in the news on-line, 15 March 2013


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20:08:35 local time map of china CHINA

 * China to face labor shortage:

The coastal province of Guangdong in South China owes much of its economic success to the manufacturing industry. But in recent years, the region has suffered a shortage of labor. Our reporter Liao Ruochen tells us why and more.

After Spring Festival, millions of people are arriving at Guangzhou’s railway station to return to the cities they work in, all over Guangdong province. And Chen Leyi is one of them. He has been working in Guangdong for 10 years, and this is the journey he sets out on every year.

Although he has travelled this way for more than 10 years, he’s never stayed in the city itself. The prosperity of the city is just a passing scene and his thoughts are always thousands of kilometers away.  read more.

* Shoe surprise with an unexpected discount:

New Nike and adidas sneakers that have just arrived in Beijing are being sold at an unexpected discount, with up to 50 percent off at the New World Department Store on Dawang Lu last weekend.

Dozens of consumers were trying and buying the new sneakers at the store, with prices of around 300 yuan ($48), which is usually what domestic brands cost.
Too much stock
On March 4, the Shanghai-based National Business Daily reported that US sportswear maker Nike will open 40 to 50 factory outlets (discount stores) in China this year to sell its shoes and clothes at huge discounts, as a way to address its high inventories.

Nike stores will open not only in big cities but also in smaller ones, offering discounts up to 70 percent, the newspaper said, citing a source close to the company. Nike refused to comment when contacted by the Global Times Tuesday.
“After recent years of fast expansion, overseas sportswear brands, like their domestic peers, have encountered the problem of high inventories,” Zhang Qing, founder and CEO of Beijing Key Solution Sports Consulting Co, told the Global Times Sunday.

Fierce competition from fashionable clothing brands like Zara and Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) is another factor making the circumstances tougher for sportswear firms, Zhang noted.
H&M disclosed earlier this year that its 2012 China sales surged 50 percent year-on-year to 5.4 billion Swedish kronor ($843 million), much faster than its 9 percent global sales growth rate. The Swedish clothing company also said it added 52 new stores in China last year, pushing the total to 134.  read more.

* Significant wage rises expected by German firms:

German companies in China expect significant wage increases in 2013 as competition intensifies to retain qualified staff, especially blue-collar workers, in second-tier cities, the German Chamber of Commerce in China said on Thursday.

“German firms in China will see a wide range of wage increases in 2013,” the chamber said in its Flash Survey on Wage Trends report, which polled 452 companies from March 4 to 11.

“While some companies don’t plan to increase wages at all or only at very low levels, others are facing severe competition to retain qualified staff and need to substantially increase wages by up to 50 percent for some positions,” it added.  read more.


* South African court rules in favour of small apparel units:

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg has ruled that small apparel manufacturing units, owned by families of Chinese and Taiwanese descent in Newcastle, in South Africa’s eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, are exempt from National Bargaining Council (NBC) agreements on wages.
The judgement came in response to an application filed by a group of five Taiwanese-owned garment companies and the United Clothing and Textile Association for setting aside the minimum wages set by the NBC, which are implemented across the country’s textile and garment industry.
In his written ruling, Judge Piet Koen said the NBC represents less than half of the employees in the apparel industry and the clothing units that are not members of the council can hold separate discussions with their workers on wage structures.

The high court decision could have far-reaching consequences for the South African clothing industry, as it would make it easier for small garment units to employ workers at wages less than those prescribed by the NBC.  to read.

20:08:35 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Solon: Lobby For US Bill- Reviving Measure In US Congress To Help Local Garment Industry:

A member of the House is urging government to make a determined lobby for the passage in the US Congress of the Save Our Industries bill which he said will help create some 250,000 jobs for Philippine garment manufacturers.

San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada urged the Aquino government to tap Filipino allies in the US Congress to help pass or re-file the bill filed in both Houses of the US Congress in 2011.

