in the news on-line, 10 July 2013

09:30:28 local time map of china CHINA

 * 2 men get prison, fines for fake Disney clothing:

Two shop owners who sold fake Disney-brand children’s garments for more than 700,000 yuan (US$114,030) were given prison sentences and fines, the Yangpu District People’s Court said today.

A man surnamed Wang was given a three-year sentence with a four-year reprieve and a 180,000-yuan fine for opening a children’s garment shop on Qipu Road, where he sold children’s garments that were counterfeits of the Disney brand.
His accomplice, surnamed Ye, was given a 30-month sentence and a 100,000-yuan fine.
read more.

09:30:28 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Employers urged to ‘pay it forward’:

Workers belonging to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) urged employers to “pay it forward” by granting the group’s petition for an P85 wage increase in the face of the skyrocketing cost of basic commodities and services.

In a statement, Democrito Mendoza, president of TUCP, said denying workers a reasonable wage increase would be a great injustice to those who contributed to the recent significant improvement in the economy.
By granting the petition for an P85 wage increase—“a simple act of sharing their profits with their workers in distress”—employers will be able to “pay it forward,” Mendoza said.
The current minimum wage in Metro Manila is P456.
In its petition dated June 5, the TUCP wants an P85 wage increase to cope with the rising cost of commodities and services.
read more.

08:30:28 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment exports target comes near:

Vietnam’s total export turnover for textiles and garments in the first half of this year surpassed 8.9 billion USD, a 14.5 percent increase year-on-year, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) reported.

The textiles and garments industry is approaching its 19.5 billion USD export target for this year after receiving sufficient orders to meet the goal, according to Le Tien Truong, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).
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* Vietnam’s garment & textile exports grow 14.5% in H1 2013:

The exports of garments and textiles from Vietnam grew by 14.5 percent year-on-year to US$ 8.9 billion in the first six months of the current year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
The US and the EU continued to be the major markets for Vietnamese garments which accounted for US$ 3.94 billion and US$ 1.29 billion worth of exports during January-June 2013, Viet Nam News reported.
read more.

08:30:28 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodia’s Garment Industry Exported $1.56 Billion In First Half Of The Year, A 32% Year-On-Year Growth:

With the lowest wage rate in Southeast Asia and a young workforce, Cambodia has emerged as the global manufacturing hotspot despite outbreaks of violent industrial action and safety concerns.

Its garment sector, which makes up the bulk of the country’s output in the global economy, is booming – the country exported $1.56 billion worth of garments and textiles, a 32 percent year-on-year growth.

The figures, from the Ministry of Commerce, showed that the European Union is catching up to the U.S. as the largest recipient of Cambodian-made garments, according to Cambodia Daily. In the six-month period, exports to the EU were worth $532 million, up 45 percent from the same period last year. Exports to the U.S. rose by 17 percent to $660 million, in comparison. Growth in exports was the result of stabilizing demand from the U.S. and Europe, according to Kong Putheara, director of the Ministry of Commerce’s Statistic Department.
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09:30:28 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Definition of minimum wage should be properly defined:

I refer to the report “TWU: Our views not sought on deferment of wage policy” (The Star, July 5).

The matters mentioned in the report involve the implementation of the Minimum Wages Order 2012 which came into operation on Jan 1 in respect of employers who employ six workers or more and on July 1, in respect of those who employ five workers or less.

The Order which applies to all private sector employees except domestic servants provides the following wages rates; RM900 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah, Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan.
For the purpose of implementing the Order it has to be read jointly with the National Wages Consultative Act 2011 (the Act) under which the Order was made.
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* 300 firms yet to apply new law on retirement age:

Although the minimum retirement age is now 60, almost 300 companies, including big government-linked companies (GLCs), have yet to implement the new law.

These companies, including UEM Group, Boustead Group, Felcra Bhd, Northport (Malaysia) Bhd and PLUS Malaysia Bhd, were given an exemption by the Human Resources Ministry. A total of 258 companies, comprising GLCs, multinational companies (MNCs) and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), will not need to change its minimum retirement age to 60 until Jan 1, 2014.
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07:30:28 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 7 hurt in Pabna RMG factory fire:

At least seven workers were injured while rushing to escape a fire that broke out at a garment factory in Ishwardi Export Processing Zone in Pabna on Tuesday.

