in the news on-line, 23 Oct. 2013

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.
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labour behind the label

21:17:24 local time map of china CHINA

* Local gov’ts urged to increase incomes:

Premier Li Keqiang urged local governments on Monday to work harder to increase workers’ incomes and social insurance. Trade union representatives pledged to strengthen collective bargaining to meet the goals.

“The ultimate goal of economic development is to benefit our people,” Li said during his report delivered to around 1,900 delegates at the 16th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, who gathered in Beijing for the five-day meeting that ends on Tuesday.
The government will create more job opportunities, ensure workers’ incomes increase in line with economic growth and share the fruits of development, he said.

He stressed that all levels of government should attach great importance to solving problems involving pensions, healthcare, minimum living subsidies and housing.
Li said he noticed a worrying phenomenon that some employers failed to make a contribution to their workers’ insurance when their companies encountered difficulties.

As China aims to move away from an export dependent economy to consumption-based economic development, wages should increase in step with productivity improvements, said Youngmo Yoon, a senior specialist on industrial relations and social dialogue at the International Labour Organization’s office in Beijing.
“Our studies in China have also shown that robust collective bargaining based on active participation of workers can reduce wage gaps,” he said. “Trade unions play a crucial role in ensuring better balance of distribution and redistribution. It is paramount that trade unions become effective in conducting collective bargaining.”
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 21:17:24 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* PHL ready to join EU’s new duty-free trading scheme:

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will file its application to join the European Union’s (EU) new duty-free scheme by month’s end after Philippine agencies completed documentary requirements.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. last week told reporters that Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo will sign the formal application for the EU Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) in behalf of President Aquino.
Cristobal said government agencies that need to comply with the 27 international conventions covering the environment, governance, human and labor rights, and sustainable development—a criterion for EU GSP+ eligibility—have completed their requirements.
If the country qualifies for GSP+, 6,274 products would be slapped with zero tariff, allowing Philippine exports to the EU to grow by 12 percent alongside the creation of 270,000 new jobs.
A DTI study showed that an additional €611.8 million or almost P36 billion worth of Philippine exports can enter duty free under the EU GSP+.
Philippine exports of tuna, garments, leather and travel goods, among other products are expected to jump significantly through the EU GSP+.
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20:17:24 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Building labor safety culture to attract manpower:

Apart from salary and bonuses, workers are also interested in ensuring labor safety. Fully aware of that legitimate demand, many enterprises across the country recently paid more attention to creating more secure working environment to attract more talents and manpower.

MTV Textile 7 Co. Ltd, an attached unit under the High Command of Military Zone 7 is a typical example. The company currently has 475 employees, of whom 80 percent are direct laborers.
Due to the nature of textile production – dying – and sewing, workers are often exposed to harmful factors to their health such as noise, dust and chemicals, the company has always regarded the occupational safety and health (OSH) protection, environmental protection, fire prevention and care for the material and spiritual life of employees as both a target and a motive force to boost production.
Therefore, every year when making production plans, the company also makes labor protection and fire prevention plans and implement them seriously. To enhance activeness and sharpness for the member units, MTV Textile 7 Co. Ltd also trained an on-the-spot emergency team and regularly opens first aid classes for the production teams to timely give emergency aids in case of accidents.
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 20:17:24 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Firms take eco-friendly route:

As the European Union (EU) plans to become the single market for green products, textile companies are being urged to include sustainability in their business-as-usual practices to serve the demand for eco-friendly items.

Peeraporn Palapleevalya, director of the Thailand Textile Institute’s (THTI) Textile Testing Centre, said manufacturers should focus on lowering their carbon footprint and engage in eco-friendly designs.
“The demand for green products has risen from the young generation due to the increased awareness of the trend. And these people are the ones with the purchasing power,” she said.
According to the Customs Department, Thailand exported US$7.22 billion worth of textiles and garments last year. Of the total, $4.27 billion was textiles and the rest apparel.
The largest export market is Asean, followed by the US, EU, Japan and China.
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20:17:24 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.
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PPP new

* SL Garment Protesters Gain Little From Talks at Labor Ministry:

A two-day meeting between union leaders, senior government officials and representatives of the SL Gar­ment Factory failed Tuesday to reach a solution for factory workers, who have been on strike since early August and on Monday demonstrated in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh residence.

