in the news on-line, 5-7 Oct. 2013

06:14:35 local time map of china CHINA

* Large-scale strikes a feature of recent worker protest in China:

There was a noticeable decline in the number of strikes and worker protests in China during September, when compared with the previous two months, however large-scale strikes continued to feature on regular basis.

China Labour Bulletin recorded a total of 38 incidents on our strike map during September 2013, down 43 percent compared with the figure for August, but up 5.6 percent from the same period last year. The workers’ main grievances and demands were related to low pay, wage arrears and poor working conditions, while the protests were evenly spread across the manufacturing (32 percent) and transport sectors (34 percent) with a smaller number of protests in the service sector (16 percent).

As noted in CLB’s report on strike action in China during the summer months, there now seems to be a trend towards a greater number of participants in strikes. And in September, five of the 38 incidents recorded, saw more than 1,000 workers take part.
In Jixi, Heilongjiang, for example, more than a 1,000 steelworkers at the Beigang Group staged a strike and demonstrated in front of the local government on 16 September.
The workers were protesting against wage arrears, and put up banners reading “we have to survive; we have to eat, pay our wages!”
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

* Interview: Ethiopia, China need to strengthen cooperation on industry sector: State Minister:

Ethiopia and China need to strengthen the existing relations and cooperation, particularly on industrialization, said Sisay Gemechu, Ethiopian State Minister of Industry.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Friday, the State Minister expressed his country’s desire to have more Chinese manufacturers in Ethiopia.
Stating that the two countries are enjoying relations in all sectors, Sisay said China has been cooperating with Ethiopia by providing support to Ethiopia, particularly in infrastructure development.
(…)

Asked about the major focus areas of the country’s in the sector, the State Minister said “As one of the developing countries on the other hand, and based on our natural resources and all related supporting system, this time, we are targeting on textile and garment, and also due attention to leather and leather products, agro-processing, chemical and construction materials, and the likes.”
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PEOPLEDAILY

 05:14:35 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* 1,000 workers suffer food poisoning in Tien Giang:

About 1,000 workers at Wondo Vina Co Ltd in Cho Gao District, southern Tien Giang province are being treated in many hospitals in the province after suffering from food poisoning symptoms this morning.

Wondo Vina Co Ltd is a 100-percent South Korean-owned company that produces outdoor clothing including Gore-Tex jackets, down jackets, skiwear and golfwear, and employs more than 2,500 workers.
According to the victims, after having lunch at the company yesterday, many of them developed belly pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.
Their conditions got worse this morning when they came to the company for work, and some of them passed out before being taken to hospitals.
read more.
TUOITREnews

05:14:35 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Losing Your Shirt: Cambodia’s Garment Industry:

Cambodia that flout workers’ rights and safety standards could damage the industry’s reputation and result in a drastic reduction in orders from buyers abroad, according to a senior manufacturing official.

A senior official at the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Cheat Khemara told the Khmer Service of Radio Free Asia last week that the ILO should reconsider its decision to release its findings to buyers and instead seek to resolve factory issues by first informing the government.
“The (relevant) government ministry will take measures against any factories found in violation if they refuse to improve their standards,” he is reported as saying. “We don’t want the ILO to immediately inform the buyers.”

Beginning January 2014, the ILO is committed to publicly disclosing some of its findings based on the monitoring of over 450 factories under its Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme. The BFC would begin disclosing assessment information of individual factories’ compliance with Cambodian labour law and international labour standards, making it the only programme in SE Asia to use greater transparency to accelerate improvements across the garment sector.
It will also disclose details about strikes and labour unions for the first time, noting unions’ compliance with legal strike requirements.

The BFC was established after the signing of the 1999 U.S.-Cambodia Textile and Apparel Trade Agreement (UCTA) to ensure that the country’s garment factories were respecting worker rights in return for enhanced access to the U.S. market. The current BFC programme, which publishes biannual “synthesis reports” that track compliance of labour issues by factories operating in the industry, was launched in 2001, after the original agreement lapsed, and is partly funded by the U.S. government and UNDP.
read more.
PENHPAL

06:14:35 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Treading the tightrope of minimum wage in Indonesia:

As inflation rates continued to rise, the Indonesian rupiah plunged past the psychologically significant level of 11,000 per US dollar for the first time in
four years.

Workers in the greater Jakarta region were unmoved in their collective demands of a 68 percent minimum wage hike from Rp 2.2 million (US$200) to Rp 3.7 million monthly beginning in 2014.

The latest demands for wage increase came on the back of a 44 percent payroll increment in November 2012 endorsed by popular Jakarta governor Joko Widodo from the previous Rp 1.5 million monthly. Jakarta authorities were equally adamant in not bowing down to the unions’ demands.

