in the news on-line, 5 February 2013

16:06:06 local time map of china CHINA

* Price gap of cotton raises concern in textile industry:

The gross output value of 37,000 textile enterprises with annual turnover more than 20 million yuan or above has amounted to 5.7 trillion yuan in 2012, up 12 percent, according to information released by the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC). The total profit in the first eleven months achieved 246 billion yuan, and the annual profit growth rate is about 4 percent.

Wang Tiankai, president of the CNTAC, said the main problem of textile industry is the big price gap of cotton at home and abroad. “If the current cotton system remains unchanged, pure cotton clothes may become luxury items in the next few years,” Wang added.

“Affected by the domestic management, the cotton price in China is 45 percent higher than the international market at the end of 2012. Imported cotton is 13,000 yuan per ton, but the cotton price of China’s nation stocks reached 19,000 yuan per ton,” said Gao Yong, vice president of the CNTAC. read more.

* Export woes need for change in trade structure:

20130205 CHINDAILY

A textile mill, whose products are mainly for export, in Huaibei, Anhui province. Many of the country’s provinces have set lower foreign trade targets for this year due to sluggish global demand and the unfavorable trade environment. [Photo/China Daily]

The recent lowering of foreign trade targets by provincial governments suggests more challenging prospects for China’s foreign trade this year after lackluster growth in 2012, with experts calling for urgent steps to improve the nation’s trade structure.

Guangdong province, which accounts for a quarter of China’s foreign trade, has set a foreign trade growth target of 5 percent for 2013, despite the province’s trade growing 7.7 percent year-on-year in 2012, surpassing its 7.5 percent target.
read more.

15:06:06 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vinatex to have IPO on July 1, 2013:

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) will have its initial Public Offer (IPO) on July 1, 2013, the local newspaper TBSG Online, citing Vu Duc Giang-chairman of member board of Vinatex as saying.

The firm is now completing procedures for its IPO. The group is also negotiating to select foreign strategic partners, Giang disclosed, adding that , a number o Japanese f investors intends to contribute capital to the corporation.

In 2013, Vinatex targets $19-19.5 billion worth of exports, increasing 13.4% from 2012 and to maintain its fifth largest garment and textile exporter in the world, the chairman said, providing that Vinatex has 3 factors to support its goal as follow:
read more.

* Garment maker opens major fashion design centre in HCM City:

Viet Tien Garment Joint Stock Co has opened an 18,000 sq. m fashion design centre in HCM City as part of its efforts to reach a growth rate of 15 per cent in 2013.

In 2012, the corporation marked an export turnover of US$445 million, thanks to major markets including Japan (accounting for 29 per cent), the US (24 per cent) and the EU (23 per cent). These markets are also key export markets for Viet Nam’s textile and garment industry in 2013.
The Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association forecast a slight increase in global demand for textiles and garments in the year, including a 3 per cent increase in the US, 18 per cent in Japan and 5 per cent in other markets.  to read.

15:06:06 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment factory welcomes back striking workers:

Revoking its decision to sack the vast majority of its work force for a prolonged strike, the Winson International garment factory agreed to allow the 868 workers back to work following negotiations late last month, worker representatives said yesterday.

After mediation by officials from the Ministry of Labour and the Social Affairs Ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations, the factory also yielded to one of the strikers’ main demands and agreed to reinstate five union members fired late last year, said Free Trade Union (FTU) officer Ry Sithinet.

“It is unusual for a company to agree to accept back union members who were sacked, but the company agreed to this in order to end the strike,” Sithinet said, adding that FTU President Chea Mony had lobbied for the unionists’ reinstatement.

The workers, who already have returned to work, had been striking for better wages and the unionists’ reinstatement for more than a week when the factory announced on January 23 that they had been fired for failing to obey a court injunction ordering them back to work within 48 hours. read more.

16:06:06 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Thousands of Workers to Rally in Jakarta on Wednesday:

Thousands of workers plan to march from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to the House of Representatives complex in protest of delays to Jakarta’s minimum wage increase on Wednesday.

“We expect some 50 thousand members of the Indonesian Metal Worker Union Federation from [across] greater Jakarta to demonstrate,” Said Iqbal, union president, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday. read more.

* Workers educated on minimum wage:

About 300 workers from the Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions Congress (KASBI) distributed information on new minimum wage rules in Tangerang, Banten.