The authorities declared the factory, Nakano International Company Limited, closed for Tuesday, reports our Pabna correspondent.
Rakib Rahman, manager of the factory, said workers of washing section noticed a spark caused by an electric short circuit around 10:00am.
The panicked workers went out of the one-storey factory building. But they joined work again after the power line was repaired.
Few minutes later, a fire originated from the same cable, the manager said.
Two fire fighting units brought under control the fire around 11:00am, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Govt decides to drop cases against RMG worker leaders:

The government decided to withdraw cases against some garment workers’ leaders and expedite investigation into the sensational workers’ leader Aminul Islam murder case in an effort to create an image abroad that it was working for the workers’ rights.

The home ministry today will send a letter to the deputy commissioner (DC) of Dhaka district to take steps for withdrawing the cases.
The move comes against the backdrop of the suspension of trade privileges, known as the Generalised System of Preferences, for Bangladesh by the US on June 27 due to “’serious shortcomings” in safety and labour standards.
The home ministry decided to withdraw 16 cases filed against garment workers’ leader Kalpana Akhter and Babul Akhter.
read more.
daily star bd

* 2 hurt as miscreants open fire on agitating RMG workers in city:

Two people, including a garment worker, suffered bullet wounds as miscreants opened fire on a group of demonstrating workers at Merul Badda in the city on Tuesday afternoon.

The victims were identified as Sohag, 24, a worker of Riviera Resources Ltd, and pedestrian Shariful Islam, 26. They were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Hospital sources said workers of several garment factories in East Rampura took to the street around 3pm and staged demonstrations to press home their various demands, including a hike in their wages.
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UNB newstodayBD

* RMG worker shot dead:

20130710 NEWAGE
Dragon Sweaters workers bring out a procession on the DIT Road at Malibagh Chowdhurypara in Dhaka on Tuesday, demanding dues. — New Age photo

A garment worker was killed after unknown assailants opened fire on a group of his colleagues demonstrating for a pay rise at the capital’s Merul Badda yesterday.
Mohammad Sohag, 22, a worker of Riviera Resources Ltd at Purba Rampura, was shot in the head around 3:00pm. He died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital seven hours later.

A passer-by, Shariful Islam, 27, was also injured in the shooting. With a gunshot in the right arm, the house painter was being treated in DMCH.
Shahidul Islam, an agitating garment worker, said several hundred workers from a number of garment factories at Purba Rampura were agitating for various demands including wage hike.
When they were heading towards Badda to collect more workers, around 30 armed men intercepted them and shot at them, he added. Three or four gunshots were heard, he said.
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daily star bd  DHAKATRIBUNE

* Cops-RMG workers clash in city:

Readymade garments workers locked into a clash with law enforcers in front of Abul Hotel in capital’s Malibagh Tuesday.

Sources said several garments workers demanded holiday for Tuesday to join a workers’ rally at Aftabnagar in the city. But, garments authorities did not allowed them to go.
In protest against the decision, workers blocked the main road in the area halting vehicular movement through the area.
The clash erupted when police tried to disperse from the area, leaving some workers injured.
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* Workers’ unrest in DEPZ BEXIMCO factory:

Massive unrest by workers shuddered ‘BEXIMCO Fashion Ltd’ at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) on Tuesday.

At least 3000 of workers are staging work abstention for the second consecutive day to press home their demand of increasing wages and removal the decision of workers clipping.
The factory authorities, however, assured to meet the demands but never announced any proper steps. Meanwhile, workers announced to continue their protest in reaction to the irresponsible attitude of authorities.
The agitating workers said every factory at DEPZ clears wage and other allowances within first week of the month but BEXIMCO usually clears wage in third or fourth week of the month.
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* The History behind the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord :

The Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (otherwise known as the “Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord”, the “Bangladesh Accord” or the “Accord”) was formally signed by more than 40 apparel companies, two global unions and four Bangladeshi union federations – with four labour rights NGOs signing as witnesses – on May 23, 2013. As of July 4, 2013, a total of 67 companies have signed the Accord.

