in the news on-line, 14 February 2013

19:32:38 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 20,000 striking workers in Svay Rieng want salaries doubled:

An estimated 20,000 workers went on strike in Bavet for a third day Wednesday demanding better working conditions and higher salaries.

Hak Bunthy, chief of the provincial Labor and Vocational Training Department, said the strike started at Best Way Factory before spreading to other factories in the Tai Seng and Manhattan special economic zones.
The workers, who want basic salaries of $120 to $150 a month as well as bonuses of $15 for transport and $30 for skilled workers, later converged on Svay Rieng City Hall.
“The Chinese and Japanese owners of the factories at the two special economic zones decided to let the workers have a day off because of the strike,” Hak Buntthy said.  read more.
CAMHERALD

* More workers join Svay Rieng strike:

Workers from at least six more factories in Bavet town’s Manhattan and Tay Seng Special Economic Zones joined about 5,000 workers who had been on strike since yesterday for a minimum wage increase and better working conditions.

While most of the 10 Svay Rieng province factories’ workers walked out of their workplaces to return home yesterday, more than 600 workers from Long Bright, one of the factories on strike since Tuesday, marched to the provincial hall to ask officials to intervene on their behalf, Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday.

“The meeting with provincial hall officials has not found a resolution yet, but the officials will send a working group to go down to the factory,” Sina said.
The working group would meet today with workers’ representatives and the company to discuss the workers’ demands, he said. read more.
PPP

* Discussion Paper Series No 9: Global Production Networks and Variegated Capitalism: (Self-)Regulating Labour in Cambodian Garment Factories:

Using data from Better Factories Cambodia, this paper shows that compliance differs significantly depending on firm ownership.

Factories that produce for multinational garment manufacturers originating from coordinated market economies, such as Korea, have consistently high rates of compliance  with labour standards compared to other corporations from different varieties of capitalism.
This can be explained by the global strategies these firms follow, which are grounded in and influenced by their home country institutional context, leading to stronger forms of embeddedness and more durable and stable network relationships, with more positive consequences for the level of compliance in many categories. Download (PDF, 1MB)
read more.
bw

20:32:38 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

 * 900,000 workers to lose jobs:

Industry Minister MS Hidayat warned on Wednesday of massive layoffs in April if relevant authorities failed to postpone the recent rise in the minimum regional wage for labor-intensive industries.

Around 900,000 workers employed by at least 1,320 companies in the food and beverage, tobacco, textile, footwear and leather, toy and furniture sectors were set to lose their jobs, according to Hidayat.

“Businesses cannot bear the costs incurred by the new minimum wage, which has increased by an average of 43 percent,” said Hidayat.

He added that companies faced difficulties, however, in cutting the number of workers to compensate for the wage rise as severance costs for dismissed workers were extremely expensive. read more.
jakartapost

18:32:38 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Garment study on cards: PM:

The government has moved to conduct a study on the garment sector, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in parliament yesterday.

She said a renowned local organisation will conduct the study to know about the number of garment factories on an area basis, total workers, and their problems and possible solutions.
The study will help the government and other stakeholders to prepare a to-do list to bring global standards to the sector.
“Coordinated activities are a must to consolidate the sector.” She said she formed a 10-member cabinet committee led by the labour minister for the sector.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd  FE bd

* Relocating garment and knitting factories:

During the last couple of years we observed devastating unrest in garment and knitting factories.

Those cause loss of valuable lives and huge properties. Garment and knitting factories have been making enormous contributions in Bangladesh economy providing employment, earning foreign currency, emerging new industrialists and entrepreneurs, managers and so on.

No doubt low wages is one of the major factors of resentment amongst the workers. Concentration of labour-intensive factories at a location is another significant factor of unrest that the industrialists ignored at the time of choosing factory sites.

There are a few garment and knitting factories hubs in Dhaka, Chittagong, Fatulla, Asulia and Savar areas. More than a hundred factories have been operating in every hub. When lobour unrest develops in one factory, unrest spreads within a few hours to nearby factories and sometime to the whole hub.
It is not wise to set up labour-intensive factories in big numbers at a particular place. Despite that the government has been developing a garment palli at Gojaria where a thousand factories could be set up. The decision needs immediate review.
read more.
FE bd

* Garment exports surge 23% in Jan ‘13:

Earnings from exports of readymade garments rose by almost 23 percent in January 2013, boosted by a shift in orders from China.

