Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE

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lw-hr

* A living wage = a human right:

Working alongside garment workers, trade unions, consumers and campaigners we are calling for those working in the garment industry to be paid a wage they can live on.

A major industry
The garment industry is a major employer across the world – in Asia for example over 15 million people are employed by the industry.  With global brands making millions in profits every year this booming industry has come to rely on, and exploit, the cheap labour of millions of garment workers whose wages fall far short of a living wage.

The right to a living wage: A living wage should be earned  in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.

The lack of a living wage means many garment workers are forced to work long hours to earn overtime or bonuses and cannot risk taking refusing work due to unsafe working conditions or taking time off due to ill health.   The low wages mean that workers often have to rely on loans just to make ends meet and have no savings to use if they find themselves out of work.

Clean Clothes Campaign believes that in order for a living wage to become a reality brands and retailers must take concrete steps to ensure they are paying a living wage in the countries they source from, and national governments must ensure that minimum wages are set at a level that allow people to live with dignity.
20131017 CCC LW
read more.

Site

* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA):

The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) is an international alliance of trade unions and labour rights activist who are working together to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

As an alliance led by unions in the key garment producing countries in the region, the Asia Floor Wage Alliance represents the concerns and needs of the workers themselves.  Central to their demands is a call for a living wage to be paid to all garment workers, this led to the development of the Asia
Floor Wage calculation, as a  way to calculate a living wage for payment across Asia.
read more. & read more.
Site AFW stitchwage

* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage:

Pay a Living Wage Action Week

From October 21st – 28th 2013, Clean Clothes Campaign partners across Europe will be launching the next phase in our campaign to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

* Clothing brands and companies to take action by setting concrete and measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.

* National governments in garment producing countries to make sure minimum wages are set at living wage standards.

* European governments to implement regulation that make sure companies are responsible for the impact they have on the lives of workers in their suppply chain, including their right to earn a living wage.

Join our call for all garment workers to be paid a living wage –
sign the petition today here. & read more.
Site

LW + 2

LW inthe news

20131112

20:51:45 local time map of china CHINA

* Inflation will hit wage hikes: Research:

Average wages in China will rise by 8.85 percent in 2014, accelerating from this year but hit by possible higher inflation next year, research by Hay Group showed.

According to the research report, the average salary increase in the world’s second-largest economy would be 8.4 percent in 2013.
“We would see an additional growth in wages next year, but the real rate will be lower than this year in case of an increasing CPI (Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation),” said Wayne Chen, vice-president of the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm.
China’s CPI grew 3.2 percent year-on-year in October, the second monthly increase in a row, and continued an upward trend over the first three quarters.
read more.
CHINADAILY

20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Advice For Employers On Worker Recruitment Procedure To Avert Crime:

The Human Resource Ministry today advised all employers to ensure that the recruitment of workers was implemented according to the prescribed laws so as to avert the occurrence of crime.

Deputy Minister Datuk Ismail Abdul Muttalib said the existing laws on recruitment of workers were adequate to ensure that employers selected responsible workers who carried no risk of getting involved in crime.
(…)
The deputy minister also reminded employers to implement the minimum wage of RM900 for peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan for their workers from Jan 1 next year.

However, he added that the ministry was continuing to receive appeals from employers who could not afford to implement the minimum wage, especially those in the small and medium industries (SMIs) sector.
“Employers should not have a negative opinion of the government’s sincerity in wanting to have workers get the minimum wage because from a positive viewpoint they can enhance their business,” he said.
read more.
BERNAMA

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow:

20131112 DAILYSTAR ashulia-rmg-clash
Law enforcers disperse the agitating readymade garments workers during a clash between the both sides at Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, this morning demanding Tk 8,114 minimum monthly wage. Photo: Focus Bangla

Owners have declared shutdown of garment factories in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital for tomorrow due to security concerns.

“We have decided to shut our factories in Ashulia area for a day,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, convenor of Ashulia zone after a meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at its office today.
he decision came amid days of clashes by garment workers demanding Tk 8,114 minimum monthly wage.

There are some 250 garment units in Ashulia, the major outsourcing area for the world’s renowned apparel brands. Locally big manufacturers also have their units in the region.
“We are continuing our discussions with labour associations how to remain the factories open,” Murshedy said adding that the zonal committee on Ashulia will sit tomorrow to decide on the next plan of action.
Meanwhile, production at around 200 garment factories in Ashulia was suspended for today after the workers clashed with police in the morning.
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daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd     BD new age  Ittefaq     INDEPENDENT
primenews bdnews24 newstodayBD UNB BANGLA NEWS24 NEWNATIONnew

* Dozens hurt in Bangladesh garment factory protest:

20131112 TIMESUNION
Bangladeshi garment workers assist their colleagues injured during a clash with police in Ashulia, outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Thousands of garment workers demanding higher pay clashed with police for a second day Tuesday, leaving dozens of people injured and at least 200 factories closed, police said. (A.M.Ahad, AP / AP)

Riot police fired tear gas to battle thousands of stone-throwing garment workers who rampaged through two industrial towns in Bangladesh during a protest over wages Tuesday that closed at least 200 factories and left dozens of people injured, police said.

The protesters built roadblocks with abandoned vehicles and wooden logs in violence that highlighted the poor working conditions in an industry that earns Bangladesh $20 billion in exports yearly but whose workers are the lowest paid in the world.
Thousands of angry workers hurled stones at security forces and attacked factories in the towns of Savar and Ashulia outside the capital, Dhaka, Industrial Police Director Mustafizur Rahman said. At least 200 factories closed in the second day of the protest, and 80 people were injured over two days.

Authorities deployed hundreds of paramilitary border guards to help police fighting the protesters.
“We can’t accept the wages that are being offered to us. This is not enough for us,” said Kahirul Mamun Mintu, a protest leader at Savar. “Our movement will continue until our demands are met.”
read more.
TIMESunion

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* 150-200 Savar RMG units shut over wage fight:

Authorities suspended production in 150 readymade garment (RMG) factories at Ashulia here for Tuesday as the workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new salary structure fixed by the government-formed wage board for them.

Witnesses said garment workers from Narsinghpur, Gazirchat, Baipail, Nishchintapur and Shimultala areas under Ashulia Police Station took to the streets in the morning and staged demonstrations.
They put barricades on different roads, including the Abdullahpur- Baipail one, disrupting traffic.
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UNB DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd BD new age INDEPENDENT
primenews Ittefaq bdnews24 BDCHRONICLE NEWNATIONnew

* Apparels workers clash with police over wage hike:

Bangladesh police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at garment workers who stitch clothes for Western retailers during clashes on Tuesday as demonstrations against low wages intensified, an officer said.

Some 40,000 workers downed tools and took to the streets in the Ashulia export zone on the outskirts of Dhaka for the second day, forcing around 200 factories to suspend production, police and factory owners said.
The workers are demanding a wage hike to $100 per month instead of the rise to $67 approved last week by the Minimum Wage Board after rounds of meetings with industry, unions and government representatives.
“The workers came out of their factories and blocked a key highway and went unruly in at least three separate spots,” Ashulia industrial police inspector Abdus Sattar told AFP.
“They threw stones at police. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protestors,” he said.
(…)
At least 200 factories at Ashulia were forced to suspend production for the day, said S.M Manna, a vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), which represents 4,500 factories.
The board recommended raising the minimum monthly wage from 3,000 taka ($38) to 5,300 taka ($67), still the lowest in the world, according to union leaders, and well short of demands.
The BGMEA has rejected the $67 figure as too high, and urged the government against implementing it.
(…)
A union leader, Muhammad Ibrahim, told AFP that workers were demanding $100 as the minimum wage, but were also protesting in anger over the owners’ rejection of the board’s proposed rise.
read more.
BD new age

Arshad Jamal, Chairman of Tusuka, BGMEA director and wage board negotiator spoke to Tanim Ahmed of bdnews24.com over the wage issue, the future of the industry and much else. Excerpts:

TA: The garment factory owners had proposed Tk 4,250 as their last offer. It appears that they might end up accepting the workers’ demand of Tk 5,300. But that is still significantly less than what it would cost you to fill up your car’s fuel tank once. Does this reflect a certain mindset?

AJ: Minimum wage is indeed a matter of mindset. I personally believe that higher minimum wages will make all take the whole industry more seriously. Especially after this Rana Plaza incident, which has given us a hard lesson — that once you are in this business, you do it properly. Otherwise you get out of it. It is a question of the country’s reputation, comparative advantage and involves confidence of the buyers.

Wage is more of a rights issue. The primary concept of minimum wage is to reduce human rights violations, in terms of paying the minimum, particularly for those marginalised entry level unskilled workers who are essentially desperate economic migrants.
read more.
bdnews24

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* Protest by Bangladeshi garment workers shutters 100 factories:

Demonstrators demand higher wages that employers say they can’t afford; police fire rubber bullets, close factories

Thousands of Bangladeshi workers demanding a higher minimum wage on Monday hurled rocks and sticks at clothing factories and clashed with police who used rubber bullets and tear gas against them, bringing fresh scrutiny to working conditions in the country’s garment industry.

The garment workers’ demonstrations forced the closure of more than 100 factories in the Ashulia industrial belt on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of total garment exports.
At least 30 people were reported wounded in the clash with police.
read more.
ALJAZEERA US

* 50- 100 Ashulia RMG units shut as workers clash with police:

Production in some 100 garment factories at  Ashulia here was suspended for Monday as workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new minimum wage recommended for them by a government-appointed wage board.

Garment workers from Damgora, Gazirchat, Baipile, Nishchinapur and Zirabo areas under Ashulia Police Station took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning.
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UNB INDEPENDENT FE bd Ittefaq newstodayBD daily star bd

* 100 RMG units closed for a day:

About 100 apparel factories at Ashulia and Savar were declared closed for Monday as 50 people including a cop were injured in clashes between the police and apparel workers, who were demonstrating for immediate implementation of the minimum wage board award.

Witnesses said that the apparel workers brought out processions pressing for immediate implementation of the new wage structure recommended by the minimum wage board for apparel sector.
Workers from Jamgora, Gazirchat, Baipile, Nishchintapur and Zirabo areas under Ashulia police station took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning.
read more.
BD new age

* Unrest in Ashulia, Savar RMG units, 50 injured:

At least 50 persons including one policeman were injured today in clashes between readymade garment (RMG) workers and law enforcers at different areas in Ashulia and Savar.

The clashes ensued when the workers blocked the roads in the area demanding implementation of the new minimum wage recommended for them by a government-appointed wage board.
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BSS Ittefaq

* Workers of Uttara EPZ demonstratem for higher wages:

Workers of Uttara EPZ at Nilphamari district demonstrated against low wages and demanded allowance for extra time works in their factories.

Sources said at first workers of Evergreen Products BD Ltd.  staged agitation in front of their factory building. Later on workers of all the other factories of the EPZ joined the movement.
EPZ sources said there are 9997 workers in the factories of the EPZ. Consequently EPZ authorities had to resort to police to tackle the situation.
The workers claim that they are not given allowance for woks in the extra-time.
to read.
FE bd

* Fresh workers’ unrest in Ashulia: BGMEA sees conspiracy:

Production was suspended at 100 readymade garment (RMG) factories located in Ashulia industrial belt on Monday as workers’ unrest erupted afresh over the implementation of minimum wage.

Police said workers of a garment factory at Zirabo area in the industrial belt brought out a procession in the morning, demanding immediate implementation of pay hike that the government’s wage board proposed last week.
Few minutes later, several thousand workers of the adjoining factories joined them and started demonstration which later erupted to the factories located at both sides of Jamgara- Baipail road.
Later, the agitating workers started hurling brickbats towards the nearby factories and also at police who rushed the spot on information. It also led to a chase and counter chase between the workers and police.
At one stage, police charged batons and fired several rounds of tear shots to disperse the marauding workers.
(…)
Expressing concern over the issue, the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday said that the latest event of workers unrest was nothing but an act of conspiracy.
“A ‘conspiracy’ is on to create fresh anarchy in the country’s largest export sector. A vested group acted behind the scene and instigated the workers for yesterday’s unrest,” Md. Shahidullah Azim, Vice- President of BGMEA told The New Nation yesterday.
He added: “A conspiracy, both international and local, is on to destabilise the sector again, and if the design succeeds, it will take a heavy toll on the country’s prime export earning industry.
read more.
NEWNATIONnew

* RMG owners tag three demands to WB execution:

Readymade garments (RMG) owners have tagged three demands with the implementation of the Wage Board’s proposed minimum wage structure for garment workers, sources said Monday.

The demands are:
* Re-fixation of source tax at 0.2 per cent,
* introduction of a 3.0 per cent cash incentive to traditional markets like EU, US and Canada and
* a special exchange rate against US dollar for readymade garment exports, they added.

The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) raised the demands in a meeting with the labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at his secretariat office in the city while Labour Secretary Mikail was also present.

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam and other office bearers, former presidents Abdus Salam Murshedy, Annisul Huq, former vice president Siddiqur Rahman, BKMEA President AKM Salim Osman and office bearers, among others, were present at the meeting.
read more.
FE bd

* Bangladesh garment workers unhappy with recent wage hike stage demonstration:

Nearly 50,000 garment workers unhappy with the last week’s wage hike Monday staged violent demonstrations in key apparel hubs on the outskirts of capital Dhaka.

Dozens of workers and policemen were injured as the unruly laborers fought pitched battles with the law enforcers in the industrial hubs in Ashulia and Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Paramilitary troops have been deployed as about 50,000 workers continued demonstrations, a police official in Savar told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
He said the authorities of dozens of factories suspended their production for Monday fearing violence.

The workers took to the streets Monday morning demanding a minimum wage of 8,114 taka (about $104).
A Bangladeshi government board on November 4 recommended 5,300 taka (about $68) as the minimum monthly wage for the country’s 4 million garment workers, nearly a 77 percent hike from the existing monthly pay.
But the country’s garment factory owners Monday rejected the minimum wage fixed by the board.
The garment sector, which turns out 20 billion US dollars’ worth of exports annually, comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than 4 million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.
to read.
GLOBALTIMES

* RMG Minimum wage to be announced on Nov 21:

20131111 DHAKATRIBUNE Garment-worker-4

Garment workers urged to return to their workplace

Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has said the minimum wage for the garment workers would be announced on November 21.

He made the disclosure after a meeting with the leaders of BGMEA and BKMEA at the secretariat Monday afternoon.
The minister also urged the garment workers to return to their workplace.
“What will happen to the 4.2 million workers in the sector if the garment industry closes down?” he asked.
On November 4, the minimum wage board set Tk5,300 for entry-level workers, a 76.6% rise over the existing consolidated wage of Tk3,000. This was decided through voting after both the owners and labour leaders had failed to reach a consensus.
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DHAKATRIBUNE UNB INDEPENDENT BDCHRONICLE bdnews24 FE bd
daily star bd BD new age

* Cop-RMG workers clash in Savar- 100 hurt, 50 factories shut:

More than 100 people, including police and passers-by, were injured in sporadic clashes between the Readymade Garments (RMG) workers and police in various areas of Savar upazila of the district on Tuesday morning.

Authorities closed around 50 RMG factories, so far.
Witnesses said the workers started protest and throwing brick chips to the factories of Baismail, Abdullapur, Bismail and Zirabo areas of the upazila on demand of the implementation of salary structure declared by wage commission.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* 200 units shut after worker-cop clash:

Production at minimum 200 garment factories in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today after workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with cops in the morning.

At least 50 workers were injured during the clashes at Jamgarah, Zirani and Kabirpur, Baipail, Palashbari, Narasinghapur, Ghosbagh, Pukurpar, Kathgorah and Nishchintapur, witnesses and police said.
to read.
daily star bd

20131108-11

map of asia ASIA

* Salaries in Asia-Pacific set to rise 7% next year: survey:

Salaries across Asia-Pacific are set to rise an average 7 per cent in 2014, with China and Vietnam leading the way in East Asia in terms of increases, according to a survey conducted by professional services company Towers Watson.

In Thailand, salaries are expected to increase 6 per cent in 2014, while the country’s inflation rate is projected to rise 3.1 per cent.

Salaries in China are forecast to rise 8.5 per cent and in Vietnam 11.5 per cent in 2014, before inflation is taken into account, however, after inflation is built in, both countries are set for an average 4.9 per cent increase. Elsewhere in the region, salaries in Hong Kong and Singapore are set to rise 4.5 per cent, India 11 per cent and Japan 2.3 per cent.

The findings support the view that companies in the Asia-Pacific are finding it harder to both find and retain suitably skilled staff. One outcome of this is that more than 80 per cent of the companies surveyed say a larger portion of their salary budget increase allocation will go to high performers in 2014. Less than 1 per cent of the companies anticipate a pay freeze, compared to nearly 4 per cent in 2013.
“Overall, the data for 2013 and 2014 looks very similar, so companies should be budgeting for salary increases much the same as last year. However, at the end of the day, it depends on the affordability for the company. If the company is growing at a fast rate and revenue exceeds the cost by a huge margin, it is easier to be aggressive on salary budgets than low-growth companies,” said Sambhav Rakyan, Global Data Services practice leader, Asia-Pacific at Towers Watson.
read more.
CAMHERALD

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Govt, Businesses Agree on BPJS Insurance Premium Payments.
Read the full article here.
2. Administration’s legal division to appeal in labor wage dispute.
Read the full article here .
3. Local Government need to be active when discussing City Minimum Wage (UMK). Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
.
4. Laborers Urge Govt’ to Investigate Act of Violence. Read the full article here.

6. Police: Bekasi City is conducive approaching the City Minimum Wage determination. Read the full article here
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

BetterWork Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

*Administration’s legal division to appeal in labor wage dispute:

The Jakarta city administration will be appealing to the Supreme Court to annul the verdict of the State Administrative Court, which annulled gubernatorial decrees to allow eight labor intensive companies in the Cakung industrial estate to postpone the 2013 minimum wage hike.

“We’ll appeal as soon as possible,” said Bayu Mahendra, an official from the administration’s legal division, as quoted by kompas.com.

The eight companies employing hundreds of workers are PT Kaho Indah Citra Garmen (garment), PT Misung Indonesia (garment), PT Myungsung Indonesia (wig), PT Kyeungseng Trading Indonesia (garment), PT Star Camtex (garment), PT Good Guys Indonesia (garment), PT Yeon Heung Mega Sari (garment) and PT Hansoll Indonesia (garment).

Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued gubernatorial decrees for the companies to allow them to pay workers below the provincial minimum wage temporarily. With the court ruling the decrees had to be canceled, the companies had to pay at least Rp 2.2 million (US$192.67) per month as it was set as new minimum wage in the city in 2013.
read more.
jakartapost

* Increased living wage in Indonesia at a violent cost:

During the national demonstration on 31 October and 1 November, 1,5 million Indonesian workers took to the streets. Although some of the demands were met, the protests ended in violence in some parts of the country.

Workers demanded a 50% increase of the minimum wage, the implementation of national health security without exception on 1 January 2014 instead of a gradual implementation by 2019, the abolition of outsourcing, the enactment of a law on domestic workers, and the annulment of Mass Organisation law. As a result of the strike, some of the local governments have promised an increase in the minimum wage between 30 and 40 per cent. However, the Govenor of Jakarta opted for a mere 9 per cent increase.

According to Said Iqbal, President of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI and the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), this is “not realistic and irrational”, as the raise will not cover the living costs.

In the wake of the national demonstrations, IndustriALL representative in South East Asia Pacific, Vonny Diananto, conducted a solidarity trip to Indonesia. Meeting with trade union representatives, Vonny Diananto conveyed IndustriALL’s message of support for a living wage and basic social protection.”
read more.
Home

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20131111 * Most units shut after worker-cop clash:

RMG UNREST IN SAVAR, ASHULIA

Production at most of the garment factories in Savar and Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today after workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with cops.

At least 50 workers were injured in the clashes at Jamgarah, Zirabo and Ghosbagh of Ashulia around 9:30am, witnesses and police said.
The clash, which later spread to Savar, was continuing till filing of this report around 10:30am, reports our Savar correspondent.
The district administration deployed two platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh personnel since morning to avoid untoward incident in the areas, said Liakat Ali, executive magistrate of Savar.
There are a total of 350 garment factories in Savar and Ashulia.
to read.
daily star bd

20131111 * RMG workers demo, 350 factories closed:

About 350 factories were closed for the day after readymade garment workers began demonstrating in Ashulia on Monday morning.

Witnesses said the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh, BGB, were deployed in the area after clashes broke out between the workers and police.
The workers have been protesting the garment owners’ indifference to the government proposal of Tk5,300 standard wage limit.
The workers demand a minimum wage of Tk8,000 per month.
Around 8am hundreds of workers from several factories began demonstrations, and soon most of the workers in the area joined.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131111 * More than 50 RMG factories shut:

The authorities concerned declared closed more than 50 readymade garments factories in Jirabo area of Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, Monday morning amid workers unrest.

Thousands of agitating RMG workers’s unrest in the industrial area is underway on the demand of implementation of salary structure, declared by the Wage Board.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

20131111 * Most Gazipur factories back in operation:

All garment factories except 2 in Gazipur resumed their operation on Sunday after a weeklong shutdown

All garment factories except two in Gazipur resumed their operation on Sunday after a weeklong shutdown, prompted by renewed unrest over the workers’ minimum wages.

No violence was reported in the two factories – Palmal Group and Apex Limited – whose workers haven’t yet joined work and continued demonstration on the streets in support of their demand.
Jakir Hossain, an inspector of Gazipur industrial police, said over five thousand workers of Palmal Group of Baroipara under Kaliakoir upazila had demonstrated outside the factory in the morning. Around the same time, over 17 thousand workers of Apex Limited at the Palli Bidyut area also came out on the streets to demonstrate.

About 10am, workers of both factories tried to vandalise their units but were held back by police who arrived in time to pacify them and bring the situation under control. Both the factories were declared closed for the rest of the day.
Anwar Hossain, a worker of Standard Group at the Konabari industrial zone, said they had been demonstrating for the past one week with the demand to increase their minimum wage and to compel the factory owners to comply with the government decision on wages.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131111 * BGMEA, BKMEA talk min wage issue with govt today:

Leaders of the country’s two apparel sector apex bodies -the BGMEA and the BKMEA — will sit today (Monday) with the government to resolve the existing wage-related disputes with the Wage Board, sources said.

They are expected to raise some of their demands during the meeting scheduled to be held with Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at the latter’s secretariat office.
Meanwhile, the Wage Board for the readymade garment (RMG) workers will sit on November 21 to scrutinise objections and opinions, if any and make its final recommendation for minimum wage for the workers.

Earlier on November 04, the Wage Board finalised its draft proposal recommending Tk 5,300 as minimum wage including food subsidy for garment workers. The owners, however, proposed Tk 4,250 and workers demanded a monthly minimum wage of Tk 8,114.
(…)
“Monday’s meeting will discuss the wage-related issues for reaching a win-win situation both for the workers and the factory owners,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE Sunday.
The government will listen to the owners’ demands but it is not possible for the Labour Ministry to agree with any of their conditional demands, he said.

“We will sit with the Labour Minister to explain as to why the apparel industry is unable to afford the Wage Board’s proposed wage structure,” Md Hatem, vice president of the BKMEA said.
A few factory owners will be able to pay the proposed Tk 5,300 as minimum wage. Seventy per cent of the factories are of small and medium categories that could not afford it, he said terming the proposed wage ‘illogical and unrealistic’.
read more.
FE bd

20131110 * Minimum wage: BGMEA leaders to meet ministry officials Monday:

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will sit with top officials of the Lobour and Employment Ministry on Monday to convey their objection to the newly announced minimum wage structure for RMG workers.

The BGMEA leaders will sit with the Lobour and Employment Ministry to find a way to resolve the ongoing crisis in the garment sector over the minimum wage issue, a BGMEA official told reporters at BGMEA Bhaban on Sunday evening.
read more.
UNB

20131110 * Skop demands review of minimum RMG wage structure:

Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (Skop) on Sunday demanded a review of the minimum wage board’s recommendation for raising the garment workers’ minimum wage to Tk 5,300.

Skop leaders at a press conference at its headquarters said the readymade garment (RMG) workers will accept the recommendation as it does not reflect the increase in the living costs over the last few years.
They also raised complaints of trickery in the recommendation of Tk 5,300 minimum wage as the projected increase includes food and transport allowance instead of ensuring a satisfactory rise in the basic wage.

Addressing the press conference, Skop general secretary Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam said, “The recommendation implies that the basic in the wage will be increased by only 60 percent – from Tk 2,000 to Tk 3,200. It’s totally unacceptable given the rise in living cost since the last wage board has been award in the sector.”
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UNB daily star bd

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20131110 * Workers minimum wage issue ‘getting lost in political turmoil’:

‘The issue may be resolved on the streets in the end’

The prolonged political turmoil over the next general election is not only degrading the country’s political climate but also creating a scope for the readymade garment (RMG) owners to dodge the workers’ demand for hiking their minimum wage, observed workers’ leaders.

Though both Awami League and BNP claim to represent the majority of the people, the causes of 40 lakh garment workers — the rights to earn living wages, safe working environment, and to have the real scope to form basic trade union — have received no attention in the mainstream political agenda, they alleged.

Talking to UNB, Garment Workers’ Unity Forum president Moshrefa Mishu said this silence and disregard could be heard loud in recent times as none of the two parties have not come forward with any suggestion to resolve the dispute over the minimum wages of workers’ between the unions and the owners in the sector.
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UNB newstodayBD DHAKATRIBUNE

20131010 * Garment owners will agree to Tk 5300 wage :

Garment factory owners seem to finally accepting a monthly minimum wage of Tk 5,300. BGMEA representative Arshad Jamal, one of the negotiators on the wage board, told bdnews24.com that the official announcement would come later. “Probably on November 20.”

He said previously the factory owners have had a few months for implementing the new wages.
But if the government wishes, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) would agree to an immediate implementation.
“We would agree, but very reluctantly,” said Jamal during an exclusive interview with bdnews24.com on Sunday.
to read. & read more. & read more.
FE bd bdnews24 newstodayBD

20131110 * 23 RMG factories shut in Ashulia:

The authorities concerned declared closed 23 readymade garments factories in Jirabo, Ghosbagh, Narshingpur, Jamgora areas of Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, Sunday morning amid workers unrest.

Sources said that workers of various factories took to the streets and started staging protest demanding the implementation new salary scale declared by wage commission for garment workers.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

20131110 * Factory workers demand payment for overtime duties:

The workers of the  ‘Evergreen Production Factory’ located in Uttara EPZ under sadar  upazila of the district staged sit-in demonstrations on November 7 demanding payment for overtime duties.

As they began their sit-in strike on the main gate of  the  EPZ the workers of the other factories joined them  and expressed their solidarity. The workers alleged that though the  working  time  is  eight hours they are compelled by the authority  to work for overtime without any extra remuneration.
They also told that if they do not want to  work  for additional  time they are threatened to be sacked. The workers further told The Independent that although earlier the skilled workers used to get Tk 4,700 per month and the unskilled workers used to get Tk 3,170  per month unfortunately without any notice they are now being given Tk 4,500 and Tk 3,019 respectively.
They further alleged that as the money for the overtime was wanted at least 100 workers were sacked during one month and as a female worker protested the sacking she was severely beaten by the musclemen of the authority a few  days ago.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20131110 * Unrest prevailing in Ctg RMG sector:

Unrest is still prevailing at the Ready Made Garment (RMG) industry in the port city.

Almost every day the RMG workers are bringing out processions demanding to increase their wages.
More than two thousand of workers of Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) on Saturday came out on the road and brought out procession demanding their minimum wages of  Tk 8,000. A procession was organised under the banner of Bangladesh Garment Sramik Shanghati and Sramik Odhikar Rokkha Parishad at CEPZ gate area.
Several thousands of RMG workers gathered there and chanted slogans demanding their minimum wages Tk 8,000 and held a rally at the area.
The leaders of the Parishad and workers demanded in the rally that the minimum wages of RMG workers should be declared at least Tk 8, 000.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20131109 * No compromise on wage issue: Labour leaders:

Speakers at a rally say the proposed minimum wage of Tk5, 300 was a deception

There would be no compromise on the wage issue, warned leaders of 45 garment workers’ organisations yesterday in a rally held in front of the National Press Club, to press home their demand of a Tk8, 000 minimum wage.

“The wage of garment workers is very low compared to other countries. We will not compromise on the issue,” said labour leader Delwar Hossain Khan, adding that the wages should ensure better living standards for garment workers.

Abul Hossain, a garment workers’ leader, urged apparel manufacturers and exporters to “hand over your properties which you earned from this sector to the prime minister, along with the keys of the factories.” He also urged the prime minister to give workers a “fair wage” before the upcoming national elections.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131109 * RMG workers demand salary hike:

The readymade garment workers at a protest rally in Chittagong city yesterday demanded to increase their basic salary minimum to eight thousand per month.

They also gave an ultimatum till November 18 to meet their demand otherwise they will go for a tougher movement.
Several hundred workers under the banner of Bangladesh Garment Sramik Songhoti Parishad put this demand at the rally that was held in the port city’s CEPZ intersection around 3:30pm.
After the rally, a protest procession paraded the adjoining roads of the area.
Speakers said the salary of the workers was not increased in proportion to the increasing prices of necessary commodities that has caused them immense sufferings.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131109 * 7 RMG factories shut amid protest + Workers-cops clash injures 30 in Ashulia:

The authorities of seven garment factories declared closed their factories on Saturday morning amid workers protest in Ashulia, on outskirt of Dhaka.

Sources said that hundreds workers of garments factories have staged protest programmes for last couple of days as garments owners refused to accept new salary scale declared by wage board.
In line with the demonstration, workers of Southern garments limited, Design way and Mascot Group started staging protest in stead of joining their jobs and at one stage they threw brick chips at the adjacent factories.
Later, workers of Radiance Group, Yagi Bangladesh Limited and Star-link Style Limited joined the protest.
read more.  & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 BANGLA NEWS24

——

20131109 * Garment workers’ bodies threaten agitation:

20131109 NEWAGE
Garment Workers’ Organisations bring out a procession after a rally in front of the National Press Club in the capital on Friday, demanding Tk 8,000 as the minimum wage for the workers. — New Age photo

Leaders of 45 garment workers’ rights bodies at a protest rally on Friday issued an ultimatum to the Awami League government to revise the minimum wage for the garment workers by November 20.

The garment labour leaders at the protest rally organised in front of the National Press Club also threatened to announce tougher agitation programmes, including strike in the garment factories, if the government does not revise the minimum wage within the deadline.
The minimum wage board had recently fixed the monthly minimum wage for the garment workers at Tk 5,300.
Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre president Mantu Ghosh at the rally said that the minimum wage set by the board would not be acceptable to the garment workers.
He also demanded revision of the minimum wage and implementation of the monthly minimum wage of Tk 8,000 for the garment workers by November 20.
The garment labour rights bodies would hold a grand rally in the capital after November 20 from where tougher agitation programmes would be announced, he added.
read more.
BD new age

20131109 * Review minimum wages by Nov 20: RMG workers:

Garment workers’ leaders on Friday threatened to announce tougher programmes if the minimum wage board does not review its recommendation to re-fix the minimum wage at 5,300. At a rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club, they demanded that the board raise the minimum wage of the garment workers to Tk 8,114 by November 20.

While the wage board’s recommendation for setting the minimum wage at Tk 5,300 has been unacceptable, illogical and unrealistic, the owners are also staging a drama by demanding a review for fixing it an even lower amount, they claimed at the rally, jointly organised  by 45 garment workers’  organisations.
Addressing the rally, president of the National Garment Workers’ Federation (NGWF) Aminul Haque Amin said, “We reject the recommendation as it doesn’t reflect the increase of the living cost since the last minimum wage has been declared.”
(…)
“We’ve already sought the prime minister’s intervention in this regard. We’ve already sought an appointment to apprise her of the situation.”
Presided over by NGWF president Aminul Haque Amin, the rally was also addressed by Garment Workers’ Trade Union leaders Montu Ghosh and Ruhul Amin.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20131108 * Garment workers’ assoc rejects new wages:

Leaders of 45 Garment Workers’ Association on Thursday rejected the recommendations of the  wage board and demanded for a monthly minimum wage of Tk 8,114 by November 20.

The demand came at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the city, with Advocate Delwar Hossain Khan in the chair. Among others, Kazi Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Garment Sramik Trade Union, labour leader Advocate Montu Ghosh, Amirul Haque Amin, Abul Hossain, Touhidur Rahman, Nazma Akhter, Salauddin Swapon, SM Masud Rana, Jahanara Begum, Shahidullah Badal were present in the conference.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20131108 * Garment workers rights bodies set ultimatum:

Leaders of the 45-garment workers’ rights bodies on Friday, at a protest rally in the capital, gave the Awami League government an ultimatum to revise the recently-set minimum wage for garment workers, Tk 5,300, by November 20.

Otherwise, they will announce tougher agitation programmes including strike in garment factories, from a grand rally of the garmentworkers in the capital, the garment labour leaders warned at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club.
Mantu Ghosh, the president of the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre said at the rally that the declared minimum wage will not be acceptable to garment workers.
read more. & read more.
BD new age FE bd

20131108 * Review minimum wage by Nov 20 or face movement: RMG workers:

Garment workers’ leaders on Friday threatened to announce tougher programmes if the minimum wage board does not review its recommendation to re-fix the minimum wage at 5,300.

At a rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club, they demanded that the board raise the minimum wage of the garment workers to Tk 8,114 by November 20.
While the wage board’s recommendation for setting the minimum wage at Tk 5,300 has been unacceptable, illogical and unrealistic, the owners are also staging a drama by demanding a review for fixing it an even lower amount, they claimed at the rally, jointly organised by 45 garment workers’ organisations.

Addressing the rally, president of the National Garment Workers’ Federation (NGWF) Aminul Haque Amin said, “We reject the recommendation as it doesn’t reflect the increase of the living cost since the last minimum wage has been declared.”
(…)
Talking to UNB, Bangladesh Garment Workers-Employees’ Federation general secretary Quamrul Ahsan said, “Food and transport allowances are never included in the minimum wage. Besides, workers in many factories receive a better amount as food and transport allowances.”
“Last time, the basic minimum wage was increased by 83 percent. And now, when the living cost has almost doubled over the last few years, the basic has not been raised proportionately,” he said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BDCHRONICLEnewstodayBD

20131108 * Minimum wage proposal rejected by all, pressure on the minimum wage board to reconsider:

After massive protests, and some of the Bangladesh’s biggest rallies in history for the 8000BDT minimum wage for garment workers; the Minimum Wage Board 2013 declared its suggestion for 5300BDT as the minimum wage decided on a 4 to 2 majority with the agreement of the worker representative in the wage board and also with the rejection of the garment owner’s representative.

Since this declaration, there has been massive rejections and arguments laid against this minimum wage by activists, NGOs, academicians along with other worker leaders, trade unions and even the garment owners.

Garment owner’s staged a walkout in protest against the minimum wage of 5300BDT, saying that they are incapable of giving this amount as the minimum wage, and if this is forced upon them then many of the factories will close. They further reminded the government about their contribution to the economy, and how it would suffer if the garment factories close down. They complained that buyers only look for cheap products and they will go to new destinations in search of cheap labor.

Workers’ representatives had earlier sought a minimum wage of Tk 8,000, they later scaled down the sum to Tk 6,000, and Tk 5,500 before and finally agreeing to to Tk 5,300. On the other hand, the garment owners’ primary offer of minimum wage was Tk 3,600, which they raised to 4,250 later.
read more.

20131108 * Cops-workers clash injures 20 in Gazipur:

At least 20 readymade garment workers including police were injured in a clash between police and workers at Konabari of the district on Friday afternoon.

Sources said that hundreds workers staged a procession demanding minimum wage Tk 8,000 around 4:50pm and blocked Dhaka-Tangail highway.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

20131108

19:51:45 local time map of laos LAOS

* Lao unions blow whistle on minimum wage cheats:

Trade unions have blown the whistle on a large amount of businesses that have still not complied with minimum wage increase, Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times reported online Wednesday.

The country’s primary worker protection body the Federation of Trade Unions estimates that only half of the businesses in the capital Vientiane have observed the pay rise. In provincial areas the organization believes that only 20 to 30 percent of businesses are in compliance.
The policy was instituted to assist workers with adjusting cost of living pressures.
Many businesses claim not to know about the increased minimum wage despite the regulation having been introduced almost two years ago and came into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
read more.
CHINAORG

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labor unions victory over Jokowi, companies:

The Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) ruled in favor of labor unions, which demanded that seven companies commenced paying their workers in line with the 2013 provincial minimum wage (UMP) regulation.

The companies still pay their workers below the minimum wage of Rp 2.2 million (US$193.6) stipulated in a special decree issued by Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
The companies were PT Kaho Indah Citra Garmen, PT Misung Indonesia, PT Myungsung Indonesia, PT Kyeungseng Trading Indonesia, PT Star Camtex, PT Good Guys Indonesia and PT Yeon Heung Mega Sari.
Jakarta Legal Bureau head Bayu Mahendra said, as quoted by kontan.co.id, the provincial government would issue an appeal over the ruling.
to read.
jakartapost

* Indonesia’s labour strikes hurt everyone:

The disregarding of the rule of law that saw dozens of factories in Jakarta and surrounding towns cease operations will be more damaging to investor sentiment than the wage hikes that resulted from the labour strikes and violence last week.

It was mind-boggling to see the police spectacularly fail to maintain public order despite being armed with the experience from the violent worker strikes here late last year.

The government and employers had appealed to the police to prevent a repeat of the 2012 violence and incidents. But alas, groups of striking workers were still able to force their way into factories to intimidate and harass workers to join them.
read more.
theNATIONnew

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers protest in Gazipur, Savar:

Production in nine garment factories in Savar and Gazipur district was suspended for Thursday following workers’ demonstration demanding implementation the new salary structure recommended by the government-appointed wage board for the workers.

In Gazipur, garment workers of 28 factories including Titas Sweater, Asif Appealers, Standard Group, Islam Group, Tusuka Appealers and Keya Spinning from Konabari, Kashimpur and Jurun areas of the city took to the streets and staged demonstration when they found a closure notice in front of their factories on Thursday morning.
They put barricades on different roads, including the Dhaka-Tangail highway and Dhaka Bypass road, disrupting traffic.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD  FE bd

* Factory shut at Savar amid workers demo:

The authorities of two readymade garment factories on Thursday shut their factory amid workers unrest in Savar, on outskirt of the city demanding implementation of the newly declared salary scale.

Witnesses said that hundreds of workers of Standard group’s Shams Style limited and Zeisa group in Harindhara area of Hemayetpur staged protest procession at around 8:30pm and started throwing brick-chips to garment factories.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Nearly 80 factories suspend production over labor unrest fears:

Production activities in close to 80 garment factories at Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur were halted due to fears over labor unrest.

Disagreement over the minimum wage has prompted concerns that workers will rise up. MA Jabbar, managing director of DBL Group, said “I have closed down five of my units at Kashimpur fearing unrest.” Mr. Jabbar added that 9,000 workers are employed in the five units.
to read.
Ittefaq

* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur continues, most of the factories closed:

Readymade garments workers on Thursday continued their protest in Gazipur industrial area demanding to fix their minimum wage at Tk 8,000.

The angry workers observed strike, vandalised factories and engaged in clashes with police, police and witnesses said.
To disperse the unruly workers, police fired several rounds of tear gas shell and rubber bullets, they said.
Due to the workers unrest, the authorities of over 300 garment factories situated at Konabari, Jarun and Kashimpur area under Sadar Upazila of the district kept their premises closed for Thursday.
read more.
BD new age

* Govt publishes gazette on minimum wage for RMG workers:

The government published the gazette notification on minimum wage for garment workers at Tk 5, 300 finalised by the tripartite wage board as draft on Wednesday night.

The gazette notification was published in line with the tripartite agreement after a long negotiation among the factory owners, workers and workers’ leaders and government representatives.
The garment owners have not submitted any appeal against the gazette notification yet though they had rejected the decision of Tk 5,300 as minimum wage outright. They also threatened to close down their factories if they are forced to pay more than Tk 4,500 as monthly wage to entry-level workers.
It will take 14 days for a new wage structure to be finalised after publication of the draft accord through official gazette.
read more.
primenews

* Minimum wage negotiations continue in Bangladesh:

Western media incorrectly reported yesterday that the minimum monthly wage for Bangladeshi garment workers had been increased by 77% to 5,300 taka (US$67). In fact discussions continue, with the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council holding firm in its demand for a rise to a living wage of US$120.

The BGMEA-BKMEA employers associations publically condemned the 77% increase proposed by the wage board and threatened to close factories in protest of any figure above 4,500 taka.

Working people have been hit by sharp recent increases to the price of essential commodities and food. The six-member National Minimum Wage Board is a government-appointed tripartite body that reviews the minimum wage of all industrial sectors in Bangladesh. The IBC was surprised by the swift announcement from the wage board especially without comprehensive consultation. The IBC has previously criticised the choice of worker representative on the board.

The 5,300 taka proposal includes allowances for food, travel and housing. These allowances worth approximately 300 taka are often already paid to workers.

IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) Chairman Nazrul Islam Khan and Secretary General Roy Ramesh Chandra in a joint statement today on behalf of the IBC highly criticised the minimum wage board’s latest minimum wage declaration and the factory owners’ aggressive reaction.

IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina told the press today:

An absolute priority for IndustriALL Global Union is that the Bangladeshi garment workers throughout the country’s industry start to receive a living wage. IndustriALL supports the principle of fair pricing. The next round of purchasing contracts with the brands must take account of the increased salary.

I have discussed with BGMEA-BKMEA that one essential part of making the Bangladeshi garment industry safe and sustainable and to ensure its future is to raise the wages of workers from today’s low levels towards living wages. The others are fire and building safety and freedom of association.

IndustriALL has been in discussions on the issue of minimum wages with the brands and has not received any opposition to a significant increase. H&M, Primark and Inditex have all been vocal in encouraging an increase, while even Walmart have been quoted this week as supporting the review of wages.

The 109 brands and retailers to have signed the historic Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh with IndustriALL and UNI all commit to staying in the country for the long term. The Accord brands constitute a critical mass of the industry in the country and their commitments through the Accord will both raise standards and protect jobs. We want the garment industry to stay in Bangladesh, but with safe and sustainable jobs and living wages.

The 109th company signatory to the Accord joined the broad coalition with IndustriALL and UNI today.

to read.
Home

* Labour rights bodies demand revision of new RMG wage:

Leaders of 45 garment labour rights bodies at a press conference in the capital on Thursday demanded revision of the minimum wage of Tk 5,300 per month announced for the garment workers.

The minimum wage board on Monday announced the minimum wage for garment workers.
Kazi Mohammad Ruhul Amin, the general secretary of the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre, at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity said that the increased wage of the garment workers were not sufficient.
He demanded revision of the proposal of the minimum wage board and to raise the wage of the workers satisfactorily so that they could maintain their families.

The organisations jointly announced a movement programme to press for their demands including holding rally in front of National Press Club today at 11am, holding rallies and processions in the garment belts like Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj from November 10 to 20 and handing over a memorandum to the prime minister, labour minister and chairman of the minimum wage board.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG workers give until Nov 20 to revise min wage :

Rejecting the wage structure recommended by the government-formed fixed wage board, 45 garment workers’ organisations Thursday threatened to launch a tougher movement unless the minimum monthly wage is revised upward to Tk 8,114 by November 20.

Terming the minimum wage of Tk 5300 as recommended by the wage board (WB) ‘unrealistic, unacceptable and insufficient’, they said the amount still was the lowest in the world and it was too low to maintain livelihood of the apparel workers.

The ready-made garment (RMG) workers’ representatives gave the reaction at a press conference two days after the apparel manufacturers had threatened to announce closure of all factories if the minimum wage was not revised downward to Tk 4200 by the deadline.

Leaders of the organisations at the press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) said they would soon place their objection to the wage board as there is a provision for submitting objections, if anybody has, within 15 days of the gazette publication, which will expire on November 20 next.

Bangladesh National Garment Workers Federation (BNGWF) President Amirul Haque Amin said the authorities concerned should revise upward the minimum wage to Tk 8114 for the sake of workers and the industry as a whole.
read more.
FE bd

* Minimum wage for RMG workers:

The wage board has fixed the minimum wage for ready-made garment (RMG) workers at Tk 5,300 per month. This has given rise to agitation. Both garment owners and workers have rejected the proposed wage and declared programmes for movement. The garment owners are saying that they can not sustain the industry if they are to pay wages at the new rate. On the other hand, workers are saying that the wage fixed for them will not be adequate for their survival.

The workers have asked for minimum wage of Tk 8,000 and threatened to go for a 10-day strike from November 15. Twelve labour organisations will join this programme. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have decided that if the wage proposal is not withdrawn within 15 days, they will close down their factories.

The garment owners are of the view that the wage board has not considered the capacity of the industry.
The board has unilaterally taken the decision to fix wages. The BGMEA representative did not vote for the wage and has not signed the declaration. They have no alternative but to shut down the factories.

Before fixing the minimum wage, garment owners wanted to have an assurance from the prime minister for reducing income  tax at source from 0.80 per cent to 0.25 per cent and fixation of a special exchange rate against dollar for export. But the prime minister did not make any commitment in this regard and told them to accept the recommendation of the wage board.
Garment owners also met the labour minister but did not get any positive response. Thereafter, they called a press conference and announced their programme.

Although Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of ready-made garments, the workers in Bangladesh get the lowest wage.
A Chinese worker gets $223 per month. In Vietnam, the wage is $109, in Thailand, $221, in Indonesia, $114, and in India and Cambodia, $70 per month. In Bangladesh, it is as low as only $52.
Therefore, an upward revision in the wage structure of garment workers is essential.
read more.
FE bd

20131107

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Bali sets minimum wage at Rp 1.3m:

The provincial administration has set the 2014 minimum wage for the province at Rp 1,321,000 (US$116) per month, an increase of 11.8 percent over 2012, which was only Rp 1,181,000 per month. The decision was made by the provincial wage board in their final meeting on Oct. 29.

Head of Bali Manpower and Transmigration Agency I Gusti Agung Ngurah Sudarsana said on Monday that the wage board consisted of employers’ and workers’ union representatives, with the provincial administration acting as mediator. “We are now waiting for endorsement from the governor before the minimum wage could be officially implemented,” Sudarsana said.

The minimum wage is the minimum that has to be paid to any worker in the province. The minimum wage is issued by the governor, based on the recommendations of the provincial wage committee.
read more.
jakartapost

* Unemployment Rate Increases on Slowing Economy, Minimum Wage Hike:

The number of unemployed across Indonesia has increased as employment vacancies have fallen due to a slowdown in economic growth, the Central Statistics Agency said in a report on Wednesday.

The number of empty full time positions fell to 7.24 million in August this year, down 150,000 on the number of jobs available in the same month last year, the report estimated.
(…)
The BPS report came shortly after workers across the nation demonstrated in support of increased regional minimum wages, with those in Jakarta demanding a monthly minimum wage of Rp 3.7 million ($325).
Hatta claimed on Wednesday that minimum wage policies have contributed to the nation’s unemployment rate, saying that the wage rates mean businesses are forced to lay off employees.
read more. & read more. & read more.
jak-globe jakartapost antara

* 13 Provinces Have Not Decided on Minimum Wage 2014:

Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration recorded there are 13 provinces which have yet to determine minimum wage for 2014. “These provinces have not made the final decision for minimum wage,” Ministry spokesman Suhartono said yesterday.