Ath Thorn, director of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU), said that while the meeting—which began Monday in an attempt to diffuse a tense standoff between some 2,000 garment workers and 200 riot police near Mr. Hun Sen’s home—was not a complete failure, representatives of the factory refused to consider back pay for the three months the workers have been striking.

“If the company [had] agreed to compensate [the workers] during the strike, this would solve all the problems,” Mr. Thorn said Tuesday after the meeting, which was also attended by Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong, Labor Minister Ith Samheng, about 10 union leaders and the factory’s owner, Wong Hong Ming.
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* Cambodia sees 22% rise in garment exports in 9 months:

Garment industry, Cambodia’s largest income earner, reported a 22-percent increase in exports in the first nine months of 2013, showed the data of the Ministry of Commerce released on Tuesday.

During the January-September period this year, the country had exported garment products in equivalent to $4.2 billion, up 22 percent from the $3.44 billion over the same period last year, the data said.
Cambodian apparels are mostly sold to the United States and European countries, with some to Canada, Japan, South Korea and China.
The sector accounted for about 80 percent of the country’s total exports, it said.
It comprises about 500 factories with some 510,600 workers.
A worker’s monthly minimum wage is $80.
In 2012, the Southeast Asian nation made $4.6 billion from garment exports, the Ministry said.
to read.

19:17:24 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.
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* Muhith for preventing accidents in RMG sector for stable growth:

‘No time to waste anymore, factory inspections need to start’

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday said all the stakeholders in the readymade garment (RMG) sector must focus on preventing accidents and protecting lives of workers and help the vital industry grow and prosper further.

“We must focus on preventing accidents and protecting the lives of workers,” he told a function at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel after launching a US$ 24.21-million initiative aimed at improving working conditions in Bangladesh’s RMG industry.
The government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have launched the initiative, including a new Better Work programme. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are jointly contributing USD $15 million to the programme, and the ILO is mobilising further resources.

The Finance Minister laid emphasis on joint efforts from the government, owners, buyers and support from the employees to overcome the challenges and said top management of the factories will have to take responsibility to ensure a safe environment.
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UNB primenews BSSnewstodayBD INDEPENDENT

* Despite steps, problems remain with inspection, safety: Muhith:

The country’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector saw a phenomenal growth over the last thirty years and some existing problems in the sector were the outcome of such growth momentum, Finance Minister AMA Muhit said Tuesday.

“Rapid growth of the apparel industry has given rise to various problems,” the minister said while speaking at the launching ceremony of the joint initiative “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector” at a city hotel.

Terming some tragic accidents in RMG factories ‘unacceptable’, he said: “It must be admitted that despite taking different measures, still there remain some deficiencies in respect of factory inspection and enforcement of safety and welfare measures.”
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FE bd

* $24m safety campaign launched for RMG sector:

The government and the International Labour Organisation on Tuesday launched a $24.21 million initiative aimed at improving working conditions in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh.

The three-and-a-half-year initiative, ‘Improving working conditions in the ready-made garment sector,’ would focus on minimising the threat of fire and building collapse in the apparel industries and on ensuring fundamental rights and safety of workers.
‘We have to build a culture of compliance in the garment sector through this programme as the rapid growth of the garment industry in Bangladesh has raised various problems, including fire and building safety, as well as fundamental rights of workers,’ the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, said at the programme at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel addressing as chief guest.
The finance minister said, ‘I hope that the project will definitely make significant contribution towards enduring safe and better working condition in the RMG sector in Bangladesh.’
The labour minister, Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, said that ‘the project would help us to address challenges facing the garment sector and I would like to acknowledge my gratitude to the development partners who have provided support for this initiative.’
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BD new age daily star bd

* Towards a safer garment industry in Bangladesh:

Major ILO programme has been developed with the government, workers and employers in Bangladesh, in response to a number of accidents that have hit the country’s ready-made garment industry.

The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and the International Labour Organization have launched a major initiative – including a new Better Work programme -aimed at improving working conditions in the ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh.

The three-and-a-half year initiative, ‘Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector’ – (RMGP) focuses on minimizing the threat of fire and building collapse in ready-made garment factories and on ensuring the rights and safety of workers.

