Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 1: 20130921-20131015

 

LW + 2

20131015

02:59:22 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

03:59:22 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

 04:59:22 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

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Woes of Kushtia textile mills workers rise:

At least five hundred labours of Kushtia Textile Mills have been leading sub-human life in the district for the last four years. Some of the labours committed suicide due to abject poverty.

The poor labours of the Mills have been passing their days in great hardship. A total of Tk twelve crore had been out standing in the Mills for the last four years. According to sources, the Mills was constructed in 1967 at Shawtipur village under Sadar upazila in a private initiative. The area of the Mill is 142 bighas of land. The establishment incurred a huge profit as the quality of the yarn was very high. The labours were happy in the Mills.
Under the policy of the then government the Mills was nationalized for the interest of the country in 1973. The financial condition of the Mills started losing right after nationalization of the Mills due to mismanagement, nepotism, indiscipline and corruption.
In the interest of labours the government had changed the policy of the Mills.
The government returned half of the share of the total share to its owner Afiluddin. Afterwards, the management failed to restore better performance of the Mills. The management tried their best to take it into a profitable position with their sincere effort but the management was not able to run the Mills properly for fund crisis.
As a result the regular basis salaries of the labours had been irregular in the Mills.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* PM: Wage hike to benefit RMG industry:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the readymade garment manufacturers to increase wages of the workers to benefit the whole industry.

“If owners buy one less suit or tie, nothing will happen to them. But when they give the money to the workers instead, the whole industry will benefit.”
She said the garment owners and workers have to have a good mutual relation to protect the industry from conspirators.
Prime Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day 24th Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo) 2013 at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Thursday.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) has organised the exposition.
“Hopefully, the minimum wage board will give us their recommendations soon,” said Prime Minister.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers to resume movement after Eid:

20131011 DHAKATRIBUNE RMGGarment workers gather in a meeting at Chandana Chawrasta of Gazipur on Friday afternoon

Garment workers in Gazipur announced Friday they will resume their campaign for an Tk8,000 minimum wage after the Eid holiday.

Sramik Karmachari Federation President Jahirul Islam made the pledge in a meeting held at Chandana Chawrasta to protest the recent deaths in the fire at Aswad Composite in Shreepur and Thursday’s attack on several workers’ leaders including Moshrefa Mishu.
Leaders of different workers’ organisations attended the meeting, which was presided over by Sramik Karmachari Federation President Jahirul Islam.
Jahirul Islam called upon the garments workers to make preparations for the movement.
A rally paraded the main streets of the city after the meeting.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Tazreen’s owner confined:

Angry readymade garment workers confined Managing Director of Tuba Group, Delwar Hossain, in his office demanding wage and bonuses ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha.

He had been seized since 9:00am on Saturday at Badda’s Hossain market by thousand workers.
Officer-in-Charge of Badda Thana Iqbal Hossain confirmed the matter to banglanews.
Workers said they confined Delwar as he was plotting to shut two factories in city’s Badda area in a bid to ignore due wages and bonus of over 1500 workers.
A deadly inferno in Tazreen Fashion Limited had killed over 100 workers last November and Delwar is accused for the incident.
Gulshan Zone’s Assistant Police Commissioner Nur Alam told banglanews that additional police forces were deployed to avert any untoward situation.
to read. & read more. & read more.& read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 bdnews24 BD new age NewNation

20131112 * Tazreen owner ‘confined, freed’ after paying bonus:

They kept Delwar Hossain, managing director and owner of the group, confined inside factory since morning

Several hundred workers of five factories of Tuba Group, of which “Tazreen Fashions” is a sister concern, kept its managing director confined inside a factory in the capital’s Badda on Saturday demanding due wages and Eid bonus.

Delwar Hossain, managing director and owner of the group, was confined since morning and was released around 11:30pm when the authorities started paying the workers’ Eid bonus.
Witnesses said the workers launched angry demonstrations after they had joined work in the morning. Apart from demanding dues and bonus, the workers also protested a decision of selling some machines of the factories.
Police said the workers were not given their wages for the last three months.

“None of the workers joined the workplace as they continued the agitation throughout the day on the factory premises,” said Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Badda police station.
Asked, he said as the workers staged demonstrations restricting all the entrances, the managing director of Tuba Group could not leave the factory premises.

Earlier in the day, Delwar had said he would not be able to pay the wages and bonus before Eid. But around 10pm, he agreed to pay the bonus.
At least 112 people, mostly women workers, were killed in the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia on November 24 last year.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20131014 * Tazreen owner freed after 17hrs:

Garment workers of Tuba Group finally drew out their Eid bonus yesterday after holding the owner, Delwar Hossain, hostage for over 17 hours.

They released Delwar around 2:30am from his office at North Badda’s Hossain Market in the presence of policemen, said Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station.
Delwar, also owner of Tazreen Fashions Ltd at Ashulia, where 112 workers died in a deadly fire last November, has three garment units in Hossain Market.
He had been held by workers on the third floor and let go after the management of the factories paid off bonuses to their workers.
Law enforcers were present there at that time to prevent any untoward situation.
The authorities closed the garment units around 3:00pm on Friday, a little earlier than usual, saying there was less work for the day, said a worker of Tuba Textile, one of the three factories, wishing anonymity.
“The next morning when we came to work we saw there was no machine on the third and fourth floors.  We heard that the owner had sold the machines,” he said.
read more.
daily star bd

20131013 * Liberty Fashion Workers In Protest! :

Hundreds of workers have gathered around Liberty Fashions Wears in Savar protesting against the management for their unpaid wages.

These wages date back to the month of July 2013 (according to workers requesting anonymity) and were supposed to be paid by the 10th of August 2013; it has not been paid till date – with the festival holidays on their doorsteps, workers demand immediate payment or threaten to increase the magnitude of the protests happening right now in Savar, around Liberty Fashion Wears.

It also must be noted that the wage of the factory staff is due for 3 months beginning from July 2013, while the wage of the workers is due for two months beginning from August 2013.
Their festival bonuses are due as well. With the Bangladeshi Garment Workers being the lowest paid in the world, this denial of payment is tantamount to torture by starvation for workers of a factory which claims to be making for top European brands which constitute 75% of its production, apart from TESCO which pulled out on the 15 June 2013 claiming structural damage of the factory building, but also offering to support the factory and encouraging them to pay the workers their dues.
read more.

20131013 * More RMG unrest in Gazipur over wage:

Workers of two readymade garments factories observed a strike and protest, demanding payment of their wages and bonus, at separate places in Gazipur city on Sunday.

To avoid further deterioration of the situation, the authorities of the factory closed down the factory for the day.
S M Shamsur Rahman, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial police said, at about 8:30am, the workers of Parksin garments factory at Barabari area started striking and protesting inside the factory, demanding EID bonus and threatening abstention from work.
Later, the authorities assured them of payment of bonus by Monday and announced holiday for the day.
Around the same time, the workers of Tex tech Sweater factory at Saydana Malekar Bari started protest demanding 10 days of salary for the current month.
At one state, the agitated workers ransacked glasses and furniture of the factory.
On information, police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control, promising the workers to look into the matter.
A discussion was going on till the filling this report at 2:00pm.
to read. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

20131013 * RMG workers block highway for arrear, bonus:

20131013 UNB RMG-Workers-1
Photo by UNB

Traffic movement on Dhaka-Chittagong highway remained suspended for 40 minutes Sunday morning as workers of a garment factory put barricades in Siddhirganj of Narayanganj demanding arrears and Eid bonus.

Following the blockade, a three-kilometre jam was created on the both sides of the highway, causing immense sufferings to the homebound people ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, reports our correspondent from the spot.
Around 600 workers of Lithe Garment Factory took to the street around 10:30am and blocked the highway at Sanarpar point, demanding Eid bonus and salary that remains pending for two months.
The workers removed the barricades around 11:10am when police rushed to the spot and assured them of settling the issue after a negotiation with the garment authorities.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BDCHRONICLE bdnews24 newstodayBD
INDEPENDENT

* RMG workers abstain from work for salaries, Eid bonuses in Gazipur:

Garment workers of two factories at Barabari and Saydana Maleker Bari in Gazipur city abstained from work yesterday demanding their 10-day salaries of the current month and Eid bonuses.

To avoid any untoward situation, the authorities closed the factories for the day.
SM Samsur Rahman, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police, said around 8:30am, the workers of Parksin Garments Ltd at Barabari started the strike.
Later, the authorities assured them of paying their arrears within today.
Demanding their salaries, the workers of the other factory, Tex Tech Sweater Ltd, ransacked the factory.
On information, police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control.
Following a meeting among the Tex Tech authorities, industrial police and the workers around 2:00pm, the authorities paid the workers’ bonuses.
to read. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* The RMG industry in ferment:

The last week and a half have witnessed severe disruption in the RMG sector. Apparel workers have been agitating, seeking a minimum monthly salary of around Tk 8,000 (slightly over US$ 100 at current rate of exchange), a figure, slightly higher than our recently evaluated per capita income.

It has been claimed by some labour activists that this enhanced figure would be consistent with the millennium development goals ((MDGs).

The anger of the RMG workers has resulted in the vandalisation of nearly 200 motorised vehicles and partial destruction of more than 15 garment industrial units. They blocked roads, including the important transport corridors of Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highways. This unrest resulted in the closing down of about 160 factories in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj.

The owners were worried about possible destruction and arson within their premises and infrastructure. The relevant law and order authorities have tried to contain the violence through the exercise of minimum force but they were not successful always. Despite all their effort, there has been considerable loss in production, which is bound to affect exports and impact on our reliability as a source of RMG product.
read more.

LW + 2

20131011

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 20 – 30 hurt in RMG worker-cop clash in Savar:

DEMAND FOR SALARY, FESTIVAL BONUS

20131011 DHAKATRIBUNE 4-Mahmud-Hossain-Opu-(20)
Members of Bangladesh Garment Workers Trade Union stage a rally in front of the National Press Club on Thursday, demanding punishment of the owners of Aswad Composite Mills. Photo by DhakaTribune. 

At least 20 workers of a readymade garment factory were injured as they clashed with police demanding payment of their salary and festival bonus in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, Thursday morning, police said.

The authorities of Liberty Fashions Limited, the centre point of the violence, suspended the production for today following the clash.
During the 30-minute clash, the marauding workers also vandalised the windowpanes of their factory at Jirani Bazar in Ashulia.

The clash erupted around 9:00am when the workers saw a notice at their factory saying that their salary for the month of September and festival bonus ahead of the Eid-ul-Azda, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be distributed on October 13.
Earlier, the workers were told to collect their salary and bonus on Thursday.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read  more. & read more.
daily star bd  UNB INDEPENDENT Ittefaq newstodayBD
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* GM fired after RMG workers demo:

Authorities give in to demands of having Eid holidays extended to 10 days and the dismissal of general manager of a Gazipur RMG unit

Authorities sacked the General Manager of a garments unit in Gazipur on Thursday following a wave of agitation from workers.
Police said the workers of Viela Textile at Tongi’s Sataish area called a strike and began to demonstrate from around 8:30am.
They demanded to have the Eid holidays increased to 10 days from the usual seven and the dismissal of General Manager Razzak for his abusive behaviour.
Police rushed to the spot and managed to bring the situation under control.
Assistant Superintendent of Police in Gazipur industrial zone 2, ASM Shamsur Rahman said the authorities have decided to give in to both demands.
The factory was later announced shut down for the day and the workers left the vicinity.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Workers’ unrest and our economy:

The prevailing workers’ unrest in the garments sector located at Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong indicates that the scenario may turn even grimmer.

Whenever any party announces hartal or blockade programmes, labour unrest breaks out countrywide. If any rumor spreads in business hubs that any factory worker is killed or committed suicide inside a garments unit or cracks are found on the wall of a building, all factory workers gather on the streets in no time without any permission of the garments authorities.
It has become their habit that they vandalise vehicles, torch vheciles, march and chant slogans on the streets for their demand.
It is important to notice that in this situation some culprits and hooligans join the workers and allure them for more vandalism as instigators.
The repetition of these incidents destroys our economy.
The following demands of the workers must be clear:

1. Upgrading the wages of the workers according to latest wage board.
2. Giving full security inside the factory.
3. Arranging tiffin for workers.
4. Creation of improved working environment.
5. Ensuring maternity leave as per Domestic Labour Law 2006.
6. Distributing a portion of gross profit to workers annually.
7. Evaluating them on the basis of their performance every year.
8. Arranging a health care centre for garments unit.
9. Facilities for entertainment.
10. Ensuring extra benefit to workers who are seriously injured or die in accidents or natural deaths on duty.
11. Workers should be enlisted for group insurance as per rules.

The garments owners must fulfil their demands so that they refrain from any destructive attitude and activity. BGMEA should closely monitor and prevail upon garments authorities in goading them to concede to the workers’ demands.

The government should take initiatives to pursue foreign buyer (investors) to pay higher prices for garments. If foreign buyers can increase the price of garments, garments owner pay more wages to workers. If the parties involved are conscious in this regard, all garments unit will be safe from any turmoil and subsequently stability will prevail in this sector.
Nazim Khondaker
Indesore Sweater Ltd.
Gazipur
to read.

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* Pension sought for weavers:

State Handloom Minister Sarojini Hembram has demanded pension for weavers in the State.

Ms Hembram while addressing convention of Handloom Ministers at New Delhi said, “the State is known by fine works of weavers worldwide.
A pension scheme will go a long way in sustaining their economic and social development.”
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

 20131010

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers’ protest in Ashulia:

To press the demand for due salaries, RMG workers of Liberty Fashion staged protest in Ashulia, outskirt of Dhaka, on Thursday morning.

Witnesses said that the agitated workers started protest at around 9:00am at the factory premises demanding to payment of their due salaries and Eid bonus. At one stage the factory workers vandalized and torched vehicles, and blocked Zirani-Shimulia Highway.
The workers and law enforcers locked into a clash, police charged baton and opened fire to take the situation under control, leaving at least seven workers injured.
Additional law enforcers were deployed in the area to avoid unwanted situations.
Director of Industrial Police Mostafijur Rahman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

 02:29:22 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Trade unions demand decent work & wages:

The Trade Union Co-ordinating Centre (TUCC), comprising 15 trade unions, has placed four demands before the government, including decent working conditions and wages.

Anton Marcus of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & GSEU) told The Island Financial Review that the demands included that the government drop all plans to enact laws and regulations legalizing manpower agencies, stop employing temporary workers in all state corporations and state institutions and instead provide permanent employment in filling all vacancies.
read more.
island

LW + 2

 20131009

 04:59:22 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

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

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

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

LW + 2

 20131008

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BLF demands fair wages for extra work of tannery workers:

The other demands are providing proper training of workers to avoid accidents

Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation (BLF) demanded fair wages for extra work of tannery workers.

The demand was raised at a human chain organised in front of the National Press Club on Monday.
Speakers said tannery workers have to do extra work, but do not get fair wages. The production would be increased, if the owners ensured worker’s right.  Rights of workers should be confirmed for the development of the society and nation, the speakers added.
The other demands are providing proper training of workers to avoid accidents, ensuring better work environment for workers and rehabilitation of victims of accidents.
President of BLF Abdus Samad presided over the meeting. Among others, Secretary General ZM Kamrul Anam, member Rani Khan and tannery owners and workers were also present at the programme.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* BD RMG to remain competitive even after wage hike: Hanna:

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna on Monday observed that the readymade garment (RMG) sector in the country will remain competitive in the global market even after the wage hike of workers.

“Still, there’s a scope to remain competitive and move up the wages,” he told a seminar at a city hotel.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised the seminar, ‘Reinventing the RMG Sector: Emphasising on Social Accountability and Security’, ahead of the 24th Bangladesh Apparels and Textile Exposition 2013.
William Hanna also called on the country’s apparel manufacturers to increase the wages of workers annually, adjusting it with the inflation.
read more.
UNB

* RMG workers’ violent demo in Gazipur:

The workers of a garment factory staged violent demonstrations at Targachh in the city on Monday to press home their several demands.

Quoting locals, police said the workers of ‘Ehsan Moonlight Sweater Factory’ went on the work abstention in the morning to press home their demands that include a hike in the attendance allowance and leave from seven days to 10, and the arrest of the production manager for beating a fellow worker.
At one stage, the workers damaged the glasses of the factory.
Being informed, police rushed in and tried to disperse the agitating workers when a chase and counter chase took place between the two sides.
read more. & to read.
UNB

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* Handloom weavers’ plea to Collector:

20131008 theHINDU
Members of Tirupur District Handloom Weavers’ Union at the Collectorate in Tirupur on Monday seeking free distribution of ‘motorised spool’ to entire weavers by the government.- Photo: R. Vimal Kumar

Members of Tirupur District Handloom Weavers Union met Collector G. Govindaraj on Monday with a request to cover the entire weavers under the proposed free distribution of motorised ‘pirn’ and steps for streamlining the distribution of weavers credit card.

Plan
Union president N. Kanakaraj said according to the present plan of the government, the motorised ‘pirn’ would be given to only 25,000 weavers, who were the part of the cooperative societies.

Demand
“Our demand is that the gadget should be given to the entire three lakh weavers in the State. The introduction of motorized pirn in lieu of the present hand operated pirn for wounding weft yarn will help the weavers increase the productivity and quality of the fabric,” he added.
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131005-07

04:59:22 local time map of china CHINA

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

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

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

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

04:59:22 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Treading the tightrope of minimum wage in Indonesia:

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

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

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

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

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* Committee seeks bonus for mill workers:

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

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

 02:29:22 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

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

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

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

LW + 2

 20131004

04:59:22 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Struggle That Pays Off:

Struggle Trade Unions / Workers in defending their rights to fruition.

Is a State Administrative Court (PTUN) Bandung Banten and the winning of the battle SP / SB’s.
To win two PTUN is done the labor class action filings related to minimum wages delay.

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal display, in Banten 1 penanguhan company rejected the minimum wage PT Yoshin.
“The same thing in West Java, Bandung State Administrative Court ruled in favor of workers in West Java back wins (26/9) where the Bandung State Administrative Court in favor of labor, delay that is pushing the minimum wage from 257 company, 209 penanguhan denied minimum wage and only 48 companies are granted penanguhan minimum wage,”He said in Jakarta, Wednesday (2/10/2013).

According to, minimum wage workers’ struggle has been won and the law has been proved that the minimum wage is penanguhan full engineering, no permenakertrans ineligible 231 year 200.3
“And only a few companies that really can not afford to pay the minimum wage. The majority of companies are able to pay the minimum wage which has been proved by the administrative court ruling,”He added.
read more.
citra-indonesia

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers protest in Ctg:

20131003 BANGLA24

Workers of a sweater factory staged protest in Kalurghat BISIC (Bangladesh Institute of Small Industry and Cottage) Industrial area in the port city on Thursday morning.

Sources said protesting of sudden announcement of closure of the factory; workers took to the roads and started throwing brick-chips at four to five factories at around 10:15am.
Chase and counter chase were occurred between police and agitated workers as police tried to stop them.
Confirming the matter, Sub-inspector of Detective branch of Industrial Police Arifur Rahman Arif told banglanews, “On Wednesday night, Azim Group instantly declared their factory shut which made workers angry. We are trying to calm the workers.”
to read. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE BD new age

* Garment workers fill streets in Bangladesh:

In their largest protest so far, 50,000 garment workers in Bangladesh took to the streets Sept. 21 in Dhaka, the capital, demanding a more than doubling of the minimum wage and safer workplaces.

The demonstration takes place as workers in the industry are stepping up efforts to organize unions in face of fierce resistance and harassment from the bosses.
“We are pressed with our backs against the wall, so we need to raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of United Garment Workers Federation, said in a phone interview Sept. 23 from Dhaka. The federation of 52 garment workers groups organized the demonstration.

“The economy moves on the backs of our labor and we are not backing off,” Akter said. “We need the increase to keep up with inflation. The rent for one room is often $35 a month and workers have to share.” The minimum wage is $38 a month. The average is roughly $15 above that. Workers are demanding a raise to $103 minimum, while garment bosses offer a 20 percent increase.
read more.
MILITANT

* How Garment Workers Decided $104.72 a Month Was A Living Wage:

Monday, after a week of protests, Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers agreed to increase the minimum wage for workers in the industry. But they haven’t agreed on how much it will be.

The garment workers are asking for $104.72 a month, which would more than double the current minimum. To get to that number, they created a monthly budget that, they figure, is the bare minimum.

