in the news on-line, 22 March 2013

08:28:43 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Philippines’ abaca exports down 22.7% in 2012:

Slow demand from major markets has caused Philippines’ revenues from abaca exports to dip by 22.7 percent from previous year’s US$ 140 million to US$ 108.2 million in 2012, the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) statistics show.
Exports of abaca pulp, which constituted around 69 percent of overall abaca exports during 2012, dipped 28.3 percent from US$ 104 million in 2011 to US$ 74.7 million in 2012.
Volume-wise, abaca pulp exports dipped by 26.67 percent from 30,000 tons in 2011 to 22,000 tons in 2012.  read more.

* DOLE reminds employers of pay rules for holy week:

The Labor department on Thursday urged employers to observe the correct pay rules and safety and health labor standards during the holy week.

“I reiterate to our private sector employers to observe the pay rules and other core labor and occupational safety and health standards during these holidays in the interest of workers’ welfare and protection,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in the statement. read more.

07:28:43 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* FTA to help Vietnam in EU:

The removal of import tariffs within the framework of the free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU will create better opportunities for Vietnam than for its rivals in the European Union market, according to chief of the consultants group of the EU Multilateral Trade Assistance Project Claudio Dordi.

He said that the country’s exports will increase and it will enjoy lower taxes on technology and high-quality materials from the EU. In the meantime, the EU will export quality services, improving Vietnamese businesses’ long-term competitiveness, he added.

At present, Vietnam exports five staples: footwear, garments and textiles, coffee, seafood and wooden furniture to the EU. The current tariffs applied on Vietnam’s goods stand at around 4.1 percent, but garments have an 11.7 percent tariff, seafood, 10.8 percent, and footwear, 12.4 percent.

With 27 members and around 500 million people, the EU is the largest importer of garments and textiles in the world, making up half of the world’s import value. The bloc’s 2013 import value of garments and textiles is expected to hit 234.2 billion USD, and Vietnam’s exports of the items, 2.37 billion USD.
Under the FTA, tariffs on garments and textiles will be slashed from 11.7 percent to zero percent, therefore facilitating the sector’s growth. read more.

07:28:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Repression at Cambodian garment factory continues:

Workers at a Cambodian garment factory, that provides items for big fashion brands like Diesel, Espirit and Marks & Spencer, continue to face a campaign of violence and intimidation as they fight for basic labour rights.

Striking workers outside the E-Garment factory (Photo/Clean Clothes Campaign)

Nearly 300 workers from the E-Garment factory in Kandal province just outside of Phnom Penh have been on strike since January. They have been subject to threats of, and actual, physical violence.

And just last week, five activists from the Clean Clothes Campaign were detained by police after meeting with the strikers.
The striking workers belong to the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), a member of the ITUC-affiliated Cambodian Labour Confederation.

Almost 2900 people are employed by E-Garment and the requests of the strikers is clear: the management must implement the agreement signed with C.CAWDU to reinstate 33 union members dismissed in 2007; it must also reinstate the eight C.CAWDU union leaders dismissed after being violently attacked inside the factory by MKKU members in 2010.  read more.

* Minimum hassle: Agreement ends violent factory strike:

Apparently unaware the government had announced a monthly minimum garment wage increase to $75 starting in May, more than 1,000 workers at Phnom Penh’s Maru Chuen garment factory yesterday agreed to return to work in return for a monthly increase to $70.

Workers were also granted $3 per month for transportation and will return to work today, said Workers Union Federation officer Tha Tory.
Tory said that before the deal was reached, workers yesterday blocked a company truck from entering the factory and broke its mirror with stones but, unlike the day before, no one was injured.

“The company did not demand we pay them for destroying property, even though the protesters damaged some cars and motos [during] the strike,” he said.
An administrative officer who declined to be named said that the strike had ended after both sides reached agreement at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Meanwhile, workers from Wing Star Shoes factory in Kampong Speu province yesterday blocked National Road 3 for about an hour, also to demand a minimum wage increase and improved working conditions, causing a serious traffic jam, according to Free Trade Union officer Yung Leab.  to read.

* Wage increase sewn up:

garment minimum wage
Garment workers exit a factory at the end of an overtime shift on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Photograph: Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post

Garment and footwear workers will be paid a government-mandated minimum wage of $75 per month – an increase of $14 – beginning in May, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced yesterday.

