in the news on-line, 20-21 January 2013

03:58:41 local time map of china CHINA

*  Wages and disposable income in China increase by about ten percent in 2012:

Despite long-standing complaints by business-owners about severe wage inflation in China, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics today show that the disposable income of urban residents increased by only 9.6 percent last year after adjusting for inflation.

The net income of rural residents increased by 10.7 percent in real terms, remaining at one third the level of urban residents. The average annual disposable income in the cities last year was 24,565 yuan compared with just 7,917 yuan in rural areas, the bureau said.

Wages for urban residents increased by 12.5 percent in 2012, while the wages of rural residents rose by 16.3 percent.  At the end of the year, the average monthly salary for migrant workers employed outside their home area stood at 2,290 yuan, an increase of 11.8 percent, unadjusted for inflation. read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

* Chinese apparel firms spend more on marketing & branding:

Apparel companies in China are now spending more resources on marketing and branding of their products in order to enhance competitiveness and to win consumers, states a latest report.
According to “China’s apparel market, 2012”, a report released by Li & Fung Research Centre, event sponsorship was a popular marketing strategy adopted by apparel companies last year to get increased media coverage. read more.
Fibre2fashion

02:58:41 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment factory opens in Thanh Hoa province:

Tien Son Corp inaugurated the first phrase of its VND120 billion (US$5.85 million) garment factory in the central province of Thanh Hoa on Saturday.

The factory covers a total area of 40,000sq m in Dinh Lien District. Its second phrase will be put into operation in 2015. All of its products will be exported to the EU and US.  to read.
VNNews

02:58:41 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Thailand’s BOI plans to scrap privileges for textile firms:

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is planning to cancel some of the privileges it has been extending to textile businesses in the country.
The BOI is planning to revamp its promotion strategy for new projects by giving special support to environment-friendly industries, while withdrawing incentives to 11 industries, including textiles and garments.
Ms. Sutinee Poopaka, director of the Thailand Textile Institute (THTI), said besides Thailand, only Indonesia has integrated textile industries in Asean region. Hence, if the BOI cancels textile promotions, it will negatively impact the Thai industry, which is already suffering from the recent hike in minimum wage, The Nation reported.
She said Indonesia is continuing to promote its textile and garment industry and has set a target to reduce its export tariff to zero next year. to read.
Fibre2fashion

02:58:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 1,000 striking workers march on Ministry of Labor:

Some 1,000 striking workers from Hong Kong-owned Gladpeer Garments Factory (Cambodia) marched Friday to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

Police blocked the workers and called for talks between Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, factory employers and authorities at Chom Chao commune hall.
Representatives of workers, the union, the factory and local authorities had already negotiated for two hours on Monday but failed to reach any solutions.
Oum Veasna, a union official, said the workers had been on strike since Monday with a list of 14 demands. read more.
CAMHERALD

* Striking Kingsland workers lobby US embassy:

One hundred striking workers from the Chinese and Hong Kong-owned Kingsland Garment Cambodia Ltd marched Friday to present a petition to the US Embassy.

The workers, on strike since January 3, want the US government to pressure American retail giant Walmart, which buys Kingsland’s products.
They are also demanding that Kingsland provides monthly wages and other benefits worth $200,000 before the factory closes.
A worker from Kingsland said the workers found out about the closure during a meeting with the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training on Wednesday.
Kingsland, located in Chak Angre Krom commune in Meanchey district, employs 313 workers to make female underwear. to read.
CAMHERALD

* International rights groups support workers in labor dispute at Cambodian supplier to Walmart and H&M:

20130119 CLECnews
Photo provided by Ms. Heather Stilwell, Voice of Democracy

On September 18, international human rights and labor groups released at statement expressing support and seeking redress for some 200 garment workers locked in a dispute with Kingsland Garment Cambodia Ltd., a supplier of the global clothing brands Walmart and H&M. The workers are owed approximately $200,000 in wages and indemnity by Kingsland, a Hong Kong-based company. 

In mid-December, Kingsland owners suddenly closed their Cambodian worksite, violating local labor law by failing to notify authorities, and leaving workers without jobs and penniless. For the last two weeks, Kingsland workers have maintained a 24-hour vigil in front of the factory to stop machinery and assets from being removed before they are full paid in accordance with Cambodian law.

