Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE

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* 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
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* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA):

Print

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.
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LW inthe news

20131213

21:03:52 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Employers Still Shortchanging Workers – MTUC:

A study by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has revealed that many employers are still shortchanging workers by lumping all overtime and allowances into the basic salary to make up the statutory RM900 minimum wage.

Its vice-president, A. Balasubramaniam said the study also showed that many companies, especially the smaller ones, were paying less than RM900 per month inclusive of all allowances.

Although the minimum wage regulations came into effect on Jan 1 this year, it was reported that a few hundred companies were given extensions due to cash flow and other problems.
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BERNAMA

18:33:52 local time map of india INDIA

* Hike minimum wages: CITU:

Activists of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Thursday against price rise.

The policies of Union and State governments were responsible for the steep and regular hike in prices of essential commodities, they alleged.
They demanded a hike in minimum wages and universal social security cover for organised and unorganised workers across the country.
“The governments should increase the minimum wages for workers in the unorganised sector to at least Rs. 10,000 a month,” the CITU leaders said.
to read.
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* Fix minimum wage at Rs. 10,000: trade unions:

The Joint Committee of Trade Unions, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All-India Trade Union Centre Congress (AITUC) urged the Prime Minister to fix a minimum wage of at least Rs. 10,000 a month for workers in the unorganised and agriculture sectors, besides contract workers serving in various State and Union government services.

Workers from different parts of the district on Thursday took out a procession to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in support of its demands and to oppose “anti-people policies, privatisation of public sector undertakings, price rise, corruption and social evils dogging society.”
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* Union demands better facilities for workers:

As part of the Joint Committee of Trade Union’s (JCTU) call for a nation-wide agitation to urge the Central government to take initiatives to curb the soaring prices of essential commodities and to protect the interests of workers of the unorganised, the activists of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a protest in the city on Thursday.

Addressing the protest meet, Narasimhaiah, a trade union leader said that the essential commodities were becoming pricier due to the flawed economic policies of the government. The frequent upward revisions in the prices of petroleum products have resulted in corresponding hike in the prices of essential commodities due to which people from low and middle income groups were facing hardships, he said.

Demands
He urged the government to fix an amount of Rs. 10,000 as monthly minimum wage for workers. Unorganised sector workers should be given access to social security benefits.
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* Trade union leaders meet PM:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday assured a delegation of trade union leaders that he would expedite the implementation of all recommendations of the three-member Committee, headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, which was looking into the demands of labour bodies.

The leaders of 11 Central trade unions were led by All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary and CPI MP Gurudas Das Gupta. The leaders called on Dr. Singh here at his office to highlight the plight of the working class in the country after taking out a massive rally in the Capital.

Among other things, the unions, in their 10-point charter of demands, wanted the minimum wage to be fixed at Rs.10,000 per month, increasing the provident fund pension to a minimum of Rs.3,000 per month, and stopping further disinvestments in the public sector undertakings.
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20131212

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Minimum Wage Postponement, Companies are still calculating. 
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
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7. Jakarta Minimum Wage will not be revised.
Read the full article here
Read the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

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20131211

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Employers To Asks Minimum Wage Suspension:

Employers in a number of labor-intensive sectors plan to submit minimum wage delay, following high 2014 minimum wage hike. So far, three labor intensive sectors, namely footwear, textile and garments as well as food and beverages which begin to review minimum wage suspension.

Chairman of Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) Eddy Widjanarko reveals there are number of footwear sector that will submit minimum wage suspension. The number is predicted when compared to last year.
“However, I still can make sure the exact number. To be sure, the number of companies that submit is more than last year,” he told Bisnis, Monday (12/9).

Currently, the companies still hold coordination meeting on bipartite to agree wage suspension.”Most of companies that will submit suspension are footwear companies from Korea,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) Ade Sudrajat said many textile employers in Indonesia plan to submit 2014 minimum wage suspension.
“In West Java, at least 10 textiles and garments companies plan to submit minimum wage suspension,” he said, Monday (12/9).
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BISNIS

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers welcome minimum wage:

The leaders of garments workers on Tuesday appreciated the government for announcing minimum wage for the workers and urged the authorities concerned to implement the wage structure properly.

Participating in a view exchange meeting with labour, employment and expatriate welfare minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossein at the ministry, they pointed out that the minimum wage of Tk 5,300 is almost similar to the lowest wages in neighbouring, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Now, the need of the time is to implement the minimum wage in all factories, they pointed out.
“The minimum wage of the workers stood at equivalent to $69 which is not bad, but this structure should be implemented though proper coordination,” said Nazma Akhter, a prominent garments workers leader.
She demanded action by the government to keep the house rent in the industrial area under control. Otherwise, the workers would not be benefited even after massive wage hike, she said.
to read.
theindependent

 

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20131210

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Wage hike in garment sector: Motivating the workers:

The Government of Bangladesh and the associations of garment manufacturers have introduced a new wage structure for the workers. It drew mixed reactions from the owners of garments factories. They think it may reduce their competitiveness in the international market.

They garment manufacturers are also concerned that some small factories may not afford the increased wages and consequently some of such factories may have to quit business. These small factories are the heart of the sector in view of the employment, revenue generation and meeting the demand from buyers. But the small factories need to follow the new wage structure. The question now is how they can stay in business by implementing the new wage structure.

This write-up is about how to increase the profit margin despite paying the increased wages. So, here the focus is more on the motivational factor than the wage increments and how this motivation of workers alongside management efforts can help utilise this wage increments as investments for factory development.

For an entrepreneur, increasing the wages of workers is always the best investment, if he knows how to reap the benefits of the pay increase. When the wages of workers increase, it also increases the motivational level of workers.  Increased motivation has a strong correlation with profit maximisation of any company in a sense that motivation contributes to reduction of manufacturing costs, which consequently increase the profit margin.

1. Higher wages motivate workers and the workers also show a higher level of efficiency.

2. The workers also make a less number of mistakes in terms of quality due to the higher degree of focus a worker put on the work.

3. A higher attendance rate ensures higher productivity in the production line. So the probability of attaining the production target becomes higher. Higher productivity and achievement of the target reduce the overhead cost like consumption of electricity.

4. There is less number of machine breakdowns due to the fact that motivated workers put more efforts in taking care of machines.

5. A less number of disputes are there on the production floor as motivated workers put more focus on their own work.

6. Motivated workers tend to be more effective for learning anything.

7. Motivated workers tend to be more disciplined in the event of listening and obeying the instruction of the management.

The factors, outlined above, that help increase the profit of any company by motivating workers with increased wages will not happen spontaneously, unless some efforts, system and processes are put there by the top management of the company.
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FE bd

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20131208

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Roda Vivatex Layoffs Workers on Rupiah Depreciation, Minimum Wages-Hike:

20131206 BIZCOM
Jibiphoto

Manufacturers of woven fabrics of polyester filament PT Roda Vivatex Tbk (RDTX) plans to reduce the number of employees gradually amid rising labor costs and a weak exchange rate.

President Director of Roda Vivatex Wiriady Widjaja said minimum wage increase in several regions/districts forced the company to reduce production.
“The impact of reduction, we plan to conduct a gradual layoffs,” he said in a disclosure to the Indonesia Stock Exchange, Friday (06/12/2013).
According to him, the textile industry and textile products (TPT) has ordeal barrage this year.
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BISNIS

19:33:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase:

Over 700 workers of Great Wall Shoe Factory in Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone went on strike on December 6, demanding increase in their wages and labour rights on.

The workers demanded to raise their hourly wages from current Ks 120 (US$0.12) to Ks 150 (US$0.15), overtime wages from Ks 262 (US$0.262) to Ks 300 (US$0.3), and the incentive payments for daily attendance from Ks 7000 (US$7) to Ks 9000 (US$9).

They requested a total of 12 points, including the demand for an increase their salaries two times a year and to close the factory on public holidays.

“I have been working here for three years, but I don’t know even how much the basic salary is. Regarding with our demanded points, we have already done the first-round discussion with the employer. They can agree on only three points. They don’t say anything about wage increase. So, we will continue to go on strike tomorrow,” said a factory worker Myo Zaw Oo.
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Eleven

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Minimum Wage 2013 – An Insight:

The Minimum Wage 2013 is set to be applicable from December 2013 and the first payment as per this law will take place in early January 2014.

The Gazette outlines the basic construction of the Minimum Wage for the Garment Sector (revised for 2013). The new minimum wage comes after two years since the last Minimum Wage set in 2010. It was amidst mass protests and many drama that finally brought this minimum wage into shape.

The minimum wage protests by garment workers continued recently across Bangladesh, with garment factories suffering huge losses due to angry protestors claiming an unfair decision on the minimum wage. Backed by none (not even those who reach stardom globally while claiming to be their leaders/representatives), these protestors included the common garment workers who were waiting patiently for a wage that would at least be close to the expenses that an average worker requires to live. The long running protests saw dozens dead and thousands injured, with factories vandalized and many left without jobs.

The demands of the protestors had been simple:

  1. A minimum wage of 8000BDT, which is according to the calorie intake of workers in the garment sector.
  2. A proportionate increase of the salaries of the other grades of workers i.e. the sewing operators who make up to more than 70% of the work force, and are more than 85% women.
  3. Increase in piece-rate (i.e. they earn according to the number of pieces they make) for the sweater garment factory worker, and introduction of overtime benefits, festival bonuses and leave benefit.

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* Sweater units’ workers demand hike in piece-rate after RMG sector wage raise:

The government has decided to look into the prevailing dispute over hike in the payment for the sweater factory workers, officials said.

The move came following frequent allegations made by the labour leaders that the sweater factory workers are deprived of legal service-benefits and they are unlikely to be benefited by the new wage structure for the garment workers as there is no clear indication of hike in piece-rate.

“We have taken up the sweater factory workers’ wage-related case and are actively considering how to resolve the matter,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE Thursday.

Terming the issue ‘complicated’, he said they would form a committee that would sit with both the sweater factory owners and the workers first to identify the problems and decide on the next course of steps.

Traditionally, the sweater factory workers get their payment on piece-rate basis and they don’t get other service benefits like overtime allowances, festival bonuses and leave benefit, labour leaders claimed.
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FE bd

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20131206

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG minimum wage gazette today:

A novice worker will get Tk4,300 with a basic of Tk2,200

The government is set to publish the gazette of the minimum wage for entry-level readymade garment workers on Thursday.

Secretary for labour Mikail Shipar confirmed the news to the Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “The gazette has already been sent to the BG press for printing.”
Earlier, on November 21, the government-formed wage board finalised Tk5,300 as minimum wage with a basic of Tk3,000 for entry-level garment workers.
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DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Gazette on RMG workers’ wage hike published, giving effect from Dec 1:

Owners sceptic of abilities, workers fear delay

The government made Thursday a gazette notification, paving the way for implementing a 77 per cent hike in the minimum wage for ready-made garment (RMG) workers, effective from December 1.

However, the apparel makers have expressed their doubt about the timely implementation of the new wages as the sector is passing through bad times due to the ongoing political turmoil.

Demanding proper and timely execution of the new wage structure, the labour leaders said they feared any further delay in implementing the latest wages could spark further bouts of violence in the RMG industrial belts.

Meanwhile, the gazette was published 17 days after a meeting of the government-formed wage board in which all the parties, including the apparel makers, labour leaders, reached a consensus on a new wage structure.
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FE bd daily star bd

* RMG workers’ wage structure gazetted:

The government on Thursday published a gazette notification on the wage board award for apparel workers and others on the staff at apparel factories setting the monthly minimum wage at Tk 5,300 from Tk 3,000.

The new wage structure will be effective from December 1, according to the gazette notification. The gazette also said that the basic wage would increase by 5% every year.
Apparel workers have been classified under seven categories and other members on the staff under four categories in the wage board award.
The United Garments Workers’ Unity Federation president, Nazma Akter, told New Age that they had agreed the minimum wage but had disputes over the wage structure of other grades.
‘We do not want to see any more labour unrest centring on the minimum wage. We urge the government to reconsider the wage structure of other grades but grade 7,’ she said.
Nazma also called on owners to implement the new wage structure in time.
The wage board for apparel workers made its final recommendation for Tk 5,300 in the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers at the last board meeting on November 21.
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BD new age

* Inflation picks up for first time since July on political unrest:

Bangladesh’s annual inflation rate rose in November, ending a declining trend since July, as political protests against upcoming elections cripple the supply chain.

November’s rate was 7.15%, up from 7.03%in October, the statistics office said on Thursday, with higher prices for both food and non-food items.
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Ittefaq BD new age

* Inflation rises as shutdown rips supply chain:

Economists say the rate may go up further if political unrest lingers

20131206 DAILYSTAR Inflation

Inflation rose by 0.12 percentage point to 7.15 percent in November, compared to the previous month, mainly due to a supply chain disruption amid political violence and shutdowns.
Economists warned the rate will go up further if shutdowns and blockades continue.
But officials at Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics said inflation did not go up much despite political unrest and will remain contained in future.
Food inflation increased by 0.17 percentage point and stood at 8.55 percent in November, while non-food inflation rose by 0.04 percentage point to reach 5.08 percent, according to BBS.
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daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131205

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Thousands of Labors Rally over Serang Minimum Wage:

20131204 TEMPO
Labors in demonstration

Thousands of labors from various workers union held a rally in Serang, Banten, by blockading the main road of Serang-Jakarta yesterday. The blockade was set in Ciujung toll booths and hampered the Serang-Jakarta traffic flow.

The protesting labors urges the Serang Regent to recommend the revision of 2014 City Minimum Wage (UMK) from Rp2,340,000 to be Rp2,442,000. “With only a small minimum wage amount, the labors are not prosperous enough,” said the Chief of Indonesian Prosperous Workers Union (KSBSI) DPC of Serang, Amir Sanusi. After the blockade, they continued their rally to the Serang Regent Office.

Previously, Banten Governor Atut Chosiyah had already set the 2014 City Minimum Wage, but only to seven cities in Banten, which is Rp1.4 million to Rp2.4 million. Only one more city for the UMK to be set, and that is Serang. It has not being done yet because there have not been any recommendation from the Regent to the Provincial government about Serang’s minimum wage.
to read.
tempo-eng

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Rising living costs eat up RMG workers’ wage benefit:

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers will gain little from the new wage structure as the costs of accommodation, food, transportation and other basic requirements have gone up significantly in the country’s industrial belts, much ahead of its implementation.

Although garment makers and workers’ leaders agreed to the final recommendation by the wage board that had increased the minimum monthly wage for a worker to Tk 5,300 on last November 21, the gazette notification regarding the hike hasn’t yet been published.

After a visit to the densely populated industrial hubs like Ashulia, Savar and Dhaka, it was found that most of the landlords have already increased house rents by nearly 50 per cent on an average.

On the other hand, transportation fares, prices of kitchen items and other things have also gone up by 30 to 40 per cent there immediately after the announcement of the new wages.

Workers have expressed their serious concern over the sudden rise in their day-to-day expenses, saying they would not get the benefit of the 77 per cent wage-hike due to the illogical increase in house rents, as the rise in expenses in some cases might cost much more than the amount they would receive from the latest wage enhancement, which has come into effect from the current month.

Talking to the FE, Emamul Hoque, quality inspector of Bando Design of Sterling Group located at Sarkar Market area in Ashulia, said, last week his landlord had asked him to pay an increased amount in house rent from this December.

“Now, I will have to spend Tk 1300 instead of Tk 900 for a ‘pocket-room’ having no gas facility. But I’ll get Tk 1200 as house rent under the new wage structure,” he said, adding that the house owners had made the hike citing the latest wage of Tk 5,300 (US$ 68), which had been readjusted upward from the previous Tk 3,000 as minimum monthly wage.
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FE bd

* Bangladesh factory owners wary of wage increase:

Pay raise for garment workers could hurt competitiveness, bosses say

Millions of Bangladeshi garment workers-key players in a supply chain that produces inexpensive clothing for Western retailers-got a pay raise over the weekend, as a new government-mandated minimum wage of $68 a month kicked in, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

That puts Bangladesh into roughly the same league as other low-cost apparel exporters such as India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. But factory owners here said the increase risks making the industry, a mainstay of the impoverished country’s economy, less competitive.

“We are extremely concerned, especially because we are all negotiating for the next season with our customers,” said Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, a large exporter that produces for global retailers such as Wal-Mart Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz HM-B.SK +1.11 per cent AB.
(…)

Before this weekend’s rise, Bangladeshi garment workers’ minimum wage was 3,000 takas, or about $40, a month. Factory owners had argued for a smaller increase, of about 50 per cent. Labor groups initially had pressed for 8,000 takas, or about $100, but most large unions said they were satisfied with the raise.

Experienced workers generally earn significantly more than the minimum wage each month because of large amounts of overtime work. Before the increase, a seamstress with three years’ experience typically took home more than 8,000 takas a month.

Factory owners said the wage increase means they will need to charge more.
(….)
Global apparel companies, looking for a cheaper alternative to China, have increasingly turned to Bangladesh for basic, labor-intensive products such as casual pants, T-shirts and sweaters that don’t usually require highly trained workers or sophisticated machinery.
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FE bd

* Businessmen seek interim loan from government to pay wages:

They urged the respective trade bodies to set up a fund with the help of the government’s special privilege as they could not make shipment due to political unrest

Businessmen of the country yesterday expressed their concern saying they might not be able to pay their workers’ salaries if the prevailing political crisis persisted.

They urged the respective trade bodies to set up a fund with the help of the government’s special privilege as they could not make shipment due to political unrest.

“Owners are passing a crucial time as the production and shipment are being disrupted leading to fund shortage,” Mohammad Hatem, first vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said.

A group of owners urged the BKMEA to appeal to the government for an interim loan to pay the wages of workers, otherwise they would not be able to pay workers’ salary, he added.

“Owners have to pay wages as per the new wage structure while we are facing cash crunch,” said Hatem.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

18:33:52 local time map of india INDIA

* Garment workers ramp up campaign for wage revision:

Anusha from Manamathi village off East Coast Road spends nearly 14 hours daily away from home on travel and work at a garment unit in Mahindra City, Chengalpet.

After all her effort, she earns merely Rs.3,000 a month, an amount that is not enough to make ends meet.

Several women workers like her have been slogging for long hours in garment and fashion industrial units around the city for meagre salaries. In a bid to draw the attention of the government to their demands for an increase in the minimum wages, members of the Garments and Fashion Workers Union are conducting a postcard campaign.

Nearly three lakh workers, mostly women, are employed in about 5,000 garment units around Chennai. Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, S. Elizabeth Rani, treasurer of the Union, said she has been working for nine years and earns Rs.4,000 a month.

“I have not had much of a hike in salary. But the cost of essential items has gone up manifold. I am forced to borrow money to meet my daily expenses,” she said.
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20131204

21:03:52 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Portal To Help Employers, Workers Understand Minimum Wages Implementation:

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem Tuesday launched the Minimum Wages Portal to enable the public, specifically employers and private sector workers, understand the method of implementing minimum wages.

He said the portal, which was developed with the cooperation of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) and National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN) would channel information and rationale on the policy of the National Minimum Wage more accurately and comprehensively.

He was confident the portal would be able to give the latest information on the result of a study of the impact of the implementation of minimum wages on the labout market, employment of foreign labour and national transformation towards a high income, developed nation.
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BERNAMA

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* REPORT: IndustriALL leading the struggle for Bangladeshi garment workers:

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a historic breakthrough covering more than 2 million garment workers. Breaking from failed corporate-led social auditing of the past, under the Accord trade unions and multinational companies are working together to improve the precarious situation of garment workers in Bangladesh.

Over 100 brands and retailers, covering over 2 million workers in 1,600 factories, are now working together with IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union. This broad coalition constitutes a critical mass of the garment sector. Together they have worked hard to set up the foundations to the Accord for the work on the ground in Bangladesh to be up and running by December 2013.

A number of key factors make this broad coalition new – its size; the seriousness of the legally binding commitments; and the central role of national and international trade unions. Trade unions as partners are the only actors able to ensure accountability and reliable monitoring of conditions and the inspection process. For too long the industry publicly relied on one-off safety audits in its factories, conducted by auditing companies that are created and funded by the brands themselves. Strong industrial relations in the industry can replace this model and conduct constant safety inspections in a context where workers are empowered to refuse dangerous work.
(…)

IndustriALL 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 from the current US$38. On 21 September 200,000 Bangladeshi garment workers mobilized for three days in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, calling for a living wage and strongly rejecting a derisory employers’ wage offer in negotiations.

Recent attention has focused on discussions inside the wage board created by the government to recommend an increased sector-wide minimum wage. IndustriALL has criticized the absence of a trade union representative on the wage board. One spark that ignited the mass worker demonstrations in September was the inadequate proposal submitted to this wage board from the BGMEA and BKMEA employers associations in the sector of 3,600 BDT 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.
(…)

Compensations – setting a standard for the future
Compensation is a difficult but important area of work that involves numerous actors. IndustriALL is taking the lead and was able to secure the ILO as neutral chair of the compensation process following the Rana Plaza and Tazreen tragedies. Although compensating the victims’ families and the injured workers of these industrial disasters is important in and of itself, the significance of this process is heightened by the possibility of setting a precedent for future deadly accidents.
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20131130

19:33:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration:

The Ministry of Labour said it will cooperate with foreign experts, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), to set up an official minimum wage for workers in Myanmar. Currently, the ministry is conducting research with experts from the ILO to assess everyday costs of living and the current income per worker.

However, having a minimum wage doesn’t mean everything is dealt with, especially in developing countries. Economist Richard B Freeman writes that the main objective for setting up an official minimum wage is not to cut jobs but to share income with workers who have low incomes.

There may be different views over the issue. The optimists say income sharing through a minimum wage is good for workers with lower income. Pessimists say employers may cut jobs as a result of it to reduce costs. Those who lose jobs as a result may find their lives worse off than before.
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Eleven

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Living wage is a good target:

As many basic costs such as rent for accommodation are increasing faster than inflation, this process, which is based on improving industrial dialogue, can clearly benefit workers

The Swedish company, H&M, which is the world’s second-biggest clothing retailer, has pledged to pay a living wage to 850,000 textile workers in 750 factories around the world by 2018.

It is starting a pilot project to support factory owners at two textile factories in Bangladesh and one in Cambodia to enable them to adopt a fair living wage for workers by the end of 2014. It has also announced its intention to roll this out to cover all the factories that supply its stores by 2018.

There is no set definition of a living wage, but typically it is based on a formula that seeks to go further than the legal minimum wage by taking into account the amounts needed to provide minimum acceptable living standards.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

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20131129

map of asia ASIA & GLOBAL

* H&M’s living wage roadmap needs concrete benchmarks:

Clean Clothes Campaign is disappointed that H&M’s newly announced Roadmap to a Fair Living Wage fails to clearly state a living wage benchmark, we believe without such a definition it is both impossible to create a ‘roadmap’ to achieving its payment and similarly impossible to measure the roadmap’s success.

However, Clean Clothes Campaign does welcome the roadmap as a positive step forward in the brand’s approach to the payment of a fair living wage with some clear goals and deadlines. We believe that a living wage is the cornerstone of decent work and therefore the payment of a living wage must be an inherent and inextricable core element of any truly sustainable corporate accountability framework.

H&M’s statement that in order to achieve a fair living wage they are willing to pay more to their suppliers marks an essential commitment at the heart of any wage improvement. It is also encouraging that H&M is committed to improving its purchasing practices to decrease overtime and will develop a tool to measure real wage development. However, we believe that if H&M is truly committed to paying a fair living wage to the people who make their clothes then this roadmap must go further.

Firstly a definition of what they acknowledge to be a fair living wage is needed.

We call on H&M to adopt as a benchmark for a living wage the Asia Floor Wage, in order to be able to work towards a decent wage for all those working in their supply chain in Asia.

H&M’s stated commitment to negotiate between factory management and workers is vital in achieving a living wage and is to be applauded.
However, this alone will not achieve ‘fair living wages’. The wages that are possible in negotiations at a factory level, when the starting position is a minimum wage of only a quarter or a sixth of a living wage, will never reach an actual living wage sufficient to feed and support a family.
By setting real benchmarks for a living wage, H&M can raise the bar for the industry. Global brands have the power and money, and this money and power is needed to turn things around for workers.

The importance of factory level negotiations is a key inclusion in the roadmap. However we feel H&M should go further in ensuring the inclusion and critical role of local unions.
read more.
Site

* Living Wage conference – 25-26 November 2013:

Following the end of a two day conference on Living Wages in Berlin the Clean Clothes Campaign cautiously welcomes the steps taken and hopes that the Declaration of Intent signed by the stakeholders present will mark a shift towards actual implementation of a living wage payment for all garment workers.

The conference was convened by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and brought together business, international organisations, NGOs and trade unions.

Clean Clothes Campaign and our partners in the Asia Floor Wage and the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Federation were in attendance.

In line with the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, the Declaration of Intent calls upon all stakeholders to “ show their commitment to realizing living wages in international supply chains.” It also provides a “shared understanding of the concept of a living wage and it’s importance.”

Ashim Roy from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance said on the conference “it is a good step forward in bringing a focus on the living wage which was absent from the discourse of the companies. It is positive that the Dutch and German [Governments] are endorsing this shift towards more concrete forms of implementing a living wage. However this will prove difficult and not go uncontested without operationalization of the living wage concept. We urge buyers to enter into dialogue and negotiation with representatives of unions at both the sourcing country level and the factory level”
read more.
Site

* Living wage conference calls for action:

Freedom of association and collective bargaining are prerequisites for a living wage. Building the commitment of governments, business, trade unions and other civil society organisations to work jointly towards living wages in international supply chains was discussed at the European Conference on Living Wages in November.