At a rally on Monday, the workers distributed copies of a gubernatorial regulation dictating sectoral wages for 2013 for industrial firms.
KASBI coordinator Sunarno said that 134 local companies have delayed implementing the wage hikes, claiming fears of bankruptcy and threatening to fire employees or to relocate their factories.  read more.

* Unions’ Stand on Social Security Premiums Is Easing, Govt Says:

Opposition by labor unions to workers paying a monthly premium for the government’s new social security scheme appears to have eased, with officials saying the unions are starting to realize the need for the payments.

Ghazali Situmorang, the deputy chairman of a working team responsible for the implementation of the Social Security Organizing Body (BPJS), said on Monday that the government had managed to sway some unions during a series of meetings to discuss the issue. read more.

* Production of export-based industry declines:

Despite manufacturing production rose by 4.12% in overall last year, the performance of several export-based sectors was declining due to global economic crisis as well as regulation and labor problems in the country.

The Central Agency of Statistics (BPS) noted that the production of several industrial sectors relying on export declined last year, such as basic metals, textiles, machinery and equipments, furniture, paper products, handicraft, printing, and beverages.

According to Indonesian Textile Association (API) Chairman Ade Sudrajat, the textile industry production fell by 8.32% more due to regulation and problems in the country rather than global crisis.

“Indeed, the economic crisis in European brings impact but internal problems, including the regulations limiting the export performance and labor problems, are also the factors,” he told Bisnis, Sunday (2/3). read more.
bisnis indonesia

14:06:06 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Fire at Ashulia RMG factory again:

A fire broke out at Manami Fashion Garments at Kabirpur in Ashulia early Tuesday, burning down huge valuables.

However, there was no report of any casualty in the fire, which panicked the locals.
Local fire service sources said the fire broke out on the third floor of the five-storey factory around 3am and it soon raged through the unit.

Informed, firefighters from DEPZ rushed in and tried to bring the blaze under control.
Later, six firefighting units from Ashulia, Savar, Dhamrai, Kaliakoir, Gazipur and Tongi joined them and extinguished the flame at about 8am, six hours after it had broken out.
Five firefighters were injured while extinguishing the blaze. However, it was not clear what caused the fire.  read more. & read more. & read more.
INDEPENDENT  UNB  daily star bd

* Fire alarm system:

A newspaper reported on Sunday a serious issue of mismanagement at the Envoy garments factory at Ashulia. The authorities simply ignored the fact that any repair or test of fire alarm system has to be done on a holiday, with no workers present.

If it is done on a working day, all workers must be duly informed beforehand. The senior management personnel must be present while all exits and emergency doors should remain open throughout the period of the test.

Working on a fire alarm, that too on a plastic (itself an inflammable material) cover to the alarm box, is something strange. Why repair on the alarm box cover on a working day?
‘The alarm rang on its own’ is a very lame excuse. If that is the case, work in the factory should be restricted till the alarm system is totally repaired so that it does not ring on its own.
Till such a period, the work in the factory should remain suspended. The workers should continue to get their wages. The management must suffer for such negligence and unsafe structure.

Garment factories should not have more than two levels of working floors, one of which must be the ground floor. Above it, there may be office spaces and stores etc. And importantly, the entire building must be a ‘No Smoking Zone’; and have all fire protection devices.
read more.
FE bd

* Thread factory catches fire in N’ganj:

A fire at a thread factory of the Opex & Sinha Group in Narayanganj destroyed a large amount of raw cotton and damaged machinery on Monday.

The fire originated from an electric short circuits around 2:00am in the factory that is located in Sonargaon’s Kanchpur Industrial area, the official of the factory claimed.
‘The fire spread quickly after starting from the weeding section, where thread is spun out of raw cotton,’ Demra fire service’s senior station officer Shawkat Ali Zoardar said.

Two fire-fighting units from Demra station and another from Narayanganj’s Hajiganj station rushed to the spot and controlled the fire after three hours of frantic efforts, he added.
Zoarder said there were no casualties as the factory was closed.
Opex-Sinha Group’s administrative officer Delowar Hossain said they were yet to assess exact extent of the losses.  read more.
BD new age

* Tackling fire with do-it-yourself initiative:

The fire at Shahider Tek slum on February 3 is the second such incident of 2013. About 350 to 500 shanties were burnt to ashes. There no casualties, however, were reported but belongings of more than 2,000 poor people were damaged within a very short time.

