in the news on-line, 7 August 2013

07:26:24 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Angry factory workers block National Road 6:

About 4,000 angry workers crowded National Road 6 for about 10 minutes yesterday morning after officials at a Kampong Cham footwear company kicked union officials out of a planned meeting.

The striking employees of the Chinese-owned Juhui Footwear Co, Ltd, who walked out on Friday, took to the street and blocked traffic after officials from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union were asked to leave when they showed up for a meeting with company management, C.CAWDU member Siang Yot said.
Worker representative Soung Liza, 24, said yesterday that workers attempted to block the road many times, but she and others stopped them.
read more.
PPP new

* Cambodian garment workers demand higher wages:

Cambodia’s garment industry makes up 80% of its exports and employs hundreds of thousands of people.

Strikes and violent demonstrations at garment factories in Cambodia have quadrupled over the past year, and a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) said that conditions at factories were worse now than they had been in recent years.
read & see more. (video report).

* Workers asked to stay calm amid protest rumors:

Cambodia’s Social Affairs Minister urged factory workers, employers and the public not to be concerned regarding the rumors of disorder and planned protests after the country’s recent parliamentary election.

“There’s always political compromise after every election, and all sides will always meet to find solutions to ensure security,” Ith Sam Heng said in a letter issued Tuesday.
He appealed to all factories and enterprises within the country to proceed as normal.

“The Cambodian government responsibly takes all necessary actions to ensure security and order for the country’s development and livelihood of its citizens,” he said.
Authorities will take action to apprehend the culprits who are behind the spread of the illegal rumors and threats, he added.
Ith Sam Heng also said that the government will hold three party discussions to increase the minimum wage of workers by 2014.
read more.

* Applications for Garment Workers’ Labour Law Competition Kick off Today:

The 4th annual Garment Workers’ Labour Law Radio Competition is launched today. 

The competition involves workers challenging one another in a live radio setting, testing their knowledge of the Cambodia labour law. 

The International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program (BFC) is holding this competition in collaboration with radio station Vayo FM 105.5 MHz in order to promote better understanding and knowledge of the labour law among workers.
BFC’s Chief Technical Adviser, Jill Tucker says that this year’s competition will build upon the significant success of previous years.

“This competition is designed to work not only as an opportunity for the selected applicants to immerse themselves in the contentof the Cambodian labour law, but also to disseminate information to listeners, especially garment workers,” she said.

She continued: “Enhancing workers’ understanding of the labour law and its relevance in their daily lives can help to promoteworkplace cooperation and sound industrial relations.”
read more.

08:26:24 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt Must Reduce Semi-Official Leave Days: Entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs have asked the Indonesian government to reduce the number of semi-official leaves for employees, arguing that the frequency at which such vacations are taken breed inefficiency and impact productivity.

Ade Sudrajat Usman, chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API), said that Indonesians take far too many official and semi-official holidays.

“The number of holidays does not need to be increased; this only disturbs economic activities and productivity,” he said.
He said that in China, for instance, employees were only granted two semi-official leaves, even though they worked 48-hour weeks. Indonesia, meanwhile, only requires employees to work 40 hours per week.
“It’s not surprising then that China’s economy is much more advanced than Indonesia’s,” he said.
read more.
Jakarta Globe

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Legislators stated many irregularities in relation to payment of festivity allowance.
Read the full article here (article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
2. Wage raised, 63.680 workers in Korean Companies are terminated.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
3. Stated banned for praying and terminated, Lami complains to Human Right Commission. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
4. Indonesian workers battle high prices, low wages despite producing oil, registering growth rates. Read the full article here
5. Crisis and fate of workers.
   Read the full article here(Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here

6. Although Exports Slightly increase, National Textile Manufacturers Feeling Lucky.
    Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
7. Footwear Industry requests Government Promises.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates Overview here.
BW indonesia

06:56:24 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* 40 factory workers absent due to low wages:

Around 40 workers of the DIG Garment factory in Pathein didn’t show up for work due to low wages according to the National Democracy Network (NDN).