The conference, sponsored by the German and Dutch governments, took place in Berlin from 25-26 November. It brought together representatives from trade unions, multistakeholder initiatives, NGOs, governments and, crucially, brands and retailers that source from countries where wages fall far below a living wage.

A large contingent from Bangladesh included representatives of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the garment employers’ organization BGMEA and government. Their focus was on the responsibility of brands sourcing from Bangladesh to ensure fair pricing to enable factories to pay a living wage.

The discussions emphasized the need for collective action. In particular, brands need to work together to use their purchasing practices to ensure that living wages are paid in those factories from which they jointly source. Many participants referred to the Bangladesh Accord, signed by IndustriALL Global Union, UNI and more than 100 global brands, as an example of what is possible and a model for living wage initiatives.
read more.
Home

* News Analysis: Wage-induced inflation to dim Asian economic outlook:

When Monetary Authority of Singapore projected early this week that the city-state’s full- year inflation will range from 2.5 percent to 3 percent, analysts unanimously forecast that inflation next year would edge higher mainly due to higher pass-on wage costs, a problem also likely to overshadow economic outlook of most Southeast Asian nations.

Singapore consumer price increased to 2 percent on-year in October, up from 1.6 percent in September, but research houses such as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Research expected inflation rate to edge higher to 2.7 percent in 2014, as the full impact of wage costs will likely be felt next year.

With the labor market remaining tight and inflows of foreign workers slowing in the city state, few analysts believed inflation woe will be dissipated for Singaporeans any time soon.
The wage-induced inflation is not only faced by Singapore but also by other major Southeast Asian economies.

The recent reading from Malaysia saw consumer price creeping higher to 2.8 percent on-year in October from 2.6 percent in September. While the latest inflation reading was in line with expectations, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch also forecast Malaysia ‘s inflation rate to edge higher to 3.2 percent in 2014.
Like Singapore and Malaysia, the future inflation numbers of Indonesia and Thailand will see higher pass-on from wage cost next year, fueled mainly by their hike in minimum wages.
read more. & to read.
CHINAORG MY sinchew

19:33:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration:

The Ministry of Labour said it will cooperate with foreign experts, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), to set up an official minimum wage for workers in Myanmar. Currently, the ministry is conducting research with experts from the ILO to assess everyday costs of living and the current income per worker.

However, having a minimum wage doesn’t mean everything is dealt with, especially in developing countries. Economist Richard B Freeman writes that the main objective for setting up an official minimum wage is not to cut jobs but to share income with workers who have low incomes.

There may be different views over the issue. The optimists say income sharing through a minimum wage is good for workers with lower income. Pessimists say employers may cut jobs as a result of it to reduce costs. Those who lose jobs as a result may find their lives worse off than before.
read more.
Eleven

20:03:52 local time map of laos LAOS

* Ministry leaves minimum wage unchecke:

Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare officials have admitted they have insufficient staff numbers to carry out inspections to ensure employers have increased their wages in line with labour laws.

The Federation of Trade Unions has made repeated calls for the ministry to more strictly enforce the country’s minimum wage.
Although the wage policy came into force almost two years ago on January 1, 2012, the federation claims many businesses have still not increased th eir pay rates accordingly.

Under the regulation, the minimum wage for an unskilled worker increased from 348,000 kip per month to 626,000 kip, excluding supporting allowances for good performance, social welfare, overtime and more. Many businesses have been found to combine worker entitlements with regular payments to reach the 626,000 kip minimum.

Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms Onchanh Thammavong, pledged in September the ministry would work together with unions and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to inspect workplaces and take measures to punish those found breaching the law.
read more.
vtt_3

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Labor Minister Proposes Annual Wage Rise:

The government is considering raising the minimum wage for the country’s garment workers every year for the next five years, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said after a meeting Wednesday with manufacturers and unions on increasing the current monthly salary of $80.

Mr. Sam Heng presided over a meeting with the four technical working groups tasked with determining a new minimum wage for the 350,000-plus workers employed in the $4 billion garment industry. The wage is set to be raised in January, but no amount has yet been specified.

“We will build a report for raising the wage of the garment workers every year for five years during this government mandate,” Mr. Sam Heng said. “If economic inflation happens, we will discuss again.”
(…)
Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Council of National Unions—a coalition of government-aligned unions—praised Mr. Sam Heng’s proposal of a gradual increase each year over five years. He added that independent unions’ current demand that the wage be raised to $154 a month is unrealistic.
“The amount raised by the unions seem a bit high, and I don’t know if [the government] can do that,” Mr. Aun said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor Minister urges workers to remain calm as wage talks are underway:

Ith Samheng, Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, appealed to all workers and unions to remain calm and wait for the results of the wage talks.

The appeal came Wednesday after representatives from the government, factories and unions met to discuss wage increases for footwear and garment workers.
The talks was held just two days after four main unions threatened to hold nationwide rallies if the salaries of factory workers are not increased to at least $154 per month.
The results of talks, which took place at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, hasn’t yet been announced because another meeting is scheduled for December 16.

“After this meeting, we will write a report and find different avenues to raise the salary for workers,” Samheng told reporters after the meeting.
“We do not oppose to the raise in minimum wage for workers, but I appeal to all workers to remain calm because the wage talks are underway,” he said.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Cambodia to discuss 2014 pay rise for garment workers next month:

Cambodia’s labor ministry, garment manufacturers, and trade unions set to talk about the increase of 2014 minimum wage for garment workers next month, according to a press statement on Thursday.

“The talks will be held on Dec. 16,” the labor ministry said in a statement. “The ministry would like to call on all garment workers to keep calm in order to give possibilities to the tripartite committee to discuss the pay rise for 2014.”
(…)
Earlier this week, four trade unions demanded that the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) raise the minimum wage of workers to 154 U.S. dollars a month, or they threatens nationwide strikes.
“We are demanding an increase in the minimum wage to 154 U.S. dollars a month,” the unions said in a joint letter sent to GMAC’ s president Van Sou Ieng on Tuesday.
read more. & read more.
XINHUAnet BERNAMA

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Protests Over Minimum Wage Rage On:

Thousands of workers rallied outside City Hall on Thursday as they once again protested against the Jakarta administration’s decision to ignore their demands for a higher minimum wage.

The protest, joined by some 13,000 workers across the Greater Jakarta area, followed a series of demonstrations in recent months by workers who demanded that Governor Joko Widodo and Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama raise the 2014 provincial monthly minimum wage to Rp 3.7 million ($325).

In Thursday’s protests, workers raised up to seven demands to the Jakarta administration, including revisions to the 2014 minimum wage for the Greater Jakarta Area, Karawang, Serang, Cilegon, Bandung, East Java, Batam and other industrial areas to between Rp 2.6 million and Rp 3 million, from the current figures of Rp 2.4 million in Jakarta and less elsewhere.

“The second one is to implement a minimum wage by sector in every region, with an increase of up to 15 to 30 percent from the revised minimum wage,” said Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal.
read more.
jak-globe

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Int’l conf on living wages held in Berlin:

A tripartite delegation from Bangladesh, composed of 11 members from the government, business associations and trade unions, took part in the ‘European Conference on Living Wages’ in Berlin, Germany.

The conference was jointly organised by the governments of Germany and the Netherlands held on November 25-26, said a media release issued on Thursday.
President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Atiqul Islam and a senior official from the Ministry of Planning Hedayetullah Al Mamoon led the Bangladesh delegation.
read more. & to read.
UNB newstodayBD

18:33:52 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* No relief to battle high cost of living:

After Budget 2014 was presented to Parliament on 21 November, the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa came under severe criticism, particularly from trade unions, including those affiliated to the government.

Trade unions representing transport, education as well health sectors highlighted the gap between their issues and the reliefs provided in Budget 2014.
Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando, said the government has not given any salary increments to public sector employees, but what has been given is only an allowance.
“The allowance proposed in the Budget is not enough to cover the increasing cost of living,” he stressed.
Convener of the Coordinating Committee for Trade Unions, Wasantha Samarasinghe, said they demanded Rs 10,000 salary increment in Budget 2014, but the government has provided only Rs 1,200 allowance to State employees.
read more.
CEYLONTODAY

LW + 2

20131128

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Hundreds block road in Bavet for better working conditions:

Around 1,000 protesting garment workers blocked National Road one in the village of Prey Pdao, Chrok Mtes commune of Bavet to seek better working conditions from their employers.

The factory workers from the Ching Khu factory, which produces jackets, had blocked the national road since this morning.

The protesters are demanding that the factory give their pay in a timely fashion, a 300 percent wage increase if they are asked to work on holidays and to not reduce their wages during the protest.
to read.
CAMHERALD

* Minimum wage ‘to be set next month’:

The Ministry of Labour next month will set the 2014 minimum wage for workers in Cambodia’s garment and footwear industries.

Ministry officials yesterday met with a working group of people representing workers, factory managers and the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia to discuss formulas they could use to periodically raise the industry’s minimum wage, which currently stands at $75 per month, said Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Council of National Unions.

Ministry officials will now take into consideration reports submitted by the working group during yesterday’s meeting, said the Labour Ministry’s Vong Sovann. On December 16, the ministry will meet again and set the 2014 minimum wage.
to read.
PPP new

21:03:52 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* 82% Of Companies Will Not Defer Implementation Of Minimum Wages, Says MEF:

About 82 per cent of local companies will not defer implementation of the national minimum wage policy, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

The “Salary Survey for Executives and Non-Executives 2013”, carried out between June and September, revealed that half the respondents provided training to upgrade the skills of their foreign workers as a measure to cope with the implementation of the national minimum wages on Jan 1,2014.
MEF is the central organisation for private sector employers in Malaysia.
read more.
BERNAMA

18:03:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* 10 labourers attacked for protest:

More than 10 labourers were injured when armed men attacked them during a protest against denial of salaries on Tuesday.

A group of labourers gathered in front of a textile mills near Joiyanwala Mor to protest denial of salaries by the factory management. Unidentified people, holding iron rods, attacked the protesters, injuring 10 of them including Irfan, Arsalan, Zaheer Abbas and Muneer.
The Housing Colony police are looking into the matter.
to read.
DAWNnew

LW + 2

20131127

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Government to Meet Over January Minimum Wage Increase:

The current government-mandated minimum wage of $80 a month for garment factory workers will be increased in January 2014, though the amount it will be raised by has not been determined, a Labor Ministry official said Monday.

Prak Chanthoeun, director-general of the Labor Ministry’s labor conflict committee, said Monday that there will be a meeting on Wednesday between the government, factory owners, and unions to discuss the imminent wage increase.

“Even though we cannot say how much the wage would be raised, the government policy is that they will raise the wage in January 2014,” Mr. Chanthoeun said. “We need to discuss thoroughly, because we are afraid when we raise the wage for the workers the raised wage will affect the market prices.”

Garment exports in the first 10 months of 2013 have soared to more than $4.7 billion, a 23 percent year-on-year increase. But the sector is experiencing more frequent strikes than ever before, with the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia (GMAC) recording 83 strikes during the first seven months of this year, most of which have involved demands for higher wages and more benefits.

The government raised the monthly minimum wage to $80 a month in May in the midst of a heated national election campaign in which the opposition CNRP pledged to raise the wage to $150 if they won the July 28 poll. After the ruling CPP suffered major losses in the election, the government promised in September to revisit the issue of garment sector wages.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages:

http://betterfactories.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013-11-27-Labor-Ministry-says-brands-hold-key-to-wages.gif

to read-see.
Cambodia_Daily_logo BF NEW

* Cambodian Unions Call for Doubling of Minimum Wage for Factory Workers:

Four trade unions on Tuesday demanded that Cambodia’s garment and footwear manufacturers raise the minimum wage of their workers and provide them with additional benefits, threatening a nationwide strike and demonstrations if they do not comply.

In a joint letter to the Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), an employers’ organization, the unions called for nearly double the U.S. $80 per month minimum wage announced by the government in March, and which took effect two months later.

“We are demanding an increase in the minimum wage to U.S. $154 [per month], as well as six additional workers’ benefits,” said the letter, which was signed by the unions, including the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC).

The government has indicated that it would allow an increase in the minimum wage, but didn’t say by how much.

“Even though we cannot say how much the wage would be raised, the government policy is that they will raise the wage in January 2014,” the Cambodia Daily quoted Prak Chanthoeun, director-general of the Labor Ministry’s labor conflict committee, as saying.
read more.
RFA

* H&M pledges living wage pay for Cambodia and Bangladesh workers:

Swedish clothing company H&M has pledged to pay a living wage to its garment workers in Cambodia and Bangladesh, according to the Wall Street Journal.

They will work with factory owners and adopt the fair living wage program next year at one factory in Cambodia and two in Bangladesh, and then will expand to cover the other 750 factories that supply its clothes by 2018.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* BetterFactories Media updates 23-27 November 2013, Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-11-26 Food price hike hits workers

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-26 Government to meet over January minimum wage increase
2013-11-26 H&M aims to pay all textile workers’ living wage’ by 2018
2013-11-27 Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages

* To read in the printed edition of the Koh Santepheap Daily (Khmer):
2013-11-27 Unions demand US$150, Ministry meeting to talk about minimum wage

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

21:03:52 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Labour Market Reform A Must, Says MIER:

Labour market reform is a must, said the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), which sees the implementation of minimum wage as a driver to reduce household debt.

Its Executive Director Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid said households contribute a substantial share of domestic demand.

“They were asked to work hard and they have been contributing quite well, but they are saddled with debts. For us, labour market reform is a must when moving towards a salary level linked to productivity.
read more.
BERNAMA

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers to rally again on Thursday:

Workers will hold another two-day rally – set to take place from Thursday to Friday – to demand a raise in the provincial minimum wage (UMP).

“The rally will be conducted because we think the current minimum wage does not make sense,” Indonesian Workers Union Confederation (KSPI) secretary general Muhammad Rusdi said as quoted by kontan.co.id on Monday.
Rusdi said the UMP, which had been set at Rp 2.2 million (US$187.6) per month for Jakarta, remained one of the lowest in Southeast Asia.
Workers in Thailand received at least Rp 2.8 million per month while in the Philippines, workers received Rp 3.2 million, he said, citing examples.
to read.
jakartapost

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* As wages rise, so do rents:

20131127 DHAKATRIBUNE busi-Graph

As soon as the minimum wage of garment workers was increased, the house owners had raised rents to an amount more than the increased allowance.

As per the new wage structure, Shahena Parveen’s house rent allowance would increase by less than Tk500, but her house owner has already announced to increase rent by Tk1,000.

Shahena Parveen is a worker at an apparel factory of IDS Group in Dhaka. Like her, the country’s around four millions of garment workers was just aspiring to live a better life after the wage hike. But their hopes did not last long as the house lords had appeared to ask them pay more from January.

“Now, I have no other way but to leave the house,” said Shahena Parveen living in a Mirpur tin-shed room with her ailing mother and school-going younger brother.

When interviewed a good number of workers in Gazipur, Savar, Mirpur and Farmgate areas, they told the Dhaka Tribune that the new rent hike has put them in an uneasy situation again.

The workers urged the authorities including BGMEA to take steps so that the house owners do not raise rents.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131126

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Union leaders threaten nationwide protest if salary not raised:

20131126 CAMBODIAHERALD

Labor unions in Cambodia threatened to hold nationwide rallies in December if their demand for a minimum wage increase of at least $154 per month is not met. 

The threat came after the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) led by Ath Thon, the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions led by Yang Sophorn, National Union League of Cambodia Textile Industry led by Mam Nhem, and the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, led by Pav Sina sent collective letters to Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), to seek salary increases and bonuses for factory workers.

“If the factory employers don’t raise the minimum wage for their employees, the trade unions will lead a protest throughout the country in December,” said C.CAWDU president Ath Thon in a news conference on Monday.
He said because the factory workers currently receive low wages, their daily lives are negatively affected.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Food-price hike hits workers:

The price of food spiked this month, and Cambodia’s low-paid garment workers are feeling the effects.

Meat, vegetables, toothbrushes, beauty accessories and even the plastic bags they get packed in have all seen a sharp bump up in price this month, some items by as much as 30 per cent, workers and traders said yesterday.
The Post reported last week that reforms to stamp out corruption in the customs department have led to an increase in the cost of imported goods. Customs officials who would often undercut tax rates on imports are now applying the official rate, meaning import costs have suddenly increased, leaving consumers to foot the bill.

With a base minimum wage of $75 a month, a garment worker’s budget is sensitive to even the slightest inflationary pressure.
“In the past, I have sent some money home [to my family], but now the price of goods is going up, so maybe I cannot afford to do it,” Lok Tho, a garment worker at M&V International Manufacturing in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said.

Even with overtime, Tho said she earns little more than $100 per month. After rent and living expenses, money for food is tight. Tho said she is struggling to afford baby formula – the price of which she said has also gone up this month.
read more.
PPP new

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. West Java Announces 2014 Minimum Wage. Read the full article here .
2. Banten Governor set the UMK 2014 in seven areas.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

3. Welcoming BPJS, 15 Regulations still not clear. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia) Read the Google Translate English Version here.
4. Outsourcing rule leads to kickbacks, confusion. Read the full article here .
5. Apindo rejects West Java minimum wage. Read the full article here.
6. Brace for more rallies, say unions. Read the full article here
7.Workers not satisfied with the UMK East Java 2014 numbers.
Read the full article here
R
ead the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia media updates Overview here.
BW indonesia

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 10 hurt as RMG workers clash with police in Gazipur:

The police charged batons and fired tear gas to disperse Garment factory workers who were staging violent demonstrations over wages at Nayapara of Kashimpur in the city on Monday.

The workers clashed with the police and set a police car on fire during the demonstrations demanding minimum wage at TK 8,000.
At least 10 people, including policemen, were injured in the clashes.
Witnesses said workers of Alim Knitwear factory, a unit of Mandal Group, began staging demonstrations in the factory in the morning. At about 2:30pm, the workers poured out of the factory and tried to block Konabari-Kashimpur road and Dhaka-Tangil highway.
At one point, workers of Montex Limited, another concern of Mandal Group joined the workers of Alim Knitwear in the protests. Police charged batons and fired tear shell to break up the demonstration.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age INDEPENDENT daily star bd

* H&M aims to pay RMG workers ‘living wage’ by 2018:

Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, laid out a plan on Monday to pay a fair ‘living wage’ to some 8,50,000 textile workers by 2018, saying governments were acting too slowly.

‘We believe that the wage development, driven by for example governments in some countries, is taking too long, so we want to take further action and encourage the whole industry to follow,’ H&M said in a statement on its web site.
read more.
BD new age

18:33:52 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Issue minimum wages for unorganized labourers’:

The National Minimum Wages Campaign Committee demanded wages on par with class IV employees of the government for unorganised labourers.

These labourers contribute to 65% of the total GDP of the country and hence should be given minimum wages, said Swami Agnivesh, noted social activist on Monday.
Agnivesh said that 93% of the total labourers are unorganised and mainly belong to rural areas. A minimum wage law was constituted in 1948; however, no efficient system has been pressed to implement it.
read more.
TOInew

LW + 2

20131123-25

20:03:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage increase fails to meet living costs:

With the basic salary increase of around VND350,000 (USD16.56) per month, payment would meet only nearly 80% of an average worker’s budget.

The Vietnamese government has issued a new decree which stipulates the new basic salary, which would provide the highest salaries to the most developed areas.
Area 1 includes Hanoi, HCM City, Quang Ninh, Danang, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Vung Tau, which will have salary increases of to VND2.7 million (USD127.75).
Area 2 includes Haiphong, Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen, Khanh Hoa, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An, An Giang, Can Tho and Ca Mau, and will have VND2.4 million (USD113.55) as a basic salary. Areas 3 and 4 will respectively set VND2.1 million (USD9936) and VND1.9 million (USD89.90) as basic salaries.
The new salaries are between VND250,000 (USD11.82) and VND350,000 (USD16.56) per month higher than the current payments.
 >>  Finance ministry confirms no salary cuts next year
 >>  Finance ministry’s salary cut proposal faces government opposition
 >>  Minimum wage increase proposed
 >>  Minimum wage for civil servants rises
 >>  Ministry proposes minimum wage increase delay
read more.
DTI

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Apindo rejects West Java minimum wage:

The Indonesian Employers Association’s (Apindo) West Java branch has filed an objection to the 2014 minimum wage for 26 regencies and cities across West Java.

“Karawang regency is now recorded as the region with highest minimum wage, surpassing Jakarta. The main issue is, is the cost of living in Karawang higher than in Jakarta?” said West Java Apindo chairman Dedy Wijaya on Friday.
West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan approved the 2014 minimum wage for Karawang at Rp 2,447,450. The 2014 minimum wage for Jakarta has been set at Rp 2,441,301.
read more.
jakartapost

* Brace for more rallies, say unions:

Most of these cities, including the capital, have already set their 2014 minimum wage, and city dwellers are expressing annoyance, even more so than during the first wave of nationwide strikes held Oct. 31 to Nov. 1.

When asked for a comment, a manager in charge of thousands of cigarette factory workers only texted, “Pusing! [headache]”, during the prior weeks of heated negotiations.

The Jakarta unions have lowered their demand, though it may be too little too late as Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has indicated that he will not budge from the set minimum monthly wage of Rp 2.4 million (US$ 205.22), up 11 percent from the current Rp 2.2 million wage.

Instead of the Rp 3.7 million they were originally demanding, union boss Said Iqbal has said the Jakarta workers are now seeking Rp 3 million per month, citing the minimum cost of living in the city at
Rp 2.8 million.
read more.
jakartapost

* The varied demands of striking laborers:

20131124 JAKARTAPOST
Labor activists demand higher wages and the elimination of contract employment as they march along main thoroughfares in the Thamrin area, Central Jakarta, on Sept. 16. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Workers in different cities are still demanding higher wages ahead of the new year. Laborers in the capital have lowered their demand for a Rp 3 million (US$258.60) monthly minimum wage, down from the Rp 3. 7 million they were initially demanding. But they have other agenda as well.

Continued rallies and strikes indicate that workers have additional demands other than just attaining apparently impossible minimum wage hikes — at least in Jakarta, where Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his deputy Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama have said they would not cave in to laborers’ minimum wage hike demands.

Workers have said that aside from higher wages and an end to outsourcing, recent nationwide strikes have targeted the following: strengthening unions across factories and regions; emboldening women workers to speak up and organize; forcing employers to pay the minimum wage; ending extension of casual workers to well over 10 years of service — often paid less than the minimum wage; calling for workers in other areas to demand higher wages, in anticipation of factories relocating to non-industrial areas such as West and Central Java where workers are not organized; and putting pressure on employers to not fire union leaders and others suspected of union activities.
read more.
jakartapost

* Better trust and data in wage deals: Hpeful changes under Jokowi:

Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his deputy have reiterated the administration’s commitment toward a friendly investment climate, while reminding employers to play fair and warning workers against “unrealistic” demands.

Such attitudes may be one source of hope for better negotiations in the future, at least in Jakarta. Among union leaders, acknowledgment of mistakes and talks of better strategies may also lead to less standoffs.

So far it is the varied results of surveys, citing the number of components of basic living costs, along with the alleged under-representation of workers that has contributed to blocked negotiations. Workers blame a lack of transparency while employers complain of low productivity and uncompetitive wages.
read more.
jakartapost

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladesh’s RMG wage still the world’s lowest:

The minimum monthly wage of the readymade made garment workers in Bangladesh will continue to be the world’s lowest despite a 74 per cent hike proposed from the next month.

A government appointed wage board recently fixed the minimum monthly wage at Tk 5,300 equivalent to US $68.12, up from Tk 3,000 or around $39.
The hike is unlikely to help Bangladesh overcome the image as the home to lowest paid workers.
Bangladesh’s apparel industry employs four million workers, mostly women.
The new wage is likely to come into  force on December 3, will be three  dollars less than the minimum wage an RMG worker earns in India and five dollars less than a Sri Lankan gets.
According to an International Labour Organsiation report, released last week, the minim wage for an RMG worker is $73 and in India — $71.
Vietnam pays the minimum wag of $78, Pakistan — $79 and Cambodia–$80.
By refusing to pay more to the workers, Bangladesh’s RMG entrepreneurs only lost a big opportunity to leave their bad reputations behind, said former caretaker government adviser and economist Mirza Azizul Islam.
read more.
BD new age

* Minimum wage in RMG sector from global perspective:

20131125 FE table-1+2

Most of them used to work as maids in urban kitchens, in most cases, for subsistence known as ‘pete-bhate’ in Bengali.

Then came the opportunity to work in the manufacturing sector, more specifically, in the readymade garments sector (RMG). They left the urban kitchen forcing the urban people to do their own dishes.
Today, about 4.0 million workers, about 90 per cent of whom are girls and women, are working in the RMG sector. Local and international social activists are very concerned, rightly so, about the rights and pay of these workers.

Not all girls of Bangladesh are fortunate to find their way in the RMG sector, and hence still doomed to work as maid.
There are Aduris, who are deprived of the ‘Ador’ (affection) of her parents due to the abject poverty, and sent to urban household by her parents for the bare minimum.
Media frequently publishes news of them being tortured, abused, humiliated and sometimes even killed. Yet, there is none to speak for them.

