19:24:57 local time CHINA
* Textile, apparel firms hit by high inventories:
Textile and apparel companies are still struggling with the continuous hike in inventories even after two years of decreasing stock.
As of Oct 31, 81 listed textile and apparel enterprises have announced inventory figures for the first three quarters, which totaled 76.8 billion yuan ($12.5 billion), registering a year-on-year growth of 6 percent.
In the first three quarters, 14 out of 81 listed companies had stock worth more than 1 billion yuan.
19:24:57 local time PHILIPPINES
* In celebration of handwoven textiles of PH:
The past weekend saw the Third Habi Bazaar, Likhang Habi, take place for three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center of the Ayala Malls.
Thirty-three booths of indigenous textiles from all over the archipelago were on exhibit and sale. Textiles woven in traditional looms from north Luzon to Mindanao presented a spectrum of materials, designs, colors. Also fibers woven into mats, table runners, lampshades, baskets and other ingenious products were on show.
This country has a rich and varied number of handwoven textiles and fibers that the public must be made aware of. Weaving in any culture is part and parcel of national identity, a symbol of the soul and art, belief system, outlook and perspective of a people.
The Philippines has a multi-faceted weaving industry that is endangered by modernity, ignorance and a different value system competing for public awareness and acceptance.
The Second Asean Traditional Textile Symposium attracted the Asean traditional textile community consisting of Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Timor Leste, Malaysia including a delegate from Iran, to Manila. They came to Manila with their textiles for lectures, demonstrations, discussions and eventual sale.
All of the participants from Asean were members of textile societies representing their countries. Mysteriously, this country did not have a living breathing textile society despite the valiant efforts of Ming Ramos, former first lady, with the assistance of Patis Tesoro and David Baradas to research, develop and propagate Filipino textiles during the Ramos Administration.
So, the plunge was taken by Museum Foundation members to start one with the mission/vision that propelled Ming Ramos and her group to work on Filipino textiles. Textile aficionados, weavers, experts, newbies, and other interested parties banded together and formed Habi: The Philippine Textile Council.
18:24:57 local time VIET NAM
* Vietnam’s garment export likely to beat target in 2013:
Vietnam will likely earn $20 billion from garment and textile export in 2013, surpassing the target of $19 billion set for the year by the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (Vitas).
According to Vitas deputy chairman Pham Xuan Hong, despite many challenges in production and business, the textile and garment industry was one of two industries exceeding $10 billion in export value in the first 10 months of this year.
Latest data released by the General Statistics Office on Friday showed the garment export reached $14.8 billion in the first 10 months of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 18.7 percent.
18:24:57 local time THAILAND
* Workers in Chiang Mai in ongoing labour dispute in with Canadian garment factory:
18:24:57 local time CAMBODIA
* Fears SL strike could get ugly:
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.
* 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.
19:24:57 local time 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.
19:24:57 local time INDONESIA
20131101 * 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).
20131101 * 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.
20131101 * 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.
20131101 * 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.
20131101 * Joko Sets Jakarta Minimum Wage at Rp 2.4m:
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.
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20131101 * 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.
20131101 * 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
20131103 * N. Sumatra workers oppose 2014 minimum wage:
The Association of North Sumatra Workers has voiced its opposition toward the 2014 monthly minimum wage of Rp 1,505,850 (US$134), which is a 10 percent increase from this year’s Rp 1,305,000.
“The prices of staple foods and other goods are increasing by at least 30 percent. Therefore, we demand a 50 percent increase and reject anything below that figure,” the association head Minggu Saragih said on Saturday.
He said the association would enact massive strikes that would cripple the province’s economic activity and also called on its 1.6 million members to stop paying motorcycle tax until the governor revised his decision on the minimum wage.
17:54:57 local time 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.
* 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.
17:24:57 local time BANGLADESH
20131103 * Fire breaks out at jute mills in Comilla:
A fire broke out at the godown of a jute mills in Thananagar area of Debidwar upazila on Sunday evening, UNB reported.
