23:49:16 local time CHINA
* Labor, no education:
Recalling the English words marked on parts or logos of jeans she worked on, Tang Shuxiu, 53, once a model worker at Nanjing Turbine and Electric Machinery Group in Jiangsu Province, never thought her skills at work would one day be of use in a “reeducation through labor” center.
Tang was put into Jiangsu provincial labor reeducation center for women for a one-year stretch starting from April 6, 2011 after she kept petitioning to be given an apartment in Nanjing city center, as promised by her company.
“I still remember the screams of inmates at the center as they were beaten by older inmates who were drug traffickers. They sounded like frightened and wounded animals and their voices scared me to the bone,” Tang said, describing how long-term inmates beat newcomers who slowed down on the assembly line.
She joined hundreds of women at the labor camp working day and night making jeans and toys.
Disposed materials outside the center tags used for shoes. Photo: Liu Linlin/GT
A man surnamed Zhu who lives near the center told the Global Times that he learned the center was producing shoes and tent canvasses for private businesses who not only put in orders with the center’s authorities but would also sometimes visit the center to check up on their order. read more.
* Surging wages ‘threaten economy’s competitiveness’:
China’s surging wages and other costs are showing signs of undermining the competitiveness of the nation’s economy, threatening its growth potential, the Asian Development Bank said.
Average inflation-adjusted wages have more than tripled in a decade, and non-wage costs for procedures such as hiring and firing have risen since the introduction of a 2008 labor law, the ADB said in a report published on Tuesday.
The labor market is being squeezed across the nation as the pool of working-age people shrank last year. to read.
00:49:16 local time NORTH KOREA
* Kaesong companies stand to lose millions over shutdown:
Many of them uninsured, companies seeking some way to restart production in joint industrial complex
Tenant businesses in the Kaesong Industrial Complex are despondent after North Korea pulled out its workers amid increasingly frigid relations with Seoul.
“There have been problems in the past, but this is first time the workers haven’t come to work,” said the president of one company while attending a Apr. 9 meeting of businesses to figure out a solution. “It’s pretty much over now,” they continued. “With this kind of disruption to production, it will be impossible to regain [customer] trust even if things start moving again.”
If the complex is shuttered, tenant companies stand to shoulder losses of up to tens of million dollars each. As of late December, the 123 businesses had received government approval for investments totaling 579.8 billion won, or about US$509 million. Sixteen of them, including Taesung Industry and Romanson, had investments of more than 10 billion won (US$8.7 million).
The money will have to be written off if the Kaesong complex closes. Ninety-three of the companies currently have economic cooperation insurance, but even then the maximum payout is 7 billion won (US$6.1 million). The other 30 companies have no insurance. read more.
22:49:16 local time VIET NAM
* Workers strike against mistreatment in Hanoi industrial park:
Nearly one thousand workers went on strike on April 8 against alleged mistreatment and the unreasonable policies of a Korean company in Hanoi.
Doojung Vietnam – cosmetic
The workers at Doojung Vietnam, located in Phu Nghia Industrial Park, Chuong My District, said they had been forced to work extra 110 to 120 hours per month, with no vacations or breaks.
One worker, Nguyen Thi Nhat said, “I was paid only an extra VND18,000 (USD0.86) an hour for my overtime work.”. According to the contract I signed, I could take off Sundays but had to then work from 7am Saturday to 8am Sunday.”
Another worker at the plant said, “We are all so exhausted from the job, but whenever somebody asked for a reduction in overtime they were fired,” adding that any employee who requested time off for weddings, family issues or sickness, they were also terminated. read more.
* Textile sector continues to grow in second quarter:
Deputy General Director of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) Le Tien Truong said that the textile sector would continue to grow during the second quarter of this year at an online briefing on production and trade during the first quarter recently held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).
22:49:16 local time THAILAND
* THE LINK- Supply chain smile … or … Supply chain dangerous:
t’s always important to know your odds when dealing with new business partners, ventures or trading relationships. In fact there are many parallels with the story lines of many famous Bangkok “noir” novels that can make the supply chain business environment quite exciting _ if not one of constant intrigue and challenge.