The increase, which ministry officials had agreed should be $12, was boosted by $2 after direct intervention from Prime Minister Hun Sen –  but it still wasn’t enough to appease non-government-aligned unions, which threatened to strike, saying an extra $14 would do little to lift workers out of poverty.
“The minimum wage will be changed on May 1 and the workers will receive it at the end of May or early in June,” a statement signed by Minister of Social Affairs Ith Sam Heng said. “The Labour Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on March 29 in order to complete this process in accordance with the Labour Law.”

According to the document, which spoke of an $80 minimum wage – because it included a $5 health bonus that workers already receive – Hun Sen had ordered employers to add the additional $2.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, one of the unions that refused to go below $100 – while government-aligned unions agreed on $73 – said he and four other union confederations could not accept $75 and would organise a massive strike “as soon as possible”.
“I do not welcome this decision at all because it is a very little amount for workers,” he said, adding the government’s packaging of an “$80 minimum wage” was misleading.
“Every party has been trying to work on land reform, and now it’s minimum wage too,” Panha said. “The opposition, for instance, is trying to attract more government employees through its minimum wage [draft law], so maybe the ruling party is now trying to improve conditions.”

SRP lawmaker Son Chhay defended his party’s push for a $150 minimum wage for garment workers, telling the Post yesterday it was realistic, especially if the government stamped out rampant corruption in the industry.  read more.

* Cambodia To Increase Monthly Minimum Wage for Garment Workers to US$80:

The monthly minimum salary for garment and footwear workers will increase to US$80 from May 1, 2013, according to a statement of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

The current monthly minimum wage of US$61 will be raised to US$73 plus an additional US$5 health benefit, and Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen asked the employers to add up US$2 more, therefore each worker will get in total US$80 per month, the statement pointed out.

Garment and textile industry is a key pillar for Cambodia’s economic growth. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the country has currently more than 300 garment and footwear factories employing some 335,400 workers. Last year, this sector generated some US$4.6 billion, up 8 percent if compared to the previous year.
to read.

* CNCLP welcome wage offer, others disapprove:

Cambodian National Confederation of Laborer’s Protection (CNCLP) welcomes wage increases from the minimum $61 to $80 per month for garment and footwear workers.

Sath Chheanghour, President of CNCLP, said, Cambodian garment worker’s salaries are more than those in Laos, $78.85 and in Vietnam, $79.22.
Social Affairs Minister, Ith Samheng, issued a press release Thursday, to announce the official wage of $80 per month for workers.  read more.

* Cambodian Garment Minimum Wage Appears Close to Being Finalised:

The Cambodian government apparently told garment manufacturers yesterday to raise the minimum wage paid to their employees. The garment industry is Cambodia’s third-largest currency earner.

A tripartite meeting between the government, unions and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) agreed to raise the minimum wage of workers from $US61 to $US73, plus an additional $US5 in the form of a health benefit, according to a statement from the Minister of Social Affairs, Ith Samheng.
GMAC has also been asked to chip in an additional $US2 per month by the PM to give the package up to $US80 a month, which the group had agreed to. The government had approved the new minimum wage, which would take effect on May 1st, providing workers with their new income by the end of May or early June, according to the statement.

“The government appeals to the union, the workers and their employers to cooperate and respect the new minimum wage in order to protect the employment and living standards of the workers,” it read. “Please avoid conduct such as strikes or demonstrations that could affect the benefits of both workers and their employers.”
The unions had originally demanded $US120 but dropped this to $US100 after one day of talks.

However, the president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, a grouping of independent unions, Ath Thorn, said he was not satisfied with the $US14 per month raise, but would take it to the confederation’s 83,000 members to hear their thoughts.
read more.

08:28:43 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Lower Income Group Will Not Be Impacted By GST & Subsidy Rationalisation:

The implementation of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) and subsidy rationalisation will not impact the lower income group, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Assistant Governor, Dr Sukhdave Singh.

“As far as the government is concerned, from the aspect of implementation many basics like food products, would actually be exempted from the programme.
read more.

08:28:43 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Businesses Leaving Jakarta is Common, says Labor Organization:

The Indonesian Labor Union Confederation believes that the withdrawal of 90 businesses from Jakarta was not unpredictable. The confederation’s president Said Iqbal said it is common for labor-intensive businesses to move their businesses to regions where the minimum wage and living costs are lower than Jakarta.

Like moving to Central Java, for example. The minimum wage is lower and the proper-living components are also lower, Said explained via text message on Wednesday, March 20. Furthermore, Said added that regions with a higher minimum wage policy could be occupied by capital-intensive businesses. read more.

