Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 3: 20131116-20131221

LW + 2

20131221

14:7 0:27 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Proposal on RMG wage board restructuring put on hold:

 The labour ministry has put on hold the Minimum Wage Board’s proposal for upgrading its existing structure to a full-fledged council with 30 members, sources said.

The Minimum Wage Board members early this month in a letter to the labour ministry proposed to upgrade the broad to a 30-member National Wage Board/Commission/Council with representations from owners, workers, administration and experts.

“It would enhance the Board’s work capability, and the interest of both the owners and workers would be properly upheld,” the letter said.

“It is not possible to consider the Minimum Wage Board’s proposal at present,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE. The existing laobur law needs to be amended, which has recently undergone an amendment — if we want to implement the proposal, he said, adding they might consider the proposal in the coming days, when the labour law would be changed.
The Wage Board made the proposal following a suggestion from its members, who sat for re-fixing the minimum wages for the garment workers on November 21 last.

According to the letter, the members referring to the instances of the wage boards in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, said in order to make the present Board more effective, a massive change is required.
read more.
FE bd

* Workers deserve a better deal:

Plainly speaking, those who earn their livelihood by selling their physical labour are called workers. The employers engage these workers by giving them wage.

Great thinkers have defined workers and have pointed out how this section contributes to the growth of capital and overall development of a nation. As for example, “Labour”, said Friedrich Engels, “is the source of all wealth”.

‘Labour’ has been recognised as the most important factor of production. Any work, whether it is manual, clerical or technical, undertaken for monetary consideration, is called ‘labour’ in economics.

Prior to the British colonial rule, the working class in Bangladesh was so trifle in size that it was not worth counting. Workers were limited to some specific fields such as agriculture.
During the Mughal Empire, Bengal was a very prosperous country for which it attracted so many foreign traders, starting from the Arabs to the Europeans. The agricultural workers, however, became surplus during the Company rule as the sector was not able to absorb their supply.
Following the Permanent Settlement Act of 1973 during the time of Lord Cornwallis, a new aristocratic society was developed.

The British rulers, however, were not willing to establish large mills as they decided to use the country as a hinterland. Using its agricultural products, they set up some jute mills in Calcutta and thus ultimately paved the way for creating industrial workers and forming the working class in Bangladesh.

In the meanwhile, severe poverty, growing landlessness, natural calamity, class disparity, man-made catastrophe such as World War II and Churchill’s secret war against Indians ultimately made these rural people move from agriculture to industries.
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131220

15:7 0:27 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Svay Rieng Workers Strike Again, Throw Rocks:

Police briefly detained 13 garment factory workers on Thursday after about 20,000 workers, some throwing rocks, continued a strike that began Monday in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet City over wages and working conditions, a union official and police said.

Union leaders had on Wednesday evening agreed to call off the strike of workers from 36 factories at two special economic zones (SEZ) in the border province. However, when the workers returned to their jobs Thursday morning, they quickly went back on strike after they learned the details of the deal that had been worked out, said Chheng Chhoan, secretary-general of the Collective Union of Movement of  Workers.

“They were angry after I announced the agreement did not include a raise to the minimum wage,” Mr. Chhoan said,

The striking workers had hoped for an immediate increase of their monthly wages to $154. Their union representatives, however, had agreed to wait for the results of a national-level meeting on the issue of the minimum wage, which is scheduled for next week in Phnom Penh.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

16:7 0:27 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

Better Work Indonesia  Legal Update  Minimum Wage:

Better Work Indonesia has produced a Legal Update as our ongoing service to you.

In this edition we are highlighting 2014 minimum wage table for 5 provinces in Indonesia. You can access the document here.

Below are some of the points that you may be interested to know.
Within the BWI Geographical Scope (Banten, , Central Java, DI Yogyakarta, DKI Jakarta, Central Java, West Java) for 2014:

– Average increment of minimum wage: 18%
– Highest increment of minimum wage: West Java – Subang (57%)
– Lowest minimum wage: Central Java – Purworejo (Rp. 910,000)
– Highest minimum wage (garment sector) : West Java – Bekasi  (Rp. 2.686.000)
– Highest minimum wage (non-garment sector): West Java – Karawang (Rp. 2.814.590)

Please note that the sectoral section for each provinces/city may be different each year.
The complete set of Governor Decision Letter on Minimum wage will be uploaded to our website soon.
read more.
BW indonesia

LW + 2

20131219

15:7 0:27 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* GMAC makes push for $130:

Given three options for schemes to double Cambodia’s minimum apparel wage to $160 by 2018, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has instead proposed a fourth: raise salaries to only $130.

In a letter GMAC sent to Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng, obtained by the Post yesterday, the factories association says it would agree to raise the monthly minimum wage – which now stands at $80 – by $10 annually over the next five years.

The letter was sent on Tuesday, a day after a Ministry of Labour working group comprising officials, labour union representatives and GMAC outlined three different plans to raise wages to $160 by 2018. The group that day suggested the government raise pay in a five-year timeframe by adding $16 annually until 2018, raising wages annually based on factors such as the economy and inflation or upping the minimum to $160 next year.

While GMAC’s final figure diverges from the working group’s, it is not a departure from their stance on the issue, GMAC secretary general Ken Loo said last night when asked about the letter.

“That was the original official position,” Loo said. “But we’ve since had more meetings with the government and seemed to have reached some kind of understanding.”
read more.
PPP new

* Unions to Push for 100% Wage Increase in 2014:

Representatives of 22 labor unions agreed Wednesday to put forward a proposal to double the minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment industry when the government raises the monthly wage next year.

Following a meeting at the Cambodia office of the international trade union federation IndustriAll, union leaders said they would stand together behind an increase from $80 to $160, not including overtime pay or other benefits.

The Ministry of Labor announced on Monday that the government plans to raise the minimum wage to $160 by 2018, but asked union leaders and employers to discuss how wages should be raised over the next five years to reach this figure.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor Unions agree to one time hike in wage:

Around 40 Labor Unions in Cambodia have all agreed to pursue the third formula given by the Ministry of Labor, of a one time hike in minimum wage for footwear and garment factory employees in 2014.

The Labor Unions agreed to pursue the hike in salary during a two-day meeting held on December 17-18 between union leaders, government representatives and factory employers.

Ath thon, President of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’s Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said that the union leaders have chosen the one time hike in salary, and for wage talks to be held periodically depending on inflation and economic situation.

He said the unions agreed to use the Ministry of Labor’s investigation committee report to discuss with factory employers on December 24, to set wages between $157 and $177 per month.
read more.
CAMHERALD

16:7 0:27 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* UN Envoy Commends Malaysia’s Minimum Wage Adoption:

The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday commended the adoption of minimum wage in Malaysia, which it says could help to ensure a higher standard of living for the working poor across the country.

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter said the introduction of the minimum wage should also help to ensure the working poor were not left behind in Malaysia’s move towards high-income status.

While De Schutter welcomed the adoption of the minimum wage as a means to ensure more equitable development, he also expressed concern over the rate at which the minimum wage was set.

“The minimum wage of RM900 a month in the Peninsular and RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, which would be enforced on Jan 1 next year, is still quite low in comparison to the poverty line defined by the government itself based on the basic needs of households.

“I would hope the National Wages Consultative Council would in time increase the level of the minimum wage,” he told a press conference at the end of his first official visit to the country, here.
read more.
BERNAMA

 

LW + 2

20131217-18

15:7 0:27 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment workers told to go back to factories:

About 30,000 garment workers from 40 factories in Svay Rieng province yesterday were told to return to their jobs after being sent home Monday amid fears a strike over the minimum wage would turn violent.

Has Bunthy, a provincial department director at the Ministry of Labour, said police would patrol inside some factories and on the streets outside others, all in Bavet town, to ensure peace prevailed.

“[On Monday], workers from three factories protested to increase the minimum wage, and about 100 workers entered other factories to urge workers to join their protests,” he said. “The provincial governor requested that all factory owners send their workers home because he feared violence.”
read more.
PPP new

* Raise now or pay later?:

Garment workers’ minimum wage could be set to increase substantially in one hit next year or incrementally over the next five years, depending on a Ministry of Labour announcement due next week.

A ministry working group comprising officials, labour union representatives and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) yesterday outlined three different schemes that would raise the minimum monthly wage of employees in garment and shoe factories from $80 to $160 by 2018.

The ministry is scheduled next Thursday to announce whether it will approach the wage raise by adding $16 annually for five years, raising it each year based on factors including the economy and inflation or upping the minimum wage to $160 next year.
read more.
PPP new

* Government Proposes 100% Hike in Minimum Wage by 2018:

The government proposed doubling the minimum wage for garment workers—from $80 to $160—within five years during a meeting with labor unions and garment manufacturers on Monday at the Ministry of Labor.

“We have a plan to raise the minimum wage up to $160 for garment workers, and I hope that there will be no more problems happening after wages start to be raised beginning next year,” Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said.

The proposal will now be discussed by the Labor Advisory Council, a tripartite body composed of representatives from the government, unions and factory owners, during a meeting on the minimum wage planned for December 24, Mr. Sam Heng said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Garment workers’ patience wearing thin:

Taking part in daily demonstrations outside the shuttered factory where she once worked is beginning to weigh on Bou Narith and her co-workers.

“We are remaining calm and waiting for the union and government officials to find a resolution for us,” Narith, 32, said yesterday. “But our patience is limited, we cannot remain calm forever.”

Government officials this morning will sit down with representatives of employees and a representative from USA Fully Field (Cambodia) Garment factory, which, former employees say, closed their factory without paying wages they owed, said Vong Sovann, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Labour’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations.

The dispute began when 27 workers from USA Garment – including Narith – complained that the factory was sold and the former owners did not pay benefits stipulated in the workers’ contracts.

Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center, said the 27 appealed to the Washington-based NGO for help when they were offered about $600 for those on open-ended contracts and $100 for those on unfixed contracts. The money amounts to much less than their full seniority contracts.
read more.
PPP new

* Cambodia’s garment workers needled by low wages and poor conditions:

Growing discontent among workers generating huge profits for scant return threatens to derail Cambodia’s garment industry

Khmom, 19, is one of the estimated 400,000 factory workers toiling in Cambodia’s garment factories, the country’s biggest export earner.

She recently lost her job at a factory in the capital, Phnom Penh, after taking time off to look after her two-year old daughter, who clings silently to her shoulder. “The factories don’t care about us,” she says. “They pay us so little, work us so hard and throw us away when we cannot work for a moment.”

Khmom is from Damnak Sdach, a village about 50km from the capital that has no running water or electricity. She was the only one of her five siblings with a job that pays. Her elder brother, the first born, is a Buddhist monk, as is traditional in many Khmer families.

Khmom lives in a single rented room in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Trabek commune. Her situation is typical. “My husband is a moto-bai-kong [tuk-tuk] driver and his salary is so little – some days nothing at all,” she says. “My parents are uneducated and unable to find paying jobs. There is no work in the countryside, so I have to work in the factories.”
read more.
GUARDIAN

16:7 0:27 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Migrant workers to get Rs 24,000 minimum pay:

The Malaysian government will be implementing the wage law it unveiled two years ago from New Year’s Day 2014 which has hiked the minimum salary for migrant workers .

As per the new minimum wage law, workers based in the eastern part of Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Libuwan) will get a minimum monthly salary of 800 ringgit (Rs 24,400) and those in the rest of the country will receive a minimum of 900 ringgit (Rs 27,500).

There are an estimated 500,000 Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia. Most of them are based in the western part of Malaysia. The Malaysian government has directed the companies to implement the wage rate strictly.
read more.
EKANTIPUR

13:37:27 local time map of india INDIA

* March For a Minimum Living Wage:

20131217 EPW
Image courtesy, CITU’s Facebook page

On 12 December 2013, more than a lakh workers predominantly from the unorganised sector marched on Parliament to demand a minimum living wage, social security measures and regulariation of work.

The call had been given by trade unions across the political spectrum and the participants came from all parts of the country. However, mainstream and popular media remained indifferent and ignored the rally, much like earlier times.

More than one lakh workers marched from the Ram Lila maidan to Parliament on 12th December in New Delhi.  The rally was the culmination of a year-long campaign by a number of trade unions and included a 48-hour national strike in February 2013.
The workers were demanding higher minimum wages, social security, and implementation of labour laws among a charter of ten demands.
The trade unions represented included the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS–affiliated to the Sangh Parivar), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC–the labour arm of the Congress party), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC associated with the Communist Party of India), the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)), and the Hindustan Mazdoor Sangh (HMS) along with a number of other unionsassociated with other left and regional parties.
The mobilisation was dominated by the leftist unions which have periodically called such rallies over the years to protest against the exploitation of the working population resulting from the centre’s economic reforms.
read more.
EPW

* Minimum wage hike upsets industry:

The state government’s announcement of a hike in minimum wages on November 10 has upset the industry association in the Gurgaon-Manesar region.

Minimum wages were increased to 8,100 from 5,342, a move that the industry association claims is unjustified because even the area’s labour association had never made such a demand. “It is frustrating to know that the state government is increasing the minimum wage and not thinking of providing adequate power and road infrastructure for industries in the region,” said an industry owner based in Manesar.
read more.
TOInew

* Textile firms compete for labour:

With the spread of services sector, higher rural incomes and job creation schemes, workers opt for alternatives

The , whose fortunes had started to improve due to a fall in the rupee, faces a new hurdle —shortage of labour.

In the past six months, the severe shortage here has resulted in a 10-15 per cent increase in cost. The industry has started to see a migration of skilled and unskilled labourers to their home towns and villages, as they now find work closer to home. The attrition rate in the sector is around seven to eight per cent.

“It is the unskilled labour which has seen a bigger attrition rate, as they now find job opportunities closer home, due to the growing rural economy,” said Rahul Mehta, president, The .

In areas around Mumbai, skilled labourers were paid Rs 7,500-8,000 a month; now, it has crossed Rs 10,000 a month. For unskilled labour, it has risen from Rs 5,000-6,000 a month to Rs 7,500-8,000. “Textiles is no longer an employers’ market; it is now an employees’ market,” said Mitesh Shah, vice-president of corporate finance at Mandhana Industries.

Employees’ market now
This has pushed companies to raise wages and offer other benefits to retain labourers.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

LW + 2

20131216

15:7 0:27 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* New date set for further wage talks:

Wage talks between representatives from the government, garment factories, and labor unions Monday failed to reach an agreement on which formula to use to raise wages for garment and footwear factory employees.

During a meeting held in the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Ath Thon, President of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’s Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), demanded $154 per month for workers, but a government representative said it was too high.

Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng, however, said that there will be new talks held on December 24 for further discussion into which formula to use in raising wages for factory employees.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* GMAC floats ‘no strike’ bonus:

Rather than offering a large, across-the-board raise for its factory workers, members of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) yesterday offered up a novel alternative, paying them not to strike.

If garment and shoe factories offered employees a bonus on the condition they do not take part in strikes unsanctioned by the government, workers would earn more and factory management would likely deal with fewer strikes, GMAC executive committee chairman Van Sou Ieng told the GMAC conference held at NagaWorld.
“It’s the same as increasing wages,” Ieng said to a room filled with factory managers. “This is an increase of the minimum wage [and] it’s directly given to the workers.”
Workers would receive a nominal minimum wage increase, with the larger anti-strike incentive.
Those in garment and shoe factories across Cambodia began receiving a minimum monthly wage of $75 in May, after the Ministry of Social Affairs announced the $14 raise in March. A study released by UK-based NGO Labour Behind the Label and local rights group Equitable Cambodia in September reported the living wage for a person in Cambodia is $150 per month.
The Ministry of Labour is scheduled to announce another minimum wage rise for the Kingdom’s apparel industry by next month.
read more.
PPP new

LW + 2

20131214

16:7 0:27 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Ministry To Look Into Suggestion On Minimum Wage Tripartitie Committees – Riot:

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot on Saturday a cabinet paper on the suggestion to set up tripartite committees to keep tabs of the minimum wage implementation within all the 72 Manpower offices nationwide, can only be prepared upon the agreement of his ministry and National Wages Consultative Council.

He said the all ministry’s agencies, including the Industrial Relations Department (JPPM), had been asked to be prepared for the impact of the minimum wage implementation, which would be fully enforced by January 1 2014, especially during the first quarter of next year.

“The suggestion by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to set up a committee, comprising government officers, employers and worker representatives, is a good one because being a big country, it is better to have smaller committees which tackle cases step by step,”
read more.
BERNAMA

LW + 2

20131213

21:17:8 0 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Employers Still Shortchanging Workers – MTUC:

A study by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has revealed that many employers are still shortchanging workers by lumping all overtime and allowances into the basic salary to make up the statutory RM900 minimum wage.

Its vice-president, A. Balasubramaniam said the study also showed that many companies, especially the smaller ones, were paying less than RM900 per month inclusive of all allowances.

Although the minimum wage regulations came into effect on Jan 1 this year, it was reported that a few hundred companies were given extensions due to cash flow and other problems.
read  more.
BERNAMA

18:47:8 0 local time map of india INDIA

* March For a Minimum Living Wage:

20131217 EPW
Image courtesy, CITU’s Facebook page

On 12 December 2013, more than a lakh workers predominantly from the unorganised sector marched on Parliament to demand a minimum living wage, social security measures and regulariation of work.

The call had been given by trade unions across the political spectrum and the participants came from all parts of the country. However, mainstream and popular media remained indifferent and ignored the rally, much like earlier times.

More than one lakh workers marched from the Ram Lila maidan to Parliament on 12th December in New Delhi.  The rally was the culmination of a year-long campaign by a number of trade unions and included a 48-hour national strike in February 2013.
The workers were demanding higher minimum wages, social security, and implementation of labour laws among a charter of ten demands.
The trade unions represented included the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS–affiliated to the Sangh Parivar), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC–the labour arm of the Congress party), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC associated with the Communist Party of India), the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)), and the Hindustan Mazdoor Sangh (HMS) along with a number of other unionsassociated with other left and regional parties.
The mobilisation was dominated by the leftist unions which have periodically called such rallies over the years to protest against the exploitation of the working population resulting from the centre’s economic reforms.
read more.
EPW

* Hike minimum wages: CITU:

Activists of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Thursday against price rise.

The policies of Union and State governments were responsible for the steep and regular hike in prices of essential commodities, they alleged.
They demanded a hike in minimum wages and universal social security cover for organised and unorganised workers across the country.
“The governments should increase the minimum wages for workers in the unorganised sector to at least Rs. 10,000 a month,” the CITU leaders said.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Fix minimum wage at Rs. 10,000: trade unions:

The Joint Committee of Trade Unions, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All-India Trade Union Centre Congress (AITUC) urged the Prime Minister to fix a minimum wage of at least Rs. 10,000 a month for workers in the unorganised and agriculture sectors, besides contract workers serving in various State and Union government services.

Workers from different parts of the district on Thursday took out a procession to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in support of its demands and to oppose “anti-people policies, privatisation of public sector undertakings, price rise, corruption and social evils dogging society.”
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Union demands better facilities for workers:

As part of the Joint Committee of Trade Union’s (JCTU) call for a nation-wide agitation to urge the Central government to take initiatives to curb the soaring prices of essential commodities and to protect the interests of workers of the unorganised, the activists of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a protest in the city on Thursday.

Addressing the protest meet, Narasimhaiah, a trade union leader said that the essential commodities were becoming pricier due to the flawed economic policies of the government. The frequent upward revisions in the prices of petroleum products have resulted in corresponding hike in the prices of essential commodities due to which people from low and middle income groups were facing hardships, he said.

Demands
He urged the government to fix an amount of Rs. 10,000 as monthly minimum wage for workers. Unorganised sector workers should be given access to social security benefits.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Trade union leaders meet PM:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday assured a delegation of trade union leaders that he would expedite the implementation of all recommendations of the three-member Committee, headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, which was looking into the demands of labour bodies.