20131003 NPR pm-budget-300Source: Proposal of Workers for RMG Minimum Wage; ILO; Asia Briefing
Credit: Quoctrung Bui / NPR

Rubana Mohammadi who runs a few garment factories, has argued that if the union gets the increase they’re asking for, the price of a Bangladeshi-made T-shirt could increase by 20 cents.
That would make it harder for Bangladesh to compete with other countries among buyers who are looking for the lowest possible price.
Vietnam, a competitor to Bangladesh’s garment industry, has a minimum wage that ranges from, depending on what part of the country the factory is in.
read more.
npr

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* Delhi government increases minimum wages:

Delhi government today increased the minimum wages for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled in the national capital.

The new rates have come into effect from today. Last time the rates were revised in April this year.
The government has increased monthly minimum wages of unskilled labour from Rs 7,722 to Rs 8,086, of semi-skilled labour from Rs 8,528 to Rs 8,918 and of skilled labour from ` Rs 9,386 to Rs 9,802.
read more.
et

LW + 2

20131003

04:59:22 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* As Signing the Inpres, The President Wanted The Minimum Wages To Be Based On KHL, Productivity And Economic Growth:

In an effort to align the minimum wage policy with productivity and national economic growth, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) signed the President Instruction (inpres) Instruksi Presiden Nomor 9 Tahun 2013 on September 27th 2013 on the establishment of minimum wage policy in the context of business continuity and the increase of labours.

President instructed Coordinator Minister of Economy, Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Industry, Head of National Police, Governors, Regents and Mayors, to coordinate and integrate in taking necessary actions according to their respective authority and functions in order to align the minimum wage policy with national economic growth and productivity considerations.
The aim is to establish business continuity and national industry growth, also to improve workforce welfare.

President SBY specifically instructed Menakertrans to define and enact the wage and national wage system development  policy, with provisions such as follow:

1. Minimum wage is based on proper necessities of life (KHL), productivity and economic growth;
2. Minimum wage at province/regions/city level is directed to achieve KHL;
3. Province where the Minimum Wage is still under KHL, the wage increase would be distinguished between Intensive Creative Industry and others;
4. Province where the Minimum Wage achieves KHL or more, the wage increase would be set upon employer and workforce of the company.
read more.
RI setkab-GOV

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Garments worker protest wages in Gazipur:

At one stage at noon, the workers came out from the factory and started a rally at the Dhaka-Gazipur road in front of the premises

20131002 DHAKATRIBUNE Gazipur-(3)- 02 October 2013- Garments worker protested-2_0
The employees of Odesa Fashion limited have been protesting since Tuesday, police said 

Workers of a sweater factory in the Naljani area of Gazipur went on strike on Wednesday to demand the fixing of their production wages.

The employees of Odesa Fashion limited have been protesting since Tuesday, police said.
On Wednesday morning, the workers again started their protest and observed a strike. Later, they attended a meeting with the factory owners but it ended without a proper result.

At one stage at noon, the workers came out from the factory and started a rally at the Dhaka-Gazipur road in front of the premises. On information, police rushed in and moved the worker sfrom the road.
Later, the factory authority announced a holiday for the day.
Jahidul Islam, Officer In-charge of investigation of Joydebpur Police, said additional police were deployed at the area.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers demonstrate for arrears in Ashulia:

Workers of two garment factories at Kumkumari Bazar in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, demonstrated at the factories yesterday demanding their arrears.

Ashulia Industrial Police said the workers of Maa Stitch Ltd and Noorzahan Fashion Ltd sought their arrears of August and September.
Although the authorities of the factories earlier assured them of paying it within October 1, they did not do so, police added.

Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police, quoting Noorzahan Fashion authorities, said the management could not pay the arrears in time due to financial crisis.
He said the factory owner yesterday reassured them that they would pay it within October 15.
The workers said they would go for tougher movement if necessary.
Maa Stitch Managing Director Mohiuddin Ahmed could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
to read.
daily star bd

* 100-dollar dream teases RMG workers? :

On the industrial outskirts of Dhaka, which is dotted with big and small clothes factories, thousands of workers took to the streets demanding a minimum wage rise.

Last week, protestors blocked roads, set factories on fire and clashed with police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Some 200 apparel plants – which make clothing for some of the world’s top retailers such as H&M and Carrefour – had to remain closed for a week.
The last time the government raised the minimum wage for the garments sector was in 2010. Now the workers are demanding an increase from 3,000 taka (38 dollars) to 8,114 taka (100 dollars).
That is more or less the price that a pair of brand name jeans made in Bangladesh sell for after it reaches the shopping mall shelf in Warsaw or Berlin.
The employers agreed a 20 percent hike, increasing salaries to 3,600 taka or about 46 dollars. But most commentators considered the increase a mockery and this offer led to riots.

In Bangladesh the minimum wage is fixed for each sector separately.
The differences are substantial: transport workers or shop attendants get twice as much as the average wage for three million Bangladeshi garment makers.
The latter are at the bottom not just nationally, but globally. According to a study by the Japan External Trade Organisation released in December, only in Myanmar do garment workers earn less.
In neighbouring India their wages (in dollars) are twice as high as in Bangladesh, in China five times as high.

The minimum wage is theoretical, everyone takes overtime. IPS interviewed some women working as sewing machine operators who positioned their monthly earnings at 8,000 to 9,000 taka (about 102 to 115 dollars). Usually their workday stretches over 11 to 12 hours.
But raising the bottom threshold is important, because this means an increase for everyone.
According to trade union leader Masood Rana, the wage demands are partly a result of a growing awareness among the workers. After the hype over the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April that took the lives of 1,133 workers, workers began to realise how much Western consumers pay for clothes made by their hands.
read more.
NewNation

LW + 2

20131002

03:59:22 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* BetterFactories Media updates 25 September – 1 October 2013, GMAC urges factories to resist new monitoring:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-09-25 Management agrees on pay advance

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-09-25 Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay factories shut
2013-09-26 Opposition party threatens nationwide labour strikes
2013-09-27 Investors play down impact of labour strikes
2013-09-28-29 Striking workers stopped by military police

BetterFactories Media Updates Overview here.
BF NEW

 04:59:22 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum Wage: Action Against Errant Employers To Be Known Next Year:

Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot has said that the action to be taken against employers who failed to implement the minimum wage policy will only be determined on Jan 1 next year.

“We will wait for the policy to be fully implemented before we decide the action to be taken against errant employers,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the 11th collective agreement between Genting Malaysia Berhad and Genting Malaysia Berhad Workers Union here on Tuesday.
Riot said the National Wage Consultative Council, together with the Consultative Technical Committee, were in the midst of studying the applications for postponement submitted by several employers.

“We will scrutinise the applications. If the reasons given can be accepted, we will allow the postponement, if not, we will reject the applications,” he said.
The minister said employers who had not made any application for postponement would be considered to have accepted and implemented the minimum wage policy.
read more.
BERNAMA

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG sector: Leading in times of uncertainty:

20131002 DHAKATRIBUNE rmg-edi_0
Workers are seen working in a garment factory

The ongoing labour unrest is the latest in the series of setbacks hindering our RMG sector. With two large industrial accidents occurring in quick successions, the sector has been under pressure for quite some time. The current turmoil is further aggravating the already-precarious situation, which many feel has far reaching impacts.

We take a lot of pride in our RMG sector, with its record breaking export performance and its position as the second biggest RMG exporter after China. Sustained growth of RMG is seen as an integral part of our aspirations for achieving middle income status.

Renowned consulting firms like Mckinsey have already attested to the sector’s growth potential. However, amid prevailing optimism and fanfare, industry leaders have failed to gauge the structural changes looming large in the horizon.

Current uncertainties

Rising wages: The current turmoil is mainly centered on workers’ demand for a hike in wages. With rising food and non-food inflationary pressure, wage hike seems a reasonable demand. However, currently a huge gap exists between the workers’ demand for a minimum wage of Tk8,000 and BGMEA’s offered wage of Tk3,600. The negotiation may ultimately yield minimum wage between Tk4,500-5,500, which is set to result in a 60% increase from existing levels.
(…)
Currency depreciation for India: A depreciating Indian currency has once again boosted the price competitiveness for Indian exporters. As a result, RMG manufactured in India will become attractive to international buyers resulting in a possible loss of export orders from Bangladesh. The downward trend in Indian economy is set to persist for sometime which may lead to prolonged period of cheap Indian rupee and will not bode well for us.

Rise of Myanmar: Myanmar’s road to democracy has enabled them to move away from international isolation. The current government has repeatedly portrayed their pro-business credentials by devising policies encouraging international investors. With geographic location beside China and access to sea, Myanmar has strategic value. Availability of cheap labour and natural resources is an added sweetener. Alongside, the Myanmar government is heavily investing in infrastructure which may take a couple more years to take shape.

Industrial accidents and image issues: Recent spate of industrial accidents has seriously dented the image of RMG sector abroad. Some international buyers have already expressed their reservations about continuing breach in the sector’s compliance issues. USA has already suspended GSP facility for Bangladesh and EU is threatening to follow suit. Possible cancellation of GSP by EU may have devastating impact on Bangladesh.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers demonstrate in Savar for arrears:

Workers of a garment factory at Arapara in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, yesterday demonstrated at the factory demanding their arrears.

Ashulia Industrial Police said the workers of Fair Knitting Ltd sought their arrears of August and September.
The factory authorities earlier assured them of paying it within October 1, police added.
The factory Production Manager Badrul Alom said the management could not pay the arrears in time due to financial crisis.
He said the managing director yesterday reassured them that they would pay it on October 5.
The workers said they would go for tougher programmes if the management failed to pay them by that time.
Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police, said additional police were deployed at the factory.
to read.
daily star bd

* Why the double standard for RMG wages?:

The big question is – can we still compete with China after the next wage increase?

The editor of a leading English daily wrote about minimum wages for the RMG sector in the Daily Star last Friday, stating that the garments industry pays 0.8% tax whereas corporate tax for other sectors is 40%. This is a blatant misrepresentation of facts and a clear example of negative media bias towards the garment owners.

The fact is, garments exporters pay 0.8% tax at source on gross export, regardless of profit or loss. With industry average profit margins of less than 5%, that translates to 20% tax on profit, even though the corporate tax rate for garments is 10%. The government does not refund this excess tax, even if we claim a loss.

Meanwhile, our competitors in China do not pay tax on exports, get preferential rates of exchange and other export incentives. Bangladeshi garment exporters have to import fabric from China, our main competitor, at additional cost and longer lead times, so the only competitive advantage we have is lower wages, which account for less than 20% of the cost of a garment. Dysfunctional politics, hostile unions, inadequate infrastructure and higher interest rates are challenges that our Chinese competitors do not have to deal with.

When the minimum wage was increased from Tk1,662 to Tk3,000 in 2010, buyers were compelled to pay higher prices, as long as we were still price competitive with China. The big question is – can we still compete with China after the next wage increase?
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* No protest of workers’ in October:

The garment factory owners and worker leaders put on their legs on the same shoe to keep the agitated RMG workers calm declaring the wage board orally within November.

The workers are in stable position after getting this assurance and there is a hope for no more workers demonstration in the current month at least.
Textile Garments Workers Federation disclosed that keeping the Eid-ul-Azha and wage board assurance issues in mind, the owners and worker leaders together urged to be calm and patient to workers.

The General Secretary of the federation Tapan Saha said that factory leaders and workers are complementary to each other and we all should work for keeping this industry alive.
Wage Board officials said that they are trying their best to provide a wage structure within November though it is suppose to be in December.
Moreover the government set a minimum wage board structure in June with eight members including a neutral one.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Re-fixing garments workers’ wages:

Month-long garments workers’ agitation has captured media attention but the solution continues to elude.

Each and every garments factory has the documents showing the cost of production, profit, wages and salaries paid and it is not difficult to dictate what should be the fair wages and salaries of workers and employees. Very often earnings of the workers of China, Vietnam, and Indonesia are mentioned and it is not difficult to compare the efficiency and wages of our workers against those countries.

In the event CPD formula is applied, what should be the impact on our market as millions of takas is likely to be flowing in the market in the form of wage hike. Cost of living against wages may be determined through a few experts as formation of wage board or pay commission is just a waste of time. Let us be pragmatic in finding out a rational solution to the problem.
to read.

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* Definition of ‘basic wages’ for calculation of PF contribution:

In a recent ruling that favours employees, the Delhi High Court has expanded the scope of basic wages to be included for Provident Fund (PF) contribution.

Under the PF rules, contribution towards PF is to be calculated on basic wages, dearness allowance, retaining allowance and cash value of any food concession.

Basic wages have been defined to mean all cash emoluments, except:

(a) Cash value of any food concession;
(b) Any dearness allowance;
(c) House rent allowance, overtime allowance, bonus, presents; and
(d) Commission or any other similar allowance.

The concept of ‘basic wages’ on which PF contribution is to be calculated has always been a debatable issue. The Supreme Court has laid down two tests to determine whether a component is included in the definition of ‘basic wages’ or not. These are ‘test of universality’ and ‘test of contingency’.

Applying the test of universality, if a component is paid universally, necessarily and ordinarily to all employees of a company, the same is included in the definition of basic wages. Applying the test of contingency, if a component is paid subject to uncertain events like overtime payment, the same is excluded from the definition of basic wages.
read more.
Financial-express

LW + 2

 20131001

04:59:22 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* 600,000 SMEs allowed to postpone minimum wage implementation:

About 600,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been given permission to postpone the minimum wage implementation until December, said Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Mutallib.

The employers need more time to restructure operations and cut down losses before starting the minimum wage implementation, he said when responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) at the Dewan Rakyat today.
To the original question from Wan Hasan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun), Ismail said the government would allow SMEs to have discussions with employees before restructuring their salaries and allowances.
read more. & read more. & read more.
MY sinchew MALAYSIAKINI BERNAMA

04:59:22 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Constitutional Court Cancelled Regulation on Severance Payment Expiry Date. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
2. West Java Court Cancelled Governor Decision Letter on Minimum Wage Waiver. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English version here
.
3. Workers demand wage of Rp 2.1 million per month. Read the full article here.

BettwerWork Indonesia Media updates overview here.
BW indonesia

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers deserve higher minimum wage:

Garment workers were recently engaged in siege and arson. Besides the capital and adjoining areas, the unrest spread to the outlying areas also. Agitating garment workers came out on the streets in large numbers, demanding minimum wages at Tk 8,000.

Police used lathi-charge, lobbed tear gas shells and opened fire. Law-enforcement agencies came into clashes with the garment workers. A large number of garment factories remained closed because of the unrest in the industry.

Entrepreneurs have complained that there are both local and foreign conspiracies to destroy the otherwise booming garment sector. The Home Minister has alleged that the Jamaat-e-Islami and some other reactionary groups are behind the recent unrest in readymade garment (RMG) sector.
Some foreign nationals employed in garment sector are also alleged to be involved. Reports of unrest have been published in local and foreign press.
These reports are reportedly destabilising this sector. Although Bangladesh is in second position in garment export globally, the workers in this country get the lowest wages.
While in China, wage is around Tk 17,000 per worker per month, it is only Tk 3,600 in Bangladesh. A Vietnamese worker gets 109 dollars while in Cambodia the minimum wage is 70 dollars, in Thailand 221 dollars, in the Phillipines 175 dollars , in Indonesia 114 dollars and in India 70 dollars.
read more.

* RMG workers’ wage ‘not increasing as per production, earning’:

The wage rate of the country’s RMG workers is not increasing in tandem with the increase in production and export earning in the sector, says Chairman of Dhaka University’s Economics Department Prof MA Taslim.

“Since the fiscal 2006-2007, the RMG production has had three-fold increase, but the labour force has not increased accordingly. This indicates the wage rate is not increasing as per the productivity,” he told a national dialogue on RMG workers’ issues on Monday.
The dialogue was organised by Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) at LGED auditorium. In fiscal 2005-2006, the export earning from the sector stood at US$ 8 billion and it hit US$ 21.5 billion in fiscal 2012-13.

Taslim said, “Given the higher increase in export earning compared to the number of labor force, the employers cannot deny the increase in the profit.”
“The employers can only deny the factor of their profit making only on the ground that the capital labour ratio decreasing. If that happens, they must be accused of unsustainable expansion of the industry,” he said.
read more. & read more.
UNB BD new age

* No regular wages for workers of small-scale apparel factories:

Majority of the workers of small-scale apparel factories do not get wages and overtime on a regular basis and most of these units lack required safety measures, a recent survey has revealed.

Besides, both managers and workers of these units do not have adequate knowledge about safety-related issues, according to the survey.
The survey recommended that smaller factories, having poor safety standards and compliance records, be brought under strict monitoring.

The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) conducted a random survey on some 100 RMG units located in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj to uncover compliance and safety violations following the tragic Rana Plaza collapse in Savar that killed more than 1100 workers.
Some 500 garment workers were interviewed under the survey conducted during August and September, key focal points of which were structure of the buildings, safety steps against fire and electricity mishaps and compliance of labour laws.
read more.

* Economics and business of minimum wage in RMG:

It is paradoxical that the our readymade garment (RMG) industry attained stupendous success on the back of what one local daily found it apt to describe as “ruthless exploitation” of workers.

The truth might be a bit more sobering than that because of the complex phenomena created by a vast army of surplus labour desperately seeking work in a tight jobs market. The Rana Plaza episode has brought the issue of labour standards, worker rights, and workplace environment in the forefront of the discourse.
These are issues not to be ignored anymore. Singular attention is now focused not just on a living wage but on what the minimum wage should be in the $20 billion garment industry. Raising the minimum wage will affect wage setting across the board in the RMG sector. It is as much a human and social challenge as it is an economic one.

Thus the debate on the subject of raising the minimum wage in the RMG sector is heating up. Not surprisingly, there are as many shades of opinion as there are speakers on the subject.
read more.

* Normalcy returns in garment factories:

The owners’ promise to implement wage board recommendations instantly has helped quelling a massive workers’ unrest in garment factories and there was no violence or demonstration in the labour intensive industrial areas on Monday.

The factories have become busy to fulfill their supply commitments to buyers, as most of the workers have returned to their jobs peacefully. They are now trying hard to cover the gap that was made during the weak-long unrest.
Garment factory owners promised on Sunday to raise wages for more than three million workers as soon as a government panel sets a figure, ending a weeklong violent protest, different agencies reported.
The manufacturers said they would raise wages by as much as the panel decides, despite earlier insisting they cannot afford more than a 20 per cent increase on the existing minimum wage of $38 a month.
read more.
NewNation

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* MGNREGA workers to receive compensation for wage delay:

Taking a serious exception to undue delay in payment of wages under MGNREGA scheme, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh issued letters to all chief ministers of the country, including Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren seeking their attention on the matter.

In his letter, Ramesh has also highlighted the latest amendment to para 30, schedule II of the Act that makes payment of compensation to labourers compulsory in case there is a delay in payment of wages.

Further, Ramesh has also stated that the act stipulates payment of wages within 15 days of closure of muster roll. However, there have been delays in payment amounting to Rs.2,700 crore which is around 25% of the net wage payment. “The MIS records and field reports further suggests of the total amount, wages worth around Rs.125 crore have been delayed beyond 90days,” the letter said.
read more.
TOInew

LW + 2

 20130928-30

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20130928 blockades

20130927 * No violence at RMG hubs Friday:

After six days of workers’ violent protests, the country’s apparel industrial hubs finally passed a day without any violence on Friday. Most of the factories remained closed because of weekly holiday.

Workers’ violence for minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 rocked the country’s largest foreign currency earning sector for the last six days until Thursday. This caused frequent production suspension.

However, the law enforcement agencies continued to put in place precautionary measures at Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and Narayanganj apparel industrial zones to avert any trouble there.
“At last, we passed a day without any violence. Most of the units were closed as Friday is a public holiday,” Assistant Director (Intelligence) of Industrial Police-1 Md. Moniruzzaman told the FE.
read more.

20130927 * MKA blames Jamaat for RMG sector trouble:

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Friday alleged that Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and some other reactionary parties are behind the recent unrest in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.

“Some hired people and activists of Jamaat and some other reactionary parties are trying to create a chaos in the RMG sector,” he said.
read more. & read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 primenews Ittefaq newstodayBD BD new age
INDEPENDENT

20130928 * Politics blamed for unrest in RMG sector:

A minister’s open involvement in garment workers’ politics has been blamed for the latest unrest in the country’s RMG sector. People tend to believe that narrow politics must not destabilize the industry.
Violence in the country’s garment sector took a fiercer turn as the garment workers passed off the 6th consecutive day vandalizing and agitating on the streets on Thursday last which indicates that the industry is facing a fresh crisis and destabilization. The government deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel at Gazipur on the weekend to protect factories and vehicles in the Dhaka-Tangail highway.