Nonetheless, leaders from the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Union (Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Seluruh Indonesia, KSPSI) were undeterred and threatened to stage more protests nationwide  next month.
read more.
jakartapost

* WRAP to sponsor AAFA’s 2013 conference in Indonesia:

WRAP is pleased to be a sponsor of the 2013 International Product Safety and Restricted Substances Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Organized by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), this conference will allow owners and managers of garment, textile, and footwear production units around the world to learn about the legal requirements regarding product safety for their export-oriented goods as well has how to make their facilities more sustainable and compliant with internationally-accepted standards.
read more.
fibre2fashion

 03:59:35 local time map of nepal NEPAL

* Exporters urge govt to lobby for garments at WTO meet:

If the government this year is able to strongly lobby during the ministerial level meeting of World Trade Organisation, garment exporters claim it could help create a strong platform for Nepali readymade garments to receive duty free access during the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement meeting with the United States.

The WTO ministerial level meet is scheduled for December, in Bali, Indonesia.
“Since Nepal is the coordinator of Least Developed Countries, we can strongly lobby for duty free access of readymade garments to the US,” said president of Garment Association – Nepal (GAN) Uday Raj Pandey. The government recently recommended garments and pashmina for US Generalised System of Preference facility.

“Along with the recommendation, we also need continuous and strong lobbying from the government and the WTO meeting will be the most appropriate time to do so,” said Pandey.
Meanwhile, joint secretary at the ministry of commerce and supplies Jib Raj Koirala also stressed that garments and pashmina need strong lobbying to get duty free access to the US.
read more.
HIMALAYAN

04:14:35 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

                THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Ten children of victims get scholarships:

Mehedi Hasan, 7, who became an orphan due to Rana Plaza collapse, now dreams of becoming a doctor.

The boy lost his mother Sheuli Aktar when he was much younger. His father Idris Ali who worked in a garment factory at Rana Plaza in Savar died in the incident.
Accompanied by his grandmother all the way from Savar, Mehedi yesterday came at the CBCB centre on Asad Avenue in the capital’s Mohammadpur to receive a new schoolbag and Tk 1,000 scholarship funded by Y’s Men Club of Dhaka.

Choked with emotion his grandmother Rozia Begum told The Daily Star that her grandson was a student of class I of Village Education Resource Centre.
Like Mehedi nine other children of Rana Plaza victims yesterday received new schoolbags and Tk 1,000 each.

One of the victims’ daughter Bristi Aktar is a student of class III wants to be a teacher. She lost her elder sister who was the only source of income of her family.
Omar Faruk Tareq loves to play cricket.
Her mother has been suffering from burn injuries. “I want to be a police officer,” said Tareq after receiving the scholarship.
read more.
daily star bd

* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims likely after Eid:

The process of matching the DNA profiles of 321 unidentified victims against those of 550 relatives is almost complete

The DNA test results of the unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy will be made public after Eid-ul-Azha, sources have said.

The Combined DNA Index System (Codis) software, set up at the National DNA Profiling Laboratory of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), has already successfully traced most of the identities.
The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the process of matching the DNA profiles of 321 unidentified victims against those of 550 relatives is almost complete.

However, it could not be known how many of the victims have so far been identified.
Seeking anonymity, a senior official of the women and children affairs ministry told the Dhaka Tribune that Prime Minister’s Office had given strict directive to keep the test reports confidential until it got approval from there.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

(Eid on 16 October)

OTHER NEWS:

* 90 global brands to publish list of BD factories producing apparel for them:

More than 90 global clothing brands, mostly European that signed a recent pact for safety of garment workers in Bangladesh, have compiled a maiden list of nearly 1,600 garment factories they are using to produce fast fashion apparel.

However the brands are likely to publish the name of factories they have already compiled as their sources in Bangladesh.
(…)
The compiling of the list of factories as the sources for their merchandise has been regarded as a positive change for the garment industry and it will prompt safety improvements in Bangladesh.

“Once inspections are complete, reports will be shared among companies and that will be an incentive for suppliers to improve their practices,” said Bob Jeffcott, policy analyst at the Maquila Solidarity Network, a Toronto-based labour and women’s rights organisation that works to improve wages and conditions of workers throughout the world.

The next time there is a fire, collapse or an industrial accident, there will be a list of 1,566 factories available that describes how many companies were operating in the building and how many employees were present.
read more. & read more.
NewNation

* Occupational safety policy awaits cabinet nod today:

The draft ‘National Occupational Health and Safety Policy, 2013’ for the country’s industrial sectors is likely to be placed before the cabinet today (Monday) for its nod, officials have said.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has framed the draft policy aiming to aid industrialisation and ensure workers’ safety and compliance with other standards, apart from retaining competitiveness, especially in the wake of frequent disasters in the country’s billion-dollar garment sector, they have said.

The Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza tragedies that claimed more than 1,200 workers’ lives and left several hundred others injured helped put forth the demand for framing the national occupational and health safety policy.

As drafted, the policy will cover industrial units in both formal and informal sectors. It will also cover factories, establishments, trade and commerce, agriculture sector, agro-based farms and other workplaces.

The draft policy has also shed light on moral and legal obligations, responsibility of the government, owners, trade unions, employers, workers and their implementation strategy.
read more.

* Govt to set up 7 fire stations in RMG belts, pick 260 inspectors:

The government is going to set up seven fire service stations in the industrial belts having ready-made garment (RMG) factories aiming to cope with recurrences of fire incidents, official sources said.

Besides, a total of 260 inspectors will be appointed anew under a reform programme of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD).

“The move has been taken in a bid to get back the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facilities by improving safety standards in the RMG sector,” sources concerned told the FE Sunday.
A meeting discussing the developments on the GSP issue was held at the ministry of commerce recently where the decision regarding the fire service stations had been taken.

The home ministry will take necessary steps to establish seven fire service stations. It will then send a proposal to the ministry of public administration, a deputy secretary of the commerce ministry said.
read more.

* Crisis looms over RMG sector:

Exports of readymade garments (RMG) have declined significantly this fiscal year, with industry insiders blaming the present political uncertainty, collapse of Rana Plaza that caused deaths of more than 1,000 workers and labour unrest for the setback.

Experts predicted that the situation might worsen in the coming months.
“Export order has significantly slowed down in recent months. In the last two months particularly, the order started declining,” said former president of BGMEA Salam Murshedy.
He said the RMG industry is passing through a critical time because of growing political conflicts marked with hartals and vandalism, labour unrest over wage hikes, high bank interests, shortfall in supply of gas and electricity, and poor infrastructure. “Unless we can overcome the problems, the situation might aggravate,” he added.
International brands and buyers also expressed their grave concern over the situation at Bangladesh RMG industry, especially after the Rana Plaza collapse that claimed at least 1,127 lives and injured about 3000 others. A number of initiatives have been launched following the building collapse in April last.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Garment enterprises should opt for mergers:

Bangladesh National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Ghulam Hussain has suggested that the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the garment industry should opt for mergers for making investments in compliance to safeguard their businesses.
The chairman was speaking at a meeting hosted by Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) for the German multinational software company SAP, as it had proposed to offer technological solutions to help run Bangladesh’s garment industry.
Mr. Hussain said that many small garment enterprise owners have the tendency to not leave their companies despite of incurring losses, and one of the answers to their problems could be mergers and acquisitions.
read more.
Ittefaq

* Govt initiates process to frame new act for EPZs:

The government has initiated the process of framing a new act exclusively for the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to further strengthen their operations and attract more foreign investment in the country, officials said.

The proposed law is to put in place some important provisions in conformity with those of the recently amended Bangladesh Labour Act, which can be applicable for dealing with issues especially relating to trade union facility for EPZ workers, they mentioned.
(…)
Earlier in mid-September, the high-powered committee headed by Principal Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was formed to look into the EPZ issue, specially the applicable provisions of Bangladesh Labour Law 2006.

Other members of the committee are labour and employment secretary and expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment secretary, representatives from ministries of commerce and law, board of investment, and BEPZA.
These special economic zones have been kept out of the purview of the Employment of Labour (Standing Order) Act 1965, The Industrial Relations Ordinance 1969, and The Factories Act 1965 under section 8 of General Clauses Act 1987.

The provisions of the Bangladesh Labour Law 2006, sources said, in most cases, are not applicable in the EPZs.
The formulation of a separate and complete law for the EPZs is also in line with the US action plan following the June 27 suspension of the GSP citing lack of workplace safety and shortcomings in labour standards, the official added.
read more.

20131006 * Skilled RMG workers get certificates today:

The Gazipur Technical School and College (TSC) will issue certificates today (Sunday) to its first batch of students on sewing machine operation and induct the second batch in a bid to create efficient manpower in the country’s RMG (readymade garment) sector, officials said.

The move to train the RMG workers was initiated under a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnership by the Far East Knitting, Gazipur TSC, CARE Bangladesh, IDLC, Interfab Shirt Manufacturing, TRZ Group and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
read more.

* Govt move to expand country’s export market in Russia:

The government has taken a move to boost trade with Russia under its market diversification programme to fetch more export earnings from new markets.