Sahab Uddin Ahmed, deputy director of Comilla Fire Service, said the fire originated at the godown of ‘Usha Jute Mills’ in the area around 7:45pm.
On information, three firefighting units from Sadar and Chandina upazilas rushed in and they were trying to douse the fire till filing of this report at about 9:00pm.
The reason behind the fire could not be ascertained immediately. to
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20131102 * Trade Union Centre rejects garment owners’ proposal:
Leaders of Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre on Saturday rejected the proposal put forward by the garment factory owners offering a minimum wage of Tk 4,250 for the workers in apparel industry.
The representative of the garment factory owners to the wage board on Thursday submitted their revised proposal, offering a minimum wage of Tk 4,250 for the workers in apparel sector.
The GWTUC leaders at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club demanded Tk 8,000 as basic minimum wage for the garment workers per month.
Mantu Ghosh, president of the organisation, said that the proposal made by the garment factory owners was not acceptable at all as the workers with their family members were facing enormous problems due to price hikes of essential commodities.
The garment workers would wage tougher movement if their minimum wage had not been increased satisfactorily, he warned.
20131102 * 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.
20131102 * 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.
20131102 * Apparel workers briefly blocked road in Gazipur:
Apparel workers Saturday blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway following a rumour over a co-worker’s in a road accident near Mill Gate area in Tongi of the Gazipur district.
They also vandalised a number of vehicles, causing immense suffering to the commuters and transport owners.
Witnesses said today at about 8.00am Sharmin Akter, 30, a worker of Top to Bottom Garments Factory, received severe injuries as a speeding BRTC articulated bus hit her at Tongi mill gate area near her workplace while she was crossing the highway.
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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.
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.
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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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
20131104 * Govt, garment makers agree to factory inspection rules:
The government and garment makers yesterday agreed in principle to follow the National Action Plan (NAP) inspection rules, to ensure fire and building safety in factories, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar said.
The ministry, garment makers and International Labour Organisation will sit in meetings with officials of IndustriALL Global Union and North American Alliance, two bodies for factory inspection, on November 7 and 8 to finalise the common checklist, Shipar said.
“If the IndustriALL and Alliance people agree on the NAP, we will finalise the checklists and start inspection as soon as possible,” he added.
Shipar said these after a meeting with stakeholders at the labour ministry in Dhaka yesterday to finalise the checklist for inspection.
* Suffering of garments workers: Where is the end? :
The export oriented ready-made garment (RMG) sector has emerged as the biggest earner of foreign currency, contributing immensely to the economy of Bangladesh.
It has experienced an exponential growth since the 1980s. At a time when jute and jute goods were loosing their traditional markets, it is the RMG sector that injected dynamism in the country’s exports as well as in the domestic economy of the country. The sector contributes significantly to the GDP and it also provides employment to a large number of workers, mainly women from lower income families.
It is a matter of great regret that although a great portion of national economy is nourished by RMG, workers engaged in the sector are being neglected over decades. The lives of garments workers are fraught with various problems, notably of security and safety, low wage, unsafe working place, unhygienic environment and many more.
* RMG sector: navigating the challenging times ahead:
Bangladesh’s export performance in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 has been quite robust — export earnings were 21.2 percent higher than the corresponding period of fiscal 2013.
Excepting the negative growth in the Canadian market (-1.4 percent), export was high in all major markets (EU 27 percent, USA 15.7 percent).
Exports record in quarter 1 would imply that a growth of 10.3 percent will be required over the next nine months to reach the target of 12.9 percent planned for the whole of fiscal 2014.
In regards to RMG exports, performance in Q1 of fiscal 2014 was equally impressive. Growth of RMG was 24.2 percent, with knitwear recording a rise of 24.4 percent and woven wear 23.9 percent over the corresponding period of fiscal 2013.