The leaders of 11 Central trade unions were led by All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary and CPI MP Gurudas Das Gupta. The leaders called on Dr. Singh here at his office to highlight the plight of the working class in the country after taking out a massive rally in the Capital.

Among other things, the unions, in their 10-point charter of demands, wanted the minimum wage to be fixed at Rs.10,000 per month, increasing the provident fund pension to a minimum of Rs.3,000 per month, and stopping further disinvestments in the public sector undertakings.
read more.
Return to frontpage

13:7 0:27 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Call for steps to ensure compliance with labour laws:

The Sindh government’s decision about Rs10,000 as the minimum wage for workers was discussed at a seminar on Wednesday, where representatives of employers said they were not against paying the amount but were unable to do so because of certain difficulties they faced.

“We are not against that amount. In fact, none of the associations has refused to accept it. Two associations even said the minimum wage was still inadequate while four others said there were issues which made it difficult for them to pay it. None of the associations said the minimum wages were inappropriate,” said Ehsanullah Khan of the Workers-Employers Bilateral Coordination of Pakistan (Webcop) at a seminar titled ‘Core labour rights and the compliance gap’, organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) in a hotel.

Mr Khan said Webcop had promoted dialogue between workers and employers for the solution of joint problems and formulated 15 policies, including industrial and labour policies.
(…)
Dr Zafar Shaheed, ex-director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in his presentation regarding workers conditions all over the world said the ILO had initiated a factory improvement programme, which reduced defects, absenteeism and turnover rate in different countries.
read more.
DAWNnew

* Voicing concerns: ‘Labour laws must be enforced to sustain businesses’:

Traders and businessmen must implement labour laws if they wish to sustain access to the international markets for their products.

This was stressed by trade unionists, politicians and industrialists at a seminar, titled Core Labour Rights and the Compliance Gap, at the Regent Plaza hotel on Wednesday. The seminar was organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler).

The speakers were of the opinion that traders must comply with international labour laws and standards otherwise their products will be rejected by the international market. They criticised the government for not imposing stricter rules for the implementation of the laws.

“Pakistan is a signatory to many International Labour Organisation conventions but their implementation remains questionable,” lamented Dr Zafar Shaheed, a former director of the ILO. He was of the opinion that, since trade was linked with the compliance of the conventions’ standards, it would be difficult for Pakistani traders to survive in the international market.  In his presentation on the condition of workers across the globe, Zafar pointed out that the ILO’s Factory Improvement Programme had reduced defects, absenteeism, and turnover rate in several countries.
(…)
The minimum wage, set by the government, for unskilled workers at Rs10,000 per month was criticised by the speakers. They demanded the government set the minimum wage keeping in mind the workers’ requirements.  “It is a miracle how a man can support his family with just Rs10,000 per month,” said  Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh, vice- chancellor of the Sindh Madressatul Islam University. He criticised the media for not giving due coverage to labourers, who comprise one third of the total population.
read more.
tribune

LW + 2

20131212

21:17:8 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Minimum Wage Postponement, Companies are still calculating. 
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
.
7. Jakarta Minimum Wage will not be revised.
Read the full article here
Read the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

LW + 2

20131211

21:17:8 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Employers To Asks Minimum Wage Suspension:

Employers in a number of labor-intensive sectors plan to submit minimum wage delay, following high 2014 minimum wage hike. So far, three labor intensive sectors, namely footwear, textile and garments as well as food and beverages which begin to review minimum wage suspension.

Chairman of Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) Eddy Widjanarko reveals there are number of footwear sector that will submit minimum wage suspension. The number is predicted when compared to last year.
“However, I still can make sure the exact number. To be sure, the number of companies that submit is more than last year,” he told Bisnis, Monday (12/9).

Currently, the companies still hold coordination meeting on bipartite to agree wage suspension.”Most of companies that will submit suspension are footwear companies from Korea,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) Ade Sudrajat said many textile employers in Indonesia plan to submit 2014 minimum wage suspension.
“In West Java, at least 10 textiles and garments companies plan to submit minimum wage suspension,” he said, Monday (12/9).
read more.
BISNIS

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers welcome minimum wage:

The leaders of garments workers on Tuesday appreciated the government for announcing minimum wage for the workers and urged the authorities concerned to implement the wage structure properly.

Participating in a view exchange meeting with labour, employment and expatriate welfare minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossein at the ministry, they pointed out that the minimum wage of Tk 5,300 is almost similar to the lowest wages in neighbouring, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Now, the need of the time is to implement the minimum wage in all factories, they pointed out.
“The minimum wage of the workers stood at equivalent to $69 which is not bad, but this structure should be implemented though proper coordination,” said Nazma Akhter, a prominent garments workers leader.
She demanded action by the government to keep the house rent in the industrial area under control. Otherwise, the workers would not be benefited even after massive wage hike, she said.
to read.
theindependent

 

LW + 2

20131210

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Wage hike in garment sector: Motivating the workers:

The Government of Bangladesh and the associations of garment manufacturers have introduced a new wage structure for the workers. It drew mixed reactions from the owners of garments factories. They think it may reduce their competitiveness in the international market.

They garment manufacturers are also concerned that some small factories may not afford the increased wages and consequently some of such factories may have to quit business. These small factories are the heart of the sector in view of the employment, revenue generation and meeting the demand from buyers. But the small factories need to follow the new wage structure. The question now is how they can stay in business by implementing the new wage structure.

This write-up is about how to increase the profit margin despite paying the increased wages. So, here the focus is more on the motivational factor than the wage increments and how this motivation of workers alongside management efforts can help utilise this wage increments as investments for factory development.

For an entrepreneur, increasing the wages of workers is always the best investment, if he knows how to reap the benefits of the pay increase. When the wages of workers increase, it also increases the motivational level of workers.  Increased motivation has a strong correlation with profit maximisation of any company in a sense that motivation contributes to reduction of manufacturing costs, which consequently increase the profit margin.

1. Higher wages motivate workers and the workers also show a higher level of efficiency.

2. The workers also make a less number of mistakes in terms of quality due to the higher degree of focus a worker put on the work.

3. A higher attendance rate ensures higher productivity in the production line. So the probability of attaining the production target becomes higher. Higher productivity and achievement of the target reduce the overhead cost like consumption of electricity.

4. There is less number of machine breakdowns due to the fact that motivated workers put more efforts in taking care of machines.

5. A less number of disputes are there on the production floor as motivated workers put more focus on their own work.

6. Motivated workers tend to be more effective for learning anything.

7. Motivated workers tend to be more disciplined in the event of listening and obeying the instruction of the management.

The factors, outlined above, that help increase the profit of any company by motivating workers with increased wages will not happen spontaneously, unless some efforts, system and processes are put there by the top management of the company.
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131208

21:17:8 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Roda Vivatex Layoffs Workers on Rupiah Depreciation, Minimum Wages-Hike:

20131206 BIZCOM
Jibiphoto

Manufacturers of woven fabrics of polyester filament PT Roda Vivatex Tbk (RDTX) plans to reduce the number of employees gradually amid rising labor costs and a weak exchange rate.

President Director of Roda Vivatex Wiriady Widjaja said minimum wage increase in several regions/districts forced the company to reduce production.
“The impact of reduction, we plan to conduct a gradual layoffs,” he said in a disclosure to the Indonesia Stock Exchange, Friday (06/12/2013).
According to him, the textile industry and textile products (TPT) has ordeal barrage this year.
read more.
BISNIS

19:47:8 0 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase:

Over 700 workers of Great Wall Shoe Factory in Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone went on strike on December 6, demanding increase in their wages and labour rights on.

The workers demanded to raise their hourly wages from current Ks 120 (US$0.12) to Ks 150 (US$0.15), overtime wages from Ks 262 (US$0.262) to Ks 300 (US$0.3), and the incentive payments for daily attendance from Ks 7000 (US$7) to Ks 9000 (US$9).

They requested a total of 12 points, including the demand for an increase their salaries two times a year and to close the factory on public holidays.

“I have been working here for three years, but I don’t know even how much the basic salary is. Regarding with our demanded points, we have already done the first-round discussion with the employer. They can agree on only three points. They don’t say anything about wage increase. So, we will continue to go on strike tomorrow,” said a factory worker Myo Zaw Oo.
read more.
Eleven

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Minimum Wage 2013 – An Insight:

The Minimum Wage 2013 is set to be applicable from December 2013 and the first payment as per this law will take place in early January 2014.

The Gazette outlines the basic construction of the Minimum Wage for the Garment Sector (revised for 2013). The new minimum wage comes after two years since the last Minimum Wage set in 2010. It was amidst mass protests and many drama that finally brought this minimum wage into shape.

The minimum wage protests by garment workers continued recently across Bangladesh, with garment factories suffering huge losses due to angry protestors claiming an unfair decision on the minimum wage. Backed by none (not even those who reach stardom globally while claiming to be their leaders/representatives), these protestors included the common garment workers who were waiting patiently for a wage that would at least be close to the expenses that an average worker requires to live. The long running protests saw dozens dead and thousands injured, with factories vandalized and many left without jobs.

The demands of the protestors had been simple:

  1. A minimum wage of 8000BDT, which is according to the calorie intake of workers in the garment sector.
  2. A proportionate increase of the salaries of the other grades of workers i.e. the sewing operators who make up to more than 70% of the work force, and are more than 85% women.
  3. Increase in piece-rate (i.e. they earn according to the number of pieces they make) for the sweater garment factory worker, and introduction of overtime benefits, festival bonuses and leave benefit.

read more.

* Sweater units’ workers demand hike in piece-rate after RMG sector wage raise:

The government has decided to look into the prevailing dispute over hike in the payment for the sweater factory workers, officials said.

The move came following frequent allegations made by the labour leaders that the sweater factory workers are deprived of legal service-benefits and they are unlikely to be benefited by the new wage structure for the garment workers as there is no clear indication of hike in piece-rate.

“We have taken up the sweater factory workers’ wage-related case and are actively considering how to resolve the matter,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE Thursday.

Terming the issue ‘complicated’, he said they would form a committee that would sit with both the sweater factory owners and the workers first to identify the problems and decide on the next course of steps.

Traditionally, the sweater factory workers get their payment on piece-rate basis and they don’t get other service benefits like overtime allowances, festival bonuses and leave benefit, labour leaders claimed.
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131206

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG minimum wage gazette today:

A novice worker will get Tk4,300 with a basic of Tk2,200

The government is set to publish the gazette of the minimum wage for entry-level readymade garment workers on Thursday.

Secretary for labour Mikail Shipar confirmed the news to the Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “The gazette has already been sent to the BG press for printing.”
Earlier, on November 21, the government-formed wage board finalised Tk5,300 as minimum wage with a basic of Tk3,000 for entry-level garment workers.
read more. & read more.  & read
DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Gazette on RMG workers’ wage hike published, giving effect from Dec 1:

Owners sceptic of abilities, workers fear delay

The government made Thursday a gazette notification, paving the way for implementing a 77 per cent hike in the minimum wage for ready-made garment (RMG) workers, effective from December 1.

However, the apparel makers have expressed their doubt about the timely implementation of the new wages as the sector is passing through bad times due to the ongoing political turmoil.

Demanding proper and timely execution of the new wage structure, the labour leaders said they feared any further delay in implementing the latest wages could spark further bouts of violence in the RMG industrial belts.

Meanwhile, the gazette was published 17 days after a meeting of the government-formed wage board in which all the parties, including the apparel makers, labour leaders, reached a consensus on a new wage structure.
read more. & read more.
FE bd daily star bd

* RMG workers’ wage structure gazetted:

The government on Thursday published a gazette notification on the wage board award for apparel workers and others on the staff at apparel factories setting the monthly minimum wage at Tk 5,300 from Tk 3,000.

The new wage structure will be effective from December 1, according to the gazette notification. The gazette also said that the basic wage would increase by 5% every year.
Apparel workers have been classified under seven categories and other members on the staff under four categories in the wage board award.
The United Garments Workers’ Unity Federation president, Nazma Akter, told New Age that they had agreed the minimum wage but had disputes over the wage structure of other grades.
‘We do not want to see any more labour unrest centring on the minimum wage. We urge the government to reconsider the wage structure of other grades but grade 7,’ she said.
Nazma also called on owners to implement the new wage structure in time.
The wage board for apparel workers made its final recommendation for Tk 5,300 in the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers at the last board meeting on November 21.
read more.
BD new age

* Inflation picks up for first time since July on political unrest:

Bangladesh’s annual inflation rate rose in November, ending a declining trend since July, as political protests against upcoming elections cripple the supply chain.

November’s rate was 7.15%, up from 7.03%in October, the statistics office said on Thursday, with higher prices for both food and non-food items.
read more. & read more.
Ittefaq BD new age

* Inflation rises as shutdown rips supply chain:

Economists say the rate may go up further if political unrest lingers

20131206 DAILYSTAR Inflation

Inflation rose by 0.12 percentage point to 7.15 percent in November, compared to the previous month, mainly due to a supply chain disruption amid political violence and shutdowns.
Economists warned the rate will go up further if shutdowns and blockades continue.
But officials at Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics said inflation did not go up much despite political unrest and will remain contained in future.
Food inflation increased by 0.17 percentage point and stood at 8.55 percent in November, while non-food inflation rose by 0.04 percentage point to reach 5.08 percent, according to BBS.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131205

21:17:8 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Thousands of Labors Rally over Serang Minimum Wage:

20131204 TEMPO
Labors in demonstration

Thousands of labors from various workers union held a rally in Serang, Banten, by blockading the main road of Serang-Jakarta yesterday. The blockade was set in Ciujung toll booths and hampered the Serang-Jakarta traffic flow.

The protesting labors urges the Serang Regent to recommend the revision of 2014 City Minimum Wage (UMK) from Rp2,340,000 to be Rp2,442,000. “With only a small minimum wage amount, the labors are not prosperous enough,” said the Chief of Indonesian Prosperous Workers Union (KSBSI) DPC of Serang, Amir Sanusi. After the blockade, they continued their rally to the Serang Regent Office.

Previously, Banten Governor Atut Chosiyah had already set the 2014 City Minimum Wage, but only to seven cities in Banten, which is Rp1.4 million to Rp2.4 million. Only one more city for the UMK to be set, and that is Serang. It has not being done yet because there have not been any recommendation from the Regent to the Provincial government about Serang’s minimum wage.
to read.
tempo-eng

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Rising living costs eat up RMG workers’ wage benefit:

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers will gain little from the new wage structure as the costs of accommodation, food, transportation and other basic requirements have gone up significantly in the country’s industrial belts, much ahead of its implementation.

Although garment makers and workers’ leaders agreed to the final recommendation by the wage board that had increased the minimum monthly wage for a worker to Tk 5,300 on last November 21, the gazette notification regarding the hike hasn’t yet been published.

After a visit to the densely populated industrial hubs like Ashulia, Savar and Dhaka, it was found that most of the landlords have already increased house rents by nearly 50 per cent on an average.

On the other hand, transportation fares, prices of kitchen items and other things have also gone up by 30 to 40 per cent there immediately after the announcement of the new wages.

Workers have expressed their serious concern over the sudden rise in their day-to-day expenses, saying they would not get the benefit of the 77 per cent wage-hike due to the illogical increase in house rents, as the rise in expenses in some cases might cost much more than the amount they would receive from the latest wage enhancement, which has come into effect from the current month.

Talking to the FE, Emamul Hoque, quality inspector of Bando Design of Sterling Group located at Sarkar Market area in Ashulia, said, last week his landlord had asked him to pay an increased amount in house rent from this December.

“Now, I will have to spend Tk 1300 instead of Tk 900 for a ‘pocket-room’ having no gas facility. But I’ll get Tk 1200 as house rent under the new wage structure,” he said, adding that the house owners had made the hike citing the latest wage of Tk 5,300 (US$ 68), which had been readjusted upward from the previous Tk 3,000 as minimum monthly wage.
read more.
FE bd

* Bangladesh factory owners wary of wage increase:

Pay raise for garment workers could hurt competitiveness, bosses say

Millions of Bangladeshi garment workers-key players in a supply chain that produces inexpensive clothing for Western retailers-got a pay raise over the weekend, as a new government-mandated minimum wage of $68 a month kicked in, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

That puts Bangladesh into roughly the same league as other low-cost apparel exporters such as India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. But factory owners here said the increase risks making the industry, a mainstay of the impoverished country’s economy, less competitive.

“We are extremely concerned, especially because we are all negotiating for the next season with our customers,” said Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, a large exporter that produces for global retailers such as Wal-Mart Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz HM-B.SK +1.11 per cent AB.
(…)

Before this weekend’s rise, Bangladeshi garment workers’ minimum wage was 3,000 takas, or about $40, a month. Factory owners had argued for a smaller increase, of about 50 per cent. Labor groups initially had pressed for 8,000 takas, or about $100, but most large unions said they were satisfied with the raise.

Experienced workers generally earn significantly more than the minimum wage each month because of large amounts of overtime work. Before the increase, a seamstress with three years’ experience typically took home more than 8,000 takas a month.

Factory owners said the wage increase means they will need to charge more.
(….)
Global apparel companies, looking for a cheaper alternative to China, have increasingly turned to Bangladesh for basic, labor-intensive products such as casual pants, T-shirts and sweaters that don’t usually require highly trained workers or sophisticated machinery.
read more.
FE bd

* Businessmen seek interim loan from government to pay wages:

They urged the respective trade bodies to set up a fund with the help of the government’s special privilege as they could not make shipment due to political unrest

Businessmen of the country yesterday expressed their concern saying they might not be able to pay their workers’ salaries if the prevailing political crisis persisted.

They urged the respective trade bodies to set up a fund with the help of the government’s special privilege as they could not make shipment due to political unrest.

“Owners are passing a crucial time as the production and shipment are being disrupted leading to fund shortage,” Mohammad Hatem, first vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said.

A group of owners urged the BKMEA to appeal to the government for an interim loan to pay the wages of workers, otherwise they would not be able to pay workers’ salary, he added.

“Owners have to pay wages as per the new wage structure while we are facing cash crunch,” said Hatem.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

18:47:8 0 local time map of india INDIA

* Garment workers ramp up campaign for wage revision:

Anusha from Manamathi village off East Coast Road spends nearly 14 hours daily away from home on travel and work at a garment unit in Mahindra City, Chengalpet.

After all her effort, she earns merely Rs.3,000 a month, an amount that is not enough to make ends meet.

Several women workers like her have been slogging for long hours in garment and fashion industrial units around the city for meagre salaries. In a bid to draw the attention of the government to their demands for an increase in the minimum wages, members of the Garments and Fashion Workers Union are conducting a postcard campaign.

Nearly three lakh workers, mostly women, are employed in about 5,000 garment units around Chennai. Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, S. Elizabeth Rani, treasurer of the Union, said she has been working for nine years and earns Rs.4,000 a month.

“I have not had much of a hike in salary. But the cost of essential items has gone up manifold. I am forced to borrow money to meet my daily expenses,” she said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

LW + 2

20131204

21:17:8 0 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Portal To Help Employers, Workers Understand Minimum Wages Implementation:

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem Tuesday launched the Minimum Wages Portal to enable the public, specifically employers and private sector workers, understand the method of implementing minimum wages.

He said the portal, which was developed with the cooperation of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) and National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN) would channel information and rationale on the policy of the National Minimum Wage more accurately and comprehensively.

He was confident the portal would be able to give the latest information on the result of a study of the impact of the implementation of minimum wages on the labout market, employment of foreign labour and national transformation towards a high income, developed nation.
read more.
BERNAMA

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* REPORT: IndustriALL leading the struggle for Bangladeshi garment workers:

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a historic breakthrough covering more than 2 million garment workers. Breaking from failed corporate-led social auditing of the past, under the Accord trade unions and multinational companies are working together to improve the precarious situation of garment workers in Bangladesh.

