in the news on-line, 13 May 2013

13:20:49 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* More businesses will die if they’re forced to raise workers’ wages:

Businesses have voiced their concern over the implementation of the new wage policy. Some of them said they would cut down the labor force to cut down expenses.

The Vietnamese Labor Code taken effects since May 1 stipulates that the minimum wage policy must ensure the income high enough to cover the basic needs of workers and their families.

At present, the minimum wages just can cover 60 percent of the workers’ basic needs. This means that businesses would have to pay higher for the wage funds.
The labor code has made businesses worried sick. The businesses have got exhausted in the struggle to survive the current difficulties, would bear a heavier burden with the new wage policy. This could be the “final straw” which leads the pale businesses to death.  read more.
VNNet

* Vietnamese labor force is cheap or expensive? :

The Richest has put Vietnam into the list of the five markets with the cheapest labor cost in the world with $0.39 per hour. However, the actual labor cost could be higher.

The salary and the income
With the average pay of $0.39 per hour as reported by The Richest, every Vietnamese worker receives VND1.687 million a month for a 8-hour working day and 26 working days a month. The level is equal to the minimum wage being applied in the region 4 (VND1.650 million).

The Region 4 is the remote and underdeveloped area. Meanwhile, the other regions (1,2 and 3) have the minimum wages of VND2.35 million a month.
However, the pay mechanism in Vietnam is quite complicated. There exist the big differences between the minimum wage and basic wage and the laborers’ income.

Minimum wage is understood as the floor wage set up to protect the laborers in disadvantageous conditions. It has been referred to when calculating the social insurance premiums enterprises and laborers have to pay.
Basic wage is calculated by the product of the minimum wage and the coefficient, plus allowances (lunch fee, petrol for motorbikes and telecom fees…). read more.
VNNet

* Cotton yarn mill operational in Binh Duong:

A cotton yarn mill was put into operation in the southern province of Binh Duong on May 10 after more than 10 months of construction on the first phase of the facility.

The initial phase received 40 million USD of investment from Kyungbang Vietnam Limited Liability Company under the Kyungbang Group, one of the leading yarn and fabric manufacturers in the Republic of Korea . read more.
VIETNAMplus

13:20:49 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Work safety progress ‘slow’:

Little progress has been made to improve workplace safety since the Kader toy factory fire which killed 188 workers, a seminar was told yesterday.
(Friday)

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the country’s worst ever workplace accident.
A total of 188 people died and more than 400 were injured in the fire at the Kader Industrial toy plant in Nakhon Pathom in 1993.
Many of the victims were young women from impoverished rural families who died because walkways leading out of the factory were locked or blocked, and the narrow ground-floor exits were jammed shut.
read more.
Bangkok Post Logo

13:20:49 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodian garment workers fight for higher wages:

In the last two weeks, garment workers in Cambodia have pressed for higher wages. On May Day, thousands of workers protested against the small proposed minimum wage increase of US$80/month instead of the present US$61/month.

Workers are demanding that the minimum be increased to a living wage of US$150/month, while there are ongoing strikes in some factories over the continuing problem of unpaid wages. Garment workers are now facing a new threat of increased rents from landlords wanting to exploit the fact that workers have had a small wage increase. read more.

* Bangladesh Garment Industry Disaster: Lessons for Cambodia? :

As the death toll in Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster soared to 1006, as more bodies were evacuated from the rubble of a collapsed nine-storey building outside the capital Dhaka, according to the AFP, the impact could have important implications for the industry here in Cambodia.

Already international pressure is growing on western clothing brands that outsource to contract manufacturers in Bangladesh in the wake of the deadly building collapse. The usual suspects, such as Oxfam have seized the opportunity to demand all companies involved in Bangladesh manufacturing take responsibility by being more transparent about their practices in the country.

“International brands must take responsibility for what has happened there,” said Laila Blanch from War on Want (WoW), which has launched an online petition against high street brands Primark, Matalan and Mango. “They outsourced the production to countries such as Bangladesh and China because of the lowest wages in the world,” she said, accusing them of ignoring “very poor health and safety standards.”  read more.
PENHPAL

14:20:49 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* Dystar division helps to prepare ‘Discharge Data Report’:

Sustainable Textile Solutions, a rapidly-growing business division of DyStar, acted as a service provider for the “Discharge Data Report” that was recently launched by C&A, H&M and G-Star.

In response to the Greenpeace Detox campaign, a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) by 2020. This led to the development of Joint Roadmap in 2011, which involved various specific projects and actions by brands to drive the industry to reach the goal.

As part of the Joint Roadmap, C&A, G-Star and H&M released a “Discharge Data Report” in February 2013. This reports the results from a pilot study which lasted almost a year, and which aimed to verify whether any chemicals from the 11 priority chemical groups could be detected in the wastewater discharge of selected factories in China, Bangladesh and India.   read more
fibre2fashion

14:20:49 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* ‘Slave’ factory owner faces 20 years in prison:

Tangerang kitchenware factory owner Yuki Irawan and the firm’s four foremen, who all allegedly deprived 34 workers and tortured them, are facing 20 years in prison, following additional charges.

Tangerang regency Police detectives chief Comr. Shinto Silitonga said on Thursday that the police had prepared four additional charges for the five suspects.
They have been charged with Article 24 of the 1984 Industry Law for allegedly operating without obtaining an Industrial Registration Notice or Industrial License; Article 88 of the 2002 Child Protection Law for allegedly employing minors; Article 21 of the 2007 Human Trafficking Law for allegedly recruiting, deceiving and exploiting workers under threats or violence for economic gains; and Article 372 of the Criminal Code for allegedly committing fraud, with the suspects seizing the belongings of workers and leaving some, if not all, unpaid. read more.
Logo

* Inventory to be made on factories in Tangerang:

Tangerang regency administration will make an inventory on small and medium-scale enterprises in Tangerang starting Monday to prevent any “slavery” work practices following the recent finding of such practice at a wok factory in Lebak Wangi village.

Previously, police released 34 workers from the wok factory managed by CV Sinar Logam after two of its workers escaped and reported the beatings and other cruel practices they had experienced in the factory. read more.
Logo

12:20:49 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Dr Yunus appeals to West to help B’desh’s garment industry:

Nobel laureate and social activist Muhammad Yunus has asked western consumers and businesses to help reform Bangladesh’s booming but unregulated garment industry after the deaths of more than 1,000 people last month in the collapse of a factory on the outskirts of its capital Dhaka.

Writing in the Guardian in his first major intervention since the disaster, Yunus, who founded the pioneering Grameen Bank in Bangladesh 30 years ago and won a joint Nobel prize in 2006, says urgent action is needed to improve the conditions of the estimated 4 million workers in the industry and save lives.

“Today the souls of those who lost their lives … are watching what we are doing and listening to what we say. The last breath of those souls surrounds us,” the 72-year-old economist writes.

Yunus says “there is no sense” in foreign firms “leaving a country which has benefited a great deal from their business” but calls on foreign clothes companies operating in Bangladesh to jointly fix a minimum wage for workers in the industry.
read more.

* Tung Hai fire is act of sabotage: BGMEA:

20130510 TAGESSHAU- Mirpur

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) suspects the fire at Tung Hai Sweater Factory at the capital’s Mirpur was an act of sabotage.

