in the news on-line, 9 Oct. 2013

  map of asia ASIA

* APEC meeting releases statement supporting multilateral trading system:

The 21st informal economic leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) released on Tuesday a statement, supporting a multilateral trading system and the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“We reaffirm our commitment to the strengthening of the multilateral trading system and to the successful outcomes of the 9th Ministerial Conference (MC9) of the WTO in Bali,” said the statement.
The leaders recognized the importance of a strong multilateral trading system in safeguarding trade expansion that serves as a source of economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development, it said.

“We remain committed in this regard to continuing to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system as enshrined in the principles and values of the WTO,” it added.
Noting that “We are committed to fighting against protectionist measures for their impact on weakening trade and slowing down the global economic recovery,” the leaders decided to extend the standstill commitment until the end of 2016 and reaffirm the commitment to rolling back protectionist and trade-distorting measures, according to the statement.

The leaders stressed the importance of further curbing protectionism through the WTO and other international organizations.
read more.
XINHUAnet

* Full text: Premier Li Keqiang Gives Joint Written Interview To Media from ASEAN Countries:

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave a joint written interview to media from countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ahead of his official visit to Brunei, Thailand and Vietnam as well as his attendance to the East Asia leaders’ meetings.

Following is the full text of the interview:
Question: This year marks the 10th anniversary of China-ASEAN strategic partnership. How do you evaluate the achievements of this relationship over the past decade? What tangible benefits has this relationship brought to the two sides?

Answer: This year is indeed worthy of celebration for China and ASEAN. Ten years ago, China took the lead in acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and established the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity with ASEAN. It was also the first time for China to establish a global strategic partnership with an organization of nations within this region, which highlights the importance of ASEAN on China’s diplomatic agenda. Against the backdrop of evolving international situation and growing world economy amid adjustments over the past decade, China and ASEAN have seized the opportunities, advanced with the trend of peace and development, and opened a “golden decade” of cooperation.
read more.
XINHUAnet

21:20:46 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Labor group hits SSS Officials’ millions in bonuses:

A labor group has urged executives of the Social Security System (SSS) to resign and return their millions in “performance-based bonus” which they approved for themselves for their claimed exceptional performance last year.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) officer Jerome Adonis made the call amid reports that the eight board members of SSS each received about a million pesos for their performance last year.
In Malacañang, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said they would ask the SSS as well as the Governance Commission for Government-owned and -controlled Corporations (GCG) to justify the reported performance bonuses.
read more.
MBnew

* On World Day for Decent Work, workers march to Mendiola vs contractualization:

On “World Day for Decent Work”, a workers’ alliance marched to Mendiola to call for the scrapping of contractual employment which they say embodies a serious attack on workers’ right to decent work.

For the seventh year now, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the biggest international confederation of labor groups, has been calling for workers’ mobilizations on the World Day for Decent Work as part of the struggle for social justice and decent work for all.

In Manila, the ACT2WIN! Alliance, or Action against Contractualization and Towards Significant Wage Increase Now!, held a protest action in Mendiola, near Malacañang, with its members holding placards demanding “Junk contractualization!”
From the experiences of members of the alliance, they say contractual employment has come to mean starvation wages, denial of benefits, vulnerability to being laid off, exposure to health and safety hazards, and violations of trade-union rights.
read more.
bulatlat_tagline

20:20:46 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam workers indifferent to minimum wage hike, employers fret:

In the cramped kitchen of her tiny rented house, Nguyen Thu Ha, 32, a worker at Canon Vietnam, fumbles as she looks for a place to put a honeycomb-coal stove to replace her gas one.

The new stove would help her cut energy costs by 30 percent a month, Ha said, and the government’s plan to hike minimum wage next year cannot change her mind about it.
The salaries her company pays workers are higher than the planned minimum wage, so her earnings are unlikely to go up for her, she said.
“The wage hike would not benefit us, just put more pressure on us. It can trigger a rise in prices.”

Following an earlier wage hike this year, house owners increased rents by 10 percent, Ha said, adding if prices rise after the upcoming salary hike, her monthly income of VND4 million (US$190.4) would not be enough for her to live in the city.
The National Wage Council plans to propose to the government an increase in minimum wage by 15-17 percent from January 1 next year. The minimum wage is now VND1.65-2.35 million a month, depending on the location of the company.
read more. & read more.
VNBusinessTIMES THANHNIENews

* Footwear exports to touch $8bln threshold this year:

Exports of footwear are expected to touch $8 billion threshold this year, the Government’s portal Chinhphu.vn reported.

In the first 9 months of the year, footwear exports are estimated to reach $6.07 billion, increasing 16.3% on year, the portal reported, forecasting that the sector’s export values will surpass $8 billion threshold if at least one of three months of the last quarter this year will grow the same level as that of the first 9 months of the year.
Vietnam mainly ships its footwear to the Europe, United States, Japan and China.
Exports of footwear touched $1 billion threshold in 1998. Since 1986 to 2012, annual export growth of footwear was 29.8%. This growth level is very much higher than the country’s annual export growth of 21.1%.
to read.
VNBusinessTIMES

20:20:46 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Thailand’s textile exports rise 10.49% in Jan-Aug’13:

The exports of textiles, excluding apparel, from the Southeast Asian country of Thailand increased by 10.49 percent year-on-year to US$ 3.149 billion during the first eight months of the current year, according to the data from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Thai News Agency reported.
However, the exports of apparel declined by 4.15 percent during the same period to US$ 1.957 billion.
Somsak Srisupornwanit, chairman of the Textile Industry Club of the FTI, attributed the decline in apparel exports to shifting of some garment units to the neighbouring countries like Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam to benefit from lower labour costs in those countries.
read more.
fibre2fashion

20:20:46 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Top cop told to catch Bandith:

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng sent a letter to the National Police last week asking it to step up its search for Chhouk Bandith, the former Bavet town governor convicted of shooting three garment workers at a factory protest last year.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told the Post yesterday that Kheng had sent a letter to Neth Savoeun, the National Police chief, asking him to comply with a court verdict that in June sentenced Bandith to 18 months in prison for unintentional violence.
The former governor was absent during court proceedings in Svay Rieng province and has been at large since then.

