18:56:38 local time MONGOLIA
* Chinggis Bond to finance leather factory upgrades:
A Government meeting has recently concluded to review the financing of a leather factory complex to be established in Darkhan-Uul Province, as well as projects to upgrade the technologies and infrastructure of existing leather factories.
Ministers from related sectors were also instructed to use buyers’ investments to reform technologies or develop the infrastructure needed to support domestic manufacturers, along with soft loans and industry organization assistance.
The Minister of Industry and Agriculture of Mongolia, Kh.Battulga, reported that Mongolia has the potential to earn an income of one trillion MNT from leather industry sales.
He said, “Our country is capable of introducing technology from Italy, Spain and Turkey, the countries that are leading in the technology sector, by 2016 and producing leather products domestically.”
18:56:38 local time CHINA
* Chinese firm enters into JV with PCGA:
18:56:38 local time PHILIPPINES
* Minimum wage earners told to limit family size:
The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) over the weekend advised minimum wage earners in Eastern Visayas to limit the number of their children to two in order to stay out of poverty.
NSCB Regional Head for Region 8, Evangeline Paran, said that the current minimum wage in the cited region is only enough to sustain the basic needs of a family with two children.
Last year, the monthly poverty threshold is P7,491—more than the P6,760 minimum monthly pay of minimum wage earners.
“A minimum wage earner in the region can support a family of at most four members in first part of 2012, to be classified as non-poor,” Paran said.
She cited that a couple with three children should have P288 everyday to stay out of poverty.
The current minimum wage in the region is P260.
* Workers enjoin public to join Protestang Bayan vs rising prices:
As prices of basic products and services continue to increase, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno asked the public to participate in the “Protestang Bayan vs. Nagtataasang Presyo at Demolisyon.
” Holding of protests is the only way Filipinos can have the chance of preventing price hikes and demolition of poor communities, Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, said in a statement.
The simultaneous protests are set to condemn Maynilad and Manila Water’s passing on their taxes and expenses to consumers. They are opposing also the rate hike proposed by the water firms. They demand the “junking” of privatization of water services.
read more. & read more.
17:56:38 local time VIET NAM
* High-flying handbag exports help nation gain tidy purse:
Handbag exports have grown impressively with most markets reporting increases over the past five months.
According to statistics from the General Customs Department, the export revenues for suitcases, handbags and umbrellas in the January-May period reached US$744.58 million, a 22.22 per cent increase over last years’ figures. The total turnover for these products was $1.518 billion in 2012 and $1.33 billion in 2011.
Viet Nam’s leading handbag importer was the US with a value of $317.63 million, a 31 per cent increase over last year. The value for May alone was $86.84 million, up 9 per cent from the previous month.
Japan was the second biggest importer, buying $93.28 million worth of handbag, an increase of 32.7 per cent year on year. Germany followed with $54.53 million, up 21.59 per cent; Belgium – $40.93 million, up 11.8 per cent; and the Republic of Korea – $28.01 million, up 26.6 per cent.
Other markets which generated over $10 million in turnover for the sector included France ($23.3 million), Holland ($22.1 million), China ($18.7 million), the UK ($17.1 million), Canada ($13.8 million), Spain ($12.02 million) and Italy ($11 million).
17:56:38 local time THAILAND
* Somyot to submit 15th bail request:
The family and lawyer of lese majeste prisoner Somyot Prueksakasemsuk will file a 15th bail request for him on Friday.
Former magazine editor Somyot has been in detention for 26 months after receiving a 10-year sentence for insulting the royal family.
Vasant Panich, Somyot’s lawyer, maintained Somyot’s innocence and said court refusals of his bail requests could be unconstitutional.
Somyot’s wife, Sukunya Preuksakasemsuk, said the family plans to submit the bail request on Friday.
Ms Sukunya said Robert Amsterdam, a legal adviser to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, has offered to help coordinate an international campaign for the bail request.