“We think this was an act of sabotage. We want proper investigation into this incident,” said BGMEA President Atiqul Islam on Thursday.
The factory’s Managing Director Mahbubur Rahman, who was also a Director of BGMEA, died in the fire that started just before Wednesday midnight.
read more.
bdnews24

 * Factory fire scare injures 25-30 in N’ganj:

At least 25 workers were injured in a fire panic at a knitting factory at Borpa in Rupganj upazila on Saturday.

Fire service sources said a fire mock-drill was being held on the third floor of Antim Knitting Factory housed in a six-storey building at Borpa near Dhaka-Sylhet Highway in the area.
When fire alarm rang at about 9:30 am, workers of the factory, where 5,000 people are employed, started scrambling down the stairs, leaving 25 of them injured.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo  newstodayBD

* 90% of city buildings risky! :

Speakers at a roundtable meeting claimed that around 90% buildings of the capital are risky as they were built without following proper building code.

They also claimed that the building collapses from Spectrum garments in 2005 to recent Rana Plaza were happened due to “foundation failure”.
The roundtable meeting was jointly organized by ‘Mukta Akash’, Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh and Institution of Architects, Bangladesh at the Institution of Engineers in the city on Saturday.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Govt plans to beef up factory watch:

The government plans to appoint in the next six months more than 2,200 officials of different levels including inspectors to the understaffed Department of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Establishments.

The labour ministry had also started a process to turn the department into a directorate to give it a better shape and strength to supervise a large number of factories and buildings, officials said.
“We have already started the process. We hope we will be able to do the job within the next six months,” Mikail Shipar, labour secretary, told The Daily Star yesterday.
read more.
daily star bd

* Stalemate lingers over garment village:

The delay in acquiring a mere five acres of land has set back the possession of 500 acres to set up the much-needed garment village in Munshiganj, officials said.
It has been nearly eight years since the government took up the plan, after the collapse of Spectrum Garment Factory killed 74 workers in 2005.

“Around five acres in the project area are private lands which owners do not want to sell. The dispute may further delay land acquisition,” said a senior official of the industries ministry.
Most of the land in the project is owned by the government. Also, the private owners are ready to sell their lands. But some baulked.
The garment village project has recently been handed from the industries ministry over to Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) under Prime Minister’s Office, to expedite the process.
“The project is no longer with us and the industries ministry has nothing to do with it,” said Dilip Kumar Saha, joint secretary of the ministry. read more.
daily star bd

* RMG owners ‘need to examine buildings with structural engineers’:

State Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman on Friday said readymade garment (RMG) owners should consult structural engineers for examining their factory buildings and take steps for the required retrofitting. 

“On the aftermath of Savar tragedy, the garment owners are in a fear about the structures. Engineers should convey the message that weak structures can be strengthened through underpinning,” he said.
read more. & read more.  & read more.
  Logo

* 18 RMG factories shut down: GM Kader:

Government has closed down 18 Readymade Garment (RMG) factories due to “faulty construction and cracks that developed in the factory buildings”, said Commerce Minister GM Kader on Sunday.

“While visiting, inspection teams found the buildings risky and closed those down,” Kader said while addressing a press briefing after a meeting at his ministry.
Of the total, 16 factories have been shut down in Dhaka while the rest in Chittagong with the intervention of the government after the nine-storey Savar building collapsed on April 24, the minister mentioned. read more. daily star bd

* BGMEA makes list of 8 Dhaka factories shut on safety grounds:

A total of eight garment units have so far been shut on safety grounds while another four have been given time to rectify their buildings, said a leader of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

After the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar on April 24, which killed more than 1,130 people—most of them garment workers—the government and the BGMEA have started to find out risky building that houses RMG units.
A core committee comprising of experts of BUET and RAJUK and a technical team of BGMEA has already been formed.  read more.

* 943 garment factories don’t follow fire safety rules: GM Quader:

Commerce Minister Ghulam Mohammad Quader on Sunday said that 943 garment factories are defective and don’t follow the rules of fire safety properly.

The Commerce Minister disclosed the figures to reporters after a meeting of social compliances forum on readymade garments held at his ministry conference room.
The social compliances forum on readymade garments has identified the figure after visiting 3,197 garment factories across the country.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
logo banglanews24 Logo bdnews24 

* Govt teams to start factory inspection in Dhaka Saturday:

25 apparel units in Ashulia suspend production as workers bring out rally for pay hike

Eleven teams will start inspecting garment factories in Dhaka on Saturday as part of the government’s efforts to improve the occupational and health safety at the beleaguered apparel sector.

A joint secretary will head each team, which will look into workplace environment, compliance with building codes and fire safety issues, Abdul Latif Siddique, the textiles and jute minister, said at a meeting at the secretariat yesterday.
The decision came at the first meeting of a government panel led by the minister to inspect garment factories for building flaws and recommend steps to correct them.
The minister said he visited 11 garment factories last week. “These are all well-known compliant factories. Still, they seemed very congested.”
He said the inspection teams would give priority to the factories housed in rented buildings, as most accidents took place in the buildings not owned by apparel entrepreneurs.
The minister said the teams would check whether the building owners have added any additional floors beyond the number of floors originally permitted.
read more.
daily star bd

* Building collapse: Accountability in question:

We, who are involved in the disaster management programme, often feel proud to be a global leader in disaster preparedness. However, when incidents like Rana Plaza take place, we ask how ready is our country to face natural and manmade disasters?

Savar has again reminded us that we are not learning from our mistakes. And also that we are not safe anymore because it is too late to right the wrongs we have already done. The same could happen any time, anywhere, causing hundreds of casualties and enormous economic loss in a matter of minutes.
Rana Plaza is just one building that took hundreds of innocent lives; but it might not the only one, because there are thousands of buildings, and more are under construction, forcing people to live in such unsafe conditions waiting for another disaster to happen.  read more.
daily star bd

THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE

20130510

* Woman pulled out alive:

Reshma found almost unhurt, rushed to Savar CMH

Miraculous as it may sound, a woman was rescued alive, almost unhurt, from inside the rubble of Rana Plaza Friday afternoon, the 17th day into the country’s worst building collapse.

Named Reshma, the woman, who clung to life in the basement of the now flattened nine-storey building, was pulled out at 4:25pm as the death toll from the collapse reached 1,043.
With almost no sign of injuries in her body, the woman was whisked off to Combined Military Hospital in Savar.
“She is in good health,” Maj Moazzem Hossain, a member of the army, told a curious army of journalists minutes after the rescue as the welcome news swept through the country.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
daily star bd BSS logo  banglanews24 Logo bdnews24
 

* Bangladesh finds building collapse survivor:

Woman garment worker found alive in rubble of Dhaka building 17 days after it collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people.

Bangladeshi rescuers have found a woman survivor in the rubble of a garment-factory complex in Dhaka which collapsed and killed more than 1,000 people, according to the country’s fire service chief.
read and see more. (video).
aljazeera

* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1055:

The death toll from the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse climbed to 1055 with the recovery of 38 more bodies till Friday night.

The 38 bodies were pulled out of the ruins from 8pm on Thursday till 9pm on Friday, said General Commanding Officer of the 9th Infantry Division Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi.
Of the retrieved bodies, 742 were handed over to the families and kept at the morgues of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and Mitford Medical College Hospital.
read more.

