19:05:42 local time CHINA
* Li Ning beats forecasts, bolsters case for sector turnaround:
Li Ning, China’s best known sportswear company, reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the first half and said inventory levels had returned to close to normal levels, fuelling hopes that the beleaguered industry is finally on the mend.
Last week, larger domestic rival ANTA Sports Products cheered investors with news that the value of its order book grew for the first time in six quarters.
The sector is still grappling with massive oversupply after China’s six biggest sportswear companies, expecting a wave of interest after Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, opened a combined 12,300 stores between 2008 and 2011, an average of 11 per day.
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18:05:42 local time VIET NAM
* Import costs hit textile firms:
Workers at the Quang Tri-based Phong Phu Garment factory check products. The importation of raw materials for the garment industry hit $7.646 billion in the first seven months of this year, up 18.2 per cent year-on-year. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
Viet Nam’s garment and textile industry remains reliant on imported raw materials, concerning enterprises seeking to take advantage of zero tariffs mandated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has been under negotiation.
Statistics showed that in the first seven months of this year, the total export turnover of garment and textile products reached US$9.636 billion, a rise of 16.3 per cent year-on-year. But, the import of raw materials for the industry hit $7.646 billion, up 18.2 per cent.
18:05:42 local time CAMBODIA
* Factory production sluggish:
In the wake of last month’s election, production levels at Cambodian garment factories are still below the norm as lingering fears of political unrest keep workers at home and away from the capital.
Shrugged off at the outset as a natural byproduct of the election that would correct in time, the stay-away workers are beginning to make factory owners reluctant to accept orders, according to Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC).
“When they [factory owners] accept the order from a buyer, they need to be sure they can supply the goods on time,” Thorn said. “Absentee workers are interrupting production lines, which is a concern for the factory owners. That is why some have decided to suspend their supply capacity temporarily.”
Thorn said that more than 10 per cent of workers remained absent.
“I was informed that workers are suggesting to draw their salary in advance as they are preparing to go back home during the uncertainty,” he said.
* BetterFactories Media updates 02-12 August 2013, Promise of negotations ends strike:
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-08-07 Garment workers told to come to work, not fear conflict
2013-08-08 Low paid civil servant to get pay boost
2013-08-09 Cham Prasidh says protest may ruin economy
2013-08-10-11 After factory collapse, safety improvements scarce
2013-08-12 CNRP denounces online garment wage letters as fraudulent
2013-08-12 Tesco set to withdraw brand from China in joint venture
* To read in the printed edition of the Koh Santepheap Daily (Khmer):
2013-08-07 Workers from three factories did parade to Bavat City Hall
2013-08-09 Application for garment workers’ labour law competition kicks off today
2013-08-12 150 workers receive city governor’s gift
* To read in the printed edition of the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily (Khmer):
2013-08-07 Union leader calls for workers to calm down and work normally
19:05:42 local time INDONESIA
* 60 Textile Companies Relocate to East Java Due to Minimum Wage Hike:
As a result of increase in minimum wage (UMR) in the beginning of the year, about 60 companies in the textile and textile products Greater Jakarta relocated their businesses to Central Java, especially around Semarang.
Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) Ade Sudrajat said the minimum wage increase that occurred earlier in the year did have an impact on labor-intensive industries, including textiles and textile products in the Greater Jakarta area. One consequence is the termination of employment since the company is no longer able to finance production activities.
As one of the measures undertaken by the textile industries and textile producers in Greater Jakarta relocated their production activities to Central Java. Ade confirmed up until now there are about 60 companies which had relocated their businesses to Central Java.
16:50:42 local time NEPAL
* Workers stick to guns‚ industrial closure continues:
As many as 11 industries located in the Pathlaiya-Birgunj industrial corridor have remained shut due to worker unions’ agitation for the past one week.
The industries of the region came to a grinding halt when the unions went of strike demanding hike in salary at the same scale for workers at all levels. Due to the agitation, Hulas Steel and Hanuman Metal belonging to Golchha Organisation, and spinning and textile industries of Triveni Group have become totally dysfunctional.