17:56:38 local time CAMBODIA
* Workers to get back pay before election:
Social Affairs Ministry officials yesterday promised that about 750 workers from the shuttered Pine Great garment factory will receive their overdue salaries before the election.
The workers have been demanding their remaining wages and benefits since April, when the owner of the Meanchey district factory fled the country. In May, factory officials promised to pay the workers, but when workers arrived at the factory they found some of its equipment gone along with the officials.
Yesterday Touch Somuth, a member of the Social Affairs Ministry committee formed to resolve the issue, said the committee was “meeting with the workers so they can check their wage slips and thumbprint them if they agree our calculation is right”.
18:56:38 local time INDONESIA
* Execs Slam Higher Wage Demands:
Business leaders are protesting a proposal from labor unions that have called for a 50 percent increase in monthly wages for 2014, saying the demand is irrational, especially as companies are shouldering the rise in costs from the subsidized fuel price increase and higher interest rates.
Erwin Aksa, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Kadin) deputy chairman for small and medium enterprises, said the proposal for an increase in labor wages should be made in such a way that would not disturb companies while accommodating the needs and interests of employees.
16:41:38 local time NEPAL
* Labour reform promise repeated:
Finance minister Shankar Koirala has not brought solutions to unemployment and dependency in foreign employment but has repeated labour sector reforms borrowing words from previous budgets.
New labour laws will be drafted to build a congenial environment in the industrial sector within the next fiscal, he said.
The government has been drafting six labour related laws including Labour Act, Trade Union Act and Bonus Act, since 2011 but there has been no consensus on the laws between trade unions and employers. Former finance minister Barsha Man Pun had promised the same in his budget speech.
16:56:38 local time BANGLADESH
* RMG factory shut down at Ashulia:
The authorities closed an export-oriented readymade garment factory for an indefinite period at Narashinhapur of Ashulia on Monday amid workers’ unrest.
On Monday morning, the workers of the Medlar Apparels Ltd got agitated when they saw the factory shutdown notice on the main gate, workers and witnesses said.
The workers held demonstration staging protest against factory shutdown for indefinite period.
Later, police controlled the situation.
Police and workers said the workers of the garment factory have been demonstrating for last few days demanding termination of some factory officials including factory general manager Shahidul Islam, production manager, Md Siddique and Hafuj Uddin.
* JS passes Labour (Amendment) Bill:
The bill was passed keeping the provisions of allowing trade unionism in factories, ensuring safety measures for workers at their workplace
The parliament on Monday passed the Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to make the existing law time befitting for workers’ welfare.
Labour and Employment Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu moved the bill which was later passed in voice vote, reports BSS.
The bill was passed keeping the provisions of allowing trade unionism in factories, ensuring safety measures for workers at their workplace, introducing compulsory group insurance and stopping children to be involved in hazardous works.
To make the law time-befitting, a total of 87 sections of the 2006 labour law, first of its kind in the country, have been amended. According to the amendments, employees would no longer need approval from factory owners to form trade unions.
With the passage of the bill, workers would just need to apply to the labour directorate for authorisation. The amendment also allows trade unions to be formed in the different administrative wings of a factory, something not permitted under the existing law.
read more. & read more.
* Trade unionism set free:
The parliament Monday passed an amended labour law that allows full freedom for trade unionism in the industries.
Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju placed the Labour Law (amendment 2006)-2013, bill in the parliament, which was passed by voice votes by the treasury bench lawmakers amid absence of the opposition MPs.
Twenty six more amendments were also tabled in the parliament.
Mujibul Haque and Junaid Ahmed Polok, two treasury bench lawmakers, proposed the new amendments.
The amendment came in a bid to appease the Obama administration to regain the duty benefits suspended by the US on June 27 on grounds of poor labour rights and unsafe working conditions.