International NGOs and trade unions in 13 countries stepped in after Cambodian authorities decided against sending the case to the Arbitration Council, making the chances of a legal solution slim. In the statement, the groups call for intervention from sourcing companies Walmart and H&M to ensure that Kingsland owners pay all wages and indemnity and comply fully with Cambodian Labor Law. They also pledge to organize global support for the protesting workers.

The dispute at Kingsland comes at a time of increased international attention to global brands’ role in poor wages and working conditions in the Asian garment industry. Rights groups have also called for intervention by Walmart and other brands after a fire at a Bangladesh-based supplier last November left over 100 workers dead.
For more information please see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB178GEDPEk&feature=player_embedded

http://www.warehouseworkersunited.org/cambodian-garment-workers-expose-illegal-abuse-at-walmart-supplier/
CLEC

* Cambodian garment workers locked in dispute with Wal-Mart and H&M supplier:

Nearly 200 garment workers are locked in a dispute with Kingsland Garment Cambodia Ltd., a supplier of the global clothing brands Walmart and H&M.

The workers are owed approximately $200,000 in wages and indemnity by Kingsland, a Hong Kong-based company. See Video.
vodhotnews

* Workers Blame Mass Fainting on ‘Angry Spirit’:

After pounding on her chest and demanding a pig’s head, fruits and flowers to be offered to the angry spirit that she believed had taken over her body, garment worker Srey Mom collapsed on the floor of the Global Factory in Kandal prov­ince’s Ang Snuol district.

Exhausted from the “nak-ta”—or spirit—Srey Mom had fainted, setting off another 30 factory workers who also fainted on Thursday over a two-hour period.
All of the women were taken to the local hospital, and while the Free Trade Union blamed the latest mass-fainting on hysteria and bad air circulation, the factory work­ers disagreed.
(…)
“I think they don’t have anything else, so they turn to this belief,” in­stead of directly addressing bad working conditions, he said.
(…)
The worker’s superstition, Mr. Narin said, can also be used by the management to their own advantage.
“Instead of improving the working conditions, the management can just hold an offering ceremony and forget about everything else and get away with it,” Mr. Na­­rin said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Factory workers complain over low wages:

20130119 CAMBODIANHEREALD
Factory workers complain that their low salaries are not keeping track with the price of goods and services.

Ros Kuthea, who has been working at Vay Yang factory in Phnom Penh for seven months, said she gets $80 a month.
She rents a room near the factory where she lives with three co-workers.
“When I get my salary, I spend $60 for the room including water and electricity,” she said. Daily food expenses for four people are $5.  read more.
CAMHERALD

* Strikes in Cambodian factories may hit orders:

20130121 PPP
Gladpeer Garment Factory workers protest in Phnom Penh to demand a higher minimum wage. During the first 20 days of this year, employees of at least seven garment factories were on strike. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Officials of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) are concerned that recent strikes could delay delivery to customers, and factories are looking for solutions to meet buyers’ demands.

About 10,000 workers in seven or eight garment factories have gone on strike recently demanding higher wages and improved working conditions, according to union leaders.
GMAC president Van Sou Ieng said strikes at those factories were not a good sign for the kingdom’s manufacturing sector.
“If they continue, we will make a loss this year,” Ieng said, adding that this would affect workers’ salaries.  read more.
PPP

* Cambodia’s garment exports grow in 2012:

The exports of garments and textiles from Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia grew to US$ 4.61 billion, up nine percent over total textiles and garment exports worth US$ 4.24 billion made in 2011, according to The Phnom Penh Post report.
However, the rise in garment and textile exports is lower than the 10.2 percent year-on-year increase in Cambodia’s overall exports achieved in 2012.
 In addition to the economic crisis in Europe and the US, numerous strikes by garment workers was also a reason for Cambodia’s garment and textile exports growing at a slower pace, Van Sou Ieng, chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), said.
Last year, Cambodian apparel workers resorted to strike demanding higher wages, much earlier than the next scheduled review of wages in 2014.
read more. & read more.
Fibre2fashion  PPP

03:58:41 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Employers’ feedback on levies, allowance will be considered: minister:

Feedback from employers on levies, and transport and housing allowances will be taken into account in the implementation of the minimum wage policy this year, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said they were the main issues raised by employers during the discussions held with the ministry.
“These issues will be tabled before the Cabinet for a decision to be taken,” he told reporters after opening the 17th Ponggal Festival organised by the MIC Gelang Patah division at the Taman Ungku Tun Aminah Mini Stadium here today.
On worries raised by employers on the phasing out of foreign workers, he said it was part of the transformation process for local workers.  read more.
MY sinchew

03:58:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Understanding LKS Bipartite and OSH Committee:

Indonesia is one of the leading exporter textile and garment country. This industry had given a significant contribution in the growth of Indonesian economy, and have provided more than 1 million jobs.