The factory which was inaugurated on July 8 have reportedly not paid their workers according to the agreed salary, and insists on firing or fining them hefty fines for missing a days work.
“When we joined this factory they agreed to pay K.60,000.
After ten days of inauguration, the in charge of the factory called us a meeting and said they will pay us K.1000 a day excluding Sundays and public holidays. We will get K. 10,000 if we come daily but if one day absent, they will charge us K.5000 and for three day absent, we’ll be fired.
Moreover, we need to give k.400 as a ferry fare,” complained a factory worker who doesn’t want to be named.
read more.

* Burmese Garment Workers Protest Over Wages:

Workers sit in front of a factory during a strike in protest over low wages at Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone
Workers sit in front of a factory during a strike in protest over low wages at Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone in May last year. At another factory in Irrawaddy Division, dozens of garment workers fear they could lose their jobs after calling on their employer to pay their promised monthly wages. (Photo: Reuters)

Dozens of Burmese garment workers have been barred from returning to work after calling on their employer to pay them 70,000 kyats (US$70) monthly, as promised.

The 35 garment workers at Delta Industrial Group (DIG) in Irrawaddy Division stopped showing up for work last Friday, as an act of protest against their employer’s decision to pay them only 60,000 kyats monthly. When they attempted to return to their factory in the town of Panthein on Tuesday, the company said they could not yet resume their jobs because a decision had not been made over the wages.

“They didn’t pay us according to the agreement,” said Myat Thida, one of the employees.
Protesting workers said they had been trying to meet with their employers since Monday without success and worried they could lose their jobs.

A manager at the factory, Ohmar, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the company’s board committee had not yet responded to or made a decision over the workers’ demands. She said the board members were currently busy hosting foreign guests and did not have time at the moment to meet with the protesting employees.
read more.

06:26:24 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Footwear factory catches fire in city:

A fire broke out in a footwear factory in the city’s Banglabazar area on Tuesday evening.

Fire Brigade sources said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at about 6:15 pm, burning down huge footwear.
On information, four units of firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the flame after an hour of frantic efforts.
However, there was no report of any injury in the incident.
to read.

 * RMG workers block highway for Eid bonus:

Transport movement on the Dhaka-Aricha highway is being hampered as workers of at least four garment factories put barricade in Savar Tuesday afternoon demanding Eid bonus and salaries for the month of July.

Around 1,000 workers of the garments of AKH Group started demonstrations in front of the factories at Hemayetpur blocking a lane of the highway around 2:30pm, , reports our correspondent in Savar quoting Abdus Sattar, assistant deputy director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
On information, police rushed to the spot and urged the agitators to settle the issue through a negotiation with the factory authorities, Sattar said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24

 * RMG workers withdraw highway blockade in Savar:

Transport movement on the Dhaka-Aricha highway has returned to normalcy as garment workers in Savar withdrew their barricade after factory authorities assured them of paying arrears and Eid bonus by Wednesday.

The protesting workers left the highway immediately after the announcement by the AKH Group authorities around 3:30pm, said Abdus Sattar, an assistant deputy director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
The factory authorities also closed the units declaring Tuesday a holiday, the police official told our correspondent in Savar.
Around 1,000 workers of the garments started demonstrations in front of the factories at Hemayetpur blocking a lane of the highway around 2:30pm.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd NewNation

* RMG workers stage demo in Ctg for salary:

Hundreds workers of a readymade garments factory staged demonstration at Kadamtoli of the port city demanding due salary on Tuesday.

Sources said hundreds workers of Victory Dresses Limited staged demonstration in front of the factory around 4:00pm demanding due salary.
However, factory owners brought the situation under control by negotiating with the workers.
Sadarghat Thana Sub-Inspector Mujibur Rahman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
to read.

* RMG workers want wage, allowance by today:

Garments worker organisations on Tuesday expressed concern as the wages and festival allowances were yet to be paid to the workers of some garment factories.

Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad at a meeting at its office in the capital said that the owners of some garment factories were yet to pay the wage and festival allowance to the workers till Tuesday.
They called on the factory owners to make the payments today so that the workers could go their homes to celebrate the Eid with their families.
The owners of the factories were committed to pay the wage for July and the festival allowance by August 7.
read more.

* Fresh trouble feared, if not RMG workers’ dues cleared by today:

Fresh trouble is brewing in the garment sector ahead of the Eid-ul Fitr as a number of factories failed to clear wages, festival bonuses and overtime bills of their workers Tuesday.

Workers’ representatives in the readymade garment (RMG) sector expressed their concern over the situation.
They said if the payments are not made by Wednesday (today), the workers might resort to widespread violence ahead of Eid.

After a meeting with apparel manufacturers and law enforcement agencies concerned on July 21 Home Minister MK Alamgir set the August 6 deadline for the apparel makers to settle the payments.
Then the RMG producers sat in another meeting with the state minister for labour and employment and revised the payment deadline to August 07.
read more.

* 38 trade unions formed in RMG sector in 7 months:

Shipar says government will formulate five to seven guidelines in different areas including profit sharing, inspection and trade union

The government allowed registration of 38 trade unions in the RMG sector from January to July in a bid to improve the labour situation in Bangladesh.

“In Dhaka, 29 trade unions were registered while in Chittagong the number was nine,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the Dhaka Tribune.
The secretary hoped that the number of trade unions BGMEA would exceed 100 by the end of the year.
“These 38 trade unions got registration under the previous regulation which was much rigid. But after the amendment to labour law in July, the regulation has been relaxed to a great extent,” he said.

There were over 150 registered trade unions till 2012 but most of them were inactive, he said.After the twin disasters – fire at Tazreen Fashion in November and collapse of Rana Plaza in April – the government and the owners are under intense pressure from different stakeholders to allow trade unions in the business establishment.

The government made amendment to labour law 2006 to ease rules and regulations of registering trade union.
“We expect to formulate five to seven guidelines in different areas including profit sharing, inspection and trade union,” Shipar said.
“Our top priority would be guidelines on profit sharing and we hope to complete it by three months,” he said.
read more.

* Contemplating SEZs for the RMG sector:

Now might be the right time to contemplate a wholesale relocation of the entire industry

The effort to relocate 1,200 active garment factories to improve working conditions is a step in the right direction for the BGMEA.

We applaud the fact that the BGMEA-Jica endeavour has no public sector participation between the parties. We firmly believe that an aware and responsible private sector can pioneer prosperity without the need for extensive babysitting by the government. This should lay down the marker for future private sector initiatives.
That is not to say that the government should let its guard down – it must perform its duty, remain vigilant and protect public interest.

That being said, special economic zones that are specifically built to facilitate the garments industry have the potential to further improve the efficiency of the sector.
For instance, this would also mean that the industry could have centralised waste management systems, resulting in the reduction of environmental pollution. Ensuring a proper work environment for the labourers will also be easier through common facilities.
read more.

* Bangladesh clothing sector needs to improve image to prosper:

The clothing industry in Bangladesh needs to improve its image in order for the country’s long-term prosperity to be guaranteed, says global business information company Textiles Intelligence.

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in April 2013 sent a shockwave through the textile and clothing industry. More than 1,100 lives were lost in the incident, and Bangladesh’s reputation as a reliable low cost location in which to manufacture clothing suffered a severe blow in the eyes of consumers and the major brands. In addition, the industry has received a high level of bad publicity with regard to employment practices.

Retailers and brands are, for good reason, increasingly sensitive about their reputations in the eyes of the media, consumers and lobby groups. It is not surprising therefore that some Western buyers have cancelled orders in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse and placed them elsewhere. Moreover, a number of Bangladeshi factories have been “blacklisted”.

