Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 2: 20131016- 20131115

LW + 2

20131115

19:1 0:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Unrest in Ashulia: 100 factories shut:

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

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

* RMG workers lay siege to BGMEA Bhaban:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG workers join work as owners accept wage hike:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* New RMG wages take effect Dec 1:

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG minimum wage Tk 5,300 from Dec:

Workers file objections

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

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

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

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

* 54 Ashulia factories declared shut:

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

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

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

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

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

* 5% annual hike offers long term solution:

20131115 DAILYSTAR rmg-wage

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

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

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

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

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

20131115 NEWNATIONBy NN PHOTO

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

* Progress on RMG wages:

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131114

20:1 0:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Workers Block Road, Protest for Higher Wages:

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

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

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

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

* Anger, grief after clash:

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

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

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

* Dismissed SL workers key to resolution:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Police in strike shootings to be investigated:

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

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

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

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

* Police Deny Responsibility for Shooting Civilians:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Local residents condemn crackdown on SL workers:

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

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

* Cambodia – escalating violence against workers results in shooting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

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

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

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

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

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

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

21:1 0:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Two Regencies Propose Lowest Minimum Wage:

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

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

* The power of the working class:

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

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

* Yogya minimum wage to increase by 10%:

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

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

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

19:1 0:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Tk 5,300 effective from Dec:

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

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

* RMG minimum wage effective from Dec 1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_________

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

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

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

* Workers clash with police in Ashulia, 50 hurt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Urgent meeting over RMG Thursday:

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

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

* RMG workers-govt meeting at noon:

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

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

* Fight for better wages:

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

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

* BGMEA director loses cool at meeting on minimum wage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Garment factory owners demand fair price to ensure compliance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Baipail-Abdullahpur highway blocked:

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

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

* A living wage in Bangladesh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Let RMG work as engine of economic growth:

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131113

5 0:16:41 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Cheap labor attracts garments:

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

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

4 0:16:41 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Ecco, minimum wage don’t fit:

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

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

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

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Violent clash of strikers, police kills one:

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

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

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

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

* Bystander killed in worker protest:

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

* Strikers, police clash:

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

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

The bloodshed occurred after 600 striking employees at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd., representatives from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) attempted to march from SL’s Meanchey district location to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house, where they planned to hold a demonstration.
(….)
After yesterday’s bloody riot, Kong Athit, vice-president of C.CAWDU – the union that represents a large majority of SL workers – said that, although demonstrators sparked the turbulence, police hold 100 per cent of the blame for the violence.

“They sent four or five fire trucks, so their intent was clear: They wanted to crack down on the strike,” Athit said.
Further, he said, C.CAWDU’s attempts to resolve the SL strike have been stymied by the government.

“We’ve been listening to the government for the past three months,” said Athit, who said the C.CAWDU found out on Monday that the Phnom Penh municipality denied a permit it filed to hold the march. “[The government] just pushed us to the wall.”
read more.
PPP new

* Woman Killed as Police Open Fire During Garment Worker Clash:

One woman was killed, at least nine others injured and 37 arrested, including seven Buddhist monks, who were later released, after violence erupted Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district between protesting garment factory workers, civilians and security forces, who fired live ammunition.

Two police vehicles and at least two police motorcycles were torched after several hundred workers from the SL Garment factory, who were attempting to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence, had their route blocked by police.
During the clashes, six police officers were trapped in a room inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda for more than one hour, but escaped unharmed.

Street vendor Eng Sokhom, 49, who was not taking part in the protest, was shot and killed during the clashes as she served food to customers, human rights workers said. The slain woman’s son, Vong Panha, 21, told reporters at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital that his mother, who worked near the Stung Meanchey pagoda, had been serving food to a customer when  she was shot in the chest.

Two Cambodia Daily journalists witnessed at least five police officers firing pistols in the direction of the protesters. One of the officers, who had been trapped in the pagoda, was seen drawing his handgun and shooting a young man in the torso at close range following his release. The shot man had not challenged the police officer in any way.

The clashes erupted at about 8:45 a.m. after about 2,000 workers from the SL Garment factory—the majority of whom were men—tried marching to Mr. Hun Sen’s house, only to be met by a phalanx of military police who urged them to retreat.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* At Embattled Factory, an Unmovable Manager:

In an industry rife with labor strikes, the workers at the SL Garment Factory in recent months have been strident, and sometimes violent, in their efforts to have their demands for better working conditions met by factory bosses.

Tuesday’s clash with police near Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey bridge, where one woman was shot dead and several others injured by authorities, was the third time since September that protests by SL workers have turned violent.
Many of the demands by the SL workers are typical: higher wages and a lunch stipend, but others are not.

Among the workers’ central demands is the resignation of Meas Sotha, an administrator and shareholder in the SL factory, who workers say is responsible for bringing armed security guards into the plant in recent months to intimidate workers inclined to unionize.

“Everything changed since he started working here,” said Oum Visal, a factory representative of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which has organized what is now a three-month-long strike by its members in the SL factory.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Woman shot dead in Cambodia protest clash: activists:

A woman was shot dead and several people injured in clashes between protesting garment workers and riot police in the Cambodian capital Tuesday, a rights group and family members said.

The clashes erupted as hundreds of employees from a factory supplying global brands marched towards Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in the heart of Phnom Penh to demand better working conditions.
“This is a cruel crackdown by the authorities,” said Am Sam Ath from local rights group Licadho, at a city hospital where the injured were taken.
The activist told AFP that five others suffered gunshot wounds during the unrest.
(…)
Unions said violence broke out when riot police stopped more than a thousand workers from the Singapore-owned SL Garment Processing factory — which supplies global brands like Gap and H&M — who have been demonstrating periodically for weeks.

“We went to the prime minister to seek his intervention to improve the working conditions at the factory. But authorities used weapons to crack down on them,” said Kong Athit, deputy leader of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union which organised the march.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* One Dead, Several Wounded by the Riot Police…:

Yet another march by the SL Garment factory workers who are on a strike since the month of August for a rise in wages.

It turned very ugly this morning. Some members of the riot police forces who stopped the demonstrators at the Stung Meanchey bridge opened fire with their handgun when trying to push back the protesters, resulting in several injured and the death of 49 year old Seng Sokhon, a woman selling food from a street stall.
She had nothing to do with the demonstration. She was eking a living out of her small streetside restaurant…
Several alleged protesters were arrested inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda and brutally beaten by forces of the Gendarmerie.
read & see more.
JohnVink

* One killed, 6 injured in Cambodian police, garment protesters clash:

Cambodian anti-riot police and garment protesters clashed here on Tuesday morning, leaving one person dead, 6 injured, and a dozen of protesters were arrested.

The incident occurred in the capital’s Meanchey district when hundreds of protesting workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd had tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house for help with demand for payrise and better working conditions, but the police did not allow them to march by blocking the road.

“In the clash, strikers threw stones at police and set a police car and two motorcycles on fire,” Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, told Xinhua. “The police have retaliated by using water cannons and smoke bombs to disperse protestors.”
He said at least a policeman was injured on his head by protestors’ stones.
“After about a three-hour clash, we had arrested more than 10 protesters for inquiry,” he said.
Eyewitnesses said police had fired real bullets on protesters, accidentally killed a female food seller on the sidewalk, and injured at least five protesters.
(…)
However, Kheng Tito denied that the police had shot real bullets to crack down on protesters. “Our forces have never fired live bullets on protesters, it is against the law.”

Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, who led the protest, said the violence broke out as the police prevented about 2,000 strikers from marching to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house.
read more.
CHINAORG

* Garment Workers, Police Clash In Cambodia; 1 Killed:

Clashes in the Cambodian capital on Tuesday between protesting garment workers and riot police have left a bystander dead and injured at least 20 people.

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. Factory were marching toward Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence. Workers from the factory have been protesting for months, demanding better pay and working conditions. The factory makes clothes for H&M, Gap and other Western brands.

Riot police were sent to block Tuesday’s march. The clashes began when protesters surrounded five police officers sent to negotiate with them. :

It was unclear which side started the attacks, which included police firing live bullets and tear gas to rescue their colleagues, and protesters throwing rocks and wielding iron bars and wooden sticks, Chan Soveth [senior investigator for the rights group Adhoc] said.

A woman selling rice near the scene was killed by a police bullet. Six protesters were wounded, along with nine members of the public. Five Buddhist monks were also injured when police fired tear gas into a pagoda where protesters had sought refuge.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.
npr bbc theNATIONnew BD new age BERNAMA globalpost
asiancorres  DW NEWS24

* Cambodia garment workers protest turns deadly:

At least one person killed as police clash with demonstrators demanding better working conditions, rights groups say.

At least one person has been killed and 20 others injured after police in Cambodia clashed with protesting garment workers, according to rights groups.

Tuesday’s protest took place outside the capital, Phnom Penh, where a bystander selling rice was struck by a bullet, the activists said.
Chan Soveth and Am Sam Ath of the rights group Licadho both confirmed a woman had been hit by a bullet.

Six protesters were injured, Chan Soveth said, adding that five Buddhist monks were hurt when police fired tear gas into a Buddhist pagoda where protesters had sought refuge.
Nine other people were hurt, including youths who jumped into the clashes and bystanders.

“The crackdown conducted by police this morning against workers was very cruel and unacceptable,” said Kong Athith, a spokesman for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, which organised the protest.

“Workers were unarmed. Why did police use live ammunition to crack down on them?”
read more.
aljazeera

* CCHR deplores the use of live ammunition by security forces as today’s SL Garment Factory protests turned violent:

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (“CCHR”) strongly condemns the violent turn of events during today’s – 12 November 2013 – protest by hundreds of garment workers from the SL Garment Factory, which produces garments for the Gap and H&M. Strikes and protests at the SL Garment Factory have been ongoing since early August, with workers asking for a wage increase, the
reinstatement of meal breaks and the removal of military police hired by the factory as security guards, demands which have remained unanswered by the factory’s management.

The protestors today were attempting to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house near the Independence Monument in central Phnom Penh, but were stopped by security forces in the capital’s Meanchey district, where the factory is located.
Clashes between the protestors and the security forces erupted mid-morning Tuesday, during which, according to sources contacted by CCHR, at least one police car and two police motorbikes were set on fire by the protestors and at least three police officers were threatened by protestors and detained inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda, after which riot police intervened more forcefully.

