20:20:45 local time CHINA
* Cotton firms eye imports:
Chinese textile mills are lobbying for permission to import more cotton as they struggle to find high-grade fiber locally, a move that would boost prices from key exporters such as the US and Australia, Reuters reported Thursday.
But traders in the world’s largest cotton importer are skeptical China would agree to more imports while its reserves remain swollen with domestically grown cotton bought under an aggressive stockpiling program.
* China textile mills lobby to boost cotton imports, cut local prices:
Chinese textile mills are lobbying for permission to import more cotton as they struggle to find high-grade fibre locally, a move that would boost prices from key exporters such as the United States and Australia if the government grants its approval.
But traders in the world’s largest cotton importer are sceptical Beijing will agree to larger import quotas while its reserves remain swollen with domestically grown cotton bought under an aggressive stockpiling programme.
China strictly controls cotton imports to support local growers, making it difficult for some textile firms to source the high-quality cotton they need to make fabric for global clothing brands, with limited amounts of the grade grown locally.
19:20:45 local time CAMBODIA
* Surviving as a garment worker:
Like a true professional, Maen Sopeak sings to the audience of seven people who sit on the bare floor of her room in a Phnom Penh suburb. Her singing is soft, at moments almost a whisper, but her beautiful voice is clear. In a country even slightly richer than devastated, impoverished Cambodia, she could be a star. She could perform to packed halls, wearing only the best clothes.
Maen Sopeak is, however, just a poor garment worker. There will be no sell-out crowds or fancy dresses for her anytime soon. She shares a single, hole-in-the-wall room with six other women, who all work at a nearby garment factory producing clothes for Western brands.
* BetterFactories-Media updates 29 June-5 July 2013, Foreign investment rises 73 pct:
To read in printed edition The Phnom Penh Post:
2013-07-01 Foreign investment rises 73 pct
2013-07-01 Map connects factories and buyers
2013-07-02 Asian factory blue deepen
2013-07-02 Bundith lead in Mondulkiri police
2013-07-02 Factory’s owner in crosshairs
To read in printed edition The Cambodia Daily:
2013-06-29-30 The grain of rice that could help Cambodia grow
2013-06-29-30 US suspends trade benefits for Bangladesh
2013-07-01 Five days after verdict, Bundith remains elusive
2013-07-02 Workers demand pay from bankrupt factory
2013-07-04 Conflicting reports emerge on arrest of Chhouk Bundith
To read in printed edition Rasmei Kampuchea Daily:
* Cambodia’s garment industry:
A garment worker collects clothes hanging on a fence between a factory and a building where workers live, as the monsoon rain begins, in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. Most garment workers who arrive from the provinces to work at factories in Cambodia’s capital live in tiny apartments packed into crowded buildings. Four or even more people can share a room, costing around $35 per month, usually three by three meters with one light and one electric fan. The garment industry has become by far Cambodia’s biggest export earner, with shipments up 10 percent in 2012 to $4.44 billion. As investment in the country’s textile industry is surging, so is labour unrest, putting pressure on suppliers to the world’s big garment brands to raise wages and improve sometimes grim conditions in one of the last bastions of low-cost factories. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
See more- slideshow.
18:20:45 local time BANGLADESH
* Existing labour law better than the proposed draft:
Says experts at a seminar on the garment sector
The proposed amendment to the labour law, which is expected to be finalised this month, still have some provisions that go against the garment workers’ interests, experts said yesterday.
“In some areas, the existing law is better than the draft proposal,” said AKM Nasim, senior legal counsellor of the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity (ACILS).
“Take for instance, the provision for owners to terminate workers for “arson, vandalism and obstruction to work” — no such words are present in the existing labour law.”
Nasim’s comments came at a discussion on “Creating better environment for garments workers and improving working conditions in the readymade garment sector: reforming the labour law”, organised by the National Human Rights Commission at BRAC Centre Inn in the city.
The revision has also curtailed the service benefits, especially of the garment workers, as factory owners would be able to dismiss workers for any misconduct, he said.
* BD working to improve RMG situation:
Prime Minister’s adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman has said that the government is trying its best to improve the working environment of the labors up to the international level.