Furthermore, sales in the US import market could be negatively affected following a decision by the US government to suspend Bangladesh’s preferential duty treatment under the USA’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, and Bangladesh’s preferential access to the EU could also be revoked if the Bangladeshi government does not take the necessary steps to significantly improve building safety standards and overall labour conditions in the country.
read more. & read more. & read more.
Ittefaq NewNation

* Textiles ministry seeks Tk 500cr from four banks:

The textiles and jute ministry has sought Tk 500 crore from four state banks in the face of a cash crisis.

The ministry needs the amount to pay higher wages and arrears to workers of state-owned jute mills in line with the new labour law.
Also, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will need money to pay bonus to their workers ahead of Eid and to purchase jute.
However, the banks have told the ministry that they were unable to give the amount without a guarantee from the finance ministry.
The textiles ministry sought Tk 150 crore each from Sonali and Janata banks and Tk 100 crore each from Agrani and Rupali.
read more.
daily star bd

* ILO to work closely with govt, employers, workers:

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said it will continue working closely with Bangladesh government as well as local ready-made garments (RMG) employers and workers in the upcoming days for improving safety standards and skill development.

ILO Dhaka office Director Srinivas B Reddy’s comment was available in its official website Monday, marking 100 days of Rana Plaza collapse and highlighting the ILO’s role following the worst-ever industrial disaster in the country.

“We will work closely with the Government and employers’ and workers’ organisations, as they implement the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity (NTPA) in the RMG sector, over the coming weeks and months,” he said.
read more.

* The Rana Plaza building collapse… 100 days on:

A number of initiatives have been launched in response to the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which expand upon ILO action following previous accidents in the country.
The Director of the ILO Office in Dhaka, Srinivas B. Reddy, explains what these initiatives are and the steps that have been taken on the ground.

What action has been taken during the past three months?
Since April 24, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed, claiming 1,127 lives and injuring many more, the ILO has played a lead role in seeking to address the root causes of the disaster and help rehabilitate injured victims. We are working closely with the Government and employers’ and workers’ organizations (the ILO’s tripartite constituents), to help improve workers’ rights and safety in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector.

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the ILO sent a high-level mission to Dhaka, headed by the Deputy Director-General for field operations, Gilbert Houngbo. The result of the mission was a Joint Statement, signed on May 4, by the Government and employers’ and workers’ organizations, which set out a six-point response agenda.
What does the response agenda consist of?
The Joint Statement committed the Government of Bangladesh to submitting a set of amendments to its Labour Law, which it did on 15 July, and ILO has commented on it. The response agenda also requires an assessment of all the active RMG factories for fire safety and structural integrity, as well as measures to fix the issues discovered. It also commits the government to recruit, within 6 months, 200 additional inspectors and to ensure that the Department of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Establishments will have been upgraded to a Directorate with an annual regular budget allocation adequate to enable the recruitment of a minimum of 800 inspectors and the development of the infrastructure required for their proper functioning.

It recommends expanding the existing National Tripartite Action Plan on Fire Safety, signed after the Tazreen Fashions factory fire in November 2012. Progress has already been made through an agreement reached on July 25 by the Government, employers and workers to integrate this plan and the Joint Statement to form a comprehensive National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity in the RMG sector.
read more. & read more.


* Police charges batons on agitated Rana Plaza workers:

Police charged batons on agitated workers of different garment industries of the devastated Rana Plaza at Savar injuring at least thirty workers on Monday morning.

According to local sources, more than two thousand injured workers along with the family members of the missing workers brought out a procession from Rana Plaza area at around 10 AM.
While they were marching towards Upazila Nirbahi Officer’s office to seize it in demand of immediate compensations and Eid bonus along with due salary, police dispersed the procession by charging batons on the protestors.
Talking to The Independent, Inspector Aminul Islam of Savar Model Police Station said, “The protesters were blocking the road creating heavy traffic jam on the highway.” “That is why we dispersed them by mild baton charge,” he said.
Jui and Riya, two injured workers, told reporters that they were facing serious crisis as they have no job.
The owners did not pay due salary or any compensation to the injured workers, they alleged. Even they did not give any assistance to the family members of the missing workers.
to read.

* Victims’demonstrate for dues, compensation:


A group of survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy and family members of the deceased and missing workers demonstrated in Savar yesterday, demanding payment of their dues, Eid bonuses, and compensation.

Around 300 workers took position on the Dhaka- Aricha Highway for two hours from 8am. Police tried to disperse the crowd with batons but the protestors broke through the barricade.
They brought out a rally from the Rana Plaza premises under the banner of ‘Revolutionary Workers Committee’ blocking the Dhaka – Aricha highway for 30 minutes, leading to severe traffic congestion and causing inconvenience road-users.

One survivor, Monir, who used work on the fourth floor of the Rana plaza, told Dhaka Tribune: “Police confined us for 20 minutes in an alley beside the collapsed Rana Plaza premises.”
Another survivor named Saidul, who used to work on the sixth floor, said: “We are demonstrating for valid reasons. Although the government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) assured us they would compensate us and pay our due salaries, the police charged us with batons and kept obstructing us repeatedly.”
read more. & read more.

* BGMEA president’s remarks condemned:

Eminent citizens and rights activists in a statement yesterday condemned BGMEA President Atiqul Islam’s claims that the Rana Plaza tragedy was “an act of God” and it was “beyond the owners’ control”.

Terming his claims shameless and audacious, they demanded that Atiqul withdraw what he said.
“His claims prove that Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has taken sides with the murderous owners,” it said. The citizens and activists also demanded that proper compensation should be given to all workers and families affected by the building collapse.
Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Serajul Islam Choudhury; theatre personality Mamunur Rashid; columnists Syed Abul Moksud and Rahnuma Ahmed; rights activist Khushi Kabir; professors Nasima Akter Hossain and Anu Mohammad, among others, signed the statement.
In another statement Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati (BGSS) also refuted Atiqul Islam’s claims. “BGMEA is attempting to conceal the owners’ crimes and trying to clear itself of the liabilities of killing thousands of workers,” said the statement added.
to read.  & read more.
daily star bd

* 332 Rana Plaza victims still missing: CPD:

A large number of Readymade Garment (RMG) workers still remain missing since the incident of Rana Plaza that claimed 1,132 lives, injured thousand others and maimed a large number of workers.

“A total of 332 workers who were employed in these factories have not been identified,” said an Independent Monitoring Report on 100 days of Rana Plaza prepared by the civil society think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue quoting official estimates.
Relatives of missing workers, the report said, have authenticated documents such as pay slim, appointment letters, ID cards etc. Among the missing workers 69.8 per cent (235 workers) are female while 30.2 per cent (97 workers) are male.
Majority of missing workers are from Dhaka division (131), followed by Rajshahi (58), Rangpur (56), and Khula (39) and having age group ranging from 15 to 30 years. Quoting media reports, the report said that a total of 234 unidentified dead bodies have been buried from which 200 samples collected for DNA test. Part of these missing workers is supposed to be among these 234 unidentified workers even though another 98 workers will be remained untraced.
read more.

* Workers’ organisation specifies compensation demands for victims:

Leaders of National Garment Workers Federation yesterday demanded that the families of workers killed in Rana Plaza tragedy should be given Tk 28 lakh each for their “loss of earning” while the injured workers should get Tk 5 lakh each.

Most families of the dead have not received any forms of necessary assistance let alone proper compensation, they added.
They said these while distributing sari, rice, sugar and vermicelli to 111 affected people of Rana Plaza tragedy, outside the office of Workers’ Party of Bangladesh in the capital.
The party President Rashed Khan Menon said the assistance provided from the prime minister’s fund as well as the the contributions made by different organisations were not enough.
read more.
daily star bd

* Eid brings no joy for Rana Plaza victims, families:

20130807 DAILYSTAR
The injured workers of the Rana Plaza garment factories and relatives of the missing and deceased victims stage a sit-in in front of the collapsed building in Savar from 3:00pm to 8:00pm yesterday as part of their continuous demonstration for payment of salaries from May, bonus, compensation and rehabilitation before Eid-ul-Fitr. Photo: Star

When most people around him are preparing to celebrate the Eid festival, Niru Sardar, a garment worker who lost the left eye in the Rana Plaza collapse, is fighting a battle for survival.