The connection with fiction: I have the pleasure to be involved in hosting a forthcoming fiction writers’ night, and on meeting some of Bangkok’s master thriller authors I have often been led to make comparisons between my own profession and the “reality” of their novels.
Noir fiction is very popular in Bangkok where I live. It is popularly described as a literary genre in which the protagonist is not a detective, but instead is either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. A typical protagonist is dealing with legal, political or other relationships that are no less corrupt than the perpetrator’s own standards. As in real-life supply chain scenarios, the protagonist is either victimised and/or finds himself having to bully or muscle others on a daily basis, leading to lose-lose outcomes. (Many retail buyers and logistics contract managers will identify with this.) read more.
22:49:16 local time CAMBODIA
* ILO Better Factories Cambodia 29th Synthesis Report:
Fire Safety Violations Increase in Garment and Footwear Factories
ILO-Better Factories Cambodia 29th Synthesis Report:
Urgent attention must be given to fire safety in the Cambodian garment and footwear industry according to a new report released by the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program (BFC).
BFC’s 29th Synthesis Report on Working Conditions in Cambodia’s Garment Sector released today finds a worrying increase in fire safety violations. The number of factories abiding by the legal requirement to keep access paths free of obstructions unprecedentedly decreased by 30% to 57% compliance during the reporting period.
“Our report findings demonstrate that improvements are not being made in many key areas of working conditions and this is likely to be in large part due to the rapid growth of the industry. However, growth should not result in an increase in non-compliance among factories in an area as intrinsic to worker safety as having clear access pathways”: said Jill Tucker, Chief Technical Advisor of ILO-Better Factories Cambodia. read more.
23:49:16 local time SINGAPORE
* World Retail Congress says – ‘Rethink growth strategy’:
Understanding local markets, putting customers at the centre of business and strengthening competitive advantage are key success factors for retailers in the burgeoning Asian markets, said speakers at the recent World Retail Congress Asia Pacific 2013.
While the Chinese market and technology remain top of mind, this year retailers are also focusing on how to manage and meet changing customer expectations, as well as creating a seamless experience across multiple consumer touch points.
23:49:16 local time INDONESIA
* Minister supports employers` desire to set wages for workers:
Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa has supported the idea that minimum wages for laborers should be decided based on the productivity and capability of the company.
“The minimum wages for laborers should be decided by the bipartite body. We in the government should only indicate the lowest limit,” Hatta said after attending a dialog organized during the Ninth National Congress of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) here on Tuesday. read more.
21:49:16 local time BANGLA DESH
* Relieve us, hold dialogue: BGMEA:
The readymade garment (RMG) buyers have lost their courage to come to Bangladesh despite their willingness due to security concerns casting a serious bad impact on the RMG export, BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam said here on Wednesday.
“Enough is enough…kindly relieve us from this situation. Buyers aren’t coming to Bangladesh…they’re being asked not to come here due to political unrest,” he told reporters after a meeting with Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at the Secretariat.
He said they requested the buyers to be there at the airports from where they will be safely picked up. “But they’re not agreeing fearing untoward incidents.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Political chaos hinders apparel markets’ diversification:
Efforts by the country’s apparel manufacturers to diversify their export destinations by exploring new ones are likely to face a serious blow due to the ongoing political turmoil, industry people said early this week.
The country’s troubled polity with its fractious nature and confrontational character is sending negative signals to the global community, impairing its image at abroad, they observed.
Export growth of apparel products to the new markets, they added, is likely to show a declining trend in the coming days, as buyers from new markets are getting a negative report because of the political turbulence in the country. read more.
* Buyers worried over political instability, meet BGMEA leaders April 17:
Manufacturers of readymade garments (RMG) will meet representatives of global buyers in Dhaka on April 17 to respond to their worries over constraints to smooth supply.
The buyers are concerned over the country’s ongoing political turmoil, industry circles said Wednesday. read more.