Apart from Gazipur, the violence has spread to Ashulia, Savar and Narayanganj around the capital. It is also reported in the port city of Chittagong as the workers are putting a united front to realize the minimum wage package. Owners have so far offered a 20 per cent wage hike from existing Tk 3000 minimum wage only to cause serious reaction from the workers’ side.
read more.
BDCHRONICLE

20130928 * RMG UNREST OVER SALARY HIKE- Workers block road, clash with cops:

Apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur Saturday morning blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway for nearly 30 minutes to press home their demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,114.

The workers claimed that at least 20 of their fellows were injured in the clash that reported from Chandona intersection of Sadar upazila.
When contacted, Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police, said they had not information about the injuries, reported our correspondent.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd  INDEPENDENT  BANGLA NEWS24  DHAKATRIBUNE  UNB BD new age
primenews Ittefaq  bdnews24 newstodayBD

20130928 * RMG workers protest in Ashulia- Factories shut; 20 injured:

Authorities of five readymade garments in Ashulia shut their factories for Saturday following unwanted workers’ agitation.

Locals said the agitated workers of Noble Comfort Composite Limited along with workers of four other factories started protest at the factory premises at around 8:00am.
The agitated workers hurled brick chips aiming the factories and police dispersed them firing rubber bullets and tear shells.
Later workers locked into clash with police, leaving at least 20 people were injured in Ashulia’s Bishmail-Zirabo road at around 9:00 am.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

20130928 * Bangladesh garment workers protest low wages:

Clashes with police break out near Dhaka, in some of the biggest demonstrations the country has seen in months.

Garment workers in Bangladesh have been clashing with police in some of the biggest demonstrations over low wages that the country has seen in months.

The unrest broke out as the police tried to disperse protesters who had blocked a main highway in Narayanganj, which is near Dhaka, the capital.
read & see more.
aljazeera

20130929 * RMG workers resume protests:

After a lull for the weekend, apparel workers resumed demonstrations in Gazipur and Savar on Saturday stoning factories and battling with the police to push their demand for Tk 8,100 in their minimum monthly wage.

At least eight apparel units were shut for the day at Kathgara and Jirabo in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka following fresh tension.
Workers of Comfort Garments at Kathgara started demonstrations at around 8:00am when they found a notice of the factory closure and moved to other factories asking fellows to join their protests.
The angry workers threw stones at the units of Comfort Composite Limited, Azmat Group, Deco Group, Cross Wear Limited and some other factories during the demonstrations.
At about 9:00am, the workers gathered on Bishmile-Jirabo road blocking traffic.
read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

20130928 * Minimum wage soon after announcement: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Saturday promised that apparel makers would implement the recommendations of the wage board immediately after its announcement.

BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam said this after a marathon meeting with workers leaders at city’s BGMEA Bhaban.
The garment makers and the labour leaders in the meeting agreed to work together to stop the unrest ensuring smooth production in the greater interest of the sector.

Both the garment makers and leaders of more than 40 trade unions in garment sector also agreed to stop disseminating rumours and spreading vandalism in the export-oriented sector.
Atiqul Islam also urged all the garment makers to pay salaries and bonus to the workers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE BDCHRONICLE bdnews24

20130929 * BGB patrolling violent-hit RMG areas:

The number of Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) troops has been increased in Gazipur areas on Saturday. 

A total of 6 platoons of the BGB is now patrolling there to avert unrest or violence, Gazipur DC Md Nurul Islam told reporters. On Thursday, 3 BGB platoons had been deployed.
Apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in the capital’s outskirts Savar and Gazipur Saturday morning to press home their demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,114.
The workers claimed that at least 25 of their fellows were injured during the clashes at Chandona intersection of Gazipur Sadar upazila and Kathgora area in Ashulia of Savar.
During the demonstration, which stemmed from the salary hike demand on September 21, the workers also blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway for nearly 30 minutes from 10:40am.
In the meantime, the authorities of six garment units had to suspend the production at their factories for Saturday in the wake of the demonstration in Ashulia area of Savar. At Gazipur, the clash ensued in Chandona intersection around 10:40am as police tried to disperse over 5,000 workers charging truncheons when they blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
(…)
The BGMEA , which represent garment factory owners, called for calm. “We are waiting for the decision of the wage board. I ask the workers to be patient,” BGMEA president Atikul Islam told reporters. He claimed that the workers were being provoked to turn violent — but did not say by whom.
Meanwhile, labour leaders vowed to go on with their movement until the workers’ demand is met.
“The movement will continue till the demand of a minimum wage of Tk8,000 is met,” Kahirul Mamun Mintu, general secretary of the Savar-Ashulia chapter of Garment Workers’ Trade Union told reporters.
read more.
NewNation

21030929 * Behind-the-scene players of RMG unrest identified:

Intelligence to submit report to Govt: Vested quarters ignited workers: BGMEA, BKMEA seek probe

Intelligent agencies have identified some under cover players who are involved in the latest spell of workers’ violence in the garment industry, sources said on Saturday.

They said the last five days workers unrest that rocked the country’s major industry, was an act of destruction patronized by some persons of some political parties.
“A vested quarter working with some political parties has created the trouble in the country’s key garment industry with an intention to push the government to the back foot,” a senior NSI official told The New Nation yesterday asking not to be named.
He added: “When an uneasy political situation is prevailing in the country and the government is facing the end of its tenure, the quarter ignited flame of the unrest in the industry in a pre-planned manner to catch fish in the troubled water.”
The NSI official further added that they have identified the patrons of the unrest who are actively involved in the local politics.
When asked, he said, this was not a labour unrest because most of the protestors who took part in the violence were outsiders hired by the vested group.
“They wanted to create a chaotic situation in the sector with an ill motive to defame the government.”
“We have identified the behind-the-scene players, who provoked the unrest,” said the NSI official, adding, “We have prepared a report on the issue and it will be sent to the ministry concerned for their appraisal.”
Expressing their grave concern over the unrest in the sector, the apparel industry leaders yesterday demanded immediate punitive actions against the persons responsible for the violence.
read more.
NewNation

 20130929 * RMG owners, labour leaders reach consensus on 5 points:

Readymade garment (RMG) factory owners and labour leaders Saturday pledged to work together against any kind of volatility in and conspiracy against the garment sector.

At a joint press briefing in the city Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and labour leaders said they have reached a consensus on five points.
According to the consensus, both the parties would work together to calm down the worker unrest which recently created a volatile situation in the sector.

They also agreed to thwart any kind of domestic or international conspiracy against the industry.
In the press briefing, the leaders said some opportunists were spreading rumours for their personal gains which the owners and the labour leaders would foil jointly.
The leaders also urged the government to find out the culprits and bring them to book.
At the briefing the owners promised to clear payment of salaries and festival bonus before Eid-ul Azha.

The labour leaders urged the wage board authorities to declare new wages for the workers. They were assured that all the owners would also implement new wages in their respective factories immediately after they are declared.
read more.

20130929 * Labour leaders scuffle over Shajahan’s role:

Supporters of the shipping minister, Shajahan Khan, scuffled with their rival group members during a meeting between leaders in the apparel sector and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association on Saturday.

The apparel exporters’ association organised the meeting with the labour leaders on the current situation of the apparel sector.
The association’s president Atiqul Islam presided over the meeting held in the BGMEA conference room.
Labour leaders became divided into two groups at the meeting. The group opposed to Shajahan Khan blamed him for instigating the unrest in the sector. The leaders said that the unrest had broken out as the minister had instigated the workers by holding a rally in Dhaka on September 21.
The group loyal to Shajahan protested at the remarks and picked up a quarrel which resulted in a scuffle.
Witnesses said that labour leaders had clashed and BGMEA leaders had contained the situation.
Association and labour leaders then agreed on some issues, Atiqul Islam told reporters after the meeting.
read more.
BD new age

 20130929 * Responsibility for latest RMG industry turmoil:

The owners dare to make such a degrading and utterly insensitive offer because they are well organised under the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association with the shining but illegal eyesore of a head office located in the middle of a lake. They receive hefty government largesse and subsidy and other favours. They have an unholy nexus with the government and law enforcers to suppress legitimate workers’ demands and rebuff their need for better working conditions, writes Omar Khasru

After six days of unrest, agitation and demonstration by garment workers, it was relatively calm on Friday, September 27. All concerned were apprehensive as to how long would this welcome respite last.
It was not clear if the garment workers in their resolve for higher wages were just taking a short break.
Or they will take a bit more time to see what tangible and constructive steps factory owners and government take to meet their legitimate demands. On Saturday, September 28, the workers in Gazipur and Ashulia demonstrated for higher wages again and there were clashes with law enforcers. The turbulence, however, was on a relatively smaller magnitude.

Volumes have been discussed, dissected and divulged about the latest garment industry disturbance and disruption. This vital sector in recent years customarily maintained relative but uneasy calm interspersed by occasional outburst due to wage dispute, accidents and casualties at factory fires, mistreatment of workers, lack of timely pay and festival bonus and overall callous and deleterious attitude of the owners.
(…)
The Tk 3,000 monthly wage for garment workers in Bangladesh is the lowest in the world by a significant margin. Here is the relative wages of garment workers in various countries, according to the US-based Worker Rights Consortium and Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights:
20130929 NEWAGE

It is obvious that the puny wage in Bangladeshi is quite a bit lower than that in any other country and less than half of the nearest competitor. This is a glaring example of the sheer exploitation, subjugation and slave labour treatment of the garment workers in Bangladesh.
read more.
BD new age

20130929 * Hefazat chief instigated RMG unrest: Labour minister:

Labour minister meets RMG factory owners, requests payment of all outstanding wages by Eid

Hefazat-e-Islam Chief Shah Ahmed Shafi was one of the instigators of the recent unrest in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector, Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has claimed.

The minister said the continued spate of industrial unrest was the work of quarters that wanted to destabilise the country’s law and order situation.
He made the remarks to journalists after a meeting with RMG factory owners on Sunday.
The minister said: “The government is investigating into the matter and taking appropriate actions against those who are behind the unrest.”
Raju said he had requested the owners to clear all outstanding wages and bonuses before Eid-ul-Azha, which is due to be observed in approximately a couple of weeks’ time.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE UNB newstodayBD BD new age

20130929 * Protests ebb as Bangladesh garment factories agree wage rise:

Bangladeshi garment factory owners promised Sunday to raise wages for more than three million workers as soon as a government panel sets a figure, ending a week-long violent protest.

The manufacturers said they would raise wages by as much as the panel decides, despite earlier insisting they cannot afford more than a 20 percent increase on the existing minimum wage of $38 a month.
They made the announcement after holding talks late Saturday with the leaders of more than 40 unions representing workers in 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh, the world’s second largest apparel maker after China.
The government has already said wages would be raised by November, a month earlier than the previous deadline, but the exact figures are still unclear. Unions have demanded a minimum wage of $100.
“We told the unions that we’ll hike wages for all workers as soon as the new minimum wages are announced by the government panel,” said Atiqul Islam, head of the influential Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age Ittefaq INDEPENDENT

20130929 * Govt adopting ‘repressive policy against RMG workers’:

Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre leader Montu Ghosh on Sunday accused the government of adopting a repressive policy to thwart the movement of the readymade garment (RMG) workers seeking wage hike.

Addressing a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club, he also alleged that police and outsider miscreants have been launching brutal attacks on the protesting workers at the behest of the Home Minister.

The human chain was organised by the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre demanding that the minimum wages of the workers be set a Tk 8,000.
It also demanded immediate arrest of the attackers on its leaders Zainal Abedin, MA Shahin and Iqbal Hossain during the workers’ protest in Narayanganj on September 26, and also the release of Zainal Abedin whom the police arrested following the attack.
Montu Ghosh urged the government to stop harassment and arrests of workers and thus maintain a congenial atmosphere in the industry.
to read.
UNB

20130930 * 30 injured in RMG unrest at Sreepur:

At least 30 garments worker were injured as they clashed with police at Natun Bazar of Sreepur blocking Dhaka-Mymensingh highway on Sunday.

Police fired nine gun shots and 20 tear shells to disperse the workers from the highway.
The workers also vandalised machine, furniture and computers inside the Asrotex factory alleging that its owner had hired musclemen to attack the workers.
One of the directors of the factory Mirza Anisur Rahman rejected the allegation.
He said the factory was closed after the violence and he would have no other option but to announce lay off if the situation continues, reports the correspondent in Gazipur.
read more.
BD new age

20130930 * RMG workers ransack factory demanding manager’s removal:

Workers of Esarotex Knitwear at Notun Bazar in Sreepur of Gazipur ransacked the factory yesterday demanding removal of its administrative manager.

They went on a rampage on the ground, fourth and sixth floors in the afternoon alleging that some people hired by Manager (Admin) Sumit Borua attacked them Thursday while they were demonstrating in the factory demanding minimum wage.
Witnesses said around 1,400 workers chanted slogans against Sumit and started vandalising machine, computers and furniture.
Later, they blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh highways near the factory.
Following the blockade, industrial police fired tear gas and shotguns to disperse them, said Gazipur Industrial Police Inspector Helal Uddin.
The workers claimed around 30 of them were injured in police action.
However, police said no one was injured.
On the removal, Sumit, denying his involvement in the attack, said he did not know about the attack and the workers’ demand was illogical.
to read.
daily star bd

20130930 * Worker leaders demand hike in textile wages:

Worker leaders yesterday protested against the recent police attacks on garment workers in Dhaka and Chittagong and demanded an immediate hike in the textile sector wages.

They asked for an increase in the minimum wage to Tk 8,000 at the entry level, in the backdrop of the rising prices of essentials and skyrocketing house rents. They also demanded their salaries and bonuses be paid before Eid-ul-Azha.
The government and owners should take proper steps to stop the ongoing unrest, said Sukkur Mahmud, president of Jatiya Sramik League, the workers’ wing of the ruling Awami League.
He spoke at a press conference on the causes and solutions to the labour unrest, organised by Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP), a labour organisation, at its office on Topkhana Road in the city.
The owners’ proposal to hike the garment workers’ wages by only Tk 600 has fuelled the unrest, he said.
The minimum wage is Tk 10,000 in Pakistan’s garment industry, so the amount should be at least Tk 8,000 in Bangladesh, Mahmud said.
read more.
daily star bd

20130930 * Wage board members leave left Dhaka for three countries:

Members on the minimum wage board for apparel workers left Dhaka on Sunday to see for themselves the apparel-sector wage structure in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

All the six members of the board along with a labour ministry official and an International Labour Organisation official would first visit Cambodia. They will then visit Vietnam and Thailand.
read more.
BD new age

02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

20130928 * Weavers stage demonstration:

Handloom weavers staged a demonstration here on Friday demanding higher wages and began an indefinite dharna.

The weavers protested outside the head office of the Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC) under the aegis of the Akhil Karnataka Kaimagga Nekar Sangha, led by sangha vice-president N.J. Malawade.
The weavers alleged that although they had put forward their demands before Textiles Minister Baburao Chinchanasur, there had been no response from him. Raising slogans against the corporation and the government, the protesters complained wages had not been revised for the last two years. They demanded an increase of 50 per cent in their wages.

The protesters alleged instead of giving work to the weavers, KHDC officials were purchasing cloth from elsewhere, and because of this the number of weavers attached to KHDC had reduced from 40,000 to 10,000.
They said senior officials of KHDC were often away in Bangalore, although the head office was in Hubli, and lower level employees were managing the office.
Although senior officials of KHDC assured them of action, the protesters said they would continue their dharna on Saturday, when Mr. Chinchanasur is scheduled to visit Hubli.
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20130927

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGB deployed in Gazipur:

12 RMG units shut in Gazipur, 20-70 hurt as workers clash with cops in Savar

District administration has deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Gazipur as the garment workers continued their demonstrations for the sixth straight day Thursday demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8000.

The authorities were forced to suspend production of at least 12 units at Jirani of Gazipur in the face of workers’ agitation.
Besides, at least 20 workers were injured when they clashed with police in Jirabo area of Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital.
Police charged batons and fired several rounds of rubber bullets to disperse the agitating workers.
Production at hundreds of garment factories in Dhaka and on its outskirts had remained suspended since Saturday due to the unrest.

GAZIPUR
The paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain the law and order situation in the industrial area, said Nurul Islam, deputy commissioner of Gazipur.
(…)
SAVAR
The clash ensued at Jirabo when over 1,200 workers of T Design and Mascot Garment tried to block Dhaka-Tangail highway around 10:30am to press home their demand.
(…)
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BDCHRONICLE

* RMG Unrest: BGB deployed in Gazipur:

In the wake of labour unrest in apparel factories for the last five days, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed here on Thursday to maintain law and order.

The BGB troops were patrolling the industrial belt alongside police and Rab members to ensure smooth production in the garment factories.
According to garment factory officials, almost all the garment factories went back into production in the morning.
Additional police have been deployed at the main gates of the factories and the surrounding areas to ensure foolproof security.
Meanwhile, a group of workers staged demonstrations and put barricades on Kaliakoir-Nabinagar road in Jirani area for half an hour in the morning.
Besides, some factories at Chandra Trimor in Kaliakor upazila, which were declared closed on Wednesday following the labour unrest, kept their production suspended today as well.
According to union leaders, the workers of two garment factories in Naojor area of the city did not join their respective workplace as they did not get any assurance about wage hike from the owners.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE Ittefaq

* Police in open fire as textile workers protest over pay:

20130926 CLICKITTEFAQ

Bangladeshi security forces have opened fire on textile workers protesting in pursuit of a higher minimum wage.

Police used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas on day five of demonstrations near the capital Dhaka.
Workers on a minimum wage equivalent to 28 euros a month, want their monthly income to rise to 74 euros.
The huge Bangladeshi garment trade has been under the spotlight amid deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.
In the latest protests, workers are said to have dispersed after security forces moved in. Police did not provide details of the injuries sustained.
to read.
Ittefaq

* RMG unrest hits N’ganj for 6th day:

The workers of readymade garment (RMG) factories in Narayanganj continued their agitation for minimum wage of Tk8,000 for the 6th straight day on Thursday.

Police said workers from 10-12 garment factories tried to block the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road near Shibu Market under Fatullah thana around 9:30am, while they were demonstrating to press home their demand and they were also later joined by workers from some other factories in the area.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT newstodayBD

* RMG workers’ demo in Ashulia:  20  injured in police action:

At least 20 people were injured when police tried to disperse the workers from Dhaka-Tangail highway where they took position urging garment owners to reopen their factories.

Witnesses said workers from 10 factories of Panishail area in Gazipur gathered in front of their respective factories and at one stage they took position on highway at around 8:15am.
Later, police fired tear shell and rubber bullets to bring the situation under control, leaving 20 people injured.
Following the matter Industrial police director Mostafijur Rahman told banglanews, “Some workers took position on the road in the area and we dispersed them.”
The situation is under control now and the vehicle movement is as usual, he added.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Over 100 hurt in RMG workers-cops clash in N’ganj:

Over 100 people, including 15 policemen, were injured as garment workers clashed with police at Fatullah while staging demonstration for minimum wage of Tk8,000 for the 6th straight day on Thursday.

Witnesses said several thousand of workers from 10-12 garment factories took to the streets and blocked the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road near Shibu Market and Lama para around 10 am, disrupting traffic for three and a half hours.
When police fired rubber bullets and tear shells to disperse the unruly workers they attacked police, triggering a fierce clash.
read more. & read more.
UNB

* 80% factories resume production in Gazipur: BGMEA:

Most of the apparel factories in Gazipur and Savar zone have resumed operation amid scattered protests by the workers demanding for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100.

To contain agitation that may lead to any vandalism, the government has deployed forces of Border Guard Bangladesh in the industrial zone of Gazipur and neighbouring areas.
Former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy has welcomed the BGB deployment. He said factories busy with Christmas production should be allowed to carry on their operations. ‘Presence of BGB personnel will work as a detrimental factor to any vandalism.’
He said most of the factories in Konabari and Gazipur areas have resumed operation. ‘I guess some 80 to 90 per cent factories have opened.’
read more. & read more.
BD new age primenews

* Security boosted at RMG factories after unrest:

20130926 PRIMENEWS Security_boosted_1

Paramilitary forces were deployed to guard garment factories outside the Bangladeshi capital on Thursday, after workers vandalised them and clashed with police as they protested to demand higher wages.

Forces drawn from the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh and the police’s Rapid Action Battalion were deployed in Gazipur industrial district, 40 kilometres north of Dhaka, as workers demonstrated for a sixth day, police officer Mosharraf Hossain said.
The owners of at least 20 garment factories announced unscheduled holidays, fearing violence after the workers took to the streets and blockaded a major highway, Hossain said.
read more. & read more.
primenews NewNation

* Textile workers fed up with conditions:

Over 200,000 textile workers in Bangladesh have taken to the streets, some clashing with police, rioting and setting factories alight, to demand a higher minimum wage.

Bangladesh’s textile workers are among the poorest paid in the world. Most of the people employed in the sector receive a minimum wage, which in the year 2010 was raised to around US$ 38 per month (3,000 taka) after mass protests.
But workers in the industry are now demanding that a further increase to US$ 100 per month.
Economist Shapan Adnan from Dhaka says the demands are modest, considering the high cost of living. “According to a recent study, a family of four would need at least 182 euros per month just to make ends meet.”
read more.
NewNation

* RMG protests over wages on:

Ignoring the government’s call for returning to work, garment workers in Narayanganj, Ashulia and Kaliakoir staged violent demonstrations for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday to push their demand for Tk 8,100 in minimum monthly wage.

Workers went on the rampage in Narayanganj even after the government asked the law enforcement agencies to take stern action against ‘outsider creating disorder’ in the apparel sector.
Gazipur was relatively calm on the day after deployment of Border Guard Bangladesh in the industrial zone. But a section of garment workers took to the streets in Kaliakoir in the district for wage hike.
Factory owners kept their units closed in many areas to avoid damage to factories.
New Age Narayanganj correspondent reported that at least 50 workers were injured as the police charged batons and fires rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse violent demonstrators in the port city.
read more.
BD new age

* Garment workers stay rowdy:

Production remained suspended for the sixth straight day yesterday in at least 30 garment factories due to vandalism by workers in spite of patrolling by paramilitary personnel.

The government deployed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel in Gazipur to bring the situation under control, but the agitated workers continued to wreck workstations and front faces of factories at Ashulia, Savar, Zirani, Narayanganj and Gazipur with vengeance, rendering the area unsafe.
The vandalism, which started on September 21 over the garment owners’ resistance to a 170.5 percent pay rise for the workers, also left 70 people including police and passersby injured yesterday.
“Security is the main problem,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the garment makers’ platform.
Some factories at Kashimpur, one of the worst-hit areas, however, were reopened yesterday, but the presence of workers was very thin.
“The environment was better yesterday as a good number of members from the law enforcement patrolled the areas,” Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Savar and Ashulia Zone Garment Owners’ Association, said.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible! :

Every so often our RMG sector comes under battering, most of which are self-inflicted. Some are delivered by the owners and result from violation of rules and norms that wreak losses in terms of lives of workers and destruction of the factory.

And sometimes the damage is inflicted by the workers themselves who, allegedly, always are either outsiders, whatever that means, or belong to factories other than the ones that are made the target of vandalism. The assault is sometimes from inobtrusive vicious forces whose identity one finds difficult to establish.
It is not for the first time that we are seeing the RMG sector come under severe strain.
The question is whose, if any, and why, is our RMG industry the target?

The conspiracy theory is being bandied again, and perhaps, there are reasons to believe that the RMG sector is once gain being used for political profiteering. And, given the inexplicable involvement of the shipping minister, who having arrogated, if not appropriated, the responsibilities of the labour as well as the industries ministers to himself, has compounded the matter by his indiscrete and irresponsible remarks. He has willy-nilly become the enfant terrible of the establishment.
read more.
daily star bd

* Govt, owners liable for RMG unrest:

Tens of thousands of workers in Bangladesh’s garment factories have been protesting in recent days to demand an increase in the minimum wage for their industry, which the government last increased three years ago.

The government has answered by ordering police to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters rather than addressing the real grievances of the workers.
This astonishing response is the latest example of the blindness of Bangladesh’s leaders, including the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to injustices the rest of the world can see but they refuse to acknowledge, let alone address.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Exercise restraint, NYT urges BD police, RMG workers:

The New York Times (NYT) in an editorial published on Wednesday urged police and garment workers in Bangladesh to show restraint in the wake of escalation of violence over the demands for wage hike in the garment industry.

The editorial also suggested that all the stakeholders including the western retailers have a responsibility for restoration of industrial peace, which Bangladesh is unlikely to achieve without higher wages.

However, it advised the government to take step first by stopping the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on mostly unarmed protesters. It has also said the relevant authorities should raise the minimum wage and make it easier for workers to form unions.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT

* Fix it quick or lose business:

Say top apparel exporters

20130927 DAILYSTAR
Police retreat during a clash with garment workers demanding an increase in minimum monthly salaries. The photo was taken yesterday in Shibu Market area of Fatullah, Narayanganj. Photo: Palash Khan

When it comes to paying employees, the best policy is to settle the matter as quickly as possible, because it reduces a businessman’s liability down the line, say country’s top exporters.

The Daily Star has talked to four top apparel exporters on the recent tension between labour leaders and factory owners over the minimum wage.
The exporters want an amicable solution to the crisis, or else they fear western buyers might turn away from Bangladesh as they did in the case of Sri Lanka in the 1980s. At that time, western buyers switched to Bangladesh from the island nation as an alternative sourcing country for apparel products.
The exporters said a wage hike by Tk 600 would be too little for workers, while the demand for a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 is unrealistic. They said the issue has to be settled in a way that creates a win-win situation for both workers and owners.
read more.
daily star bd

* Right of Pay for Labor … Bangladesh Minimum Wage Movement Continues …:

As the minimum wage demand enters its 6th day, workers have taken over to the streets in the industrial area of Ashulia, Savar, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Abdullahpur, Uttara, Tejgaon, Tongi and Badda. The BGMEA claims of more than 2000 factories being shut down due to worker absenteeism to support the movement and also due to worker agitation.

At least 3000 factories have been shut down while the garment factory owners report that the losses in business that they may have to suffer due to such unrest may be huge.
Although the BGMEA has not given any clear indication, the factory owners claim that due to the unrest they are forced to shut their factories down till the Muslim Eid Holidays (the second biggest festival in Bangladesh); thus, with such a move, opening up a huge scope of denying festival bonuses for workers who would otherwise have planned few rare moments of happiness with their family during these holidays.
It must be noted that a Garment Workers in Bangladesh often is found to be working 7 days a week for long hours which may even cross the legal 8 hours of work with 2 hours of overtime (10 hours maximum/daily).
read more.

LW + 2

20130926

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Apparel workers’ demo enters fifth day:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers continued demonstration to press home their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, for the fifth straight day in capital and its suburban areas, Wednesday.

Though most of the workers of the factories in the area joined their work, some of the factory authorities declared a holiday for the day to avert violence.
Traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway came to a standstill for nearly half an hour as workers blocked the road at Konabari and Kaliakoir–Nabinagar highway at Chandra area.
More than 100 factories were shut in the face of demonstration.
The workers of several apparels units in Konabari area came out and began demonstration to realise their demand.
They pelted brick bats at the factories that remained opened from the morning.
Later, they took position on Dhaka-Tangail highway and blocked the road.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 BSS Ittefaq
bdnews24 newstodayBD

* RMG Unrest over Salary Hike- 144 units shut amid unrest:

The authorities of over 144 garment factories suspended production of their units in Gazipur for Wednesday when the apparel workers’ unrest over salary hike stepped into fifth consecutive day.

At least 25 workers were injured when police charged batons on them as they were demonstrating for more than one hour blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway and Dhaka-Narayanganj link road.
The marauding workers also vandalised at least 10 vehicles and eight factories in Savar and Gazipur.
The workers’ unrest stemmed Saturday from their demand for a minimum wage of Tk 8,114.
(…)
GAZIPUR
The managements of more than 144 RMG units in Gazipur were forced to shut the production of their factories fearing further vandalism, reported our correspondent quoting Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Industrial Police.
Today’s demonstration started around 8:30am when the workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway, halting transport movement for two hours.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 20 RMG workers were injured during a 30-minute clash with law enforcers in Jirani area of Gazipur around 9:30am, reports our Savar correspondent.
The clash ensured around 9:30am when several thousand workers of Machihata Group, Pall-Mall Group and Jeans Plus blocked Dhaka-Tangail highway which is the divider point between Gazipur and Savar.
(…)
NARAYANGANJ
Around 5,000 workers of at least seven RMG units gathered in front of Shibu Market and tried to block the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road around 9:30am.
On information, police rushed to the spot and managed to disperse the workers after 15 minutes, reports our Narayanganj correspondent.
Around 10:30am, the workers returned to the street and blocked the link road, halting transport movement.
read more.
daily star bd

* 150 more RMG units shut: 60 hurt in clashes :

Nearly 60 garment workers and policemen were injured Wednesday in the latest spell of violence in the country’s key apparel manufacturing hubs leading to suspension of production at around 150 more ready-made garment (RMG) factories.

The workers vandalised vehicles and factories and engaged in clashes with law enforcers during the protests that rocked the RMG belts in Gazipur, Narayanganj and Ashulia.
read more. & read more.
NewNation

* Workers’ unrest in Savar, Gazipur & 2nd :N’ganj:

Readymade garments workers of Ashulia and Gazipur on Tuesday staged protest by blocking Nabinagar-Kaliakoir highway demanding Tk 8,000 as minimum salary.

At that time, more than 100 workers were injured as the protesters locked into a chase-counter chase with police.
Sources from the police and workers said that the workers started demonstration inside the Machihata factory of Panishail area in Gazipur at around 8.30am Tuesday.
At one stage, labourers took position on the Nabinagar-Kaliakoir highway as the owners failed to come up with any decision.
read more. & 2nd.
BANGLA NEWS24 BANGLA NEWS24

* Over 300 RMG factories closed in Gazipur over violence:

Over 300 garment factories were closed in Gazipur as the ready-made garment (RMG) workers continued their rowdy protests for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday in different areas demanding fixation of the minimum wage at Tk 8,000.

Over 100 factories were closed on Wednesday following the violence while 200 others were closed earlier on Tuesday night for an indefinite period fearing insecurity.
read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq

* RMG workers stage demo in Chittagong + RMG workers stage demo in city, 4 districts:

They staged the demonstration demanding the clearance of their due salary and an end to the oppression of the high officials

The workers of a readymade garment (RMG) factory staged a demonstration in their factory in Kadamrasul area in Sitakunda upazila, Chittagong on Wednesday.

Thousands of workers of Sunman Textiles staged the demonstration demanding the clearance of their due salary and an end to the oppression of the high officials.
Police sources said four workers were injured during a scuffle between factory officials and workers in the factory.
Two officials were allegedly assaulted during the incident.
Locals said the RMG workers closed the main gates of their factory at 10am and staged their demonstration.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE DHAKATRIBUNE

* Police fight on with apparel workers:

The police on Wednesday fought with apparel workers in Gazipur, at Savar in Dhaka and in Narayanganj for the fifth consecutive day as the workers continued with violent demonstrations for Tk 8,100 in their minimum monthly wage.

The workers continued to ignore the government’s call for joining work and the factory owners also kept their units closed in the areas to avoid damage being done to factories.
The minister for home affairs, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, on the day said that there was no unrest in the apparel sector and only a few incidents had taken place. The minister at his office in the morning said that there was no violence but a problem in Gazipur on the day.
Reports from Gazipur said at least 50 workers had been injured as the police charged at them with truncheons.
read more. & read more.
BD new age 

* No unrest in apparel sector, claims Home Minister:

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday claimed that there was no unrest in the readymade garment sector.

After a meeting on law and order situation in the country ahead of Eid and Durga Puja, he told reporters at the secretariat that there were some stray incidents in the export oriented apparel industry.
‘It is nothing big’, he said about the ongoing agitation by the garment workers who are insisting to increase their wages.
‘Today (Wednesday) almost all factories excepting a few in Gazipur are in operations’, he added.
The apparel workers are continuing demonstration to realise their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, for the fifth straight day in capital and its suburban areas, Wednesday.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE UNB INDEPENDENT Ittefaq
BDCHRONICLE NewNation

* MKA talks tough against those trying to destabilise RMG sector:

‘Both govt, owners responsible for unrest’

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday warned that any attempt to create crisis in the readymade garment (RMG) sector will be dealt with a strong hand saying that any attack on the sector is tantamount to attack on the national interest.

“The ill-attempt by outsiders to destablise the RMG sector will be curbed with all the strength,” he said while talking to reporters after a tripartite meeting among the Home Ministry, and the representatives of the owners and the workers.
The emergency meeting was held at the Secretariat against the backdrop of the ongoing violent protests by RMG workers across the country demanding an increase in their minimum wages.

“Those taking stands against the garment industry are going against the national interest. I call on the workers to make sure that there is no disturbance until the minimum wages are declared,” said MK Alamgir.
It can be assured that the new minimum wages award will come at the end of November through the minimum wage board already constituted by the government, he added.
(….)

Bangladesh Textile Garment Workers’ Federation president Mahbubur Rahman Ismail said both the government and the owners are responsible for the recent unrest in the sector.
“About four and a half months have passed by since the minimum wage board has been formed. It’s now very uncertain whether the wages can be declared within the one and a half months’ time left for this government,” he said.

“The sooner the wage is declared, the quicker the unrest will calm. If the government has the will, the minimum wage can be declared before the Eid,” he added.
read more. & read more.
UNB BDCHRONICLE

“The key export sector of the country is facing severe unrest for the last few days. Stability is needed for the sake of owners and workers,” acting BGMEA President SA Mannan Kochi said.
He added that the owners were not short of intentions to raise the monthly wage, but if the unrest lingered on, they would not be able to pay the workers before the Eid-ul-Azha.
BKMEA President Selim Osman said that they were concerned over the unrest.

“If this continues we will not be able to pay salary, bonus before the Eid,” he said.
read more.
bdnews24

* Treachery by factory owners to make matters worse:

As the latest round of labour unrest in the apparel sector over wages continue, the factory owners, grouped under the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, have appeared increasingly inclined to treachery.

As if their proposal for a Tk 600 increase in the minimum wage for apparel workers from Tk 3,000, based on the argument that any further hike would translate into more losses for factory owners and could even lead to closure of a few factories and thus leave a number of people unemployed, was not treacherous enough, they now say that they would not be able to pay wages and festival allowances to the workers if the unrest in the sector continues.

As reported in New Age on Wednesday, during a press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban, the factory owners predictably blamed the ongoing workers’ agitation, marked by violence and vandalism, on instigation by vested interest groups, to create a chaos that ultimately hinders the export business, and said that if they failed ‘to make shipment in time, workers will not get wages and festival allowances.’ Such a statement, reasoned it may appear though, amounts to a veiled threat and even blackmail, and could only deepen the workers’ discontent and intensify their agitation.
read more.
BD new age

* Onus on owners:

The recent troubles in the readymade garment sector had been coming for a long time. Not that they had ever gone away – they were just festering following previous bouts of flashes and gathering strength.

The crux of the troubles in fact dates back to the birth of our garment industry in the 1980s. Growing in the shadow of the Sri Lankan civil war, our industry was based on a few fragile factors.
For one, it was heavily dependent on an abundance of cheap labour, mostly illiterate. The industry looked towards government support, direct and indirect, such as currency devaluation, tax benefits and cash incentives.
For another, as the industry grew exponentially, its dependence on cheap labour remained unchanged. Its management, labour standards and technology either did not improve or improved little.
The industry grew in a roguish manner as its owners became powerful in society, enough to control politics and bend rules. Finally, it became a rogue industry itself defying rules and regulations, an industry that little values human rights and dignity and gives a damn to the environment.

This is exactly why we find our Mercedes-riding garment owners offering to raise wages of workers only by Tk 600 — to Tk 3,600! When the last wages were set at Tk 3,000, that was a low base. Since then we have seen runaway inflation and yet the owners could not feel the heat of it. Probably they live above the leaping price flames. It also reflected on how little they sympathise with their workers.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG Unrest: BGB deployment from Thursday:

Amid unrest in apparel factories, the government has decided to deploy Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) apart from Rab and police around garment factories in the trouble-hit areas to ensure foolproof security and smooth production from Thursday.

“Yes, BGB will be there along with Rab, police and industrial police. The Home Minister has told us,” former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Abdus Salam Murshedy told UNB over phone on Wednesday night.
He said the decision came from a meeting between Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir and a delegation of garment factory owners held at the secretariat. BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam is now in New York.
Earlier in the day, the Home Minister warned that any attempt to create crisis in the readymade garment (RMG) sector will be dealt with a strong hand saying that any attack on the sector is tantamount to attack on the national interest.
The emergency meeting was held at the Secretariat against the backdrop of the ongoing violent protests by RMG workers across the country demanding an increase in their minimum wages.
to read.
UNB

* RMG owners decide to resume operation from today:

The government on Wednesday asked the law enforcement agencies to go all out against ‘outsiders creating disorder’ in the apparel sector.

Hours after saying that there was no unrest in the apparel sector, the home
minister, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, gave the directive to the agencies at an emergency meeting at the secretariat with owners and trade union leaders in the sector.
‘There are some stray incidents of disorder in some places… We will go all out to contain outsiders creating disorder in apparel factories,’ the home minister told reporters after the tripartite meeting held to resolve the current crisis.
He assured the owners of heightening security and asked them to resume operation in all factories today.
The Bangladesh Exporters’ Association president, Abdus Salam Murshedi, also a former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, said that the owners had decided to resume operation today on the assurance of security from the government.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garments sector in turmoil, again:

The country’s garments sector is once again in turmoil. Workers have gone berserk in many industrial belts, attacking garments factories, vehicles on roads and highways and even a camp of the law-enforcement agency.

For the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, violence spread from one industrial zone to another, forcing closure of apparel factories.
This is a cause for serious concern, particularly at a time when two of the greatest religious festivals of two major communities of the country are only days away.
Clearly, it was an unwise move on the part of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders to offer a wage raise of a paltry sum in public.
Business acumen dictates that the apparel leaders opened up a behind-the-door channel of discussion with various trade union leaders representing the garments workers.
They could even be in touch with the ministries concerned. One might assume that even the BGMEA leaders do not subscribe to the belief that the offer would be enough. They offered it as a bargaining chip without a proper thought to its consequences.
read more.

* Buyers worried, factory owners slow to respond:

H&M joins IndustriALL Global Union to support demands for increased wages

Readymade garment factory owners have been slow to respond to workers’ demands for increasing minimum wage.

Despite the risks of continued protests, given that global retailers are watching the industry to see how the situation is handled, the owners’ associations have not responded with due urgency as workers’ agitations have spread.
In Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and Narayanganj another volatile day passed with workers vandalising vehicles and factories, prompting owners  to shut units and police to swing into action.
On Monday night, industry leaders assured Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, one of the labour leaders negotiating between workers and factory owners, of an amicable solution.
(…)
“Buyers are very, very scared,” said Rubana Haq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, who supplies leading brands such as H&M, Zara, Esprit as well as Wal-Mart.
(…)
Europe’s second-biggest retailer H&M joined IndustriALL Global Union, which supports increased wages. According to a Bloomberg report, H&M’s spokesperson Andrea Roos said: “We strongly support the workers’ demand (for increased minimum wage).”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

*  BGB deployed in Gazipur Industrial Zone:

Paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops have been deployed in the Gazipur Industrial Zone in order to bring the situation under control on Thursday; the sixth day of the ongoing labour unrest.

According to the district administration, BGB members, along with industrial police and district police, will be patrolling in the industrial zone to keep the law and order situation in the area under control.
Assistant Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Md Mosharaf Hossain said: “To keep the law and order situation normal in the area, the administration has decided to deploy the BGB troops in Gazipur.”
The BGB members had already started patrolling the area since Thursday morning, he added.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* The economics of minimum wages:

20130926 DAILYSTARBusiness-39
Garment workers shout slogans during a protest asking for wage increase in Dhaka on September 21. Thousands of workers took part in the protest to demand a minimum monthly wage Tk 8,000. Photo:AFP

The Rana Plaza tragedy, although devastating and sad as an event, has contributed to one positive result.
This has raised sufficient international and national voice to support the need for better employment standards and practices in the organised private sector.

One aspect of this re-examination of what constitutes globally acceptable employment practices is the need for a realistic minimum wage. There is an ongoing heated political and social debate on this subject.
This is welcome but it needs to be tempered with good economics to make sure that the end result is a positive outcome for the labour market, the readymade garments (RMG) sector, and Bangladesh development as a whole.
The importance of looking at the economic aspects of this debate cannot be over-emphasised in a labour surplus economy like Bangladesh.