Several initiatives have been taken to explore new markets besides the traditional US and EU markets.
For negotiation with Russian businessmen and the government, a commerce ministry delegation and representatives from the textile, garment, pharmaceuticals, leather goods, footwear, furniture, agro processing industries and other sectors led by commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed will be visiting Russia between October 10 and 12, a commerce ministry official said.
read more.

* Tannery relocation likely to be delayed:

Owners attach new conditions

New conditions put forward by the owners could further delay the long over due shifting of the highly polluting leather industry from Hazaribagh a densely populated area in the city to Savar, officials said.

The owners want permission to raise commercial and residential buildings on the land at Hazaribagh after shifting their tanneries to Savar, 30 km from the capital.
Opposing Rajuk’s plan to create a park at the Hazaribagh area to be vacated by the tannery factories, Bangladesh Tanners’ Association chairman Shahin Ahmed told New Age Saturday they want the government’s intervention in the matter.
‘We are opposing the Rajuk plan,’ he said.
read more.
BD new age

* Farmers frown at jute prices:

20131007 DAILYSTAR
Jute growers and traders sit idle at a weekly market in Tangail’s Korotia. Farmers and traders are being poorly paid for the natural fibre this season, with the state-run mills operated by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation in a severe cash crunch. The photo was taken recently.

Jute farmers walk a tightrope this season. So does Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation.
The BJMC, the biggest purchaser of raw jute in public sector, is running out of cash and is struggling to buy jute from the farmers and traders during the peak season now.

With the BJMC-run mills remaining cash-strapped, jute market has lost competitiveness, and a depressed market is forcing growers to sell jute at a lower price.
As against Tk 1,400 -1,500 a maund last year, farmers get only Tk 950-1,100 this season from the sale of raw jute, market sources and field reports say.
“This really acts as a disincentive for the farmers, who grew jute with a high hope this year against the backdrop of increasing demand for the natural fibre both at home and abroad. But we are failing to go to jute market in a big way because of a serious cash crisis,” said a BJMC official, wishing not to be named.
read more.
daily star bd

* Batexpo 2013 eyes better response despite RMG disasters:

A total of 55 buyers, including 23 newcomers, have already confirmed their participation at the three-day annual event

Apparel manufacturers are expecting more response from Batexpo 2013 than the previous occasions despite having back to back two disasters as they are working hard to improve safety conditions of the country’s readymade garments industry with the global buyers.

“We are expecting better feedback from the buyers this year,” said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association (BGEMA) President Atiqul Islam told a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday, marking the 24th Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition begins Thursday.

He said a total of 55 buyers, including 23 newcomers, have already confirmed their participation at the three-day annual event to be held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* BGMEA expects huge spot orders from BATEXPO-2013 beginning Oct. 10:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expects huge spot orders from this year’s Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (BATEXPO-2013) beginning in the city’s Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on October 10.

“By now 55 buyers confirmed to visit the expo and of them 23  are new buyers. we expect huge participation of visitors and spot orders too,” M Atiqul Islam, President of BGMEA, told a press conference today at its conference room.
read more.
BSS

* BGMEA worried over slower export, order diversion:

Apparel makers on Sunday expressed their concern over the slower export growth in the last couple of months saying that orders are being diverted to India and Vietnam, putting the sector at risk.

“In case of any storm over the sector, the entire economy will get shattered. It’s time to work together because once the business gets out of here, it’ll be very difficult to get it back,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam told a press conference at its conference room.
read more.
UNB

* BGMEA concerned over shifting of orders:

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association leaders on Sunday expressed their concern over shifting of orders to India and Vietnam.

India is the giant competitor of Bangladesh and the country (India) is getting benefit of 27.91 per cent currency devaluation which is one of the big challenges for Bangladeshi exporters, BGMEA president Md Atiqul Islam said in the pre-Batexpo press conference at the association head office in Dhaka.
The three-day Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition-2013 would be inaugurated by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Sonargaon Hotel on October 10 while leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia would be chief guest at the closing ceremony on October 12.
The BGMEA president urged the government to offer a special dollar rate for the time being for the exporters to retain competitive edge.
Atiqul said, ‘Compliance issue is also a challenge for the sustainable growth and we are working in a coordinated way with the brands and government to overcome the problem.’
He hoped that buyers would stay with Bangladesh if it was possible to regain the image tarnished by the Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza collapse.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age INDEPENDENT daily star bd NewNation

* RMG orders being diverted to India, Vietnam: BGMEA:

The Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo) — 2013 will kick off in the city on October 10 aiming at drawing a larger number of foreign buyers despite recent overseas campaign against weaknesses in the sector.

“A total of 55 buyers have already confirmed their participation while 23 of them are coming for the first time. So, we are expecting a good response of visitors and spot orders,” President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Atiqul Islam said at a press conference in the city Sunday.
read more.

