in the news on-line, 20 August 2013

09:27:51 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* PHL to seek inclusion in EU’s GSP+ :

The Philippines is seeking to increase its exports to member-countries of the European Union (EU) with its application for additional duty-free privileges under a new trade scheme that will take effect next year.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said the Philippines is all set to file its application for the EU’s new Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, or GSP+.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the GSP+ of the EU is a special incentive for sustainable development and governance. It is anchored on the effective implementation of 27 international conventions on human and labor rights, environment and governance principles.
Industry associations, which include the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines, Textile Mills Association of the Philippines and the Garment Business Association of the Philippines, said the GSP+ is expected to create 40,000 new jobs in the textiles and garments sector in the first eight months after qualifying for it.
read more.

08:27:51 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Master plan to boost textile and garment industry:

The Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) will complete a master plan by the end of this year to improve the industry’s productivity and quality.

Vinatex general director Uong Tien Thinh said at a seminar in HCM City yesterday that “productivity and product quality are key elements to improve enterprises’ competitiveness.”
When penetrating international markets, apart from competition on prices, evidence of corporate social responsibility was also important since consumers in developed countries do not just look at product quality, but how it has been produced, he said.

Over the past several years, many enterprises in the garment and textiles industry, especially garment makers, have raised their productivity and quality, he said.
Pham Le Hoang of Vinatex’s technology department said the domestic industry’s improvements notwithstanding, there was still a considerable gap between Viet Nam and other leading garment and textile countries in the world, he said.
read more.
VNNews new

08:27:51 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strike grows as another factory walks:

About 1,000 workers at one of Asia’s largest garment-processing factories have joined more than 4,000 who began a strike last week, as union workers demanded the company meet nine conditions, including severing ties with a shareholder.

Employees at the SL2 factory of SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd walked off the job yesterday, said Suth Seam, a representative of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), which represents thousands of workers at the SL and SL2 factories. SL workers started striking a week before.

“We demanded a $150 minimum wage, $3 for meals, and for the company to … fire the shareholder Meas Sotha,” Seam said.
read more.
PPP new

* Meanwhile At The Factory…:

While the results of the Cambodian 2013 parliamentary elections are still not ratified by the opposition CNRP and FUNCINPEC, the workers of SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. are still on strike in a tense political situation, demanding higher wages.

The factory is specialized in various wet & dry processes for denim jeans and the dyeing treatment for woven items for Zara, Yves Saint Laurent, Levi’s, Wrangler etc…

See More on the situation of the garment industry here.

09:27:51 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Firms lay off thousands,  blame new minimum wage:

Up to 60 companies on Pulogadung Industrial Estate (KBN) in East Jakarta dismissed at least 1,200 workers after failing to cope with Jakarta’s minimum wage.

The minimum monthly wage was raised this year to Rp 2.2 million (US$209) from Rp 1.5 million by Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“The new minimum wage was too high for labor-intensive industries, which only have small margins. Sales also decreased and as a result many companies couldn’t pay their workers,” Bambang Adam, head of industrial relations at the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) East Jakarta chapter, said in a telephone interview on Monday.
read more.

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Remuneration board expected to recommend increase of labor wages.
Read the full article here.
2. 60 Textile Companies Relocate to East Java Due to Minimum Wage Hike.
Read the full article here.
3. Taiwan and Korea Footwear Producers to Relocate to East Java.
Read the full article here .
4. Prohibit Lay Off, Government promise to arrange Stabile Wage Scheme.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
5. Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration Promises to take care of Unpaid
Festivity Allowance (THR)
Read the full article here(Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
6. KSPI: Deny Cheap Wage Regime.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
7. Unemployment Overshadows Indonesia as Wage Rise Abnormally.
Read the full article here.

Better work Indonesia Media Updates Overview here.
BW indonesia

07:27:51 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Rana Plaza collapse a governance failure:

The Rana Plaza collapse was an outcome of the governance failure in the society, an economist said yesterday.

It is bad politics, injustice to workers, global competitive pressure and unfair working conditions that led to the deadliest factory accident that claimed 1,132 lives, said Prof Rehman Sobhan, chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue.
Bad governance prevailed from the very beginning, as the building was constructed on illegal lands and clearance to the construction was gained in a slipshod way, he said.
“It is not only the failure of governance, it is also the failure of responsibility,” Sobhan said.
He said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the garment makers’ platform, had not taken the oversight responsibilities seriously.
Sobhan spoke on “lessons from the Rana Plaza tragedy” at the regular monthly meeting of American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka as the chief guest.
read more.
daily star bd

* Retailers reap maximum benefit out of BD apparels :

The global retailers gain maximum benefit out of apparel business while the local counterparts are not that serious about it, eminent economist Prof Rehman Sobhan said Monday.

