in the news on-line, 9 July 2013

14:41:44 local time map of china CHINA

* Denim workers pay deadly price:

20130709 CCC leadImage_medium
Chinese workers polishing jeans. credit: Justin Jin / Panos Pictures

New report finds that Chinese factories are using banned sandblasting techniques on jeans.

Activists will today demand urgent action from governments and companies to stamp out the continued use of sandblasting and other unsafe finishing processes in the manufacture of denim jeans.  The call comes in a new report into conditions in six denim factories in the Chinese province of Guangdong, a region responsible for half of the world’s entire production of denim jeans.

The report, Breathless for Blue Jeans: Health hazards in China’s denim factories, finds that sandblasting is still widespread in China in order to give jeans a worn or ‘distressed’ look, despite most Western brands banning the practice three years ago because of its link to silicosis, a deadly lung disease that has already caused the deaths of many garment workers.

One worker interviewed said: “In our department, it’s full of jeans and black dust. The temperature on the shop floor is high. It’s difficult to breathe. I feel like I’m working in a coal mine.”

The new research, based on interviews with workers in the factories themselves, also revealed that workers are exposed to other dangerous finishing techniques to distress denim, including hand-sanding, polishing, dye application and spraying chemicals such as potassium permanganate, with limited protective gear and inadequate training in the proper use of equipment.
Factory workers are forced to endure these dangerous conditions for up to 15 hours a day in order to make ends meet, with the basic minimum wage often as low as 1,100 yuan (€137, £116) a month.
read & see more (video).
CCC

14:41:44 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* September wage hike too late, most likely too little – KMU:

Reacting to the Labor Department’s announcement that a wage hike for Metro Manila’s workers will be implemented on September, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today that the hike is already too late and will most likely be too little if coursed through the regional wage board.

KMU said the country’s regional wage boards have through the years approved only meager wage adjustments, rejected calls for a significant wage increase, and allowed the gap between the prices of basic goods and services and workers’ wages to increase.
The labor center said that a significant wage hike is only possible through legislation and called for the immediate passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill, which was refiled by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap in the 16th Congress as House Bill 253 last July 1.
read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO

* Workers call for July 16 Protestang Bayan vs. rising prices, demolition:

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marched from Plaza Lacson in Manila to Mendiola this morning to call for a “Protestang Bayan” or “People’s Protest” on July 16 against the rising prices of basic goods and services and intensifying demolition of urban poor communities.

KMU cited the rising prices of petroleum products as well as actual and planned increases in water rates, fares in the MRT and LRT, power rates, tuition fees, premium contributions to the Social Security System, Pag-ibig and PhilHealth.
read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO

13:41:44 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* VN textile and apparel post strong S.Korean growth:

20130708 TUOITREnews
A worker is pictured at a textile plant in Ho Chi Minh City in this undated photo illustration.Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s total export turnover for textiles and garments to South Korea in the first half of this year topped US$660 million, a 32 percent increase year on year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association.

South Korean exports accounted for 7.5 percent of the $8.9 billion worth of total shipments by the sector, the association said.
The country also remained the market with the highest growth for the Vietnamese textile and apparel industry.
The US and EU are currently Vietnam’s largest markets for textiles and garments, followed by Japan.
Exports to the EU currently account for nearly 15 percent of the total volume, and the industry aims to make exports to Japan equal to this portion.
read more.
TUOITREnews

* Garment exports remain on target:

20130709 VNNews xuat-khau-det-may
Workers of Gia Dinh Textile and Garment Corporation make clothes for export. The nation’s textile and garment industry will potentially fulfill the export turnover goal of US$19.5 billion this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu

The textiles and garments industry is approaching its US$19.5 billion export target for this year after receiving sufficient orders to meet the goal, according to Le Tien Truong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).

Viet Nam’s total export turnover for textiles and garments in the first half of this year surpassed $8.9 billion, a 14.5 per cent increase year-on-year, the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) reported.
The South Korean market saw the highest growth of 32 per cent, with export turnover topping $660 million and accounting for 7.5 per cent of the sector’s total shipments, the association said.
The US and EU are currently Viet Nam’s largest markets for textiles and garments, with revenue of $3.94 billion and $1.29 billion respectively, followed by Japan at $1.1 billion.
read more.