The bill, which calls for allowing the duty free entry to the US of apparels made in the Philippines using American farms and yarns, has to be re-filed in the 113th US Congress.  read more.

* Multisectoral leaders announce March 20 People’s Protest:

Leaders of different sectoral organizations announced at a press conference in Quezon City this morning a “people’s protest” on March 20, vowing to mobilize the most number of people against rising prices, privatization, and the Aquino government’s handling of the Sabah issue on March 20.

Elmer “Bong” Labog of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Steve Ranjo of the Pagkakaisa ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, Bea Arellano of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan, and Joms Salvador of Gabriela called on the public to participate in various protest centers on the day.
read more. & read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO  bulatlat_tagline

19:08:35 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* ASEAN Textiles Symposium to attract foreign craftmen:

Around 300 guests and artisans representing 10 ASEAN member countries, Canada, Japan, India, and the US will attend the 4th ASEAN Traditional Textiles Symposium in Thai Nguyen province from March 15–18.

At a press briefing in Hanoi on March 12, Nguyen Van Tinh, Head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s International Cooperation Department, said it is the first time Vietnam will host such a large event.
It will help introduce the unparalleled weaving crafts of the country’s ethnic minority groups to international friends.

The symposium, themed “Traditions, Innovations, Interactions: Paving Creative Path for Traditional Textiles of Southeast Asia”, includes two scientific workshops.
The first will focus on traditional weaving villages’ transition to light industry, while the second will discuss the preservation of weaving and embroidery fabrics in museums.

The symposium will hold an exhibition showcasing the history of the textile industry, tracing its growth from the self-sufficient economy all the way through to modern industrial production. A fashion show will model the traditional dresses of Vietnamese ethnic minorities as well as the special fashions of participating countries.

Vietnamese artisans will demonstrate their skills by making the linen cloth of the Mong, the brocades of the Pa Then, Tay, Thai, Nung, Muong, Ede, M’nong,  and Cham, and silk of the Kinh and Khmer .
Other activities, such as folk games, Vietnamese bamboo and stone musical instrument performances, chau van (spiritual singing), quan ho (romantic duets), cheo (traditional opera), and Central Highland gong arrangements, will also be held to help international guests deepen their understandings of Vietnamese culture.
to read in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 15/3 . (9th item).

19:08:35 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Low pay fuels anger among Cambodia’s garment workers:

bs019 Low pay disrupts Cambodias RMG sector
Cambodian workers walk to their factories on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Anger is growing over low wages and tough conditions in the kingdom. Photo: AFP

As night falls thousands of weary workers stream from textile factories that fan out across Phnom Penh’s outskirts, the clothing industry’s desire for cheap labour having created an abundance of jobs.

But as the number of international clothes companies tapping into Cambodia’s workforce grows, so does anger at the low wages and tough conditions that come with such employment in the global garment industry.
Twenty-five-year-old Ou Nin looks exhausted as she describes working for an American clothes brand for just over $5 a day.

“They print on T-shirts. The smell is very unpleasant, it is unbearable,” she told AFP while waiting for the truck to take her home.
Overwork, malnutrition and poor ventilation are to blame for staff fainting in factories since 2010, according to Moeun Tola, program manager at the Community Legal Education Centre, which provides advocacy for workers.

“It’s often hot inside these factories. Sometimes they inhale toxic substances,” he said, adding that last year 1,100 workers are known to have lost consciousness at work while a further 30 fainted in a workshop in mid-January.  read more.

20:08:35 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Foreign workers strike over minimum wage:

About 2,000 foreign workers of a textile and polyester manufacturer in Negri Sembilan and a furniture maker in Johor went on strike on Tuesday to press for the minimum wage of RM900 a month.

According to a report in Oriental Daily News yesterday, about 1,000 of Recron Malaysia’s workers, who had gone on a five-day strike prior to the protest, demonstrated at a field outside the company’s staff quarters at noon on Tuesday.