Citing figures, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) chairman said around 63 per cent of the total value of the apparel supply chain goes to global retailers like Walmart while local exporters are getting the rest.
“For some peculiar reasons, nobody discusses it … none raises question as to where this is going,” Mr Sobhan said while speaking as the chief guest at the luncheon meeting organised by American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held at a city hotel.

AmCham President Aftab ul Islam presided over the meeting while senior lawmaker and constitution expert Dr Kamal Hossain spoke, among others, on the topic titled “Lessons from the Rana Plaza Tragedy.”
Mr Sobhan identified a number of issues responsible for the industrial tragedy including governance failure, lack of accountability, present political culture and social discrimination.
He suggested long-term steps to address the problems in the system, allowing trade union and countervailing power for collective bargaining.
read more.

* Jute decoding to usher in new horizon: Scientists:

The successful decoding of local jute varieties along with that of Tosha jute three years back will usher in a new horizon for jute quality improvement and diversification of jute goods, observed the scientists working behind the gigantic achievement for the country.

They were speaking at a press conference at the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) on Monday.
The scientists working under the Basic and Applied Research on Jute Project (BARJ) also noted that it will take at least five years to complete the lab researches before undertaking the task of variety jute variety development.
read more.

* Scientists working to replace cotton by jute fibre:

Jute scientists said on Monday that they were working to develop a special jute variety that could replace cotton for fabric manufacturing.

They said that they would use genome sequencing of jute in developing the special variety of the golden fibre.
The local jute variety is known for producing soft and quality fibre, that could be easily blended with cotton, they said.
The potentials of jute uses were explained at a news conference on Monday by Maqsudul Alam, professor of microbiology at Hawaii University, who led a group of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute scientists in sequencing the genome of local jute variety.
At the BJRI news conference, scientists showed to reporters sarees and fabrics for making shirts and other clothes made of jute fibre as well as by blending jute and cotton fibres.
read more. & read more.

* New variety of jute to boost up export:

After developing the new variety of jute, Bangladesh will be able to export huge quantity of jute fulfilling domestic demand, report agencies.

This was disclosed Monday by Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi geneticist Dr Maqsudul Alam at a press conference at the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI).
“If we are successful in developing the new variety, Bangladesh would be recognized as the first among the least developed countries in this regard,” he added.
read more.

 * India to supply 20 lakh bales of raw cotton to Bangladesh:

India has promised to supply Bangladesh up to 20 lakh bales of raw cotton every year irrespective of any future ban on its exports.

The two countries discussed the finer details of a cotton supply agreement, yet to be signed, in a meeting between the Textile Ministers from both sides on Monday.
“In the 2013-14 cotton season, I have assured Bangladesh that the country’s textile mills would not have any difficulty in sourcing cotton from India,” Textile Minster K. Sambasiva Rao said at a joint press conference after the meeting.

However, the two countries are yet to finalise whether the cotton supply agreement would be through a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-Government (B2G) arrangement. While India wants it to be a B2G arrangement, with public sector procurement agency Cotton Corporation of India canalising the exports, Bangladesh wants it to be a strictly B2B affair.
read more. & read more. & read more.

06:57:51 local time map of india INDIA

* House panel seeks parity between NREGA, minimum state wages:

A parliamentary panel has asked the Centre to bring parity between wages under the rural employment guarantee programme and those given by states for agricultural labour under the Minimum Wages Act.

The recommendation of the panel, headed by BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan, comes as a shot in the arm for the rural development ministry’s proposal to link wages under the rural employment programme and the minimum wages notified by the state.
Currently, wages under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is linked to the consumer price index. However, it is less than the minimum wage set by the state government for agricultural labour in eight states.
read more.

* India can convert a crisis into an opportunity:

India can convert a crisis into an opportunity. Our current account deficit has swollen, but we can find structural solutions to reduce the gap. I have two initiatives to suggest.

Exports have to focus on manufactured goods. India missed the bus on garment exports initially, by letting China, Bangladesh and Vietnam capture most of a $50-billion shift from high-cost to low-cost countries after the quota dismantling in 2005. Now, India’s share of exports has gone up from 3% to 3.2% only, while that of China has jumped from 28% to 37%.