* 2 RMG factory owners sent to jail- Capital punishment sought :

A Dhaka court has sent the owners of two readymade garment factories to jail after their remand in connection with the two cases filed over the collapse of Rana Plaza, that has so far claimed over 1,000 lives, ended.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh on Friday rejected bail pleas of the accused.
New Wave Bottoms Chairman Bazlus Samad Adnan, 45, and its Managing Director Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, 48, were sent on a 12-day remand, two days after the nine-storied block caved in. The following day, Aminul Islam, 50, Chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd, and Phantom Tek Ltd was sent on an 11-day remand in the same cases.  read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24  logo

 20130511

* Hope regained:

Rescuers suspend using heavy equipment after miraculous rescue of Reshma

With the rescue operation into its 17th day, little did the rescuers think about pulling any more survivors out of the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza.

But much to their surprise, there was Reshma alive yesterday. The young female garment worker was rescued, almost unhurt, in the afternoon.
The death toll from the country’s deadliest building collapse has reached to 1,058, as 45 more bodies were recovered as of filing this report today at 1:50am.
Besides, 2,438 people have been rescued alive so far, according to army control room in Savar.
Hoping to find out some more survivors, the rescuers yesterday suspended using heavy equipment, which they had employed on April 28, three days after the disaster hit the high rise in Savar.  read more.
daily star bd

* Reshma: A ray of hope for Bangladesh amid ruins:

“I called but nobody heard me. I heard noises, but nobody listened to me.” But when a rescue worker finally heard her faint cries 17 days after the collapse of her factory, Reshma became an instant heroine, a ray of hope for a nation numbed by one of world’s worst industrial disasters.

Details about how the seamstress survived the cave-in that killed more than 1,000 people have yet to emerge, but rescuers said the 18-year-old clung to life with dried food and a bottle of water.
In a narrow pocket in the pancaked building, she found three other survivors. They died one after another but Reshma battled on.  read more.
logo

* Rescuers pull out 24 more bodies:

Rescuers pulled out 24 more bodies from the debris of the Rana Plaza in the early hours of Saturday when the Savar tragedy stepped into 18th consecutive day.

With the recovery, the death toll from the nine-storey Savar building collapse reached 1,082.
The bodies were recovered between 2:00am and 9:40am, according to the sources of army control room set up in the disaster site.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd     banglanews24 Logo logo  BSS

* Maimed, they look to bleak future:

Mariam Akter snapped at her husband for the way he was combing her long, unkempt hair. Her spouse, Hamidul Islam, propped up her head and began combing, now softly.

“This is the first time I tried to help her brush her hair,” said Hamidul, standing next to Mariam’s bed at Pongu hospital, where Mariam and 105 other survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster are being treated.
Hamidul feels lucky that Mariam has survived the collapse that killed more than 1,000 people and injured scores, many of them maimed for life.
Mariam worked as a helper at a garment factory on the third floor of the nine-storey building, and has had her right arm and leg broken in the collapse.
Relatives of other injured were also seen taking care of their loved ones on Sunday evening. Every bed at wards C and D of the hospital is occupied by the victims of the April 24 tragedy, bearing testimony to the greed and callousness of some factory and building owners.
All around the room in these wards, wounded workers lay bandaged or amputated. Some will never walk again normally.  read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors feel deceived:

Hundreds of apparel workers who used to work at the readymade garment (RMG) factories housed in the now-ruined Rana Plaza are feeling deceived as they see no sign of getting their unpaid wages and overtime bills.

Standing in queues from morning to evening every day at the practice ground since Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started paying the wages, most of the workers found out that they were not on the list of those who are to be paid.
“It’s a problematic and incomplete list. You see most of the workers are not finding their names in it,” said Muslima Khatun, a worker, on Friday.

Muslima turned absolutely fidgety after her three days’ efforts to get the dues went in vain. “They (???)

Chairman of the BGMEA Standing Committee for Labour, Education and Welfare Abdul Ahad Ansari told UNB: “We have a list of 3617 workers – dead and alive – who used to work in the factories of Rana Plaza. I think it’s almost a complete list. We can expect only 20-50 more entries in it.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
logo

* 78 bodies of Savar collapse victims to be buried today:

Seventy-eight unclaimed bodies retrieved from the ruins of the collapsed eight-story Rana Plaza at suburb Savar will be buried today in the city’s Jurain Graveyard.

“A total of 76 bodies retrieved from the collapse of Savar building will be buried in Jurain Graveyard today, ” Sarwar Jahan, deputy director (service) of Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam told BSS today.
“Thirty-four of the corpses, which were received 34 bodied from Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, will be buried within a hour,” he said adding that the bodies which have been kept at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital will be buried later.
read more. & read more.
BSS 

* Primark to compensate Savar victims under NGO scale:

British retailer Primark will pay compensation to the victims of the Savar building collapse as per a framework recognized by aid organizations, unions and trade associations.

Earlier, the British company, whose clothes were made in the collapsed building, said it would compensate workers who had been making its clothes and their families.
A recognised framework for paying compensation already exists, having been developed by trade unions and trade associations to deal with situations such as this.  This framework has been accepted by leading NGOs.
read more. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo  BSS  daily star bd

 20130512

* Death toll rises to 1121:

The death toll from the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar reached 1,121 by 10:00pm on Saturday as the rescue job ran to the 18th day with 67 more bodies being pulled out between midnight past Friday and Saturday evening.

The rescuers, who reached the ground floor on Saturday, were hoping to wrap up the rescue job on May 15, officials told New Age.
‘We will wrap up the rescue job when we will not find any bodies inside the debris after searching the entire wreckage,’ Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, the chief coordinator of the rescue operation, at a briefing at Savar said.
Executive magistrate Shahed Iqbal at the district administration control room said that 1,109 bodies had so far been recovered from the rubble of Rana Plaza which collapsed in the morning on April 24. The eight-storey building housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank.

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
  banglanews24 Logo  BSS   bdnews24 daily star bd

* No return to ‘happy’ life:

Life was a losing battle for Reshma but finally it showed some sympathy towards her after Rana Plaza in Savar collapsed along with her.

Reshma, from Ghoraghat of Dinajpur, lost her father at the age of three. She married someone who she had chosen to be with for the rest of her life around two years ago but the marriage did not last. She had to get separated in the face of continuous torture for dowry.
Family members, former colleagues and her house owner yesterday revealed her sad story to The Daily Star as she was undergoing treatment at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Savar outside Dhaka.
Reshma is the youngest among five siblings and was brought up by her mother, said Reshma’s cousin Ambia Khatun.

Reshma’s sister Asma, who is a garment worker, brought her to Savar around two and a half years ago and helped her find a job in a textile mills there.
Within a few months, Reshma got into a relationship with Abdur Razzak, a garment worker, who used to reside with the sisters in a sublet accommodation.  Going against the family she married Razzak, said Asma.
Razzak used to torture Reshma regularly in their rented house on Savar Bazar Road, said Hazera Begum, the owner of the house,
Reshma had come to the mills several times, bearing marks of torture and without having breakfast, said Abu Hanif, a former colleague and neighbour of Reshma, standing in front of CMH. read more.
daily star bd

* Many victims’ not inlcuded in BGMEA list:

Hundreds of apparel workers who used to work at the readymade garment (RMG) factories housed in the now-ruined Rana Plaza are feeling deceived as they see no sign of getting their unpaid wages and overtime bills.