The workers, from Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, demanded that the management treat its foreign and local employees fairly and equally.
They claimed that during the strike action by some 4,000 workers, the factory’s top management ordered them to go back to the production line but made no promises about implementing the minimum wage, leading to the Tuesday demonstration by disgruntled workers.  read more.

* Vietnamese workers in Malaysia resume work after 5-day strike:

Most of the Vietnamese workers who are employed by the Recron textile company in Malaysia’s Nilai Industrial Zone have agreed to resume work after a five-day strike demanding a higher minimum wage.

A Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Malaysia yesterday reported that the Overseas Labour Management Board of the Viet Nam Embassy to Malaysia negotiated with the company about the wages for their Vietnamese workers.
read more.

* Top Glove Q2 earnings down 5.8% to RM50.3m on minimum wage policy:

Top Glove Corporation Bhd’s earnings fell 5.8% to RM50.31mil in the second quarter ended Feb 28, 2013 from RM53.45mil mainly due to the effects of the minimum wage policy, which came into effect on Jan 1.

It said on Thursday its revenue increase 4.9% to RM576.42mil from RM548.99mil. Earnings per share were 8.13 sen compared with 8.64 sen.
Top Glove said despite the impact of the wage policy, the on-going automation initiatives in existing and new production lines to reduce dependence on unskilled workers, would raise efficiency and mitigate the impact of higher labour cost.
read more.
The Star Online

18:38:35 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar to send experienced labor officials to Jordan:

Four woman workers were wounded in a fight among Myanmar workers on March 2 after more than 1000 Myanmar workers staged protests at a garment factory owned by Century Miracle Apparel Mgf Co, Ltd.

More than 1,200 Myanmar workers at the factory have been protesting since February 14. Jordan’s Century Miracle Apparel makes women’s apparel for Ralph Lauren Canada and United States-based Eddie Baurer and Bon Ton, among others, according to international shipping data.

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security also said they are going to send officials who have experienced in labor affairs and settle the dispute as soon as possible. The incident was that hardliners hit those who wanted to work again and so four women were injured.  read more.
Eleven Myanmar

18:08:35 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Garment exports fetch $13.83b in July-Feb:

Garment exports fetched US$ 13.83 billion for Bangladesh during the initial eight months of the current fiscal that began on July 1, 2012, according to the figures released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The exports of woven garments increased by 13.37 per cent year-on-year to earn $ 7.098 billion during the July-February 2012-13 period, while the knitwear exports fetched $ 6.732 billion, up 6.91 per cent year-on-year, EPB statistics showed.
Overall export earnings of Bangladesh grew to $ 17.4 billion during the eight-month period, registering a 9.38 per cent growth over exports worth $ 15.9 billion made during the corresponding period of previous fiscal year.  to read.

* Action plan prepared to address labour issues:

15-member team to attend USTR hearing on GSP

Bangladesh has prepared an action plan for the USTR hearing on March 28.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the FE that any cancellation of GSP facility would cause job losses of millions of marginalised female workers.

He said there will be specific timelines in the action plan for implementing different compliance issues including labour rights in the readymade garment sector.

Mr. Mahbub, however, said he is optimistic of a positive outcome from the hearing as Bangladesh has long committed itself to the welfare aspects of labour and establishing rights to protect the interest of workers.  read more.

* Step up factory compliance:

Roundtable speakers call for full-scale effort to improve labour standards

Bureaucrats, rights activists and representatives of western brands yesterday called for compliance of labour standards in garment factories to stop the preventable deaths of workers in fires.

“We cannot ignore our responsibilities for the fires,” said Mikail Shipar, labour and employment secretary.
The two recent deadly blazes could be a wake-up call the country needed to reassess the occupational and health safety measures at factories and bring in the necessary changes, he said.
“The government has already felt the need for establishing full-scale compliance at factories. A comprehensive action plan is needed to avoid a repeat of fires at factories,” Shipar said.