“Now we are looking for Chhouk Bandith, and we will keep it secret if someone gives us the information about where he is,” Sopheak said.
Cambodian Center for Human Rights president Ou Virak said the fact police are being ordered to catch a convicted criminal “reflects the sad state of the Cambodian police”.
read more.
PPP new

 21:20:46 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* This reason Labour/Trade Unions Oppose Instruction No.9/2013 About Wages:

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal revealed, there are three reasons why PI 9 years 2013 about setting the minimum wage was rejected by workers.

Here’s an excerpt reason given by President KSPI Said Iqbal, Tuesday (8/10/2013):
1. In the Instruction for the area said that the minimum wage is above the KHL, Bipatrit then the negotiation between employers and unions to discuss wage increases. This clearly shows the government does not understand konstisusi for in Law No. 13 tahun 2003, clearly stated that the minimum wage set by the government as a safety net (savetynett) that workers are not poor obsolut. While the wage determination by companies Bipatrit made level for workers who work on a one-year bermasa called periodic wage increases instead of minimum wage increase. Because, minimum wages given to laborers who work under timed 1 tahun.year
read more.
citra-indonesia

19:20:46 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Fire at knitting factory in Sripur:

Aswad Composite Mills limited, a factory of Pallmall Industrial group in Sripur, Gazipur caught fire at around 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening. Till 8:30 pm the fire could not be doused.

The assistant MD of the factory Humayun Kabir informed that the cause of the fire has not been determined yet. When the fire broke out the workers were at work but they could safely exit the building when the fire started to spread out in the first floor. The fire department came 45 minutes after the fire broke out. No incidents of casualty have been reported.
Kabir informed that 4 units of the fire department are trying to douse the fire and another unit is on the way.
Witnesses have reported that one kilometer area around the factory has been engulfed in black smoke due to the fire.
to read.
Ittefaq

* RMG factory catches fire in Gazipur-50 workers were injured :

20131009 DHAKATRIBUNE garments_2
Fire catches a Aswad Composite Mills Limited in Sreepur upazila of Gazipur Tuesday night . Photo by DhakaTribune.

A fire broke out in a readymade garment (RMG) factory at Beraid Chala in Sreepur upazila on Tuesday evening.

Fire brigade sources said the fire originated from an unknown source at the first floor of a five-storey building of Aswat Composite factory of Palmal Group in the area around 6 pm and soon spread to other floors, damaging the cloths and machines of the factory.
On information, four units of fire fighters from Gazipur, Bhaluka and Tongi fire brigade rushed to the spot and were trying to douse the flames with the help of locals and fire fighters of the factory till filing of the report at around 8:45pm.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & to read.
UNB primenews daily star bd BD new age BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE
BSS

* Gazipur RMG factory fire leaves 9 dead:

20131008 BANGLA24
photo by BanglaNews24.

Nine people were killed and 10 others injured in a fierce fire at a readymade garment (RMG) factory in Beraida Chala area of Sreepur upazila on Tuesday evening.

Three of the deceased were identified as Rasheduzzaman, 30, assistant general manager (AGM) of Aswat Composite Factory of Palmal Group, and two workers Nayeem, 25, and Raju, 30.
Fire brigade sources said the fire originated from the first floor of the five-storey factory around 6 pm and it soon roared through other floors.
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UNB BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 BSS daily star bd

* 9 dead in Gazipur factory blaze :

At least nine people died in a fire that broke out in four buildings of a knitwear factory at Sripur in Gazipur on Tuesday evening, officials said.

The superintendent of police, Abdul Baten, told New Age that he had been reported that eight to 10 people might have been killed.
‘The fire is still raging. It will need more time to stablish the number of death and the losses,’ he said about midnight.
Ten fire engines that were working late into the night could not put out the flames in the fire at Aswad Compositor Mills Limited of the Pall Mall Industrial Group.
Local people said that the fire had broken out on the first floor of the factory building about 7:00pm during the interval between two shifts.
Workers of the factory and many of their relatives and neighbours gathered at the factory gate anxiously inquiring about the fire, they said.
read more.
|BD new age

* 9 killed in RMG factory blaze:

At last nine people were killed and around 50 were injured critically in a devastating fire that broke out in a three-storey readymade garment factory at Baraider Chala of Sreepur under Gazipur on Tuesday evening.

Three of the deceased were identified as Rashedul Islam, 30, assistant general manager of Aswat Composite Factory of Palmal Group, and two workers Nayeem, 25, and Raju, 30.  Death toll may increase.
Fire brigade sources said the fire originated from the first floor of the Aswat Composite Factory’s sister concern of Palmal Group at around 5: 50 pm. Soon, the fire engulfed the whole building.
On information, eight fire fighting units from Gazipur, Bhaluka, Tongi, Kaliakoir and Savar EPZ fire service stations rushed to the spot.
The fire fighters along with locals were struggling hard to bring the fire under control.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire originated from the first floor of the factory and spread to the chemical storeroom and finishing section on ground floor and knitting section of its second floor.
A huge amount of finished products and clothes were stored on the ground floor of the factory which was totally gutted.
Station manager of Gazipur fire service Jafar Ahmed said, soon after information at least eight fire fighting units from Gazipur, Bhaluka, Kaliakoir and Tongi rushed to the sport and tried to douse the fire with their all out efforts.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

 * Yet another inferno in RMG factory:

At least nine killed amid fears death toll may rise; firefighters’ frantic efforts still on

A fire in a readymade garment factory of Paul Mall Group in Gazipur last night killed at least 9 people as fire-fighters feared that death toll might rise.

Until this report was being filed around 12:30am today, at least 9 bodies have been located.
Superintendent of Gazipur Police Abdul Baten told Dhaka Tribune that fire-fighters had managed to pull out three of them Rashed Mandal, 40, assistant general manager, Nayan, a member of the factory’s own fire-fighting unit, and Raju Ahmed, a worker of the knitting section.

Other workers, who were assisting the fire fighters to douse the flames, have claimed that they had identified four more dead bodies of their co-workers knitting technician Khalil, 25, sample technician Nayeem, 26, and knitting operators Rubel, 24, and Raju, 25.
Fire-fighters could not say for certain how many more bodies were still trapped inside the factory. They said they would be able to give a definite number after the fire was fully doused and searching the debris.

They said most of the bodies that were visible from the outside, were almost bully burnt to ashes.
Witnesses and some of the workers, who sustained injuries while managing to come out of the factory, said they had seen more bodies inside the building.
Nine units of the Fire Service had been trying to douse the flames that spread to four other buildings in the vicinity.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Probe body over Gazipur factory fire:

A seven-member probe committee has been formed and asked to submit report in seven days over the fire at Gazipur’s Aswad Composite Mills Limited.

The fire, which began at 7pm on Tuesday was finally brought under control around 4am on Wednesday, Gazipur Fire Service and Civil Defence station officer Abu Zafar Ahmed said.
In the morning, fire fighters were engaged in dumping works – putting out smoulders under the pile of rubbish.
Sreepur police station Officer-in-charge Amir Hossain confirmed seven deaths. The bodies were being kept at Sreepur Upazila Health Complex.

Gazipur acting deputy commissioner Shahnewaz Dilruba Khan formed a seven-member probe committee, headed by Additional Deputy Magistrate Mohammad Mohsin, to investigate the incident.
The committee has been asked to file report within seven days.

Nine fire fighting units brought flames under control after nine hour of efforts.
The fire said to have went out of control because of a boiler explosion.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladesh garment factory fire kills workers:

A fire on Tuesday at a garment factory outside Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, has killed at least 10 people.

Fire official Zafar Ahmed said 10 bodies were found inside the four-storey building housing the Aswad garment factory in Gazipur.
Journalist Iqbal Ahmed said the fire occurred when the factory was closed for the day, but some employees were inside working overtime.

Farhaduzzaman, another fire official, said the blaze spread to two nearby buildings that also housed garment factories in the same group, but that firefighters had doused the flames in two of the buildings and were seeking to bring the blaze under control in the third building. He could not immediately say whether any people were still trapped inside.
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GUARDIAN reuters bbc Return to frontpage thenewspk

* Statement on fire at Aswad Composite Mills, Gazipur, Bangladesh:

Commenting on the fire at the Aswad Composite Mills in Gazipur, Bangladesh; Bangladesh Accord steering committee member, Andy York, said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we regret this tragic loss of life at the Aswad Composite Mills factory. We send our deepest condolences to the bereaved families. Coming so soon after the building collapse in April, this is a cruel blow to the community dependent on garment work in Bangladesh.

“This fire underlines the need for radical improvements to the working conditions and safety of garment workers in Bangladesh, concerns at the heart of the Bangladesh Accord.

“Until the full extent of the tragedy unfolding tonight is clear, it would be inappropriate to comment further and encroach on people’s grief. In the meantime, we hope that the rescue services can minimise the loss of life and injury.”
to read.
BANGLADESHACCORD

UPDATE 19.45h (loc.time) :

* Fire kills  in new Bangladesh factory disaster:

A huge fire at a Bangladeshi factory where workers were making clothes for labels such as Gap and H&M has killed seven people in the latest disaster to blight the country’s garment industry.
Firefighters battled through the night to douse the flames at the Aswad Knit Composite factory at Sripur, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka. Parts of the two-storey building were still smouldering early Wednesday.
Police said that the fire was so intense that most of the bodies that have been recovered were too badly burned to be identified.
Workers said the blaze, which broke out on Tuesday evening, appeared to have been started by a malfunctioning knitting machine which had caught fire on a number of previous occasions.
An AFP correspondent at the scene found work order books containing names of the factory’s clients in September, which included US brand Gap, British retailer Next, Swedish fashion label H&M, Australia’s Target and French supermarket Carrefour.
A fabric swatch book marked with Walmart’s brand George and labels were also seen by AFP.
Revising an earlier death toll which put the number of dead at nine, local police chief Amir Hossain said seven bodies had been recovered after a thorough search of the building.
“Two bodies have been identified and handed over to their relatives. Five other bodies were charred beyond recognition,” he told AFP.
Hossain said that the fire was now “under control” although parts of the building were still smouldering.
read more.
STM-long

* RMG fire: 7-men body formed:

A seven-member body has been formed to investigate into the incident of fire that swept through a garment factory, killing nine people in Sreepur upazila of Gazipur Tuesday evening.

Fifty people were also injured in the fire that originated around 6:00pm in the dyeing section of two-storey Aswad Composite Mills at Maona owned by Palmal Group.
The probe body, which was formed around 1:00am Wednesday, was asked to submit its report within seven days, said Shahnewaz Dilruba Khan, assistant deputy commissioner (General) of Gazipur.
She is leading the seven members probe body.

The cause of the devastating blaze is yet to be confirmed, firefighter officials said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the district administration handed over the body of assistant general manager Rashiduzzaman Mandal to the authorities of the Association of Textile Engineering, a platform of textile engineers.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BSS

* Gazipur factory fire: 7 bodies recovered:

Firemen recovered a total of seven charred bodies till early today (Wednesday) from the readymade garment (RMG) factory in Beraida Chala area of Sreepur upazila that caught fire on Tuesday evening.

Five of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
The rest two were identified–one to be of Rasheduzzaman, 30, assistant general manager (AGM) of the garment unit named Aswad Composite Factory, owned by Palmal Group, another to be of its worker Nayeem, 25.
The two bodies were handed over to the victims’ families.
Akhter Hossain, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence, confirmed UNB about the recovery saying that the bodies of the rest five could be identified through DNA test.
(…)
The factory sources said the fire damaged huge yarns, fabrics and readymade garments.
Emdad Haq, director of the factory, said the fire broke out after the duty hours.
He also announced to provide instantly Tk30,000 to each of the families of those killed in the fire and bear the expenses for their burial.
read more.
UNB

* Deadly fire at Bangladeshi garment factory:

At least nine people have been killed in a fire at a garment factory in the Bangladeshi town of Gazipur, 40km north of the capital, Dhaka, emergency officials have said.

Those killed in the fire at the Aswad garment factory included the general manager, Rashiduzzaman Mandal, said fire official Zafar Ahmed.
He said the fire was doused early on Wednesday after firefighters laboured for 10 hours to bring it under control.
Local police chief Amir Hossain said most of the victims had been so badly burned that they could not be identified.

Factory director Emdad Hossain said 170 workers were inside the factory when the fire started and most were able to escape. Hossain said he suffered slight injuries himself.
Farhaduzzaman, another fire official, said the fire spread to two buildings that housed garment factories belonging to the Palmal Group of Industries.
read & see more (video report).
aljazeera

* Gazipur garment factory fire kills 10:

20131009 PRIMENEWS Gazipur_RMG_fire

At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in a fierce fire at a readymade garment (RMG) factory in Beraida Chala area of Sreepur upazila in Gazipur on Tuesday evening.

One of the deceased was identified as Nayeem, 25, a worker of Aswat Composite Factory of Palmal Group. He hailed from Rangpur district.
Fire brigade sources said the fire originated from the first floor of the five-storey factory at about 6:00 pm and it soon roared through other floors following explosion of a boiler.
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primenews Ittefaq INDEPENDENT

* Clean Clothes Campaign mourns more factory deaths in Bangladesh:

The Clean Clothes Campaign is horrified by the loss of life at another garment factory in Bangladesh and sends its heartfelt condolences to all the families affected by this latest tragedy.

  • Ten workers are reported killed and over 50 injured
  • Factory linked to George (Asda / Walmart), Loblaws and Hudson Bay Company
  • Calls for intensification of work on safety and immediate compensation for the victims

Latest reports suggest that ten workers were killed and over 50 may have been injured when a fire ripped through the Aswad Composite Mills factory in the capital Dhaka at around 6pm on the 8th October. Firefighters took several hours to extinguish the blaze and investigations into the cause of the blaze are now underway.

Workers interviewed by the Workers Rights Consortium stated they were producing primarily for the clothing label George, owned by Walmart. Shipping documents show Import data links a number of other brands to the factory including two Canadian companies Loblaw and the Hudson Bay Company. We expect more brands to be found sourcing at the factory and would urge all those with production at Aswad to acknowledge responsibility and to take immediate steps to ensure compensation and medical treatment is provided to those who need it.
read more.
Site

* Another Fire: Nine workers reported dead and over 50 injured:

We are horrified to report the loss of life at yet another garment factory in Bangladesh due to fire. Our heartfelt condolences are will all the families affected by this latest pointless tragedy.

Latest reports suggest that nine workers were killed and over 50 may have been injured when a fire ripped through the Aswad Composite Mills factory in the capital Dhaka at around 6pm on the 8th October. Firefighters took several hours to extinguish the blaze and investigations into the cause of the blaze are now underway.

Workers interviewed by the Workers Rights Consortium stated they were producing primarily for the clothing label George, owned by Walmart. Shipping documents show Import data links a number of other brands to the factory including two Canadian companies Loblaw and the Hudson Bay Company. We expect more brands to be found sourcing at the factory and would urge all those with production at Aswad to acknowledge responsibility and to take immediate steps to ensure compensation and medical treatment is provided to those who need it.
read more.
labour behind the label

* Bangladesh factory fire: Six British high street brands links:

The deputy manager of the factory where nine garment workers were killed last night has told ITV News that six British high street brands used Aswad Composite Mills.

20131009 ITV 1 20131009 ITV 2

Molla Boadnuzzamah listed Next, Primark, George, Gap, H&M, and Morrisons as customers who were using the factory. Other workers we spoke to independently also gave the names, aside from Morrisons.
ITV news has also photographed documents and files still in the factory showing some of the names including George, H&M, Gap and Primark.
ITV News has contacted all of the companies concerned and are waiting for them to respond.
H&M however confirmed that they have an indirect relationship with the factory. Read their full statement here.
read & see more.
ITV

* Western brands linked to fire-hit RMG factory:

Leading Western clothing brands including H&M and French supermarket Carrefour admitted their links Wednesday to the latest factory tragedy in Bangladesh after an overnight fire killed seven workers in a fabric mill.

Firefighters battled through the night to douse the inferno at the Aswad Knit Composite factory at Sripur on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, which broke out when most of its 3,000 employees had gone home.

Workers said the blaze appeared to have been started by a malfunctioning knitting machine, while the country’s top inspector said safety problems had been raised last month.
Police said most of the bodies found Wednesday after the flames were extinguished were too badly burned to be identified.

“This latest fire to affect the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh reflects the sad and shocking truth that not enough is being done to address the safety and health of garment factory workers,” the International Labour Organisation’s director-general Guy Ryder said in a statement.

A correspondent who picked through the still smouldering wreckage found work order books containing names of clients in September including US brand Gap, British retailer Next, Swedish fashion label H&M, Australia’s Target and French supermarket Carrefour.

H&M, Gap, Next and Carrefour said their clothes were not made in the factory, but admitted they placed orders with the owner, Palmal Industries, one of the country’s largest garment groups.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Tuesday factory fire worries ILO:

Expressing dismay over the deaths in Tuesday’s garment factory fire, the International Labour Organization said not enough is being done to address the safety and health issues of workers in Bangladesh.

“This latest fire to affect the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh reflects the sad and shocking truth that not enough is being done to address the safety and health of garment factory workers,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement.
At least seven people were killed as a devastating fire swept through the Aswad Composite Mills at Maona in Sreepur of Gazipur Tuesday night.
Despite the staggering loss of life over the past years, the ILO chief aid workers are still dying for reasons that could well be avoided if decent working conditions were in place.
read more.
daily star bd

MORE AND OTHER NEWS:

* New garment body launched:

A new garment labour rights organisation styled ‘Garments Sramik Rakkha Council’ was launched on Tuesday.

The council has been constituted with nine garment workers’ labour rights bodies.
The coordinator of the combine, Mohammad Abu Taher, at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity said that the combine would work for establishing the rights of garment workers.
The new combine would announce programmes to press for the demands, including implementation of minimum wage of Tk 8,000 for garment workers per month, dropping of ‘undemocratic’ sections from labour law-2013 and ensuring security of workers in their workplaces.
read more.
BD new age

* Is low labour productivity in RMG a non-issue?:

The chief of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission that has just concluded its third review of the extended credit facility (ECF) to Bangladesh, Mr. Rodrigo Cubero, like many others at home and abroad, saw great potential in Bangladesh to secure the top spot in global apparel exports.

But low labour productivity was one of the hurdles, he mentioned, to achieving that coveted position. However, the trouble is not apparel sector-specific. Rather, it has been hurting most productive sectors of the economy.
The labour productivity, which is measured on the basis Standard Allowed Minutes (SAM), in Bangladesh is one of the lowest in the world.
Mr. Cubero traced a link between low labour productivity and low wage in the Bangladesh apparel industry.

He has done the right diagnosis. But the problem of low wage, more importantly, is linked to workers’ unrest that often flares up in major apparel hubs in the country. In fact, the issue of low wage agitates the workers more than the lack of safety measures in their workplaces.
But will the productivity of readymade garment (RMG) workers go up if the owners of apparel units hike wages? It seems to be not that simple.
read more.

* Media access to RMG sector can ensure better workplace condition: seminar:

The country’s readymade garment sector will achieve sustainable growth if more coordination between media and stakeholders are ensured, speakers said in a seminar in Dhaka on Tuesday.

They said media access to garment industry can ensure transparency of the garment sector and help develop better workplace condition — a key issue which is made prerequisite by the international buyers.
aThe speakers also stressed on coordinated effort between all stakeholders and media for prosperity and development of the garment sector and to remain competitive on the world market.
(..)
The Financial Express editor Moazzem Hossain said sustainable development was not an event, it was a process.
Affordability and capacity building is needed to make a viable and sustainable RMG sector, he said.
(…)
Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan and former BGMEA vice-president Faruk Hassan presented two separate keynote papers in the seminar.
Media and RMG sector need to work hand to hand to help rebuild the image of the country in the world, Zafar said in his keynote paper.
In Bangladesh people are hungry for the positive stories and media needs to focus as much on the success stories as well as the failures, he said.
Faruk requested media to support the RMG sector in a constructive way.
He said, ‘We understand the role of media but the constructive criticism can help us identify our mistakes and rectify ourselves.’
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BD new age daily star bd

* RMG industry facing negative media campaign, seminar told:

The country’s growing Readymade Garment (RMG) industry is now facing a negative campaign from the media , speakers at a seminar said here today.

Many good news of the apparel industry remain out of media publicity, they said adding that branding also has become a key barrier to the RMG industry.
They were addressing a seminar on ‘Role of Media in Sustainable Development of RMG Industry’ at a hotel in the city.
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BSS newstodayBD INDEPENDENT

* President for maintaining RMG owners, workers good relations:

President Abdul Abdul Hamid on Tuesday underscored the need for maintaining good relations between garment owners and workers for further development of the sector and reducing existing problems.

The President said this when a delegation of Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) led by its President Atiqul Islam made a courtesy call on him at Bangabhaban.
The President urged the garments owners to be more cautious to avert incidents like Rana Plaza and Tazreen garments saying that such disasters couldn’t take place if the owners were conscious in this regard.
read more.
UNB

* BGMEA urges Hasina, Khaleda not to make RMG victim of politics:

Several business leaders of the country at a programme on Tuesday said readymade garment exports should not be a victim of politics.

“Buyers wanted to know what will be the situation of the country after October 25,” said Atiqul Islam, president of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association).
“I am requesting the leader of the opposition to send a message to the foreigners, and also assure us, that the situation will be calm and quiet after October 25 for the interest of the garments industry,”Atiqul said at a view-exchange meeting to discuss Bangladesh’s current business and economic condition.

“RMG is our lifeline. I am asking the two leaders to reach a consensus on the polls,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* EU urges apparel makers to seek ‘fair’ prices from buyers:

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna has urged the country’s readymade garment manufacturers to ask for ‘fair’ prices from the buyers rather than being branded as the cheapest.

“I know buyers are interested to pay higher prices and get quality products. but you should the process,” he said replying to a question asked by former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Anisul Huq.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised the seminar on Monday night, ‘Reinventing the RMG Sector: Emphasising on Social Accountability and Security’, ahead of the 24th Bangladesh Apparels and Textile Exposition 2013.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd

* Leather industry faces financial crunch:

Loan defaults have increased in the leather industry. Recovery of loans has declined side by side. Risk in this sector has, therefore, increased.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has advised the commercial banks to move with caution in sanctioning loans in this sector. The leather business may come under strain this year. If enough loans are not available for tanneries from banking channels, export of leather products may lag behind. But liberal bank financing are no longer available.
read more.

* BTMA demands insurance rate cut:

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association on Sunday demanded that the government should reduce the insurance premium for textile mills considering their contribution in the export industry.

A delegation of BTMA met the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority chairman M Shefaq Ahmed on the day and placed their demand, said a IDRA press release.
BTMA leaders said about 1,370 mills, registered with the association, are importing cotton, machineries, dyeing and chemical materials for production at a high import insurance rate.
They said the textile mills industry is working as backward linkage for the export oriented garments sector affiliated with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
read more.
BD new age

* LOBBYING FOR GSP REVIVAL – Govt pays $10,000 a week:

The Awami League government paid a Washington-based law firm up to $60,000 to lobby the US government against withdrawing GSP tax privileges for Bangladesh in the weeks immediately before the suspension decision was taken, New Age can reveal.

In a letter to the foreign ministry, dated 17 May 2013, the law firm said that it would work at a rate of $10,000 per week in the ‘remaining 2-6 weeks before the expected determination.’
‘We will help Bangladesh ensure that it has made all potential arguments regarding the basis for its continued eligibility,’ Gare Smith, a partner at Foley Hoag LLP stated.
The foreign ministry has also agreed to pay the law firm a further $360,000 over a 12 months period until June 2014 in order to ‘change the negative perceptions regarding the government’s commitment to labour rights and its willingness to address significant challenges in terms of worker safety in the garment sector.’
read more.
BD new age

         THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Rana Plaza tragedy victims get donation:

Donation was distributed among the family members of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy in Habiganj on October 7.

Jamayetul Khair and Madania Welfare Trust UK organised a meeting in this connection at Deputy Commissioner’s conference room with Shaikhul Hadith Allama Tafazzul Hoque in the chair. Deputy Commissioner of Habiganj Manindra Kishore Majumder addressed the meeting as chief guest.
The meeting was addressed by former president of Habiganj Press Club Advocate Ruhul Hasan Sharif, President of Habiganj TV Journalists  Association Md Alamgir Khan, media personality Mufti Abdul Muntakim and General Secretary of Madania Welfare Trust UK Hafiz Hussain Ahmad. Teacher Jalal Uddin Rumi conducted the meeting.
The speakers said, the family members of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy have been passing their days in distress. The speakers expressed their satisfaction as expatriates are donating the helpless family members of Rana Plaza tragedy victims of Habiganj district. Tk 10,000 was handed over to each of the 37 families in the meeting.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* The wait for help goes on six months after the Bangladesh factory collapse:

‘Two bags of rice’ – the support given to the sister of one of the victims of Rana Plaza. Nurbana must now look after her sister’s son, Rubel who is seven-years-old. She told me she will beg in the streets if she has to, even with nothing, she will stand by her sister’s boy.

It’s six months after the factory that made cheap clothes for you and me collapsed, five months after we revealed no compensation had reached victims here in Dhaka. Then, the Western brands who used suppliers in the building, like Primark and Matalan, vowed they would help. But we found chaos and confusion, and time running out.

Primark has made more than three thousand payments to survivors and victims’ families. The brand has made significant efforts to track them down and is committed to agreeing a long term plan too. But clearly, it has been extremely difficult to make the process work. We spoke to victims like Nurbana, Munna, who lost her daughter, and Nazma, who lost her husband. They all told us they had not yet had any payouts from Western firms.
(…)
Nazma is just days away from giving birth to their first child. She was on the eighth floor of Rana Plaza when it collapsed, he was on the tenth and was killed. The former garment worker showed me the baby blankets she has stitched for the child who will never meet his father. She has had a little money from the charity ActionAid, and some help with medical bills. But although she has been able to bury her husband, Nazma told me there’s been no sign of Western money that was promised. She said, “the brands were supposed to come for us, but no one ever did.”
read more (+ video).
ITV

          TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE

* HC asks govt to submit reports on compensation:

The High Court (HC) Tuesday directed the government to submit reports on the compensation to 23 Tazreen fire victims, list of whom was placed before it on the day.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Labour Secretary and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) were directed to comply with the order within November 5.
An HC division bench comprising Justice Dr Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain passed the order.
Petitioners’ lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua confirmed this to the FE Tuesday evening.

Another HC order passed earlier directing the government to submit the DNA test reports of relatives of Tazreen’s missing victims remains non-complied, Mr Barua said.
read more.

18:50:46 local time map of india INDIA

* Children of Bt Cotton:

20131009 theHINDU

With cross pollination in BT-cotton plants in rural pockets having begun, officials are closely monitoring whether child labourers are employed in the field.

A survey by UNICEF revealed that migration of children from Javadu Hills in Tiruvannamalai, Vellimalai in Villupuram and Kolli Hills in Namakkal is on the rise last year when compared to 2011. They were mainly involved in cross pollination in fields in Thalaivasal and Pethanaickenpalayam blocks in the district from October to December.

Officials at the Society for Monitoring and Implementation of Child Labour Elimination (SMILE) told The Hindu that various steps, including preventing migration, monitoring dropouts in schools and readmitting them to schools run under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) were taken. Resolutions were passed in the Grama Sabha meetings that children would not be employed and awareness pamphlets on child protection rights were distributed to farmers, they added.

Officials at UNICEF said that as per Section 2 (K) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, juvenile or child means a person who has not completed 18 years of age. Hence, employing them is prevented, they added.
Besides, assistance from the departments of Agriculture and Revenue has been sought for monitoring the activities on agricultural fields apart from involving Block Level Committees. Schools have been asked to report the absence of students so that dropouts can be prevented.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Four children rescued from cotton field:

Despite strict monitoring and awareness programmes by officials of Integrated Child Protection Programme (ICPP) and UNICEF, four children working in cross-pollination for production of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) cotton seeds in Veppampoondi village in Thalaivasal block were rescued here on Friday evening.

Officials said that two boys and two girls from Kondrani Village in Javadu Hills in Tiruvannamalai District were found working in the village and were rescued. They were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the boys lodged at Anbu Illam while the girls lodged at Life Line Trust.
Officials added that their parents would be informed and further course of action would be decided. Two boys and two girls were actively involved in collecting pollen from male plants in an 80-cent land at Unathur village in Thalaivasal block, about 86km. from here.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Authorities’ apathy leaves apparel park a non-starter:

The apathy of the Karassery grama panchayat in providing land to the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) for setting up a Rural Apparel Park has drawn much flak.
Though the foundation stone for the project was laid in August 2010, the district is on the verge of losing the project owing to authorities’ disinterest.

The project was mooted in the 2010-11 budget, offering employment opportunity to over 300 local women and was part of a series of rural apparel parks planned by Kinfra in the state.

The then governing body of Karassery panchayat had agreed to hand over three acres for the purpose free-of-cost, said George M Thomas, former MLA of Thiruvambady. However, a shift in the governing body led to abandonment of the project, he added.

The Rs 25-crore park was expected to boost the textile sector in north Kerala and provide a bigger canvas for small-scale rural entrepreneurs. The proposed park intends to offer comprehensive infrastructure and support services to clients covering all processes right from manufacture to sales.
read more.
TOInew

* Turmoil gives sleepless nights to textile makers in Surat:

The impact of the ongoing turmoil over has spilled over to Gujarat, as the textile industry in is making heavy losses every day following the violent protests in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

With every passing day of strikes and violent protests in the region, Surat’s textile industry is losing Rs 20-25 crore each day. Known as a hub for synthetic textiles, the Surat-based industry gets 20 per cent of its total annual business of Rs 40,000 crore from Andhra Pradesh alone.
According to sources, business has been affected for over a month, thereby causing a loss to the tune of Rs 600 crore just before the beginning of festivities.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

18:20:46 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Punjab’s textile sector braces for GSP Plus status:

The Punjab government is preparing the value-added textile sector for a huge inflow of orders in case Pakistan is granted the GSP-plus status from the European Union (EU) in January 2014.

The Punjab Skill Development Fund organised a workshop for the value-added apparel sector of the province to brace them for the huge market access that Pakistan is likely to acquire after the approval of the GSP-plus status.

Garment manufacturers, knitwear producers and exporters of sportswear were among the attendees at the workshop. The garment sector was identified as having the highest potential as this sector has continually increased its market share during past eight years. The share of knitwear declined both in quantity and value terms.
read more.
thenewspk

* Production target missed: import of three million cotton bales expected:

Pakistan is likely to import about 3 million bales of cotton worth $1.2 billion to meet the requirements of local industry, as production target of the crop will not be met, official sources revealed.

Currently cotton prices in Pakistan are the lowest as compared to other countries of the region. Cotton price in Pakistan is 1.79 dollar per kg (Rs 190.07) against 3.38 dollar per kg (Rs 358.61) in China and 2.19 dollar per kg (Rs 232.35) in India, industry sources revealed to Business Recorder.

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has projected cotton production target for the current season (2013-14) at 11.95 million bales against the initial target of 13.22 million bales, while the local industry requirement is about 13 million bales.
Sources further said that there is no restriction on import and export of cotton. Pakistan exports about 2.5-3 million bales every year and to date 1.5 million bales of cotton have so far been exported. The country is likely to produce 11.95 million bales, but due to shortage of fine quality and long staple cotton, Pakistan has to import it from India and China.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Fabric producers pump millions into new technology:

20131009 TRIBUNE
Over 275,000 power looms were running in the city as part of the unorganised sector and were largely operating as household units, run by families. PHOTO: FILE 

Power looms, which had hitherto been part of the unorganised sector, have started entering the fold of formal industry in Faisalabad as investors are pumping millions of rupees into new technology and shifting looms from their homes to factories.

Investors are taking risks in the hope that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government will resolve the energy crisis and businesses will return to the heady days they enjoyed before 2008, industry players say.
Over 275,000 power looms were running in the city as part of the unorganised sector and were largely operating as household units, run by families.

“Now old power looms are rapidly being replaced with shuttle-less automatic looms, which are installed in proper factories,” said Waheed Khaliq Ramay, Chairman of Ramay Weaving Factories.
Industrialists were paying a lot more attention to upgrading and modernising the weaving industry with emphasis on introducing state-of-the-art, shuttle-less and air-jet looms, he said. This is seen as a positive sign that will jump-start industrialisation in the country.
read more.
tribune

 18:20:46 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Everybody to the cotton harvest – and please bring your money! :

20131008 UZNEwS
© antislavery.org

The cotton harvest is causing a deficit of liquid funds in Tashkent banks – retirement pensions have been delayed and salaries are not being paid at all.

Tashkent business and organizations attempting to access cash funds from banks to pay salaries to their employees are more and more often categorically refused.

The explanation? Typical for Uzbekistan at this time of the year – all liquid funds have been redirected away from the banks in the capital to outlying regions in order for cotton pickers to be paid.

An owner of a Tashkent-based business with an account at the major state-run commercial bank, NBU, told Uznews.net that she has been informed that she will be unable to withdraw funds until the middle of November.
read more.
UZnews

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:
In the menu under ‘special reports you can find “Gazipur Garment factory Fire – 9 October 2013-now” -an overview of articles

HEADLINES TODAY:

ASIA
* APEC meeting releases statement supporting multilateral trading system
* Full text: Premier Li Keqiang Gives Joint Written Interview To Media from ASEAN Countries

PHILIPPINES
* Labor group hits SSS Officials’ millions in bonuses
* On World Day for Decent Work, workers march to Mendiola vs contractualization

VIET NAM
* Vietnam workers indifferent to minimum wage hike, employers fret
* Footwear exports to touch $8bln threshold this year

THAILAND
* Thailand’s textile exports rise 10.49% in Jan-Aug’13

CAMBODIA
* Top cop told to catch Bandith

INDONESIA
* This reason Labour/Trade Unions Oppose Instruction No.9/2013 About Wages

BANGLADESH
* Fire at knitting factory in Sripur
* RMG factory catches fire in Gazipur-50 workers were injured
* Gazipur RMG factory fire leaves 9 dead
* 9 dead in Gazipur factory blaze
* 9 killed in RMG factory blaze
* Yet another inferno in RMG factory
* Probe body over Gazipur factory fire
* Bangladesh garment factory fire kills workers
* Statement on fire at Aswad Composite Mills, Gazipur, Bangladesh
UPDATE:
* Fire kills in new Bangladesh factory disaster
* RMG fire: 7-men body formed
* Gazipur factory fire: 7 bodies recovered
* Deadly fire at Bangladeshi garment factory
* Gazipur garment factory fire kills 10
* Clean Clothes Campaign mourns more factory deaths in Bangladesh
* Another Fire: Nine workers reported dead and over 50 injured
* Bangladesh factory fire: Six British high street brands links
* Western brands linked to fire-hit RMG factory
* Tuesday factory fire worries ILO

MORE AND OTHER NEWS:
* New garment body launched
* Is low labour productivity in RMG a non-issue?
* Media access to RMG sector can ensure better workplace condition: seminar
* RMG industry facing negative media campaign, seminar told
* President for maintaining RMG owners, workers good relations
* BGMEA urges Hasina, Khaleda not to make RMG victim of politics
* EU urges apparel makers to seek ‘fair’ prices from buyers
* Leather industry faces financial crunch
* BTMA demands insurance rate cut
* LOBBYING FOR GSP REVIVAL – Govt pays $10,000 a week
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Rana Plaza tragedy victims get donation
* The wait for help goes on six months after the Bangladesh factory collapse
TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:
* HC asks govt to submit reports on compensation

INDIA
* Children of Bt Cotton
* Four children rescued from cotton field
* Authorities’ apathy leaves apparel park a non-starter
* Turmoil gives sleepless nights to textile makers in Surat

PAKISTAN
* Punjab’s textile sector braces for GSP Plus status
* Production target missed: import of three million cotton bales expected
* Fabric producers pump millions into new technology

UZBEKISTAN
* Everybody to the cotton harvest – and please bring your money!

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