* JS passes Labour Amendment bill ensuring better conditions for workers:
The much-talked ‘Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2013’ aiming to protect the interests and rights of the workers and ensure their safety was passed on Monday in Parliament through voice vote and in absence of the opposition lawmakers.
According to the amendment, employees would no longer need approval from factory owners to form trade unions. Workers would just need to apply to the labour directorate for authorization.
The amendment bill, moved by Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, also sought to protect the interests of industrial workers. It was also aimed at increasing the productivity through ensuring welfare of the workers.
The amendment also allows trade unions to be formed in the different administrative wings of a factory, which was not permitted under the present law.
Worker’s Party chief Rashed Khan Menon, treasury bench member Junaid Ahmed Palak, and Jatiya Party member Mujibul Haque Chunnu brought some amendment proposals on the bill along with eliciting public opinion.
Among those, a number of amendment proposals brought by Palak and Chunnu were accepted by the House and the rest were rejected through voice vote.
Opposition lawmakers were absent during the passage of the Bill.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* Stronger labour law in Bangladesh after garment factory collapse:
Bangladesh was under pressure to adopt a better labour law after
A garment worker inspects a factory belonging to Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter, after a fire in Dhaka May 9 -photo by DhakTribune.
Bangladesh approved on Monday a labour law to boost worker rights, including the freedom to form trade unions, after a factory building collapse in April killed 1,132 garment workers and sparked debate over labour safety and rights.
The legislation puts in place provisions including a central fund to improve living standards of workers, a requirement for 5 percent of annual profits to be deposited in employee welfare funds and an assurance that union members will not be transferred to another factory of the same owner after labour unrest.
read more. & read more.
* More clout for workers:
An amended labour law got passage in parliament yesterday to boost worker rights and ensure freedom to form trade unions, a breakthrough that is expected to help Bangladesh regain the GSP status in the US market.
The law puts in place provisions including a central fund to improve living standards of workers, and a requirement for 5 percent of annual profits of a company to be deposited in employee welfare funds.
Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju placed in parliament the Labour Law (amendment)-2013 bill, which was passed by voice votes by the treasury bench lawmakers in absence of the opposition MPs.
* JS passes bill to protect workers’ rights, safety:
read more. & read more.
* Trade union allowed, child labour curbed:
In a major development, the national parliament on Monday passed Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to ensure workers’ welfare in the ready-made garment [RMG] sector following the deadly Rana Plaza collapse that killed 1,129 people.
Labour and Employment Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu moved the historic bill, which was passed, in the House getting unanimous support from the lawmakers with keeping the provisions of allowing trade unionism in the factories.
Bangladesh, the world’s second largest garment exporter, has been under intense international pressure to overhaul labour laws while the US last month cancelled GSP facilities raising allegation of poor safety in the apparel workplaces.
Although Dhaka initially expressed outrage at US President Barack Obama’s decision to cut GSP facility, the ruling Awami League government swiftly drew up legislative reforms apparently to make happy other Western retailers, especially the EU.
Officials said, the new law will ensure safety measures for workers at their workplaces and child laboring will be highly restricted in hazardous works. At the same time, the new laws will make compulsory group insurance for the garment workers.
* American Eagle agrees to sign accord on safety in Bangladesh garment industry:
The growing cadre of retailers signing on to accords meant to address the safety issues in the Bangladesh garment industry now includes American Eagle Outfitters, the teen clothing retailer headquartered on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
American Eagle has chosen to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which is backed by the International Labor Rights Forum and binds companies to practices such as having independent safety inspections with public reports, mandating factory building renovations with retailers required to help underwrite the cost of repairs, and allowing a role for workers and their unions.
* Unions call Walmart’s safety pact “weak and worthless”:
A voluntary Bangladesh building safety pact signed by the biggest Western retail customer for the South Asian nation’s clothing, Walmart, is “weak and worthless,” the leaders of Change To Win and the AFL-CIO say.
And the pact was negotiated behind closed doors with a D.C. think tank partially funded by Walmart and without any input from workers or unions, here or in Bangladesh, CTW Chair Joe Hansen and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka added.