The Accord sets out the framework for a comprehensive program of independent and transparent inspections, health and safety training and worker empowerment, time-bound and financially-supported remediation of health and safety risks, and real repercussions for suppliers that refuse to comply. The Accord has been endorsed by
the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, amongst others.

The Accord represents the culmination of years of work by trade union and labour rights organizations to develop and gain agreement on enforceable and effective safety standards for the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry. It is the result of widespread consultations and discussions with various stakeholders both within Bangladesh and internationally, involving buyers, suppliers, worker representatives and governments.

This brief account of the story behind the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord was prepared by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), two of the labour rights NGOs that were closely involved in the process of creating a strong and binding agreement on fire and building safety in Bangladesh.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the precedent-setting nature of the agreement, its key provisions and their antecedents, and to explain how participants in the process from all sides – both in Bangladesh and internationally – contributed to the substance and successful achievement of the final Accord.
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* Proposed labour law: A critique by a trade unionist:

In the aftermath of the Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza tragedy, the labour law of Bangladesh is on the focus not only at home but also abroad.

When the 18th session of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) resumes on July 14, the government will pass the proposed Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act, 2013, according to Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
The draft law was placed in parliament on June 05 and approved by the Cabinet on July 01. The Cabinet also decided to form a review committee to suggest amendment to the draft law. An 11-member review committee, headed by Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, was constituted on Monday. A critique of the draft law is now in order.

The source of our Labour Law is our Constitution, ILO Conventions ratified by Bangladesh and the Industrial Relation Ordinance (IRO) 1969. Bangladesh is a member of ILO. I quote below some articles from our Constitution and ILO Core Convention on fundamental rights of workers, right to organise and bargain collectively without outside interference.
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* Bangladesh vows to better worker rights, factory safety:

Bangladesh vowed Monday to improve workers’ rights and factory safety in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse amid warnings that EU trade benefits might suffer if it does not make enough progress.

The Bangladeshi government aims to ensure the Asian nation is home to a garment industry, “where our workers’ rights are upheld, where they work in a secure and safe environment, with decent work conditions, with proper wages”, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters in Geneva.
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* Call to include BD reps in RMG buyers’ body on safety accord:

Bangladesh sought inclusion of representatives from the local apparel makers and the government in the steering committee (SC) for European buyers’ fire and building safety accord on the readymade garment (RMG) sector, sources close to the negotiators said Tuesday.

“We have told the officials working on the Accord that there must be representation from both the manufacturers and the government in the Steering Committee,” Md Hatem, First Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told the FE on phone Monday from Geneva, where he attended a meeting in this connection.

According to the Accord plan unveiled in Geneva, the SC members have been elected and they are Alke Boessiger of the UNI, Monika Kemperle of IndustriALL, a representative of the Bangladeshi signatory unions, Aleix Gonzalez of Inditex, Melanie Steiner of PVH, and Andy York of the N Brown Group. Dan Rees of the ILO will serve as the non-voting chairperson of the SC.
read more.

* Safety accord leads way forward for RMG:

The Fire and Building Safety Accord overcomes this hurdle by simply focusing on safety as the most urgent priority where all parties have a clear common interest

The legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety is a crucial move towards safeguarding workers in Bangladesh’s garment industry.
By bringing together over 70 brands and retailers with international trade unions in a 5 year commitment, the Accord provides for an urgent programme of safety inspections and  offers a tangible move towards implementing much needed improvements.
It is published at a time of wider debate about the longer term  future of the RMG sector. Understandably, concerns run deep and debates about the future, while clearly essential and important, can sometimes be inconclusive.
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* Bangladesh, EU adopt compact for RMG’s continued access to EU:

The European Union and Bangladesh resolved to work together on improving exercise of labour rights, addressing safety concerns, uplifting factory building conditions and ensuring responsible business contact vis-.-vis Bangladesh’s RMG sector, by adopting a Compact “Staying Engaged: A Sustainability Compact for continuous improvements in labour rights and factory safety in the Ready-Made Garment and Knitwear Industry in Bangladesh”.