During the clashes, one woman, Heng Sokhon – a 49-year-old rice vendor and a bystander not taking part in the demonstration – was shot by the security forces. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Several other civilians were also injured during the clashes. Riot police is reported to have fired live ammunition, in addition to 38mm rubber bullet rounds and tear gas.
The protestors were dispersed by the security forces around mid-day, with around 20 protestors – including at least seven monks – reportedly being arrested.
Read more & you can download here.the Press Release.
CCHR

One Dead, Seven Injured Amid Violent Clashes in SL Garment Workers Strike:

Earlier this morning, a violent clash between striking garment workers and armed forces, followed by two additional clashes between the growing number of armed forces and a crowd of citizens, resulted in the death of one bystander and at least seven injured in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

The morning began with about six hundred SL garment workers who attempted to march from their factory to the Prime Minister’s home to press for responses from the government. The workers have been on strike for three months over unresolved demands for improvements in working conditions as well as the removal of a newly appointed manager.
The march did not get far as the workers were blocked by over a hundred armed anti-riot policemen and barricades at the Stung Meanchey bridge. Tensions ran high as demonstrators tried to push through the barricade and collided with police. Police fired water cannons onto the crowd, igniting the first wave of violence in which one police truck and two motos were overturned and set on fire.

Workers and onlookers stricken with fear sought safety within the Stung Meanchey pagoda. Five police officers followed them into the pagoda grounds and proceeded to violently beat several people. Angered by the violence inside the pagoda walls, the crowd began throwing rocks at the police officers, who ran into a room and locked themselves in.
read more.
licadho

 

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers demand minimum wage revision:

The Jakarta Labor Forum has demanded a revision to the 2014 minimum wage, which was set on Nov. 1 by the Jakarta administration at Rp 2.44 million (US$211) per month.

In a desperate move, representatives from the forum arrived at the Jakarta Legislative Council on Monday to meet with legislators from the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), whom they asked to lobby Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to revise his decision and raise the minimum wage to Rp 3 million.

“The decision needs to be amended. We have come here because we don’t know where else to turn to with our problem,” said Dedi Hartono, a member of both the forum and the Indonesia Labor Union Association (Aspek).

Jokowi’s predecessors, Fauzi Bowo and Sutiyoso, both revised the minimum wage during their tenures.
read more.
jakartapost

* More labor protests may hit industrial sector next year:

20131113 JAKARTAPOST
Labor intensive: Employees work at a garment factory in Bintan Island, Riau Islands. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Labor intensive industries are predicting a gloomier business outlook next year, with an increase in minimum wages and growing labor rallies hurting business.

The Indonesian Textile Association (API) predicts an escalation in labor protests in 2014 as political parties use the labor issue to attract support from voters in the general and presidential elections.

API chairman Ade Sudrajat feared certain parties may force workers to join political rallies during the elections, further hurting businesses that had already been severely affected by the rise in the minimum wage.
read more.
jakartapost

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut over wage fight:

Production in 50 readymade garment (RMG) factories in the city was suspended for Wednesday after workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new salary structure recommended by the government-appointed wage board.

Witnesses said garment workers from Konabari, Kashimpur, Laxmipura and Chandana areas of the city took to the streets and staged demonstration in the morning to press for immediate implementation of their new minimum wage of Tk5,300.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB INDEPENDENT

* 70 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash in Gazipur, Savar:

At least 70 people including ten policemen were injured as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur, Savar and Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, today.

The authorities suspended production at five RMG units in Savar for today fearing vandalism, reports our correspondent.
On the other hand, the garment factory owners have kept shutters of all RMG units in the Ashulia industrial belt down for today over security concerns following the continuous labour unrest in the last few days.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers’ demo -Dhk-Tangail highway blocked:

At least 50 readymade garment workers were injured in a clash with police on Dhaka-Tangail highway on Wednesday morning.

Witnesses said hundreds of agitating workers staged a protest procession at around 9:00am and put barricade on Dhaka-Tangail highway demanding the implementation new salary scale declared by wage commission and protesting the factory shut.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG workers-cop clash in Savar:

Thousands of workers readymade garment (RMG) factories locked into clash with police near Padma Can intersection in Hemayetpur area of Savar on Wednesday morning demanding implementation of new salary structure.

Witnesses said agitating garment workers from Babilon casual wear Ltd, Aboni Fashion and Standard group vandalized equipments and machineries in the factories at around 8:30am.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

____

* All RMG units at Ashulia to remain shut today:

All garment factories at Ashulia industrial belt will remain closed today (Wednesday) for security reasons following continuous labour unrest there.

The decision was taken Tuesday at an emergency meeting of the garment manufacturers of Ashulia zone that accommodates about 269 garment units. The meeting was held at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) headquarters.

Abdus Salam Murshedy, convener of the Ashulia Zone owners committee, informed the FE about their decision saying they will sit again this evening to review the overall situation including the labour unrest and decide their next course of action.

Most of the factories in Ashulia apparel industrial hub were shut Tuesday in the face of apparel workers’ unrest over the latest wage proposal.

The trouble stretched into the third consecutive day when thousands of labourers demonstrated in the streets in the morning and engaged in sporadic clashes with the law enforcers, demanding immediate implementation of the latest wage structure proposed by the wage board (WB) last week.

Over 50 people, including eight policemen, were injured during the skirmishes that rocked Jamgorah, Zirani, Kabirpur, Baipail, Palashbari, Narasinghapur, Ghosbagh, Pukurpar, Kathgorah and Nishchintapur areas of the hub.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG owners express inability to pay Tk 5,300:

Several hundred readymade garment (RMG) makers expressed their inability to implement Tk 5300 as the minimum wage as recommended by the government-formed Wage Board (WB) for workers and pressed the leaders for initiating negotiation with the government for reviewing the same.

They also sought policy support from the government to leave the business with finalisation of the new wage structure for garment workers.
“We have received about 470 factory owners’ letters expressing their inability to implement the proposed wage structure and they have also sought policy support to leave business,” Md Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE Tuesday.

Earlier, the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) asked their member factories to inform the associations in writing of their inability, if any, to run business if the new wage structure is implemented.
The associations took the move following a good number of owners’ disagreement to implement the recommended wage structure at an emergency meeting held on November 05.
read more.
FE bd

* Why is the price of our RMG exports declining since 2005? :

The wage commission has set the minimum wage for the ready-made garment (RMG) workers at Tk. 5,300 for a new entrant notwithstanding the dissenting position of the representatives of the manufacturers.

The manufacturers are solely responsible to pay whatever minimum wage is finally set and hence have to bear the burden singlehandedly. According to them, the proposed minimum wage is too much for them and simply beyond their ability to bear.

One of the main reasons for the inability to bear the burden of the proposed minimum wage, as mentioned by the manufacturers, is the declining price of their exports in the global market.
Other reasons include lack of undisrupted source of power, high bank interest rate, poor trade logistics, and loss of working hours due to conflicting politics of the country. This is true that Bangladeshi RMG manufacturers are condemned with one of the most challenging business environment among their global competitors.

While the factors like high interest rate, power shortage, poor trade logistics, and political factors are beyond the control of the manufacturers, who is to be blamed for declining price of RMG exports?
The answer, unfortunately, is: the collective failure of the manufacturers.
They are to be held responsible why the price of the RMG exports of Bangladesh has been declining since 2005.

Until 2004, access to main global markets for RMG like the USA and EU was regulated through use of quotas allocated to different developing countries under multi-fibre arrangement (MFA). Under that environment international buyers had to come to Bangladesh after exhausting the quotas allocated to other countries.
That enabled Bangladesh to ensure a better bargain. In most cases, buyers did not have any alternative to accepting the price demanded by Bangladeshi exporters. But those heydays disappeared with the phasing out of MFA quota since 2005.
read more.
FE bd

* 200 RMG units shut as police, workers clash:

Workers of readymade garment factories locked in  clashes with police in Savar, Gazipur demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000, leaving at least 60 workers injured on Tuesday.

Production at around 200 garment factories was suspended following the clashes, sources in the industry said.
In a later development, owners of some 257 factories in Savar zone announced closure of their premises for today in view of staggering workers’ unrest. The decision was taken following a meeting with BGMEA last night.
Several hundred workers of different apparel factories at Fatulla and Sonargoan area in Narayanganj also observed work abstention demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,000 and withdrawal of termination of the sacked workers.
The agitating workers blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, but police foiled their action by charging batons and firing tear gas canisters.
read more.
BD new age

* 10 factories shut in Gazipur:

The authorities concerned declared some 10 factories closed in the district as Readymade Garments (RMG) workers staged protest at Kashimpur and Sripur upazila by blocking Dhaka-Mymensingh highway on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said workers started protesting around 9:00am at Kashimpur and Sripur upazila separately demanding implementation of salary structure declared by wage commission board.
Police opened fire teargas shells to disperse the workers and rubber bullets. Later, they brought the situation under control.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* British MPs want garment certification scheme to raise garments factories’ standards:

MPs are calling for a study into the possibility of an ethical “Kitemark” for garments to help raise standards at overseas factories in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.

In a report launched on Monday, the all-party parliamentary group for Bangladesh said there was a high chance of another tragic event like Rana Plaza, where more than 1,100 people died, or the Tazreen fire, which killed more than 100.
MPs also called for regulation of ethical audits, which monitor safety and conditions in factories for brands and retailers, and said there should be a legal requirement that any problems they discover should be revealed to workers’ representatives.
The MPs’ recommendations came as thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers took to the streets of Dhaka to demand higher wages, forcing the closure of about 100 factories.
read more.
Ittefaq

LW + 2

20131112

5 0:16:41 local time map of china CHINA

* Inflation will hit wage hikes: Research:

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow:

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

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

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

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

* Dozens hurt in Bangladesh garment factory protest:

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

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

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

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

——

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

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

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

* Apparels workers clash with police over wage hike:

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

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

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

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

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

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

______

* Protest by Bangladeshi garment workers shutters 100 factories:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 100 RMG units closed for a day:

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

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

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

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

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

* Workers of Uttara EPZ demonstratem for higher wages:

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG owners tag three demands to WB execution:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG Minimum wage to be announced on Nov 21:

20131111 DHAKATRIBUNE Garment-worker-4

Garment workers urged to return to their workplace

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

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

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

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

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

* 200 units shut after worker-cop clash:

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

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

LW + 2

20131108-11

map of asia ASIA

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

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

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

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

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

BetterWork Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

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

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

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

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

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

* Increased living wage in Indonesia at a violent cost:

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20131111 * Most units shut after worker-cop clash:

RMG UNREST IN SAVAR, ASHULIA

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

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

20131111 * RMG workers demo, 350 factories closed:

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

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

20131111 * More than 50 RMG factories shut:

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

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

20131111 * Most Gazipur factories back in operation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131110 * Skop demands review of minimum RMG wage structure:

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

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

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

—-

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

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

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

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

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

20131010 * Garment owners will agree to Tk 5300 wage :

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

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

20131110 * 23 RMG factories shut in Ashulia:

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

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

20131110 * Factory workers demand payment for overtime duties:

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

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

20131110 * Unrest prevailing in Ctg RMG sector:

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

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

20131109 * No compromise on wage issue: Labour leaders:

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

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

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

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

20131109 * RMG workers demand salary hike:

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

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

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

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

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

——

20131109 * Garment workers’ bodies threaten agitation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131108 * Garment workers’ assoc rejects new wages:

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

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

20131108 * Garment workers rights bodies set ultimatum:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131108 * Cops-workers clash injures 20 in Gazipur:

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

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

LW + 2

20131108

4 0:16:41 local time map of laos LAOS

* Lao unions blow whistle on minimum wage cheats:

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labor unions victory over Jokowi, companies:

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

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

* Indonesia’s labour strikes hurt everyone:

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers protest in Gazipur, Savar:

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

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

* Factory shut at Savar amid workers demo:

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

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

* Nearly 80 factories suspend production over labor unrest fears:

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

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

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

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

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

* Govt publishes gazette on minimum wage for RMG workers:

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

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

* Minimum wage negotiations continue in Bangladesh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to read.
Home

* Labour rights bodies demand revision of new RMG wage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Minimum wage for RMG workers:

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

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131107

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Bali sets minimum wage at Rp 1.3m:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 13 Provinces Have Not Decided on Minimum Wage 2014:

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

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

* Labors Keep on Protesting, Businessmen Admit Frustration:

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

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

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

* Investment Impacted by Laborer Demands:

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

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

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

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

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

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

* Clash over new wage shuts 50 Gazipur RMG units:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 80 factories shut over unrest fears:

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

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

* Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 2-week ultimatum for revising wage:

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

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

LW + 2

20131106

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20131105 * New hope for SL strike resolution:

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

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Violent end to Indonesian strike:

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

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

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

* Nine Suspects Detained in Wake of Labor Rally Brawl:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Apparel makers threaten shut down:

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG labour bodies, left parties reject new wage:

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

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

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

* Minimum Wage Under the Clout of Question and Rejection:

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

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

* Who cares, really?:

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

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

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

* RMG owners to appeal for review of proposal:

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

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

LW + 2

20131105-06

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* H&M Calls for Yearly Minimum Wage Review:

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

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

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

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Jokowi Accused of Taking Sides over Minimum Wage Decision:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Review minimum wage or face shutdown: RMG owners:

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

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

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

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

* Owners threaten RMG factory shutdown:

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

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

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

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

* Will shut business if forced to pay: BGMEA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* 20 factories closed in Gazipur:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Garment labour bodies reject new wage:

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

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

* Tk 5,300:

Minimum wage for garment workers fixed

20131105 DAILYSTAR wage     20131105 DAILYSTAR minimum-wages

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

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

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

* Apparel minimum wage Tk 5,300:

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

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

* Official panel recommends 76% garment worker wage hike:

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

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

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

* RMG owners reject minimum wage of Tk5,300:

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

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

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

* Board finalises minimum RMG wage, owners reject:

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

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

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

* Minimum RMG wage fixed at Tk 5300:

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

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

* Garment wage hike won’t erode competitiveness:

Economists say the raise will create a positive work environment

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

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

* Board fixes Tk 5,300:

Employers disagree

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

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

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

DHAKATRIBUNE

* Minimum wage Tk5,300 proposed, owners unhappy:

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

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

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

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

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

* Bangladesh to hike garment worker wage by 76%:

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131102-04

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Fears SL strike could get ugly:

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

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

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

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

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

* H&M CEO, PM in tête-à-tête:

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

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

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

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

 5 0:16:41 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

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

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

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

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

Betterwork Indonesia media updates overview here.
BW indonesia

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

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

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

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

20131102 * Factory Owners Threaten to Move Away From Jakarta:

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

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

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

20131102 * Hatta Joins Kadin in Condemning Wage Protests:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131102 * Wages rise as strike goes on:

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

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

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

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

03:46:41 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Factory workers facing slave-like conditions:

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20131104 * RMG wage board meets again today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131104 * Board closing in on new salary structure:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131103 * Production suspended in 15 RMG units in Gazipur:

Workers take to the streets demanding a pay hike

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

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

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

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

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

* Garment TUC turns down new wage proposal:

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

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

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

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

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

* RMG workers block Dhk-Tangail highway:

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

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

02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131101

4 0:16:41 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Government wage hike plan draws criticism:

20131031 VIR

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

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

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

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Joko Sets Jakarta Minimum Wage at Rp 2.4m:

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

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

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

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

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

* Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Minister: Wage Increase Must be Rational:

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

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

* Indonesia strikes marred by anti-union violence:

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

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

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

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

* Riau Islands to increase minimum wage by 22 percent:

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

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

* Massive strike nearly cripples industries in Batam:

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

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

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

* Labors Demand to Meet Jokowi Regarding UMP:

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

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

* Indonesia hit with mass strike over wage hike demands:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Indonesians strike over wage hike:

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

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

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

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

* Jambi workers reject new minimum wage:

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

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

* Companies Prepare to Flee as Minimum Wage Hikes Loom:

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

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

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

* Minimum wage hike will not affect inflation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Despite workers’ boycott, council proposes minimum wage:

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG wage finalisation deferred again:

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

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

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

* Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers:

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

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

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

* RMG minimum wage: Board members far from consensus:

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

20131101 DHAKATRIBUNE busi-aRMG-Graph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Labour leaders demand minimum wage Tk 8000:

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

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

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

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

* Workers reject owners’ revised proposal:

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

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

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

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

* RMG workers reject Tk 4500 minimum wage proposal:

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

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

* RMG minimum wage talks drag on:

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

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

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

* RMG workers stage demo in capital:

Garment workers demand pay increase

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

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

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131031

5 0:16:41 local time map of china CHINA

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

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

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

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

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesians Strike for Minimum Wage and Fair Labour Laws:

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

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

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

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

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

Comrades everywhere,

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

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

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

* Indonesia workers prepare for national strike:

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

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

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

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

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

* Workers visit factories ahead of general strike:

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

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

* Workers skip wage talk for street rally:

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

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

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

* Minimum wage negotiation meeting canceled:

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

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

* Indonesian Workers Stage Nationwide Strike Over Pay:

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

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

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

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

* Editorial: Workers’ demands:

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 25 RMG units closed for a day in Gazipur:

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

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

* 20 RMG units shut in Gazipur:

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

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

* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 30 in Ashulia:

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

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

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

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

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

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

02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

* Increase wages, say power loom workers:

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

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

ETHIOPIA

* Insight into Ethiopian Garment Industry:

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

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131030

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labors Forum Negotiates Minimum Wage with Jokowi:

20131029 TEMPO

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

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

* Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi:

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 10 garments factory announced closed in Gazipur:

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

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

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

* Businesses meet PM to talk garment wage:

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

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

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

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

* Calculating a living wage for clothing workers:

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

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

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

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

02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

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

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131029

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt Still Mulls Laborers’ Pay:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Basic cost of living components determined:

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

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

* Nationwide strike in Indonesia announced for 31 October:

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

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

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

* Wage hike will affect investment climate: BI:

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

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

* Indonesian Shoemakers Ready to Leg It:

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

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

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG factory owners’ latest trick:

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

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

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

* Minimum wage of garment workers:

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

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

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

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

* RMG minimum wage: Fresh proposal deferred again:

Whenever declared it may take effect from November

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

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

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

LW + 2

20131026-28

5 0:16:41 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Minimum wage too low?:

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

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

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

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

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

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

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

* UK warns over Bangladesh factory safety:

20131027 DHAKTRIBUNE clean-cloth-cam

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

She set out how new UK support to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will build on action already taken by brands, factory owners and both the Bangladesh and British governments to improve safety and conditions.
Justine Greening said, “April’s factory collapse took a dreadful toll on people in Bangladesh and galvanised much-needed action on safety.

The UK government has already demanded improvements from clothing manufacturers and sent experts to advise on building safety.”
Six months on, the UK will now support the ILO to help the Government of Bangladesh, employers and manufacturers make improvements on safety and conditions, Justine Greening said, according to a web release.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* BGMEA sets Tk 4500 as minimum wage:

Manufacturers of readymade garments (RMG) have decided to propose minimum wage of garment workers at Tk 4,500 before the Wage Board, sources said.

They will also sit with the concerned government authority before placing their proposal, they added.
However, labour leaders are still adamant on their demand of Tk 8,114 as minimum wage.
The owners’ representative is expected to place the proposal of wage hike before the Wage Board scheduled to be held today (Sunday).

“We are going to propose nearly 30 per cent hike in the basic wage considering affordability of the industry,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, who is representing the owners, told the FE Saturday.
The gross wage would be about Tk 4,500 including 40 per cent house rent, medical allowance, Tk 250 transportation and food subsidy, he said. Inclusion of the two subsidies is for a better and acceptable wage structure, he added.
read more.  & read more.
FE bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* Owners’ final proposal Tk 4,680:

The garment owners are set to propose a minimum wage of Tk 4,680 per month, their final salary offer, for the workers at today’s meeting of the wage board.

The figure, although an improvement over the owners’ original proposal of Tk 3,600, falls way short of the workers’ demand of Tk 8,114.
The amount provides Tk 3,900 as basic salary, house rent and medical allowance, Tk 520 as food allowance and Tk 260 as transport allowance, said a source in the wage board.
“I am still firm on my previous position of Tk 8,114 as minimum wage. But, there is a room for further negotiation,” Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the wage board, said yesterday.
Regardless, the new wage structure would be locked in today’s meeting as it will be the final one of the six-member wage board, he added.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG owners likely to propose Tk 4,430 as minimum wage:

Garment factory owners are likely to submit a revised proposal to the wage board suggesting Tk 4,430 as minimum wage for workers in the face of frequent protests and criticisms by workers and civil rights groups.

Garment sector leaders said that they had made a revised proposal for a 30 per cent hike in the basic wage along with food and transport subsidies.
Labour leaders, however, said that they would not accept such proposal without a reasonable hike in the basic wage alleging that inclusion of subsidies in the wage structure was a ploy of the factory owners to deprive the workers.
‘Hopefully, we will offer about Tk 4,500 as minimum wage in our new proposal to the wage board on Sunday with a 30 per cent increase in the basic wage along with food and transport subsidies,’ owners’ representative to the wage board Arshad Jamal Dipu told New Age on Saturday.
He said that Tk 300 as food subsidy and Tk 250 as transport subsidy had been included in the revised proposal.
‘We want to talk to the government to convey that it should set the minimum wage within Tk 5,000. If the minimum wage crosses the amount, we will not be able to run the business,’ Arshad said.
read more.
BD new age

* Still not enough:

New Age reported on Sunday that readymade garment factory owners were likely to place a revised proposal to the wage board, suggesting Tk 4,430 as minimum wage for workers, in the face of protests and criticisms by workers and civil rights groups.