On July 10, Walmart, The Gap and 15 other U.S. retailers that buy clothes from Bangladeshi factories signed what they call the “Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative.” That pact calls for inspections of all Bangladeshi factories within a year, development of common safety standards and for the firms to share inspection results.
Worldwide pressure led the two big firms and other signers, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Penney’s, Target and Sears, to act after the Rana Plaza building collapse killed 1,127 Bangladeshi garment workers who toiled for firms there. The Bangladeshi factories, suppliers to the retailers, ordered the workers back in despite safety warnings.
* L20 Summit begins in Moscow today:
World trade union leaders meet in Moscow today (Tuesday) at the Labour 20 (L20) Summit to discuss various labour issues including fair and efficient labour markets ahead of a consultation with the G20 labour ministers.
Local labour leaders expect that Bangladesh’s labour issues are likely to get highlighted in the L20 Summit as representatives from world leading unions including IndustriALL and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will be present in the summit.
The four-day L20 Summit begins with the title “Confronting the job crisis at the G20” in support of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) of OECD (Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development).
* Wiretapped Bangladesh Activist Learned Facebook to Stir Protest:
At 11, Nazma Akhter was a child laborer in one of Bangladesh’s garment factories, following her mother to work for 10 hours a day.
At 14, she joined her first strike, standing next to women seeking unpaid overtime and maternity leave.
Now a 40-year-old labor organizer, she is a formidable voice for change in the country’s bustling, booming capital, where the government scorns unions and shadows union leaders like her. In a recent video that went viral online, Akhter holds her own against a factory owner, appealing to Islamic values in demanding justice and women’s rights while denying that factory strikes are politically motivated.
“Her comments were blunt and to the point. One doesn’t get this often even from our intelligentsia or business leaders,” said K. Anis Ahmed, the publisher of the English-language Dhaka Tribune, and the scion of a business empire unrelated to garments. “She enjoys tremendous credibility as a voice of working women in this country.”
16:26:38 local time INDIA
* India to contest blacklisting of textile products by US:
Ministry to take up allegations of child labour use with US Government
The Textile Ministry will contest the US Government’s decision to include garments, carpets and embellished textiles produced in India among items that use child labour or forced labour.
“We do not agree with it. We have discussed the issue within the Ministry and will soon take it up with the US Government,” Textile Minister K. Sambasiva Rao told Business Line. The US Labour Department carries out an annual exercise of identifying countries and sectors using child labour. In 2012, the country blacklisted 21 items from India which included garments, zari, yarn and fabric.
Although blacklisting by the US Labour Department does not lead to restrictions on exports of the identified items, it harms the image of the exporting country and influences buyers’ decisions.
* Garments exports jump 11% to $3.5 billion:
India’s garments exports have climbed over 11% to $3.5 billion as local exporters cornered a bigger share of the market in Latin America and most of Asia to offset the impact of poor demand in the US and Europe.
The rise comes after garment exports fell nearly 6% to $12.9 billion in 2012-13. Buoyed by the success, the government and the Apparel Export Promotion Council are now egging exporters to target nontraditional markets such Uruguay, Columbia, Israel, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Japan, A Sakthivel head of the industry body said on Monday.
* Indian Minister urges industry to step up apparel exports:
* Indian Textiles Minister reviews wool & carpet sectors:
The Union Minister of Textiles Dr. K.S.Rao held a meeting with the stake holders of Wool and Carpet Industry to prepare a road map to increase the woollen and carpet export.
During the discussion, major issues related to growth of the sector like pasture farm for sheep grazing, feed supplement for sheep during summer season, skill development training for Carpet weaving and sheep husbandry, MAI/MDA issues, modernisation of woollen processing machineries were discussed.
Issues related to rationalisation of import duty on raw wool and woollen processing machineries were also discussed. Quarantine and recyclable (shoddy) shawl industry issues were also discussed.