His comments came at a roundtable on social compliance at the garment sector, organised by the Brussels-based Foreign Trade Association as part of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).
Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said the number of fires in the garment industry has gone down in recent years due to improvements in fire safety standards at factories.
In 2009, there were 293 fires at garment factories, while in 2010, 2011 and 2012 it was 222, 175 and 97 respectively, according to Khan.  read more.
daily star bd

* Human resource, labour economics and labour markets:

Management of human resources dates back to 400 B.C. Minimum wage and incentive wage plans were in Babylonian Codes of Hammurabi around 1800 B.C.

The Chinese as early as 1650 B.C. had originated the principle of division of labour. The ‘Span of Management’ and the related concepts of organisation were well understood by Moses around 1200 B.C. In India, Kautilya observed a sound base for systematic management of human resource, as early as 4th century B.C.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the status of labour was extremely low and the human relationships between the employer and the employees were characterised by slavery, serfdom and the guild system.
Slavery was based on negative incentive system and serfdom was based on positive incentive system. However, both these systems were replaced with the growth of manufacturing and commercial enterprises by the guild system involving master craftsman (the owner), the journeyman (the traveling worker) and the apprentice.
Guild system marked the beginning of human resource planning for selection, training and development of workers and emergence of collective bargaining for wages and working conditions.  read more.

* GSP hopes live on:

The government is hopeful that the US will continue the generalised system of preference for Bangladesh’s exports, as the country has already taken steps to improve its labour standards.

Bangladesh will send a team to Washington to attend a special hearing of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) scheduled for March 28.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed will lead the delegation, which will leave Dhaka on March 26, to explain Bangladesh’s position and why the GSP should continue.  read more.
daily star bd

17:38:35 local time map of india INDIA

* Shirtless textile traders take out rally on bikes:

In a bid to get the government to roll back VAT on textiles, traders took to the streets shirtless on Thursday, the fifth day of the indefinite bandh.

The tussle between the government and traders has been on for close to two years now. After many twists and turns, the government had slashed the tax percentage from four per cent to one per cent in November last year but refused to put it in abeyance as demanded by traders who maintained that VAT levied in AP alone will affect trade.
The main reason for going on an indefinite bandh from March 9 is to get the government to take back tax on textile or to put it in abeyance till the same is levied in all states.

On Thursday about 1,000 traders from all districts participated in the shirtless bike rally held from Pathargatti to Indira Park. The police initially put up resistance but when the numbers swelled, the cops relented.  read more.

* Mandhana Industries, Myntra team up for Being Human apparel:

Integrated textile company Mandhana Industries has tied up with online shopping portal Myntra to take its ‘Being Human’ apparel online over the next two months.

Manish B. Mandhana, Managing Director said the company already has a potential customer base with 20 million online fan followers of Salman Khan.
“Besides Myntra, the apparels will also be made available through the portal, but the logistics will be handled by our partner, as they have delivery centres across 480 cities,” he added.

According to a latest market survey, he said, about 50 per cent of youth prefer to buy their clothes online given the choice, convenience and discounts on offer. Given the rapid online sales growth, textile companies are forced to keep a tight check on their inventory with fashion changing equally fast.
Riding on the female fan following of Khan, Mandhana plans to launch women’s wear in the mid to premium range next month, followed by kids’ collection early next year.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* AEPC to CBEC: Release duty drawback benefit to exporters:

Hurt by declining exports, apparel exporters today appealed to the revenue department to expeditiously release about Rs 500 crore duty drawback benefit to the exporters.

Under the duty drawback rate scheme, the government refund duties on imported inputs for export items.
In a letter to CBEC Chairperson Praveen Mahajan, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said that all Industry Duty Drawback Rates for exports of garments have been withheld all over India.