Standing in queues from morning to evening every day at the practice ground since Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started paying the wages, most of the workers found out that they were not on the list of those who are to be paid.
“It’s a problematic and incomplete list. You see most of the workers are not finding their names in it,” said Muslima Khatun, a worker, on Friday. Muslima turned absolutely fidgety after her three days’ efforts to get the dues went in vain.
“They Chairman of the BGMEA Standing Committee for Labour, Education and Welfare Abdul Ahad Ansari told UNB: “We’ve a list of 3617 workers – dead and alive – who used to work in the factories of Rana Plaza. I think it’s almost a complete list. We can expect only 20-50 more entries in it.” read more.
Logo

Protest demanding Rana’s capital punishment – Several RMG units in Ashulia suspend production:

A number of readymade garment factories in Ashulia industrial belt, on the outskirts of the capital, suspended their production for Sunday in the face of workers’ unrest.

Hundreds of RMG workers staged demonstration at Jamgara area of Ashulia for nearly two hours demanding capital punishment to Sohel Rana, owner of the building that collapsed on April 24, trapping several thousand people, mostly garment workers, inside it. The death toll from the Savar building collapse reached 1,119 till Sunday morning.
The workers were also demonstrating for their salary hike.

The owners of a number of RMG factories in Ashulia have suspended production for today (Sunday) as workers continue their demonstration, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).Hundreds of workers of different readymade garment factories came out of their units in Jamgara area and staged demonstration for nearly two hours from 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukherjee, additional superintendent of police in Dhaka.  read more.
daily star bd

 20130513

* Death toll rises to 1126:

The death toll from the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar reached 1,126 by 8:00pm on Sunday as the rescue job ran to the 19th day with only three bodies being pulled out between midnight past Saturday and Sunday evening.

Rescuers, meanwhile, on the day searched the major portion of the basement and continued with their final search of bodies to wrap up the operation as soon as possible, the officials said.
The rescuers estimated there could hardly be more than 10 more bodies still buried under the rubble.
Additional number of excavators and bulldozers were working to remove
the slabs from the basement where a number of vehicles were also buried in the debris, rescuers said.
read more. read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.
   banglanews24 Logo bdnews24 BSS  newstodayBD 

* A few expected left:

Rescue reaches final stage

The possibility of finding more bodies under the wreckage of the ill-fated Rana Plaza narrows, as the rescue operation enters the final stage.

Brig Gen Azmal Kabir, commander of 14 independent engineer brigade at Dhaka cantonment, told The Daily Star yesterday that the rescue operation had entered the final stage with the rescuers reaching the basement.
“The front side of the basement is waterlogged. Once we remove the water, we will be able to clearly see whether any body is still trapped in the basement. I hope it will not take much time to finish the job,” he said.
Three more bodies were pulled out of the debris yesterday, the 19th day into the building collapse in Savar, raising the death toll to 1,120.
Many of the bodies had decomposed beyond recognition, as those had remained trapped under the wreckage for days. At least 234 unidentified bodies have been buried so far at Jurain graveyard in the capital.  read more.
daily star bd

* Call for memorial at Rana Plaza site:

Survivors, families of the people who died in the Rana Plaza building collapse and labour leaders demanded that the government should set up a memorial at the collapse site to commemorate the disaster, which has so far left more than 1,100 people dead.

Labour leaders and others feared that the land would be reoccupied for other purposes after the rescue operation was wrapped up.
‘No business establishment should be built on the
land. A memorial should be set up in commemoration of the disaster,’ Sufia Khatun, mother of Anika Khatun of Kushtia who died in the incident, told New Age on Sunday.
read more.

* Ode to Savar bravehearts:

They braved the odds. At a time when confusion was all around, they came forward to show their sense of humanity. Risking life, they took up the daunting task of finding the survivors and the dead and went deep into the dark of the rubble.

“When I entered the building for the first time around four hours after its collapse [on April 24], it was like entering a grave,” said a Red Crescent Youth volunteer Abyed Hossain, who has been participating in the rescue operation since the beginning.
“I felt no longer alive as many dead bodies were lying around me. Moreover, shouting of hundreds of trapped people made the place creepy.”

Abyed, student of a private college, added, “All the time I thought that it might be the final moment of my life, but I tried to keep patience and bolster courage thinking that I am working for saving lives and the almighty will always bless me.”
Mohammad Ali, a fireman of Savar fire station, who rescued over a hundred people alive, said, “During my rescue activities, I saw many trapped in concrete materials, but it was not possible to rescue all of them. Still my heart cries for those who were alive but could not be rescued.”  read more.
daily star bd

* Physical endurance at its extreme:

The worst garments factory disaster at Savar has taken away the largest number of lives and along with this the belief in a section of people who have suddenly grown rich out of all proportions.

But then tragedies of even cataclysmic proportion return one or two precious things back. In the Savar tragedy case, fellow feeling and the readiness to help the victims, rather unsolicited, were on ample display. Two such volunteers even laid down their lives for the cause of the humanitarian service there. Of them one man named Ejajuddin Chowdhury alias Kaikobad stands tall like the mythical Prometheus who stole fire from heaven incurring the wrath of Zeus, ancient Greek God. For his transgression, he was subjected to eternal punishment. Chained to a rock, his liver grown anew would be eaten each day by an eagle, emblem of Zeus.

Now emerges a girl named Reshma whose amazing survival of her ordeal for 17 long days highlights the limit of human endurance. In the history of similar building or house collapse, a Pakistani woman has a record of survival for 63 days in her kitchen where he was trapped following a tremor and a Haitian survived 27 days under the rubble after the 2010 Haiti tremor. Reshma was lucky to have some water and the space where she was trapped had supply of some air and light, however negligible those may be. Yet there is no way of looking down upon her heroic struggle. It needs courage of superhuman proportion to survive this long in a dungeon like place where she had been trapped.  read more.

MORE AND OTHER NEWS:

* The Phoenix syndrome and the garments industry in B’desh:

This is a land of Kaikobad, a small businessman coming forward to contribute to the rescue operation and having lost his life in the process.

This is a land where, out of the rubble, a woman rides the ambulance after 16 days. This is a land of heroes. This is also a land of extra-ordinary spirit where every individual has the will to rise from the ashes. Just like a phoenix.

The readymade garment (RMG) industry and the indomitable will of the entrepreneurs and the workers will ultimately triumph and the export of garments will treble in no time. I speak with conviction, as I know for sure that none of us will allow our workers to be out in the streets, in spite of many of us not paying attention to safety and security measures. Let’s understand one point clearly: no manufacturer kills his/her own workers. Our actions may lead to tragedies and disasters, but no one wants a murder tag, at no price and at no cost. read more.

* Thwart conspiracy against RMG sector, says Dipu:

The foreign minister, Dipu Moni, has asked all including the owners and workers of garment factories to remain alert to any attempt to create anarchy in the apparel sector to thwart the ongoing trial of war criminals.

‘Discipline must be maintained in garment and other industries . . . we all have to remain alert to any provocation by any quarter to create anarchy in our industrial sector to thwart the trial of crimes against humanity,’ the foreign minister said while addressing a discussion meeting in the city on Friday.
Organised by Bangladesh Garment Sramik Oikya  Parishad in observance
of May Day, the discussion meeting was presi-ded over by M Delwar Hossain.
Coordinator of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad Wazedul Islam, president of Jatiya Garment Sramik Federation Amirul Haq Amin, labour leaders Kamrul Ahsan, Md Abdur Razzak, Nizamuddin, Ferdous Begum, Nila Ferdous, Md Rafiq and Kafil Uddin, among others, spoke at the meeting.
read more. & read more.
BSS

* No core authority yet to supervise RMG industry:

Separate apparel ministry sought for one-stop service

The local apparel industry still lacks any core authority to control and supervise its state of affairs even though the sector has emerged as the country’s largest foreign currency earner in gross aggregate terms, industry insiders and officials said.