There are garages in our own neighbourhood where children coming from poor background work in one of the most inhumane working conditions.
They serve the urban people who are the main users of transport, both private and public. Their suffering right in front of us goes unnoticed.
While our vigilance on the RMG sector should continue, the other unfortunate victims of inhumane working conditions and low wages should not go unnoticed.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG workers’ peace rally at Ashulia:

The scenario of Ashulia was totally different on Friday as garment workers staged a peace rally with police and Home Owners’ Somity.

Thousands of readymade garments workers joined in the peace rally at Fantasy Kingdom in Jamgora area arranged by Lions Club of Dhaka.
In the rally house owners were requested not to increase the house rent ten percent in a year and workers were requested to shun violence in the name of protest.
Meanwhile, workers also welcomed the decision of house owners about not to increase rent.
With Lions Club Regional Branch Chairperson Abu Sahid in the chair, Industrial Deputy Inspector General of Police Morshed, and others were present in the peace rally.
In last few months, RMG workers staged several protest, blocked highways, vandalized vehicles and factories in Ashulia to pres their demand of Tk 8,000 minimum salary.
Finally, the government fixed TK 5,300 as minimum salary.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Winners and losers:

20131123 DHAKATRIBUNE garment-Machine-bigs-edi

As the dust settles after the latest round of wage negotiations, with BGMEA and BKMEA accepting the government determined wage rate of Tk5,300, questions abound as to who gained and who lost from the deal. BGMEA leadership had been reluctant to give in to workers’ demands and subsequent rounds of discussion bore no concrete results.

The re-adjusted minimum wage, agreed upon by the wage commission, was squarely rejected by RMG owners. Amid such disagreements, violence flared up in Savar and Gazipur belts as workers agitated for more equitable pay. Finally, the PM had to step in by convincing the BGMEA and BKMEA leaders to accept the new minimum wage for greater stability of the RMG sector.

Before delving further into the issue, it is imperative to understand the economics of minimum wages in relations to the RMG sector. Many economists discourage the practice of setting minimum wages as it distorts the demand-supply mechanism.

Minimum wages, according to them, only provide temporary respite while negatively impacting competitiveness, and reducing efficiency. Many RMG owners point to the possible decline in RMG competitiveness due to increasing the wage. Also, they highlight that the minimum wage is applicable to trainees only, with more skilled workers earning 2-3 times more than the minimum.

RMG workers complain of missing out from the good fortune of the booming RMG sector. Despite doubling exports over the last five years, the wage hike has not caught up with inflation. Over the last three years, the real wage of RMG workers has actually declined.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131122

20:03:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage set to rise:

20131122 VNNews
Workers of Arksun Viet Nam JSC in the northern Nam Dinh-based Hoa Xa Industrial Park. As of January 2014, monthly minimum wage for employees will see an increase following a decree issued recently by the Government. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

A new decree issued by the Government will lead to an increase in the monthly minimum wage from January 1.

Decree 182 will see increases of up to VND2.7 million (US$130) per month, and will apply to enterprises, co-operatives, household businesses, foreign companies and international organizations operating in Viet Nam.
The new arrangement replaces the current Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, applied from December last year and which also stipulated minimum payments for Vietnamese staff.

The minimum wage will be applied in four different regions in Viet Nam with four separate benchmarks determined by living standards in each area.
The thresholds will be VND1.9 million, VND2.1 million, VND2.4 million and VND2.7 million, accounting for an increase of VND250,000-350,000 compared with the current minimum wage.
read more.
VNNews new

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* BetterFactories Media updates 15-22 November 2013, Meas Sotha- the man at the center of the SL factory strike:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

2013-11-18 Government steps in
2013-11-19 No violence main goal, SL exec says
2013-11-21 End strike or go to court, gov’t says
2013-11-21 Strike reaches city hall

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-15 Bangladesh factories agree to pay raise, but protest continue
2013-11-19 SL management agrees to reinstate 19 fired union members
2013-11-21 SL workers demand representatives reinstated

BetterFactories Media updates overview here.
BF NEW

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Owners and workers reach consensus on RMG wages:

The basic of the minimum wage has been fixed Tk3,000

The minimum Wage Board commission has fixed Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage (including expenses) with a 5% yearly increase in basic salary for entry-level garment workers, as both the workers leaders and factory owners came to a consensus on Thursday.

The basic salary of the minimum wage without expenses has been fixed at Tk3,000.
The Chairman of the commission, AK Roy, made the announcement after a meeting with the factory owners and workers leaders at its city office on Thursday afternoon.
He said: “The new wage scale will be sent to the labour ministry today and hopefully the ministry will issue a gazette in this regard soon.”
read more.  & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Apparel Labour Bodies demand upward wage adjustment:

Different garment labour rights bodies on Thursday in the capital demanded reviewing the announced minimum wages for the apparel workers.
The minimum wage for a worker has been set at Tk 5,300, a month.

Garment Sramik Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a combine of the 14-grament labour rights bodies at a protest rally in front of the Minimum Wage Board on Topkhana Road demanded upward adjustments.
Abul Hossain, leader of the combine, said, following the rally that the garment workers would not accept the announced wage, as they cannot support their families with that pay.
He demanded revision to the announced wage immediately.

Tapan Saha, the coordinator of the combine demanded implementation of the trade unionism in the apparel industries immediately for the sake of ethical clothing industry.
Garment labour leaders Ferdusi Begum, Shah Alam, Golam Rabbani Jamil and others spoke.
Garments Sramik Oikya Forum, an apparel workers’ rights body at a press conference in Nirmal Sen Auditorium also demanded revision of the announced minimum wage for the garment workers.
read more. & read more.
BD new age BD new age

* RMG minimum wage set at Tk5,300 with 5% of basic as yearly increment :

Replying to a query, Kamal Uddin, independent member of the board said they had to cut Tk200 from the proposed basic to reach a consensus

The government-formed wage board has finalised Tk5,300 as minimum wage with a basic of Tk3,200 for entry-level garment workers.

“The wage board has unanimously decided the minimum wage at Tk5,300 with a 5% yearly increment on the basic, having thread bear discussion on the objections placed to the board by the owners and the labour leaders as the both party came to a consensus,” AK Roy, chairman of the board, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The representatives of owners, workers and independent members agreed with the proposal, he added.
The new minimum wage, which is 76.66% higher than the existing Tk3,000, will be in effect from December 1, which means the workers will receive the new wages in January next year.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Board fixes minimum wage for RMG workers at Tk 5,300:

The board formed to re-fix the minimum wage for the garment workers on Thursday finalised the new minimum wage structure at Tk 5,300.

At its 10th meeting at the Minimum Wages Board’s office, the wage board also decided to award a yearly increment of 5 percent to the newly fixed minimum wages until the formation of another wages board for the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
Earlier on Nov 4, the RMG sector wage board at its 9th meeting came out with its primary recommendation to raise the minimum wage of the workers to Tk 5,300, of which Tk 3,200 was recommended as the basic wage.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24  FE bd  BDCHRONICLE  primenews newstodayBD
INDEPENDENT

* Tk 5300 minimum wage for RMG workers fixed:

The Wage Board finalised its recommendation Thursday fixing Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for garment workers at entry point with some changes made in the proposed basic pay, food subsidy and implementation timeframe.

The fixation of minimum wage, which is around 77 per cent up from the existing structure, took place following a consensus between the representatives of the apparel makers and workers at the tenth meeting of the Wage Board held in the city.
The Board, however, also kept its previous recommendation for a 5.0 per cent annual increment unchanged.

“A minimum wage amounting to Tk 5,300 has been fixed unanimously at the meeting. Besides, a recommendation has also been made regarding a 5.0 per cent annual increment for the workers, which is a very positive development,” Chairman of the Wage Board AK Roy told reporters after the meeting.
Mr Roy further said the Board has taken around 500 written appeals made by different organisations into consideration while deciding on the wage structure.
read more.
FE bd

* Minimum wage for garment workers at Tk 5,300:

Reducing the basic wage by Tk 200 from Tk 3200 of the proposed recommendation, the minimum wages board for the garment workers on Thursday made its final recommendation of Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers.

The board also recommended for five per cent increment of the basic every year at the 10th meeting at the board’s Topkhana Road office.
Despite reducing basic pay, the amount of minimum wage remain unchanged in both the proposed and final recommendations as food subsidy has been increased but the wages in other six grades have been reduced from proposed amount as wages of those grades are supposed to increase proportionately.

‘The board has taken the decision of minimum wage of garment workers at Tk 5,300 unanimously and the final recommendation will now be sent to the labour ministry for gazette notification,’ the board chairman AK Roy said at a briefing after the meeting.
He said that the board on November 4 recommended Tk 5,300 as minimum wage and published a gazette on November 5 asking for objections and opinions, if any, on the recommendations by 14 days.
read more.
BD new age

* It’s final: 77% hike in garment wage:

Pay for workers under other grades also rises proportionately

Minimum wage rose about 77 percent to Tk 5,300 a month for garment workers, but their basic salary will be lower than the previous recommendation.

A trainee or apprentice worker will get Tk 4,810 as the minimum salary. The working period for a trainee worker will be three months, extendable by another three if owners fail to see an improvement in standards.
After that period, trainees will be appointed as permanent workers under Grade 7, the lowest rung.
As per the revised structure, a Grade 7 worker will receive Tk 3,000 in basic salary that had previously been recommended at Tk 3,200 on November 4.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rights groups demand enhanced minimum wage for RMG workers:

Apparel labour rights groups on Thursday demanded an upward revision of the recently announced monthly minimum wage of Tk.5,300.

Garment Sramik Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a platform of 14 apparel labour rights groups, at a protest rally held in front of the Minimum Wage Board at Topkhana Road demanded an increase in the minimum wage announced recently.
Abul Hossain, the combine’s leader said that the minimum wage was not acceptable to the garment workers as it was far too inadequate for a worker to maintain his or her family.
He called for an immediate revision of the minimum wage.
Tapan Saha, the coordinator of the combine demanded trade union rights be given to the workers employed by the apparel industry immediately for its betterment.
read more.
BD new age

* Bangladesh approves wage hike for garment factory workers:

Garment workers in Bangladesh will get a 77 percent pay increase from December as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that have roiled the world’s second largest clothing exporter in recent months.

The official wage board approved on Thursday increasing the monthly minimum wage for entry-level garment industry workers to 5,300 taka ($68) from 3,000 taka currently, a raise that was in line with the expectations of factory owners who had said they would ask retailers to shoulder part of the costs.

Workers had asked for the minimum wage, which was last raised in 2010, to go up to 8,000 taka a month, but the wage board negotiated a compromise which was acceptable to all sides, said Sirajul Islam Rony, a member of the government appointed committee.
read more. & to read.
reuters Ittefaq

* Bangladesh garment factories reopen after unrest:

Bangladeshi garment workers returned to their factories Thursday, where they stitch clothes for Western retailers, after the prime minister demanded an end to days of protests over a new minimum wage.

“All the plants have reopened today and the workers have joined duty,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, a vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, which presents 4,500 factories.
“We hope the worst part is over, but now we have to make up for lost time,” Mahmood said.
Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in deadly protests over the new minimum monthly wage of $68 —  a 76 percent hike but still lower than those in many other major garment-producing nations.
Several hundred factories, including some of the biggest, have been forced to close since the protests started on November 11, crippling the sector, a mainstay of the nation’s economy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the workers to abandon the protests on Wednesday which she branded unjustified as police launched a crackdown, arresting five garment union leaders.
read more. & to read.
BD new age Ittefaq

* RMG workers join work in Ashulia:

Workers of Readymade Garment factories in Ashulia area joined their work from Thursday morning after couple of days’ protest demanding salary hike.

No violent incident was reported as production is underway peacefully in garment units of Baipail, Jamgora, Shimultola, Norsinhapur, Ghosbagh, Jirabo and Katgora areas in the industrial hub of the country.
Regarding the matter, Ashulia industrial police-1 director Mostafizur Rahman told banglanews that several meetings were held among owners of garment units, workers and government on the issue of minimum wage of the sector.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG units in Ashulia, Konabari reopen after days of violence:

Hundreds of apparel factories in Ashulia and Konabari reopened Thursday amid tight security as uneasy calm returned to the key industrial hubs after days of production suspension caused by the recent workers’ unrest over better wage.

Thousands of workers in long queues streamed into the open gates early in the morning as police with bullet-proof vests and helmets stood by to stave off any trouble.
Owners said almost all the factories located at the industrial areas resumed production following assurance from the government that it would deal with the troublemakers with heavy hand.

“The workers joined in time at about 8:00am and the manufacturing of garment products is going on smoothly,” Chairman of Sterling Group Siddiqur Rahman, said.
He said the workers should show their patience as garment owners have agreed in implementing the latest wage structure of Tk 5300 from December.

He said the workers should not engage in any form of violence as their minimum monthly wage has been raised to US$ 68 from the previous US$ 39.
The Jamgora-based Sterling Group is one of the country’s leading apparel conglomerates and it makes clothing for the world’s leading retailers. It employs 12,000 workers.
read more.
FE bd

“I doubt that there are genuine workers behind the individuals who are here as labour representatives,” said Raju.
“There would not have been protests if the workers considered these people as their leaders.”
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 NEWNATIONnew

LW + 2

20131121

20:03:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage to increase from 2014:

20131120 VNNet

The Government has recently issued Decree 182/2013/ND-CP to replace valid Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, dated December 4, 2012.

The minimum wage will be applied for four different regions in Viet Nam as follows Region I: VND 2.7 million (US$ 128); Region II: VND 2.4 million (US4 114); Region III: VND 2.1 million (US$ 100) and Region IV: VND 1.9 million (US$ 90).
The new salary benchmarks will pick up around VND 250,000 – 350,000 (US$11-16).
Employees of local enterprises, foreign agencies, organizations and foreigners will benefit from the monthly wage increase.
The Decree also encourages enterprises to pay their employees higher than the region-based minimum wages.
The new Decree will take effect on December 31, 2013.

Towers Watson: Wage hikes lower than last year
Wages have increased this year though the economy has yet to get out of the woods, but the pace of wage growth is lower than that last year, according to the salary survey of Towers Watson Vietnam.
Wages have picked up 11.7% this year, down from the 13.8% rise recorded last year, shows the survey.
read more.
VNNet

* Minimum wage to be raised up to $127:

The minimum wage will be raised up to VND2.7 million (US$127) per month next year starting January 1, 2014, according to a new governmental Decree.

Under Decree 182/2013 dated November 14 and due to take effect on December 31, 2013, the new minimum wage will be VND250,000-300,000 per month higher than the current minimum wage.
There are four minimum wage rates applied for four zones of the country. The rates include VND2.7 million ($127 – the highest) per month for Zone 1, VND2.4 million for Zone 2, VND2.1 million for Zone 3, and VND1.9 million for Zone 4.

These wages are applicable to laborers working for enterprises, co-operatives, farms, households, individuals, and organizations of all economic sectors.
Wage scale and other allowances set forth by enterprises should be based on minimum wage, according to the decree.
read more.
TUOITREnews

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strike reaches City Hall:

20131121 PPP Amil-factory-workers-city-hall
A group of garment workers from Alim garment factory gather outside Phnom Penh City Hall yesterday. Photo by Pha Lina.

More than 100 workers from the Alim garment factory in Phnom Penh marched on City Hall yesterday, demanding the dismissal of four managers.

Yam Thaisan, a legal officer from a union representing the workers at the Por Sen Chey district factory, said strikers had called on Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong to intervene to resolve the dispute.
“[The governor’s] representative accepted our petition, but did not promise to resolve this for us,” he said. “We will continue our protest again tomorrow, and we will travel to Hun Sen’s house soon if we have to.”
More than 400 workers have been on strike for nearly two weeks, demanding the sacking of the four managers, a 2,000-riel lunch allowance and wage uniformity.
read more.
PPP new

* End strike or go to court, gov’t says:

If management at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. does not sign on to an agreement, which would end a three-month strike at the factory, the next stop is court.

Ministry of Labour officials are scheduled to sit down with SL management this morning, during which the ministry will try to talk SL into signing on to an agreement with the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said Sat Sakmoth, secretary of state at the labor ministry.
“If they still refuse to accept the agreement, I will send their case to the court,” Sakmoth said.

Among other stipulations, the agreement would require SL to rehire 19 fired union leaders and activists and drop a lawsuit SL filed against them, which alleges that these former employees are responsible for profits lost. The Ministry of Labour last Friday ordered SL to rehire the workers.
Joseph Kee Leung Lee, director of SL International Holdings, yesterday said he could not comment on the 19 workers, because of SL’s pending lawsuit.
to read.
PPP new

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

THEVIOLENCE

* RMG unrest continues:

Apparel workers on Wednesday continued with their protests pressing for an upward revision of the minimum wage, the labour minister and labour leaders at a tripartite meeting the ministry blamed each other for the ongoing unrest.

At least 10 people were injured as the workers clashed with the police who dispersed the demonstrating workers at Tongi, Gazipur and Ashulia.
Additional police and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel have been deployed at Ashulia and Gazipur to avert violence.
The labour and employment minister, Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, at the tripartite meeting at the ministry warned labour leaders of
stern action if anyone found to be involved in instigating the ongoing worker unrest in the apparel sector.
Rajiuddin also accused garment workers’ trade union president Montu Gosh of instigating the unrest.
The labour leaders, however, refuted the accusation and blamed the minister for the unrest saying that the afresh unrest was caused by the minister with deducting Tk 200 from the basic pay recommended by the Minimum Wage Board, which recommended Tk 5,300 as the gross minimum monthly wage for the apparel workers.
(…)
Left-leaning political parties and garment labour organisations, meanwhile, demanded immediate arrests of, and exemplary punishments for, the killers of two apparel workers, who were killed as the police opened fire during a clash with the apparel workers in Gazipur on Monday.
Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of the eights left-leaning political parties, at a rally in front of the National Press Club, demanded immediate stoppage of repressions on the apparel workers.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that at least 10 including two cops were injured in a clash between the police and apparel workers at Tongi.
read more.
BD new age

 * Minister, labour leaders trade blame:

Labour leaders and the labour minister blamed each other Wednesday for the prevailing unrest in the country’s garment sector over the wage hike issue.

Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju expressed his doubt about the role of labour leaders, saying they have no control over the garment workers.
However, the labour leaders held the ‘downward adjustment’ of the proposed basic pay by the government responsible for the situation.
The blame game took place in an urgent meeting, held at the minister’s secretariat office in the city, with leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and labour organisations and representatives of the law-enforcing agencies over the prevailing unrest in the garment industry.
(…)
Earlier, Abul Hossain, president of Textile Garments Workers Federation, blamed the minister for reducing the basic payment to Tk 3,000 from Tk 3,200 by the Wage Board. “The workers are confused, and the government is responsible for the present situation.”

“We are blamed for the unrest, though it is created by the government. Workers are not responsible for it,” he added. The labour leaders requested the minister to review the workers’ payment structure.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG workers’ leaders’ divided over minimum wage:

The dispute among the union leaders came to light during a meeting with Labour Minister

20131121 DHAKATRIBUNE Mahmud-Hossain
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Shanghati organises a rally protesting killing of apparel workers in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday

Garment workers’ and leaders are divided into two groups over the minimum wage for the RMG industry as pro-government leaders support the proposal of Tk5,300 whereas anti-government leaders oppose it.

The dispute among the union leaders came to light during a meeting with Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, which was arranged to devise ways to overcome the ongoing unrest in the RMG sector.
“The minimum wage of Tk5,300 for garment workers is acceptable,” said Shamima Nasrin, president of Shadin Bangla Garments Sramik Karmochari Federation.

On the other hand, Abul Hossain, president of Textile Garment Workers Federation, opposed the government decision of setting Tk300 as basic and total salary of Tk5,300, saying that they did not accept the government intervention in setting the minimum wage and it was not legal.

Participants in the meeting alleged they could not raise their voices against the government decision as the moderator of the meeting did not allow them to speak.
“If there was no unrest or anarchy in the RMG sector, the factory owners would not care about us and that is why some unrest continues,” said a worker leader requesting anonymity.
He said the unrest over the minimum wage would have already come to an end if the government did not interfere in the wage board’s decision.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* 30 RMG units shut at Ashulia, Tongi:

Nearly 30 units suspended production in the Ashulia and Tongi apparel hubs as workers continued demonstrations over the wage issue for the 16th consecutive day Wednesday.

At least 25 people, mostly workers, were injured in clashes with law enforcers during the demonstrations on the day.
The readymade garment (RMG) workers are demanding implementation of the latest pay structure from the month of November after making some changes in it.
Witnesses at Ashulia off the city said the trouble erupted at about 9:00 am on the day, when workers of several garment factories including GSM, Nassa and IDS took to the streets soon after joining work.
read more.
FE bd

* Name RMG unrest instigators: Minister asks intelligence:

Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju today directed intelligence agencies to prepare a list of persons who were instigating apparel workers for creating recent unrest in the sector.

Urging garment workers to join works form tomorrow shunning unrest, he said stern action will be taken against the persons found provoking the violence in the name of wage hike.
In the face of ongoing anarchy in RMG sector which killed two persons in Gazipur, the minister held a meeting with the leaders of RMG workers and leaders in his secretariat in the capital today.

Issuing threat to a garment workers’ leader who attended in the meeting he said, “We have every information of what you [the workers’ leader] do. So be quiet and accept what will be offered [in upcoming wage board]”
read more.
daily star bd

* CCC disappointed at new Bangladesh minimum wage level:

Ahead of the expected announcement of a new minimum wage of 5,300 taka (€50.32) by the Government of Bangladesh on Thursday, Clean Clothes Campaign is disappointed that it still falls a long way short of a living wage, leaving millions of garment workers still earning poverty wages.

Whilst the proposed revision represents a 77% increase on the current minimum wage of 3,000 taka (€28.48) it will still be just 21% of the €259.80 (25,687 taka) that the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, of which Clean Clothes Campaign is a member, calculates to be a living wage for the country.

Since the government announced the work of the Minimum Wage Board back in the summer of 2013, trade unions and labour groups across Bangladesh have been calling for the government to endorse a rise to 8,000 taka (€76.27) and in doing so signal a real commitment to move towards a living wage.

Over 4 million people – predominantly women – work in the garment industry in Bangladesh, and the industry accounts for 76% of Bangladeshi exports and yet the people working in the industry are the lowest paid garment workers in the world.

The past few months have seen widespread industrial action as workers join together to demand wages are set high enough to cover the basic costs of living. As Clean Clothes Campaign partners the Garment Workers Trade Union Center explained in September Workers have been demanding a fair wage for a long time. Recent times have witnessed huge demonstrations and strikes in the apparel sector demanding wage increases and enhancement of other benefits. In Bangladesh itself garment workers get less than what workers in many other sectors receive as minimum wage. Even the poverty reduction project undertaken by the government envisage 18000 taka as minimum wage for a family.”

Clean Clothes Campaign is campaigning for all workers to receive a living wage. We believe that a minimum wage should be a living wage which allows a garment worker to earn enough in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) to be able to feed 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.

We urge the government of Bangladesh and the brands and retailers that buy from the country to take urgent steps to ensure every garment worker is paid a wage they can live on.
to read.
Site

* The RMG paradox: Best quality at the cheapest price:

We all know the price of a product is determined by its quality. The higher the quality of a product is, the better the price is charged. But things are just the opposite in case of garment export.

The buyers are creating pressure on the manufacturers to supply garments at a cheaper rate and at the same time they have to ensure the quality as well. We know the garments sector has been passing the most crucial time since its emergence.

The sector started its journey in early eighties on a limited scale. The exports then were worth few million dollars. But now it has exceeded the $ 20 billion mark and it is increasing with every passing year.
Two factors are working behind the export growth. One is the availability of labour and comparatively it is cheaper than in any other neighbouring country.
The net price Bangladesh receives is mainly charged for CM i.e., cutting and making. No significant development is visible in developing the backward linkage of the sector, though it has passed three long decades. Initially the sector was witnessing rapid growth and emerged as the main source of foreign exchange earnings for two decades.
But suddenly Bangladesh has started facing problems in the sector. It is natural that initially a country depends on low-tech, low-value and labour-intensive industries and then gradually moves to high-tech and high-value industries.
We see other Asian countries have gone through the same process and gradually they have diversified their industrial production.
Initially the wage rate of the garment sector was very low and as the industry is experiencing a rapid growth, pressure is being created to increase the wages of the workers alongside ensuring good working environment. It happens so throughout the world in every case.

Although a minimum wage has been fixed, the problem is still there. It needs further negotiation.
On the other hand, when it comes to the working condition, there is no set standard of it.
The garment manufacturers are very much confused about the standard they are to follow, as there is none of it set by the government or the buyers. Pressure is on the factory owners to comply with the safety standards set by the buyers.
(…)
First of all, we need to focus on the wage issue, especially the minimum wage.
If we think about the wage increase, the benefit is no doubt well-deserved. But…
read more.
FE bd

* BGMEA-workers leader talks:

The readymade garments factories owners and leaders of workers held a meeting on Wednesday night to find out a way to resolve the ongoing unrest in the sector.

With Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Atikul Islam in the chair, the meeting was attended by BGMEA ex-president Abdus Salam Murshedi, FBCCI ex president AK Azad, BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim and others leaders on behalf of garments owners.

Besides, a 50-member team of workers’ leaders attended in the meeting.
BGMEA sources said minimum wage is set to be announced finally on Thursday. Workers’ leaders were requested to control the situation after the announcement.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* PM asks RMG owners to keep labour leaders happy:

46 enterprises get Nat’l Export Trophy

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the RMG factory owners to consider what the labour leaders want that will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector.
‘Some labour leaders are fuelling the agitation from behind.

I will request you (RMG owners) to consider what the labour leaders want to make them happy,’ she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, in the Osmani Memorial Hall Auditorium in the city on Wednesday.
Hasina said: ‘I can’t say whether the pockets of labour leaders are getting heavier, but this is certain that the workers are being subjected to losses.’
(….)
Commerce minister GM Qader, commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed and FBCCI president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed also spoke at the function while Export Promotion Bureau vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose gave the welcome address.
Later, the prime minister distributed the National Export Trophy for 2010-11 among 46 enterprises in recognition of their contributions to the country’s export trade.
Of the trophies, 20 enterprises got gold medals, 15 got silver and 11 got bronze while another gold trophy was given to the highest export earner.
read more.
BD new age

* Top exporters awarded for excellence:

The government yesterday awarded trophies to 47 successful businesses for their extraordinary performances in exports in fiscal 2010-11.

This year’s programme played out amid concerns on labour unrest in the apparel industry, frequent hartals, vandalism and arson attacks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the trophies and certificates to the awardees at a programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka as the chief guest.
read more.
daily star bd

* “Good deal” for garment workers to benefit Awami League in poll-bound Bangladesh:

Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League-led coalition has averted one crisis. They have enough trouble anyway, the most important being the fallout of the war-crimes trials leading to fundamentalist violence and continuous Opposition strikes to force a return to the nonparty caretaker to conduct Parliament polls. The strikes affect commerce and exports.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was facing another unrest, affecting the ready-made garments industry. Garments fetched Bangladesh $19.2 billion last year, around 79% of its total export earnings of $24 billion.
(…)
Wages a Battle
Good harvests have reduced food imports. So, Bangladesh’s much-touted recent achievements are built wholly on its very-hard-working peasants and workers.

That is also why this year’s labour unrest in its garment factories, where the workforce is almost 80% women, was bad news for the government and the country. The minimum monthly wage for garment workers has been a paltry taka 3,000. It was last raised in 2010 just after the Awami League had come to power.

Prior to that, garment workers were being paid a measly taka 1,650 per month — just over taka 50 a day —for an eight-hour shift that would often stretch into 10-12 hours. With inflation rising and garment business booming on growing export orders, workers hit the streets demanding that their monthly wage be raised to taka 8,100 per month.
read more.
et

 

LW + 2

20131120

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Despite Denials, Levi’s Still Producing at SL Garment Factory:

U.S. denim giant Levi Strauss continued to deny this week that its products are linked to the strife-torn SL Garment Factory in Phnom Penh, despite new photographs showing Levi’s trademark jeans stacked on benches at the plant in Meanchey district.

The Singaporean-owned factory, which also produces clothing for U.S. brand Gap and Swedish retail giant H&M, has seen ongoing protests since early August. Last week, one woman was shot dead by police gunfire and several people injured during clashes between authorities and SL protesters.
In late September, a Levi Strauss representative announced that SL was no longer producing jeans for the company, though no specific reason was cited for the severing of ties with the garment producer.

Yet a visit to the SL factory on Friday revealed that workers were still working on piles of denim pants with the familiar red-and-white Levi’s label sewn onto its back pocket and inside waistband.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* One Week on, Shooting Investigation Has Yielded Nothing:

One week after police opened fire on civilians during clashes that broke out during an SL Garment Factory protest, killing bystander Eng Sokhom and injuring nine others, arrests have yet to be made on the back of an investigation that victims said appears to be going nowhere.

Rights group Licadho on Tuesday also confirmed that one of the 27-year-old survivors of the November 12 clash is now paralyzed for life after being shot in the spine.
“The Ministry of Interior has created a committee to study and investigate the people who violated [the law] and killed people,” said CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap.
“We are following the law, and when we see a perpetrator commit the crime, they must be punished. The quicker they are arrested, the better it will be.”
(…)
Seng Seth, a 23-year-old SL worker who was shot in the hand, said if the government was serious about investigating the incident, it would have interviewed him by now to understand his version of the events.

Naly Pilorge, director of Licadho, on Tuesday confirmed that one shooting victim will be paralyzed for life, while another will take at least five months to recover from abdominal injuries caused by a bullet.
She said Licadho is “outraged that [there has been] no investigation—or prosecution of any policeman or the Phnom Penh police commissioner—into the November 12 clashes that led to the killing of an innocent woman and serious injuries including bullet wounds of at least nine others.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Cambodian workers battling for their rights:

Garment worker strike continues after violence, highlighting need for reform, critics say.

When volleys of rocks and bricks thrown between hundreds of rioting garment workers and police gave way to the sound of live ammunition, Sve Ka ducked for cover behind a large, plastic drink vendor’s cooler on Veng Sreng Boulevard.

“Cambodia’s crazy!” the young woman said with a nervous chuckle as bullets whizzed by.
By the time demonstrators cleared the streets and traffic moved along the busy road as usual, police gunfire had killed a 49-year-old street-food vendor and wounded at least nine others, according to a count taken by rights group Licadho and the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), a local non-government organisation.

The initially peaceful march on November 12 marked the three-month anniversary of the day garment workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd walked off the job in protest over low wages and working conditions at the factory, which supplies Gap Inc and H&M. SL also supplied Levi Strauss & Co, until the brand stopped buying from the factory in August.
(…)

Low wages
Although the ruling Cambodian People’s Party earlier this year raised the monthly minimum wage for garment and footwear workers from $61 to $75, a joint study released in September by UK-based Labour Behind the Label and CLEC reported that single workers need an income of at least $150 to cover their basic needs. The same study found 25 percent of the 95 workers sampled were seriously malnourished.

Strikes at Cambodian garment factories are endemic, but often short-lived and end with few, if any, concessions from factory management.
Calamity ensued last week when about 600 striking SL employees – along with staffers from the Cambodian Labour Confederation and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which represents a large majority of SL’s 6,000 or so workers – clashed with police officers wielding riot shields and batons at Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey bridge.
read more.
aljazeera

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labors Rally over Minimum Wage in Bekasi:

20131119 TEMPO

Bekasi saw a great deal of labor strike yesterday as thousands flocked the Regency Office, causing the administration to fail performing. The flock of labors waged protest, demanding an increase on minimum wage (UMK).

Chief of Bekasi Salary Council Effendi, stated that UMK discussion is yet to result in a definite number as there was a disagrrement between the labors and entrepreneurs. Labor union in Bekasi proposed UMK that ranges from Rp3,440,842 to Rp2,924,716. Meanwhile, Indonesia Entrepreneur Association in Bekasi stated to be able to fulfill only up to Rp2,302,300.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Bekasi workers demand higher wage:

Thousands of workers in Jakarta and its surrounding areas continued rallying on Monday to demand higher salaries, the provision of health care and the elimination of the outsourcing system.

In Bekasi regency, around 5,000 workers demonstrated in front of the regent’s office from 10 a.m. while waiting for the result of the Bekasi Wage Council’s meeting.

The head of the All-Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) Bekasi, Iman, told The Jakarta Post that workers were ready to strike in the same manner as they did last year — by blocking the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road — if their demands were not met by the regency administration.
read more.
jakartapost

* Three provinces have yet to set 2014 minimum wage: Minister:

Three provinces, namely Bali, Lampung and North Maluku, have yet to set their 2014 provincial minimum wage (UMP), which should have been determined by Nov.1.

“We ask all regional heads to pay special attention to the workers-employers mediation process in determining the UMP 2014,” said Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar in a press statement on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
“We continue to push for the process to be accelerated so that tensions between workers and employers can be avoided,” he went on.
read more.
jakartapost

* C. Java sets highest 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1.42 million:

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo approved the 2014 minimum wage (UMK) for regencies and municipalities in the province, on Tuesday.

Semarang City has the highest minimum wage across the province which amounts to Rp 1,423,500 (US$122.75) per month while the region with the lowest minimum wage is Purworejo regency with a minimum wage of Rp 910,000 per month.
read more.
jakartapost

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladeshi Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Protesting Garment Workers:

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesting Bangladeshi garment workers on Tuesday as unrest spread outside the capital here, a day after two demonstrators were killed during a protest for higher wages and better working conditions.

The government on Tuesday sent in troops from the Bangladesh Border Guard to restore order in factory areas. Weeks of sometimes-violent strikes have disrupted production in the apparel industry, which is a mainstay of the impoverished South Asian country’s economy.
(…)
Around four million people, mostly women, work in Bangladesh’s garment factories, which have become important suppliers of inexpensive clothing to retail chains in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The industry accounts for about 80% of Bangladesh’s merchandise exports.

Tuesday’s unrest flared after two workers died in a clash with police Monday evening outside the GMS Composite Knitting Ltd. factory in Gazipur, about 20 miles north of Dhaka. Police identified the dead workers as Badsha Mia, 25 years old, and Ruma Akter, 22, both workers at GMS.
Workers reached by telephone said police opened fire on protesters who were angry about an alleged assault on a seamstress at the factory. “We heard that a line chief had beaten up an [sewing-machine] operator,” said Nasima Akter, a worker at the factory. “We went outside to protest and clashes broke out with police. Then I heard gunshots.”
read more.
BDCHRONICLE

* 2 Protesting Garment Worker Dies and Hundreds Injured While Protesting for Minimum Wage 2013:

Two Protesting Garment Workers died on Monday 18 November 2013 while more than a hundred got injured in clashes between the Industrial Police and Garment Workers over the recent Minimum Wage declared by the Minimum Wage Board 2013.

The dead are Badsha Mia, 25, and Ruma Akter, 22, of GMS Composite Knitting Industries Ltd in Sardaganj of Kashimpur industrial belt. Protests were recording in Jamgorah, Shimultola, Gorat, Pukurpar, Ghoshbagh,  Narshinghpur in Ashulia, Hemayetpur of Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj District of the country.

Apart from the dead, at least six workers have received bullet wounds and dozens of other protesters are in Enam Medical College Hospital and Dhaka Medical College Hospital receiving treatment.
The protesters demand a minimum wage of around 8000BDT and a proportionate increase in the operators wage. The protests have been going on since months now and it has been the longest, strongest and the most talked about protest by workers in the history of Bangladesh.
read & see more (video report).

* PM asks RMG owners to keep labor leaders happy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the RMG owners to see what the labor leaders want that will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector.

“Some labor leaders are fueling the agitation from behind. I will request you (RMG owners) to see what the labor leaders want to make them happy,” she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
Hasina said: “I can’t say whether the pockets of labor leaders are getting heavier, but this is certain that the workers are being subjected to losses.”

She requested the agitating RMG workers to go back to their work leaving the streets and agitations as at present all RMG factories are very busy with orders for the upcoming Christmas season.

The Prime Minister said the orders will be canceled if these are not fulfilled in time. In such an event, many factories will be shut down and the workers will have to go back to their home with empty hand.
Mentioning the present government’s initiatives to increase the wages of the RMG workers, she said the wages have been increased twice in the last four years. “When we took office in 1909, I saw that the minimum wage for the RMG workers was Tk 1600 only. We took the initiative to increase it to Tk 3000 in 2010.”
read more. & to read.& read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT newstodayBD FE bd

* PM alerts RMG owners to misguiding labour leaders:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the ready-made garment (RMG) owners to see what the labour leaders want which will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector, reports UNB.

“Some labour leaders are fuelling the agitation from behind. I will request you (RMG owners) to see what the labour leaders want to make them happy,” she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
read more.& read more. & read more.
FE bd primenews Ittefaq

* Shun violence, join work, PM to RMG workers:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the agitating garment workers to join the work by shunning the violent acts in the name of wage hike.

“I would like to tell the apparel sector workers to go to work and boost production. Otherwise they will have to return home with empty hand by loosing the job due to their excessiveness and if the factories are closed and orders are cancelled or go to other countries,” she said.
The Prime Minister added the workers should realize this situation in the greater interest of the sector.
(…)
The Prime Minister said this time is very crucial for the garment sector as X-mas is knocking the door. “We will have to catch the market of the X-mas. If we fail to do that, the buyer would not give any order,” she said.

She said it would affect the country’s entire garment industry including four million workers. “I don’t know whether the pockets of some labour leaders would be heavier or not, but I can surely say that the workers will be worst losers,” she said..
(…)
Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government has been taking necessary initiatives for expansion of trade and commerce.

“I always say the businessmen will do business, while the responsibility of the government is to provide assistance to them. We have been doing this work for the last five years,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the entrepreneurs of Bangladesh are labourious and talented. “You have already proved your capability of sustaining in the competition with entrepreneurs of any country,” she said.
read more. & to read. & to read.  & to read.  & read more. & read more.
BSS BD new age  daily star bd  BDCHRONICLE  bdnews24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Labor ministry calls urgent talks:

The Ministry for Labor and Employment affairs convened an urgent meeting with workers’ leaders of readymade garments industries to fix next steps to resolve the ongoing unrest in the sector.

The meeting will be held at the conference room of the ministry at secretariat around 3:00pm Wednesday.
Public relations officer of the ministry SM Arifuzzaman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
With Labor Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu in the chair, the meeting will also be attended by state minister for labor and employment affairs Munnujan Sufian and representatives from RMG owners-workers and law enforcement agencies.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* Workers’ demo- 30 RMG units shut in Ashulia:

The authorities of 30 garment factories declared shut their factories on Wednesday amid workers protest in Ashulia, on the outskirts of Dhaka city.

Sources said that following the workers protest some workers of garments factories took position on roads and started throwing brick-chips aiming factories at around 9:30am.
On information, police rushed to the spot and fired tear shells, rubber bullets and water canon to disperse the workers, leaving 20 workers injured.
But workers claimed that 40 people sustained injuries during police action in the protest.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd

* Gazipur RMG factories reopen:

Thousands of workers started working again in several readymade garment factories in Konabari-Kashimpur area in the district from Wednesday morning amid tight security.

Regarding the situation, Sub-Inspector Saiful Islam of Kashimpur outpost told banglanews, “A good number of garment units remained opened and workers were working the peacefully.”
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* 10 injured in Police-RMG workers’ clash in Gazipur:

The authorities announced the factories closed for the day

At least 10 people, including two police constables, were injured in a clash between law enforcers and readymade garments (RMG) worker in Gazipur’s Tongi on Wednesday.

The police constables are Shahinul Islam, 38, and Badsha Fahad, 35.
Witnesses said workers of Ananta Garments Limited at Pagar in Tongi BISIC area staged demonstrations in the factory compound, demanding the implementation of the government-mandated minimum wage and protesting the attack on the workers by police on Tuesday.

Later, the worker of Shishir Knitting and Surf Excel Garments joined them.
The RMG workers locked into a clash with law enforcers when police tried to disperse the crowd whist the workers blocked the road and staged a protest rally in the area at around 11am.
Officer-in-chage of Tongi police station Abul Kalak Azad said police charged at the protesters and fired 20 teargas shells and rounds rubber bullets to disperse the workers leaving 10 people injured.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

——

* Violence goes on unabated in apparel hubs:

Garment manufacturers are holding a series of parleys to put an end to the ongoing workers’ agitation that rocked the country’s two important apparel hubs – Ashulia and Gazipur – Tuesday also.  

The Ministry of Labour and Employment officials will also sit with the garment sector stakeholders today (Wednesday) to find out ways for resolving the unrest.

During the last three days, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sat with RMG owners, worker leaders, law enforcers and government officials concerned for a number of occasions to restore normalcy at garment units.

But the meetings are yet to bring any positive output, as the unrest stretched to 15th consecutive day Tuesday, causing production suspension in a number of units. Production in around 50 garment factories was suspended on the day following the latest spell of violence. At least 40 people, mostly workers, were injured in sporadic clashes between workers and law enforcers.

Police charged baton on the protestors and fired teargas shells and rubber bullets to contain the situation, fuelling further violence.

Witnesses said the violence erupted at about 8:45am Tuesday, when workers of several factories at Baipail, Zirabo, Jamgora, Shimultola, Norsinghapur and Palshabari in Ashulia RMG belt went on rampage, demanding implementation of the proposed wage hike from November.
Talking to the FE, assistant director of Industrial Police-1 (Ashulia and Savar) Md. Shahid Ullah said the workers joined their work in the morning, but came out of their respective units just after a few minutes.  “On the way to leave, they started attacking nearby factories to attach more protestors in their demonstration, creating disruption of production,” he said.

The senior police official said the latest wage structure somehow created confusion among the RMG workers, as they are not sure how much money they will get after implementation of the latest wage board.

 “This is the main problem. Nobody takes the matter seriously. The confusion among the operators should be cleared, as they accounted for nearly 75 per cent of the industry’s total workforce,” he added.
read more.
FE bd

* Garment workers seek clarity over wage:

Protesters act over misinformation; 100 factories shut and 30 injured in clashes

20131120 DAILYSTAR Garment-workers
Police stand guard to disperse the garment workers who took to the streets in the industrial zone of Ashulia yesterday, following the death of two workers in Gazipur earlier. They are also calling for higher wage. Photo: Star

Confusion over new salary structure and rumours of casualties in other garment factories have been causing the labour unrest in Ashulia and Gazipur over the last couple of weeks, much to the frustrations of garment owners.

“When I went to the management to find out how much I would get under the new salary structure, I was informed that it may be Tk 8,500,” said a female worker of Rose Dresses in Jamgarah in Ashulia.
She now gets Tk 8,000 per month, meaning a pay rise of possibly just Tk 500 is forthcoming in contrast to the 77 percent salary hike for entry-level workers.
“This is totally unfair. An entry-level worker would get a raise of Tk 2,300 whereas I, an experienced worker, would get only Tk 500. How is this just?”
Amena Khatun, a sewing operator in another factory in Ashulia, too, felt hard done by.

“The new salary structure doesn’t bring any good news for us—they didn’t think of our interests but only of entry-level workers. This is unacceptable.”
Mamun, a sewing operator at Quaval Textile at Konabari in Gazipur, however, is holding his reservations until he hears an official announcement from the factory announcement.
“We just heard from workers in other factories that a pay rise is on the way. The authorities didn’t tell us anything yet but people are getting all worked up and fighting.”
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers go wild in Ashulia, Gazipur:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage through different areas of Ashulia and Gazipur.

On Tuesday morning protesting against the death of their two fellows in Monday’s clash and demanding Tk8,300 minimum monthly wage.
In Ashulia, workers of about 30 garment factories in Jamgora, Jirabu, Narasinghapur and Polasbari areas took position in front of their respective factories not taking part in regular works in the morning and were chanting slogans on the death of two apparel workers in a clash in Gazipur yesterday (Monday), said Mustafizur Rahman, director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
During the demonstration, the workers also raised a voice for Tk8,300 as minimum wage.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* RMG unrest in Ashulia, Gazipur, 80 units shut:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage through different areas of Ashulia and Gazipur on Tuesday morning protesting against the death of their two colleagues in Monday’s clash and demanding Tk8,300 minimum monthly wage.

In Ashulia, workers of about 30 garment factories in Jamgora, Jirabu, Narasinghapur and Polasbari areas took position in front of their factories and were chanting slogans.
Later, all workers put up barricade on the Abdullahpur-Bypile road disrupting vehicle movement.
Police rushed to the spot and dispersed the unruly workers by spraying teargas, leaving 25 people injured.
The authorities of the 30 factories declared holiday for today (Tuesday) apprehending further trouble.
read more. & read more. & read more.
Ittefaq bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Massive protests erupt in Bangladesh over pay rise death:

Thousands of garment workers Tuesday staged violent demonstration after two of their colleagues died Monday evening when the laborers, demanding higher minimum wage, clashed with police in a key apparel hub.

The unrest entered the 15th consecutive day Tuesday despit the garment owners agreed to a new wage at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Nov. 13.
A senior police official in Gazipur industrial zone told Xinhua that the workers started demonstration in industrial hubs in Gazipur and Ashulia on the outskirts of capital Dhaka, protesting the death of two workers during Monday’s clash with cops.

The official who refused to be identified said the protestors also demanded a higher minimum wage and immediate reopening of the factories, which were shut down last month following labor unrest over salary.
Most of Ashulia’s 782 garment factories have declared a holiday on Tuesday, fearing more violence.
read more.
GLOBALTIMES

* RMG unrest continues in Gazipur, BGB deployed:

Around 50 factory owners also shut down their factories in the areas on Tuesday to avoid any untoward situation

20131120 DHAKATRIBUNE BGB-ashulia
BGB members’ petrol in the Ashulia area because of consecutive clashes between workers and law enforcers in the area in recent days

Garment workers in Gazipur continued their demonstrations on Tuesday, protesting the killings of two labourers in Sardaganj area of Gazipur sadar upazila on Monday.

Workers of Konabari, Borobari and Sardagnaj areas of the district also raised calls for a pay-hike and the withdrawal of closure notices by the factories.
A chase and counter-chase took place between the workers and the police, after law enforcers hurled teargas shells to disperse processions brought out by the workers.
Nazrul Islam, inspector of Gazipur Industrial Police, said the police fired two rounds of rubber bullet to disperse another procession brought out by garment workers in Gazipur’s Konabari-Kashimpur area at around 8am.

Later at around 10am, agitated workers hurled brick chips towards a team of police led by an executive magistrate, when the team was heading towards Konabari. Police shot rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Meanwhile, Border Guard Bangladesh personnel, along with additional police and Rab members, have been deployed in the area to control the situation.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG owners sit with Home Minister:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) are holding an urgent meeting with Home Minister MK Alamgir and higher authorities of Labor Ministry and officers of intelligence agencies on Tuesday noon.   

The meeting started at around 12:30pm at home ministry amid continuous workers’ unrest in Ashulia and adjacent garment hubs.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Govt to prevent RMG violence sternly:

State Minister for Home Affairs Ministry on Tuesday categorically said the law enforcement agency would take stern action against the miscreants involved in vandalism and sabotage in readymade garment sector.

He also said the police administration has already been given directives in this regard.
The ruling Awami League lawmaker came up with the assertion in the afternoon.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

Readymade garment factory owners have urged the government to take action against those behind the recent unrest in the factories.

BGMEA and BKMEA leaders met the Minister and State Minister for Home on Tuesday and discussed the recent agitation in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial zones over the past several days.

Md Hatem, Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said they had accepted the minimum monthly wage of Tk 5,300 even though they were not in a position to pay the amount.
“Why is this anarchy persisting even after that?” he asked.
Garment workers are agitating every day even after the owners following the intervention of the Prime Minister have agreed to pay them Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage recommended by the government-sponsored wage board.
Earlier, the workers’ leaders demanded Tk 8,114 as minimum monthly wage.
read more.
bdnews24

* 60 injured as apparel workers, police clash:

At least 60 people were injured as apparel workers protesting against Monday’s killing of two of their fellows battled with the police in Gazipur and Ashulia for the second straight day on Tuesday.

Garment factory workers have been staging protests in the industrial belt for the last few days also for an upward revision of the minimum monthly wage announced by the wages board and in protest at closure of some apparel units in the face of the unrest.
Earlier on Monday, two apparel workers, including a woman, were killed and over 250 others injured as the police opened fire to break up violent demonstrations at Kashimpur in Gazipur.
A team of BGMEA met with home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on the day to discuss the latest flare-up of violence in the garment sector while state minister for home affairs Shamsul Haque warned the troublemakers of stern action.

New Age Gazipur correspondent reported that at least 15 apparel workers were injured, five of them hit by bullets, as several hundred protesters clashed with the police at Konabari-Sardaganj.
Gazipur police sub-inspector Jahangir Alam said the trouble begatn after GMS Composite Knitting Industry management had hung a notice in the morning declaring the factory closed for the time being.
read more.
BD new age

* Government to bring RMG troublemakers to book:

The RMG workers have been agitating to press their demand for Tk8,000 against Tk5,300 , decided by the government

The government has assured the owners of readymade garment (RMG) factories that the troublemakers of the garment sector would be identified and brought to book.

“The process is underway to identify and bring the instigators responsible for creating unrest in garment factories to book,” State Minister for Home, Shamsul Hoque Tuku told the media at his office after a meeting on Tuesday.

Following frequent unrests in the RMG units and the death of two garment workers on Monday, the home ministry held the meeting to assess the current situation of the industry, including the wages and allowances of workers.

The RMG workers have been agitating to press their demand for Tk8,000 as monthly minimum wage, against Tk5,300 decided by the government.

Home Minister MK Alamgir presided over the meeting, which was attended by, among others, Home Ministry Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmud Khandkar, Labour Secretary Mikhail Shipper, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Aziz Ahmed and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Atiqul Islam.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG sector working state among global worst: ILO:

The working conditions in the garment sector in Bangladesh have been among the worst in the global garment industry despite the fact that the country enjoyed relatively high economic growth over the past two decades due mainly to readymade garment exports, said a report of the International Labour Organisation released on Monday.

The report ‘Bangladesh: Seeking better employment conditions for better socioeconomic outcomes’ put emphasis on the importance of improving working conditions in the RMG industry to achieve sustainable growth in the country.
The ILO research department prepared the report in consultation with the organisation’s tripartite constituents in Bangladesh.
The report said, ‘Unless a comprehensive set of labour market and social policies are introduced, the country will be unable to maintain its economic momentum and improve living standards in a sustainable way.’
read more.
BD new age

* Better RMG working terms key to sustainable economic growth: ILO:

Bangladesh needs to improve the working conditions in its garment industry for attaining a sustainable economic growth, an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report said.  

“Bangladesh must improve working conditions in its garment industry which is also crucial for achieving sustainable growth in the country,” said the ILO report.
The ILO released the study report titled “Bangladesh: Seeking better employment conditions for better socio-economic outcomes” in Geneva on September 18.
(….)
For example, Bangladesh’s garment sector workers earn some of the lowest wages in the region. As of August 2013, the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers in the garment sector was US$39 per month, about half of the lowest rate in other major garment-exporting countries, such as Cambodia (US$80), India (US$71), Pakistan (US$79), Sri Lanka (US$73) and Vietnam (US$78).