He was speaking at a seminar on “Rana Plaza Incident and Present Situation of Garments Industry of Bangladesh”, organized by Presidency University at the university’s Gulshan Campus on Wednesday.
Professor Dr Muhammad Mahboob Ali, Vice Chancellor, Presidency University & Macro Financial Economist, chaired the session. Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Additional Director, Research, CPD, presented keynote paper on the subject.
Dr Mashiur said steps have been taken to prevent any sort of unethical practice in the garments sector and foreign buyers have been assured that they will be satisfied as the government is trying to improve working condition as well as safety and security of the labors with the help of ILO, BGMEA and foreign buyers.
Dr Mahboob Ali said that as industrialization is going on and entrepreneurs as well as labors are passing through second generation, there may be some problems. But we hope that garments industry as a whole will grow up gradually.
He appealed to frame a taskforce so that they can talk to USA for getting back GSP facility.
* 400 RMG workers fall sick in Gazipur:
More than four hundred workers of a garment factory fell sick after taking Tiffin in Mauchak area under Kaliakoir Upazila of the district on Thursday night.
The workers were admitted to different clinics and hospitals.
Factory Manager Proshon Babu told banglanews, “The night shift workers of Shejadas Design Wear Ltd were given banana, Eggs, cakes and patties as snacks.
* Bangladesh engineers find garment factory flaws:
Only one in 10 garment factory buildings inspected by engineers from a top Bangladesh university were structurally sound, underlining the scale of safety problems for the world’s second-biggest clothes producer, the head engineer said Friday.
Building owners rushed to request engineers check their buildings in the wake of the collapse of the nine-storey garment factory building in April that killed 1,129 people, Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster.
Six buildings, housing garment factories, have been cleared as structurally sound after being inspected by the country’s prestigious Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
* Are RMG bldgs safe to operate?:
Not even two months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building claimed more than 1,100 lives, a team of engineers arrived to assess another factory in the center of the capital.
It was named Al-Hamra Garments, and it was one of hundreds of factories undergoing post-disaster inspections as Bangladesh sought to prove that its critical apparel industry was safe.
But this inspection, conducted in mid-June, was startling. The two engineers discovered that the eight-story factory was partly propped up by temporary cast-iron pillars placed on the ground floor. Several original beams and columns were cracked or disintegrating. And the factory was open for business, with more than 1,000 workers producing clothing for a Bangladeshi apparel conglomerate whose customers include Walmart and Gap.
“Considering the severity of the building condition it is recommended that the use of the building be discontinued immediately,” the two inspectors, professors at the country’s top engineering college, concluded in their preliminary assessment report.
Yet last Saturday, nearly two weeks after the
inspection, Al-Hamra Garments was still open. “The factory is fine,” said an administrator, Shafiul Azam Chowdhury, on Saturday afternoon. He said two other inspection teams had concluded that the temporary propping made the building safe enough to continue operations during structural repairs.
“No problem,” he added in a telephone interview.
Bangladesh’s garment industry, now the world’s second-leading clothing exporter, after China’s, is still struggling to recover from the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, the deadliest disaster in the history of the industry.
To address concerns about unsafe buildings, government officials and industry leaders called for inspections to ensure the structural integrity of the country’s 5,000 garment factories.
But two months after the collapse, the inspections process is disorganized and haphazard, with unclear lines of authority. The Ministry of Textiles is overseeing some inspections. An industry trade group is organizing others. The local development authority in Dhaka is involved, and the country’s top engineering school is playing a central role. Some global brands have also sent inspection teams.
* UK urges retailers: Prevent repeat of factory disaster:
Primark, Tesco and Marks & Spencer were among 20 retailers summoned to a UK government summit as ministers sought steps to prevent a repeat of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,000 people.
The government wants to use its muscle to help drive up standards in factories supplying UK retailers after the disaster at a complex that supplied clothing bought by British shoppers.
About 20 retailers, including Primark, which bought clothing from a factory within Rana Plaza, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Topshop`s owner, Arcadia, were called into the Department for International Development (DfID) on Wednesday to discuss how to avoid another catastrophe in future.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Canada opts not to restrict trade with BD:
Canada has signalled that it will not, like the U.S., move to hamper trade with Bangladesh as a result of a recent factory collapse that killed over a thousand garment workers in April.