The 30-year-old sewing machine operator sold off a piece of land at his village home in Rajbari sadar upazila and spent the money for treatment for his wounded eye, nose, and head.
His four-member family is now totally dependent on charities for housing and food, as he has almost lost the capacity to work and needs more treatment, including a nose surgery.
With the hope to get some financial assistance, Niru came to Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre in Genda, near Savar, where some donations arrived for the victims yesterday.
A total of Tk 2,000 is all he got there. Niru told The Daily Start that he did not receive any aid either from the government or the garment factory owners association, BGMEA, other than Tk 15,000 as his salaries.

Asked about his Eid plan, Niru said, “I cannot manage milk and barley for my four-month-old daughter. What will Eid mean to me?”
The baby was born four days before the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar crumbled on April 24, killing 1,132 people and leaving hundreds of others, including Niru, maimed or injured.
Six hours after he was pulled out alive from the rubble, Niru was sent to a local clinic before being shifted to the National Institute of Eye Science and Hospital at the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
He had been treated there for 51 days and then returned to his home in Savar.
“I didn’t get any financial help from anyone. I was at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, and none visited me there or extended any help. But I have heard that many people helped the victims,” Niru said.
read more.
daily star bd

05:56:24 local time map of india INDIA

 * Rise in apparel exports:

Apparel exports increased by 12.13 per cent in dollar terms in June compared to the same period last year.

According to a release from the Apparel Export Promotion Council, India exported apparels worth $1,240 million as against $1,106 million. In rupee terms, exports were 17 per cent higher this year compared to last year.
to read.
Return to frontpage

 * Handloom weavers to be included in NREGS:

The textile ministry had assured handloom weavers for their inclusion in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

MGNREGA initiated by the ministry of rural development aims at enhancing livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The works undertaken through MGNREGA give priority to activities related to water harvesting, groundwater recharge, drought-proofing and flood protection.

Its focus on eco-restoration and sustainable livelihood would lead over time, to an increase in land productivity and aid the workers in moving from wage employment to sustainable employment.
read more.

* Report on new textiles policy by Oct.:

The expert committee headed by Ajay Shankar to formulate a new national textiles policy is likely to submit its report by October this year.

“The government constituted an expert committee in June to review the National Textiles Policy 2000, and formulate the National Textiles Policy 2013.

The policy will give a direction to the sector as a whole, and address the needs of the industry for 21st century trade operations. The panel is headed by National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) member secretary Ajay Shankar,” Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
She said that India’s export of textiles and clothing remained almost the same year-on-year at $7.79 billion in the April-June quarter this fiscal. In the first three months of the last fiscal, exports stood at $7.76 billion.
read more.
Return to frontpage

05:56:24 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Apparel sector sets US$ 5 b target in 2015:

Based on the current scenario in international business climate the apparel sector has set itself a target of achieving US$ 5 billion in 2015 through garment exports.

A further US$ 1 billion is targeted from the emerging new market in China around that time, together will make the apparel sector worth nearly US$7 billion before the end of 2020, Tuli Cooray Secretary-General of the JAAF said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister last week released a gazette notification titled Commercial Hub Regulation No: 1 of 2013, which will be applicable to all new enterprise established or incorporated in Sri Lanka.
read more.

* Magistrate inquiry into the deaths at Sri Lanka’s water protest on Thursday:

The magistrate inquiry on the deaths of three people died in the clash between civilians and military in Weliweriya will take place on Thursday (August 08).