In January 2013, Bangladesh exported apparels worth US$ 2.09 billion, as against exports of US$ 1.70 billion made during the corresponding month of last year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.
During the first seven months of the current Bangladeshi fiscal that began on July 1, 2012, the country’s clothing exports totaled US$ 12.04 billion, registering a growth of 9.9 percent year-on-year. read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Leather products and footwear exports post robust growth :

With a huge production of raw leather and comfortable prices in the international market, the export of leather products posted a robust growth this year over the previous one.   

The earning from leather goods doubled this year over the last year, according to the latest data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The data shows that the country earned $83 million in the first seven months (July-January) of the current 2012-13 fiscal year through exporting leather products, posting a 102.12 per cent growth over the same period of last fiscal. In the same period of the last fiscal the earning from these goods was only $41 million.
The country had earned a total of $99.36 million from this single sector in the previous 2011-2012 fiscal. The government had projected $135.45 million in the current 2012-13 fiscal, EPB source said. read more.
INDEPENDENT

        ASHULIA TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:

 * Arrest of Tazreen owner iterated:

Rights body National Garment Workers Federation on Wednesday restated its demand for the arrest of the owner of Tazreen Fashions, giving a fresh call to the authorities for bringing charges against him for causing death of at least 112 workers in a raging fire at his factory.

They said it was the factory management’s utter failure in maintaining security measures that caused the fire to take so many lives on November 24 at the Ashulia factory.
Organisation’s leaders at a rally in front of the National Press Club also demanded compensations for the 15 thousand workers of Hallmark Garments who were laid off as the factories shut down. read more.
BD new age

18:02:38 local time map of india INDIA

* Operation of over 700 powerloom units hit:

The operation of more than 700 powerloom units at Anthiyur block of Erode district remains affected as the strike called by the weavers seeking a hike in the wages has entered fifth day on Monday.

More than 2,000 weavers working in these units went on an indefinite strike on February 7 demanding a 50 per cent increase in the wages and 20 per cent bonus from the managements of the units.

Managements of the units, after a meeting held in Anthiyur town on the issue, said they could increase the wages only by eight per cent. Weavers refused to accept the proposed hike offered by the managements and kept away from the units.
Weavers claimed that the managements failed to increase the rate of wages for the past few years despite repeated requests. to read.
THEHINDU

* Powerloom weavers strike enters Day 8:

20130214 THEHINDU powerloom
Powerloom weavers staging a demonstration in Anthiyur on Wednesday demanding wage hike.

The indefinite strike called by the powerloom weavers in Anthiyur block of Erode district has entered eighth day on Wednesday.

More than 2,000 weavers working in these units went on an indefinite strike on February 7 demanding a 50 per cent increase in the wages and 20 per cent bonus from the managements of the units.

Weavers said that the managements of the weaving units were not ready to fulfil their demand. “We have been demanding an increase in the wages for the past one year. We will continue our protest till the owners agree wage hike,” Anthiyur Taluk Powerloom Weavers’ Association secretary R. Thirunavukarasu said. read more.
THEHINDU

* Weavers oppose import of man-made fabrics:

The Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI) has opposed the move by Union government to allow import of man-made fabrics (MMF) at concessional duty to boost the exports of ready-made garments.

In a representation to joint secretary (exports), ministry of textiles, Government of India, FIASWI chairman Arun Jariwala has stated that the proposed move by the government will destabilize the powerloom sector in the country.

Recently, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in its pre-budget memorandum to the finance ministry had asked for reduction in customs duty to flat five per cent in synthetic, blended and speciality cotton fabrics to enhance 100 per cent garment export in three years from $13.69 million to $30 million. read more.
TOInew

* GHCL focuses on home textile biz to boost revenues:

At a time when soda ash business is growing at a sluggish pace, chemicals major GHCL Limited plans to increase its revenues from non-chemical business, i.e. home textiles. The company is exploring new overseas markets including South America and China for increasing the reach of its home textile products.