For the economy as a whole there is a major employment challenge defined as the need to create good jobs that is characterised by higher productivity and higher incomes.
The most recent Labour Force Survey of 2010 showed that some 88 percent of Bangladesh’s 54 million labour force was engaged in economic activities that are informal in nature. Some 45 percent of total employment was in agriculture, where real wages and average labour productivity tend to be the lowest in the economy.
read more.
daily star bd

* Need to identify issues that constrain RMG industry:

The country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector is otherwise giving a disconcerting signal. Troubled by labour unrest for the last few consecutive days, the sector is apparently heading towards an uncertain future.

Moreover, global clothing retailers have warned of grave impacts if the unrest continues and production remains halted for long.

Bangladesh is already passing through a restive political phase for the last one year. Now, the analysts say, if the labour unrest flares up throughout the country and continues for long, the international buyers will not come up with new orders. On the contrary, orders will go to other countries if the unrest prolongs.
And there are a good number of countries waiting in the wings, looking for opportunities to take over the Bangladesh’s RMG markets in the overseas.
read more.

LW + 2

20130925

03:59:22 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Factory management agrees on pay advance for holiday:

Management at the Chhin Chin garment factory yesterday agreed to meet workers’ demands to receive their wages before the Pchum Ben holiday after a 150-worker demonstration briefly blocked National Road 4 in front of the factory.

Workers at the factory, which is located in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, began demonstrating the previous day after management said it would pay workers half their salary in advance, rather than their entire month’s pay, said Va Sarorng, deputy chief of Por Sen Chey’s Choam Chao commune, who observed the negotiation.
“The workers need money … because the date they receive their salary is after Pchum Ben,” Sarorng said.
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media update 14-24 September 2013:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-09-16 Forward steps for salary raise

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-09-23 Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike

protestBetterFactories Media update Overview here.
BF NEW

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG unrest continues:

20130924 NEWAGE
Bangladeshi garment workers shout slogans during a protest in Narayanganj on September 24, 2013. Angry Bangladeshi garment workers blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a fourth day on Tuesday as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of USD100 spread outside the capital. — AFP PHOTO

The readymade garment (RMG) workers, demonstrating for a wage hike, are continuing their protest in the capital and its suburban areas for the fourth straight day Tuesday.

In Dhaka, UNB reported, several thousand RMG workers put up a barricade on the Kuril Bishwa Road during a demonstration demanding Tk 8,200 as the monthly minimum wage in the morning.
The road blockade created severe traffic congestion on both sides of the Airport-Mohakhali and Airport-Progoti Sarani roads in the city.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG unrest continues:

The apparel workers, demonstrating for salary hike, are continuing their protest in the capital and its outer edges Ashulia, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj areas for the fourth consecutive day Tuesday.

The unrest steamed from the workers’ demand to fix their monthly minimum wage at Tk 8,114.
At least 20 workers were injured when law enforcers tried to free Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways in Gazipur.
(…)
DHAKA
The demonstration erupts in the capital when around 2,500 workers of at least five local garment factories blocked Kuril Intersection around 9:00am, said SI Jewel.
(…)
ASHULIA
Over 4,000 workers of six ferment factories of Ashulia including Mascot Garments, Macsuoka Apparel Limited and Reliance Garments Limited went on work abstention since the morning.
(…)
GAZIPUR
At least 20 workers were injured during sporadic clashes with law enforcers on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Mulaid area of Sreepur upazila.
The demonstration started afresh when the workers of Hasin Sweater, Talha Spinning Mill and Welltex Ltd barricaded the highway for two hours felling logs around 10:00am, creating over four kilometres tailback on the both sides of the highway.
(…)
NARAYANGANJ
The workers of several garments factories blocked Dhaka-Narayanganj Link road at Shibu Market area for one hour from 10:00am as the demonstration over salary hike spread to Narayanganj.
read & see more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers block Kuril Bishaw Road for hiked minimum wage:

20130925 NEWNATION
Garments employees blockade Progati Swarani Road in the city on Tuesday to meet its various demands including Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly salary for each garment worker. NN photo

Several thousand readymade garment (RMG) workers put up barricade on the Kuril Bishaw Road in the city during a demonstration for a hike in their minimum monthly wage on Tuesday morning.

The road blockade created severe traffic congestion on both sides of the Airport-Mohakhali and Airport-Progoti Sarani roads in the city.
Police and witnesses said workers, in their thousands, from several garment units, including Euro Zone Garments, put up barricade near level crossing at Kuril Bishaw Road at about 8:15 am to press home their various demands, including increased minimum wage of Tk8,000.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT  BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE BD new age Ittefaq
newstodayBD NewNation

* Violence in RMG sector spreads to N’ganj, Tangail:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers’ protest demanding Tk 8000 as a minimum monthly wage continued Tuesday also leading to suspension of production in a number of factories in areas in and around the capital city.

The labour unrest, which was limited to various parts of Gazipur, Savar and Dhaka industrial zones until Monday last, spread to Narayanganj district and Mirzapur industrial area in Tangail on the day.

Production at nearly 40 factories, mostly in Chandra, Mouchak and Konabari under Gazipur Industrial Hub, were suspended because of the latest spell of violence. Around 50 people, mostly RMG workers, were also injured in the fresh trouble on the day.
read more.

* RMG workers protest in Ashulia:

With the demand of minimum Tk 8,000 salary, RMG workers staged protest for the second day in Ashulia, outskirt of Dhaka, on Tuesday morning.

To avoid any unwanted situation six factories were declared closed for the day at around 09:30am.
Agitated workers of six factories and police locked into a clash when workers tried to vandalize factories and block Baipail-Abdullahpur road.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Protest over pay rise in Gazipur- 12 RMG factories shut, 20 hurt :

At least 20 people were injured in garments workers protest and clash with police in Noljani area of Gazipur city on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said that workers of Shafi Garment and Odesha Fashion started protest barricading Dhaka-Gazipur road. Police charged baton to disperse them and workers hurled brick chips aiming police and factory, leaving 10 people injured.
In another incident in Kodda area, workers set fire to a factory of Bhuiyan Ripid, leaving 10 workers injured.
Authorities of 12 garments in Konabari, Tongi and Borobari area declared their factories apprehending vandalism.
Inspector (investigation) of Joydebpur Thana Jahidul Islam said that the situation was under control.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers continue agitation:

20130925 NEWAGE
Apparel workers on Tuesday block the road at Kuril Biswa Road in the capital, demanding Tk 8000 as their minimum wage. — New Age photo

Apparel workers continued agitation to press home their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100 for the fourth consecutive day in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Tangail, ignoring the government’s call for joining their works.

The government held a tripartite meeting with factory owners and workers on Monday night and after the meeting shipping minister Shahjahan Khan on behalf of the government called on the agitating workers to join their works without reaching any specific decision.
Unrest in garment factories flared up four days ago with the demand for minimum wage of Tk 8,100 while the factory owners’ association agreed to pay only Tk 3,600 that added fuel to the agitation and the government branded the stances of both the sides wrong.
Violence spilled to Tangail on Tuesday as the agitating workers clashed with police at Hatubhanga and Gorai area of the district, leaving at least 35 people including a newsman inured.
Locals said the agitating workers of different apparel units assembled and went out on demonstration blocking the Dhaka-Tangail highway. As police tried to remove them from the highway, they clashed with them.
read more.
BD new age

* Protesting workers say wages not enough to buy food:

Protesting Bangladesh garment workers complained Tuesday they cannot even afford to feed their families as they staged a fourth day of street protests demanding a near-tripling of wages.

Police fired tear gas at several thousand workers who blocked major roads near Dhaka’s main airport and at the key industrial hubs of Ashulia and Fatullah outside the capital in the latest demonstrations.
“Some 2,000 workers blocked roads at Ashulia. Industrial police fired tear gas to disperse them,” local police chief Badrul Alam told AFP.
The protests, smaller than ones in previous days when up to 200,000 took to the streets, resumed despite a senior government minister’s assurance late Monday of a pay rise for all garment workers by November.

Workers said the current minimum monthly wage of $38 dollars is not enough to cover food, rent, education and other basic family needs.
“I earn 4,000 ($50) taka per month that includes overtime bills,” said a female worker protesting at Kuril near the airport.
“It does not cover all my expenses. The house rent has gone up, education costs of my kids are rising all the time,” said Hamida Begum, 30.
“I can’t send money to my old parents. And there are days we don’t have proper food,” she added.
read more. & read more. & to read.
BD new age INDEPENDENT Ittefaq

* The battles of RMG:

The police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) were on the road just the other day, clearing the protesting workers who had come out in the streets from the neighbourhood of Khilkhet and Bishwa Road.

The scene was not a pretty one. It’s never a relief to see law enforcement teams dispelling the crowd. This is the last thing a garment factory owner desires to witness. In spite of how many times garment-wallahs are publicly shamed, the reality is that the sector exists. In spite of many wanting to wish the ‘blood sucking’ owners away, the readymade garment (RMG) entrepreneurs still happen to provide the highest employment in the country.

Whether RMG is viable as an industry or whether it will survive at the pace it is advancing, is a critical discussion altogether. Sweeping suggestions on the sector producing better products, enhancing the skill of workers, enforcing good practices in the area…have all been a part of the current popular discourse.
One is yet to read a thought-provoking, in-depth study and suggestion on exactly how to take this industry forward and let’s reconcile with one fact: one can’t simply do with overnight wish lists.
(…)
Will the buyers be able to afford a 50 US cents increase to accommodate a Taka 8000.00 minimum wage scale? That’s a straight ‘No.”
Will the buyers pay 30-40 US cents? Very unlikely.
Will they at least give 20 US cents extra for the wage hike? Probably.
With a fairly simple calculation of 10 US cents increase per thousand, if the minimum wage is pushed to Taka 4400-4500,the customers would have to pay a 15 US cents up charge and with Taka 5000.00, the customers would have to pay 20 US cents. The guessing range is all within 10-20 US cents.

Now, how does the world market look? In reality, the European Union (EU) has been the saviour for Bangladeshi RMG with their everything but arms (EBA) scheme.
Unfortunately the internal market of the EU is depressed. In the period of July 2012-May 2013, the EU exports to their own EU member-states have declined by 11.6% though garment export from the EU to non-EU countries have registered a 12.1% increase. Chinese exports has fallen 22.4% to Germany, 14% to France and most of all, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are no more the top buyers for China, as they used to be.
read more.

* ‘A minister behind labour unrest’- Fakhrul:

Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said a minister – indicating towards shipping minister Shahjahan Khan – has started a new game to destroy the readymade garment sector.

He made the remarks while addressing a discussion organised by Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijuddher Prajanma at the Jatiya Press Club.
The BNP spokesman said when the situation in the RMG sector was almost quiet and going on smoothly, suddenly a minister emerged as the ‘leader of garment workers.’
He said, the minister held a rally of apparels workers at Suhrawardy Uddyan by closing garment factories, unleashing vandalism and forcibly bringing the workers, by hiring vehicles and created a chaos.
‘As a result, now anarchy and unrest has erupted in the RMG sector and is going to destroy it’, said the BNP policymaker.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB newstodayBD daily star bd NewNation

* CPD suggests Tk 8,200 minimum wage for RMG workers:

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, on Tuesday suggested that the minimum wage for the garment workers be set at Tk 8,200.

CPD additional research director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem came up with the suggestion while revealing the findings of a study on minimum wage in the RMG sector at a dialogue in the capital.
The CPD organised the dialogue, titled ‘Minimum Wage for the RMG Sector: Analysis and Proposal’ at Cirdap auditorium.

Conducting the study on RMG workers in Savar, Tongi and Rampura in the city, the CPD estimated a revised minimum wage using three separate methodologies – poverty line data from national statistics, actual worker income and expenditure and a living wage based on aspirational model diet.
The minimum wage for entry-level workers is proposed Tk 6,445 at the poverty line, Tk 8,200 at actual worker expenditure and Tk 17,800 based on aspirational model diet.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 BSS INDEPENDENT newstodayBD
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Workers’ demand justified:

Lawmakers, labour leaders and analysts back wage hike

Lawmakers, labour leaders and analysts yesterday called for at least doubling of the minimum wage for the country’s garment workers to help them lead a decent life.

“The garment owners’ proposal for a Tk 600 wage hike is inhumane,” said Wajed-ul Islam Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Council, said.
“These workers are demanding a wage that will allow them to lead a decent life,” he said at a dialogue, Revision of the Minimum Wage in the RMG Sector, organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at the Cirdap auditorium.

The issue of minimum wage came to the fore after the government, following extensive criticism, formed a new wage board in June.
The workers’ representative on the board demanded that the monthly minimum wage be hiked to Tk 8,114 from the existing Tk 3,000, but the owners are willing to increase by 20 percent.
“There is no scope to set a minimum wage below Tk 8,000,” said Nazrul Islam Khan, secretary general of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS).
read more.
daily star bd

* Unrest hits Gazipur RMG belt for 4th day:

Simmering unrest hit the country’s RMG belt in Gazipur for the 4th day on the trot on Tuesday, forcing suspension of production at some 40 factories.

At least 10 people were injured as garment workers clashed with cops in different places in the city, and Kaliakoir and Sreepur upazilas demanding that their minimum wage be fixed at Tk 8,000 and the production wages of the sweater workers be increased.
Witnesses said garment workers staged demonstrations in Wireless Gate, Naojor and Rawshan Road areas in the city, Shafipur and Palli Bidyut areas in Kaliakori and Nayanpur and MC Bazar areas in Sreepur upazila.
The unruly workers went on the work abstention in the morning and took to the street.
read more.
UNB

* Unrest in RMG industry continues:

In some places they has peacefully moved away upon request from police, in most other places police has to charge batons

Thousands of garment workers took to the streets for the third consecutive day Tuesday demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,000.

In several places in and outside the capital, agitated workers blockaded roads and highways, vandalised vehicles and factories and locked into clashes with law enforcers.
While in some places they peacefully moved away upon request from police, in most other places police had to charge batons, fire rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the angry mob.
Workers of at least 15 factories in Khilkhet and Kuril areas in Dhaka, Ashulia of Savar and Fatulla of Narayanganj abstained from work and demonstrated on the roads.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Logical minimum wage for workers by Nov, hopes BGMEA:

‘What’s happening in RMG industry is suicidal’ – 
BGMEA warns of conspiracy, hopes minimum wage for workers by Nov

Mentioning that the country’s RMG sector is passing through a fragile time, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Tuesday said a conspiracy is on both internationally and locally to create anarchy in the vital sector.

“What’s happening in the RMG sector is suicidal…if such a situation continues, many owners won’t be able to pay salaries, bonus before Eid-ul-Azha,” BGMEA acting President SM Mannan Kochi said reading out a written statement at a press conference.
read more. to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB  INDEPENDENT  BD new age    daily star bd  NewNation
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Bangladeshi garment workers rally for a decent wage:

200,000 Bangladeshi garment workers mobilise for three days in Dhaka and elsewhere calling for a living wage and strongly rejecting a derisory employers’ wage offer in negotiations.

IndustriALL Global Union has long supported the calls of its Bangladeshi affiliates for a rise in the minimum wage for the sector in line with a living wage. The IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) is united in its demand for an urgent increase in the minimum wage to well over US$100 per month.

Recent attention has focused on discussions inside the wage board created by the government to recommend an increased sector-wide minimum wage. IndustriALL has criticised the absence of a trade union representative on the wage board. One spark that ignited the mass worker demonstrations over the weekend however was the inadequate submitted proposal to this wage board from the BGMEA and BKMEA employers associations of 3,600 Taka per month, a raise of less than 20 per cent.

IBC general secretary Roy Ramesh stated: The IBC has proposed to fix the minimum wages based on the Millennium Development Goals and the cost of living which is equal to around US$120 per month.
read more.
Home

* What should be the minimum wage for RMG workers? :

What should be the minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) workers? The answer depends on what kind of society we intend to be.
The level of minimum wage can be translated into how much we care for the toiling masses.

In setting the minimum wage, the bare minimum that a society must ensure is the continuance of the current level of living standard of the working class. Otherwise, we will be singled out as a heartless society. The new wage must be adequate at least to meet the rising cost of living. Increase of cost of living depends on where one resides, in urban or rural area, and what one consumes. In case of the RMG workers, the most relevant proxy measure for increase in cost of living is the urban food inflation.

If we don’t want to be identified as a heartless society in the eyes of our next generation, whatever minimum wage we set should be adequate at least to compensate for the food inflation that occurred during FY10-13. Anything less would mean absolute decline in the living standard of the RMG workers who are already struggling hard for their subsistence.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) – the association of RMG manufacturers – has already announced the amount by which they would like to increase minimum wage for their workers.
They intend to accept an increase in minimum wage by Tk. 600, increasing it to Tk. 3600 from its current level of Tk. 3000.

Not to mention that not only the RMG workers but also many human rights activists are not happy at all with what BGMEA offered. Most likely the dialogue between the employers and employees of the RMG sector would continue to reach to an agreement.
read more.

* RMG workers’ demand, BGMEA apathy and politicking minister:

The latest spate of labour unrest over wages in the readymade garment sector, which has over the past few days seen agitated workers clash with the police and other law enforcement agencies, vandalise factories and vehicles, and even attack an ansar camp in and around the capital Dhaka, has induced the familiar clichéd response from the Awami League-led government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association — that agent provocateurs assigned by certain vested quarters are instigating the turmoil to destabilise the apparel industry.

If there was any provocation, it has come from the BGMEA itself in the form of its demeaning proposal for a Tk 600 increase in the minimum wage, from Tk 3,000 fixed in November 2010, on the eminently questionable rationale that such a raise is inflation-adjusted and thus justified, and that any further hike would translate into more losses for factory owners and could even lead to closure of a few factories and thus leave a number of people unemployed.

The minimum wage in the apparel sector is, and has always been, the lowest in the world. Even in Bangladesh, in comparison with many sectors, e.g. construction and timber (Tk 9,982), tannery (Tk 8,750), and oil mill and vegetable products (Tk 7,420), it fares quite poorly.
As pointed out by different quarters, at home and abroad, the minimum wage in the apparel sector, which happens to be the major foreign exchange earner, has never been commensurate with the cost of living.
A study pointed out recently that the minimum pay for RMG workers has remained static since November 2010 whereas their cost of living has increased at least 2.5 times in the meanwhile.
read more.
BD new age

* Fixing wages for garments workers:

The economic growth of Bangladesh is hugely depended on the readymade garments (RMG) sector.

Local as well as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has contributed to the radical change in this sector. The export of RMG increased to US $19 billion in the fiscal year 2012-2013 from only US $7 million in 1981-1982. This shows the true importance of RMG sector. By 2001, direct and indirect employment in RMG was about 3 million workers of whom 90 per cent are women and by 2013, there are about 4 million people, mostly women
read more.

* Wage hike needed for RMG sector:

Says German envoy

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Albrecht Conze yesterday said pay hike for garment workers is necessary as the garment industry here pays the minimum wage compared to other industries.

Talking to a select group of journalists at his office in the afternoon, he stressed the need for an agreed procedure to look into the wages of the garment workers every year to avoid any confrontation.
“Now again, it [workers’ wages] has become a big political issue. It should be depoliticised,” he noted.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age

* Thousands demand higher wages in Bangladesh factory protest:

Tens of thousands of garment factory workers in Bangladesh protested for the third day in a row Monday, calling on their government to raise the minimum wage from about $38 dollars per month to $100.

The protests forced the shutdown of hundreds of factories in the industrial Gazipur neighborhood near the capital, Dhaka, where factory owners and government officials called for workers to return to work.
“We need to run our factories. We demand authorities ensure security to continue production,” S.M. Mannan, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told The Associated Press after meeting with a cabinet minister and workers’ representatives.

Western corporations that rely on Bangladeshi labor to make much of the clothing sold in their stores, including Wal-Mart, Gap and Macy’s, appeared reluctant to comment publicly on the protests — decisions that were criticized by labor-rights activists.
“If the corporations were to send a clear message that they are willing to pay higher prices to manufacturers so they can pay higher wages to workers, that could have a real influence on negotiations,” said Liana Foxvog, director of organizing at the International Labor Rights Forum, a U.S.-based group that advocates for workers in countries like Bangladesh.
But that’s unlikely to happen, Foxvog said.
read more.
ALJAZEERA US

* RMG unrest continues for 4-day in Gazipur:

Police fire rounds of bullets in air to disperse crowd

Around 500 garment workers took to the streets for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,000.