* India’s cotton exports plunges 36% till June:
India’s cotton exports are estimated to have plummeted by 36 per cent to 9.14 million bales in the first 11 months ended June of the current marketing year, a latest USDA report said.
The country had shipped 13.91 million bales of cotton in the August-June period of the 2011-12 marketing year. One bale contains 170 kg of cotton. The cotton marketing year runs from August to July.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* Surat textile industry to set up yarn bank:
It will not only help small and medium weavers get access to yarn at discount but also help local manufacturers innovate in yarn production
Amidst raw material shortage and price fluctuations, The Surat-based synthetic textile industry has sought setting up of a yarn bank with the Ministry of Textiles. According to the industry, the yarn bank will not only help small and medium weavers get access to yarn at concessional rates but also help local manufacturers innovate in yarn production.
“The yarn bank will serve twin purpose. Firstly, we can get yarn samples from around the world and store it. There are several kinds of yarns of various deniers that are produced across the world which we are yet to know of. Hence, the domestic industry can get access to yarn samples of global standards and do further research and come out with innovative products. Secondly, small time weavers can get access to yarn at concessional rates,” said Jitu Vakharia, president of South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA).
* Meeting convened over textile park:
The initiative for the proposed textile park by the State government in Perambalur district got underway with the convening of a special meeting of entrepreneurs and officials here on Monday.
The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, recently announced the proposal of setting up the textile park in the district to give a push to the industrialisation. P. Muthuveeran, director of handlooms and textiles, explained the objectives of the project.
Darez Ahamed, Collector, who presided over the meeting, said that the textile park will come up at Eraiyur village on the Tiruchi-Chennai national highway and explained the infrastructure facility and the scope for employment generation consequent to the project.
16:26:38 local time SRI LANKA
* Beira Group to convert plastics waste into quality yarn:
The particular plant at the Horana industrial estate south of Colombo Sri Lanka was built with an investment expenditure of 300 million rupees to produce high-quality yarn using plastic waste as raw material.
“The yarn produced will be used to produce a range of brushes for sanitary maintenance industry by the Beira Group,” the investment promotion agency said.
15:56:38 local time PAKISTAN
* Garment cities can grab $120b export market:
The proposed garment cities have a tremendous potential to generate employment with a relatively low investment and less energy needs, besides grabbing share of $120 billion export market that China holds, as it is moving away from clothing industry.
“Currently countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia are picking up the major chunk of the global garment market share. Bangladesh and India also seem to be preparing themselves to grab some share. The proposed cities will give the producers a flexibility to compete in a wide variety of garment categories, sources in garment industry stated on Monday.”
“This is also true in context of our application for duty-free access to the EU under the GSP+ scheme, the prospect of including ready made garments for export to China under the FTA regime granted by China to the ASEAN countries. Not discounting the hope that somewhere down the years’ trade with India will liberalize. All of the above need capacity building and new industrial infrastructure for the ready made garment industry, they observed.”
read more. & read more.
* Lack of investment in IT impedes textile sector’s growth:
Pakistan’s textile industry was stronger than ever to compete with any regional country, however, lack of investments in information technology was still one of the biggest impediments to growth, Al-Rahim Textile Industries Chief Executive Faisal Rahim Saya said.
“Today, you need to continuously invest to sustain the business. It’s not local or regional, it’s all global now, and only the super fit companies can sustain the onslaught of modern challenges,” Saya said in an interview with The Express Tribune.
Saya, 39, was with his father when he started textile business in 1991 by opening a factory in the SITE industrial area – one of the oldest industrial zones of the metropolis located near the Karachi port. Before entering the textile industry, his father was in the retail and wholesale businesses of car spare parts, sanitary items and hardware.
15:56:38 local time UZBEKISTAN
* “A Systemic Problem: State-Sponsored Forced Labour in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Sector Continues in 2012” new report out: