in the news on-line, 30 July 2013

12:37:49 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Workers to 16th Congress: pass P125 Wage Hike Bill now!:

As the 16th Congress starts regular sessions, workers led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the Batasang Pambansa this morning to call for the immediate passage of the bill which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.

KMU said workers need a significant wage hike, not incremental adjustments, and that it’s Congress and the Senate which should hear calls for a wage hike, not the regional wage boards which have refused to increase wages by a significant amount.
Bills for a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide have been filed since 2001 and the bill for the 16th Congress has been refiled this month as House Bill 253 by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap.

“After decades of minimal wage adjustments and soaring prices, workers urgently need a significant wage increase. We vow to work for the P125 Wage Hike Bill’s passage in the 16th Congress,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
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KILUSANG MAYO UNO

11:37:49 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Africa a potential market for Vietnamese textiles: MOIT:

The African countries can be a potential market for exports of Vietnamese textiles, according to the Department of African, West Asian and South Asian Markets, in the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).
The agency said despite being a source of raw cotton, the textile industry has not developed in many African countries. Along with an increase in the population and income of the African people, the continent will become a big market for textile items, vov.vn reported.
read more.
fibre2fashion

12:37:49 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Put Workers’ Rights on Bali APEC Agenda, Unionists Urge President:

Labor unions from around the world are lobbying Indonesia to put workers’ rights on the agenda at October’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali.

A delegation from the International Confederation of Trade Unions on Monday met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to convey their request for the summit, which will bring together the leaders of 21 countries on either side of the Pacific Ocean.
“We ask the president to champion, to be a leader, in calling for APEC to endorse an APEC-wide decent work strategy which includes jobs, labor rights and social protection,” said Sharan Burrow, the secretary general of ICTU.
read more.
jak-globe

11:07:49 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Business leaders promote workers’ rights:

The Myanmar Women’s Entrepreneur Association has launched a code of conduct intended to reduce disputes and friction between employers and employees as well as promote workers’ rights.

Association vice-president Daw Hnin Wai, who led the drafting of the code, told a press conference on July 26 that it covers child labour, workers’ rights and pensions for staff at private companies, among other issues. Twenty-one businesswomen signed on to the code at the event.

“Company owners must know that employees have a right to demand their rights be met, and workers must know that they can protest but they have to work while they are waiting for a settlement,” said Daw Hnin Wai.
Association members said the code was drafted following discussions with the International Labour Organisation and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement’s department of social welfare. The code includes sections on
setting a basic salary, overtime, fair pay, employee health and social welfare, and pensions.
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MMtimesnew

10:37:49 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 1 killed, 7 hurt in city factory fire:

20130729 DHAKTRIBUNE
Fire fighters extinguishing fire that took place at Lalbagh in the city on Monday-photo by DhakaTribune.  

A footwear factory worker was burned to death and seven others suffered serious burn injuries as a fire broke out in their Islambagh factory here on Monday.

Witnesses said the fire broke out in the factory around 4:30 pm, leaving Sabbir,22, dead and seven others injured.  It was not clear what actually caused the fire.
Duty officer of Fire Brigade control room Nazma Begum said firefighters recovered the charred body of Sabbir from the factory housed in a two-storey building.
The fire had been extinguished by locals before the firefighters reached the spot, she said.
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UNB daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE BSS newstodayBDBDCHRONICLE DAILYprime-news

* EU RMG retailer team starts safety action plan discussions:

A group of delegations of EU Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh arrived in Dhaka on Monday to start its initial discussion with the stakeholders to chalk out the implementation way of its safety action plan.

The five-member delegation comprised of Philip Chamberlain of C&A, Aleix Gonzalez of Inditex, Melanie Steiner of PVH, Christy Hoffman of UNI global union and Monika Kemperle of IndustriALL along with its Bangladeshi representative Roy Ramesh Chandra held a meeting with Netherlands ambassador to Bangladesh Gerben Sjoerd de Jong on Monday evening.
They will hold meetings with International Labour Organisation officials, experts of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and the Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Employers Federation today.
The delegations of EU Accord will meet labour and commerce secretaries tomorrow while they will hold meetings with the officials of RAJUK, Fire Service and Civil Defence, ambassadors of different countries including the US and EU countries
and with the donor agencies and development partners like IFC, DFID and GIZ on August 1 (Thursday).
read more.