The proposal is 30 per cent higher in basic wage along with food and transport subsidies. It seems garment owners’ plea is not reasonable. The workers must be remunerated fairly so that they can lead a decent life.
As the government has formed a wage board to re-fix the minimum and other wages of garment and knitting factory workers, advice may be made to the board not to fix the minimum wage at a figure less than the minimum aggregate wage of a public sector worker. Group insurance covering life and accidental risks for every worker is to be made mandatory for the garment and knit factory employers. Owners have to follow provisions of the Labour Law 2006 in case of permanent, full or partial disability of a worker occurring in an accident. It is to be made mandatory that in the event of absence of insurance, double compensation is to be given to the victims by the employer.
It is learnt that, on an average, a Chinese garment worker gets a wage that is four to five times higher than that of a Bangladeshi worker. A Vietnamese worker is paid three times higher than a Bangladeshi worker. Even an Indian worker gets more than double the wage of a Bangladeshi worker. In such circumstances, the minimum wage for RMG workers in Bangladesh should not be less than double the current wages.
read more.
BD new age

* New RMG wage now to be finalised by Oct 31:

The garment owners will now finalise a new wage structure for garment workers by October 31.

Earlier, the board formed to finalise minimum wage for the garment workers set today (October 27) to propose the final salary but it deferred the date as two board members remained absent at their meeting, AK Roy, chairman of the board, told reporters.
Arshad Jamal Dipu and Dr Kamal Uddin, owners’ representative and an independent member on the wage board respectively, could not reach its Topkhana Road office for today’s meeting due to the BNP-led 18-party alliance’s hartal, he said.
“We will finalised the salary and sent it to Labour and Employment Ministry by October 31 for approval,” Roy said.
The ministry will later declare the salary, he added.
The four other board members however were present at the office.
The garment owners were to propose a minimum wage of Tk 4,680 per month for the workers at the meeting scheduled to begin at 11:00am.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd UNB Ittefaq INDEPENDENT newstodayBD NEWNATIONnew

* WB for RMG workers to submit report on wage hike Oct 31:

The Wage Board (WB) for the garment industry will submit its recommendation on wage hike for the RMG workers after getting the final proposal from the owners’ representative in the next meeting deferred to October 31.

“The owners’ representative was supposed to submit his revised proposal for fixing the minimum wage at Sunday’s meeting, but he couldn’t attend the meeting due to ongoing hartal,” WB Chairman AK Roy told reporters Sunday.
The meeting was deferred until Thursday next as Arshad Jamal Dipu, owner’s representative and an independent board member could not attend on the ground of hartal and it has caused the delay, he added.

“We hope, the owners’ representative will place final proposal on Thursday and we will try to send our recommendation to the concerned ministry on that day,” Mr Roy said.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal:

The new wage structure for garment workers was not finalised yesterday as previously announced, after two of the six-member wage board failed to attend the meeting due to hartal, said board chairman AK Roy.

Yesterday’s meeting has now been rescheduled to October 31, Roy told journalists at the board office in Dhaka yesterday. “We want to complete the process as soon as possible as the board has time only up to December 26.”
The absentees at the meeting were Arshad Jamal Dipu, owners’ representative, and Kamal Uddin,  an independent member of the board, he said.
“If the board fails to finalise the minimum salary by October 31, we will sit with different labour organisations and decide our next course of action,” said Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the board, while warning of fresh labour unrest if the announcement of the new structure is delayed any further.
Meanwhile, Dipu said the new wage will take effect from November, regardless of the timing of finalisation of the salary structure.
“I was going to the board meeting. But, the decision was changed due to hartal. I hope I will be able to submit the proposal on Thursday’s meeting as all the formalities has been completed.”
Dipu said the owners have already finalised the minimum salary at Tk 4,500 per month and the government might increase it to Tk 5,000.
read more.
daily star bd

* Workers allege owners delay wage decision process:

Labour leaders on Sunday said that apparel factory owners were delaying the decision on worker’s minimum wage by repeatedly seeking time for the submission of the proposal to the wage board.

The owners were scheduled to submit a revised proposal to the wage board at its seventh meeting Sunday but the owners’ representative did not attend the meeting.
The date was decided at a meeting on October 21 when the representative also failed to submit the proposal.
The board’s chairman AL Roy after the meeting on Sunday said that the wage issue had not been discussed at the meeting as the owners’ representative could not attend the meeting because of the general strike.
The opposition alliance on Sunday began enforcing a 60-hour countrywide general strike demanding a non-party, election-time government.
The board will meet again on October 31. ‘We hope the owners’ representative will submit the revised proposal on October 31. We will try to finalise the wage structure draft and send it to the labour ministry on the day,’ the board chairman said.
The workers’ representative to the board, Sirajul Islam Roni, on Sunday told New Age that it was unfortunate that the owners’ representative had not attended the meeting.
‘It was nothing but a means to delay the process. Four others on the board, including the chairman, attended,’ he said. Setting aside the allegation, the owners’ representative to the board, Arshad Jamal Dipu, said that he had tried to attend but he could not do so because of the strike.
read more.
BD new age

* Peg minimum RMG wages to cost of living: analysts:

Economists and rights activists yesterday favoured a system of determining the minimum wages for garments workers by considering the cost of living, not just by taking food inflation into account.

“It will be unwise to fix minimum wages by considering inflation. Factors such as the cost of education, health and others should also be taken into account,” said Salehuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh Bank governor.
He made the suggestion at a roundtable organised by Chintar Chash, a research firm, on the rights of garments industry workers from the perspective of globalisation, at the National Press Club in the capital yesterday.
He said workers’ productivity is linked to wages. “How would a worker pay attention to work if he/she is malnourished?”

The call comes at a time when a new minimum wage is expected to be announced soon for the country’s 35 lakh garment workers.
Garment workers, mostly women, receive one of the lowest minimum wages among the major industrial sectors in Bangladesh; it is also the lowest among Bangladesh’s competing countries in Asia.
Both owners and workers are human beings and society expects humane behaviour from owners as they are well-educated, said researcher and columnist Syed Abul Maksud.
read more.
daily star bd

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Government braces for nationwide labor protests:

The government has called on workers to remain peaceful during an upcoming five-day national strike, which is expected to start on Monday.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto urged workers not to vandalize public property or disturb public order.

“It is their right. However, since nationwide rallies have implications, we are taking certain steps ahead of the strike. We have prepared measures to deal with any workers who take to the streets and commit acts of violence or vandalism,” Djoko said at the State Palace on Friday.
(…)
They claimed their demand to raise the minimum provincial wage to Rp 3.7 million was reasonable as the country’s economy was booming.
read more.
jakartapost

* Strike planned for Monday: KSPI:

Tens of thousands of workers will strike on Monday in preparation for a two-day national strike slated for Oct. 31 to Nov.1.

“Workers will participate in the action across several regions,” Confederation of Indonesian Worker’s Union (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal said in Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Around 10,000 workers will strike on Pulogadung Industrial Estate and KBN Cakung in East Jakarta. Around 50,000 workers will strike in Bandung and Cimahi cities as well as Bandung and West Bandung regencies in West Java.

“Workers in Karawang, West Java, and several other regions will also hold a convoy,” said Said.
He said millions of workers would attend the two-day national strike to demand that the government abolished the outsourcing system.

“Three million workers will participate in the national strike. The action will become a proof that we, the workers, are not just playing in voicing our demands,” said Said.
The three demands comprise appropriate wage, social protection scheme and the abolition of outsourcing.
read more.
jakartapost

* BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates:

1. Jakarta Wage Council set Living Wage at IDR 2,229,869.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
.
2. Labors to Gather in East Jakarta for Wage Raise. Read the full article here .
3. Union not in once voice regarding national strike plan.
Read the full article here 
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

* State misses HC deadline on garment workers’ wage:

20131028 theHINDU
Workers in the largely unorganised garment sector, which employs an estimated 6 lakh people across the State, have been waiting for a revision in minimum wages since 2009. File photo

In March, the court directed the Labour Department to issue fresh notification on minimum wages within three months

Nearly five months past the deadline set by the High Court of Karnataka to notify minimum wages for workers in the city’s vast and vital garment sector, the Labour Department is still in the process of forming a subcommittee to fix wages.

Workers in the largely unorganised garment sector, which employs an estimated 6 lakh people across the State — out of which an estimated 4.5 lakh work in around 400 units in Bangalore — have been waiting for a revision in minimum wages since 2009.

In 2009, the government in a draft notification set a minimum wage of Rs. 96.20, which was, in a fresh notification in 2010, revised to Rs. 114.10 (around Rs. 193, including Dearness Allowance). Workers’ unions, however, claim the orders were never implemented, barring in a few large-sized export-oriented companies where employees take home between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 5,500 a month (for unskilled workers).

In March 2013, the High Court, responding to a public interest litigation petition filed by garment workers’ unions, quashed the 2010 notification and directed the government to “pass appropriate orders as expeditiously as possible, and in any event not later than three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.”
read more.
Return to frontpage

GENERAL

* European Conference on Living Wages November 25-26 in Berlin:

Various initiatives by multi-stakeholder platforms, businesses, governments and trade unions in Europe have undertaken activities aimed at working towards a living wage in international supply chains.

Nevertheless, questions still remain referring to best practices to integrate the living wage concept into corporate strategy and the implementation in supplier factories on the ground. Equally, it is becoming increasingly important to coordinate different approaches and combine efforts.

In 2012, the Round Table Codes of Conduct, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), organised a dialogue meeting on the living wage. In parallel, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA) also organised a round table on the living wage in Utrecht in 2012. Joining forces at European level, the Round Table Codes of Conduct and the ministries involved decided to work together to maximise their impact. They agreed to actively involve companies, unions, similar multi-stakeholder forums, other European governments and further relevant stakeholders in order to create a joint action plan to be discussed and finalised at a European Conference on the living wage on 25 and 26 November 2013.

What is the aim of the action plan on living wages and of the European Conference?
The aim is to draw up an action plan on implementing living wages specifically in the industrial sector in Asia. This action plan should be drafted and discussed during an ongoing stakeholder engagement process and should form a central part of the conference in November. It is intended to become a key element of the follow-up process after the conference.
The action plan should define the roles that different actors play in addressing the challenges of implementing living wages, building on the foundations laid in the international normative framework (UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) MNE Declaration). Existing initiatives and approaches will be a central part of this process and solutions will be found to promote the topic of the living wage. In addition, new stakeholders with an interest in the subject who are willing to incorporate living wages into their agenda will be involved in this process.

The conference will bring together a significant number of decision-makers from Europe as well as partners from developing countries to take action and discuss the implementation of the plan. They will share best practices, discuss the coordination of existing approaches and also agree upon a possible follow-up structure involving current initiatives.