RMG exports will need to register a growth of 8.6 percent over the next three quarters from the same time last year if the overall RMG growth target of 12.2 percent for fiscal 2014 is to be achieved. This appears to be an attainable target in view of current trends and emerging market signals.
However, a number of factors will make the journey over the upcoming months a particularly challenging one to navigate.
Firstly, the high RMG growth in the first quarter was based on a relatively low growth of 3.8 percent posted in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. There was, thus, a favourable base-line effect. In October-June of fiscal 2013, RMG growth was 15.7 percent. This would imply that growth over the next three quarters will have to be attained on the relatively more robust performance record and higher base line of the preceding year.
* Graft in apparel sector:
In a country where corruption is more or less systemic, it is difficult for any of the sectors or activities remaining immune to this all-engulfing social vice.
The latest survey of the Bangladesh chapter of the global anti-graft watchdog, the Transparency International (TI) on the country’s apparel sector, which is its highest export revenue earner, has only established that fact again. The TI-B in the past also came out with graft-related findings. But those usually involved the public sector organisations. In its latest survey, the anti-graft watchdog has revealed how corruption has gone deep into different stages of the apparel industry.
The TI-B survey has found involvement of ready-made garment (RMG) factory owners, buyers, officials and employees of the relevant government agencies and a section of labour leaders in graft taking. Except for workers who are seriously aggrieved by their low wage and lack of fringe benefits, all other stakeholders have developed a nexus in the case of distribution and sharing of undue benefits. The TI-B has estimated that an entrepreneur operating in the RMG industry is required to pay, on an average, a sum between Tk. 0.7 million and Tk. 2.0 million as kickback to officials and employees of various government agencies, including the directorate of labour, department of factory inspection and Rajdhani Unnyan Kartipakkha (Rajuk).
* Tanners bear brunt of int’l buyers’ safety concerns:
The local leather goods exporters are facing fallouts from the industrial disasters in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, as the international buyers have become cautious about the safety standards in the leather processing industry as well.
The most of the international buyers declined to import goods made of raw materials processed at tanneries at Hazaribag in Dhaka city due to the hazardous working condition, industry insiders said.
Most of the international buyers became very cautious about the environmental issues and the working condition in factories, from where they were sourcing their products, after the Tazreen Fashions fire and the Rana Plaza collapse, two disasters in the readymade garment (RMG) sector, the sources said.
Under the continuous pressure from buyers, the big players in the local leather market were importing finished leather to tackle the situation, But small and medium capital-based factories were bearing the brunt of the situation, they added.
* Green banking a solution for textiles: IFC director:
Banks should look at the company’s labour practices and help them shift to better and more responsible social practices
Green banking can solve social problems in the textiles sector as well as address environmental concerns surrounding the coal-based power plant in the Sundarbans, Director (South Asia) of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Serge Devieux has said.
In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune, he revealed that the IFC had formulated green banking guidelines that address environmental and social risk, and these had been adopted by 77 global banks including Citibank, HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered.
“Social causes are extremely important when financing any company, as the banks should look at the company’s labour practices and help them shift to better and more responsible social practices,” Devieux said.
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE
* DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims to go to ministry on Sunday:
The laboratory finished all the formalities of preparing the reports of the DNA tests on Saturday
The National DNA Testing Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital will send the test results of 321 unidentified victims of the Savar Rana Plaza disaster to the labour ministry on Sunday.
The laboratory finished all the formalities of preparing the reports of the DNA tests on Saturday.
Laboratory Head Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that they would place the DNA test results before the labour ministry. He, however, declined to disclose the results before it was placed officially.
However, a reliable source said tests had been able to confirm the identities of around 300 unidentified victims.
* DNA tests confirm identities of 157 Rana Plaza victims:
DNA tests have confirmed identities of 157 out of 322 Rana Plaza victims with samples collected from their family members matching the deceased nearly six months after the most tragic incident that killed more than 1100 workers, official sources said Sunday.
