10:36:19 local time CHINA
* Inflation will hit wage hikes: Research:
Average wages in China will rise by 8.85 percent in 2014, accelerating from this year but hit by possible higher inflation next year, research by Hay Group showed.
According to the research report, the average salary increase in the world’s second-largest economy would be 8.4 percent in 2013.
“We would see an additional growth in wages next year, but the real rate will be lower than this year in case of an increasing CPI (Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation),” said Wayne Chen, vice-president of the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm.
China’s CPI grew 3.2 percent year-on-year in October, the second monthly increase in a row, and continued an upward trend over the first three quarters.
09:36:19 local time CAMBODIA
* Garment Protest Turns Violent, At Least One Man Shot:
Violence erupted Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district between garment factory workers, who have been protesting for months over wages and factory conditions, and security forces, leaving several people injured and police vehicles destroyed.
Hundreds of garment workers from the S.L. Garment factory were attempting to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in the city when riot police blocked their route. Clashes ensued during which a police truck was set on fire and three police officers were trapped in a room inside a nearby pagoda.
At least one man was shot and injured when police entered the pagoda to free their colleagues. Rubber bullets have also been fired at protesters. The main road was littered with rocks and other detritus thrown at police by protesters.
* UPDATED:One Killed, Several Injured During Garment Factory Protest:
One woman was killed, several others injured and more than two dozen people arrested, including Buddhist monks, after violence erupted Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district between protesting garment factory workers and security forces.
Two police vehicles and at least two police motorcycles were torched after hundreds of garment workers from the S.L. Garment factory attempted to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in the city, but riot police blocked their route. During the clashes, three police officers were trapped in a room inside the Stung Meanchey pagoda.
Rice vendor Heng Sokhon, 49, who was not taking part in the protest, was shot and killed during the clashes, rights workers said.
The slain woman’s son, Vong Panha, 21, told reporters at the hospital that his mother, who worked near the Stung Meanchey pagoda, was a bystander when she was shot in the chest during the clashes.
A Cambodia Daily journalist witnessed at least four police officers firing their pistols in the direction of the protestors.
* Rioting workers set fire to police vehicles:
Hundreds of workers from the Singapore-owned SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. clashed with police forces Tuesday morning near the Stung Meanchey bridge.
During the riot, the workers threw rocks at anti-riot police and set fire to one police vehicle and several other motorcycles.
The clash turned violent after police forces banned protesting workers from marching along the street to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house to seek intervention over their labor disputes which has been going on for three months.
The workers are demanding that the factory’s administration chief be fired along with other demands.
10:36:19 local time MALAYSIA
* Advice For Employers On Worker Recruitment Procedure To Avert Crime:
The Human Resource Ministry today advised all employers to ensure that the recruitment of workers was implemented according to the prescribed laws so as to avert the occurrence of crime.
Deputy Minister Datuk Ismail Abdul Muttalib said the existing laws on recruitment of workers were adequate to ensure that employers selected responsible workers who carried no risk of getting involved in crime.
The deputy minister also reminded employers to implement the minimum wage of RM900 for peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan for their workers from Jan 1 next year.
However, he added that the ministry was continuing to receive appeals from employers who could not afford to implement the minimum wage, especially those in the small and medium industries (SMIs) sector.
“Employers should not have a negative opinion of the government’s sincerity in wanting to have workers get the minimum wage because from a positive viewpoint they can enhance their business,” he said.
08:36:19 local time BANGLADESH
* Gazipur garment factory catches fire:
A fire broke out at a garment factory in BISIC industrial area of Gazipur Sadar upazila today.
The blaze originated around 8:00am at the printing section of Riad Knitting and Dying housed on the top floor of a four-storey building in the industrial area at Konabari.
None was reported injured in the fire, reports our Gazipur correspondent quoting Abu Zafar Ahmed, senior stationmaster of Joydevpur Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Four firefighting units doused the blaze after one hour of frantic efforts, the official said.
The reason behind the fire could not be known immediately.
* 50- 100 Ashulia RMG units shut as workers clash with police:
Production in some 100 garment factories at Ashulia here was suspended for Monday as workers clashed with police demanding implementation of the new minimum wage recommended for them by a government-appointed wage board.
Garment workers from Damgora, Gazirchat, Baipile, Nishchinapur and Zirabo areas under Ashulia Police Station took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning.
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* 100 RMG units closed for a day:
About 100 apparel factories at Ashulia and Savar were declared closed for Monday as 50 people including a cop were injured in clashes between the police and apparel workers, who were demonstrating for immediate implementation of the minimum wage board award.
Witnesses said that the apparel workers brought out processions pressing for immediate implementation of the new wage structure recommended by the minimum wage board for apparel sector.
Workers from Jamgora, Gazirchat, Baipile, Nishchintapur and Zirabo areas under Ashulia police station took to the streets and staged demonstrations in the morning.