* India apparel export rises on B’desh factory safety concern:

Local manufacturers worried

Local garment manufacturers are worried as the apparel export of India has surged in the last few months as the competitiveness of manufacturers of the neighbouring country increased due to depreciation of the Indian rupee and Bangladesh factory safety concerns.

India exported garment products worth $6 billion in five months (April-August) in the current financial year 2013-2014 with a 14 per cent growth year-on-year, as the apparel sector rebounded from the poor performance in the FY 2012-2013, reported Indian media on Saturday.
India’s exports in FY 2012-2013 fell by 5.76 per cent to $12.92 billion from the previous financial year. Indian financial year starts from April while Bangladesh’s financial year begins in July.
But, the export orders in India in recent months soared because of rupee depreciation against the US dollar and the ‘poor safety’ record of Bangladesh, a key competitor, reports Times of India on Saturday.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG owners need to solve all issues to stay competitive:

Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) factory owners need to solve all contentious issues with their workers and make all the relevant factories compliant to remain competitive in the global trade in the coming years, industry sources said on Sunday.

However, they said as the international brands have come up with separate pacts to help Bangladesh improve rights of workers and safety standards in the sector it could be possible to uplift the situation in the next few years.

With depreciation of local currency against the US dollar in India and Pakistan, garment exports from Bangladesh may face further competition from the rivals, according to business analysts at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

India, Pakistan and Vietnam, the three arch rivals of Bangladesh have reportedly started getting some increase in orders over the last several months because of currency devaluation.
read more.

03:44:35 local time map of india INDIA

* India likely to be ahead of Bangladesh, China for sourcing of apparel:

India could emerge as the largest hub for sourcing of apparel and knitwear garments in the next five years, a top official of Apparel Export Promotion Council has said.

“With China showing more interest in engineering and IT sector and Bangladesh being looked at as a non-compliant country, global players,both in traditional and non-traditional markets are eyeing India’s potential for outsourcing with great interest,” A Shaktivel, Chairman, AEPC, told reporters here last night.

He said India could emerge as the largest hub for sourcing of apparel and knitwear garments in another five years.
Stating that India has been at a cost disadvantage compared to Bangladesh, Vietnam and others, he said this year was better as non-compliance issues in Bangladesh have resulted in increased orders to India.
read more.
Ittefaq

India’s readymade garment exports have surged by 14 percent in dollar terms to $6 billion in April-August 2013.

With the rupee weakening against the dollar sharply, Indian readymade garments are more competitive than ever in recent years.
And what has helped the Indian garment makers is the trouble that Bangladesh has been facing over Western concerns for labour safety and working conditions in the country’s RMG sector.

Many Western brands are turning to India because sourcing from Bangladesh has posed ethical questions and schedules that may be affected by unrest in the RMG sector over wages.
With Indian readymade garments cheaper by anything between 15 to 20 percent due to rupee’s depreciation against the dollar, it works well for importers across the world.
“The (retail) chain stores in the European Union are also under pressure not to buy from countries where the compliance record is poor,” senior industry officials told the ‘Times of India’.
read more. & to read. & to read.
bdnews24 BDCHRONICLE NewNation

* Garment exports to get boost from slide, Bangladesh concerns:

After stagnating for three years, garment exports from Tirupur have started to grow at a fast clip. Garment exports, which have been Rs 12,500-13,000 crore a year for the last three years, are expected to grow by a robust 18% in the current financial year.

With the order book starting to improve since the beginning of 2013, exporters had said in April that shipments would increase by 10% for 2013-14. “The vibrancy is coming back. The rupee depreciation is helping us get more orders. So, we expect 18% growth in the current (financial) year,” said A Sakthivel, president, Tirupur Exporters’ Association ( TEA). “The response has been good both in traditional and non-traditional markets,” he said.

Raja M Shanmugham, MD of Tirupur-based export house Warsaw International, said, “Buyers are giving preference to India while placing new orders.” Premal Udani, MD of garment export house Kaytee Corporation, said, “The American market has revived.”
read more.
TOInew

* India could emerge as largest apparel sourcing centre in 5 yrs:

India could emerge as the largest hub for sourcing of apparel and knitwear garments in the next five years, a top official of Apparel Export Promotion Council has said.

“With China showing more interest in engineering and IT sector and Bangladesh being looked at as a non-compliant country, global players,both in traditional and non-traditional markets are eyeing India’s potential for outsourcing with great interest,” A Shaktivel, Chairman, AEPC, told reporters here last night.