* Hall-Mark scam: Old thoughts and new dimensions:
The mystery of Tk-36-billion Hall-Mark scam continues to deepen with new twists and turns at an incredibly rapid pace.
The ambivalence over this biggest heist in the banking arena, that started off with ‘touch him not’ stance, is once again reflected in an ambitious scheme reportedly envisioned at some quarters to let the perpetrator of the heist off the hook, restructure his outstanding loans, empower him with new bank loan to start his life and business all over again.
This scheme, it is argued, will enable him to use the company’s income-generating assets, especially of the garment sector, to scoop up enough income to repay its dues to the bank. read more.
* Global Supply Chain Workers Pressure Walmart to Get Serious About Labor Conditions:
At First-Ever Meeting, Workers Release Core Principles to Ensure Safe and Legal Working Conditions
In an unprecedented meeting, workers from Walmart’s global supply chain gathered Tuesday to release core principles that would ensure basic labor standards in the megaretailer’s global supply chain.
The meeting was timed to correspond with the arrival of two Bangladeshi garment workers to Southern California. One, 19-year-old Sumi Abedin, jumped out of a burning factory that produced clothes for Walmart. The November 2012 fire killed 112 people. The New York Times reported that Walmart played the lead role in blocking increased fire safety protections at Bangladeshi garment factories the year before, claiming the cost would be too high.
Over the course of 2012, guestworkers, factory workers and warehouse workers exposed deadly, unsafe and illegal conditions inside Walmart’s contracted facilities. In response to pressure from workers’ groups, Walmart has accepted responsibility for conditions in its supply chain, but the company’s own solutions fail to uphold its basic standards and the law. read more.
* Walmart asks apparel exporters to disclose supplier list by April 15:
Walmart , the world’s largest retailer, has given its suppliers an ultimatum to disclose by April 15 which factories they work with, and says it will sever ties with those that subcontract work without telling Wal-Mart.
The compnay has donated $1.6 million (£1.04 million), to part-fund a Bangladesh training centre to help improve the country’s garment factory conditions, different agencies report.
On the part of Walmart, it would be the biggest push yet to try to improve conditions at factories that produce its clothing after a fire at a Bangladesh factory last year killed 112 people, says Reuters.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
21:19:16 local time INDIA
* Get ready to pay more for garments: Textile industry:
Prices of garments could increase by 10 to 15%, say captains of the textile industry, attributing it to the constant increase in prices of cotton yarn. Industrialists feel the government needs to check the increase in prices of raw material.
“The prices of cotton yarn are increasing constantly and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the cost of the yarn has increased on an average by over Rs30 in the past few days. If the same trend continues, it is going to have an impact on the prices of garments,” says Vinod Thapar, Chairman, Knitwear Club.
He further informed that the government should impose a cap on exports of the raw material so that the same is available to the indigenous industry on reasonable prices, which would ensure end-users also get the benefit. As of now, the industry is unable to translate the advantage of the waiver of the 12.5 per cent excise duty to the customers because of the rise in yarn prices. read more.
* Textile industry upbeat over FTA between India, EU:
The textile entrepreneurs and exporters in the city are upbeat as the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and European Union (EU), negotiations for which are currently taking place, will boost their trade in the coming days.
Sources said that EU is the important export destination for the textile garments and fabrics manufactured in India, including the synthetic fabrics manufactured in Surat, the country’s biggest man-made fibre hub. Presently, EU levies an import duty of 9.6 per cent on garments and five percent on other textile items from India, which would end as soon as the FTA is inked.
India is the third largest exporter of textile products to the EU after China, Turkey and Bangladesh. In 2012, the country exported around $7 billion worth of textile goods and apparels to EU. read more.
* Textile Ministry unable to decide on banning cotton export:
Registration for cotton exports is all set to cross the exportable surplus of 80 lakh bales (170 kg each) estimated by the Cotton Advisory Board.
But, the Textile Ministry is undecided on whether it should ban exports or release part of the stocks held by the Cotton Corporation of India in the domestic market to cool prices.