The fire extinguishing job was hampered due to narrow roads and inadequate water sources. Nine fire-fighting units from five fire stations rushed to the spot and it took more than one hour and a half to douse the fire completely. The reason behind the fire is still unknown.
The fire in KTS composite textile factory in 2006, Bashundhara shopping complex in 2009, Nimtoli in 2010, Tazreen Fashion factory in 2012, Boubazar in 2012, Jatrabari City Palli slum in 2013 and Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory in 2013 are some tragic fire incidents, still being remembered by people.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence men rushed to the incidents in every case, but even their best efforts were not enough in the face of adverse conditions. Rescue operations were often hindered by traffic jams as well as congested roads. Rapid but unplanned urbanisation has made it very difficult for the fire fighters to reach the places of fire.

In most cases, people are burnt to death and huge property damaged. In the Tazreen Fashion factory fire, at least 117 people were reportedly killed and another 200 people injured. Among the 100 dead bodies, 53 were burnt beyond recognition and buried in unmarked graves.
Those who were lucky enough to escape alive are still traumatised.
read more.
FE bd

* Frequent hartals worry RMG exporters:

Business leaders in the export-oriented apparel sector on Monday expressed deep concern over the strike called by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami for Tuesday.

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association in a joint statement called upon Jamaat to withdraw the strike for the sake of national economy and the garment industry as well.
The trade bodies said that a fresh hartal call in February had frustrated the entrepreneurs after strike was enforced for three days in December and two days in January, according to a press release.  read more. & read more.

13:36:06 local time map of india INDIA

* Emerging fashion trends:

Promoting traditional garments and simultaneously developing functional wear, manufacturing green textiles and reducing use of toxic chemicals, besides recycling and setting up of online thrift stores, are some of the emerging trends in the fashion world, experts say.

“India is viewed as a fashion destination mainly for its traditional garments. The indigenous designs and raw materials are very popular abroad and Indian fashion designers should focus on these,” Gianfranco Olivotto of Domus Academy, Italy, told IANS.

Olivotto was in the city to take part in an international seminar on ‘Fashion in Global Economy’, jointly organised by the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
“In terms of low labour costs, Bangladesh is the competitor, whereas Vietnam gives India stiff competition because of its design superiority. It is time to move from traditional to non-traditional products,” Rangarajan contended.
read more. & read more.
hindustan  TOInew

13:06:06 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile exporters for setting up of ‘Low Productivity Support Fund’ :

Textile exporters have urged the government to set up ‘Low Productivity Support Fund’ to support domestic industry, which is badly affected by energy crisis. They have showed disappointment over the announcement of what they said unrealistic trade policy by the government.

Leading textile exporter and patron-in-chief of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PREGMEA) Ijaz Khokhar while criticising the recently announced trade policy said that export target of $95 billion in next three years was not viable in the current economic circumstances, while the entire industry, particularly textile industry was facing a ever worst energy crisis.

“It will be a difficult task to achieve this milestone as Pakistan has already missed targets of previous trade polices,” he added. “We are even not capable to reach $25 billion export level due to energy crisis and poor industrial infrastructure and the government is talking about exports of $95 billion in next three year,” he said and added that despite all efforts the country’s exports stood at $23.64 billion, down by 4 percent at the end of last fiscal year. In the current scenario, when domestic industry is working without gas, electricity and support from government, the target seems a joke.  read more.


map of Asia


* Price gap of cotton raises concern in textile industry
* Export woes need for change in trade structure

* Vinatex to have IPO on July 1, 2013
* Garment maker opens major fashion design centre in HCM City

* Garment factory welcomes back striking workers

* Thousands of Workers to Rally in Jakarta on Wednesday
* Workers educated on minimum wage
* Unions’ Stand on Social Security Premiums Is Easing, Govt Says
* Production of export-based industry declines

* Fire at Ashulia RMG factory again
* Fire alarm system
* Thread factory catches fire in N’ganj
* Tackling fire with do-it-yourself initiative
* Frequent hartals worry RMG exporters

* Emerging fashion trends

* Textile exporters for setting up of ‘Low Productivity Support Fund’

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