According to them, although different ministries and agencies including those of ministries of jute and textile, commerce and labour and employment, and Fire Brigade and Civil Defence authority look into various aspects of the industry, there is no effective coordination among them.

As a result, ensuring compliance with necessary safety safeguards in a majority of the readymade garment (RMG) factories still remains a far cry, they observed.
read more.

* BD faces Moody`s, apparel body ire:

After the recent incidents of fire at and collapse of factory buildings in the garment exporters` hub of Bangladesh, the country and its garment units, are facing the ire of international business communities.

The Netherlands-based International Apparel Federation (IAF) yesterday passed a resolution, on lack of labour safety and health measures and an inappropriate work environment in Bangladesh.

“The federation has asked buyers, international brands and retail chains that source fabrics/apparel from units based in Bangladesh to ensure that units from where they are sourcing should not overlook compliance factors, like labour safety, health issues and work environment, irrespective of how low is the price they are offered,” Rahul Mehta, an IAF board member, said after a meeting in here.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Leading global retailer assures continued buying of garment products:

The chief executive officer (CEO) of a leading global fashion brand assured that his company would continue buying garment products from Bangladesh.

Biagio Chiarolanza, the CEO of Italy-based global retailer Benetton, made this assurance when many became skeptical about business relations of international retailers and buyers with the country’s apparel sector against the backdrop the deadly building collapse in Savar on April 24.
In an interview with an American news website The Huffington Post last week, Chiarolanza said his company plans to continue using factories in Bangladesh to manufacture its products, asserting that the welfare of workers in poor countries is best served by providing jobs.
read more. & read more.
BSS  Logo

* Global brands face Savar heat:

Global clothing brands are under pressure from their governments to work together with Bangladeshi government and industry leaders to improve working conditions in the garment sector, bdnews24.com.

They have been in sharp criticism for doing too little to safeguard the garment workers in the wake of the last month’s Savar building collapse where more than 960 people had been confirmed killed.
The United Nations expert panel and the US State Department on Wednesday strongly urged the clothing brands to work on factory safety and fire initiatives.
The European Union earlier suggested its buyers work with Bangladesh government, industry leaders and labour groups for better working conditions.
read more.
newstodayBD

* Retailers are pressed on safety at factories:

A wide spectrum of government officials, investors and religious groups are warning major retailers like Walmart, Benetton and Gap that they could face financial repercussions from consumers, damage to their stock value or sustained public protests if they do not adopt stricter garment manufacturing standards.

With the death toll rising above 1,000 two weeks after a nine-storey factory building collapsed in Bangladesh, organisations and officials say they have been growing impatient with American and European retailers and apparel brands because only two companies — PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger; and Tchibo, a German retailer — have signed onto a binding agreement on safety standards for factories. That agreement would commit companies to allow independent inspections of the apparel factories they use, to terminate business at factories that do not quickly correct violations and to underwrite needed safety improvements. For example, many garment factories in Bangladesh lack basic means for workers to flee in case of fire — specifically fire escapes and smokeproof enclosed staircases.
Avaaz, a human rights group, has collected 875,000 signatures on a petition urging Gap and H&M to sign on to the plan to commit to fire safety improvements at Bangladesh factories. read more.
daily star bd

* Petition demands Gap, H&M sign BD safety plan:

A petition supported by more than 828,000 people called on Gap Inc. (GPS) and Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) to agree to new fire and safety standards at their suppliers after a fire killed hundreds at a Bangladeshi clothing factory.

Online campaigns group Avaaz is organizing the move, seeking 1 million backers to call on Gap Chief Executive Officer Glenn Murphy and H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson to sign to an agreement alongside other clothing companies by May 15. A group of international retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) met unions and non-government organizations in Germany last month to discuss forming an alliance on improving factory standards.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Global support for Bangladesh factory safety surpasses one million:

Global support for Bangladesh factory safety surpasses one million

Over one million people have signed petitions calling for brands sourcing from Bangladesh to sign the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh immediately.

“Global citizens have sent a clear message to international brands sourcing from Bangladesh, such as H&M, Mango, Primark, GAP, C&A, KIK, Benetton, H&M, JC Penney, and Wal-Mart,” says Tessel Pauli. “We are calling on brands to take immediate action in implementing sustainable safety measures in their supplier factories in order to prevent another tragedy such as Rana Plaza.”

Signatures to the petitions have been collected by a coalition of trade unions and labour rights and citizen’s organisations around the world, all calling on international brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh by May 15, 2013, a date agreed on by brands at an earlier meeting near Frankfurt, Germany. This Accord for independent building inspections, public disclosure of audit results, mandatory building renovations to address hazards, and union access to factories to educate workers on how they can protect their rights and their safety, including their right to refuse unsafe work. This transparent and practical agreement is supported by all key labour stakeholders in Bangladesh and internationally. read more.
Site

* Fire, building safety in Bangladesh RMG units:

Over 1m sign petition calling for inking legally-binding accord

Over one million people have signed petitions calling on the international brands and retailers sourcing from Bangladesh to sign the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh by May 15 in order to ensure its quick implementation, said a release Friday.

Signatures to the petitions have been collected by a coalition of trade unions and labour rights and citizen’s organisations around the world, all calling on international brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh by May 15, 2013, a date agreed on by brands at an earlier meeting near Frankfurt, Germany.
read more.

* Union protests to target Gap over BD worker safety:

A leading American labor union is throwing its weight behind public protests against Gap Inc. planned for this weekend in what the union`s leader said is an “opening salvo” in the battle against dangerous working conditions in Bangladesh.

The announcement from Noel Beasley, President of the SEIU affiliate Workers United, came as the death toll of garment workers from April 24’s- building collapse near Bangladesh`s capital Dhaka continued to rise, now estimated to be more than 1000.
Gap clothing was not discovered in the collapse, but the popular brand is one of the largest American retailers producing clothing in Bangladesh and its products were found in a fire there two and a half years ago that killed 29 workers.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* BD pay hike would cost shoppers only pennies:

Doubling the pay of Bangladesh`s hard-pressed garment workers would add just a few pennies to the cost of a t-shirt, U.K. unions said Friday.

Bangladesh is facing growing international pressure to improve conditions for workers at its garment factories after a series of fatal fires and a building collapse last month that killed over 1,000.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC), an organization representing most of the U.K.`s six million unionized employees, said blaming unsafe conditions and “poverty pay” on bargain-hunting by consumers was wide of the mark.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Big-name retailers scramble to improve garment trade safety:

Thursday’s fatal factory fire marked the fourth disaster in Bangladesh’s highly profitable, low-cost garment industry in less than six months, and adds to the already intense pressure on Western retailers to take steps to improve workplace safety in the developing world.

Workplace safety and labour rights came under increased scrutiny in recent weeks following the collapse of a Dhaka factory building on April 24, which killed more than 1,000 people. It was Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident and one of the world’s worst tragedies in the low-cost needle trade.
The resulting attention on the numerous fast-fashion retailers from around the world that rely on Bangladesh’s 4,500 garment factories now has many scrambling to find solutions to some of these problems, to assuage consumer concerns and prevent any further tarnishing of their reputations.