While some other countries revise their minimum wages on a regular basis, Bangladesh has adjusted the RMG minimum wage only three times since it was first set in 1985 – with the last revision dating back to 2010. A wage board constituted this year is expected to make recommendations for a minimum wage increase shortly.
read more.  & read more.
FE bd  daily star bd

LW + 2

20131119

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* No violence main goal, SL exec says:

The director of the company that operates the embattled SL Garment factory suggested yesterday that he would comply with a government order to reinstate 19 union representatives and activists involved in a deadly months-long strike.

In an interview at the factory in Meanchey district, Joseph Kee Leung Lee, director of Singapore-based SL International Holdings, refused to directly say whether his company would accept back the 19 workers but said he supported the government’s intervention to end the dispute, which saw a bullet claim the life of a bystander during a clash between strikers and police last week.

“If they come back and that is the order of the government, I have no choice,” he said. “I support the government in stopping the strike and calming down everyone.”

Lee would not comment in detail on the 19 workers – members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) – saying to do so while SL was trying to sue them would be “contempt of court”, but said it would be difficult for them to show up to work again.
read more.
PPP new

* SL Management Agrees to Reinstate 19 Fired Union Members:

A week after police opened fire on stone-throwing protesters from the SL Garment Factory, the company’s director said Monday he would follow an order from the Council of Ministers to reinstate 19 union activists previously fired by the firm.

Joseph Lee, SL’s director, said that the factory had no choice but to follow the government’s order, which was posted to the Ministry of Labor’s website on Friday and signed by Council of Ministers Undersecretary of State Khun Chin Ken.
“If it is an order from the government, we have to follow it. We have to obey the Cambodian law,” he said of the order.

“If they [the 19 union leaders] come back, I will treat them as workers. I don’t care about the other side,” Mr. Lee said, referring to the fired workers membership in the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which has organized three months of strikes and protests.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Union to Hold 5,000-Strong March During CNRP Protest:

The president of the worker’s union that has led a three-month strike at the SL Garment Factory in Phnom Penh said Monday he would lead a march of 5,000 workers through the city on December 10 when the opposition CNRP also plans to hold its next mass demonstration.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said on Sunday that the opposition party plans to hold mass demonstrations throughout the country early next month to demand an investigation into the lethal use of live ammunition by police at a violent protest by SL Garment Factory workers last Tuesday.
CNRP lawmaker-elect Mu Sochua said that December 10—International Human Rights Day—had been selected as the date of the demonstrations.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), said that members from his union would also gather in Phnom Penh on Human Rights Day to march.
“We have a plan to march 5,000 workers. We are going to gather and march as we do every year,” he said.
read more. & read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo PPP new

* CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers:

Leaders of the opposition CNRP said Sunday that the party will hold demonstrations throughout the country on December 10 to demand an investigation into the use of live ammunition by police during a garment worker protest in Phnom Penh last week.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said the demonstration would seek justice for the victims of the police violence at the SL Garment Factory protest on Tuesday, who included Eng Sokhom, a 49-year-old rice vendor who was shot dead nearby.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesia Unions Announce Another Strike as Wage War Continues:

The head of Indonesia’s largest union organization has announced a new strike across several regions of the archipelago to pressure provincial governments into making greater concessions on minimum wage, a report by the state-run news agency said on Monday.

“The peak will be on Nov. 25-26,” head of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers (KSPI) Said Iqbal said as quoted by the state-run Antara news agency. “When all factories in industrial areas in Jakarta will stop production and thousands of workers will head to City Hall to force governor [Joko Widodo] to revise the minimum wage in Jakarta at around Rp 3 million [$258].”

In addition to next week’s scheduled strike, workers were planning on demonstrating in front of the Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) building on Monday.

The cost of labor in Indonesia is frequently cited as one of the factors that has driven foreign investment and enabled domestic companies to compete in the region, especially as China’s advantage in this regard has been ceded, to an extent, by approximately 15 percent aggregated wage hikes each year over the last decade.
read more.
jak-globe

* Big minimum wage rises in Badung, Denpasar:

The regional administrations in two of Bali’s economic barometers – Denpasar and Badung – have decided to increase the 2014 minimum wage by 23 per cent and 14 per cent respectively starting in January.

The raises were higher than the usual annual increase of around 10 per cent.
The minimum wage in Badung, the province’s richest regency, will rise to Rp1.72 million (Bt4,600) from the current Rp1.4 million. Meanwhile, in the island’s capital city, it will go up to Rp1.56 million from Rp1.36 million in 2013.
read more.
theNATIONnew

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Indonesia Unions Announce Another Strike as Wage War Continues.
Read the full article here.
2. Bekasi City Minimum Wage Rp. 2.441.954, Depok Rp 2.397.000.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
3. Ahok: No Revisions on Minimum Wage. Read the full article here.
4. South Korean Garment Companies Requesting for No Wages Increment in 2014. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

5. Yogya minimum wage to increase by 10%. Read the full article here.
6. Minimum Wage in Central Java will increase in average of 16.6% next year. Read the full article here
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

7. Court Orders Businesses to Pay Laborers Minimum Wage.
Read the full article here.

BetterWork Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur:

At least 50 people were injured as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,300 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, Monday.

In Savar, at least 30 garment workers were injured in a clash with policemen at Jamgora and Hemayetpurin the morning.
The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.

Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT BDCHRONICLE primenews newstodayBD

* 2 killed as RMG workers, cops clash in Gazipur- 140 factories shut:

20131118 UNB Unrest-Savar-RMG
Photo by UNB

Two garment workers were killed and 50 were injured, four of bullet-hit, during a clash with police in Kashimpur of Gazipur this afternoon.

Badsha Mia, 32, dies of bullet injuries at Enam Medical College Hospital around 4:00pm, said Zahidur Rahman, public relation director at the hospital.
Ruma Akhtar, 22, died on the spot during the clash, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
Among the injured, four bullet-hit workers were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital as their condition was stated to be critical.
Sources said the clash ensued around 3:30pm when a factory official physically assaulted a female worker. The workers protested the incident and got into a clash with the factory officials.

20131118 UNB Unrest-Savar-RMG-2
Photo by UNB
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd UNB NEWNATIONnew

* Two RMG workers killed in clashes with police:

Two apparel workers, including a woman, were killed and over 250 others injured as the police opened fire to disperse workers who were staging violent protests against the assault on a fellow at a factory of GMS Composite Knitting Industry at Kashimpur in Gazipur, some 30km from the capital.

The deceased were identified as Ruma,22,from Rangpur and Badsha Mia,26, from Char Magadia in Faridpur.
Police denied responsibility for the shooting and killings.
Both Ruma and Badsha were taken to Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar where the attending doctor declared them dead at 4:00pm.
Public relations officer of the hospital Jahidul Islam confirmed the death of Badsha Mia who was hit by a bullet in the head and died before reaching the hospital. Six other workers with bullet wounds were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
(…)
The clashes broke out when around 10,000 workers were staging protests against the assault of a female worker by a production manager of the sewing section of the factory. The angry workers burned spent tyres on the road and vandalised different establishments turning the area into a virtual battlefield.
(…)
The workers continued with protests pressing for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage, while apparel factory owners, after a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on November 13, accepted the award of the Minimum Wage Board fixing Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for apparel workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 140 factories closed in new wage protest:

Almost 140 Bangladeshi garment factories were shut on Monday as thousands of workers protesting at a new minimum wage clashed with police outside Dhaka, police and manufacturers said.

Protests at poor wages and working conditions have gained in intensity since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in April, which killed 1,135 people.
Police said violence erupted at Ashulia, home to Bangladesh’s biggest garment plants which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, at Konabari in the industrial district of Gazipur north of Dhaka and in other parts of Gazipur.

The trigger for the new protests was worker unhappiness at the new minimum wage the government has announced for the country’s four million garment workers.
Although the minimum monthly salary for entry-level workers has been raised by 76 percent to $68 as of December, unions have complained that skilled employees have been deprived, while some bosses cut food and transport allowances.

The new wages still leave Bangladeshi garment workers as some of the lowest paid in the sector worldwide.
“At least 10,000 workers demonstrated at Konabari. They threw rocks at the officers. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas,” Shamsur Rahman, a spokesman for the industrial police, told AFP.
read more.
Ittefaq

* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur:

At least 50 people were injured Monday as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,300 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, reports UNB.

In Savar, at least 30 garment workers were injured in a clash with policemen at Jamgora and Hemayetpur Monday morning.

The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.

Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
read more.
FE bd

* No respite from unrest:

More clashes in Ashulia, Savar garment hubs; two killed in clashes over beating of a worker

Two garment workers have been killed and at least 50 others were injured in a clash with police in Gazipur.

The dead were identified as Badsha Mia, 25, a pattern master and Ruma Akter, 22, a worker of GMS Composite Knitting Industries Ltd in Sardaganj of Kashimpur industrial belt.
The clash erupted after several thousand workers started demonstrating and vandalizing in and around the factory yesterday after a production manager had allegedly beaten up a female factory worker.
Meanwhile, labour unrest in RMG sector continues over the minimum wage as garment workers in the two key industrial belts of Ashulia and Savar yesterday took to the streets and clashed with police which left more than 50 people injured.

GAZIPUR
The injured workers of the Gazipur incident said a production manager of GPS Composite beat up a female worker of the sewing section prompting fellow workers to demonstrate inside the factory.
Besides, more than 10,000 workers started demonstrating outside the factory and turned violent when the authorities opened the gate of the factory.
(…)
Ashulia and Savar
Six people, including a nine year old child named Jony, received bullet wounds and at least 46 others were injured as apparel workers clashed with the law enforcers in Ashulia and Savar demanding Tk 8,114 as the minimum wage instead of Tk 5,300 recommended by a garment workers’ wage board and accepted by almost all workers’ federations and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Of the injured, the condition of Babul, 28, a worker of AM Design Ltd, was stated to be in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG unrest continues in Ashulia, Gazipur:

BGB deployed in Gazipur

Unrest in garment factories continued workers were demonstrated in Ashulia and Gazipur demanding pay hike on Tuesday morning.

A number of garment factories were closed on Tuesday following the demonstration.
Witnesses said workers clashed with law enforcers in the Jamgara, Jirabo and Shinultali areas of Savar this morning.
The garment workers also staged sporadic demonstrations in the Konabari area in Gazipur around 8am.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT  BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* RMG unrest continues, 50 units shut:

The labour unrest brewed in the industrial belt of Ashulia and Gazipur over salary hike continued for the 15th consecutive day today, forcing the authorities to shut at least 50 garment factories.

During today’s unrest, at least 10 workers received minor injuries as they clashed with law enforcers in Ashulia.
The workers have been demonstrating from November 5 for a minimum wage of Tk 8,114 instead of Tk 5,300.
Today’s turmoil also linked to the deaths of two RMG workers in Gazipur. The workers killed during a clash with police yesterday.
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Rapid Action Battalion personnel, who were deployed in Ashulia and Gazipur yesterday, were seen patrolling along the highway to keep vehicular movement normal, as road blockade is a common phenomenon for the workers’ protest.
Of the closed factories, at least 20 situated in Ashulia industrial belt while 32 in Gazipur, reports our correspondents.

ASHULIA
Around 3,000 workers of different RMG units located at Jamgarah, Nishchintapur, Narasinghapur, Deron, Unique and Shimultola took to the streets around 9:00am.
The workers tried to put barricade at Jamgarah but were resisted by police, said Ashulia Industrial Police Director Mostafizur Rahman.
GAZIPUR
Nazrul Islam, an inspector of Gazipur industrial police, said a clash ensued between law enforcers and the workers when the latter brought out a procession at Konabari in Sadar upazila around 8:00am, protesting the deaths of two RMG workers during yesterday’s clash with cops.
read more.
daily star bd

* Garment sector instability continues despite pay raise:

Worker dissatisfaction continues despite RMG factory owners finally agreeing to a higher minimum monthly salary of Tk 5,300.

The workers are continuing their violent demonstrations in demand of a monthly salary of Tk 8,000, mainly concentrated around the Gazipur and Ashulia areas.
However, field investigations reveal a that a group of trade union leaders are intentionally inciting workers to protest by spreading politically motivated rumours. 

Workers’ representative on the wage board, Sirajul Islam Rony said he received news of the murder of two workers in Savar whose bodies were at a local hospital, but when he went to inspect, he found the news to be fabricated.
There is also dissatisfaction over the new minimum wage as the new wage is unilateral for both skilled and unskilled workers. Moreover, the basic pay has also been reduced.

Sources said there are around 60 garment workers trade unions in the country, but only 10-15 unions are active. The rest do not have control over their members. Thus, their promises of ceasing further violence hold no value.
read more.
Ittefaq

* RMG factory owners plan to discuss price rise of products with buyers:

The country’s ready-made garment (RMG) makers are planning to start negotiations with international buyers on enhancement of the prices of apparel products. They feel the rise will help the industry implement the proposed new wage structure for the workers at factories, industry insiders said.

According to them, the buyers have expressed their willingness to raise the apparel product prices by 5.0 per cent from the existing level, following a 77 per cent pay hike proposed by the wage board.

“We have decided to sit with the buyers’ forum to explain the overall situation of the garment industry, including the proposed wage hike,” Md Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE.

All the buyers’ representatives will be invited in Dhaka this month to discuss the ongoing issues, he said, adding: “we will request them to convey the matter to their respective head offices so that they raise the product prices in line with the wage hike.”
read more.
FE bd

* The factors that can do wonders in RMG sector:

Human resource management (HRM) is generally ignored in our country. Most of the organisations have no separate HRM department for motivating employees psychologically, reviewing their performance, addressing the problems they face and conducting research on how to increase productivity.

The human resources are treated like machines of productivity. Still machines need overhauling, but in the case with human resources any psychological motivation of them is rarely considered.

Though a number of companies have separate HRM departments, those are run by a very few non-technical or non-professional people having no or limited skill and experience about HRM. They are simply deployed to keep essential administrational records on manpower in different units or sections. They have nothing to do with the technical assessment and initiatives intended to get the best output.

There is no doubt about the fact that the organisations that are paying minimum wages employ employees having the minimum skill level. Those organisations run traditionally even at the cost of workers’ interest. So, minimum wages mean minimum labour cost that depends on the minimum living standard of the particular group of workers.

The garment workers’ representatives claimed Tk 8,300 as the minimum wage while the government-formed wage board recommended Tk 5,300. Initially the apparel makers’ bodies-Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association-did not agree to accept Tk 5,300 as the minimum wages.
But with the intervention from the Prime Minister they agreed to accept it. But will that put an end to the unrest in the readymade garment (RMG) sector? Actually the RMG sector needs to be disciplined by ensuring proper HR management and compliance with corporate governance standards.
read more.
FE bd

* Minimum Wage 2013 Infographic:

20131119 RISE infographic-bangladesh-2013-minw

After the agreement of all authorized parties (Minimum Wage Board, BGMEA and the Worker Representatives), regardless of the clashes and unrest seen across the country and the demand of workers for a higher minimum wage and the operators for a proportionate increase to their wages, the minimum wage sails towards being a law from 1 December 2013.

With many stories and challenges circling around it, this wonderful info-graphic gives a nice glimpse into the dynamics of the decision that the workers will need to live with for years to come.
to read.

* ILO on BD RMG crisis: Decent working conditions must:

Improving working conditions in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) industry is crucial for achieving sustainable growth in the country, says a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to the report, Bangladesh experienced relatively high economic growth over the past two decades, mainly due to garment exports. The country accounted for 4.8 per cent of global apparel exports in 2011, compared with only 0.6 per cent in 1990.

But unregulated industry growth has contributed to poor working conditions in that sector, which have acted as an obstacle to sustainable development and, moreover, resulted in some of the worst industrial disasters on record.

For example, Bangladeshi garment sector workers earn some of the lowest wages in the region. As of August 2013, the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers in the garment sector was US$39 per month – about half of the lowest rate in other major garment-exporting countries, such as Cambodia (US$80), India (US$71), Pakistan (US$79), Sri Lanka (US$73) and Viet Nam (US$78).
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd

18:03:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Labour activists demand inspection of factories:

Labour activists on Friday vowed to continue their struggle for the rights of the workers until the government fulfills the registration of factories and restore the procedure of labour inspection in the industries across the country as per the law.

At a protest rally taken out in solidarity with the workers killed in the Baldia factory fire, the activists under the umbrella Workers Rights Movement (WRM), also decided not to sit quiet until the contract system from the industrial sector is eliminated, which they termed as ‘a curse for the laborers’.

The rally began which began at Regal Chowk ended at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) was lead by Usman Baloch, Nasir Mansoor, Jafar Khan, Gul Rahman and others. A large numbers of laborers of different industrial zones, students, political workers, women and human rights associations participated in the protest.
The speakers urged the government to accept the due demands of the familes of Baldia factory fire which they have been making since the day the tragedy struck.
(…)
They said the greed of capitalists to squeeze large profits and non-implementation of labour laws on industrial sector created this deadly incident of Ali Enterprises in which around 300 labourers were burnt alive.
(…)

They said they have no basic right to form union at factories. According to them practically labour inspection is suspended at all the industries which is causing so many deaths of workers these days. They said the laborers are being treated as salves and they are being forced to work 12 to 14 hours in factories which is denial of the their basic rights.

They said majority of the workers have no other option but to work in inhuman environment and contract system has been imposed on them do deny their rights.

The speakers of the rally were of the view that the laborers are not being awarded the minimum wage of Rs8,000 per month which the government had set for unskilled workers. They lamented that majority of the workers have not been registered with Social Security Institute, Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institute (EOBI) and with other organizations which were established to protect the rights of the workers. They said these workers have no right to get pension which they deserve if they are registered accordingly.
(…)

They demanded restoration of labour inspection at all the factories and at all industrial zones besides practicing safety measures at industries to safeguards the lives of the workers.

They demanded eight hour working schedule for the labourers and also demanded appointment letters for all of them besides eliminating contract system from the industrial sector.
read more.
thenewspk

LW + 2

20131118

20:03:52 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Stanley Kang says the garment industry needs to adopt a new approach:

Despite higher production costs, Thailand can still serve as a hub for apparel production and trading in Asean by offering complete solutions with creativity and innovation, a key player said last week.

“Value-adding must be adopted, otherwise we cannot have a place in this competitive market,” Stanley Kang, senior manager of Tuntex Textile (Thailand) Co, a leading textile and garment manufacturer in Asean, said last week.
Thailand will not be a place for low-end production so it needs to focus more on creativity and innovation, he said.

The garment industry should not limit itself to production, but must become a service provider by offering innovation and consulting on fabrics and designs.
Thailand has to deal with higher costs. The Bt300 minimum wage introduced early this year has driven many producers into expanding operations in otherAsean countries.
Thailand can still be a centre for the production and trading of textiles and apparel if enterprises learn to develop themselves for not only producing goods but also providing “total solutions” to customers.
read more.
theNATIONnew

* Drop costly populist ploys, businessmen tell parties:

Academics and the private sector say the political parties should not resort to populist measures such as a hike in the minimum wage and farm subsidies in order to win votes or gain popularity, as such policies damage industrial growth and add to the country’s financial problems.

They are worried that if there is a change in government in the current political climate, the parties will again use such populist policies in a bid to win over the electorate.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the government should not increase the minimum wage again next year, as the current market mechanism had already adjusted some wages to as much as Bt350-Bt400 a day. The current daily minimum wage across the country is Bt300.
read more.
theNATIONnew

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Government steps in:

Government officials have ordered SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd to reinstate 19 fired union representatives and activists, seemingly removing the final barrier to resolving the months-long strike that turned deadly last week.

The government has also promised to pay the medical bills of at least three factory workers injured when police opened fire on strikers, killing a bystander, in the capital last Tuesday.

The Ministry of Labour sent SL a letter on Friday, relaying that the Council of Ministers – following approval from Prime Minister Hun Sen – had ordered the factory to rehire the 19 fired members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), the union representing a large majority of SL’s roughly 6,000-person workforce.

The November 15 order, posted on the Ministry of Labour’s website, came days after the ministry and NGOs facilitated a marathon negotiation session between C.CAWDU officials and SL management, which ended when the two sides reached an impasse over the fired workers.
(…)
Union leaders and SL have yet to sign an official agreement ending the strike. At the Tuesday meeting, SL verbally agreed to pay workers 50 per cent of wages they would have earned during the strike, and that Meas Sotha – who hired armed military police to stand guard inside the factory – would no longer have a presence at the factory.
read more.
PPP new

20131118 * CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers:

Leaders of the opposition CNRP said Sunday that the party will hold demonstrations throughout the country on December 10 to demand an investigation into the use of live ammunition by police during a garment worker protest in Phnom Penh last week.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said the demonstration would seek justice for the victims of the police violence at the SL Garment Factory protest on Tuesday, who included Eng Sokhom, a 49-year-old rice vendor who was shot dead nearby.
read more. & read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo CAMHERALD

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Unions want higher minimum wage:

The Bali Wage Council’s decision to set the 2014 minimum wage for the province at Rp 1.3 million (US$111) per month has triggered protests from unions that say the minimum wage is too low to cover workers’ needs.

“We question the minimum wage set by the council. Do you think that Rp 1.3 million is a decent amount for Bali? How could [the council] propose that amount to the Bali governor?” Independent Workers Union Federation (FSPM) Bali chapter chairman Anak Agung Sagung Ratmudiani said in a meeting at the Bali Legislative Council on Friday.

The meeting was also attended by scores of union members, several members of the Bali Legislative Council, the head of the provincial Manpower and Transmigration Agency, the chairman of Bali Wage Council and other related parties.

The minimum wage must be paid to any worker in the province. It is issued by the governor, based on the recommendations of the Bali Wage Committee, which is tripartite, consisting of government, unions and business associations.
read more.
jakartapost

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Labour unrest- Gazipur turns into battlefield:

Clashes broke out between the police and workers of around 20 apparel factories in Gazipur yesterday morning, injuring at least 25 people.

Witnesses said around 2,000 workers of Standard Group took to the streets at about 8:30am demanding the factory be reopened and pay for production per piece be hiked.
They also placed a 10-point demand, including a daily payment of Tk 200 in off-season, when the owners keep factories closed, our Gazipur correspondent said.
Later, around 8,000 workers of 20 factories, including Green Land, Meditek and MM Knit Composite, joined the protesters and ransacked some vehicles, set fire to tree logs and burned tyres and blocked the Kashimpur-Konabari road.
At 10.45am, the workers came back to Standard Group and set fire to the factory building, which was extinguished by the law enforcers and the local people soon.
read more.
daily star bd

* Production at 100 RMG units suspended:

Production at over 100 garment factories in Gazipur and Ashulia was suspended for Sunday, after workers clashed with law enforcers in the morning.

Of the total, 50 units were shut in Gazipur while the rest in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital. At least 110 workers sustained minor injuries during the clashes, reports our correspondents.
The workers of Gazipur were demanding immediate reopening of their units, which remain shut since last month following unrest over salary.
On the other hand, the labourers of Ashulia were demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage. The workers set fire to a factory building and a kitchen market in Gazipur Sadar upazila and vandalised two vehicles in Ashulia.
read more.
NEWNATIONnew

* 70 RMG units closed following unrest:

At least 70 apparel factories in Savar and Gazipur was declared closed for Sunday following clashes between workers and the law enforcers that left 75 injured.

The clashes erupted at Ashulia of Savar and Konabari and Kashimpur in Gazipur when the police tried to disperse workers in the areas who took to the street demanding minimum Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage and immediate reopening of closed factories, said witnesses.
A factory of Standard Group and at least 30 shops in the adjacent area of the factory in Gazipur were set on fire.
The workers continued with protests pressing for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage, while apparel factory owners, after a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on November 13, accepted the award of the Minimum Wage Board fixing Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for apparel workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 45 RMG unions demand Tk6,000 minimum wage:

As per their demands, the minimum wage for the sweater factory workers must be not less than that of the sixth grade while the wage for per unit have to be declared within three days of starting production

The leaders of 45 unions of readymade garment have demanded Tk6,000 as minimum wage for the workers.
They placed the demand to the minimum wage board chairman AK Roy on Sunday, urging the board to reconsider the already settled amount Tk5,300 and set it at Tk6,000 excluding food allowance.

Although the demand was placed on behalf of 45 trade unions, the representatives of 29 were present.
Meanwhile, on prime minister’s direction, the RMG owners and a section of workers’ unions have accepted the wage board proposal of Tk5,300 as minimum wage.

The wage board would finalise Tk5,300 as minimum wage for RMG workers on the November 21 meeting.
“We demand Tk6,000. Board will decide on the issue,” said Abul Hossain, President of Textile Garments Workers Federation.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Clash erupts in Ashulia RMG belt:

At least 20 workers of readymade garment (RMG) factories were injured as they clashed with police at Jamgora under Ashulia Police Station today (Monday) morning demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk8, 300.

The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.
Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
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BD new age UNB FE bd

* 50 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash:

At least 50 people were injured, five of them bullet-hit, as the apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in Ashulia and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, demanding Tk 8,114 as minimum wage.