“It may be noted that non-receipt of duty drawback, may impact on working capital requirements of the industry; including salaries to workers and payment of government dues like PF, electricity, ESI contribution besides purchase of raw-material, he said. read more.
The Economic Times

* Punjab’s new industrial policy to boost textile industry:

The government of the north-western Indian state of Punjab will be implementing a ‘New Industrial Promotion Policy’ from April 1, 2013, which would greatly boost the textile industry in the state.
Speaking at the North India Textile Conclave 2013, organised by Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) in Chandigarh, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the Minister for Investment Promotion, said the state is now ready to unveil a revolutionary industrial investment promotion policy.  read more.

*  India halves raw silk imports from China:

India has nearly halved raw silk imports from China in the last five years with the goal to bring it down to zero level in less than a decade, a top official of Central Silk Board (CSB) said on Wednesday.

The dependence on China was to the extent of 10,000 tonnes annually five years ago and it had now been reduced to around 5,700 tonnes, CSB Member-Secretary Ishita Roy said.
“We want to bring it down to a level of zero. By 2022, we will bring it to zero (import of raw silk from China)”, she told reporters, in the presence of Chairman of city-headquartered CSB N S Bisse Gowda.  read more. & read more.
Return to frontpage  fibre2fashion

* Israeli firms to help textile units fix environment issues:

The Integrated Processing Development Scheme, recently announced in the Union Budget for the textile sector, will enable development of new textile processing parks and also improve infrastructure, including effluent treatment facilities, in the existing textile processing centres through public private partnerships.

With an outlay of Rs. 500 crore for the XII Plan period, the scheme looks at leveraging Rs. 5,000 crore investment in the segment.
The budget has proposed Rs. 50 crore allocation for 2013-2014. Details of the scheme are expected soon.

“The environmental problems in the textile sector are a major challenge, and we need to address it,” said an official in the Union Ministry of Textiles.
The scheme will help improve the effluent treatment facilities in existing textile centres such as Tirupur, Ludhiana and Surat.  read more.
Return to frontpage

* These young women will tailor their own lives:

Future ready:Students honing their stitching skills at KACES ITI in Mangalore on Thursday.— PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH
Future ready:Students honing their stitching skills at KACES ITI in Mangalore on Thursday.— PHOTO: H.S. MANJUNATH

If all goes as planned, Farhath Bano, a resident of Jeppu Bappal who is learning how to stitch a salwar, may soon start a business along with her sister.

She was in her class at Karnataka Christian Education Society (KACES) Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for Stitchcraft. She said that her sister had also learnt stitching from the same place. “Both of us are planning to start a business (in stitching),” she said.
Raliya, a resident of Kuthar, was busy, bent over a sewing machine, stitching a ‘lining’ on to a garment. She told The Hindu , “This will help me in future. I can start my own business if required.” She is one of the 19 students learning tailoring so that they can take orders for stitching garments and earn a livelihood.  read more.
Return to frontpage

17:38:35 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Sri Lankan garment workers rally to keep jobs:

On 10 March more than 400 garment workers, members of IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate FTZ-GSEU, demonstrated and demanded that the Sri Lankan government collaborate with unions to keep their industry in the country.

The Free Trade Zones and General Employees Union, FTZ-GSEU, called on the government to commit special attention to fake investors who use Sri Lanka’s workers and then flee the country without paying wages, and putting thousands of workers into unemployment and destitution. The Sri Lankan government has not shown sufficient action to develop a strategy to retain the garment industry, even though it represents 60% of the country’s exports.

Garment workers in Sri Lanka have often made huge sacrifices to leave their homes and jobs in tea plantations to work in garment factories. IndustriALL joins FTZ-GSEU in calling on the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take measures to protect these vulnerable workers.  read more.

* Cheap foreign labour sought:

Sri Lanka’s struggling apparel industry is to request the government to allow the recruitment of foreign workers from cheaper labour markets such as India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

“The Apparel Exporters’ Association, through the garment industry umbrella body, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), plans to request the government to permit the recruitment of foreign workers to fill up the 10% labour shortage in the apparel sector,” Chiarman of the Apparel Exporters’ Association, Anis Sattar, said.