* Bangladesh struggles to check garment factories are safe:

20130730 DHAKATRIBUNE
Workers sort clothes at a garment factory near the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh  -photo by DhakaTribune.

In the weeks since the Rana Plaza collapse killed more than 1,100 workers, at least five different Bangladesh agencies have sent teams to begin inspecting the estimated 5,600 factories that make up the nation’s $20 billion (13 billion pounds) garment industry.

But there’s little coordination between the agencies, and senior government officials are unable to say just how many factories have been checked. Estimates vary from just 60 to 340.

While U.S. and European retailers which buy the bulk of Bangladesh-made clothing had hoped to complete factory inspections within 9-12 months, inspectors and government officials say this will take at least 5 years.
Bangladesh has fewer than 200 qualified inspectors.

The disconnect among the various agencies conducting what are often cursory visual assessments – Bangladesh has nowhere near enough technical equipment for sophisticated inspections – means some garment factories have been visited several times, while others have had no checks at all.

“It’s a big nuisance for us, and while we’re being put through this, nobody’s checking all the other factories in the vicinity that haven’t had a single inspection,” said Emdadul Islam, a director of Babylon Garments, which supplies Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Tesco Plc and Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M stores. “Our managers are focusing on entertaining inspectors instead of their work because none of these teams are speaking to each other.”
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Ittefaq DAILYprime-news DHAKATRIBUNE

* Retailers urged to take Bangladesh safety deal further:

Workers rights groups are calling on retailers to use a legally binding deal to improve safety for clothes factory workers in Bangladesh as a blueprint for tackling similar problems elsewhere, reports Guardian.

IndustriALL, the international union group which is backing the deal between textile workers and more than 70 retailers to tackle fire safety and building security in Bangladesh, said it had already begun work to build a similar agreement in Pakistan. It comes amid evidence that workers in Pakistan and China face greater workplace risks than those in Bangladesh.
Retailers including Primark, Marks & Spencer and H&M agreed to independent factory inspections and action to improve manufacturers’ buildings in Bangladesh after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April killed more than 1,100 people.
Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL, said many of those retailers also produced goods in Pakistan and could sign up to a second deal. ‘The strategy of working through the global supply chain does work and should be a blueprint for countries beyond Bangladesh,’ he said.
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daily star bd UNB

* RMG workers besiege BGMEA:

20130729 BANGLA24

Readymade Garment workers of ESE knitwear besieged Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) demanding payment of salary and Eid bonus.

Earlier, workers staged a protest in front of BGMEA building at around 11:30am protesting workers torturing and sacking.
On July 11, garments owners sacked 300 workers and tortured them.
Workers source said: “We were being tortured in lieu of regular salary-allowances. Besides garments owners filed fake cases against us which are not fair.”
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BANGLA NEWS24  DAILYprime-news

* Ticfa possible during this government’s time: Quader:

The signing of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) with the US is possible during the incumbent government’s tenure, Commerce Minister GM Quader said yesterday.

“I have asked the foreign ministry several times to arrange a system to sign the agreement. It needs to be signed as soon as possible as the government’s tenure is nearing its end,” Quader told The Daily Star.
He said he would follow it up with the foreign ministry again.
Ticfa with the US, Quader insists, is important as it would create a platform for discussion, to be used to settle trade disputes.
read more.
daily star bd

* Jute farmers in trouble due to scanty rainfall:

The farmers of Nilphamari district are unable to rot their jute due to scanty rain fall in the current season.As a result, the jute sticks, already have been cut are drying up. 