The approaches range from pulling out of the poor South Asian country to seeking a broad industry agreement to try to improve factory conditions. Here’s a look at some of the actions companies have recently taken.

Bring big business elsewhere
In March, the Walt Disney Company ordered its licensees to stop production in Bangladesh and a number of other countries, according to the New York Times last week. Disney gave licensees a year to transition out of these countries.
read more.
CBCnews CA

* Leaving Bangladesh? Not An Easy Choice For Brands:

Bangladesh offers the global garment industry something unique: Millions of workers who quickly churn out huge amounts of well-made underwear, jeans and T-shirts for the lowest wages in the world.

But since a building collapse April 24 killed at least 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh in one of the deadliest industrial tragedies in history, the country has gone from one of the industry’s greatest assets to one of its biggest liabilities.
“The risk factors have jumped off the charts,” said Julie Hughes, president of the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, a trade group that represents retailers who import garments. “This is worse than what anyone had imagined.”

Working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment industry long have been known to be grim, a result of government corruption, desperation for jobs, and industry indifference. But the scale of this tragedy has raised alarm among executives and customers.
The Facebook pages of Joe Fresh, Mango and Benetton, a few of the brands whose clothing or production documents were found in the rubble of the collapsed building, are peppered with angry comments from shoppers. Some warn they’re going to shop elsewhere now.

Retailers are also facing street protests. In the U.S., university chapters of United Students Against Sweatshops are helping to stage demonstrations against Gap in more than a dozen cities including Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. The group plans to target other retailers it believes are not committed to stricter standards for Bangladeshi factories.  read more.  & read more.
  daily star bd

* Savar Tragedy: Needs Involvement, Not Withdrawal:

The collapse of a 9-story building in Savar (Bangladesh) known as Rana Plaza that housed 4 garment factories plus many shops has cost 1125 deaths and more counting.

But good news is; by risking lives the rescuers saved 2,438 people alive, highest in any such accident and Reshma, a 19-year old garment worker was rescued alive after 17 days. Secondly, like that of New York`s great Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 which led to improving industrial safety in the U.S., the Savar Tragedy awakened the Bangladesh nation for improving safety of factories and ensuring security of industrial workers.

Rana Plaza was built without proper permit– the owner was permitted to built only a 5 story-building for shops and residential accommodation. The owner added additional floors without proper permit and rented them out for ready-made garment (RMG) factories for brand-name designer clothes that we use in USA, Canada and Europe. This is the second deadliest accident in garment factory in Bangladesh within last few months.   read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Systemic importance of RMG sector:

Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector faces some daunting challenges. The collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar that claimed over one thousand lives has unleashed the governance problem in the sector in particular and in the country in general.

Moreover, Bangladesh’s ongoing political crisis is increasingly making the global buyers cautious in posting new orders badly affecting its reputation as an important location of RMG products. However, the sector needs more constructive advice than criticism given its systemic importance as far as Bangladesh economy is concerned.

For several reasons the RMG sector is very critical for Bangladesh. While we often cite some numbers in terms of its contribution to employment generation, foreign exchange earnings and women empowerment, the sector’s true contribution is probably far higher than those numbers.
It is the only sector that helped developing a manufacturing base in the country, even if its value addition is still lower than its potential. The country’s long-term manufacturing promises also largely hinge on this sector. Today’s high-end manufacturing and service powerhouses like Singapore and Hong Kong were once garment producers.  read more.

* BGMEA signs MoU with CNGA to boost trade:

A top Chinese apparel delegation Saturday signed a MoU with the country’s apex apparel  body BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association) to further promote bilateral trade and investment in textile and clothing sector between the two countries.

The China National Garment Association (CNGA) Vice President Feng Dehu and BGMEA President Atiqul Islam signed the memorandum of understandings (MoUs) on behalf of their respective organisations at BGMEA Bhaban Saturday.
Leaders of both BGMEA and CNGA said the deal will help to increase mutual co-operation in trade and exploring investment opportunities, science and technology transfer, data and delegation exchange and participation in fairs.
CNGA Vice President Feng Dehu said they visited some nine factories in around the capital and are impressed with quality of products, compliant issues, management and machinery set up. “Bangladesh garment industry is thriving and it has a very good future. We are eager to join this industry,” he added.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
logo   daily star bd

* US to retain GSP facilities: Quader:

Commerce minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader on Saturday said the United States would retain the Generalised System of Preferences facilities enjoyed by certain Bangladeshi goods in accessing its market.

The GSP facilities will even be enhanced in the future, he said while speaking as the chief guest of a seminar on ‘bilateral free trade agreements – opportunities and challenges for Bangladesh: framework issues’ hosted by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its auditorium in the city.
Dhaka is also going to sign soon a trade and investment cooperation framework agreement (TICFA) with Washington as the government has initiated a process for boosting trade between Bangladesh and the USA, said GM Quader.
read more.

* ‘Dhaka ready to sign Ticfa with Washington’:

Bangladesh is expected to sign Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) with the United States (US) soon in order to further promote and strengthen bilateral trade relationship, the commerce minister said Saturday.

“Both the countries have mutually agreed to ink the deal soon,” GM Quader said while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on “Bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) – Opportunities and Challenges for Bangladesh: Framework Issues,’ at the DCCI conference room in the city.
“There is nothing serious in signing Ticfa with America. Rather it is an attempt to enhance business with the US,” Quader said.
Under the deal, a meeting of trade ministerial level of both the countries will be held in a year where both countries could place different proposals to promote bilateral
trade, he said. “If any parties want to cancel the deal, they will be able to do it easily.
read more. & read more. & read more.
logo  daily star bd bdnews24

* RMG sector fends off adequate regulation:

Eight people died on Wednesday in a fire at a sweater factory in capital’s Mirpur. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 1033 people found dead.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There`s no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It`s politically unstable.

The Lure Of Low Wages
And yet Bangladesh has become the world’s second-biggest exporter of clothing, employing almost 4 million people. Clothing companies from all over North America and Europe manufacture in the country. Without question, a big part of the reason for its success is low wages, says Doug Miller, author of the book Last Nightshift in Savar.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Labor Act to be amended: Dipu Moni:

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni categorically said the labour Act-2006 would be amended in favour of laborers because incumbent government wouldn’t take any step against their interest.

She came with the assertion while addressing a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Laborers Union Parisad at National Press Club on Friday morning.
Dr Dipu Moni said, “RMG factories rose on our laborers blood and sweat.”
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* RMG workers observe work abstention at Ashulia:

Readymade garments workers observed work abstention and staged demonstration to press home their 10-point demand, including wage hike, on Saturday.

Sources said Workers of Artistic Design Ltd of Ha-Meem Group and Hope Loan BD Ltd of DEPZ observed work abstention from the morning.
They also staged demonstration demanding appropriate compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse.
On the other hand, authority of Medlar Apparels of Zamgara area announced last Thursday as holiday amid demonstration demanding pay hike.

Workers went berserk when, coming to work, they saw closing notice in the morning.
Later, workers came out from other factories as the angry workers of Medlar Apparels hurled brickbats to the factories. 
read more.
& read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo  bdnews24  newstodayBD

* Labour unrest forces 100 RMG units to stop output:

Pay rise demand sparks protest
More than 100 RMG factories at Ashulia industrial hub, on the outskirts of the city suspended production on Sunday in the face of workers’ protest demanding fair probe into the death of one of their fellows, police said.