“Placing a ban on cotton exports is a politically sensitive issue. Last year, the ban created a lot of bad blood between Textile and the Agriculture ministries. We do not want a repeat of that,” a Textile Ministry official told Business Line. read more.
* Three-hour noon break for workers:
Manual labourers working in shift duty between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. will be given a respite from 12 noon to 3 p.m. considering the health problems on getting exposed to the summer heat, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John has said.
Replying to an adjournment motion on the inaction of the government in tackling the drought by M. Chandran [CPI(M)] in the Assembly on Wednesday, Mr. John said the Labour Department had given directions as per the Minimum Wages Act that those working on 12-hour shift should be given an interval between 12 noon and 3 p.m. when the heat reached its peak.
Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph said those engaged under the MGNREGS too would get the break. to read.
* Sachin textile mill fined Rs 35 lakh for the illegal usage of irrigation water:
Over 72 textile dyeing and processing units in the Sachin GIDC have been held responsible for the illegal water supply scam from the Sachin-Talangpore canal.
The Sachin Notified Area Authority (SNAA) has slapped water bills worth Rs 35 lakh to adjust the loss of the irrigation water meant for the farmers, on Tuesday.
Sources said that the textile dyeing and printing mill owners in Sachin GIDC have been asked to deposit Rs 50000 each with the SNAA against the usage of water supplied from the Sachin-Talangpore canal.
The decision was taken after the notified area authority was issued an additional water bill by the GIDC, for the loss of water in the canal. However, the difference amount of the bill was passed over to the mill owners against their annual water bills.
* Retailers call for yarn, fabric makers’ participation in Better Cotton Initiative:
Leading brands and retailers look to rope in spinners and fabric makers for the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) which so far has seen participation from farmers and ginners alone.
Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the International Conference on Cotton at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), representatives of Arvind Ltd and Mafatlal Industries talked about the need for participation of the spinning, fabric and garmenting industry in the BCI in India. read more.
* Cotton crop estimated at 35.1 mn bales in 2012-13 season: CAI:
The Cotton Association of India (CAI) on Wednesday said it has placed the cotton crop for the season 2012-13 at 35.1 million bales as against 37.3 million bales in 2011-12.
CAI has placed the cotton crop for the season 2012-13 at 35.1 million bales, the association said after releasing its March estimates (as on March 31, 2013) of the cotton crop for the season 2012-13.
The projected balance sheet drawn by CAI for 2012-13 estimated the total cotton supply at 41.9 million bales, while the domestic consumption is estimated at 27.5 million bales, thus leaving an available surplus of 14.42 million bales, CAI President Dhiren Sheth said in a statement. read more.
21:19:16 local time SRI LANKA
* ‘2013 apparel target US$4.1bn,’ vows Rishad:
As Sri Lanka draws near ‘Y2015 apparel target’ while battling defiant int’l markets, it also is closing in on its $4 Bn resolute apparel exports goal, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.
Also, Sri Lanka is to link its SME apparel sector shipments to the global ASYCUDA e-system by next month. “We are steadily approaching the 2015 target of $ 4 Bn apparel exports, set by the Mahinda Chinthana and to this end, already achieved $ 3.8 Bn exports in 2012. And this year we are aiming at an apparel exports revenue of $4.1 B,” vowed Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 09 April.
Bathiudeen was addressing the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparels (SLITA) Awards 2013 event on 09 April at the BMICH. read more.
20:49:16 local time PAKISTAN
* Gas outages: textile products export may hardly fetch $12 billion: TMA chief:
Export of textile products is faced with an alarming situation due to gas outages. It may hardly achieve dollars 12 billion as against dollars 14 billion achieved last year.
Chairman, Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMA), Mehtabuddin Chawala said “during winter we were assured by the concerned authorities that during summer the supply of gas to industries will be normalised and even weekly closure will be waived off and complaint of low pressure of gas in industries will also be over but industries, unfortunately, are facing same situation and on top of that two weekly holidays have been announced by SSGCL.”