Over 100 brands and retailers, covering over 2 million workers in 1,600 factories, are now working together with IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union. This broad coalition constitutes a critical mass of the garment sector. Together they have worked hard to set up the foundations to the Accord for the work on the ground in Bangladesh to be up and running by December 2013.

A number of key factors make this broad coalition new – its size; the seriousness of the legally binding commitments; and the central role of national and international trade unions. Trade unions as partners are the only actors able to ensure accountability and reliable monitoring of conditions and the inspection process. For too long the industry publicly relied on one-off safety audits in its factories, conducted by auditing companies that are created and funded by the brands themselves. Strong industrial relations in the industry can replace this model and conduct constant safety inspections in a context where workers are empowered to refuse dangerous work.
(…)

IndustriALL has long supported the calls of its Bangladeshi affiliates for a rise in the minimum wage for the sector in line with a living wage. The IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) is united in its demand for an urgent increase in the minimum wage to well over US$100 per month from the current US$38. On 21 September 200,000 Bangladeshi garment workers mobilized for three days in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, calling for a living wage and strongly rejecting a derisory employers’ wage offer in negotiations.

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

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

Compensations – setting a standard for the future
Compensation is a difficult but important area of work that involves numerous actors. IndustriALL is taking the lead and was able to secure the ILO as neutral chair of the compensation process following the Rana Plaza and Tazreen tragedies. Although compensating the victims’ families and the injured workers of these industrial disasters is important in and of itself, the significance of this process is heightened by the possibility of setting a precedent for future deadly accidents.
read more.
Home

LW + 2

20131130

19:47:8 0 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration:

The Ministry of Labour said it will cooperate with foreign experts, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), to set up an official minimum wage for workers in Myanmar. Currently, the ministry is conducting research with experts from the ILO to assess everyday costs of living and the current income per worker.

However, having a minimum wage doesn’t mean everything is dealt with, especially in developing countries. Economist Richard B Freeman writes that the main objective for setting up an official minimum wage is not to cut jobs but to share income with workers who have low incomes.

There may be different views over the issue. The optimists say income sharing through a minimum wage is good for workers with lower income. Pessimists say employers may cut jobs as a result of it to reduce costs. Those who lose jobs as a result may find their lives worse off than before.
read more.
Eleven

19:17:8 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Living wage is a good target:

As many basic costs such as rent for accommodation are increasing faster than inflation, this process, which is based on improving industrial dialogue, can clearly benefit workers

The Swedish company, H&M, which is the world’s second-biggest clothing retailer, has pledged to pay a living wage to 850,000 textile workers in 750 factories around the world by 2018.

It is starting a pilot project to support factory owners at two textile factories in Bangladesh and one in Cambodia to enable them to adopt a fair living wage for workers by the end of 2014. It has also announced its intention to roll this out to cover all the factories that supply its stores by 2018.

There is no set definition of a living wage, but typically it is based on a formula that seeks to go further than the legal minimum wage by taking into account the amounts needed to provide minimum acceptable living standards.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131129

map of asia ASIA & GLOBAL

* H&M’s living wage roadmap needs concrete benchmarks:

Clean Clothes Campaign is disappointed that H&M’s newly announced Roadmap to a Fair Living Wage fails to clearly state a living wage benchmark, we believe without such a definition it is both impossible to create a ‘roadmap’ to achieving its payment and similarly impossible to measure the roadmap’s success.

However, Clean Clothes Campaign does welcome the roadmap as a positive step forward in the brand’s approach to the payment of a fair living wage with some clear goals and deadlines. We believe that a living wage is the cornerstone of decent work and therefore the payment of a living wage must be an inherent and inextricable core element of any truly sustainable corporate accountability framework.

H&M’s statement that in order to achieve a fair living wage they are willing to pay more to their suppliers marks an essential commitment at the heart of any wage improvement. It is also encouraging that H&M is committed to improving its purchasing practices to decrease overtime and will develop a tool to measure real wage development. However, we believe that if H&M is truly committed to paying a fair living wage to the people who make their clothes then this roadmap must go further.

Firstly a definition of what they acknowledge to be a fair living wage is needed.

We call on H&M to adopt as a benchmark for a living wage the Asia Floor Wage, in order to be able to work towards a decent wage for all those working in their supply chain in Asia.

H&M’s stated commitment to negotiate between factory management and workers is vital in achieving a living wage and is to be applauded.
However, this alone will not achieve ‘fair living wages’. The wages that are possible in negotiations at a factory level, when the starting position is a minimum wage of only a quarter or a sixth of a living wage, will never reach an actual living wage sufficient to feed and support a family.
By setting real benchmarks for a living wage, H&M can raise the bar for the industry. Global brands have the power and money, and this money and power is needed to turn things around for workers.

The importance of factory level negotiations is a key inclusion in the roadmap. However we feel H&M should go further in ensuring the inclusion and critical role of local unions.
read more.
Site

* Living Wage conference – 25-26 November 2013:

Following the end of a two day conference on Living Wages in Berlin the Clean Clothes Campaign cautiously welcomes the steps taken and hopes that the Declaration of Intent signed by the stakeholders present will mark a shift towards actual implementation of a living wage payment for all garment workers.

The conference was convened by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and brought together business, international organisations, NGOs and trade unions.

Clean Clothes Campaign and our partners in the Asia Floor Wage and the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Federation were in attendance.

In line with the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, the Declaration of Intent calls upon all stakeholders to “ show their commitment to realizing living wages in international supply chains.” It also provides a “shared understanding of the concept of a living wage and it’s importance.”

Ashim Roy from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance said on the conference “it is a good step forward in bringing a focus on the living wage which was absent from the discourse of the companies. It is positive that the Dutch and German [Governments] are endorsing this shift towards more concrete forms of implementing a living wage. However this will prove difficult and not go uncontested without operationalization of the living wage concept. We urge buyers to enter into dialogue and negotiation with representatives of unions at both the sourcing country level and the factory level”
read more.
Site

* Living wage conference calls for action:

Freedom of association and collective bargaining are prerequisites for a living wage. Building the commitment of governments, business, trade unions and other civil society organisations to work jointly towards living wages in international supply chains was discussed at the European Conference on Living Wages in November.

The conference, sponsored by the German and Dutch governments, took place in Berlin from 25-26 November. It brought together representatives from trade unions, multistakeholder initiatives, NGOs, governments and, crucially, brands and retailers that source from countries where wages fall far below a living wage.

A large contingent from Bangladesh included representatives of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the garment employers’ organization BGMEA and government. Their focus was on the responsibility of brands sourcing from Bangladesh to ensure fair pricing to enable factories to pay a living wage.

The discussions emphasized the need for collective action. In particular, brands need to work together to use their purchasing practices to ensure that living wages are paid in those factories from which they jointly source. Many participants referred to the Bangladesh Accord, signed by IndustriALL Global Union, UNI and more than 100 global brands, as an example of what is possible and a model for living wage initiatives.
read more.
Home

* News Analysis: Wage-induced inflation to dim Asian economic outlook:

When Monetary Authority of Singapore projected early this week that the city-state’s full- year inflation will range from 2.5 percent to 3 percent, analysts unanimously forecast that inflation next year would edge higher mainly due to higher pass-on wage costs, a problem also likely to overshadow economic outlook of most Southeast Asian nations.

Singapore consumer price increased to 2 percent on-year in October, up from 1.6 percent in September, but research houses such as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Research expected inflation rate to edge higher to 2.7 percent in 2014, as the full impact of wage costs will likely be felt next year.

With the labor market remaining tight and inflows of foreign workers slowing in the city state, few analysts believed inflation woe will be dissipated for Singaporeans any time soon.
The wage-induced inflation is not only faced by Singapore but also by other major Southeast Asian economies.

The recent reading from Malaysia saw consumer price creeping higher to 2.8 percent on-year in October from 2.6 percent in September. While the latest inflation reading was in line with expectations, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch also forecast Malaysia ‘s inflation rate to edge higher to 3.2 percent in 2014.
Like Singapore and Malaysia, the future inflation numbers of Indonesia and Thailand will see higher pass-on from wage cost next year, fueled mainly by their hike in minimum wages.
read more. & to read.
CHINAORG MY sinchew

19:47:9 0 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration:

The Ministry of Labour said it will cooperate with foreign experts, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), to set up an official minimum wage for workers in Myanmar. Currently, the ministry is conducting research with experts from the ILO to assess everyday costs of living and the current income per worker.

However, having a minimum wage doesn’t mean everything is dealt with, especially in developing countries. Economist Richard B Freeman writes that the main objective for setting up an official minimum wage is not to cut jobs but to share income with workers who have low incomes.

There may be different views over the issue. The optimists say income sharing through a minimum wage is good for workers with lower income. Pessimists say employers may cut jobs as a result of it to reduce costs. Those who lose jobs as a result may find their lives worse off than before.
read more.
Eleven

20:17:9 0 local time map of laos LAOS

* Ministry leaves minimum wage unchecke:

Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare officials have admitted they have insufficient staff numbers to carry out inspections to ensure employers have increased their wages in line with labour laws.

The Federation of Trade Unions has made repeated calls for the ministry to more strictly enforce the country’s minimum wage.
Although the wage policy came into force almost two years ago on January 1, 2012, the federation claims many businesses have still not increased th eir pay rates accordingly.

Under the regulation, the minimum wage for an unskilled worker increased from 348,000 kip per month to 626,000 kip, excluding supporting allowances for good performance, social welfare, overtime and more. Many businesses have been found to combine worker entitlements with regular payments to reach the 626,000 kip minimum.

Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms Onchanh Thammavong, pledged in September the ministry would work together with unions and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to inspect workplaces and take measures to punish those found breaching the law.
read more.
vtt_3

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Labor Minister Proposes Annual Wage Rise:

The government is considering raising the minimum wage for the country’s garment workers every year for the next five years, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said after a meeting Wednesday with manufacturers and unions on increasing the current monthly salary of $80.

Mr. Sam Heng presided over a meeting with the four technical working groups tasked with determining a new minimum wage for the 350,000-plus workers employed in the $4 billion garment industry. The wage is set to be raised in January, but no amount has yet been specified.

“We will build a report for raising the wage of the garment workers every year for five years during this government mandate,” Mr. Sam Heng said. “If economic inflation happens, we will discuss again.”
(…)
Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Council of National Unions—a coalition of government-aligned unions—praised Mr. Sam Heng’s proposal of a gradual increase each year over five years. He added that independent unions’ current demand that the wage be raised to $154 a month is unrealistic.
“The amount raised by the unions seem a bit high, and I don’t know if [the government] can do that,” Mr. Aun said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor Minister urges workers to remain calm as wage talks are underway:

Ith Samheng, Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, appealed to all workers and unions to remain calm and wait for the results of the wage talks.

The appeal came Wednesday after representatives from the government, factories and unions met to discuss wage increases for footwear and garment workers.
The talks was held just two days after four main unions threatened to hold nationwide rallies if the salaries of factory workers are not increased to at least $154 per month.
The results of talks, which took place at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, hasn’t yet been announced because another meeting is scheduled for December 16.

“After this meeting, we will write a report and find different avenues to raise the salary for workers,” Samheng told reporters after the meeting.
“We do not oppose to the raise in minimum wage for workers, but I appeal to all workers to remain calm because the wage talks are underway,” he said.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Cambodia to discuss 2014 pay rise for garment workers next month:

Cambodia’s labor ministry, garment manufacturers, and trade unions set to talk about the increase of 2014 minimum wage for garment workers next month, according to a press statement on Thursday.

“The talks will be held on Dec. 16,” the labor ministry said in a statement. “The ministry would like to call on all garment workers to keep calm in order to give possibilities to the tripartite committee to discuss the pay rise for 2014.”
(…)
Earlier this week, four trade unions demanded that the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) raise the minimum wage of workers to 154 U.S. dollars a month, or they threatens nationwide strikes.
“We are demanding an increase in the minimum wage to 154 U.S. dollars a month,” the unions said in a joint letter sent to GMAC’ s president Van Sou Ieng on Tuesday.
read more. & read more.
XINHUAnet BERNAMA

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Protests Over Minimum Wage Rage On:

Thousands of workers rallied outside City Hall on Thursday as they once again protested against the Jakarta administration’s decision to ignore their demands for a higher minimum wage.

The protest, joined by some 13,000 workers across the Greater Jakarta area, followed a series of demonstrations in recent months by workers who demanded that Governor Joko Widodo and Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama raise the 2014 provincial monthly minimum wage to Rp 3.7 million ($325).

In Thursday’s protests, workers raised up to seven demands to the Jakarta administration, including revisions to the 2014 minimum wage for the Greater Jakarta Area, Karawang, Serang, Cilegon, Bandung, East Java, Batam and other industrial areas to between Rp 2.6 million and Rp 3 million, from the current figures of Rp 2.4 million in Jakarta and less elsewhere.

“The second one is to implement a minimum wage by sector in every region, with an increase of up to 15 to 30 percent from the revised minimum wage,” said Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal.
read more.
jak-globe

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Int’l conf on living wages held in Berlin:

A tripartite delegation from Bangladesh, composed of 11 members from the government, business associations and trade unions, took part in the ‘European Conference on Living Wages’ in Berlin, Germany.

The conference was jointly organised by the governments of Germany and the Netherlands held on November 25-26, said a media release issued on Thursday.
President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Atiqul Islam and a senior official from the Ministry of Planning Hedayetullah Al Mamoon led the Bangladesh delegation.
read more. & to read.
UNB newstodayBD

18:47:9 0 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* No relief to battle high cost of living:

After Budget 2014 was presented to Parliament on 21 November, the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa came under severe criticism, particularly from trade unions, including those affiliated to the government.

Trade unions representing transport, education as well health sectors highlighted the gap between their issues and the reliefs provided in Budget 2014.
Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando, said the government has not given any salary increments to public sector employees, but what has been given is only an allowance.
“The allowance proposed in the Budget is not enough to cover the increasing cost of living,” he stressed.
Convener of the Coordinating Committee for Trade Unions, Wasantha Samarasinghe, said they demanded Rs 10,000 salary increment in Budget 2014, but the government has provided only Rs 1,200 allowance to State employees.
read more.
CEYLONTODAY

LW + 2

20131128

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Hundreds block road in Bavet for better working conditions:

Around 1,000 protesting garment workers blocked National Road one in the village of Prey Pdao, Chrok Mtes commune of Bavet to seek better working conditions from their employers.

The factory workers from the Ching Khu factory, which produces jackets, had blocked the national road since this morning.

The protesters are demanding that the factory give their pay in a timely fashion, a 300 percent wage increase if they are asked to work on holidays and to not reduce their wages during the protest.
to read.
CAMHERALD

* Minimum wage ‘to be set next month’:

The Ministry of Labour next month will set the 2014 minimum wage for workers in Cambodia’s garment and footwear industries.

Ministry officials yesterday met with a working group of people representing workers, factory managers and the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia to discuss formulas they could use to periodically raise the industry’s minimum wage, which currently stands at $75 per month, said Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Council of National Unions.

Ministry officials will now take into consideration reports submitted by the working group during yesterday’s meeting, said the Labour Ministry’s Vong Sovann. On December 16, the ministry will meet again and set the 2014 minimum wage.
to read.
PPP new

21:17:9 0 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* 82% Of Companies Will Not Defer Implementation Of Minimum Wages, Says MEF:

About 82 per cent of local companies will not defer implementation of the national minimum wage policy, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

The “Salary Survey for Executives and Non-Executives 2013″, carried out between June and September, revealed that half the respondents provided training to upgrade the skills of their foreign workers as a measure to cope with the implementation of the national minimum wages on Jan 1,2014.
MEF is the central organisation for private sector employers in Malaysia.
read more.
BERNAMA

18:17:9 0 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* 10 labourers attacked for protest:

More than 10 labourers were injured when armed men attacked them during a protest against denial of salaries on Tuesday.

A group of labourers gathered in front of a textile mills near Joiyanwala Mor to protest denial of salaries by the factory management. Unidentified people, holding iron rods, attacked the protesters, injuring 10 of them including Irfan, Arsalan, Zaheer Abbas and Muneer.
The Housing Colony police are looking into the matter.
to read.
DAWNnew

LW + 2

20131127

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Government to Meet Over January Minimum Wage Increase:

The current government-mandated minimum wage of $80 a month for garment factory workers will be increased in January 2014, though the amount it will be raised by has not been determined, a Labor Ministry official said Monday.

Prak Chanthoeun, director-general of the Labor Ministry’s labor conflict committee, said Monday that there will be a meeting on Wednesday between the government, factory owners, and unions to discuss the imminent wage increase.

“Even though we cannot say how much the wage would be raised, the government policy is that they will raise the wage in January 2014,” Mr. Chanthoeun said. “We need to discuss thoroughly, because we are afraid when we raise the wage for the workers the raised wage will affect the market prices.”

Garment exports in the first 10 months of 2013 have soared to more than $4.7 billion, a 23 percent year-on-year increase. But the sector is experiencing more frequent strikes than ever before, with the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia (GMAC) recording 83 strikes during the first seven months of this year, most of which have involved demands for higher wages and more benefits.

The government raised the monthly minimum wage to $80 a month in May in the midst of a heated national election campaign in which the opposition CNRP pledged to raise the wage to $150 if they won the July 28 poll. After the ruling CPP suffered major losses in the election, the government promised in September to revisit the issue of garment sector wages.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages:

http://betterfactories.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013-11-27-Labor-Ministry-says-brands-hold-key-to-wages.gif

to read-see.
Cambodia_Daily_logo BF NEW

* Cambodian Unions Call for Doubling of Minimum Wage for Factory Workers:

Four trade unions on Tuesday demanded that Cambodia’s garment and footwear manufacturers raise the minimum wage of their workers and provide them with additional benefits, threatening a nationwide strike and demonstrations if they do not comply.

In a joint letter to the Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), an employers’ organization, the unions called for nearly double the U.S. $80 per month minimum wage announced by the government in March, and which took effect two months later.

“We are demanding an increase in the minimum wage to U.S. $154 [per month], as well as six additional workers’ benefits,” said the letter, which was signed by the unions, including the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC).

The government has indicated that it would allow an increase in the minimum wage, but didn’t say by how much.

“Even though we cannot say how much the wage would be raised, the government policy is that they will raise the wage in January 2014,” the Cambodia Daily quoted Prak Chanthoeun, director-general of the Labor Ministry’s labor conflict committee, as saying.
read more.
RFA

* H&M pledges living wage pay for Cambodia and Bangladesh workers:

Swedish clothing company H&M has pledged to pay a living wage to its garment workers in Cambodia and Bangladesh, according to the Wall Street Journal.

They will work with factory owners and adopt the fair living wage program next year at one factory in Cambodia and two in Bangladesh, and then will expand to cover the other 750 factories that supply its clothes by 2018.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* BetterFactories Media updates 23-27 November 2013, Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-11-26 Food price hike hits workers

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-26 Government to meet over January minimum wage increase
2013-11-26 H&M aims to pay all textile workers’ living wage’ by 2018
2013-11-27 Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages

* To read in the printed edition of the Koh Santepheap Daily (Khmer):
2013-11-27 Unions demand US$150, Ministry meeting to talk about minimum wage

BetterFactories Media Updates overview here.
BF NEW

21:17:9 0 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Labour Market Reform A Must, Says MIER:

Labour market reform is a must, said the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), which sees the implementation of minimum wage as a driver to reduce household debt.

Its Executive Director Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid said households contribute a substantial share of domestic demand.

“They were asked to work hard and they have been contributing quite well, but they are saddled with debts. For us, labour market reform is a must when moving towards a salary level linked to productivity.
read more.
BERNAMA

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers to rally again on Thursday:

Workers will hold another two-day rally – set to take place from Thursday to Friday – to demand a raise in the provincial minimum wage (UMP).