It has been developed in collaboration with government, employers’ and workers’ representatives, in response to a number of industrial accidents in the sector, including the Rana Plaza building collapse in April, in which more than 1,100 workers died.

“The ready-made garment industry is vital to Bangladesh’s economic growth but it needs to be safe and sustainable,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. “This programme supports the National Tripartite Plan of Action on fire safety and structural integrity and will lead to lasting improvements in working conditions for the tens of thousands of garment factory workers in Bangladesh.”
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* Garment plants to get factory safety cash:

Bangladesh and the International Labour Organisation have agreed to launch a $24m (£15m) initiative to improve the conditions of garment workers.

The move comes almost six months after a fire at a factory complex near Dhaka killed more than 1,100 people.
That disaster prompted a range of initiatives to make textile factories safer and to protect workers’ rights.
But a textile plant fire earlier this month again highlighted dangerous conditions faced by employees.
At least nine people were killed in the fire at the plant near the capital Dhaka.

Safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment factories are notoriously poor and fires are commonplace.
The three-year plan announced on Tuesday is being funded by the British and Dutch governments. It will consolidate earlier factory safety measures, including an accord signed by major European retailers in May.

Experts will conduct safety inspections at more than 1,000 factories as part of the initiative, which will target factories that operate as sub-contractors or produce garments for lesser-known Western retailers that have not signed up to safety accords established since the April disaster.
A factory fire killed more than 100 workers in November.
“We want to bring the number of industrial accidents to a tolerable limit,” Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar told the AFP news agency. “There will be zero tolerance to poor working conditions in our factories.”
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* Better Work to Launch Programme in Bangladesh:

New Better Work Programme in Bangladesh Will Seek to Improve Working Conditions in the Garment Sector

The International Labour Organization and International Finance Corporation are pleased to announce the establishment of a Better Work programme in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh.

As with its other country programmes, Better Work Bangladesh is a partnership with government, employers, workers, international buyers and other relevant stakeholders.
“The government and industry stakeholders in Bangladesh have signalled their commitment to make decent work opportunities a reality,” says Better Work Director Dan Rees. “We look forward to engaging actively with these partners to drive demonstrable improvements in working conditions and support the long-term competitiveness of the industry.”

Building on its expertise and unique position, Better Work will provide assessments of factory compliance with national law and core international labour standards, paired with transparent public reporting on findings.
The programme will also provide advisory services to factories, concentrating on building worker/management dialogue to improve working conditions and competitiveness, and engage with national partners to promote sectoral changes, including effective industrial relations.
Given the current array of efforts in the country focused on improving working conditions—most notably safety and health initiatives—Better Work Bangladesh will work collaboratively with other organizations and programmes already providing high-quality services in order to avoid duplication of efforts.
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* IFC programme to improve RMG units’ environment:

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched the Better Work Bangladesh (BWB) programme to improve working condition for thousands of workers of ready-made garment (RMG) industry and promote its competitiveness.

In a joint initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the BWB will provide factory-level services, including
compliance assessment in line with national labour laws and international standards, and advisory and training services to improve the RMG workers’ working condition.

Building on the model of other Better Work country programmes, the BWB will build partnership with the government, employers, unions, buyers, and other industry stakeholders, said a press release of the IFC.
The goal of the programme is to promote sustainable change in the sector by helping factories improve working condition and building capacity for better labour administration and industrial relations.
read more.
FE bd

* Bangladesh, ILO launch $24m factory safety campaign:

Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization on Tuesday launched a $24 million safety campaign, the latest effort to overhaul appalling conditions at the nation’s clothing factories after a string of deadly disasters.

Experts will conduct safety inspections at more than 1,000 factories as part of the multi-year campaign, after a garment factory collapse in April killed 1,132 people and highlighted the industry’s poor safety standards.
The campaign will target factories that operate as sub-contractors or produce garments for lesser-known Western retailers, and have not signed up to new safety accords established since the disaster.

“The ready-made garment industry is vital to Bangladesh’s economic growth but it needs to be safe and sustainable,” ILO director-general Guy Ryder said in a statement.
“We want to bring the number of industrial accidents to a tolerable limit,” the government’s top labour official Mikail Shipar told AFP. “There will be zero tolerance to poor working conditions in our factories.”
read more.