It was really a bizarre situation, he said that although government realised gas shortages on the one hand and had banned new connections to industries, but on the other hand, it had recently issued licenses to 200 new CNG stations which, “in our opinion, is not justified particularly to export-oriented industries which not only fetch foreign exchange but generate employments as well and add to national kitty”.
* APTMA demands reduction in interest rate by 150 basis points:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) demands reduction in interest rate by 150 basis points in the upcoming monetary policy, likely to be announced tomorrow. Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir, along with Group Leader APTMA Gohar Ejaz, urged the central bank to further ease its policy rate as textile Sector has invested $400 million in new technology in last six months as the Central Bank gradually eased its monetary policy.
He said double digit mark-up has ruined the growth of textile industry amidst unprecedented energy crisis. The State Bank of Pakistan brought down the rate from 13.5 percent to 9.5 percent in last one year, textile exports have responded in the shape of exponential exports, growing by 8 percent this fiscal, added the APTMA leadership. He said after almost five years the industry has invested in balancing modernization. read more. & read more. & read more.
* Textile sector invests Rs41b due to 3pc cut in policy rate:
The textile industry on Wednesday called for regionally competitive interest rates, urging the State Bank of Pakistan, which is announcing its key policy rate on Friday, to bring discount rate down to 8 per cent to counter weak growth and revive fresh, private investment in the economy to create jobs.
The manufacturers argued that only textile sector has borrowed more than Rs41 billion from banking sector to make investment, acquiring latest machinery for the growth of industry during last six months due to hefty cut of 3 per cent in policy rate from 13.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent in last one year. read more.
* Textile sector asks outgoing envoys to build Pakistan’s image:
The business community of Faisalabad – the textile hub of the country – suggested to Pakistan’s outgoing envoys to Thailand, Uzbekistan and Cambodia to promote the country’s pro-business image and encourage textile exports from Pakistan. This was proposed in a meeting held with Pakistan’s outgoing ambassadors at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.
Addressing the meeting, Ambassador designate of Pakistan to Thailand Sohail Khan said that the foreign ministry had set a unique example of sending designated ambassadors to various chambers of commerce so that they could identify the economic problems and play their role in resolving them during their posting.
He said that more than 60% of world trade was regional trade and that Pakistan must exploit the benefits of geographical proximity coupled with cultural and religious similarities. read more.
* Say NO to Clothing Sweatshops :
Clothing Sweatshops are a global social problem that have an unacceptable negative impact directly on the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers and their communities, but this does not have to be, and should not remain the status quo. As a general statement, it is said that “sweatshops provide employment for unskilled workers who would not otherwise have a job, and boycotting certain clothing labels accused of sweatshop abuse can lead to endangering entire communities”. But this statement is an excuse, not a reason for the continued existence of sweatshops, and there needs to be fundamental change for the better to the total disregard for human life by big clothing companies. Sadly, it takes the loss of life from garment factory fires or carcinogenic chemicals or the devastation of rural communities from toxic pollutants, to bring about change.
Consumer pressure is the catalyst which brings about change
Consumers are not purposely unethical when it comes to their clothing purchases, they are simply uninformed. This is not a criticism, it is a simple fact. And, of course, they are influenced by clever marketing which has seen global clothing production and consumption ramped up by the new phenomenon of “fast fashion”, a production strategy developed by large retailers which brings the latest trends to the masses, fast and cheaply.
But “fast fashion” comes at a cost: an increase in poorly made disposable garments, leading to increased landfill, high social cost for factory workers, and cheaper textiles which consume more toxic chemicals and exacerbate environmental damage. if consumers were aware that many sweatshops employ child labour, deny workers the right to organise or join a union, where sexual harassment is common for the female workers, ( who make up more than 80% of the total workforce ), and are forced by factory managers to endure poor working conditions and long hours, change would be faster. Many large clothing manufacturers and retailers have already been embarrassed by consumer pressure groups to make positive change.