The latest spell of trouble erupted at about 8:30am when several thousand workers of Ha-Meem Group at Narasinghapur of the area came out of the factory and made the demand.

Officer-in-Charge of Ashulia Police Station Sheikh Md Badrul Alam told the FE that a 19-year-old sewing operator, Parul Akhter, was found hanging at the bathroom, located on the fourth floor of the factory building, on late Saturday evening.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* RMG workers block 2 highways in Gazipur:

RMG workers of two factories blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways for one and half an hour demanding their wages, bonus and protesting a worker’s death in a road accident in Gazipur on Saturday.

Gazipur industrial police sources said, a worker of Design Ware Limited at Boardbazar area identified as Firoj Miah was killed in a road accident while he was crossing the highway at Board Bazar at around 4.30 pm. Protesting this accident, hundreds of workers of the factory came out from their work places and blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh highway from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
Movement of all vehicles on the highway was stopped for one hour. Police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control after an hour.On the other hand, workers of Global Merchandiser at Konabari industrial area under Gazipur sadar upazila blocked  Dhaka-Tangail highway at Konabari bus stand demanding their wages and bonus. read more.
logo

* Board to re-fix minimum wages for workers soon: Minister:

20130512 DAILYSTARrmg1
Female workers work at a garments factory in Bangladesh. Daily Star file photo

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui on Sunday said the government has decided to form a board to re-fix minimum wages for the garment workers.

“The government has taken the decision as per the Prime Minister’s directive to remove unrest from the garment sector,” said Siddiqui, also a member of the cabinet committee on garment sector.
He was addressing a press briefing at Labour and Employment Ministry in the afternoon.

The move is also aimed at improving owners-workers relations and in the interest of workers and productivity, said the minister. “The announcement on the wage board may take 2-3 more months, but it’ll take a retrospective effect from May 1 this year.”
The minister hoped that the owners and workers in the sector will continue their works by maintaining amicable relations till the announcement of the wage board.

“Unrest has gripped the RMG sector since the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar apart from political uncertainty. Ill-efforts by vested quarter are on to hamper production and development in the vital sector. The decision to form the board has been made taking this into consideration,” Latif Siddiqui told journalists.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
  BSS daily star bd logo  banglanews24 Logo  newstodayBD

* Salary hike underway:

The government has decided to form a new minimum wage board for garment workers. The fresh wage structure will take retrospective effect from May 1.

Initially, the industry leaders strongly opposed the move but later agreed to comply with the government’s decision.
Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddique made the announcement after a meeting with garment owners, labour leaders and other ministers at the secretariat yesterday.
He did not elaborate on the matter. He only said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had made the decision and left the venue without taking questions from reporters.
read more.
daily star bd

 +++

* Jute goods worth Tk 10 crore burnt in Khulna:

A total of 9,557 bales of exportable jute goods worth over Tk 10 crore were burnt in a fire that broke out in a warehouse on Saturday night in Khulna.

According to Makbul Hossain, in-charge of the warehouse of Shahnaj Jute Bailing Company at Digholia, said the jute bales were ready for exporting to different countries.
However, the Daulatpur fire service department took two hours to control the fire.
Badrul Alam, assistant director of the Khulna fire service, said fire had
originated from a short circuit.
Mohammad Rokonuzzaman, officer-in-charge, said a general diary was filed in this connection. to read .

* RMG makers getting shipment time extended on Savar tragedy:

A good number of garment makers are using the Savar tragedy to get their respective shipment schedule extended and avert financial losses, the people familiar with such deals told the Financial Express (FE).

Many garment manufacturers have, of late, written to the buyers seeking extension of lead-time by, at least, two weeks, the sources said. They are doing it following the Savar building collapse on April 24 last that took over 1,050 lives, mostly of garment workers, they added. read more.

* Govt to set up 3 handloom service centres:

News - Govt to set up 3 handloom service centres

The government has taken an initiative to set up three handloom service centers in different loom intensive areas of the country for providing pre-weaving and post-weaving related services to the weavers through some 1.40 lakh handlooms.

A project titled ‘Establishment of 3 Handloom Service Centers in Different Loom Intensive Areas’ was recently approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute will implement the project at a cost of Tk 50.54 crore by December 2015. The project cost will be borne entirely from the government exchequer.
read more. & read more. & read more.
logo

11:50:49 local time map of india INDIA

* Labour costs push garment units out:

Garment units in Gurgaon, which were flourishing in the past, are in deep trouble now and most of them are even planning to shift from the Millennium City.

Being a labour-intensive industry, the garment units here employ more than two lakh people. Here mostly cheap labourers are required. We train them on cutting and stitching clothes and then employ them in the industry.
But owing to development of IT, automobile and BP industies in Gurgoan, real estate has started booming and land has become very costly. For the labourers working in these garment units it has become very difficult to survive in the Millennium City in a rented accommodation. Cheap labourers are no more available here in Gurgaon.

“Most of the garment units are facing problems with workers. So these units are either thinking of shutting shop and shifting to other states where cheap labour is easily available,” elaborates Lalit Gulati, president of Apparel Exporters and Manufacturers’ Association.   read more.
TOInew

* Garment workers stage protest:

Members of Garments and Textile Workers Union staging a protestin Bangalore on Sunday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar
Members of Garments and Textile Workers Union staging a protestin Bangalore on Sunday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Several employees of garment factories in Bangalore staged a protest on Sunday seeking safety in their workplace and also to condole the death of garment workers after a factory building collapsed in Bangladesh recently.

A majority of garment workers are women and they face exploitation such as low wage, poor healthcare and long working hours, Leela, a factory worker participating in the protest, said. “I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but most often I am given extra work. I have to stitch 80 pieces in one hour. I get around Rs. 5,700 a month,” she said and hoped that the tragic incident in Bangladesh does not repeat here.

“Good working environment is our right; we need not beg for it from anyone. We are going to fight against injustice and no matter what happens we will all stay together,” the workers said during their protest in front of the Town Hall.

“This protest is to seek the safety of garment workers. As we are also garment workers, we offer condolences to the workers who died in Bangladesh. We also want our management to look into worker safety,” said Prathibha, vice-president of Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU).  read more.
Return to frontpage

* Lal Imli to get aid for raw material:

Lal Imli mill of British India Corporation (BIC) may get finance for raw material from National Textile Corporation (NTC). This decision was taken in the meeting of Central textile ministry and representatives of Lal Imli held in Delhi on May 7.

Similar option of temporary revival was also adopted in the case of Dhariwal Mill, another mill of BIC situated in Punjab a few years back.
Demanding analogous revival of Lal Imli, the workers and authorities of the mill have approached the Central textile ministry. After a long wait, the ministry has approved raw material fund from NTC. The ministry has also approved a nominal salary hike to the workers. read more.
TOInew

* Tamil Nadu to improve condition of handloom weavers:

To cater to the housing needs of domestic weavers, and to help them with mechanization of their workplace, government of south Indian state of Tamil Nadu has introduced a scheme to construct 10,000 green houses for weavers and provide motorized spindles to them.

The housing scheme would happen together with the proposed scheme of constructing 60,000 houses under the Chief Minister’s green house scheme in the first phase during 2013-14, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said in a suo motu statement in the Assembly.
The government would also spend Rs. 37.5 million to provide motorized spindles to 25,000 handloom weavers, to reduce their workload and double production.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Fast fashion: Reflections on Bangladesh:

Any NRI worth his dollar returning home for a visit knows the difficulty of shopping for gifts these days, especially in the US. It’s tough to find a “Made in America” product.