Sources in Department of Agriculture Extension in Nilphamari disclosed that this year some 12.770 hectares of lands have been brought under jute cultivation in the entire district with the production target of 34,897 metric tons. Out of these 1.831 hectares of lands were brought under native variety of jute and the rest 10 ,939  hectares of lands were brought under Tosa ( hybrid ) variety.
As the weather this year was in favour of jute farming there has been bumper production of jute under all the six upsazilas of the district. But the jute growers had to stop cutting of jute due to the unexpected  drought like situation which started from the  beginning of  July .
As there is no rainfall for about 25 consecutive days the farmers are not being able to cut jute. Moreover, the farmers  are facing trouble  with  the already cut jute which  are drying up.  The jute sticks which were put under water for rotting in the different ponds are  going to be destroyed in want of the required quantity of water .
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logo

* Exports to Europe register growth:

The country’s exports to key destinations like Germany, the UK and France posted modest growth in eleven months (July-May) of the last fiscal year (FY) 2012-13, as compared to the same period of the previous FY 2011-12, reports UNB.

In July-May of the last FY, exports to Germany amounted to US$3,585.26 million, which was 14.74 per cent of the total export earnings for the 11-month period. Of the amount, knitwear accounted for $1,961.20 million, woven garments $1,364.77 million and frozen shrimps $50.81 million, according to latest figures released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The EPB figures showed exports to the UK during the period totaled $2,519.21 million, which was 10.36 per cent of the total export earnings for the period.

Export of ready-made garment (RMG) items to the UK accounted for $2,228.42 million in July-May of 2012-13, against $1,927.75 million during the same period of the previous fiscal, showing a 15.60 per cent growth. The home textile export to the UK during the period was $73.84 million, frozen shrimps $78.37 million and bicycles $62.44 million.
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NewNation UNB

           THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Chaos over RMG checks:

Government agencies, shaken up by Rana Plaza disaster, are into frantic –
and uncoordinated – inspections of garment factories

But there’s little coordination between the agencies, and senior government officials are unable to say just how many factories have been checked. Estimates vary from just 60 to 340.

While US and European retailers which buy the bulk of Bangladesh-made clothing had hoped to complete factory inspections within 9-12 months, inspectors and government officials say this will take at least 5 years.
Bangladesh has fewer than 200 qualified inspectors.

The disconnect among the various agencies conducting what are often cursory visual assessments – Bangladesh has nowhere near enough technical equipment for sophisticated inspections – means some garment factories have been visited several times, while others have had no checks at all.

“It’s a big nuisance for us, and while we’re being put through this, nobody’s checking all the other factories in the vicinity that haven’t had a single inspection,” said Emdadul Islam, a director of Babylon Garments, which supplies Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Tesco Plc and Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M stores.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 daily star bd

* BGMEA must disclose fund raised for Rana Plaza victims: activists:

A group of activists on Monday demanded the disclosure of the information about the victims of Rana Plaza collapse, fund raised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association for them and expenses made from the fund.

At a press conference in front of the BGMEA building at Karwan Bazar, 24 April, an activists group of writers, teachers, researchers, photographers and journalists, also demanded payment of Tk 48 lakh in damages for each of the workers killed or missing.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza ar Savar, which house five garment factories, a market and a bank, collapsed on April 24, leaving more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, killed and scores injured. At least 374 workers were still missing when the rescue operation was closed on May 13.
In the written statement at the press conference, 24 April member Samina Luthfa, also a Dhaka University teacher, said that the garments owners association’s activities following the Rana Plaza collapse was questionable as they showed total indifference to making a list of people who worked in the five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza.
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daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victims receive grant from USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation:

A total of three Rana Plaza victims of Gobindaganj upazila under the district received a grant of Taka 80,000 from the USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation, an organisation of the expatriates of Gobindaganj upazila.

Upazila chairman Principal Abul Kalam Azad formally distributed the grant as the chief guest to the victims and their family members in a function held at the auditorium of Upazila Parishad. Vice chairman Mohammad Hossain Foku was present as the special guest.
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BSS

* India to fix legs of Rana plaza victims:

Jaipur Foot’, a pan Indian outfit, also world’s largest organization serving the disabled by providing  assistance including artificial limbs, asserted to help 100 Rana Plaza victims ‘totally free of charge’.