* Shafique urges labour court judges, lawyers to work sincerely:

Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed on Tuesday urged the judges and lawyers of labour courts to discharge their duties with sincerity for quick disposal of huge pending cases.

“Judges, lawyers and the disputing sides will have to come forward to create an environment for quick disposal of the labour disputes,” he said at the inauguration of the Legal Aid Cell at the Dhaka Labour Court.
Revealing that over 10,000 cases were currently pending with the labour courts in Dhaka, the minister said, “If the disputes or cases could be resolved quickly, the owners and the workers would have been benefited.”
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* Shafique inaugurates legal aid cell for laborers :

Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed today inaugurated the legal aid cell for the laborers, saying, the cell would act as a shield to safeguard the legal rights of the workers.

The cell is situated in the Srama Bhaban in the capital.
“This cell will play a vital role in establishing the rights of the laborers. It would act as a shield in protecting the rights of distressed, poor and afflicted workers. It would also play an important role in developing the relations between the factory owners and laborers,” Barrister Shafique said.
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BSS newstodayBD

* Rupee depreciation and BD’s apparel export:

Bangladesh has put the ongoing economic downturn to, at least, one good use; it has built up a sizeable stock of international reserves.

The economic slowdown has had a substantial negative impact on the country’s import growth, which declined by 4.4 per cent in fiscal year (FY) 2012-13. However, export maintained a modest growth while remittances grew robustly. As a result a substantial surplus developed in the current account (and the overall balance) of the balance of payments (BoP). These should have appreciated the taka vis-à-vis foreign currencies quite substantially.
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FE bd

* Rana Plaza survivors work at self-owned factory:

Survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster working at their self-owned factory Oparajeyo initiated by Mukto Tarunno, an organisation of a few voluntary rescue workers 

Six months into one of the worst factory disasters in the history of the country, Savar has now become synonymous with the Rana Plaza building collapse, which brought to light the appalling working conditions, little or no workers’ benefits and low wages in the RMG sector.

However, behind the rubble and sordid remnants of the disaster, today there is a change happening which has become a driving force for some of the survivors.
This driving force is the one-room bag-making factory in a roadside store, which was initiated by a few voluntary rescue workers with an aim to rehabilitate some of the Rana Plaza’s survivors.

The factory, which started four months ago with six machines, has 26 machines and accommodates 20 workers with enough breathing space inside and a healthy working environment.
The factory, aptly named Oparajeyo (meaning “undefeated”) by Kazi Monir Hossain Rintu, the man behind the concept, makes cotton and jute bags for local and international buyers.
read more.

               Gazipur Garment factory Fire

* Palmal Gr. sees no fault with Aswad factory compliance:

Garment maker Palmal Group on Tuesday termed the case filed against it by the government’s factory inspection department ‘false and motivated’, saying the company has followed required compliance accordingly.

“Our company properly maintained compliance issues for the factory – Aswad Composite Mills Limited in Gazipur,” Managing Director of Palmal Group Nafis Sikder told a group of journalists at the company head office in the city.
On October 8, a devastating fire gutted the Aswad Composite Mills, leaving seven workers dead and several others injured.

Mr. Sikder insisted that their company followed workers’ safety system, evacuation mechanism, proper installation of machines and healthy work environment.
He said an official inspection team visited the factory on September 25, giving what he called “positive” reports on most of the compliance measurers.

But the labour inspection department on October 2 issued a notice, saying that the factory (Aswad Composite Mills) did not follow a number of safety measures, he said.
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FE bd

18:47:24 local time map of india INDIA

* Weavers back to work with handloom saris for teachers:

The new dress code for teachers of government-run schools has brought cheers among weavers of Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts.

The handlooms, textiles and handicrafts department has placed order for the pink handloom saris with black border with the weaver societies in these districts. “We have got orders for 2,000 saris. Our society has provided pink threads to the weavers of Jagatsinghpur’s Badabag and Pulaga villages,” secretary of Badabag Weavers’ Cooperative Society Bijaya Kumar Dutta said.