However, the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) tests could not confirm the identities of the remaining 165 victims as samples collected from the dead bodies did not match, they added.
An official of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL) of the Dhaka Medical College handed over the test report to the ministry of labour and employment Sunday.
“”We have submitted the DNA test report identifying 157 Rana Plaza victims to the concerned authority Sunday,” Laboratory Head Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman told the FE.
Out of 322 bodies 165 bodies remained unidentified because the samples taken from the victims’ relatives and family members did not match, he added.
“We will re-analyse those 165 profiling to find out whether there is any fault in collecting samples or other related matters,” he said adding after re-examining they might identify some more victims.
Replying to a question, he said they will prepare a final report after it.
They would not collect further samples, if the result again is found negative, he added.
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16:54:57 local time INDIA
* Factory fire kills six in central Delhi, injures 12:
Six workers of an illegal leather bag factory in central Delhi died and 12 were injured in a fire that broke out on Saturday evening. Four of the killed workers were women, of whom two were burnt beyond recognition. The other four were identified as Pooja, Rahul, Soni and Piyush.
The incident was reported from the Shadipur Depot area around 5.45pm. Fire officials received a call from a person at the spot at 5.50pm, and sent seven fire tenders to the spot along with teams of firefighters. Witnesses said they heard the trapped workers screaming and saw flames and smoke in the windows of the building.
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained but officials said a short-circuit in the wires on the first-floor exit may have started it. Others said the fire may have started on the ground floor. Forensic teams are examining the burnt premises. Police have detained the factory owner, Varun Gambhir, and are questioning him. They have registered a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304A of IPC.
Officials said the leather unit (2151/3D) was located behind a petrol pump and had two floors above the ground floor. It manufactured women’s bags and wallets. “There were around 40 workers, including 18 women, inside when the fire started,” said Vikas Shukla, a local resident, who helped put out the fire with a hose from an under-construction building. Officials and the locals used ladders to reach the unit’s windows facing the road that were screened with thick iron meshes. They rescued two women after cutting out the frame.
* Six killed, 12 hurt in Delhi factory fire:
Six persons, including four women, were killed and over a dozen sustained burns after a fire broke out in a packaging unit in New Ranjit Nagar here on Saturday evening.
A fire department officer said that all the deceased were all employees of the factory. The victims were working in the factory building which is spread over three floors. It was around 5-50 p.m. that the fire broke out and soon a call was made to the fire department. The police suspect that the fire originated on the first floor of the unit and close to 20 people who were working there got trapped in it.
The nine fire tenders that were pressed into service doused the fire by 8 p.m. and rushed all those caught in it to a nearby hospital where six of them succumbed during treatment and 14 others are being treated.
The cause of the fire is not known and the police said that some deaths could be due to asphyxiation also. Two persons were reported to have escaped unhurt as they jumped out of the building soon after the fire broke out.
* Six killed in factory fire in Delhi:
At least six workers, including four women, were killed and 10 injured in a fire that destroyed a factory in New Ranjeet Nagar area of Central Delhi this evening, police said.
The fire broke out at the two-storey building, housing a purse manufacturing factory, around 5.50 PM, police said.
“Seven fire tenders were pressed into service and it took over three hours to douse the fire. Initial enquiry suggests that an electrical short circuit caused the fire. Further investigations are on,” a fire official said.
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* Six killed, 10 injured in factory fire in Delhi:
At least six workers, including four women, were killed and 10 injured in a fire that destroyed a factory in New Ranjeet Nagar area of Central Delhi on Saturday evening, police said.
* 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.
* Surat weavers to agitate against duty concession on man-made fabrics:
Weavers in the powerloom sector in country’s biggest man-made fabric (MMF) hub in Surat and other centres across the country may launch a nation-wide agitation over Central government’s plan to allow import of man-made fabrics at concessional rate of import duty to boost exports of readymade garments.
The Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI) has opposed the move to allow import of man-made fabrics at concessional import duty. FIASWI submitted a letter to the ministry of textiles on Thursday, warning the Central government that this could destabilize the powerloom sector in country and lead to closure of many small units.
Many workers would be rendered jobless, the letter said. FIASWI office-bearers said the powerloom sector in the country has an installed capacity of 24 lakh looms and employs nearly 57 lakh workers. Every year, percentage of export of yarn is increasing and the weaving and textile processing sectors are stagnating.
* Cotton production expected to be higher this year:
Cotton production this year (October 2013-September 2014) is expected to be 375 lakh bales, 10 lakh bales more than last year.
At its first meeting for the season in Mumbai on Friday, the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimated that heavy rains might have damaged nearly 10 lakh bales of cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat this year. However, this would be known only later when the arrivals increase. With 35 lakh bales of stock available from last year (opening stock) and 17 lakh bales of import, the total supply this year was likely to be 427 lakh bales.
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* Cotton at Rs. 5,000 a quintal, but Muktsar farmers stare at losses:
This Diwali has not been a happy one for cotton growers in Amritsar. Even as prices appear to be reasonably good at around Rs. 5,000 a quintal, their returns have been hit as more than 30% of the crop, ready for maturity, has been damaged by the heavy rains in August this year, government data shows.
“Of the 92,000 hectares under cotton crop in Muktsar, more than 29,000 hectares was damaged by the August rains,” said Beant Singh, Muktsar chief agriculture officer.
For an acre of damaged crop, a farmer loses about Rs. 40,000.
“Farmers have lost heavily, as the crop that survived the floods has not yielded much. When it rained, the cotton crop was bearing flowers. These were damaged. The delayed flowering has not resulted into full blown cotton bolls. As there is winter ahead, the bolls will not bloom fully, resulting in loss of yield per acre,” Beant Singh adds.
* SIMA seeks assistance for mills to buy cotton:
The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) will soon submit a detailed proposal to the Union Ministry of Textiles on interest subvention for loans taken by textile mills to buy cotton.
Association chairman T. Rajkumar told The Hindu that it has already submitted a proposal and will give more details to the Ministry. The cotton season starts in October every year and cotton arrivals to the market start picking up by November. The mills pay 13 per cent or 14 per cent interest on working capital to buy cotton, which is the main raw material for the units. The association has proposed five per cent interest subvention for four months.
A 25,000-spindle textile mill will purchase approximately 20,000 bales of cotton a year. For four months, a mill needs about 6,600 bales of cotton. “We need this assistance only during the peak season (November to February).” If the mill gets interest subvention for four months, it will be able to buy cotton for eight months and ensure availability of raw material (cotton) for almost the entire year.
16:24:57 local time PAKISTAN
* Problems faced by women cotton pickers discussed:
Issues confronting women farmers mostly associated with cotton picking were discussed at a meeting organised by a foundation working for women peasants’ rights on Friday.
The participants in the meeting, held in the office of the Sindh Community Foundation, noted that Pakistan was the 4th largest cotton producing country in the world, but conditions faced by women cotton pickers were deplorable.
They said that women peasants were largely associated with cotton, rice, pulses and vegetable sectors.
They said that one third of women peasants were associated with rice and cotton cultivation in Sindh and southern Punjab.
The meeting participants observed that Pakistan’s important industrial export sector — textile and clothing industry — was dependent on women. They said that women cotton pickers worked under scorching heat in the fields of southern Punjab and Sindh to harvest raw material for the industrial sector.
* ‘Pakistan needs prudent labour policy’:
Pakistan needs a prudent labour policy such that the state safeguards the rights of workers instead of trusting labour unions to do the job as the latter generally impede productivity.
“The exporters implement all labour laws of the country including minimum wage and overtime according to the law. In addition, they ensure the safety of their workers according to global standards,” said Adil Butt, chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association. Butt said exporters facilitate their employees, not because of union pressure, but because foreign buyers impose these conditions.
“Foreign buyers conduct regular audits of these manufacturing units to ensure that they are fully compliant with the labour welfare directives and cancel export orders if any industry is found defaulting on the parameters that have been laid out,” he said.
* Looking ahead: Textile industry optimistic about growth prospects:
The textile industry has seen a strong growth in recent months but most industry players are pinning their hopes on the expected approval of European Union’s (EU) Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status for Pakistan in January 2014.
For them, the GSP Plus is a game changer for the Pakistani textile industry, as it is expected to boost annual exports by $1 billion.
“Textile exports have increased by 4% in the first three months of fiscal year 2013-14 but this increase is below our expectations. What is more important for us is the expected grant of GSP Plus status by the EU. If we get that, our textile exports will jump by at least $1 billion a year,” All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Yasin Siddik told The Express Tribune.
Textile exports in September 2013 sharply increased by 16% compared to August 2013. Overall textile exports in the first three months (July to September) of 2013-14 jumped to $3.58 billion, up a significant 9% year-on-year (YoY) and a decent 4% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ).
* Gas cut to sound death knell for textile:
Textile exporters have apprehended that the proposed gas suspension plan will sound the death knell for export-based industry.
The entrepreneurs have rejected the industrial gas curtailment plan demanding a complete exemption from gas loadshedding during winter season.
These views were expressed by representatives of textile exporters, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, All Pakistan Bedsheet and Upholstery Manufacturers Association, and All Pakistan Textile Sizing Association at a meeting held at the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) office on Thursday.
PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood said gas curtailment for textile industry would affect production and result in unemployment. “The government needs to show political will to keep the industrial wheel moving and protect millions of textile workers from joblessness.”
* Efforts on to bring textile sector back on track:
Commerce and Textile Ministry is making all-out efforts to bring textile sector back on track by redressing the problems on priority basis.
All stakeholders will be taken on board for true exploitation of expected market access granted by EU in coming days, said Secretary Textile Industry Division Mrs Rukhsana Shah during her visit to Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Friday.
Addressing the textile manufacturers and exporters, Secretary Textile Division said the government is fully aware of the problems hindering the textile sector and is working on war footing to address the same. She hoped that GSP plus status would provide strong impetus to the value-added textile exports to European Union, would generate significant economic activity in the country and would help Pakistan to build up its capacity to become a more effective and competitive actor in international economic relations. An action plan has been finalised to get full advantage of expected GSP plus by the Textile Industry Division, she added.
* Textile secretary for setting up of expo centre in Faisalabad:
The Commerce and Textile Ministry is making all-out efforts to bring the textile sector back on track by redressing its problems on priority basis.
Addressing the textile manufacturers and exporters, Textile Industry Secretary Rukhsana Shah said that the government was fully aware about the problems being faced by the textile sector. She hoped that GSP plus status would provide impetus to the value-added textile exports to European Union besides generating significant economic activity in the country and help Pakistan build its capacity to become effective and competitive actor in international economic relations.
* Ginners seek uninterrupted power supply:
Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has demanded of the government to ensure the uninterrupted supply of electricity to ginning industry because load-shedding was not acceptable to them.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday Chairman PCGA, Mukhtar Ahmed Baloch, along with Sheikh Aasim Saeed ,Ginners group chief Haji Muhammad Akram, Shehzad Ali Khan, Sheikh Muhammad Saeed, Khawaja Atiq-ur-rehman,and Khawaja Riaz Hussain Siddiqui suggested that ginners should do their business very carefully to escape from financial losses.
* Mills in a wait-and-see mood ahead of PCGA report:
Volume of business dropped further as millers and spinners did not take interest in fresh buying ahead of the fortnightly Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) phutti arrivals data, dealers said on the cotton market on Saturday.
The official spot rate retained overnight level at Rs 6550, they said. Prices of seed cotton in Sindh per 40 kg were unchanged at Rs 1800-2800, in Punjab rates also showed no change at Rs 2600-2950, dealers said.