Meeting in Brunei on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 20th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting, Foreign Minister John Baird reportedly told his Bangladeshi counterpart, Dipu Moni, that Canada did not intend on taking any steps to reduce the bilateral trade between the two countries, which last year amounted to US$1.6 billion
“Canada does not believe that workers in the sector should be punished through any kind of trade restrictions,” Baird is quoted as saying in a press release from the Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry.
read more. & read more.
* UNI Global Union General Secretary: Bangladesh Safety Accord:
* Gain for Indian textiles is all gas:
In April this year, wearing apparel production in India rose 86.6% against contraction of 10.3% in same month of 2012.
At the outset, it may seem that a rebound of India`s garment production as well as overall textile exports in April is somehow connected to a collapse of an eight-storey commercial building Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.
The link seems obvious since India might become a dominant export player if preferential tariffs are not given to textile exports from Bangladesh by the United States and Europe.
However, the relation may turn out to be too simplistic, if one analyses it deeply. Rather, inherent cost disadvantage against India and least developed country status for Bangladesh are bound to work in favour of our eastern neighbour`s textile sector, analysts said.
See these facts — the building collapsed on April 24, 2013 and the latest action against Bangladesh from the United States came only in June. So, high production and export figures for India`s textile sector may not be influenced by developments in Bangladesh. Besides, jump in production, particularly in garment production as is given in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), started from March, 2013. The same is true of exports.
* Restoring trade benefit under US GSP:
Bangladesh, as a least developed country (LDC), was a beneficiary of the US generalised system of preferences (GSP) programme under the US Trade Act of 1974.
The US suspended the GSP facility for Bangladesh on grounds of less than adequate labour and workplace safety standards in the country’s factories, particularly garment factories. National dailies and the electronic media have been busy speculating the likely impact of the US action through reactions of various stakeholders including the government. Although common perception suggests that the US action is not going to directly affect Bangladesh’s multi-billion dollar ready-made garment (RMG) industry, many conscientious citizens have termed the action as shocking for the country, given the huge scale of the industry where improvement is sure to be time consuming. The opposition and the government, at the top level, are as usual blaming each other for inviting the undesirable US action.
Bangladesh government has described the decision ‘unfortunate’ and expected US would consider reviving the facility soon. The Cabinet has already taken steps to amend the labour law to ensure social and physical safety of the workers.
* Jute cultivation suffers setback in 10 districts:
Jute cultivation is suffering setback in the 10 districts of the country. Use of inferior quality Indian jute seeds, loss of interest in jute cultivation and scarcity of superior quality jute seeds in the local markets are the main problems behind the setback.
It is learnt from a source in the Agriculture Extension Department (AED) office in Jessore that the department had taken up a target of bringing 2,03,149 hectares of land in the 10 south-western districts under jute cultivation in the current jute season. The target includes 2,03,149 hectares of Tosha variety and 868 hectares of local variety of jute.
The farmers of Jessore were to bring 27,478 hectares of land under jute cultivation, Jhenidah 23,689 hectares, Magura 32,159 hectares, Narail 22,266 hectares, Kushtia 36,509 hectares, Chuadanga 36,509 hectares, Meherpur 22,157 hectares, Khulna 3,222 hectares, Satkhira 10,398 hectares and the farmers of Bagerhat were to bring 1,350 hectares of land under jute cultivation. But acute shortage of superior quality jute seeds in the local markets forced the farmers to purchase inferior quality smuggled Indian jute seeds. Despite the crying need for quality jute seeds in the sowing season, the Seed Department of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation(BADC) supplied only a negligible quantity of good jute seeds to the farmers, forcing them to use Indian jute seeds.
17:50:45 local time INDIA
* 1 dead in Thane building collapse, many trapped:
A worker was killed and at least 13 others injured when a two-storeyed building housing a garment factory collapsed in Kalher village near powerloom town of Bhiwandi in wee hours on Thursday.
More than 12 workers are feared trapped under the debris of the structure, BIG Garments, located in Arihant Compound campus which houses many godowns, they said.
According to police, around 40 workers were present in the building when it crumbled and efforts are on to extricate those trapped under the rubble.
However, heavy rains are affecting the rescue operation.