Every region is required to determine its minimum wage to maintain business stability. According to Suhartono, there has been no sanction for provinces for having not determined the minimum wage, nor does it contradict with Presidential Instruction number 9 year 2013 about Minimum Wage. Several provinces that have yet to determine their minimum wage are Lampung, Central Java, East Java, West Papua and North Kalimantan.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Labors Keep on Protesting, Businessmen Admit Frustration:

The Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) said businessmen are frustrated due to the constant labor’s demonstration to demand increase in minimum wage. As a result, business investment becomes reluctant.

“Businessmen are finding a way out through rationalization, looking for more feasible business location and replacing labors with machines,” Apindo National Leadership Council General Secretary Suryadi Sasmita said today.

According to him, businessmen are having a dilemma with the demand for wage increase. “If factory relocation is needed, then businessman must first buy land and machines,” Suryadi said. Other than that, in order to relocate factories, businessmen must pay severance for all laid-off workers.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Investment Impacted by Laborer Demands:

Chief economist at the Danareksa Research Institute, Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa, has called on the government to be firm about their approval of the minimum wage hikes proposed by laborers as it will have an impact on Indonesia’s investment climate. 

These demands, he added, will be taken into consideration by investors before investing in the nation. The decision may affect the investment plans of new foreign investors or those who have already invested in the nation.
“The government must not be influenced by the laborers, they must also make a clear calculation,” said Purbaya on Monday.
Purbaya said that demanding higher wages was reasonable, but the amount must be appropriate and not cause regions and industries to suffer losses.
to read.
tempo-eng

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Despite raise, RMG workers still get lowest wage in the world:

A government-appointed panel in Bangladesh voted Monday to raise the minimum wage for millions of garment workers to about $66 a month — still the lowest in the world and well below what workers have been seeking.

The harsh and often unsafe working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment industry drew global attention after the collapse of an eight-story factory building killed more than 1,130 people in April. In another horrific case, a fire last November killed 112 workers.

Garment workers have been demanding 8,114 takas ($100) instead of the current monthly minimum wage of 3,000 takas ($38), which is the lowest in the world. On Monday, the wage board raised the minimum wage by about 77 percent, to 5,300 takas ($66.25).

According to local research groups and rights activist Kalpona Akter, Bangladesh still has the lowest minimum wage in the world, even if the raise goes into effect. The Ministry of Labor still must approve the raise.
read more.
primenews

* Clash over new wage shuts 50 Gazipur RMG units:

20131106 UNB RMG-Workers-Protest-for-Minimum-Wage-1

The authorities suspended production in 50 readymade garment (RMG) factories in the city for Wednesday as the workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new salary structure fixed by the government-formed wage board.

Police said a section of apparel workers who rejected the new minimum salary at Tk 5,300, recommended by the wage board, pressed their demand afresh for it at Tk8,000.
Witnesses said garment workers from Konabari and Kashimpur in the city took to the street and staged demonstrations in the morning.
read more. & to read.
UNB NEWNATIONnew

* Clash over new wage execution leaves 20 injured in Gazipur:

At least 20 people were injured on Wednesday in a clash between apparel workers and police at Konabari area under Sadar upazila of Gazipur as the workers demanded execution of the new wages approved by a government-formed wage board.

Police said a section of apparel workers, who rejected the new minimum salary at Tk 5,300, recommended by the wage board, pressed their demand afresh for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 a month.
Fearing further deterioration in law and order situation, the authority of the most of the factories at Konabari and Kashimpur areas announced their facilities shut for Wednesday.
Sub Inspector Md Rabiul Islam of Konabari police outpost said a large number of workers from different apparel factories, such as, Tusuka Garments, Newton knitwear corporation (NTKC), Del Fashion, Jamuna Group, Islam group and Keya group, observed a strike and demonstrated in the area.
read more.
BD new age

* 80 factories shut over unrest fears:

Production in nearly 80 garment factories at Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur was suspended yesterday in anticipation of a massive labour unrest over prompt implementation of the wage board’s recommended minimum salary of Tk 5,300.

“I have closed down five of my units at Kashimpur fearing unrest. I will reopen them once I hear of the government and BGMEA’s final decision on the minimum wage,” said MA Jabbar, managing director of DBL Group, a leading garment group.
A total of 9,000 workers are employed in the five units that were closed, he said. “The government and the BGMEA should resolve the wage issue as soon as possible to avoid further unrest.”
Momin Mondol, managing director of Mondol Group, another leading garment group in Gazipur, also said he suspended production in one of his units fearing unrest.
“They [the workers] come and leave as they please, without doing any work. However, they did not submit any written demand to the factory management.”
He, too, said he is waiting on a decision from the government and BGMEA.
read more.
daily star bd

* Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production:

Nearly 200 apparel factories in industrial parks around the city went out of production Wednesday as the workers held violent demonstrations demanding better minimum wage.

The apparel workers in Bangladesh, home of the world’s lowest wages, have been demanding better payments for their work.
The protesters rejected the minimum monthly wage of Tk 5,300 recommended  by the RMG workers’ wage board on Monday saying it was too inadequate to meet the costs when the essential prices were soaring.
They have been demanding Tk8,000 as the minimum monthly wage.
Several apparel workers and six policemen were injured in clashes between the two sides at Gazipur, Narayanganj and Savar.

Workers’ demonstrations blocked a number of highways leading to the capital.
The workers rejected it as too inadequate for meeting daily needs when essential prices were sky rocketing, the factory owners also rejected it saying that they cannot pay so much.
At Gazipur the owners closed 150 factories  for the day as the workers clashed with police over the wage issue, New Age Gazipur correspondent reported.
Witnesses said clothing workers from Konabari and Kashimpur in the newly city of Gazipur took held demonstrations in the morning in support of their demand.
read more.
BD new age

* Protect workers’ rights to protect RMG industry: Karmojibi Nari:

Leaders of Karmojibi Nari, a female workers’ platform, on Wednesday demanded a rational minimum wage structure for the garment workers to resolve the ongoing crisis in the RMG industry over the announcement of a new minimum wage structure for them.

“We’re concerned that the garment owners and workers are still hell-bent on their stands over the announcement of new minimum wage structure. We want a permanent solution in this regard to protect the industry and the workers’ interest,” executive director of Karmojibi Nari Rokeya Rafique told a press conference at its office here.
On November 4, the board formed to re-fix the minimum wage for the garment workers finalised a new minimum wage structure at Tk 5,300, but the RMG factory owners rejected it.

Apart from announcing a new minimum wage structure, Rokeya Rafique said the government should bring the garment workers under its social safety net programme to ensure their civic amenities and fundamental rights like accommodation, education and healthcare.
read more. & to read.  & to read. & read more.
UNB BDCHRONICLE newstodayBD NEWNATIONnew

* RMG workers take to street as Tk 4,500 offered as minimum wage:

The readymade garment workers at Savar off the city were back on the streets on Wednesday morning demanding hike in their wages as the RMG factory owners rejected Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage as fixed by the Wage Board for the workers.

In the Rishipara area of Savar the workers of the Standard Garment tried to block the Hemayetpur-Singra Road. Later the police managed to disperse them.
On the other hand, workers of several garment factories in Jirabo area of Ashulia went on work abstention on the day to press home their demand.

According to sources, when the workers of Standard Garment came to work in the morning, the factory authority declined to implement Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage as set by the wage board, Instead, the authority offered Tk 4,500 as the minimum wage. This irked the workers and they took to the street and the workers at Ashulia went on work abstention.

Later the authorities declared the factories closed.
Director of Ashulia Industrial Police Mostafizur Rahman confirmed it. He said additional police were deployed to avert any untoward incident in the factory areas.
to read.
primenews

* 2-week ultimatum for revising wage:

Garment workers’ organisations have given the government-appointed wage board a two-week ultimatum to revise their minimum wage.

At a press conference on Tuesday, they threatened to launch tough movements including strike in garment factories if their demand was not met by Nov 18.
The workers held a press conference at Gonotantrik Biplobi Party office in Dhaka’s Topkhana road after a meeting of the leaders of 12 labour organisations.
Garments Sramik Oikyo Forum President Moshrefa Mishu said they had given the wage board a two-week ultimatum to meet their demand.
read more.
bdnews24

20131106

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20131105 * New hope for SL strike resolution:

20131105 PPP 4-sl-garment-factory-protest
Workers from the SL Garment Processing factory set up a tarpaulin during a strike outside the compound’s walls in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday. PHA LINA

With union and company officials at one of Asia’s largest garment factories making no progress in resolving a strike that has lasted nearly three months, a pair of labour relations groups are working on an agreement that all sides hope will end the deadlock.

Officials from the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia and Cambodia’s Arbitration Council Foundation yesterday confirmed that the groups have been working in conjunction.
Over the past two weeks, the council and BFC have held separate meetings with management at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) – which represents the majority of SL’s employees – said Jason Judd, a BFC technical specialist.

In those meetings, BFC and the council spent hours listening to complaints and demands on both sides.
“Together with the Arbitration Council, we made an offer to both sides that we could help them to come to an agreement,” Judd said. “We’re involved because this is an extraordinary case.”
read more.
PPP new

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Violent end to Indonesian strike:

A national strike was held in Indonesia on 31 October and 1 November with more than 1,5 million participants.
Although peaceful demonstrations were held in most regions, violent outbreaks injured a number people.

Strikes took place throughout Indonesia, gathering a total of 1,5 million workers demanding, among other things, an increased minimum wage. Despite pleas for peaceful demonstrations violent clashes occurred. 17 protesters were injured; one still remains in critical condition.

“We wanted safe demonstrations, but paramilitary forces attacked workers with beams and knifes. They were allegedly paid by the government and employers,” says Said Iqbal, President of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI and the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI).
read more.
Home

* Nine Suspects Detained in Wake of Labor Rally Brawl:

Police said on Monday that they had detained nine suspects in connection to a South Cikarang brawl between demonstrating workers and paramilitary group Pemuda Pancasila during last week’s general strike.

“Ten people have been arrested,” said Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Cmr. Rikwanto. “Six were arrested [at the crime scene], three were arrested in Abacus and one in Jakarta.” A tenth suspect was arrested and released pending trial because he is accused of destroying a motorcycle rather than assault.
read more.
jak-globe

* Jakarta Governor Defends Minimum Wage Policy Amid Protests by Labor:

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s decision to only allow for a slight increase in terms of the capital city’s minimum wage regulation prompted dissatisfaction among labor unions, who over most of last week rallied for the city government to approve a monthly minimum wage of Rp 3.7 million ($325).

Confederation of Indonesian Workers (KSPI) president Said Iqbal said Joko did not fully understand the elements used to determine the components of the decent living index (KHL) in the calculation of the minimum wage.

“The government used components determining a decent living in 2013, but set the minimum wage for 2014 at Rp 2.4 million,” he said in Jakarta on Monday, adding that the Rp 3.7 million demanded by the labor union had been based on its calculations for 2014.
read more.
jak-globe

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Apparel makers threaten shut down:

Apparel manufacturers and exporters have threatened shutting down their factories unless the government reviews the recommendation of fixing minimum monthly wage at Tk5,300 within next 15 days.

Their warning came a day after a government-formed wage board proposed the amount, up from existing Tk3,000 per month.
“This is a suicidal proposal, which is void of reality, unacceptable and irrational,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told a press conference in Dhaka on Tuesday.
(…)
Pointing out different problems currently being faced by the RMG makers compared to competitors China and Vietnam, he said the business environment what China and Vietnam have is not in Bangladesh.
“The cost of doing business here is higher than the two countries. For example, they get undisrupted electricity supply but we do not,” he said.
The leaders of RMG makers demanded reducing bank interest rate to a reasonable level, taking steps to cut prices of gas and electricity in industrial zone, reinstating of bargaining rules for apparel makers with insurance companies and prevention of taking additional charges by the inland container depot from the exporters.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladesh Urges Raise in Garment Industry’s Minimum Wage:

A government-appointed panel recommended raising the minimum wage in Bangladesh’s garment industry, which has struggled amid a string of fatal factory accidents and labor unrest, by close to 80%.

A six-member committee of government officials, garment manufacturers and union leaders on Monday proposed an increase in the minimum pay in the South Asian country’s biggest industry to 5,300 taka ($67) a month, up from the current 3,000 taka.
Unions had demanded the minimum wage, which was raised in 2010, be more than doubled to 8,000 taka a month. Some union leaders, however, said workers would likely accept Monday’s proposal.
“I’m happy that we were able to come up with a figure,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, president of the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees League and representative of the workers on the wage board. “It’s the minimum the workers will accept.”
(…)
Many Western retailers have been cautious about taking a public stance on Bangladesh’s minimum wage amid security concerns and ahead of national elections in January.
read more.
WSJ

* RMG labour bodies, left parties reject new wage:

Different garment workers right bodies and left leaning political parties on Tuesday rejected the minimum wage of Tk 5,300 per month for the garment workers announced by the RMG workers’ wage board on Monday.

The leaders of 12 garment workers’ right bodies at a press conference at Nirmal Sen Auditorium at Segunbagicha rejecting the announced wages said that actually the minimum wage was only Tk 3,200 while
food allowance, house rent and medical allowance were included with it.
Mushrefa Mishu, the president of Garments Sramik Oikkya Forum said that they were demanding basic minimum wage of Tk 8,000 per month and demanded to revise the announced wage within November 18.

Otherwise, the 12 garment labour bodies would announce tougher movement programmes including strikes at garment factories.
The organisations announced programmes including handing memorandum to the minimum wage board on November 10, exchanging views with different political parties and professional bodies and organisations from November 7, holding gate meetings at the main gate of the garment factories and holding rallies at Narayanganj on November 12 and at Gazipur on November 15.
Garment labour leaders Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, Taslima Ahter, Shabnam Hafiz, Shamim Imam and others attended the press conference.
read more.
BD new age

* Minimum Wage Under the Clout of Question and Rejection:

Moshrefa Mishu’s Garment Workers’ Unity Forum (GWUF) along with 12 other federations has rejected the proposed minimum wage of BDT 5300 agreed upon by the representatives of the garment workers and the Government in the Minimum Wage Board.

Moreover, BGMEA and BKMEA held a press conference today rejecting BDT 5300 as the minimum wage for garment workers and instead made it clear that the maximum they can reach is BDT 4500.
If within the fifteen days’ time span the Wage Board does not revise its discussion then they will be forced to close down all the garment factories.
to read.

* Who cares, really?:

As I sit down to write this article, there are reports on widespread violence in areas like Mirpur and Gazipur.

A frantic phone call from one of our factory managers was enough to put the fear of air shipment or possible discounts in me. That the industry may actually be going through the toughest times possible does not seem to considerably cause a stir these days.
The quickest pass-the-buck syndrome has gripped the society and when it comes to deviations from norms, it’s the easiest to point a finger at the manufacturers and have heated discussion on TV late night or write a column or two on how nothing has taken a positive turn in the sector. An emerging economy may have shortsighted manufacturing community that may ignore the issues related to labour. But does the responsibility begin and end with only the manufacturers? Is there someone who cares enough, really?

A minimum wage hike has been announced. The raise seems to be reasonable and the RMG industry should be able to cope with the increase. But how are the customers feeling? I can share with readers at least eight mails sitting in my mailbox saying that we are more than 30 cents higher than China or India in lingerie. I can also share at least five that have come in the last hour that says that our cost of manufacturing (CM) is too high, our consumption is too much, and that we could do with lesser CM. Where are the manufacturers going to go?
In principle, most of the retailers and brands have assured the world that they are prepared to pay more to the factories in Bangladesh.
One of the leading brands has actually gone ahead and asked for a minimum wage review in Cambodia last week.
Now that spells of good news for even Bangladesh. But how and from when are our customers going to pay the up charge?
Ground reality is this that we are all fighting our grounds in all fronts. If it’s the buyers, most of the manufacturers have already engaged in negotiations and have indicated to the customers that there “will” be a wage increase that will possibly impact the price level from anywhere in between 25% and 40% of the FOB value. Customers have not said ‘no’ to this, but many have even pledged bearing the up charge.
However, there are grey areas to be cleared:
1)    From when will the customers absorb the increase?
2)    Will they absorb it fully?
read more.
FE bd

* RMG owners to appeal for review of proposal:

Two apparel-sector apex bodies Tuesday formally rejected the wage board’s draft proposal on minimum wages and threatened to shut down all garment factories unless the decision is  reviewed in 15 days.

They will file an appeal to the wage board for reviewing the proposal for fixing Tk 5,300 as minimum wages for ready-made garment (RMG) workers, which was finalised at Monday’s meeting without the consent of the apparel representatives.
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) announced their positions at a joint press briefing after an emergency view-exchange meeting with representatives of all “We will submit our written appeal to the wage board Wednesday, seeking review of its proposal as the proposed Tk 5,300 minimum wages are not affordable for the industry,” Md Atiqul Islam, president of the BGMEA told the press briefing.
The BGMEA leader also said they would discuss the wage fixation issue with the Prime Minister.
“We will request the wage board to revise its proposal to Tk 4,500 as minimum wages. If it is not solved within 15 days, BGMEA and BKMEA will announce closure of all factories,”  Mr Islam said.
(….)
Responding to another question as to how many factories have so far been closed down after a Tk 3,000 minimum wages were announced in 2010, he said the government offered various policy support including incentives, and there were 5,300 factories at that time, which now stands at 3,200.
“Everybody sees the increase in export growth, not the internal situation as many of the factories have to face air shipment, discount and order cancellation following different obstacles, including political turmoil,” Mr Islam added.
read more.
FE bd

20131105-06

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* H&M Calls for Yearly Minimum Wage Review:

The call for a higher minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment industry by Swedish clothing giant H&M, which posted a 2012 profit margin of more than $3.4 billion, should begin with the brand itself as it has the power and means to raise workers’ wages, industry members said Monday.

H&M, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer by sales, has been buying from suppliers in Cambodia since 1998 and is one of the largest buyers in the country’s most profitable sector—which exported more than $4 billion worth of garments in 2012.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Ministry To Study Effects Of Minimum Wage Implementation – Riot:

The Human Resource Ministry will study the effects of the minimum wage implementation, starting Jan 1 next year, in the middle of next year, said its minister, Datuk Seri Richard Riot.

He said the study, which would begin in May or June, would focus on the economic impact and implications of the minimum wage enforcement.

“The review is in line with the enforcement of the Minimum Wages Order 2012 which requires the rates to be reviewed every two years,” he told reporters at meet-the-people session in Kampung Krusen Mawang here Monday.

Riot announced yesterday that the minimum wage of RM900 a month in the Peninsular and RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan would be enforced on Jan 1 next year after it had been relaxed and deferred since January this year.
He said the government had taken into consideration the issues affecting the various sectors in the country before its implementation.
to read.
BERNAMA

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Jokowi Accused of Taking Sides over Minimum Wage Decision:

The President of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union, Said Iqbal, accused Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo of taking sides with the businessmen for his decision to set minimum wage for Rp2.4 million in Jakarta. “This decision affects minimum wage in cities across Indonesia,” he said on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

Said said that Jakarta’s minimum wage has been the standard for minimum wage across Indonesia, because Jakarta has the highest decent living standards (KHL). “We demand KHL to be increased to Rp2.7 million in 2013, but it was ignored,” he said. Said will bring the decision to State Administration Court to be re-considered in determining the minimum wage. “Of course this will impacts other regions as well,” he added.

He said that his side will keep conducting demonstration to demand an increase in wage. The demonstration will take place in particular spots. “We will start the rally again in Wednesday.”
to read.
tempo-eng

* Jakarta Worker Groups Plan Fresh Protest Over Minimum Wage Rise:

Workers in the Indonesian capital plan a fresh protest this week after an 11 percent increase in minimum wages in Jakarta, a benchmark for the nation, fell short of demands, a labor group said.

Thousands of workers are expected to join rallies that could begin on Nov. 6 after tomorrow’s public holiday, Muhammad Toha, head of the Jakarta Labor Forum, told reporters at a briefing today. Labor groups are considering seeking to repeal the wage decision at the state administrative court, Toha said without elaborating.

Indonesian workers are calling for higher wages to match those of other Asian countries as foreign direct investment continues to flow into Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Companies are concerned that increases in salaries will boost costs at a time when consumer purchasing power is being eroded by accelerating inflation.
read more.
BLOOMBERG

* Riau’s minimum wage set at Rp 1.7m through voting:

The Riau Remuneration Board has set the province’s 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1.7 million (US$151.3), up Rp 300,000 or 21.4 percent from last year, through voting as negotiations reached a deadlock.

Head of Riau Manpower and Transmigration Agency, Nazaruddin, who is also Riau Remuneration Board head, said the 2014 minimum wage was agreed on Friday evening, meeting the deadline stipulated by the Manpower and Transmigration Minister Regulation No.7/2013.

“We had to decide it through voting because although we had held negotiation meetings five times, no agreement could be achieved. Sharp differences between workers and businesspeople could not be resolved,” said Nazaruddin.
read more.
jakartapost

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Review minimum wage or face shutdown: RMG owners:

Readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers and exporters on Tuesday threatened to shut down all the factories in the country if the minimum wage board for the workers in the sector does not review its recommendation of the minimum wage at Tk 5,300.

At a press conference at BGMEA Bhaban, leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) also sought the government’s intervention to settle the dispute over the workers wage.

The wage board at its 9th meeting on Monday decided to fix the new minimum wages at Tk 5,300 through voting of the board members. However, two board members representing the owners’ side at the meeting refrained from voting.

Addressing the press conference, BGMEA president M Akiqul Islam said the wage board at its 9th meeting refuted the owners’ proposal for fixing the wage at Tk 4,300 and recommended Tk 5,300 without the consent of the owners’. “We’ll appeal to the wage board for a review in a day or two,” he said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.& read more.
INDEPENDENT UNB primenews Ittefaq bdnews24
—-

* Owners threaten RMG factory shutdown:

Garment makers today threatened to shut down all factories if the government does not review the recommendation of making workers’ minimum wage Tk 5,300 within the next 15 days .

They deem the sector will lose competitiveness once the amount is implemented.
The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), two platforms of apparel makers, will appeal to the wage board for reviewing the recommendation tomorrow.

“The recommendation of Tk 5,300 as minimum wage for the entry-level workers is a suicidal thinking for the sector. The garment sector is not capable to pay this amount,” said Atiqul Islam, president of BGMEA, at a joint press conference at the trade body’s office in Dhaka.

“The recommendation is an indiscretion as the board chairman finalised it without the consent of the owners’ representative on the board. This recommendation has some other motives as everybody knows that the sector is not capable to adjust the amount. We all are rejecting the recommendation,” Islam said.
“Our recommendation is Tk 4,500 per month. The board will have to follow our recommendation,” he said.
read more.& read more.
daily star bd daily star bd

* Will shut business if forced to pay: BGMEA:

Garment manufacturers have threatened to close down if they are forced to pay anything over Tk 4,500 as monthly wage to the workers.

Ready-made garments are Bangladesh’s biggest exports that fetched more than $ 19 billion last year.
The threat of closure came after a joint meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) on Tuesday.
The meeting was convened at the BKMEA’s Karwan Bazar office a day after the government-sponsored Wage Board proposed a Tk 5,300 monthly minimum wage for ready made garments workers.
The workers have been asking for a Tk 8,100 a month.
The BGMEA-BKMEA joint meeting rejected the wage board proposal, saying it would ruin the industry if implemented.
The BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said they could pay no more than Tk 4,500 in monthly wage to a worker and condemned the Wage Board’s award.
read more.& read more: Apparel owners threaten shutdown if minimum wage not reviewed.
BD new age BD new age

* BGMEA proposes Tk 4,500 as minimum wage for garment workers:

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) today proposed Taka 4,500 as minimum wage for an entry level garment worker.

The association leaders described the proposal of Taka 5,300 as recommended by the wage board unrealistic and said the amount was proposed without considering the industry’s production capacity which is on the fall.

” We condemn the wage board’s unrealistic and irrational proposal. we’ll be able to give no more than Taka 4,500 for an entry level worker,” M Atiqul Islam, President of the BGMEA, told an emergency press conference at its Bhaban this evening.

President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) AKM Salim Osman, BGMEA former presidents Abdus Salam Murshedi and Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and senior members of the association attended the function.

Atiqul Islam said the industry’s production capacity has reduced by 37 per cent due to manifold reasons especially switching orders to neighboring countries, increased production cost and cost of doing business.
read more.
BSS

* BGMEA: Tk4,500 min wage, or no production:

Garment owners threaten to shut down business over minimum wage; will appeal against government proposal by Wednesday

Ready-made garment owners have threatened to shut down business within 15 days if the government makes them pay beyond Tk4,500 as minimum wages to workers.
RMG owners’ associations BGMEA and BKMEA made the announcement in an emergency press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
They said they will appeal against the government’s proposal for setting Tk5,300 minimum wage standard within Wednesday.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* 70 RMG units shut due to labour unrest in Gazipur:

Nearly 70 factories were shut Tuesday as thousands of apparel workers went on the rampage in Gazipur apparel industrial belt over the latest wage proposal of Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wages for the factory workers.

The factories are located at Gazipur’s Konabari, Kashimpur, Naojor and in Hajalhati area of Kaliakoir upazila.
At least 25 people, mostly workers, were injured as the protesters clashed with the law enforcers during the mayhem that led to the suspension of production at the units.
Police and witnesses said the trouble erupted at about 9am, when workers of several factories at Konabari in the industrial hub took to the street instead of joining work. They expressed their dissatisfaction over the role of the owners at the wage board meeting Monday last.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG workers in unrest at Gazipur-20 injured in RMG unrest:

At least 20 injured in clashes, about 65 garment units declared close for the day

At least 20 people were injured on Tuesday as hundreds of RMG factory workers demonstrated in Gazipur alleging that factories were refuting the minimum wage standards proposed by the government.

Meanwhile, in concurring events, workers in Tongi demonstrated demanding increased price rates per unit production, which is commonly known as production rate.
In Gazipur, workers allegedly set fire to a factory while demonstrating through Sadar upazila, however, police said the information was not true.

A concerned government panel recently proposed the minimum wage at Tk5,300 for RMG workers.
The workers were in rejection of the proposal however, their point of agitation was based on allegations that the factory owners were not willing to accept the proposal.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE DHAKATRIBUNE

* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut after workers-police clash:

Production in minimum 50 garment factories in the city and Kaliakoir upazila was suspended for Tuesday after workers clashed with police demanding implementation the new salary structure recommended by the government-appointed wage board for the workers.

Garment workers from Konabari, Kashimpur, Naojor areas of the city and Hajalhati area of Kaliakoir upazila took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning.
They put barricades on different roads, including the Dhaka-Tangail highway and Dhaka Bypass road, disrupting traffic.
The unruly workers also vandalised a factory, ’Asif Appealers’, in Konabari area and set fire to some furniture in the morning. They beat up two employees of the factory, leaving them injured. The agitated workers vandalised several vehicles during the demonstration.
read more. & to read.
UNB INDEPENDENT

* 20 factories closed in Gazipur:

The authorities concerned declared 20 readymade garments factories of Konabari, Kaliakoir, Ashulia and Sataish closed due to workers unrest on Tuesday.

Sources said hundreds of workers of some garment factories blockaded Baroipara-Jalsuka road and staged protest around 10:00am demanding to implement wage structure given by wage commission for garment workers.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Minimum Wage Gets Fixed at 5300BDT (50Euro/68USD); factory owners refuse to recognize:

On Monday 4 November 2013, at the 9th meeting of the minimum wage board fixed the minimum wage at 5300BDT (including food allowance), which however was opposed by the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer’s and Exporter’s Association) representatives who pressed forward with their recommendation of 4250BDT (including food allowance) as the new minimum wage.

The representatives of the factory owners staged a walkout without signing the draft agreement. However, according to rule seven of the Wage Board Ordinance 1961, the board arranged a voting and passed the agreement by a 4 to six majority, ignoring the factory owner’s representatives. Now, 15 days must pass where opinions and objections will be taken and scrutinized by the board before the final recommendation is sent to the Labor and Employment Ministry to convert it into law.

This surprising move of shifting the demand for minimum wage from the popular 8000BDT pushed forward through the struggle and protests of millions of Garment Workers across Bangladesh (out of whom approximately 1% is unionized and represented by “worker leaders”), to the current 5300BDT which came from those representing Garment Workers in the board came yesterday after discussion with the neutral members (representing Government) of the board.

If this new minimum wage of 5300BDT is converted into law, it would still be the lowest in the world and far below the living wage for garment workers in Bangladesh.
read more.

* Garment labour bodies reject new wage:

Different garment workers right bodies on Tuesday rejected the minimum wage of Tk 5,300 per month for garment workers declared by the minimum wage board on Monday.

The leaders of 12-garment workers right bodies at a press conference at Nirmal Sen Auditorium at Segunbagicha, rejecting the declared minimum wage said that actually the minimum wage was only Tk 3,200 as basic and food allowance, house rents and medical allowances were added with it.
Mushrefa Mishu, the president of Garments Sramik Oikya Forum said that they were demanding basic minimum wage worth Tk 8,000 per month and demanded revision of the declared wage within November 18.
Otherwise, the 12-garment labour bodies will announce tougher programmes, including strike in garment factories.
read more.
BD new age

* Tk 5,300:

Minimum wage for garment workers fixed

20131105 DAILYSTAR wage     20131105 DAILYSTAR minimum-wages

A split garment workers’ wage board yesterday voted and finalised its recommendation that Tk 5,300 should be the minimum salary for workers.

Factory owners, who are board members, however, rejected the proposed 76.66 percent minimum salary hike from the existing Tk 3,000.
The board fixed Tk 3,200 as basic pay, Tk 1,280 house rent, and Tk 320 medical allowance. It also included Tk 200 transport allowance and Tk 300 as food subsidies, said judge AK Roy, chairman of the six-member wage board.
Failing to reach a consensus on the minimum salary thrice before, the board in its ninth meeting yesterday went for a vote and the recommendation was passed 4-0, with factory owners in the board refraining from voting.

The new minimum salary and the new salaries for 3.5 million garment workers in seven grades would be effective after a gazette notification in this regard is published.
read more.
daily star bd

* Apparel minimum wage Tk 5,300:

The newly-formed wage board for the garment workers has set Tk 5,300 as the minimum monthly wages.

The minimum wage came at the ninth meeting of the wage board Monday afternoon.
Apparel factory owners, however, rejected the minimum wage.
A press briefing is underway at the board office, in the capital, regarding its announcement at around 4:00pm.
Apparels workers have long been demonstrating, demanding Tk 8,000 as minimum wage for a labourer per month.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd BDCHRONICLE
primenews Ittefaq INDEPENDENT NEWNATIONnew

* Official panel recommends 76% garment worker wage hike:

A Bangladesh official panel recommended Monday that the government raises minimum wages for garment workers by 76 percent following a string of disasters and protests over pay and conditions, an official said.

The board of government officials, garment manufacturers and union leaders said the minimum monthly wage for the nation’s four million garment workers should rise from 3,000 taka ($38) to 5,300 taka ($67).

“The wage board has recommended 5,300 taka as the minimum wage of the garment workers,” head of the Minimum Wage Board A.K. Roy told reporters after the meeting in Dhaka.
“The decision was taken through majority voting,” he said, adding that four of the six member panels voted in favour of the decision, but the owners’ representative rejected it.
The government pledged to raise wages by November, based on the board’s recommendation, after strikes in September saw tens of thousands of workers take to the streets, torch factories and clash with police to demand an increase.
The board’s recommendation on Monday must still be adopted by the government.
read more. & read more.
INDEPENDENT INDEPENDENT

* RMG owners reject minimum wage of Tk5,300:

The minimum wage has been fixed through voting as the owners and the workers could not reach a consensus on it

The garment owners on Monday rejected the minimum wage Tk5,300 fixed by the wage-board members.

They turned down this decision at a voting procedure which took place as the owners and the workers could not reach a consensus on the minimum wage.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) proposed a minimum monthly wage of Tk4,250 at the wage-board meeting.
The workers came down at Tk6,000 from their previous demand of Tk8,114. But, the owners rejected even that amount.
Then the workers proposed Tk5,500 which was also refused by the owners.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE bdnews24 newstodayBD NEWNATIONnew

* Board finalises minimum RMG wage, owners reject:

The board formed to re-fix the minimum wage for the garment workers at its meeting on Monday finalised a new minimum wage structure at Tk 5,300 only to be rejected by the owners.

“We finalised the new minimum wage structure for RMG workers at Tk 5,300 at today’s meeting. However, the owners’ representative walked out from the meeting,” Sirajul Islam Rony, the workers’ representative to the board, told UNB.

He said the owners’ representative finally proposed a minimum wage of Tk 4,500 while the workers’ representative proposed Tk 5,300. “As we couldn’t reach a consensus in finalising it, we went for vote and the majority of the board members voted for us (workers).”
“As RMG owners will implement the wage structure, we had wanted to reach a consensus, but the owners’ side unfortunately didn’t accept our proposal,” Rony said.
read more.
UNB

* Minimum RMG wage fixed at Tk 5300:

The Wage Board finalised Monday its draft proposal recommending Tk 5,300 as minimum wage, including food subsidy, for garment workers amid objections from the apparel manufacturers.

The proposal for a 76 per cent wage hike from the existing amount came at the ninth meeting of the Wage Board held in the city amid agitation by the readymade garment (RMG) workers outside the Board office for fixing their minimum wage at Tk 8,114.
“Since both the parties have failed to reach any consensus, we have decided to fix the minimum wage at Tk 5,300 in our draft proposal through voting,” Chairman of the Wage Board AK Roy told reporters after the meeting.
He, however, also said their draft proposal would be sent to the press on  the same day (Monday).
After a long discussion, the labour representatives finally agreed on a Tk 5,300 minimum wage, which includes monthly food subsidy.
On the other hand, the owners’ representatives remained adamant on their previous proposal, he said.
A leader of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in the last meeting proposed Tk 4,250 as the minimum wage while they also agreed finally to raise their proposed hike to Tk 4,500 including food subsidy.
According to the rule seven of the Wage Board Ordinance of 1961, the Board arranged the voting following the disagreement and took decision as four out of the six members endorsed the Tk 5,300 proposal.
read more.
FE bd

* Garment wage hike won’t erode competitiveness:

Economists say the raise will create a positive work environment

Economists said the final recommendation of Tk 5,300 as entry level wage for garment workers would not affect the country’s global competitiveness.

With a hike of nearly 77 percent from the existing Tk 3,000 a month, workers will be able to cope with the pressures of inflation, economists said.
“Obviously the hike is a positive sign, although the amount is below workers’ demands for Tk 8,114 a month,” said Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of private think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue.
“I hope Bangladesh’s competitiveness in the international market will not erode from the hike. The garment makers will have to enhance productivity, focus on value added items and strengthen the backward linkage industry,” Rahman told The Daily Star.
A positive working environment will be created due to the salary hike, he said, adding that the entrepreneurs should also pressurise international retailers for a price hike to source apparel items from Bangladesh.
Overall, both the wage hike and amendments to the labour law will help paint a positive image of the country worldwide, as Bangladesh’s image was tarnished after the Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza building collapse, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Board fixes Tk 5,300:

Employers disagree

The minimum wages board for the garment workers on Monday recommended Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers, up by Tk 2,300 from the existing structure amid opposition from owners’ representatives.

The minimum wage was decided through vote among the board members after the representatives of workers and owners failed to reach a consensus after long discussions at the ninth meeting of the wages board.
Both the employers’ representatives on the six-member wage board refrained from voting and signing the recommendations, alleging that the upward adjustment would hurt the apparel industry badly.
The rest four members, including the independent one, agreed on the minimum wage recommendation. The decision on the minimum wage was taken in the ninth meeting at the board’s Topkhana Road office.
‘It is a unilateral decision… The apparel industry which is facing great challenges both at home and on international market will be affected badly if the proposed wage of Tk5,300 is implemented,’ BGMEA president Atiqul Islam told New Age.
‘We cannot afford to pay more than Tk 4,200 as minimum wage,’ he said.
The $21 billion plus apparel industry currently employs more than four million workers. The current minimum wage for a Bangladeshi garment worker is the lowest in the world.
Of the Tk5,300, Tk3,200 has been suggested as basic wage, Tk1,280 as house rent (40 per cent of the basic pay), Tk320 as medical allowance (10 per cent of the basic pay), Tk 200 as transport allowance and Tk 300 as food subsidy.
(….)
Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative and member of the board, said he had accepted the proposal for Tk5,300 as minimum wage considering the overall situation in the apparel industry, though originally the demand of the workers was Tk8,114.
He lamented the stance of the factory owners, who did not budge from their previous position on minimum wage.
‘At on point of discussion, we proposed Tk5,300 as minimum wage but the employers did not agree. They preferred to fix the minimum wage at Tk 4,500 at  the meeting,’ Rony told reporters.
The sector representative of garment factory owners, Arshad Jamal Dipu, also a member of the board, declined comments on the decision.
read more.
BD new age

20131105 DHAKATRIBUNE back-20131104_Syed-Zakir-Hossain0002
Prior to the government’s declaration of minimum wage yesterday, garment workers rights activists stage a demonstration in front of the Wage Board office at Topkhana in the capital to press for their demand for Tk8,000 as minimum month.
Photo by DakaTribune. 

DHAKATRIBUNE

* Minimum wage Tk5,300 proposed, owners unhappy:

20131105 DHAKATRIBUNE front-BGME-Info
Minimum wage for garment workers 

Garment owners have rejected the monthly minimum wage of Tk5,300 finalised by the designated board on Monday, labour leaders have given mixed reactions.

The minimum wage board set the amount for entry-level workers, a 76.6% rise over the existing consolidated wage of Tk3,000, through voting as both the owners and labour leaders had failed to reach a consensus. The workers have been demanding Tk8,114.

The board proposed Tk3,200 as basic a salary, with an extra Tk1,280 for house rent, Tk320 for medical allowances, Tk200 for transport and Tk300 as food allowance.Now the draft proposal will be submitted to the government. The labour ministry will upload the draft on its website seeking opinions of stakeholders, and after 14 days they will publish a gazette notification.

The owners earlier agreed to implement the new wage structure from November 1.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladesh to hike garment worker wage by 76%:

An official Bangladeshi panel voted Monday to raise the minimum wage for garment workers by 76 percent to $67, still the lowest in the world and well short of what unions wanted.

The board of government officials, garment manufacturers and union leaders recommended wages rise from 3,000 taka ($38) a month to 5,300 taka ($67) for the nation’s four million garment workers in the wake of a factory complex collapse that killed 1,135 people.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in April, one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, focused global attention like never before on the industry’s appalling pay and conditions.

“The wage board has recommended 5,300 taka as the minimum wage of the garment workers,” Minimum Wage Board head A.K. Roy told reporters after its meeting in Dhaka.
But the board was split on the final figure, with the majority voting for $67, with factory owners rejecting the sum as too high.
Owner representative Arshad Jamal Dipu warned of dire consequences for Bangladesh’s $22 billion industry, the world’s second largest after China, if the figure was introduced.
“It’s an emotional decision devoid of reality,” Dipu told AFP.
“It’ll erode our competitive advantage,” Dipu added.
read more.
AFP

20131102-04

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Fears SL strike could get ugly:

20131104 PPP 3-striking-garment-slMilitary police confront SL Garment Processing factory workers during a general strike in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district in September. HENG CHIVOAN

Union officials fear violence that occurred at two separate rallies in front of the SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd factory last week will continue at one scheduled this morning.

About 10 SL strikers were injured during demonstrations on Thursday and Friday, when uniformed and plain-clothes SL employees pelted the crowd of about 1,500 with projectiles, Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union vice president Kong Athit said.
“They used slingshots and they used [air rifles] and they used stones,” Athit said. “The violence was coming from the company side.”

SL shareholder Meas Sotha called Athit’s claims a one-sided attack, asserting strikers pushed through the Meanchey district factory’s iron gates and began hurling rocks at security guards and employees working during the strike.
Employees at SL, one of Asia’s largest garment factories, began walking off the job nearly three months ago, when Sotha hired armed military police to stand guard inside the factory.

Seeing the move as an effort to intimidate workers in the majority C.CAWDU-represented factory, workers in the SL1 and SL2 branches of the factory demanded Sotha’s removal.
In addition, workers now demand a pay raise – $3 per day to subsidise their lunches – and several other points. Since the strike began, SL and C.CAWDU have engaged in several fruitless negotiation sessions facilitated by government officials.
read more.
PPP new

* H&M CEO, PM in tête-à-tête:

The CEO of clothing giant H&M pushed Prime Minister Hun Sen to introduce annual garment worker wage reviews during a rare face-to-face meeting with the premier last month.

H&M was the target of media uproar in Sweden last year over the treatment of workers employed to make garments for it in some 30 or more Cambodian factories.
Karl-Johan Persson took over as H&M CEO in 2009 and last month stressed the urgency of introducing annual wage reviews and establishing functioning industrial relations during talks with Hun Sen, an H&M statement released last week states.

“We believe that the Cambodian government should conduct an annual review of the minimum wage, taking into consideration national inflation and the consumer price index,” the statement says. “Stable markets, in which people are treated with respect, and where the workers are properly compensated by their employers, are of the utmost importance.”

The minimum wage for garment workers in Cambodia was raised to $75 a month earlier this year.
But that salary has been widely decried by Cambodia’s unions in the garment industry, which employs some 450,000 people, and opposition party pledges to raise it to $150 have been widely identified as an important factor in the massive boost it received in this year’s election.
Persson and Helena Helmersson, the brand’s corporate sustainability head, also met with labour unions and garment industry representatives, the H&M statement says.
read more.
PPP new

 20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum Wage Will Be Fully Enforced From January Next Year:

The implementation of minimum wage of RM900 a month in the Peninsular and RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will be fully enforced on Jan 1, 2014 after deferment and relaxation given since January this year.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Richard Riot reiterated that the government had taken into consideration the issues affecting the various sectors in the country before its implementation.

“A large number of employers from almost all sectors in the country have given explanation on their inability (to implement the system) and requested for deferment and we have postponed it till Dec 31 this year. The minimum wage will be fully enforced in January next year throughout the country,” he told Bernama after presenting certificates to graduates of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) here Sunday.
read more.
BERNAMA

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed. Read the full article here .
2. 16 Provinces already set Minimum Wage.
Read the full article here 
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

3. Factory Owners Threaten to Move Away From Jakarta. Read the full article here.
4. Indonesia Counts the Cost of Industrial Action (Video).View the video here.
5. Companies in KBN Cakung object to Rp. 2.4 million wage.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
6. Workers will never enjoy wage increment.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
7. Labor Tensions Will Eventually Cease, According to Industry Officials.
Read the full article here.

Betterwork Indonesia media updates overview here.
BW indonesia

20131103 * Ahok: 2014 Minimum Wage in Accordance with Survey:

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama responded to the objection from the Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO) chairman Sofjan Wanandi, who said the 2014 provincial minimum wage will put small entrepreneurs in disadvantaged position. According to Ahok, the amount was correct.

“The minimum wage is accordance with the survey,” said Ahok after attending an event at BPK Penabur School, Jakarta yesterday.

Sofjan said on Friday, small entrepreneurs asked for a delay of payment last year since they could not afford to pay the minimum wage set at Rp2.2 million. Now that the minimum wage has been increased, Sofjan estimated, small entrepreneurs will once again request for the delay of payment; otherwise, they will have to stop their business.
read more.
tempo-eng

20131102 * Factory Owners Threaten to Move Away From Jakarta:

Factory owners at Kawasan Berikat Nasional, an industrial zone community based in Cakung-Cilincing, North Jakarta, have threatened to relocate their businesses away from Jakarta on the grounds that it is no longer conducive to do business in the capital.

“Twenty companies have been shuttered,” Bambang Heriyanto, the head of the KBN Human Resources Development Club, said as quoted by the city’s official news site BeritaJakarta.com.

“Besides high operational costs, the other reason [we want to move] is security; yesterday, almost all companies stopped production, and up until now have not resumed operations. If KBN cannot guarantee security, we will leave from here.”
read more.
jak-globe

20131102 * Hatta Joins Kadin in Condemning Wage Protests:

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the government to pay more attention to aid the investment climate by improving infrastructure, especially in the transportation and energy sectors.

During its national congress in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Friday, the business lobby known as Kadin called for the government to bolster production of high value-added products, solve labor relations problems, cut the trade deficit, and encourage the micro, small and medium enterprises sectors.

Kadin chairman Suryo Bambang Sulisto also complained about a practice known as “sweeping,” where labor activists visit factories to exhort workers to join in strike action, claiming that activists were forcing workers to join demonstrations.
read more.
jak-globe

20131102 * Workers, employers yet to agree on S. Sulawesi minimum wage:

The South Sulawesi provincial administration has yet to decide on the 2014 provincial minimum wage (UMP) as workers and employers have refused to back out.

Workers are demanding a 50 percent increase from this year’s UMP of Rp 1.5 million (US$132.33), citing Rp 2.25 million for the provincial capital of Makassar and Rp 2.16 million for other regions in the province.

Meanwhile, the South Sulawesi branch of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) has rejected the demand and has instead proposed a 10 percent increase.
read more.
jakartapost

20131102 * Wages rise as strike goes on:

The Manpower and Transmigration Ministry announced on Friday that 12 provinces — including several hosting labor-intensive industries — had increased their 2014 minimum wages, in a move that businesses say could hurt the country’s investment climate.

“We are still waiting for reports from provinces that have yet to raise their 2014 minimum wages for workers. The provinces are still waiting for approval from their respective governors,” Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said in Jakarta on Friday.

The 12 provinces are Central, West and South Kalimantan, Jambi, Southeast Sulawesi, West Sumatra, Bangka Belitung, Papua, Bengkulu, West Nusa Tenggara, Banten and Jakarta
According to the ministry, Jakarta has the highest monthly minimum wage at Rp 2.44 million (US$211), although the Bekasi administration announced that it had raised the minimum wage by 40 percent from Rp 2.1 million to Rp 2.9 million.

The wage increases in each province vary, depending on indicators such as the inflation rate, economic growth, workers’ purchasing power, basic cost of living and employers’ ability to pay.
read more.
jakartapost

19:21:45 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Rangoon Factory Workers Toil for ‘Extremely Low’ Wages: Report:

A survey of factory workers in Rangoon has revealed they suffer from a range of labor rights violations, such as long working hours, unsafe conditions and intimidation for joining labor unions, while most are paid “extremely low” basic wages of between US$25 and $37 per month.

Researchers of the Burma-based Labor Rights Clinic, the Cooperation Program of Independent Laborers and the Construction-based Labor Union interviewed 114 workers employed in three clusters of factories near Rangoon in November, and the groups presented their findings in a report Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of workers are employed in labor-intensive industries at 14 industrial zones around Burma’s commercial capital. Garment and footwear factories are the biggest industrial employers, with about 100,000 workers total.

The report found that laborers worked “in unsafe, hot, overcrowded factories, typically for around 11 hours per day, 6 days per week.” Researchers said these “extremely low basic wages” forced laborers to work grueling schedules in order to support their families.

Burma is emerging from decades of repressive military rule and does not yet have a legal minimum wage. Among workers interviewed for the report, 55 percent earned a basic wage of between $25 and $37 per month.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

* Factory workers facing slave-like conditions:

Slavery persists in Myanmar’s factories, a workers’ rights organisation alleges. Labour Rights Clinic has just issued a report, called Modern Day Slaves, detailing conditions in Yangon’s factories.

The October 30 report is based on a survey of more than 1400 workers in 45 factories situation in Yangon Region’s industrial zones.
“Most factory workers earn so little, and they don’t even know about taking leave because they don’t have a chance to study, and they don’t dare take time off,” said Ko Yan Naing Htwe of Labour Rights Clinic.
“Overtime-related problems abound. We found that owners control workers by paying attendance bonus, but cutting wages if workers take leave, and making them work overtime,” he added.

Labour Rights Clinic started their survey in October 2012 after a five-month wave of workers’ protests. After a year of research, LRC has found no improvement in working conditions, said Ko Yan Naing Htwe.
“They have to work 11 hours a day, six days a week in unsafe, crowded and suffocatingly hot factories. The payment system is so complicated they don’t know how much they are earning,” said LRC’s Ko Chit Oo Maung.
read more.
MMtimesnew

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20131104 * RMG wage board meets again today:

On October 31, the BGMEA proposed a minimum monthly wage of Tk4,250, including food allowance, but the leaders of the workers did not accept the proposal

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and workers leaders sit today, aimed at reaching a consensus on minimum wage for the workers as they failed to set the wage at their last meeting.

On October 31, the BGMEA proposed a minimum monthly wage of Tk4,250, including food allowance, but the leaders of the workers did not accept the proposal.

Later, the independent member to the board, Dr Kamal Uddin, proposed the minimum monthly wage of Tk5, 000, excluding food allowance. The labour leaders also disagreed with the proposal. Both the apparel makers and workers have so far failed to reach a consensus over the food allowance.

“We will try to come up with some extra offer if the labour leaders agree to include food allowance in the wage,” said Arshad Jamal Dipu, who represents owners to the wage board. “We want to reach a consensus and the workers leaders should cooperate otherwise the issue would remain unsettle.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131104 * RMG makers, workers may reach consensus on wage in today’s meeting:

Both the apparel sector leaders and workers’ representatives are expected to be flexible on fixation of minimum wage for garment workers aiming to reach a consensus on the issue, sources said Sunday.

Garment factory owners have agreed to revise their previous wage offer upward provided the food subsidy is included in the main wage structure.
On the other hand, the labour representatives are also expected to soften their stance on the existing demand of Tk 8114 minimum monthly wage, they added.
Both the groups held meetings with the concerned government authority and hoped that they would reach a consensus on the matter at the ninth meeting of the Wage Board (WB) to be held today (Monday).

The eighth meeting of the wage board held on October 31, concluded without a decision as the workers’ representatives demanded further hike in basic wage and protested the inclusion of subsidies in the wage structure.
In the last meeting of the wage board, the garment factory owners’ representative initially placed a proposal of minimum wage of Tk 4,250 and finally expressed their intention to raise it to Tk 4500.
While talking to the FE Sunday, the representative said, “I will attend today’s meeting with a new mandate that we will increase the minimum wage from Tk 4500 on condition that food subsidy will be included in the wage structure.”
Without disclosing the new amount, he reiterated that “The industry does not have the capacity to bear a minimum wage of more than Tk 5000.”
A minimum wage beyond Tk 5000 would destroy the garment sector, he further noted.
read more.
FE bd

20131104 * Board closing in on new salary structure:

The wage board is hopeful that the new salary structure for garment workers would be finalised in today’s meeting, as both the owners’ and workers’ representatives are closing in on their negotiations.

“We are in the final stages of negotiations. I hope the board will be able to close the deal tomorrow [today],” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the board, while calling for separation of food subsidy from basic pay.
He last rejected a proposal of Tk 4,250 inclusive of food subsidy, placed by the owners’ representative in the meeting on October 31.
Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative on the wage board, said the amount could be increased to Tk 4,500 at most.
read more.
daily star bd

20131104 * Owners, RMG workers closing gap to reach consensus:

Apparel factory owners and the workers are likely to make concessions at the wage board meeting today in a bid to reach a common point on the issue of draft minimum wage.

Sources said that it took them several meetings between themselves and with the government to change their stances.
The exercises were done mostly in wage board meetings by the representatives of the owners and the workers, said sources.
On Sunday, the factory owners discussed in detail the minimum wage proposals at a  meeting of the core committee of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and decided to change their previous stance.
After the core committee meeting, the BGMEA leaders met the labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at his residence and discussed the minimum wage issue.
The sources said that the factory owners told the minister that the garment industry would suffer set backs if the monthly minimum wage set above Tk 5,000.
read more.
BD new age

20131103 * 10 injured in police-RMG workers clash in Savar:

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between garment workers and police at Chandra in Kaliakoir upazila on Sunday morning.

Police said the workers of Naigra Fashion took to the street and staged demonstration in front of their factory demanding minimum wage of Tk 8,000 at about 8:30am.

When they tried to block Dhaka-Tangail highway police rushed in and fired 13 rounds of rubber bullets, two sound grenades and three rounds of teargas shells to disperse the workers from the highway, leaving 10 workers injured.
Meanwhile, two RMG factories—Naigra Fashion and Nur Wear—were declared closed for the day to avoid further trouble.
Additional Industrial police have been deployed in the area.
to read. & to read. & to read. & to read.
UNB INDEPENDENT newstodayBD FE bd

20131103 * Production suspended in 15 RMG units in Gazipur:

Workers take to the streets demanding a pay hike

Production in more than 15 garment factories in Gazipur was suspended yesterday, as workers took to the streets demanding Tk 8,000 as their minimum wage and blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway.

The workers also broke glasses of at least eight factory buildings and 20 vehicles at Chandra intersection in Kaliakoir upazila, industrial police said.
Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, also confirmed that at least 15 factories were closed yesterday.
Police fired teargas canisters and used grenades to disperse the unruly workers, said Zakir Hossain, inspector of Gazipur industrial police.
The authorities of the factories suspended their production fearing further unrest and vandalism, he said.
Witnesses said around 20,000 workers of Niagara Textile Ltd stopped working at around 8:30am, and later they started breaking glasses of the factory building. They also vandalised the adjacent garment factories.
The BGMEA vice president, however, ruled out the possibility of workers’ involvement in the unrest. “They only went on work abstention demanding a pay hike.”
to read.
daily star bd

20131103 * 70 Gazipur RMG units shut after worker-cop clash:

Production at minimum 70 textile and garment factories of Kaliakoir upazila in Gazipur was suspended for today after workers demonstrating for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway and clashed with police.

The workers also broke down glasses of at least eight factory buildings and 20 vehicles at Chandra intersection in the upazila, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
Police fired at least four teargas canisters and used several sound grenades to disperse the unruly workers, Zakir Hossain, inspector of Gazipur Industrial Police, said adding that none was hurt.
Witnesses said around 20,000 workers of Niagara Textile Limited went on work abstention around 8:30am demanding Tk 8,000 as minimum salary.
read more.
daily star bd

* Garment TUC turns down new wage proposal:

Leaders of the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre Saturday rejected the minimum wage proposal made by the owners of the apparel factories. 

Their refusal was declared at a protest rally in the capital. The owners have offered Tk 4,250 per month for an apparel worker.
The GWTUC leaders, instead, demanded for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 a month. The leaders were demonstrating before the national press club premise.
Mantu Ghosh, the president of the oganisation said the minimum wage proposal offered by the owners is not acceptable because the workers are not able to live in a decent manner due to sharp rise in prices of the essentials.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG workers rally demands TK 8,000 minimum wage:

Garment workers and employees held a protest rally in front of the National Press Club on Saturday to press home their demand for Tk 8,000 minimum monthly wage for garment workers.

If the wage is not fixed by the Wage Board at its next meeting on Monday, they warned to wage a relentless movement to realise the same. Organised by Garment Workers Trade Union Centre, leaders of the readymade garment (RMG) workers, urged the owners to realise their demand, which they said the minimum necessity of a worker, without making any delay.
They also demanded 50 per cent more wages for workers at sweater factories.
They criticised owners of a number of RMG factories at Gazipur for harassing the workers who protested to work in buildings which were allegedly found unfit to work.
The rally was addressed among others by RMG leader Montu Ghose, MA Shamim, Ruhul Amin and Iqbal Hossain.
Workers’ representatives at the Wage Board, formed to fix the minimum wage for the RMG worker, placed a Tk 8,114 minimum wage proposal at the third meeting of the wage board on August 18. The owners rejected the offer terming it over exaggerated and placed their proposal of Tk 3,600 on September 17.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* RMG workers block Dhk-Tangail highway:

Readymade garment workers blockaded Dhaka-Tangail highway demanding minimum wage Tk 8,000 as salary.

The blockade programme was started 2:30pm and continued till 3:15pm on Saturday.
Witnesses said thousands workers blockaded Dhaka-Tangail highway in Konabari area to meet their demand immediately.
On information, police rushed in brought the situation under control by charging batons.
Konabari Police Outpost Rabiul Islam said the situation is now under control and vehicles movement became normal.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* For women, more education means salary discrimination at work:

The more educated a woman, the higher the salary discrimination she faces at work, says a recent study by a faculty member of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

While women with no formal education earn more than their male counterparts, with an increase in educational qualification, the situation reverses. So women with basic education like advanced certificates or diplomas earn 10% less than equally qualified men, but the wage gap shoots up to over 40% in cases where women have master’s degrees.

The main reason for this is that in India, there is a general perception that a woman’s primary responsibility is unpaid care work, like looking after children and family, and this perception channels them into similar work areas in the labour market, where they are paid handsomely for it. For instance, with no formal education, the average annual income of women surveyed is Rs 1.41 lakh while for men it is 1.26 lakh, indicating women are 11.99% ahead.
read more.
TOInew

20131101

19:51:45 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Government wage hike plan draws criticism:

20131031 VIR

According to Government Office Chairman Vu Duc Dam, the government has received a regional minimum wage increase proposal with hike levels ranging between 14 to 17 per cent from the National Wage Council and is under consideration before making a final decision. The wage hike shall be applicable from January 1, 2014.

“We understand the importance of this wage increase to the lives of labourers, who are struggling against many hardships. However, we have to carefully consider the overall economy as well. We are being thorough and cautious,” Dam said.
When the National Wage Council proposed a regional 14-17 per cent wage hike for 2014, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour suggested 36 per cent and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry said 10 per cent.

Though a final decision is still pending, Dam said it is likely to be 14-15 per cent.
At current there are four minimum salary levels applied to labourers in different regions. The highest is VND2.35 million ($110) per month and the lowest is VND1.65 million ($79) per month.
read more.
VIR

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* H&M to help strengthen industrial relations in Cambodia:

H&M has observed that the majority of the strikes that has occurred during last year have been in connection with terms and conditions of employment, including wages.

It believes that the Cambodian government should conduct an annual review of the minimum wage, taking into consideration national inflation and the consumer price index.
read more.
fibre2fashion

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Joko Sets Jakarta Minimum Wage at Rp 2.4m:

20131101 JAKglobe
Workers protest at an industrial area in Jakarta as part of a nationwide strike over wages on Oct. 31. (EPA Photo)

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo on Friday set the capital’s minimum wage for 2014 at Rp 2.4 million ($213) per month, a far cry from the Rp 3.7 million previously demanded by the city’s workers.

“The [wage] has been decided at Rp 2,441,301.74,” Joko told reporters at City Hall. “That is the agreement, and I have signed it.”
He said that he agreed on the new minimum wage after balancing the country’s economic growth with the cost of living for its low-paid workers. The increase will, however, be wiped out in real terms by inflation.

On Thursday, the Jakarta Wage Council — a body made up of city administrators, employers and workers — held a meeting and proposed two options for the 2014 wage. Employers suggested Rp 2,299,860.33, while city administration officials suggested Rp. 2,441,301.74. Afterwards they forwarded both recommendations to Joko in order for him to determine the best option.

The new figure represents a 10 percent increase from last year’s minimum wage, which was set at Rp 2.2 million. The number, though, is still far lower than the Rp 3.7 million the nation’s laborers had been calling for widespread during strikes on Thursday and Friday.
read more.& read more.
jak-globe antara

* Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed:

The Jakarta Labor Forum expressed disappointment with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo for approving a minimum wage of Rp2.441 million per month for Jakarta workers.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi gave his approval to a recommendation from the Wage Council setting a new minimum wage at Rp2.441 million per month or an increase from the old level of Rp2.2 million.
“I have approved and signed the new minimum wage for Jakarta based on recommendation from the Wage Council,” Jokowi said.

Chairman of Labor Forum Muhammad Toha expressed disappointment with Jokowi for approving the recommendation, which he described as illogical.
read more.
antara

* Low Turnout as Nationwide Strikes Continue, Jakarta Wages Up 9%:

Tens of thousands of workers went on strike across Indonesia on Friday for a second straight day calling for huge salary hikes.

But turnout was lower than the millions unions had promised and the labor movement was dealt a further blow when the Indonesian capital said it would raise the minimum wage by just 11 percent next year.
The wage in Jakarta will go up from 2.2 million rupiah (around $200) to around 2.4 million — a rise of just 9 percent next year, compared with a 44 percent rise workers in the capital got this year.

“The wage has been decided at 2.44 [million] rupiah,” Jakarta governor Joko Widodo told reporters. “There are risks to every decision. We hope this will not lead to any [rejection] by laborers,” he added.
read more.
jak-globe

* Minister: Wage Increase Must be Rational:

Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar, urged laborers to request for a considerably rational wage increase to prevent companies from going bankrupt. The Minister asserted that the 2014 minimum wage should be adjusted in accordance with each company’s financial capability.

“We are not refusing the laborers’ demand. However, there are stages that [laborers’ must be aware of so the companies won’t go bankrupt,” Muhaimin said on Thursday, October 31.
He added that wage increase should be accompanied by an improvement in human resources quality, which will lead to improvements of productivity.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Indonesia strikes marred by anti-union violence:

An estimated two million Indonesian workers embarked on a two-day strike on Thursday to call for a fair minimum wage, protection against the hiring of contract workers and universal health coverage.

But peaceful protests were met with violence by hired thugs who attacked workers with iron beams, knives and machetes.
Workers in the towns of Bekasi and Karawang areas were attacked by members of a paramilitary youth organisation said to have been hired by factory managers who wanted to punish those on strike.

According to a Prihanani Boenadi, vice president of the International Department for the Confederation of the Federation of Indonesia Metal Workers Union (FSPMI) and the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Unions (KPSI-CITU), 17 workers were seriously injured with stab wounds to the head, back, legs, waist and stomach.
Said Iqbal, President of FSPMI and KSPI, has called for the police chief of Bekasi, Kombes Isnaini, to step down from his position after failing to prevent the violence. Police reportedly stood by as the violence took place and did nothing to intervene.

Workers are demanding that the government raise the national minimum wage by about 50 per cent and set the regional minimum wage in Jakarta to 3.7 million rupiah (approximately US$330).
read more.
EQUALtimes

* Riau Islands to increase minimum wage by 22 percent:

The Riau Islands administration has announced that Rp 1.665 million (US$150) will be the 2014 provincial minimum wage, a 22 percent increase from this year’s minimum wage of Rp 1.365 million.

The wage hike has already been signed off on by Governor Muhammad Sani.
“We have been through four meetings, road surveys on living-standard components [KHL] and consultations with the Regional Salary Council to wind up with this result,” Riau Islands’ workforce agency head Tagor Napitupulu said on Friday.
The decision was issued amid a day of nationwide strikes, with workers demanding the government increase their salaries by at least 50 percent and revoke an outsourcing policy.
to read.
jakartapost

* Massive strike nearly cripples industries in Batam:

A widespread labor strike on Thursday paralyzed activities at some 1,000 foreign investment companies in Batam, Riau Islands, as union members conducted door-to-door sweeps in 26 industrial areas.

The move by unionists forced industrial area managements to deploy members of youth organizations to safeguard their compounds.

Members of Pancasila Youth (PP), for example, guarded the entrance to Tunas Industrial Zone in Batam Center while the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FSPMI) staged a rally in front of the industrial area.
read more.
jakartapost

* Labors Demand to Meet Jokowi Regarding UMP:

The Jakarta Wage Council meeting to discuss provincial minimum wage (UMP) yesterday has been postponed and scheduled to be held today.

Jakarta Manpower Agency Chief Priyono said the meeting has been postponed since most of the labors’ representatives were absent at the forum yesterday. “There was only one person from the labors,” Priyono said.
The meeting was held at 10:00 on the ground floor of Block G, City Hall, Central Jakarta. Asrial Chaniago, Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) said a decision must be made today since Governor Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo must sign the Jakarta UMP meeting result.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Indonesia hit with mass strike over wage hike demands:

Tens of thousands of workers went on strike across Indonesia Thursday, in the latest industrial action to hit Southeast Asia’s top economy as its citizens seek a greater share of the spoils from stellar growth.

Unions are calling for hefty pay hikes as the cost of living skyrockets due to surging inflation, which has been driven up in recent months due to an unpopular fuel price hike.
Factories producing everything from clothes to electronics, often for international companies, stopped operations as workers across the archipelago of more than 17,000 islands downed tools.
Union leaders said that 1.5 million people took part in the strike on the main island of Java alone. Their figures are usually higher than those given by the police, which said early reports indicated 60,000 had taken part in the capital and surrounding districts.
In the manufacturing hub of Bekasi just outside Jakarta, large groups of workers sat in groups outside factories, brandishing banners that read: “Hike our wages by 50 percent”.
read more.
BD new age

* National Strike Begins as Workers Demand Healthcare and Higher Pay:

As the Jakarta wage council sat down today to set the regional minimum wage for 2014, a two-day strike began across the country and workers took to the streets.

“Our protests are concentrated in industrial areas,” Said Iqbal, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers (KSPI), told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday. “We stopped production because we are protesting policies that affect workers’ welfare.”
Two million workers in 20 provinces have joined the strike, he said, including 250,000 workers in the Pulogadung and Cakung areas and 300,000 in Bekasi.

The unions were demanding an average national wage increase of 50 percent, he said. In Jakarta, they hoped to see the minimum wage set at Rp 3.7 million ($334) per month.
Apart from wages, workers are demanding rules against outsourcing and universal health coverage for all Indonesians by Jan. 1, 2014.
read more.
jak-globe

* Indonesians strike over wage hike:

Tens of thousands of workers went on strike across Indonesia Thursday, in the latest industrial action to hit Southeast Asia’s top economy as its citizens seek a greater share of the spoils from stellar growth.

But the police estimate of participation in the strike was only around 100,000, far below the three million unions had predicted, taking some pressure off the government and employers who are seeking to limit wage increases.

Unions earlier claimed two million downed tools on day one of the two-day nationwide strike, but crowds appeared small in many cities and police forces across the country mostly reported only minor walk-outs.

The workers strike was called for workers to demand hefty pay rises as the cost of living skyrockets due to surging inflation, which has been driven up in recent months by an unpopular fuel price hike.
read more.
GLOBALTIMES

* Jambi workers reject new minimum wage:

A decree by Jambi Governor Hasan Basri Agus, which sets the province’s 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1,502,230 (US$133.7) has drawn protests from the provincial branch of the Indonesian Prosperous Labor Confederation (KSBI).

The confederation is urging the Jambi governor to review the decree and increase the province’s minimum wage to Rp 1.6 million.
According to the KSBI, the newly set minimum wage does not reflect workers’ basic cost of living (KHL).
“A minimum wage of Rp 1.6 million must be introduced because our KHL value is set at Rp 1.6 million,” KSBI Jambi regional coordinator Roida Pane said on Thursday.
read more.
jakartapost

* Companies Prepare to Flee as Minimum Wage Hikes Loom:

The Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) says that as many as 128 foreign companies in the Jabodetabek area are ready to leave Indonesia following the minimum wage hike of 15 to 20 percent in 2014.

As many as 68 factories in Bogor, 20 factories in Tangerang, and 40 factories in Bekasi confirmed they would shut down operations in the country.

Apindo chairman Sofjan Wanandi added there are currently already some 65,000 unemployed workers in the Jabodetabek area due to factories shutting down. Investors that have fled the nation are mostly from Korea in the garment, shoe, and electronic sectors. Some Japanese investors that decided to leave were from capital-intensive industry that were prepared to replace workers with machines.
read more.& read more.
tempo-eng jakartapost

* Minimum wage hike will not affect inflation:

Deputy Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro says that an increase in the provincial minimum wage will not affect inflation in 2014.

Bambang said that inflation in 2014 would remain at 5.5 percent regardless of the hike.
Bambang added that inflation would only rise due to two factors – administered price policies, such as the ones regarding subsidized fuel and logistics prices.
“We can still manage inflation if those two factors remain unaffected,” Bambang said as quoted by Kontan.co.id.
Bambang said that raising the provincial minimum wage would in fact contribute positively to the economy as it would boost consumption.
to read.
jakartapost

* Batam minimum wage likely to be set at Rp 2.2m:

Surya Dharma Sitompul, a Batam Renumeration Board member from the Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (SBSI), has said that Batam’s 2014 minimum wage would likely be set at Rp 2,172,973, which was based on proposals from the government, workers and businesspeople.

“The meeting to discuss the provincial minimum wage for 2014 will continue on Nov.6 at the Batam Mayor Office,” said Surya.
Thousands of workers in Batam took part in a nationwide strike, forcing approximately 1,000 foreign investment companies in 26 industrial estates to shut down almost all of their operations.
read more.
jakartapost

* Papua’s 2014 minimum wage set at Rp 1.9m:

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has set the province’s 2014 monthly minimum wage at Rp 1.9 million (US$169.10), up from the current minimum wage of Rp 1.75 million.

“It has been signed, Rp 1.9 million or up by around Rp 200,000,” said Lukas in Jayapura on Thursday.
Although it had signed a decree on the new provincial minimum wage, Lukas said the Papua administration would make a study of minimum wages again because the current real value was too little compared to the prices of basic items in Papua.
“If the minimum wage is still perceived as too low, we will review it again because the cost of living in Papua is very high. Ideally, Papua’s minimum wage should be above Rp 2 million per month,” said Lukas.
read more.
jakartapost

* Labor Tensions Will Eventually Cease, According to Industry Officials:

Despite the recent uproar over labor rights throughout the country, which culminated in a mass strike on Thursday, many workers’ unions and companies believe the protests will be a thing of the past.

Mahendra Siregar, the chief of the Investment Coordinating Board, said that the government has a vested interest to better understand industrial relations as there are new dynamics in the country’s business climate.

“I’m in the process of restructuring our investment committee to include a representative from labor unions and an environmental activist,” he added.
read more.
jak-globe

* Despite workers’ boycott, council proposes minimum wage:

The Jakarta Remuneration Council gave Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo two provincial minimum wage options for 2014 despite labor union representatives refusing to attend the tripartite meeting on Thursday.

“Employers proposed Rp 2.29 million [US$203] whereas the administration put forward Rp 2.44 million. The governor will have to approve one of the options tomorrow,” Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Agency head Priyono said.

The options were decided on after a lengthy five-hour meeting that was attended by 23 representatives from the administration and local businesses. The seats for the seven workers’ representatives were empty.

Employers’ representative Bambang Adam said the amount employers proposed was adequate as it was “based on the basic cost of living components [and] in accordance to official surveys.”
read more.
jakartapost

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG wage finalisation deferred again:

A government-formed wage board failed for the third time today to decide a minimum salary for garment workers and set November 4 as the fresh date for finalizing the much-debated wage structure.

As the board met in the morning to fix the new wage structure in the wake of weeks of street protests by the industry workers, the garment owners proposed a minimum wage of Tk 4,250 per month.
This, according to the owners, will include food subsidy.

Workers’ representatives however demand separation of the food subsidy from the employees’ monthly salary.
“We discuss the matter but could not reach a consensus. That’s why we are taking time till November 4,” AK Roy, chairman of the board form to finalise the minimum wage for RMG workers.
The main problem has centered over the food allocation, Roy said.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers:

The board formed to fix the minimum wage afresh for the garment workers at its meeting on Thursday failed to reach a consensus in finalising a new wage structure for them.

“We’ve held a marathon meeting today, but couldn’t reach a consensus in finalising a new wage structure for the RMG workers as the owners’ representative proposed Tk 4,250 as minimum wage,” Sirajul Islam Rony, the workers’ representative to the board, told UNB.

He said Dr Kamal Uddin, an independent member of the wage board, proposed Tk 5,000 at the minimum wage for the workers. “But we’ve no room to accept his proposal as it’s a very poor amount.”Rony said,
“We’ve made a proposal of Tk 8,114 as the minimum wage in today’s meeting, but the owners’ side didn’t accept it. We’ve taken time up to November 4 next. We’ll place a fresh proposal to the board after negotiation with all the workers’ bodies.”
read more.
UNB

* RMG minimum wage: Board members far from consensus:

Owners propose TK 4250 monthly as the minimum wage while workers leaders propose TK 8114

20131101 DHAKATRIBUNE busi-aRMG-Graph

Setting minimum wage for the RMG workers is being delayed again as the stakeholders could not reach a consensus on the minimum wage structure for a month.

“The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed a minimum monthly wage of Tk4,250, including food allowance, as per their earlier pledge,” said AK Roy, president of the wager board.
“We could not reach a consensus despite having wide range of discussion,” he told a meeting of the board at its office in Dhaka yesterday. BGMEA submitted their proposal at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the independent member, Dr Kamal Uddin proposed the minimum monthly wage should be Tk5,000, excluding food allowance, as the leaders of workers did not agree the proposal of BGMEA.
Both the BGMEA and the workers’ leaders sought two to four days as could not come to a consensus over the minimum wage proposal of independent director. “That’s why the board decided to hold next meeting on November 4,” said Roy.

“We hope BGMEA and workers’ leaders would come up with an acceptable proposal,” he added. “We would be able to make a draft proposal on the day based on their fresh proposal.”

Meanwhile, RMG workers under different organisations staged demonstration in front of the wage board office, demanding Tk8,000 as minimum wage per month.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG owners propose Tk 4,500 as minimum wage:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) delayed the date for fixing minimum wage for the garment workers as leaders of the factory owners and garment workers failed to strike a consensus.

The eighth meeting of the Wage Board was held at the Minimum Wage Board office at Topkhana Road in the afternoon.
The owners proposed Tk 4,500 as monthly minimum wage during the meeting while workers leaders proposed it as Tk 8,114.
read more.
primenews

* Labour leaders demand minimum wage Tk 8000:

Country’s labour leaders on Thursday demanded the announcement of a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8000 for garment workers within 15 days, or they would resort to tough movement.

“If the minimum monthly wage of Tk 8000 for the garment workers is not implemented within 15 days, 40 lakh garment workers will resort to a tough movement to realise it,” Tapan Saha, coordinator of Garments Sramik O Shilparakkha Jatiya Mancha, said.

The demand came at a sit-in programme organised by Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad and Garments Sramik Oikya Forum at Segunbagicha in the city.

“Although, five months have passed after the announcement of minimum wage, the owners of garment factories still could not bring definite proposal. The minimum wage was supposed to be announced within six months as per the law,” he added.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Workers reject owners’ revised proposal:

20131101 NEWAGE
Garment workers try to enter the wage board building at Topkhana Road in the capital on Thursday, demanding Tk 8,000 as their minimum wage. — Sourav Lasker

The representative of garment factory owners to the wage board on Thursday submitted their revised proposal offering a minimum wage of Tk 4,250 for workers in the apparel industry, but the workers’ representatives promptly rejected it.

The eighth meeting of the wage board concluded without a decision as the workers’ representatives demanded further hike in basic wage and protested at the inclusion of subsidies in the wage structure.
During the meeting, a number of garment workers’ organisations staged protests outside the wage board office in the city.
Rejecting the proposal of the factory owners, the workers’ representative Sirajul Islam Roni said that inclusion of subsidies in the wage structure was not acceptable and the revised amount of the minimum wage was also not reasonable.

Despite long discussions on the revised proposal of the factory owners, the board failed to reach a consensus over the minimum wage and the meeting ended without a decision, the permanent workers’ representative to the wage board, Fazlul Haque Montu, told New Age.
‘Besides the revised proposal of owners’ representative, the independent member of the board in the meeting also placed a proposal for Tk 5,000 as minimum wage, excluding food subsidy, for an apparel worker. The board members discussed both the proposals for a long time but the workers’ representatives did not accept them,’ the board chairman AK Roy told reporters after the meeting.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG workers reject Tk 4500 minimum wage proposal:

Workers’ representatives rejected Thursday the proposal of Tk 4,500 as minimum wage for garment workers placed by the apparel makers before the Wage Board meeting.

They did not also accept the proposal of the independent member’s proposal of Tk 5,000.
Following the disagreements over the proposed wage structure, the Wage Board, however, decided to sit again on November 4 to discuss the issues.
“The apparel manufacturers placed their revised proposal of Tk 4500 including food allowance as minimum wage for the readymade garment (RMG) workers on Thursday,” AK Roy, chairman of the Wage Board told reporters after the meeting.
After a long discussion, the independent member placed his proposal of Tk 5,000 excluding food allowance, he said adding: “The labour representatives did not agree with the offer. Rather they have sought three to four more days’ time for detailed discussion with other labour organisations.”
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage talks drag on:

The wage board once again failed to reach consensus over the new salary structure for garment sector yesterday as the workers’ representative deemed the owners’ proposal too low.

“The offer [of Tk 4,250 per month] is way below our expectations. It is simply unacceptable,” Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the wage board, told The Daily Star.
As a middle ground, Kamal Uddin, independent member of the six-member board, proposed for Tk 5,000 per month as minimum salary for garment workers.
Of the amount, Tk 3200 would be basic pay, Tk 1280 housing allowance, Tk 320 medical allowance and Tk 200 transport allowance. Food allowance, however, would have to be given separately.
“Even that is unacceptable as it would not afford us a decent living standard,” Rony said, adding that he would continue to bargain for a higher minimum wage.

Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative on the board, however, said it would not be possible to go beyond Tk 4,500.
Following the twin disasters of Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse and the ongoing political turmoil, the garment owners are already on the back foot, he told journalists after the meeting.
“Global garment trade is a different beast now – it is extremely competitive. Increasing the minimum wage upwards of Tk 4,500 would break our garment industry.”
He cited the case of Vietnam, which exported garment items worth $17.80 billion in 2012 with only 1.5 million workers. In contrast, for a little higher export receipts (around $20 billion), Bangladesh used more than double the labour (four million).
“Were our workers’ productivity as high as Vietnam’s, we could afford to honour their wage demands as our garment exports then would have been around $50 billion.”
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers stage demo in capital:

Garment workers demand pay increase

Readymade garment workers staged a demonstration in the capitals Topkhana road area demanding a wage hike on Thursday morning.

The workers staged a demonstration in front of the Minimum Wage Board office, demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,000 around 11am.
Sources said they staged the demonstration under the banners of different workers associations, including Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad and Garments Sromik Okkiya Forum.
Garments Sromik Okkiya Forum leader Moshtareffa Mishu said they would declare a blockade program if their demands are not met.

Meanwhile they also demanded compensation for the victims of Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashion.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* H&M wants quick, actual rise in RMG workers’ wages:

H & M, the Swedish multinational retail-clothing company and the world’s second-largest clothing chain, called for the Bangladesh government to increase the wages of the garment workers as this is the key issue for the development of the industry.

Head of Media Relations at H&M Camilla Emilsson Falk on Thursday sent a comment to New Age through e-mail with regard to the ongoing negotiations of wages in the Wage Board.
According to the mail, H&M urged the government of Bangladesh and the parties in the Wage Board to come to a quick decision regarding the revised minimum wage which would mean an actual increase in real wages.
read more. & read more.
BD new age FE bd

20131031

20:51:45 local time map of china CHINA

* The company vanishes: workers chase shadows in search for wage arrears:

Wage arrears have been one of the most common causes of labour disputes in China for well over a decade. And despite new laws criminalizing the malicious non-payment of wages, there is little evidence that the situation for workers is improving.

It is still relatively easy for company bosses to use stalling tactics or simply disappear in a bid to avoid paying the wages they owe employees.

In July 2013, China Labour Bulletin Director Han Dongfang talked to Zeng Biping, a technician at a small energy-saving equipment factory located in Dongguan, southern China’s manufacturing hub, which employed about 20 workers.
Zeng, a relatively well-paid, skilled worker, and two colleagues were owed a total of 180,000 yuan in back pay but after nearly two years of legal battles, all of which the workers won, the company was still only willing to offer about a third of what it owed.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesians Strike for Minimum Wage and Fair Labour Laws:

Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian workers are taking strike action and holding mass rallies to demand a fair minimum wage and protection for workers from phony employment arrangements which remove employer obligations through ’outsourcing’ arrangements.

The country-wide mobilisation, starting on 30 October will last for two days, with stop-work actions in several workplaces already underway in advance.

Public opinion in Indonesia strongly favours better labour protections and a decent minimum wage, as revealed in the ITUC Global Opinion Poll released in 2012. The poll showed that 61% of Indonesians want better laws to protect job security, while only 43% of households are able to save any money. 90% support government action in favour of health care and education.

“Indonesian workers are putting forward straightforward demands that working people everywhere recognise are just and necessary. Workers there deserve a fair share of the economic cake just like anywhere else, and we wholeheartedly support their struggle for dignity at work and an economy that works for all” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
to read.
ITUC CSI IGB

* Statement of Joint Labor Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) to welcome the NATIONAL STRIKE 31 October- 1 November 2013:

Comrades everywhere,

On the 31st of October – 1st November we will again be conducting a National Strike. Our demands are: wage rise of 50 % (making the minimum wage in Jakarta Rp. 3.7 million); end the system of contract work and outsourcing; withdraw the No. 9 2013 Presidential Decree; health insurance and free education for everyone.

Today and the coming days are the days where we can be excited looking back on our lives and looking to our future. Through our struggle together, our dreams and our life hopes will be realised. We can achieve our dreams through struggle.

Life experience and our struggle teach us many things. That we cannot hope for change by relying on our current government; that change for the better cannot be hoped for from any of the current political parties that are currently busy preparing their 2014 election parties. Even in our workplaces, although there is a mountain of profit for the business owners, there is not even a drop for us, except cheap wages, just enough to keep us alive for work the next day.
read more.
Arah-Juang

* Indonesia workers prepare for national strike:

Labourers will rally across the country on Thursday pushing for a 50 percent hike in the minimum wage.

As the marchers approached there was a buzz in the air at the Pulo Gadung industrial estate in the capital Jakarta. Young men danced around an open-top campaign van chanting the lyrics to pop songs blasting from the PA, whooping occasionally at young women passing on motorbikes.

Some had walked three hours from the neighbouring city of Bekasi. The union members gathered as a warm up for the general strike on Thursday and Friday, when an estimated two million workers will walk out of factories nationwide.

There was optimism among the crowd that their central demand – a 50 percent increase in the minimum wage – would be met.
“Workers are no longer isolated anymore. We are united and we are standing up for our rights,” says, Marhasan, a 32-year-old fridge assembly worker, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

The union movement has achieved significant momentum in recent years, securing a 40 percent rise in the minimum wage effective since January. The minimum wage varies by province and is set relative to the standard of living. In Jakarta the minimum wage is now Rp 2.2m a month ($202.40) but in West Java it is only Rp 1.25m.
read more.
aljazeera

* Workers visit factories ahead of general strike:

Ahead of the two-day nationwide strike on Thursday, dozens of workers in Makassar, South Sulawesi visited factories at the Makassar Industrial Estate (Kima) on Wednesday.

The workers not only disseminated plans on the strike but also requested that each factory and company send representatives to participate in the strike.
The representatives are expected to recruit their fellow workers to join the nationwide strike and stage a rally to demand increased minimum wages and the dissolution of a contract system for workers.
read more.
jakartapost

* Workers skip wage talk for street rally:

A meeting of the Jakarta Wage Council scheduled for Wednesday to negotiate a minimum wage increase for 2014 was canceled because workers’ representatives refused to participate, opting instead to lead a demonstration in front of City Hall.

In the latest fight over the minimum wage, council workers’ representative Akhmad Jazuli said that workers were demanding that the official basic cost of living be set at Rp 2.7 million (US$243).

Meanwhile, the council had proposed the benchmark be set at Rp 2.29 million, based on 60 standard of living components (KHL) stipulated in Presidential Instruction No.9/2013 on the provincial minimum wage.
read more.
jakartapost

* Minimum wage negotiation meeting canceled:

A meeting to negotiate the 2014 minimum wage scheduled for Wednesday was canceled due to the absence of worker representatives.

The tripartite agreement should have involved representatives from the city administration as well as employers and workers.
Jakarta Remuneration Council worker representative Akhmad Jazuli said that workers demanded that the basic cost of living (KHL) be set at Rp 2.7 million (US$243).
read more.
jakartapost

* Indonesian Workers Stage Nationwide Strike Over Pay:

Protest against Indonesian governments plan to raise the price of subsidized fuel
Indonesian workers shout slogans during a protest outside the parliament building in Jakarta, on June 17, 2013. (EPA Photo/Mast Irham)

Workers across Indonesia begin a two-day strike Thursday to demand higher salaries, the latest industrial action in Southeast Asia’s top economy as people push for a greater share of the profits from stellar growth.

Calls have been growing in recent months for a hike in the minimum wage as the cost of living skyrockets due to high inflation.
Unions estimate that almost three million workers will take part in the action, although the numbers have come in lower than such forecasts in previous nationwide strikes.

“Living costs are going up,” Said Iqbal, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), told AFP.
“Many workers who could not afford their rents have had to move out of their homes and live under bridges and in sewers. They are eating instant noodles instead of rice.”
read more.
jak-globe

* Editorial: Workers’ demands:

Try to avoid main roads this week, as rallies and strikes will continue until the deadline of Nov. 1 for the decision on provincial minimum wages.

Workers are repeating their demands for higher wages, health coverage and the end of outsourcing. They demand that all citizens’ health costs are covered by next year, including workers, instead of the plan to roll it out in stages.

Neutral observers fervently hope for a compromise, while workers press on, testing their strength. After all, a few provincial decisions on wages were changed last year in the face of massive strikes. Workers sense that they have clout, even while critics cite “unrealistic” demands, such as a 50 percent wage increase and demands that universal health coverage be applied to all Indonesians in the New Year.
read more.
jakartapost

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 25 RMG units closed for a day in Gazipur:

At least 25 apparel factories were closed for Wednesday as the workers of apparel factories at Kaliakair in Gazipur staged protests and observed strike demanding Tk 8,000 as the minimum wage.

Thirty apparel workers were injured in clashes between the police and the workers of ESE Knitwear and Jamana Garment at Ashulia who brought out procession in front of the factory for the payment of their dues and withdraw of all ‘false cases’ against them.
In Gazipur, the authorities closed 25 apparel factories for Wednesday and another factory for an indefinite period.
Locals and Gazipur industrial police inspector Jakir Hossain said that the workers of Inter Stop factory at Kaliakair upazila observed strike on Tuesday pressing for different demands including Tk 8,000 as the minimum wage.
read more.
BD new age

* 20 RMG units shut in Gazipur:

Owners were forced to close nearly two dozen factories in Gazipur yesterday as workers staged demonstrations and vandalised production units to voice demands for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000.

Workers from at least 20 units remained absent from work in the morning over the minimum wage issue, said inspector Jakir Hossain of industrial police.
The industrial police intervened when workers began vandalising the units. Later, the workers sat for talks with the factory owners, remaining fixed on their demands. The factory management declared their factories closed for the day.
However, Interstoff Apparels Ltd, a garments unit, announced closure for an indefinite period.
The unrest in the $20-billion industry comes just a day before the Minimum Wage Board, a government body, will hold its final meeting to revise the minimum wage.
The monthly minimum wage for the garments workers, the lowest in the world, is Tk 3,000 and was last revised in 2010.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 30 in Ashulia:

At least 30 workers of two readymade garment factories were injured in a clash with police in Khejurbagan area of Ashulia under Savar Upazila of the district on Wednesday morning.

Sources said that the workers of ESE Knitwear Limited staged protest demonstration demanding increase of their salary-allowances and withdrawal of fake case against workers.
Meanwhile, the agitated workers came out of the factory and started throwing brick-chips at adjacent factories.
Later, police charged baton to disperse them, leaving 20 workers injured.
On the other hand, the workers of Zamana Garment in Gauripur area staged protest demanding their due salaries.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Owners to propose Tk 4,250 as minimum wage today:

Garment owners are set to propose a minimum wage of Tk 4,250 per month in today’s meeting of the wage board.

“We have reached a consensus for Tk 4,250 per month. It is our proposal and the rest depends on the government,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative on the wage board, told The Daily Star, while confirming his attendance in today’s meeting, the final one of the six-member board formed on June 26.

The figure, however, is lower than the amount (Tk 4,680) he earlier conveyed to journalists.
The government might increase the amount slightly, as in previous cases, so the final amount is likely to be Tk 4,500, Dipu added. The new wage structure would take effect on November 1, regardless of the timing of its announcement by the labour ministry.
“If the minimum salary goes any higher than Tk 4,500, many small and medium garment factories will be in trouble as their financial bases are not too strong.” Moreover, the international retailers are not paying higher prices for the garment items, although the cost of production increased more than 13 percent over the last few years, he said.
read more.
daily star bd

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Increase wages, say power loom workers:

About 300 workers of power loom units observed a day-long fast on Wednesday near Chennimalai bus stand demanding 40 per cent wage hike and 25 per cent bonus.

Their agitation had the backing of major trade unions including All India Trade Union Congress, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Bharathiya Mazdoor Sangh, Anna Thozhilsanga Peravai, and Labour Progressive Front.
The fast followed the strike by workers since Tuesday morning, demanding that power loom owners make the payments immediately.
read more.
Return to frontpage

ETHIOPIA

* Insight into Ethiopian Garment Industry:

Our (LBL) Regional Coordinator for Walsall, Leandra Gebrakedan, has written about her knowledge of the Ethiopian garment industry.

Being born in Ethiopia and raised in the U.K I feel I am writing this article from the perspective of  a citizen of the world.
The information I have gathered has been researched and is true to the best of my knowledge. 

Ethiopia is fairly new to the international garment industry and with export duty currently at zero and tax treaties to avoid double tax payment, along with bilateral treaties for the protection and promotion of investments, it’s potential is being  well and truly utilised!

However shockingly it doesn’t have a minimum wage set by the government to protect workers, and so I wonder how are workers to be paid a living wage?
Even countries in Asia that rely on the garment trade and have a minimum wage, it is often up to six times lower than that of a living wage.
Ethiopia’s government  I hear is apparently placing special emphasis on the textile industry – by 2016, the country aims to export more than a billion dollars worth of apparel.

At present , the high street stores H&M, Tesco, Primark  and Asda  produce garments  in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s textile and apparel market exports grew 28% by June 2012, the UK  accounting for 10% of this trade, other countries in Europe taking 50% and the US taking 40%.
The latest news being 50 Turkish textile and garment companies are hoping to relocate factories to Ethiopia, as in June 2012 Ethiopia signed an agreement with Turkish Investors towards development.
read more.
labour behind the label

 

20131030

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labors Forum Negotiates Minimum Wage with Jokowi:

20131029 TEMPO

Jakarta labors forum will stage a large-scale demonstration to demand an increase in labor’s wage to Rp3.7 million in front of Jakarta Governor and Legislative Council (DPRD) office today. In the agenda on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, the forum also planned to negotiate with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo.

“Today, we will go on a national strike in front of Jakarta and DPRD office. We demand the commitment of the Deputy Governor to realize the demand to increase labor’s wage to Rp3.7 million. Ahok has promised that minimum wage in Jakarta will be Rp4 million,” Chief of Jakarta Labors Forum, Muhamad Toha, said in a press conference on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi:

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said employers and workers should develop harmonious relations so they could jointly decide upon a basic minimum wage without having conflicts.

“What is important now is creating harmonious relations between workers and their employers. They are together as management, so their relations should be built harmoniously,” Jokowi said here on Tuesday.
He added that harmonious relations should be maintained so workers and employers could always communicate well.
read more.
antara

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 10 garments factory announced closed in Gazipur:

Agitated workers also vandalise factories, try to block the nearby Dhaka-Tangil highway demanding wage hike

Authorities of at least 10 garments factories on Tuesday announced their factory closed due to labour unrest at Kaliakoir area in Gazipur, where workers of those factories observed strike and protested for a wage hike.

Workers of some of the factories at Chandra Palli Biddut area under Kaliakoir Upazila of the district started protests and observed a strike inside the factory in the morning demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000, Assistant Police Super Samsur Rahman of Gazipr industrial police told the Dhaka Tribune.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE daily star bd

* Businesses meet PM to talk garment wage:

Business leaders yesterday met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to consult the issue of remuneration for garment workers ahead of the wage board’s final meeting tomorrow.

“We mainly talked about the wage issue [of the garment workers] and sought time from her to discuss the current political scenario and the economy,” Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), told The Daily Star after the meeting.

“She assured us of an appointment as soon as she is able to,” he said, adding that Hasina did not fix any salary structure but only discussed the matter.
Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association; AKM Salim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association; and former FBCCI presidents AK Azad and Salman F Rahman were present at the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Meanwhile, the six-member wage board formed to fix the minimum wage for the garment sector is due to finalise a salary structure tomorrow, AK Roy, chairman of the board, said.

The owners’ representative has already proposed a minimum wage of Tk 4,680 per month, said a source in the wage board.
The new salary structure was scheduled to be finalised on October 27 but it was deferred to October 31 due to general strike.
BGMEA president could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.
to read.
daily star bd

* Calculating a living wage for clothing workers:

A professor from Northumbria University, Newcastle, is calling for a new minimum wage to be adopted for clothing factory workers in Bangladesh.

Doug Miller, emeritus professor of Worker Rights in Fashion at Northumbria, has worked with the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) – a Bangladeshi think-tank – and Dutch-based consultancy Berenschot to calculate a living wage that takes into account the food and living costs faced by workers.

The research examines the upper poverty line, family size, a realistic picture of everyday expenses, purchasing power and a model diet that includes energy and nutritional values. It concludes that there is a huge gap between the monthly income factory workers need in order to live and the wage they are currently paid. The team therefore recommend that the Bangladeshi minimum wage needs to be adjusted.

The researchers have devised a formula to calculate the minimum living wage of at least Tk 8,200 for entry level workers who are currently paid Tk 3,000 per month. The wage increase would help workers meet the basic needs for themselves and their families while providing some discretionary income.
read more.
PHYS.org

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* State may hike minimum wages for garment factory, hotel workers:

The State Government is contemplating on increasing the minimum wages for garment factory and hotel workers, Minister of State for Labour P T Parameshwar Naik said on Monday.

Naik told reporters here that his department was planning to hike the present minimum wages for workers in these two verticals as they have been facing lot of hardships.

“The present minimum wages in the garment industry is Rs 4,700 per month. We are considering at hiking the wages to ensure a proper livlihood for workers. A decision will be taken after having a detailed discussion with the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,” he said.
The department is also planning to provide some job security measures for those  employed on a contractual basis or employed by agencies that accept outsourcing works. The measures include providing provident fund and Employeess State Insurance (ESI) schemes, he added.
read more.
decanherald

20131029

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt Still Mulls Laborers’ Pay:

Around 5,000-10,000 laborers go on a national strike on Monday, October 28, 2013 in the Pulo Gadung and Kebon Cakung industrial areas, demanding a 50 % wage hike.

Industry Minister Mohamad Suleman Hidayat said his ministry was still discussing the laborer’s pay issue. “The rally is aimed at preventing the discussion from stopping. Now the discussion is still underway,” Hidayat told Tempo on Monday, October 28, 2013.
The minister hoped the rally would take place peacefully. “That is their right, the government will not stop it,” he said.
The Bekasi branch of the Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions (KPSI), meanwhile, has refused to participate in the national rally. “We have decided not to participate in the laborers’ national strike,” Bekasi KPSI chairman Andi Ganti Nena Wea said.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Millions of Workers to Join National Strike on Thursday and Friday:

Around three million workers in 20 Indonesian provinces will join national strikes on Thursday and Friday in support of improved welfare conditions.

Said Iqbal, the president of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union, said in a press release that hundreds of thousands of companies in forty industrial regions would cease production during the stoppage.
“There’s no political motive in this national strike,” he said. “Worker unions are purely fighting for the welfare of the workers.”
Said said that the unions were demanding an average national wage increase by 50 percent. In Jakarta, they were expecting the minimum wage to be set at Rp 3.7 million ($334).
read more.
jak-globe

* Three million workers to join nationwide labor strike: Labor leader:

The Indonesian Labor Union Confederation (KSPI) is predicting that three million workers will join a nationwide strike on October 31 and November 1, 2013 to demand a 50 percent salary increase in 2014..

“The workers are from 20 provinces and 150 districts and cities throughout Indonesia,” Said Iqbal, the president of KSPI, said in a statement here on Monday.
This number, however, does not include hundreds of thousands of additional workers from companies located in 40 industrial zones in Indonesia, he noted.
read more.
antara

* Workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike:

Tens of thousands of workers stayed away from their workplaces in a number of cities in a warm-up for a nationwide strike scheduled for Thursday.

In Jakarta and surrounding areas, thousands of workers staged peaceful strikes.
Workers rallied in industrial estates in Pulogadung, Cilincing, Bekasi, Cikarang, Tangerang and Bogor to announce the nationwide strike. Most employers had no objection to the action as only some of their workers participated.
read more.
jakartapost

* Jakarta Sets Reasonable Living Cost Index at Rp 2.2m:

The Jakarta Wage Council has set the 2014 reasonable living cost index (KHL) at Rp 2.2 million ($199), much lower than the Rp 2.7 million that workers were originally calling for.

“The Jakarta Wage Council has agreed to make the reasonable living cost index for workers Rp 2,229,860.33,” Sarman Simanjorang, a  member of the council, said as quoted by the Jakarta government’s news portal on Sunday.

The capital’s minimum wage is pegged to the living cost index, which totals the average costs of standard expenses like housing transportation and food in Jakarta. Workers pushed for a higher living cost index after fuel subsidy cuts and the weakening rupiah drove up inflationary costs in the capital.
Last year, the minimum wage exceeded the index. This year, despite a push by labor unions, the two will total Rp 2.2. million a month.
read more.
jak-globe

* Basic cost of living components determined:

The city’s tripartite wage committee recently completed a survey on price increases over the past ten months and set the basic cost of living (BCL) at Rp 2.3 million (US$220).

The BCL will inform the minimum wage hike, due in January 2014.
Sarman Simanjorang, a member of the local wage committee, revealed that the BCL was high because of a spat between workers and employers over the rent component.
Workers insisted that affordable rent in the city was Rp 800,000 per month while employers said it was Rp 570,000, he said. In addition, workers proposed Rp 2.7 million to be a more realistic BCL.
read more.
jakartapost

* Nationwide strike in Indonesia announced for 31 October:

Trade unions in Indonesia have announced a national strike on 31 October – 1 November. Workers demand a rise in minimum salary, implementation of health insurance and an end to outsourced precarious work.

Indonesian trade unions will strike to demand a 50 percent rise in the minimum salary, end to outsourced precarious work, and implementation of health insurance and introduction of laws to protect Indonesian domestic workers.

Said Iqbal, President of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI and the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), confirms that three million workers in twenty Provinces (with three more Provinces to join) and 150 Districts/Cities (potentially 200) will join the national strike. The strike covers diverse industries and occupations, including outsourced teaching profession, factory, airport, port and transport workers.
read more.
Home

* Wage hike will affect investment climate: BI:

Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Agus DW Martowardojo has said that significant wages increases will affect investment climate in Indonesia because wages and labor costs influence investment decisions.

“If wage rises are too drastic and are not based on a step-by-step process, there will definitely be an impact on the investment climate and business expansion in Indonesia,” Agus said in Palembang on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
He was speaking in response to a massive workers strike today in which participants called on the government to set a new minimum wage for the province (UMP) in Jakarta.
read more.
jakartapost

* Indonesian Shoemakers Ready to Leg It:

20131029 JAKAGLOBE
Shoe companies reeling from a drop in demand from the US, could take a further hit if workers succeed in their demands for a hefty pay increase, the industry warns. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Weakening global demand coupled with a potential production shutdown by some factories amid concerns of rising labor costs in Indonesia could be a major blow to the country’s exports of footwear.

Industry insiders expect footwear exports to fall by $1 billion next year.
Eddy Widjanarko, chairman of the Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo), said on Sunday that the association had projected exports of footwear this year to reach $4 billion.
However, for 2014, the figure is expected to drop to $3 billion.

Eddy said the decline in demand, especially from the United States — the market for 80 percent of Indonesia’s footwear exports — and frequent strikes as a result of workers’ demands for wage hikes of up to 50 percent could prove to be a double whammy for investors.
“There are 46 foreign companies ready to leave Indonesia, even if the minimum wage rises by 20 percent,” he said.
read more.
jak-globe

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG factory owners’ latest trick:

The readymade garment factory owners, it seems, are willing to use anything as a pretext to prolong, if not postpone, the ongoing negotiations towards an upward revision of the minimum wage for workers in the RMG sector. On Sunday,  according to a report published in New Age on Monday, they did not turn up at the meeting of the minimum wage board, citing the ongoing 60-hour countrywide hartal (general strike) by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance as a reason for their absence, and thus missed yet another deadline for the submission of their proposal.

As a result, the board could not hold a scheduled discussion on the wage issue, thereby casting doubts over a government pledge to put in place a new pay structure from November.
The workers’ representatives submitted their proposal to the board on August 18, demanding that the minimum wage should be fixed at Tk 8,114. The owners’ representatives were originally scheduled to submit their proposal on September 2, a deadline they missed.
On September 17, they proposed a 20 per increase on the existing Tk 3,000, inducing widespread resentment and protests among workers. Subsequently, they decided to place a revised proposal on October 21.
Although the owners’ representatives turned up for the October 21 meeting, they did so only to seek an extension on the deadline, which, as indicated above, expired on Sunday.

It is worth noting that the other members of the board, including the chairman, did turn up for the meeting, thereby proving as lame the excuse that the workers’ representatives came up with for their absence. One wonders what their reaction would be if some of their workers were to skip work, even for a day, on account of hartal.
read more.
BD new age

* Minimum wage of garment workers:

The Financial Express published a report in its October 27 issue that the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) had decided to propose the minimum wage of garments workers at Tk 4,500 before the Wage Board considered affordability of the industry.

The wage proposal is 30 per cent higher than the present minimum wage of Tk 3,000 per month.

It seems BGMEA’s plea is not reasonable. The workers must be remunerated fairly so that they can lead a decent life. As the government has formed a Wage Board to re-fix the minimum and other wages of garment and knitting factory workers, advice may be made to the board not to fix the minimum wage at a figure less than the minimum wage of a public sector worker. Group insurance for every worker of the garment and knitting factories, covering life and accidental risks, should be made mandatory.
Owners have to follow provisions of the Labour Law 2006 in the case of permanent, full or partial disability of a worker on duty in an accident. It must be made mandatory that in absence of insurance, double compensation is to be given to the victims by the employer.

It is learnt that a Chinese garment worker, on an average, gets wage that is four to five times higher than that of a Bangladeshi worker, a Vietnamese worker gets what is three times higher than that of a Bangladeshi worker and even an Indian worker gets more than double the wage of a Bangladeshi worker.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage: Fresh proposal deferred again:

Whenever declared it may take effect from November

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has deferred once again its fresh proposal on minimum wage for the workers due to hartal.

The proposal is now being expected to be submitted on October 31.
The trade body for the apparel industry was scheduled to place the proposal at a meeting of the wage board held on Sunday.
after enjoying a three days extended time to prepare an acceptable and realistic proposal revising the earlier proposal of 20% increment over existing minimum wage.
(…)
“Considering the capability of the small and medium factories, we are going to propose Tk4,500 as minimum monthly wage, which include food and transport allowances in the basic salary,” he added, .

The minimum wage to be declared by the board would be effective from November if it takes time to announce due to technical problems, he noted.
“We will take next course of action if the factory owners fail to place fresh proposal on October 31,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative to the board. “They can open factories during the hartal hours but cannot join the meeting. It’s a lame excuse.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131026-28

20:51:45 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Minimum wage too low?:

Epifanio Salamanque is just an ordinary employee working in a famous shopping mall in Manila and receiving only a minimum wage.

His P456 minimum daily wage is not enough to sustain his family’s daily needs since prices of basic commodities and services constantly rising while his salary remain hard-and-fast.
With this condition, Salamanque could not prevent himself from doing extra job after his duty just to sustain the basic needs of his family and the schooling of his two children, who are now in high school.
(…)
In a study conducted by labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), the cost of living in Metro Manila has risen to P1,200 for a family of six members.
It said that the cost of living in the capital now stands at P1,217 a day or nearly triple the P456 minimum wage in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“This estimate shows that the gap between the P456-minimum wage in the NCR and the present cost of living is a yawning P761, or 167 percent of the ordinary wage,” PM chair Renato Magtubo said.
(..)
“The minimum wage is not a living wage but a libing [burial] wage,” said Miranda, adding that the cost of living for a family of six in Metro Manila had already reached P1,217 a day.
read more.
MTnew

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladesh RMG sector fails to pay living wages: Report:

A professor from Northumbria University, Newcastle, is calling for a new minimum wage to be adopted for clothing factory workers in Bangladesh.

Doug Miller, emeritus professor of Worker Rights in Fashion at Northumbria, has worked with the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) – a Bangladeshi think-tank – and Dutch-based consultancy Berenschot to calculate a living wage that takes into account the food and living costs faced by workers.

The research examines the upper poverty line, family size, a realistic picture of everyday expenses, purchasing power and a model diet that includes energy and nutritional values. It concludes that there is a huge gap between the monthly income factory workers need in order to live and the wage they are currently paid. The team therefore recommends that the Bangladeshi minimum wage needs to be adjusted.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* UK warns over Bangladesh factory safety:

20131027 DHAKTRIBUNE clean-cloth-cam

Momentum must not be lost in the drive to tackle poor safety and labour conditions for workers in the Bangladesh garment sector, International Development Secretary, UK, Justine Greening has warned six months on from the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka that killed at least 1,133 people.

She set out how new UK support to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will build on action already taken by brands, factory owners and both the Bangladesh and British governments to improve safety and conditions.
Justine Greening said, “April’s factory collapse took a dreadful toll on people in Bangladesh and galvanised much-needed action on safety.

The UK government has already demanded improvements from clothing manufacturers and sent experts to advise on building safety.”
Six months on, the UK will now support the ILO to help the Government of Bangladesh, employers and manufacturers make improvements on safety and conditions, Justine Greening said, according to a web release.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* BGMEA sets Tk 4500 as minimum wage:

Manufacturers of readymade garments (RMG) have decided to propose minimum wage of garment workers at Tk 4,500 before the Wage Board, sources said.

They will also sit with the concerned government authority before placing their proposal, they added.
However, labour leaders are still adamant on their demand of Tk 8,114 as minimum wage.
The owners’ representative is expected to place the proposal of wage hike before the Wage Board scheduled to be held today (Sunday).

“We are going to propose nearly 30 per cent hike in the basic wage considering affordability of the industry,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, who is representing the owners, told the FE Saturday.
The gross wage would be about Tk 4,500 including 40 per cent house rent, medical allowance, Tk 250 transportation and food subsidy, he said. Inclusion of the two subsidies is for a better and acceptable wage structure, he added.
read more.  & read more.
FE bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* Owners’ final proposal Tk 4,680:

The garment owners are set to propose a minimum wage of Tk 4,680 per month, their final salary offer, for the workers at today’s meeting of the wage board.

The figure, although an improvement over the owners’ original proposal of Tk 3,600, falls way short of the workers’ demand of Tk 8,114.
The amount provides Tk 3,900 as basic salary, house rent and medical allowance, Tk 520 as food allowance and Tk 260 as transport allowance, said a source in the wage board.
“I am still firm on my previous position of Tk 8,114 as minimum wage. But, there is a room for further negotiation,” Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the wage board, said yesterday.
Regardless, the new wage structure would be locked in today’s meeting as it will be the final one of the six-member wage board, he added.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG owners likely to propose Tk 4,430 as minimum wage:

Garment factory owners are likely to submit a revised proposal to the wage board suggesting Tk 4,430 as minimum wage for workers in the face of frequent protests and criticisms by workers and civil rights groups.

Garment sector leaders said that they had made a revised proposal for a 30 per cent hike in the basic wage along with food and transport subsidies.
Labour leaders, however, said that they would not accept such proposal without a reasonable hike in the basic wage alleging that inclusion of subsidies in the wage structure was a ploy of the factory owners to deprive the workers.
‘Hopefully, we will offer about Tk 4,500 as minimum wage in our new proposal to the wage board on Sunday with a 30 per cent increase in the basic wage along with food and transport subsidies,’ owners’ representative to the wage board Arshad Jamal Dipu told New Age on Saturday.
He said that Tk 300 as food subsidy and Tk 250 as transport subsidy had been included in the revised proposal.
‘We want to talk to the government to convey that it should set the minimum wage within Tk 5,000. If the minimum wage crosses the amount, we will not be able to run the business,’ Arshad said.
read more.
BD new age

* Still not enough:

New Age reported on Sunday that readymade garment factory owners were likely to place a revised proposal to the wage board, suggesting Tk 4,430 as minimum wage for workers, in the face of protests and criticisms by workers and civil rights groups.

The proposal is 30 per cent higher in basic wage along with food and transport subsidies. It seems garment owners’ plea is not reasonable. The workers must be remunerated fairly so that they can lead a decent life.
As the government has formed a wage board to re-fix the minimum and other wages of garment and knitting factory workers, advice may be made to the board not to fix the minimum wage at a figure less than the minimum aggregate wage of a public sector worker. Group insurance covering life and accidental risks for every worker is to be made mandatory for the garment and knit factory employers. Owners have to follow provisions of the Labour Law 2006 in case of permanent, full or partial disability of a worker occurring in an accident. It is to be made mandatory that in the event of absence of insurance, double compensation is to be given to the victims by the employer.
It is learnt that, on an average, a Chinese garment worker gets a wage that is four to five times higher than that of a Bangladeshi worker. A Vietnamese worker is paid three times higher than a Bangladeshi worker. Even an Indian worker gets more than double the wage of a Bangladeshi worker. In such circumstances, the minimum wage for RMG workers in Bangladesh should not be less than double the current wages.
read more.
BD new age

* New RMG wage now to be finalised by Oct 31:

The garment owners will now finalise a new wage structure for garment workers by October 31.

Earlier, the board formed to finalise minimum wage for the garment workers set today (October 27) to propose the final salary but it deferred the date as two board members remained absent at their meeting, AK Roy, chairman of the board, told reporters.
Arshad Jamal Dipu and Dr Kamal Uddin, owners’ representative and an independent member on the wage board respectively, could not reach its Topkhana Road office for today’s meeting due to the BNP-led 18-party alliance’s hartal, he said.
“We will finalised the salary and sent it to Labour and Employment Ministry by October 31 for approval,” Roy said.
The ministry will later declare the salary, he added.
The four other board members however were present at the office.
The garment owners were to propose a minimum wage of Tk 4,680 per month for the workers at the meeting scheduled to begin at 11:00am.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd UNB Ittefaq INDEPENDENT newstodayBD NEWNATIONnew

* WB for RMG workers to submit report on wage hike Oct 31:

The Wage Board (WB) for the garment industry will submit its recommendation on wage hike for the RMG workers after getting the final proposal from the owners’ representative in the next meeting deferred to October 31.

“The owners’ representative was supposed to submit his revised proposal for fixing the minimum wage at Sunday’s meeting, but he couldn’t attend the meeting due to ongoing hartal,” WB Chairman AK Roy told reporters Sunday.
The meeting was deferred until Thursday next as Arshad Jamal Dipu, owner’s representative and an independent board member could not attend on the ground of hartal and it has caused the delay, he added.

“We hope, the owners’ representative will place final proposal on Thursday and we will try to send our recommendation to the concerned ministry on that day,” Mr Roy said.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal:

The new wage structure for garment workers was not finalised yesterday as previously announced, after two of the six-member wage board failed to attend the meeting due to hartal, said board chairman AK Roy.

Yesterday’s meeting has now been rescheduled to October 31, Roy told journalists at the board office in Dhaka yesterday. “We want to complete the process as soon as possible as the board has time only up to December 26.”
The absentees at the meeting were Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative, and Kamal Uddin,  an independent member of the board, he said.
“If the board fails to finalise the minimum salary by October 31, we will sit with different labour organisations and decide our next course of action,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the board, while warning of fresh labour unrest if the announcement of the new structure is delayed any further.
Meanwhile, Dipu said the new wage will take effect from November, regardless of the timing of finalisation of the salary structure.
“I was going to the board meeting. But, the decision was changed due to hartal. I hope I will be able to submit the proposal on Thursday’s meeting as all the formalities has been completed.”
Dipu said the owners have already finalised the minimum salary at Tk 4,500 per month and the government might increase it to Tk 5,000.
read more.
daily star bd

* Workers allege owners delay wage decision process:

Labour leaders on Sunday said that apparel factory owners were delaying the decision on worker’s minimum wage by repeatedly seeking time for the submission of the proposal to the wage board.

The owners were scheduled to submit a revised proposal to the wage board at its seventh meeting Sunday but the owners’ representative did not attend the meeting.
The date was decided at a meeting on October 21 when the representative also failed to submit the proposal.
The board’s chairman AL Roy after the meeting on Sunday said that the wage issue had not been discussed at the meeting as the owners’ representative could not attend the meeting because of the general strike.
The opposition alliance on Sunday began enforcing a 60-hour countrywide general strike demanding a non-party, election-time government.
The board will meet again on October 31. ‘We hope the owners’ representative will submit the revised proposal on October 31. We will try to finalise the wage structure draft and send it to the labour ministry on the day,’ the board chairman said.
The workers’ representative to the board, Sirajul Islam Roni, on Sunday told New Age that it was unfortunate that the owners’ representative had not attended the meeting.
‘It was nothing but a means to delay the process. Four others on the board, including the chairman, attended,’ he said. Setting aside the allegation, the owners’ representative to the board, Arshad Jamal Dipu, said that he had tried to attend but he could not do so because of the strike.
read more.
BD new age

* Peg minimum RMG wages to cost of living: analysts:

Economists and rights activists yesterday favoured a system of determining the minimum wages for garments workers by considering the cost of living, not just by taking food inflation into account.

“It will be unwise to fix minimum wages by considering inflation. Factors such as the cost of education, health and others should also be taken into account,” said Salehuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh Bank governor.
He made the suggestion at a roundtable organised by Chintar Chash, a research firm, on the rights of garments industry workers from the perspective of globalisation, at the National Press Club in the capital yesterday.
He said workers’ productivity is linked to wages. “How would a worker pay attention to work if he/she is malnourished?”

The call comes at a time when a new minimum wage is expected to be announced soon for the country’s 35 lakh garment workers.
Garment workers, mostly women, receive one of the lowest minimum wages among the major industrial sectors in Bangladesh; it is also the lowest among Bangladesh’s competing countries in Asia.
Both owners and workers are human beings and society expects humane behaviour from owners as they are well-educated, said researcher and columnist Syed Abul Maksud.
read more.
daily star bd

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Government braces for nationwide labor protests:

The government has called on workers to remain peaceful during an upcoming five-day national strike, which is expected to start on Monday.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto urged workers not to vandalize public property or disturb public order.

“It is their right. However, since nationwide rallies have implications, we are taking certain steps ahead of the strike. We have prepared measures to deal with any workers who take to the streets and commit acts of violence or vandalism,” Djoko said at the State Palace on Friday.
(…)
They claimed their demand to raise the minimum provincial wage to Rp 3.7 million was reasonable as the country’s economy was booming.
read more.
jakartapost

* Strike planned for Monday: KSPI:

Tens of thousands of workers will strike on Monday in preparation for a two-day national strike slated for Oct. 31 to Nov.1.

“Workers will participate in the action across several regions,” Confederation of Indonesian Worker’s Union (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal said in Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Around 10,000 workers will strike on Pulogadung Industrial Estate and KBN Cakung in East Jakarta. Around 50,000 workers will strike in Bandung and Cimahi cities as well as Bandung and West Bandung regencies in West Java.

“Workers in Karawang, West Java, and several other regions will also hold a convoy,” said Said.
He said millions of workers would attend the two-day national strike to demand that the government abolished the outsourcing system.

“Three million workers will participate in the national strike. The action will become a proof that we, the workers, are not just playing in voicing our demands,” said Said.
The three demands comprise appropriate wage, social protection scheme and the abolition of outsourcing.
read more.
jakartapost

* BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates:

1. Jakarta Wage Council set Living Wage at IDR 2,229,869.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
.
2. Labors to Gather in East Jakarta for Wage Raise. Read the full article here .
3. Union not in once voice regarding national strike plan.
Read the full article here 
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* State misses HC deadline on garment workers’ wage:

20131028 theHINDU
Workers in the largely unorganised garment sector, which employs an estimated 6 lakh people across the State, have been waiting for a revision in minimum wages since 2009. File photo

In March, the court directed the Labour Department to issue fresh notification on minimum wages within three months

Nearly five months past the deadline set by the High Court of Karnataka to notify minimum wages for workers in the city’s vast and vital garment sector, the Labour Department is still in the process of forming a subcommittee to fix wages.

Workers in the largely unorganised garment sector, which employs an estimated 6 lakh people across the State — out of which an estimated 4.5 lakh work in around 400 units in Bangalore — have been waiting for a revision in minimum wages since 2009.

In 2009, the government in a draft notification set a minimum wage of Rs. 96.20, which was, in a fresh notification in 2010, revised to Rs. 114.10 (around Rs. 193, including Dearness Allowance). Workers’ unions, however, claim the orders were never implemented, barring in a few large-sized export-oriented companies where employees take home between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 5,500 a month (for unskilled workers).

In March 2013, the High Court, responding to a public interest litigation petition filed by garment workers’ unions, quashed the 2010 notification and directed the government to “pass appropriate orders as expeditiously as possible, and in any event not later than three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.”
read more.
Return to frontpage

GENERAL

* European Conference on Living Wages November 25-26 in Berlin:

Various initiatives by multi-stakeholder platforms, businesses, governments and trade unions in Europe have undertaken activities aimed at working towards a living wage in international supply chains.

Nevertheless, questions still remain referring to best practices to integrate the living wage concept into corporate strategy and the implementation in supplier factories on the ground. Equally, it is becoming increasingly important to coordinate different approaches and combine efforts.

In 2012, the Round Table Codes of Conduct, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), organised a dialogue meeting on the living wage. In parallel, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA) also organised a round table on the living wage in Utrecht in 2012. Joining forces at European level, the Round Table Codes of Conduct and the ministries involved decided to work together to maximise their impact. They agreed to actively involve companies, unions, similar multi-stakeholder forums, other European governments and further relevant stakeholders in order to create a joint action plan to be discussed and finalised at a European Conference on the living wage on 25 and 26 November 2013.

What is the aim of the action plan on living wages and of the European Conference?
The aim is to draw up an action plan on implementing living wages specifically in the industrial sector in Asia. This action plan should be drafted and discussed during an ongoing stakeholder engagement process and should form a central part of the conference in November. It is intended to become a key element of the follow-up process after the conference.
The action plan should define the roles that different actors play in addressing the challenges of implementing living wages, building on the foundations laid in the international normative framework (UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) MNE Declaration). Existing initiatives and approaches will be a central part of this process and solutions will be found to promote the topic of the living wage. In addition, new stakeholders with an interest in the subject who are willing to incorporate living wages into their agenda will be involved in this process.

The conference will bring together a significant number of decision-makers from Europe as well as partners from developing countries to take action and discuss the implementation of the plan. They will share best practices, discuss the coordination of existing approaches and also agree upon a possible follow-up structure involving current initiatives.

Background
postbullets What is a living wage?
A living wage is a wage that meets the basic needs of the worker and his or her family. Basic needs are food, housing, clothing and other expenses, such as education and medical costs. Even though legal minimum wages exist in many developing countries, they often do not cover basic needs. Sometimes minimum wages are high enough in theory, but they are not applied and enforced in practice. Workers in these situations will take on excessive amounts of work in an attempt to raise themselves and their families out of poverty.

postbullets Corporate responsibility to respect human rights
A living wage is internationally considered as a human right. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and various declarations and conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognise the need for workers to receive ‘fair wages and equal remuneration’ (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) that are ‘adequate to satisfy basic needs of the workers and their families’ (Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 2006). The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011), endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, state that business enterprises have the responsibility to respect human rights in countries where they operate. This responsibility applies to their own activities, as well as to their business relationships in the supply chain. A living wage is thus a part of corporate social responsibility and responsible supply chain management.
read more.
ROUNDTABLE

20131025

20:51:45 local time map of mongolia MONGOLIA

* Trade union members demand wage increases:

Members of the Confederation of Trade Unions in the health, education, culture and art sectors held a press conference on October 18.

They said, “The economic growth of Mongolia is not supporting the livelihood of all citizens in our country. While the price of consumer goods rises day by day, the 2014 State Budget allocated only 200 billion MNT for wages, pensions and allowances.”
Unless the government quickly increases wages, the members pledged to prepare for the next stage of their demands.

J.Batzorig, chief of the Trade Union of Education and Science, said, “Before, the inflation rate of previous years was considered when increasing wages. But next year, the wage will be increased with little consideration of inflation rates in 2014, which is quite wrong. Compared to other workers, staff in the health and education sector have twice the work that others have.

“For instance, many classrooms regularly have 60 students instead of 30, which is the standard, and hospitals are providing medical treatment for more patients than they are capable of handling. If the government can’t solve these problems, they must increase wages. While the average education workers monthly salary is 5,000 USD in developed countries, it is barely 300 USD in Mongolia.”
to read.
ubp

 20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers demand wage increase:

Workers from a number of companies in Makassar staged a rally on Thursday, demanding the South Sulawesi provincial administration raise both the regional minimum wage (UMR) and the city minimum wage (UMK) for the upcoming year.

They said that the current South Sulawesi minimum wage of Rp 2.16 million (US$198) and the Makassar minimum wage of Rp 2.25 million per month was not adequate for basic living needs following skyrocketing food and fuel prices.
“The current minimum wage is unable to support workers, especially those supporting families. We urge the provincial and the city administrations to raise the minimum wage 50 percent for next year,” said rally coordinator Akbar.

“We make big contributions to the economy, but we only earn a small amount of money for our hard work,” he added.
read more.
jakartapost

* Three Million Workers Involved In National Strike Confirmed:

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal ensure national strike will be followed 3 million workers in 20 Provincial and 150 Kabuparen/Kota.

And will be followed hundreds of thousands of companies in 40 industrial areas throughout Indonesia that would stop production, including in ports will be impaired by the National Strike that has been ascertained on 31Oktober-November 1 2013. And Preconditions national strike will be done 28-30 October 2013 in each region. National strike and preconditions conducted in an orderly and peaceful and non-violent.
(…)
According to Iqbal no political content in the national strike and no workers were ridden by anyone. Precisely Apindo chairman and minister perindustrianlah that as politicians. Thus politicizing workers in low wage policy sets, modern slavery, and limited social security. While, pure trade union fighting for the livelihoods of workers.

Related demands of national strike 2013 sue;
1. Minimum wage increases 2014 is 50% the national average and the USD. 3,7 million to Jakarta. Workers demanded a minimum wage calculation using 84 KHL item or if using 60 KHL item then minimum wage increases 50%.
2. Health insurance all the people 1 January 2014
3. Remove outsourcing included in SOE
read more.
citra-indonesia

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Minimum-Wage Hike Won’t Appease Bangladeshi Workers:

Earlier this month, a group of workers at the Tuba Group garment factory in Bangladesh locked owner Delwar Hossain in his office and demanded that he pay the bonuses he’d promised them for the Eid al-Adha holiday, according to Reuters.

Such extreme interventions are rare in Bangladesh, where the garment export industry is a main driver of the economy, but it was crazy enough to work: After 18 hours in captivity, the boss agreed to hand over the money. Such tactics have proven effective outside the factory walls, too, as workers in the streets resort to desperate measures to address desperate grievances.

After the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex, which killed more than 1,100 people in Savar, Dhaka this April, massive worker strikes erupted all over Bangladesh. Thanks to subsequently intensifying local as well as international public outcry, government officials have finally agreed to raise the minimum wage by as much as 50 to 80 percent.

The fight isn’t over yet, however. Though the workers have demanded a minimum monthly wage of 8,000 taka, or about $100 (more than double the current minimum of $38, last raised in 2010), the pending raise would likely be much less than that—perhaps raising it only to about $60, according to Reuters.
That proposed level would still be less than what comparable garment workers in Cambodia typically earn, and far below what experts say would keep up with the general cost of living in Bangladesh, Factory owners and their powerful official allies in government are continuing to resist any measures that would reduce their profits from the country’s massive, $22 billion garment export industry.
read more.
INTHESETIMES

20131024

 20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Wage committee asked to finish survey:

Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has asked the city wage committee to finish its survey on decent living components in preparation for the  2014 wage hike.

“The results of the survey have yet to reach me. The wage hike decision will need to be made soon,” he said at City Hall on Wednesday.
The wage committee conducted its survey in August 2013 and reviewed the prices of goods and services, including basic commodities, rent and education fees, which are the elements taken into consideration when setting the wage hike. The two other elements are inflation and employers’ financial capability.
The governor seemed reluctant to predict 2014’s wage hike as the decision was now in the hands of the city wage committee.
The minimum wage in the city was raised by 38 percent to Rp 2.2 million (US$220) this year from Rp 1,550,000 in 2012 and workers have demanded the city administration raise the 2014 minimum wage by 68 percent to  Rp 3.7 million.
read more.
jakartapost

19:21:45 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Wait continues for specification of new minimum wage:

U Myo Aung, Director-General of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Welfare, told Mizzima that it is hard to estimate when the new minimum wage for Myanmar workers will be announced.

“We are working hard to get this task completed, as establishing a new minimum wage is highly important,” he said. “Each job [that this wage would impact] is very different in nature, so we have much to consider. That is why it is hard to estimate the exact amount of time this project will take.”

Protests have been arising in the wake of the continued delays in announcing the wage. Workers are reporting that they are having difficulty collecting their salaries or asking for raises.

“In the drugstore [that I work in], I have to work as a buyer and also as sales staff, but my salary is only 50,000 kyats,” said Daw Thidar, a local employee. “I cannot request to raise my salary as there are frequent turnovers in our staff. Once the minimum wage law is put into place, I will be able to get the minimum salary without having to wait for other members of staff to ask for it as well.”
read more.
MIZZAMA new

20131022-23

map of asia ASIA

* A wage you can live on:

20131022 LBL slide2

Fact – In factories in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and more, the people who make our clothes live in poverty, usually earning just half of what they need to meet their basic needs and care for their families. In the UK at least, this is an industry that on paper supports the principle of a living wage. Most high street fashion brands have the commitment to pay a living wage written into their ethical codes. But little is being done to deliver this into the pay packets of workers who desperately need it.

To find out more about what companies are doing on this, read our Let’s Clean up Fashion report.

We believe that all garment workers should be paid a wage they can live on; because having a job should mean being able to support yourself and your family. Find out what a living wage means here.

H&M, Zara, Levi’s and GAP – made a combined total of more than 4.5 billion euros in profit last year. Watch our video about the human cost of this.

There are lots of ways to get more involved in the campaign. See the latest news and take action sections below for more ideas.
read more.
labour behind the label

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* USA garment factory workers block national road:

Nearly 400 workers at the USA Fully Field (Cambodia) Garment factory blocked National Road 2 in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday after fears spread that the factory was winding down operations and that management wouldn’t pay necessary wages once it closed.

Soy Nakri, a worker representative at the factory, said the protest started on Thursday when factory management began removing equipment without telling workers.
While some 60 per cent of machinery remains, Nakri said that workers had not been given any jobs to do since the equipment was taken.
“We decided to block the road this morning because the employers and the authorities did not find any resolution for us,” she said, referring to a third round of negotiations underway since the strike began.
We need our seniority pay, because the factory attempted to close without informing the workers,” she said.

Having worked at the factory since 1999, Nakri calculates that her seniority pay, which accumulates over time for a one-time payment once employment ends, is more than $1,600.
Yong Leab, an officer with the Free Trade Union, said yesterday that it was all too common for garment workers in Cambodia to run into difficulties when factories unexpectedly shut down.
“I always see the workers crying and trying very hard to protest and demanding their payments when the factory closes or the employers flee,” she said.
read more.
PPP new

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers warn of nationwide strike:

Thousands of workers from various associations staged a protest in front of the House of Representatives on Jl. Gatot Subroto on Monday morning, occupying the main thoroughfare and causing congestion in the surrounding area.

The Traffic Management Center (TMC) announced diversions on its official Twitter account at 10:15 a.m. as the protesters began to arrive at the rally location.
The police closed some parts of the road and redirected Slipi-bound vehicles to Jl. Asia Afrika and Jl. Gerbang Pemuda in Central Jakarta, while Transjakarta buses did not use their regular lane, entering the inner city toll road instead.
(…)
The workers held the rally to demand a more than 50 percent increase in the minimum wage. They also urged the government to implement social security (BPJS) on January 1, 2014 and to ban the practice of outsourcing. Currently, the provincial wage (UMP) in Jakarta is Rp 2.2 million (US$202) per month, the workers are demanding an increase to Rp 3.7 million.
(…)
The forum has called on Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama to improve the standard cost of living (KHL) index, including house rental and transportation costs. The forum claimed that the demand to raise the minimum provincial wage to Rp 3.7 million was reasonable as the country’s economy and per capita income were improving.
read more.
jakartapost

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Clean Clothes launches better wage campaign:

20131022 DHAKATRIBUNE Untitled-2

The Clean Clothes Campaign yesterday launched a new campaign across Europe calling on clothing companies to “Pay a Living Wage” to garment workers. The campaign is scheduled to continue till October 28 in 15 European countries.

The week of action would see campaigners across Europe promoting a consumers’ living wage petition at press conferences, via social networks, films, street actions, conferences and celebrity testimonials, said a CCC statement.
The campaign was launched at a time when Bangladesh is working on fixing minimum wage for the RMG workers.

As per the wage board for the garment workers, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed increase of Tk600 or 20% from the existing minimum wage of Tk3,000 per month. Leaders of RMG workers, however, have proposed Tk8,114 as the minimum wage.

In the face of growing labour unrest, the BGMEA is likely to place a fresh proposal to the board on October 27.
The CCC called upon clothing brands and companies to take action by setting concrete and measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG owners get more time to submit revised proposal to wage board:

The representative of the apparel factory owners to the minimum wage board on Monday sought three more days to put forward an ‘acceptable and realistic’ proposal for minimum wages for workers.

Quoting the owners’ representative, the minimum wage board chairman, AK Roy, told reporters that the representative sought few more days to submit a ‘better’ proposal.
‘The BGMEA representative told the meeting that they have failed to finalise their new proposal as the sector leaders cannot sit for a meeting due to Eid, Puja and Batexpo. So, they need more time,’ the board chairman said.
At a media briefing after the meeting, AK Roy said the members of the board agreed to allow more time as the owners’ representative said that their proposal would be better and it would protect the interests of owners, workers and industry.
As per the decision taken at the meeting, the seventh meeting of the board would be held on October 27 and the owners have to submit their proposal on that day, he said.
‘If the board members accept the new proposal, then the board will finalise its proposal,’ he added.
(…)
Replying to a question, he said that the wages of the workers in Vietnam and Cambodia are higher than Bangladeshi workers, but they have no freedom of choice.
Sirajul Islam Rony, the workers’ representative to the wage board, said that the owners’ representative discussed their new proposals and it is likely to propose Tk 4,500-Tk 5,000 as minimum wage.
read more.
BD new age

20131019-21

20:51:45 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* 14th month pay, a silly proposal:

‘A wage dictated by law rewards the inefficient. It punishes the industrious worker.’

The Department of Labor vehemently but intelligently opposed a proposal by the Senate Labor Committee raising the wages of private sector workers to the equivalent of a 14-month year.
The plan is anti-labor but is presented as in the interest of labor or the working class.
The proposal argues against simple economic sense if not indeed against the workings of supply and demand and the spirit of free enterprise. The reality in the marketplace is that the cost of labor to the producer is always borne by the consumer for the benefit, not exactly always of labor, but first and foremost for the owner of capital.
In this sense, capital and labor cannot be treated on the same plane. Labor is a product of capital.

The simple fact in this country is that the leaders of the state—Congress and the Executive in particular—use wages as a carrot to hold labor at bay. It has never occurred to any of these leaders—politicians all—that legislated wages remove competition in the labor force.
read more.
MaLAYAbusiness INSIGHT

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* National Strike of Indonesian workers on 28 , 29 , 30 OCTOBER 2013:

Starting from the meeting and consolidation between the Confederation of Indonesian Unions (KSPI) and the Workers Joint Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) in the early weeks of September 2013, they agreed on a meeting involving all elements of national workers in Indonesia.

As the preparation for the consolidation, they formed the Preparation Committee of National Consolidation that has been intensely discussing on the preparation and materials of consolidation. This Committee has been working effectively and has decided to held a national meeting of Indonesian labor movement on 30 September 2013 at the Gedung Joeang 45, Central Jakarta.
Labor representatives, trade unions, community workers, alliances and federations attended the meeting. Recorded, at least there were 18 provinces came with more than 100s union representatives.
The National consolidation then composed some important formulas related to the future of Indonesian labour movement by conducting joint work test within short time/term. Thus, they compiled some struggle priorities including:
1. Rejection of the low wage politics by using the strategy of struggling for 50 % wage raise or an increase of about 3,7 million Rupiahs from 2.2 million rupiahs

2. Elimination of outsourcing system Those two issues become the central issues of the Indonesian labour Movement since the end of year is the struggle moment for wage raise for Indonesian workers and 19 November 2013 is the final deadline for all companies in Indonesia to comply the Stipulation of the Manpower and Transmigration Minister (Permenakertrans) of RI No . 19 year 2012 related to the elimination of outsourcing system.
read more.
ASIANlabourUPDATE

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGMEA leaders seek more time:

The meeting of the Wage Board for RMG industry ended Monday without taking any decision as the apparel makers failed to submit their final proposal for the wage structure.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders sought more time instead for a “better, acceptable and realistic proposal.”
“It is true that we have sought more time. We want a sustainable wage structure so that there is no movement in the coming days,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, who is representing the owners, said after the meeting.
“We have prepared a revised proposal and talked about it but we were unable to submit it before the Wage Board as we are yet to discuss it with all our members,” he said adding that during the last one month BGMEA’s core committee on wage met five times.

There are both skilled and unskilled workers in the garment industry and an equal distribution for all seven grades need to be taken into consideration, he added.
Meeting sources said the owners are likely to place a proposal for Tk 4500 to Tk 5000 as minimum wage for garment workers.

Sirajul Islam Rony, who is representing workers at the Board, said, “We agreed hoping that they (owners) would place an upgraded and better proposal in line with our demand of Tk 8114.”
“The next meeting must be the last one so that the Wage Board can submit its recommendations to the labour ministry and the workers can get new wages from December this year,” he added.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG owners seek one more week to submit wage proposals:

Factory owners failed to submit their proposal on increasing minimum wages for apparel workers to the wage board at its sixth meeting on Monday and sought one more week to submit it.

The representative of factory owners failed to place the proposal at the meeting as they could not discuss the issue earlier among members of the core committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for finalization of their proposal.
The BGMEA core committee could not hold meetings due to shortage of time mainly because of unusually long Eid and Puja vacations, holding of the annual apparel exposition Batexpo and board members’ visit to three East Asian countries to learn about the wage-fixation process.
BGMEA representative Arshad Jamal Dipu said he would submit the proposal at the next meeting of the board on October 27, which, he added, would be acceptable to all.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Garment factory owners want to pay minimum wage of Tk 4,500:

The minimum wage board for garment workers will hold another meeting Monday. Today’s meeting is supposed to fix the minimum wage for garment factory workers. However, sources at the wage board said the chances of forming a draft of the minimum wage structure are very less.

The core committee formed on wages by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was supposed to meet yesterday but the meeting was cancelled for some unexplained reason. The wage board will hold a meeting today and tomorrow.

A source on condition of anonymity told Ittefaq the garment factory owners want to fix the minimum wage at Tk 4,500. This reliable source said even this concession may force some small and medium sized factories out of business but the owners are willing to take the risk.

Earlier, in a meeting on September 16, the owners wanted to raise the minimum wage by Tk600 and fix it at Tk3,600. However, this wage was not acceptable to workers.
They protested violently in demand of a minimum wage of Tk 8,114. However, the workers’ representative on the wage board Sirajul Islam Rony hinted that workers may be willing to adjust their demand in consideration of the reality. He told Ittefaq, “We understand we may have to make some compromises and we are willing to make them as long as they are logical.”
When asked what their response will be if the minimum wage is set at Tk 4,500, Sirjaul Islam said, “Then like the last time we’ll once again request the Prime Minister to interfere.” Note that in 2010 the Prime Minister intervened to set the minimum wage at Tk3,000.
read more.
Ittefaq

* New RMG wage structure Oct 27:

20131021 DAILYSTAR RMG1
Employees working in a garment factory of Ashulia, on the outskirt area of the capital.

A new wage structure for the garment workers now will be announced on October 27.

Justice AK Roy, chairman of the board formed to finalise the salary structure for RMG workers, told this to reporters Monday.
The board earlier fixed Monday to finalise and announce the salaries but it could not do so due to Puja and Eid holidays, Justice Roy said.
He was talking to the reporters after holding the sixth board meeting at his Nayapaltan office in the capital.

The minimum wage for garment workers is likely to be set at Tk 5,000 per month, a 67 percent rise from the current Tk 3,000.
The breakthrough comes after both the workers’ representative and garment owners’ representative of the wage board decided to make a compromise so that the new wage structure could be announced at the earliest to avoid possible labour unrest.
Originally, the workers’ representative bargained for a minimum salary of Tk 8,114 per month, while the owners’ representative was willing to provide a 20 percent raise to Tk 3,600.
The new wage structure would take effect from the first of next month.
The labour and employment ministry formed the six-member wage board in June with Justice Roy as chief.
to read. & to read.
daily star bd BDCHRONICLE

* Bangladesh poised to hike garment wages:

Bangladesh’s garment factory owners are pencilling in a minimum wage increase of about 50 to 80 percent and will ask retailers to pay more to defray the cost, as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that hit nearly a fifth of workshops last month.

The world’s second largest clothing exporter hopes to announce a new minimum wage early next month, bowing to international pressure after a string of fatal factory accidents that thrust poor working conditions and pay into the spotlight.
Workers want the minimum wage, which was last raised in 2010, to go up to 8,000 taka ($102) a month – 2-1/2 times the current rate.
Factory bosses have formally offered 3,600 taka. Several, however, told Reuters they anticipated that Bangladesh’s official wage board would set rates in the 4,500 to 5,500 taka range, and they intended to seek between 5 and 15 percent in price hikes from retailers.
The wage board was due to meet on Monday before submitting a draft proposal to the government.
read more. & read more. & to read.
BD new age reuters Ittefaq

* Determining minimum wage for workers :

Determination of wages and salary is one of the most important phases of employee-employer relationship.

It differs in different economies, regions and cultures. It depends on a number of country-specific factors, such as labour market conditions and variation in workers’ productivity across occupations, industries, regions etc. The policymakers need to reconcile two opposite kinds of considerations.

There are conflicting ideas surrounding the minimum wage. A moderate minimum wage is seen playing an important role in ensuring fair wages paid and bolstering the incomes of families with low-wage workers. On the other hand, high minimum wages can destroy the jobs and have a limited impact on poverty on families having no working members.

A fully enforced minimum wage to stabilise living standards do increase cost of production. In return, lay-off and prices will rise which hinder a country’s world competitiveness. Therefore, striking a balance between optimal level of economic expansion and appropriate employment is needed while pegging standards of living.

Wage needs to be high enough to secure some socially-accepted standard of living. On the other, it should not be too high in order not to price low-productivity workers out of employment. Evidence demonstrates that such a balance can be struck if the minimum wage is set at a moderate level so that it does not cause significant employment losses, while keeping low-paid workers out of poverty.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage likely to be Tk 5,000:

The wage board may finalise the new salary structure today
20131021 DAILYSTAR RMG

The minimum wage for garment workers is likely to be set at Tk 5,000 per month, a 67 percent rise from the current Tk 3,000, in today’s meeting of the wage board.

The breakthrough comes after both the workers’ representative and garment owners’ representative on the wage board formed in June decided to make a compromise so that the new wage structure could be announced at the earliest to avoid possible labour unrest.
Originally, the workers’ representative bargained for a minimum salary of Tk 8,114 per month, while the owners’ representative was willing to provide a 20 percent raise to Tk 3,600.

“I hope the board will finalise the salaries in tomorrow’s [Monday] meeting. There is a possibility that the minimum wage would be fixed at Tk 5,000,” Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the wage board, told The Daily Star by phone.
The new wage structure would take effect from the first of next month. He said only 20 percent of the country’s 3.6 million-odd garment workers fall under the category of minimum wage, while the remaining 80 percent are sewing operators and old workers.
“But they [the operators and old workers] should also be benefited proportionately and equally from the new wage structure.”
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG owners to submit conditional proposal:

Garment factory owners are going to submit a revised but conditional proposal to the wage board for increasing minimum wages for workers provided the government would reduce source tax.

A leader of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association told New Age that the core committee of the association has decided to submit the revised proposal with increased minimum wage. ‘But I know nothing whether the new proposal is conditional.’
The owners’ representatives at the wage board may submit the new proposal on Monday at the sixth meeting of the board, he said.
‘The proposed amount of minimum wages in the new proposal might be Tk 4,500 a month,’ the BGMEA leader said.
Another source of the garment sector, however, said that the owners have agreed to increase the minimum wage on condition that the government would reduce source tax.
Presently, the garment owners are to pay source tax of 0.80 per cent but they are pressing for reducing it at 0.25 per cent.
read more.
BD new age

LW + 2

20131018

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labour protests to test investor sentiment in Indonesia:

Thousands of Indonesian workers took to the streets of the capital on Thursday, demanding the government raise wages and adding to fears that labour costs in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy are becoming uncompetitive.

About 7,000 members of the country’s largest labour unions marched through the centre of Jakarta to the presidential palace to press their case for a 50 percent increase in the minimum wages and improved social welfare.

The demands add to pressure on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to improve the lot of low income workers ahead of next year’s parliamentary and presidential elections.

His government has said it would announce an inflation-linked basket to set minimum wages but manufacturers worry that rising costs are already threatening to make Indonesian products less competitive.
read more.& to read.
thestaronlineNEW  jak-globe

* Workers protest at SBY minimum wage instruction:

Thousands of workers from Jakarta and its surrounding areas have marched to the presidential palace to ask President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to cancel President Instruction (Inpres) No.9/2013 regarding minimum wages.

The workers grouped under the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI) had earlier departed from their meeting point at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle.
“We demand the President cancel President Instruction No.9/2013 immediately. We need an immediate salary adjustment,” rally coordinator Ferry said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.
He claimed the spirit of the instruction contradicted Law No.13/2013 on the labor force.
Approximately 5,000 officers from the Jakarta Police were deployed to safeguard the rally. Traffic was also diverted to avoid the rally.
to read.
jakartapost

LW + 2

20131017

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Voices on The Street:

20131016 BF

Phon, Meat, Vegetable and Grocery Seller:
I don’t think that the increase in minimum wage improves workers’ lives. The price of everything is increasing even more than their salary does.
(…)

Lo Koon Piu, General Manager of Wing Ying (Cambodia) Garment Factory Ltd.:
This new minimum wage is reasonable. As a general manager of a factory, I am glad to see that workers can earn more.
(…)

H.E. Sat Samoth,Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training:
The minimum wage was discussed many times. We didn’t just set it as an estimation. To set the minimum wage, we checked our economy, technicality, progress in society, reality and lives of workers these days. I think that it is appropriate with the current minimum wage due to the current economy of the market. The minimum wage will increase; it won’t stay still.
(…)
Chenda, Garment Worker:
The increase in the minimum wage is really good for us as workers, but the inflation makes us suffer. When we get a higher salary the price of rent, electricity, water and everything else also rises. If they increase the minimum wage to US$150 per month, it will help us a lot because we can live better and spend wisely on food and everything.
(…)
read more.
BF NEW

 18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile units urged to hold bonus talks:

A meeting of the CITU-affiliated Baniyan General Workers’ Union, held here on Wednesday, called upon textile workers to insist on unit owners to initiate bonus fixation talks before October 19.

“If the unit owners failed to hold talks, the workers in the respective units should contact the Union immediately and should not attend work from October 21.
The Union will then take steps to mediate with the owners,” C. Moorthy, general secretary of Baniyan General Workers Union, told reporters.
Stressing the demand for complete bonus fixation talks in all textile units before October 19, the workers affiliated to CITU staged a demonstration in the city on Wednesday.
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131016

 18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’:

Textile business has been on an upward curve, say trade unions

With Deepavali fast approaching, the demand from trade unions for higher bonus for textile workers vis-à-vis the scale of bonus given by the respective garment companies during last year and its timely disbursal has started gaining momentum in Tirupur knitwear cluster.

Sources in the trade unions said companies disbursed bonus up to around 30 per cent of the annual wages last year.

“Workers have every right for enhanced scale of bonus this year because the textile business from Tirupur cluster has been on an upward curve. Moreover, the higher bonus is essential as the workers’ daily spending has increased almost by 80 per cent due to abnormal upward revision in the prices of essential commodities and cost of living,” C. Moorthy, general secretary, CITU-affiliated Baniyan General Workers Union, told The Hindu .
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131015

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Apparel workers block highway in Tongi:

Apparels workers of ‘water lily garments’ at Cherag Ali area of Tongi of Gaziprur city staged a demonstration and blocked the busy Dhaka-Mymensingh highway for about half an hour, demanding payment of  their wages on Monday.

Al-Amin, a supervisor of the factory told New Age that the authority did not pay wages to the workers for the month of September.
The labourers did not also receive their Eid festival bonus. The company earlier told the workers that they would be paid in the afternoon, Monday.
Lily has some three hundred workers.
When the workers came to the factory in the morning, the authority refused to pay the total arrears and instead wanted to pay in part.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq NewNation

* Workers-cops clash injures 30 in Ashulia:

At least 30 people were injured in a clash between readymade garments workers and police in Ashulia, outskirts of the capital, on Monday morning.

Sources said garments workers of Liberty Fashion Limited have been staging protests, for the last few days, demanding their due salary and allowances.
Additional police forces were deployed from Monday morning to avert further untoward situation.
Clash erupted when the workers tried to block the Jirani-Rangamati road and Nabinagar-Chandra highway at around 11:00am while police tried to obstruct them.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Garment workers detain boss until he pays bonus:

Workers at a Bangladeshi garment factory on Monday freed a garment factory boss they had held captive in his office for more than 18 hours after he paid a promised bonus.

The incident was the first involving the forced confinement of a factory boss in months of confrontation between management and workers earning minimum wages equivalent to $38 a month, half what Cambodian garment workers earn.
A trade union leader said the incident was a “positive development” as workers had achieved their aim “peacefully”.

Police said workers went to the Tuba Group factory on Saturday to demand payment of their bonus for the Eid-ul-Azha holiday in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh.
They forced their way into the office of owner Delwar Hossain and locked him in when he said no money was available.
Police, relatives of the owners and the factory owners’ group, the BGMEA, launched talks with the protesters and a police official said Hossain was released after bonuses were paid to 900 workers late on Sunday.
read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq

“We know that workers of almost all factories have been given their salaries and bonuses, and are enjoying their holiday. We faced some difficulty with 15 to 20 factories. Some owners were facing financial trouble and could not pay their workers in time.”

Mannan Kachi said there were issues about bonuses in Mirpur’s Liberty Fashion Ware, two factories in Jirani Bazar and in Badda’s Tuba Textile.
“Tuba Group sold off machines to pay their workers. Liberty Fashion is trying its best to pay up.”

BGMEA said it was actively supervising 1,000 small and medium factories after learning from detective agencies about possible workers unrest ahead of Eid.
“The BGMEA and the government took joint measures to ensure that the workers got their dues before Eid. Nine regional committees were formed for the 3,000 factories in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia, and Narayanganj.”
read more.
bdnews24

* Salaries, bonus ensured for all workers: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Monday said the owners have arranged salary and bonus for all workers and employees before Eid-ul-Azha covering cent percent factories.

The BGMEA leaders made the claim at a press conference held at the BGMEA conference room in the city.
BGMEA acting president SM Mannan Kochi read out a written statement in the press conference.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BSS BDCHRONICLE newstodayBD

* RMG workers take to streets for dues before Eid:

At least 30 people were injured as garment factory workers blocked road and clashed with the police in Ashulia on Monday for wages and festival allowance.

Hundreds of workers of Liberty Fashions Wear Limited started demonstrations in front of the factory in the morning and blocked Jirani-Shimulia road as the factory authorities had not yet paid their wage arrears and festival allowance.
The police charged batons, fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the workers.
Later, the workers blocked Dhaka-Tangail highway and engaged in clashes with the police.
The workers of Ruposhi Fashions Ltd at Dakkhinkhan also staged street demonstrations demanding wages and festival allowance before Eid-ul-Azha.
Labour leaders said that eight factories, which are the members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, were yet to pay dues and festival allowance to the workers.
read more.
BD new age

* All garment workers have been paid, BGMEA says:

Labour unrest still continuing over wage

Garment makers yesterday claimed that almost all the factories have disbursed salaries and festival bonuses to their workers in time so that they can celebrate the occasion with their loved ones.

“There were only 15-20 incidents this time,” said SM Mannan Kochi, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
“Following reports from different agencies that labour unrest might take place in about 1,000 factories over wages and bonuses, we closely monitored the situation.”

The workers of Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd, however, staged demonstrations in Ashulia and Mirpur due to a delay in receiving their dues ahead of Eid.
“Liberty Fashion is facing a crisis due to lack of orders from international retailers. Still, the owner of the factory will pay the salaries and bonuses.”

British retailer Tesco recently cancelled an order worth $2 crore with the Savar-based factory after its surveyor team found problems with the building’s beams, slabs and columns, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, former president of BGMEA.
The owner is trying to recuperate the losses, Murshedy said.
The owner of Tuba Group, too, has been facing difficulties in clearing its payroll. “But he sold off the machineries from one of his factories to clear the dues,” Kochi added.
to read.
daily star bd

* New statement up on Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd.:

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety was set up to ensure real and sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry are implemented effectively.

As part of the programme, we are inspecting factories covered by The Accord in order to identify safety and fire hazards that pose immediate risks to workers.

At Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd, Tesco, Debenhams, Primark and Li &Fung reacted following a structural inspection of the factory and found that Unit 2 (the main sewing unit) was in danger of collapse and workers were in grave danger.

The factory agreed to close unit 2 on 9th June 2013 and brands mentioned along with K-Mart (Australia), Target (Australia) and Carrefour gave substantial financial support to Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd to ensure workers were paid for July and EID bonuses. By 20th September 2013, work on Unit 2 had not yet been undertaken suggesting that the Company is unwilling to take any steps or present any plan to repair the building, despite several months of encouragement.

The Accord fully supports its members in their dealings with the factory and believes that they have acted responsibly throughout this case, prioritising the safety of workers and offering financial and expert support to factory management to help them address the issues.
It is regrettable that factory management have not been willing to address the issues they face despite this support. We believe it would be dangerous to allow workers to return to work in unit 2.
read more.
ACCORD

* Accord condemns Liberty Fashion’s delay in repairing factory building:

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which was set up to ensure real and sustainable improvement in apparel sector, has condemned dillydally by Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd in repairing its factory building.

The Bangladesh Accord Foundation in a statement said Monday that the Tesco, Debenhams, Primark and Li & Fung reacted following a structural inspection of the factory of Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd where the inspectors found that its Unit 2 (the main sewing unit) was in danger of collapse and workers were in grave danger.”

The factory agreed to close unit 2 on June 09 last and brands mentioned along with K-Mart (Australia), Target (Australia) and Carrefour gave substantial financial support to Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd to ensure that workers were paid for July and Eid bonuses.
By September 20 last work on Unit 2 was not undertaken suggesting that the company is unwilling to take any steps or present any plan to repair the building, despite several months of encouragement.
read more.

* Liberty Fashion workers demonstrate for dues:

At least 3,000 garment workers of Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd demonstrated yesterday at Zirani Bazar point on the Dhaka-Tangail highway, demanding payment for arrears and the festival bonus, police said.

SM Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said the workers took to the streets and blocked the busy road at around 10am for an hour.
“Police rushed to the scene and used rubber bullets and teargas to bring the situation under control. Nobody was reported hurt,” Badrul told The Daily Star by phone.
Marzina Begum, a helper at the factory, said they received Tk 1,500 in the afternoon. “We waited for the money for two days, but management did not pay us. At last, we took to the streets Monday.”
read more.
daily star bd

LW + 2

20131012-14

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Violent aftermath of Cambodian strike:

A strike among garment workers in Cambodia following demands for a monthly pay rise of US$14 sparked mass dismissals and arrests in June. The imprisoned workers are still in jail, waiting for charges to be filed against them.

In June, one of IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliated garment worker trade unions in Cambodia, the FTUWKC, suffered a serious backlash for striking in demand of a US$14 monthly pay increase.
415 workers identified by the management as participating in the strike were sacked. The workers at the Sabrina factory in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh produce for Nike, Wilson Sports Apparel and Lululemon Athletica.

Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for 16 workers, identified by management as instrumental in the trade union campaign. Eight workers went into hiding, and the other eight were imprisoned. Today, four months later, charges have still not been filed against them and they remain in the same prison cell.
read more.
Home

 20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labor, policy issues loom large over Batam:

The National Economic Committee (KEN) says quick changes in government policy triggering high costs and labor issues are threatening the manufacturing industry in Batam, Riau Islands.

“I met a lot of owners of holding companies in the manufacturing industry that supply components to major companies. To them, Indonesia is important, but we have the issue of uncertainty,” said KEN member Umar Juoro.
“Batam’s weakness is more on domestic issues. Batam is far superior in several matters compared to Penang in Malaysia or Vietnam, but when it comes to regulations and labor issues, Batam can’t compete.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference with the Bank Indonesia Supervisory Agency (BSBI), Bank Indonesia (BI) and the House of Representatives’ Commission XI overseeing finance, recently.
According to Umar, to improve the situation, the government should take immediate measures and apply a new and feasible model. Regarding manpower, intense negotiations should be carried out between trade unions and employers when considering wage increases, by putting inflation and productivity under consideration.
read more.
jakartapost

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Govt Formulates Rule on Labor-Intensive Wage. Read the full article here.
2. As Signing the Inpres, The President Wanted The Minimum Wages To Be Based On KHL, Productivity And Economic Growth. Read the full article here.
3. KSPI: Government pave ways to cheap wage policy.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
.

BetterWork Indonesia overview Media Updates here.
BW indonesia

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Woes of Kushtia textile mills workers rise:

At least five hundred labours of Kushtia Textile Mills have been leading sub-human life in the district for the last four years. Some of the labours committed suicide due to abject poverty.

The poor labours of the Mills have been passing their days in great hardship. A total of Tk twelve crore had been out standing in the Mills for the last four years. According to sources, the Mills was constructed in 1967 at Shawtipur village under Sadar upazila in a private initiative. The area of the Mill is 142 bighas of land. The establishment incurred a huge profit as the quality of the yarn was very high. The labours were happy in the Mills.
Under the policy of the then government the Mills was nationalized for the interest of the country in 1973. The financial condition of the Mills started losing right after nationalization of the Mills due to mismanagement, nepotism, indiscipline and corruption.
In the interest of labours the government had changed the policy of the Mills.
The government returned half of the share of the total share to its owner Afiluddin. Afterwards, the management failed to restore better performance of the Mills. The management tried their best to take it into a profitable position with their sincere effort but the management was not able to run the Mills properly for fund crisis.
As a result the regular basis salaries of the labours had been irregular in the Mills.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* PM: Wage hike to benefit RMG industry:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the readymade garment manufacturers to increase wages of the workers to benefit the whole industry.

“If owners buy one less suit or tie, nothing will happen to them. But when they give the money to the workers instead, the whole industry will benefit.”
She said the garment owners and workers have to have a good mutual relation to protect the industry from conspirators.
Prime Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day 24th Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo) 2013 at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Thursday.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) has organised the exposition.
“Hopefully, the minimum wage board will give us their recommendations soon,” said Prime Minister.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers to resume movement after Eid:

20131011 DHAKATRIBUNE RMGGarment workers gather in a meeting at Chandana Chawrasta of Gazipur on Friday afternoon

Garment workers in Gazipur announced Friday they will resume their campaign for an Tk8,000 minimum wage after the Eid holiday.

Sramik Karmachari Federation President Jahirul Islam made the pledge in a meeting held at Chandana Chawrasta to protest the recent deaths in the fire at Aswad Composite in Shreepur and Thursday’s attack on several workers’ leaders including Moshrefa Mishu.
Leaders of different workers’ organisations attended the meeting, which was presided over by Sramik Karmachari Federation President Jahirul Islam.
Jahirul Islam called upon the garments workers to make preparations for the movement.
A rally paraded the main streets of the city after the meeting.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Tazreen’s owner confined:

Angry readymade garment workers confined Managing Director of Tuba Group, Delwar Hossain, in his office demanding wage and bonuses ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha.

He had been seized since 9:00am on Saturday at Badda’s Hossain market by thousand workers.
Officer-in-Charge of Badda Thana Iqbal Hossain confirmed the matter to banglanews.
Workers said they confined Delwar as he was plotting to shut two factories in city’s Badda area in a bid to ignore due wages and bonus of over 1500 workers.
A deadly inferno in Tazreen Fashion Limited had killed over 100 workers last November and Delwar is accused for the incident.
Gulshan Zone’s Assistant Police Commissioner Nur Alam told banglanews that additional police forces were deployed to avert any untoward situation.
to read. & read more. & read more.& read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 BD new age NewNation

20131112 * Tazreen owner ‘confined, freed’ after paying bonus:

They kept Delwar Hossain, managing director and owner of the group, confined inside factory since morning

Several hundred workers of five factories of Tuba Group, of which “Tazreen Fashions” is a sister concern, kept its managing director confined inside a factory in the capital’s Badda on Saturday demanding due wages and Eid bonus.

Delwar Hossain, managing director and owner of the group, was confined since morning and was released around 11:30pm when the authorities started paying the workers’ Eid bonus.
Witnesses said the workers launched angry demonstrations after they had joined work in the morning. Apart from demanding dues and bonus, the workers also protested a decision of selling some machines of the factories.
Police said the workers were not given their wages for the last three months.

“None of the workers joined the workplace as they continued the agitation throughout the day on the factory premises,” said Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Badda police station.
Asked, he said as the workers staged demonstrations restricting all the entrances, the managing director of Tuba Group could not leave the factory premises.

Earlier in the day, Delwar had said he would not be able to pay the wages and bonus before Eid. But around 10pm, he agreed to pay the bonus.
At least 112 people, mostly women workers, were killed in the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia on November 24 last year.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131014 * Tazreen owner freed after 17hrs:

Garment workers of Tuba Group finally drew out their Eid bonus yesterday after holding the owner, Delwar Hossain, hostage for over 17 hours.

They released Delwar around 2:30am from his office at North Badda’s Hossain Market in the presence of policemen, said Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station.
Delwar, also owner of Tazreen Fashions Ltd at Ashulia, where 112 workers died in a deadly fire last November, has three garment units in Hossain Market.
He had been held by workers on the third floor and let go after the management of the factories paid off bonuses to their workers.
Law enforcers were present there at that time to prevent any untoward situation.
The authorities closed the garment units around 3:00pm on Friday, a little earlier than usual, saying there was less work for the day, said a worker of Tuba Textile, one of the three factories, wishing anonymity.
“The next morning when we came to work we saw there was no machine on the third and fourth floors.  We heard that the owner had sold the machines,” he said.
read more.
daily star bd

20131013 * Liberty Fashion Workers In Protest! :

Hundreds of workers have gathered around Liberty Fashions Wears in Savar protesting against the management for their unpaid wages.

These wages date back to the month of July 2013 (according to workers requesting anonymity) and were supposed to be paid by the 10th of August 2013; it has not been paid till date – with the festival holidays on their doorsteps, workers demand immediate payment or threaten to increase the magnitude of the protests happening right now in Savar, around Liberty Fashion Wears.

It also must be noted that the wage of the factory staff is due for 3 months beginning from July 2013, while the wage of the workers is due for two months beginning from August 2013.
Their festival bonuses are due as well. With the Bangladeshi Garment Workers being the lowest paid in the world, this denial of payment is tantamount to torture by starvation for workers of a factory which claims to be making for top European brands which constitute 75% of its production, apart from TESCO which pulled out on the 15 June 2013 claiming structural damage of the factory building, but also offering to support the factory and encouraging them to pay the workers their dues.
read more.

20131013 * More RMG unrest in Gazipur over wage:

Workers of two readymade garments factories observed a strike and protest, demanding payment of their wages and bonus, at separate places in Gazipur city on Sunday.

To avoid further deterioration of the situation, the authorities of the factory closed down the factory for the day.
S M Shamsur Rahman, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial police said, at about 8:30am, the workers of Parksin garments factory at Barabari area started striking and protesting inside the factory, demanding EID bonus and threatening abstention from work.
Later, the authorities assured them of payment of bonus by Monday and announced holiday for the day.
Around the same time, the workers of Tex tech Sweater factory at Saydana Malekar Bari started protest demanding 10 days of salary for the current month.
At one state, the agitated workers ransacked glasses and furniture of the factory.
On information, police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control, promising the workers to look into the matter.
A discussion was going on till the filling this report at 2:00pm.
to read. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

20131013 * RMG workers block highway for arrear, bonus:

20131013 UNB RMG-Workers-1
Photo by UNB

Traffic movement on Dhaka-Chittagong highway remained suspended for 40 minutes Sunday morning as workers of a garment factory put barricades in Siddhirganj of Narayanganj demanding arrears and Eid bonus.

Following the blockade, a three-kilometre jam was created on the both sides of the highway, causing immense sufferings to the homebound people ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, reports our correspondent from the spot.
Around 600 workers of Lithe Garment Factory took to the street around 10:30am and blocked the highway at Sanarpar point, demanding Eid bonus and salary that remains pending for two months.
The workers removed the barricades around 11:10am when police rushed to the spot and assured them of settling the issue after a negotiation with the garment authorities.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BDCHRONICLE bdnews24 newstodayBD
INDEPENDENT

* RMG workers abstain from work for salaries, Eid bonuses in Gazipur:

Garment workers of two factories at Barabari and Saydana Maleker Bari in Gazipur city abstained from work yesterday demanding their 10-day salaries of the current month and Eid bonuses.

To avoid any untoward situation, the authorities closed the factories for the day.
SM Samsur Rahman, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police, said around 8:30am, the workers of Parksin Garments Ltd at Barabari started the strike.
Later, the authorities assured them of paying their arrears within today.
Demanding their salaries, the workers of the other factory, Tex Tech Sweater Ltd, ransacked the factory.
On information, police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control.
Following a meeting among the Tex Tech authorities, industrial police and the workers around 2:00pm, the authorities paid the workers’ bonuses.
to read. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* The RMG industry in ferment:

The last week and a half have witnessed severe disruption in the RMG sector. Apparel workers have been agitating, seeking a minimum monthly salary of around Tk 8,000 (slightly over US$ 100 at current rate of exchange), a figure, slightly higher than our recently evaluated per capita income.

It has been claimed by some labour activists that this enhanced figure would be consistent with the millennium development goals ((MDGs).

The anger of the RMG workers has resulted in the vandalisation of nearly 200 motorised vehicles and partial destruction of more than 15 garment industrial units. They blocked roads, including the important transport corridors of Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highways. This unrest resulted in the closing down of about 160 factories in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj.

The owners were worried about possible destruction and arson within their premises and infrastructure. The relevant law and order authorities have tried to contain the violence through the exercise of minimum force but they were not successful always. Despite all their effort, there has been considerable loss in production, which is bound to affect exports and impact on our reliability as a source of RMG product.
read more.

LW + 2

20131011

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 20 – 30 hurt in RMG worker-cop clash in Savar:

DEMAND FOR SALARY, FESTIVAL BONUS

20131011 DHAKATRIBUNE 4-Mahmud-Hossain-Opu-(20)
Members of Bangladesh Garment Workers Trade Union stage a rally in front of the National Press Club on Thursday, demanding punishment of the owners of Aswad Composite Mills. Photo by DhakaTribune. 

At least 20 workers of a readymade garment factory were injured as they clashed with police demanding payment of their salary and festival bonus in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, Thursday morning, police said.

The authorities of Liberty Fashions Limited, the centre point of the violence, suspended the production for today following the clash.
During the 30-minute clash, the marauding workers also vandalised the windowpanes of their factory at Jirani Bazar in Ashulia.

The clash erupted around 9:00am when the workers saw a notice at their factory saying that their salary for the month of September and festival bonus ahead of the Eid-ul-Azda, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be distributed on October 13.
Earlier, the workers were told to collect their salary and bonus on Thursday.
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daily star bd  UNB INDEPENDENT Ittefaq newstodayBD
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* GM fired after RMG workers demo:

Authorities give in to demands of having Eid holidays extended to 10 days and the dismissal of general manager of a Gazipur RMG unit

Authorities sacked the General Manager of a garments unit in Gazipur on Thursday following a wave of agitation from workers.
Police said the workers of Viela Textile at Tongi’s Sataish area called a strike and began to demonstrate from around 8:30am.
They demanded to have the Eid holidays increased to 10 days from the usual seven and the dismissal of General Manager Razzak for his abusive behaviour.
Police rushed to the spot and managed to bring the situation under control.
Assistant Superintendent of Police in Gazipur industrial zone 2, ASM Shamsur Rahman said the authorities have decided to give in to both demands.
The factory was later announced shut down for the day and the workers left the vicinity.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Workers’ unrest and our economy:

The prevailing workers’ unrest in the garments sector located at Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong indicates that the scenario may turn even grimmer.

Whenever any party announces hartal or blockade programmes, labour unrest breaks out countrywide. If any rumor spreads in business hubs that any factory worker is killed or committed suicide inside a garments unit or cracks are found on the wall of a building, all factory workers gather on the streets in no time without any permission of the garments authorities.
It has become their habit that they vandalise vehicles, torch vheciles, march and chant slogans on the streets for their demand.
It is important to notice that in this situation some culprits and hooligans join the workers and allure them for more vandalism as instigators.
The repetition of these incidents destroys our economy.
The following demands of the workers must be clear:

1. Upgrading the wages of the workers according to latest wage board.
2. Giving full security inside the factory.
3. Arranging tiffin for workers.
4. Creation of improved working environment.
5. Ensuring maternity leave as per Domestic Labour Law 2006.
6. Distributing a portion of gross profit to workers annually.
7. Evaluating them on the basis of their performance every year.
8. Arranging a health care centre for garments unit.
9. Facilities for entertainment.
10. Ensuring extra benefit to workers who are seriously injured or die in accidents or natural deaths on duty.
11. Workers should be enlisted for group insurance as per rules.

The garments owners must fulfil their demands so that they refrain from any destructive attitude and activity. BGMEA should closely monitor and prevail upon garments authorities in goading them to concede to the workers’ demands.

The government should take initiatives to pursue foreign buyer (investors) to pay higher prices for garments. If foreign buyers can increase the price of garments, garments owner pay more wages to workers. If the parties involved are conscious in this regard, all garments unit will be safe from any turmoil and subsequently stability will prevail in this sector.
Nazim Khondaker
Indesore Sweater Ltd.
Gazipur
to read.

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Pension sought for weavers:

State Handloom Minister Sarojini Hembram has demanded pension for weavers in the State.

Ms Hembram while addressing convention of Handloom Ministers at New Delhi said, “the State is known by fine works of weavers worldwide.
A pension scheme will go a long way in sustaining their economic and social development.”
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

 20131010

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers’ protest in Ashulia:

To press the demand for due salaries, RMG workers of Liberty Fashion staged protest in Ashulia, outskirt of Dhaka, on Thursday morning.

Witnesses said that the agitated workers started protest at around 9:00am at the factory premises demanding to payment of their due salaries and Eid bonus. At one stage the factory workers vandalized and torched vehicles, and blocked Zirani-Shimulia Highway.
The workers and law enforcers locked into a clash, police charged baton and opened fire to take the situation under control, leaving at least seven workers injured.
Additional law enforcers were deployed in the area to avoid unwanted situations.
Director of Industrial Police Mostafijur Rahman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

 18:21:45 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Trade unions demand decent work & wages:

The Trade Union Co-ordinating Centre (TUCC), comprising 15 trade unions, has placed four demands before the government, including decent working conditions and wages.

Anton Marcus of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & GSEU) told The Island Financial Review that the demands included that the government drop all plans to enact laws and regulations legalizing manpower agencies, stop employing temporary workers in all state corporations and state institutions and instead provide permanent employment in filling all vacancies.
read more.
island

LW + 2

 20131009

 20:51:45 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
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citra-indonesia

LW + 2

 20131008

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BLF demands fair wages for extra work of tannery workers:

The other demands are providing proper training of workers to avoid accidents

Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation (BLF) demanded fair wages for extra work of tannery workers.

The demand was raised at a human chain organised in front of the National Press Club on Monday.
Speakers said tannery workers have to do extra work, but do not get fair wages. The production would be increased, if the owners ensured worker’s right.  Rights of workers should be confirmed for the development of the society and nation, the speakers added.
The other demands are providing proper training of workers to avoid accidents, ensuring better work environment for workers and rehabilitation of victims of accidents.
President of BLF Abdus Samad presided over the meeting. Among others, Secretary General ZM Kamrul Anam, member Rani Khan and tannery owners and workers were also present at the programme.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* BD RMG to remain competitive even after wage hike: Hanna:

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna on Monday observed that the readymade garment (RMG) sector in the country will remain competitive in the global market even after the wage hike of workers.

“Still, there’s a scope to remain competitive and move up the wages,” he told a seminar at a city hotel.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised the seminar, ‘Reinventing the RMG Sector: Emphasising on Social Accountability and Security’, ahead of the 24th Bangladesh Apparels and Textile Exposition 2013.
William Hanna also called on the country’s apparel manufacturers to increase the wages of workers annually, adjusting it with the inflation.
read more.
UNB

* RMG workers’ violent demo in Gazipur:

The workers of a garment factory staged violent demonstrations at Targachh in the city on Monday to press home their several demands.

Quoting locals, police said the workers of ‘Ehsan Moonlight Sweater Factory’ went on the work abstention in the morning to press home their demands that include a hike in the attendance allowance and leave from seven days to 10, and the arrest of the production manager for beating a fellow worker.
At one stage, the workers damaged the glasses of the factory.
Being informed, police rushed in and tried to disperse the agitating workers when a chase and counter chase took place between the two sides.
read more. & to read.
UNB

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Handloom weavers’ plea to Collector:

20131008 theHINDU
Members of Tirupur District Handloom Weavers’ Union at the Collectorate in Tirupur on Monday seeking free distribution of ‘motorised spool’ to entire weavers by the government.- Photo: R. Vimal Kumar

Members of Tirupur District Handloom Weavers Union met Collector G. Govindaraj on Monday with a request to cover the entire weavers under the proposed free distribution of motorised ‘pirn’ and steps for streamlining the distribution of weavers credit card.

Plan
Union president N. Kanakaraj said according to the present plan of the government, the motorised ‘pirn’ would be given to only 25,000 weavers, who were the part of the cooperative societies.

Demand
“Our demand is that the gadget should be given to the entire three lakh weavers in the State. The introduction of motorized pirn in lieu of the present hand operated pirn for wounding weft yarn will help the weavers increase the productivity and quality of the fabric,” he added.
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131005-07

20:51:45 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

20:51:45 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

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* 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

 18:21:45 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

LW + 2

 20131004

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Struggle That Pays Off:

Struggle Trade Unions / Workers in defending their rights to fruition.

Is a State Administrative Court (PTUN) Bandung Banten and the winning of the battle SP / SB’s.
To win two PTUN is done the labor class action filings related to minimum wages delay.

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal display, in Banten 1 penanguhan company rejected the minimum wage PT Yoshin.
“The same thing in West Java, Bandung State Administrative Court ruled in favor of workers in West Java back wins (26/9) where the Bandung State Administrative Court in favor of labor, delay that is pushing the minimum wage from 257 company, 209 penanguhan denied minimum wage and only 48 companies are granted penanguhan minimum wage,”He said in Jakarta, Wednesday (2/10/2013).

According to, minimum wage workers’ struggle has been won and the law has been proved that the minimum wage is penanguhan full engineering, no permenakertrans ineligible 231 year 200.3
“And only a few companies that really can not afford to pay the minimum wage. The majority of companies are able to pay the minimum wage which has been proved by the administrative court ruling,”He added.
read more.
citra-indonesia

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers protest in Ctg:

20131003 BANGLA24

Workers of a sweater factory staged protest in Kalurghat BISIC (Bangladesh Institute of Small Industry and Cottage) Industrial area in the port city on Thursday morning.

Sources said protesting of sudden announcement of closure of the factory; workers took to the roads and started throwing brick-chips at four to five factories at around 10:15am.
Chase and counter chase were occurred between police and agitated workers as police tried to stop them.
Confirming the matter, Sub-inspector of Detective branch of Industrial Police Arifur Rahman Arif told banglanews, “On Wednesday night, Azim Group instantly declared their factory shut which made workers angry. We are trying to calm the workers.”
to read. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE BD new age

* Garment workers fill streets in Bangladesh:

In their largest protest so far, 50,000 garment workers in Bangladesh took to the streets Sept. 21 in Dhaka, the capital, demanding a more than doubling of the minimum wage and safer workplaces.

The demonstration takes place as workers in the industry are stepping up efforts to organize unions in face of fierce resistance and harassment from the bosses.
“We are pressed with our backs against the wall, so we need to raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of United Garment Workers Federation, said in a phone interview Sept. 23 from Dhaka. The federation of 52 garment workers groups organized the demonstration.

“The economy moves on the backs of our labor and we are not backing off,” Akter said. “We need the increase to keep up with inflation. The rent for one room is often $35 a month and workers have to share.” The minimum wage is $38 a month. The average is roughly $15 above that. Workers are demanding a raise to $103 minimum, while garment bosses offer a 20 percent increase.
read more.
MILITANT

* How Garment Workers Decided $104.72 a Month Was A Living Wage:

Monday, after a week of protests, Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers agreed to increase the minimum wage for workers in the industry. But they haven’t agreed on how much it will be.

The garment workers are asking for $104.72 a month, which would more than double the current minimum. To get to that number, they created a monthly budget that, they figure, is the bare minimum.

20131003 NPR pm-budget-300Source: Proposal of Workers for RMG Minimum Wage; ILO; Asia Briefing
Credit: Quoctrung Bui / NPR

Rubana Mohammadi who runs a few garment factories, has argued that if the union gets the increase they’re asking for, the price of a Bangladeshi-made T-shirt could increase by 20 cents.
That would make it harder for Bangladesh to compete with other countries among buyers who are looking for the lowest possible price.
Vietnam, a competitor to Bangladesh’s garment industry, has a minimum wage that ranges from, depending on what part of the country the factory is in.
read more.
npr

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Delhi government increases minimum wages:

Delhi government today increased the minimum wages for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled in the national capital.

The new rates have come into effect from today. Last time the rates were revised in April this year.
The government has increased monthly minimum wages of unskilled labour from Rs 7,722 to Rs 8,086, of semi-skilled labour from Rs 8,528 to Rs 8,918 and of skilled labour from ` Rs 9,386 to Rs 9,802.
read more.
et

LW + 2

20131003

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* As Signing the Inpres, The President Wanted The Minimum Wages To Be Based On KHL, Productivity And Economic Growth:

In an effort to align the minimum wage policy with productivity and national economic growth, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) signed the President Instruction (inpres) Instruksi Presiden Nomor 9 Tahun 2013 on September 27th 2013 on the establishment of minimum wage policy in the context of business continuity and the increase of labours.

President instructed Coordinator Minister of Economy, Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Industry, Head of National Police, Governors, Regents and Mayors, to coordinate and integrate in taking necessary actions according to their respective authority and functions in order to align the minimum wage policy with national economic growth and productivity considerations.
The aim is to establish business continuity and national industry growth, also to improve workforce welfare.

President SBY specifically instructed Menakertrans to define and enact the wage and national wage system development  policy, with provisions such as follow:

1. Minimum wage is based on proper necessities of life (KHL), productivity and economic growth;
2. Minimum wage at province/regions/city level is directed to achieve KHL;
3. Province where the Minimum Wage is still under KHL, the wage increase would be distinguished between Intensive Creative Industry and others;
4. Province where the Minimum Wage achieves KHL or more, the wage increase would be set upon employer and workforce of the company.
read more.
RI setkab-GOV

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Garments worker protest wages in Gazipur:

At one stage at noon, the workers came out from the factory and started a rally at the Dhaka-Gazipur road in front of the premises

20131002 DHAKATRIBUNE Gazipur-(3)- 02 October 2013- Garments worker protested-2_0
The employees of Odesa Fashion limited have been protesting since Tuesday, police said 

Workers of a sweater factory in the Naljani area of Gazipur went on strike on Wednesday to demand the fixing of their production wages.

The employees of Odesa Fashion limited have been protesting since Tuesday, police said.
On Wednesday morning, the workers again started their protest and observed a strike. Later, they attended a meeting with the factory owners but it ended without a proper result.

At one stage at noon, the workers came out from the factory and started a rally at the Dhaka-Gazipur road in front of the premises. On information, police rushed in and moved the worker sfrom the road.
Later, the factory authority announced a holiday for the day.
Jahidul Islam, Officer In-charge of investigation of Joydebpur Police, said additional police were deployed at the area.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers demonstrate for arrears in Ashulia:

Workers of two garment factories at Kumkumari Bazar in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, demonstrated at the factories yesterday demanding their arrears.

Ashulia Industrial Police said the workers of Maa Stitch Ltd and Noorzahan Fashion Ltd sought their arrears of August and September.
Although the authorities of the factories earlier assured them of paying it within October 1, they did not do so, police added.

Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police, quoting Noorzahan Fashion authorities, said the management could not pay the arrears in time due to financial crisis.
He said the factory owner yesterday reassured them that they would pay it within October 15.
The workers said they would go for tougher movement if necessary.
Maa Stitch Managing Director Mohiuddin Ahmed could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
to read.
daily star bd

* 100-dollar dream teases RMG workers? :

On the industrial outskirts of Dhaka, which is dotted with big and small clothes factories, thousands of workers took to the streets demanding a minimum wage rise.

Last week, protestors blocked roads, set factories on fire and clashed with police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Some 200 apparel plants – which make clothing for some of the world’s top retailers such as H&M and Carrefour – had to remain closed for a week.
The last time the government raised the minimum wage for the garments sector was in 2010. Now the workers are demanding an increase from 3,000 taka (38 dollars) to 8,114 taka (100 dollars).
That is more or less the price that a pair of brand name jeans made in Bangladesh sell for after it reaches the shopping mall shelf in Warsaw or Berlin.
The employers agreed a 20 percent hike, increasing salaries to 3,600 taka or about 46 dollars. But most commentators considered the increase a mockery and this offer led to riots.

In Bangladesh the minimum wage is fixed for each sector separately.
The differences are substantial: transport workers or shop attendants get twice as much as the average wage for three million Bangladeshi garment makers.
The latter are at the bottom not just nationally, but globally. According to a study by the Japan External Trade Organisation released in December, only in Myanmar do garment workers earn less.
In neighbouring India their wages (in dollars) are twice as high as in Bangladesh, in China five times as high.

The minimum wage is theoretical, everyone takes overtime. IPS interviewed some women working as sewing machine operators who positioned their monthly earnings at 8,000 to 9,000 taka (about 102 to 115 dollars). Usually their workday stretches over 11 to 12 hours.
But raising the bottom threshold is important, because this means an increase for everyone.
According to trade union leader Masood Rana, the wage demands are partly a result of a growing awareness among the workers. After the hype over the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April that took the lives of 1,133 workers, workers began to realise how much Western consumers pay for clothes made by their hands.
read more.
NewNation

LW + 2

20131002

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* BetterFactories Media updates 25 September – 1 October 2013, GMAC urges factories to resist new monitoring:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-09-25 Management agrees on pay advance

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-09-25 Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay factories shut
2013-09-26 Opposition party threatens nationwide labour strikes
2013-09-27 Investors play down impact of labour strikes
2013-09-28-29 Striking workers stopped by military police

BetterFactories Media Updates Overview here.
BF NEW

 20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum Wage: Action Against Errant Employers To Be Known Next Year:

Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot has said that the action to be taken against employers who failed to implement the minimum wage policy will only be determined on Jan 1 next year.

“We will wait for the policy to be fully implemented before we decide the action to be taken against errant employers,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the 11th collective agreement between Genting Malaysia Berhad and Genting Malaysia Berhad Workers Union here on Tuesday.
Riot said the National Wage Consultative Council, together with the Consultative Technical Committee, were in the midst of studying the applications for postponement submitted by several employers.

“We will scrutinise the applications. If the reasons given can be accepted, we will allow the postponement, if not, we will reject the applications,” he said.
The minister said employers who had not made any application for postponement would be considered to have accepted and implemented the minimum wage policy.
read more.
BERNAMA

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG sector: Leading in times of uncertainty:

20131002 DHAKATRIBUNE rmg-edi_0
Workers are seen working in a garment factory

The ongoing labour unrest is the latest in the series of setbacks hindering our RMG sector. With two large industrial accidents occurring in quick successions, the sector has been under pressure for quite some time. The current turmoil is further aggravating the already-precarious situation, which many feel has far reaching impacts.

We take a lot of pride in our RMG sector, with its record breaking export performance and its position as the second biggest RMG exporter after China. Sustained growth of RMG is seen as an integral part of our aspirations for achieving middle income status.

Renowned consulting firms like Mckinsey have already attested to the sector’s growth potential. However, amid prevailing optimism and fanfare, industry leaders have failed to gauge the structural changes looming large in the horizon.

Current uncertainties

Rising wages: The current turmoil is mainly centered on workers’ demand for a hike in wages. With rising food and non-food inflationary pressure, wage hike seems a reasonable demand. However, currently a huge gap exists between the workers’ demand for a minimum wage of Tk8,000 and BGMEA’s offered wage of Tk3,600. The negotiation may ultimately yield minimum wage between Tk4,500-5,500, which is set to result in a 60% increase from existing levels.
(…)
Currency depreciation for India: A depreciating Indian currency has once again boosted the price competitiveness for Indian exporters. As a result, RMG manufactured in India will become attractive to international buyers resulting in a possible loss of export orders from Bangladesh. The downward trend in Indian economy is set to persist for sometime which may lead to prolonged period of cheap Indian rupee and will not bode well for us.

Rise of Myanmar: Myanmar’s road to democracy has enabled them to move away from international isolation. The current government has repeatedly portrayed their pro-business credentials by devising policies encouraging international investors. With geographic location beside China and access to sea, Myanmar has strategic value. Availability of cheap labour and natural resources is an added sweetener. Alongside, the Myanmar government is heavily investing in infrastructure which may take a couple more years to take shape.

Industrial accidents and image issues: Recent spate of industrial accidents has seriously dented the image of RMG sector abroad. Some international buyers have already expressed their reservations about continuing breach in the sector’s compliance issues. USA has already suspended GSP facility for Bangladesh and EU is threatening to follow suit. Possible cancellation of GSP by EU may have devastating impact on Bangladesh.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers demonstrate in Savar for arrears:

Workers of a garment factory at Arapara in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, yesterday demonstrated at the factory demanding their arrears.

Ashulia Industrial Police said the workers of Fair Knitting Ltd sought their arrears of August and September.
The factory authorities earlier assured them of paying it within October 1, police added.
The factory Production Manager Badrul Alom said the management could not pay the arrears in time due to financial crisis.
He said the managing director yesterday reassured them that they would pay it on October 5.
The workers said they would go for tougher programmes if the management failed to pay them by that time.
Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police, said additional police were deployed at the factory.
to read.
daily star bd

* Why the double standard for RMG wages?:

The big question is – can we still compete with China after the next wage increase?

The editor of a leading English daily wrote about minimum wages for the RMG sector in the Daily Star last Friday, stating that the garments industry pays 0.8% tax whereas corporate tax for other sectors is 40%. This is a blatant misrepresentation of facts and a clear example of negative media bias towards the garment owners.

The fact is, garments exporters pay 0.8% tax at source on gross export, regardless of profit or loss. With industry average profit margins of less than 5%, that translates to 20% tax on profit, even though the corporate tax rate for garments is 10%. The government does not refund this excess tax, even if we claim a loss.

Meanwhile, our competitors in China do not pay tax on exports, get preferential rates of exchange and other export incentives. Bangladeshi garment exporters have to import fabric from China, our main competitor, at additional cost and longer lead times, so the only competitive advantage we have is lower wages, which account for less than 20% of the cost of a garment. Dysfunctional politics, hostile unions, inadequate infrastructure and higher interest rates are challenges that our Chinese competitors do not have to deal with.

When the minimum wage was increased from Tk1,662 to Tk3,000 in 2010, buyers were compelled to pay higher prices, as long as we were still price competitive with China. The big question is – can we still compete with China after the next wage increase?
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* No protest of workers’ in October:

The garment factory owners and worker leaders put on their legs on the same shoe to keep the agitated RMG workers calm declaring the wage board orally within November.

The workers are in stable position after getting this assurance and there is a hope for no more workers demonstration in the current month at least.
Textile Garments Workers Federation disclosed that keeping the Eid-ul-Azha and wage board assurance issues in mind, the owners and worker leaders together urged to be calm and patient to workers.

The General Secretary of the federation Tapan Saha said that factory leaders and workers are complementary to each other and we all should work for keeping this industry alive.
Wage Board officials said that they are trying their best to provide a wage structure within November though it is suppose to be in December.
Moreover the government set a minimum wage board structure in June with eight members including a neutral one.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Re-fixing garments workers’ wages:

Month-long garments workers’ agitation has captured media attention but the solution continues to elude.

Each and every garments factory has the documents showing the cost of production, profit, wages and salaries paid and it is not difficult to dictate what should be the fair wages and salaries of workers and employees. Very often earnings of the workers of China, Vietnam, and Indonesia are mentioned and it is not difficult to compare the efficiency and wages of our workers against those countries.

In the event CPD formula is applied, what should be the impact on our market as millions of takas is likely to be flowing in the market in the form of wage hike. Cost of living against wages may be determined through a few experts as formation of wage board or pay commission is just a waste of time. Let us be pragmatic in finding out a rational solution to the problem.
to read.

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* Definition of ‘basic wages’ for calculation of PF contribution:

In a recent ruling that favours employees, the Delhi High Court has expanded the scope of basic wages to be included for Provident Fund (PF) contribution.

Under the PF rules, contribution towards PF is to be calculated on basic wages, dearness allowance, retaining allowance and cash value of any food concession.

Basic wages have been defined to mean all cash emoluments, except:

(a) Cash value of any food concession;
(b) Any dearness allowance;
(c) House rent allowance, overtime allowance, bonus, presents; and
(d) Commission or any other similar allowance.

The concept of ‘basic wages’ on which PF contribution is to be calculated has always been a debatable issue. The Supreme Court has laid down two tests to determine whether a component is included in the definition of ‘basic wages’ or not. These are ‘test of universality’ and ‘test of contingency’.

Applying the test of universality, if a component is paid universally, necessarily and ordinarily to all employees of a company, the same is included in the definition of basic wages. Applying the test of contingency, if a component is paid subject to uncertain events like overtime payment, the same is excluded from the definition of basic wages.
read more.
Financial-express

LW + 2

 20131001

20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* 600,000 SMEs allowed to postpone minimum wage implementation:

About 600,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been given permission to postpone the minimum wage implementation until December, said Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Mutallib.

The employers need more time to restructure operations and cut down losses before starting the minimum wage implementation, he said when responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) at the Dewan Rakyat today.
To the original question from Wan Hasan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun), Ismail said the government would allow SMEs to have discussions with employees before restructuring their salaries and allowances.
read more. & read more. & read more.
MY sinchew MALAYSIAKINI BERNAMA

20:51:45 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Constitutional Court Cancelled Regulation on Severance Payment Expiry Date. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
2. West Java Court Cancelled Governor Decision Letter on Minimum Wage Waiver. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English version here
.
3. Workers demand wage of Rp 2.1 million per month. Read the full article here.

BettwerWork Indonesia Media updates overview here.
BW indonesia

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers deserve higher minimum wage:

Garment workers were recently engaged in siege and arson. Besides the capital and adjoining areas, the unrest spread to the outlying areas also. Agitating garment workers came out on the streets in large numbers, demanding minimum wages at Tk 8,000.

Police used lathi-charge, lobbed tear gas shells and opened fire. Law-enforcement agencies came into clashes with the garment workers. A large number of garment factories remained closed because of the unrest in the industry.

Entrepreneurs have complained that there are both local and foreign conspiracies to destroy the otherwise booming garment sector. The Home Minister has alleged that the Jamaat-e-Islami and some other reactionary groups are behind the recent unrest in readymade garment (RMG) sector.
Some foreign nationals employed in garment sector are also alleged to be involved. Reports of unrest have been published in local and foreign press.
These reports are reportedly destabilising this sector. Although Bangladesh is in second position in garment export globally, the workers in this country get the lowest wages.
While in China, wage is around Tk 17,000 per worker per month, it is only Tk 3,600 in Bangladesh. A Vietnamese worker gets 109 dollars while in Cambodia the minimum wage is 70 dollars, in Thailand 221 dollars, in the Phillipines 175 dollars , in Indonesia 114 dollars and in India 70 dollars.
read more.

* RMG workers’ wage ‘not increasing as per production, earning’:

The wage rate of the country’s RMG workers is not increasing in tandem with the increase in production and export earning in the sector, says Chairman of Dhaka University’s Economics Department Prof MA Taslim.

“Since the fiscal 2006-2007, the RMG production has had three-fold increase, but the labour force has not increased accordingly. This indicates the wage rate is not increasing as per the productivity,” he told a national dialogue on RMG workers’ issues on Monday.
The dialogue was organised by Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) at LGED auditorium. In fiscal 2005-2006, the export earning from the sector stood at US$ 8 billion and it hit US$ 21.5 billion in fiscal 2012-13.

Taslim said, “Given the higher increase in export earning compared to the number of labor force, the employers cannot deny the increase in the profit.”
“The employers can only deny the factor of their profit making only on the ground that the capital labour ratio decreasing. If that happens, they must be accused of unsustainable expansion of the industry,” he said.
read more. & read more.
UNB BD new age

* No regular wages for workers of small-scale apparel factories:

Majority of the workers of small-scale apparel factories do not get wages and overtime on a regular basis and most of these units lack required safety measures, a recent survey has revealed.

Besides, both managers and workers of these units do not have adequate knowledge about safety-related issues, according to the survey.
The survey recommended that smaller factories, having poor safety standards and compliance records, be brought under strict monitoring.

The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) conducted a random survey on some 100 RMG units located in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj to uncover compliance and safety violations following the tragic Rana Plaza collapse in Savar that killed more than 1100 workers.
Some 500 garment workers were interviewed under the survey conducted during August and September, key focal points of which were structure of the buildings, safety steps against fire and electricity mishaps and compliance of labour laws.
read more.

* Economics and business of minimum wage in RMG:

It is paradoxical that the our readymade garment (RMG) industry attained stupendous success on the back of what one local daily found it apt to describe as “ruthless exploitation” of workers.

The truth might be a bit more sobering than that because of the complex phenomena created by a vast army of surplus labour desperately seeking work in a tight jobs market. The Rana Plaza episode has brought the issue of labour standards, worker rights, and workplace environment in the forefront of the discourse.
These are issues not to be ignored anymore. Singular attention is now focused not just on a living wage but on what the minimum wage should be in the $20 billion garment industry. Raising the minimum wage will affect wage setting across the board in the RMG sector. It is as much a human and social challenge as it is an economic one.

Thus the debate on the subject of raising the minimum wage in the RMG sector is heating up. Not surprisingly, there are as many shades of opinion as there are speakers on the subject.
read more.

* Normalcy returns in garment factories:

The owners’ promise to implement wage board recommendations instantly has helped quelling a massive workers’ unrest in garment factories and there was no violence or demonstration in the labour intensive industrial areas on Monday.

The factories have become busy to fulfill their supply commitments to buyers, as most of the workers have returned to their jobs peacefully. They are now trying hard to cover the gap that was made during the weak-long unrest.
Garment factory owners promised on Sunday to raise wages for more than three million workers as soon as a government panel sets a figure, ending a weeklong violent protest, different agencies reported.
The manufacturers said they would raise wages by as much as the panel decides, despite earlier insisting they cannot afford more than a 20 per cent increase on the existing minimum wage of $38 a month.
read more.
NewNation

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* MGNREGA workers to receive compensation for wage delay:

Taking a serious exception to undue delay in payment of wages under MGNREGA scheme, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh issued letters to all chief ministers of the country, including Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren seeking their attention on the matter.

In his letter, Ramesh has also highlighted the latest amendment to para 30, schedule II of the Act that makes payment of compensation to labourers compulsory in case there is a delay in payment of wages.

Further, Ramesh has also stated that the act stipulates payment of wages within 15 days of closure of muster roll. However, there have been delays in payment amounting to Rs.2,700 crore which is around 25% of the net wage payment. “The MIS records and field reports further suggests of the total amount, wages worth around Rs.125 crore have been delayed beyond 90days,” the letter said.
read more.
TOInew

LW + 2

 20130928-30

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20130928 blockades

20130927 * No violence at RMG hubs Friday:

After six days of workers’ violent protests, the country’s apparel industrial hubs finally passed a day without any violence on Friday. Most of the factories remained closed because of weekly holiday.

Workers’ violence for minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 rocked the country’s largest foreign currency earning sector for the last six days until Thursday. This caused frequent production suspension.

However, the law enforcement agencies continued to put in place precautionary measures at Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and Narayanganj apparel industrial zones to avert any trouble there.
“At last, we passed a day without any violence. Most of the units were closed as Friday is a public holiday,” Assistant Director (Intelligence) of Industrial Police-1 Md. Moniruzzaman told the FE.
read more.

20130927 * MKA blames Jamaat for RMG sector trouble:

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Friday alleged that Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and some other reactionary parties are behind the recent unrest in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.

“Some hired people and activists of Jamaat and some other reactionary parties are trying to create a chaos in the RMG sector,” he said.
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& read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 primenews Ittefaq newstodayBD BD new age
INDEPENDENT

20130928 * Politics blamed for unrest in RMG sector:

A minister’s open involvement in garment workers’ politics has been blamed for the latest unrest in the country’s RMG sector. People tend to believe that narrow politics must not destabilize the industry.
Violence in the country’s garment sector took a fiercer turn as the garment workers passed off the 6th consecutive day vandalizing and agitating on the streets on Thursday last which indicates that the industry is facing a fresh crisis and destabilization. The government deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel at Gazipur on the weekend to protect factories and vehicles in the Dhaka-Tangail highway.

Apart from Gazipur, the violence has spread to Ashulia, Savar and Narayanganj around the capital. It is also reported in the port city of Chittagong as the workers are putting a united front to realize the minimum wage package. Owners have so far offered a 20 per cent wage hike from existing Tk 3000 minimum wage only to cause serious reaction from the workers’ side.
read more.
BDCHRONICLE

20130928 * RMG UNREST OVER SALARY HIKE- Workers block road, clash with cops:

Apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur Saturday morning blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway for nearly 30 minutes to press home their demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,114.

The workers claimed that at least 20 of their fellows were injured in the clash that reported from Chandona intersection of Sadar upazila.
When contacted, Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police, said they had not information about the injuries, reported our correspondent.
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& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd  INDEPENDENT  BANGLA NEWS24  DHAKATRIBUNE  UNB BD new age
primenews Ittefaq  bdnews24 newstodayBD

20130928 * RMG workers protest in Ashulia- Factories shut; 20 injured:

Authorities of five readymade garments in Ashulia shut their factories for Saturday following unwanted workers’ agitation.

Locals said the agitated workers of Noble Comfort Composite Limited along with workers of four other factories started protest at the factory premises at around 8:00am.
The agitated workers hurled brick chips aiming the factories and police dispersed them firing rubber bullets and tear shells.
Later workers locked into clash with police, leaving at least 20 people were injured in Ashulia’s Bishmail-Zirabo road at around 9:00 am.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

20130928 * Bangladesh garment workers protest low wages:

Clashes with police break out near Dhaka, in some of the biggest demonstrations the country has seen in months.

Garment workers in Bangladesh have been clashing with police in some of the biggest demonstrations over low wages that the country has seen in months.

The unrest broke out as the police tried to disperse protesters who had blocked a main highway in Narayanganj, which is near Dhaka, the capital.
read & see more.
aljazeera

20130929 * RMG workers resume protests:

After a lull for the weekend, apparel workers resumed demonstrations in Gazipur and Savar on Saturday stoning factories and battling with the police to push their demand for Tk 8,100 in their minimum monthly wage.

At least eight apparel units were shut for the day at Kathgara and Jirabo in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka following fresh tension.
Workers of Comfort Garments at Kathgara started demonstrations at around 8:00am when they found a notice of the factory closure and moved to other factories asking fellows to join their protests.
The angry workers threw stones at the units of Comfort Composite Limited, Azmat Group, Deco Group, Cross Wear Limited and some other factories during the demonstrations.
At about 9:00am, the workers gathered on Bishmile-Jirabo road blocking traffic.
read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

20130928 * Minimum wage soon after announcement: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Saturday promised that apparel makers would implement the recommendations of the wage board immediately after its announcement.

BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam said this after a marathon meeting with workers leaders at city’s BGMEA Bhaban.
The garment makers and the labour leaders in the meeting agreed to work together to stop the unrest ensuring smooth production in the greater interest of the sector.

Both the garment makers and leaders of more than 40 trade unions in garment sector also agreed to stop disseminating rumours and spreading vandalism in the export-oriented sector.
Atiqul Islam also urged all the garment makers to pay salaries and bonus to the workers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
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UNB DHAKATRIBUNE BDCHRONICLE bdnews24

20130929 * BGB patrolling violent-hit RMG areas:

The number of Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) troops has been increased in Gazipur areas on Saturday. 

A total of 6 platoons of the BGB is now patrolling there to avert unrest or violence, Gazipur DC Md Nurul Islam told reporters. On Thursday, 3 BGB platoons had been deployed.
Apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in the capital’s outskirts Savar and Gazipur Saturday morning to press home their demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,114.
The workers claimed that at least 25 of their fellows were injured during the clashes at Chandona intersection of Gazipur Sadar upazila and Kathgora area in Ashulia of Savar.
During the demonstration, which stemmed from the salary hike demand on September 21, the workers also blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway for nearly 30 minutes from 10:40am.
In the meantime, the authorities of six garment units had to suspend the production at their factories for Saturday in the wake of the demonstration in Ashulia area of Savar. At Gazipur, the clash ensued in Chandona intersection around 10:40am as police tried to disperse over 5,000 workers charging truncheons when they blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
(…)
The BGMEA , which represent garment factory owners, called for calm. “We are waiting for the decision of the wage board. I ask the workers to be patient,” BGMEA president Atikul Islam told reporters. He claimed that the workers were being provoked to turn violent — but did not say by whom.
Meanwhile, labour leaders vowed to go on with their movement until the workers’ demand is met.
“The movement will continue till the demand of a minimum wage of Tk8,000 is met,” Kahirul Mamun Mintu, general secretary of the Savar-Ashulia chapter of Garment Workers’ Trade Union told reporters.
read more.
NewNation

21030929 * Behind-the-scene players of RMG unrest identified:

Intelligence to submit report to Govt: Vested quarters ignited workers: BGMEA, BKMEA seek probe

Intelligent agencies have identified some under cover players who are involved in the latest spell of workers’ violence in the garment industry, sources said on Saturday.

They said the last five days workers unrest that rocked the country’s major industry, was an act of destruction patronized by some persons of some political parties.
“A vested quarter working with some political parties has created the trouble in the country’s key garment industry with an intention to push the government to the back foot,” a senior NSI official told The New Nation yesterday asking not to be named.
He added: “When an uneasy political situation is prevailing in the country and the government is facing the end of its tenure, the quarter ignited flame of the unrest in the industry in a pre-planned manner to catch fish in the troubled water.”
The NSI official further added that they have identified the patrons of the unrest who are actively involved in the local politics.
When asked, he said, this was not a labour unrest because most of the protestors who took part in the violence were outsiders hired by the vested group.
“They wanted to create a chaotic situation in the sector with an ill motive to defame the government.”
“We have identified the behind-the-scene players, who provoked the unrest,” said the NSI official, adding, “We have prepared a report on the issue and it will be sent to the ministry concerned for their appraisal.”
Expressing their grave concern over the unrest in the sector, the apparel industry leaders yesterday demanded immediate punitive actions against the persons responsible for the violence.
read more.
NewNation

 20130929 * RMG owners, labour leaders reach consensus on 5 points:

Readymade garment (RMG) factory owners and labour leaders Saturday pledged to work together against any kind of volatility in and conspiracy against the garment sector.

At a joint press briefing in the city Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and labour leaders said they have reached a consensus on five points.
According to the consensus, both the parties would work together to calm down the worker unrest which recently created a volatile situation in the sector.

They also agreed to thwart any kind of domestic or international conspiracy against the industry.
In the press briefing, the leaders said some opportunists were spreading rumours for their personal gains which the owners and the labour leaders would foil jointly.
The leaders also urged the government to find out the culprits and bring them to book.
At the briefing the owners promised to clear payment of salaries and festival bonus before Eid-ul Azha.

The labour leaders urged the wage board authorities to declare new wages for the workers. They were assured that all the owners would also implement new wages in their respective factories immediately after they are declared.
read more.

20130929 * Labour leaders scuffle over Shajahan’s role:

Supporters of the shipping minister, Shajahan Khan, scuffled with their rival group members during a meeting between leaders in the apparel sector and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association on Saturday.

The apparel exporters’ association organised the meeting with the labour leaders on the current situation of the apparel sector.
The association’s president Atiqul Islam presided over the meeting held in the BGMEA conference room.
Labour leaders became divided into two groups at the meeting. The group opposed to Shajahan Khan blamed him for instigating the unrest in the sector. The leaders said that the unrest had broken out as the minister had instigated the workers by holding a rally in Dhaka on September 21.
The group loyal to Shajahan protested at the remarks and picked up a quarrel which resulted in a scuffle.
Witnesses said that labour leaders had clashed and BGMEA leaders had contained the situation.
Association and labour leaders then agreed on some issues, Atiqul Islam told reporters after the meeting.
read more.
BD new age

 20130929 * Responsibility for latest RMG industry turmoil:

The owners dare to make such a degrading and utterly insensitive offer because they are well organised under the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association with the shining but illegal eyesore of a head office located in the middle of a lake. They receive hefty government largesse and subsidy and other favours. They have an unholy nexus with the government and law enforcers to suppress legitimate workers’ demands and rebuff their need for better working conditions, writes Omar Khasru

After six days of unrest, agitation and demonstration by garment workers, it was relatively calm on Friday, September 27. All concerned were apprehensive as to how long would this welcome respite last.
It was not clear if the garment workers in their resolve for higher wages were just taking a short break.
Or they will take a bit more time to see what tangible and constructive steps factory owners and government take to meet their legitimate demands. On Saturday, September 28, the workers in Gazipur and Ashulia demonstrated for higher wages again and there were clashes with law enforcers. The turbulence, however, was on a relatively smaller magnitude.

Volumes have been discussed, dissected and divulged about the latest garment industry disturbance and disruption. This vital sector in recent years customarily maintained relative but uneasy calm interspersed by occasional outburst due to wage dispute, accidents and casualties at factory fires, mistreatment of workers, lack of timely pay and festival bonus and overall callous and deleterious attitude of the owners.
(…)
The Tk 3,000 monthly wage for garment workers in Bangladesh is the lowest in the world by a significant margin. Here is the relative wages of garment workers in various countries, according to the US-based Worker Rights Consortium and Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights:
20130929 NEWAGE

It is obvious that the puny wage in Bangladeshi is quite a bit lower than that in any other country and less than half of the nearest competitor. This is a glaring example of the sheer exploitation, subjugation and slave labour treatment of the garment workers in Bangladesh.
read more.
BD new age

20130929 * Hefazat chief instigated RMG unrest: Labour minister:

Labour minister meets RMG factory owners, requests payment of all outstanding wages by Eid

Hefazat-e-Islam Chief Shah Ahmed Shafi was one of the instigators of the recent unrest in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector, Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has claimed.

The minister said the continued spate of industrial unrest was the work of quarters that wanted to destabilise the country’s law and order situation.
He made the remarks to journalists after a meeting with RMG factory owners on Sunday.
The minister said: “The government is investigating into the matter and taking appropriate actions against those who are behind the unrest.”
Raju said he had requested the owners to clear all outstanding wages and bonuses before Eid-ul-Azha, which is due to be observed in approximately a couple of weeks’ time.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE UNB newstodayBD BD new age

20130929 * Protests ebb as Bangladesh garment factories agree wage rise:

Bangladeshi garment factory owners promised Sunday to raise wages for more than three million workers as soon as a government panel sets a figure, ending a week-long violent protest.

The manufacturers said they would raise wages by as much as the panel decides, despite earlier insisting they cannot afford more than a 20 percent increase on the existing minimum wage of $38 a month.
They made the announcement after holding talks late Saturday with the leaders of more than 40 unions representing workers in 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh, the world’s second largest apparel maker after China.
The government has already said wages would be raised by November, a month earlier than the previous deadline, but the exact figures are still unclear. Unions have demanded a minimum wage of $100.
“We told the unions that we’ll hike wages for all workers as soon as the new minimum wages are announced by the government panel,” said Atiqul Islam, head of the influential Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
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BD new age Ittefaq INDEPENDENT

20130929 * Govt adopting ‘repressive policy against RMG workers’:

Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre leader Montu Ghosh on Sunday accused the government of adopting a repressive policy to thwart the movement of the readymade garment (RMG) workers seeking wage hike.

Addressing a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club, he also alleged that police and outsider miscreants have been launching brutal attacks on the protesting workers at the behest of the Home Minister.

The human chain was organised by the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre demanding that the minimum wages of the workers be set a Tk 8,000.
It also demanded immediate arrest of the attackers on its leaders Zainal Abedin, MA Shahin and Iqbal Hossain during the workers’ protest in Narayanganj on September 26, and also the release of Zainal Abedin whom the police arrested following the attack.
Montu Ghosh urged the government to stop harassment and arrests of workers and thus maintain a congenial atmosphere in the industry.
to read.
UNB

20130930 * 30 injured in RMG unrest at Sreepur:

At least 30 garments worker were injured as they clashed with police at Natun Bazar of Sreepur blocking Dhaka-Mymensingh highway on Sunday.

Police fired nine gun shots and 20 tear shells to disperse the workers from the highway.
The workers also vandalised machine, furniture and computers inside the Asrotex factory alleging that its owner had hired musclemen to attack the workers.
One of the directors of the factory Mirza Anisur Rahman rejected the allegation.
He said the factory was closed after the violence and he would have no other option but to announce lay off if the situation continues, reports the correspondent in Gazipur.
read more.
BD new age

20130930 * RMG workers ransack factory demanding manager’s removal:

Workers of Esarotex Knitwear at Notun Bazar in Sreepur of Gazipur ransacked the factory yesterday demanding removal of its administrative manager.

They went on a rampage on the ground, fourth and sixth floors in the afternoon alleging that some people hired by Manager (Admin) Sumit Borua attacked them Thursday while they were demonstrating in the factory demanding minimum wage.
Witnesses said around 1,400 workers chanted slogans against Sumit and started vandalising machine, computers and furniture.
Later, they blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh highways near the factory.
Following the blockade, industrial police fired tear gas and shotguns to disperse them, said Gazipur Industrial Police Inspector Helal Uddin.
The workers claimed around 30 of them were injured in police action.
However, police said no one was injured.
On the removal, Sumit, denying his involvement in the attack, said he did not know about the attack and the workers’ demand was illogical.
to read.
daily star bd

20130930 * Worker leaders demand hike in textile wages:

Worker leaders yesterday protested against the recent police attacks on garment workers in Dhaka and Chittagong and demanded an immediate hike in the textile sector wages.

They asked for an increase in the minimum wage to Tk 8,000 at the entry level, in the backdrop of the rising prices of essentials and skyrocketing house rents. They also demanded their salaries and bonuses be paid before Eid-ul-Azha.
The government and owners should take proper steps to stop the ongoing unrest, said Sukkur Mahmud, president of Jatiya Sramik League, the workers’ wing of the ruling Awami League.
He spoke at a press conference on the causes and solutions to the labour unrest, organised by Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP), a labour organisation, at its office on Topkhana Road in the city.
The owners’ proposal to hike the garment workers’ wages by only Tk 600 has fuelled the unrest, he said.
The minimum wage is Tk 10,000 in Pakistan’s garment industry, so the amount should be at least Tk 8,000 in Bangladesh, Mahmud said.
read more.
daily star bd

20130930 * Wage board members leave left Dhaka for three countries:

Members on the minimum wage board for apparel workers left Dhaka on Sunday to see for themselves the apparel-sector wage structure in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

All the six members of the board along with a labour ministry official and an International Labour Organisation official would first visit Cambodia. They will then visit Vietnam and Thailand.
read more.
BD new age

18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

20130928 * Weavers stage demonstration:

Handloom weavers staged a demonstration here on Friday demanding higher wages and began an indefinite dharna.

The weavers protested outside the head office of the Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC) under the aegis of the Akhil Karnataka Kaimagga Nekar Sangha, led by sangha vice-president N.J. Malawade.
The weavers alleged that although they had put forward their demands before Textiles Minister Baburao Chinchanasur, there had been no response from him. Raising slogans against the corporation and the government, the protesters complained wages had not been revised for the last two years. They demanded an increase of 50 per cent in their wages.

The protesters alleged instead of giving work to the weavers, KHDC officials were purchasing cloth from elsewhere, and because of this the number of weavers attached to KHDC had reduced from 40,000 to 10,000.
They said senior officials of KHDC were often away in Bangalore, although the head office was in Hubli, and lower level employees were managing the office.
Although senior officials of KHDC assured them of action, the protesters said they would continue their dharna on Saturday, when Mr. Chinchanasur is scheduled to visit Hubli.
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20130927

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGB deployed in Gazipur:

12 RMG units shut in Gazipur, 20-70 hurt as workers clash with cops in Savar

District administration has deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Gazipur as the garment workers continued their demonstrations for the sixth straight day Thursday demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8000.

The authorities were forced to suspend production of at least 12 units at Jirani of Gazipur in the face of workers’ agitation.
Besides, at least 20 workers were injured when they clashed with police in Jirabo area of Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital.
Police charged batons and fired several rounds of rubber bullets to disperse the agitating workers.
Production at hundreds of garment factories in Dhaka and on its outskirts had remained suspended since Saturday due to the unrest.

GAZIPUR
The paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain the law and order situation in the industrial area, said Nurul Islam, deputy commissioner of Gazipur.
(…)
SAVAR
The clash ensued at Jirabo when over 1,200 workers of T Design and Mascot Garment tried to block Dhaka-Tangail highway around 10:30am to press home their demand.
(…)
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BDCHRONICLE

* RMG Unrest: BGB deployed in Gazipur:

In the wake of labour unrest in apparel factories for the last five days, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed here on Thursday to maintain law and order.

The BGB troops were patrolling the industrial belt alongside police and Rab members to ensure smooth production in the garment factories.
According to garment factory officials, almost all the garment factories went back into production in the morning.
Additional police have been deployed at the main gates of the factories and the surrounding areas to ensure foolproof security.
Meanwhile, a group of workers staged demonstrations and put barricades on Kaliakoir-Nabinagar road in Jirani area for half an hour in the morning.
Besides, some factories at Chandra Trimor in Kaliakor upazila, which were declared closed on Wednesday following the labour unrest, kept their production suspended today as well.
According to union leaders, the workers of two garment factories in Naojor area of the city did not join their respective workplace as they did not get any assurance about wage hike from the owners.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq

* Police in open fire as textile workers protest over pay:

20130926 CLICKITTEFAQ

Bangladeshi security forces have opened fire on textile workers protesting in pursuit of a higher minimum wage.

Police used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas on day five of demonstrations near the capital Dhaka.
Workers on a minimum wage equivalent to 28 euros a month, want their monthly income to rise to 74 euros.
The huge Bangladeshi garment trade has been under the spotlight amid deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.
In the latest protests, workers are said to have dispersed after security forces moved in. Police did not provide details of the injuries sustained.
to read.
Ittefaq

* RMG unrest hits N’ganj for 6th day:

The workers of readymade garment (RMG) factories in Narayanganj continued their agitation for minimum wage of Tk8,000 for the 6th straight day on Thursday.

Police said workers from 10-12 garment factories tried to block the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road near Shibu Market under Fatullah thana around 9:30am, while they were demonstrating to press home their demand and they were also later joined by workers from some other factories in the area.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT newstodayBD

* RMG workers’ demo in Ashulia:  20  injured in police action:

At least 20 people were injured when police tried to disperse the workers from Dhaka-Tangail highway where they took position urging garment owners to reopen their factories.

Witnesses said workers from 10 factories of Panishail area in Gazipur gathered in front of their respective factories and at one stage they took position on highway at around 8:15am.
Later, police fired tear shell and rubber bullets to bring the situation under control, leaving 20 people injured.
Following the matter Industrial police director Mostafijur Rahman told banglanews, “Some workers took position on the road in the area and we dispersed them.”
The situation is under control now and the vehicle movement is as usual, he added.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Over 100 hurt in RMG workers-cops clash in N’ganj:

Over 100 people, including 15 policemen, were injured as garment workers clashed with police at Fatullah while staging demonstration for minimum wage of Tk8,000 for the 6th straight day on Thursday.

Witnesses said several thousand of workers from 10-12 garment factories took to the streets and blocked the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road near Shibu Market and Lama para around 10 am, disrupting traffic for three and a half hours.
When police fired rubber bullets and tear shells to disperse the unruly workers they attacked police, triggering a fierce clash.
read more. & read more.
UNB

* 80% factories resume production in Gazipur: BGMEA:

Most of the apparel factories in Gazipur and Savar zone have resumed operation amid scattered protests by the workers demanding for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100.

To contain agitation that may lead to any vandalism, the government has deployed forces of Border Guard Bangladesh in the industrial zone of Gazipur and neighbouring areas.
Former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy has welcomed the BGB deployment. He said factories busy with Christmas production should be allowed to carry on their operations. ‘Presence of BGB personnel will work as a detrimental factor to any vandalism.’
He said most of the factories in Konabari and Gazipur areas have resumed operation. ‘I guess some 80 to 90 per cent factories have opened.’
read more. & read more.
BD new age primenews

* Security boosted at RMG factories after unrest:

20130926 PRIMENEWS Security_boosted_1

Paramilitary forces were deployed to guard garment factories outside the Bangladeshi capital on Thursday, after workers vandalised them and clashed with police as they protested to demand higher wages.

Forces drawn from the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh and the police’s Rapid Action Battalion were deployed in Gazipur industrial district, 40 kilometres north of Dhaka, as workers demonstrated for a sixth day, police officer Mosharraf Hossain said.
The owners of at least 20 garment factories announced unscheduled holidays, fearing violence after the workers took to the streets and blockaded a major highway, Hossain said.
read more. & read more.
primenews NewNation

* Textile workers fed up with conditions:

Over 200,000 textile workers in Bangladesh have taken to the streets, some clashing with police, rioting and setting factories alight, to demand a higher minimum wage.

Bangladesh’s textile workers are among the poorest paid in the world. Most of the people employed in the sector receive a minimum wage, which in the year 2010 was raised to around US$ 38 per month (3,000 taka) after mass protests.
But workers in the industry are now demanding that a further increase to US$ 100 per month.
Economist Shapan Adnan from Dhaka says the demands are modest, considering the high cost of living. “According to a recent study, a family of four would need at least 182 euros per month just to make ends meet.”
read more.
NewNation

* RMG protests over wages on:

Ignoring the government’s call for returning to work, garment workers in Narayanganj, Ashulia and Kaliakoir staged violent demonstrations for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday to push their demand for Tk 8,100 in minimum monthly wage.

Workers went on the rampage in Narayanganj even after the government asked the law enforcement agencies to take stern action against ‘outsider creating disorder’ in the apparel sector.
Gazipur was relatively calm on the day after deployment of Border Guard Bangladesh in the industrial zone. But a section of garment workers took to the streets in Kaliakoir in the district for wage hike.
Factory owners kept their units closed in many areas to avoid damage to factories.
New Age Narayanganj correspondent reported that at least 50 workers were injured as the police charged batons and fires rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse violent demonstrators in the port city.
read more.
BD new age

* Garment workers stay rowdy:

Production remained suspended for the sixth straight day yesterday in at least 30 garment factories due to vandalism by workers in spite of patrolling by paramilitary personnel.

The government deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel in Gazipur to bring the situation under control, but the agitated workers continued to wreck workstations and front faces of factories at Ashulia, Savar, Zirani, Narayanganj and Gazipur with vengeance, rendering the area unsafe.
The vandalism, which started on September 21 over the garment owners’ resistance to a 170.5 percent pay rise for the workers, also left 70 people including police and passersby injured yesterday.
“Security is the main problem,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the garment makers’ platform.
Some factories at Kashimpur, one of the worst-hit areas, however, were reopened yesterday, but the presence of workers was very thin.
“The environment was better yesterday as a good number of members from the law enforcement patrolled the areas,” Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Savar and Ashulia Zone Garment Owners’ Association, said.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible! :

Every so often our RMG sector comes under battering, most of which are self-inflicted. Some are delivered by the owners and result from violation of rules and norms that wreak losses in terms of lives of workers and destruction of the factory.

And sometimes the damage is inflicted by the workers themselves who, allegedly, always are either outsiders, whatever that means, or belong to factories other than the ones that are made the target of vandalism. The assault is sometimes from inobtrusive vicious forces whose identity one finds difficult to establish.
It is not for the first time that we are seeing the RMG sector come under severe strain.
The question is whose, if any, and why, is our RMG industry the target?

The conspiracy theory is being bandied again, and perhaps, there are reasons to believe that the RMG sector is once gain being used for political profiteering. And, given the inexplicable involvement of the shipping minister, who having arrogated, if not appropriated, the responsibilities of the labour as well as the industries ministers to himself, has compounded the matter by his indiscrete and irresponsible remarks. He has willy-nilly become the enfant terrible of the establishment.
read more.
daily star bd

* Govt, owners liable for RMG unrest:

Tens of thousands of workers in Bangladesh’s garment factories have been protesting in recent days to demand an increase in the minimum wage for their industry, which the government last increased three years ago.

The government has answered by ordering police to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters rather than addressing the real grievances of the workers.
This astonishing response is the latest example of the blindness of Bangladesh’s leaders, including the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to injustices the rest of the world can see but they refuse to acknowledge, let alone address.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Exercise restraint, NYT urges BD police, RMG workers:

The New York Times (NYT) in an editorial published on Wednesday urged police and garment workers in Bangladesh to show restraint in the wake of escalation of violence over the demands for wage hike in the garment industry.

The editorial also suggested that all the stakeholders including the western retailers have a responsibility for restoration of industrial peace, which Bangladesh is unlikely to achieve without higher wages.

However, it advised the government to take step first by stopping the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on mostly unarmed protesters. It has also said the relevant authorities should raise the minimum wage and make it easier for workers to form unions.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT

* Fix it quick or lose business:

Say top apparel exporters

20130927 DAILYSTAR
Police retreat during a clash with garment workers demanding an increase in minimum monthly salaries. The photo was taken yesterday in Shibu Market area of Fatullah, Narayanganj. Photo: Palash Khan

When it comes to paying employees, the best policy is to settle the matter as quickly as possible, because it reduces a businessman’s liability down the line, say country’s top exporters.

The Daily Star has talked to four top apparel exporters on the recent tension between labour leaders and factory owners over the minimum wage.
The exporters want an amicable solution to the crisis, or else they fear western buyers might turn away from Bangladesh as they did in the case of Sri Lanka in the 1980s. At that time, western buyers switched to Bangladesh from the island nation as an alternative sourcing country for apparel products.
The exporters said a wage hike by Tk 600 would be too little for workers, while the demand for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 is unrealistic. They said the issue has to be settled in a way that creates a win-win situation for both workers and owners.
read more.
daily star bd

* Right of Pay for Labor … Bangladesh Minimum Wage Movement Continues …:

As the minimum wage demand enters its 6th day, workers have taken over to the streets in the industrial area of Ashulia, Savar, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Abdullahpur, Uttara, Tejgaon, Tongi and Badda. The BGMEA claims of more than 2000 factories being shut down due to worker absenteeism to support the movement and also due to worker agitation.

At least 3000 factories have been shut down while the garment factory owners report that the losses in business that they may have to suffer due to such unrest may be huge.
Although the BGMEA has not given any clear indication, the factory owners claim that due to the unrest they are forced to shut their factories down till the Muslim Eid Holidays (the second biggest festival in Bangladesh); thus, with such a move, opening up a huge scope of denying festival bonuses for workers who would otherwise have planned few rare moments of happiness with their family during these holidays.
It must be noted that a Garment Workers in Bangladesh often is found to be working 7 days a week for long hours which may even cross the legal 8 hours of work with 2 hours of overtime (10 hours maximum/daily).
read more.

LW + 2

20130926

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Apparel workers’ demo enters fifth day:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers continued demonstration to press home their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, for the fifth straight day in capital and its suburban areas, Wednesday.

Though most of the workers of the factories in the area joined their work, some of the factory authorities declared a holiday for the day to avert violence.
Traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway came to a standstill for nearly half an hour as workers blocked the road at Konabari and Kaliakoir–Nabinagar highway at Chandra area.
More than 100 factories were shut in the face of demonstration.
The workers of several apparels units in Konabari area came out and began demonstration to realise their demand.
They pelted brick bats at the factories that remained opened from the morning.
Later, they took position on Dhaka-Tangail highway and blocked the road.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 BSS Ittefaq
bdnews24 newstodayBD

* RMG Unrest over Salary Hike- 144 units shut amid unrest:

The authorities of over 144 garment factories suspended production of their units in Gazipur for Wednesday when the apparel workers’ unrest over salary hike stepped into fifth consecutive day.

At least 25 workers were injured when police charged batons on them as they were demonstrating for more than one hour blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway and Dhaka-Narayanganj link road.
The marauding workers also vandalised at least 10 vehicles and eight factories in Savar and Gazipur.
The workers’ unrest stemmed Saturday from their demand for a minimum wage of Tk 8,114.
(…)
GAZIPUR
The managements of more than 144 RMG units in Gazipur were forced to shut the production of their factories fearing further vandalism, reported our correspondent quoting Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Industrial Police.
Today’s demonstration started around 8:30am when the workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway, halting transport movement for two hours.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 20 RMG workers were injured during a 30-minute clash with law enforcers in Jirani area of Gazipur around 9:30am, reports our Savar correspondent.
The clash ensured around 9:30am when several thousand workers of Machihata Group, Pall-Mall Group and Jeans Plus blocked Dhaka-Tangail highway which is the divider point between Gazipur and Savar.
(…)
NARAYANGANJ
Around 5,000 workers of at least seven RMG units gathered in front of Shibu Market and tried to block the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road around 9:30am.
On information, police rushed to the spot and managed to disperse the workers after 15 minutes, reports our Narayanganj correspondent.
Around 10:30am, the workers returned to the street and blocked the link road, halting transport movement.
read more.
daily star bd

* 150 more RMG units shut: 60 hurt in clashes :

Nearly 60 garment workers and policemen were injured Wednesday in the latest spell of violence in the country’s key apparel manufacturing hubs leading to suspension of production at around 150 more ready-made garment (RMG) factories.

The workers vandalised vehicles and factories and engaged in clashes with law enforcers during the protests that rocked the RMG belts in Gazipur, Narayanganj and Ashulia.
read more. & read more.
NewNation

* Workers’ unrest in Savar, Gazipur & 2nd :N’ganj:

Readymade garments workers of Ashulia and Gazipur on Tuesday staged protest by blocking Nabinagar-Kaliakoir highway demanding Tk 8,000 as minimum salary.

At that time, more than 100 workers were injured as the protesters locked into a chase-counter chase with police.
Sources from the police and workers said that the workers started demonstration inside the Machihata factory of Panishail area in Gazipur at around 8.30am Tuesday.
At one stage, labourers took position on the Nabinagar-Kaliakoir highway as the owners failed to come up with any decision.
read more. & 2nd.
BANGLA NEWS24 BANGLA NEWS24

* Over 300 RMG factories closed in Gazipur over violence:

Over 300 garment factories were closed in Gazipur as the ready-made garment (RMG) workers continued their rowdy protests for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday in different areas demanding fixation of the minimum wage at Tk 8,000.

Over 100 factories were closed on Wednesday following the violence while 200 others were closed earlier on Tuesday night for an indefinite period fearing insecurity.
read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq

* RMG workers stage demo in Chittagong + RMG workers stage demo in city, 4 districts:

They staged the demonstration demanding the clearance of their due salary and an end to the oppression of the high officials

The workers of a readymade garment (RMG) factory staged a demonstration in their factory in Kadamrasul area in Sitakunda upazila, Chittagong on Wednesday.

Thousands of workers of Sunman Textiles staged the demonstration demanding the clearance of their due salary and an end to the oppression of the high officials.
Police sources said four workers were injured during a scuffle between factory officials and workers in the factory.
Two officials were allegedly assaulted during the incident.
Locals said the RMG workers closed the main gates of their factory at 10am and staged their demonstration.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE DHAKATRIBUNE

* Police fight on with apparel workers:

The police on Wednesday fought with apparel workers in Gazipur, at Savar in Dhaka and in Narayanganj for the fifth consecutive day as the workers continued with violent demonstrations for Tk 8,100 in their minimum monthly wage.

The workers continued to ignore the government’s call for joining work and the factory owners also kept their units closed in the areas to avoid damage being done to factories.
The minister for home affairs, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, on the day said that there was no unrest in the apparel sector and only a few incidents had taken place. The minister at his office in the morning said that there was no violence but a problem in Gazipur on the day.
Reports from Gazipur said at least 50 workers had been injured as the police charged at them with truncheons.
read more. & read more.
BD new age 

* No unrest in apparel sector, claims Home Minister:

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday claimed that there was no unrest in the readymade garment sector.

After a meeting on law and order situation in the country ahead of Eid and Durga Puja, he told reporters at the secretariat that there were some stray incidents in the export oriented apparel industry.
‘It is nothing big’, he said about the ongoing agitation by the garment workers who are insisting to increase their wages.
‘Today (Wednesday) almost all factories excepting a few in Gazipur are in operations’, he added.
The apparel workers are continuing demonstration to realise their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, for the fifth straight day in capital and its suburban areas, Wednesday.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE UNB INDEPENDENT Ittefaq
BDCHRONICLE NewNation

* MKA talks tough against those trying to destabilise RMG sector:

‘Both govt, owners responsible for unrest’

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday warned that any attempt to create crisis in the readymade garment (RMG) sector will be dealt with a strong hand saying that any attack on the sector is tantamount to attack on the national interest.

“The ill-attempt by outsiders to destablise the RMG sector will be curbed with all the strength,” he said while talking to reporters after a tripartite meeting among the Home Ministry, and the representatives of the owners and the workers.
The emergency meeting was held at the Secretariat against the backdrop of the ongoing violent protests by RMG workers across the country demanding an increase in their minimum wages.

“Those taking stands against the garment industry are going against the national interest. I call on the workers to make sure that there is no disturbance until the minimum wages are declared,” said MK Alamgir.
It can be assured that the new minimum wages award will come at the end of November through the minimum wage board already constituted by the government, he added.
(….)

Bangladesh Textile Garment Workers’ Federation president Mahbubur Rahman Ismail said both the government and the owners are responsible for the recent unrest in the sector.
“About four and a half months have passed by since the minimum wage board has been formed. It’s now very uncertain whether the wages can be declared within the one and a half months’ time left for this government,” he said.

“The sooner the wage is declared, the quicker the unrest will calm. If the government has the will, the minimum wage can be declared before the Eid,” he added.
read more. & read more.
UNB BDCHRONICLE

“The key export sector of the country is facing severe unrest for the last few days. Stability is needed for the sake of owners and workers,” acting BGMEA President SA Mannan Kochi said.
He added that the owners were not short of intentions to raise the monthly wage, but if the unrest lingered on, they would not be able to pay the workers before the Eid-ul-Azha.
BKMEA President Selim Osman said that they were concerned over the unrest.

“If this continues we will not be able to pay salary, bonus before the Eid,” he said.
read more.
bdnews24

* Treachery by factory owners to make matters worse:

As the latest round of labour unrest in the apparel sector over wages continue, the factory owners, grouped under the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, have appeared increasingly inclined to treachery.

As if their proposal for a Tk 600 increase in the minimum wage for apparel workers from Tk 3,000, based on the argument that any further hike would translate into more losses for factory owners and could even lead to closure of a few factories and thus leave a number of people unemployed, was not treacherous enough, they now say that they would not be able to pay wages and festival allowances to the workers if the unrest in the sector continues.

As reported in New Age on Wednesday, during a press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban, the factory owners predictably blamed the ongoing workers’ agitation, marked by violence and vandalism, on instigation by vested interest groups, to create a chaos that ultimately hinders the export business, and said that if they failed ‘to make shipment in time, workers will not get wages and festival allowances.’ Such a statement, reasoned it may appear though, amounts to a veiled threat and even blackmail, and could only deepen the workers’ discontent and intensify their agitation.
read more.
BD new age

* Onus on owners:

The recent troubles in the readymade garment sector had been coming for a long time. Not that they had ever gone away – they were just festering following previous bouts of flashes and gathering strength.

The crux of the troubles in fact dates back to the birth of our garment industry in the 1980s. Growing in the shadow of the Sri Lankan civil war, our industry was based on a few fragile factors.
For one, it was heavily dependent on an abundance of cheap labour, mostly illiterate. The industry looked towards government support, direct and indirect, such as currency devaluation, tax benefits and cash incentives.
For another, as the industry grew exponentially, its dependence on cheap labour remained unchanged. Its management, labour standards and technology either did not improve or improved little.
The industry grew in a roguish manner as its owners became powerful in society, enough to control politics and bend rules. Finally, it became a rogue industry itself defying rules and regulations, an industry that little values human rights and dignity and gives a damn to the environment.

This is exactly why we find our Mercedes-riding garment owners offering to raise wages of workers only by Tk 600 — to Tk 3,600! When the last wages were set at Tk 3,000, that was a low base. Since then we have seen runaway inflation and yet the owners could not feel the heat of it. Probably they live above the leaping price flames. It also reflected on how little they sympathise with their workers.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG Unrest: BGB deployment from Thursday:

Amid unrest in apparel factories, the government has decided to deploy Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) apart from Rab and police around garment factories in the trouble-hit areas to ensure foolproof security and smooth production from Thursday.

“Yes, BGB will be there along with Rab, police and industrial police. The Home Minister has told us,” former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Abdus Salam Murshedy told UNB over phone on Wednesday night.
He said the decision came from a meeting between Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir and a delegation of garment factory owners held at the secretariat. BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam is now in New York.
Earlier in the day, the Home Minister warned that any attempt to create crisis in the readymade garment (RMG) sector will be dealt with a strong hand saying that any attack on the sector is tantamount to attack on the national interest.
The emergency meeting was held at the Secretariat against the backdrop of the ongoing violent protests by RMG workers across the country demanding an increase in their minimum wages.
to read.
UNB

* RMG owners decide to resume operation from today:

The government on Wednesday asked the law enforcement agencies to go all out against ‘outsiders creating disorder’ in the apparel sector.

Hours after saying that there was no unrest in the apparel sector, the home
minister, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, gave the directive to the agencies at an emergency meeting at the secretariat with owners and trade union leaders in the sector.
‘There are some stray incidents of disorder in some places… We will go all out to contain outsiders creating disorder in apparel factories,’ the home minister told reporters after the tripartite meeting held to resolve the current crisis.
He assured the owners of heightening security and asked them to resume operation in all factories today.
The Bangladesh Exporters’ Association president, Abdus Salam Murshedi, also a former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, said that the owners had decided to resume operation today on the assurance of security from the government.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garments sector in turmoil, again:

The country’s garments sector is once again in turmoil. Workers have gone berserk in many industrial belts, attacking garments factories, vehicles on roads and highways and even a camp of the law-enforcement agency.

For the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, violence spread from one industrial zone to another, forcing closure of apparel factories.
This is a cause for serious concern, particularly at a time when two of the greatest religious festivals of two major communities of the country are only days away.
Clearly, it was an unwise move on the part of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders to offer a wage raise of a paltry sum in public.
Business acumen dictates that the apparel leaders opened up a behind-the-door channel of discussion with various trade union leaders representing the garments workers.
They could even be in touch with the ministries concerned. One might assume that even the BGMEA leaders do not subscribe to the belief that the offer would be enough. They offered it as a bargaining chip without a proper thought to its consequences.
read more.

* Buyers worried, factory owners slow to respond:

H&M joins IndustriALL Global Union to support demands for increased wages

Readymade garment factory owners have been slow to respond to workers’ demands for increasing minimum wage.

Despite the risks of continued protests, given that global retailers are watching the industry to see how the situation is handled, the owners’ associations have not responded with due urgency as workers’ agitations have spread.
In Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and Narayanganj another volatile day passed with workers vandalising vehicles and factories, prompting owners  to shut units and police to swing into action.
On Monday night, industry leaders assured Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, one of the labour leaders negotiating between workers and factory owners, of an amicable solution.
(…)
“Buyers are very, very scared,” said Rubana Haq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, who supplies leading brands such as H&M, Zara, Esprit as well as Wal-Mart.
(…)
Europe’s second-biggest retailer H&M joined IndustriALL Global Union, which supports increased wages. According to a Bloomberg report, H&M’s spokesperson Andrea Roos said: “We strongly support the workers’ demand (for increased minimum wage).”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

*  BGB deployed in Gazipur Industrial Zone:

Paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops have been deployed in the Gazipur Industrial Zone in order to bring the situation under control on Thursday; the sixth day of the ongoing labour unrest.

According to the district administration, BGB members, along with industrial police and district police, will be patrolling in the industrial zone to keep the law and order situation in the area under control.
Assistant Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Md Mosharaf Hossain said: “To keep the law and order situation normal in the area, the administration has decided to deploy the BGB troops in Gazipur.”
The BGB members had already started patrolling the area since Thursday morning, he added.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* The economics of minimum wages:

20130926 DAILYSTARBusiness-39
Garment workers shout slogans during a protest asking for wage increase in Dhaka on September 21. Thousands of workers took part in the protest to demand a minimum monthly wage Tk 8,000. Photo:AFP

The Rana Plaza tragedy, although devastating and sad as an event, has contributed to one positive result.
This has raised sufficient international and national voice to support the need for better employment standards and practices in the organised private sector.

One aspect of this re-examination of what constitutes globally acceptable employment practices is the need for a realistic minimum wage. There is an ongoing heated political and social debate on this subject.
This is welcome but it needs to be tempered with good economics to make sure that the end result is a positive outcome for the labour market, the readymade garments (RMG) sector, and Bangladesh development as a whole.
The importance of looking at the economic aspects of this debate cannot be over-emphasised in a labour surplus economy like Bangladesh.

For the economy as a whole there is a major employment challenge defined as the need to create good jobs that is characterised by higher productivity and higher incomes.
The most recent Labour Force Survey of 2010 showed that some 88 percent of Bangladesh’s 54 million labour force was engaged in economic activities that are informal in nature. Some 45 percent of total employment was in agriculture, where real wages and average labour productivity tend to be the lowest in the economy.
read more.
daily star bd

* Need to identify issues that constrain RMG industry:

The country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector is otherwise giving a disconcerting signal. Troubled by labour unrest for the last few consecutive days, the sector is apparently heading towards an uncertain future.

Moreover, global clothing retailers have warned of grave impacts if the unrest continues and production remains halted for long.

Bangladesh is already passing through a restive political phase for the last one year. Now, the analysts say, if the labour unrest flares up throughout the country and continues for long, the international buyers will not come up with new orders. On the contrary, orders will go to other countries if the unrest prolongs.
And there are a good number of countries waiting in the wings, looking for opportunities to take over the Bangladesh’s RMG markets in the overseas.
read more.

LW + 2

20130925

19:51:45 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Factory management agrees on pay advance for holiday:

Management at the Chhin Chin garment factory yesterday agreed to meet workers’ demands to receive their wages before the Pchum Ben holiday after a 150-worker demonstration briefly blocked National Road 4 in front of the factory.

Workers at the factory, which is located in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, began demonstrating the previous day after management said it would pay workers half their salary in advance, rather than their entire month’s pay, said Va Sarorng, deputy chief of Por Sen Chey’s Choam Chao commune, who observed the negotiation.
“The workers need money … because the date they receive their salary is after Pchum Ben,” Sarorng said.
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media update 14-24 September 2013:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-09-16 Forward steps for salary raise

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-09-23 Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike

protestBetterFactories Media update Overview here.
BF NEW

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG unrest continues:

20130924 NEWAGE
Bangladeshi garment workers shout slogans during a protest in Narayanganj on September 24, 2013. Angry Bangladeshi garment workers blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a fourth day on Tuesday as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of USD100 spread outside the capital. — AFP PHOTO

The readymade garment (RMG) workers, demonstrating for a wage hike, are continuing their protest in the capital and its suburban areas for the fourth straight day Tuesday.

In Dhaka, UNB reported, several thousand RMG workers put up a barricade on the Kuril Bishwa Road during a demonstration demanding Tk 8,200 as the monthly minimum wage in the morning.
The road blockade created severe traffic congestion on both sides of the Airport-Mohakhali and Airport-Progoti Sarani roads in the city.
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BD new age

* RMG unrest continues:

The apparel workers, demonstrating for salary hike, are continuing their protest in the capital and its outer edges Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj areas for the fourth consecutive day Tuesday.

The unrest steamed from the workers’ demand to fix their monthly minimum wage at Tk 8,114.
At least 20 workers were injured when law enforcers tried to free Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways in Gazipur.
(…)
DHAKA
The demonstration erupts in the capital when around 2,500 workers of at least five local garment factories blocked Kuril Intersection around 9:00am, said SI Jewel.
(…)
ASHULIA
Over 4,000 workers of six ferment factories of Ashulia including Mascot Garments, Macsuoka Apparel Limited and Reliance Garments Limited went on work abstention since the morning.
(…)
GAZIPUR
At least 20 workers were injured during sporadic clashes with law enforcers on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Mulaid area of Sreepur upazila.
The demonstration started afresh when the workers of Hasin Sweater, Talha Spinning Mill and Welltex Ltd barricaded the highway for two hours felling logs around 10:00am, creating over four kilometres tailback on the both sides of the highway.
(…)
NARAYANGANJ
The workers of several garments factories blocked Dhaka-Narayanganj Link road at Shibu Market area for one hour from 10:00am as the demonstration over salary hike spread to Narayanganj.
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daily star bd

* RMG workers block Kuril Bishaw Road for hiked minimum wage:

20130925 NEWNATION
Garments employees blockade Progati Swarani Road in the city on Tuesday to meet its various demands including Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly salary for each garment worker. NN photo

Several thousand readymade garment (RMG) workers put up barricade on the Kuril Bishaw Road in the city during a demonstration for a hike in their minimum monthly wage on Tuesday morning.

The road blockade created severe traffic congestion on both sides of the Airport-Mohakhali and Airport-Progoti Sarani roads in the city.
Police and witnesses said workers, in their thousands, from several garment units, including Euro Zone Garments, put up barricade near level crossing at Kuril Bishaw Road at about 8:15 am to press home their various demands, including increased minimum wage of Tk8,000.
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* Violence in RMG sector spreads to N’ganj, Tangail:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers’ protest demanding Tk 8000 as a minimum monthly wage continued Tuesday also leading to suspension of production in a number of factories in areas in and around the capital city.

The labour unrest, which was limited to various parts of Gazipur, Savar and Dhaka industrial zones until Monday last, spread to Narayanganj district and Mirzapur industrial area in Tangail on the day.

Production at nearly 40 factories, mostly in Chandra, Mouchak and Konabari under Gazipur Industrial Hub, were suspended because of the latest spell of violence. Around 50 people, mostly RMG workers, were also injured in the fresh trouble on the day.
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* RMG workers protest in Ashulia:

With the demand of minimum Tk 8,000 salary, RMG workers staged protest for the second day in Ashulia, outskirt of Dhaka, on Tuesday morning.

To avoid any unwanted situation six factories were declared closed for the day at around 09:30am.
Agitated workers of six factories and police locked into a clash when workers tried to vandalize factories and block Baipail-Abdullahpur road.
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BANGLA NEWS24

* Protest over pay rise in Gazipur- 12 RMG factories shut, 20 hurt :

At least 20 people were injured in garments workers protest and clash with police in Noljani area of Gazipur city on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said that workers of Shafi Garment and Odesha Fashion started protest barricading Dhaka-Gazipur road. Police charged baton to disperse them and workers hurled brick chips aiming police and factory, leaving 10 people injured.
In another incident in Kodda area, workers set fire to a factory of Bhuiyan Ripid, leaving 10 workers injured.
Authorities of 12 garments in Konabari, Tongi and Borobari area declared their factories apprehending vandalism.
Inspector (investigation) of Joydebpur Thana Jahidul Islam said that the situation was under control.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers continue agitation:

20130925 NEWAGE
Apparel workers on Tuesday block the road at Kuril Biswa Road in the capital, demanding Tk 8000 as their minimum wage. — New Age photo

Apparel workers continued agitation to press home their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100 for the fourth consecutive day in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Tangail, ignoring the government’s call for joining their works.

The government held a tripartite meeting with factory owners and workers on Monday night and after the meeting shipping minister Shahjahan Khan on behalf of the government called on the agitating workers to join their works without reaching any specific decision.
Unrest in garment factories flared up four days ago with the demand for minimum wage of Tk 8,100 while the factory owners’ association agreed to pay only Tk 3,600 that added fuel to the agitation and the government branded the stances of both the sides wrong.
Violence spilled to Tangail on Tuesday as the agitating workers clashed with police at Hatubhanga and Gorai area of the district, leaving at least 35 people including a newsman inured.
Locals said the agitating workers of different apparel units assembled and went out on demonstration blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway. As police tried to remove them from the highway, they clashed with them.
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BD new age

* Protesting workers say wages not enough to buy food:

Protesting Bangladesh garment workers complained Tuesday they cannot even afford to feed their families as they staged a fourth day of street protests demanding a near-tripling of wages.

Police fired tear gas at several thousand workers who blocked major roads near Dhaka’s main airport and at the key industrial hubs of Ashulia and Fatullah outside the capital in the latest demonstrations.
“Some 2,000 workers blocked roads at Ashulia. Industrial police fired tear gas to disperse them,” local police chief Badrul Alam told AFP.
The protests, smaller than ones in previous days when up to 200,000 took to the streets, resumed despite a senior government minister’s assurance late Monday of a pay rise for all garment workers by November.

Workers said the current minimum monthly wage of $38 dollars is not enough to cover food, rent, education and other basic family needs.
“I earn 4,000 ($50) taka per month that includes overtime bills,” said a female worker protesting at Kuril near the airport.
“It does not cover all my expenses. The house rent has gone up, education costs of my kids are rising all the time,” said Hamida Begum, 30.
“I can’t send money to my old parents. And there are days we don’t have proper food,” she added.
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BD new age INDEPENDENT Ittefaq

* The battles of RMG:

The police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) were on the road just the other day, clearing the protesting workers who had come out in the streets from the neighbourhood of Khilkhet and Bishwa Road.

The scene was not a pretty one. It’s never a relief to see law enforcement teams dispelling the crowd. This is the last thing a garment factory owner desires to witness. In spite of how many times garment-wallahs are publicly shamed, the reality is that the sector exists. In spite of many wanting to wish the ‘blood sucking’ owners away, the readymade garment (RMG) entrepreneurs still happen to provide the highest employment in the country.

Whether RMG is viable as an industry or whether it will survive at the pace it is advancing, is a critical discussion altogether. Sweeping suggestions on the sector producing better products, enhancing the skill of workers, enforcing good practices in the area…have all been a part of the current popular discourse.
One is yet to read a thought-provoking, in-depth study and suggestion on exactly how to take this industry forward and let’s reconcile with one fact: one can’t simply do with overnight wish lists.
(…)
Will the buyers be able to afford a 50 US cents increase to accommodate a Taka 8000.00 minimum wage scale? That’s a straight ‘No.”
Will the buyers pay 30-40 US cents? Very unlikely.
Will they at least give 20 US cents extra for the wage hike? Probably.
With a fairly simple calculation of 10 US cents increase per thousand, if the minimum wage is pushed to Taka 4400-4500,the customers would have to pay a 15 US cents up charge and with Taka 5000.00, the customers would have to pay 20 US cents. The guessing range is all within 10-20 US cents.

Now, how does the world market look? In reality, the European Union (EU) has been the saviour for Bangladeshi RMG with their everything but arms (EBA) scheme.
Unfortunately the internal market of the EU is depressed. In the period of July 2012-May 2013, the EU exports to their own EU member-states have declined by 11.6% though garment export from the EU to non-EU countries have registered a 12.1% increase. Chinese exports has fallen 22.4% to Germany, 14% to France and most of all, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are no more the top buyers for China, as they used to be.
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* ‘A minister behind labour unrest’- Fakhrul:

Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said a minister – indicating towards shipping minister Shahjahan Khan – has started a new game to destroy the readymade garment sector.

He made the remarks while addressing a discussion organised by Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijuddher Prajanma at the Jatiya Press Club.
The BNP spokesman said when the situation in the RMG sector was almost quiet and going on smoothly, suddenly a minister emerged as the ‘leader of garment workers.’
He said, the minister held a rally of apparels workers at Suhrawardy Uddyan by closing garment factories, unleashing vandalism and forcibly bringing the workers, by hiring vehicles and created a chaos.
‘As a result, now anarchy and unrest has erupted in the RMG sector and is going to destroy it’, said the BNP policymaker.
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* CPD suggests Tk 8,200 minimum wage for RMG workers:

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, on Tuesday suggested that the minimum wage for the garment workers be set at Tk 8,200.

CPD additional research director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem came up with the suggestion while revealing the findings of a study on minimum wage in the RMG sector at a dialogue in the capital.
The CPD organised the dialogue, titled ‘Minimum Wage for the RMG Sector: Analysis and Proposal’ at Cirdap auditorium.

Conducting the study on RMG workers in Savar, Tongi and Rampura in the city, the CPD estimated a revised minimum wage using three separate methodologies – poverty line data from national statistics, actual worker income and expenditure and a living wage based on aspirational model diet.
The minimum wage for entry-level workers is proposed Tk 6,445 at the poverty line, Tk 8,200 at actual worker expenditure and Tk 17,800 based on aspirational model diet.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Workers’ demand justified:

Lawmakers, labour leaders and analysts back wage hike

Lawmakers, labour leaders and analysts yesterday called for at least doubling of the minimum wage for the country’s garment workers to help them lead a decent life.

“The garment owners’ proposal for a Tk 600 wage hike is inhumane,” said Wajed-ul Islam Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Council, said.
“These workers are demanding a wage that will allow them to lead a decent life,” he said at a dialogue, Revision of the Minimum Wage in the RMG Sector, organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at the Cirdap auditorium.

The issue of minimum wage came to the fore after the government, following extensive criticism, formed a new wage board in June.
The workers’ representative on the board demanded that the monthly minimum wage be hiked to Tk 8,114 from the existing Tk 3,000, but the owners are willing to increase by 20 percent.
“There is no scope to set a minimum wage below Tk 8,000,” said Nazrul Islam Khan, secretary general of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS).
read more.
daily star bd

* Unrest hits Gazipur RMG belt for 4th day:

Simmering unrest hit the country’s RMG belt in Gazipur for the 4th day on the trot on Tuesday, forcing suspension of production at some 40 factories.

At least 10 people were injured as garment workers clashed with cops in different places in the city, and Kaliakoir and Sreepur upazilas demanding that their minimum wage be fixed at Tk 8,000 and the production wages of the sweater workers be increased.
Witnesses said garment workers staged demonstrations in Wireless Gate, Naojor and Rawshan Road areas in the city, Shafipur and Palli Bidyut areas in Kaliakori and Nayanpur and MC Bazar areas in Sreepur upazila.
The unruly workers went on the work abstention in the morning and took to the street.
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UNB

* Unrest in RMG industry continues:

In some places they has peacefully moved away upon request from police, in most other places police has to charge batons

Thousands of garment workers took to the streets for the third consecutive day Tuesday demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,000.

In several places in and outside the capital, agitated workers blockaded roads and highways, vandalised vehicles and factories and locked into clashes with law enforcers.
While in some places they peacefully moved away upon request from police, in most other places police had to charge batons, fire rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the angry mob.
Workers of at least 15 factories in Khilkhet and Kuril areas in Dhaka, Ashulia of Savar and Fatulla of Narayanganj abstained from work and demonstrated on the roads.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Logical minimum wage for workers by Nov, hopes BGMEA:

‘What’s happening in RMG industry is suicidal’ – 
BGMEA warns of conspiracy, hopes minimum wage for workers by Nov

Mentioning that the country’s RMG sector is passing through a fragile time, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Tuesday said a conspiracy is on both internationally and locally to create anarchy in the vital sector.

“What’s happening in the RMG sector is suicidal…if such a situation continues, many owners won’t be able to pay salaries, bonus before Eid-ul-Azha,” BGMEA acting President SM Mannan Kochi said reading out a written statement at a press conference.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladeshi garment workers rally for a decent wage:

200,000 Bangladeshi garment workers mobilise for three days in Dhaka and elsewhere calling for a living wage and strongly rejecting a derisory employers’ wage offer in negotiations.

IndustriALL Global Union has long supported the calls of its Bangladeshi affiliates for a rise in the minimum wage for the sector in line with a living wage. The IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) is united in its demand for an urgent increase in the minimum wage to well over US$100 per month.

Recent attention has focused on discussions inside the wage board created by the government to recommend an increased sector-wide minimum wage. IndustriALL has criticised the absence of a trade union representative on the wage board. One spark that ignited the mass worker demonstrations over the weekend however was the inadequate submitted proposal to this wage board from the BGMEA and BKMEA employers associations of 3,600 Taka per month, a raise of less than 20 per cent.

IBC general secretary Roy Ramesh stated: The IBC has proposed to fix the minimum wages based on the Millennium Development Goals and the cost of living which is equal to around US$120 per month.
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* What should be the minimum wage for RMG workers? :

What should be the minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) workers? The answer depends on what kind of society we intend to be.
The level of minimum wage can be translated into how much we care for the toiling masses.

In setting the minimum wage, the bare minimum that a society must ensure is the continuance of the current level of living standard of the working class. Otherwise, we will be singled out as a heartless society. The new wage must be adequate at least to meet the rising cost of living. Increase of cost of living depends on where one resides, in urban or rural area, and what one consumes. In case of the RMG workers, the most relevant proxy measure for increase in cost of living is the urban food inflation.

If we don’t want to be identified as a heartless society in the eyes of our next generation, whatever minimum wage we set should be adequate at least to compensate for the food inflation that occurred during FY10-13. Anything less would mean absolute decline in the living standard of the RMG workers who are already struggling hard for their subsistence.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) – the association of RMG manufacturers – has already announced the amount by which they would like to increase minimum wage for their workers.
They intend to accept an increase in minimum wage by Tk. 600, increasing it to Tk. 3600 from its current level of Tk. 3000.

Not to mention that not only the RMG workers but also many human rights activists are not happy at all with what BGMEA offered. Most likely the dialogue between the employers and employees of the RMG sector would continue to reach to an agreement.
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* RMG workers’ demand, BGMEA apathy and politicking minister:

The latest spate of labour unrest over wages in the readymade garment sector, which has over the past few days seen agitated workers clash with the police and other law enforcement agencies, vandalise factories and vehicles, and even attack an ansar camp in and around the capital Dhaka, has induced the familiar clichéd response from the Awami League-led government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association — that agent provocateurs assigned by certain vested quarters are instigating the turmoil to destabilise the apparel industry.

If there was any provocation, it has come from the BGMEA itself in the form of its demeaning proposal for a Tk 600 increase in the minimum wage, from Tk 3,000 fixed in November 2010, on the eminently questionable rationale that such a raise is inflation-adjusted and thus justified, and that any further hike would translate into more losses for factory owners and could even lead to closure of a few factories and thus leave a number of people unemployed.

The minimum wage in the apparel sector is, and has always been, the lowest in the world. Even in Bangladesh, in comparison with many sectors, e.g. construction and timber (Tk 9,982), tannery (Tk 8,750), and oil mill and vegetable products (Tk 7,420), it fares quite poorly.
As pointed out by different quarters, at home and abroad, the minimum wage in the apparel sector, which happens to be the major foreign exchange earner, has never been commensurate with the cost of living.
A study pointed out recently that the minimum pay for RMG workers has remained static since November 2010 whereas their cost of living has increased at least 2.5 times in the meanwhile.
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BD new age

* Fixing wages for garments workers:

The economic growth of Bangladesh is hugely depended on the readymade garments (RMG) sector.

Local as well as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has contributed to the radical change in this sector. The export of RMG increased to US $19 billion in the fiscal year 2012-2013 from only US $7 million in 1981-1982. This shows the true importance of RMG sector. By 2001, direct and indirect employment in RMG was about 3 million workers of whom 90 per cent are women and by 2013, there are about 4 million people, mostly women
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* Wage hike needed for RMG sector:

Says German envoy

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Albrecht Conze yesterday said pay hike for garment workers is necessary as the garment industry here pays the minimum wage compared to other industries.

Talking to a select group of journalists at his office in the afternoon, he stressed the need for an agreed procedure to look into the wages of the garment workers every year to avoid any confrontation.
“Now again, it [workers’ wages] has become a big political issue. It should be depoliticised,” he noted.
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daily star bd BD new age

* Thousands demand higher wages in Bangladesh factory protest:

Tens of thousands of garment factory workers in Bangladesh protested for the third day in a row Monday, calling on their government to raise the minimum wage from about $38 dollars per month to $100.

The protests forced the shutdown of hundreds of factories in the industrial Gazipur neighborhood near the capital, Dhaka, where factory owners and government officials called for workers to return to work.
“We need to run our factories. We demand authorities ensure security to continue production,” S.M. Mannan, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told The Associated Press after meeting with a cabinet minister and workers’ representatives.

Western corporations that rely on Bangladeshi labor to make much of the clothing sold in their stores, including Wal-Mart, Gap and Macy’s, appeared reluctant to comment publicly on the protests — decisions that were criticized by labor-rights activists.
“If the corporations were to send a clear message that they are willing to pay higher prices to manufacturers so they can pay higher wages to workers, that could have a real influence on negotiations,” said Liana Foxvog, director of organizing at the International Labor Rights Forum, a U.S.-based group that advocates for workers in countries like Bangladesh.
But that’s unlikely to happen, Foxvog said.
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ALJAZEERA US

* RMG unrest continues for 4-day in Gazipur:

Police fire rounds of bullets in air to disperse crowd

Around 500 garment workers took to the streets for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,000.

RMG workers threw bits and bats at the garment factories that were open in Kashempur-Konabari road area in Gazipur around 9:30am.
Sources said they demanded a closure of the factories that remained open in spite of the unrest.
Meanwhile, the protesters also brought out workers who were inside the factories. One of the factories was identified as Cotton Club Ltd.
On information, police went to the spot and fired few rounds of bullets in the air to disperse the crowd.
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LW + 2

 20130924

 18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur; factories close:

Over a hundred factories were compelled to close down for the day because of mass demonstrations by readymade garment workers in Gazipur on Monday morning.

Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways were barricaded for more than three hours because of the demonstrations.
Clashes between workers and police persisted in Board Bazar, Bhogra, Barabari, Basan, Chourasta and other areas until 11:30am.
Hundreds of workers took to the streets around 8am in the morning for the third consecutive day of demonstrations, demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garment workers go berserk in Gazipur:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage in Gazipur industrial belt on Monday for the third straight day during demonstration demanding minimum wage at Tk8,000.

They put up barricade on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway and at several points of the Dhaka Bypass road resulting in long tailbacks.
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UNB primenews

* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Savar:

Garment workers ran amok in Gazipur and Savar for the third consecutive day on Monday demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8,000.

The unruly workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in different areas, including Chandna intersection, Signboard and Rowshan roads, and damaged some factories with sticks turning a 10-km area into a battle field in Gazipur in the morning.
At least 50 people, including policemen and Ansar members, were injured as they clashed with the law enforcers at Bhogra.
Witnesses said thousands of workers took to the street in the morning, staged demonstrations and put blockade on Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Gazipur and Dhaka Bypass roads, creating a long tailback on the roads and causing immense sufferings to passengers.
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UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 Ittefaq

* 10-15 hurt in Savar apparel worker-cop clash:

At least 10 people, including a policeman, were injured as apparel workers clashed with police at different places in Savar upazila during a demonstration Monday.

The workers were demanding to set their minimum wage at Tk 8,000 a month.
The authorities were forced to declare at least 15 readymade garment factories closed for the day following the incident.
Officer-in-charge (Investigation) Aminur Rahman of Savar Police Station said workers of Al-Ihsan Garments, Al-Muslim Garments, Pride Group, HR Textile and some other garment units of Ulail and Karnapara area went on a work abstention in the morning and staged demonstration to push for fixing their minimum wage at Tk 8,000.
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* RMG workers stage sit-in in capital:

20130923 DKAKATRIBUNEGarment workers demonstrate in Banani, Chairmanbari and Tejgaon

On Monday morning, workers from various garment factories took to the streetsin the capital’s Banani and Chairmanbari areas demanding higher minimum wages.

Deputy Commissioner of Gulshan Division Lutful Kabir said law enforcers had removed the agitating workers from the road after they had staged a sit-in there around 11:30am.
He said the situation had been brought under control but the workers were trying to organise demonstrations in other areas.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garment workers demonstrate at Savar, Gazipur : 100 injured:

More than 100 apparel workers were injured in separate incidents of clashes between the workers and the law enforcers at Savar and Gazipur while agitating on the streets today.

Demanding fixation of minimum wage at 8000 several thousand agitated workers blocked roads and highways and vandalized a large number of vehicles in different places of Savar and Gazipur.
The demonstrations caused serious traffic gridlock in different places of the highways at Savar and Gazipur.

Our Gazipur correspondent reports, more 100 garment workers and street people were injured when the agitated workers blocked Dhaka-Gazipur, Dhaka- Tangail, Dhaka-Kaliakoir and Dhaka- Mymensingh highways and vandalized scores of vehicles..

Quoting police and local people, BSS correspondent reports that thousands of workers from as many as 50 apparel factories including Inter- Stop, Tushka Garment, Inter-Link, Sunmoon at Konabari industrial area, Diganta Sweaters at Nawjore, Bhalmont Fashions and Mens Trust at Bhogra area and Sparrow, Prince and Jamuna apparels at Tongi and Gazipur Sadar area demonstrated since morning taking position on different highway points of the district.
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BSS

* Some quarters active to divert apparel workers’ demand: Minister:

Shipping minister M Shahjahan Khan said on Monday some quarters are active to divert the apparel workers’ demand for wage hike.

He said those quarters were also involved in creating disorders in the clothing industry.
He made these comments in a meeting with garment factory owners and BGMEA leaders at the secretariat to resolve the ongoing crisis in the export oriented apparel sector.
The minister said he does not believe that the workers were responsible for the ongoing crisis.
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BD new age

* RMG Workers’ Demo over salary Hike – Gazipur Ansar camp attacked, arms, ammo looted:

20130923 DAILYSTARGarment workers demanding a minimum monthly salary of around Tk 8,000 agitate on the Tongi-Gazipur highway yesterday. Photo: Courtesy/Star

Over 140 hurt as workers block highways, vandalise 115 vehicles, 10 factories; most RMG units in Tejgaon, Gazipur halt production

The apparel workers, demonstrating for salary hike, attacked an Ansar camp in Joydevpur upazila of Gazipur and looted firearms and ammunition as the agitation continued for third consecutive day Monday.

Four Ansar members including a commander were injured in the attack. They are now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Uttara of the capital.
The unrest in apparel sector, which stemmed from the workers’ demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000, erupted in different parts of Dhaka, Gazipur and Savar in the morning.
At least 135 more people including six police personnel were injured as the aggrieved workers engaged in sporadic clashes with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

GAZIPUR
The workers of three garment factories attacked an Ansar camp in Bhogra By-pass area of Joydevpur upazila around 8:30am and looted eight rifles and 135 bullets, leaving four Ansar member injured.
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DHAKA
The demonstration ensued around 9:30am in Tejgaon industrial zone when 1,000 workers of several factories took position at Nabisco industrial area.
The agitating workers then hurled brick chips at the roadside factories, breaking a close circuit camera of Ha-Meem Group unit.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 35 people including six policemen were injured during sporadic clashes between garment workers and law enforcers at Karnapara, Ulail and Savar Bus Stand areas on Dhaka-Aricha highway.
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* 150 more RMG units shut as violence spreads:

At least 150 garment factories were shut on Monday in the face of ongoing violent workers’ protest for wage hike that spread to some other industrial belts on the third consecutive day of their agitation.

The workers, infuriated by the owners’ proposal for a 20 per cent hike in their salaries, blockaded Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha Highways, resorted to vandalism and clashed with the law enforcers on the day.

Meanwhile, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan at an emergency meeting called upon the leaders of BGMEA and apparel workers to restore peaceful working environment at their units from today (Tuesday).
read more.

* RMG unrest flares:

Workers attack ansar camp, battle with police in Gazipur, Savar, Dhaka, 135 injured

The police battled with violent apparel workers who vandalised factories and vehicles and attacked an ansar camp as labour unrest over wages flared in Gazipur, Savar and in the capital on Monday.

Garment factory workers, demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, fought pitched battles with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka and at Tejgon, Mahakhali and Badda in the capital that left at least 135 people, including six policemen, injured.
Police charged batons, fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
Four ansar constables were injured when workers attacked their camp near Colossus Apparels factory at Bhogra of Gazipur.
The workers allegedly looted four rifles and 135 rounds of bullet from the camp. They burnt four rifles in front of the camp but the looted bullets could not be traced, the ansars at the camp said.
The authorities of almost all readymade garment factories in Gazipur decided to suspend production at their units for Monday amid violent protests, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police.
Most of the garment units in Tejgaon industrial area also remained closed for Monday to avoid further vandalism.
The government, after a meeting between workers’ leaders, factory owners and a minister, called upon the agitating workers to return to work today and identify those who were inciting violence in the export-oriented industrial sector.
read more.
BD new age

* 300 factories closed as RMG unrest spreads:

Bangladeshi garment manufacturers suspended production in around 300 factories following wage protests and unrest in all RMG hubs in and around the capital city for second consecutive days on Monday.

On Monday morning thousands of workers took to the streets in Savar and Ashulia RMG hubs demanding fixation of minimum salary to Tk 8,000, police and BGMEA sources said.

Local and police sources said thousands of workers from as many as 50 apparel factories, including Inter- Stop, Tushka Garment, Inter-Link, Sunmoon at Konabari industrial area, Diganta Sweaters at Nawjore, Bhalmont Fashions and Mens Trust at Bhogra area and Sparrow, Prince and Jamuna apparels at Tongi and Gazipur Sadar area demonstrated since morning taking position on different highway points of the district.
read more. & read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq bdnews24

* Govt to enhance security measures in clothing industry:

Shipping minister M Shahjahan Khan said on Monday the government will ensure adequate security to the crisis-ridden apparel factories so that the owners could reopen them as soon as possible.

He made these comments in a meeting with the garment factory owners and BGMEA leaders at the secretariat to resolve the ongoing crisis in the export oriented clothing industry.
The minister requested the factory owners to resume operation in their factories and urged the workers to join.
SM Mannan Kochi, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said, ‘We have sought adequate security from the government, so that all the garment factories can resume operation.’
Garment workers trade union centre president Montu Ghosh said, workers would go for strike if their demand for raising minimum wages to Tk 8,000 were not met.
The minister M Shahjahan Khan also said some quarters are active to divert the issue of the apparel workers’ demand for wage hike.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
BD new age BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BDCHRONICLE Ittefaq  primenewsbdnews24

* RMG factories at Ashulia reopen today:

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Monday urged all the garment workers to get back to their work as the factories which have been shut following labour unrest reopen on Tuesday, reports UNB.

“If anyone doesn’t respond to our request, we’ll think that s/he is working as an instigator of violence as part of a conspiracy against the country’s garment industry,” he said.
“Legal action will be taken against the conspirators after identifying them,” the Shipping Minister said while talking to journalists after a joint meeting at the secretariat on Monday with the owners of garment factories and leaders of workers’ union over maintaining stability in the readymade garment factories.
It was decided at the meeting that the closed factories in Gazipur, Tongi, Tejgaon, Mohakhali and Gulshan will reopen on Tuesday, he said.
About the demand for wage hike of workers, the minister said they have requested the wage board to fix their minimum wage as soon as possible after talking to the workers and owners.
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD INDEPENDENT

* Tuku urges RMG workers to keep patience till new wage declaration:

State Minister for Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku today urged the apparel workers to keep patience until declaration of new wage board.

“Readymade garment workers should keep patience until the announcement of their salary structure (wage board), as government is working on it,” he told BSS at his ministry office here.
The state minister said the government has been working sincerely for a wage acceptable to the workers.
Earlier, hundreds of RMG workers from several RMG factories took to the streets demanding fixation of their minimum monthly wage as Tk 8000.
read more.
BSS

* Factories vandalized as garment workers protest for third day:

Angry Bangladeshi garment workers blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a third day on Monday as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of $100 spread outside the capital Dhaka.

Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district near Dhaka which is home to hundreds of factories, told AFP that “up to 200,000 workers” had joined the latest demonstrations.

His deputy Mustafizur Rahman said about 300 factories, which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, were shut on Monday to contain the violence as protesting workers attacked plants that stayed open.
“The situation is extremely volatile. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the unruly workers,” he told AFP, adding dozens of workers and several policemen were injured.
read more.
Ittefaq

* The Biggest Ever Minimum Wage Rally Continues in Bangladesh:

Hundreds of thousands of Garment Workers in Bangladesh gathered together on Saturday 21 September 2013 to rally against the proposed minimum wage of BDT3600 (USD 46.31) offered to the most important members of the most important export industry of Bangladesh, the Ready Made Garment Industry. This proposal in effect would be an increase of 20% of the minimum wage which is now at BDT3000 (USD 38.59).

The protests have brought together 52 garments workers’ federations of Bangladesh against the meager raise in the proposed minimum wage i.e. BDT 3600 at Sarawardy Uddan of the Bangladeshi Capital Dhaka. The demand from the garments workers’ federations is BDT 8114.
The protest was lead and briefed by the marine-transport minister, Shah Jahan Khan MP.
The protest, where hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets, was also to voice against the statements of Allama Shafi, an extreme right Islamist religious leader who made obscene comments on how women should work and study, creating a concern for the women workers who represent more than 80% of the workforce in the garment industries of the country.

The rally has continued till its third day today, 23 September 2013, with unrest surrounding Gazipur which saw tens of thousands of Garment workers taking to the streets protesting what they term as a brutalization.
The minimum wage of the Bangladeshi Garment Workers is the lowest in the world (IGLHR) and even after this meager hike it will still remain the lowest in the world for this second biggest exporter of ready made garments in the world.
The garment workers along with national and international NGOs and labor organizations have been pressing for a minimum wage which should be equivalent to a living wage (which is approximately over BDT 11000/month) for a garment worker in Bangladesh.
20130923 RISE gazipur-garments-1ed
read more.
RISE

* RMG workers agitate for wage hike:

Industrial zones of Gazipur and Savar and parts of the capital turned into battle field as readymade garment workers clashed with police and blocked roads demanding a living wage on Monday.

An ansar camp was looted while at least 115 vehicles and 10 factories were vandalised, forcing the authorities to shut over 100 apparel units for the day.
The clashes left over 140 people injured.

Sporadic demonstrations over the week demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 erupted into violence on Monday with a group of youths attacked an ansar camp at Joydevpur of Gazipur and looted firearms and ammunition. Four ansar members including a commander were injured in the sudden attack and admitted to a hospital in Uttara of the capital.

Negotiations for wage hike failed to reach a conclusion until last week as workers’ representatives asked for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage while owners offered less than a half—Tk3,600, resulting in frustration among workers’ rights groups.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers go berserk:

An Ansar camp was looted and more than 150 people, including law enforcers, were injured in Dhaka, Savar and Gazipur yesterday, during apparel workers’ agitation demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8,000.

The workers, on the third day of their agitation, also vandalised dozens of vehicles and 10 garment factories in the capital and its outskirts, and blocked several roads and highways, including Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highways and Tejgaon-Gulshan link road in the capital causing severe traffic jams.
Almost all the factories in Gazipur, around 15 in Dhaka and at least 17 in Savar were kept shut for the day fearing further vandalism.

GAZIPUR
Workers of three garment factories attacked an Ansar camp in Bhogra by-pass area of Joydevpur upazila around 8:30am.
They looted eight rifles and 135 bullets, leaving eight Ansar members, including a commander, injured. They set fire to four of the rifles.
(…)
DHAKA
Around 1,000 workers of several garment factories in Tejgaon industrial zone took position on Tejgaon-Gulshan link road and began demonstrating around 9:30am.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 40 people, including six policemen, were injured in clashes between apparel workers and law enforcers at Karnapara, Genda, Ulail and Savar   Bus Stand areas along Dhaka-Aricha highway yesterday.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA seeks security:

State Minister for Home Affairs assured the BGMEA of deploying law enforcement agencies to avert untoward incidents

State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Huq Tuku yesterday assured the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association of deploying law enforcement agencies to avert untoward incidents in the RMG factories.

The assurance came after a BGMEA team led by its acting President SM Mannan Kochi met Shamsul Huq Tuku and Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan Monday night to discuss the issue of sudden unrest and find ways to tackle the present hazardous situation.
“We have urged the Home Ministry to deploy lawmen to avert any untoward incident in the factories, and the ministry assured us that it would take necessary steps,” said Riaz Bin Mahmood, director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The association sought security and cooperation of the government to restore a good working environment to the garment factories which became turbulent following the agitation of the workers demanding a hike in their minimum wages.
“We want security for our work. We do not want to stop production at the factories, but for that, we need cooperation of the workers’ unions,” said BGMEA acting President SM Mannan Kochi.

“All the factories will reopen from today since if they remain closed, we won’t be able to pay salary and bonus to the garment workers ahead of the Eid ul-Azha,” he said.

Mannan came up with these comments after attending a tripartite meeting attended by representatives from factory owners, the workers and the government.
The appeal for cooperation came at a time when workers’ unions are threatening to continue demonstration for their wage hike.

“As members of Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad, we demanded Tk8000 as minimum wage for the garment workers. Further demonstrations in support of our demand may be forthcoming, although those wouldn’t be violent,” said Montu Ghose, a rights activist involved with the agitation.
However, the BGMEA asked the agitating workers to join work. “On behalf of the government, factory owners and workers, I am asking all workers to calm down and join work. Those who will not join work will be considered conspirators,” Mannan said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Revised RMG wages likely by Nov:

The government has urged the garment factory workers to stop violent protests and resume work today and promised that a new wage for them would be announced as soon as possible.

At a meeting with the representatives of garment factory owners and workers on Monday night, the government also assured the apparel factory owners of adequate security after production resumed at their units.
The tripartite meeting involving factory owners, workers’ leaders and government representatives took place amid violent protests by workers in garment factories in Dhaka, Gazipur and other industrial zones for wage increase.
The meeting with shipping minister Shajahan Khan in the chair continued till late last night.
State minister for home affairs, Shamsul Haque Tuku, who was also present at the meeting, discussed with the representatives of garment factory owners and workers how to tackle the ongoing unrest in the apparel sector.
‘The government has assured the factory owners of providing adequate security for their units and requested the workers to resume work immediately,’ former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedi told New Age at about 12:30am.

He said that the meeting has decided to request the wage board to announce the new wage structure for the workers by November instead of December.
read more.
BD new age

* Angry Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay, factories shut:

More than 100 Bangladeshi garment factories were forced to shut on Monday as thousands of workers protested to demand a $100 a month minimum wage and about 50 people were injured in clashes, police and witnesses said.

Garments are a vital sector for Bangladesh and its low wages and duty-free access to Western markets have helped make it the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China.
But the $20 billion industry, which supplies many Western brands, has been under a spotlight after a series of deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.

Workers took to the streets for a third day on Monday, blocking major roads and attacking some vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.
(…)
Bangladesh last increased its minimum garment-worker pay in late 2010 in response to months of street protests, almost doubling the lowest pay.
Recently, factory owners offered a 20 percent pay rise which workers refused, calling it “inhuman and humiliating”.
“We work to survive but we can’t even cover our basic needs,” said a protesting woman worker.
read more. & read more.
reuters GLOBE&MAIL

* Undervalued garment workers:

Garment workers, whose toils fetch the country $19 billion in export earnings, the highest among all the industrial sectors, get one of the lowest wages.

Thanks to cheap labour, the industry thrived over the last three decades and has gone on to become the second biggest apparel sourcing destination in the world after China.
“This is exploitation. Garment workers in Bangladesh are not only the worst-paid in the world but also locally,” said Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, assistant executive director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies.
The average wages in the garment sector, which provides jobs for 36 lakh workers, are the second lowest in Asia after Myanmar.
The sector’s minimum wage was last raised to Tk 3,000 in 2010, the lowest among the major industrial sectors that include jute mills, tannery, plastic, construction and furniture, oil mills and re-rolling mills.
“It is true there are differences in traits among the sectors, but even after accounting for those differences, the garment sector’s wages are not sufficient,” said Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
20130923 DAILYSTAR 2 Business-67

An improvement in efficiency and productivity also added vigour to the growth of the industry and facilitated increased economic activities in other areas, he said.
But the garment workers, who mostly migrated from suburbs for livelihoods, have not got their dues in line with the improvement in productivity and efficiency.
“We have seen some adjustments through the minimum wage in 2010, but it is inadequate.”
read more.
daily star bd

* Too much, too little:

Analysts say Bangladesh may lose market competitiveness due to a huge wage hike, but Tk 600 increase is not acceptable

A 20% rise in wages is too minimal, while a 170 percent hike is too high. It begs the question: Why this huge disparity between the garment workers’ expectations and the reality?

The workers’ representative on the wage board called for raising the minimum wage to Tk 8,114 a month from the current Tk 3,000, but the owners are willing to increase it only by Tk 600.
20130924 DAILYSTAR

“An industry that operates in a competitive global landscape will simply not be able to sustain the pay rise that the workers are demanding,” said Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
He singled out the small and medium factories, which would be hit hard by the 170.5 percent wage rise “given the local and global trends of business”.

In an industry of 4,000, there are 2,200 small and medium factories, according to Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative on the wage board. “That is more than 50 percent of the industry would be unable to bear the huge hike in salary.”
“But then again, a 20 percent wage rise that the owners are pushing for would not make much difference in the workers’ living conditions,” said Mustafizur of the CPD.
read more.
daily star bd

* Bangladeshi factory workers locked in on 19-hour shifts:

It’s the middle of the night and I am lying on the floor of a van in the sweltering back streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I’m outside a factory making clothes for a western supermarket.
I can see dozens of workers inside. They’ve been in there since 07:00.
We’ve been told this factory – Ha Meem Sportswear – works incredible hours; we’re hiding in the shadows to get the proof.
There’s a guard sitting in front of the main gate. He hasn’t spotted us.
He’s about to do something shockingly dangerous.

At 01.15 – with workers still busy inside – he locks the main factory gate and wanders away.
This place had a fire a few weeks ago and they’re commonplace in the industry.
If anything goes wrong tonight, the workers are trapped inside.
The shift finally ends at 02.30. That’s a nineteen and a half hour day.
One worker agrees to talk. He earned about £2 for the shift and he’s exhausted. He has to be back at work again for 07:00.

He says: “My feelings are bad and my health is too. In the last two weeks, approximately, it has been like this for eight nights.”
Two days later, I return to Ha Meem Sportswear. I am going undercover as a buyer from a fake British clothing company.
I want to hear what the factory owners say about shifts.
read more. & to read. & to read.
bbc Ittefaq UNB

LW + 2

20130923

 18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Protest for RMG pay rise in Gazipur- Workers-police clash underway:

Most of the workers of readymade garments beside Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways in Borobari area locked into sporadic clashes with police on Monday morning.

The clash erupted when workers of most of the garments’ including Interfact Sweater, Tongi Zaber & Zubayer, Columbia Garments, Laxma Apparels Ltd and Jamuna garments were staging protest blocking roads demanding Tk 8000 as minimum wage per month.
The movement started at around 7.50am. The clash was underway till filing the report at 9.10am.

Earlier on Sunday, RMG workers at Kaliakoir of Gazipur and Tongi staged protest demanding Tk 8000 as minimum monthly wage.
During the time they protested by blazing tires on Dhaka-Tangail highway and locked into a clash with police, leaving more than 50 workers injured.
Later more than 50 garments factories announced leave for the day.
On the other hand, workers locked into a clash with police at the Uttarkhan and Dakkhinkhan of Uttara area of the city on the same demand.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Garments workers block Dhaka- Mymensingh, Dhaka-Aricha highway:

Readymade Garments workers of different factories in Gazipur and Savar blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highway on Monday morning to press home their several demands including raising minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000.

Authorities suspended production in most of the garment factories in Savar and Gazipur following labour unrest.
Road communications on Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highway remained suspended since morning due to the blockade.
The agitating workers vandalized some vehicles. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullet when workers locked into a clash with police.
to read. & read more.
INDEPENDENT DHAKATRIBUNE

 18:21:45 local time map of india INDIA

* CITU demands amendment to Minimum Wages Act:

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Saturday demanded an amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, to increase minimum wages to at least Rs. 10,000 per month.

The organisation criticised the State government for stopping distribution of foodgrains to APL cardholders after implementation of the Anna Bhagya scheme.
Anganwadi workers and contract workers serving in various government departments took out a procession under the banner of CITU from Sardar High School ground to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, where they staged a dharna. They submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Mangalore trade union demands minimum wage:

Despite the heavy downpour, hundreds of workers gathered on Friday to demand that the minimum wage for the unorganised sector be fixed at Rs. 10,000 per month, and implementation of welfare schemes for workers.

In front of the Deputy Commissioners’ Office, a sea of umbrellas stood defiant to the incessant rains, as workers from unorganised sectors, government health and midday meal workers, among others, assembled under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) as a part of the State-wide protest, demanded the implementation of their 22-point programme.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Goa labour unions demand Rs 12,000 monthly wage for workers:

Labour unions in Goa cutting across their affiliations have joined hands to demand a minimum monthly wage of Rs 12,000 for workers against Rs 10,000 being sought nationally.

“Everything is expensive in Goa compared to rest part of the country. This is the reason why we are demanding Rs 12,000 as a minimum wage for workers although nationally the demand is Rs 10,000,” Raju Mangueshkar, Deputy General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told reporters here today.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* ‘Fix minimum wage for unorganised workers at `10,000, implement schemes’:

Hundreds of unorganised workers, beedi workers, anganawadi workers, health workers gathered in front of the deputy commissioner’s office, daring the heavy rains on Friday, and staged a protest demanding the government to fix minimum wage for unorganised sector workers at Rs 10,000 and implement welfare schemes for the workers.

The protest was organised by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) as a part of the state-wide protest, demanding the government to implement the 22-point programme.
read more.
decanherald

* Wage united struggle, women told:

The Sramika Mahila Coordination Committee (SMCC), affiliated to CITU, has called upon the women employees to wage a united struggle to solve the problems faced at the work place.

The SMCC organised its city meeting here on Sunday. On the occasion, SMCC State convener K. Dhanalakshmi said women were facing umpteen problems at the workplace.
The managements were not providing minimum facilities to them.
More so, women employees and workers were underpaid.
The Acts to protect the women were not being implemented properly despite tall claims made by the governments.
Consequently, the women, who fought for their rights, were being harassed, she said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

 20130922

18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50,000 Bangladeshi garment workers strike over ‘inhuman’ wages:

Garment workers listen to speakers during a rally demanding an increase to their minimum wage in Dhaka

 

BANGLADESH-TEXTILE-WAGE-LABOUR

Tens of thousands of garment workers have downed tools and taken to the streets to urge the government for an increase in the minimum salary.

4 million employees work in the country’s $20-billion garment export industry – 60 percent goes to Europe – and earn about $38 a month. They are demanding a raise to $103 a month.
Earlier, the Bangladeshi government agreed to a 20 percent increase, but the workers called the raise “inhuman and humiliating.”

“Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t have any alternative unless we raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation told protesters. 
read more.
RT

* RMG units close again in Gazipur:

Workers agitate over salary hikes, demand Tk8,000 minimum wage

Authorities suspended production in a number of readymade garment (RMG) factories in Kaliakoir and sadar upazilas of Gazipur on Sunday following labour unrest over salary hikes.

Workers from several garment factories took to the Dhaka-Tangail Highway in a demonstration, barricading the highway and demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000.
Meanwhile, garment workers also blocked a road in the Tinsarak area of sadar upazila this morning with the same demand.

The agitating workers also vandalised vehicles and factories in Kaliakoir and Shreepur areas.
On Saturday, production in all the readymade garment (RMG) factories were suspended in Gazipur following the labour unrest.
to read. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT

* DEMO DEMANDING SALARY HIKE – RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur:

The readymade garment workers burst into protest in Kaliakoir upazila of Gazipur Sunday demanding fixing their minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000 that forced to suspend production of around 12 units for today.

More than 15,000 workers of different readymade factories in the upazila took to the Dhaka-Tangail highway around 9:30am and vandalised 20 vehicles including buses and pick-up vans, reported our Gazipur correspondent quoting witnesses.
The marauding workers also damaged six garment units in Chandra area.
The road communications on the highway however resumed nearly two hours after when law enforcers managed to disperse the agitating workers from the road.

The demonstration is a sequel of the workers’ demand that authorities set Tk 8,000 as their minimum monthly wage which is now Tk 3,000.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age bdnews24 primenews Ittefaq

* Unrest forces production suspension at 100 Gazipur RMG units:

Production at over 100 garment factories in several parts of the district was suspended for a day on Sunday following labour unrest.

Police said at least people were injured in sporadic clashes between garment workers and cops in several places in Sadar, Kaliakoir and Sreepur upazilas over a pay hike.
Quoting witnesses, police said the workers of the garment factories went on the work abstention in the morning and took to the street demanding that their minimum wage be fixed at Tk 8,000.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD

* Police fire rubber bullets at protesting garment workers:

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at thousands of Bangladesh garment workers on Sunday during a second day of protests to demand a US$100 (S$125) minimum monthly wage, police said.

Protesters threw stones and bricks at factories just outside the capital in Kaliakoir that make clothes for some of the world’s top retailers. Others marched along a key highway and blocked traffic, police said.

“We were forced to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the workers who attacked about half a dozen factories,” Kaliakoir police chief Omar Faruq told AFP, adding that some 6,000 workers took part in the protests.
read more.
Ittefaq

* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 15:

At least 15 RMG workers were injured in a clash with police in Uttarkhan and Dokkhinkhan area of capital’s Uttara on Sunday noon.

Sources said that agitated workers brought out a procession at around 12:30pm demanding minimum Tk8000 salary per month.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* FBCCI wants ‘fair’ RMG pay:

“The FBCCI supports a reasonable salary structure for the welfare of the workers and for the garment industry as well. Because the workers are the craftsmen,” said the statement.

The minimum wage for a worker was raised to Tk 3,000 from Tk 1,650 in 2010. It has remained the same since then, triggering violent protests from workers often and criticism by national and international rights bodies for the pay which they call ‘unliveable.’

he protests and criticism led to constitution of a wage board by the government in May. The owners’ paltorm, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, proposed only a Tk 600 salary hike against the workers demand of fixing a minimum wage of Tk 8000 in the new wage board.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24  BSS  UNB  primenews INDEPENDENT

* RMG sector turns hot- Workers take to streets demanding pay hike:

Most garment factories at Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj faced an unannounced shutdown yesterday after thousands of apparel workers came out from their respective factories to take part at a rally in the capital, industry insiders said.   

The undeclared closure of the factories forced the apparel manufacturers to sustain production losses to the tune of 60-70 per cent and their factories abandoned shipments scheduled for the day.
“Workers of Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial belts started coming out from their factories at noon forcing us to suspend production for the day,” an office bearer of BGMEA told the New Nation yesterday, preferring anonymity.
According to him, nearly 850 high rated RMG factories are operating in these areas.
When asked, he said the RMG owners did not create any obstacle to the workers to join the rally but the labour leaders forced the workers to join it.
Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, an association of RMG workers, organised the rally in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan.
The BGMEA office bearer also alleged that the unruly workers attacked several factories provoked by the labour leaders.
Industrial police sources said, hundreds of workers staged rowdy protests at the key garment industrial belts as the garment owners tried to stop them from joining the rally.

They protested for hours on highways in the major industrial areas of Gazipur, Mouchak and Ashulia and also raised the demand for a rational wage hike.
read more. & read more.
NewNation NewNation

* RMG unrest continues:

Workers set fire to factories in Gazipur, 200 injured, factory owners seek security

Apparel workers rampaged through the industrial belts in Gazipur setting factories on fire, vandalising vehicles, blocking highways and fighting pitched battles with the police for the second straight day on Sunday to press their demand for wage increase.

About 200 people, including workers and police men, were injured in the clashes as the unrest also spread to Uttara in the capital.
The protesters set fire to two factories in Gazipur and blocked Dhaka-Gazipur, Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Mymensingh highways at several points in Gazipur for hours together causing serious disruption of traffic, according to witnesses and police.
The workers’ unrest forced suspension of production in dozens of factories in the troubled areas.
The cabinet committee on law and order at a meeting observed that the workers’ unrest in the readymade garment sector might take a serious turn if steps were not taken immediately to contain the situation.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG owners, workers at loggerheads over wage issue:

Workers and owners are at loggerheads over the issue of implementation of minimum wage in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.

Garment workers are staging demonstrations, holding rallies and shutting down several hundred RMG factories at Ashulia and Savar to press home their demand for a minimum wage of Tk. 8,114 a month.
They also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to implement the wages in time. Last week, the apex body of the country’s apparel manufacturers BGMEA, at a meeting of the wage board, submitted its proposal for a wage hike for the RMG workers by 20 per cent.
As per their proposal, a worker (apprentice level) of the garment factories will enjoy a monthly wage of Tk. 3,600, as against the existing salary of Tk. 3,000.

But the RMG workers vehemently rejected the proposal, terming it “illogical” and “unacceptable,” and demanded immediate implementation of their proposal.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the BGMEA proposal, the leaders of the RMG workers threatened to render the sector dysfunctional if the recommendation of the garment owners was implemented.
At the third meeting of the wage board, the workers’ leaders recommended Tk. 8,114 as minimum monthly wage, which is about a 166-per cent hike on the existing wage.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Violence at RMG hubs may take serious turn:

The ongoing workers violence over new wage structure for garment industry is likely to take a serious turn if the authorities delay in settling the issue, workers representatives and experts said.

They blamed the last two days’ workers violence at Gazipur, Savar and Kalikoir on owners’ proposal for a 20 per cent wage hike, which they said was way behind the proposal of the workers.
They called upon all the parties engaged in the country’s highest foreign currency earning sector to immediately come up with a solution for the wellbeing and growth of the sector.
(….)
“The owners’ proposal to raise wages by only Tk 600 is nothing but a joke. It cannot be accepted at all,” Bangladesh Textile-Garments Workers Federation president Abul Hossain told the FE.
He said the recent violence over enhanced wages at the country’s key apparel industrial hub was the reaction of this mockery.

“The owners by making such a proposal have shown their pettiness, which angered the workers,” he said.
Combined Garment Workers Federation president Nazma Akhter said the owners should withdraw the proposal and recommend a reasonable salary structure that could ensure a decent life for the workers.

“The situation might take a serious turn if the authorities fail to settle the issue quickly,” she said with a note of optimism that the owners would realise the fact and backtrack from their position considering growth of the industry.
read more.

* Businesses worried at violence:

Businesses yesterday expressed their concern over the latest spell of labour unrest in the garment sector that halts production at the factory units on a regular basis.

A section of agitated garment workers vandalised many factories in Savar, Konabari, Kashimpur, Gazipur, Shafipur, Ashulia and Uttara. They were agitating for increasing the minimum salary to Tk 8,114 from the existing Tk 3,000.
The workers also vandalised a good number of factories across the country on Saturday.
The concerned garment owners of Ashulia and Savar held a meeting at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday to find out solutions in this regard.
“We have met Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, and will meet other ministers concerned seeking security of the factories,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the garment factory owners of Ashulia Zone.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA must take minimum wages seriously:

It is straightforward for employers to at least build in a commitment to raise salaries, including the minimum wage

The BGMEA is taking a hard line on minimum wages for RMG workers.
At a time when various programmes of safety inspections are seeking to take the garment export sector forward, it is short sighted for the industry body to adopt a stance that raises worker discontent.

There has been no national pay increase since the wage board last set the minimum wage at Tk3,000 in 2010. As BGMEA’s proposed 20% wage increase falls clearly short of inflation during the last three years, it inevitably adds to the workforce’s concerns.

Around 10,000 workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail Highway on Saturday in support of demands for higher wages by unions and associations such as Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad. This type of unrest can only increase if the BGMEA does not negotiate in a co-operative and rational manner.

Inflation hurts everyone but people on minimum wages feel it the most. It is straightforward for employers to at least build in a commitment to raise salaries, including the minimum wage, by the cost of living increase each year. BGMEA has no justification for not being pro-active in addressing this issue earlier.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20130921

20:51:45 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* MTUC Claims Employers Short Charging Workers:

Some errant employers are short charging their workers by including allowances, commissions and other perks to inflate the basic monthly salary to RM900 to comply with the new minimum wages regulation introduced by the government.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress Vice President, A. Balasubramaniam claimed that these employers were doing so despite warnings issued by the government that they would be hauled up for such practice.
He called on the Human Resources Ministry to step up enforcement to ensure that workers were not shortchanged in anyway.
Effective January this year, the government has set the basic minimum wage for workers in Peninsular Malaysia, as RM900.
Balasubramaniam pointed out that basic wages should not include commissions or their allowance as per their contract.
to read.
BERNAMA

 18:51:45 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

Bangladesh Garment workers rally demanding minimum wage 21 September 2013:

* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday:

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Friday called for making Saturday’s grand rally of readymade garments workers a success.

Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, an association of RMG workers, will organize the rally in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan to demand rational minimum wages for the garment workers for their survival.
Briefing journalists at the temporary office of the association, Shahjahan Khan, also the convenor of Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, said the logical minimum wages for the RMG workers should be ensured for the sake of protecting the country’s garment industry.
He said the grand workers rally will not be held for gaining any political benefit.
The reactionary clique has become frightened seeing the enthusiasm among the readymade garment workers centering the rally.

“It is now the demand of time to forge a strong unity against the ‘conspiracy’ to confine women workers in the houses. The rally will be held protesting the retrenchment of RMG workers,” Shahjahan Khan added.

In the rally, the garments workers will place their demands for ensuring rational minimum wages, reinstatement of GSP facilities, and providing adequate compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and devastating fire incident of Tazreen Garments factory.
Shajahan Khan will preside over the rally scheduled to begin at 2pm.
to read  & to read.  & to read. & to read. & read more. &
UNB INDEPENDENT  DHAKATRIBUNE primenews

* Trouble brewing- RMG workers unhappy over wage-hike proposal:

The country’s garment sector may face another spell of fresh labour unrest centering the wage hike issue, industrial police sources said on Friday.

They said, the proposal for 20 per cent wage hike by the garments owners has created dissatisfaction among the garment workers and cashing the discontent, a group of labour leaders are working actively to destabilise the largest industrial sector again.
This pay hike proposal placed at the fifth meeting of the wage board formed for the apparel workers.
“Labour unrest may flare up at any moment from a key garments industrial belt as frustration grips in the mind of the RMG workers over the wage hike issue,” a senior industrial police official told The New Nation yesterday, preferring anonymity.
He added: “We have specific information that a group of labour leaders are mobilising the workers for a violent street protest. They want to launch the protest to press home their demand of a rational pay hike.”

The industrial police official further said they have already informed the matter to the government high-ups and requested them to take pre-cautionary measures.
“Our department is also keeping a close watch on the labour leaders to avert any untoward situation,” he said, adding, ‘but the situation could go beyond the control of the law enforcers once the workers come out to the street.
read more.
NewNation

* RMG workers block Dhaka-Tangail Highway:

About 10,000 workers take to the streets after factory owners do not allow them to attend a Dhaka rally

Around 10,000 workers blocked Dhaka-Tangail Highway in Gazipur on Saturday morning, alleging they were not permitted leave from their places of work to attend a rally in the capital.

The rally, scheduled to begin at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan in the afternoon, demands raising the minimum wage to Tk8,000.
Witnesses said these workers from Purbani, Aimon, Naina, Dressmen and other readymade garment factories in Mouchak, Shafipur and Chandra had taken to the streets around 9am.

The agitated workers blocked Dhaka-Tangail Highway and smashed some vehicles.
Police managed to remove the workers from the highway around 11:30am.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT BD new age

* Demo Demanding Salary hike- 8 RMG units vandalised in Gazpur:

The authorities of over 300 garment factories shut production of their units in Kaliakoir of Gazipur for Saturday in the face of workers’ agitation demanding a one-day leave for participating at a rally in Dhaka today.

Sramik Oikya Parishad, a platform of 52 garment workers’ welfare union, is scheduled to hold a grand rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan in the capital at 2:00pm to press home their several demands including raising their minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000.
The agitating workers vandalised three factories at Kaliakoir in Gazipur and five at Jiranibazar in Savar during the demonstration.
The demonstration started from Gazipur at first as over 10,000 workers of different garment units in Kashimpur, Konabari and Chandra took to the highway around 8:30am, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police.
Two hours later, the demonstration spread to Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.
to read. & read more.
daily star bd daily star bd

* Labour unrest shuts Gazipur RMG units:

20130921 UNB Rmg-worker-Dhk-tangail

The authorities have suspended production in all the readymade garment (RMG) factories in Kaliakoir upazila of Gazipur for the day today (Saturday) following labour unrest over salary hike.

Police said workers from several garment factories staged demonstration on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway to press for their minimum wage of Tk8,000.
The workers staged agitation there failing to join a scheduled rally in the capital as most of the garment units in the area remained open.

At first, the workers of Purbani Garments Factory took to the Dhaka-Tangail Highway at about 9.00am and started demonstration there failing to join the rally and also put up barricade on the highway.
At one stage, several hundred workers from different other factories also joined them in the  demonstration.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 INDEPENDENT primenews BDCHRONICLE

* 100 RMG units shut for a day fearing labour unrest:

More than 100 garment factories at Gazipur Industrial Belt were declared shut for Saturday fearing large-scale labour unrest as some workers took to streets after owners refused them to attend a grand rally in Dhaka, police and workers said.

Owners of the factories located at Kaliakoir, Mouchak, Chandra, Shafipur, Boardbazar, Konabari, Kashimpur, Vogra and Tongi suspended production for the day to avoid large-scale violence.
Police and witnesses said workers of Niagara Textile, Imon Textile and Hosiery, Echotex and Hydroxide Ltd at Chandra and Mouchak took to the streets at about 8:30am minutes after the authorities of those factories rejected their plea to allow them to join, the rally called by Garments Sramik Samonnoy Parishad in the capital.
Within 30 minutes of the protest, workers of other factories at the same area joined them and blockaded Dhaka-Tangail Highway, which connects the northern part of the country with Dhaka.
(…)
At the rally, workers’ representatives rejected the proposal to increase 20 per cent in the monthly wage of apparel workers by the garment manufacturers, saying that owners have started mocking with them through placing such proposal to the wage board.
“We strongly rejected the proposal. We will not accept anything below Tk 8000,” senior labour leader Shirin Akhter said.
Sirajul Islam Rony, who is representing workers at the wage board, said the garment makers should realise the pains of the poorly paid workers.
read more.

* RMG workers go on rampage in N’ganj:

Garment workers went on a rampage at Fatullah in sadar upazila here on Saturday as authorities allegedly denied them leave to attend the workers’ rally in Dhaka.

The unruly workers vandalized at least 10 garment factories in the area.
Witnesses said some several hundred garment workers brought out a procession Fatullah rail line area around 3 pm and vandalized 10 factories as the factories were kept open despite the workers’ rally.  Some of the factories of the area were declared closed at 1 pm.
Additional police super of Narayanganj industrial police-4 Masud Ahmed said the garment workers got furious when they found some factories open.
Later, police brought the situation under control.
to read. & read more.
UNB BDtodayNEW

* Transport workers express solidarity with RMG workers:

20130921 BANGLA24
Expressing solidarity with the rally of readymade garments workers, leaders of transport workers announced that the transport of the country would be halted, if necessary, to realize their demand of Tk 8000 as minimum wage per month.

They also urged the RMG workers not to vandalize vehicles during the movement to press home their demand.
Garments Labourers Coordination Parishad organized the rally on demand of Tk 8000 as minimum wage, reinstating GSP, to stop the conspiracy of locking up women into the house at Suhrawardy Udyan of the city on Saturday afternoon.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers reject owners’ minimum wage proposal:

20130921 UNB Bangladesh-RMG-Workers-3

Garment workers at a grand rally here on Saturday turned down factory owners’ offer of Tk 3,600 as minimum wage against Tk 8114 as they are crying for.

They also urged Hefajat-e-Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi to seek apology for his recent offensive remarks against women garment workers.
The grand rally was organised under the banner of Garment Sramik Samannoy Parishad at Suhrawardy Udyan to push their demand for minimum wages so that they can lead a decant life.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BDtodayNEW newstodayBD

* PM’s intervention sought for fixing RMG workers’ wages:

leaders of Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad (GSSP) have sought intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for realizing their demand of making Taka 8 thousand as minimum wage.

The made the demand from a grand rally held at the Suhrawardy Udyan today.
Expressing his solidarity with the demand, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, who is also the president of GSSP said, Sheikh Hasina is a workers friendly PM. In the past, she had fixed Taka 3 thousand as minimum wage for the RMG workers.
” This time also I am leaving the issue to the PM to decide what can be the minimum wage for a garment worker, who works in a factory from dawn to dusk everyday.”
read more. & read more.
BSS primenews

* Garment workers rally demanding $100 minimum wage:

Thousands of Bangladesh garment workers blocked roads and attacked factories outside the capital Dhaka on Saturday demanding a $100 minimum monthly wage.

The workers, many carrying sticks, walked off the job in dozens of garment factories, which make apparel for the world’s top retailers such as Walmart, and protested for hours on highways in the major industrial areas of Gazipur, Mouchak and Ashulia.
“There were at least 20,000 workers who joined the protest. They blocked roads, demanding a big salary hike,” Mustafizur Rahman, deputy police chief of the industrial district of Gazipur, told AFP.
read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq

* Minister’s rally, so 400 factories shut:

Owners fume privately as labour leader-turned-lawmaker dictates terms

More than 400 garment factories were forced to suspend production yesterday thanks to a rally chaired by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan to demand a 167 percent pay rise.

“What the garment owners are pushing for as minimum wage is not rational. We want to negotiate a realistic wage,” he said at the rally called by Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad, a federation of trade unions in garment sector, at Suhrawardy Udyan.
The shipping minister said the 20 percent hike in salary proposed by the owners is too low to improve the living standards of the garment workers.
Khan’s role at the demonstration attended by thousands of garment workers without leave of absence from their employers was criticised by industry stakeholder, as it is a conflict of interest.
“Being a minister he cannot chair a programme of a garment workers’ platform. He is a minister for all. For workers as well as the owners,” said a garment owner preferring not to be named.
read more.
daily star bd

* Garment workers demand Tk 8,000 minimum wage:

Garment leaders at a grand rally Saturday demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,114 per month and sought intervention from the prime minister to implement the wages in time.

The shipping minister, who addressed the rally, also urged the garment owner to pay the wages, otherwise he warned that the demand will be realised through movement. “Garments workers will be united to press home their demands and resist any conspiracy to foil any conspiracy to deprive the workers from their due rights, said shipping minister Md. Shajahan while addressing a huge gathering at Suhrawardy Uddyan in the capital.
They also demanded putting a halt to the activities of Chittagogn-based Hifazat-e Islam for its ‘derogatory remarks’ against the garment workers.
Thousands of workers from various RMG factories in city and its adjoining areas including Savar and Gazipur attended the rally on Satuday afternoon. Workers of several factories had blocked roads and turned violent at Gazipur and Savar when  authorities denied them leave to attend the rally.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* RMG workers go berserk as denied leave for Dhaka rally:

20130921 NEWAGE
A worker shouts slogan at a gathering the Garment Workers Coordination Council held in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo

Several thousand apparel workers staged violent protests in Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj after they were denied permission to attend a rally in Dhaka on Saturday, forcing over 400 garment units to suspend operation.

The protesters vandalised vehicles and blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway in Gazipur for about two hours and a half, disrupting traffic on the busy route, according to witnesses and police.
The workers also went on the rampage at Fatullah in Narayanganj and Kabirpur, Boraipara and Jirani of Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka city.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that the protests had erupted after the workers were denied a day’s leave for taking part in a rally held in Dhaka on the day to push for an increase in the wages of RMG workers.
Gazipur industrial police additional superintendent Mosharraf Hossain said police had cleared the highway around 11:30am.
In the face of agitations, around 400 garment factories located at Signboard, Bagher Bazar, Shirir Chala, Gazipur town, Masterbari and Bairagir Chala of Shreepur announced holiday for the day to avoid further deterioration in law and order.

Officer-in-charge of Kaliakoir police station Omar Farukh said stone-throwing protesters ransacked some factories after being refused permission to join the Dhaka rally. The workers also threw stones at the Shahjalal Islami Bank branch office and a Singer showroom at Shafipur Bazar smashing windowpanes.

The angry workers blocked the highway in Gazipur in the morning, alleging that they were not granted leave to participate in the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital in the afternoon. The Garment Workers’ Coordination Council, a platform of 51 organisations campaigning for apparel workers’ rights, organised the rally.
read more.
BD new age

* Fix Tk 8,114 as minimum wage:

RMG workers tell owners

Apparel workers at a rally in Dhaka on Saturday warned that they would launch a strong movement if the factory owners did not accept their demand for Tk 8,114 in minimum monthly wage.

Rejecting a proposal of the owners’ representative to athe sector’s minimum wage board for fixing the wage at Tk 3,600 a month, they called for the prime minister’s intervention to enhance their minimum monthly wage to Tk 8,000 from the existing Tk 3,000.
The workers also demanded a ban on the activities of Hefajat-e-Islam terming it a ‘terror outfit’ which was campaigning against women working in garment factories and other sectors.
Several thousand workers from across the country joined the rally at Suhrawardi Udyan organised by Garment Workers Coordination Council, a combine of 43 organisations campaigning for apparel workers’ rights.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also the convener of the combine, at the rally called upon the garment factory owners to accept the demand for Tk 8,114 in minimum wage. ‘We seek the prime minister’s intervention for the increase in the minimum wage,’ he said.

Shahjahan appealed to the conscience of the factory owners to fix the minimum wage to enable the workers to meet their daily requirements.
The government on June 6 set up the six-member minimum wage board with retired district judge AK Roy as chairman.
The workers’ representative to the board on August 18 proposed Tk 8,114 in the minimum gross monthly wage for a worker while the owners’ representative on September 17 proposed Tk 3,600 a month, a 20 per cent increase on the existing wage of Tk 3,000.
read more.
BD new age

* Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest:

About 50,000 garment industry workers held their largest protest so far in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to demand an increase of more than 1-1/2 times in the minimum wage, police and labour officials said on Saturday.

“Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t have any alternative unless we raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation, which groups 52 garment worker’s groups, told the peaceful protest.
“We will not hesitate to do anything to realize our demand.”
Bangladesh’s $20-billion garment export industry employs roughly 4 million workers who earn about 3,000 taka ($38) a month, or half what Cambodian factory workers now earn. They want a raise to 8,000 taka ($103) per month.
“We are not the object of mercy, the economy moves with our toil,” Akter added.
read more. & to read.
the-daily-star LEBANON huffpost

* RMG units ‘forced’ to shut for a workers’ rally:

Garments Sramik Samannay Parishad organised the grand rally with Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan in the chair

The readymade garment factories in and around Dhaka were allegedly forced to shut down on Saturday afternoon so that the workers could attend a rally in the capital, RMG workers and owners said.

Labour leaders arranged transportation so that the workers could travel from their workplaces to the rally venue at Suhrawardy Udyan.
The Garment Workers Coordination Council (Garments Sramik Samannay Parishad) organised the grand rally with Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan in the chair.

Several thousand garment workers including those from 52 organisations attended the rally that began around 3pm. Many of them were wearing headbands with “Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad” inscriptions.
The rally follows the ruling Awami League’s initiatives to woo women workers by countering the campaign against them of Hefazat-e-Islam’s spiritual leader Shah Ahmad Shafi, who preached that women should not go out of home for work or shopping.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130928 blockades

You can find more articles here.

 

map of Asia

* INTRO- INFO about Living Wage

* A living wage = a human right
* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)
* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage

* Overview of Articles in the News:

20131113
PHILIPPINES
* Cheap labor attracts garments

THAILAND
* Ecco, minimum wage don’t fit

CAMBODIA
* Violent clash of strikers, police kills one
* Bystander killed in worker protest
* Strikers, police clash
* Woman Killed as Police Open Fire During Garment Worker Clash
* At Embattled Factory, an Unmovable Manager
* Woman shot dead in Cambodia protest clash: activists
* One Dead, Several Wounded by the Riot Police…
* One killed, 6 injured in Cambodian police, garment protesters clash
* Garment Workers, Police Clash In Cambodia; 1 Killed
* Cambodia garment workers protest turns deadly
* CCHR deplores the use of live ammunition by security forces as today’s SL Garment Factory protests turned violent
* One Dead, Seven Injured Amid Violent Clashes in SL Garment Workers Strike

INDONESIA
* Workers demand minimum wage revision
* More labor protests may hit industrial sector next year

BANGLADESH
* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut over wage fight
* 70 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash in Gazipur, Savar
* RMG workers’ demo -Dhk-Tangail highway blocked
* RMG workers-cop clash in Savar
* All RMG units at Ashulia to remain shut today
* RMG owners express inability to pay Tk 5,300
* Why is the price of our RMG exports declining since 2005?
* 200 RMG units shut as police, workers clash
* 10 factories shut in Gazipur
* British MPs want garment certification scheme to raise garments factories’ standards

20131112
CHINA
* Inflation will hit wage hikes: Research

MALAYSIA
* Advice For Employers On Worker Recruitment Procedure To Avert Crime

BANGLADESH
* Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow
* Dozens hurt in Bangladesh garment factory protest
* 150 Savar RMG units shut over wage fight
* Apparels workers clash with police over wage hike
* Western buyers don’t reward compliance: Jamal
* Protest by Bangladeshi garment workers shutters 100 factories
* 50- 100 Ashulia RMG units shut as workers clash with police
* 100 RMG units closed for a day
* Unrest in Ashulia, Savar RMG units, 50 injured
* Workers of Uttara EPZ demonstratem for higher wages
* Fresh workers’ unrest in Ashulia: BGMEA sees conspiracy
* RMG owners tag three demands to WB execution
* Bangladesh garment workers unhappy with recent wage hike stage demonstration
* RMG Minimum wage to be announced on Nov 21
* Cop-RMG workers clash in Savar- 100 hurt, 50 factories shut
* 200 units shut after worker-cop clash

20131108-11
ASIA
* Salaries in Asia-Pacific set to rise 7% next year: survey

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates
*Administration’s legal division to appeal in labor wage dispute
* Increased living wage in Indonesia at a violent cost:

BANGLADESH
* Most units shut after worker-cop clash
* RMG workers demo, 350 factories closed
* More than 50 RMG factories shut
* Most Gazipur factories back in operation
* BGMEA, BKMEA talk min wage issue with govt today
* Minimum wage: BGMEA leaders to meet ministry officials Monday
* Skop demands review of minimum RMG wage structure
* Workers minimum wage issue ‘getting lost in political turmoil’
* Garment owners will agree to Tk 5300 wage
* 25 RMG factories closed in Savar, Ashulia
* 23 RMG factories shut in Ashulia
* Factory workers demand payment for overtime duties
* Unrest prevailing in Ctg RMG sector
* No compromise on wage issue: Labour leaders
* RMG workers demand salary hike
* 7 RMG factories shut amid protest
* Garment workers’ bodies threaten agitation
* Review minimum wages by Nov 20: RMG workers
* Garment workers’ assoc rejects new wages
* Garment workers rights bodies set ultimatum
* Review minimum wage by Nov 20 or face movement: RMG workers
* Minimum wage proposal rejected by all, pressure on the minimum wage board to reconsider
* Cops-workers clash injures 20 in Gazipur

20131108
LAOS
* Lao unions blow whistle on minimum wage cheats

INDONESIA
* Labor unions victory over Jokowi, companies
* Indonesia’s labour strikes hurt everyone

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers protest in Gazipur, Savar
* Factory shut at Savar amid workers demo
* Nearly 80 factories suspend production over labor unrest fears
* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur continues, most of the factories closed
* Minimum wage negotiations continue in Bangladesh
* Labour rights bodies demand revision of new RMG wage
* RMG workers give until Nov 20 to revise min wage
* Minimum wage for RMG workers

20131107
INDONESIA
* Bali sets minimum wage at Rp 1.3m
* Unemployment Rate Increases on Slowing Economy, Minimum Wage Hike
* 13 Provinces Have Not Decided on Minimum Wage 2014
* Labors Keep on Protesting, Businessmen Admit Frustration
* Investment Impacted by Laborer Demands

BANGLADESH
* Despite raise, RMG workers still get lowest wage in the world
* Clash over new wage shuts 50 Gazipur RMG units
* Clash over new wage execution leaves 20 injured in Gazipur
* 80 factories shut over unrest fears
* Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production
* Protect workers’ rights to protect RMG industry: Karmojibi Nari
* RMG workers take to street as Tk 4,500 offered as minimum wage
* 2-week ultimatum for revising wage

20131106
CAMBODIA
* New hope for SL strike resolution

INDONESIA
* Violent end to Indonesian strike
* Nine Suspects Detained in Wake of Labor Rally Brawl
* Jakarta Governor Defends Minimum Wage Policy Amid Protests by Labor

BANGLADESH
* Apparel makers threaten shut down
* Bangladesh Urges Raise in Garment Industry’s Minimum Wage
* RMG labour bodies, left parties reject new wage
* Minimum Wage Under the Clout of Question and Rejection
* Who cares, really?
* RMG owners to appeal for review of proposal

20131105-06
CAMBODIA
* H&M Calls for Yearly Minimum Wage Review

MALAYSIA
* Ministry To Study Effects Of Minimum Wage Implementation – Riot

INDONESIA
* Jokowi Accused of Taking Sides over Minimum Wage Decision
* Jakarta Worker Groups Plan Fresh Protest Over Minimum Wage Rise
* Riau’s minimum wage set at Rp 1.7m through voting

BANGLADESH
* Review minimum wage or face shutdown: RMG owners
* Owners threaten RMG factory shutdown
* Will shut business if forced to pay: BGMEA
* BGMEA proposes Tk 4,500 as minimum wage for garment workers
* BGMEA: Tk4,500 min wage, or no production
* 70 RMG units shut due to labour unrest in Gazipur
* RMG workers in unrest at Gazipur
* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut after workers-police clash
* 20 factories closed in Gazipur
* Minimum Wage Gets Fixed at 5300BDT (50Euro/68USD); factory owners refuse to recognize
* Garment labour bodies reject new wage
* Tk 5,300
* Apparel minimum wage Tk 5,300
* Official panel recommends 76% garment worker wage hike
* RMG owners reject minimum wage of Tk5,300
* Board finalises minimum RMG wage, owners reject
* Minimum RMG wage fixed at Tk 5300
* Garment wage hike won’t erode competitiveness
* Board fixes Tk 5,300
* Minimum wage Tk5,300 proposed, owners unhappy
* Bangladesh to hike garment worker wage by 76%

20131102-04
CAMBODIA
* Fears SL strike could get ugly
* H&M CEO, PM in tête-à-tête

MALAYSIA
* Minimum Wage Will Be Fully Enforced From January Next Year

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates
* Ahok: 2014 Minimum Wage in Accordance with Survey
* Factory Owners Threaten to Move Away From Jakarta
* Hatta Joins Kadin in Condemning Wage Protests
* Workers, employers yet to agree on S. Sulawesi minimum wage
* Wages rise as strike goes on

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Rangoon Factory Workers Toil for ‘Extremely Low’ Wages
* Factory workers facing slave-like conditions

BANGLADESH
* RMG wage board meets again today
* RMG makers, workers may reach consensus on wage in today’s meeting
* Board closing in on new salary structure
* Owners, RMG workers closing gap to reach consensus
* 10 injured in police-RMG workers clash in Savar
* Production suspended in 15 RMG units in Gazipur
* 70 Gazipur RMG units shut after worker-cop clash
* Garment TUC turns down new wage proposal
* RMG workers rally demands TK 8,000 minimum wage
* RMG workers block Dhk-Tangail highway

INDIA
* For women, more education means salary discrimination at work

20131101
VIET NAM
* Government wage hike plan draws criticism

CAMBODIA
* H&M to help strengthen industrial relations in Cambodia

INDONESIA
* Joko Sets Jakarta Minimum Wage at Rp 2.4m
* Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed
* Low Turnout as Nationwide Strikes Continue, Jakarta Wages Up 9%
* Minister: Wage Increase Must be Rational
* Indonesia strikes marred by anti-union violence
* Riau Islands to increase minimum wage by 22 percent
* Massive strike nearly cripples industries in Batam
* Labors Demand to Meet Jokowi Regarding UMP
* Indonesia hit with mass strike over wage hike demands
* National Strike Begins as Workers Demand Healthcare and Higher Pay
* Indonesians strike over wage hike
* Jambi workers reject new minimum wage
* Companies Prepare to Flee as Minimum Wage Hikes Loom
* Minimum wage hike will not affect inflation
* Batam minimum wage likely to be set at Rp 2.2m
* Papua’s 2014 minimum wage set at Rp 1.9m
* Labor Tensions Will Eventually Cease, According to Industry Officials
* Despite workers’ boycott, council proposes minimum wage

BANGLADESH
* RMG wage finalisation deferred again
* Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers
* RMG minimum wage: Board members far from consensus
* RMG owners propose Tk 4,500 as minimum wage
* Labour leaders demand minimum wage Tk 8000
* Workers reject owners’ revised proposal
* RMG minimum wage talks drag on
* RMG workers reject Tk 4500 minimum wage proposal
* RMG workers stage demo in capital
* H&M wants quick, actual rise in RMG workers’ wages

20131031
CHINA
* The company vanishes: workers chase shadows in search for wage arrears

INDONESIA
* Indonesians Strike for Minimum Wage and Fair Labour Laws
* Statement of Joint Labor Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) to welcome the NATIONAL STRIKE 31 October- 1 November 2013
* Indonesia workers prepare for national strike
* Workers visit factories ahead of general strike
* Workers skip wage talk for street rally
* Minimum wage negotiation meeting canceled
* Indonesian Workers Stage Nationwide Strike Over Pay
* Editorial: Workers’ demands

BANGLADESH
* 25 RMG units closed for a day in Gazipur
* 20 RMG units shut in Gazipur
* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 30 in Ashulia
* Owners to propose Tk 4,250 as minimum wage today

INDIA
* Increase wages, say power loom workers

ETHIOPIA
* Insight into Ethiopian Garment Industry

20131030
INDONESIA
* Labors Forum Negotiates Minimum Wage with Jokowi
* Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi

BANGLADESH
* 10 garments factory announced closed in Gazipur
* Businesses meet PM to talk garment wage
* Calculating a living wage for clothing workers

INDIA
* State may hike minimum wages for garment factory, hotel workers

20131029
INDONESIA
* Govt Still Mulls Laborers’ Pay
* Millions of Workers to Join National Strike on Thursday and Friday
* Three million workers to join nationwide labor strike: Labor leader
* Workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike
* Jakarta Sets Reasonable Living Cost Index at Rp 2.2m
* Basic cost of living components determined
* Nationwide strike in Indonesia announced for 31 October
* Wage hike will affect investment climate: BI
* Indonesian Shoemakers Ready to Leg It

BANGLADESH
* RMG factory owners’ latest trick
* Minimum wage of garment workers
* RMG minimum wage: Fresh proposal deferred again

20131026-28
PHILIPPINES
* Minimum wage too low?

BANGLADESH
* Bangladesh RMG sector fails to pay living wages: Report
* UK warns over Bangladesh factory safety
* BGMEA sets Tk 4500 as minimum wage
* Owners’ final proposal Tk 4,680
* RMG owners likely to propose Tk 4,430 as minimum wage
* Still not enough
* New RMG wage now to be finalised by Oct 31
* WB for RMG workers to submit report on wage hike Oct 31
* RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal
* Workers allege owners delay wage decision process
* Peg minimum RMG wages to cost of living: analysts

INDONESIA
* Government braces for nationwide labor protests
* Strike planned for Monday: KSPI
* BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates

INDIA
* State misses HC deadline on garment workers’ wage

GENERAL
* European Conference on Living Wages November 25-26 in Berlin

20131025
MONGOLIA
* Trade union members demand wage increases

INDONESIA
* Workers demand wage increase
* Three Million Workers Involved In National Strike Confirmed

BANGLADESH
* Minimum-Wage Hike Won’t Appease Bangladeshi Workers

20131024
INDONESIA
* Wage committee asked to finish survey

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Wait continues for specification of new minimum wage

20131022-23
ASIA
* A wage you can live on

CAMBODIA
* USA garment factory workers block national road

INDONESIA
* Workers warn of nationwide strike

BANGLADESH
* Clean Clothes launches better wage campaign
* RMG owners get more time to submit revised proposal to wage board

20131019-21
PHILIPPINES
* 14th month pay, a silly proposal

INDONESIA
* National Strike of Indonesian workers on 28 , 29 , 30 OCTOBER 2013

BANGLADESH
* BGMEA leaders seek more time
* RMG owners seek one more week to submit wage proposals
* Garment factory owners want to pay minimum wage of Tk 4,500
* New RMG wage structure Oct 27
* Bangladesh poised to hike garment wages
* Determining minimum wage for workers
* RMG minimum wage likely to be Tk 5,000
* RMG owners to submit conditional proposal

20131018
INDONESIA
* Labour protests to test investor sentiment in Indonesia
* Workers protest at SBY minimum wage instruction

20131017
CAMBODIA
* Voices on The Street

INDIA
* Textile units urged to hold bonus talks

20131016
INDIA
* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’

20131015
BANGLADESH
* Apparel workers block highway in Tongi
* Workers-cops clash injures 30 in Ashulia
* Garment workers detain boss until he pays bonus
* Factories, barring one, pay up
* Salaries, bonus ensured for all workers: BGMEA
* RMG workers take to streets for dues before Eid
* All garment workers have been paid, BGMEA says
* New statement up on Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd
* Accord condemns Liberty Fashion’s delay in repairing factory building
* Liberty Fashion workers demonstrate for dues

20131012-14
CAMBODIA
* Violent aftermath of Cambodian strike

INDONESIA
* Labor, policy issues loom large over Batam
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* Woes of Kushtia textile mills workers rise
* PM: Wage hike to benefit RMG industry
* RMG workers to resume movement after Eid
* Tazreen’s owner confined
* Tazreen owner ‘confined, freed’ after paying bonus
* Tazreen owner freed after 17hrs
* Liberty Fashion Workers In Protest!
* More RMG unrest in Gazipur over wage
* RMG workers block highway for arrear, bonus
* RMG workers abstain from work for salaries, Eid bonuses in Gazipur
* The RMG industry in ferment

20131011
BANGLADESH
* 20 – 30 hurt in RMG worker-cop clash in Savar
* GM fired after RMG workers demo
* Workers’ unrest and our economy

INDIA
* Pension sought for weavers

20131010
BANGLADESH
* RMG workers’ protest in Ashulia

SRI LANKA
* Trade unions demand decent work & wages

20131009
INDONESIA
* This reason Labour/Trade Unions Oppose Instruction No.9/2013 About Wages

20131008
BANGLADESH
* BLF demands fair wages for extra work of tannery workers
* BD RMG to remain competitive even after wage hike: Hanna
* RMG workers’ violent demo in Gazipur

INDIA
* Handloom weavers’ plea to Collector

20131005-07
CHINA
* Large-scale strikes a feature of recent worker protest in China

INDONESIA
* Treading the tightrope of minimum wage in Indonesia

INDIA
* Committee seeks bonus for mill workers

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

20131004
INDONESIA
* Struggle That Pays Off

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers protest in Ctg
* Garment workers fill streets in Bangladesh
* How Garment Workers Decided $104.72 a Month Was A Living Wage

INDIA
* Delhi government increases minimum wages

20131003
INDONESIA
* As Signing the Inpres, The President Wanted The Minimum Wages To Be Based On KHL, Productivity And Economic Growth

BANGLADESH
* Garments worker protest wages in Gazipur
* RMG workers demonstrate for arrears in Ashulia
* 100-dollar dream teases RMG workers?

20131002
CAMBODIA
* BetterFactories Media updates

MALAYSIA
* Minimum Wage: Action Against Errant Employers To Be Known Next Year

BANGLADESH
* RMG sector: Leading in times of uncertainty
* RMG workers demonstrate in Savar for arrears
* Why the double standard for RMG wages?
* No protest of workers’ in October
* Re-fixing garments workers’ wages

INDIA
* Definition of ‘basic wages’ for calculation of PF contribution

20131001
MALAYSIA
* 600,000 SMEs allowed to postpone minimum wage implementation

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers deserve higher minimum wage
* RMG workers’ wage ‘not increasing as per production, earning’
* No regular wages for workers of small-scale apparel factories
* Economics and business of minimum wage in RMG
* Normalcy returns in garment factories

[map country="india"] INDIA
* MGNREGA workers to receive compensation for wage delay:

20130928-30
BANGLADESH
* No violence at RMG hubs Friday
* MKA blames Jamaat for RMG sector trouble
* Politics blamed for unrest in RMG sector
* RMG UNREST OVER SALARY HIKE- Workers block road, clash with cops
* RMG workers protest in Ashulia- Factories shut; 20 injured
* Bangladesh garment workers protest low wages
* RMG workers resume protests
* Minimum wage soon after announcement: BGMEA
* BGB patrolling violent-hit RMG areas
* Behind-the-scene players of RMG unrest identified
* RMG owners, labour leaders reach consensus on 5 points
* Labour leaders scuffle over Shajahan’s role
* Responsibility for latest RMG industry turmoil
* Hefazat chief instigated RMG unrest: Labour minister
* Protests ebb as Bangladesh garment factories agree wage rise
* Govt adopting ‘repressive policy against RMG workers’
* 30 injured in RMG unrest at Sreepur
* RMG workers ransack factory demanding manager’s removal
* Worker leaders demand hike in textile wages
* Wage board members leave left Dhaka for three countries

INDIA
* Weavers stage demonstration:

20130927
BANGLADESH
* BGB deployed in Gazipur
* RMG Unrest: BGB deployed in Gazipur
* Police in open fire as textile workers protest over pay
* RMG unrest hits N’ganj for 6th day
* RMG workers’ demo in Ashulia: 20 injured in police action
* Over 100 hurt in RMG workers-cops clash in N’ganj
* 80% factories resume production in Gazipur: BGMEA
* Security boosted at RMG factories after unrest
* Textile workers fed up with conditions
* RMG protests over wages on
* Garment workers stay rowdy
* RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible!
* Govt, owners liable for RMG unrest
* Exercise restraint, NYT urges BD police, RMG workers
* Fix it quick or lose business
* Right of Pay for Labor … Bangladesh Minimum Wage Movement Continues

20130926
BANGLADESH
* Apparel workers’ demo enters fifth day
* RMG Unrest over Salary Hike- 144 units shut amid unrest
* 150 more RMG units shut: 60 hurt in clashes
* Workers’ unrest in Savar, Gazipur & 2nd :N’ganj
* Over 300 RMG factories closed in Gazipur over violence
* RMG workers stage demo in Chittagong + RMG workers stage demo in city, 4 districts
* Police fight on with apparel workers
* No unrest in apparel sector, claims Home Minister
* MKA talks tough against those trying to destabilise RMG sector
* RMG owners threaten no pay, bonus
* Treachery by factory owners to make matters worse
* Onus on owners
* RMG Unrest: BGB deployment from Thursday
* RMG owners decide to resume operation from today
* Garments sector in turmoil, again
* Buyers worried, factory owners slow to respond
* BGB deployed in Gazipur Industrial Zone
* The economics of minimum wages
* Need to identify issues that constrain RMG industry

20130925
CAMBODIA
* Factory management agrees on pay advance for holiday:
* BetterFactories Media update 14-24 September 2013

BANGLADESH
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG workers block Kuril Bishaw Road for hiked minimum wage
* Violence in RMG sector spreads to N’ganj, Tangail
* RMG workers protest in Ashulia
* Protest over pay rise in Gazipur- 12 RMG factories shut, 20 hurt
* RMG workers continue agitation
* Protesting workers say wages not enough to buy food
* The battles of RMG
* ‘A minister behind labour unrest’- Fakhrul
* CPD suggests Tk 8,200 minimum wage for RMG workers
* Workers’ demand justified
* Unrest hits Gazipur RMG belt for 4th day
* Unrest in RMG industry continues
* Logical minimum wage for workers by Nov, hopes BGMEA
* Bangladeshi garment workers rally for a decent wage
* What should be the minimum wage for RMG workers?
* RMG workers’ demand, BGMEA apathy and politicking minister
* Fixing wages for garments workers
* Wage hike needed for RMG sector
* Thousands demand higher wages in Bangladesh factory protest
* RMG unrest continues for 4-day in Gazipur

20130924
BANGLADESH
* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur; factories close
* Garment workers go berserk in Gazipur
* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Savar
* 10-15 hurt in Savar apparel worker-cop clash
* RMG workers stage sit-in in capital
* Garment workers demonstrate at Savar, Gazipur : 100 injured
* Some quarters active to divert apparel workers’ demand: Minister
* RMG Workers’ Demo over salary Hike – Gazipur Ansar camp attacked, arms, ammo looted
* 150 more RMG units shut as violence spreads
* RMG unrest flares
* 300 factories closed as RMG unrest spreads
* Govt to enhance security measures in clothing industry
* RMG factories at Ashulia reopen today
* Tuku urges RMG workers to keep patience till new wage declaration
* Factories vandalized as garment workers protest for third day
* The Biggest Ever Minimum Wage Rally Continues in Bangladesh
* RMG workers agitate for wage hike
* RMG workers go berserk
* BGMEA seeks security* Revised RMG wages likely by Nov
* Angry Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay, factories shut
* Undervalued garment workers
* Too much, too little
* Bangladeshi factory workers locked in on 19-hour shifts
* RMG workers locked in on 19-hour shifts

20130923
BANGLADESH
* Protest for RMG pay rise in Gazipur- Workers-police clash underway
* Garments workers block Dhaka- Mymensingh, Dhaka-Aricha highway

INDIA
* Mangalore trade union demands minimum wage
* CITU demands amendment to Minimum Wages Act
* Goa labour unions demand Rs 12,000 monthly wage for workers
* ‘Fix minimum wage for unorganised workers at `10,000, implement schemes’
* Wage united struggle, women told

20130922
BANGLADESH
* 50,000 Bangladeshi garment workers strike over ‘inhuman’ wages
* RMG units close again in Gazipur
* DEMO DEMANDING SALARY HIKE – RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur
* Unrest forces production suspension at 100 Gazipur RMG units
* Police fire rubber bullets at protesting garment workers
* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 15
* FBCCI wants ‘fair’ RMG pay
* RMG sector turns hot- Workers take to streets demanding pay hike
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG owners, workers at loggerheads over wage issue
* Violence at RMG hubs may take serious turn
* Businesses worried at violence
* BGMEA must take minimum wages seriously

20130921
MALAYSIA
* MTUC Claims Employers Short Charging Workers

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday
* Trouble brewing- RMG workers unhappy over wage-hike proposal
* RMG workers block Dhaka-Tangail Highway
* Demo Demanding Salary hike- 8 RMG units vandalised in Gazpur
* Labour unrest shuts Gazipur RMG units
* 100 RMG units shut for a day fearing labour unrest
* RMG workers go on rampage in N’ganj
* Transport workers express solidarity with RMG workers
* RMG workers reject owners’ minimum wage proposal
* PM’s intervention sought for fixing RMG workers’ wages
* Garment workers rally demanding $100 minimum wage
* Minister’s rally, so 400 factories shut
* Garment workers demand Tk 8,000 minimum wage
* RMG workers go berserk as denied leave for Dhaka rally
* Fix Tk 8,114 as minimum wage
* Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest
* RMG units ‘forced’ to shut for a workers’ rally

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