* Finance Ministry Refuses to Budge on Social Security Premium:

Despite mounting criticisms, Indonesia’s Finance Ministry has refused to budge on the premium pay assistance amount the government would pay under the new social security scheme, and labor unions have responded by planning another massive protest. 

The Ministry of Health and the National Social Security Council (DJSN) have been pushing for Rp 22,200 a month each for 96.4 million poor and near-poor people to benefit from the Premium Payment Assistance (PBI) program.

But the Finance Ministry has maintained that Rp 15,500 per month for 86.4 million poor and near-poor people was all the 2014 State Budget could afford. read more.
JG Logo

06:28:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* 10 injured as N`ganj garments workers clash with cops:

At least 10 people were injured, some of them critically, as garments workers clashed with police at BSCIC industrial zone in Fatullah on Thursday afternoon.

Police, factory workers and witnesses said, the workers of Rahim Aziz sweater, a ready-made garments (RMG) unit owned by N R Group, staged demonstration at the factory for pay hike at 5:15pm.
Soon, the workers came out of the factory and staged demonstration at Bholail road.
read more.

* Demand for BD female RMG workers rising abroad:

Demand for Bangladeshi female workers has been on the rise in the readymade garment (RMG) sector for supplies of the required manpower, to a sizeable extent, in the readymade garment (RMG) sector in some of the developing economies in the overseas.

Export of female RMG workers to the countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius and Singapore has already witnessed a notable increase in last two months of the current calendar year, industry insiders said.

The RMG sector has been booming in these countries and they are eyeing to employ Bangladeshi female workers, who have earned reputation worldwide for their skill in the related trade.  read more.

* Swiss retailer says ‘toxic’ shoes were NOT made in Bangladesh:

The shoes removed recently from the stores of two Swiss retailers on safety grounds were not made in Bangladesh.

The footwear items reportedly containing a hazardous chemical were actually manufactured in Italy, China, Vietnam and Bulgaria.
A Swiss newspaper, The Local, came up with this correction after running a story that the Swiss retailers — Bata and Vögele — removed Bangladesh-made shoes following tests that found a cancer-causing chemical in 14 pairs of the footwear.
read more.
daily star bd

* Wal-Mart’s zero tolerance on compliance issues:

Garment manufacturers briefed on do’s and don’ts

Bangladesh’s apparel sector needs to give focus more on branding in respect of meeting its compliance issues for its greater sustainability in the world market, the sector insiders said.

According to them, the country’s apparel manufacturers are getting frequent reminders from foreign buyers to meet global standards of compliance including occupational and fire safety measures.
Such reminders started coming after the devastating blaze in Tazreen in November last.

The latest call came from the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart. It made it clear that it would not compromise with safety measures and other compliance issues. Walmart also opposed unauthorised sub-contracting while outsourcing products from Bangladesh.  read more.

* Despite odds, US garment retailer hikes orders by 25 %:

When foreign buyers of Bangladeshi garments are concerned about the country’s growing political unrest, a US-based retailer has decided to increase its orders by 25 percent to $375 million this year, an official said.

Jay Burdett, vice president and managing director of the retailer — Sears Holdings Global Sourcing, said this to The Daily Star in an interview on Wednesday.
Burdett left Dhaka yesterday after a five-day visit at a time when foreign buyers and their local suppliers are worried about the confrontational politics and frequent shutdowns in Bangladesh.
“I came to Bangladesh to see whether our suppliers are on track to deliver our goods on time. I’m happy to see that the factories are operating in full swing even on the hartal days,” said Burdett.
Now he plans to send his headquarters a positive signal on Bangladesh.
However, the retailer still considers shutdown as a threat to the country’s apparel industry. More confrontations and negative publicity would cost the country heavily, he said.  read more.
daily star bd

* China plays down impact of cotton reserves, yarn duty talk:

Chinese cotton industry officials downplayed the impact of the country’s ballooning reserves Thursday, a day after prices in New York fell more than 2 per cent on plans by China and fellow Asian giant India to sell down stockpiles of the fibre.

China’s ambitious cotton stockpiling policy has driven up domestic prices, forcing the world’s largest textile industry to raise yarn imports by as much as a third this year, while lower costs in southeast Asian spur producers there to lift output.
read more.

* Muhith orders reopening closed Hallmark factories:

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith Wednesday directed the officials concerned to take necessary step to restart at any cost the closed factories of Hall-Mark Group which is involved in the largest ever loan scandal.

