in the news on-line, 17 July 2013

map of asia ASIA

* Asian garment industry to undergo further segmentation:

The Asian garment manufacturing industry will undergo further segmentation  in the next three to four years as competition becomes more intense, experts said.
China, Thailand and Vietnam will mainly produce high-end clothing, while Bangladesh, Laos, Burma and Cambodia will mainly produce low-end clothing.

At present, the majority of garments within the global marketplace are produced in Asia. Between 2005 and 2011, Vietnam’s garment export increased by 32 percent and China’s increased by 15 percent. Percentage number increases for India, Turkey, Malaysia and Thailand were at about 7 percent, according to data from the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS).

Statistics from the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA) have revealed that garment exports from China account for 35 percent of the world’s garment export business. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka occupy 16 percent to 18 percent of the global market. For Southeast Asian countries the numbers range from 10 to 12 percent.

As start-up capital is not high and Asia has plenty of cheap labor, the garment manufacturing and textile industry play important roles in the economic development of many of Asian countries while also having a significant effect on people’s interests.
read more. & read more.
CHINADAILY CAMHERALD

01:48:55 local time map of korea_n NORTH KOREA

 * Kaesong complex symbolizes hope of Korean reconciliation:

For the third time, talks between South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, over the reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex have failed.

Though no agreement was reached, further talks are slated for Wednesday. Against this backdrop, we examine now the significance of Kaesong as a symbol of hope between the two sides, and what’s at stake.
It’s hard to imagine just three months ago the DPRK was issuing daily threats of war with a blitz of intimidating rhetoric.
But since then, Pyongyang has shown signs of easing up on its threats and is back at the negotiating table to discuss the possible resumption of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
read & see more. (CCTV video).
CHINAORG

23:48:55 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Thousands of workers go on strike in HCM City:

More than 1,000 workers from two companies in HCM City have stopped working to protest against poor policies from their managers.

The strikes occurred on July 10 at Thuan Phuong Embroidering Garment Limited Company in Binh Chanh District and Hoang Ngoc Truc Limited Company in Tan Binh District.
Some workers at the Hoang Ngoc Truc Company complained that since March any workers who took leave to deal with private issues suffered from pay cuts based on overtime wages instead of normal wages.

“Our normal wage is VND11,000 (USD0.52) per hour but when we take off work we are docked based on our overtime wage, which is from VND17,000-19,000 (USD0.80-USD0.90) per hour. Sometimes they even use the overtime hours we already worked to reimburse for our off days. It’s really unfair,” one worker said.
Another worker said that any workers who need time off because of health or family problems may have their pay level reduced.

“After all kinds of pay cuts, our salaries are very modest. Many of us get paid the same amount to work on weekends as on working days,”  she added.
Workers at Thuan Phuong Company said many of them had worked 50-60 hours of overtime over the course of a month, including at least two weekends, but were disappointed by their meager paychecks when they came.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 17/7 (12th item).
VNNet

 * Vietnamese garment firms can set only one foot in US market:

Being one of the five biggest garment suppliers in the world, but Vietnam’s garment export turnover only accounts for 4-5 percent of the global market share. In the US, the biggest export market, Vietnamese products hold 8 percent of the market share.

Since 2011, textile and garment has become one of the biggest business fields with 4,000 businesses set up, which brings the turnover of $20 billion, make up 15 percent of GDP, and leading export items in the export turnover.

About 50 percent of Vietnam’s garment exports go to the US, 26 percent to the EU, 12 percent to Japan and 6 percent to South Korea.
As such, the US is the biggest market for Vietnam. The statistics released by the General Department of Customs also show the steady growth in the garment exports to the US market year after year. In the first five months of the year, Vietnam..
read more.
VNNet

 * ASEAN trade unions boost migrant labour cooperation:

Boosting migrant labour cooperation among ASEAN trade unions was discussed at a seminar jointly held by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) in Hanoi from July 16-18.

The event saw the participation of trade union leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
In his speech, ILO Country Director in Vietnam Gyorgy Sziraczki said, migrant worker receiving countries need to fully grasp international labour conventions and recommendations to effectively control the flow of migrants to ensure safety for the vulnerable groups.
read more.
HA NOI TIMES

Vietnam continues to be a GSP beneficiary:

Under new Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) regulations of the European Union (EU), which facilitate the access of goods from developing countries to the EU market, Vietnam continues to be listed among the beneficiaries within a wider range of tariff lines.