During an open session, in the EU delegation in Geneva, joined by EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and ILO Director General Guy Ryder, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni welcomed the adoption of the Compact and reiterated that Bangladesh Government is fully committed to realizing the commitments made so far, said a message received here today.
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* EU wants labour law revision:

Revision of the labour law by Parliament would be the ‘first true test’ of Bangladesh’s commitment to improving working conditions after the devastating Rana Plaza building collapse, the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has said.

Gucht said at a press briefing in Geneva after a high-level meeting on Monday that they were ready to help Bangladesh but stressed need to adopt a new law ‘at the end of this week or early next week’.
“The objective is to beef up crucial aspects of the Labour Law – notably freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining as well as improved occupational safety and health,” he said.
The EU Trade Commissioner hosted the meeting styled ‘Staying Engaged – A Sustainability Compact with Bangladesh’ in view of “improving conditions for workers in Bangladesh” after the recent disasters in its garment manufacturing industry.
read more.

* Global buyers should keep on buying RMG from Bangladesh, observes Fair Trade USA:

Analysing the aftermath of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse near Dhaka the Fair Trade USA has observed that the global buyers should keep on buying ready-made garments (RMG) from Bangladesh to help workers of the country to improve their lots.

A commitment to keep on buying apparels from Bangladesh is better than boycotting the garment sector of the country, which is now tended to improve safety and labour standards in industrial sectors, the United States-based third-party certifier of exports goods said in an analysis on Tuesday.

It said the unforgettable building collapse that killed 1,129 workers and maimed many in April could fuel positive change for the future with an opportunity to take action for safety improvement with the efforts of consumers who pay for better cloths.
The Fair Trade USA under its apparel programme offers certification to the cotton farmers and the factory operators and monitors their overall performances regarding workplace safety and rights of workers.
read more.

* Three Aussie Companies Have Not Signed Bangladesh Safety Accord:

Three Australian retailers using low-cost labour in Bangladesh have so far failed to sign an accord that will require safety inspections at the country’s overcrowded garment factories within nine months.

The accord, lead by a coalition of trade unions, has been signed by more than 70 global retailers and several unions and is enforceable by law.
An ABC TV programme last month revealed Coles, Target, Cotton On and Forever New were among the retailers manufacturing clothing in Bangladesh, where a factory collapse in April claimed more than 1,100 lives.
Fairfax Media also reported Kmart, Big W and Rivers were among Western companies using low-cost labour in the South Asian country.
read more.

* Target joins BD worker safety group:

Target Corp. said Monday that it has joined a group of national retailers and former U.S. senators to address labor issues in Bangladesh.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has been “actively engaged” with the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, spokeswoman Jessica Deede said. The alliance, led by Wal-Mart, Gap, and former senators George Mitchell and Olympia Snowe, will focus on improving working conditions in the impoverished Southeast Asian country.

The group will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to discuss its proposals. Target and the alliance both declined to comment on specifics, but the group reportedly will announce a 50 million fund to help boost safety for garment workers in Bangladesh, which is the world`s second-largest garment manufacturer after China.
Labor and activist groups have criticized retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and Sears for not joining the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which would impose legally binding requirements on retailers. Over 70 global retailers, including H&M in Sweden and Loblaws in Canada, have already signed on to the accord.

“What they are doing is distracting people from what workers need to ensure safe working conditions,” said Liana Foxvog, a spokeswoman for the International Labor Rights Forum. The alliance “is really a face-lift of corporate responsibility programs that have existed for decades. We`ve already seen the results of those programs.”
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* Effective economic diplomacy needed to meet challenging demands of the time:

Bangladesh is likely to face multi-pronged problems in keeping its existing market share in the European Union under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) that it has been enjoying under the EU’s everything but arms (EBA) programme, in the event of finalization of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the EU, according to relevant sources.