RMG workers threw bits and bats at the garment factories that were open in Kashempur-Konabari road area in Gazipur around 9:30am.
Sources said they demanded a closure of the factories that remained open in spite of the unrest.
Meanwhile, the protesters also brought out workers who were inside the factories. One of the factories was identified as Cotton Club Ltd.
On information, police went to the spot and fired few rounds of bullets in the air to disperse the crowd.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  BANGLA NEWS24

LW + 2

 20130924

 02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur; factories close:

Over a hundred factories were compelled to close down for the day because of mass demonstrations by readymade garment workers in Gazipur on Monday morning.

Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways were barricaded for more than three hours because of the demonstrations.
Clashes between workers and police persisted in Board Bazar, Bhogra, Barabari, Basan, Chourasta and other areas until 11:30am.
Hundreds of workers took to the streets around 8am in the morning for the third consecutive day of demonstrations, demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garment workers go berserk in Gazipur:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage in Gazipur industrial belt on Monday for the third straight day during demonstration demanding minimum wage at Tk8,000.

They put up barricade on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway and at several points of the Dhaka Bypass road resulting in long tailbacks.
read more. & read more.
UNB primenews

* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Savar:

Garment workers ran amok in Gazipur and Savar for the third consecutive day on Monday demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8,000.

The unruly workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in different areas, including Chandna intersection, Signboard and Rowshan roads, and damaged some factories with sticks turning a 10-km area into a battle field in Gazipur in the morning.
At least 50 people, including policemen and Ansar members, were injured as they clashed with the law enforcers at Bhogra.
Witnesses said thousands of workers took to the street in the morning, staged demonstrations and put blockade on Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Gazipur and Dhaka Bypass roads, creating a long tailback on the roads and causing immense sufferings to passengers.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 Ittefaq

* 10-15 hurt in Savar apparel worker-cop clash:

At least 10 people, including a policeman, were injured as apparel workers clashed with police at different places in Savar upazila during a demonstration Monday.

The workers were demanding to set their minimum wage at Tk 8,000 a month.
The authorities were forced to declare at least 15 readymade garment factories closed for the day following the incident.
Officer-in-charge (Investigation) Aminur Rahman of Savar Police Station said workers of Al-Ihsan Garments, Al-Muslim Garments, Pride Group, HR Textile and some other garment units of Ulail and Karnapara area went on a work abstention in the morning and staged demonstration to push for fixing their minimum wage at Tk 8,000.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE newstodayBD

* RMG workers stage sit-in in capital:

20130923 DKAKATRIBUNEGarment workers demonstrate in Banani, Chairmanbari and Tejgaon

On Monday morning, workers from various garment factories took to the streetsin the capital’s Banani and Chairmanbari areas demanding higher minimum wages.

Deputy Commissioner of Gulshan Division Lutful Kabir said law enforcers had removed the agitating workers from the road after they had staged a sit-in there around 11:30am.
He said the situation had been brought under control but the workers were trying to organise demonstrations in other areas.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garment workers demonstrate at Savar, Gazipur : 100 injured:

More than 100 apparel workers were injured in separate incidents of clashes between the workers and the law enforcers at Savar and Gazipur while agitating on the streets today.

Demanding fixation of minimum wage at 8000 several thousand agitated workers blocked roads and highways and vandalized a large number of vehicles in different places of Savar and Gazipur.
The demonstrations caused serious traffic gridlock in different places of the highways at Savar and Gazipur.

Our Gazipur correspondent reports, more 100 garment workers and street people were injured when the agitated workers blocked Dhaka-Gazipur, Dhaka- Tangail, Dhaka-Kaliakoir and Dhaka- Mymensingh highways and vandalized scores of vehicles..

Quoting police and local people, BSS correspondent reports that thousands of workers from as many as 50 apparel factories including Inter- Stop, Tushka Garment, Inter-Link, Sunmoon at Konabari industrial area, Diganta Sweaters at Nawjore, Bhalmont Fashions and Mens Trust at Bhogra area and Sparrow, Prince and Jamuna apparels at Tongi and Gazipur Sadar area demonstrated since morning taking position on different highway points of the district.
read more.
BSS

* Some quarters active to divert apparel workers’ demand: Minister:

Shipping minister M Shahjahan Khan said on Monday some quarters are active to divert the apparel workers’ demand for wage hike.

He said those quarters were also involved in creating disorders in the clothing industry.
He made these comments in a meeting with garment factory owners and BGMEA leaders at the secretariat to resolve the ongoing crisis in the export oriented apparel sector.
The minister said he does not believe that the workers were responsible for the ongoing crisis.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG Workers’ Demo over salary Hike – Gazipur Ansar camp attacked, arms, ammo looted:

20130923 DAILYSTARGarment workers demanding a minimum monthly salary of around Tk 8,000 agitate on the Tongi-Gazipur highway yesterday. Photo: Courtesy/Star

Over 140 hurt as workers block highways, vandalise 115 vehicles, 10 factories; most RMG units in Tejgaon, Gazipur halt production

The apparel workers, demonstrating for salary hike, attacked an Ansar camp in Joydevpur upazila of Gazipur and looted firearms and ammunition as the agitation continued for third consecutive day Monday.

Four Ansar members including a commander were injured in the attack. They are now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Uttara of the capital.
The unrest in apparel sector, which stemmed from the workers’ demand for fixing minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000, erupted in different parts of Dhaka, Gazipur and Savar in the morning.
At least 135 more people including six police personnel were injured as the aggrieved workers engaged in sporadic clashes with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

GAZIPUR
The workers of three garment factories attacked an Ansar camp in Bhogra By-pass area of Joydevpur upazila around 8:30am and looted eight rifles and 135 bullets, leaving four Ansar member injured.
(…)
DHAKA
The demonstration ensued around 9:30am in Tejgaon industrial zone when 1,000 workers of several factories took position at Nabisco industrial area.
The agitating workers then hurled brick chips at the roadside factories, breaking a close circuit camera of Ha-Meem Group unit.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 35 people including six policemen were injured during sporadic clashes between garment workers and law enforcers at Karnapara, Ulail and Savar Bus Stand areas on Dhaka-Aricha highway.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE BD new age BANGLA NEWS24 BDCHRONICLE

* 150 more RMG units shut as violence spreads:

At least 150 garment factories were shut on Monday in the face of ongoing violent workers’ protest for wage hike that spread to some other industrial belts on the third consecutive day of their agitation.

The workers, infuriated by the owners’ proposal for a 20 per cent hike in their salaries, blockaded Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha Highways, resorted to vandalism and clashed with the law enforcers on the day.

Meanwhile, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan at an emergency meeting called upon the leaders of BGMEA and apparel workers to restore peaceful working environment at their units from today (Tuesday).
read more.

* RMG unrest flares:

Workers attack ansar camp, battle with police in Gazipur, Savar, Dhaka, 135 injured

The police battled with violent apparel workers who vandalised factories and vehicles and attacked an ansar camp as labour unrest over wages flared in Gazipur, Savar and in the capital on Monday.

Garment factory workers, demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100, fought pitched battles with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka and at Tejgon, Mahakhali and Badda in the capital that left at least 135 people, including six policemen, injured.
Police charged batons, fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
Four ansar constables were injured when workers attacked their camp near Colossus Apparels factory at Bhogra of Gazipur.
The workers allegedly looted four rifles and 135 rounds of bullet from the camp. They burnt four rifles in front of the camp but the looted bullets could not be traced, the ansars at the camp said.
The authorities of almost all readymade garment factories in Gazipur decided to suspend production at their units for Monday amid violent protests, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police.
Most of the garment units in Tejgaon industrial area also remained closed for Monday to avoid further vandalism.
The government, after a meeting between workers’ leaders, factory owners and a minister, called upon the agitating workers to return to work today and identify those who were inciting violence in the export-oriented industrial sector.
read more.
BD new age

* 300 factories closed as RMG unrest spreads:

Bangladeshi garment manufacturers suspended production in around 300 factories following wage protests and unrest in all RMG hubs in and around the capital city for second consecutive days on Monday.

On Monday morning thousands of workers took to the streets in Savar and Ashulia RMG hubs demanding fixation of minimum salary to Tk 8,000, police and BGMEA sources said.

Local and police sources said thousands of workers from as many as 50 apparel factories, including Inter- Stop, Tushka Garment, Inter-Link, Sunmoon at Konabari industrial area, Diganta Sweaters at Nawjore, Bhalmont Fashions and Mens Trust at Bhogra area and Sparrow, Prince and Jamuna apparels at Tongi and Gazipur Sadar area demonstrated since morning taking position on different highway points of the district.
read more. & read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq bdnews24

* Govt to enhance security measures in clothing industry:

Shipping minister M Shahjahan Khan said on Monday the government will ensure adequate security to the crisis-ridden apparel factories so that the owners could reopen them as soon as possible.

He made these comments in a meeting with the garment factory owners and BGMEA leaders at the secretariat to resolve the ongoing crisis in the export oriented clothing industry.
The minister requested the factory owners to resume operation in their factories and urged the workers to join.
SM Mannan Kochi, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said, ‘We have sought adequate security from the government, so that all the garment factories can resume operation.’
Garment workers trade union centre president Montu Ghosh said, workers would go for strike if their demand for raising minimum wages to Tk 8,000 were not met.
The minister M Shahjahan Khan also said some quarters are active to divert the issue of the apparel workers’ demand for wage hike.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
BD new age BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BDCHRONICLE Ittefaq  primenewsbdnews24

* RMG factories at Ashulia reopen today:

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Monday urged all the garment workers to get back to their work as the factories which have been shut following labour unrest reopen on Tuesday, reports UNB.

“If anyone doesn’t respond to our request, we’ll think that s/he is working as an instigator of violence as part of a conspiracy against the country’s garment industry,” he said.
“Legal action will be taken against the conspirators after identifying them,” the Shipping Minister said while talking to journalists after a joint meeting at the secretariat on Monday with the owners of garment factories and leaders of workers’ union over maintaining stability in the readymade garment factories.
It was decided at the meeting that the closed factories in Gazipur, Tongi, Tejgaon, Mohakhali and Gulshan will reopen on Tuesday, he said.
About the demand for wage hike of workers, the minister said they have requested the wage board to fix their minimum wage as soon as possible after talking to the workers and owners.
read more. & read more.
newstodayBD INDEPENDENT

* Tuku urges RMG workers to keep patience till new wage declaration:

State Minister for Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku today urged the apparel workers to keep patience until declaration of new wage board.

“Readymade garment workers should keep patience until the announcement of their salary structure (wage board), as government is working on it,” he told BSS at his ministry office here.
The state minister said the government has been working sincerely for a wage acceptable to the workers.
Earlier, hundreds of RMG workers from several RMG factories took to the streets demanding fixation of their minimum monthly wage as Tk 8000.
read more.
BSS

* Factories vandalized as garment workers protest for third day:

Angry Bangladeshi garment workers blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a third day on Monday as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of $100 spread outside the capital Dhaka.

Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district near Dhaka which is home to hundreds of factories, told AFP that “up to 200,000 workers” had joined the latest demonstrations.

His deputy Mustafizur Rahman said about 300 factories, which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, were shut on Monday to contain the violence as protesting workers attacked plants that stayed open.
“The situation is extremely volatile. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the unruly workers,” he told AFP, adding dozens of workers and several policemen were injured.
read more.
Ittefaq

* The Biggest Ever Minimum Wage Rally Continues in Bangladesh:

Hundreds of thousands of Garment Workers in Bangladesh gathered together on Saturday 21 September 2013 to rally against the proposed minimum wage of BDT3600 (USD 46.31) offered to the most important members of the most important export industry of Bangladesh, the Ready Made Garment Industry. This proposal in effect would be an increase of 20% of the minimum wage which is now at BDT3000 (USD 38.59).

The protests have brought together 52 garments workers’ federations of Bangladesh against the meager raise in the proposed minimum wage i.e. BDT 3600 at Sarawardy Uddan of the Bangladeshi Capital Dhaka. The demand from the garments workers’ federations is BDT 8114.
The protest was lead and briefed by the marine-transport minister, Shah Jahan Khan MP.
The protest, where hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets, was also to voice against the statements of Allama Shafi, an extreme right Islamist religious leader who made obscene comments on how women should work and study, creating a concern for the women workers who represent more than 80% of the workforce in the garment industries of the country.

The rally has continued till its third day today, 23 September 2013, with unrest surrounding Gazipur which saw tens of thousands of Garment workers taking to the streets protesting what they term as a brutalization.
The minimum wage of the Bangladeshi Garment Workers is the lowest in the world (IGLHR) and even after this meager hike it will still remain the lowest in the world for this second biggest exporter of ready made garments in the world.
The garment workers along with national and international NGOs and labor organizations have been pressing for a minimum wage which should be equivalent to a living wage (which is approximately over BDT 11000/month) for a garment worker in Bangladesh.
20130923 RISE gazipur-garments-1ed
read more.
RISE

* RMG workers agitate for wage hike:

Industrial zones of Gazipur and Savar and parts of the capital turned into battle field as readymade garment workers clashed with police and blocked roads demanding a living wage on Monday.

An ansar camp was looted while at least 115 vehicles and 10 factories were vandalised, forcing the authorities to shut over 100 apparel units for the day.
The clashes left over 140 people injured.

Sporadic demonstrations over the week demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 erupted into violence on Monday with a group of youths attacked an ansar camp at Joydevpur of Gazipur and looted firearms and ammunition. Four ansar members including a commander were injured in the sudden attack and admitted to a hospital in Uttara of the capital.

Negotiations for wage hike failed to reach a conclusion until last week as workers’ representatives asked for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage while owners offered less than a half—Tk3,600, resulting in frustration among workers’ rights groups.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers go berserk:

An Ansar camp was looted and more than 150 people, including law enforcers, were injured in Dhaka, Savar and Gazipur yesterday, during apparel workers’ agitation demanding a minimum monthly salary of Tk 8,000.

The workers, on the third day of their agitation, also vandalised dozens of vehicles and 10 garment factories in the capital and its outskirts, and blocked several roads and highways, including Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highways and Tejgaon-Gulshan link road in the capital causing severe traffic jams.
Almost all the factories in Gazipur, around 15 in Dhaka and at least 17 in Savar were kept shut for the day fearing further vandalism.

GAZIPUR
Workers of three garment factories attacked an Ansar camp in Bhogra by-pass area of Joydevpur upazila around 8:30am.
They looted eight rifles and 135 bullets, leaving eight Ansar members, including a commander, injured. They set fire to four of the rifles.
(…)
DHAKA
Around 1,000 workers of several garment factories in Tejgaon industrial zone took position on Tejgaon-Gulshan link road and began demonstrating around 9:30am.
(…)
SAVAR
At least 40 people, including six policemen, were injured in clashes between apparel workers and law enforcers at Karnapara, Genda, Ulail and Savar   Bus Stand areas along Dhaka-Aricha highway yesterday.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA seeks security:

State Minister for Home Affairs assured the BGMEA of deploying law enforcement agencies to avert untoward incidents

State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Huq Tuku yesterday assured the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association of deploying law enforcement agencies to avert untoward incidents in the RMG factories.

The assurance came after a BGMEA team led by its acting President SM Mannan Kochi met Shamsul Huq Tuku and Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan Monday night to discuss the issue of sudden unrest and find ways to tackle the present hazardous situation.
“We have urged the Home Ministry to deploy lawmen to avert any untoward incident in the factories, and the ministry assured us that it would take necessary steps,” said Riaz Bin Mahmood, director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The association sought security and cooperation of the government to restore a good working environment to the garment factories which became turbulent following the agitation of the workers demanding a hike in their minimum wages.
“We want security for our work. We do not want to stop production at the factories, but for that, we need cooperation of the workers’ unions,” said BGMEA acting President SM Mannan Kochi.

“All the factories will reopen from today since if they remain closed, we won’t be able to pay salary and bonus to the garment workers ahead of the Eid ul-Azha,” he said.

Mannan came up with these comments after attending a tripartite meeting attended by representatives from factory owners, the workers and the government.
The appeal for cooperation came at a time when workers’ unions are threatening to continue demonstration for their wage hike.

“As members of Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad, we demanded Tk8000 as minimum wage for the garment workers. Further demonstrations in support of our demand may be forthcoming, although those wouldn’t be violent,” said Montu Ghose, a rights activist involved with the agitation.
However, the BGMEA asked the agitating workers to join work. “On behalf of the government, factory owners and workers, I am asking all workers to calm down and join work. Those who will not join work will be considered conspirators,” Mannan said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Revised RMG wages likely by Nov:

The government has urged the garment factory workers to stop violent protests and resume work today and promised that a new wage for them would be announced as soon as possible.

At a meeting with the representatives of garment factory owners and workers on Monday night, the government also assured the apparel factory owners of adequate security after production resumed at their units.
The tripartite meeting involving factory owners, workers’ leaders and government representatives took place amid violent protests by workers in garment factories in Dhaka, Gazipur and other industrial zones for wage increase.
The meeting with shipping minister Shajahan Khan in the chair continued till late last night.
State minister for home affairs, Shamsul Haque Tuku, who was also present at the meeting, discussed with the representatives of garment factory owners and workers how to tackle the ongoing unrest in the apparel sector.
‘The government has assured the factory owners of providing adequate security for their units and requested the workers to resume work immediately,’ former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedi told New Age at about 12:30am.

He said that the meeting has decided to request the wage board to announce the new wage structure for the workers by November instead of December.
read more.
BD new age

* Angry Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay, factories shut:

More than 100 Bangladeshi garment factories were forced to shut on Monday as thousands of workers protested to demand a $100 a month minimum wage and about 50 people were injured in clashes, police and witnesses said.

Garments are a vital sector for Bangladesh and its low wages and duty-free access to Western markets have helped make it the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China.
But the $20 billion industry, which supplies many Western brands, has been under a spotlight after a series of deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.

Workers took to the streets for a third day on Monday, blocking major roads and attacking some vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.
(…)
Bangladesh last increased its minimum garment-worker pay in late 2010 in response to months of street protests, almost doubling the lowest pay.
Recently, factory owners offered a 20 percent pay rise which workers refused, calling it “inhuman and humiliating”.
“We work to survive but we can’t even cover our basic needs,” said a protesting woman worker.
read more. & read more.
reuters GLOBE&MAIL

* Undervalued garment workers:

Garment workers, whose toils fetch the country $19 billion in export earnings, the highest among all the industrial sectors, get one of the lowest wages.

Thanks to cheap labour, the industry thrived over the last three decades and has gone on to become the second biggest apparel sourcing destination in the world after China.
“This is exploitation. Garment workers in Bangladesh are not only the worst-paid in the world but also locally,” said Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, assistant executive director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies.
The average wages in the garment sector, which provides jobs for 36 lakh workers, are the second lowest in Asia after Myanmar.
The sector’s minimum wage was last raised to Tk 3,000 in 2010, the lowest among the major industrial sectors that include jute mills, tannery, plastic, construction and furniture, oil mills and re-rolling mills.
“It is true there are differences in traits among the sectors, but even after accounting for those differences, the garment sector’s wages are not sufficient,” said Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
20130923 DAILYSTAR 2 Business-67

An improvement in efficiency and productivity also added vigour to the growth of the industry and facilitated increased economic activities in other areas, he said.
But the garment workers, who mostly migrated from suburbs for livelihoods, have not got their dues in line with the improvement in productivity and efficiency.
“We have seen some adjustments through the minimum wage in 2010, but it is inadequate.”
read more.
daily star bd

* Too much, too little:

Analysts say Bangladesh may lose market competitiveness due to a huge wage hike, but Tk 600 increase is not acceptable

A 20% rise in wages is too minimal, while a 170 percent hike is too high. It begs the question: Why this huge disparity between the garment workers’ expectations and the reality?

The workers’ representative on the wage board called for raising the minimum wage to Tk 8,114 a month from the current Tk 3,000, but the owners are willing to increase it only by Tk 600.
20130924 DAILYSTAR

“An industry that operates in a competitive global landscape will simply not be able to sustain the pay rise that the workers are demanding,” said Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
He singled out the small and medium factories, which would be hit hard by the 170.5 percent wage rise “given the local and global trends of business”.

In an industry of 4,000, there are 2,200 small and medium factories, according to Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative on the wage board. “That is more than 50 percent of the industry would be unable to bear the huge hike in salary.”
“But then again, a 20 percent wage rise that the owners are pushing for would not make much difference in the workers’ living conditions,” said Mustafizur of the CPD.
read more.
daily star bd

* Bangladeshi factory workers locked in on 19-hour shifts:

It’s the middle of the night and I am lying on the floor of a van in the sweltering back streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I’m outside a factory making clothes for a western supermarket.
I can see dozens of workers inside. They’ve been in there since 07:00.
We’ve been told this factory – Ha Meem Sportswear – works incredible hours; we’re hiding in the shadows to get the proof.
There’s a guard sitting in front of the main gate. He hasn’t spotted us.
He’s about to do something shockingly dangerous.