The handlooms department would provide the raw materials and a weaver would earn between Rs 200 and Rs 300 for a sari. The market price of each sari would be between Rs 600 and Rs 1,500, sources said.
“The decision will benefit the weavers. There is a requirement for two lakh saris,” deputy director of handlooms and textiles, Cuttack, Ananta Charana Das, said.
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* Emaneswaram weavers struggle to retain their legacy:

Saurashtra community is losing its ‘weaver identity’ with youngsters preferring other jobs

Jayanthi Lal (34) could probably be the last generation weaver of the Saurashtra community at Emaneswaram near here as the community is fast losing its traditional “weaver identity’ with its youngsters preferring IT jobs and other greener pastures.

History has it that the Saurashtrians migrated from Gujarat and settled at Emaneswaram and Paramakudi over 600 years ago and eked out a living by weaving silk clothes for royal families in Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts. Albeit several welfare schemes launched by the government, weaving – considered an art – is losing its sheen as it fetches meagre income and more and more weavers are opting for alternative livelihood if interaction by The Hindu with a cross section of Emaneswaram weavers is any indication.

“I have a passion for weaving and I have been weaving since 18 years of age, but I do not want my children to follow suit,” says Mr. Lal. He is keen on educating his 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son and is helping them get secured jobs. “I will be the last generation weaver in my family,” Lal, a school dropout, makes it clear.
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* Ramraj weaves a success story with labour innovation:

Over 30 years ago, K.R. Nagarajan quite literally stumbled into the business of veshti ( dhoti).

A failed joint venture in Tirupur, the textile capital of Tamil Nadu, left him with dhotis worth Rs 85,000 in return for his investment. He hit the familiar ground of Rayalaseema, where he had worked as a marketer for his previous employer, just to wash his hands off the stock and retrieve his money.

But, seeing the demand for dhotis in Rayalseema, he hit upon a new business idea. “I realised if I improve the quality of my cotton, which nobody even tried back then, I could generate a business out of this failed attempt,” he said.

He knew that in Tirupur, when people were not labouring in the fields, they were making knitwear in handlooms, found in almost every backyard. He recalls: “I went about town telling people, ‘Agriculture is not looking so good. I’m back from Rayalaseema and there is a good price for dhotis; will you make them for me’?” The word spread.

His offer to farmers to shift to textiles came in late-1986, at a time of drought. The cooperative banks were wiling to lend as the alternative was giving out more farm loans, which would only translate into more bad debt. Sourcing 80s-count cotton, which Nagarajan found prohibitively priced even then, he engaged some relatives and friends in Tirupur to make dhotis at his wholesale unit. With his first batch of white veshtis, Nagarajan approached a retailer in Rayalaseema and pitched his goods at Rs 110 apiece when the going price was Rs 60-70.
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* India’s cotton output to rise 7% in 2013-14: CAI:

Cotton output in India is expected to increase 7 percent year-on-year and reach 38.1 million bales of 170 kg each, in the 2013-14 harvest period, which began from October, due to increased yields owing to better rains in the monsoon season.
According to the Cotton Association of India (CAI), even though late rains have delayed arrivals of cotton, the available moisture is likely to help increase yields, reports Hindu Business Line quoting PTI.
If the monsoon withdraws during the coming days, a better quality crop can be expected in during the 2013-14 harvest period, CAI said.
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18:17:24 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Home-based workers: No rights, little recognition:

Zahra Parveen, a home-based worker, remembers being paid merely Rs3 for every set of 300 bangles she made in a small, heated room in Hyderabad.

“I would spend hours in an airless room, and my hands would burn,” she recalls. “And yet, this is what I would get in return.”
Things did not get any better when Zahra moved to Karachi and started stitching shirts for men. She soon realised that she could not even afford to buy the shirts she, herself, had made – they were sold for hundreds, while she got only Rs10 for each.

Amber, another home-based worker, tells a similar tale. This resident of New Karachi and her four children spent the three days leading up to Eid stitching and putting beads on many a kameez. All hopes of a festive celebration were dashed when the contractor refused to pay the wages.

A day of note
Women like Zahra and Amber are not alone. They are not a rarity. They are joined in their plight by all those who are simply not recognised as workers by the state, despite their labour.
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* Dastgir seeking support for GSP plus:

The Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Industry, Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan is currently undertaking a visit of four European countries to lobby for Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status for Pakistan.