Of the victims, condition of Babul, a worker of AM Design Limited, stated to be critical, reports our Savar correspondent.
Babul sustained wounds of seven rubber bullets and has been referred to Dhaka Medical College Hospital from Women and Children Health Centre in Ashulia.
Following the sporadic clash that continues when this report was filed, production at over 100 garment factories in the demonstrating areas remain suspended for today.
The violence was reported from Jamgarah, Shimultola, Gorat, Pukurpar, Ghoshbagh, Narshingpur in Ashulia and Hemayetpur in Savar.

ASHULIA, SAVAR
The demonstration started around 9:00am when around 12,000 workers from different garment factories from the areas took position in front of their units.
The workers of Envoy, Palmal Group and The Rose Dresses Ltd of Ashulia and Standard Group of Savar are demonstrating, said Md Shahidullah, a senior deputy director of Industrial Police.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGB deployment in Gazipur:

A total of seven platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in Ashulia, Konabari and Kashimpur area of the district on early Monday.

Due to rampant agitation of garments workers in the areas, the BGB was deployed in a bid to avert any untoward situation and to secure the route as touring Malaysian Prime Minister will have a visit in the district here on Monday.
Sources of intelligence department told banglanews that BGB personnel were initiated scrutiny drive from 6.00am.
However, Konabari Police outpost Sub-Inspector Rabiul Islam said that the situation in the industrial areas is clam and under control now.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG troubles: No signs of abatement:

Sixty-four per cent of the respondents to an opinion poll, conducted by one of the leading national English dailies of Bangladesh, have said the fixation of Tk 5,300 as minimum wage for the garment workers would not be able to end the ongoing workers’ unrest in the apparel sector.

The negative response has come not without reasons. The events that have happened before and after the announcement of the minimum wage by the tripartite wage board have, apparently, led them to make such a response.

Lack of workplace safety which has claimed nearly 1,400 lives so far is responsible for enough of resentment among the apparel workers. But what has been a constant source of trouble is low wage. Despite a couple of hikes in recent years, the wage rates are still considered low if seen in the context of the unabated rise in the cost of  living.

The issues concerning workplace safety, right to trade union and wages came under intense national and international focus following the deadly Tazreen Fashion fire and the collapse of the Rana Plaza. While international stakeholders in collaboration with the government and the apparel industry owners are trying to ensure safety and security of workers in apparel factories and workers’ right to TU activities, the wage board has recommended a minimum wage synthesising the workers’ demand and the offer made by the apparel industry owners.

The owners initially rejected the minimum wage recommended by the wage board. They even threatened to close down their factories since the recommended wages, according to them, would make the industry unsustainable. But they finally agreed to pay the same with a little bit of changes in the wage structure following intervention by the prime minister.
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131117

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

*  RMG workers demonstrate in Gazipur- 25 hurt/20 units shut:

Workers of several garment factories demonstrated and blocked Konabari-Kashimpur road on Sunday morning demanding wage hike and payment of their arrears.

Witnesses said workers of a readymade garments (RMG) factory of Standard Group took to the streets at about 8:30 am and staged demonstration.
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UNB UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE DHAKATRIBUNE
Ittefaq primenews newstodayBD FE bd

* Ashulia unrest hurt 50-200 – Highway blocked, 20-50 factories shut :

More than 50 people were injured in sporadic clashes between garments workers and law enforcers on Baipail-Abdullahpur highway on Sunday morning.

Witnesses said that workers of several garments started protest from morning and blocked the highway to press their demand of minimum Tk 8,000 salary.
The agitating workers also vandalized couple of vehicles during the protest.
On information, police rushed to the spot and charged baton, fired rubber bullets and tear shell to disperse the workers which triggered sporadic clashes.
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BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Workers torch 2 Gazipur garment factories: 25 Ashulia RMG units shut:

Several hundred workers of two ready-made garment (RMG) units set fire to their factory buildings in Gazipur Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market on Sunday demanding immediate reopening of their factories as those remain closed since last month following a labour unrest over salary.

On information firefighters with the help of police doused the blaze at the two RMG factory buildings but at least 30 makeshift shops were gutted in the fire at kitchen market. Meanwhile, 20 garment workers were injured in clash with police in Ashulia as they staged violent street demonstration, blocking a highway over pay on Sunday morning.
Production at minimum 25 RMG units in Ashulia, in the outskirts of Dhaka city, was suspended for today, as workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage also vandalized factories. When police arrived, the agitating workers pelted stones at the law-enforcers. Police charged batons, lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to drive the demonstrators from the Kaliakoir-Kashimpur highway, according to private TV channels.
to read.
FE bd

* Labour unrest shuts 25 RMG units in Ashulia- Gazipur:

Production at minimum 25 garment factories in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today, as workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage clashed with law enforcers.

At least 20 workers sustained minor injuries during the hour-long clash, reports our Savar correspondent.
Meanwhile, workers of two garment factories set fire to their factory buildings in Gazipur Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market demanding immediate reopening of their units as those remain shut since last month following a labour unrest over salary.
However, police put out the flame at factory building but at least 30 makeshift shops were gutted in the fire at kitchen market.

ASHULIA
Around 5,000 workers of at least 25 factories started demonstrations on Dhaka-Tangail highway around 9:00am and, said Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of industrial police.
(..)
GAZIPUR
Workers of two garment factories of Standard Group set a factory building on fire at Konabari in Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market this morning demanding reopening of their factory.
The authorities shut production at their two units last month after workers waged a movement demanding a hike in the salary.
read more.
daily star bd

———

* 40 hurt as RMG workers agitate for wages:

Workers of a number of garment factories in Gazipur demonstrated for arrears and a hike in their allowance on Saturday.

Police used baton-charges and lobbed tear-gas canisters to disperse them, according to bdnews24.com.
Witnesses said at least 40 people were injured in the clashes at Gazipur’s Naojor and Konabari areas.
Workers of DotCom Sweaters at Naojor area started to damage the factory building in the morning after not getting paid their October salary due on Thursday.
The factory’s production manager Emdad Hossain said that the police intervened to bring the situation under control.
read more.
FE bd

* Factory owners, labour leaders call for calm:

Garment manufacturers and labour unions have jointly urged workers to refrain from vandalism until the wage board announces the final salary structure on November 21.

The move comes after the workers continued with their dissent despite the government’s announcement of a 77 percent rise in minimum wage to Tk 5,300 on November 14 in the face of owners’ objections. Their demand for minimum wage remains Tk 8,114 per month.
In response, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment makers’ platform, drafted in an urgent meeting on Friday with leaders of more than 57 workers’ federations, where the labour leaders agreed to help in calming down the situation.
“The current situation is seriously denting the image of the industry. Everybody in the meeting has agreed that the sector cannot go on in this manner,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told reporters after the two-hour meeting at the trade body’s headquarters in Dhaka.
He said the workers’ federations have agreed to convince the workers to get back to work until the final gazette is published. More than 200 factories in Ashulia and Gazipur have remained shut due to the unrest in recent weeks, Islam added.
Kazi Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre, said the federations will jointly submit a complaint with the wage board today over the proposed salary structure, which they deem to be too low when the living cost is taken into consideration.
read more.
daily star bd

* Better pay means more productivity:

Better human resource management and communication between employees and managers can benefit all, an UK Aid-run project has found in Bangladesh.

The RAGS Challenge Fund (Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector) of the UK government has demonstrated that better pay and working conditions can go hand in hand with better productivity.
In participating factories, when average monthly take-home pay was increased by Tk 491, daily efficiency and productivity increased 18.28 percent and 17.07 percent respectively.
This was disclosed at an event organised by the CSR Centre in Dhaka to look at how partnerships with buyers can help bring about much-needed reforms in the garment sector, now under tremendous pressure to improve labour conditions following a number of high-profile tragedies.
read more.
daily star bd

LW + 2

20131116

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* At Strife-Ridden SL Garment Factory, Managers Stand Ground:

The SL Garment Factory is a name that has become uniquely synonymous with strikes and strife in a sector that employs hundreds of thousands of workers and already has problems with its poor public image.

Thousands of the factory’s workers have been in dispute with management for more than a year, demanding higher wages, a lunch stipend and the removal of one of the firm’s shareholders, Meas Sotha.
On Tuesday, the latest SL protest turned deadly during clashes between protesters and police in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district. Police responded to stone-throwing youths with bullets, and a bystander was shot dead and several were injured.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Lawyers Condemn Police Shooting of SL Factory Protesters:

A group of Canadian lawyers has expressed deep concern over the use of live ammunition by police in Phnom Penh during a garment worker protest on Tuesday when a bystander was killed, and called on government and military officials to respect the U.N.’s basic principles on the use of firearms by authorities.

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), as a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally, addressed their concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, deputy prime ministers Sar Kheng and Sok An, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, Defense Minister General Tea Banh and National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha.

“LRWC is deeply concerned about the violence that occurred in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on 12 November 2013 between police and citizens including striking garment workers. The violence resulted in the shooting death of a bystander and at least seven additional serious injuries,” wrote Gail Davidson, executive director of LRWC.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

*  RMG owner-worker federations for an end to unrest:

The garment factory owners and workers’ federation have jointly urged unruly workers to stay away from the path of vandalism and violence until the wage board announces the final salary structure.

The board is expected to announce the final pay structure on November 21.
The latest development came after the apparel owners’ organisation, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), held an urgent meeting with the leaders of more than 57 workers’ federations in its headquarters in the capital last night.

The two-hour long meeting held as the proposed minimum salary of apparel workers, Tk 5,300, has apparently failed to abate the ongoing unrest in the country’s 19-billion dollar sector.
The wage board announced Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for an entry-level garment worker from Tk 3,000 now on November 4 against the demand of Tk 8,114.
read more.
daily star bd

* Gazipur knitting workers vandalise 50 vehicles:

Knitting factory workers of Gazipur blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway for three hours today and vandalised at least 50 vehicles demanding a hike in per piece production.

The demonstrating workers of eight sweater factories have also been demanding Tk 200 per day when the production of their units remains suspended. The workers usually do not get salary when the sweater factories are closed during the off season.
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daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers go on rampage in Gazipur, Savar:

Workers of several readymade garment (RMG) factories staged demonstration in Savar and Gazipur demanding wage hike and payment of outstanding wages on Saturday.

In Savar, production of 10 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, was suspended following labour unrest in Ashulia on the day.
Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said workers of a garment factory staged demonstration demanding wage hike at Jamgarah in Ashulia on Saturday morning.
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UNB INDEPENDENT primenews bdnews24

* Unrest Continue as Worker Federations and BGMEA Agree To Be At Peace Till Law Is Made:

Yesterday, on 15.11.13, 57 Worker Federations came to an agreement with the BGMEA and held a press conference declaring that till the Minimum Wage Board publishes its final decision in a Gazette form, there will be no protest or rally backed by the worker federations.

However, today on 16.11.13, there have been massive worker protests in Ashulia and Gazipur by agitated workers. Workers fearing injustice in the proportionate increase of the Operators (a grade up than the helper, who is the lowest paid of the sector) may only get a few hundred BDT more than the helpers.
Operators account for more than 70% of the workforce in the garment sector, mostly women, suffer from low wages in a country with high inflation, no social security and high corruption in the public services.

The unrest among the Garment workers today is a surprising display of their helplessness.
Although the worker leaders informed that they will persuade the workers to be peaceful and get back to their work-stations till the gazette has been finally published (and thus turned to a law), their failure seems visible.
It now seems that had the leaders been more interested to pacify workers and win their hearts, listen to their demands and them peacefully associated with them to rally for support of their demands from the ordinary citizens of the country, violence could have been avoided.
The violence, as always, have only harmed innocent civilians and garment workers, and can only spur with mischief – mostly from the trapped restlessness from within when ones voice is ignored by all.
read more.

* Bangladeshi Garment Workers Fight Back:

Surging union growth and militancy is due to courageous leaders like Kalpona Akter: child laborer at 12, union president at 15, she’s now head of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.

Whenever there is another disaster in a Bangladeshi garment factory, one of the country’s most dynamic young labor leaders, Kalpona Akter, races to the scene with two aims in mind.
First, she naturally wants to help and console a new set of victims. But second, she tries to get inside the factory, even if it’s still smoldering, so she can collect the labels from the clothing that was being sewn there.
“The big European and American importers sometimes deny that their brands were sourced in that factory,” she explained, in her small, old and very busy office in central Dhaka. “So we need to get the logos, the actual proof, before the Walmarts and others can start to cover up.”

Akter, 36, started working in a garment factory when she was 12 years old, and by the time she was 15, she was president of her local union.
She is now the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, and the leading figure in Bangladesh’s small but rapidly growing independent labor movement.
She is courageous, articulate and revered by the young workers, mostly women, whom she is helping to organize. Someday she will surely be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
read more.
the NATION

LW + 2

20131115

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG Wage: Owners, labour leaders agree to wait until Nov 21:

Owners and workers’ leaders of the country’s apparel sector on Friday agreed to wait until November 21 for a final decision on the new minimum wage structure and maintain an uninterrupted production refraining from destructive activities.

“We’ve agreed to wait until November 21. The workers leaders also agreed to refrain from vandalism, demonstrations and join works for maintaining an uninterrupted production,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam told reporters at a press conference.

He said their goal is the same — taking forward the industry maintaining smooth production and refraining from activities that tarnish the image of the sector and country. “We call upon the workers across the country to return to their works and ensure a smooth production,” Atiqul Islam said.
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UNB DHAKATRIBUNE

* Labour leaders to work with garment owners to implement new wages:

Leaders of 52 labour organizations today agreed to work together with garment owners for implementing new wages to be announced finally by wage board on November 21.

The labor leaders expressed the view at a meeting with leaders of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held at BGMEA Bhaban here, said a press release.
BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam presided over the meeting.
Vice-president M Shahidullah Azim, vice-president Riaz Bin Mahmud, former president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad and former leaders of BGMEA attended the meeting.

The labour leaders said there will be no vandalism of garment units centering the announcement of wages.
read more.
BSS

_____

* Clash over Tk8,300 RMG wage hurts 5 in Ashulia:

At least five people, including a policeman,  were injured as readymade garment (RMG) workers locked in a clash with police in Ashulia on Thursday morning to press further for a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,300.

Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said several thousand workers of a factory of Ha-Meem Group took to the street and staged a demonstration demanding Tk8,300 as minimum wage instead of Tk5,300, which the RMG factory owners accepted on Wednesday night.
Later, more workers from different factories of the area joined the demonstrators.
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UNB INDEPENDENT BD new age

* 40 hurt in Ashulia worker-cop clash- 200 factories shut in Ashulia:

At least 40 people including five policemen were injured as the apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, this morning demanding Tk 8,114 as minimum wage.

Production at over 100 garment factories was also suspended for today following the clash, reports our Savar correspondent quoting Md Shahidullah, senior deputy director of Industrial police.
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daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24

* Police fire tear gas at garment workers protesting for better wages:

Bangladeshi garment factory owners said on Thursday they had agreed to a proposed 77 percent rise in the minimum wage, but fresh protests broke out as stone-throwing workers called for an even larger increase and police were forced to deploy tear gas and rubber bullets to break them up.

Bangladesh’s official wage board had proposed the rise to $68 a month as the minimum wage — still the lowest in the world, but up from $38 — after a string of fatal factory accidents this year thrust poor pay and working conditions into the international spotlight.
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ALJAZEERA US CDNnews

* Unrest in Ashulia: 100 factories shut:

Garment workers clashed with the police in Ashulia on the outskirts of Dhaka yesterday to demand a minimum wage of Tk 8,114, leaving at least 40 injured.

Production at 100 factories was suspended following the clashes, said Md Shahidullah, senior deputy director of Industrial Police.
Protesters threw stones at Constable Jyoti Akhter, leaving her with head injuries. She was shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Jyoti was among the five law enforcers injured by the workers.
Traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail highway remained suspended for about two hours from 9am, when around 5,000 workers of over 100 factories began demonstrations, Shahidullah said.
Law enforcers charged batons and fired several rounds of rubber bullets and teargas canisters, leaving 35 workers injured, witnesses said. The injured workers were given first-aid at local health complexes.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers lay siege to BGMEA Bhaban:

A group of readymade garment workers on Thursday laid siege to BGMEA Bhaban in the capital protesting the closure of their factories and demanding payment of arrears.

Nearly a hundred RMG workers of two garment factories gathered in front of BGMEA Bhaban at Karwan Bazar and besieged the building for hours.
Mijarul, a security guard of Wear and Style Ltd in Tejgaon area, said that the owner closed the factory on November 10 when they were supposed to get salary for the previous month.
He said that about 300 workers were working at the factory.
Mijarul said that they worked till 9pm on November 9, but the authorities did not inform them of the relocation of the factory.
When the workers went to the factory the next day, they found the gate locked and a notice stuck on it, said Salma, a sewing operator of Wear and Style Ltd. The notice reads, ‘The factory has been relocated to Tongi.’
read more.
BD new age

* BGMEA Owners Agree on 5300BDT Minimum Wage. Unrests continue …:

After a lot of rejections from BGMEA, yesterday on 13.11.13, the BGMEA agreed on 5300BDT (68USD/50Euro) to be the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh who have been demanding the wage to be at least 8000BDT.

They also declared their honest intention to solve the concerns of the workers and requested them to be patient during this time. It was disclosed that this decision came after the intervention of the Prime Minister herself into the matter.

However criticisms still loom questioning the true intention of the factory owners. It has been raised by garment workers and activists that raising the minimum wage of the Grade 7 (Helpers) by 77% is not enough to ensure the raising of the wages of the other grades which includes Operators who make up to 75% of any factory. As per workers, worker leaders, researchers, and activists: “the raising of the minimum wage should also act proportionately to all the other grades of workers otherwise the change cannot reach the lives of most of the workers in this sector.”

Although the minimum wage is conceptually to be set at a level which covers the basic needs of the lowest earned workers on the job-ladder, i.e. entry-level workers (grade 7 workers), the practice in Bangladesh is that revision has been taken place for workers of all grades (grade 1 to 7 workers). In that case, it is a fixation of structure of wages of different grades instead of setting minimum wages.
According to the last revision of the minimum wages, grade 7 workers should receive a wage of 3000BDT per month of which 2000BDT as basic, 800BDT as house rent (40 per cent of the basic) and 200BDT as medical allowances. However, an ‘informal’ grade below grade 7 has been introduced during the time of last revision of minimum wages in 2010 with the job title ‘trainee’.
read more.

* RMG minimum wage effective from Dec 1:

The newly declared minimum wage for the readymade garments workers will be effective from December 1, says Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju.

The minister said the basic of the newly declared wage has been brought down to between Tk3,000-Tk3,200 after consultation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He made the declaration while talking to the workers’ leader at his office in the capital on Thursday afternoon.
(BSS: Minister: “We will take legal action against them who will be responsible for anarchy and unrest in the RMG sector,” Razu said. He urged RMG workers to join work and perform duty for the sack of the country’s economy sector.
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DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd UNB BD new age FE bd
bdnews24  BSS

* RMG workers join work as owners accept wage hike:

The garment owners on Wednesday finally agreed to pay a minimum wage of Tk 5,300 per month for entry-level workers as proposed by the government’s Wage Board. 

Representatives of garments owners officially agreed to the new wage in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gonobhaban on Wednesday night, said wage board negotiator Arshad Jamal.
“It will be implemented as soon as the gazette comes out. Most probably, it will come to an effect from Dec 1,” he added.

Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, State Minister for Labour Monnujan Sufian, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam, among others, were present, at the meeting.
Shipar said the garment owners had agreed to the Wage Board’s proposal at the Prime Minister’s intervention.

“The Prime Minister assured them (the owners) of looking into their problems and asked them to agree to the minimum Tk 5,300 wage,” he added.
Meanwhile, production resumed at all garments factories located in Ashulia industrial belt on Thursday morning after a two day closure following the workers’ unrest. Earlier, in the morning most factory workers joined their workplaces shunning their protest for wage hike.
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NEWNATIONnew Ittefaq primenews

* Tk 5,300 minimum wage for RMG workers from Dec:

Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju on Thursday said the Tk 5,300 minimum wage recommended by the government-formed wage board for the garment workers would come into effect on December 1, 2013.

“The garment workers will receive the new wage from January next and a gazette will be published in this regard after November 25,” the minister said after a meeting with labour leaders.
The minister urged workers to resume work. Otherwise, he warned, strict action would be taken against the workers for violating the law and creating anarchic conditions.

The government will strictly enforce the rule of law and nobody will be spared if the rules are violated, minister said adding that even owners will not be spared if they violate rules and create anarchy.
Workers and employees of the RMG sector will get a 5% increment on their basic salary each year, he added.

Labour leaders and representatives from various garments workers’ unions, including the National Garments Workers’ Welfare Federation, Bangladesh Textile Garment Workers’ Federation and the National Garment Workers and Employees’ League, attended the meeting, held at the conference room of the labour ministry.
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INDEPENDENT BDCHRONICLE primenews Ittefaq newstodayBD INDEPENDENT
NEWNATIONnew

* New RMG wages take effect Dec 1:

The proposed wage structure for garment workers is set to see some major changes in the basic pay, annual increment and the implementation timeframe after the owners agreed to accept Tk 5300 as the minimum wage at the entry level.

The changes are set to take place following the apparel makers’ acceptance of the Wage Board-proposed wage structure for workers in a meeting with the Prime Minister at the Ganobhaban Wednesday night.

“After the Prime Minister’s intervention, the owners have agreed to the Wage Board’s proposal which will come into effect from December 01 next,” Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju informed newsmen after a meeting with the labour leaders at his Secretariat office Thursday.

The ready-made garment (RMG) workers would accordingly get the enhanced pay in the first week of January 2014, he said adding they would also get an annual increment of 5.0 per cent in their basic pay.

However, a faction of the labour leaders at the meeting opposed the proposed changes in the basic pay and implementation timeframe, saying the garment workers might not accept it as they were expecting to get the new payment from December next.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage Tk 5,300 from Dec:

Workers file objections

The government on Thursday announced that the new minimum wage of Tk 5,300 fixed for an apparel worker would come into effect December 1 this year amid workers’ objection to the revised scale.  

‘The revised minimum wage for a readymade garment worker would be Tk5,300 with effect from December 1 with five per cent increment of the basic every year,’ labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju made the announcement at a meeting with RMG labour leaders at the secretariat.
But representatives of most of the labour organisations in the export-oriented apparel sector present in the meeting, raised objection to the new wage structure, saying the basic wage had been fixed at Tk3,000 by the government although the minimum wages board recommended Tk3,200.
(…)
Different organizations working to protect garment workers’ rights demanded a further revision of the minimum wage following the formal announcement of the new wage structure for workers in the RMG sector that earns over $21 billion annually.

Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, a combine of the eight garment labour rights bodies and Garment Sramik Oikya Forum, handed over a memorandum to the minimum wages board for a revision of the minimum wage.
Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, president of Bangladesh Textile Garments Sramik Federation, Rafiqul Islam Pathik, president of Samannita Garment Sramik Federation, Taslima Akhter, president of Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, Shabnam Hafiz, president of Bangladesh Garment Sramik Mukti Andolan and Mir Mofazzal Hossain, president of Biplabi Garments Sramik Sanghati, jointly and Mushrefa Mishu, president of Garment Sramik Oikya Forum separately filed their objections with the minimum wage board.

They demanded that the minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,000 per month for a worker.
Samjtantrik Sramik Front president Zahedul Haque Milu and general secretary Razequzzaman Ratan in a press statement also demanded that the minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,000.
The minimum wages board for the garment workers led by retired district judge AK Roy on November 4 recommended Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 54 Ashulia factories declared shut:

About 54 readymade garment factories at Ashulia off the city were declared shut minutes after resumption of  their operation Thursday following violent protest by workers over the proposed wage structure.

According to industrial police and labour leaders, the trouble started at about 8:15am when a number of garment workers from several units took to the street as they came to know that owners wanted to make the new wages effective from the month of December.

Angered at the development in respect to the wage implementation, the protestors refused to join work as they had been assured earlier by the wage board (WB) and apparel makers that the revised wages would be made effective from November 01.
(…)
The workers’ representatives in the RMG sector have expressed their serious concern over the changed deadline, fearing that it could push the workers towards massive protest.

Secretary of Bangladesh Garment Workers Employees Federation Quamrul Ahsan said the latest announcement on the implementation deadline frustrated the workers, the main engine of the US$ 21 billion export-oriented sector.

“It’s cheating and it will lead to further trouble in the apparel industrial belts,” he said, adding that most of the workers’ groups refused to sit in a meeting with the labour ministry on Thursday because of the issue.
read more.
FE bd

* 5% annual hike offers long term solution:

20131115 DAILYSTAR rmg-wage

The government yesterday announced a 77 percent hike in minimum wage for garment workers, a move which is set to end the labour strife unsettling the country’s chief export earning sector.

From December 1, the entry level wage for garment workers would be Tk 5,300, as per the recommendations of the wage board, up from the existing Tk 3,000 set in November 2010, Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju told reporters after a meeting at his ministry to lock down the new salary structure.
“Our expectation has been fulfilled. I now hope the workers will not engage in any further unrest,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the six-member wage board.
Under the new pay scale, the other six grades of garment workers, too, will enjoy a 77 percent increase in their basic wages from December onwards.

Moreover, there would be a 5 percent increment in basic pay every year as well for all workers, a provision which was absent in previous salary structures.
As for entry level workers, Tk 3,000 would be basic pay, Tk 1,280 house rent, Tk 320 medical allowance, Tk 200 transport allowance and Tk 500 food subsidy.