Malls and stores are overflowing with foreign made goods, “Made in China” being the most common label. Even iPhones and iPads are manufactured in China, although the proprietary design and software is American . As for apparel, you can tie yourself in knots trying to find “Made in USA” .

Till as recently as the 1990s, the US made 50 per cent of its clothing, down from 100 per cent in the ’60s, but still offering a good chance of finding “Made in USA” garments.
Then free trade agreements and textile quotas kicked in. Now it’s down to 2 per cent. Most clothing is mass-produced across the world — in places as far apart as China and Costa Rica. The Indian subcontinent — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — has also benefited from this opening up of the US clothes market, even as it has largely destroyed the local American textile industry.  read more.
TOInew

* Fibre makers bullish about National Fibre Policy:

The textile industry, especially fibre makers are bullish about achieving the target under the National Fibre Policy.

With an impetus from the central government’s TUF scheme and as part of the upcoming National Fibre Policy, the textile industry is estimated to investment roughly Rs 1.8 lakh crore for the ten year period of FY ’10 – FY ’20.

According to industry players, the investments will look to create required capacity along the textile value chain on the basis of estimate of the increased fibre production. The textile industry players are planning an enhance fibre capacity in the wake of the government setting an estimate of Rs 1.88 lakh crore investment under the National Fibre Policy. read more.
Logo

* Cotton could bloom on Chinese demand:

Since the start of this year, cotton prices have recovered their earlier losses on demand from the top consumer, China, and hopes of a drop in acreage in the world’s third-largest producer, United States.

MCX Cotton futures have gained almost 19 per cent taking prices to their highest level in more than a year. Preceding the recent surge, cotton prices posted back to back losses for two years as cheaper synthetic alternatives battered the fibre demand and on a global glut.

Lower acreage
Easing demand and fragile prices of cotton has led to many US farmers shifting to more remunerative crops, leading to a lower acreage. According to the USDA forecast, the acreage in cotton would drop by 19 per cent to 4.1 million hectares this season. Escalating fears of delay in planting due to heavy rains in the major growing areas in the country and recent upbeat economic releases are likely to support prices. read more.
Return to frontpage

11:50:49 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* 520 garment factories closed since 2005 :

The Inter-Company Workers’ Association charged, under the present government, 520 garment factories have been closed up to now.

They pointed out, some 834 factories were in operation in 2005, but the number has now dropped to a mere 314. The association also charged the government should take full responsibility for the alarming situation, as it is causing loss of investor confidence and further loss of employment in the sector.
A spokesman for the association said such a breakdown in the highest export revenue earning sector is a big blow to the country’s economy.  to read.

11:20:49 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* PSDP: Textile industry provided Rs 158.9 million:

The govt has so far released Rs 158.900 million for five major projects of the Textile Industry Division under its PSDP, official sources said Friday.

The total cost of all these projects has been estimated at Rs 2081.440, out of which Rs 227m would be released during the ongoing year. An amount of Rs 64.400m has been released for the Faisalabad Garment City Project and Rs 62.300 million for Lahore Garment City Company. The actual cost of Faisalabad Garment City project and Lahore Garment City Company has been projected at Rs 498.8 million and 586.8 million respectively.  read more. & read more. & read more.
logo  The Express Tribune

 

map of Asia

INFO:

SAVAR COLLAPSE: under “special reports you can find an overview of articlles.

HEADLINES:

VIET NAM
* More businesses will die if they’re forced to raise workers’ wages
* Vietnamese labor force is cheap or expensive?
* Cotton yarn mill operational in Binh Duong

THAILAND
* Work safety progress ‘slow’

CAMBODIA
* Cambodian garment workers fight for higher wages
* Bangladesh Garment Industry Disaster: Lessons for Cambodia?

SINGAPORE
* Dystar division helps to prepare ‘Discharge Data Report’

INDONESIA
* ‘Slave’ factory owner faces 20 years in prison
* Inventory to be made on factories in Tangerang

BANGLADESH
* Dr Yunus appeals to West to help B’desh’s garment industry
* Tung Hai fire is act of sabotage: BGMEA
* Factory fire scare injures 25-30 in N’ganj
* 90% of city buildings risky!
* Govt plans to beef up factory watch
* Stalemate lingers over garment village
* RMG owners ‘need to examine buildings with structural engineers’
* 18 RMG factories shut down: GM Kader
* BGMEA makes list of 8 Dhaka factories shut on safety grounds
* 943 garment factories don’t follow fire safety rules: GM Quader
* Govt teams to start factory inspection in Dhaka Saturday
* Building collapse: Accountability in question

THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
20130510
* Woman pulled out alive
* Bangladesh finds building collapse survivor
* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1055
* 2 RMG factory owners sent to jail- Capital punishment sought
20130511
* Hope regained
* Reshma: A ray of hope for Bangladesh amid ruins
* Rescuers pull out 24 more bodies
* Maimed, they look to bleak future
* Rana Plaza survivors feel deceived
* 78 bodies of Savar collapse victims to be buried today
* Primark to compensate Savar victims under NGO scale
20130512
* Death toll rises to 1121
* No return to ‘happy’ life:
* Many victims’ not inlcuded in BGMEA list
* Protest demanding Rana’s capital punishment – Several RMG units in Ashulia suspend production
20130513
* Death toll rises to 1126
* A few expected left
* Call for memorial at Rana Plaza site
* Ode to Savar bravehearts
* Physical endurance at its extreme
MORE AND OTHER NEWS:
* The Phoenix syndrome and the garments industry in B’desh
* Thwart conspiracy against RMG sector, says Dipu
* No core authority yet to supervise RMG industry
* BD faces Moody`s, apparel body ire
* Leading global retailer assures continued buying of garment products
* Global brands face Savar heat
* Retailers are pressed on safety at factories
* Petition demands Gap, H&M sign BD safety plan
* Global support for Bangladesh factory safety surpasses one million
* Fire, building safety in Bangladesh RMG units
* Union protests to target Gap over BD worker safety
* BD pay hike would cost shoppers only pennies
* Big-name retailers scramble to improve garment trade safety
* Leaving Bangladesh? Not An Easy Choice For Brands
* Savar Tragedy: Needs Involvement, Not Withdrawal
* Systemic importance of RMG sector
* BGMEA signs MoU with CNGA to boost trade
* US to retain GSP facilities: Quader
* ‘Dhaka ready to sign Ticfa with Washington’
* RMG sector fends off adequate regulation
* Labor Act to be amended: Dipu Moni
* RMG workers observe work abstention at Ashulia
* Labour unrest forces 100 RMG units to stop output
* RMG workers block 2 highways in Gazipur
* Board to re-fix minimum wages for workers soon: Minister
* Salary hike underway
+++
* Jute goods worth Tk 10 crore burnt in Khulna
* RMG makers getting shipment time extended on Savar tragedy
* Govt to set up 3 handloom service centres

INDIA
* Labour costs push garment units out
* Garment workers stage protest
* Lal Imli to get aid for raw material
* Tamil Nadu to improve condition of handloom weavers
* Fast fashion: Reflections on Bangladesh
* Fibre makers bullish about National Fibre Policy
* Cotton could bloom on Chinese demand

SRI LANKA
* 520 garment factories closed since 2005

PAKISTAN
* PSDP: Textile industry provided Rs 158.9 million

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