The information was announced at a recent workshop titled “The EU’s new regulations on the General System of Preferences (GSP): Opportunities for Vietnamese businesses” that took place in Ho Chi Minh City, jointly held by the EU Delegation to Vietnam and the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The EU officially published its amended GSP Regulations on October 31, 2012, with the view to facilitate the EU market access for goods originating from developing countries, including Vietnam. Such GSP regulations will enter into force from January 1, 2014. As for the new GSP regulations, Vietnam will remain in the list of countries eligible to enjoy the EU’s GSP treatment with an enlarged number of favored tariff lines.
read more.
VEN-TV123

23:48:55 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodia allows 3 days off for workers to cast ballots on July 28:

Cambodia allowed all workers to take a three-day holiday in order to cast their ballots on July 28, according to a press statement from the Ministry of Labor on Tuesday.

“All staff and workers at factories, enterprises and institutions in cities and provinces are allowed to take a three- day holiday on July 27-29 in order to vote for the fifth five-year term of the National Assembly on Sunday, July 28,” the statement said.
The country has about 700,000 employees working in 890 large- scale factories, mostly garment and textile factories, and 40,000 small-sized enterprises, according to the government figures.
read more.
SHANGHAIDAILY

22:48:55 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Agitation in a Gazipur garment factory:

Workers of a garment factory in Gazipur set up a road blockade on Tuesday morning demanding payment of their outstanding wages.

To quell the unrest management of Givency Garments in Hatapara area promised to clear the pending dues and closed the factory for the day.
Gazipur Industrial Police Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Md Mosharraf Hossain informed reporters that the employees of the factory had refused to work and set up a road blockade on July 10 claiming that their wages for June were not yet paid.

Some of the workers received payment on July 12 and July 13 following the incident. Management had also assured that the salaries of remaining workers would be cleared within Sunday, July 14.
However, instead of fulfilling its promise, the management kept the factory closed on Sunday and Monday.
When the factory reopened on Tuesday, workers started protesting demanding the pending wages.
read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24      daily star bd

* Bangladesh overhauls factory safety laws:

Activists say they have raised concerns over legislation passed following deadly factory collapse in April.

Bangladesh has approved a new labour law to strengthen employees’ rights and improve workplace safety, following a factory building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people.

Parliament passed the “historic” legislation, drawn up in the wake of the factory collapse in April that spotlighted appalling conditions and the lack of rights for workers at the country’s 4,500 garment factories.
The new law “ensured full trade union rights” for millions of labourers, including those in factories making clothes for Western retailers, the head of the parliamentary committee on labour issues said.
(…)
Local union leaders said they were studying the new legislation.
“We had raised some concerns. We hope they have addressed those issues. Otherwise this legislation will be a futile exercise,” labour leader Wajedul Islam told AFP.
read more.
aljazeera

* The Bangladesh Labor Law (Ammendmend) Bill 2013 Passed in the Parliament:

Bangladesh Labor Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 was passed on Monday 15 July 2013 in the National Parliament here in Bangladesh.

The new law has seen amendments to a total of 87 sections of the Labor Act 2006. The bill came after a factory building collapse in April which killed more than 1,132 garment workers and sparked debate over labor safety and rights. This caused increasing international pressure boosting the drive to bring forward this much awaited amendment.
Tax concessions offered by Western countries and low wages have helped turn Bangladesh’s garment sector into the country’s largest employment generator with annual exports worth $21 billion.
Sixty percent of exports go to Europe.

Some extracts of the amendment are provided in this report.
(…)

However, these amendments already met with criticism regarding its claim to have maintained international standards.
The chief criticisms that has risen after this amendment can be outlined as follows:
1. There are discriminatory anti-strike provisions in the law favor foreign investors by prohibiting strikes in any establishment during the first three years of operation if it is owned by foreigners or is established in collaboration with foreigners.
2. The amended law also seeks to redirect attention to so-called “Participation Committees” and “Safety Committees,” largely powerless bodies made up of management and workers.
3. The compensation amount being too low to drive any change of attitude from the owners.
Apart from the amendment, criticisms include the fear that Mr. Soheil Rana of Rana Plaza might go unscratched, just like Mr. Delwar Hossain of Tazreen Factory Fire and also the owner of Spectrum Garment collapse.
The concern over not solving the labor leader Aminul Islam’s murder case also have continued to be a major criticism and is believed to be among the major barriers to protecting the interest of the workers and ensuring security for their freedom to associate.
read more.