“Seeing the owners will now be paying them more, I also hope that the workers will be considerate and enhance their productivity,” Rony added.
However, some worker organisations are unhappy with the new salary structure and are still demanding a minimum wage of Tk 8,114 per month, as originally proposed by Rony to the wage board.
read more.
daily star bd

* Bangladesh Trade Union brought out a procession in city on Thursday demanding Tk 8000 as minimum wages:

20131115 NEWNATIONBy NN PHOTO

Bangladesh Trade Union brought out a procession in city on Thursday demanding Tk 8000 as minimum wages.
see photo.
NEWNATIONnew

* Progress on RMG wages:

The industry bodies need to learn to listen more to workers and incorporate regular cost of living increases into their pricing and wage structures

Leaders of the BGMEA and BKMEA have accepted the government wage board’s minimum wage of Tk5,300 for garment workers.

Although this falls short of the Tk8,114 sought by unions, it represents a significant advance on the employer’s initial offer of Tk3,600 and is more genuinely in line with increases in the cost of living since the last wage board.

Sirajul Islam Rony, president of Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees who represented workers at the wage board, has welcomed the new base for the wage scale.
This agreement is a useful step towards progress in tackling the challenges facing the RMG sector. Whilst it cannot meet all the aspirations and requirements of workers, the industry association’s acceptance of the new figure is to be applauded.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131114

20:03:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Workers Block Road, Protest for Higher Wages:

20131114 CD cam-photo-factory-protest
Workers from Alim Cambodia Co. Ltd. garment factory protest for higher wages in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district Wednesday. (Lauren Crothers/ The Cambodia Daily)

There were major traffic delays along Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard in Pur Senchey district Wednesday after about 200 garment workers from the Alim Cambodia Co. Ltd. garment factory formed a gated roadblock and protested for higher wages.

A line of halted container trucks stretched for hundreds of meters in either direction from the protest site from 8 a.m., when the roadblock was set up, until about 2:30 p.m., when it was disassembled because of rain.

“I joined the protest because I want the factory to increase my payment and give me 4,000 riel [about $1] for lunchtime,” said 37-year-old garment worker Chan Socheat.
“They need to increase our salary, since this current money cannot cover my expenses and I need to borrow some from friends or other people when I get sick.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Anger, grief after clash:

Only one of the 31 people arrested over Tuesday’s violent clash between garment workers and police was an employee of the SL Garment factory, police said yesterday.

Choun Narin, deputy municipal police chief, said police had sent two people to court over the riot in the capital’s Meanchey district, which began with more than 600 striking SL workers and ended with police opening fire, killing 49-year-old rice vendor Eng Sokhom.

“Among 31 people, there is only [one] SL worker and the others are opportunists who used the violence to attack police and destroy public property – that’s why we arrested them,” he said.
However, none of the 29 who walked free yesterday, a figure that included a number of monks, was charged with a crime, and many spoke of being arrested at random.
Speaking to Post reporters from inside a cell at Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters, Krong Soknet, 30, a motodop, alleged police beat him up before arresting him, even though he wasn’t part of the protest.
“I don’t know why the police targeted me and beat me like an animal.”
read more.
PPP new

* Dismissed SL workers key to resolution:

A meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training yesterday, held amid a three-month strike that led to a deadly riot on Tuesday, failed to reach an agreement between SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd and union officials.

The negotiation, attended by SL chief executive Wong Hon Ming, lasted about four hours, during which he refused to reinstate 19 employees who are members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and who have been sued by SL.
“Those 19 unionists are responsible for our company losing a lot of profit, so we can’t accept those people back,” he said through a Cambodian-Chinese translator.

C.CAWDU and SL management agreed on several points, including an agreement that SL would pay workers 50 per cent of the wages they would have earned during the strike, and that shareholder Meas Sotha – who hired armed military police to stand guard inside the factory – would no longer be associated with the factory.
David Welsh, country director of labour rights group Solidarity Center/ACILS, questioned the singling out of the 19 unionists, though held out hope for an agreement.
read more.
PPP new

* Hun Sen Set to Weigh In on SL Garment Factory Dispute:

Officials at the Ministry of Labor who mediated talks Wednesday between the management of SL Garment Factory and union leaders who have led a three-month-long strike at the factory said that they would send the results of the meeting to Prime Minister Hun Sen to review the dispute.

The meeting came one day after a bystander was shot dead during clashes between police and protesting SL workers.
“Tomorrow I will submit the report to the head of the government Prime Minister Hun Sen to [look at] this case,” said Sat Samuth, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Labor who led the meeting at the ministry.

Mr. Samuth said that while the two sides had agreed in principle to a number of conditions, they failed to agree on whether 19 sacked union leaders would be allowed to return to work at the factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.
“The factory owner, he has disagreed with [the demand] that 19 union activists can keep working at his factory, and he raised the reason that unions have brought damage to his factory,” said Mr. Samuth.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Police in strike shootings to be investigated:

20131114 PPP police-humiliate-and-arrest-demonstrator
Police arrest a man during a violent riot that left one dead and many injured in front of the Stung Meanchey pagoda in the capital on Tuesday. KARA FOX

Police officers who defied orders not to open fire on rioting garment workers on Tuesday – an act that resulted in the fatal shooting of 49-year-old rice vendor Eng Sokhom – could lose their jobs, a National Police spokesman said yesterday.

Kirt Chantarith told the Post that a committee had been set up in the aftermath of Sokhom’s death to investigate why police had used live ammunition on protesters, the second death of an unarmed civilian on the capital’s streets in less than two months.
“The [National Police] Commissioner General [Neth Savoeun] ordered them not to use guns,” Chantarith said, referring to the violent crackdown on workers from the SL Garment factory on Tuesday that left at least six others with bullet wounds. “He ordered them just to use water and tear gas.”
The police officers who violated those orders would “face disciplinary action, according to the investigation”, he added.
Such action could include dismissal, he said.
(…)
Buth Bunchhean, a Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) legal officer who was involved in the clash on Tuesday, said his union would launch its own investigation into the shooting.
“We’re going to investigate [why police fired guns] to crack down on the workers,” he said. “We cannot accept what has occurred. Police must investigate this woman’s death.” The police, he added, must press charges against officers who had fired their guns, in order to avoid further deaths.

Dave Welsh, country manager for labour-rights group Solidarity Center/ACILS, said it was critical that Sokhom’s death be investigated.
“Using live ammunition is totally unacceptable,” he said. “It is critical that [Sokhom’s death] be investigated and some liability be attached.”
read more.
PPP new

* Police Deny Responsibility for Shooting Civilians:

Police on Wednesday denied any responsibility for the shooting death of a street food vendor after they fired live rounds during clashes with garment factory workers in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Tuesday, with a government spokesman saying the security forces can use “any means” to protect themselves and the “State.”

Eng Sokhom, 49, was serving food to customers when she was shot in the chest and killed during the clash between SL Garment Factory workers, civilians and riot police in Stung Meanchey district.
The SL factory workers had attempted to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house, but were prevented from doing so by police. Tensions escalated and rocks were thrown at the police, who responded initially with water cannons and then tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds from automatic pistols.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Hun Sen’s Sister Linked to Private Security Firm at SL Factory:

The younger sister of Prime Minister Hun Sen is the owner of a private security firm that has been hired to protect the SL Garment Factory from its workers, who have been on strike for more than three months, officials at the firm said Wednesday.

Hun Seng Ny, the prime minister’s sister, is the owner of Garuda Securities, according to her assistant at the company, Sareth Thol, who added that the number of security guards employed at SL factory has been ramped up in recent months since strikes began in September.

“We just placed a small number [in the SL factory] at the start, but we increased the number because workers have been protesting for the past few months,” Mr. Thol said Wednesday, adding that there are now 75 Garuda security guards stationed at the factory on a daily basis, up from 10 when the security firm was first hired by the factory in December 2012.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Victims of Tuesday’s riot press charges on police officials:

Victims of factory protest turned violent riot at Stung Meanchey filed assault charges today against police officials involved in the crackdown.

One of the victims filed charges Thursday with Phnom Penh Municipal Court against Major General Rath Srieng, Phnom Penh Police Military commander, and General Chuon Sovann, Phnom Penh police commissioner for intentionally assaulting him during their crackdown of rioting factory workers.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Local residents condemn crackdown on SL workers:

Local residents living around yesterday’s riot area in Stung Meanchey, which ended in one death and many more injured, have condemned and criticized the authorities in their crackdown of protesting workers.

They said that the police had also beaten residents such as motorcycle taxi drivers and coconut vendors, and even those who were waiting to pick up their children in front of Stung Meanchey primary school.
“It would not be a problem if the authorities only just crack down on protesting workers, but it’s serious when they suppress and beat innocent residents,” a resident said, asking not to be named.
“Those who sat in front of their house and the people who were waiting for their kids in front of the school were also arrested and sent to the police station after being beaten,” he said.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Cambodia – escalating violence against workers results in shooting:

Over the last eight months, violence against workers has been escalating in Cambodia. Recently police shot and beat workers demonstrating to improve working conditions in the garment industry.

On 12 November workers marched to the Prime Minister’s Office in Phnom Penh to demand help to solve a conflict with SL Garment. The response was water shots by police and military troops, with violence escalating to the point where one woman was killde and least eight other people were heavily injured. Some of the demonstrating workers were charged with criminal offenses and brought to jail.

The conflict at SL Garment started when the management began using police and military troops as security guards on the factory premises. Workers felt threatened by the presence of armed police, and felt that operational changes were made to their disadvantage. IndustriALL affiliate C.CAWDU sought dialogue with the management, demanding withdrawal of armed militaries and policemen, dismissal of the manager who is harassing the workers, and that the operations are reverted back to the original shifts.

With no answer from management workers went on strike; a strike that has lasted three months. Major brands supplying from the factory have asked the management to come in good faith to the negotiation table, but to no avail. Instead, the presence of military troops has intensified, also intesifying the feelings of anxiety and frustration among the workers. And despite the loss of a life and several injured, the owner of SL Garment owner still refuses to have a constructive dialogue with the trade union.
read more.
Home

* ILO expresses concern over the escalation of violence around garment factory in Cambodia:

The ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR has been following with deep concern the escalation of violence between striking garment workers and armed forces that has claimed the life of a bystander and left several injured persons in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district.

We strongly condemn the use of violence by both authorities and protesters and urge all involved parties to respect the rule of law, exercise maximum restraint and express their views peacefully.
We also call on all parties to apply the principles of social dialogue and negotiate a resolution to this industrial conflict through peaceful and existing dispute resolution mechanisms.
The ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR also demands that competent national authorities take the measures necessary for the protection of trade union leaders and to ensure the full exercise of trade union rights in keeping with relevant ILO Conventions and principles as well as Cambodia’s obligations under ratified international labour standards.
to read. & read more.
BF NEW CAMHERALD

* BetterFactories Media updates: 14 November 2013, Hun Sen set to weigh in on SL garment factory dispute:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-11-14 Anger, grief after clash
2013-11-14 Dismissed SL workers key to resolution
2013-11-14 Police shooters to be probed
2013-11-14 H&M tries exclusivity agreement

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-14 Bangladesh garment factories close amid protests
2013-11-14 Garment workers block road, protest for higher wages
2013-11-14 Hun Sen set to weigh in on SL garment factory dispute
2013-11-14 Hun Sen’s sister linked to private security firm at SL factory
2013-11-14 Police deny responsibility for shooting civilians

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

* BetterFactories Media updates 2-13 November 2013, 2013-11-13 Woman killed as police open fire during garment worker clash:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-11-04 Fears SL strike could get ugly
2013-11-04 H&M CEO, PM tete-a-tete
2013-11-05 Alarm bells as workers panic, faint
2013-11-05 ‘Bandith has to be in jail’
2013-11-05 New hope for SL strike resolution
2013-11-06 ‘Ban’ for three more unionists
2013-11-06 SL strike ‘bad’ for industry’s rep, says union
2013-11-06 Union leader ‘threatened’
2013-11-06 Workers injured Dozens hurt in garment truck crash
2013-11-13 Strikers, police clash

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-05 Chhouk Bundith’s Triple Shooting Case Called a ‘Mockery’
2013-11-05 H&M Calls for Yearly Minimum Wage Review
2013-11-06 Bangladesh seeks garment worker pay rise
2013-11-13 At Embattled factory, an unmovable manager
2013-11-13 Woman killed as police open fire during garment worker clash

* To read in the printed edition of the Koh Santepheap Daily (Khmer):
2013-11-08 About 500 workers from Smart Tex Factory go on strike to Svay Rieng Provincial Hall

* To read in the printed edition of the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily (Khmer):
2013-11-05 Appeal court upholds and orders to arrest Bandith

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

21:03:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Two Regencies Propose Lowest Minimum Wage:

Banjarnegara and Purworejo are the regencies that propose the lowest amount of monthly minimum wage (UMK) in Central Java with an amount less than Rp 1 million (around US$85.92).

“Banjarnegara proposed an UMK of Rp 920,000 [around US$79.04] while Purworejo proposed an UMK of Rp 910,000 [around US$78.19],” said the Coordinator of the Struggling Laborers Movement (Gerbang) Prabowo, in Central Java.
Prabowo mentioned that the proposed minimum wage is far from the decent living standard.
“It should be re-evaluated because it is definitely a disadvantage for laborers,” said Prabowo.
read more.
tempo-eng

* The power of the working class:

The Indonesian working class is fighting to end the age of cheap labor.  A little over a year after the national strike on October 3, 2012, Indonesian workers launched another national strike. The demand: a fifty per cent increase of the minimum wage.

In Jakarta, workers demand that the minimum wage, which varies from region to region, is set at Rp 3.7 million ($334) monthly. Jakarta is known to have an exceptionally high cost of living for Indonesian standards. An inflation rate that is predicted to hit ten per cent end this year is also pressuring real wages. Apart from wage increase, the movement demands universal health care by January 1, 2014 and the elimination of outsourcing.
read more.
politik-rakyat

* Yogya minimum wage to increase by 10%:

Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwo X said that the minimum wage in the province (UMP) 2014 would be increased by around 10 percent compared to last year.

Speaking after a meeting with the mayor and regents at the gubernatorial office compound in Kepatihan on Wednesday, Sultan said that the new minimum wage of the province’s four regencies and municipality were based on the proposals filed by the remuneration board.

The board comprises representatives of the local administration, the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and the Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI).
read more.
jakartapost

19:03:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Tk 5,300 effective from Dec:

Labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju on Thursday announced that the increased minimum Tk 5,300 for an apparel worker will come into effect from December 1 this year.

The minister made the announcement at a meeting with RMG labour leaders at the secretariat.
Rajiuddin called upon all concerned to abide by the labour law and requested agitated workers to join work from tomorrow (Friday).
‘No one would be allowed to do any anarchy in the apparel industry. Neither the workers nor any garment owner responsible for disorder would be spared’, he warned against the ongoing agitation of RMG workers demanding Tk 8,000 as minimum wage.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age FE bd bdnews24

* RMG minimum wage effective from Dec 1:

The newly declared minimum wage for the readymade garments workers will be effective from December 1, says Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju.

The minister said the basic of the newly declared wage has been brought down to between Tk3,000-Tk3,200 after consultation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He made the declaration while talking to the workers’ leader at his office in the capital on Thursday afternoon.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd UNB

* BGMEA Owners Agree on 5300BDT Minimum Wage. Unrests continue …:

After a lot of rejections from BGMEA, yesterday on 13.11.13, the BGMEA agreed on 5300BDT (68USD/50Euro) to be the minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh who have been demanding the wage to be at least 8000BDT.

They also declared their honest intention to solve the concerns of the workers and requested them to be patient during this time. It was disclosed that this decision came after the intervention of the Prime Minister herself into the matter.

However criticisms still loom questioning the true intention of the factory owners. It has been raised by garment workers and activists that raising the minimum wage of the Grade 7 (Helpers) by 77% is not enough to ensure the raising of the wages of the other grades which includes Operators who make up to 75% of any factory. As per workers, worker leaders, researchers, and activists: “the raising of the minimum wage should also act proportionately to all the other grades of workers otherwise the change cannot reach the lives of most of the workers in this sector.”

Although the minimum wage is conceptually to be set at a level which covers the basic needs of the lowest earned workers on the job-ladder, i.e. entry-level workers (grade 7 workers), the practice in Bangladesh is that revision has been taken place for workers of all grades (grade 1 to 7 workers). In that case, it is a fixation of structure of wages of different grades instead of setting minimum wages.
According to the last revision of the minimum wages, grade 7 workers should receive a wage of 3000BDT per month of which 2000BDT as basic, 800BDT as house rent (40 per cent of the basic) and 200BDT as medical allowances. However, an ‘informal’ grade below grade 7 has been introduced during the time of last revision of minimum wages in 2010 with the job title ‘trainee’.
read more.

_________

* All RMG units at Ashulia closed for today (Wednesday) :

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Wednesday announced closure of all apparel factories in Ashulia industrial belt for today amidst workers’ protests demanding Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage.

The association in a release announce the closure on security grounds, while about 75 apparel factories in Savar and Gazipur was declared closed for Wednesday following clashes between workers and the law enforcers that left about 100 injured.
Earlier on Tuesday, the owners of 257 apparel factories at Savar declared closure of the factories for Wednesday amidst workers’ protests.
At Savar, the workers on Wednesday demonstrated in Padma Kan Intersection of Hemayetpur and Birulia of Savar Bazar.
Witnesses said that several thousand workers gathered in the Padma Kan Intersection at about 7:00am. They blocked the Hemayetpur-Shingair road.
The clash began when police tried to disperse them.
The clash continued till 10:15am leaving at least 30 injured.
The police fired tear shells to disperse the protesters.
read more.
BD new age

* Workers clash with police in Ashulia, 50 hurt:

About 50% of the units located in Hemayetpur has been closed for the day in wake of violence

At least 50 were injured when readymade garment workers locked horns with law enforcers in Hemayetpur of Savar on Wednesday morning.

This is the third day in succession that clashes took place in Savar over standard wage limits.
On Tuesday, authorities cited security reasons and announced holiday for the RMG units of Ashulia belt after days of clashes.

Witnesses said workers of Jamuna Group began demonstrations in the morning and was soon joined by other workers in the area.
At least fifty people were injured in the clashes that took place in spells, they said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BSSIttefaq

* RMG unrest: 70 RMG units shut in Gazipur, Savar:

Production at 70 ready-made garment (RMG) factories in Gazipur and Savar were suspended for Wednesday after workers clashed with cops demanding implementation of the new salary structure recommended by the government-appointed wage board.

In Gazipur, at least 50 RMG units in the city suspended their production as the workers of several garment factories staged demonstrations demanding a hike in their salary in the morning.
Witnesses said garment workers from Konabari, Kashimpur, Laxmipura and Chandana areas of the city took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning to press for immediate implementation of their new minimum wage of Tk 5,300.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 newstodayBD FE bd

November 13th, 2013 10:22:56 pm * Ashulia RMG units to remain shut Thursday, too:

the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday decided to keep their units closed for another day on Thursday for security reason.

Mustafizur Rahman, director of Ashulia Industrial Police, said the all garment units in the RMG belt will remain closed on Thursday as per the decision of the owners.
All factories in the zone remained closed on Wednesday for the same reason.
The decision to keep the garment factories came apparently in the wake of labour unrest in the RMG belt over a hike in the wages of the garment workers.
read more.
UNB

* Urgent meeting over RMG Thursday:

Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju will hold an emergency meeting with the leaders of readymade garment workers to resolve ongoing unrest in the sector.

The meeting will be held at his ministry office at 12:00 noon on Thursday.
(bdnews24 & FE: Leaders of 55 labour organisations are expected to attend)
read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd  bdnews24

* RMG workers-govt meeting at noon:

Labor and employment minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu is set to hold meeting with readymade garments workers’ leaders to remove ongoing unrest in garment sector on Thursday noon.

Information and Public relations officer of the ministry SM Arifuzzaman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
He said that the meeting will be held at ministry conference room at 12 noon where 50 workers’ organizations were invited to join.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Fight for better wages:

20131113 GLOBALTIMES
Photo: AFP
A Bangladeshi policeman fires a shotgun during clashes with garment workers in Ashulia on Tuesday.

Production in some 200 garment factories in Ashulia was suspended as workers fought police demanding implementation of the new minimum wages recommended by a government-appointed wage board.
to read.
GLOBALTIMES

* BGMEA director loses cool at meeting on minimum wage:

Commerce Secretary and Labour Secretary on Wednesday came under fire when a BGMEA director came down heavily on the government for what she says the government is only focusing on the RMG sector for wage hike.

Though the surprised secretaries – Mahbub Ahmed and Mikail Shipar – tried to correct her notion, BGMEA director Vidiya Amrit Khan kept on arguing with her point with support from her some fellow owners.

Amrit Khan, also Managing Director of Desh Garments Ltd, raised her finger at both the secretaries and wanted to know why the government should fix the wages for the RMG workers and argued that it should be fixed by the owners. “You (govt) are only focusing on us.”

Labour Secretary Shipar said, “You’re making mistakes from the very beginning. There’re separate wages for 42 sectors. For example, minimum wage for the tannery sector is Tk 6000 plus.”

The Commerce Secretary said the government is not fixing the wages. ‘It’s the wage board, and your representative is also there. So, you’re wrong.”
He said there is no reason to lose temper. “Sky is the limit for us. There’s nothing to be frustrated. We need to move ahead keeping both heart and head cool.”
read more.
UNB

* BGMEA and BKMEA accept government’s minimum wage proposal:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have accepted the minimum wage scale for garment workers fixed at Tk5,300 by the government on Wednesday night.

Abdus Salam Murshedi, former president of BGMEA, told the Dhaka Tribune that they have agreed with the government’s minimum wage proposal at the request of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a meeting with the BGMEA and BKMEA leaders at Ganabhaban.
(..)
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Sirajul Islam Roni, president of the Bangladesh National Garment Sramik Karmachari League and also representative of the workers at the wage, thanked the BGMEA, BKMEA leaders as well as the factory owners for accepting the new wage scale and urged the owners to implement the new wage scale from November.

However, Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garments Workers Unity Front, partially differed with Roni saying that they would request the factory owners to increase the basic salary of the workers.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  FE bd daily star bd BD new age  bdnews24

* Owners accept Tk 5,300 minimum wage for RMG workers:

Garment factory owners, after a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday night, accepted a monthly minimum wage of Tk 5,300 as recommended by the minimum wages board.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president, Reaz Bin Mahmood, emerging from the meeting with Hasina at her official residence Gana Bahaban, told New Age that the apex trade body that represents the export-oriented woven, knit and sweater garment manufacturers and exporters of the country had accepted the minimum monthly wage of Tk 5,300 for entry-level workers.
‘We have accepted the recommendation made by the minimum wages board to fix the garment workers’ minimum monthly wage at the entry-level at Tk 5300,’ said Reaz Bin Mahmood.
Labor ministry will make the detail public on Thursday (today), he said.
A delegation of leaders of the country’s two apparel sector apex bodies — the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association — held a 45-minute meeting with Hasina beginning at about 9:00pm.
The labour secretary, Mikail Shipar, told New Age that BGMEA and BKMEA leaders accepted the minimum wages board recommendation after intervention of the prime minister.
A meeting source, however, said the acceptance was tagged with conditions.
‘The leaders have said they will pay Tk 5,300 but will reduce the amount of basic and adjust the amount with others allowance,’ the source said.
read more.
BD new age

* BGMEA to seek ‘exit plan’ for small factories:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association is set to seek an ‘exit plan’ from the government soon for about one fourth of the country’s total apparel makers as the struggling factory owners expressed their inability to implement Tk 5,300 minimum wage.

The owners, mostly small and medium size factories, rather opted to shut down their business and sought liberal conditions to implement their closing option.
Around 500 owners of medium and small garment factories sought the exit plan, citing their inability of affording Tk 5,300 as minimum wage recommended for the workers. The garment owners submitted their plea to the BGMEA from November 5 to 12.
The factory owners demanded to include an exit policy in the final recommendation of the minimum wages board giving them four months time to decide on the implementation of minimum wage or winding up their factories.
The BGMEA leaders have decided to lobby with the government for the unique demand of ‘exit plan’ sought by the factory owners.
‘A total of 470 factory owners have so far submitted their applications to BGMEA seeking exit plans,  expressing their inability to afford the proposed minimum wage of Tk 5,300 due to their dull business and soaring costs,’
BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Tuesday.
He said that the frustrated apparel exporters also demanded freeing them from their bank liabilities and giving immunity from paying three months wages to the currently employed workers as stipulated in the Labour Act before shutting down their factories.
read more.
BD new age

* Garment factory owners demand fair price to ensure compliance:

The garments owners at a view exchange meeting on compliance issues on Wednesday demanded fair price and uniform code of conduct while maintaining compliance in the factories.

They also demanded a national standard of compliance instead of unilateral requirements by the western buyers.

The owners alleged that the auditors often give different requirements on various  matters while recommending for compliance certificate.
Protesting the minimum wage declared recently for the workers, they alleged that the government imposed a minimum wage for the workers in garments industries ignoring the prevailing conditions in the sector.
“We are ready to pay more wages to the workers if we make profit,” said a garments owner.
“But at this moment 500 factories are closed and there is no guarantee that a completely compliant factory would remain out of workers wrath,” he adds.
“We are completely confused which formula of compliance should be followed” said BGMEA president Atiqul Islam. Referring to a recent study by a German university, Atiqul islam said, buyers play a double standard as they want best quality with cheapest price as well as compliance at the factories.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* RMG factory owners agree to pay Tk 5,300 wage:

Owners of ready-made garment factories on Wednesday night agreed to pay Tk 5,300 in minimum wage for entry-level workers.