The famous artificial limbs makers are likely to launch the aid operations from a temporary camp in October.
Porikkhit Chowdhury, Information officer of Health and Family welfare Ministry told banglanews that a highly efficient team organized by health ministry of India will visit Bangladesh in September to examine facts before the drive to provide artificial limbs for100 severely injured Savar victims.
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BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 DAILYprime-news

* Demand compensation for the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse:

In April, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. The majority were female garment workers making clothes for the UK high street. Retailers Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango, Matalan and Primark all acknowledged recent production with the factories in the building.

Thousands of people now face destitution. Unable to work, or without the major wage earner in the family, they are struggling to make ends meet.  Yet despite this humanitarian catastrophe Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango and Matalan have all refused to offer compensation to the victims.

UK high street companies failed to ensure their supplier factories were safe. Now they must pay full compensation for lost earnings to the victims of this wholly avoidable tragedy.
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WAW 1

        ASHULIA TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE

* HC kept in wait:

Not even the High Court’s repeated expressions of disappointment could make powerful public and private organisations respond in time to its directives in the public litigation case relating to last year’s Tazreen Fashions fire.

Anthropologists Naznin Akter Banu, Saydia Gulrukh Kamal and Mahmudul Hasan Sumon filed the litigation on April 28, seeking directives on the government to arrest Tazreen owner Md Delwar Hossain to ensure his trial for criminal liabilities.
The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain has been dealing with this case since May and at every proceeding, it had to struggle to get reports from government or private organisations.
The deadliest factory fire in the nation’s history burned to death at least 112 garment workers and injured many others at the Ashulia-based Tazreen Fashions on November 24 last year.
After repeated directives for over a month, the law officer submitted the home ministry probe report on June 19, although it was prepared in December and the ministry is just a 20-minute walk from the court.
Also on June 19, the HC directed the labour ministry and Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to submit separate reports on the compensation disbursed to the fire victims. The same day, it also asked the inspector general of police (IGP) to place the DNA test report of relatives of those who went missing in the incident.
July 18 was the deadline for all the submissions.
But none of the government and private offices responded to the directives as the court sat on July 21 instead of July 18 due to a hartal.
read more.
daily star bd

* HC criticises IGP for missing Tazreen DNA report deadline:

The High Court has issued a new deadline to the inspector general of police (IGP) to submit the report on DNA testing of Tazreen fire victims, warning that this will be the last extension.

While setting September 17 as the new deadline for submission yesterday, the High Court cautioned that there would be no further extensions. It observed that the IGP was unduly delaying the DNA testing and the submission of its report.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Rezaul Haque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain issued the order. Tazreen Fashions owner Delwar Hossain was present in the court during the hearing.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

10:07:49 local time map of india INDIA

 * Textile processors hike charges by 10-15%:

The hike in processing charges may be reflected in the price of cloth, resulting in an increase of almost Rs 1.5-2 per metre

Owing to increases in input costs of fuel and raw materials, processing units in southern Gujarat have decided to increase their processing charges by 10-15 per cent effective from August 1.

A decision in this regard has been taken by the Textile Processors Association (). SGTPA is an association of textile processing units of South Gujarat – mainly in and around the Surat area. The hike in processing charges may be reflected in the price of , resulting in an increase of almost Rs 1.5-2 per metre.
According to industry sources, prices of fuel, chemicals and colours have constantly gone up over the past year, but the processing industry has not hiked its processing charges for over one-and-a-half years now.
Due to higher input costs, more than 40 textile processing units have closed down, the industry players claimed.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Textile exports to Iran set for a rupee push:

Textile exporters have spotted an opportunity in the crisis in India-Iran trade caused by sanctions on the latter by the West.