* Workers rights still limited in Bangladesh: HRW:

Amendments to Bangladesh’s labour law make some improvements but still fall far short of protecting worker’s rights and meeting international standards, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Bangladesh’s donors and international investors should press the government to make further amendments to the law to fully ensure workers’ rights to form unions, bargain collectively, and participate in workplace decisions on safety.
(….)
“The Bangladesh government desperately wants to move the spotlight away from the Rana Plaza disaster, so it’s not surprising it is now trying to show that it belatedly cares about workers’ rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director.
“This would be good news if the new law fully met international standards, but the sad reality is that the government has consciously limited basic workers’ rights while exposing workers to continued risks and exploitation.”
read more. & read more. & read more.
logo

* Labour law amendment: HRW finds workers’ rights still at risk:

Amendments to Bangladesh’s labour law make some improvements but still fall far short of protecting worker’s rights and meeting international standards, says the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Bangladesh’s donors and international investors should press the government to make further amendments to the law to fully ensure workers’ rights to form unions, bargain collectively, and participate in workplace decisions on safety, according to a web release of New York-based global rights watchdog.
(…)
The right to strike will remain burdened by a cumbersome bureaucratic process and the requirement that two-thirds of the union’s membership would have to vote for a strike, a small improvement over the previous requirement of three-quarters of the membership.

The government will be able to stop a strike if it decides it would cause “serious hardship to the community” or is “prejudicial to the national interest,” terms that are not defined but can easily be misused.
(…)
“The government has not only missed a golden opportunity to get rid of provisions that limit workers’ rights, it has even snuck into the law new and harmful regulations,” Robertson said. “Even after Rana Plaza, the government still is not fully committed to the protection of workers’ rights and safety.”

The revised Labour Act could also have a major negative impact on unions by expanding government control over unions’ access to foreign funding.
(…)
A major test of the government’s commitment will be implementation of provisions that protect worker safety and the rights to organize and collective bargaining. The ruling Awami League is backed by factory owners and has many members of parliament who own factories.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB logo daily star bd BDCHRONICLEnewstodayBD Ittefaq DHAKATRIBUNE

* Labour law amendments termed ‘anti-worker’:

The latest amendments to the country’s labour law have evoked strong criticism in both local and international arenas as different rights groups have termed it ‘anti-worker’ and ‘pro-employer’ one.

Both the local and international rights groups called on Bangladesh’s donors and international investors to press the government to make further amendments to the law to fully ensure workers’ rights to form unions, bargain collectively, and participate in workplace decisions on safety.
(..)
Terming the amended law as ‘inhumane’ and ‘black’ one, Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan said the amended law did not at all consider the proposals of the trade unions of Bangladesh, the international trade unions or the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to allow all workers to form and join trade unions as per ILO conventions 87 and 98.

“Thirty per cent membership requirement to form a union is an unacceptable one where there are more than ten, 20, 30 or 40 thousand workers work in one factory,” he told the FE Tuesday.
read more.

 * BGMEA seeks support of all to avoid TU misuse:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Tuesday sought the cooperation of all so that the readymade garment industry is not affected because of the misuse of trade unionism (TU).

Parliament on Monday passed the much-talked-about ‘Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2013’ aiming to protect the interests and rights of the workers and ensuring their workplace safety.
The apex trade body of the apparel sector welcomed the government initiative and said, “It’s a timely decision of the present government. A good number of provisions have been inserted in the amended law to protect the workers’ rights. It eased the process for the workers to do trade union.”
The BGMEA hoped that the workers would avail themselves of opportunities related to heath, education and safety, and will help the sector progress further.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB logo NewNation

* Left parties, labour leaders reject new labour law:

Left-leaning parties, experts and labour leaders rejected the amended labour law passed by parliament on Monday saying that the new law ignored the rights of factory workers, the garment workers in particular.