Workers have just signed their official attendance and returned home everyday for a week saying that their demands remain unaddressed.
Earlier, the government had agreed to increase the salary of low-paid workers by Rs 1,800 from this fiscal, but the agitating groups have been demanding salary hike at all levels at the same scale.
17:05:42 local time BANGLADESH
* RMG workers want basic wage to be fixed at Tk 8,000:
A group of garment workers on Monday formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city, demanding basic wages to be fixed at Tk 8,000.
They demanded withdrawal of the 48-hour hartal called by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.
The human chain, organised by Jago Bangladesh Garments Shramik Federatiion, also demanded scrapping of the amended labour law.
Md Baharine Sultan Bahar, president of the organisation, Md Saeedul Islam Gani, Md Mostafa and Shathi Akhter among others attended the human chain.
They said the recently amended labour law failed to protect the interest of the workers.
‘It is not desirable to declare hartal when the labourers will be returning to join their workplaces, and if they cannot return to their workplaces, it will result in the deduction of their salary and bonus,’ said Baharine.
* Under pressure, Bangladesh parliament amends labor law :
Bangladesh’s parliament amended the country’s labor law July 15 in response to mass protests and mounting political pressures after more than 1,200 garment workers were killed on the job — sacrificed on the alter of profit as a result of the bosses’ disregard for the most basic safety standards and workers’ lives.
To win recognition, unions still need the support of at least 30 percent of the workers at a workplace, but the labor ministry is now barred from the practice of turning over a blacklist of union supporters to the boss.
Leaders of Bangladeshi worker federations say the change is still inadequate and sharply criticized other provisions in the amended law.
On April 24 Rana Plaza, an eight-story building housing five garment factories, shops and a bank in Savar, 20 miles from the capital Dhaka, caved in. In spite of major visible cracks in the wall the day before — prompting evacuation of the bank and shops — garment bosses pressured workers to return to work the next morning. About an hour into the workday the building collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers.
Tens of thousands of workers took to the streets in response. A wave of strikes and other demonstrations demanded arrest of bosses and landlords, compensation to families of workers killed and wage raises in the industry.
Just five months earlier more than 120 workers died in a fire in the Tazreen Fashions factory on the outskirts of Dhaka. According to survivors, the exits were locked, fire extinguishers didn’t work and highly flammable stacks of yarn and clothes blocked parts of the stairs.
Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories generate 80 percent of the country’s export income. It is today the second biggest exporter of garments after China. Over the last two decades the garment workforce has grown from 1 million to 4 million, the majority women from rural villages.
The law against turning over names to the boss “is not a strong bar,” said Kalpona Akter, a leader of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, in an Aug. 1 phone interview from Dhaka. “Factory owners have ways of getting around this.”
* Labour leaders urge hartal withdrawal:
Apparel labour leaders yesterday urged Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh to withdraw the 48-hour shutdown that begins today so that garment workers can report on time from their Eid vacations.
“Most of the workers have gone back to their villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. Two days’ hartal would delay their return journey to Dhaka,” said Saidul Islam Goni, general secretary of Jago Bangladesh Garments Sramik Federation.
Factory owners will cut wages and bonuses for the workers if they fail to join work on time, he added.
Jamaat originally called hartal for August 12-13 to protest the High Court verdict that cancelled its registration with the Election Commission. The party later deferred the 48-hour shutdown programme by a day.
The association also urged the government to remove all clauses that go against the workers’ interest in the amended Labour Law 2013 and set Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage for the garment workers.
* GsP suspension & Bangladesh RMG sector:
There can be some mistake of them. At this situation it is a matter of surprise that USA has terminated the JSP facility.