At 01.15 – with workers still busy inside – he locks the main factory gate and wanders away.
This place had a fire a few weeks ago and they’re commonplace in the industry.
If anything goes wrong tonight, the workers are trapped inside.
The shift finally ends at 02.30. That’s a nineteen and a half hour day.
One worker agrees to talk. He earned about £2 for the shift and he’s exhausted. He has to be back at work again for 07:00.

He says: “My feelings are bad and my health is too. In the last two weeks, approximately, it has been like this for eight nights.”
Two days later, I return to Ha Meem Sportswear. I am going undercover as a buyer from a fake British clothing company.
I want to hear what the factory owners say about shifts.
read more. & to read. & to read.
bbc Ittefaq UNB

LW + 2

20130923

 02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Protest for RMG pay rise in Gazipur- Workers-police clash underway:

Most of the workers of readymade garments beside Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways in Borobari area locked into sporadic clashes with police on Monday morning.

The clash erupted when workers of most of the garments’ including Interfact Sweater, Tongi Zaber & Zubayer, Columbia Garments, Laxma Apparels Ltd and Jamuna garments were staging protest blocking roads demanding Tk 8000 as minimum wage per month.
The movement started at around 7.50am. The clash was underway till filing the report at 9.10am.

Earlier on Sunday, RMG workers at Kaliakoir of Gazipur and Tongi staged protest demanding Tk 8000 as minimum monthly wage.
During the time they protested by blazing tires on Dhaka-Tangail highway and locked into a clash with police, leaving more than 50 workers injured.
Later more than 50 garments factories announced leave for the day.
On the other hand, workers locked into a clash with police at the Uttarkhan and Dakkhinkhan of Uttara area of the city on the same demand.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Garments workers block Dhaka- Mymensingh, Dhaka-Aricha highway:

Readymade Garments workers of different factories in Gazipur and Savar blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highway on Monday morning to press home their several demands including raising minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000.

Authorities suspended production in most of the garment factories in Savar and Gazipur following labour unrest.
Road communications on Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Aricha highway remained suspended since morning due to the blockade.
The agitating workers vandalized some vehicles. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullet when workers locked into a clash with police.
to read. & read more.
INDEPENDENT DHAKATRIBUNE

 02:29:22 local time map of india INDIA

* CITU demands amendment to Minimum Wages Act:

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Saturday demanded an amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, to increase minimum wages to at least Rs. 10,000 per month.

The organisation criticised the State government for stopping distribution of foodgrains to APL cardholders after implementation of the Anna Bhagya scheme.
Anganwadi workers and contract workers serving in various government departments took out a procession under the banner of CITU from Sardar High School ground to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, where they staged a dharna. They submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Mangalore trade union demands minimum wage:

Despite the heavy downpour, hundreds of workers gathered on Friday to demand that the minimum wage for the unorganised sector be fixed at Rs. 10,000 per month, and implementation of welfare schemes for workers.

In front of the Deputy Commissioners’ Office, a sea of umbrellas stood defiant to the incessant rains, as workers from unorganised sectors, government health and midday meal workers, among others, assembled under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) as a part of the State-wide protest, demanded the implementation of their 22-point programme.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Goa labour unions demand Rs 12,000 monthly wage for workers:

Labour unions in Goa cutting across their affiliations have joined hands to demand a minimum monthly wage of Rs 12,000 for workers against Rs 10,000 being sought nationally.

“Everything is expensive in Goa compared to rest part of the country. This is the reason why we are demanding Rs 12,000 as a minimum wage for workers although nationally the demand is Rs 10,000,” Raju Mangueshkar, Deputy General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told reporters here today.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* ‘Fix minimum wage for unorganised workers at `10,000, implement schemes’:

Hundreds of unorganised workers, beedi workers, anganawadi workers, health workers gathered in front of the deputy commissioner’s office, daring the heavy rains on Friday, and staged a protest demanding the government to fix minimum wage for unorganised sector workers at Rs 10,000 and implement welfare schemes for the workers.

The protest was organised by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) as a part of the state-wide protest, demanding the government to implement the 22-point programme.
read more.
decanherald

* Wage united struggle, women told:

The Sramika Mahila Coordination Committee (SMCC), affiliated to CITU, has called upon the women employees to wage a united struggle to solve the problems faced at the work place.

The SMCC organised its city meeting here on Sunday. On the occasion, SMCC State convener K. Dhanalakshmi said women were facing umpteen problems at the workplace.
The managements were not providing minimum facilities to them.
More so, women employees and workers were underpaid.
The Acts to protect the women were not being implemented properly despite tall claims made by the governments.
Consequently, the women, who fought for their rights, were being harassed, she said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

 20130922

02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50,000 Bangladeshi garment workers strike over ‘inhuman’ wages:

Garment workers listen to speakers during a rally demanding an increase to their minimum wage in Dhaka

 

BANGLADESH-TEXTILE-WAGE-LABOUR

Tens of thousands of garment workers have downed tools and taken to the streets to urge the government for an increase in the minimum salary.

4 million employees work in the country’s $20-billion garment export industry – 60 percent goes to Europe – and earn about $38 a month. They are demanding a raise to $103 a month.
Earlier, the Bangladeshi government agreed to a 20 percent increase, but the workers called the raise “inhuman and humiliating.”

“Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t have any alternative unless we raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation told protesters. 
read more.
RT

* RMG units close again in Gazipur:

Workers agitate over salary hikes, demand Tk8,000 minimum wage

Authorities suspended production in a number of readymade garment (RMG) factories in Kaliakoir and sadar upazilas of Gazipur on Sunday following labour unrest over salary hikes.

Workers from several garment factories took to the Dhaka-Tangail Highway in a demonstration, barricading the highway and demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000.
Meanwhile, garment workers also blocked a road in the Tinsarak area of sadar upazila this morning with the same demand.

The agitating workers also vandalised vehicles and factories in Kaliakoir and Shreepur areas.
On Saturday, production in all the readymade garment (RMG) factories were suspended in Gazipur following the labour unrest.
to read. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT

* DEMO DEMANDING SALARY HIKE – RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur:

The readymade garment workers burst into protest in Kaliakoir upazila of Gazipur Sunday demanding fixing their minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000 that forced to suspend production of around 12 units for today.

More than 15,000 workers of different readymade factories in the upazila took to the Dhaka-Tangail highway around 9:30am and vandalised 20 vehicles including buses and pick-up vans, reported our Gazipur correspondent quoting witnesses.
The marauding workers also damaged six garment units in Chandra area.
The road communications on the highway however resumed nearly two hours after when law enforcers managed to disperse the agitating workers from the road.

The demonstration is a sequel of the workers’ demand that authorities set Tk 8,000 as their minimum monthly wage which is now Tk 3,000.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age bdnews24 primenews Ittefaq

* Unrest forces production suspension at 100 Gazipur RMG units:

Production at over 100 garment factories in several parts of the district was suspended for a day on Sunday following labour unrest.

Police said at least people were injured in sporadic clashes between garment workers and cops in several places in Sadar, Kaliakoir and Sreepur upazilas over a pay hike.
Quoting witnesses, police said the workers of the garment factories went on the work abstention in the morning and took to the street demanding that their minimum wage be fixed at Tk 8,000.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB newstodayBD

* Police fire rubber bullets at protesting garment workers:

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at thousands of Bangladesh garment workers on Sunday during a second day of protests to demand a US$100 (S$125) minimum monthly wage, police said.

Protesters threw stones and bricks at factories just outside the capital in Kaliakoir that make clothes for some of the world’s top retailers. Others marched along a key highway and blocked traffic, police said.

“We were forced to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the workers who attacked about half a dozen factories,” Kaliakoir police chief Omar Faruq told AFP, adding that some 6,000 workers took part in the protests.
read more.
Ittefaq

* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 15:

At least 15 RMG workers were injured in a clash with police in Uttarkhan and Dokkhinkhan area of capital’s Uttara on Sunday noon.

Sources said that agitated workers brought out a procession at around 12:30pm demanding minimum Tk8000 salary per month.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* FBCCI wants ‘fair’ RMG pay:

“The FBCCI supports a reasonable salary structure for the welfare of the workers and for the garment industry as well. Because the workers are the craftsmen,” said the statement.

The minimum wage for a worker was raised to Tk 3,000 from Tk 1,650 in 2010. It has remained the same since then, triggering violent protests from workers often and criticism by national and international rights bodies for the pay which they call ‘unliveable.’

he protests and criticism led to constitution of a wage board by the government in May. The owners’ paltorm, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, proposed only a Tk 600 salary hike against the workers demand of fixing a minimum wage of Tk 8000 in the new wage board.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24  BSS  UNB  primenews INDEPENDENT

* RMG sector turns hot- Workers take to streets demanding pay hike:

Most garment factories at Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj faced an unannounced shutdown yesterday after thousands of apparel workers came out from their respective factories to take part at a rally in the capital, industry insiders said.   

The undeclared closure of the factories forced the apparel manufacturers to sustain production losses to the tune of 60-70 per cent and their factories abandoned shipments scheduled for the day.
“Workers of Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial belts started coming out from their factories at noon forcing us to suspend production for the day,” an office bearer of BGMEA told the New Nation yesterday, preferring anonymity.
According to him, nearly 850 high rated RMG factories are operating in these areas.
When asked, he said the RMG owners did not create any obstacle to the workers to join the rally but the labour leaders forced the workers to join it.
Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, an association of RMG workers, organised the rally in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan.
The BGMEA office bearer also alleged that the unruly workers attacked several factories provoked by the labour leaders.
Industrial police sources said, hundreds of workers staged rowdy protests at the key garment industrial belts as the garment owners tried to stop them from joining the rally.

They protested for hours on highways in the major industrial areas of Gazipur, Mouchak and Ashulia and also raised the demand for a rational wage hike.
read more. & read more.
NewNation NewNation

* RMG unrest continues:

Workers set fire to factories in Gazipur, 200 injured, factory owners seek security

Apparel workers rampaged through the industrial belts in Gazipur setting factories on fire, vandalising vehicles, blocking highways and fighting pitched battles with the police for the second straight day on Sunday to press their demand for wage increase.

About 200 people, including workers and police men, were injured in the clashes as the unrest also spread to Uttara in the capital.
The protesters set fire to two factories in Gazipur and blocked Dhaka-Gazipur, Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Mymensingh highways at several points in Gazipur for hours together causing serious disruption of traffic, according to witnesses and police.
The workers’ unrest forced suspension of production in dozens of factories in the troubled areas.
The cabinet committee on law and order at a meeting observed that the workers’ unrest in the readymade garment sector might take a serious turn if steps were not taken immediately to contain the situation.
read more.
BD new age

* RMG owners, workers at loggerheads over wage issue:

Workers and owners are at loggerheads over the issue of implementation of minimum wage in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.

Garment workers are staging demonstrations, holding rallies and shutting down several hundred RMG factories at Ashulia and Savar to press home their demand for a minimum wage of Tk. 8,114 a month.
They also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to implement the wages in time. Last week, the apex body of the country’s apparel manufacturers BGMEA, at a meeting of the wage board, submitted its proposal for a wage hike for the RMG workers by 20 per cent.
As per their proposal, a worker (apprentice level) of the garment factories will enjoy a monthly wage of Tk. 3,600, as against the existing salary of Tk. 3,000.

But the RMG workers vehemently rejected the proposal, terming it “illogical” and “unacceptable,” and demanded immediate implementation of their proposal.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the BGMEA proposal, the leaders of the RMG workers threatened to render the sector dysfunctional if the recommendation of the garment owners was implemented.
At the third meeting of the wage board, the workers’ leaders recommended Tk. 8,114 as minimum monthly wage, which is about a 166-per cent hike on the existing wage.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Violence at RMG hubs may take serious turn:

The ongoing workers violence over new wage structure for garment industry is likely to take a serious turn if the authorities delay in settling the issue, workers representatives and experts said.

They blamed the last two days’ workers violence at Gazipur, Savar and Kalikoir on owners’ proposal for a 20 per cent wage hike, which they said was way behind the proposal of the workers.
They called upon all the parties engaged in the country’s highest foreign currency earning sector to immediately come up with a solution for the wellbeing and growth of the sector.
(….)
“The owners’ proposal to raise wages by only Tk 600 is nothing but a joke. It cannot be accepted at all,” Bangladesh Textile-Garments Workers Federation president Abul Hossain told the FE.
He said the recent violence over enhanced wages at the country’s key apparel industrial hub was the reaction of this mockery.

“The owners by making such a proposal have shown their pettiness, which angered the workers,” he said.
Combined Garment Workers Federation president Nazma Akhter said the owners should withdraw the proposal and recommend a reasonable salary structure that could ensure a decent life for the workers.

“The situation might take a serious turn if the authorities fail to settle the issue quickly,” she said with a note of optimism that the owners would realise the fact and backtrack from their position considering growth of the industry.
read more.

* Businesses worried at violence:

Businesses yesterday expressed their concern over the latest spell of labour unrest in the garment sector that halts production at the factory units on a regular basis.

A section of agitated garment workers vandalised many factories in Savar, Konabari, Kashimpur, Gazipur, Shafipur, Ashulia and Uttara. They were agitating for increasing the minimum salary to Tk 8,114 from the existing Tk 3,000.
The workers also vandalised a good number of factories across the country on Saturday.
The concerned garment owners of Ashulia and Savar held a meeting at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday to find out solutions in this regard.
“We have met Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, and will meet other ministers concerned seeking security of the factories,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the garment factory owners of Ashulia Zone.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA must take minimum wages seriously:

It is straightforward for employers to at least build in a commitment to raise salaries, including the minimum wage

The BGMEA is taking a hard line on minimum wages for RMG workers.
At a time when various programmes of safety inspections are seeking to take the garment export sector forward, it is short sighted for the industry body to adopt a stance that raises worker discontent.

There has been no national pay increase since the wage board last set the minimum wage at Tk3,000 in 2010. As BGMEA’s proposed 20% wage increase falls clearly short of inflation during the last three years, it inevitably adds to the workforce’s concerns.

Around 10,000 workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail Highway on Saturday in support of demands for higher wages by unions and associations such as Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad. This type of unrest can only increase if the BGMEA does not negotiate in a co-operative and rational manner.

Inflation hurts everyone but people on minimum wages feel it the most. It is straightforward for employers to at least build in a commitment to raise salaries, including the minimum wage, by the cost of living increase each year. BGMEA has no justification for not being pro-active in addressing this issue earlier.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20130921

04:59:22 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* MTUC Claims Employers Short Charging Workers:

Some errant employers are short charging their workers by including allowances, commissions and other perks to inflate the basic monthly salary to RM900 to comply with the new minimum wages regulation introduced by the government.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress Vice President, A. Balasubramaniam claimed that these employers were doing so despite warnings issued by the government that they would be hauled up for such practice.
He called on the Human Resources Ministry to step up enforcement to ensure that workers were not shortchanged in anyway.
Effective January this year, the government has set the basic minimum wage for workers in Peninsular Malaysia, as RM900.
Balasubramaniam pointed out that basic wages should not include commissions or their allowance as per their contract.
to read.
BERNAMA

 02:59:22 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

Bangladesh Garment workers rally demanding minimum wage 21 September 2013:

* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday:

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Friday called for making Saturday’s grand rally of readymade garments workers a success.

Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, an association of RMG workers, will organize the rally in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan to demand rational minimum wages for the garment workers for their survival.
Briefing journalists at the temporary office of the association, Shahjahan Khan, also the convenor of Garments Sramik Samannoy Parishad, said the logical minimum wages for the RMG workers should be ensured for the sake of protecting the country’s garment industry.
He said the grand workers rally will not be held for gaining any political benefit.
The reactionary clique has become frightened seeing the enthusiasm among the readymade garment workers centering the rally.

“It is now the demand of time to forge a strong unity against the ‘conspiracy’ to confine women workers in the houses. The rally will be held protesting the retrenchment of RMG workers,” Shahjahan Khan added.

In the rally, the garments workers will place their demands for ensuring rational minimum wages, reinstatement of GSP facilities, and providing adequate compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza collapse and devastating fire incident of Tazreen Garments factory.
Shajahan Khan will preside over the rally scheduled to begin at 2pm.
to read  & to read.  & to read. & to read. & read more. &
UNB INDEPENDENT  DHAKATRIBUNE primenews

* Trouble brewing- RMG workers unhappy over wage-hike proposal:

The country’s garment sector may face another spell of fresh labour unrest centering the wage hike issue, industrial police sources said on Friday.

They said, the proposal for 20 per cent wage hike by the garments owners has created dissatisfaction among the garment workers and cashing the discontent, a group of labour leaders are working actively to destabilise the largest industrial sector again.
This pay hike proposal placed at the fifth meeting of the wage board formed for the apparel workers.
“Labour unrest may flare up at any moment from a key garments industrial belt as frustration grips in the mind of the RMG workers over the wage hike issue,” a senior industrial police official told The New Nation yesterday, preferring anonymity.
He added: “We have specific information that a group of labour leaders are mobilising the workers for a violent street protest. They want to launch the protest to press home their demand of a rational pay hike.”

The industrial police official further said they have already informed the matter to the government high-ups and requested them to take pre-cautionary measures.
“Our department is also keeping a close watch on the labour leaders to avert any untoward situation,” he said, adding, ‘but the situation could go beyond the control of the law enforcers once the workers come out to the street.
read more.
NewNation

* RMG workers block Dhaka-Tangail Highway:

About 10,000 workers take to the streets after factory owners do not allow them to attend a Dhaka rally

Around 10,000 workers blocked Dhaka-Tangail Highway in Gazipur on Saturday morning, alleging they were not permitted leave from their places of work to attend a rally in the capital.

The rally, scheduled to begin at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan in the afternoon, demands raising the minimum wage to Tk8,000.
Witnesses said these workers from Purbani, Aimon, Naina, Dressmen and other readymade garment factories in Mouchak, Shafipur and Chandra had taken to the streets around 9am.

The agitated workers blocked Dhaka-Tangail Highway and smashed some vehicles.
Police managed to remove the workers from the highway around 11:30am.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT BD new age

* Demo Demanding Salary hike- 8 RMG units vandalised in Gazpur:

The authorities of over 300 garment factories shut production of their units in Kaliakoir of Gazipur for Saturday in the face of workers’ agitation demanding a one-day leave for participating at a rally in Dhaka today.

Sramik Oikya Parishad, a platform of 52 garment workers’ welfare union, is scheduled to hold a grand rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan in the capital at 2:00pm to press home their several demands including raising their minimum monthly salary to Tk 8,000.
The agitating workers vandalised three factories at Kaliakoir in Gazipur and five at Jiranibazar in Savar during the demonstration.
The demonstration started from Gazipur at first as over 10,000 workers of different garment units in Kashimpur, Konabari and Chandra took to the highway around 8:30am, said Mosharraf Hossain, assistant superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police.
Two hours later, the demonstration spread to Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.
to read. & read more.
daily star bd daily star bd

* Labour unrest shuts Gazipur RMG units:

20130921 UNB Rmg-worker-Dhk-tangail

The authorities have suspended production in all the readymade garment (RMG) factories in Kaliakoir upazila of Gazipur for the day today (Saturday) following labour unrest over salary hike.

Police said workers from several garment factories staged demonstration on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway to press for their minimum wage of Tk8,000.
The workers staged agitation there failing to join a scheduled rally in the capital as most of the garment units in the area remained open.

At first, the workers of Purbani Garments Factory took to the Dhaka-Tangail Highway at about 9.00am and started demonstration there failing to join the rally and also put up barricade on the highway.
At one stage, several hundred workers from different other factories also joined them in the  demonstration.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24 INDEPENDENT primenews BDCHRONICLE

* 100 RMG units shut for a day fearing labour unrest:

More than 100 garment factories at Gazipur Industrial Belt were declared shut for Saturday fearing large-scale labour unrest as some workers took to streets after owners refused them to attend a grand rally in Dhaka, police and workers said.