They said that the new law fastened the workers more tightly to protect the interest of the factory owners which jeopardised the amendment of the Bangladesh Labour Law 2006.
They also said that Bangladesh Labour Law (amendment) 2013 passed by the House through voice vote did not favour the factory workers regarding their rights to form trade unions and enjoy profit sharing, gratuity, maternity leave, job security and compensation.
(…)
At a meeting on the day, the left leaders said that the amended law did not consider the labourers working at EPZs, farmlands and households, ignoring their trade union rights.
The labour law would not ensure implementation of the trade unions rights in the mills and factories, especially in the garment factories, the coordinator of the alliance Saiful Huq said.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, however, praised the amended labour law as it offered more benefits for the workers, according to a release sent by the association on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies assistant executive director Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed told New Age that the new law did not bring any positive change for the workers.
(…)
The experts and labour leaders also said that the new labour law did not simplify the process of forming trade unions in garment sector. Instead, the law imposed condition of obtaining government permission to have external help for trade unions.
Mohammad Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan, general secretary of Bangladesh Mukto Sramik Federation, said that the amendment did not produce any change offering the workers the right to elect their leaders according to their own choice.
read more.

* Under Pressure, Bangladesh Adopts New Labor Law:

Facing intense international pressure to improve conditions for garment workers, Bangladeshi lawmakers amended the country’s labor law this week.

But while the officials called the new law a landmark strengthening of workers’ protections, rights groups said the law made only modest changes and took numerous steps backward that undercut unions.

Bangladeshi lawmakers adopted the new law three weeks after the United States suspended Bangladesh’s trade preferences, saying that labor rights and safety violations were far too prevalent in that country’s factories. Moreover, the European Union has threatened to revoke Bangladesh’s trade privileges for similar reasons.
Speaking about the new law, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, the chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee on labor reforms, told Reuters: “The aim was to ensure workers’ rights are strengthened, and we have done that. I am hoping this will assuage global fears around this issue.”
read more.
NYT

* Labour law attracts mixed responses:

The latest labour law, passed in parliament on Monday, was met with mixed responses from industry and worker leaders.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association hailed the passage of the law, describing it as a timely move. “The amended law puts in place some provisions that will ensure worker rights.”
Although the garment sector’s apex trade body lauded the simplification of rules to form trade unions, it urged all to refrain from misusing it. “The law will also help foster a good relationship between the owners and workers as it has increased workers’ benefits.”
In a statement, Bangladesh Labour Rights Forum said the new law would only serve the interests of the owners.
“Although the new law allows trade unions in the factories, it does not allow so in factories located inside the export processing zones.”
read more.
daily star bd

* Bangladeshi cotton importers still top default list:

The International Cotton Association (ICA) has listed 93 companies from Bangladesh for failing to make payments to suppliers.
The country ended up on top of the default list.

In the previous update in April, the number of Bangladeshi defaulters was 91.
The ICA updated the list of default companies on July 12.
Among the South Asian textiles and garment producing nations, India is in the second position with 89 companies while Pakistan has 50 companies on the list.
read more.
daily star bd

* GSP a privilege, not a right: US envoy:

The US Ambassador to Dhaka, Dan Mozena, said on Tuesday that GSP benefits are a privilege and not a right.

These privileges are linked to certain conditions, including respect for essential worker rights. He made the remarks while replying to queries about Bangladesh’s apparel sector during an online chat on Facebook, a popular social network.
“In 2007 the AFL-CIO, the largest American labour federation, filed a petition asserting that Bangladesh did not fulfil these conditions in regard to respect for workers’ rights and, therefore, did not qualify to receive GSP benefits. The President concurred with these points raised in the petition and, therefore, suspended Bangladesh’s GSP privileges,” the envoy said.
He, however, said: “I am working now with the GoB (Government of Bangladesh) and the BGMEA to identify steps needed so that Bangladesh can regain GSP benefits.”
read more.
logo

* BD RMG safety pact – US firms criticized for not signing:

As Bangladesh tries to improve its image as a textile manufacturing hub, US and Canadian companies have been criticized for signing an initiative that seeks to keep “business as usual”, according to one NGO.