13:41:44 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Thailand-EU FTA: Adding Cost and Complexity?  :

Thailand and the European Union opened the first round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in May this year. A number of Thai businesses now enjoying low or zero import duties in the 28-country EU market (Croatia joined on July 1) hope the FTA will help them maintain their competitiveness in the EU market.

The FTA talks have taken on some urgency because Thai products will no longer enjoy favourable duty treatment under the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) from 2015, as Thailand will be deemed sufficiently developed to not need preferential access to the market. Other exporters that do not currently benefit from GSP will be expecting to gain a benefit for their exports as well.

Some of the concerns in Thailand are intellectual property protection related to access to medicines and opening the market for sensitive EU exports. However, there is still a looming issue that has not been as widely publicised and would affect almost all Thai exporters using the EU FTA. In short, the rules required by the EU in FTAs differ from those in other FTAs that Thailand has signed.
read more.
Bangkok Post Logo

13:41:44 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Exports Booming Despite Concerns:

Despite criticisms over safety, outbreaks of sometimes violent industrial action and a raise in the minimum wage that it was warned would scare off manufacturers, Cambodia’s garment sector is booming, according to government figures.

A report on state newswire Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) on Friday said exports of garments and textiles, which make up the bulk of Cambodia’s output in the global economy, were up by almost a third in terms of value in the first six months of this year.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

14:41:44 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Textile complex to come up in Malaysia’s Labuan Island:

The federal territory of Labuan in East Malaysia has received a RM 30 million investment, its largest investment to date, from a Brunei-based investor, for setting up a textile complex, and a five-story hotel.
The investment would help the island in regaining its 1980s glory as the hub of branded clothing and fabric, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported.
The Labuan Corporation has already given green signal for beginning construction work as the necessary documentation process is completed.
read more.
fibre2fashion

13:11:44 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* As US Companies Disclose Burma Investments, Washington Blacklists General:

Five American businesses have filed “responsible investment” reports with the US government as part of new requirements for companies putting more than US$500,000 in Burma.

The reports, posted on the website of the US Embassy in Burma, come as the United States ups diplomatic and commercial engagement with a country that was long under American sanctions.
Two of the five companies listed so far—Hercules Offshore Inc. and Crowley Marine Services—have carried out small-scale support work in Burma’s energy sector, working with Thailand’s PTTEP, which in turn has partnered with the long-controversial state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). Any commercial dealings by American companies with MOGE must be reported, according to the investment requirements.

Companies are required to report on human rights, worker rights, anti-corruption and environmental policies, and procedures relating to their Burma operations. In a detailed submission, Hercules Offshore said a compliance officer visited Burma twice to check on whether subcontractors were sticking to the rules, while Crowley Marine Services reported that it “maintains a comprehensive series of policies and procedures that address environmental and social concerns.”
(…)
For Burma’s labor-intensive garment sector, selling to US-based buyers represents “a good opportunity for the Myanmar garment makers,” according to Myint Soe. He is chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, representing more than 150,000 workers in a sector that took hefty commercial losses during the United States import ban.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

12:26:44 local time map of nepal NEPAL

* PEB to recommend leasing out Butwal Spinning Mill:

The Public Enterprises Board (PEB) is planning to recommended to the government that the now closed Butwal Spinning Mill be given to the private sector to operate on long-term lease. The government shut down the factory and paid off its staff in 2007 after it suffered continuous losses for 17 years.

The factory, located in Butwal in south central Nepal, racked up cumulative losses of Rs 2.5 billion before it was closed in 2007, according to the board’s study.
A member of the board Narayan Bajaj said that the board was planning to urge the government to let the private sector run the factory. It has been clearly proven by the continuous losses that the government is incapable of doing so, he added.
“The two private spinning mills—Reliance and Jagadamba—are operating round the clock with three shifts which proves that private companies can run Butwal Spinning too, and that there is a market for yarn,” said Bajaj who coordinated the study on the mill.
read more.
EKANTIPUR

12:41:44 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladesh Safety Accord implementation – moving forward:

Broad coalition of trade unions – led by IndustriALL & UNI – and 70 market leading clothing brands & retailers today announces next steps for historic Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

The signatories to the Accord, IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union and the over 70 clothing brands and retailers, set themselves a 45 day period to draw up and agree on the next implementation steps and 8 July is the deadline. The Accord represents a new era of collaboration and sincere efforts to make the Bangladeshi garment industry safe and sustainable through comprehensive inspections, repairs of factories, training and involvement of workers. All parties to the five-year binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh are enthused by this milestone and the real work on the ground will begin soon.
 read more. & read more.
UNIglobalUNION Home

* Bangladesh Safety Accord implementation:

Here you can download “the implementation of the Accord”:
20130708 Accord Governance Regulations.
&
Here you can download “Implementation Team Report- Steering Committee” . 20130708 Accord-Report Imp lTeam-Final.
DUCS-twitter

* BGMEA welcomes steering body’s inspection move:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has welcomed the move by the Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’s apparel sector, saying that the accord should include representatives from local apparel industry and the government of Bangladesh to make the inspection in a planned and co-ordinated way.

“Initial inspections at every factory will be completed at the latest within nine months and plans for renovations and repairs will be put in place where necessary,” the statement of the Steering Committee said.
All such inspections will focus on those issues that pose grave and immediate risks to workers, in particular inadequate emergency infrastructure and procedures like fire exits, fire training and evacuation and fundamental flaws that could lead to a partial or total structural failure of a factory building.
The signatories to the Accord stated the priority is to move swiftly to reduce severe hazards facing workers in factories covered by it, it noted.
(…)
Replying to a query, Andy York informed the FE through an e-mail that “the BGMEA and BKMEA are involved through the advisory board. We begin reaching out to them Monday at the EU Trade Summit and we have a delegation visiting Bangladesh at the end of the month to speak to all stakeholders on the ground and to ensure that we align with the National Action Plan (NAP).”
All the works should be done in planned and co-ordinated ways involving all the stakeholders including BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA) so that no repetition is involved in inspection,” BGMEA vice president Reaz-bin-Mahmood told the FE.

“After all it is our factories they are going to inspect,” he said. Workers will be paid when repairing or renovation would take place, he said raising a question about whether the brands or the manufacturers will pay the workers during that period.
There are many more questions which need to be clarified and they are yet to get the details of the plan, he added.
read more.

* Accord Safety Bangladesh announces implementation plan:

The Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announces its plan to implement the Accord programme, which it delivered within the 45 days deadline. This pioneering Accord is a binding contract between 70 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs. Its aim is to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh

Clean Clothes Campaign, as one of the witnesses to signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, congratulates the implementation team on the excellent progress that has been made, which has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of Bangaldeshi garment workers. We welcome the strong commitment from brands to improving health and safety in Bangladeshi garment factories,’ says Ben Vanpeperstraete, Clean Clothes Campaign.

The Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announces its plan to implement the Accord programme, which it delivered within the 45 days deadline. This pioneering Accord is a binding contract between 70 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs. Its aim is to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.

Key highlights include:

* Initial inspections – To identify grave hazards and the need for urgent repairs  – will be completed within 9 months.
* An Interim Procedure has been agreed to take effect when existing inspection processes or worker reports identify factories which require immediate remediation measures.
*  Hiring process commenced for the Chief Safety Inspector and Executive Director positions.
* Governance structure established through a Steering Committee with equal representation of signatory companies and unions and an Advisory Board with broad representation in Bangladesh.
read more.
CCC

* Trade unions, brands and retailers agree next steps for Bangladesh safety accord:

Trade unions and over 70 clothing brands and retailers have agreed the next steps for the implementation of a ground-breaking safety agreement in Bangladesh.

The agreement, signed in May in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster, commits the brands and unions to work on a comprehensive plan to improve factory safety in Bangladesh. Crucially the agreement is legally binding, unlike previous voluntary company-led initiatives. Over one million people around the world took action to demand brands signed the union-led agreement.
read more.
WAW 1

* Committee firms-up plan to apply Bangla fire safety accord:

The Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announces its plan to implement the Accord programme, which it delivered within the 45 days deadline.

This pioneering Accord is a binding contract between 70 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs. Its aim is to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Top retailers, unions to inspect factories:

20130708 DHAKTRIBUNE RMG_article

Seventy top retailers have pledged to improve worker safety and allow inspection of all of their garment factories in Bangladesh within nine months under a pact signed with unions, reports AFP.

Repairs and renovations resulting from the inspections will also be carried out, the retailers pledged as part of the legally binding agreement signed in the wake of the April collapse of the Rana Plaza complex, which killed 1,129 people.
“Initial inspections at every factory will be completed at the latest within nine months, and plans for renovations and repairs put in place where necessary,” a statement from the pact’s steering committee said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Retailers plan Bangladesh factory inspections under safety pact:

* Companies to pool data on factories for first time
* Initial inspections due within nine months
* Brands agree to help fund safety improvements
* Officials meet in Geneva on Monday to discuss safety and trade

A group of mainly European retailers has finalised a plan to conduct coordinated inspections of factories in Bangladesh in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,129 people in April.

The collapse of Rana Plaza, a factory built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, on April 24 ranks among the world’s worst industrial accidents and has galvanised brands to look more closely at their suppliers.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
ET reuters NYT GLOBALTIMES

* Major US retailers missing in deal signing:

A coalition of trade unions and predominantly European clothing retailers has agreed to a legally binding plan to inspect garment supply factories in Bangladesh within nine months.

The 75 signatories to the accord, unveiled on Monday, will guarantee that in every case where unsafe conditions are found, funds will be made available for necessary safety upgrades.
But only three US retailers have signed up to the plan. American firms are reportedly reluctant to join any industry accord that creates legally binding objectives. The small number of US signatories will disappoint advocates hoping for an end to dangerous conditions in Bangladesh’s multi-million pound garment industry, in which 1,200 people have died in the past year.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* High-powered panel to review labour law:

The government has constituted a high-powered committee to further review the recently approved Labour Act following the withdrawal of GSP privilege by the US.

The 11-strong committee includes four ministers, one state minister and the chief of a parliamentary watchdog.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain is the convenor of the committee that also includes Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, Commerce Minister GM Quader, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian and Israfil Alam, Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The Cabinet Division announced the names of the committee members following a decision taken at cabinet meeting on Jul 1.
The committee will have one representative each from both workers and owners’ organisations besides secretaries of Commerce, Labour and Employment ministries.
The amended Labour Act-2013 is awaiting an approval from the parliament after getting a nod from the cabinet.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Trade facility cannot be taken for granted: EU:

The European Union (EU) has made it clear that Bangladesh cannot take the trade preferences to the EU market for granted and that appropriate action will be considered if there is  insufficient progress for the workers.

“I want to make it clear that Bangladesh – or for that matter any other Least Developed Country – cannot take for granted the trade preferences it currently enjoys,” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a press conference in Geneva on Monday after hosting a high-level meeting in response to tragedies in workplaces in Bangladesh.
“Under the “Everything But Arms” scheme, the EU may consider appropriate action should there be no, or insufficient progress for Bangladeshi workers,” he said.
Representatives of the Bangladesh government, US government, International Labour Organisation (ILO), employees, industry, employers and key stakeholders took part in the meeting titled “Staying Engaged – A Sustainability Compact with Bangladesh”.
“Bangladesh enjoys an extremely favourable trade regime under the EU’s “Everything But Arms” initiative. This is of particular importance for ready-made garments, which represent about 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports to the EU. These enter the EU market with no restriction: duty-free and quota-free. These exports to the EU account for about 2.5 million jobs – mostly for women. “Everything But Arms” is therefore a major contributor to job and income generation for millions of people in Bangladesh,” said the Commissioner.
read more.
logo

* RMG Safety: High-level meeting in Geneva today:

A high-level meeting on Bangladesh’s RMG sector, ‘Staying Engaged–A Sustainability Compact with Bangladesh’, is scheduled this (Monday) afternoon in Geneva, which will focus on agreeing on labour rights, safety and health at work, and responsible business conduct.

EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht will host the meeting that will begin at about 5:30 pm BST (13:30 Hrs Geneva time). The two-hour meeting will be attended by a high-level representation from the Government of Bangladesh led by Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, the ILO, and the US Government.
There will also be representatives from the RMG exporters’ association, from some leading buyers, as well as from the trade unions.
Soon after the meeting, there will be a press conference at about 7:30 pm Monday BST (15:30 Hrs Geneva time) at the EU Mission to the WTO.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD logo

* EU reassures Bangladesh to stay engaged:

Any trade restriction to be manmade disaster for Bangladesh: Dipu

The European Union (EU) on Monday reassured Bangladesh of remaining engaged in improving the labour conditions in Bangladesh.