If India signs such a FTA accord with the EU, its export items will get almost the same facilities — duty-free status — in the EU countries, the sources said.
Moreover, the EU’s GSP facility, they noted, will also witness a fresh review, with some changes coming up in its operational aspects, in 2014 that many also lead to a changed market scenario for Bangladesh’s exports to the EU.
A retired Bangladesh ambassador, preferring anonymity, said: “This is the right time for Bangladesh to watch closely developments about the India-EU FTA negotiations and appropriate steps should be initiated by Bangladesh to safeguard its investors.”
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* Rajuk to take action against building owners yet to meet safety issue:

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), the city development authority, will go for stern action against owners of the buildings who have not complied yet with the concerns in respect of structural designs raised by the BUET engineers within the given timeframe, officials said.

Rajuk took the decision to ensure safety of buildings which have become a serious concern to all after the country’s worst industrial disaster, Rana Plaza collapse.
Immediately after the tragedy, Rajuk sent a list of nearly 100 buildings, mostly commercial ones, to the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), requesting its engineers to check those.
Then the university engineers inspected the buildings and advised the owners of those faulty structures to undertake necessary repairing works to avoid the risk of accidents.
read more.

* Bangladesh garment exports boom despite disasters:

Output from Bangladesh’s accident-prone garment sector increased in June, data showed Tuesday, with demand from foreign retailers still growing despite the country’s factory disaster in April.
At least 1,129 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed outside the capital Dhaka in April, sparking demonstrations against Western brands and prompting some retailers to threaten to cancel orders.

Government data released on Tuesday showed that the country’s total exports — 80 percent of which come from the garment sector — soared by 16 percent year-on-year in June to $2.7 billion, following an increase of 15 percent in May.
“The disasters didn’t have much impact. They are scattered incidents,” head of the government’s Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Shuvhashish Bose told AFP, referring to the Rana Plaza tragedy and other factory fires that have killed another 130 workers since November.
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logo  fibre2fashion BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd

* Bangladesh garment exports cross $21bn-mark in FY’13:

The exports of readymade garments earned US$ 21.515 billion in foreign exchange for Bangladesh during fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on June 30, 2013, according to data released by the Export Promotion Bureau.

Bangladesh’s garment exports during July-June 2012-13 period have risen by about 12.7 percent over exports of US$ 19.089 billion made during the corresponding period of 2011-12.
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* Tanneries in glare:

A recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused tanneries in Bangladesh of’ ‘systemic human rights violations’ putting on dock an industry that has emerged as a major supplier of leather for footwear and suitcases, belts and bags in the West and South-east Asia.

Bangladesh‘s leather industry is witnessing a boom in recent years and is expected to be worth $1 billion annually.
But a ‘Guardian’ report says it is “notorious for its harsh conditions and pollution”, which has received less attention than the garment industry.
The “Guardian” report says that almost all the leather processed in Bangladesh is produced from local animal hides by about 15,000 labourers in the small Dhaka neighbourhood of Hazaribagh.
It blames the tanneries for creating a “catastrophic environmental impact”, as they discharge “huge quantities of toxic waste” into the Buriganga river, which flows through Dhaka.
read more.

* Footwear: A potential export item:

The need for diversification of the country’s export base has been underscored, time and again, by all concerned circles. But the situation has not changed much.

The apparel exports continue to dominate the export basket with their annual earning constituting nearly 80 per cent of the country’s aggregate export receipts. Certainly, the level of export of some items that have a large global market has marked an improvement albeit at a very slow pace. The slow growth of export of potential items could be due to many reasons, including quality, price and insufficient drive on the part of the exporters concerned to explore new markets.

Leather, leather goods, including footwear, have certainly a bright prospect of getting a foothold in the global market worth billions of dollars.
Bangladesh could export leather, leather goods and footwear valued more than US$750 million during the first 11 months of the immediate past fiscal year, registering a modest growth over corresponding period of the previous one.
The export receipts from footwear grew by nearly 25 per cent during the July-May period of the last fiscal to reach more than $377 million.
Footwear deserves special attention from both the government and the local manufacturers because the item carries a great promise to become a major export item. The interest, reportedly, shown by a number of leading global brands would suffice to bear out this.
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07:00:28 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Fix separate minimum wage for workers in organised and unorganised sectors’:

The Karnataka Shramika Shakthi has demanded separate minimum wage for workers in the organised and unorganised sectors.