Around 12 fire engines and scores of personnel of civil defence and home guard are at the site carrying out relief and rescue operations.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.
* Garment Factory Collapses in Mumbai:
A building housing a garment factory collapsed near Mumbai early Thursday, killing one and injuring 24, according to an official at the Narpoli Police Station, which is coordinating the rescue.
Around 1 a.m. the two-story building in the Shree Arihant complex collapsed in Bhiwandi, an area with many garment factories which is around 50 kilometers from Mumbai, in the western state of Maharashtra.
So far 36 people have been rescued. Officials estimate that around eight people are still trapped inside. All those rescued are from a company called Big Garment, which set up in the building one-and-a-half years ago, according to Inspector Ramesh Patil at the Narpoli Police Station, which is coordinating the rescue.
* Building collapses in Thane, two- 3 killed:
Two persons have been killed and over 15 others have sustained serious injuries after a building housing garment factory collapsed at Kalher near Bhiwandi at around 2.30 am on Thursday.
More than 40 workers were said to be working in the building when it came down crashing early on Thursday.
The fire brigade and Pune-based team of the National Disaster Response Force rushed to the rescue of the workers trapped inside the commercial building.
More than 25 persons have been injured and rescued by the NDRF.
Rescue operations are underway.
Many are still feared trapped in the debris.
to read. & read more. & read more.
* Five killed, 26 hurt in garment factory crash in Bhiwandi:
Five persons were killed and 26 injured, four of them seriously, after a two-storeyed garment factory crashed early on Thursday in Bhiwandi. The dead were identified as Munna Diwan (25), security guard Virendra Pandey (45) and Tajamul Shaikh (28). Priya Dhanke, medical officer of Bhiwandi taluka, said two unidentified bodies were recovered from the debris at 10pm.
Munna’s brother, Lalmohammed (20), said, “I was working with my brother on the ground floor, when he went towards the entrance to drink water, and the building collapsed.” Mahadev (19), son of Virendra, who did not report for duty that day due to an illness, demanded strong action against those responsible.
Mohammed Ansarul, whose wife Haseena is pregnant, was untraceable. Mohammed Israil, a relative of Ansarul, said, “I escaped through a small gap between two walls, but my five relatives are stuck in.” Later, Amin (19), Kalim (18), Mustakeem (18) and Ajeem (18) were rescued.
The chief minister’s office announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the heirs of each of those killed in the crash.
The building was legal up to the first floor, but the second floor, where construction was under way, was allegedly illegal. The building’s main pillar got damaged while work was under way two days ago. It crashed when the factory owner had called in some night shift staff as some material supplies were expected the next day.
* Thane garment factory collapse: Death toll climbs to six:
The death toll in the Thane garment factory collapse has risen to six with the recovery of three more bodies, police said today.
While two bodies were recovered late last night from the debris of the two-storey building housing the garment factory, one more body was found during clearance work this morning, they said.
The BIG Garments factory, located in Arihant Compound campus having many godowns, had collapsed in Kalher village near the powerloom town of Bhiwandi yesterday in which so far six persons have been killed and 24 others injured.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Bhiwandi garment factory collapse: Toll rises to six:
The death toll in the Bhiwandi garment factory collapse has risen to six with the recovery of three more bodies, police said on Friday.
While two bodies were recovered late on Thursday night from the debris of the two-storey building housing the garment factory, one more body was found during clearance work on Friday morning, they said.
The BIG Garments factory, located in Arihant Compound campus having many godowns, had collapsed in Kalher village near the power loom town of Bhiwandi on Thursday in which so far six persons have been killed and 24 others injured.
Out of the three more bodies recovered, two have been identified as that of Mohamad Mansoor (22) and Miraj Shaikh (30), both workers employed with the BIG Garment factory.
* Death toll in Thane garment factory building collapse rises to 6:
The death toll in the garment factory building collapse in Thane has gone up to six while 26 people have been injured. The 2-storeyed building in Bhiwandi collapsed late on Wednesday night.
The police has arrested the architect of the building but five others remain absconding. The Rescue operations are still on as it is taking time to look through the rubble.
The building collapse was the third incident in Thane in the last three weeks. Officials said that prima facie it appeared that the building may have collapsed due to construction on the first floor.
to read. & read more.