Background
postbullets What is a living wage?
A living wage is a wage that meets the basic needs of the worker and his or her family. Basic needs are food, housing, clothing and other expenses, such as education and medical costs. Even though legal minimum wages exist in many developing countries, they often do not cover basic needs. Sometimes minimum wages are high enough in theory, but they are not applied and enforced in practice. Workers in these situations will take on excessive amounts of work in an attempt to raise themselves and their families out of poverty.

postbullets Corporate responsibility to respect human rights
A living wage is internationally considered as a human right. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and various declarations and conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognise the need for workers to receive ‘fair wages and equal remuneration’ (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) that are ‘adequate to satisfy basic needs of the workers and their families’ (Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 2006). The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011), endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, state that business enterprises have the responsibility to respect human rights in countries where they operate. This responsibility applies to their own activities, as well as to their business relationships in the supply chain. A living wage is thus a part of corporate social responsibility and responsible supply chain management.
read more.
ROUNDTABLE

LW + 2

20131025

5 0:16:41 local time map of mongolia MONGOLIA

* Trade union members demand wage increases:

Members of the Confederation of Trade Unions in the health, education, culture and art sectors held a press conference on October 18.

They said, “The economic growth of Mongolia is not supporting the livelihood of all citizens in our country. While the price of consumer goods rises day by day, the 2014 State Budget allocated only 200 billion MNT for wages, pensions and allowances.”
Unless the government quickly increases wages, the members pledged to prepare for the next stage of their demands.

J.Batzorig, chief of the Trade Union of Education and Science, said, “Before, the inflation rate of previous years was considered when increasing wages. But next year, the wage will be increased with little consideration of inflation rates in 2014, which is quite wrong. Compared to other workers, staff in the health and education sector have twice the work that others have.

“For instance, many classrooms regularly have 60 students instead of 30, which is the standard, and hospitals are providing medical treatment for more patients than they are capable of handling. If the government can’t solve these problems, they must increase wages. While the average education workers monthly salary is 5,000 USD in developed countries, it is barely 300 USD in Mongolia.”
to read.
ubp

 5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers demand wage increase:

Workers from a number of companies in Makassar staged a rally on Thursday, demanding the South Sulawesi provincial administration raise both the regional minimum wage (UMR) and the city minimum wage (UMK) for the upcoming year.

They said that the current South Sulawesi minimum wage of Rp 2.16 million (US$198) and the Makassar minimum wage of Rp 2.25 million per month was not adequate for basic living needs following skyrocketing food and fuel prices.
“The current minimum wage is unable to support workers, especially those supporting families. We urge the provincial and the city administrations to raise the minimum wage 50 percent for next year,” said rally coordinator Akbar.

“We make big contributions to the economy, but we only earn a small amount of money for our hard work,” he added.
read more.
jakartapost

* Three Million Workers Involved In National Strike Confirmed:

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal ensure national strike will be followed 3 million workers in 20 Provincial and 150 Kabuparen/Kota.

And will be followed hundreds of thousands of companies in 40 industrial areas throughout Indonesia that would stop production, including in ports will be impaired by the National Strike that has been ascertained on 31Oktober-November 1 2013. And Preconditions national strike will be done 28-30 October 2013 in each region. National strike and preconditions conducted in an orderly and peaceful and non-violent.
(…)
According to Iqbal no political content in the national strike and no workers were ridden by anyone. Precisely Apindo chairman and minister perindustrianlah that as politicians. Thus politicizing workers in low wage policy sets, modern slavery, and limited social security. While, pure trade union fighting for the livelihoods of workers.

Related demands of national strike 2013 sue;
1. Minimum wage increases 2014 is 50% the national average and the USD. 3,7 million to Jakarta. Workers demanded a minimum wage calculation using 84 KHL item or if using 60 KHL item then minimum wage increases 50%.
2. Health insurance all the people 1 January 2014
3. Remove outsourcing included in SOE
read more.
citra-indonesia

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Minimum-Wage Hike Won’t Appease Bangladeshi Workers:

Earlier this month, a group of workers at the Tuba Group garment factory in Bangladesh locked owner Delwar Hossain in his office and demanded that he pay the bonuses he’d promised them for the Eid al-Adha holiday, according to Reuters.

Such extreme interventions are rare in Bangladesh, where the garment export industry is a main driver of the economy, but it was crazy enough to work: After 18 hours in captivity, the boss agreed to hand over the money. Such tactics have proven effective outside the factory walls, too, as workers in the streets resort to desperate measures to address desperate grievances.

After the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex, which killed more than 1,100 people in Savar, Dhaka this April, massive worker strikes erupted all over Bangladesh. Thanks to subsequently intensifying local as well as international public outcry, government officials have finally agreed to raise the minimum wage by as much as 50 to 80 percent.

The fight isn’t over yet, however. Though the workers have demanded a minimum monthly wage of 8,000 taka, or about $100 (more than double the current minimum of $38, last raised in 2010), the pending raise would likely be much less than that—perhaps raising it only to about $60, according to Reuters.
That proposed level would still be less than what comparable garment workers in Cambodia typically earn, and far below what experts say would keep up with the general cost of living in Bangladesh, Factory owners and their powerful official allies in government are continuing to resist any measures that would reduce their profits from the country’s massive, $22 billion garment export industry.
read more.
INTHESETIMES

LW + 2

20131024

 5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Wage committee asked to finish survey:

Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has asked the city wage committee to finish its survey on decent living components in preparation for the  2014 wage hike.

“The results of the survey have yet to reach me. The wage hike decision will need to be made soon,” he said at City Hall on Wednesday.
The wage committee conducted its survey in August 2013 and reviewed the prices of goods and services, including basic commodities, rent and education fees, which are the elements taken into consideration when setting the wage hike. The two other elements are inflation and employers’ financial capability.
The governor seemed reluctant to predict 2014’s wage hike as the decision was now in the hands of the city wage committee.
The minimum wage in the city was raised by 38 percent to Rp 2.2 million (US$220) this year from Rp 1,550,000 in 2012 and workers have demanded the city administration raise the 2014 minimum wage by 68 percent to  Rp 3.7 million.
read more.
jakartapost

03:46:41 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Wait continues for specification of new minimum wage:

U Myo Aung, Director-General of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Welfare, told Mizzima that it is hard to estimate when the new minimum wage for Myanmar workers will be announced.

“We are working hard to get this task completed, as establishing a new minimum wage is highly important,” he said. “Each job [that this wage would impact] is very different in nature, so we have much to consider. That is why it is hard to estimate the exact amount of time this project will take.”

Protests have been arising in the wake of the continued delays in announcing the wage. Workers are reporting that they are having difficulty collecting their salaries or asking for raises.

“In the drugstore [that I work in], I have to work as a buyer and also as sales staff, but my salary is only 50,000 kyats,” said Daw Thidar, a local employee. “I cannot request to raise my salary as there are frequent turnovers in our staff. Once the minimum wage law is put into place, I will be able to get the minimum salary without having to wait for other members of staff to ask for it as well.”
read more.
MIZZAMA new

LW + 2

20131022-23

map of asia ASIA

* A wage you can live on:

20131022 LBL slide2

Fact – In factories in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and more, the people who make our clothes live in poverty, usually earning just half of what they need to meet their basic needs and care for their families. In the UK at least, this is an industry that on paper supports the principle of a living wage. Most high street fashion brands have the commitment to pay a living wage written into their ethical codes. But little is being done to deliver this into the pay packets of workers who desperately need it.

To find out more about what companies are doing on this, read our Let’s Clean up Fashion report.

We believe that all garment workers should be paid a wage they can live on; because having a job should mean being able to support yourself and your family. Find out what a living wage means here.

H&M, Zara, Levi’s and GAP – made a combined total of more than 4.5 billion euros in profit last year. Watch our video about the human cost of this.

There are lots of ways to get more involved in the campaign. See the latest news and take action sections below for more ideas.
read more.
labour behind the label

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* USA garment factory workers block national road:

Nearly 400 workers at the USA Fully Field (Cambodia) Garment factory blocked National Road 2 in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district yesterday after fears spread that the factory was winding down operations and that management wouldn’t pay necessary wages once it closed.

Soy Nakri, a worker representative at the factory, said the protest started on Thursday when factory management began removing equipment without telling workers.
While some 60 per cent of machinery remains, Nakri said that workers had not been given any jobs to do since the equipment was taken.
“We decided to block the road this morning because the employers and the authorities did not find any resolution for us,” she said, referring to a third round of negotiations underway since the strike began.
We need our seniority pay, because the factory attempted to close without informing the workers,” she said.

Having worked at the factory since 1999, Nakri calculates that her seniority pay, which accumulates over time for a one-time payment once employment ends, is more than $1,600.
Yong Leab, an officer with the Free Trade Union, said yesterday that it was all too common for garment workers in Cambodia to run into difficulties when factories unexpectedly shut down.
“I always see the workers crying and trying very hard to protest and demanding their payments when the factory closes or the employers flee,” she said.
read more.
PPP new

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers warn of nationwide strike:

Thousands of workers from various associations staged a protest in front of the House of Representatives on Jl. Gatot Subroto on Monday morning, occupying the main thoroughfare and causing congestion in the surrounding area.

The Traffic Management Center (TMC) announced diversions on its official Twitter account at 10:15 a.m. as the protesters began to arrive at the rally location.
The police closed some parts of the road and redirected Slipi-bound vehicles to Jl. Asia Afrika and Jl. Gerbang Pemuda in Central Jakarta, while Transjakarta buses did not use their regular lane, entering the inner city toll road instead.
(…)
The workers held the rally to demand a more than 50 percent increase in the minimum wage. They also urged the government to implement social security (BPJS) on January 1, 2014 and to ban the practice of outsourcing. Currently, the provincial wage (UMP) in Jakarta is Rp 2.2 million (US$202) per month, the workers are demanding an increase to Rp 3.7 million.
(…)
The forum has called on Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama to improve the standard cost of living (KHL) index, including house rental and transportation costs. The forum claimed that the demand to raise the minimum provincial wage to Rp 3.7 million was reasonable as the country’s economy and per capita income were improving.
read more.
jakartapost

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Clean Clothes launches better wage campaign:

20131022 DHAKATRIBUNE Untitled-2

The Clean Clothes Campaign yesterday launched a new campaign across Europe calling on clothing companies to “Pay a Living Wage” to garment workers. The campaign is scheduled to continue till October 28 in 15 European countries.

The week of action would see campaigners across Europe promoting a consumers’ living wage petition at press conferences, via social networks, films, street actions, conferences and celebrity testimonials, said a CCC statement.
The campaign was launched at a time when Bangladesh is working on fixing minimum wage for the RMG workers.

As per the wage board for the garment workers, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed increase of Tk600 or 20% from the existing minimum wage of Tk3,000 per month. Leaders of RMG workers, however, have proposed Tk8,114 as the minimum wage.

In the face of growing labour unrest, the BGMEA is likely to place a fresh proposal to the board on October 27.
The CCC called upon clothing brands and companies to take action by setting concrete and measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG owners get more time to submit revised proposal to wage board:

The representative of the apparel factory owners to the minimum wage board on Monday sought three more days to put forward an ‘acceptable and realistic’ proposal for minimum wages for workers.