He said India could emerge as the largest hub for sourcing of apparel and knitwear garments in another five years.
Stating that India has been at a cost disadvantage compared to Bangladesh, Vietnam and others, he said this year was better as non-compliance issues in Bangladesh have resulted in increased orders to India.
read more.
decanherald

* Indian fabric sales to double in next three years says Exports Council:

Indian fabrics sales to double in the next three years as the Bangladesh fabric industry was hit after a fire broke out in an apparel industrial complex killing 377 knitwear workers earlier in April this year.

The Indian government is also taking all effective steps to make sure there is a surge in the textile exports by implementing different schemes and benefits for the workers working in the garment industry. The reasons for buyers to get attracted towards India are raw material strength and due to the rupee depreciation India has now been identified as a new market by both Japan and Australia.
read & see more (video).
TDNpost

* Six migrant girl child labourers rescued:

Six migrant girl child labourers working in BT cotton pollination fields in Chitteri village and found wandering in Thalaivasal bus stand were rescued by revenue officials and lodged at Life Line Trust here on Friday. Officials said that public noticed six girls standing in the bus stand on Friday and informed the Revenue Officer Karunanithi.

Inquiry revealed that they were from a tribal hamlet in Jamunamarathur in Tiruvannamalai district and were involved in the cross-pollination work for the past few days.
It was also revealed that they were forced to work for long hours, provided food only twice a day and were also lodged at a steel-roofed room.
Since they could not bear it, they decided to go home and went to the bus stand.
The girls were provided food and taken to the home. Their parents would be informed and the girls would be handed over to them, officials added.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Textile traders protest against Cabinet decision:

Vastralata, Krishnaveni Market staged a protest against the Union Cabinet note on Telangana by burning old tyres near Kaleswara Rao Market here on Saturday.

Responding to a call given by the AP NGOs Association, the traders of Krsihnaveni, Vastralata and Old Market staged a protest and formed a human chain and raised slogans against the UPA Government.

Politicians blamed
Holding politicians responsible for the chaos and mayhem in the State, they said that they were still trying to deceive the people with their sweet talk on the proposed division of the State.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Garment, spinning sectors’ spat mars textile industry:

Sectors within the textile value chain seem to be at loggerheads with one another.

The spinning sector and the garment exporting sector have been waging a war against each other for a few years now.

This rivalry, which has not exactly been under wraps, is now in the open, with the spinning industry accusing the garment exporters of lobbying for the downfall of one sector of the textile industry.
It became obvious, when the garment exporters hailed the Government’s decision on withdrawal of the FMS and Incremental Export Incentivisation Scheme for cotton yarn. The spinning sector saw the withdrawal of such benefits as a setback, considering that the mill sector, after concerted efforts, managed to enter newer geographies.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Committee seeks bonus for mill workers:

The Joint Action Committee of the Coimbatore Erode District Textile Mill Workers’ Unions has sought minimum 15 per cent bonus for the mill workers, who come under the C and D group mills in Coimbatore and Erode Districts and a maximum of 35 per cent.

For those workers employed in A and B category mills, the bonus should be 35 per cent, it said.
The talks should be completed and the bonus disbursed by October 20, the unions said.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Rajasthan textiles exports likely to grow 9% in FY’14:

Textiles exports from Rajasthan are expected to grow 9 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,400 crore in the 2013-14 fiscal on account of rising demand from emerging markets like Latin America and Africa.

In 2012-13, the exports from state stood at Rs 2,200 crore, an official said.
“There has been a growing demand for our textiles exports in emerging markets like Latin America, Africa and Australia,” Rajasthan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary General K L Jain said, adding however, the traditional markets like the US and Europe have been facing slowdown.
He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the textiles and accessories fair titled “VASTRA-2013’, which started, here.
read more.
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* Rajasthan expects Rs 100bn investment in textiles by 2020:

The textile industry in western Indian state of Rajasthan is expecting about Rs. 100 billion new investments over the next seven years, due to the state government’s recent announcement of ‘Special Customized Package for Textiles Sector Enterprises – 2013’, state Industries Minister Rajendra Pareek said at the ongoing VASTRA 2013 fair in Jaipur.
The new policy of the state government, valid till 2020, is applicable to new enterprises as well as to the existing firms making investment in modernization and expansion of their units, the Minister said.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Indian govt withdraws cotton & cotton yarn from FMS:

The Government of India has withdrawn cotton and cotton yarn from Duty Credit Scrip eligibility under the Focus Market Scheme (FMS), with effect from September 25, 2013.
‘Export of cotton’ and ‘export of cotton yarn’ have been added after serial no (x) in the list appended in paragraph 3.14.3 of Foreign Trade Policy bearing the Heading “Ineligible Exports Categories / Sectors for FMS”, a notification from the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.
The objective of FMS is to offset high freight cost and other externalities to select international markets with a view to enhance India’s export competitiveness in these countries.
read more.
fibre2fashion

 03:44:35 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Now! A privilege card for our apparel sector employees:

Leading consumer brands and retailers from the private as well as the public sectors got together last week to mark the commencement of a landmark programme focused on employees’ welfare particularly for the apparel sector.