“Reopen the factories of the group by appointing administrators, if needed,” he said in his directive while talking to reporters in the capital.
The minister’s direction came following the loan scam-hit Hallmark’s request for the reopening of its factories.
The minister also gave a direction to utilise other resources of the loan scam-hit business organisation.
Muhith asked the state-run Sonali Bank to submit a report, stating income and expenditure of the Hallmark.  read more.

* Staggering loss to business and investment:

Exposed to recurrent hartals (general strike), the country’s business — both big and small, is simply bleeding.

No wonder that business leaders are worried that the on-going volatile politics will cause businesses even more sufferings if the strife continues further. Now they say they will observe their own programmes.
What the nature of their programmes is likely to be is yet to be known but hopefully it will not add to the panic that has gripped the psyche of the common people. More importantly, will their programmes be enough to impress upon the contending parties to take a long view of the country’s future and stay away from further confrontation — political or otherwise?  read more.

05:58:43 local time map of india INDIA

* Southern millers want export plans dropped:

The Southern India Mills Association has urged the Government to stop the proposed export of cotton by the Cotton Corporation of India and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Fedration of India and ensure stability of cotton prices.

Expressing concern about the proposed export of 10 lakh bales of cotton by these Government agencies, SIMA Chief S. Dinakaran said ‘this decision is unfortunate. If the proposed export is not stopped, the commodity could become scarce at the end of the cotton season,’ he said.
Urging the Government to put a halt to the proposed export of the white fibre, he said cotton export registrations have already crossed the 80 lakh bales mark. Export of 10 lakh bales out of the 22 lakh bales procured by the Government agencies would only lead to yet another industry turmoil. ‘The Government fails to consider the domestic industry’s interest while taking any export policy decision,’ he said. to read.Return to frontpage

* Apparel exporters in Tirupur welcome State Budget:

Different segments of knitwear production chain in Tirupur cluster have welcomed the State Budget presented by Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam by terming it as pro-industry and pro-poor.

S. Nagarajan, president of Dyers Association of Tirupur, told The Hindu that the focus given on the Budget to improve power generation and the decision not to impose any new taxes on the common man/industry were welcome. “The move not to hike any of existing tax rate slabs is a boon to the poor and middle class,” he said. The knitwear manufacturers were also delighted that Rs. 2,000 crore was allocated towards speedy infrastructure development across the state.  read more.
Return to frontpage

* Textile traders’ loss put at Rs. 20 crore:

The indefinite trade bandh launched by the cloth merchants seeking exclusion of their trade from the purview of the Value Added Tax (VAT) hits the business hard in West Godavari district. The textile business, both wholesale and retail, came to a standstill for the last 10 days in view of the bandh launched on March 9.

To quote Yarra Maradaiah, president of the Vastra Vyapara Samakhya city branch, the cloth business in Eluru city alone is estimated to have suffered a loss of over Rs. 20 crore till now on account of the bandh at the rate of Rs. 2 crore a day on an average. The city is considered to be a hub of textile business after Vijayawada and Rajahmundry.
The wholesale cloth business is also transacted at Bhimavaram, Tanuku and Jangareddygudem. The wholesalers procure clothes for retail sales from other states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal and Maharashtra. The traders from all over the district have closed their shops to observe the bandh, bringing the business to a halt. The retailers come to the city for procurement of clothes from the wholesalers from various areas within the district and the neighbouring Krishna and Khammam districts.  read more.
Return to frontpage

* Silent procession by textile traders:

The textile traders organised a silent procession in protest against the Value Added Tax (VAT) on textiles, and inclusion of textiles in sensitive commodities list.

The procession, on Thursday, passed through Vastralatha, Panja Centre, Nehru Bomma Centre, Chitti Nagar, Sairam theatre, Cholera Hospital, Lambadipeta, Vagu centre and other areas. The traders tied a black ribbon around their mouths and participated in the rally. They, on the occasion, said that they would organise rallies in every street to take the message to every citizen.
The textile traders agitation reached 13th day on Thursday.  to read.
Return to frontpage

 * Cotton crop worldwide seen falling:

The global cotton harvest will probably tumble more than expected in the coming year, as farmers make more money planting grains even after the fibre’s rally, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) said.

Output may be less than ICAC’s estimate on March 1, Terry Townsend, executive director, said in an interview, without providing a number. Farmers may reap 22.56 million tonnes in the 12 months starting August 1, a 14 per cent plunge from 26.26 million tonnes this year, the committee said earlier this month. Usage will be 23.8 million tonnes versus 23.3 million tonnes. Cotton slumped 18 per cent in 2012, sliding for a second year, as soybeans climbed 17 per cent and corn rose eight per cent.
Farmer margins are lower for cotton than competing crops like corn and beans, Goldman Sachs Group Inc said in a report March 11. Cotton may extend gains as exportable supplies drop from the US, the largest shipper, Rabobank International said.  read more.