US and Canadian companies with factories in Bangladesh were criticised Tuesday for not signing up to an agreement designed to improve workforce safety following deadly Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,129 people in April.

The day after Bangladesh passed a law that will strengthen employees’ rights and improve workplace safety, Nayla Ajaltouni, France spokeswoman for the international Clean Clothes Campaign, told media that too many western clothes manufacturers, including GAP and Walmart, wanted “business as usual”.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 FRANCE24

* RMG makers urge US, EU retailers to ensure better coordination:

The readymade garment sector leaders have welcomed the recent initiatives of North American and EU retail brands over the Bangladesh safety issue but urged them to work under the National Action Plan to ensure better coordination and to avoid repetition and overlapping of work.

They stressed on the effective coordination and a unified plan of action to repair or relocation of the all needed factories under the programme of two separate agreements of the EU and North American retailers.

A consortium of 70 retailers and apparel brands from the EU on May 15 formed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and announced its action plan on July 8.
The AFBSB was the culmination of previous negotiations and attempts made following the Garib & Garib fire in 2010 to set up a multi-stakeholder mechanism for fire and building safety.
On the other hand, 17 North American retailers, including Walmart and Gap, on July 10 formed the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative undertaking a five-year plan, which sets aggressive timelines and accountability for inspections, training and worker empowerment.
Simultaneously the EU launched Global Sustainability Compact, a joint initiative for improving conditions for workers in Bangladeshi garment factories on July 8.
(…)
All of the initiatives of Compact, Alliance and Accord will be very helpful for the industry to make the factories safer, they said.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim said the Alliance would inspect about 600 factories that manufacture products for them.
The Alliance has decided to give loan through BRAC bank with low interest to renovate the factory and to give wages of the workers as during the renovation period of the factory the production would remain suspended, he said.
Azim said the Alliance had included the BGMEA president in their nine-member steering committee and they were very much positive to work with Bangladesh.
‘As we urged them for a unified code of conduct, they agreed but in another name — Standard of Parameter,’ he said.
read more.

22:18:55 local time map of india INDIA

* Lure of better life lands kids in bonded labour:

For Mohammad Irfan (name changed), a native of Madhubani in Bihar, life has not been kind in particular. Having lost his father at a tender age, Irfan, just eight years old, had to take on the mantle of his family’s bread winner while his mother was busy raising his five siblings.

As there was no work at Madhubani, his uncle brought him to Delhi with the promise of a well-paying job. But in the national Capital, Irfan found himself working at a ‘zari’ factory for 16 hours every day, with very little compensation.

Irfan is among 26 others rescued by Delhi Police and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) representatives on Monday from various garment factories in the city’s Garhi area. These children had reportedly been trafficked from various parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal on the promise of a better life for them and their families.

When HT visited the site, it was found that of the 50 children who were reported to have been working in these factories, only 27 were rescued. In the narrow bylanes of the area, 15 children claimed to have been “visiting their uncles”.
read more.
hindustan

 * Textiles ministry makes case for women work on night shifts:

The Textiles Ministry today made a case for amending labour laws to allow women to work at night in apparel factories and provide overtime for workers to help make the sector globally competitive.

“Women should be allowed to work in night shifts in the textiles sector as they also work in shifts in BPOs,” Textiles Minister K Sambasiva Rao said at a CII function here. “They also want to work in night shifts, but the law does not permit this. So, we will put a Cabinet note in this regard.”
Besides, he said, the sector wants flexibility in labour laws to allow overtime. The textiles sector is seasonal.
Therefore, everybody has to work round the clock during a particular time of the year.
“I was given to understand that the workers are also willing to work overtime. So, there is a need to amend legislation in this regard as about 45 million workers are employed in the sector,” he said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Indian Textiles Minister pushes for labour reforms:

K. Sambasiva Rao, India’s Minister for Textiles, has said that he will be able to provide an enabling environment for the country’s textiles sector by pushing for labour reforms.
Speaking at the “Roundtable on New Textiles Policy” organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi, the Minister said women should be allowed to work in night shifts in garment units, as they are allowed in BPOs.
He said since the present law does not permit women to work in night shifts at garment factories, the Textiles Ministry would put a Cabinet note in this regard.
He said the textiles sector is seasonal and hence it requires that manufacturing takes place round the clock during a particular time of the year.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Knitwear manufacturers express concern over RBI move:

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) steps to quell rupee volatility and check speculation in forex markets have not cheered the knitwear manufacturers rather some of the measures sparked concerns.