The Minister, accompanied by the Secretary, Commerce Division, will hold meetings with European Parliament members, leading business groups and influential members of Pakistani diaspora in Brussels, Paris, Madrid and Rome. During his interaction with key figures, the Minister will seek support from European Union (EU) members for the Pakistan’s application for GSP+.

The GSP+ scheme of EU provides zero duty treatment to items of export interest of the beneficiary country. By qualifying for GSP+, Pakistan’s exports to EU will increase significantly. Pakistan is quite hopeful to gain market access in EU under this scheme which would improve its competitiveness viz-a viz other beneficiary countries.
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* ‘APTMA’s gas demand during winter to be re-examined’:

Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) will re-examine the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)’s demand of continuous gas supply of 200 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) during upcoming winter season.

Punjab APTMA Chairman S M Tanveer briefed the SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed along with his team of senior management about the problems being faced by the member units.
During the meeting, the SNGPL team listened to the APTMA’s grievances regarding gas supply and other related matters and assured them to facilitate the textile industry in the best national interest.
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* ‘Government committed to resolving carpet makers’ issues’:

Punjab Minister for Industries and Commerce Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique has said the government is committed to resolving the issues of carpet industry.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony of a four-day ‘Pakistan Hand-knotted Carpet Exhibition 2013’, organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA), he said TDAP and PCMEA would jointly facilitate the flow of foreign direct investment, establish partnerships, expand market share and develop domestic commerce.

The Minister said the government was determined to enhance export of handmade carpets and rugs, as that sector could play an important role towards revival of country’s economy. He said that carpet fair would not only facilitate the entrepreneurs and business owners but also highlight the soft image of the country.
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* Textile exports up by 10pc to $3.576b in first quarter:

20131023 NATION textile-exports-up-by-10pc-to-3-576b-in-first-quarter

Pakistan’s textile exports have shown handsome growth of almost 10 per cent during first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year (2013-2014) over the corresponding period of previous year mainly due to substantial increase in export of raw cotton and rupee deprecation against dollar.

Export of textile and clothing surged to $3.576 billion in July-September period from $3.251 billion during the corresponding month of last year, showing growth of 9.99 per cent in one year. Meanwhile, According to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), textile exports have enhanced by 15.34 percent in September 2013, as country exported textile commodities worth of $1.27 billion in last month against $1.1 billion of the corresponding period of last year.
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map of Asia


In the menu under special reports you can find new reports-articles (overview) about LIVING WAGES.


* A wage you can live on

* Local gov’ts urged to increase incomes
* PHL ready to join EU’s new duty-free trading scheme

* Building labor safety culture to attract manpower

* Firms take eco-friendly route

* USA garment factory workers block national road
* SL Garment Protesters Gain Little From Talks at Labor Ministry
* Cambodia sees 22% rise in garment exports in 9 months

* Clean Clothes launches better wage campaign
* Muhith for preventing accidents in RMG sector for stable growth
* Despite steps, problems remain with inspection, safety: Muhith
* $24m safety campaign launched for RMG sector
* Towards a safer garment industry in Bangladesh
* Garment plants to get factory safety cash
* Better Work to Launch Programme in Bangladesh
* IFC programme to improve RMG units’ environment
* Bangladesh, ILO launch $24m factory safety campaign
* Shafique urges labour court judges, lawyers to work sincerely
* Shafique inaugurates legal aid cell for laborers
* Rupee depreciation and BD’s apparel export
* Rana Plaza survivors work at self-owned factory
Gazipur Garment factory Fire:
* Palmal Gr. sees no fault with Aswad factory compliance

* Weavers back to work with handloom saris for teachers
* Emaneswaram weavers struggle to retain their legacy
* Ramraj weaves a success story with labour innovation
* India’s cotton output to rise 7% in 2013-14: CAI

* Home-based workers: No rights, little recognition
* Dastgir seeking support for GSP plus
* ‘APTMA’s gas demand during winter to be re-examined’
* ‘Government committed to resolving carpet makers’ issues’
* Textile exports up by 10pc to $3.576b in first quarter

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