Initiated by the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), this programme is to appreciate and reward the entire apparel industry workforce through a novel concept that will bring about economic relief and price advantage on a number of essential consumer goods and household commodities.
(…)
This privileged service will be open to all in garment factories throughout the country, as long as they are employed in this industry. Each employee will be entitled to a Pranaama Privilege Card which they can produce at any of the partner merchant outlets and obtain the price advantage.  The programme has so far enlisted the largest retail super market chain in the private sector – Cargills Food City, the national telecommunication service provider – SLT, the national mobile telecommunication service provider – Mobitel.
read more.
CEYLONTODAY

03:14:35 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Labour rights: ‘Legislation, inspections, insurance key to ensure workplace safety’:

To promote workplace safety in Sindh and avoid incidents, such as the Baldia factory fire, three main areas of intervention – legislation for occupational safety and health issues, better labour inspections to promote safe working environment and insurance scheme for work-related injuries – have been highlighted in a Joint Action Plan (JAP) launched on Friday.

The Sindh labour department in collaboration with private labour unions and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) officially launched the plan at the Avari Hotel.
At the signing ceremony, representatives of the Sindh labour department, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) and Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) stressed their commitment towards the implementation of the JAP. In the JAP, each task has a specific time allotted to it.

The plan is the outcome of the recommendations made in ‘Tripartite-plus Consultation’ conference held in December 2012 after the Baldia factory incident.  Representatives of ILO, the Sindh government, employers, workers’ organisations, donors and civil society members had participated in the conference and offered their recommendations.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, ILO Country Director Francesco d’ Ovidio said, “Today is just the start. We have to continue to build positive pressure on the government for the implementation of labour laws and the plan. It needs a strong commitment on the part of the stakeholders for its success.”
The ILO country director added that the international organisation wanted labourers of Pakistan to have dignified jobs, where their health and safety was assured.
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tribune thenewspk fibre2fashion

* LDA fire petition: Fire Safety Commission told to start inspections:

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court has directed the Fire Safety Commission to make a list of high-rise buildings that need to be inspected and then start doing so.

The court asked the capital city police officer to assist the commission, which must file a report at the next hearing on October 25. The court was hearing a petition demanding an inquiry into a fire at the Lahore Development Authority Plaza.
During Saturday’s hearing, the court learned that the commission did not include an LDA representative, so the LDA additional director general was made a member. An LDA official told the court that the authority had invited applications from consultants to help draft fresh building regulations incorporating the commission’s fire safety recommendations.
The DCO told the court that field officer had been directed to follow the commission’s guidelines for multi-storey buildings.
to read.
tribune

* ‘ILO standards will be met’:

The government of Pakistan has shown its intention to join the Better Work Programme (BWP) to avert the cancellation of huge orders of textile products by foreign companies and to this effect the secretary Textile Division Rukhsana Shah has written a letter to the International Labour Organization.

The ILO and the International Finance Corporation jointly launched this programme in 2007 after the success of the ILO Better Factories Cambodia Project.
Pakistan has swung into action after a US-based Walt Disney Company decided to cancel the import orders worth $150 million after assessing that some textile companies handling its orders in Pakistan weren’t meeting international health and safety standards.

The textile companies – which had been issued the letter of disconnection from the Walt Disney – include Younas, Afroze, Lucky, Sadaqat, Kamal, Gohar, Satara and Crescent.
The government feared that other importing companies in US, such as Wall-Mart, Jones Apparel, Nike, Levis Strauss and GAP might follow the suit and cancel the orders.
read more.
thenewspk

* GSP-plus, sliding rupee could boost textile exports to $15b in fiscal 2014:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Yasin Siddik said that the country’s (textile) exports can hit $15 billion in fiscal 2013-14 because of the approval of the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP-plus) status from the European Union (EU) in January 2014 and sharp slide in the rupee against the dollar in recent months.

However, Siddik said he was equally perturbed with the rise in electricity and gas prices, which may off-set the prospects of any big jump in textile exports in the ongoing fiscal year.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Siddik said that the grant of GSP-plus status from EU will have a positive impact on both unfinished and value-added textile exports of Pakistan.
Last year, Pakistan exported around $13 billion worth of textile products.
read more.
tribune

* Hike in power tariff: cost of production may increase by 21 percent: APTMA chief:

Recent hike in power tariff is feared to increase the cost of production by 21 percent, making the domestic industry uncompetitive in the world market, said Muhammad Yasin Siddik, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said that the government had increased power tariff for the industry by 70 percent which was not acceptable.