The postmortem will be conducted before the Gampaha Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Tikiri Jayathilaka with the assistance of the Gampaha police and crime division.
K.A. Akila Dinesh, Nilantha Pushpakumara and Ravishan Perera died of injuries they received when the Army soldiers opened fire at the protesters.
Army came to assist the police to disperse the protestors that were blocking new Kandy Road at Weliweriya.
The residents of 12 villages were protesting a Hayley’s rubber glove making factory over contaminating their water resources.
to read. & read more.
colombo SL mirror

* Investigators of alleged army killings should independent – Amnesty:

The Sri Lankan authorities must not allow the army to investigate itself over allegations of excessive use of force by its members after three protesters demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend, Amnesty International said.

“The Sri Lankan army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place, and having them investigate their own alleged abuses is simply ridiculous,” said Polly Truscott, Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
“Sri Lankan authorities must urgently initiate an effective  investigation into this tragic incident. The investigation must be independent, impartial and conducted with the professionalism, resources and powers necessary to unearth the truth about this incident. The army cannot be seen to investigate itself. Anything less will send the message that using  excessive force against protesters is permitted.”
read more. & read more. & read more.
CEYLONTODAYdaily mirror

* Ranil queries deployment of army in Weliveriya:

The lives of innocent school children and youth who had been killed or injured in the Weliweriya army crackdown, on a demonstration, could not be valued in terms of money.

The Government should take action to expeditiously pay a satisfactory compensation to those who had been killed and injured, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Making a special statement in Parliament, Wickremesinghe said that there were a number of methods to disperse a public demonstration or a protest.

“Deployment of riot control groups, water attacks, tear gas attacks, rubber bullets etc. can be used. Warnings should be issued in all three languages before shooting. But, it appears that none of these alternatives have been put to use,” he said.

Full text of the statement: “Over two weeks ago the people around the Haleys factory in Rathupaswala area continued to carry out demonstrations demanding potable water. After that demonstration, on 1st August, the Weliveriya Town turned out to be a battle field. The clash between the Army and the people around, including those who are residing in the area, dragged on until the night. Military attacks had been made even on those who had gone to the church for their safety and shooting had been done even inside the church. Not only that, shots had been fired in the air while going along the road around the area. Those who held discussions with me and those who came to see me explained about these shootings.
read more.

* Weliweriya Killings: UNP wants intl. probe:

The UNP, while calling for an international probe into last weeks Weliweriya shooting incident, which left three persons dead, said that the government should reveal the identity of the person who gave the order to shoot at the people, who were only asking for clean water.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, MP, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that the government had acted in an inhumane manner despite the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in Colombo.
read more.

* ‘dollars more precious than ignorant natives’:

The Gampaha shooting exposed the government. Clearly the government has allowed the Multi-National Companies to exploit our land and people with disregard to environmental hazards and the existence of human beings.

It was necessary for them to open fire at students and young people, in order to allow the products of a factory to be sent to the harbour.
Gloves are made with the blood and sweat of our people, while the soil gets charged with acid. These have to be sent abroad urgently, not to annoy our global masters. So they fire at a few ‘ignorant natives’ who dare to block the road meant for their masters’ agents!

Three deaths occurred and several dozens were wounded as a result of this incident. “So what, if these rascals do not allow our precious gloves to be sent immediately, in order to get our dollars to be used in casinos; we were left with no alternative. These ‘shits’ got what they deserved.
Of course we can bill the burial as Mahinda Chinthana new edition.
This new edition is supported by the IMF. The International Monetary Fund very recently commending Lanka’s poverty reduction and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s role in developing the country has assured its continued support.
read more.
daily mirror

05:26:24 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

 * Textile sector: where is the growth? :

Currently there is a lot of optimism in the textile sector with many analysts pinpointing the growth potential of the sector.

Driven by positivity at various fronts like revival of demand from the EU and the US and improved power and gas supply situation at home, textile exports from Pakistan showed a good front, growing by 5.9 percent year-on-year during the last financial year.
However, a more than cursory glance at the list of items that have contributed to this growth gives the game away.