In the ready session, around 13,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 5,200-6700, they said. Some brokers said that all buyers, particularly exporters were on the sideline most of the time in expectations of fall in the rates. Cotton analyst, Naseem Usman said that the people have mixed views about the PCGA report. He said that after Divali holidays, trading activity may pick up but prices are likely to trade in the negative territory due to steady supply.
* Cotton produce in 9 districts fall:
Cotton produce decreased in nine districts out of 21 cotton producing districts of the country, the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association said on Sunday.
According to a PCGA press release, the decrease from 4.62 to 37.30 per cent was noticed by November 1. A major decrease in cotton production was observed in Kasur district. Increase in cotton production from 4.67 to 125.59 per cent was also recorded in 12 districts. District Sangharr of Sindh remained at top by producing 1,288,383 cotton bales while Khanewal remained second with 549,016 bales and Bahawalnagar with 503,700 bales.
The PCGA report also noticed 18.83 per cent increase in the overall production of cotton in Sindh.
16:24:57 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbek farmers collect 3.35 tons of cotton this season:
* SE Asia’s Top Textile Market Seeks to Clean Up Its Act:
After years of being overrun by a racketeering mafia, drug addicts and prostitutes, Southeast Asia’s biggest textile market is cleaning up its act in an effort to win back droves of shoppers.
Spread across several blocks in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Tanah Abang market is a colourful whirl of activity that has attracted shoppers from across the region for centuries.
While glittering skyscrapers have shot up around the city centre trading hub, the market itself, which was founded in 1735 by a Dutch businessman, is a series of modest buildings in an area of traditional, red-tiled houses.
Traders looking for wholesale bargains and shoppers looking for smaller items haggle at myriad stalls on several floors in the market buildings, looking for everything from raw cloth to branded goods.
“There is so much variety under one roof and 20 to 30 percent cheaper than in Kuala Lumpur. And fashionable too,” said Malaysian shopper Mariam Ahmad, who makes an annual trip to the market to buy clothing ahead of the Muslim Eid holiday.
But the market’s increasingly seedy atmosphere and traffic gridlock in the area caused by illegal street stalls were putting shoppers off. Vendors estimated customer numbers had fallen around 10 percent in recent years.
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* Ethiopian textile workers union empowers women:
The Ethiopian Industrial Federation of Textile, Leather and Garment Workers trained 20 women together with IndustriAll from 22 to 24 October 2013 in Addis Abeba. The workshop mainly focused on empowering women. This is vital for the garment industry where it is estimated that more or less 80 per cent of the workers are women.
Mainly of the textile factories have women’s desks. In their introductions the women stated that they wished to fight to solve women’s problems, they wanted to make the most and upgrade women’s skills and organize them. Organizing women in their communities was also a concern.
The workshop worked on the basis of body mapping, work mapping and life mapping. The body mapping showed that the women suffered from ailments that they developed on the job, such as dust. The dust affects their eyesight and their breathing. The women got headaches from the noise and the chemical fumes. They had trouble picking up heavy loads. The factory union needs to learn to take women’s health issues seriously and find a solution with management.
* More rights for Jordan’s garment workers:
Workers in Jordan’s Qualified Industrial Zones have held numerous strikes over the past years to protest against what they perceive as labour rights violations. A new collective bargaining agreement is now aiming to improve the situation.
Twenty-four year old Bangladeshi Nour Jihan moved to Jordan a year ago to work in a clothing factory in the industrial city of Sahab. Her employer provides food and board, which allows her to send about USD150 back home to her family.
“I’ve worked in several countries, but last year I heard that many women from my country were moving to Jordan for work so I decided to do the same,” she said, adding that she started to look for work abroad after her father died. “I had to help my mother take care of my seven siblings.”
Jihan is one of about 40,000 mostly South Asian workers employed in Jordan’s garment manufacturing sector, whose exports last year reached a record USD1.2 billion.