In line with its growth, garment industry often have to deal with many sensitive problems with regards to industrial relation. In order to help the garment industry in dealing with this, the industry needs to provide a strong foundation in settling industrial relation issues

Therefore, Better Work Indonesia team has created a video which explains the importance of having a Bipartite Cooperation institution in factory level so as to create a mutually beneficial social dialogue for employers and workers.
read and see video.
BW indonesia

* Indonesia urges Marubeni to invest in textile sector:

The Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia has urged Japan’s Marubeni Corporation to invest in the country’s textile sector.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Marubeni president and CEO Teruo Asada, Industry Minister MS Hidayat said he told Marubeni executives that Indonesia needs investment for machinery, especially for the textile sector.
The Minister said Indonesia’s textile industry is currently bearing high energy costs, partly owing to the use of outdated machines.  read more.
Fibre2fashion

01:58:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* BGMEA taskforce makes little headway:

ENSURING FIRE SAFETY IN GARMENT FACTORIES

The taskforce formed by the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association to ensure fire safety in the garment factories has made little headway as it is working in a slow pace.

The BGMEA taskforce visited only four factories in the last one month after its inception, though it had announced to visit 10 apparel factories initially on a pilot basis to develop a detailed project plan.
Taskforce members, however, said that the work of the taskforce was progressing and the BUET Alumni Association was reviewing the structural designs of 10 apparel factories supplied by the BGMEA.
They also said that an ‘invisible team’ working under the taskforce had recently visited two more factories.

Following the fire incident at Tazreen Fashions at Ashulia which killed around 112 workers on November 24 last year, the BGMEA formed the taskforce on December 17 to address health and safety issues in the garment units as the global buyers warned them to ensure workers’ safety and better working condition.
The taskforce comprising three representatives from BUET Alumni Association, five from Fire Service and Civil Defence and one from Labour Directorate started its inspection drive on December 23 visiting four apparel units in the Ashulia and Malibagh areas in Dhaka.
After visiting the factories, taskforce members had said that they had just started their activities and they would work out a realistic work plan after visiting 10 factories initially on a pilot basis. read more.
BD new age

* RMG: Yet another wake up call:

The impact of the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions that had claimed 112 lives in November last year has been far more than what was in the case of previous fires in the apparel units of the country.

The worst-ever fire has created a big stir not only at home and but also in major destinations of Bangladesh apparel products on both sides of the Atlantic. All sections of people and the media have pointed their accusing fingers at the government and the owners for turning some of the apparel units into sheer death traps. This time around, just because of popular pressure, stakeholders concerned responded well than before to what many prefer to term as a crisis situation.

But the major buyers of Bangladesh apparels apparently want more from the government and the owners in matters of safety, security and rights of the workers. The United States administration, under intense pressure from the largest and most influential American trade union body-The American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO)-and some Congressmen, has threatened to withdraw the generalised system of preference (GSP) facility for Dhaka if the latter fails to ensure safety and security of workers and guarantee trade union rights to them and carry out proper investigation into the murder of Aminul Islam, a trade union leader.
Disagreement between the two countries over the form of trade union rights has delayed the signing of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework (TICFA) agreement. read more.

* The RMG sector needs reform:

There are three sectors in the Bangladesh economy which have prospered over the years –readymade garments (RMG), manpower export, and pisciculture and shrimp farming.

The success in these sectors has had little to do with the government. The drive and the movement forward came from entrepreneurs from the private sector. These sectors (through exports and remittances) are now contributing approximately US$ 32.1 billion in foreign exchange every year to our country’s exchequer.

They are keeping the country afloat and have also been the force behind the creation of employment opportunities for millions of people in diverse sectors of the economy. The RMG sector, in particular, has been the source of employment for nearly three million women. That in turn has indirectly helped in gender empowerment, female literacy, better nutrition and family planning. read more.

* European Parliament adopts resolution on Tazreen fire:

The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a resolution on recent casualties at Tazreen Fashion fire, asking Bangladeshi authorities concerned to ensure all safety measures for preventing a recurrence of such tragedy in apparel units.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have also called on both the governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan to lift restriction on trade union and collective bargaining activities.

They also asked the governments to continue thorough investigations into the recent accidents in the RMG sector, and put in place measures to prevent a recurrence of the tragedies. read more.

* RMG workers get over 21 lakh tonnes of rice:

Instable global market continued to challenge the country’s food security but the government has distributed over 21 lakh tonnes of rice to readymade garment workers at lower price in the past four years.

“The present government is committed to ensure people’s food
security. To this end, we are supplying rice to ensure food security to readymade garment workers at lower price,” Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque told BSS today.
The government has so far distributed 21,04,022 tonnes of foodgrains among the workers at Taka 24 per kilogram under the initiative in last four years, he said.
read more.
BSS

* Garment buyers sharpen watch on supply chain:

International buyers have become more cautious about their Bangladeshi contractors and sub-contractors who make clothes for the multinational retailers.

In the past, the local liaison offices of the buyers used to deal with the contractors and check their safety standards before placing orders.
But now the headquarters of the buyers want to know exactly which factories are — directly or indirectly — making garment products for them.
The buyers tighten the screw amid growing concerns over factory safety after around 112 workers were trapped and killed in a factory fire in Ashulia in November.
read more.
daily star bd

* BD apparel sector looks to buyers for higher prices:

Bangladeshi garment manufacturers and exporters believe that the overseas buyers should pay higher prices for their products, so that the apparel sector can hike wages for workers and upgrade safety measures in the industry.

They also claim that with the present level of payment realised from foreign buyers, it may be too difficult to give enhanced salaries to workers and make all factories compliant with safety rules.

The apparel sector of the country is now under pressure from rights organisations, overseas buyers and the consumers following a deadly fire incident that occurred at Tazreen Fashions Ltd on November 24.  read more.

* Exclusive breastfeeding still a challenge for RMG moms:

Although the government has been campaigning for exclusive breastfeeding of infants under six months to ensure a healthy future generation, it still remains a tough challenge for women workers in the readymade garment sector because of much shorter maternity leave, said working mothers, reports UNB.

Paediatricians also recommended the government to come up to ensure that the owners in the sector allow the mothers of newborn babies a 24-week pregnancy benefit instead of the existing ‘eight weeks preceding the expected day of her delivery and eight weeks immediately following the day of her delivery’ under the Bangladesh Labour Law 2006.

Boishakhi, Mahmuda Akhter, mother of a nine-month-old baby is a cutting helper at YKK, a zipper manufacturing factory at the DEPZ, Ahsulia. Four months after the child was born, Mahmuda fed it pot-milk on a doctor’s prescription.
“I had to join the factory… the milk was not coming easily. Now the doctors here are recommending me to stop feeding the pot-milk to have my baby cured from diarrhea,” she said at the Centre of Women and Children Health (CWCH), Ashulia.
read more. (5th item)
BDtoday

* US discount retailer to double its import from Bangladesh:

The second largest US discount retailer Target’s market expansion plan in Cananda has come as a blessing for Bangladeshi garment manufacturers as the company said it will double its import from the country.

But it did not mention any timeframe for increased import from Bangladesh. Manufacturers said Target imports only five per cent of its total apparel import from Bangladesh while 60 per cent from China and the rest from Cambodia.

The disclosure came at a time following the latest United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) move relating to the review of Bangladesh’s GSP (generalised system of preferences) facilities in US market after the recent devastating fire incident at Tazreen Fashions Ltd that drew huge attention around the world.   read more.

* Experts suggests efforts of buyers and sellers for compliance in RMG:

Experts today emphasized on the role of buyers in quality development of factory compliance. They said that compliance in the apparels industries is not only mandatory but also a profitable investment.

They told this at a seminar on Addressing Compliance Challenges for a New Winning Global Strategy in RMG Sector – Key Issues organized at BGMEA Chittagong region office on the occasion of CAFAXPO 2013. read more.