* Abolish import duty on raw silk, say weavers:

Handloom weavers observed a fast at various places in the district on Wednesday as a part of their week-long strike that began on Monday in protest against the Union Government’s move to increase the import duty on raw silk.

Weavers claimed that a majority of the handloom weavers in the State depended on the imported silk from China.But Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram proposed to increase the import duty on raw silk from 5 per cent to 15 per cent.

Though the government claimed that the move was taken to protect the domestic sericulture sector, it had failed to consider the plight of the handloom silk weavers in the country.  read more.
Return to frontpage

05:28:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Meeting of Senate body on textile industry:

The federal government has decided to fix cotton production target at 14.1 million bales for the next fiscal year 2013-14, which is 6.0 percent higher as compared with the expected cotton crop production of 13.3 million bales for ongoing fiscal year 2012-13.

Federal Ministry of Textile Industry Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah informed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Textile Industry on Thursday.
The meeting chaired by Senator Moula Bakhsh Chandio, was also participated by Senator Osman Saifullah Khan, Senator Mufti Abdul Sattar, and Almas Perveen.
read more.
Daily Times

* Bringing unregistered retailers into tax net: value-added textile sector clueless:

The value-added textile sector may have genuine concerns over speedy payment of refunds but it is clueless as to how the Federal Board of Revenue can bring the unregistered retailers into the tax net.

Therefore, the hue and cry being made by the value-added sector in Faisalabad, Karachi and now in Sialkot is useless unless it suggests a way out to control the unregistered persons buying raw material from the spinning and weaving industries.
read more.

* Export-oriented industries: PRGMEA rejects sales tax regime under SRO 154:

The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) on Thursday rejected sales tax regime for export-oriented industries under SRO 154.

PRGMEA central chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas, in a statement issued here on Thursday, asked the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry’s regional office to stand up for the cause of industry.

He said that majority of the woven and knitted garment industry comprises SME’s and are located in Punjab and Lahore is the hub of this trade. He appealed to the LCCI leadership to call the meeting of all zero rated sector trade bodies in Lahore to understand the core issues involved in their stand against SRO 154.  read more.

* SROs: Industry threatens protest; PRGMEA seeks chambers support:

The industry on Thursday outrightly rejected the SROs 98, 140 and 154, and threatened to launch a series of mega protests allover the country, which will be backed by the exporters and manufacturers of Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalbad, Multan and Karachi if a forced implementation of widely-opposed and controversial SROs was made.

Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry president Sheikh Abdul Majeed, while addressing a press conference, warned the government of countrywide agitation against discriminatory taxation which will stick up at least Rs.200 billion of only value-added textile sector in the form of refund claims.  read more.
The Nation Newspaper Pakistan

* Cotton production: estimated at 14.1 million bales, Senate body told:

Pakistan estimated 14.1 million bales cotton production with 7 percent increase for the upcoming season against the target of 13.3 million bales set for the outgoing season, Ministry of Textile Industry informed the Senate Standing Committee.

Cotton production for the upcoming season is estimated at 14.1 million bales from 8 million acres against 13.3 million bales cultivated on 7 million acres for the outgoing season, the Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah informed the committee which met with Moula Baksh Chandio in the chair here on Thursday.

Due to water shortage during sowing, floods and rains about one million cotton bales were destroyed during the outgoing season, said cotton commissioner, adding that the target for the outgoing season was less than the preceding year’s output of 13.59 million bales.  read more.


* Obama May Very Well Clean Up The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement:

Tens of thousands of young women guest workers toil
under brutal sweatshop conditions sewing Wal-Mart, Hanes and other labels.

Meeting in Dhaka on February 12, 2012.  Former Classic workers testified that they had witnessed and been victim to sexual abuse and rape at the Classic Fashion in Jordan.

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will land in Amman, Jordan on Friday, March 22, for meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

After 11 years of failure under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, President Obama is moving quickly to end the abuse.  The President had tasked the Office of the United States Trade Representative to bring Jordan into full compliance with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) internationally recognized worker rights standards, including the right to organize genuine and independent unions, and, once and for ll, to end the abuse of young women guest workers.