“The rally will be conducted because we think the current minimum wage does not make sense,” Indonesian Workers Union Confederation (KSPI) secretary general Muhammad Rusdi said as quoted by kontan.co.id on Monday.
Rusdi said the UMP, which had been set at Rp 2.2 million (US$187.6) per month for Jakarta, remained one of the lowest in Southeast Asia.
Workers in Thailand received at least Rp 2.8 million per month while in the Philippines, workers received Rp 3.2 million, he said, citing examples.
to read.
jakartapost

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* As wages rise, so do rents:

20131127 DHAKATRIBUNE busi-Graph

As soon as the minimum wage of garment workers was increased, the house owners had raised rents to an amount more than the increased allowance.

As per the new wage structure, Shahena Parveen’s house rent allowance would increase by less than Tk500, but her house owner has already announced to increase rent by Tk1,000.

Shahena Parveen is a worker at an apparel factory of IDS Group in Dhaka. Like her, the country’s around four millions of garment workers was just aspiring to live a better life after the wage hike. But their hopes did not last long as the house lords had appeared to ask them pay more from January.

“Now, I have no other way but to leave the house,” said Shahena Parveen living in a Mirpur tin-shed room with her ailing mother and school-going younger brother.

When interviewed a good number of workers in Gazipur, Savar, Mirpur and Farmgate areas, they told the Dhaka Tribune that the new rent hike has put them in an uneasy situation again.

The workers urged the authorities including BGMEA to take steps so that the house owners do not raise rents.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131126

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Union leaders threaten nationwide protest if salary not raised:

20131126 CAMBODIAHERALD

Labor unions in Cambodia threatened to hold nationwide rallies in December if their demand for a minimum wage increase of at least $154 per month is not met. 

The threat came after the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) led by Ath Thon, the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions led by Yang Sophorn, National Union League of Cambodia Textile Industry led by Mam Nhem, and the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, led by Pav Sina sent collective letters to Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), to seek salary increases and bonuses for factory workers.

“If the factory employers don’t raise the minimum wage for their employees, the trade unions will lead a protest throughout the country in December,” said C.CAWDU president Ath Thon in a news conference on Monday.
He said because the factory workers currently receive low wages, their daily lives are negatively affected.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Food-price hike hits workers:

The price of food spiked this month, and Cambodia’s low-paid garment workers are feeling the effects.

Meat, vegetables, toothbrushes, beauty accessories and even the plastic bags they get packed in have all seen a sharp bump up in price this month, some items by as much as 30 per cent, workers and traders said yesterday.
The Post reported last week that reforms to stamp out corruption in the customs department have led to an increase in the cost of imported goods. Customs officials who would often undercut tax rates on imports are now applying the official rate, meaning import costs have suddenly increased, leaving consumers to foot the bill.

With a base minimum wage of $75 a month, a garment worker’s budget is sensitive to even the slightest inflationary pressure.
“In the past, I have sent some money home [to my family], but now the price of goods is going up, so maybe I cannot afford to do it,” Lok Tho, a garment worker at M&V International Manufacturing in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said.

Even with overtime, Tho said she earns little more than $100 per month. After rent and living expenses, money for food is tight. Tho said she is struggling to afford baby formula – the price of which she said has also gone up this month.
read more.
PPP new

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. West Java Announces 2014 Minimum Wage. Read the full article here .
2. Banten Governor set the UMK 2014 in seven areas.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

3. Welcoming BPJS, 15 Regulations still not clear. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia) Read the Google Translate English Version here.
4. Outsourcing rule leads to kickbacks, confusion. Read the full article here .
5. Apindo rejects West Java minimum wage. Read the full article here.
6. Brace for more rallies, say unions. Read the full article here
7.Workers not satisfied with the UMK East Java 2014 numbers.
Read the full article here
R
ead the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia media updates Overview here.
BW indonesia

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 10 hurt as RMG workers clash with police in Gazipur:

The police charged batons and fired tear gas to disperse Garment factory workers who were staging violent demonstrations over wages at Nayapara of Kashimpur in the city on Monday.

The workers clashed with the police and set a police car on fire during the demonstrations demanding minimum wage at TK 8,000.
At least 10 people, including policemen, were injured in the clashes.
Witnesses said workers of Alim Knitwear factory, a unit of Mandal Group, began staging demonstrations in the factory in the morning. At about 2:30pm, the workers poured out of the factory and tried to block Konabari-Kashimpur road and Dhaka-Tangil highway.
At one point, workers of Montex Limited, another concern of Mandal Group joined the workers of Alim Knitwear in the protests. Police charged batons and fired tear shell to break up the demonstration.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age INDEPENDENT daily star bd

* H&M aims to pay RMG workers ‘living wage’ by 2018:

Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, laid out a plan on Monday to pay a fair ‘living wage’ to some 8,50,000 textile workers by 2018, saying governments were acting too slowly.

‘We believe that the wage development, driven by for example governments in some countries, is taking too long, so we want to take further action and encourage the whole industry to follow,’ H&M said in a statement on its web site.
read more.
BD new age

18:47:9 0 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Issue minimum wages for unorganized labourers’:

The National Minimum Wages Campaign Committee demanded wages on par with class IV employees of the government for unorganised labourers.

These labourers contribute to 65% of the total GDP of the country and hence should be given minimum wages, said Swami Agnivesh, noted social activist on Monday.
Agnivesh said that 93% of the total labourers are unorganised and mainly belong to rural areas. A minimum wage law was constituted in 1948; however, no efficient system has been pressed to implement it.
read more.
TOInew

LW + 2

20131123-25

20:17:9 0 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage increase fails to meet living costs:

With the basic salary increase of around VND350,000 (USD16.56) per month, payment would meet only nearly 80% of an average worker’s budget.

The Vietnamese government has issued a new decree which stipulates the new basic salary, which would provide the highest salaries to the most developed areas.
Area 1 includes Hanoi, HCM City, Quang Ninh, Danang, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Vung Tau, which will have salary increases of to VND2.7 million (USD127.75).
Area 2 includes Haiphong, Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen, Khanh Hoa, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An, An Giang, Can Tho and Ca Mau, and will have VND2.4 million (USD113.55) as a basic salary. Areas 3 and 4 will respectively set VND2.1 million (USD9936) and VND1.9 million (USD89.90) as basic salaries.
The new salaries are between VND250,000 (USD11.82) and VND350,000 (USD16.56) per month higher than the current payments.
 >>  Finance ministry confirms no salary cuts next year
 >>  Finance ministry’s salary cut proposal faces government opposition
 >>  Minimum wage increase proposed
 >>  Minimum wage for civil servants rises
 >>  Ministry proposes minimum wage increase delay
read more.
DTI

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Apindo rejects West Java minimum wage:

The Indonesian Employers Association’s (Apindo) West Java branch has filed an objection to the 2014 minimum wage for 26 regencies and cities across West Java.

“Karawang regency is now recorded as the region with highest minimum wage, surpassing Jakarta. The main issue is, is the cost of living in Karawang higher than in Jakarta?” said West Java Apindo chairman Dedy Wijaya on Friday.
West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan approved the 2014 minimum wage for Karawang at Rp 2,447,450. The 2014 minimum wage for Jakarta has been set at Rp 2,441,301.
read more.
jakartapost

* Brace for more rallies, say unions:

Most of these cities, including the capital, have already set their 2014 minimum wage, and city dwellers are expressing annoyance, even more so than during the first wave of nationwide strikes held Oct. 31 to Nov. 1.

When asked for a comment, a manager in charge of thousands of cigarette factory workers only texted, “Pusing! [headache]”, during the prior weeks of heated negotiations.

The Jakarta unions have lowered their demand, though it may be too little too late as Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has indicated that he will not budge from the set minimum monthly wage of Rp 2.4 million (US$ 205.22), up 11 percent from the current Rp 2.2 million wage.

Instead of the Rp 3.7 million they were originally demanding, union boss Said Iqbal has said the Jakarta workers are now seeking Rp 3 million per month, citing the minimum cost of living in the city at
Rp 2.8 million.
read more.
jakartapost

* The varied demands of striking laborers:

20131124 JAKARTAPOST
Labor activists demand higher wages and the elimination of contract employment as they march along main thoroughfares in the Thamrin area, Central Jakarta, on Sept. 16. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Workers in different cities are still demanding higher wages ahead of the new year. Laborers in the capital have lowered their demand for a Rp 3 million (US$258.60) monthly minimum wage, down from the Rp 3. 7 million they were initially demanding. But they have other agenda as well.

Continued rallies and strikes indicate that workers have additional demands other than just attaining apparently impossible minimum wage hikes — at least in Jakarta, where Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his deputy Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama have said they would not cave in to laborers’ minimum wage hike demands.

Workers have said that aside from higher wages and an end to outsourcing, recent nationwide strikes have targeted the following: strengthening unions across factories and regions; emboldening women workers to speak up and organize; forcing employers to pay the minimum wage; ending extension of casual workers to well over 10 years of service — often paid less than the minimum wage; calling for workers in other areas to demand higher wages, in anticipation of factories relocating to non-industrial areas such as West and Central Java where workers are not organized; and putting pressure on employers to not fire union leaders and others suspected of union activities.
read more.
jakartapost

* Better trust and data in wage deals: Hpeful changes under Jokowi:

Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his deputy have reiterated the administration’s commitment toward a friendly investment climate, while reminding employers to play fair and warning workers against “unrealistic” demands.

Such attitudes may be one source of hope for better negotiations in the future, at least in Jakarta. Among union leaders, acknowledgment of mistakes and talks of better strategies may also lead to less standoffs.

So far it is the varied results of surveys, citing the number of components of basic living costs, along with the alleged under-representation of workers that has contributed to blocked negotiations. Workers blame a lack of transparency while employers complain of low productivity and uncompetitive wages.
read more.
jakartapost

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladesh’s RMG wage still the world’s lowest:

The minimum monthly wage of the readymade made garment workers in Bangladesh will continue to be the world’s lowest despite a 74 per cent hike proposed from the next month.

A government appointed wage board recently fixed the minimum monthly wage at Tk 5,300 equivalent to US $68.12, up from Tk 3,000 or around $39.
The hike is unlikely to help Bangladesh overcome the image as the home to lowest paid workers.
Bangladesh’s apparel industry employs four million workers, mostly women.
The new wage is likely to come into  force on December 3, will be three  dollars less than the minimum wage an RMG worker earns in India and five dollars less than a Sri Lankan gets.
According to an International Labour Organsiation report, released last week, the minim wage for an RMG worker is $73 and in India — $71.
Vietnam pays the minimum wag of $78, Pakistan — $79 and Cambodia–$80.
By refusing to pay more to the workers, Bangladesh’s RMG entrepreneurs only lost a big opportunity to leave their bad reputations behind, said former caretaker government adviser and economist Mirza Azizul Islam.
read more.
BD new age

* Minimum wage in RMG sector from global perspective:

20131125 FE table-1+2

Most of them used to work as maids in urban kitchens, in most cases, for subsistence known as ‘pete-bhate’ in Bengali.

Then came the opportunity to work in the manufacturing sector, more specifically, in the readymade garments sector (RMG). They left the urban kitchen forcing the urban people to do their own dishes.
Today, about 4.0 million workers, about 90 per cent of whom are girls and women, are working in the RMG sector. Local and international social activists are very concerned, rightly so, about the rights and pay of these workers.

Not all girls of Bangladesh are fortunate to find their way in the RMG sector, and hence still doomed to work as maid.
There are Aduris, who are deprived of the ‘Ador’ (affection) of her parents due to the abject poverty, and sent to urban household by her parents for the bare minimum.
Media frequently publishes news of them being tortured, abused, humiliated and sometimes even killed. Yet, there is none to speak for them.

There are garages in our own neighbourhood where children coming from poor background work in one of the most inhumane working conditions.
They serve the urban people who are the main users of transport, both private and public. Their suffering right in front of us goes unnoticed.
While our vigilance on the RMG sector should continue, the other unfortunate victims of inhumane working conditions and low wages should not go unnoticed.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG workers’ peace rally at Ashulia:

The scenario of Ashulia was totally different on Friday as garment workers staged a peace rally with police and Home Owners’ Somity.

Thousands of readymade garments workers joined in the peace rally at Fantasy Kingdom in Jamgora area arranged by Lions Club of Dhaka.
In the rally house owners were requested not to increase the house rent ten percent in a year and workers were requested to shun violence in the name of protest.
Meanwhile, workers also welcomed the decision of house owners about not to increase rent.
With Lions Club Regional Branch Chairperson Abu Sahid in the chair, Industrial Deputy Inspector General of Police Morshed, and others were present in the peace rally.
In last few months, RMG workers staged several protest, blocked highways, vandalized vehicles and factories in Ashulia to pres their demand of Tk 8,000 minimum salary.
Finally, the government fixed TK 5,300 as minimum salary.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Winners and losers:

20131123 DHAKATRIBUNE garment-Machine-bigs-edi

As the dust settles after the latest round of wage negotiations, with BGMEA and BKMEA accepting the government determined wage rate of Tk5,300, questions abound as to who gained and who lost from the deal. BGMEA leadership had been reluctant to give in to workers’ demands and subsequent rounds of discussion bore no concrete results.

The re-adjusted minimum wage, agreed upon by the wage commission, was squarely rejected by RMG owners. Amid such disagreements, violence flared up in Savar and Gazipur belts as workers agitated for more equitable pay. Finally, the PM had to step in by convincing the BGMEA and BKMEA leaders to accept the new minimum wage for greater stability of the RMG sector.

Before delving further into the issue, it is imperative to understand the economics of minimum wages in relations to the RMG sector. Many economists discourage the practice of setting minimum wages as it distorts the demand-supply mechanism.

Minimum wages, according to them, only provide temporary respite while negatively impacting competitiveness, and reducing efficiency. Many RMG owners point to the possible decline in RMG competitiveness due to increasing the wage. Also, they highlight that the minimum wage is applicable to trainees only, with more skilled workers earning 2-3 times more than the minimum.

RMG workers complain of missing out from the good fortune of the booming RMG sector. Despite doubling exports over the last five years, the wage hike has not caught up with inflation. Over the last three years, the real wage of RMG workers has actually declined.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20131122

20:17:9 0 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage set to rise:

20131122 VNNews
Workers of Arksun Viet Nam JSC in the northern Nam Dinh-based Hoa Xa Industrial Park. As of January 2014, monthly minimum wage for employees will see an increase following a decree issued recently by the Government. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

A new decree issued by the Government will lead to an increase in the monthly minimum wage from January 1.

Decree 182 will see increases of up to VND2.7 million (US$130) per month, and will apply to enterprises, co-operatives, household businesses, foreign companies and international organizations operating in Viet Nam.
The new arrangement replaces the current Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, applied from December last year and which also stipulated minimum payments for Vietnamese staff.

The minimum wage will be applied in four different regions in Viet Nam with four separate benchmarks determined by living standards in each area.
The thresholds will be VND1.9 million, VND2.1 million, VND2.4 million and VND2.7 million, accounting for an increase of VND250,000-350,000 compared with the current minimum wage.
read more.
VNNews new

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* BetterFactories Media updates 15-22 November 2013, Meas Sotha- the man at the center of the SL factory strike:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

2013-11-18 Government steps in
2013-11-19 No violence main goal, SL exec says
2013-11-21 End strike or go to court, gov’t says
2013-11-21 Strike reaches city hall

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2013-11-15 Bangladesh factories agree to pay raise, but protest continue
2013-11-19 SL management agrees to reinstate 19 fired union members
2013-11-21 SL workers demand representatives reinstated

BetterFactories Media updates overview here.
BF NEW

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Owners and workers reach consensus on RMG wages:

The basic of the minimum wage has been fixed Tk3,000

The minimum Wage Board commission has fixed Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage (including expenses) with a 5% yearly increase in basic salary for entry-level garment workers, as both the workers leaders and factory owners came to a consensus on Thursday.

The basic salary of the minimum wage without expenses has been fixed at Tk3,000.
The Chairman of the commission, AK Roy, made the announcement after a meeting with the factory owners and workers leaders at its city office on Thursday afternoon.
He said: “The new wage scale will be sent to the labour ministry today and hopefully the ministry will issue a gazette in this regard soon.”
read more.  & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Apparel Labour Bodies demand upward wage adjustment:

Different garment labour rights bodies on Thursday in the capital demanded reviewing the announced minimum wages for the apparel workers.
The minimum wage for a worker has been set at Tk 5,300, a month.

Garment Sramik Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a combine of the 14-grament labour rights bodies at a protest rally in front of the Minimum Wage Board on Topkhana Road demanded upward adjustments.
Abul Hossain, leader of the combine, said, following the rally that the garment workers would not accept the announced wage, as they cannot support their families with that pay.
He demanded revision to the announced wage immediately.

Tapan Saha, the coordinator of the combine demanded implementation of the trade unionism in the apparel industries immediately for the sake of ethical clothing industry.
Garment labour leaders Ferdusi Begum, Shah Alam, Golam Rabbani Jamil and others spoke.
Garments Sramik Oikya Forum, an apparel workers’ rights body at a press conference in Nirmal Sen Auditorium also demanded revision of the announced minimum wage for the garment workers.
read more. & read more.
BD new age BD new age

* RMG minimum wage set at Tk5,300 with 5% of basic as yearly increment :

Replying to a query, Kamal Uddin, independent member of the board said they had to cut Tk200 from the proposed basic to reach a consensus

The government-formed wage board has finalised Tk5,300 as minimum wage with a basic of Tk3,200 for entry-level garment workers.

“The wage board has unanimously decided the minimum wage at Tk5,300 with a 5% yearly increment on the basic, having thread bear discussion on the objections placed to the board by the owners and the labour leaders as the both party came to a consensus,” AK Roy, chairman of the board, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The representatives of owners, workers and independent members agreed with the proposal, he added.
The new minimum wage, which is 76.66% higher than the existing Tk3,000, will be in effect from December 1, which means the workers will receive the new wages in January next year.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Board fixes minimum wage for RMG workers at Tk 5,300:

The board formed to re-fix the minimum wage for the garment workers on Thursday finalised the new minimum wage structure at Tk 5,300.

At its 10th meeting at the Minimum Wages Board’s office, the wage board also decided to award a yearly increment of 5 percent to the newly fixed minimum wages until the formation of another wages board for the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
Earlier on Nov 4, the RMG sector wage board at its 9th meeting came out with its primary recommendation to raise the minimum wage of the workers to Tk 5,300, of which Tk 3,200 was recommended as the basic wage.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
UNB BANGLA NEWS24  FE bd  BDCHRONICLE  primenews newstodayBD
INDEPENDENT

* Tk 5300 minimum wage for RMG workers fixed:

The Wage Board finalised its recommendation Thursday fixing Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for garment workers at entry point with some changes made in the proposed basic pay, food subsidy and implementation timeframe.

The fixation of minimum wage, which is around 77 per cent up from the existing structure, took place following a consensus between the representatives of the apparel makers and workers at the tenth meeting of the Wage Board held in the city.
The Board, however, also kept its previous recommendation for a 5.0 per cent annual increment unchanged.

“A minimum wage amounting to Tk 5,300 has been fixed unanimously at the meeting. Besides, a recommendation has also been made regarding a 5.0 per cent annual increment for the workers, which is a very positive development,” Chairman of the Wage Board AK Roy told reporters after the meeting.
Mr Roy further said the Board has taken around 500 written appeals made by different organisations into consideration while deciding on the wage structure.
read more.
FE bd

* Minimum wage for garment workers at Tk 5,300:

Reducing the basic wage by Tk 200 from Tk 3200 of the proposed recommendation, the minimum wages board for the garment workers on Thursday made its final recommendation of Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers.