“…again it’s a process. It’ll be a terrible disaster for Bangladesh if the EU suspends the GSP benefits for Bangladesh under Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Millions of people will become jobless,” EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht said at a press conference in Geneva.
He said the EU is the biggest client of Bangladesh. “We’ve to do something. We need engagement for future.
read more. & read more.
UNB  logo

* RMG Safety: Amended Labour Law ‘needs to be in force by year-end’:

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Monday launched a joint initiative for improving conditions for workers in Bangladeshi garment factories setting a deadline for reforming the Bangladesh Labour Law in particular regarding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining by the end of 2013.

The move is a response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka in April which resulted in over 1,100 deaths.
The Sustainability Compact seeks to improve labour, health and safety conditions for workers, as well as to encourage responsible behaviour by businesses in the readymade garment industry in the South Asian country.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Dhaka pledges time-bound action plan for EU GSP:

Bangladesh on Monday told European Union trade officials in Geneva that it would enact a new labour law by this year and increase the number of factory inspectorate to 800 from existing 200.

The visiting Bangladesh delegation led by foreign minister Dipu Moni made the commitment at the crucial meeting with the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to preserve the EU trade benefits for the country.
The EU, which gives preferential access to Bangladeshi garment, has threatened punitive measures to press Dhaka to improve worker safety standards after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building that had killed 1,134 workers.
read more.

* Use rewards not punishments to help BD workers:

The U.S. is about to reimpose tariffs on Bangladesh in response to the country’s failure to improve safety in its factories. The European Union has threatened to follow the U.S.’s lead — a move that would hit Bangladesh much harder. This punitive strategy is understandable, but there’s a better way to advance a worthy cause.

More than 1,000 people died when a garment factory near Dhaka collapsed in April; a few months before, a factory fire killed more than 100. Safety standards in Bangladeshi factories are dire, and government efforts to effect improvements have been paltry.
Under the Generalized System of Preferences, a global program that cuts or lowers tariffs on imports from developing countries, the U.S. requires compliance with certain labor standards. Bangladesh has failed to meet them, trade officials in Washington say, and that’s why tariffs are being restored.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Yunus to introduce a couple of welfare concepts for workers :

Nobel Laureate Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus has initiated steps to introduce an International Minimum Wage Board and a ‘Happy Workers Tag’ concept for the readymade garments (RMG) industry aiming to ensure workplace safety and welfare of the workers.

He called upon the global buyers to shrug off the idea of leaving Bangladesh, putting blame on poor working condition, and work together for ensuring compliance at Bangladesh’s garment industry.
Yunus unveiled his ideas at a monthly luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held at a city hotel Monday.

Civil society members including Brac Founder & Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, eminent lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain, former caretaker government advisers Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud and Akbar Ali Khan, former finance minister M Syeduzzaman, former chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda, business leaders Mahbubur Rahman, Latifur Rahman, ambassador Farooq Sobhan and The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam attended the luncheon.
“Walking away from Bangladesh is not a solution. Stay here and work together for the improvement of workplace safety as well as betterment of the poor workers in the country. This is the best place in the world for readymade garments industry,” Yunus said.
read more.

* RMG workers fell victim to mass psychogenic illness: experts:

Government’s disease monitoring wing Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) today revealed that the garments workers became sick falling victims to ‘mass psychogenic illness’.

“Garment workers fell sick after having food or water in last the few weeks not due to water or food contamination, but it is a type of mental problem called mass psychogenic illness,” said IEDCR Director Prof. Mahmudur Rahman. IEDCR today arranged a consultative workshop with journalists on “recent outbreak of mass psychogenic illness in RMG sector” at its office at Mohakhali in the city.
He said the workers might be depressed due to frequent threats in their workplace in last few months, fire in Tazrin Garments in November last year and the devastating Rana Plaza collapse in April this year.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BSS daily star bd

* Bangladesh factory tragedy gives hope to leather workers:

The gutters run blue and red, contaminated by chemicals; the air is acrid with fumes; the white midday sun bleaches the dirt of the busy thoroughfare.