In 2001, the United States and Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement, allowing export garment factories in Jordan to export duty-free to the U.S.   The tariff breaks were conditioned upon respect for internationally recognized labor rights standards.  In 2012, Jordan exported nearly $1 billion worth of garments to the U.S.
Today, an estimated 79 percent of the workers toiling in Jordan’s garment export factories are guest workers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, China, Burma and Nepal—the overwhelming majority of them young women—work grueling hours, six and seven days a week, while earning just 74 ½ cents an hour.  These workers have no rights.  They are housed in primitive, crowded dorms.  Worst of all, young women guest workers in many factories report that they are sexually abused.
Jordan’s largest garment factory is Classic Fashion in the Al-Hassan industrial park, which produces for Wal-Mart and Hanesbrands.  For years, the young women guest workers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been reporting widespread and horrific sexual abuse.  These reports are corroborated by male co-workers who say they have witnessed the abuse and harassment, often of the youngest, most vulnerable women workers.  This must end!
read more.


* Wage Increases Continue in Low Cost Sourcing Countries:

Most major sourcing countries have seen significant minimum wage increases over the past year and this trend is expected to continue. Where no increase incurred, in places such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, unrest continues. Below is a brief update.

Bangladesh: The minimum monthly wage in Bangladesh stands at around $38. One of the largest buyers of Bangladesh textiles, H&M had urged for wage increases in 2012, to no effect, despite increased despite inflation. Periodic unrest continues
China: According to China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 23 regions across the country increased wage levels in 2012. In 2013, Shenzhen will have the highest minimum wages, at RMB 1,500, followed by Zhejiang at RMB 1,470 and Shanghai at RMB 1,450.
India: Wages increased in many regions in India, such as Delhi which saw a 5% increase to Rs 7,020 (US $130) for unskilled, Rs, 7,748 ($144) for semi-skilled and Rs 8,528 (US $158) for skilled labour. Set by each province, minimum wages vary greatly in India, but the trend of increases continues.
Indonesia: A 44% minimum wage increase for workers in Jakarta, to 2.2 million Rupiah (US $ 228) was approved in December 2012, however it has been delayed and protests continue.
Malaysia: Malaysia pledged to bring in a minimum wage of US $300 per month, which will give some 3 million workers an increase averaging 5%.
South Africa: The South African Clothing and Textile Worker’s Union negotiated a 6.76% wage increase in late 2012.
Thailand: Credit Suisse forecasted that wages in Thailand would rise by 10% in 2013 following a 12% increases in 2013.
Vietnam: The Vietnamese prime minister signed a decree on December 4 raising the minimum wage for laborers by 16 to 18 percent, to anywhere between 1.65 million to 2.35 million dong ($79-$113) per month.
read more.


map of Asia


The next newsletter and news bulletin will be published 25 March 2013.


* Philippines’ abaca exports down 22.7% in 2012
* DOLE reminds employers of pay rules for holy week

* FTA to help Vietnam in EU

* Repression at Cambodian garment factory continues
* Minimum hassle: Agreement ends violent factory strike
* Wage increase sewn up
* Cambodia To Increase Monthly Minimum Wage for Garment Workers to US$80
* CNCLP welcome wage offer, others disapprove
* Cambodian Garment Minimum Wage Appears Close to Being Finalised

* Lower Income Group Will Not Be Impacted By GST & Subsidy Rationalisation

* Businesses Leaving Jakarta is Common, says Labor Organization
* Finance Ministry Refuses to Budge on Social Security Premium

* 10 injured as N`ganj garments workers clash with cops
* Demand for BD female RMG workers rising abroad
* Swiss retailer says ‘toxic’ shoes were NOT made in Bangladesh
* Wal-Mart’s zero tolerance on compliance issues
* Despite odds, US garment retailer hikes orders by 25 %
* China plays down impact of cotton reserves, yarn duty talk
* Muhith orders reopening closed Hallmark factories
* Staggering loss to business and investment

* Southern millers want export plans dropped
* Apparel exporters in Tirupur welcome State Budget
* Textile traders’ loss put at Rs. 20 crore
* Silent procession by textile traders
* Cotton crop worldwide seen falling
* Abolish import duty on raw silk, say weavers

* Meeting of Senate body on textile industry
* Bringing unregistered retailers into tax net: value-added textile sector clueless
* Export-oriented industries: PRGMEA rejects sales tax regime under SRO 154
* SROs: Industry threatens protest; PRGMEA seeks chambers support
* Cotton production: estimated at 14.1 million bales, Senate body told

* Obama May Very Well Clean Up The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement

* Wage Increases Continue in Low Cost Sourcing Countries

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