The board also recommended for five per cent increment of the basic every year at the 10th meeting at the board’s Topkhana Road office.
Despite reducing basic pay, the amount of minimum wage remain unchanged in both the proposed and final recommendations as food subsidy has been increased but the wages in other six grades have been reduced from proposed amount as wages of those grades are supposed to increase proportionately.

‘The board has taken the decision of minimum wage of garment workers at Tk 5,300 unanimously and the final recommendation will now be sent to the labour ministry for gazette notification,’ the board chairman AK Roy said at a briefing after the meeting.
He said that the board on November 4 recommended Tk 5,300 as minimum wage and published a gazette on November 5 asking for objections and opinions, if any, on the recommendations by 14 days.
read more.
BD new age

* It’s final: 77% hike in garment wage:

Pay for workers under other grades also rises proportionately

Minimum wage rose about 77 percent to Tk 5,300 a month for garment workers, but their basic salary will be lower than the previous recommendation.

A trainee or apprentice worker will get Tk 4,810 as the minimum salary. The working period for a trainee worker will be three months, extendable by another three if owners fail to see an improvement in standards.
After that period, trainees will be appointed as permanent workers under Grade 7, the lowest rung.
As per the revised structure, a Grade 7 worker will receive Tk 3,000 in basic salary that had previously been recommended at Tk 3,200 on November 4.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rights groups demand enhanced minimum wage for RMG workers:

Apparel labour rights groups on Thursday demanded an upward revision of the recently announced monthly minimum wage of Tk.5,300.

Garment Sramik Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a platform of 14 apparel labour rights groups, at a protest rally held in front of the Minimum Wage Board at Topkhana Road demanded an increase in the minimum wage announced recently.
Abul Hossain, the combine’s leader said that the minimum wage was not acceptable to the garment workers as it was far too inadequate for a worker to maintain his or her family.
He called for an immediate revision of the minimum wage.
Tapan Saha, the coordinator of the combine demanded trade union rights be given to the workers employed by the apparel industry immediately for its betterment.
read more.
BD new age

* Bangladesh approves wage hike for garment factory workers:

Garment workers in Bangladesh will get a 77 percent pay increase from December as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that have roiled the world’s second largest clothing exporter in recent months.

The official wage board approved on Thursday increasing the monthly minimum wage for entry-level garment industry workers to 5,300 taka ($68) from 3,000 taka currently, a raise that was in line with the expectations of factory owners who had said they would ask retailers to shoulder part of the costs.

Workers had asked for the minimum wage, which was last raised in 2010, to go up to 8,000 taka a month, but the wage board negotiated a compromise which was acceptable to all sides, said Sirajul Islam Rony, a member of the government appointed committee.
read more. & to read.
reuters Ittefaq

* Bangladesh garment factories reopen after unrest:

Bangladeshi garment workers returned to their factories Thursday, where they stitch clothes for Western retailers, after the prime minister demanded an end to days of protests over a new minimum wage.

“All the plants have reopened today and the workers have joined duty,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, a vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, which presents 4,500 factories.
“We hope the worst part is over, but now we have to make up for lost time,” Mahmood said.
Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in deadly protests over the new minimum monthly wage of $68 –  a 76 percent hike but still lower than those in many other major garment-producing nations.
Several hundred factories, including some of the biggest, have been forced to close since the protests started on November 11, crippling the sector, a mainstay of the nation’s economy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the workers to abandon the protests on Wednesday which she branded unjustified as police launched a crackdown, arresting five garment union leaders.
read more. & to read.
BD new age Ittefaq

* RMG workers join work in Ashulia:

Workers of Readymade Garment factories in Ashulia area joined their work from Thursday morning after couple of days’ protest demanding salary hike.

No violent incident was reported as production is underway peacefully in garment units of Baipail, Jamgora, Shimultola, Norsinhapur, Ghosbagh, Jirabo and Katgora areas in the industrial hub of the country.
Regarding the matter, Ashulia industrial police-1 director Mostafizur Rahman told banglanews that several meetings were held among owners of garment units, workers and government on the issue of minimum wage of the sector.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG units in Ashulia, Konabari reopen after days of violence:

Hundreds of apparel factories in Ashulia and Konabari reopened Thursday amid tight security as uneasy calm returned to the key industrial hubs after days of production suspension caused by the recent workers’ unrest over better wage.

Thousands of workers in long queues streamed into the open gates early in the morning as police with bullet-proof vests and helmets stood by to stave off any trouble.
Owners said almost all the factories located at the industrial areas resumed production following assurance from the government that it would deal with the troublemakers with heavy hand.

“The workers joined in time at about 8:00am and the manufacturing of garment products is going on smoothly,” Chairman of Sterling Group Siddiqur Rahman, said.
He said the workers should show their patience as garment owners have agreed in implementing the latest wage structure of Tk 5300 from December.

He said the workers should not engage in any form of violence as their minimum monthly wage has been raised to US$ 68 from the previous US$ 39.
The Jamgora-based Sterling Group is one of the country’s leading apparel conglomerates and it makes clothing for the world’s leading retailers. It employs 12,000 workers.
read more.
FE bd

“I doubt that there are genuine workers behind the individuals who are here as labour representatives,” said Raju.
“There would not have been protests if the workers considered these people as their leaders.”
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 NEWNATIONnew

LW + 2

20131121

20:17:9 0 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage to increase from 2014:

20131120 VNNet

The Government has recently issued Decree 182/2013/ND-CP to replace valid Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, dated December 4, 2012.

The minimum wage will be applied for four different regions in Viet Nam as follows Region I: VND 2.7 million (US$ 128); Region II: VND 2.4 million (US4 114); Region III: VND 2.1 million (US$ 100) and Region IV: VND 1.9 million (US$ 90).
The new salary benchmarks will pick up around VND 250,000 – 350,000 (US$11-16).
Employees of local enterprises, foreign agencies, organizations and foreigners will benefit from the monthly wage increase.
The Decree also encourages enterprises to pay their employees higher than the region-based minimum wages.
The new Decree will take effect on December 31, 2013.

Towers Watson: Wage hikes lower than last year
Wages have increased this year though the economy has yet to get out of the woods, but the pace of wage growth is lower than that last year, according to the salary survey of Towers Watson Vietnam.
Wages have picked up 11.7% this year, down from the 13.8% rise recorded last year, shows the survey.
read more.
VNNet

* Minimum wage to be raised up to $127:

The minimum wage will be raised up to VND2.7 million (US$127) per month next year starting January 1, 2014, according to a new governmental Decree.

Under Decree 182/2013 dated November 14 and due to take effect on December 31, 2013, the new minimum wage will be VND250,000-300,000 per month higher than the current minimum wage.
There are four minimum wage rates applied for four zones of the country. The rates include VND2.7 million ($127 – the highest) per month for Zone 1, VND2.4 million for Zone 2, VND2.1 million for Zone 3, and VND1.9 million for Zone 4.

These wages are applicable to laborers working for enterprises, co-operatives, farms, households, individuals, and organizations of all economic sectors.
Wage scale and other allowances set forth by enterprises should be based on minimum wage, according to the decree.
read more.
TUOITREnews

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strike reaches City Hall:

20131121 PPP Amil-factory-workers-city-hall
A group of garment workers from Alim garment factory gather outside Phnom Penh City Hall yesterday. Photo by Pha Lina.

More than 100 workers from the Alim garment factory in Phnom Penh marched on City Hall yesterday, demanding the dismissal of four managers.

Yam Thaisan, a legal officer from a union representing the workers at the Por Sen Chey district factory, said strikers had called on Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong to intervene to resolve the dispute.
“[The governor’s] representative accepted our petition, but did not promise to resolve this for us,” he said. “We will continue our protest again tomorrow, and we will travel to Hun Sen’s house soon if we have to.”
More than 400 workers have been on strike for nearly two weeks, demanding the sacking of the four managers, a 2,000-riel lunch allowance and wage uniformity.
read more.
PPP new

* End strike or go to court, gov’t says:

If management at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. does not sign on to an agreement, which would end a three-month strike at the factory, the next stop is court.

Ministry of Labour officials are scheduled to sit down with SL management this morning, during which the ministry will try to talk SL into signing on to an agreement with the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said Sat Sakmoth, secretary of state at the labor ministry.
“If they still refuse to accept the agreement, I will send their case to the court,” Sakmoth said.

Among other stipulations, the agreement would require SL to rehire 19 fired union leaders and activists and drop a lawsuit SL filed against them, which alleges that these former employees are responsible for profits lost. The Ministry of Labour last Friday ordered SL to rehire the workers.
Joseph Kee Leung Lee, director of SL International Holdings, yesterday said he could not comment on the 19 workers, because of SL’s pending lawsuit.
to read.
PPP new

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

THEVIOLENCE

* RMG unrest continues:

Apparel workers on Wednesday continued with their protests pressing for an upward revision of the minimum wage, the labour minister and labour leaders at a tripartite meeting the ministry blamed each other for the ongoing unrest.

At least 10 people were injured as the workers clashed with the police who dispersed the demonstrating workers at Tongi, Gazipur and Ashulia.
Additional police and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel have been deployed at Ashulia and Gazipur to avert violence.
The labour and employment minister, Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, at the tripartite meeting at the ministry warned labour leaders of
stern action if anyone found to be involved in instigating the ongoing worker unrest in the apparel sector.
Rajiuddin also accused garment workers’ trade union president Montu Gosh of instigating the unrest.
The labour leaders, however, refuted the accusation and blamed the minister for the unrest saying that the afresh unrest was caused by the minister with deducting Tk 200 from the basic pay recommended by the Minimum Wage Board, which recommended Tk 5,300 as the gross minimum monthly wage for the apparel workers.
(…)
Left-leaning political parties and garment labour organisations, meanwhile, demanded immediate arrests of, and exemplary punishments for, the killers of two apparel workers, who were killed as the police opened fire during a clash with the apparel workers in Gazipur on Monday.
Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of the eights left-leaning political parties, at a rally in front of the National Press Club, demanded immediate stoppage of repressions on the apparel workers.
New Age correspondent in Gazipur reported that at least 10 including two cops were injured in a clash between the police and apparel workers at Tongi.
read more.
BD new age

 * Minister, labour leaders trade blame:

Labour leaders and the labour minister blamed each other Wednesday for the prevailing unrest in the country’s garment sector over the wage hike issue.

Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju expressed his doubt about the role of labour leaders, saying they have no control over the garment workers.
However, the labour leaders held the ‘downward adjustment’ of the proposed basic pay by the government responsible for the situation.
The blame game took place in an urgent meeting, held at the minister’s secretariat office in the city, with leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and labour organisations and representatives of the law-enforcing agencies over the prevailing unrest in the garment industry.
(…)
Earlier, Abul Hossain, president of Textile Garments Workers Federation, blamed the minister for reducing the basic payment to Tk 3,000 from Tk 3,200 by the Wage Board. “The workers are confused, and the government is responsible for the present situation.”

“We are blamed for the unrest, though it is created by the government. Workers are not responsible for it,” he added. The labour leaders requested the minister to review the workers’ payment structure.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG workers’ leaders’ divided over minimum wage:

The dispute among the union leaders came to light during a meeting with Labour Minister

20131121 DHAKATRIBUNE Mahmud-Hossain
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Shanghati organises a rally protesting killing of apparel workers in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday

Garment workers’ and leaders are divided into two groups over the minimum wage for the RMG industry as pro-government leaders support the proposal of Tk5,300 whereas anti-government leaders oppose it.

The dispute among the union leaders came to light during a meeting with Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, which was arranged to devise ways to overcome the ongoing unrest in the RMG sector.
“The minimum wage of Tk5,300 for garment workers is acceptable,” said Shamima Nasrin, president of Shadin Bangla Garments Sramik Karmochari Federation.

On the other hand, Abul Hossain, president of Textile Garment Workers Federation, opposed the government decision of setting Tk300 as basic and total salary of Tk5,300, saying that they did not accept the government intervention in setting the minimum wage and it was not legal.

Participants in the meeting alleged they could not raise their voices against the government decision as the moderator of the meeting did not allow them to speak.
“If there was no unrest or anarchy in the RMG sector, the factory owners would not care about us and that is why some unrest continues,” said a worker leader requesting anonymity.
He said the unrest over the minimum wage would have already come to an end if the government did not interfere in the wage board’s decision.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* 30 RMG units shut at Ashulia, Tongi:

Nearly 30 units suspended production in the Ashulia and Tongi apparel hubs as workers continued demonstrations over the wage issue for the 16th consecutive day Wednesday.

At least 25 people, mostly workers, were injured in clashes with law enforcers during the demonstrations on the day.
The readymade garment (RMG) workers are demanding implementation of the latest pay structure from the month of November after making some changes in it.
Witnesses at Ashulia off the city said the trouble erupted at about 9:00 am on the day, when workers of several garment factories including GSM, Nassa and IDS took to the streets soon after joining work.
read more.
FE bd

* Name RMG unrest instigators: Minister asks intelligence:

Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju today directed intelligence agencies to prepare a list of persons who were instigating apparel workers for creating recent unrest in the sector.

Urging garment workers to join works form tomorrow shunning unrest, he said stern action will be taken against the persons found provoking the violence in the name of wage hike.
In the face of ongoing anarchy in RMG sector which killed two persons in Gazipur, the minister held a meeting with the leaders of RMG workers and leaders in his secretariat in the capital today.

Issuing threat to a garment workers’ leader who attended in the meeting he said, “We have every information of what you [the workers’ leader] do. So be quiet and accept what will be offered [in upcoming wage board]”
read more.
daily star bd

* CCC disappointed at new Bangladesh minimum wage level:

Ahead of the expected announcement of a new minimum wage of 5,300 taka (€50.32) by the Government of Bangladesh on Thursday, Clean Clothes Campaign is disappointed that it still falls a long way short of a living wage, leaving millions of garment workers still earning poverty wages.

Whilst the proposed revision represents a 77% increase on the current minimum wage of 3,000 taka (€28.48) it will still be just 21% of the €259.80 (25,687 taka) that the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, of which Clean Clothes Campaign is a member, calculates to be a living wage for the country.

Since the government announced the work of the Minimum Wage Board back in the summer of 2013, trade unions and labour groups across Bangladesh have been calling for the government to endorse a rise to 8,000 taka (€76.27) and in doing so signal a real commitment to move towards a living wage.

Over 4 million people – predominantly women – work in the garment industry in Bangladesh, and the industry accounts for 76% of Bangladeshi exports and yet the people working in the industry are the lowest paid garment workers in the world.

The past few months have seen widespread industrial action as workers join together to demand wages are set high enough to cover the basic costs of living. As Clean Clothes Campaign partners the Garment Workers Trade Union Center explained in September Workers have been demanding a fair wage for a long time. Recent times have witnessed huge demonstrations and strikes in the apparel sector demanding wage increases and enhancement of other benefits. In Bangladesh itself garment workers get less than what workers in many other sectors receive as minimum wage. Even the poverty reduction project undertaken by the government envisage 18000 taka as minimum wage for a family.”

Clean Clothes Campaign is campaigning for all workers to receive a living wage. We believe that a minimum wage should be a living wage which allows a garment worker to earn enough in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) to be able to feed herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.

We urge the government of Bangladesh and the brands and retailers that buy from the country to take urgent steps to ensure every garment worker is paid a wage they can live on.
to read.
Site

* The RMG paradox: Best quality at the cheapest price:

We all know the price of a product is determined by its quality. The higher the quality of a product is, the better the price is charged. But things are just the opposite in case of garment export.

The buyers are creating pressure on the manufacturers to supply garments at a cheaper rate and at the same time they have to ensure the quality as well. We know the garments sector has been passing the most crucial time since its emergence.

The sector started its journey in early eighties on a limited scale. The exports then were worth few million dollars. But now it has exceeded the $ 20 billion mark and it is increasing with every passing year.
Two factors are working behind the export growth. One is the availability of labour and comparatively it is cheaper than in any other neighbouring country.
The net price Bangladesh receives is mainly charged for CM i.e., cutting and making. No significant development is visible in developing the backward linkage of the sector, though it has passed three long decades. Initially the sector was witnessing rapid growth and emerged as the main source of foreign exchange earnings for two decades.
But suddenly Bangladesh has started facing problems in the sector. It is natural that initially a country depends on low-tech, low-value and labour-intensive industries and then gradually moves to high-tech and high-value industries.
We see other Asian countries have gone through the same process and gradually they have diversified their industrial production.
Initially the wage rate of the garment sector was very low and as the industry is experiencing a rapid growth, pressure is being created to increase the wages of the workers alongside ensuring good working environment. It happens so throughout the world in every case.

Although a minimum wage has been fixed, the problem is still there. It needs further negotiation.
On the other hand, when it comes to the working condition, there is no set standard of it.
The garment manufacturers are very much confused about the standard they are to follow, as there is none of it set by the government or the buyers. Pressure is on the factory owners to comply with the safety standards set by the buyers.
(…)
First of all, we need to focus on the wage issue, especially the minimum wage.
If we think about the wage increase, the benefit is no doubt well-deserved. But…
read more.
FE bd

* BGMEA-workers leader talks:

The readymade garments factories owners and leaders of workers held a meeting on Wednesday night to find out a way to resolve the ongoing unrest in the sector.

With Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Atikul Islam in the chair, the meeting was attended by BGMEA ex-president Abdus Salam Murshedi, FBCCI ex president AK Azad, BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim and others leaders on behalf of garments owners.

Besides, a 50-member team of workers’ leaders attended in the meeting.
BGMEA sources said minimum wage is set to be announced finally on Thursday. Workers’ leaders were requested to control the situation after the announcement.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* PM asks RMG owners to keep labour leaders happy:

46 enterprises get Nat’l Export Trophy

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the RMG factory owners to consider what the labour leaders want that will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector.
‘Some labour leaders are fuelling the agitation from behind.

I will request you (RMG owners) to consider what the labour leaders want to make them happy,’ she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, in the Osmani Memorial Hall Auditorium in the city on Wednesday.
Hasina said: ‘I can’t say whether the pockets of labour leaders are getting heavier, but this is certain that the workers are being subjected to losses.’
(….)
Commerce minister GM Qader, commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed and FBCCI president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed also spoke at the function while Export Promotion Bureau vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose gave the welcome address.
Later, the prime minister distributed the National Export Trophy for 2010-11 among 46 enterprises in recognition of their contributions to the country’s export trade.
Of the trophies, 20 enterprises got gold medals, 15 got silver and 11 got bronze while another gold trophy was given to the highest export earner.
read more.
BD new age

* Top exporters awarded for excellence:

The government yesterday awarded trophies to 47 successful businesses for their extraordinary performances in exports in fiscal 2010-11.

This year’s programme played out amid concerns on labour unrest in the apparel industry, frequent hartals, vandalism and arson attacks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the trophies and certificates to the awardees at a programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka as the chief guest.
read more.
daily star bd

* “Good deal” for garment workers to benefit Awami League in poll-bound Bangladesh:

Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League-led coalition has averted one crisis. They have enough trouble anyway, the most important being the fallout of the war-crimes trials leading to fundamentalist violence and continuous Opposition strikes to force a return to the nonparty caretaker to conduct Parliament polls. The strikes affect commerce and exports.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was facing another unrest, affecting the ready-made garments industry. Garments fetched Bangladesh $19.2 billion last year, around 79% of its total export earnings of $24 billion.
(…)
Wages a Battle
Good harvests have reduced food imports. So, Bangladesh’s much-touted recent achievements are built wholly on its very-hard-working peasants and workers.

That is also why this year’s labour unrest in its garment factories, where the workforce is almost 80% women, was bad news for the government and the country. The minimum monthly wage for garment workers has been a paltry taka 3,000. It was last raised in 2010 just after the Awami League had come to power.