After recent increase, power tariff for the industry had gone up to Rs 13.16 per unit as against Rs 7.75 per unit, he added. “We have clearly rejected this increase that is just because of inefficiency of GENCOS and distribution system,” he said. He said that following the directives of the Supreme Court, the federal government had already withdrawn the notification for the recent increase for the domestic consumers, while the higher tariff for the industrial sector still existed despite the fact that both increase was made through the same notification.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

 03:14:35 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Another cotton-related death – teacher dies in car crash:

30-year-old Zulajkho Jergasheva, a teacher at School Number 55, in Samarkand, has died in a car accident while returning home from picking cotton.

Uznews.net was able to confirm that the accident occurred near Samarkand on September 22.
Zulajkho Jergasheva was taken to pick cotton in the Samarqand province – so far from her home that she had no other choice but to spend nights on the farm. After five days of work – according to an anonymous source from the Samarkand education commission – she received permission to return to visit her two young children.
read more.
UZnews

* Cotton Campaign hopes ILO mission first step toward ending forced labor in Uzbekistan:

In recent years, the Uzbek government has faced mounting international pressure over allegations that it forces over a million of its citizens, including young children, to pick cotton in terrible working conditions for little or no pay. 

Spearheaded by the Cotton Campaign coalition, this international pressure has taken many forms. For example, over 130 companies, including giants such as Walmart, Nike, Adidas and Levi’s, have signed a pledge not to knowingly use Uzbek cotton in any of their products.

Interestingly, in a possible sign that the boycott may be having an effect, Uzbekistan has shifted its cotton exports eastward this year, sending a greater amount to countries and companies less focused on alleged human rights abuses. It was recently reported that new deals will increase the share of Uzbek cotton sent to China and Bangladesh to 83% of total export this year (a 33% increase from previously).
read more.
UZnews

 

 

map of Asia

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* Large-scale strikes a feature of recent worker protest in China
* Interview: Ethiopia, China need to strengthen cooperation on industry sector: State Minister

VIET NAM
* 1,000 workers suffer food poisoning in Tien Giang

CAMBODIA
* Losing Your Shirt: Cambodia’s Garment Industry

INDONESIA
* Treading the tightrope of minimum wage in Indonesia
* WRAP to sponsor AAFA’s 2013 conference in Indonesia

NEPAL
* Exporters urge govt to lobby for garments at WTO meet

BANGLADESH
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Ten children of victims get scholarships
* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims likely after Eid
OTHER NEWS:
* 90 global brands to publish list of BD factories producing apparel for them
* Occupational safety policy awaits cabinet nod today
* Govt to set up 7 fire stations in RMG belts, pick 260 inspectors
* Crisis looms over RMG sector
* Garment enterprises should opt for mergers
* Govt initiates process to frame new act for EPZs
* Skilled RMG workers get certificates today
* Govt move to expand country’s export market in Russia
* Tannery relocation likely to be delayed
* Farmers frown at jute prices
* Batexpo 2013 eyes better response despite RMG disasters
* BGMEA expects huge spot orders from BATEXPO-2013 beginning Oct. 10
* BGMEA worried over slower export, order diversion
* BGMEA concerned over shifting of orders
* RMG orders being diverted to India, Vietnam: BGMEA
* India apparel export rises on B’desh factory safety concern
* RMG owners need to solve all issues to stay competitive

INDIA
* India likely to be ahead of Bangladesh, China for sourcing of apparel
* India’s RMG gains
* Garment exports to get boost from slide, Bangladesh concerns
* India could emerge as largest apparel sourcing centre in 5 yrs
* Indian fabric sales to double in next three years says Exports Council
* Six migrant girl child labourers rescued
* Textile traders protest against Cabinet decision
* Garment, spinning sectors’ spat mars textile industry
* Committee seeks bonus for mill workers
* Rajasthan textiles exports likely to grow 9% in FY’14
* Rajasthan expects Rs 100bn investment in textiles by 2020
* Indian govt withdraws cotton & cotton yarn from FMS

SRI LANKA
* Now! A privilege card for our apparel sector employees

PAKISTAN
* Labour rights: ‘Legislation, inspections, insurance key to ensure workplace safety
* LDA fire petition: Fire Safety Commission told to start inspections
* ‘ILO standards will be met’
* GSP-plus, sliding rupee could boost textile exports to $15b in fiscal 2014
* Hike in power tariff: cost of production may increase by 21 percent: APTMA chief

UZBEKISTAN
* Another cotton-related death – teacher dies in car crash
* Cotton Campaign hopes ILO mission first step toward ending forced labor in Uzbekistan

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