.

The Ms Shuchona, 22, was on the fourth floor of Tazreen Fashions Limited building, near Dhaka, helping to stitch sweatshirts for a major western brand when she heard a fire alarm.
“It was around 7pm in the evening. We were under pressure to finish an important order,” she tells the BBC. “Suddenly there was a fire alarm.”

Unfortunately, it was not a false alarm. What set it off was the worst ever incident in the history of Bangladesh garment industry.
“All of a sudden I heard someone was shouting and there was lots of smoke. Then the lights went off and everything was dark.”

Estimates suggest that more than 1,100 workers were inside building when the fire started in the ground floor, where yarn and fabric had been stored.
(…)
They fear that orders may dip if they cannot meet the deadlines or if the cost of manufacturing escalates.
However, firms such as Wal-Mart argue that the suppliers and factory owners should take more responsibility.
(…)
For Bangladeshi workers such as Ms Shuchona and Ms Akther who escaped death by a few inches or seconds, the answer could not come any sooner.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24  bbc  FE bd

* EU Parliament slams international buyers:

In the wake of Tazreen Fashions fire, some members of the European Parliament on Wednesday elaborately discussed what action the EU should take to ensure workplace safety.

At least 112 people, mostly female workers, were killed after the fire raged through Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital on November 24 night, prompting the international media raising questions about the working condition at the Bangladesh garment factories and responsibility of the buyers to ensure compliances.
Speaking at the discussion in the European Parliament, Paul Murphy, a member of the parliamentary group, known as GUE/NGL, condemned the failure of European big business to keep to its own “moral but useless” code of conduct, said a statement posted on the group’s website.
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more.
newstodayBD  INDEPENDENT  FE bd  daily star bd

* European Parliament resolution on recent casualties in textile factory fires, notably in Bangladesh:

The European Parliament,
–   having regard to the EC-Bangladesh Cooperation Agreement of 2001,
–   recalling its resolutions of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements and on corporate social responsibility in international trade agreements.
–   having regard to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report entitled ‘Globalising Social Rights: The International Labour Organisation and beyond’,
–   having regard to the ILO report entitled ‘Labour in the Global South: Challenges and alternatives for workers’,
–   having regard to the ILO report entitled ‘Globalisation, Flexibilisation and Working Conditions in Asia and the Pacific’,
–   having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 on an industrial policy for the globalised era.
–   having regard to the updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of 2011,
–   having regard to the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health (2006, C-187) and the Occupational Safety and Health Convention (1981, C-155), which have not been ratified by Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as their respective recommendations (R‑197); having regard also to the Labour Inspection Convention (1947, C-081), to which Bangladesh and Pakistan are signatories, and its recommendations (R‑164),   read the complete resolution here.
EUparlement

* Leather industry aims to cross $1b exports:

The leather industry aims to cross the $1-billion mark in export earnings this fiscal year as the sector is witnessing a robust demand for leather and leather goods in the global market.

The manufacturers said they will reach the export target at $1.04 billion set by the government for this year.
Their earnings fell short by only 3.58 percent of the last year’s target at $792.34 million.
The industry earned $451 million by exporting leather, leather products and footwear during July-December this fiscal year, up by 20 percent compared to the same period last year.  read more. & read more.
daily star bd  BD new age

* JS panel asks govt to shift tanneries by June 30:

A parliamentary standing committee on Thursday asked the ministry of environment and forests to relocate the tanneries at Hazaribagh in the city to Savar by June 30.
It also asked for legal action against any tannery failing to comply.

The committee on the ministry of environment and forests at a meeting set the deadline after reviewing the environment situation at Hazaribagh in the Old Town of the city.
Committee chairman Abdul Momin Talukder later told reporters that the government created environment-friendly infrastructure for the tanners at Savar but they were not relocating the factories on this or that excuse.
‘We asked the ministry to ensure relocation of the factories by June 30,’he said.
read more.
BD new age

12:19:04 local time map of india INDIA

* Reebok rejigs operations, business model in India:

Limping out of a Rs870-crore alleged scam, sports retail giant Reebok is unleashing a massive rejig for its India operations, re-scripting business models with associates while incorporating strict clauses to guard against any financial irregularity.

Parent Adidas and its affiliates will also be covered in the exercise, while the sports retailer witnesses a second change of guard at the helm in under a year.
Erick Haskell, who takes over as Adidas India MD from Claus Heckerott, said the company has decided to go in for a major overhaul of business practices and this includes “right sizing” the number of Reebok stores, while shifting to a new revenue model with retailers. read more.
TOInew

 

map of Asia

INFO:

The next newsletter and news bulletin will be published 21 January 2013

HEADLINES:

ASIA
* Asean A Viable Alternative To China For Sourcing Textiles, Apparels

CHINA
* China’s cotton policy spurs yarn imports
* China donates sewing machines to help Fijian women

VIET NAM
* 200,000 may cotton on to jobs

THAILAND
* Asics marketing to chase leaders Adidas, Nike

CAMBODIA
* Factory clash has familiar feel
* Chea Mony cancels January 27 protest

INDONESIA
* Military paid to intimidate Nike workers in Indonesia
* Workers protest against minimum wage delays
* Marubeni, Doosan unveil expansion plans in Indonesia

BANGLA DESH
* Workplace Safety: Buyers also criticised
* BD garment industry looks to revive image
* EU Parliament slams international buyers
* European Parliament resolution on recent casualties in textile factory fires, notably in Bangladesh
* Leather industry aims to cross $1b exports
* JS panel asks govt to shift tanneries by June 30

INDIA
* Reebok rejigs operations, business model in India

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

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