Mohammed Jalal, 42, is sitting under a ragged awning. He sips tea served scalding hot, despite the 45C temperature. Soon he will return to work in one of the 185 tanneries that dominate this choked, congested neighbourhood of Dhaka.
‘If there was any other job, I’d do it,’ Jalal says, shaking his head.
Bangladesh has been under a spotlight since the deaths in April of 1,130 workers in the collapse of a factory in Dhaka, which produced cheap garments for western high street retailers. In the tragedy’s aftermath, politicians in the south Asian state promised reforms and companies such as Primark, Matalan and Gap scrambled to repair battered reputations, reports Guardian.
Many western firms have signed up to an agreement that legally binds them to source garments from factories in Bangladesh with safe working conditions and to contribute to the cost of improvements.
Others are negotiating a separate accord.

But Bangladesh is also a major supplier of leather for shoes, handbags, belts, jackets and suitcases used in Britain, other European countries and south-east Asia. This booming trade – predicted to soon be worth more than $1 billion annually but notorious for its harsh conditions and pollution – has received less attention. Almost all Bangladeshi leather is produced from local animal hides by about 15,000 labourers in the small Dhaka neighbourhood of Hazaribagh. A recent report from international campaign group Human Rights Watch described ‘systemic human rights violations’ in the industry. They also warn over a catastrophic environmental impact as tanneries discharge huge quantities of toxic waste into the Buriganga river, which flows through Dhaka.
read more. & read more.
NewNation

* RMG to get cash incentives in FY’14:

As in the past, readymade garments (RMG) are among the 14 export items chosen by the government for subsidies and cash incentives.

The Foreign Exchange Policy Department (FEPD) of Bangladesh Bank (BB) has announced the rate ranging between 5 percent and 20 percent for the cash incentives to more than 150 products covered under the 14 categories.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* The fight for a decent living:

NGOs help disabled people find jobs in garment factories

Every morning, hundreds of garment workers scurry to reach their factory gates on time. But not Shahida Akhter; she has to take a rickshaw to avoid being late.
She works as a helper at a garment factory. The job has given new meaning to the life of a physically challenged person.

“When I got the job, some of my mates laughed it off, as I could not walk. But I proved them wrong. Now they behave cordially with me,” said a pleasant Shahida.
The 20-year-old works at New Prince Apparels in Badda, Dhaka, drawing a monthly salary of Tk 4,000-Tk 4,500. The income has relieved her of much of her dependence on family for a living.
“Half the money I earn goes for rickshaw rent. Even then, I am happy as I can earn.”
However, getting the job was not easy. She had to visit quite a number of factories, sometimes even facing negative social attitudes.
“We faced quite a bit of hassle in ensuring a job for her. We were even denied entry to a couple of factories. One guard at a factory even thought she was a beggar,” said Md Al-Amin, also a physically challenged person. He works as a community mobiliser at a non-government organisation, ADD International, which works to promote the rights of the disabled.
read more.
daily star bd

12:11:44 local time map of india INDIA

* Jute, municipal workers stage dharna:

The Collector’s Office here on Monday was a scene of protests by various workers’ union. While Kothavalasa Uma Jute Mill Workers’ Union, affiliated to IFTU, blocked the in-gate, municipal workers protested at the exit point. KGBV contract Employees’ Association staged protest separately at the out-gate.

Jute workers, who came in a procession from Railway Station to the Collector’s Office, staged a dharna demanding that the district administration initiate measures lift “illegal” lockout that the management had declared on May 20, and withdraw fake cases registered in police station. The union president M. Gopalam, IFTU district general secretary K. Sanyasi Rao said that there was no scope now for conciliation talks between management and union as the management walked out of the meeting chaired by Joint Labour Commissioner. They demanded revised agreement, payment of wages for the “illegal” lockout period. They lifted the protest after U.C.G. Nageswar Rao, Additional Joint Collector, said that they will look into their problem.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Gujarat apparel makers eye bigger share in India’s exports:

Garment makers in western Indian state of Gujarat are eyeing a larger share in India’s exports volume and are in talks with the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) to find ways to enhance the volume of exports.
At present, Gujarat accounts for only about two percent of India’s total apparel exports, which is quite less, Gujarat Garment Manufacturers’ Association (GGMA) president Vijay Purohit said on the sidelines of the 21st GGMA National Garment Fair in Ahmedabad.
read more.
fibre2fashion

11:41:44 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile millers assured relief from energy crisis:

Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Musadik Malik has assured textile millers of real fight against energy crisis to give them immediate relief.