Quoting the owners’ representative, the minimum wage board chairman, AK Roy, told reporters that the representative sought few more days to submit a ‘better’ proposal.
‘The BGMEA representative told the meeting that they have failed to finalise their new proposal as the sector leaders cannot sit for a meeting due to Eid, Puja and Batexpo. So, they need more time,’ the board chairman said.
At a media briefing after the meeting, AK Roy said the members of the board agreed to allow more time as the owners’ representative said that their proposal would be better and it would protect the interests of owners, workers and industry.
As per the decision taken at the meeting, the seventh meeting of the board would be held on October 27 and the owners have to submit their proposal on that day, he said.
‘If the board members accept the new proposal, then the board will finalise its proposal,’ he added.
(…)
Replying to a question, he said that the wages of the workers in Vietnam and Cambodia are higher than Bangladeshi workers, but they have no freedom of choice.
Sirajul Islam Rony, the workers’ representative to the wage board, said that the owners’ representative discussed their new proposals and it is likely to propose Tk 4,500-Tk 5,000 as minimum wage.
read more.
BD new age

LW + 2

20131019-21

5 0:16:41 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* 14th month pay, a silly proposal:

‘A wage dictated by law rewards the inefficient. It punishes the industrious worker.’

The Department of Labor vehemently but intelligently opposed a proposal by the Senate Labor Committee raising the wages of private sector workers to the equivalent of a 14-month year.
The plan is anti-labor but is presented as in the interest of labor or the working class.
The proposal argues against simple economic sense if not indeed against the workings of supply and demand and the spirit of free enterprise. The reality in the marketplace is that the cost of labor to the producer is always borne by the consumer for the benefit, not exactly always of labor, but first and foremost for the owner of capital.
In this sense, capital and labor cannot be treated on the same plane. Labor is a product of capital.

The simple fact in this country is that the leaders of the state—Congress and the Executive in particular—use wages as a carrot to hold labor at bay. It has never occurred to any of these leaders—politicians all—that legislated wages remove competition in the labor force.
read more.
MaLAYAbusiness INSIGHT

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* National Strike of Indonesian workers on 28 , 29 , 30 OCTOBER 2013:

Starting from the meeting and consolidation between the Confederation of Indonesian Unions (KSPI) and the Workers Joint Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) in the early weeks of September 2013, they agreed on a meeting involving all elements of national workers in Indonesia.

As the preparation for the consolidation, they formed the Preparation Committee of National Consolidation that has been intensely discussing on the preparation and materials of consolidation. This Committee has been working effectively and has decided to held a national meeting of Indonesian labor movement on 30 September 2013 at the Gedung Joeang 45, Central Jakarta.
Labor representatives, trade unions, community workers, alliances and federations attended the meeting. Recorded, at least there were 18 provinces came with more than 100s union representatives.
The National consolidation then composed some important formulas related to the future of Indonesian labour movement by conducting joint work test within short time/term. Thus, they compiled some struggle priorities including:
1. Rejection of the low wage politics by using the strategy of struggling for 50 % wage raise or an increase of about 3,7 million Rupiahs from 2.2 million rupiahs

2. Elimination of outsourcing system Those two issues become the central issues of the Indonesian labour Movement since the end of year is the struggle moment for wage raise for Indonesian workers and 19 November 2013 is the final deadline for all companies in Indonesia to comply the Stipulation of the Manpower and Transmigration Minister (Permenakertrans) of RI No . 19 year 2012 related to the elimination of outsourcing system.
read more.
ASIANlabourUPDATE

3 0:16:41 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGMEA leaders seek more time:

The meeting of the Wage Board for RMG industry ended Monday without taking any decision as the apparel makers failed to submit their final proposal for the wage structure.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders sought more time instead for a “better, acceptable and realistic proposal.”
“It is true that we have sought more time. We want a sustainable wage structure so that there is no movement in the coming days,” Arshad Jamal Dipu, who is representing the owners, said after the meeting.
“We have prepared a revised proposal and talked about it but we were unable to submit it before the Wage Board as we are yet to discuss it with all our members,” he said adding that during the last one month BGMEA’s core committee on wage met five times.

There are both skilled and unskilled workers in the garment industry and an equal distribution for all seven grades need to be taken into consideration, he added.
Meeting sources said the owners are likely to place a proposal for Tk 4500 to Tk 5000 as minimum wage for garment workers.

Sirajul Islam Rony, who is representing workers at the Board, said, “We agreed hoping that they (owners) would place an upgraded and better proposal in line with our demand of Tk 8114.”
“The next meeting must be the last one so that the Wage Board can submit its recommendations to the labour ministry and the workers can get new wages from December this year,” he added.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG owners seek one more week to submit wage proposals:

Factory owners failed to submit their proposal on increasing minimum wages for apparel workers to the wage board at its sixth meeting on Monday and sought one more week to submit it.

The representative of factory owners failed to place the proposal at the meeting as they could not discuss the issue earlier among members of the core committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for finalization of their proposal.
The BGMEA core committee could not hold meetings due to shortage of time mainly because of unusually long Eid and Puja vacations, holding of the annual apparel exposition Batexpo and board members’ visit to three East Asian countries to learn about the wage-fixation process.
BGMEA representative Arshad Jamal Dipu said he would submit the proposal at the next meeting of the board on October 27, which, he added, would be acceptable to all.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Garment factory owners want to pay minimum wage of Tk 4,500:

The minimum wage board for garment workers will hold another meeting Monday. Today’s meeting is supposed to fix the minimum wage for garment factory workers. However, sources at the wage board said the chances of forming a draft of the minimum wage structure are very less.

The core committee formed on wages by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was supposed to meet yesterday but the meeting was cancelled for some unexplained reason. The wage board will hold a meeting today and tomorrow.

A source on condition of anonymity told Ittefaq the garment factory owners want to fix the minimum wage at Tk 4,500. This reliable source said even this concession may force some small and medium sized factories out of business but the owners are willing to take the risk.

Earlier, in a meeting on September 16, the owners wanted to raise the minimum wage by Tk600 and fix it at Tk3,600. However, this wage was not acceptable to workers.
They protested violently in demand of a minimum wage of Tk 8,114. However, the workers’ representative on the wage board Sirajul Islam Rony hinted that workers may be willing to adjust their demand in consideration of the reality. He told Ittefaq, “We understand we may have to make some compromises and we are willing to make them as long as they are logical.”
When asked what their response will be if the minimum wage is set at Tk 4,500, Sirjaul Islam said, “Then like the last time we’ll once again request the Prime Minister to interfere.” Note that in 2010 the Prime Minister intervened to set the minimum wage at Tk3,000.
read more.
Ittefaq

* New RMG wage structure Oct 27:

20131021 DAILYSTAR RMG1
Employees working in a garment factory of Ashulia, on the outskirt area of the capital.

A new wage structure for the garment workers now will be announced on October 27.

Justice AK Roy, chairman of the board formed to finalise the salary structure for RMG workers, told this to reporters Monday.
The board earlier fixed Monday to finalise and announce the salaries but it could not do so due to Puja and Eid holidays, Justice Roy said.
He was talking to the reporters after holding the sixth board meeting at his Nayapaltan office in the capital.

The minimum wage for garment workers is likely to be set at Tk 5,000 per month, a 67 percent rise from the current Tk 3,000.
The breakthrough comes after both the workers’ representative and garment owners’ representative of the wage board decided to make a compromise so that the new wage structure could be announced at the earliest to avoid possible labour unrest.
Originally, the workers’ representative bargained for a minimum salary of Tk 8,114 per month, while the owners’ representative was willing to provide a 20 percent raise to Tk 3,600.
The new wage structure would take effect from the first of next month.
The labour and employment ministry formed the six-member wage board in June with Justice Roy as chief.
to read. & to read.
daily star bd BDCHRONICLE

* Bangladesh poised to hike garment wages:

Bangladesh’s garment factory owners are pencilling in a minimum wage increase of about 50 to 80 percent and will ask retailers to pay more to defray the cost, as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that hit nearly a fifth of workshops last month.

The world’s second largest clothing exporter hopes to announce a new minimum wage early next month, bowing to international pressure after a string of fatal factory accidents that thrust poor working conditions and pay into the spotlight.
Workers want the minimum wage, which was last raised in 2010, to go up to 8,000 taka ($102) a month – 2-1/2 times the current rate.
Factory bosses have formally offered 3,600 taka. Several, however, told Reuters they anticipated that Bangladesh’s official wage board would set rates in the 4,500 to 5,500 taka range, and they intended to seek between 5 and 15 percent in price hikes from retailers.
The wage board was due to meet on Monday before submitting a draft proposal to the government.
read more. & read more. & to read.
BD new age reuters Ittefaq

* Determining minimum wage for workers :

Determination of wages and salary is one of the most important phases of employee-employer relationship.

It differs in different economies, regions and cultures. It depends on a number of country-specific factors, such as labour market conditions and variation in workers’ productivity across occupations, industries, regions etc. The policymakers need to reconcile two opposite kinds of considerations.

There are conflicting ideas surrounding the minimum wage. A moderate minimum wage is seen playing an important role in ensuring fair wages paid and bolstering the incomes of families with low-wage workers. On the other hand, high minimum wages can destroy the jobs and have a limited impact on poverty on families having no working members.

A fully enforced minimum wage to stabilise living standards do increase cost of production. In return, lay-off and prices will rise which hinder a country’s world competitiveness. Therefore, striking a balance between optimal level of economic expansion and appropriate employment is needed while pegging standards of living.

Wage needs to be high enough to secure some socially-accepted standard of living. On the other, it should not be too high in order not to price low-productivity workers out of employment. Evidence demonstrates that such a balance can be struck if the minimum wage is set at a moderate level so that it does not cause significant employment losses, while keeping low-paid workers out of poverty.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG minimum wage likely to be Tk 5,000:

The wage board may finalise the new salary structure today
20131021 DAILYSTAR RMG

The minimum wage for garment workers is likely to be set at Tk 5,000 per month, a 67 percent rise from the current Tk 3,000, in today’s meeting of the wage board.

The breakthrough comes after both the workers’ representative and garment owners’ representative on the wage board formed in June decided to make a compromise so that the new wage structure could be announced at the earliest to avoid possible labour unrest.
Originally, the workers’ representative bargained for a minimum salary of Tk 8,114 per month, while the owners’ representative was willing to provide a 20 percent raise to Tk 3,600.

“I hope the board will finalise the salaries in tomorrow’s [Monday] meeting. There is a possibility that the minimum wage would be fixed at Tk 5,000,” Sirajul Islam Rony, workers’ representative on the wage board, told The Daily Star by phone.
The new wage structure would take effect from the first of next month. He said only 20 percent of the country’s 3.6 million-odd garment workers fall under the category of minimum wage, while the remaining 80 percent are sewing operators and old workers.
“But they [the operators and old workers] should also be benefited proportionately and equally from the new wage structure.”
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG owners to submit conditional proposal:

Garment factory owners are going to submit a revised but conditional proposal to the wage board for increasing minimum wages for workers provided the government would reduce source tax.