Prior to that, garment workers were being paid a measly taka 1,650 per month — just over taka 50 a day —for an eight-hour shift that would often stretch into 10-12 hours. With inflation rising and garment business booming on growing export orders, workers hit the streets demanding that their monthly wage be raised to taka 8,100 per month.
read more.
et

 

LW + 2

20131120

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Despite Denials, Levi’s Still Producing at SL Garment Factory:

U.S. denim giant Levi Strauss continued to deny this week that its products are linked to the strife-torn SL Garment Factory in Phnom Penh, despite new photographs showing Levi’s trademark jeans stacked on benches at the plant in Meanchey district.

The Singaporean-owned factory, which also produces clothing for U.S. brand Gap and Swedish retail giant H&M, has seen ongoing protests since early August. Last week, one woman was shot dead by police gunfire and several people injured during clashes between authorities and SL protesters.
In late September, a Levi Strauss representative announced that SL was no longer producing jeans for the company, though no specific reason was cited for the severing of ties with the garment producer.

Yet a visit to the SL factory on Friday revealed that workers were still working on piles of denim pants with the familiar red-and-white Levi’s label sewn onto its back pocket and inside waistband.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* One Week on, Shooting Investigation Has Yielded Nothing:

One week after police opened fire on civilians during clashes that broke out during an SL Garment Factory protest, killing bystander Eng Sokhom and injuring nine others, arrests have yet to be made on the back of an investigation that victims said appears to be going nowhere.

Rights group Licadho on Tuesday also confirmed that one of the 27-year-old survivors of the November 12 clash is now paralyzed for life after being shot in the spine.
“The Ministry of Interior has created a committee to study and investigate the people who violated [the law] and killed people,” said CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap.
“We are following the law, and when we see a perpetrator commit the crime, they must be punished. The quicker they are arrested, the better it will be.”
(…)
Seng Seth, a 23-year-old SL worker who was shot in the hand, said if the government was serious about investigating the incident, it would have interviewed him by now to understand his version of the events.

Naly Pilorge, director of Licadho, on Tuesday confirmed that one shooting victim will be paralyzed for life, while another will take at least five months to recover from abdominal injuries caused by a bullet.
She said Licadho is “outraged that [there has been] no investigation—or prosecution of any policeman or the Phnom Penh police commissioner—into the November 12 clashes that led to the killing of an innocent woman and serious injuries including bullet wounds of at least nine others.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Cambodian workers battling for their rights:

Garment worker strike continues after violence, highlighting need for reform, critics say.

When volleys of rocks and bricks thrown between hundreds of rioting garment workers and police gave way to the sound of live ammunition, Sve Ka ducked for cover behind a large, plastic drink vendor’s cooler on Veng Sreng Boulevard.

“Cambodia’s crazy!” the young woman said with a nervous chuckle as bullets whizzed by.
By the time demonstrators cleared the streets and traffic moved along the busy road as usual, police gunfire had killed a 49-year-old street-food vendor and wounded at least nine others, according to a count taken by rights group Licadho and the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), a local non-government organisation.

The initially peaceful march on November 12 marked the three-month anniversary of the day garment workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd walked off the job in protest over low wages and working conditions at the factory, which supplies Gap Inc and H&M. SL also supplied Levi Strauss & Co, until the brand stopped buying from the factory in August.
(…)

Low wages
Although the ruling Cambodian People’s Party earlier this year raised the monthly minimum wage for garment and footwear workers from $61 to $75, a joint study released in September by UK-based Labour Behind the Label and CLEC reported that single workers need an income of at least $150 to cover their basic needs. The same study found 25 percent of the 95 workers sampled were seriously malnourished.

Strikes at Cambodian garment factories are endemic, but often short-lived and end with few, if any, concessions from factory management.
Calamity ensued last week when about 600 striking SL employees – along with staffers from the Cambodian Labour Confederation and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which represents a large majority of SL’s 6,000 or so workers – clashed with police officers wielding riot shields and batons at Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey bridge.
read more.
aljazeera

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Labors Rally over Minimum Wage in Bekasi:

20131119 TEMPO

Bekasi saw a great deal of labor strike yesterday as thousands flocked the Regency Office, causing the administration to fail performing. The flock of labors waged protest, demanding an increase on minimum wage (UMK).

Chief of Bekasi Salary Council Effendi, stated that UMK discussion is yet to result in a definite number as there was a disagrrement between the labors and entrepreneurs. Labor union in Bekasi proposed UMK that ranges from Rp3,440,842 to Rp2,924,716. Meanwhile, Indonesia Entrepreneur Association in Bekasi stated to be able to fulfill only up to Rp2,302,300.
read more.
tempo-eng

* Bekasi workers demand higher wage:

Thousands of workers in Jakarta and its surrounding areas continued rallying on Monday to demand higher salaries, the provision of health care and the elimination of the outsourcing system.

In Bekasi regency, around 5,000 workers demonstrated in front of the regent’s office from 10 a.m. while waiting for the result of the Bekasi Wage Council’s meeting.

The head of the All-Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) Bekasi, Iman, told The Jakarta Post that workers were ready to strike in the same manner as they did last year — by blocking the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road — if their demands were not met by the regency administration.
read more.
jakartapost

* Three provinces have yet to set 2014 minimum wage: Minister:

Three provinces, namely Bali, Lampung and North Maluku, have yet to set their 2014 provincial minimum wage (UMP), which should have been determined by Nov.1.

“We ask all regional heads to pay special attention to the workers-employers mediation process in determining the UMP 2014,” said Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar in a press statement on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
“We continue to push for the process to be accelerated so that tensions between workers and employers can be avoided,” he went on.
read more.
jakartapost

* C. Java sets highest 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1.42 million:

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo approved the 2014 minimum wage (UMK) for regencies and municipalities in the province, on Tuesday.

Semarang City has the highest minimum wage across the province which amounts to Rp 1,423,500 (US$122.75) per month while the region with the lowest minimum wage is Purworejo regency with a minimum wage of Rp 910,000 per month.
read more.
jakartapost

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladeshi Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Protesting Garment Workers:

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesting Bangladeshi garment workers on Tuesday as unrest spread outside the capital here, a day after two demonstrators were killed during a protest for higher wages and better working conditions.

The government on Tuesday sent in troops from the Bangladesh Border Guard to restore order in factory areas. Weeks of sometimes-violent strikes have disrupted production in the apparel industry, which is a mainstay of the impoverished South Asian country’s economy.
(…)
Around four million people, mostly women, work in Bangladesh’s garment factories, which have become important suppliers of inexpensive clothing to retail chains in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The industry accounts for about 80% of Bangladesh’s merchandise exports.

Tuesday’s unrest flared after two workers died in a clash with police Monday evening outside the GMS Composite Knitting Ltd. factory in Gazipur, about 20 miles north of Dhaka. Police identified the dead workers as Badsha Mia, 25 years old, and Ruma Akter, 22, both workers at GMS.
Workers reached by telephone said police opened fire on protesters who were angry about an alleged assault on a seamstress at the factory. “We heard that a line chief had beaten up an [sewing-machine] operator,” said Nasima Akter, a worker at the factory. “We went outside to protest and clashes broke out with police. Then I heard gunshots.”
read more.
BDCHRONICLE

* 2 Protesting Garment Worker Dies and Hundreds Injured While Protesting for Minimum Wage 2013:

Two Protesting Garment Workers died on Monday 18 November 2013 while more than a hundred got injured in clashes between the Industrial Police and Garment Workers over the recent Minimum Wage declared by the Minimum Wage Board 2013.

The dead are Badsha Mia, 25, and Ruma Akter, 22, of GMS Composite Knitting Industries Ltd in Sardaganj of Kashimpur industrial belt. Protests were recording in Jamgorah, Shimultola, Gorat, Pukurpar, Ghoshbagh,  Narshinghpur in Ashulia, Hemayetpur of Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj District of the country.

Apart from the dead, at least six workers have received bullet wounds and dozens of other protesters are in Enam Medical College Hospital and Dhaka Medical College Hospital receiving treatment.
The protesters demand a minimum wage of around 8000BDT and a proportionate increase in the operators wage. The protests have been going on since months now and it has been the longest, strongest and the most talked about protest by workers in the history of Bangladesh.
read & see more (video report).

* PM asks RMG owners to keep labor leaders happy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the RMG owners to see what the labor leaders want that will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector.

“Some labor leaders are fueling the agitation from behind. I will request you (RMG owners) to see what the labor leaders want to make them happy,” she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
Hasina said: “I can’t say whether the pockets of labor leaders are getting heavier, but this is certain that the workers are being subjected to losses.”

She requested the agitating RMG workers to go back to their work leaving the streets and agitations as at present all RMG factories are very busy with orders for the upcoming Christmas season.

The Prime Minister said the orders will be canceled if these are not fulfilled in time. In such an event, many factories will be shut down and the workers will have to go back to their home with empty hand.
Mentioning the present government’s initiatives to increase the wages of the RMG workers, she said the wages have been increased twice in the last four years. “When we took office in 1909, I saw that the minimum wage for the RMG workers was Tk 1600 only. We took the initiative to increase it to Tk 3000 in 2010.”
read more. & to read.& read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT newstodayBD FE bd

* PM alerts RMG owners to misguiding labour leaders:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the ready-made garment (RMG) owners to see what the labour leaders want which will stop the ongoing anarchy in the sector, reports UNB.

“Some labour leaders are fuelling the agitation from behind. I will request you (RMG owners) to see what the labour leaders want to make them happy,” she said at a function, marking the distribution of the National Export Trophy 2010-2011, at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
read more.& read more. & read more.
FE bd primenews Ittefaq

* Shun violence, join work, PM to RMG workers:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the agitating garment workers to join the work by shunning the violent acts in the name of wage hike.

“I would like to tell the apparel sector workers to go to work and boost production. Otherwise they will have to return home with empty hand by loosing the job due to their excessiveness and if the factories are closed and orders are cancelled or go to other countries,” she said.
The Prime Minister added the workers should realize this situation in the greater interest of the sector.
(…)
The Prime Minister said this time is very crucial for the garment sector as X-mas is knocking the door. “We will have to catch the market of the X-mas. If we fail to do that, the buyer would not give any order,” she said.

She said it would affect the country’s entire garment industry including four million workers. “I don’t know whether the pockets of some labour leaders would be heavier or not, but I can surely say that the workers will be worst losers,” she said..
(…)
Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government has been taking necessary initiatives for expansion of trade and commerce.

“I always say the businessmen will do business, while the responsibility of the government is to provide assistance to them. We have been doing this work for the last five years,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the entrepreneurs of Bangladesh are labourious and talented. “You have already proved your capability of sustaining in the competition with entrepreneurs of any country,” she said.
read more. & to read. & to read.  & to read.  & read more. & read more.
BSS BD new age  daily star bd  BDCHRONICLE  bdnews24 DHAKATRIBUNE

* Labor ministry calls urgent talks:

The Ministry for Labor and Employment affairs convened an urgent meeting with workers’ leaders of readymade garments industries to fix next steps to resolve the ongoing unrest in the sector.

The meeting will be held at the conference room of the ministry at secretariat around 3:00pm Wednesday.
Public relations officer of the ministry SM Arifuzzaman confirmed the matter to banglanews.
With Labor Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu in the chair, the meeting will also be attended by state minister for labor and employment affairs Munnujan Sufian and representatives from RMG owners-workers and law enforcement agencies.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* Workers’ demo- 30 RMG units shut in Ashulia:

The authorities of 30 garment factories declared shut their factories on Wednesday amid workers protest in Ashulia, on the outskirts of Dhaka city.

Sources said that following the workers protest some workers of garments factories took position on roads and started throwing brick-chips aiming factories at around 9:30am.
On information, police rushed to the spot and fired tear shells, rubber bullets and water canon to disperse the workers, leaving 20 workers injured.
But workers claimed that 40 people sustained injuries during police action in the protest.
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd

* Gazipur RMG factories reopen:

Thousands of workers started working again in several readymade garment factories in Konabari-Kashimpur area in the district from Wednesday morning amid tight security.

Regarding the situation, Sub-Inspector Saiful Islam of Kashimpur outpost told banglanews, “A good number of garment units remained opened and workers were working the peacefully.”
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* 10 injured in Police-RMG workers’ clash in Gazipur:

The authorities announced the factories closed for the day

At least 10 people, including two police constables, were injured in a clash between law enforcers and readymade garments (RMG) worker in Gazipur’s Tongi on Wednesday.

The police constables are Shahinul Islam, 38, and Badsha Fahad, 35.
Witnesses said workers of Ananta Garments Limited at Pagar in Tongi BISIC area staged demonstrations in the factory compound, demanding the implementation of the government-mandated minimum wage and protesting the attack on the workers by police on Tuesday.

Later, the worker of Shishir Knitting and Surf Excel Garments joined them.
The RMG workers locked into a clash with law enforcers when police tried to disperse the crowd whist the workers blocked the road and staged a protest rally in the area at around 11am.
Officer-in-chage of Tongi police station Abul Kalak Azad said police charged at the protesters and fired 20 teargas shells and rounds rubber bullets to disperse the workers leaving 10 people injured.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

——

* Violence goes on unabated in apparel hubs:

Garment manufacturers are holding a series of parleys to put an end to the ongoing workers’ agitation that rocked the country’s two important apparel hubs – Ashulia and Gazipur – Tuesday also.  

The Ministry of Labour and Employment officials will also sit with the garment sector stakeholders today (Wednesday) to find out ways for resolving the unrest.

During the last three days, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sat with RMG owners, worker leaders, law enforcers and government officials concerned for a number of occasions to restore normalcy at garment units.

But the meetings are yet to bring any positive output, as the unrest stretched to 15th consecutive day Tuesday, causing production suspension in a number of units. Production in around 50 garment factories was suspended on the day following the latest spell of violence. At least 40 people, mostly workers, were injured in sporadic clashes between workers and law enforcers.

Police charged baton on the protestors and fired teargas shells and rubber bullets to contain the situation, fuelling further violence.

Witnesses said the violence erupted at about 8:45am Tuesday, when workers of several factories at Baipail, Zirabo, Jamgora, Shimultola, Norsinghapur and Palshabari in Ashulia RMG belt went on rampage, demanding implementation of the proposed wage hike from November.
Talking to the FE, assistant director of Industrial Police-1 (Ashulia and Savar) Md. Shahid Ullah said the workers joined their work in the morning, but came out of their respective units just after a few minutes.  “On the way to leave, they started attacking nearby factories to attach more protestors in their demonstration, creating disruption of production,” he said.

The senior police official said the latest wage structure somehow created confusion among the RMG workers, as they are not sure how much money they will get after implementation of the latest wage board.

 ”This is the main problem. Nobody takes the matter seriously. The confusion among the operators should be cleared, as they accounted for nearly 75 per cent of the industry’s total workforce,” he added.
read more.
FE bd

* Garment workers seek clarity over wage:

Protesters act over misinformation; 100 factories shut and 30 injured in clashes

20131120 DAILYSTAR Garment-workers
Police stand guard to disperse the garment workers who took to the streets in the industrial zone of Ashulia yesterday, following the death of two workers in Gazipur earlier. They are also calling for higher wage. Photo: Star

Confusion over new salary structure and rumours of casualties in other garment factories have been causing the labour unrest in Ashulia and Gazipur over the last couple of weeks, much to the frustrations of garment owners.

“When I went to the management to find out how much I would get under the new salary structure, I was informed that it may be Tk 8,500,” said a female worker of Rose Dresses in Jamgarah in Ashulia.
She now gets Tk 8,000 per month, meaning a pay rise of possibly just Tk 500 is forthcoming in contrast to the 77 percent salary hike for entry-level workers.
“This is totally unfair. An entry-level worker would get a raise of Tk 2,300 whereas I, an experienced worker, would get only Tk 500. How is this just?”
Amena Khatun, a sewing operator in another factory in Ashulia, too, felt hard done by.

“The new salary structure doesn’t bring any good news for us—they didn’t think of our interests but only of entry-level workers. This is unacceptable.”
Mamun, a sewing operator at Quaval Textile at Konabari in Gazipur, however, is holding his reservations until he hears an official announcement from the factory announcement.
“We just heard from workers in other factories that a pay rise is on the way. The authorities didn’t tell us anything yet but people are getting all worked up and fighting.”
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers go wild in Ashulia, Gazipur:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage through different areas of Ashulia and Gazipur.

On Tuesday morning protesting against the death of their two fellows in Monday’s clash and demanding Tk8,300 minimum monthly wage.
In Ashulia, workers of about 30 garment factories in Jamgora, Jirabu, Narasinghapur and Polasbari areas took position in front of their respective factories not taking part in regular works in the morning and were chanting slogans on the death of two apparel workers in a clash in Gazipur yesterday (Monday), said Mustafizur Rahman, director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
During the demonstration, the workers also raised a voice for Tk8,300 as minimum wage.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* RMG unrest in Ashulia, Gazipur, 80 units shut:

Readymade garment (RMG) workers went on the rampage through different areas of Ashulia and Gazipur on Tuesday morning protesting against the death of their two colleagues in Monday’s clash and demanding Tk8,300 minimum monthly wage.

In Ashulia, workers of about 30 garment factories in Jamgora, Jirabu, Narasinghapur and Polasbari areas took position in front of their factories and were chanting slogans.
Later, all workers put up barricade on the Abdullahpur-Bypile road disrupting vehicle movement.
Police rushed to the spot and dispersed the unruly workers by spraying teargas, leaving 25 people injured.
The authorities of the 30 factories declared holiday for today (Tuesday) apprehending further trouble.
read more. & read more. & read more.
Ittefaq bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Massive protests erupt in Bangladesh over pay rise death:

Thousands of garment workers Tuesday staged violent demonstration after two of their colleagues died Monday evening when the laborers, demanding higher minimum wage, clashed with police in a key apparel hub.

The unrest entered the 15th consecutive day Tuesday despit the garment owners agreed to a new wage at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Nov. 13.
A senior police official in Gazipur industrial zone told Xinhua that the workers started demonstration in industrial hubs in Gazipur and Ashulia on the outskirts of capital Dhaka, protesting the death of two workers during Monday’s clash with cops.

The official who refused to be identified said the protestors also demanded a higher minimum wage and immediate reopening of the factories, which were shut down last month following labor unrest over salary.
Most of Ashulia’s 782 garment factories have declared a holiday on Tuesday, fearing more violence.
read more.
GLOBALTIMES

* RMG unrest continues in Gazipur, BGB deployed:

Around 50 factory owners also shut down their factories in the areas on Tuesday to avoid any untoward situation

20131120 DHAKATRIBUNE BGB-ashulia
BGB members’ petrol in the Ashulia area because of consecutive clashes between workers and law enforcers in the area in recent days

Garment workers in Gazipur continued their demonstrations on Tuesday, protesting the killings of two labourers in Sardaganj area of Gazipur sadar upazila on Monday.

Workers of Konabari, Borobari and Sardagnaj areas of the district also raised calls for a pay-hike and the withdrawal of closure notices by the factories.
A chase and counter-chase took place between the workers and the police, after law enforcers hurled teargas shells to disperse processions brought out by the workers.
Nazrul Islam, inspector of Gazipur Industrial Police, said the police fired two rounds of rubber bullet to disperse another procession brought out by garment workers in Gazipur’s Konabari-Kashimpur area at around 8am.

Later at around 10am, agitated workers hurled brick chips towards a team of police led by an executive magistrate, when the team was heading towards Konabari. Police shot rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Meanwhile, Border Guard Bangladesh personnel, along with additional police and Rab members, have been deployed in the area to control the situation.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG owners sit with Home Minister:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) are holding an urgent meeting with Home Minister MK Alamgir and higher authorities of Labor Ministry and officers of intelligence agencies on Tuesday noon.   

The meeting started at around 12:30pm at home ministry amid continuous workers’ unrest in Ashulia and adjacent garment hubs.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Govt to prevent RMG violence sternly:

State Minister for Home Affairs Ministry on Tuesday categorically said the law enforcement agency would take stern action against the miscreants involved in vandalism and sabotage in readymade garment sector.