Main worry for the textile entrepreneurs, who are looking for cheaper loans, is the raising of the interest rate under Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) by two percentage points, one of the monetary measures announced by RBI on Monday to suck out excess liquidity from the system and thereby, stabilise the rupee.

“This is a ridiculous move leading to the possibility of another hike in interest rates. In predominant small and medium scale enterprises clusters like Tirupur, the need of the hour is for reduction in cost of funds even from the present levels,” R. Girish, apparel exporter and founder member of Tirupur Exporters and Manufacturers Association, told The Hindu .
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Export controls are disastrous:

The Textile Ministry wants to create a “Market Stabilisation Fund” (MSF) by imposing a cess/tax between Rs 1,000 and 2,000 per candy (356 kg) on cotton exporters.

The new policy suggests that “surpluses only” may be permitted for exports after determining domestic demand.  Some of the other ‘straight out of the 70s’ ideas are to permit exports “after the crop is ready” with farmers; and providing loan waver for weavers.
Indian cotton export has demonstrated consistent performance over the last three years — $3-$4 billion per annum. This year, it may decline to $2 billion (one million tonnes). China’s appetite for imports is tapering. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report of July 11 reflects higher global inventories, production almost unchanged at a high of 20 million tonnes (118 million bales) and falling prices.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Chennai Silks taps solar energy with Tata Power:

Chennai Silks, one of the largest textile retailers in the South, has made a foray into commercial exploitation of solar energy with the commissioning of its 2 MW plant at Olappalayam near Kangeyam on Sunday.

The grid-connected plant has been established by Tata Power Solar (TPS), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power Ltd, in about three months.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* India plans massive duty cut on Pakistan textile imports:

Levy to could made 5% from 45% if MFN status is granted to India

In an unprecedented move, is planning to drastically slash tariff on import of textiles from in an effort to normalise trading relations between both countries.

Currently, India imposes 30-45 per cent  duty on products from Pakistan. The government is planning to bring it down to five per cent and has not ruled out the option of allowing duty-free access too.
read more.
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22:18:55 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* We will not ask for GSP, says PB:

Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera (R) reacts angrily while Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen (C) and Industries Secretary Anura Siriwardena try to calm him during Tuesday’s session.

Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera yesterday said that Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic challenges had changed and seeking export concessions wasn’t the answer.
“The biggest obstacle we faced was war. In the post conflict era, the biggest beneficiary is the private sector.  And, today’s challenges are different. New challenges are wage rate hikes, worker unrest and even lack of workers.
We will not ask for GSP trade concessions. We should not grow markets on the basis of subsidies, because the country will become vulnerable,” Dr Jayasundera said .
read more.
island

* Tunisia seeks JVs with Sri Lankan garment manufacturers:

Tunisia, the smallest country in North Africa, has invited Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers for forming joint ventures with their Tunisian counterparts.
Due to the existing free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, and its close proximity to Europe, Tunisia has become a high-end, high-speed apparel supplier to the European countries, Tunisian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Tarek Azouz told Sri Lankan Minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen at a meeting in Colombo.
read more.
fibre2fashion

21:48:55 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Major fire breaks out in textile mill:

A major fire broke out in warehouses of a local textile mill in the Sohrab Goth police limits on Tuesday, causing loss of millions of rupees.

According to the Central Fire Station the fire broke out at about 1:30pm in Mahtab Enterprises warehouses of the second floor and within minutes it spread to other parts of the warehouses due to which valuables worth millions of rupees were burnt to ashes.
There were 11 fire engines of the KMC and one bowser reached the spot later on.
It was early afternoon due to which the warehouses were open and the fire tenders rushed to the leaping flames while thick black smoke could be seen from far-flung areas of the city. Cause of the fire was short circuit. The KESC and SSGC rushed to the scene and disconnected the power gas connection. However fire tenders controlled the fire after four hours.
to read.
thenewspk

* No notification yet for increase in minimum wage despite one month lapse:

The federal government’s commitment towards the working and labour classes can be gauged by the fact that despite a lapse of around one month, a notification about rise of the minimum wage from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 has not yet been made by the government.