He was responding to the concerns raised by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) during his visit to the Aptma House.Central Chairman Aptma Ahsan Bashir and Chairman Aptma Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan welcomed the special adviser.
Dr Malik admitted that the situation on ground was worst than actually projected through media and assured the members of bringing real issues forward to the federal government. He further said that he would keep the commitment of supplying electricity immediately to textile mills, particularly in Punjab, as per the requirement.
read more.
thenewspk

* PM’s adviser for electricity supply to textile industry :

Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Energy Dr Musadik Malik has assured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) of putting up a fight for immediate relief on electricity supply to the textile industry.

He was responding to the concerns raised by the APTMA members during his visit to the APTMA House, Lahore the other day. APTMA Central Chairman Ahsan Bashir and Punjab APTMA Chairman Shahzad Ali Khan welcomed the special adviser at the APTMA House.
Dr Malik admitted the fact that situation on ground was more worse than actually projected through media and assured the APTMA members to carry the sentiments they expressed in the meeting to the federal government in true spirit.
He said he would be utilising all his commitments in immediate supply of electricity to textile mills, particularly in Punjab, as per requirement.
read  more. & read more. & read more.
daily times PK BUSINESSRECORDER thenation

* American bollworm attack on BT cotton: FAP urges government to form expert committee:

Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) has urged the government to constitute an ‘expert committee’ to look in to the reported attack of American Boll Worm on BT cotton varieties to examine the severity of the threat, reasons and tackling the issue from ruining this important cash crop.

It also urged the government to ascertain how uncertified BT seeds came in to the country and is there any standards or regulations exist for such seeds. It said that this issue is more of governance than of legislation. If it is not addressed right now it can be a big threat in the future for a crop, which is most important for not only the agriculture but the national economy.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER DAWNnew

 

map of Asia

HEADLINES TODAY:

CHINA
* Denim workers pay deadly price

PHILIPPINES
* September wage hike too late, most likely too little – KMU
* Workers call for July 16 Protestang Bayan vs. rising prices, demolition

VIET NAM
* VN textile and apparel post strong S.Korean growth
* Garment exports remain on target

THAILAND
* Thailand-EU FTA: Adding Cost and Complexity?

CAMBODIA
* Garment Exports Booming Despite Concerns

MALAYSIA
* Textile complex to come up in Malaysia’s Labuan Island

BURMA/MYANMAR
* As US Companies Disclose Burma Investments, Washington Blacklists General

NEPAL
* PEB to recommend leasing out Butwal Spinning Mill

BANGLADESH
* Bangladesh Safety Accord implementation – moving forward
* Bangladesh Safety Accord implementation
* BGMEA welcomes steering body’s inspection move
* Accord Safety Bangladesh announces implementation plan
* Trade unions, brands and retailers agree next steps for Bangladesh safety accord
* Committee firms-up plan to apply Bangla fire safety accord
* Top retailers, unions to inspect factories
* Retailers plan Bangladesh factory inspections under safety pact
* Major US retailers missing in deal signing
* High-powered panel to review labour law
* Trade facility cannot be taken for granted: EU
* RMG Safety: High-level meeting in Geneva today
* EU reassures Bangladesh to stay engaged
* RMG Safety: Amended Labour Law ‘needs to be in force by year-end’
* Dhaka pledges time-bound action plan for EU GSP
* Use rewards not punishments to help BD workers
* Yunus to introduce a couple of welfare concepts for workers
* RMG workers fell victim to mass psychogenic illness: experts
* Bangladesh factory tragedy gives hope to leather workers
* RMG to get cash incentives in FY’14
* The fight for a decent living

INDIA
* Jute, municipal workers stage dharna
* Gujarat apparel makers eye bigger share in India’s exports

PAKISTAN
* Textile millers assured relief from energy crisis
* PM’s adviser for electricity supply to textile industry
* American bollworm attack on BT cotton: FAP urges government to form expert committee

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