He also said the police administration has already been given directives in this regard.
The ruling Awami League lawmaker came up with the assertion in the afternoon.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

Readymade garment factory owners have urged the government to take action against those behind the recent unrest in the factories.

BGMEA and BKMEA leaders met the Minister and State Minister for Home on Tuesday and discussed the recent agitation in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur industrial zones over the past several days.

Md Hatem, Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said they had accepted the minimum monthly wage of Tk 5,300 even though they were not in a position to pay the amount.
“Why is this anarchy persisting even after that?” he asked.
Garment workers are agitating every day even after the owners following the intervention of the Prime Minister have agreed to pay them Tk 5,300 as minimum monthly wage recommended by the government-sponsored wage board.
Earlier, the workers’ leaders demanded Tk 8,114 as minimum monthly wage.
read more.
bdnews24

* 60 injured as apparel workers, police clash:

At least 60 people were injured as apparel workers protesting against Monday’s killing of two of their fellows battled with the police in Gazipur and Ashulia for the second straight day on Tuesday.

Garment factory workers have been staging protests in the industrial belt for the last few days also for an upward revision of the minimum monthly wage announced by the wages board and in protest at closure of some apparel units in the face of the unrest.
Earlier on Monday, two apparel workers, including a woman, were killed and over 250 others injured as the police opened fire to break up violent demonstrations at Kashimpur in Gazipur.
A team of BGMEA met with home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on the day to discuss the latest flare-up of violence in the garment sector while state minister for home affairs Shamsul Haque warned the troublemakers of stern action.

New Age Gazipur correspondent reported that at least 15 apparel workers were injured, five of them hit by bullets, as several hundred protesters clashed with the police at Konabari-Sardaganj.
Gazipur police sub-inspector Jahangir Alam said the trouble begatn after GMS Composite Knitting Industry management had hung a notice in the morning declaring the factory closed for the time being.
read more.
BD new age

* Government to bring RMG troublemakers to book:

The RMG workers have been agitating to press their demand for Tk8,000 against Tk5,300 , decided by the government

The government has assured the owners of readymade garment (RMG) factories that the troublemakers of the garment sector would be identified and brought to book.

“The process is underway to identify and bring the instigators responsible for creating unrest in garment factories to book,” State Minister for Home, Shamsul Hoque Tuku told the media at his office after a meeting on Tuesday.

Following frequent unrests in the RMG units and the death of two garment workers on Monday, the home ministry held the meeting to assess the current situation of the industry, including the wages and allowances of workers.

The RMG workers have been agitating to press their demand for Tk8,000 as monthly minimum wage, against Tk5,300 decided by the government.

Home Minister MK Alamgir presided over the meeting, which was attended by, among others, Home Ministry Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmud Khandkar, Labour Secretary Mikhail Shipper, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Aziz Ahmed and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Atiqul Islam.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG sector working state among global worst: ILO:

The working conditions in the garment sector in Bangladesh have been among the worst in the global garment industry despite the fact that the country enjoyed relatively high economic growth over the past two decades due mainly to readymade garment exports, said a report of the International Labour Organisation released on Monday.

The report ‘Bangladesh: Seeking better employment conditions for better socioeconomic outcomes’ put emphasis on the importance of improving working conditions in the RMG industry to achieve sustainable growth in the country.
The ILO research department prepared the report in consultation with the organisation’s tripartite constituents in Bangladesh.
The report said, ‘Unless a comprehensive set of labour market and social policies are introduced, the country will be unable to maintain its economic momentum and improve living standards in a sustainable way.’
read more.
BD new age

* Better RMG working terms key to sustainable economic growth: ILO:

Bangladesh needs to improve the working conditions in its garment industry for attaining a sustainable economic growth, an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report said.  

“Bangladesh must improve working conditions in its garment industry which is also crucial for achieving sustainable growth in the country,” said the ILO report.
The ILO released the study report titled “Bangladesh: Seeking better employment conditions for better socio-economic outcomes” in Geneva on September 18.
(….)
For example, Bangladesh’s garment sector workers earn some of the lowest wages in the region. As of August 2013, the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers in the garment sector was US$39 per month, about half of the lowest rate in other major garment-exporting countries, such as Cambodia (US$80), India (US$71), Pakistan (US$79), Sri Lanka (US$73) and Vietnam (US$78).

While some other countries revise their minimum wages on a regular basis, Bangladesh has adjusted the RMG minimum wage only three times since it was first set in 1985 – with the last revision dating back to 2010. A wage board constituted this year is expected to make recommendations for a minimum wage increase shortly.
read more.  & read more.
FE bd  daily star bd

LW + 2

20131119

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* No violence main goal, SL exec says:

The director of the company that operates the embattled SL Garment factory suggested yesterday that he would comply with a government order to reinstate 19 union representatives and activists involved in a deadly months-long strike.

In an interview at the factory in Meanchey district, Joseph Kee Leung Lee, director of Singapore-based SL International Holdings, refused to directly say whether his company would accept back the 19 workers but said he supported the government’s intervention to end the dispute, which saw a bullet claim the life of a bystander during a clash between strikers and police last week.

“If they come back and that is the order of the government, I have no choice,” he said. “I support the government in stopping the strike and calming down everyone.”

Lee would not comment in detail on the 19 workers – members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) – saying to do so while SL was trying to sue them would be “contempt of court”, but said it would be difficult for them to show up to work again.
read more.
PPP new

* SL Management Agrees to Reinstate 19 Fired Union Members:

A week after police opened fire on stone-throwing protesters from the SL Garment Factory, the company’s director said Monday he would follow an order from the Council of Ministers to reinstate 19 union activists previously fired by the firm.

Joseph Lee, SL’s director, said that the factory had no choice but to follow the government’s order, which was posted to the Ministry of Labor’s website on Friday and signed by Council of Ministers Undersecretary of State Khun Chin Ken.
“If it is an order from the government, we have to follow it. We have to obey the Cambodian law,” he said of the order.

“If they [the 19 union leaders] come back, I will treat them as workers. I don’t care about the other side,” Mr. Lee said, referring to the fired workers membership in the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), which has organized three months of strikes and protests.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Union to Hold 5,000-Strong March During CNRP Protest:

The president of the worker’s union that has led a three-month strike at the SL Garment Factory in Phnom Penh said Monday he would lead a march of 5,000 workers through the city on December 10 when the opposition CNRP also plans to hold its next mass demonstration.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said on Sunday that the opposition party plans to hold mass demonstrations throughout the country early next month to demand an investigation into the lethal use of live ammunition by police at a violent protest by SL Garment Factory workers last Tuesday.
CNRP lawmaker-elect Mu Sochua said that December 10—International Human Rights Day—had been selected as the date of the demonstrations.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), said that members from his union would also gather in Phnom Penh on Human Rights Day to march.
“We have a plan to march 5,000 workers. We are going to gather and march as we do every year,” he said.
read more. & read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo PPP new

* CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers:

Leaders of the opposition CNRP said Sunday that the party will hold demonstrations throughout the country on December 10 to demand an investigation into the use of live ammunition by police during a garment worker protest in Phnom Penh last week.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said the demonstration would seek justice for the victims of the police violence at the SL Garment Factory protest on Tuesday, who included Eng Sokhom, a 49-year-old rice vendor who was shot dead nearby.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesia Unions Announce Another Strike as Wage War Continues:

The head of Indonesia’s largest union organization has announced a new strike across several regions of the archipelago to pressure provincial governments into making greater concessions on minimum wage, a report by the state-run news agency said on Monday.

“The peak will be on Nov. 25-26,” head of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers (KSPI) Said Iqbal said as quoted by the state-run Antara news agency. “When all factories in industrial areas in Jakarta will stop production and thousands of workers will head to City Hall to force governor [Joko Widodo] to revise the minimum wage in Jakarta at around Rp 3 million [$258].”

In addition to next week’s scheduled strike, workers were planning on demonstrating in front of the Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) building on Monday.

The cost of labor in Indonesia is frequently cited as one of the factors that has driven foreign investment and enabled domestic companies to compete in the region, especially as China’s advantage in this regard has been ceded, to an extent, by approximately 15 percent aggregated wage hikes each year over the last decade.
read more.
jak-globe

* Big minimum wage rises in Badung, Denpasar:

The regional administrations in two of Bali’s economic barometers – Denpasar and Badung – have decided to increase the 2014 minimum wage by 23 per cent and 14 per cent respectively starting in January.

The raises were higher than the usual annual increase of around 10 per cent.
The minimum wage in Badung, the province’s richest regency, will rise to Rp1.72 million (Bt4,600) from the current Rp1.4 million. Meanwhile, in the island’s capital city, it will go up to Rp1.56 million from Rp1.36 million in 2013.
read more.
theNATIONnew

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. Indonesia Unions Announce Another Strike as Wage War Continues.
Read the full article here.
2. Bekasi City Minimum Wage Rp. 2.441.954, Depok Rp 2.397.000.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia).
3. Ahok: No Revisions on Minimum Wage. Read the full article here.
4. South Korean Garment Companies Requesting for No Wages Increment in 2014. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

5. Yogya minimum wage to increase by 10%. Read the full article here.
6. Minimum Wage in Central Java will increase in average of 16.6% next year. Read the full article here
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

7. Court Orders Businesses to Pay Laborers Minimum Wage.
Read the full article here.

BetterWork Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur:

At least 50 people were injured as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,300 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, Monday.

In Savar, at least 30 garment workers were injured in a clash with policemen at Jamgora and Hemayetpurin the morning.
The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.

Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT BDCHRONICLE primenews newstodayBD

* 2 killed as RMG workers, cops clash in Gazipur- 140 factories shut:

20131118 UNB Unrest-Savar-RMG
Photo by UNB

Two garment workers were killed and 50 were injured, four of bullet-hit, during a clash with police in Kashimpur of Gazipur this afternoon.

Badsha Mia, 32, dies of bullet injuries at Enam Medical College Hospital around 4:00pm, said Zahidur Rahman, public relation director at the hospital.
Ruma Akhtar, 22, died on the spot during the clash, reports our Gazipur correspondent.
Among the injured, four bullet-hit workers were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital as their condition was stated to be critical.
Sources said the clash ensued around 3:30pm when a factory official physically assaulted a female worker. The workers protested the incident and got into a clash with the factory officials.

20131118 UNB Unrest-Savar-RMG-2
Photo by UNB
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd UNB NEWNATIONnew

* Two RMG workers killed in clashes with police:

Two apparel workers, including a woman, were killed and over 250 others injured as the police opened fire to disperse workers who were staging violent protests against the assault on a fellow at a factory of GMS Composite Knitting Industry at Kashimpur in Gazipur, some 30km from the capital.

The deceased were identified as Ruma,22,from Rangpur and Badsha Mia,26, from Char Magadia in Faridpur.
Police denied responsibility for the shooting and killings.
Both Ruma and Badsha were taken to Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar where the attending doctor declared them dead at 4:00pm.
Public relations officer of the hospital Jahidul Islam confirmed the death of Badsha Mia who was hit by a bullet in the head and died before reaching the hospital. Six other workers with bullet wounds were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
(…)
The clashes broke out when around 10,000 workers were staging protests against the assault of a female worker by a production manager of the sewing section of the factory. The angry workers burned spent tyres on the road and vandalised different establishments turning the area into a virtual battlefield.
(…)
The workers continued with protests pressing for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage, while apparel factory owners, after a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on November 13, accepted the award of the Minimum Wage Board fixing Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for apparel workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 140 factories closed in new wage protest:

Almost 140 Bangladeshi garment factories were shut on Monday as thousands of workers protesting at a new minimum wage clashed with police outside Dhaka, police and manufacturers said.

Protests at poor wages and working conditions have gained in intensity since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in April, which killed 1,135 people.
Police said violence erupted at Ashulia, home to Bangladesh’s biggest garment plants which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, at Konabari in the industrial district of Gazipur north of Dhaka and in other parts of Gazipur.

The trigger for the new protests was worker unhappiness at the new minimum wage the government has announced for the country’s four million garment workers.
Although the minimum monthly salary for entry-level workers has been raised by 76 percent to $68 as of December, unions have complained that skilled employees have been deprived, while some bosses cut food and transport allowances.

The new wages still leave Bangladeshi garment workers as some of the lowest paid in the sector worldwide.
“At least 10,000 workers demonstrated at Konabari. They threw rocks at the officers. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas,” Shamsur Rahman, a spokesman for the industrial police, told AFP.
read more.
Ittefaq

* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur:

At least 50 people were injured Monday as garment workers demonstrating for Tk 8,300 minimum wage clashed with law enforcers in Gazipur and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, reports UNB.

In Savar, at least 30 garment workers were injured in a clash with policemen at Jamgora and Hemayetpur Monday morning.

The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.

Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
read more.
FE bd

* No respite from unrest:

More clashes in Ashulia, Savar garment hubs; two killed in clashes over beating of a worker

Two garment workers have been killed and at least 50 others were injured in a clash with police in Gazipur.

The dead were identified as Badsha Mia, 25, a pattern master and Ruma Akter, 22, a worker of GMS Composite Knitting Industries Ltd in Sardaganj of Kashimpur industrial belt.
The clash erupted after several thousand workers started demonstrating and vandalizing in and around the factory yesterday after a production manager had allegedly beaten up a female factory worker.
Meanwhile, labour unrest in RMG sector continues over the minimum wage as garment workers in the two key industrial belts of Ashulia and Savar yesterday took to the streets and clashed with police which left more than 50 people injured.

GAZIPUR
The injured workers of the Gazipur incident said a production manager of GPS Composite beat up a female worker of the sewing section prompting fellow workers to demonstrate inside the factory.
Besides, more than 10,000 workers started demonstrating outside the factory and turned violent when the authorities opened the gate of the factory.
(…)
Ashulia and Savar
Six people, including a nine year old child named Jony, received bullet wounds and at least 46 others were injured as apparel workers clashed with the law enforcers in Ashulia and Savar demanding Tk 8,114 as the minimum wage instead of Tk 5,300 recommended by a garment workers’ wage board and accepted by almost all workers’ federations and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Of the injured, the condition of Babul, 28, a worker of AM Design Ltd, was stated to be in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG unrest continues in Ashulia, Gazipur:

BGB deployed in Gazipur

Unrest in garment factories continued workers were demonstrated in Ashulia and Gazipur demanding pay hike on Tuesday morning.

A number of garment factories were closed on Tuesday following the demonstration.
Witnesses said workers clashed with law enforcers in the Jamgara, Jirabo and Shinultali areas of Savar this morning.
The garment workers also staged sporadic demonstrations in the Konabari area in Gazipur around 8am.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT  BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

* RMG unrest continues, 50 units shut:

The labour unrest brewed in the industrial belt of Ashulia and Gazipur over salary hike continued for the 15th consecutive day today, forcing the authorities to shut at least 50 garment factories.

During today’s unrest, at least 10 workers received minor injuries as they clashed with law enforcers in Ashulia.
The workers have been demonstrating from November 5 for a minimum wage of Tk 8,114 instead of Tk 5,300.
Today’s turmoil also linked to the deaths of two RMG workers in Gazipur. The workers killed during a clash with police yesterday.
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Rapid Action Battalion personnel, who were deployed in Ashulia and Gazipur yesterday, were seen patrolling along the highway to keep vehicular movement normal, as road blockade is a common phenomenon for the workers’ protest.
Of the closed factories, at least 20 situated in Ashulia industrial belt while 32 in Gazipur, reports our correspondents.

ASHULIA
Around 3,000 workers of different RMG units located at Jamgarah, Nishchintapur, Narasinghapur, Deron, Unique and Shimultola took to the streets around 9:00am.
The workers tried to put barricade at Jamgarah but were resisted by police, said Ashulia Industrial Police Director Mostafizur Rahman.
GAZIPUR
Nazrul Islam, an inspector of Gazipur industrial police, said a clash ensued between law enforcers and the workers when the latter brought out a procession at Konabari in Sadar upazila around 8:00am, protesting the deaths of two RMG workers during yesterday’s clash with cops.
read more.
daily star bd

* Garment sector instability continues despite pay raise:

Worker dissatisfaction continues despite RMG factory owners finally agreeing to a higher minimum monthly salary of Tk 5,300.

The workers are continuing their violent demonstrations in demand of a monthly salary of Tk 8,000, mainly concentrated around the Gazipur and Ashulia areas.
However, field investigations reveal a that a group of trade union leaders are intentionally inciting workers to protest by spreading politically motivated rumours. 

Workers’ representative on the wage board, Sirajul Islam Rony said he received news of the murder of two workers in Savar whose bodies were at a local hospital, but when he went to inspect, he found the news to be fabricated.
There is also dissatisfaction over the new minimum wage as the new wage is unilateral for both skilled and unskilled workers. Moreover, the basic pay has also been reduced.

Sources said there are around 60 garment workers trade unions in the country, but only 10-15 unions are active. The rest do not have control over their members. Thus, their promises of ceasing further violence hold no value.
read more.
Ittefaq

* RMG factory owners plan to discuss price rise of products with buyers:

The country’s ready-made garment (RMG) makers are planning to start negotiations with international buyers on enhancement of the prices of apparel products. They feel the rise will help the industry implement the proposed new wage structure for the workers at factories, industry insiders said.

According to them, the buyers have expressed their willingness to raise the apparel product prices by 5.0 per cent from the existing level, following a 77 per cent pay hike proposed by the wage board.

“We have decided to sit with the buyers’ forum to explain the overall situation of the garment industry, including the proposed wage hike,” Md Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE.

All the buyers’ representatives will be invited in Dhaka this month to discuss the ongoing issues, he said, adding: “we will request them to convey the matter to their respective head offices so that they raise the product prices in line with the wage hike.”
read more.
FE bd

* The factors that can do wonders in RMG sector:

Human resource management (HRM) is generally ignored in our country. Most of the organisations have no separate HRM department for motivating employees psychologically, reviewing their performance, addressing the problems they face and conducting research on how to increase productivity.

The human resources are treated like machines of productivity. Still machines need overhauling, but in the case with human resources any psychological motivation of them is rarely considered.

Though a number of companies have separate HRM departments, those are run by a very few non-technical or non-professional people having no or limited skill and experience about HRM. They are simply deployed to keep essential administrational records on manpower in different units or sections. They have nothing to do with the technical assessment and initiatives intended to get the best output.

There is no doubt about the fact that the organisations that are paying minimum wages employ employees having the minimum skill level. Those organisations run traditionally even at the cost of workers’ interest. So, minimum wages mean minimum labour cost that depends on the minimum living standard of the particular group of workers.

The garment workers’ representatives claimed Tk 8,300 as the minimum wage while the government-formed wage board recommended Tk 5,300. Initially the apparel makers’ bodies-Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association-did not agree to accept Tk 5,300 as the minimum wages.
But with the intervention from the Prime Minister they agreed to accept it. But will that put an end to the unrest in the readymade garment (RMG) sector? Actually the RMG sector needs to be disciplined by ensuring proper HR management and compliance with corporate governance standards.
read more.
FE bd

* Minimum Wage 2013 Infographic:

20131119 RISE infographic-bangladesh-2013-minw

After the agreement of all authorized parties (Minimum Wage Board, BGMEA and the Worker Representatives), regardless of the clashes and unrest seen across the country and the demand of workers for a higher minimum wage and the operators for a proportionate increase to their wages, the minimum wage sails towards being a law from 1 December 2013.

With many stories and challenges circling around it, this wonderful info-graphic gives a nice glimpse into the dynamics of the decision that the workers will need to live with for years to come.
to read.

* ILO on BD RMG crisis: Decent working conditions must:

Improving working conditions in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) industry is crucial for achieving sustainable growth in the country, says a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to the report, Bangladesh experienced relatively high economic growth over the past two decades, mainly due to garment exports. The country accounted for 4.8 per cent of global apparel exports in 2011, compared with only 0.6 per cent in 1990.