But we have another chance to at least double our garment exports and create two million additional jobs. India is competitively well-positioned due to its huge textile infrastructure and large pool of low-wage workers, unmatched by any other country except China. We can now produce fabric and garments at prices competitive with China’s. Yet, China’s exports are 11 times that of India. To get there, the government has to take some policy decisions.

One of the most important changes relates to rigid labour laws. Garment exports have a thin margin of 3-4% of revenue. There are no long-term contracts. Every quarter, a garment exporter starts on a clean slate and has to compete globally for the next quarter’s business. Besides, there is seasonality of demand.

How can anyone achieve profitability with fluctuating and uncertain demand but constant fixed labour costs?
read more.

* Textile mills will suffer once Telangana turns cotton hub:

A view of spindles lying idle at a spinning mill near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh (file photo).

Former US President Bill Clinton’s favourite Cutter & Buck brand of T-shirts, which he wears while playing golf, is made by an apparel maker in Hyderabad.

GTN Textiles, with units around Hyderabad, supplies the T-shirts to Cutter & Buck. When Clinton visited Hyderabad in 2000, the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu gifted him a pair of ‘made in Hyderabad’ apparel for the President.
In the last decade, several others like Suryalakshmi, Vijay, Pokarna, Suryajyoti have regularly supplied to international brands such as Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, besides retail chains Walmart, Tesco, NEXT and Sainsbury.

However, since 2010, exports started dipping with the global economic downturn and competition from Bangladesh and China.
This was further aggravated with domestic problems including power cuts, rising raw material costs and a stiffer tax regime, which led to cut in production and drop in turnover.
Now, the textile mills have to confront a new challenge on the home turf.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Textile tour:

Down the ages
This is where a venture such as Malkha steps in. The name Malkha has been coined from a permutation of two familiar terms, malmal and khadi. The objective of the project is as follows: “Cotton for Malkha is grown by smallholder farmer families.

Malkha fabrics are woven by skilled weaver families on wooden looms; field to fabric by human hands, in the village, close to nature. The Malkha innovation puts the whole textile chain through the stages of cleaning, aligning, twisting, drawing, spinning and weaving from cotton to cloth in the village. The Malkha chain links farmer to weaver, maker to user, tapping the abundant natural energies and native intelligence of village folk to make them independent producers.”

Starting from a village in Andhra Pradesh, Malkha now has hand-weaving units in Maharashtra, Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This sort of weaving became possible because of the micro-spinning line of the carding machine — draw-frame and flyer-frame — designed by L Kannan, a mechanical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
The newly-designed machines, “put sophisticated modern technology at the service of the village, on a human scale.” Also, for these micro-spinning machines, cotton does not have to be harshly pressed to form a block. Consequently, high quality yarn is produced, resulting in the woven fabric being breathable and highly suitable for the production of clothes.

Malkha has taken the fashion world by storm with boutiques around the globe, from Paris to Japan. Limited supplies means that you need to queue to own a Malkha.On the price front, Malkha is about 25 per cent more than regular handloom/khadi. Malkha fabric and garments are sold through an online portal ( at exhibitions around the country, besides the brand store in Hyderabad.
Handloom denim?
The other project that’s been making waves is New Delhi-based Denim Club India’s (DCI) handloom denim. “The idea of experimenting with denim made on handloom had been on my mind for quite some time owing to the fact that it will help generate employment and sustain a very large number of traditional craftsmen even if a very miniscule percentage of demand for denim, which is amongst the most popular fabrics, is met through this channel,” says Rajesh Dudeja, founder, DCI.
read more.

* Rains take heavy toll on cotton crop:

Hot and humid atmosphere during the sowing season and now the heavy rains, when the picking season is about to start. It is a double whammy for cotton farmers in south western Punjab.

The accumulation of water in cotton farms after the rains in the past three days has damaged crop in Malwa region of Punjab. The farmers have been badly hit as the rains lashed the region when they were about to start picking of cotton.

The cotton crop, which is in flowering stage, is the worst hit. Cotton was sown in about 5.3 lakh hectares in Punjab and as per farmers more than 20% cotton could be damaged due to heavy rains and water accumulation in farms. Widespread damage has been caused in Bathinda, Muktsar and Ferozepur districts of Punjab. The agriculture department officials termed the situation as not that serious but added that more rains could cause damage.
read more.

06:27:51 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Standards compliance is a must:

The Walt Disney Company (WDC) has advised its vendors and licensees that its branded consumer products should be sourced from countries, manufacturers and supply chain participants that demonstrate verifiable standards compliance. It has accordingly revised its sourcing criteria. The cut-off point is March 31, 2014.