The members sought a minimum wage of at least Rs. 688 a day (around Rs. 20,640 per month). The members, who have planned a rally in Bangalore on July 14 to put forth their demands, staged a demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s office on the CADA premises here on Tuesday. They submitted a memorandum detailing their demands to his office.

They demanded that the minimum wage fixed by the government for the period between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 be withdrawn as it was “unscientific”.
A law promoting the welfare of workers engaged in loading and unloading goods, on the lines of the law in Maharashtra, should be introduced in the State.
While seeking PF and ESI benefits for the loaders, they also demanded that the loaders be covered under the public distribution system (PDS). They also sought regularisation of services of loaders working in the Karnataka Beverages Corporation.
read more.
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* Trade union to give govt an ultimatum for their 4-point demands:

Will reconsider course of action on minimum wage, pension demands

Central trade unions have decided to give an ultimatum to the Government and declare their future course of action soon on their four point demands.

The government had set up a group of four ministers led by Defence Minister AK Antony to discuss labour union demands with the united front of trade unions which included the Congress affiliated Indian Congress.
The group which included Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and the then Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge held talks with the unions once in May and sought a month’s time to consider demands for a common of Rs 10,000, of Rs 3,000, increase in gratuity limit and price control.
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* Government to come out with action plan for textile sector:

The government will come out with an action plan to increase competitive strength of the textiles sector and boost exports within four weeks.

The decision to set up an inter-ministerial group, headed by the Textiles Secretary, to work out a new competitiveness strategy for the sector was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The goal of the strategy would be to leverage the strengths in cotton and other fibres to enhance employment generation and achieve a greater share in global markets, especially in apparel, an official statement said today.
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* Govt to scale up manufacturing, textile exports:

The High Level Committee on Manufacturing decided that steps will be taken to build 300 million tonnes of steel capacity through SPV

With an aim of boosting and amid sharp fall in the rupee, the government today decided to take a slew of steps, including enhancing steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes and raising textile exports by 30% this year.

At a meeting of high level committee here, it was decided that push should be given to creation of domestic manufacturing capabilities, with Prime Minister saying sustained growth in manufacturing is critical if the country has to grow at 8-9%.
He talked about the need to remove ‘bottlenecks that hinder’ progress in manufacturing.
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* Small textile exporters squeezed between costs and buyers bargain:

Price rise of cotton in the past two weeks has made operations for the small and medium-scele players unviable

The textile clusters of Haryana, located in and around Panipat, are in dire straits.

While the weakening of the against the brought windfall gains for most big exporters, the medium and small-scale textile outfits in Panipat are juggling with increased input costs (increased cost of cotton and imported fibre) and lack of access to financial instruments.
Price rise of cotton in the past two weeks has made operations for the small and medium-scale players completely unviable.
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* Rupee fall makes garment manufacturers happy:

As the rupee hit a lifetime low of 60.12 a dollar on Monday, beleaguered garment exporters of Coimbatore-Tirupur region find the continuing currency depreciation as a blessing in disguise for the sector to ride to recovery from accumulating losses.

However, most exporters are sharing the anxiety that how long the downward move of Indian rupee will persist.
The rupee depreciation has turned beneficial to exporters of textile, leather and automobile components in the state.
However, garment manufacturers of Western Tamil Nadu constitute the single most gainers out of the situation . Though pump sets, IT and cut flowers constitute a sizeable part of export from the region, their exchange is not much depended on dollar.
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07:00:28 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

Business focus necessitates Sri Lanka’s fashion platforms:

The apparel industry in the country attests to being the most prominent and dynamic foreign exchange earner substantiated by reaching global heights in capturing leading international brands.

Positioned at a pre-eminent stance, presently a progressive shift of the industry towards the fashion diligence, from a purely cut and sew manufacturing trade is becoming increasingly evident revealing greater heights for the sector to reach.