The marking USA ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena said that if it is amplification of the roadmap provided by the USA perfectly in the development of standard of working environment of garments factories in Bangladesh only then the USA will revive facility. His comment raises a ray of hope on the other hand it creates some questions? If the USA would not suspend GSP facility and they activate the road map gradually then the 80% female workers will be benefited. In spite of being a friendly country of Bangladesh it is unfortunate that USA acted like in this harsh way.
During this crucial moment of garments sector in Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi people have not found Dr. Md. Yunus productively rather giving some of his advices. The equal labor standard of USA he has claimed is it possible to achieve for Bangladesh in one single night? Yes he is busy with his social business. The social business, social investment and capital are interlinked with one another. It is unfortunate that Dr.Yunus is behaving like a politician rather than an economist.
* Tannery relocation project cost to be doubled:
The government is set to raise the cost of tannery relocation project by 100 per cent to Tk 1,078.71 crore because of its move to benefit tannery owners and the delay in implementation of the project.
The planning commission is likely to place today an industry ministry proposal to increase the cost of the Leather Industry Town project to Tk 1,078.71 crore from Tk 545.36 crore before the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council, headed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, said officials of the commission.
The ministry now wants to complete the project in June 2016.
The project was initiated in 2003 by Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation to build a leather town in an area between Savar and Keraniganj by shifting tanneries from Dhaka city by June 2012.
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* PM receives donation for Rana Plaza victims:
The officials and employees of Energy and Mineral Resources Division and other organisations under it on Monday donated their one day’s salaries to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the Savar Rana Plaza collapse victims.
* Rana Plaza victims get grant from USAGF:
A total of three Rana Plaza victims of Gobindaganj upazila in the district on Sunday got lump grant of TK 80,000 from the USA’s Gobindaganj Foundation (USAGF), an organisation of Gobindaganj upazila men who live in the USA.
Upazila chairman Principal Abul Kalam Azad formally distributed the grant to the victims and their close relatives in a function held at the auditorium of upazila parishad in the afternoon as the chief guest and vice chairman Mohammad Hossain Foku was present as the special guest.
In the function, Zerin Akter, daughter of deceased Maksuda Akter, at Salmara union received financial assistance of TK 50,000, Habibur Rahman, father of wounded son Abdus Sattar, at Gumaniganj union TK 20,000 and wounded Jewel Sarker, son of Monir Uddin, at Salmara union of the upazila TK 10,000.
16:35:42 local time INDIA
* Spinning industry concerned over steep hike in cotton price:
The spinning industry has expressed concern over the steep increase in the price of cotton.
“The Government’s untimely announcement on granting permission to the Cotton Corporation of India to export the white fibre has sent the prices for a spin.
“The price, which was hovering around Rs 36,000-38,000 a candy at the beginning of the season has swelled to Rs 48,000/candy in no time,” said K. Thirunavukkarasu, President, The South India Spinners Association.
Fearing a repeat of the 2011 scenario, he said, “a majority of the small spinning units do not have the wherewithal to hold huge inventory.
“If the prices continue to move north, many units will be compelled to down shutters, rendering thousands jobless.”
The yarn market is sluggish and fabric support is also not strong, he said and appealed to the powers that be to initiate immediate measures to protect the spinning sector.
* Hosiery industry demands lump sum tax on goods sent through Railways:
Hosiery association has demanded from the excise department that a lump sum tax be charged from them on the products being exported by them from the city to the other parts of the country and save them from the Petti mafia.
An executive committee meeting in this regard was organized by Ludhiana hosiery association at its office in the city under the leadership of president Naveen Sood. Suresh Dhir, president of Dal Bazar merchant association specially attended the meeting. Sood, who is also the president of Indo-Tibetan Hosiery Association said that businessmen from all over India, are scared of coming to Ludhiana because of the Petti mafia and sales tax department.
Sood informed that they have already sent a proposal to the excise and taxation department on July 15 and now they have again given a memorandum to the department for considering their proposal with the hope of a positive response for the implementation of this scheme.