* Unrest in Ashulia, Savar RMG units, 50 injured:
At least 50 persons including one policeman were injured today in clashes between readymade garment (RMG) workers and law enforcers at different areas in Ashulia and Savar.
* Workers of Uttara EPZ demonstratem for higher wages:
Workers of Uttara EPZ at Nilphamari district demonstrated against low wages and demanded allowance for extra time works in their factories.
Sources said at first workers of Evergreen Products BD Ltd. staged agitation in front of their factory building. Later on workers of all the other factories of the EPZ joined the movement.
EPZ sources said there are 9997 workers in the factories of the EPZ. Consequently EPZ authorities had to resort to police to tackle the situation.
The workers claim that they are not given allowance for woks in the extra-time.
* Fresh workers’ unrest in Ashulia: BGMEA sees conspiracy:
Production was suspended at 100 readymade garment (RMG) factories located in Ashulia industrial belt on Monday as workers’ unrest erupted afresh over the implementation of minimum wage.
Police said workers of a garment factory at Zirabo area in the industrial belt brought out a procession in the morning, demanding immediate implementation of pay hike that the government’s wage board proposed last week.
Few minutes later, several thousand workers of the adjoining factories joined them and started demonstration which later erupted to the factories located at both sides of Jamgara- Baipail road.
Later, the agitating workers started hurling brickbats towards the nearby factories and also at police who rushed the spot on information. It also led to a chase and counter chase between the workers and police.
At one stage, police charged batons and fired several rounds of tear shots to disperse the marauding workers.
Expressing concern over the issue, the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday said that the latest event of workers unrest was nothing but an act of conspiracy.
“A ‘conspiracy’ is on to create fresh anarchy in the country’s largest export sector. A vested group acted behind the scene and instigated the workers for yesterday’s unrest,” Md. Shahidullah Azim, Vice- President of BGMEA told The New Nation yesterday.
He added: “A conspiracy, both international and local, is on to destabilise the sector again, and if the design succeeds, it will take a heavy toll on the country’s prime export earning industry.
* RMG owners tag three demands to WB execution:
Readymade garments (RMG) owners have tagged three demands with the implementation of the Wage Board’s proposed minimum wage structure for garment workers, sources said Monday.
The demands are:
* Re-fixation of source tax at 0.2 per cent,
* introduction of a 3.0 per cent cash incentive to traditional markets like EU, US and Canada and
* a special exchange rate against US dollar for readymade garment exports, they added.
The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) raised the demands in a meeting with the labour minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at his secretariat office in the city while Labour Secretary Mikail was also present.
BGMEA President Atiqul Islam and other office bearers, former presidents Abdus Salam Murshedy, Annisul Huq, former vice president Siddiqur Rahman, BKMEA President AKM Salim Osman and office bearers, among others, were present at the meeting.
* Bangladesh garment workers unhappy with recent wage hike stage demonstration:
Nearly 50,000 garment workers unhappy with the last week’s wage hike Monday staged violent demonstrations in key apparel hubs on the outskirts of capital Dhaka.
Dozens of workers and policemen were injured as the unruly laborers fought pitched battles with the law enforcers in the industrial hubs in Ashulia and Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Paramilitary troops have been deployed as about 50,000 workers continued demonstrations, a police official in Savar told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
He said the authorities of dozens of factories suspended their production for Monday fearing violence.
The workers took to the streets Monday morning demanding a minimum wage of 8,114 taka (about $104).
A Bangladeshi government board on November 4 recommended 5,300 taka (about $68) as the minimum monthly wage for the country’s 4 million garment workers, nearly a 77 percent hike from the existing monthly pay.
But the country’s garment factory owners Monday rejected the minimum wage fixed by the board.
The garment sector, which turns out 20 billion US dollars’ worth of exports annually, comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than 4 million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.
* RMG Minimum wage to be announced on Nov 21:
Garment workers urged to return to their workplace
Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju has said the minimum wage for the garment workers would be announced on November 21.
He made the disclosure after a meeting with the leaders of BGMEA and BKMEA at the secretariat Monday afternoon.
The minister also urged the garment workers to return to their workplace.
“What will happen to the 4.2 million workers in the sector if the garment industry closes down?” he asked.
On November 4, the minimum wage board set Tk5,300 for entry-level workers, a 76.6% rise over the existing consolidated wage of Tk3,000. This was decided through voting after both the owners and labour leaders had failed to reach a consensus.
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* Cop-RMG workers clash in Savar- 100 hurt, 50 factories shut:
More than 100 people, including police and passers-by, were injured in sporadic clashes between the Readymade Garments (RMG) workers and police in various areas of Savar upazila of the district on Tuesday morning.
Authorities closed around 50 RMG factories, so far.