* Gapexco, Garmentech, Yarn fairs receive spot orders worth $ 18m:

The recently concluded Gapexpo 2013, Garmentech, Yarn and Fabric sourcing fairs got spot orders for apparel accessories, machinery and other products around US$ 18 million from local and foreign buyers, organisers said.

“”We expected commitment worth $ 20 million this year but we have got commitment worth US$ 18 million,” Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) President Rafez Alam Chowdhury told the FE Saturday. Last year we got spot orders worth US $15m, he added. read more.

* Petrol pump owners`, truckers` strike hits RMG industries hard: BGMEA:

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Sunday expressed grave concern over the on-going indefinite strike by petrol pump and tank lorry owners saying that the strike will hit the garments sector hard. 

BGMEA secretary Ehsan Ul Fattah, in a statement issued on Sunday, said that the indefinite strike enforced from today across the country by Bangladesh Petrol Pump and Tank Lorry Owners–Workers Unity Council has created deep concern among people involved in ready-made garments (RMG) industries.
He said, the strike has been causing various insurmountable troubles in garments industries, an export-oriented, labour extensive sector which is depended on transport both for supplying raw materials to the RMG factories and carrying the finished products to the ports by truck for export.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB    INDEPENDENT 

* Jute act largely not enforced:

Workshop told packaging sector overlooks its mandatory use; growers suffer from price, seed, retting problems

Over two years have passed since the enactment of a law for compulsory use of jute in packaging products, but the country’s most gifted natural fibre still remains neglected in the local packaging sector.

“There has been no enforcement of the law passed by parliament two years back. There are polyethylene and polypropylene everywhere and hardly you’ll find usage of jute in packaging products for the domestic market,” said Director General of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute Dr Md Kamal Uddin at a policy research dissemination workshop on jute in the capital yesterday.

Had the “Mandatory Jute Packaging Act” been enforced strictly, he said, it would have created demand for 15 lakh bales of jute in the domestic market alone and could thereby boost the otherwise sluggish jute prices. read more.
daily star bd

* Textile millers not given cash incentives for cotton price hike:

Textile millers are yet to get their pledged cash incentives for the unusual rise in cotton price in the financial year 2010-11.

The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) has sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in this connection for implementation of the five per cent cash incentive to the textile millers who are going through a difficult situation.

“In November 2, 2011, Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a circular to BTMA saying that the millers who imported cotton during the period of August 2010 to March 2011 will get the 5 per cent additional cash incentive along with their other incentives,” according to the letter sent to MoF by BTMA.  read  more.

01:28:41 local time map of india INDIA

* British firm under fire over low Indian wages:

British designer handbag manufacturer, Modalu, has come under fire for outsourcing work to an Indian firm that pays extremely low wages to some of its workers.

The Hampshire-based firm is best known for designer handbags sported by British celebrities such as Pippa Middleton, Prince William’s sister-in-law.
The Daily Mail now claims these bags with a price tag of around 195 pounds in the UK are being manufactured by a firm in India where workers are paid as little as 17 p an hour, or Rs 121.9 (1.39 pounds) for an eight-hour shift.   read more. & read more.
businessSTANDARD  TOInew

* Inside the Indian factory where workers churn out £200 handbags sported by Pippa Middleton for just 17p an hour:

It is marketed as the very best of British, a handbag that has become the season’s must-have accessory after capturing the heart of Pippa Middleton.

But what Modalu London’s thousands of admirers may not realise is that their favourite brand has hired a firm in India to make the bags, using workers on the lowest rung  of the social ladder who are paid as little as 17p an hour for their efforts.
Modalu has gone to great lengths to associate its flagship bag with the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, naming it after her, describing her on its website as ‘our biggest fan’ and giving her four free bags to ensure she is seen as often as possible in public displaying its wares.
(…)
Many of the staff are Dalit workers – those at the bottom of the social scale. Once known as Untouchables, they are paid at rates that fall far below an acceptable standard of  living – even for India.
read more.
MAILONLINE

* “Two-day strike will be historic” :

The two-day all-India general strike called by 11 registered trade unions on February 20-21 is a historic “counter-offensive of the working classes against the offensive of the Central Government”, said Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of All India Trade Union Conference (AITUC), the labour arm of the Communist Party of India, here on Thursday.

“It is a challenge to the entire political system, the State apparatus and the capitalist system,” he said while addressing a gathering comprising representatives of major trade unions.  to read.
THEHINDU

* Fire at spinning mill in Tamil Nadu, nine lakh bales of cotton gutted:

More than nine lakh bales of cotton and yarn worth crores of rupees were burnt to ashes when a fire swept through a private spinning mill in the district in the early morning hours on Sunday.

The fire broke out at the mill in Suriampalayam in Gobichettipalayam taluka, 50 km from here, past Saturday midnight and started spreading to all areas, including the godown where huge quantities of cotton and yarn were stocked, police said.
However, there was no casualty as there were no workers present in the mill at the time of the mishap, they said.  read more.
TOInew

* Textile units in Surat face water shortage:

The powerloom units and the dyeing and printing mills in the city’s Sachin GIDC are facing water shortage from the past one month following the damage in the irrigation canal at Sachin.

Over 54 dyeing and printing mills and some 2000 powerloom units get their daily water supply from the water tankers from the irrigation canal at Sachin. But, the irrigation department has closed the supply of the water following the repair work of the canal.

According to the textile entrepreneurs, the dyeing and printing mill owners are at the receiving end as the water supply has been stopped by the irrigation department from the last one month.  read more.
TOInew

* Textiles body demands rollback of diesel price hike:

The hike in the price of diesel will sound death knell for the textile industry, says SIMA (Southern India Mills Association), which is the apex body of textile mills in the South.

SIMA Chairman S. Dinakaran , in a release, stated that though the price was increased by Rs 9.25 a litre, the net impact of the hike at the consuming end would work out to Rs 11.

Appealing to the powers that be for an immediate roll back of the hike, Dinakaran said, “this would further increase our production cost by Rs 4 a kg for the 40s count yarn apart from a substantial increase in indirect cost such as transportation and the like. Such cost escalation would have a cascading effect down the value chain in the textile industry.”  read more. & read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS  businessSTANDARD

* Textile players see fresh hope in domestic towel market:

When one thinks of towel brands, the only national player that comes to mind is Bombay Dyeing. The towel market is dominated by unorganised players, but now many textile players hope to build their own brands in the segment.

From Mumbai-based Mafatlal Industries to Ludhiana-headquartered Trident Group, textile majors are gearing up to enter the category.
“The market for towels has always been there, but there was a vacuum in the branded segment. With Mafatlal’s foray, we expect to be the next national brand after Bombay Dyeing,” says Vineet Jain Director, Girisons Group. Mafatlal Industries has forged a joint venture with Girisons Clothing to enter the towel segment.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

* High costs, stiff labour laws drive textile mills to B’desh:

The fabric comes from China, the technology comes from India, and the workers from Bangladesh. Stitched in Dhaka, the garment may be weaving an improbable victory for the concept of a united Asia, but it barely conceals growing frustrations of running a textile unit in India.

Hamstrung by liquidity crunch, soaring costs, frequent power outages (around eight-ten hours a day in parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh) and archaic labour laws, many domestic textile companies have gone abroad in recent years, mainly to Bangladesh, or are looking for acquisitions, say several textile industry executives. Worse, mills that have not yet set up base in Bangladesh are also opting for sourcing supplies from there, they add.

Arvind Mills is expanding its denim manufacturing capacity by around 27%, or 30 million metres, by setting up a plant in Bangladesh in a joint venture with Nitol group — expected to be completed in a year — with a projected investment of $60 million.
read more.
fe

* India’s CSTRI develops solar silk spinning machine:

Aiming to enhance the quality of Eri Silk hand spun yarn, the Central Silk Technological Research Institute (CSTRI) has developed an economical silk spinning machine that runs on solar energy.
The Bangalore-based institute functioning under the Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, intends to introduce the new machine during the 12th Five-year Plan period (2012-17).
The new machine has been so developed that it can run on solar power or even by paddle operations, due to which CSTRI believes it would prove to be very useful in regions which face severe power supply shortage.  read more.
Fibre2fashion

* Six more farmers end life in Vidarbha:

There seems to be a sudden spurt in farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha. Farm suicides were on decline in the last few months. However, according the Vidarbha Jan AndolanSamiti which keeps a track of farmers’ suicides, in last two days six cases were reported from the region taking the toll to 16 this month.

The six deceased farmers have been identified as Namdeo Thoke of Benoda village and Gajanan Nagle of Khed (both in Amravati district), Balaji Thaori of Dahegoan (Zari) in Yavatmal, Dinkar Navarkhede of Sakhari village, Ramdas Gohane of Chittegoan, and Gajanan Raut of Jawrabori in Chandrapur district.

On the eve of Makar Sankranti four suicides were reported, claimed VJAS’ Kishore Tiwari. He alleged that there is disconnect between the government and the farmers, who are in a pitiable situation. “Cotton crop has failed once again. Moreover, the government has failed to protect the cotton growers who are now forced to sell raw cotton at throwaway prices because of poor demand,” said Tiwari.  read more.
TOInew

 01:28:41 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Apparel industry targets additional $1b by 2016:

The apparel industry is set to generate an additional $ 1 b revenue by 2016 with the introduction of a new business model.

“We are confident that with the multi- country consolidation approach as in Hong Kong and Singapore in place, the apparel industry could target an additional one billion dollar income by 2016,” Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Secretary General, M.P. Tuli Cooray told Sunday Observer Business. “We want the government to come up with a legal framework to create a Hong Kong–China type concept in Sri Lanka.”

“We will harness our strengths and strengths available in the region to perform apparel hub operations.
The country could provide the technology, design, front operations and meet orders to support this initiative,” he said.Industry growth is fuelled by heavy investments over the past years and with the cooperation of the government to reduce transactional costs, its promotional activities in the traditional and emerging markets are ongoing at present.  read more.
SUNDAY OBSERVER

* Two BoI-approved factories close shop:

Two Board of Investment approved factories have been closed as a result of the loss of GSP+ facility, causing some 1,500 workers to lose their jobs, unions claimed.

“Both companies claim they were affected by the loss of GSP+ facility. With the withdrawal of the GSP they have faced a situation where they could not continue business in Sri Lanka. The machinery is now removed and we have received information that both factories will be relocated to Bangladesh, which receives the above tax benefit,” the organizing secretary of the Inter Company Workers’ Union, B.I. Abdeen said.

“It is a very serious issue, particularly concerning the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Sri Lanka and a serious issue affecting and further increasing unemployment in Sri Lanka. Authorities should take serious action to prevent closure of factories,” he added.

President of the union, Wasantha Samarasinghe, speaking to Ceylon Today said, “A Board of Investment (BoI) approved textile factory, Crystal Sweater Lanka (Pvt) Ltd in Nittambuwa Malwatta Industrial Zone has been shut down since 2 January and as a result about 1,100 employees have lost employment. The firm issuing a press notice said the loss of the GSP tax relief has made it difficult for them to run businesses in Sri Lanka.” read more.
CEYLONTODAY

* Labour, energy and input costs hurt exports in 2012:

“Sri Lanka’s exporters have strongly praised the government for its 2013 budget – and for the first time, have openly and actively thrown their full weight behind the national export goal of US$ 20 billion by 2020,” the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.

“We thank the treasury and the government for giving us an exporter friendly budget 2013 with several relief measures granted to exporters.

So now it is for us exporters to take these relief measures forward and achieve the government’s ambitious target of $ 20 Bn by 2020,” said a determined Dr. Jagath Peiris, President of National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka on 10 January, the ministry press communiqué said. read more.
island

00:58:41 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Cloth factory attacked with hand grenade:

A garments factory in Baldia Town became the target of a hand grenade attack on Saturday. Geo News reported.

According to the police, unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle hurled a hand grenade at a gate of the factory, luckily no one was injured in the attack.
While Police have begun their investigation, factory sources added that the owners had been receiving threatening calls for some time, while extortion slips were also being sent. to read.
thenewspk

* Exported-oriented textile sector: energy shortages termed alarming:

Textile Associations and Anjuman-e-Tajran have termed the prevailing situation alarming under the title ‘Energy Crisis for the Exported Oriented Textile Sector of Punjab’ and pointed out that gas supply to industries has been cut off for 45 days and there seems to be no sign of relief in the near future.

They warned that if the PPP government did not implement its promises within two days, the industries would be run by their labour force consuming 25 percent load of gas. read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* PTEA threatens to protest against gas loadshedding:

Textile exporters have threatened to run their factories and also to launch a series of protests to save the textile industry in the province as SNGPL have failed to ensure gas supply to textile industry.