Owners of the factories located at Kaliakoir, Mouchak, Chandra, Shafipur, Boardbazar, Konabari, Kashimpur, Vogra and Tongi suspended production for the day to avoid large-scale violence.
Police and witnesses said workers of Niagara Textile, Imon Textile and Hosiery, Echotex and Hydroxide Ltd at Chandra and Mouchak took to the streets at about 8:30am minutes after the authorities of those factories rejected their plea to allow them to join, the rally called by Garments Sramik Samonnoy Parishad in the capital.
Within 30 minutes of the protest, workers of other factories at the same area joined them and blockaded Dhaka-Tangail Highway, which connects the northern part of the country with Dhaka.
(…)
At the rally, workers’ representatives rejected the proposal to increase 20 per cent in the monthly wage of apparel workers by the garment manufacturers, saying that owners have started mocking with them through placing such proposal to the wage board.
“We strongly rejected the proposal. We will not accept anything below Tk 8000,” senior labour leader Shirin Akhter said.
Sirajul Islam Rony, who is representing workers at the wage board, said the garment makers should realise the pains of the poorly paid workers.
read more.

* RMG workers go on rampage in N’ganj:

Garment workers went on a rampage at Fatullah in sadar upazila here on Saturday as authorities allegedly denied them leave to attend the workers’ rally in Dhaka.

The unruly workers vandalized at least 10 garment factories in the area.
Witnesses said some several hundred garment workers brought out a procession Fatullah rail line area around 3 pm and vandalized 10 factories as the factories were kept open despite the workers’ rally.  Some of the factories of the area were declared closed at 1 pm.
Additional police super of Narayanganj industrial police-4 Masud Ahmed said the garment workers got furious when they found some factories open.
Later, police brought the situation under control.
to read. & read more.
UNB BDtodayNEW

* Transport workers express solidarity with RMG workers:

20130921 BANGLA24
Expressing solidarity with the rally of readymade garments workers, leaders of transport workers announced that the transport of the country would be halted, if necessary, to realize their demand of Tk 8000 as minimum wage per month.

They also urged the RMG workers not to vandalize vehicles during the movement to press home their demand.
Garments Labourers Coordination Parishad organized the rally on demand of Tk 8000 as minimum wage, reinstating GSP, to stop the conspiracy of locking up women into the house at Suhrawardy Udyan of the city on Saturday afternoon.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers reject owners’ minimum wage proposal:

20130921 UNB Bangladesh-RMG-Workers-3

Garment workers at a grand rally here on Saturday turned down factory owners’ offer of Tk 3,600 as minimum wage against Tk 8114 as they are crying for.

They also urged Hefajat-e-Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi to seek apology for his recent offensive remarks against women garment workers.
The grand rally was organised under the banner of Garment Sramik Samannoy Parishad at Suhrawardy Udyan to push their demand for minimum wages so that they can lead a decant life.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB BDtodayNEW newstodayBD

* PM’s intervention sought for fixing RMG workers’ wages:

leaders of Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad (GSSP) have sought intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for realizing their demand of making Taka 8 thousand as minimum wage.

The made the demand from a grand rally held at the Suhrawardy Udyan today.
Expressing his solidarity with the demand, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, who is also the president of GSSP said, Sheikh Hasina is a workers friendly PM. In the past, she had fixed Taka 3 thousand as minimum wage for the RMG workers.
” This time also I am leaving the issue to the PM to decide what can be the minimum wage for a garment worker, who works in a factory from dawn to dusk everyday.”
read more. & read more.
BSS primenews

* Garment workers rally demanding $100 minimum wage:

Thousands of Bangladesh garment workers blocked roads and attacked factories outside the capital Dhaka on Saturday demanding a $100 minimum monthly wage.

The workers, many carrying sticks, walked off the job in dozens of garment factories, which make apparel for the world’s top retailers such as Walmart, and protested for hours on highways in the major industrial areas of Gazipur, Mouchak and Ashulia.
“There were at least 20,000 workers who joined the protest. They blocked roads, demanding a big salary hike,” Mustafizur Rahman, deputy police chief of the industrial district of Gazipur, told AFP.
read more. & read more.
primenews Ittefaq

* Minister’s rally, so 400 factories shut:

Owners fume privately as labour leader-turned-lawmaker dictates terms

More than 400 garment factories were forced to suspend production yesterday thanks to a rally chaired by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan to demand a 167 percent pay rise.

“What the garment owners are pushing for as minimum wage is not rational. We want to negotiate a realistic wage,” he said at the rally called by Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad, a federation of trade unions in garment sector, at Suhrawardy Udyan.
The shipping minister said the 20 percent hike in salary proposed by the owners is too low to improve the living standards of the garment workers.
Khan’s role at the demonstration attended by thousands of garment workers without leave of absence from their employers was criticised by industry stakeholder, as it is a conflict of interest.
“Being a minister he cannot chair a programme of a garment workers’ platform. He is a minister for all. For workers as well as the owners,” said a garment owner preferring not to be named.
read more.
daily star bd

* Garment workers demand Tk 8,000 minimum wage:

Garment leaders at a grand rally Saturday demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,114 per month and sought intervention from the prime minister to implement the wages in time.

The shipping minister, who addressed the rally, also urged the garment owner to pay the wages, otherwise he warned that the demand will be realised through movement. “Garments workers will be united to press home their demands and resist any conspiracy to foil any conspiracy to deprive the workers from their due rights, said shipping minister Md. Shajahan while addressing a huge gathering at Suhrawardy Uddyan in the capital.
They also demanded putting a halt to the activities of Chittagogn-based Hifazat-e Islam for its ‘derogatory remarks’ against the garment workers.
Thousands of workers from various RMG factories in city and its adjoining areas including Savar and Gazipur attended the rally on Satuday afternoon. Workers of several factories had blocked roads and turned violent at Gazipur and Savar when  authorities denied them leave to attend the rally.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* RMG workers go berserk as denied leave for Dhaka rally:

20130921 NEWAGE
A worker shouts slogan at a gathering the Garment Workers Coordination Council held in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo

Several thousand apparel workers staged violent protests in Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj after they were denied permission to attend a rally in Dhaka on Saturday, forcing over 400 garment units to suspend operation.

The protesters vandalised vehicles and blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway in Gazipur for about two hours and a half, disrupting traffic on the busy route, according to witnesses and police.
The workers also went on the rampage at Fatullah in Narayanganj and Kabirpur, Boraipara and Jirani of Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka city.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that the protests had erupted after the workers were denied a day’s leave for taking part in a rally held in Dhaka on the day to push for an increase in the wages of RMG workers.
Gazipur industrial police additional superintendent Mosharraf Hossain said police had cleared the highway around 11:30am.
In the face of agitations, around 400 garment factories located at Signboard, Bagher Bazar, Shirir Chala, Gazipur town, Masterbari and Bairagir Chala of Shreepur announced holiday for the day to avoid further deterioration in law and order.

Officer-in-charge of Kaliakoir police station Omar Farukh said stone-throwing protesters ransacked some factories after being refused permission to join the Dhaka rally. The workers also threw stones at the Shahjalal Islami Bank branch office and a Singer showroom at Shafipur Bazar smashing windowpanes.

The angry workers blocked the highway in Gazipur in the morning, alleging that they were not granted leave to participate in the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital in the afternoon. The Garment Workers’ Coordination Council, a platform of 51 organisations campaigning for apparel workers’ rights, organised the rally.
read more.
BD new age

* Fix Tk 8,114 as minimum wage:

RMG workers tell owners

Apparel workers at a rally in Dhaka on Saturday warned that they would launch a strong movement if the factory owners did not accept their demand for Tk 8,114 in minimum monthly wage.

Rejecting a proposal of the owners’ representative to athe sector’s minimum wage board for fixing the wage at Tk 3,600 a month, they called for the prime minister’s intervention to enhance their minimum monthly wage to Tk 8,000 from the existing Tk 3,000.
The workers also demanded a ban on the activities of Hefajat-e-Islam terming it a ‘terror outfit’ which was campaigning against women working in garment factories and other sectors.
Several thousand workers from across the country joined the rally at Suhrawardi Udyan organised by Garment Workers Coordination Council, a combine of 43 organisations campaigning for apparel workers’ rights.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also the convener of the combine, at the rally called upon the garment factory owners to accept the demand for Tk 8,114 in minimum wage. ‘We seek the prime minister’s intervention for the increase in the minimum wage,’ he said.

Shahjahan appealed to the conscience of the factory owners to fix the minimum wage to enable the workers to meet their daily requirements.
The government on June 6 set up the six-member minimum wage board with retired district judge AK Roy as chairman.
The workers’ representative to the board on August 18 proposed Tk 8,114 in the minimum gross monthly wage for a worker while the owners’ representative on September 17 proposed Tk 3,600 a month, a 20 per cent increase on the existing wage of Tk 3,000.
read more.
BD new age

* Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest:

About 50,000 garment industry workers held their largest protest so far in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to demand an increase of more than 1-1/2 times in the minimum wage, police and labour officials said on Saturday.

“Our backs are against the wall, so we don’t have any alternative unless we raise our voice strongly,” Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation, which groups 52 garment worker’s groups, told the peaceful protest.
“We will not hesitate to do anything to realize our demand.”
Bangladesh’s $20-billion garment export industry employs roughly 4 million workers who earn about 3,000 taka ($38) a month, or half what Cambodian factory workers now earn. They want a raise to 8,000 taka ($103) per month.
“We are not the object of mercy, the economy moves with our toil,” Akter added.
read more. & to read.
the-daily-star LEBANON huffpost

* RMG units ‘forced’ to shut for a workers’ rally:

Garments Sramik Samannay Parishad organised the grand rally with Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan in the chair

The readymade garment factories in and around Dhaka were allegedly forced to shut down on Saturday afternoon so that the workers could attend a rally in the capital, RMG workers and owners said.

Labour leaders arranged transportation so that the workers could travel from their workplaces to the rally venue at Suhrawardy Udyan.
The Garment Workers Coordination Council (Garments Sramik Samannay Parishad) organised the grand rally with Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan in the chair.

Several thousand garment workers including those from 52 organisations attended the rally that began around 3pm. Many of them were wearing headbands with “Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad” inscriptions.
The rally follows the ruling Awami League’s initiatives to woo women workers by countering the campaign against them of Hefazat-e-Islam’s spiritual leader Shah Ahmad Shafi, who preached that women should not go out of home for work or shopping.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20130928 blockades

You can find more articles here.

 

map of Asia

20131015
BANGLADESH
* Apparel workers block highway in Tongi
* Workers-cops clash injures 30 in Ashulia
* Garment workers detain boss until he pays bonus
* Factories, barring one, pay up
* Salaries, bonus ensured for all workers: BGMEA
* RMG workers take to streets for dues before Eid
* All garment workers have been paid, BGMEA says
* New statement up on Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd
* Accord condemns Liberty Fashion’s delay in repairing factory building
* Liberty Fashion workers demonstrate for dues

20131012-14
CAMBODIA
* Violent aftermath of Cambodian strike

INDONESIA
* Labor, policy issues loom large over Batam
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* Woes of Kushtia textile mills workers rise
* PM: Wage hike to benefit RMG industry
* RMG workers to resume movement after Eid
* Tazreen’s owner confined
* Tazreen owner ‘confined, freed’ after paying bonus
* Tazreen owner freed after 17hrs
* Liberty Fashion Workers In Protest!
* More RMG unrest in Gazipur over wage
* RMG workers block highway for arrear, bonus
* RMG workers abstain from work for salaries, Eid bonuses in Gazipur
* The RMG industry in ferment

20131011
BANGLADESH
* 20 – 30 hurt in RMG worker-cop clash in Savar
* GM fired after RMG workers demo
* Workers’ unrest and our economy

INDIA
* Pension sought for weavers

20131010
BANGLADESH
* RMG workers’ protest in Ashulia

SRI LANKA
* Trade unions demand decent work & wages

20131009
INDONESIA
* This reason Labour/Trade Unions Oppose Instruction No.9/2013 About Wages

20131008
BANGLADESH
* BLF demands fair wages for extra work of tannery workers
* BD RMG to remain competitive even after wage hike: Hanna
* RMG workers’ violent demo in Gazipur

INDIA
* Handloom weavers’ plea to Collector

20131005-07
CHINA
* Large-scale strikes a feature of recent worker protest in China

INDONESIA
* Treading the tightrope of minimum wage in Indonesia

INDIA
* Committee seeks bonus for mill workers

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

20131004
INDONESIA
* Struggle That Pays Off

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers protest in Ctg
* Garment workers fill streets in Bangladesh
* How Garment Workers Decided $104.72 a Month Was A Living Wage

INDIA
* Delhi government increases minimum wages

20131003
INDONESIA
* As Signing the Inpres, The President Wanted The Minimum Wages To Be Based On KHL, Productivity And Economic Growth

BANGLADESH
* Garments worker protest wages in Gazipur
* RMG workers demonstrate for arrears in Ashulia
* 100-dollar dream teases RMG workers?

20131002
CAMBODIA
* BetterFactories Media updates

MALAYSIA
* Minimum Wage: Action Against Errant Employers To Be Known Next Year

BANGLADESH
* RMG sector: Leading in times of uncertainty
* RMG workers demonstrate in Savar for arrears
* Why the double standard for RMG wages?
* No protest of workers’ in October
* Re-fixing garments workers’ wages

INDIA
* Definition of ‘basic wages’ for calculation of PF contribution

20131001
MALAYSIA
* 600,000 SMEs allowed to postpone minimum wage implementation

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers deserve higher minimum wage
* RMG workers’ wage ‘not increasing as per production, earning’
* No regular wages for workers of small-scale apparel factories
* Economics and business of minimum wage in RMG
* Normalcy returns in garment factories

[map country="india"] INDIA
* MGNREGA workers to receive compensation for wage delay:

20130928-30
BANGLADESH
* No violence at RMG hubs Friday
* MKA blames Jamaat for RMG sector trouble
* Politics blamed for unrest in RMG sector
* RMG UNREST OVER SALARY HIKE- Workers block road, clash with cops
* RMG workers protest in Ashulia- Factories shut; 20 injured
* Bangladesh garment workers protest low wages
* RMG workers resume protests
* Minimum wage soon after announcement: BGMEA
* BGB patrolling violent-hit RMG areas
* Behind-the-scene players of RMG unrest identified
* RMG owners, labour leaders reach consensus on 5 points
* Labour leaders scuffle over Shajahan’s role
* Responsibility for latest RMG industry turmoil
* Hefazat chief instigated RMG unrest: Labour minister
* Protests ebb as Bangladesh garment factories agree wage rise
* Govt adopting ‘repressive policy against RMG workers’
* 30 injured in RMG unrest at Sreepur
* RMG workers ransack factory demanding manager’s removal
* Worker leaders demand hike in textile wages
* Wage board members leave left Dhaka for three countries

INDIA
* Weavers stage demonstration:

20130927
BANGLADESH
* BGB deployed in Gazipur
* RMG Unrest: BGB deployed in Gazipur
* Police in open fire as textile workers protest over pay
* RMG unrest hits N’ganj for 6th day
* RMG workers’ demo in Ashulia: 20 injured in police action
* Over 100 hurt in RMG workers-cops clash in N’ganj
* 80% factories resume production in Gazipur: BGMEA
* Security boosted at RMG factories after unrest
* Textile workers fed up with conditions
* RMG protests over wages on
* Garment workers stay rowdy
* RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible!
* Govt, owners liable for RMG unrest
* Exercise restraint, NYT urges BD police, RMG workers
* Fix it quick or lose business
* Right of Pay for Labor … Bangladesh Minimum Wage Movement Continues

20130926
BANGLADESH
* Apparel workers’ demo enters fifth day
* RMG Unrest over Salary Hike- 144 units shut amid unrest
* 150 more RMG units shut: 60 hurt in clashes
* Workers’ unrest in Savar, Gazipur & 2nd :N’ganj
* Over 300 RMG factories closed in Gazipur over violence
* RMG workers stage demo in Chittagong + RMG workers stage demo in city, 4 districts
* Police fight on with apparel workers
* No unrest in apparel sector, claims Home Minister
* MKA talks tough against those trying to destabilise RMG sector
* RMG owners threaten no pay, bonus
* Treachery by factory owners to make matters worse
* Onus on owners
* RMG Unrest: BGB deployment from Thursday
* RMG owners decide to resume operation from today
* Garments sector in turmoil, again
* Buyers worried, factory owners slow to respond
* BGB deployed in Gazipur Industrial Zone
* The economics of minimum wages
* Need to identify issues that constrain RMG industry

20130925
CAMBODIA
* Factory management agrees on pay advance for holiday:
* BetterFactories Media update 14-24 September 2013

BANGLADESH
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG workers block Kuril Bishaw Road for hiked minimum wage
* Violence in RMG sector spreads to N’ganj, Tangail
* RMG workers protest in Ashulia
* Protest over pay rise in Gazipur- 12 RMG factories shut, 20 hurt
* RMG workers continue agitation
* Protesting workers say wages not enough to buy food
* The battles of RMG
* ‘A minister behind labour unrest’- Fakhrul
* CPD suggests Tk 8,200 minimum wage for RMG workers
* Workers’ demand justified
* Unrest hits Gazipur RMG belt for 4th day
* Unrest in RMG industry continues
* Logical minimum wage for workers by Nov, hopes BGMEA
* Bangladeshi garment workers rally for a decent wage
* What should be the minimum wage for RMG workers?
* RMG workers’ demand, BGMEA apathy and politicking minister
* Fixing wages for garments workers
* Wage hike needed for RMG sector
* Thousands demand higher wages in Bangladesh factory protest
* RMG unrest continues for 4-day in Gazipur

20130924
BANGLADESH
* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur; factories close
* Garment workers go berserk in Gazipur
* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Savar
* 10-15 hurt in Savar apparel worker-cop clash
* RMG workers stage sit-in in capital
* Garment workers demonstrate at Savar, Gazipur : 100 injured
* Some quarters active to divert apparel workers’ demand: Minister
* RMG Workers’ Demo over salary Hike – Gazipur Ansar camp attacked, arms, ammo looted
* 150 more RMG units shut as violence spreads
* RMG unrest flares
* 300 factories closed as RMG unrest spreads
* Govt to enhance security measures in clothing industry
* RMG factories at Ashulia reopen today
* Tuku urges RMG workers to keep patience till new wage declaration
* Factories vandalized as garment workers protest for third day
* The Biggest Ever Minimum Wage Rally Continues in Bangladesh
* RMG workers agitate for wage hike
* RMG workers go berserk
* BGMEA seeks security* Revised RMG wages likely by Nov
* Angry Bangladesh garment workers protest over pay, factories shut
* Undervalued garment workers
* Too much, too little
* Bangladeshi factory workers locked in on 19-hour shifts
* RMG workers locked in on 19-hour shifts

20130923
BANGLADESH
* Protest for RMG pay rise in Gazipur- Workers-police clash underway
* Garments workers block Dhaka- Mymensingh, Dhaka-Aricha highway

INDIA
* Mangalore trade union demands minimum wage
* CITU demands amendment to Minimum Wages Act
* Goa labour unions demand Rs 12,000 monthly wage for workers
* ‘Fix minimum wage for unorganised workers at `10,000, implement schemes’
* Wage united struggle, women told

20130922
BANGLADESH
* 50,000 Bangladeshi garment workers strike over ‘inhuman’ wages
* RMG units close again in Gazipur
* DEMO DEMANDING SALARY HIKE – RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur
* Unrest forces production suspension at 100 Gazipur RMG units
* Police fire rubber bullets at protesting garment workers
* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 15
* FBCCI wants ‘fair’ RMG pay
* RMG sector turns hot- Workers take to streets demanding pay hike
* RMG unrest continues
* RMG owners, workers at loggerheads over wage issue
* Violence at RMG hubs may take serious turn
* Businesses worried at violence
* BGMEA must take minimum wages seriously

20130921
MALAYSIA
* MTUC Claims Employers Short Charging Workers

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers rally in city’s Suhrawardy Udyan at 2pm Saturday
* Trouble brewing- RMG workers unhappy over wage-hike proposal
* RMG workers block Dhaka-Tangail Highway
* Demo Demanding Salary hike- 8 RMG units vandalised in Gazpur
* Labour unrest shuts Gazipur RMG units
* 100 RMG units shut for a day fearing labour unrest
* RMG workers go on rampage in N’ganj
* Transport workers express solidarity with RMG workers
* RMG workers reject owners’ minimum wage proposal
* PM’s intervention sought for fixing RMG workers’ wages
* Garment workers rally demanding $100 minimum wage
* Minister’s rally, so 400 factories shut
* Garment workers demand Tk 8,000 minimum wage
* RMG workers go berserk as denied leave for Dhaka rally
* Fix Tk 8,114 as minimum wage
* Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest
* RMG units ‘forced’ to shut for a workers’ rally

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2