A leader of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association told New Age that the core committee of the association has decided to submit the revised proposal with increased minimum wage. ‘But I know nothing whether the new proposal is conditional.’
The owners’ representatives at the wage board may submit the new proposal on Monday at the sixth meeting of the board, he said.
‘The proposed amount of minimum wages in the new proposal might be Tk 4,500 a month,’ the BGMEA leader said.
Another source of the garment sector, however, said that the owners have agreed to increase the minimum wage on condition that the government would reduce source tax.
Presently, the garment owners are to pay source tax of 0.80 per cent but they are pressing for reducing it at 0.25 per cent.
read more.
BD new age

LW + 2

20131018

5 0:16:41 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labour protests to test investor sentiment in Indonesia:

Thousands of Indonesian workers took to the streets of the capital on Thursday, demanding the government raise wages and adding to fears that labour costs in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy are becoming uncompetitive.

About 7,000 members of the country’s largest labour unions marched through the centre of Jakarta to the presidential palace to press their case for a 50 percent increase in the minimum wages and improved social welfare.

The demands add to pressure on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to improve the lot of low income workers ahead of next year’s parliamentary and presidential elections.

His government has said it would announce an inflation-linked basket to set minimum wages but manufacturers worry that rising costs are already threatening to make Indonesian products less competitive.
read more.& to read.
thestaronlineNEW  jak-globe

* Workers protest at SBY minimum wage instruction:

Thousands of workers from Jakarta and its surrounding areas have marched to the presidential palace to ask President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to cancel President Instruction (Inpres) No.9/2013 regarding minimum wages.

The workers grouped under the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI) had earlier departed from their meeting point at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle.
“We demand the President cancel President Instruction No.9/2013 immediately. We need an immediate salary adjustment,” rally coordinator Ferry said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.
He claimed the spirit of the instruction contradicted Law No.13/2013 on the labor force.
Approximately 5,000 officers from the Jakarta Police were deployed to safeguard the rally. Traffic was also diverted to avoid the rally.
to read.
jakartapost

LW + 2

20131017

4 0:16:41 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Voices on The Street:

20131016 BF

Phon, Meat, Vegetable and Grocery Seller:
I don’t think that the increase in minimum wage improves workers’ lives. The price of everything is increasing even more than their salary does.
(…)

Lo Koon Piu, General Manager of Wing Ying (Cambodia) Garment Factory Ltd.:
This new minimum wage is reasonable. As a general manager of a factory, I am glad to see that workers can earn more.
(…)

H.E. Sat Samoth,Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training:
The minimum wage was discussed many times. We didn’t just set it as an estimation. To set the minimum wage, we checked our economy, technicality, progress in society, reality and lives of workers these days. I think that it is appropriate with the current minimum wage due to the current economy of the market. The minimum wage will increase; it won’t stay still.
(…)
Chenda, Garment Worker:
The increase in the minimum wage is really good for us as workers, but the inflation makes us suffer. When we get a higher salary the price of rent, electricity, water and everything else also rises. If they increase the minimum wage to US$150 per month, it will help us a lot because we can live better and spend wisely on food and everything.
(…)
read more.
BF NEW

 02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile units urged to hold bonus talks:

A meeting of the CITU-affiliated Baniyan General Workers’ Union, held here on Wednesday, called upon textile workers to insist on unit owners to initiate bonus fixation talks before October 19.

“If the unit owners failed to hold talks, the workers in the respective units should contact the Union immediately and should not attend work from October 21.
The Union will then take steps to mediate with the owners,” C. Moorthy, general secretary of Baniyan General Workers Union, told reporters.
Stressing the demand for complete bonus fixation talks in all textile units before October 19, the workers affiliated to CITU staged a demonstration in the city on Wednesday.
to read.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131016

 02:46:41 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’:

Textile business has been on an upward curve, say trade unions

With Deepavali fast approaching, the demand from trade unions for higher bonus for textile workers vis-à-vis the scale of bonus given by the respective garment companies during last year and its timely disbursal has started gaining momentum in Tirupur knitwear cluster.

Sources in the trade unions said companies disbursed bonus up to around 30 per cent of the annual wages last year.

“Workers have every right for enhanced scale of bonus this year because the textile business from Tirupur cluster has been on an upward curve. Moreover, the higher bonus is essential as the workers’ daily spending has increased almost by 80 per cent due to abnormal upward revision in the prices of essential commodities and cost of living,” C. Moorthy, general secretary, CITU-affiliated Baniyan General Workers Union, told The Hindu .
read more.
Return to frontpage

 

map of Asia

20131115
BANGLADESH
* RMG Wage: Owners, labour leaders agree to wait until Nov 21
* Clash over Tk8,300 RMG wage hurts 5 in Ashulia
* Unrest in Ashulia: 100 factories shut
* Police fire tear gas at garment workers protesting for better wages
* RMG workers lay siege to BGMEA Bhaban
* BGMEA Owners Agree on 5300BDT Minimum Wage. Unrests continue …
* RMG minimum wage effective from Dec 1
* RMG workers join work as owners accept wage hike
* Tk 5,300 minimum wage for RMG workers from Dec
* New RMG wages take effect Dec 1
* RMG minimum wage Tk 5,300 from Dec
* 54 Ashulia factories declared shut
* 5% annual hike offers long term solution
* Bangladesh Trade Union brought out a procession in city on Thursday demanding Tk 8000 as minimum wages
* Progress on RMG wages

20131114
CAMBODIA
* Garment Workers Block Road, Protest for Higher Wages
* Anger, grief after clash
* Dismissed SL workers key to resolution
* Hun Sen Set to Weigh In on SL Garment Factory Dispute
* Police in strike shootings to be investigated
* Police Deny Responsibility for Shooting Civilians
* Hun Sen’s Sister Linked to Private Security Firm at SL Factory
* Victims of Tuesday’s riot press charges on police officials
* Local residents condemn crackdown on SL workers
* Cambodia – escalating violence against workers results in shooting
* ILO expresses concern over the escalation of violence around garment factory in Cambodia
* BetterFactories Media updates: 14 November 2013
* BetterFactories Media updates 2-13 November 2013

INDONESIA
* Two Regencies Propose Lowest Minimum Wage
* The power of the working class
* Yogya minimum wage to increase by 10%

BANGLADESH
* Tk 5,300 effective from Dec
* RMG minimum wage effective from Dec 1
* BGMEA Owners Agree on 5300BDT Minimum Wage. Unrests continue …

* All RMG units at Ashulia closed for today (Wednesday)
* Workers clash with police in Ashulia, 50 hurt
* RMG unrest: 70 RMG units shut in Gazipur, Savar
* Ashulia RMG units to remain shut Thursday, too
* Urgent meeting over RMG Thursday
* RMG workers-govt meeting at noon
* Fight for better wages
* BGMEA director loses cool at meeting on minimum wage
* BGMEA and BKMEA accept government’s minimum wage proposal
* Owners accept Tk 5,300 minimum wage for RMG workers
* BGMEA to seek ‘exit plan’ for small factories
* Garment factory owners demand fair price to ensure compliance
* RMG factory owners agree to pay Tk 5,300 wage
* Ashulia RMG units to remain open Thursday
* Baipail-Abdullahpur highway blocked
* A living wage in Bangladesh
* H&M grabs more control of Asia factories amid Bangladesh unrest
* Let RMG work as engine of economic growth

20131113
PHILIPPINES
* Cheap labor attracts garments

THAILAND
* Ecco, minimum wage don’t fit

CAMBODIA
* Violent clash of strikers, police kills one
* Bystander killed in worker protest
* Strikers, police clash
* Woman Killed as Police Open Fire During Garment Worker Clash
* At Embattled Factory, an Unmovable Manager
* Woman shot dead in Cambodia protest clash: activists
* One Dead, Several Wounded by the Riot Police…
* One killed, 6 injured in Cambodian police, garment protesters clash
* Garment Workers, Police Clash In Cambodia; 1 Killed
* Cambodia garment workers protest turns deadly
* CCHR deplores the use of live ammunition by security forces as today’s SL Garment Factory protests turned violent
* One Dead, Seven Injured Amid Violent Clashes in SL Garment Workers Strike

INDONESIA
* Workers demand minimum wage revision
* More labor protests may hit industrial sector next year

BANGLADESH
* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut over wage fight
* 70 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash in Gazipur, Savar
* RMG workers’ demo -Dhk-Tangail highway blocked
* RMG workers-cop clash in Savar
* All RMG units at Ashulia to remain shut today
* RMG owners express inability to pay Tk 5,300
* Why is the price of our RMG exports declining since 2005?
* 200 RMG units shut as police, workers clash
* 10 factories shut in Gazipur
* British MPs want garment certification scheme to raise garments factories’ standards

20131112
CHINA
* Inflation will hit wage hikes: Research

MALAYSIA
* Advice For Employers On Worker Recruitment Procedure To Avert Crime

BANGLADESH
* Ashulia RMG units to shut tomorrow
* Dozens hurt in Bangladesh garment factory protest
* 150 Savar RMG units shut over wage fight
* Apparels workers clash with police over wage hike
* Western buyers don’t reward compliance: Jamal
* Protest by Bangladeshi garment workers shutters 100 factories
* 50- 100 Ashulia RMG units shut as workers clash with police
* 100 RMG units closed for a day
* Unrest in Ashulia, Savar RMG units, 50 injured
* Workers of Uttara EPZ demonstratem for higher wages
* Fresh workers’ unrest in Ashulia: BGMEA sees conspiracy
* RMG owners tag three demands to WB execution
* Bangladesh garment workers unhappy with recent wage hike stage demonstration
* RMG Minimum wage to be announced on Nov 21
* Cop-RMG workers clash in Savar- 100 hurt, 50 factories shut
* 200 units shut after worker-cop clash

20131108-11
ASIA
* Salaries in Asia-Pacific set to rise 7% next year: survey

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates
*Administration’s legal division to appeal in labor wage dispute
* Increased living wage in Indonesia at a violent cost:

BANGLADESH
* Most units shut after worker-cop clash
* RMG workers demo, 350 factories closed
* More than 50 RMG factories shut
* Most Gazipur factories back in operation
* BGMEA, BKMEA talk min wage issue with govt today
* Minimum wage: BGMEA leaders to meet ministry officials Monday
* Skop demands review of minimum RMG wage structure
* Workers minimum wage issue ‘getting lost in political turmoil’
* Garment owners will agree to Tk 5300 wage
* 25 RMG factories closed in Savar, Ashulia
* 23 RMG factories shut in Ashulia
* Factory workers demand payment for overtime duties
* Unrest prevailing in Ctg RMG sector
* No compromise on wage issue: Labour leaders
* RMG workers demand salary hike
* 7 RMG factories shut amid protest
* Garment workers’ bodies threaten agitation
* Review minimum wages by Nov 20: RMG workers
* Garment workers’ assoc rejects new wages
* Garment workers rights bodies set ultimatum
* Review minimum wage by Nov 20 or face movement: RMG workers
* Minimum wage proposal rejected by all, pressure on the minimum wage board to reconsider
* Cops-workers clash injures 20 in Gazipur