* Textile export target at $ 50 billion:
The Textiles Ministry plans to increase exports to $ 50 billion in the next one year, Union Minister for Textiles K. Sambasiva Rao said here on Thursday.
The country exported textiles worth $ 34 billion during the 2012-13 financial year.
Higher exports this year would help narrow the current account deficit. There is a worrying surplus of imports compared to exports, he said at a news conference on Thursday.
The State’s garment industry, a dominant exporter, had contributed precious foreign exchange earnings and created jobs for a large number of people, he said.
* Textile exports on upswing:
Alok getting good inquiries, Arvind working on full capacity to meet rising export demand
Fall in the value of the rupee against the dollar has again brought the Indian textile sector back on the global map. Going by initial inquiries and orders, the industry hopes exports will be higher by 15-20 per cent in 2013-14. Textile export orders in the last few months have started to pick up due to the overall better sentiment in the US and the Euro zone, as well as the depreciation in the rupee.
India’s textile exports were $32 billion in 2012-13 out of which apparel exports were $15 billion. This year, apparel exports are expected to be around $17 billion, while total textile exports are estimated to be $37-$40 billion.
“The rupee has been one of the worst performing currencies, while the Chinese yuan has appreciated against the dollar, which has made Indian textiles more competitive, causing more inquiries to flow in,” said Sunil Khandelwal, chief financial officer, Alok Industries.
* Premature crowing over Dhaka’s textile sector problems:
Despite the recent Western criticism on Bangladesh’s labour standards, India has a long way to go before it overtakes the neighbour in global exports
There is a lot of recent cheer in Indian textile industry about being able to take advantage of Bangladesh‘s various recent setbacks in the sector.
Bangladesh’s huge advantage in costs, particularly in wages paid for this labour intensive sector, had led to the bulk of the developed world’s major brands and retailers having outsourced orders to its garment factories, which have surged in numbers to more than 5,000.
However, a series of catastrophes has led to much adverse publicity on labour standards there; the latest was the Rana Plaza collapse in a Dhaka suburb on April 24, killing a little over 1,000 workers. It evoked worldwide condemnation; a number of leading brands said they were withdrawing or reworking the arrangement with Bangladesh factories.(NO GAIN IN PAIN)
* Government targets 10 mn more jobs in textiles sector by 2017:
The government has set a target of creating 10 million jobs in the textiles sector during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), Textiles Minister K Sambasiva Rao today said.
The minister shared this information with the textiles industry in Karnataka, while holding discussions on a number of issues related to Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), cotton availability and prices, problems of silk powerloom weavers and issue of labour shortage, according to an official release.
17:20:45 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile exporters struggle to fulfill orders:
Textile exporters face problems in fulfilling their orders due to the lack of power supply.
The exporters said that a few months ago the textile sector received huge orders from China and other Far Eastern countries. “Now all the value-added sectors, particularly apparel sector received heavy orders,” said Adil Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA).
The knitwear exports in May increased by 25.5 percent in quantity over the exports made during the corresponding period last fiscal year, he said, adding that this is perhaps the largest monthly increase ever achieved in this sector.
* Gas supply to textile mills resumes:
Gas supply to the textile mills, both in Lahore and in Faisalabad region, has been resumed for two-and-a-half day a week.
According to the industry sources, the decision was taken by the SNGPL management a day earlier in consultation with the APTMA leadership, which called on authority concerned and briefed him about the situation on ground due to unprecedented load shedding of both gas and electricity.
The industry has been facing acute shortage of electricity and gas for the last few weeks. The electricity shortage has reached 12 hours a day and gas supply is also reduced to one day a week. Resultantly, majority of the mills closed down their operations while laid off labour at large.
17:20:45 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Angren College charges students for not picking cotton:
The administration of Angren College of Automated Service demanded its students pay 300 thousand sum for not picking cotton in 2012.
According to some college graduates, who asked to remain anonymous, a few days ago professor U. Berdieva called a students’ meeting.
First she asked all graduating students pay six thousand sum (approximately 2.2 USD) towards the “gift” for the college.
Then she dismissed everyone but those who didn’t do volunteer work picking cotton in the fall of 2012.
Those students were told they have to pay for missing the work before they can graduate.