With progressive endorsements facilitated by different corporate, academic and institutional stakeholders, the Sri Lanka’s  fashion industry looks promising to take the apparel industry to a new level in the years to come.
Dinesh Chandrasena the internationally acclaimed Sri Lanka’s -born fashion designer who has taken the country to the global echelon with designs done for international celebrities such as Halle Berry, Dame Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway, continues to make the country eminent at international fashion platforms through the ability to showcase outstanding talent.
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06:30:28 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* APTMA assured help:

Special Advisor 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. Central Chairman APTMA, Ahsan Bashir and Chairman APTMA Punjab, Shahzad Ali Khan welcomed him 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.
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* CCAC projects cotton production for 2013-14 at 13.25 million bales:

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) projected cotton production at 13.25 million bales for the current season 2013-14. The first meeting of the CCAC was held here on Tuesday with Rukhsana Shah Secretary Textile Industry Division in the chair.

Representatives of Provincial Governments, Plant Protection Department, Trading Co-operation of Pakistan (TCP), Cotton Growers, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) and Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) attended the meeting. The committee assessed the volume of the current cotton crop.
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* Faisalabad: home to yarn traders and notorious tax dodgers:

Yarn traders, based mainly in Faisalabad, have succeeded in dodging the tax authorities due to loopholes introduced in the system by the tax regulator, sources report. While their market share has reduced, these traders still supply 50 percent of the yarn available in the domestic market.

“These traders do not pay any income tax although their undocumented yearly turnover runs into billions,” said a spinner who requested anonymity. ‘They are the main buyers of yarn produced in Pakistan and spinners cannot afford to annoy them,” he said.

Official statistics reveal that Pakistan produces 30 million tonnes of cotton yarn per year. Of this, 600 million tonnes of yarn is exported. Documented weaving mills consume 11 million tonnes of yarn. Officials have no idea where the remaining 13 million tonnes is consumed. However, the remaining amount is bought by yarn traders and disposed in retail to the 300,000 power looms in Faisalabad as well as over 100,000 power looms scattered in Kasur, Multan, Gujranwala and Kamalia.
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map of Asia


* 2 men get prison, fines for fake Disney clothing

* Employers urged to ‘pay it forward

* Garment exports target comes near
* Vietnam’s garment & textile exports grow 14.5% in H1 2013

* Cambodia’s Garment Industry Exported $1.56 Billion In First Half Of The Year, A 32% Year-On-Year Growth

* Definition of minimum wage should be properly defined
* 300 firms yet to apply new law on retirement age

* 7 hurt in Pabna RMG factory fire
* Govt decides to drop cases against RMG worker leaders
* 2 hurt as miscreants open fire on agitating RMG workers in city
* RMG worker shot dead
* Cops-RMG workers clash in city
* Workers’ unrest in DEPZ BEXIMCO factory
* The History behind the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord
* Proposed labour law: A critique by a trade unionist
* Bangladesh vows to better worker rights, factory safety
* Call to include BD reps in RMG buyers’ body on safety accord
* Safety accord leads way forward for RMG
* Bangladesh, EU adopt compact for RMG’s continued access to EU
* EU wants labour law revision
* Global buyers should keep on buying RMG from Bangladesh, observes Fair Trade USA
* Three Aussie Companies Have Not Signed Bangladesh Safety Accord
* Target joins BD worker safety group
* Effective economic diplomacy needed to meet challenging demands of the time
* Rajuk to take action against building owners yet to meet safety issue
* Bangladesh garment exports boom despite disasters
* Bangladesh garment exports cross $21bn-mark in FY’13
* Tanneries in glare
* Footwear: A potential export item

* ‘Fix separate minimum wage for workers in organised and unorganised sectors’
* Trade union to give govt an ultimatum for their 4-point demands
* Government to come out with action plan for textile sector
* Govt to scale up manufacturing, textile exports
* Small textile exporters squeezed between costs and buyers bargain
* Rupee fall makes garment manufacturers happy

* Business focus necessitates Sri Lanka’s fashion platforms

* APTMA assured help
* CCAC projects cotton production for 2013-14 at 13.25 million bales
* Faisalabad: home to yarn traders and notorious tax dodgers

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