The decision to protest against gas load shedding was taken in the general body meeting of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), where all chapters of organisation expressed their resolve to go to any extent, including launching protest in front of Parliament and blocking roads throughout Punjab, if gas supply was not restored to textile sector. read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Promised gas share denied: Textile vows to run units on 22nd:

Entrepreneurs of the textile processing industry vow to operate their units from Jan 22 if the petroleum minister does not provide 25 per cent of the total gas load to the sector as promised by him.

This was announced by All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Regional Chairman Rizwan Ashraf while addressing a press conference here on Saturday.
He was flanked by office-bearers of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, the Council of Loom Owners and other textile and trade associations.

Ashraf said the industry had no business for the last 40 days owing to shortage of gas and electricity. He said Petroleum Minister Dr Asim had promised 25 per cent of the total gas to the textile processing industry, however, he failed to fulfill his commitment. He said despite improvement in weather, supply was not restored to the industry. read more.
dawn

* Outgoing week quite satisfactory for Punjab textile industry:

The outgoing week proved satisfactory for the textile industry in Punjab, as it received uninterrupted 16 hours a day power supply for the first time since December 23, 2012. Accordingly, there was not hue and cry and textile millers in Punjab remained busy with their production capacities, looking for the alternatives of gas to keep them operational for 24 hours a day.

However, no one has any idea as when gas supply to the Captive Power Plants (CPPs) of textile mills would start receiving gas from the SNGPL. It is a general consensus that parlays to this effect can only start after the temperature crosses 10 degree centigrade in the country, which is presently below this level. Therefore, textile mills in Punjab are not active in pursuing the government for gas supply and instead relying on expensive furnace oil for the CPPs.  read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

 

map of Asia

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* Wages and disposable income in China increase by about ten percent in 2012
* Chinese apparel firms spend more on marketing & branding

VIET NAM
* Garment factory opens in Thanh Hoa province

THAILAND
* Thailand’s BOI plans to scrap privileges for textile firms

CAMBODIA
* 1,000 striking workers march on Ministry of Labor
* Striking Kingsland workers lobby US embassy
* International rights groups support workers in labor dispute at Cambodian supplier to Walmart and H&M
* Cambodian garment workers locked in dispute with Wal-Mart and H&M supplier
* Workers Blame Mass Fainting on ‘Angry Spirit’
* Factory workers complain over low wages
* Strikes in Cambodian factories may hit orders
* Cambodia’s garment exports grow in 2012

MALAYSIA
* Employers’ feedback on levies, allowance will be considered: minister

INDONESIA
* Understanding LKS Bipartite and OSH Committee:
* Indonesia urges Marubeni to invest in textile sector

BANGLA DESH
* BGMEA taskforce makes little headway
* RMG: Yet another wake up call
* The RMG sector needs reform
* European Parliament adopts resolution on Tazreen fire
* RMG workers get over 21 lakh tonnes of rice
* Garment buyers sharpen watch on supply chain
* BD apparel sector looks to buyers for higher prices
* Exclusive breastfeeding still a challenge for RMG moms
* US discount retailer to double its import from Bangladesh
* Experts suggests efforts of buyers and sellers for compliance in RMG
* Gapexco, Garmentech, Yarn fairs receive spot orders worth $ 18m
* Petrol pump owners`, truckers` strike hits RMG industries hard: BGMEA
* Jute act largely not enforced
* Textile millers not given cash incentives for cotton price hike

INDIA
* British firm under fire over low Indian wages
* Inside the Indian factory where workers churn out £200 handbags sported by Pippa Middleton for just 17p an hour
* “Two-day strike will be historic
* Fire at spinning mill in Tamil Nadu, nine lakh bales of cotton gutted
* Textile units in Surat face water shortage
* Textiles body demands rollback of diesel price hike
* Textile players see fresh hope in domestic towel market
* High costs, stiff labour laws drive textile mills to B’desh
* India’s CSTRI develops solar silk spinning machine
* Six more farmers end life in Vidarbha

SRI LANKA
* Apparel industry targets additional $1b by 2016
* Two BoI-approved factories close shop
* Labour, energy and input costs hurt exports in 2012

PAKISTAN
* Cloth factory attacked with hand grenade
* Exported-oriented textile sector: energy shortages termed alarming
* PTEA threatens to protest against gas loadshedding
* Promised gas share denied: Textile vows to run units on 22nd
* Outgoing week quite satisfactory for Punjab textile industry

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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