20131108
LAOS
* Lao unions blow whistle on minimum wage cheats

INDONESIA
* Labor unions victory over Jokowi, companies
* Indonesia’s labour strikes hurt everyone

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers protest in Gazipur, Savar
* Factory shut at Savar amid workers demo
* Nearly 80 factories suspend production over labor unrest fears
* Workers’ unrest in Gazipur continues, most of the factories closed
* Minimum wage negotiations continue in Bangladesh
* Labour rights bodies demand revision of new RMG wage
* RMG workers give until Nov 20 to revise min wage
* Minimum wage for RMG workers

20131107
INDONESIA
* Bali sets minimum wage at Rp 1.3m
* Unemployment Rate Increases on Slowing Economy, Minimum Wage Hike
* 13 Provinces Have Not Decided on Minimum Wage 2014
* Labors Keep on Protesting, Businessmen Admit Frustration
* Investment Impacted by Laborer Demands

BANGLADESH
* Despite raise, RMG workers still get lowest wage in the world
* Clash over new wage shuts 50 Gazipur RMG units
* Clash over new wage execution leaves 20 injured in Gazipur
* 80 factories shut over unrest fears
* Protests force 200 RMG factories out of production
* Protect workers’ rights to protect RMG industry: Karmojibi Nari
* RMG workers take to street as Tk 4,500 offered as minimum wage
* 2-week ultimatum for revising wage

20131106
CAMBODIA
* New hope for SL strike resolution

INDONESIA
* Violent end to Indonesian strike
* Nine Suspects Detained in Wake of Labor Rally Brawl
* Jakarta Governor Defends Minimum Wage Policy Amid Protests by Labor

BANGLADESH
* Apparel makers threaten shut down
* Bangladesh Urges Raise in Garment Industry’s Minimum Wage
* RMG labour bodies, left parties reject new wage
* Minimum Wage Under the Clout of Question and Rejection
* Who cares, really?
* RMG owners to appeal for review of proposal

20131105-06
CAMBODIA
* H&M Calls for Yearly Minimum Wage Review

MALAYSIA
* Ministry To Study Effects Of Minimum Wage Implementation – Riot

INDONESIA
* Jokowi Accused of Taking Sides over Minimum Wage Decision
* Jakarta Worker Groups Plan Fresh Protest Over Minimum Wage Rise
* Riau’s minimum wage set at Rp 1.7m through voting

BANGLADESH
* Review minimum wage or face shutdown: RMG owners
* Owners threaten RMG factory shutdown
* Will shut business if forced to pay: BGMEA
* BGMEA proposes Tk 4,500 as minimum wage for garment workers
* BGMEA: Tk4,500 min wage, or no production
* 70 RMG units shut due to labour unrest in Gazipur
* RMG workers in unrest at Gazipur
* 50 Gazipur RMG units shut after workers-police clash
* 20 factories closed in Gazipur
* Minimum Wage Gets Fixed at 5300BDT (50Euro/68USD); factory owners refuse to recognize
* Garment labour bodies reject new wage
* Tk 5,300
* Apparel minimum wage Tk 5,300
* Official panel recommends 76% garment worker wage hike
* RMG owners reject minimum wage of Tk5,300
* Board finalises minimum RMG wage, owners reject
* Minimum RMG wage fixed at Tk 5300
* Garment wage hike won’t erode competitiveness
* Board fixes Tk 5,300
* Minimum wage Tk5,300 proposed, owners unhappy
* Bangladesh to hike garment worker wage by 76%

20131102-04
CAMBODIA
* Fears SL strike could get ugly
* H&M CEO, PM in tête-à-tête

MALAYSIA
* Minimum Wage Will Be Fully Enforced From January Next Year

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates
* Ahok: 2014 Minimum Wage in Accordance with Survey
* Factory Owners Threaten to Move Away From Jakarta
* Hatta Joins Kadin in Condemning Wage Protests
* Workers, employers yet to agree on S. Sulawesi minimum wage
* Wages rise as strike goes on

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Rangoon Factory Workers Toil for ‘Extremely Low’ Wages
* Factory workers facing slave-like conditions

BANGLADESH
* RMG wage board meets again today
* RMG makers, workers may reach consensus on wage in today’s meeting
* Board closing in on new salary structure
* Owners, RMG workers closing gap to reach consensus
* 10 injured in police-RMG workers clash in Savar
* Production suspended in 15 RMG units in Gazipur
* 70 Gazipur RMG units shut after worker-cop clash
* Garment TUC turns down new wage proposal
* RMG workers rally demands TK 8,000 minimum wage
* RMG workers block Dhk-Tangail highway

INDIA
* For women, more education means salary discrimination at work

20131101
VIET NAM
* Government wage hike plan draws criticism

CAMBODIA
* H&M to help strengthen industrial relations in Cambodia

INDONESIA
* Joko Sets Jakarta Minimum Wage at Rp 2.4m
* Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed
* Low Turnout as Nationwide Strikes Continue, Jakarta Wages Up 9%
* Minister: Wage Increase Must be Rational
* Indonesia strikes marred by anti-union violence
* Riau Islands to increase minimum wage by 22 percent
* Massive strike nearly cripples industries in Batam
* Labors Demand to Meet Jokowi Regarding UMP
* Indonesia hit with mass strike over wage hike demands
* National Strike Begins as Workers Demand Healthcare and Higher Pay
* Indonesians strike over wage hike
* Jambi workers reject new minimum wage
* Companies Prepare to Flee as Minimum Wage Hikes Loom
* Minimum wage hike will not affect inflation
* Batam minimum wage likely to be set at Rp 2.2m
* Papua’s 2014 minimum wage set at Rp 1.9m
* Labor Tensions Will Eventually Cease, According to Industry Officials
* Despite workers’ boycott, council proposes minimum wage

BANGLADESH
* RMG wage finalisation deferred again
* Board fails to finalise minimum wage for RMG workers
* RMG minimum wage: Board members far from consensus
* RMG owners propose Tk 4,500 as minimum wage
* Labour leaders demand minimum wage Tk 8000
* Workers reject owners’ revised proposal
* RMG minimum wage talks drag on
* RMG workers reject Tk 4500 minimum wage proposal
* RMG workers stage demo in capital
* H&M wants quick, actual rise in RMG workers’ wages

20131031
CHINA
* The company vanishes: workers chase shadows in search for wage arrears

INDONESIA
* Indonesians Strike for Minimum Wage and Fair Labour Laws
* Statement of Joint Labor Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) to welcome the NATIONAL STRIKE 31 October- 1 November 2013
* Indonesia workers prepare for national strike
* Workers visit factories ahead of general strike
* Workers skip wage talk for street rally
* Minimum wage negotiation meeting canceled
* Indonesian Workers Stage Nationwide Strike Over Pay
* Editorial: Workers’ demands

BANGLADESH
* 25 RMG units closed for a day in Gazipur
* 20 RMG units shut in Gazipur
* RMG workers-cops clash hurt 30 in Ashulia
* Owners to propose Tk 4,250 as minimum wage today

INDIA
* Increase wages, say power loom workers

ETHIOPIA
* Insight into Ethiopian Garment Industry

20131030
INDONESIA
* Labors Forum Negotiates Minimum Wage with Jokowi
* Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi

BANGLADESH
* 10 garments factory announced closed in Gazipur
* Businesses meet PM to talk garment wage
* Calculating a living wage for clothing workers

INDIA
* State may hike minimum wages for garment factory, hotel workers

20131029
INDONESIA
* Govt Still Mulls Laborers’ Pay
* Millions of Workers to Join National Strike on Thursday and Friday
* Three million workers to join nationwide labor strike: Labor leader
* Workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike
* Jakarta Sets Reasonable Living Cost Index at Rp 2.2m
* Basic cost of living components determined
* Nationwide strike in Indonesia announced for 31 October
* Wage hike will affect investment climate: BI
* Indonesian Shoemakers Ready to Leg It

BANGLADESH
* RMG factory owners’ latest trick
* Minimum wage of garment workers
* RMG minimum wage: Fresh proposal deferred again

20131026-28
PHILIPPINES
* Minimum wage too low?

BANGLADESH
* Bangladesh RMG sector fails to pay living wages: Report
* UK warns over Bangladesh factory safety
* BGMEA sets Tk 4500 as minimum wage
* Owners’ final proposal Tk 4,680
* RMG owners likely to propose Tk 4,430 as minimum wage
* Still not enough
* New RMG wage now to be finalised by Oct 31
* WB for RMG workers to submit report on wage hike Oct 31
* RMG minimum wage finalisation held up by hartal
* Workers allege owners delay wage decision process
* Peg minimum RMG wages to cost of living: analysts

INDONESIA
* Government braces for nationwide labor protests
* Strike planned for Monday: KSPI
* BetterWorkIndonesia Media Updates

INDIA
* State misses HC deadline on garment workers’ wage

GENERAL
* European Conference on Living Wages November 25-26 in Berlin

20131025
MONGOLIA
* Trade union members demand wage increases

INDONESIA
* Workers demand wage increase
* Three Million Workers Involved In National Strike Confirmed

BANGLADESH
* Minimum-Wage Hike Won’t Appease Bangladeshi Workers

20131024
INDONESIA
* Wage committee asked to finish survey

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Wait continues for specification of new minimum wage

20131022-23
ASIA
* A wage you can live on

CAMBODIA
* USA garment factory workers block national road

INDONESIA
* Workers warn of nationwide strike

BANGLADESH
* Clean Clothes launches better wage campaign
* RMG owners get more time to submit revised proposal to wage board

20131019-21
PHILIPPINES
* 14th month pay, a silly proposal

INDONESIA
* National Strike of Indonesian workers on 28 , 29 , 30 OCTOBER 2013

BANGLADESH
* BGMEA leaders seek more time
* RMG owners seek one more week to submit wage proposals
* Garment factory owners want to pay minimum wage of Tk 4,500
* New RMG wage structure Oct 27
* Bangladesh poised to hike garment wages
* Determining minimum wage for workers
* RMG minimum wage likely to be Tk 5,000
* RMG owners to submit conditional proposal

20131018
INDONESIA
* Labour protests to test investor sentiment in Indonesia
* Workers protest at SBY minimum wage instruction

20131017
CAMBODIA
* Voices on The Street

INDIA
* Textile units urged to hold bonus talks

20131016
INDIA
* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’

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