The announcement came after a meeting of representatives of the garment owners with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban, chief of the apparel trade body said.
“Yes, we’ve agreed to the new minimum monthly wage,” M Atiqul Islam, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told UNB over phone.
He said it will be decided in a day or two as to from which month the new salary structure will be implemented.
read more.& read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE

November 14th, 2013 12:15:45 am * Ashulia RMG units to remain open Thursday:

In the latest development, owners of garment factories at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital have decided to keep their RMG units open on Thursday.

The decision came after the garment owners agreed to pay Tk 5,300 in minimum wage for workers following a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, the owners decided to keep their units closed for another day on Thursday for security reason.
All factories in the zone remained closed on Wednesday for the same reason.
read more.
UNB

* Baipail-Abdullahpur highway blocked:

Workers of readymade garments again locked into fierce clash with police, demanding minimum salary Tk 8, 000 per month in Ashulia, on outskirt of Dhaka on Thursday morning.

At one stage of agitation, the workers put barricade on Baipail- Abdullahpur highway and vandalized some vehicles.
Sources said ten factory workers including Hamim Group, Knit Asia, Artistic Design Limited and Cathay Apparels Limited started protest procession at around 8:00am.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* A living wage in Bangladesh:

The government of Bangladesh is expected to soon announce an increase in the minimum wage for workers in the country’s clothing factories, which are big suppliers to Western retailers like Walmart and H&M.

Its decision could improve the lives of millions of families that struggle to eke out an existence on as little as the equivalent of about $38 a month, the current minimum wage.
A government-appointed board last week recommended to the labour ministry that the minimum wage be increased to about $68 a month.
Factory owners, who wield tremendous political power in Bangladesh, have argued that they cannot afford the proposed increase and are pushing for a smaller one.
But workers have said that they would not settle for less than $100 a month and have been protesting in the streets to press their case.
Here are some facts: The minimum wage was last increased in 2010. Since then, consumer prices have risen by 28 percent, according to government data.

A basic diet that meets the needs of a family of three alone costs about $67 a month, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Policy Dialogue, a respected research organisation based in Dhaka.
At the same time, the garment industry, second to China’s in exports, has grown at a stunning rate in recent years and can afford to pay workers more.
Bangladesh exported $19 billion in clothes last year, up more than 50 percent from two years earlier.
read more.
daily star bd

* H&M grabs more control of Asia factories amid Bangladesh unrest:

Three decades after it started doing business with suppliers in Bangladesh, Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) is seeking greater control of production in a nation where it is among the largest purchasers of clothing.

H&M this year agreed to become the sole client of two factories in Bangladesh and one in Cambodia, helping convince building owners to offer satisfactory conditions and wages, Anna Gedda, H&M’s social sustainability manager, said.
We see these a little like test centers where we can try out different things that we can then push out on a larger scale in the entire supply chain,” Gedda said in an interview.

H&M, which normally shares factory space with other labels, is seeking tighter control over production in countries like Bangladesh, where thousands of workers held protests yesterday to demand higher wages.
read more. & read more.
Ittefaq BD new age

* Let RMG work as engine of economic growth:

The readymade garment (RMG) workers have long been on the streets chanting slogans and attacking factories for a reasonable minimum wage.

Undoubtedly they need a wage that meets their minimum living costs and thus promotes their productivity. The owners have expressed their unwillingness to respond to the workers’ needs. In this tug of war, apparel factories are now almost on the verge of shutdown.

In the meantime, frequent hartals have begun to impose heavy tolls on readymade garment industry:  pickets torch the lorries carrying RMG goods, the buyers postponing their trips to Dhaka and switching over to other destinations.  The RMG sector in Bangladesh is seemingly on its way to a serious crisis it has ever witnessed.
It is high time that the government and the opposition, owners and workers take a fresh look at the conundrums pertaining to this industrial lifeline of the economy. The rationale is as follows:
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131113

04:53:19 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Cheap labor attracts garments:

The Philippines is slowly but steadily becoming a hub for the garments industry. However, it is threatened by Vietnam where labor is cheaper but that country does not have enough workers.
Jing Cruzat, who owns a thriving garments business with factories outside of Metro Manila, has told Business Insight big garments operators from Taiwan, China and Singapore are transferring operations to the Philippines.
He explained that after threatening the world with its low-end, ready-to-wear garments, China has slowly turned to high fashion presumably to compensate for rising labor costs.
Other garments operators, mostly catering to the domestic market in China, are moving to the Philippines to take advantage of low labor costs together with Taiwan and Singapore and Vietnam.
Labor costs in these countries are becoming too prohibitive to make garments a thriving business.

They turn to the Philippines, which happens to be a neighbor.  Workers for the garments industry are running short in Vietnam, and garments operators “import” Filipino hands.
read more.
MaLAYAbusiness INSIGHT

03:53:19 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Ecco, minimum wage don’t fit:

Ecco, the Danish shoe manufacturer, has closed its operation in Phichit province to consolidate its business in Thailand and cut operating costs due to the minimum wage hike.

The closure affects 1,138 employees, 1,000 of which are working on a daily basis with the rest on a monthly wage.

Ecco announced it will rehire these staff if they want to work at the company’s main production plant in Ayutthaya.
Phichit governor Surachai Kan-asa said he ordered social welfare officials to examine the reason behind the shutdown and how to assist employees. He acknowledged the daily minimum wage rise to 300 baht nationwide was the main cause of the six-year-old plant closing.
read more.
bangkokpostBusiness

03:53:19 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Violent clash of strikers, police kills one:

20131112 PPP police shoot at protesters stung meanchay_PHA LINA
Police, led by an officer with a drawn pistol, march toward rioting garment workers near the Stung Meanchey pagoda this morning. At least one person was confirmed killed by live ammunition during the violence. PHA LINA

At least one woman died when police opened fire with live ammunition amid intense rioting in the capital’s Stung Meanchey district this morning, during what began as a march of striking garment workers attempting to reach the prime minister’s house.

Hundreds of employees at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. making their way from the Meanchey district factory were met by riot police and fire trucks near the Stung Meanchey bridge – the site of a similar conflagration on election day in July.
The march was planned to commemorate the three-month anniversary of about 5,000 workers striking at SL.

At about 9:30am, a man – who the Post has not confirmed is a representative for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) – gave an order over a bull horn, at which point he and more than 100 protesters rushed the police.
A growing number of protesters hurled rocks and bricks at the police as they fired water cannons into the crowd in response.
read more.
PPP new

* Bystander killed in worker protest:

A garment worker march to the Prime Minister’s home descended into violence today resulting in the death of an innocent bystander and the injury of at least nine others, including more people who had been shot.
see video report.
PPP new

* Strikers, police clash:

A woman was killed and at least six others shot yesterday morning when police fired live ammunition into a crowd of hundreds of rioting garment workers in the capital’s Stung Meanchey district.

UN reports said police also arrested 37 people, including seven monks, as a result of the clash, which claimed the life of Eng Sokhom, 49, a rice vendor who was inadvertently caught up in the violence.

The bloodshed occurred after 600 striking employees at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd., representatives from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) attempted to march from SL’s Meanchey district location to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house, where they planned to hold a demonstration.
(….)
After yesterday’s bloody riot, Kong Athit, vice-president of C.CAWDU – the union that represents a large majority of SL workers – said that, although demonstrators sparked the turbulence, police hold 100 per cent of the blame for the violence.

“They sent four or five fire trucks, so their intent was clear: They wanted to crack down on the strike,” Athit said.
Further, he said, C.CAWDU’s attempts to resolve the SL strike have been stymied by the government.

“We’ve been listening to the government for the past three months,” said Athit, who said the C.CAWDU found out on Monday that the Phnom Penh municipality denied a permit it filed to hold the march. “[The government] just pushed us to the wall.”
read more.
PPP new

* Woman Killed as Police Open Fire During Garment Worker Clash:

One woman was killed, at least nine others injured and 37 arrested, including seven Buddhist monks, who were later released, after violence erupted Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district between protesting garment factory workers, civilians and security forces, who fired live ammunition.

Two police vehicles and at least two police motorcycles were torched after several hundred workers from the SL Garment factory, who were attempting to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence, had their route blocked by police.
During the clashes, six police officers were trapped in a room inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda for more than one hour, but escaped unharmed.

Street vendor Eng Sokhom, 49, who was not taking part in the protest, was shot and killed during the clashes as she served food to customers, human rights workers said. The slain woman’s son, Vong Panha, 21, told reporters at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital that his mother, who worked near the Stung Meanchey pagoda, had been serving food to a customer when  she was shot in the chest.

Two Cambodia Daily journalists witnessed at least five police officers firing pistols in the direction of the protesters. One of the officers, who had been trapped in the pagoda, was seen drawing his handgun and shooting a young man in the torso at close range following his release. The shot man had not challenged the police officer in any way.

The clashes erupted at about 8:45 a.m. after about 2,000 workers from the SL Garment factory—the majority of whom were men—tried marching to Mr. Hun Sen’s house, only to be met by a phalanx of military police who urged them to retreat.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* At Embattled Factory, an Unmovable Manager:

In an industry rife with labor strikes, the workers at the SL Garment Factory in recent months have been strident, and sometimes violent, in their efforts to have their demands for better working conditions met by factory bosses.

Tuesday’s clash with police near Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey bridge, where one woman was shot dead and several others injured by authorities, was the third time since September that protests by SL workers have turned violent.
Many of the demands by the SL workers are typical: higher wages and a lunch stipend, but others are not.

Among the workers’ central demands is the resignation of Meas Sotha, an administrator and shareholder in the SL factory, who workers say is responsible for bringing armed security guards into the plant in recent months to intimidate workers inclined to unionize.

“Everything changed since he started working here,” said Oum Visal, a factory representative of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which has organized what is now a three-month-long strike by its members in the SL factory.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Woman shot dead in Cambodia protest clash: activists:

A woman was shot dead and several people injured in clashes between protesting garment workers and riot police in the Cambodian capital Tuesday, a rights group and family members said.

The clashes erupted as hundreds of employees from a factory supplying global brands marched towards Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in the heart of Phnom Penh to demand better working conditions.
“This is a cruel crackdown by the authorities,” said Am Sam Ath from local rights group Licadho, at a city hospital where the injured were taken.
The activist told AFP that five others suffered gunshot wounds during the unrest.
(…)
Unions said violence broke out when riot police stopped more than a thousand workers from the Singapore-owned SL Garment Processing factory — which supplies global brands like Gap and H&M — who have been demonstrating periodically for weeks.

“We went to the prime minister to seek his intervention to improve the working conditions at the factory. But authorities used weapons to crack down on them,” said Kong Athit, deputy leader of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union which organised the march.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* One Dead, Several Wounded by the Riot Police…:

Yet another march by the SL Garment factory workers who are on a strike since the month of August for a rise in wages.

It turned very ugly this morning. Some members of the riot police forces who stopped the demonstrators at the Stung Meanchey bridge opened fire with their handgun when trying to push back the protesters, resulting in several injured and the death of 49 year old Seng Sokhon, a woman selling food from a street stall.
She had nothing to do with the demonstration. She was eking a living out of her small streetside restaurant…
Several alleged protesters were arrested inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda and brutally beaten by forces of the Gendarmerie.
read & see more.
JohnVink

* One killed, 6 injured in Cambodian police, garment protesters clash:

Cambodian anti-riot police and garment protesters clashed here on Tuesday morning, leaving one person dead, 6 injured, and a dozen of protesters were arrested.

The incident occurred in the capital’s Meanchey district when hundreds of protesting workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd had tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house for help with demand for payrise and better working conditions, but the police did not allow them to march by blocking the road.

“In the clash, strikers threw stones at police and set a police car and two motorcycles on fire,” Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, told Xinhua. “The police have retaliated by using water cannons and smoke bombs to disperse protestors.”
He said at least a policeman was injured on his head by protestors’ stones.
“After about a three-hour clash, we had arrested more than 10 protesters for inquiry,” he said.
Eyewitnesses said police had fired real bullets on protesters, accidentally killed a female food seller on the sidewalk, and injured at least five protesters.
(…)
However, Kheng Tito denied that the police had shot real bullets to crack down on protesters. “Our forces have never fired live bullets on protesters, it is against the law.”

Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, who led the protest, said the violence broke out as the police prevented about 2,000 strikers from marching to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house.
read more.
CHINAORG

* Garment Workers, Police Clash In Cambodia; 1 Killed:

Clashes in the Cambodian capital on Tuesday between protesting garment workers and riot police have left a bystander dead and injured at least 20 people.

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. Factory were marching toward Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence. Workers from the factory have been protesting for months, demanding better pay and working conditions. The factory makes clothes for H&M, Gap and other Western brands.

Riot police were sent to block Tuesday’s march. The clashes began when protesters surrounded five police officers sent to negotiate with them. :

It was unclear which side started the attacks, which included police firing live bullets and tear gas to rescue their colleagues, and protesters throwing rocks and wielding iron bars and wooden sticks, Chan Soveth [senior investigator for the rights group Adhoc] said.

A woman selling rice near the scene was killed by a police bullet. Six protesters were wounded, along with nine members of the public. Five Buddhist monks were also injured when police fired tear gas into a pagoda where protesters had sought refuge.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.
npr bbc theNATIONnew BD new age BERNAMA globalpost
asiancorres  DW NEWS24

* Cambodia garment workers protest turns deadly:

At least one person killed as police clash with demonstrators demanding better working conditions, rights groups say.

At least one person has been killed and 20 others injured after police in Cambodia clashed with protesting garment workers, according to rights groups.

Tuesday’s protest took place outside the capital, Phnom Penh, where a bystander selling rice was struck by a bullet, the activists said.
Chan Soveth and Am Sam Ath of the rights group Licadho both confirmed a woman had been hit by a bullet.

Six protesters were injured, Chan Soveth said, adding that five Buddhist monks were hurt when police fired tear gas into a Buddhist pagoda where protesters had sought refuge.
Nine other people were hurt, including youths who jumped into the clashes and bystanders.

“The crackdown conducted by police this morning against workers was very cruel and unacceptable,” said Kong Athith, a spokesman for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, which organised the protest.

“Workers were unarmed. Why did police use live ammunition to crack down on them?”
read more.
aljazeera

* CCHR deplores the use of live ammunition by security forces as today’s SL Garment Factory protests turned violent:

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (“CCHR”) strongly condemns the violent turn of events during today’s – 12 November 2013 – protest by hundreds of garment workers from the SL Garment Factory, which produces garments for the Gap and H&M. Strikes and protests at the SL Garment Factory have been ongoing since early August, with workers asking for a wage increase, the
reinstatement of meal breaks and the removal of military police hired by the factory as security guards, demands which have remained unanswered by the factory’s management.

The protestors today were attempting to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house near the Independence Monument in central Phnom Penh, but were stopped by security forces in the capital’s Meanchey district, where the factory is located.
Clashes between the protestors and the security forces erupted mid-morning Tuesday, during which, according to sources contacted by CCHR, at least one police car and two police motorbikes were set on fire by the protestors and at least three police officers were threatened by protestors and detained inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda, after which riot police intervened more forcefully.

During the clashes, one woman, Heng Sokhon – a 49-year-old rice vendor and a bystander not taking part in the demonstration – was shot by the security forces. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Several other civilians were also injured during the clashes. Riot police is reported to have fired live ammunition, in addition to 38mm rubber bullet rounds and tear gas.
The protestors were dispersed by the security forces around mid-day, with around 20 protestors – including at least seven monks – reportedly being arrested.
Read more & you can download here.the Press Release.
CCHR

One Dead, Seven Injured Amid Violent Clashes in SL Garment Workers Strike:

Earlier this morning, a violent clash between striking garment workers and armed forces, followed by two additional clashes between the growing number of armed forces and a crowd of citizens, resulted in the death of one bystander and at least seven injured in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

The morning began with about six hundred SL garment workers who attempted to march from their factory to the Prime Minister’s home to press for responses from the government. The workers have been on strike for three months over unresolved demands for improvements in working conditions as well as the removal of a newly appointed manager.
The march did not get far as the workers were blocked by over a hundred armed anti-riot policemen and barricades at the Stung Meanchey bridge. Tensions ran high as demonstrators tried to push through the barricade and collided with police. Police fired water cannons onto the crowd, igniting the first wave of violence in which one police truck and two motos were overturned and set on fire.

Workers and onlookers stricken with fear sought safety within the Stung Meanchey pagoda. Five police officers followed them into the pagoda grounds and proceeded to violently beat several people. Angered by the violence inside the pagoda walls, the crowd began throwing rocks at the police officers, who ran into a room and locked themselves in.
read more.
licadho

 

04:53:19 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers demand minimum wage revision:

The Jakarta Labor Forum has demanded a revision to the 2014 minimum wage, which was set on Nov. 1 by the Jakarta administration at Rp 2.44 million (US$211) per month.

In a desperate move, representatives from the forum arrived at the Jakarta Legislative Council on Monday to meet with legislators from the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), whom they asked to lobby Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to revise his decision and raise the minimum wage to Rp 3 million.

“The decision needs to be amended. We have come here because we don’t know where else to turn to with our problem,” said Dedi Hartono, a member of both the forum and the Indonesia Labor Union Association (Aspek).

Jokowi’s predecessors, Fauzi Bowo and Sutiyoso, both revised the minimum wage during their tenures.
read more.
jakartapost

* More labor protests may hit industrial sector next year:

20131113 JAKARTAPOST
Labor intensive: Employees work at a garment factory in Bintan Island, Riau Islands. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Labor intensive industries are predicting a gloomier business outlook next year, with an increase in minimum wages and growing labor rallies hurting business.

The Indonesian Textile Association (API) predicts an escalation in labor protests in 2014 as political parties use the labor issue to attract support from voters in the general and presidential elections.

API chairman Ade Sudrajat feared certain parties may force workers to join political rallies during the elections, further hurting businesses that had already been severely affected by the rise in the minimum wage.
read more.
jakartapost

02:53:19 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut over wage fight:

Production in 50 readymade garment (RMG) factories in the city was suspended for Wednesday after workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new salary structure recommended by the government-appointed wage board.

Witnesses said garment workers from Konabari, Kashimpur, Laxmipura and Chandana areas of the city took to the streets and staged demonstration in the morning to press for immediate implementation of their new minimum wage of Tk5,300.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB INDEPENDENT

* 70 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash in Gazipur, Savar:

At least 70 people including ten policemen were injured as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur, Savar and Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, today.

The authorities suspended production at five RMG units in Savar for today fearing vandalism, reports our correspondent.
On the other hand, the garment factory owners have kept shutters of all RMG units in the Ashulia industrial belt down for today over security concerns following the continuous labour unrest in the last few days.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers’ demo -Dhk-Tangail highway blocked:

At least 50 readymade garment workers were injured in a clash with police on Dhaka-Tangail highway on Wednesday morning.

Witnesses said hundreds of agitating workers staged a protest procession at around 9:00am and put barricade on Dhaka-Tangail highway demanding the implementation new salary scale declared by wage commission and protesting the factory shut.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers-cop clash in Savar:

Thousands of workers readymade garment (RMG) factories locked into clash with police near Padma Can intersection in Hemayetpur area of Savar on Wednesday morning demanding implementation of new salary structure.

Witnesses said agitating garment workers from Babilon casual wear Ltd, Aboni Fashion and Standard group vandalized equipments and machineries in the factories at around 8:30am.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

____

* All RMG units at Ashulia to remain shut today:

All garment factories at Ashulia industrial belt will remain closed today (Wednesday) for security reasons following continuous labour unrest there.

The decision was taken Tuesday at an emergency meeting of the garment manufacturers of Ashulia zone that accommodates about 269 garment units. The meeting was held at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) headquarters.

Abdus Salam Murshedy, convener of the Ashulia Zone owners committee, informed the FE about their decision saying they will sit again this evening to review the overall situation including the labour unrest and decide their next course of action.

Most of the factories in Ashulia apparel industrial hub were shut Tuesday in the face of apparel workers’ unrest over the latest wage proposal.

The trouble stretched into the third consecutive day when thousands of labourers demonstrated in the streets in the morning and engaged in sporadic clashes with the law enforcers, demanding immediate implementation of the latest wage structure proposed by the wage board (WB) last week.

Over 50 people, including eight policemen, were injured during the skirmishes that rocked Jamgorah, Zirani, Kabirpur, Baipail, Palashbari, Narasinghapur, Ghosbagh, Pukurpar, Kathgorah and Nishchintapur areas of the hub.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG owners express inability to pay Tk 5,300:

Several hundred readymade garment (RMG) makers expressed their inability to implement Tk 5300 as the minimum wage as recommended by the government-formed Wage Board (WB) for workers and pressed the leaders for initiating negotiation with the government for reviewing the same.

They also sought policy support from the government to leave the business with finalisation of the new wage structure for garment workers.
“We have received about 470 factory owners’ letters expressing their inability to implement the proposed wage structure and they have also sought policy support to leave business,” Md Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE Tuesday.

Earlier, the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) asked their member factories to inform the associations in writing of their inability, if any, to run business if the new wage structure is implemented.
The associations took the move following a good number of owners’ disagreement to implement the recommended wage structure at an emergency meeting held on November 05.
read more.
FE bd

* Why is the price of our RMG exports declining since 2005? :

The wage commission has set the minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) workers at Tk. 5,300 for a new entrant notwithstanding the dissenting position of the representatives of the manufacturers.

The manufacturers are solely responsible to pay whatever minimum wage is finally set and hence have to bear the burden singlehandedly. According to them, the proposed minimum wage is too much for them and simply beyond their ability to bear.

One of the main reasons for the inability to bear the burden of the proposed minimum wage, as mentioned by the manufacturers, is the declining price of their exports in the global market.
Other reasons include lack of undisrupted source of power, high bank interest rate, poor trade logistics, and loss of working hours due to conflicting politics of the country. This is true that Bangladeshi RMG manufacturers are condemned with one of the most challenging business environment among their global competitors.

While the factors like high interest rate, power shortage, poor trade logistics, and political factors are beyond the control of the manufacturers, who is to be blamed for declining price of RMG exports?
The answer, unfortunately, is: the collective failure of the manufacturers.
They are to be held responsible why the price of the RMG exports of Bangladesh has been declining since 2005.

Until 2004, access to main global markets for RMG like the USA and EU was regulated through use of quotas allocated to different developing countries under multi-fibre arrangement (MFA). Under that environment international buyers had to come to Bangladesh after exhausting the quotas allocated to other countries.
That enabled Bangladesh to ensure a better bargain. In most cases, buyers did not have any alternative to accepting the price demanded by Bangladeshi exporters. But those heydays disappeared with the phasing out of MFA quota since 2005.
read more.
FE bd

* 200 RMG units shut as police, workers clash:

Workers of readymade garment factories locked in  clashes with police in Savar, Gazipur demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000, leaving at least 60 workers injured on Tuesday.

Production at around 200 garment factories was suspended following the clashes, sources in the industry said.
In a later development, owners of some 257 factories in Savar zone announced closure of their premises for today in view of staggering workers’ unrest. The decision was taken following a meeting with BGMEA last night.
Several hundred workers of different apparel factories at Fatulla and Sonargoan area in Narayanganj also observed work abstention demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 and withdrawal of termination of the sacked workers.
The agitating workers blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, but police foiled their action by charging batons and firing tear gas canisters.
read more.
BD new age

* 10 factories shut in Gazipur:

The authorities concerned declared some 10 factories closed in the district as Readymade Garments (RMG) workers staged protest at Kashimpur and Sripur upazila by blocking Dhaka-Mymensingh highway on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said workers started protesting around 9:00am at Kashimpur and Sripur upazila separately demanding implementation of salary structure declared by wage commission board.
Police opened fire teargas shells to disperse the workers and rubber bullets. Later, they brought the situation under control.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* British MPs want garment certification scheme to raise garments factories’ standards:

MPs are calling for a study into the possibility of an ethical “Kitemark” for garments to help raise standards at overseas factories in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.

In a report launched on Monday, the all-party parliamentary group for Bangladesh said there was a high chance of another tragic event like Rana Plaza, where more than 1,100 people died, or the Tazreen fire, which killed more than 100.
MPs also called for regulation of ethical audits, which monitor safety and conditions in factories for brands and retailers, and said there should be a legal requirement that any problems they discover should be revealed to workers’ representatives.
The MPs’ recommendations came as thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers took to the streets of Dhaka to demand higher wages, forcing the closure of about 100 factories.
read more.
Ittefaq

LW + 2

20131112

04:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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.
read more. & read more. & read more. & to read. & to read. & read more.
& read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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

——

* 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.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.  & read more.
read more. & read more. & read more.& read more.read more..
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

______

* 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.
read more. & to read. & to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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.
read more. & read more.
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.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
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

LW + 2

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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

—-

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.”
read more. & read more.
UNB daily star bd

—-

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.
read more.& read more.& read more.
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

LW + 2

20131108

03:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131107

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131106

03:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131105-06

03:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131102-04

03:53:19 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

 04:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

03:23:19 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

02:53:19 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

02:23:19 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

LW + 2

20131101

03:53:19 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

03:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131031

04:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

02:23:19 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

LW + 2

20131030

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

02:23:19 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

LW + 2

20131029

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131026-28

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:23:19 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

LW + 2

20131025

04:53:19 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

 04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131024

 04:53:19 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

03:23:19 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

LW + 2

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

03:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

LW + 2

20131019-21

04:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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

04:53:19 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

03:53:19 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

 02:23:19 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

 02:23:19 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

02:53:19 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

03:53:19 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

 04:53:19 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

02:53:19 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.