Sattar made these comments at the 13th Annual General Meeting of the Association held in Colombo yesterday. “There are 150 factories islandwide and only 350,000 employees. So, there is a 10% shortage of labour. The performance and growth of the industry is badly affected by this because we can’t supply apparels according to the demand, and therefore looking for more export markets is out of the question.”
read more.

17:08:35 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* EU envoy signals Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status:

European Union (EU) Ambassador Lars Gunnar Wigemark has indicated that Pakistan qualifies for the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status as per the new EU regulations, but it still has to submit an application to the EU Commission in Brussels in order to get the status.

The EU ambassador, who was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the ball is now in Pakistan’s court if it wants to effectively negotiate with the EU in obtaining trade concessions in 2014, but Pakistan has still not applied for it.

He said that the new regulations have been adopted to accommodate countries such as Pakistan, as the EU treats its trade partners equally. For securing the concessions, he said it is imperative that Pakistan’s government negotiate in a timely manner, as the EU Commission in Brussels will take at least six months to evaluate the application. “We have expectations and hope that Pakistan may qualify for GSP+ in the EU,” he added.  read more.
The Express Tribune

* Pakistan shares less than one per cent of total exports to EU:

Pakistan shares even less than one per cent to the total exports to the European Union worth $7.3 billion export despite the fact that country has strong potential of growth in textile exports to EU countries.

This was stated by Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, during his visit to APTMA House here on Thursday. Vice Chairman APTMA Wisal Monnoo welcomed the EU Ambassador and briefed him about the functioning of APTMA and various initiatives, Association is undertaking for the sustainability of the industry.
He said the textile industry was keenly looking forward to market access from the EU. Ambassador said that as per new EU regulations, Pakistan qualifies for GSP Plus status but to get the status it would have to submit an application to the EU Commission in Brussels.  read more.
The Nation Newspaper Pakistan

* Controversial SROs: Export sectors threaten strike:

All the five export-oriented industries have threatened to go on a strike if government fails to withdraw three controversial SROs withdrawing their zero rated status from sales tax.

A largely attending meeting held on Wednesday at PHMA House of the five sectors, including leather garments, value-added textile, sports goods, surgical and carpet, urged the Federal Board of Revenue to immediately do away with the refund system as it would promote corruption and harm country’s exports.

These leaders said that the FBR chairman in the last meeting had agreed that the refund system would promote corruption and status of zero rating from sales tax of the five exports-oriented industries would be restored.  read more.

* All banks advised to forward textile exporters’ claims to SBP-BSC offices:

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised all banks/DFIs to forward the claims of textile exporters to the concerned offices of SBP-Banking Services Corporation (BSC) for the release of 22 per cent Export Finance Mark up Rate Facility of second instalment [from 1st March to 31st August, 2010] along-with copies of valid registration certificates of Ministry of Textile Industry (Mintex) after verifying the validity of the same from the link: up-to April 15, 2013.

This will enable the offices of SBP-BSC (Bank) to release pending claims for the above mentioned period against the cases which have been found in order and where 78 per cent reimbursement has already been made to the banks under the scheme. Further, the banks/DFIs may also lodge subsidy claims for 3rd Instalment (from 1st September, 2010 to 28th February, 2011) under Mark up Rate Support for Textile Sector against Long Term Loans, keeping in view the instructions contained in SMEFD Circular No 04 dated March 22, 2010.  read more.  & read more.

* Manifesto Unveiled: PPP vows to increase minimum wage:

The Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamen-tarians on Thursday revealed its election manifesto with special focus on a seven-point agenda pledging to fulfill the basic needs of the country’s poor.

The manifesto was released by the party president Makhdoom Amin Fahim at a press conference here on Thursday.
Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Defence Minister Naveed Qamar and Minister of State for Information Sumsam Bukhari were also present on the occasion.