* Cotton exports dip by 31 pc in 2012-13; imports rise:
Cotton exports dropped by 31 per cent to 9.8 million bales in 2012-13 marketing year that ended last month, but imports rose slightly to 1.47 million bales in the same period, a report said.
The world’s second largest cotton producer is expected to import more natural fibre in the coming months, it noted. “Preliminary data suggests that exports reached 9.8 million bales through the end of July, the final month of the 2012-13 marketing year,” the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its latest report. The outbound shipments stood at 14.17 million bales in the 2011-12 marketing year that runs from August to July.
16:35:42 local time SRI LANKA
* Sri Lankan President to discuss Weliweriya incident today (Monday):
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will hold a meeting today on the recent incident in Weliweriya over the contaminated drinking water.
The meeting has reportedly been summoned at 2 pm today (12) with various stakeholders in the Weliweriya incident that resulted in the death of three youths and injured many others.
Official sources have been quoted in the local media as saying that villagers, priests and officials from the Hayleys/Dipped Products Group along with government officials, police and security authorities have been asked to attend the meeting.
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* Weliweriya Water Protests: Answering more important questions:
t has become a habit to politicize selective events but ignore the core issue. Before everyone is conveniently taken off track by politicized versions what needs to be reiterated is that the key issue was WATER, the people went on to the streets because of WATER and what resulted was because of WATER… or was it?
Why are the finger pointers not demanding action from authorities about the WATER? Why has the water been shoved into the background? From the commentaries that abound the shift is focused towards portraying the impression that the Sri Lankan military purposely went armed to fire upon “unarmed” civilians drawing parallels with May 2009 war effort. If we are to accept this stretch of imagination would the army “intentionally” kill only three? Using that very stretch of imagination would the OIC Weliweriya and eight soldiers also have injured themselves when the protesters were very much unarmed and peaceful? Moreover, how could the Defence Secretary who is accused of giving orders to shoot at unarmed civilians have given such an order when he was convening a meeting at the Defence Ministry with all the stakeholders on August 1, 2013 from 3 p.m to 6.30 p.m – would these people not have been witness to such an order to shoot?
Let us look at some of the questions that need to be answered before drawing up biased conclusions.
* President orders relocation of Weliweriya factory:
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured the residents of Rathupaswala, in Weliweriya, that the factory which allegedly discharged effluents contaminating their ground water would be relocated.
The President gave the assurance when he met residents of the Rathupaswala area and relevant officials on the Weliweirya water issue last afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat. He said that the new factories must be constructed in BOI Zones.
A press release issued by Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit said that after listening to detailed accounts from residents, factory representatives and other officials, the President had offered the following solutions to help resolve the situation:
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16:05:42 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile industry: power supply remained intact during holidays:
Power supply to the textile industry remained intact as per schedule during Eid holidays, enabling it to continue with 24/7 operations to meet feasibility requirement of uninterrupted production for 365 days a year.
According to industry circles, there were no unscheduled breakdowns during Eid holidays and the industry ensured production activity without a break during the period.
There were rumours that the Pepco was considering to shut down the power supply to textile industry during Eid holidays. However, there was no such power cut for textile industry during Eid holidays and there was no load shedding other than the scheduled 10-hour a day. The industry, therefore, managed to sustain operations by availing gas supply facility during electricity load shedding.
* Textile mills agree to foot the bill for sustained power :
Industrialists know that sustained power supply is only possible if they pay the actual cost of production, said Gohar Ejaz, group leader of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).
“We (industrialists) are devising ways to improve efficiencies to offset the increasing power tariff,” he said.Aptma was informed that the industrial tariffs would go up, he said, adding that the government planned to add low-cost electricity in the system in the medium-term to bring tariffs down. “We are ready to bear the pain caused by increasing power tariffs if the government delivers on its promise to reduce them after three years,” said Ejaz.He said Aptma has decided to set up coal-based power plants at Gadani to meet the power needs of the textile sector. The electricity would be wheeled through the system of National Transmission and Despatch Company