The company has chalked out plans to increase revenue share of home textiles business from the current 35-40 per cent to around 50 per cent of the total turnover in the next financial year 2013-14.

“Order pipeline is healthy for our home textiles business. The US is a major market for us. Of the total home textiles revenues, about 70 per cent comes from overseas markets. We expect this trend to continue and we are also exploring new markets including South America and China,” said R S Jalan, managing director, GHCL Ltd.
read more.
businessSTANDARD

18:02:38 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Sri Lanka compensates textile workers laid off in 1980-82:

The Government of Sri Lanka has launched a compensation programme to reimburse the textile workers who were laid off due to privatization or closure of about 64 state-run textile units way back during 1980-82.
As per the Government’s estimates, it would require around SL Rs. 330 million to fund the programme.
 According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, under the program which would be executed in two phases, all the employees who lost their jobs would be paid Rs. 17,000 for each working year that they lost. read more.
Fibre2fashion

17:32:38 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile exporters demand withdrawal of recent hike in water tariff:

Textile exporters have demanded immediate withdrawal of recent hike in water tariff by 9.5 percent for industrial consumers.

They alleged that Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) has increased water tariff without consultation of the stakeholders.

In this regard, Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), Southern Zone, Aamir Haider Butt has written a letter to Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad, calling for immediate withdrawal of the recent hike in water tariff. KW&SB has raised tariff for industrial consumers from Rs 158 to Rs 173 per thousand gallons without consulting the stakeholders, he said and added “this sudden increase of 9.5 percent in water tariff effective from February 1, 2013 is another fatal blow to the value added textile sector.”  read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Businesses look for alternative energy sources:

Realising that power and gas supply continues to remain uncertain at least in the medium term, apparel sector is tapping into alternative sources of energy, revealed an interaction with various knitwear and garment exporters.

They are trying to generate energy from different fuels which suit them most both in terms of recurring cost and upfront investment. Some are burning coal directly to generate steam from their existing boilers; others have replaced low pressure with higher pressure boilers. Some entrepreneurs are using wood and a few agricultural wastes. read more.
thenewspk

* Apparel export target set for 2012-15 unachievable: PRGMEA:

The ambitious textile and apparel export target of US$ 95 billion set by the Government under the recently announced Strategic Trade Policy Framework (SPTF) 2012-15 is unachievable, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas has said.
Pakistan’s textile and garment exports would be required to achieve US$ 32 billion per year or a 20 percent year-on-year growth for the next three years to meet the set target.  read more.
Fibre2fashion

* Gsp plus status: EU nod a must for free trade between Pakistan, UK:

The United Kingdom has said that approval of the European Union is necessary for a free trade agreement between Pakistan and the UK, but Britain will continue its support for the inclusion of Pakistan in the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus – which reduces duties on export of certain items from developing countries –  in 2014.

Alison McEwen, Head of Bilateral Team for Pakistan, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), during her visit to the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Wednesday, stressed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would cooperate with Pakistan in exchange of trade delegations between the two countries. to read.
tribune

 

map of Asia

HEADLINES:

CAMBODIA
* 20,000 striking workers in Svay Rieng want salaries doubled
* More workers join Svay Rieng strike
* Global Production Networks and Variegated Capitalism: (Self-)Regulating Labour in Cambodian Garment Factories

INDONESIA
* 900,000 workers to lose jobs

BANGLA DESH
* Garment study on cards: PM
* Relocating garment and knitting factories
* Garment exports surge 23% in Jan ‘13
* Leather products and footwear exports post robust growth
* ASHULIA TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:
* Arrest of Tazreen owner iterated

INDIA
* Operation of over 700 powerloom units hit
* Powerloom weavers strike enters Day 8
* Weavers oppose import of man-made fabrics
* GHCL focuses on home textile biz to boost revenues

SRI LANKA
* Sri Lanka compensates textile workers laid off in 1980-82

PAKISTAN
* Textile exporters demand withdrawal of recent hike in water tariff
* Businesses look for alternative energy sources
* Apparel export target set for 2012-15 unachievable: PRGMEA
* Gsp plus status: EU nod a must for free trade between Pakistan, UK

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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