Witnesses said the workers started protest and throwing brick chips to the factories of Baismail, Abdullapur, Bismail and Zirabo areas of the upazila on demand of the implementation of salary structure declared by wage commission.
* 200 units shut after worker-cop clash:
Production at minimum 200 garment factories in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today after workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 minimum wage clashed with cops in the morning.
At least 50 workers were injured during the clashes at Jamgarah, Zirani and Kabirpur, Baipail, Palashbari, Narasinghapur, Ghosbagh, Pukurpar, Kathgorah and Nishchintapur, witnesses and police said.
* Political chaos scares off RMG retailers:
International clothing retailers are calling off their travel plans to Bangladesh for price negotiations due to the ongoing political turbulence, industry insiders said.
“The buyers are very nervous about the whole situation. Not only are they scared to travel to Bangladesh amid the volatile political situation, they are worried about the uncertainty surrounding the shipments owing to shutdowns,” said Bakhtiar Uddin Ahmed, general manager of Fakir Apparels.
He had a Swiss retailer due in this week for some advanced talks, but due to the 84-hour countrywide shutdown it had to be cancelled. As an alternative, Ahmed is now flying out to Switzerland to hold the meeting.
* UK lawmakers’ recommendations on RMG:
An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) from UK says Bangladesh should take lessons of the Rana Plaza disaster and take “concrete actions to improve working conditions” in the ready-made garment industry.
Or else, the APPG report says, Bangladesh may lose out on future investments in what is easily the country’s fastest growing export industry, already worth nearly $ 20 billion and capable of much more. Conservative MP Anne Main is the chairperson of the APPG and it has several lawmakers of South Asian origin in the APPG. Rushanara Ali of Bangladesh origin is among them, reports bdnews24.com.
to read. & read more.
* Bringing change to the garment industry: Acupuncture vs. surgery:
The latest news from Bangladesh’s flagship RMG industry is about the substantial increase in minimum wages proposed by the Wage Board.
This has been welcomed by many. Not surprisingly, the industry has expressed concern about its potential impact on profitability and competitiveness. Yes, indeed we should worry about competitiveness.
But is it possible that we can have the best of both worlds? Is it possible that an increase in wages, which will bring some relief to the lives of thousands of poor families, will also trigger a more serious search for efficiency improving actions by the industry? Many people believe that it will; some are sceptical. I think this is a subject worth exploring.
Ever since the Rana Plaza tragedy, innumerable suggestions have been pouring in from home and abroad on how to improve conditions in the garments industry. Actions have been suggested for the various players; what the government must do, what the industry needs to act on and how the international buyers should responsd.
But how do you make these actors do the things that they need to do? In most cases, these recommendations require behavioural changes by somebody or the other. Long-entrenched behaviour is difficult to change. However, it is not immutable.
So how do you change behaviour?
read more. & to read.
* Stop attacking Topshop over Bangladesh accident: Philip Green:
Philip Green, the CEO of the Arcadia Group which owns Topshop, has said that many commentators and critics used his business as a “battering ram” following the factory collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Rana Plaza, an eight-storey textile factory building in a Dhaka suburb, collapsed due to shoddy construction in April, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000. It emerged that many retailers such as Matalan, Bonmarché and Primark used the services of workers at Rana Plaza, and the collapse highlighted the poor working conditions and unsafe construction methods used in order to satisfy demand for affordable goods in the West, reports CNBC.
Following the disaster, many retailers such as Marks & Spencer, H&M and Next signed up to the Bangladesh Safety Accord to improve working conditions. Green decided not to do so at the time and was widely criticized. In September, the group did finally agree to the accord.
Responding to the last few months of criticism and scrutiny since the Rana Plaza accident, Green told CNBC Meets’ Tania Bryer, “Everybody’s trying to use Topshop as a battering ram just to prove a point. We haven’t been a big user of Bangladesh.”
Green said Topshop had only “done $20,000 or $25,000 worth of business in Bangladesh in a period of a year.”
He continued, “But I think, of course you’re upset and sad when you’re seeing people in the same industry, you become part of it. And therefore people come to us, yes, we have to try and help where we can to make sure that the conditions that people are working in, the types of factories that we’re making goods in, are at a certain standard.”
08:06:19 local time INDIA
* Malegaon, Dhule mill owners on strike from today:
Protesting against the recent hike in the electricity tariff and the failure of the state government in resolving the pending issue for over a year now, hundreds of powerloom units in Malegaon and Dhule have decided to go on strike and stop production for five days starting from Tuesday.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) had last month decided to include additional charges with the already hiked regular electricity charges, prompting mill owners to go on strike.
“We were shocked when we received last month’s bill with a tariff hiked by about 40% in the name of
additional charges,” convener of Malegaon Powerloom Udyog Samiti Yusuf Ilyas said.
* ‘Apply pesticide in Bt cotton’:
Darez Ahamed, Collector, appealed to farmers to apply pesticide in Bt cotton as part of crop protection strategy.