What are these standards or revised sourcing criteria? These are mainly based on the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGIs) of the World Bank and/or countries and manufacturers implementing the Better Work Programme (BWP) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The WDC has made three groups of countries for sourcing its imports. The criteria laid down are: a country having (i) either a WGIs ranking of over 65 percentile, (ii) or a WGI ranking of 31 percentile but with acceptance of an International Labour Standards (ILS) audit, or (iii) a WGI ranking below 31 percentile but is implementing BWP of the ILO/IFC.

Seven broad worldwide governance indicators in the range of “zero as lowest and 100 as highest.”
With regard to Pakistan the rankings are: violence and accountability – 26.3;
political stability and absence of violence – 0.5;
government effectiveness – 22.3; regulatory quality – 29.9; rule of law – 20.7;
and control of corruption – 15.6.
This ranking compares badly with a large number of countries.
Take, for example, the rankings of India and Sri Lanka,
respectively, are 59.2 and 31.0 for violence and accountability,
54.5 and 52.6 for government effectiveness,
40.3 and 50.7 for regulatory quality,
52.6 and 53.1 for rule of law, and 35.1 and 40.8 for control of corruption.
read more.  & read more.
labourwatch thenewspk

* APTMA lauds Germany for strengthening Pakistan textile industry:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) lauded the role of Germany in strengthening Pakistan textile industry in machinery supply and energy conservation initiatives.

Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir talking to German Ambassador Dr Cyril Nunn, Consul General of German Consulate in Karachi Dr Thilo Klinner and head of economic section Samy Saadi appreciated support of economic staff of the European Union (EU) embassies in preparing it for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus facility. He said collaboration from the GIZ was a huge step forward that helped APTMA in a big way to improve operations through saving energy.
read more. & read more.

* Floods may push cotton prices, affect exports:

20130820 TRIBUNE
Cotton export season has begun to China, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangladesh and Thailand in addition to ongoing exports to India, Vietnam and Indonesia. DESIGN: CREATIVE COMMONS

Local cotton exports are likely to be affected and cotton prices may go up following damage to the crops due to flash floods and heavy rains this monsoon season.

“In case floods and rain damage the (cotton) crop, exports will be affected and accordingly cotton prices in the local market are expected to go up,” Ihsanul Haq former executive member of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) said.
Cotton export season has begun to China, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangladesh and Thailand in addition to ongoing exports to India, Vietnam and Indonesia.
He said that a rise in dollar relative to the rupee had further boosted the export trend resulting in strengthening of cotton prices in Pakistan.
read more. & read more.
tribune DAWNnew


* Australian brands ignorant of child labor: study:

Australian clothing brands are mostly ignorant about where the cotton used in their products comes from, making it more likely child labor has been involved, a study said on Monday.

The Australian Fashion Report, which examined 41 firms that own 128 brands, found companies had made improvements in workers’ conditions at factories over the years but little was known about how their raw materials were produced.
“Companies have made a significant amount of progress looking at the final stage of production—about 40 percent of companies know all or almost all of the suppliers at that stage,” said one of the report’s authors Gershon Nimbalker.

“But when you get down to the raw materials stage, or where the cotton supply comes in, it drops to as low as seven percent. So hardly any companies that operate in Australia are doing that, and that’s where some of the deepest abuses occur.”
Much of the clothing sold by Australian retailers is manufactured overseas, in countries including garment hub Bangladesh, where labor costs are cheaper.

Nimbalker said cotton from Uzbekistan, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of the material, had long been linked to child labor yet the country still supplied about 35 percent of the fabric used in Bangladeshi factories.
read more. & read more. & read more.
MTnew ABC au BD new age



map of Asia


* PHL to seek inclusion in EU’s GSP+

* Master plan to boost textile and garment industry

* Strike grows as another factory walks
* Meanwhile At The Factory…

* Firms lay off thousands, blame new minimum wage
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

* Rana Plaza collapse a governance failure
* Retailers reap maximum benefit out of BD apparels
* Jute decoding to usher in new horizon: Scientists
* Scientists working to replace cotton by jute fibre
* New variety of jute to boost up export
* India to supply 20 lakh bales of raw cotton to Bangladesh

* House panel seeks parity between NREGA, minimum state wages
* India can convert a crisis into an opportunity
* Textile mills will suffer once Telangana turns cotton hub
* Textile tour
* Rains take heavy toll on cotton crop

* Standards compliance is a must
* APTMA lauds Germany for strengthening Pakistan textile industry
* Floods may push cotton prices, affect exports

* Australian brands ignorant of child labor: study

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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