The National Assembly had approved the provision of minimum wage raise in the Finance Bill 2013 which was passed on June 27. Initially, the provision was not a part of the finance bill but Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made the announcement to increase the minimum wage to Rs 10,000 on the recommendation of Senate Finance Committee on June 21.
read more.
pakTODAY

* Proposed garment cities can generate employment: PRGMEA:

The proposed garment cities have immense potential to create jobs with comparatively low investment and less energy needs, according to the Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).
At a meeting called to finalise recommendations for the establishment of the garment cities, PRGMEA executive committee was of the view that garment cities generate four times the employment at one-fourth of the energy consumption compared to other textile sectors.
Countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia are grabbing a major share in global garment market, while Bangladesh and India are also preparing themselves to pick up greater share, the statement said.
The proposed garment cities at Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot would enable manufacturers to compete in various garment categories, the committee felt.
read more.
fibre2fashion

21:48:55 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Want to go to college? Promise to pick cotton:

The College of Customer Service in the city of Angren forces parents of perspective students to sign a contract that requires their children to pick cotton and participate in community service.

Signing such a contract is mandatory before the perspective student’s admissions papers are accepted by the college.
If parents refuse, their children’s papers will not be accepted. They are also told not to bother applying to other colleges in the city as they all have the same requirements.

20130713 UZNEWS
Contract with students at Angren college obligates them to pick cotton and participate in community service. Photo credit: Uznews.net

The photo shows the unsigned copy of the contract, which speaks for itself.
You can clearly see the name of the college’s director – Israilov—who is the party the parents must contract with.
On behalf of the college, the administration promises to control class attendance, provide security, teach professional skills, academic knowledge, etc.
Then the contract lists requirements for students and their parents.

The 15-16 year old students must adhere to a dress code – light top, dark bottoms – they must be punctual, the parents must attend parent-teacher meetings, but the most interesting part is:
“Mandatory participation of the students in cotton harvesting, as well as community service days organized by the college”.
read more.
UZnews

 

map of Asia

INFO:
Bangla Desh Gov approved the Labour Law 23 April 2013 & now
Under “special reports” you can find an overview of articles

HEADLINES TODAY:

ASIA
* Asian garment industry to undergo further segmentation

NORTH KOREA
* Kaesong complex symbolizes hope of Korean reconciliation

VIET NAM
* Thousands of workers go on strike in HCM City
* Vietnamese garment firms can set only one foot in US market
* ASEAN trade unions boost migrant labour cooperation
* Vietnam continues to be a GSP beneficiary

CAMBODIA
* Cambodia allows 3 days off for workers to cast ballots on July 28

BANGLADESH
* Agitation in a Gazipur garment factory
* Bangladesh overhauls factory safety laws
* The Bangladesh Labor Law (Ammendmend) Bill 2013 Passed in the Parliament
* Workers rights still limited in Bangladesh: HRW
* Labour law amendment: HRW finds workers’ rights still at risk
* Labour law amendments termed ‘anti-worker’
* BGMEA seeks support of all to avoid TU misuse
* Left parties, labour leaders reject new labour law
* Under Pressure, Bangladesh Adopts New Labor Law
* Labour law attracts mixed responses
* Bangladeshi cotton importers still top default list
* GSP a privilege, not a right: US envoy
* BD RMG safety pact – US firms criticized for not signing
* RMG makers urge US, EU retailers to ensure better coordination

INDIA
* Lure of better life lands kids in bonded labour
* Textiles ministry makes case for women work on night shifts
* Indian Textiles Minister pushes for labour reforms
* Knitwear manufacturers express concern over RBI move
* Export controls are disastrous
* Chennai Silks taps solar energy with Tata Power
* India plans massive duty cut on Pakistan textile imports

SRI LANKA
* We will not ask for GSP, says PB
* Tunisia seeks JVs with Sri Lankan garment manufacturers

PAKISTAN
* Major fire breaks out in textile mill
* No notification yet for increase in minimum wage despite one month lapse
* Proposed garment cities can generate employment: PRGMEA

UZBEKISTAN
* Want to go to college? Promise to pick cotton

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