In a press release here on Monday, the Collector explained the diseases cotton was prone to during drought, and discolouration in leaves.
* Kisan Morcha demands MSP for cotton farmers:
Expressing concern over the non-payment of minimum support price (MSP) to the cotton growers, the BJP Kisan Morcha district unit leaders on Monday visited the agricultural market yard here on Monday and grilled the officials over their failure to ensure the MSP to the farmers.
The Morcha leaders led by its national general secretary P. Sugunakar Rao, district president Mallesham Yadav, other leaders Venugopal Reddy, Indra Reddy, U Srinivas visited the market yard and interacted with the farmers.
The ryots said that the buyers were paying them only Rs.3,500 per quintal against the MSP of Rs. 4,000 per quintal, citing that the produce contained more moisture content than the permissible limit. They also said that the Cotton Corporation of India had not opened procurement centres.
The Kisan Morcha leaders demanded that the traders provide better price for the produce, if at all not the MSP. After persistent pleas, the traders finally agreed to increase the price by Rs. 100 per quintal. Mr. P. Sugunakar Rao alleged that the government had failed in issuing clear directive on procurement of damaged cotton.
07:36:19 local time PAKISTAN
* Transporters’ strike: exporters fear losses worth billions:
Exports orders worth billions of rupees are at stake due the ongoing strike of goods’ transporters, said Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Co-ordinator Ijaz A Khokhar.
Talking to Business Recorder here on Sunday, he said it was unfortunate that no attempt had so far been made by the government for negotiation with the transporters to resolve the issue. “Pakistan will face serious economic setback if the situation remained the same. The exporters will face huge losses in case the export orders are cancelled,” he warned.
* Transporters’ strike causes loss worth $36 million per day: APTMA:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has urged the government to hold negotiations with the representatives of goods’ transporters as an indefinite strike by them has resulted into losses of $36 million per day approx of foreign exchange.
The Central Chairman APTMA, Yasin Siddik, in a statement said that why the government is sitting idle as the strike has entered into fifth day causing total halt in transporting export bound cargoes for shipment.
* APTMA urges government to ensure gas supply in winter:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman, S M Tanveer said that the textile industry cannot sustain the gas supply suspension plan, therefore, gas and electricity supply should be ensured to keep employment intact and production of exportable surplus during winter.
He said the country may face a loss of over $2 billion export target, as the export-oriented textile industry operates 24/7 to produce textile goods and earns precious foreign exchange.
APTMA chief urged the government to provide uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to the Punjab based textile industry, enabling it to perform to the maximum. He said a prudent demand supply management is imperative.
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* Gsp plus decision : SITE keeping fingers crossed till final nod:
The country’s leading industrial estate, the SITE Association of Industry has asked the government to remain on its toes until the final announcement of Pakistan’s inclusion in the GSP plus scheme is made by the European Union.
Younus M Bashir, chairman SITE Association, insisted this is important as a few EU members are against seeing Pakistan benefiting from generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus scheme, which allows concessional import of a wide range of products from developing countries. SITE Association said it was overwhelming to be granted GSP+ status, but 12 members had voted against Pakistan.
* China to see sharpest rise in salaries during 2014:
Salaries across the Asia-Pacific region are set to rise an average 7% in 2014, with China and Vietnam leading the way in East Asia, after allowing for inflation and Japan seeing the smallest raises, according to an American global professional service firm, Towers Watson.
According to the survey, salaries in China are forecast to rise 8.5% and in Vietnam 11.5%, before inflation is taken into account, the global risk management and human resource consulting firm said.
It added that taking inflation into consideration both countries are set for 4.9% increase on an average. Meanwhile, the figure stands at 4.5% for Hong Kong and Singapore, 11% for India and only 2.3% for Japan.
What could be further interpreted from the findings is that many companies in the Asia-Pacific region are finding it harder to find and retain suitably skilled staff, as more than 80% of the companies surveyed say a larger portion of their salary budget increase allocation would go to high performers in 2014. Moreover, less than 1% of the companies anticipate a pay freeze, compared to nearly 4% in 2013.
Meanwhile, the anticipated salary rises in financial services are considered to be in an area of particular interest, given the sector has just come out of several years in the doldrums. The survey suggested that those working in the financial services sector could look forward to increases region-wide averaging 6.2%, compared to 5.7% in 2013.
The biggest raises are anticipated in China (8.8%), India (10%) and Indonesia (9%). Whereas, the major regional financial centers; Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan will see more modest raises – respectively 4%, 4.5% and 2.3%.
It is also important to note that Asia’s emerging economies, such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and parts of Indochina, are the standard bearers for high pay increases, as these countries tend to have the highest economic growth rates of around 6%-8.5%. However, they also have the strongest inflationary pressures which take up much of those pay rises.