To give credit where it is due, both the RMG and cotton fabric exports have indeed managed to show good resilience in grappling with the local energy crisis during the last fiscal year, but the growth is spearheaded once more by low-value added cotton yarn.
Additionally, export numbers are distorted because they dwarf over last fiscal years figures–which were dismal for a number of product categories due to a weakened global appetite for textiles following the slump in the last quarter of FY11.

For Pakistan–which remains one of the leading producers of cotton in the world–the development of a textile industry which can make full use of its abundant resources of cotton has been a long drawn out process.
read more.

* ‘Raise in power tariff to hit tanneries’:

Pakistan Tanners Association has said that huge increase in the electricity tariffs would not only damage the export industry but would also leave negative impact on the industrial production.

While commenting on the recent decision of the federal government for making exorbitant increase in power tariffs, PTA Central Chairman Agha Saiddain told Business Recorder on Tuesday that unprecedented increase in power tariffs coupled with price hike of petroleum products would badly hit the entire industrial sector in the country and would cause irreparable loss to the export sector.
read more.

05:26:24 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Belgian textile machinery sector to explore Uzbek market:

A delegation of the Belgian textile machinery industry will meet key decision makers of the Uzbek Textile Industry during a technical seminar and mini fair in the Hotel Intercontinental in Tashkent on September 12.

Belgian companies participating in this seminar are Bekaert Carding Solutions, BMSVision, Bonas, Cobble, Meersschaert, Evilo-Matthys Group, Picanol, Titan-Baratto and Van De Wiele. The Belgian delegation will interact with the Uzbek textile industry to select effective technologies that meet Uzbek industrial needs.

The Belgian textile technology industry will present its newest developments in the areas of carding technology, flat and pile weaving technology, tufting, jacquard technology, finishing machinery, weaving accessories, textile inspection and control systems, textile industry automation. Belgian textile technology developers will also show the latest technologies for the production of clothing fabrics, interior textiles (upholstery, carpet …) and technical textiles.
read more.



map of Asia


* Angry factory workers block National Road 6
* Cambodian garment workers demand higher wages
* Workers asked to stay calm amid protest rumors
* Applications for Garment Workers’ Labour Law Competition Kick off Toda

* Govt Must Reduce Semi-Official Leave Days: Entrepreneurs
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

* 40 factory workers absent due to low wages
* Burmese Garment Workers Protest Over Wages

* Footwear factory catches fire in city
* RMG workers block highway for Eid bonus
* RMG workers withdraw highway blockade in Savar
* RMG workers stage demo in Ctg for salary
* RMG workers want wage, allowance by today
* Fresh trouble feared, if not RMG workers’ dues cleared by today
* 38 trade unions formed in RMG sector in 7 months
* Contemplating SEZs for the RMG sector
* Bangladesh clothing sector needs to improve image to prosper
* Textiles ministry seeks Tk 500cr from four banks
* ILO to work closely with govt, employers, workers
* The Rana Plaza building collapse… 100 days on
* Police charges batons on agitated Rana Plaza workers
* Victims’demonstrate for dues, compensation
* BGMEA president’s remarks condemned
* 332 Rana Plaza victims still missing: CPD
* Workers’ organisation specifies compensation demands for victims
* Eid brings no joy for Rana Plaza victims, families

* Rise in apparel exports
* Handloom weavers to be included in NREGS
* Report on new textiles policy by Oct

* Apparel sector sets US$ 5 b target in 2015
* Magistrate inquiry into the deaths at Sri Lanka’s water protest on Thursday
* Investigators of alleged army killings should independent – Amnesty
* Ranil queries deployment of army in Weliveriya
* Weliweriya Killings: UNP wants intl. prob
* ‘dollars more precious than ignorant natives’

* Textile sector: where is the growth?
* ‘Raise in power tariff to hit tanneries’

* Belgian textile machinery sector to explore Uzbek market

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

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