The manifesto pledges to increase minimum wage to Rs18,000 per month by 2018 and enhance the monthly cash grant under the Benazir Income Support Programme from Rs1,000 to Rs2000. read more.
The Express Tribune

                THE KARACHI-BALDIA  FIRE:

* SHC orders inspection of Baldia garment factory:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the Sindh Building Control Authority and the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate to carry out inspection of the ill-fated Baldia factory so as to ascertain whether it was constructed under the approved building plan or not.

The court observed that the report should reveal the deviation from the relevant laws, particularly the rules and the regulations, and the services of architects and engineers could be obtained in this regard.

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and others submitted in the petition that more than 280 people were killed in the fire incident at Ali Enterprises on September 11 last year and the management of Ali Enterprises, including the factory owners, have been booked under murder, mischief by fire and other related charges by the Baldia Town police.  read more.

* Legal action on fire in textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan:

ECCHR involved in Pakistani court proceedings

During a visit to Pakistan by staff members from ECCHR and medico international, individuals affected by the factory fire in September 2012 together with their trade union representatives asked ECCHR to become directly involved in legal proceedings relating to the incident in Pakistan. ECCHR will now make an application through a local lawyer to be admitted to the proceedings.

The Ali Enterprise textile factory in the industrial district of Baldia Town in Karachi burned to the ground on 11 September 2012. Bars on the windows as well as obstructed and locked emergency exits meant that factory workers were unable to escape the blaze in time.
Over 280 employees lost their lives and hundreds were injured. The disaster represents the most devastating fire to occur to date at a Pakistani factory. At least 70% of the textiles produced at the factory were sold to German discount store KIK, according to the retailer’s own information. Just a few weeks before the fire, Italian company RINA had issued the factory with an SA 8000 certificate, which is supposed to act as a guarantee of safety and other workplace standards.

While KIK has come to a preliminary agreement with local Pakistani organizations on the payment of damages, the Italian certification firm RINA has to date not demonstrated any interest in participating in a compensation scheme. The distribution of the compensatory funds offered by KIK is being overseen by an independent commission appointed by the High Court of Sindh.  read more.


map of Asia


The next newsletter and news bulletin will be published 18 March 2013.


* China to face labor shortage
* Shoe surprise with an unexpected discount
* Significant wage rises expected by German firms
* South African court rules in favour of small apparel units

* Solon: Lobby For US Bill- Reviving Measure In US Congress To Help Local Garment Industry
* Multisectoral leaders announce March 20 People’s Protest

* ASEAN Textiles Symposium to attract foreign craftmen

* Low pay fuels anger among Cambodia’s garment workers

* Foreign workers strike over minimum wage
* Vietnamese workers in Malaysia resume work after 5-day strike
* Top Glove Q2 earnings down 5.8% to RM50.3m on minimum wage policy

* Myanmar to send experienced labor officials to Jordan

* Garment exports fetch $13.83b in July-Feb
* Action plan prepared to address labour issues
* Step up factory compliance
* Human resource, labour economics and labour markets
* GSP hopes live on

* Shirtless textile traders take out rally on bikes
* Mandhana Industries, Myntra team up for Being Human apparel
* AEPC to CBEC: Release duty drawback benefit to exporters
* Punjab’s new industrial policy to boost textile industry
* India halves raw silk imports from China
* Israeli firms to help textile units fix environment issues
* These young women will tailor their own lives

* Sri Lankan garment workers rally to keep jobs
* Cheap foreign labour sought

* EU envoy signals Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status
* Pakistan shares less than one per cent of total exports to EU
* Controversial SROs: Export sectors threaten strike
* All banks advised to forward textile exporters’ claims to SBP-BSC offices
* Manifesto Unveiled: PPP vows to increase minimum wage
* SHC orders inspection of Baldia garment factory
* Legal action on fire in textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan

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