The textile industry is eyeing the rupee settlement mechanism between the two countries to push textile exports to Iran. D. K. Nair, Secretary General of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, says India’s payments to Iran for oil imports are kept in India in the rupee fund administered through UCO Bank (45 per cent of the payments for oil are made to the rupee account).
Textile and clothing buyers in Iran can open Letters of Credit against this fund after obtaining the required clearances from their government. Indian exporters will get the payment in Indian rupees from the bank account. And, there is no dearth of funds in this account, he says. In fact, rice exporters are already using the system.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Region’s 1st integrated textile park opens at Barnala:

North India’s first integrated textile park was inaugurated at the Trident Group complex here on Monday. Union textiles minister KavuruSambasivaRao presided over the inauguration ceremony along with Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union minister of state for textiles PanabaakaLakshmi.

Rao exhorted the youth to train and contribute in the modernization of textile industry. He also urged the Punjab farmers to raise the production of cotton and get good returns by being input providers to the textile industry.
read more.
TOInew

* Home textiles revenue take beating in Q1 of FY’14:

While for GHCL, the revenue has fallen due to rationalisation in its clientele, for Jindal Worldwide and Pradip Overseas the same has fallen due to dip in demand

Unlike other verticals of , the home textiles vertical has taken a beating in the first quarter. According to industry players like and , while the margins have more or less remained intact, the revenue have fallen for the players.

While for GHCL, the revenue has fallen due to rationalisation in its clientele, for players like and Pradip Overseas the same has fallen due to dip in demand.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Small Indian retailer locked in trademark fight with Gap:

Gap ‘seriously concerned’ about the Indian entity’s adoption of its ‘well-known trademark’

An Indian recycling company that uses junk to create accessories is fighting a legal trademark suit launched by US clothing giant Gap Inc demanding that the firm change its name.

Green the Gap, an Indian company which runs three stores in the country, mainly sells accessories and home decor items made out of waste including beer cans, rubber tyres and fruit cartons.
Vimlendu Jha, founding owner of the firm, which also sells clothing for other brands, accused Gap in an interview last Friday of seeking to “bully” a small Indian company.
In March, the owners were slapped with a legal notice by Gap asking them to change their name and remove any reference to the company from their labels within 14 days.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

09:37:49 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Refund claims being examined, PRGMEA told:

Chief Commissioner Regional Tax Office, Rehmat-Ullah Khan Wazir, has appointed a staff officer to examine the cases of refund claims against sales tax filed by garments exporters.

Rahmatullah Khan assured the delegation of Pakistan Readymade Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) led by its acting Chairman (South Zone) Irfan Ali and comprising leading exporters of garments and clothing, who called on him at his office the other day, that the stuck up claims would be released as soon as possible. The delegation apprised the Chief Commissioner of the difficulties faced by members with regards to their pending sales tax reimbursement claims.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

 

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INFO:

In the menu under Special Reports you can find Updated overviews of articles about:

* THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 2 20130524 – now
* The Ashulia-TAZREEN FIRE – 24 Nov 2012- now

HEADLINES TODAY:

PHILIPPINES
* Workers to 16th Congress: pass P125 Wage Hike Bill now!

VIET NAM
* Africa a potential market for Vietnamese textiles: MOIT

INDONESIA
* Put Workers’ Rights on Bali APEC Agenda, Unionists Urge President

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Business leaders promote workers’ rights

BANGLADESH
* 1 killed, 7 hurt in city factory fire
* EU RMG retailer team starts safety action plan discussions
* Bangladesh struggles to check garment factories are safe
* Retailers urged to take Bangladesh safety deal further
* RMG workers besiege BGMEA
* Ticfa possible during this government’s time: Quader
* Jute farmers in trouble due to scanty rainfall
* Exports to Europe register growth
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Chaos over RMG checks
* BGMEA must disclose fund raised for Rana Plaza victims: activists
* Rana Plaza victims receive grant from USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation
* India to fix legs of Rana plaza victims
* Demand compensation for the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse
ASHULIA TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:
* HC kept in wait
* HC criticises IGP for missing Tazreen DNA report deadline

INDIA
* Textile processors hike charges by 10-15%
* Textile exports to Iran set for a rupee push
* Region’s 1st integrated textile park opens at Barnala
* Home textiles revenue take beating in Q1 of FY’14
* Small Indian retailer locked in trademark fight with Gap

PAKISTAN
* Refund claims being examined, PRGMEA told

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