But unregulated industry growth has contributed to poor working conditions in that sector, which have acted as an obstacle to sustainable development and, moreover, resulted in some of the worst industrial disasters on record.

For example, Bangladeshi garment sector workers earn some of the lowest wages in the region. As of August 2013, the monthly minimum wage for entry-level workers in the garment sector was US$39 per month – about half of the lowest rate in other major garment-exporting countries, such as Cambodia (US$80), India (US$71), Pakistan (US$79), Sri Lanka (US$73) and Viet Nam (US$78).
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 daily star bd

18:17:9 0 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Labour activists demand inspection of factories:

Labour activists on Friday vowed to continue their struggle for the rights of the workers until the government fulfills the registration of factories and restore the procedure of labour inspection in the industries across the country as per the law.

At a protest rally taken out in solidarity with the workers killed in the Baldia factory fire, the activists under the umbrella Workers Rights Movement (WRM), also decided not to sit quiet until the contract system from the industrial sector is eliminated, which they termed as ‘a curse for the laborers’.

The rally began which began at Regal Chowk ended at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) was lead by Usman Baloch, Nasir Mansoor, Jafar Khan, Gul Rahman and others. A large numbers of laborers of different industrial zones, students, political workers, women and human rights associations participated in the protest.
The speakers urged the government to accept the due demands of the familes of Baldia factory fire which they have been making since the day the tragedy struck.
(…)
They said the greed of capitalists to squeeze large profits and non-implementation of labour laws on industrial sector created this deadly incident of Ali Enterprises in which around 300 labourers were burnt alive.
(…)

They said they have no basic right to form union at factories. According to them practically labour inspection is suspended at all the industries which is causing so many deaths of workers these days. They said the laborers are being treated as salves and they are being forced to work 12 to 14 hours in factories which is denial of the their basic rights.

They said majority of the workers have no other option but to work in inhuman environment and contract system has been imposed on them do deny their rights.

The speakers of the rally were of the view that the laborers are not being awarded the minimum wage of Rs8,000 per month which the government had set for unskilled workers. They lamented that majority of the workers have not been registered with Social Security Institute, Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institute (EOBI) and with other organizations which were established to protect the rights of the workers. They said these workers have no right to get pension which they deserve if they are registered accordingly.
(…)

They demanded restoration of labour inspection at all the factories and at all industrial zones besides practicing safety measures at industries to safeguards the lives of the workers.

They demanded eight hour working schedule for the labourers and also demanded appointment letters for all of them besides eliminating contract system from the industrial sector.
read more.
thenewspk

LW + 2

20131118

20:17:9 0 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Stanley Kang says the garment industry needs to adopt a new approach:

Despite higher production costs, Thailand can still serve as a hub for apparel production and trading in Asean by offering complete solutions with creativity and innovation, a key player said last week.

“Value-adding must be adopted, otherwise we cannot have a place in this competitive market,” Stanley Kang, senior manager of Tuntex Textile (Thailand) Co, a leading textile and garment manufacturer in Asean, said last week.
Thailand will not be a place for low-end production so it needs to focus more on creativity and innovation, he said.

The garment industry should not limit itself to production, but must become a service provider by offering innovation and consulting on fabrics and designs.
Thailand has to deal with higher costs. The Bt300 minimum wage introduced early this year has driven many producers into expanding operations in otherAsean countries.
Thailand can still be a centre for the production and trading of textiles and apparel if enterprises learn to develop themselves for not only producing goods but also providing “total solutions” to customers.
read more.
theNATIONnew

* Drop costly populist ploys, businessmen tell parties:

Academics and the private sector say the political parties should not resort to populist measures such as a hike in the minimum wage and farm subsidies in order to win votes or gain popularity, as such policies damage industrial growth and add to the country’s financial problems.

They are worried that if there is a change in government in the current political climate, the parties will again use such populist policies in a bid to win over the electorate.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the government should not increase the minimum wage again next year, as the current market mechanism had already adjusted some wages to as much as Bt350-Bt400 a day. The current daily minimum wage across the country is Bt300.
read more.
theNATIONnew

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Government steps in:

Government officials have ordered SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd to reinstate 19 fired union representatives and activists, seemingly removing the final barrier to resolving the months-long strike that turned deadly last week.

The government has also promised to pay the medical bills of at least three factory workers injured when police opened fire on strikers, killing a bystander, in the capital last Tuesday.

The Ministry of Labour sent SL a letter on Friday, relaying that the Council of Ministers – following approval from Prime Minister Hun Sen – had ordered the factory to rehire the 19 fired members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), the union representing a large majority of SL’s roughly 6,000-person workforce.

The November 15 order, posted on the Ministry of Labour’s website, came days after the ministry and NGOs facilitated a marathon negotiation session between C.CAWDU officials and SL management, which ended when the two sides reached an impasse over the fired workers.
(…)
Union leaders and SL have yet to sign an official agreement ending the strike. At the Tuesday meeting, SL verbally agreed to pay workers 50 per cent of wages they would have earned during the strike, and that Meas Sotha – who hired armed military police to stand guard inside the factory – would no longer have a presence at the factory.
read more.
PPP new

20131118 * CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers:

Leaders of the opposition CNRP said Sunday that the party will hold demonstrations throughout the country on December 10 to demand an investigation into the use of live ammunition by police during a garment worker protest in Phnom Penh last week.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy said the demonstration would seek justice for the victims of the police violence at the SL Garment Factory protest on Tuesday, who included Eng Sokhom, a 49-year-old rice vendor who was shot dead nearby.
read more. & read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo CAMHERALD

21:17:9 0 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Unions want higher minimum wage:

The Bali Wage Council’s decision to set the 2014 minimum wage for the province at Rp 1.3 million (US$111) per month has triggered protests from unions that say the minimum wage is too low to cover workers’ needs.

“We question the minimum wage set by the council. Do you think that Rp 1.3 million is a decent amount for Bali? How could [the council] propose that amount to the Bali governor?” Independent Workers Union Federation (FSPM) Bali chapter chairman Anak Agung Sagung Ratmudiani said in a meeting at the Bali Legislative Council on Friday.

The meeting was also attended by scores of union members, several members of the Bali Legislative Council, the head of the provincial Manpower and Transmigration Agency, the chairman of Bali Wage Council and other related parties.

The minimum wage must be paid to any worker in the province. It is issued by the governor, based on the recommendations of the Bali Wage Committee, which is tripartite, consisting of government, unions and business associations.
read more.
jakartapost

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Labour unrest- Gazipur turns into battlefield:

Clashes broke out between the police and workers of around 20 apparel factories in Gazipur yesterday morning, injuring at least 25 people.

Witnesses said around 2,000 workers of Standard Group took to the streets at about 8:30am demanding the factory be reopened and pay for production per piece be hiked.
They also placed a 10-point demand, including a daily payment of Tk 200 in off-season, when the owners keep factories closed, our Gazipur correspondent said.
Later, around 8,000 workers of 20 factories, including Green Land, Meditek and MM Knit Composite, joined the protesters and ransacked some vehicles, set fire to tree logs and burned tyres and blocked the Kashimpur-Konabari road.
At 10.45am, the workers came back to Standard Group and set fire to the factory building, which was extinguished by the law enforcers and the local people soon.
read more.
daily star bd

* Production at 100 RMG units suspended:

Production at over 100 garment factories in Gazipur and Ashulia was suspended for Sunday, after workers clashed with law enforcers in the morning.

Of the total, 50 units were shut in Gazipur while the rest in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital. At least 110 workers sustained minor injuries during the clashes, reports our correspondents.
The workers of Gazipur were demanding immediate reopening of their units, which remain shut since last month following unrest over salary.
On the other hand, the labourers of Ashulia were demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage. The workers set fire to a factory building and a kitchen market in Gazipur Sadar upazila and vandalised two vehicles in Ashulia.
read more.
NEWNATIONnew

* 70 RMG units closed following unrest:

At least 70 apparel factories in Savar and Gazipur was declared closed for Sunday following clashes between workers and the law enforcers that left 75 injured.

The clashes erupted at Ashulia of Savar and Konabari and Kashimpur in Gazipur when the police tried to disperse workers in the areas who took to the street demanding minimum Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage and immediate reopening of closed factories, said witnesses.
A factory of Standard Group and at least 30 shops in the adjacent area of the factory in Gazipur were set on fire.
The workers continued with protests pressing for Tk 8,000 as minimum monthly wage, while apparel factory owners, after a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on November 13, accepted the award of the Minimum Wage Board fixing Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for apparel workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 45 RMG unions demand Tk6,000 minimum wage:

As per their demands, the minimum wage for the sweater factory workers must be not less than that of the sixth grade while the wage for per unit have to be declared within three days of starting production

The leaders of 45 unions of readymade garment have demanded Tk6,000 as minimum wage for the workers.
They placed the demand to the minimum wage board chairman AK Roy on Sunday, urging the board to reconsider the already settled amount Tk5,300 and set it at Tk6,000 excluding food allowance.

Although the demand was placed on behalf of 45 trade unions, the representatives of 29 were present.
Meanwhile, on prime minister’s direction, the RMG owners and a section of workers’ unions have accepted the wage board proposal of Tk5,300 as minimum wage.

The wage board would finalise Tk5,300 as minimum wage for RMG workers on the November 21 meeting.
“We demand Tk6,000. Board will decide on the issue,” said Abul Hossain, President of Textile Garments Workers Federation.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Clash erupts in Ashulia RMG belt:

At least 20 workers of readymade garment (RMG) factories were injured as they clashed with police at Jamgora under Ashulia Police Station today (Monday) morning demanding minimum monthly wage of Tk8, 300.

The authorities suspended production in 20 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, after labour unrest erupted in the area.
Witnesses said 3,000-4,000 workers from 20 garment units, including Rose Dresses, took to the streets at about 9:00 am and staged demonstrations demanding their minimum wage be fixed at Tk8,300, instead of Tk5,300 finalised recently, though with the factory owners’ consent at last, by the government-appointed wage board.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age UNB FE bd

* 50 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash:

At least 50 people were injured, five of them bullet-hit, as the apparel workers clashed with law enforcers in Ashulia and Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, demanding Tk 8,114 as minimum wage.

Of the victims, condition of Babul, a worker of AM Design Limited, stated to be critical, reports our Savar correspondent.
Babul sustained wounds of seven rubber bullets and has been referred to Dhaka Medical College Hospital from Women and Children Health Centre in Ashulia.
Following the sporadic clash that continues when this report was filed, production at over 100 garment factories in the demonstrating areas remain suspended for today.
The violence was reported from Jamgarah, Shimultola, Gorat, Pukurpar, Ghoshbagh, Narshingpur in Ashulia and Hemayetpur in Savar.

ASHULIA, SAVAR
The demonstration started around 9:00am when around 12,000 workers from different garment factories from the areas took position in front of their units.
The workers of Envoy, Palmal Group and The Rose Dresses Ltd of Ashulia and Standard Group of Savar are demonstrating, said Md Shahidullah, a senior deputy director of Industrial Police.
read more.
daily star bd

* BGB deployment in Gazipur:

A total of seven platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in Ashulia, Konabari and Kashimpur area of the district on early Monday.

Due to rampant agitation of garments workers in the areas, the BGB was deployed in a bid to avert any untoward situation and to secure the route as touring Malaysian Prime Minister will have a visit in the district here on Monday.
Sources of intelligence department told banglanews that BGB personnel were initiated scrutiny drive from 6.00am.
However, Konabari Police outpost Sub-Inspector Rabiul Islam said that the situation in the industrial areas is clam and under control now.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* RMG troubles: No signs of abatement:

Sixty-four per cent of the respondents to an opinion poll, conducted by one of the leading national English dailies of Bangladesh, have said the fixation of Tk 5,300 as minimum wage for the garment workers would not be able to end the ongoing workers’ unrest in the apparel sector.

The negative response has come not without reasons. The events that have happened before and after the announcement of the minimum wage by the tripartite wage board have, apparently, led them to make such a response.

Lack of workplace safety which has claimed nearly 1,400 lives so far is responsible for enough of resentment among the apparel workers. But what has been a constant source of trouble is low wage. Despite a couple of hikes in recent years, the wage rates are still considered low if seen in the context of the unabated rise in the cost of  living.

The issues concerning workplace safety, right to trade union and wages came under intense national and international focus following the deadly Tazreen Fashion fire and the collapse of the Rana Plaza. While international stakeholders in collaboration with the government and the apparel industry owners are trying to ensure safety and security of workers in apparel factories and workers’ right to TU activities, the wage board has recommended a minimum wage synthesising the workers’ demand and the offer made by the apparel industry owners.

The owners initially rejected the minimum wage recommended by the wage board. They even threatened to close down their factories since the recommended wages, according to them, would make the industry unsustainable. But they finally agreed to pay the same with a little bit of changes in the wage structure following intervention by the prime minister.
read more.
FE bd

LW + 2

20131117

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

*  RMG workers demonstrate in Gazipur- 25 hurt/20 units shut:

Workers of several garment factories demonstrated and blocked Konabari-Kashimpur road on Sunday morning demanding wage hike and payment of their arrears.

Witnesses said workers of a readymade garments (RMG) factory of Standard Group took to the streets at about 8:30 am and staged demonstration.
read more. & read more & read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more.& read more.
UNB UNB INDEPENDENT BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE DHAKATRIBUNE
Ittefaq primenews newstodayBD FE bd

* Ashulia unrest hurt 50-200 – Highway blocked, 20-50 factories shut :

More than 50 people were injured in sporadic clashes between garments workers and law enforcers on Baipail-Abdullahpur highway on Sunday morning.

Witnesses said that workers of several garments started protest from morning and blocked the highway to press their demand of minimum Tk 8,000 salary.
The agitating workers also vandalized couple of vehicles during the protest.
On information, police rushed to the spot and charged baton, fired rubber bullets and tear shell to disperse the workers which triggered sporadic clashes.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 DHAKATRIBUNE BANGLA NEWS24

* Workers torch 2 Gazipur garment factories: 25 Ashulia RMG units shut:

Several hundred workers of two ready-made garment (RMG) units set fire to their factory buildings in Gazipur Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market on Sunday demanding immediate reopening of their factories as those remain closed since last month following a labour unrest over salary.

On information firefighters with the help of police doused the blaze at the two RMG factory buildings but at least 30 makeshift shops were gutted in the fire at kitchen market. Meanwhile, 20 garment workers were injured in clash with police in Ashulia as they staged violent street demonstration, blocking a highway over pay on Sunday morning.
Production at minimum 25 RMG units in Ashulia, in the outskirts of Dhaka city, was suspended for today, as workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage also vandalized factories. When police arrived, the agitating workers pelted stones at the law-enforcers. Police charged batons, lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to drive the demonstrators from the Kaliakoir-Kashimpur highway, according to private TV channels.
to read.
FE bd

* Labour unrest shuts 25 RMG units in Ashulia- Gazipur:

Production at minimum 25 garment factories in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, was suspended for today, as workers demonstrating for Tk 8,114 as monthly minimum wage clashed with law enforcers.

At least 20 workers sustained minor injuries during the hour-long clash, reports our Savar correspondent.
Meanwhile, workers of two garment factories set fire to their factory buildings in Gazipur Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market demanding immediate reopening of their units as those remain shut since last month following a labour unrest over salary.
However, police put out the flame at factory building but at least 30 makeshift shops were gutted in the fire at kitchen market.

ASHULIA
Around 5,000 workers of at least 25 factories started demonstrations on Dhaka-Tangail highway around 9:00am and, said Abdus Sattar, deputy assistant director of industrial police.
(..)
GAZIPUR
Workers of two garment factories of Standard Group set a factory building on fire at Konabari in Sadar upazila and a nearby kitchen market this morning demanding reopening of their factory.
The authorities shut production at their two units last month after workers waged a movement demanding a hike in the salary.
read more.
daily star bd

———

* 40 hurt as RMG workers agitate for wages:

Workers of a number of garment factories in Gazipur demonstrated for arrears and a hike in their allowance on Saturday.

Police used baton-charges and lobbed tear-gas canisters to disperse them, according to bdnews24.com.
Witnesses said at least 40 people were injured in the clashes at Gazipur’s Naojor and Konabari areas.
Workers of DotCom Sweaters at Naojor area started to damage the factory building in the morning after not getting paid their October salary due on Thursday.
The factory’s production manager Emdad Hossain said that the police intervened to bring the situation under control.
read more.
FE bd

* Factory owners, labour leaders call for calm:

Garment manufacturers and labour unions have jointly urged workers to refrain from vandalism until the wage board announces the final salary structure on November 21.

The move comes after the workers continued with their dissent despite the government’s announcement of a 77 percent rise in minimum wage to Tk 5,300 on November 14 in the face of owners’ objections. Their demand for minimum wage remains Tk 8,114 per month.
In response, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment makers’ platform, drafted in an urgent meeting on Friday with leaders of more than 57 workers’ federations, where the labour leaders agreed to help in calming down the situation.
“The current situation is seriously denting the image of the industry. Everybody in the meeting has agreed that the sector cannot go on in this manner,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told reporters after the two-hour meeting at the trade body’s headquarters in Dhaka.
He said the workers’ federations have agreed to convince the workers to get back to work until the final gazette is published. More than 200 factories in Ashulia and Gazipur have remained shut due to the unrest in recent weeks, Islam added.
Kazi Ruhul Amin, general secretary of Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre, said the federations will jointly submit a complaint with the wage board today over the proposed salary structure, which they deem to be too low when the living cost is taken into consideration.
read more.
daily star bd

* Better pay means more productivity:

Better human resource management and communication between employees and managers can benefit all, an UK Aid-run project has found in Bangladesh.

The RAGS Challenge Fund (Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector) of the UK government has demonstrated that better pay and working conditions can go hand in hand with better productivity.
In participating factories, when average monthly take-home pay was increased by Tk 491, daily efficiency and productivity increased 18.28 percent and 17.07 percent respectively.
This was disclosed at an event organised by the CSR Centre in Dhaka to look at how partnerships with buyers can help bring about much-needed reforms in the garment sector, now under tremendous pressure to improve labour conditions following a number of high-profile tragedies.
read more.
daily star bd

LW + 2

20131116

20:17:9 0 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* At Strife-Ridden SL Garment Factory, Managers Stand Ground:

The SL Garment Factory is a name that has become uniquely synonymous with strikes and strife in a sector that employs hundreds of thousands of workers and already has problems with its poor public image.

Thousands of the factory’s workers have been in dispute with management for more than a year, demanding higher wages, a lunch stipend and the removal of one of the firm’s shareholders, Meas Sotha.
On Tuesday, the latest SL protest turned deadly during clashes between protesters and police in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district. Police responded to stone-throwing youths with bullets, and a bystander was shot dead and several were injured.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Lawyers Condemn Police Shooting of SL Factory Protesters:

A group of Canadian lawyers has expressed deep concern over the use of live ammunition by police in Phnom Penh during a garment worker protest on Tuesday when a bystander was killed, and called on government and military officials to respect the U.N.’s basic principles on the use of firearms by authorities.

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), as a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally, addressed their concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, deputy prime ministers Sar Kheng and Sok An, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, Defense Minister General Tea Banh and National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha.

“LRWC is deeply concerned about the violence that occurred in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on 12 November 2013 between police and citizens including striking garment workers. The violence resulted in the shooting death of a bystander and at least seven additional serious injuries,” wrote Gail Davidson, executive director of LRWC.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

19:17:9 0 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

*  RMG owner-worker federations for an end to unrest:

The garment factory owners and workers’ federation have jointly urged unruly workers to stay away from the path of vandalism and violence until the wage board announces the final salary structure.

The board is expected to announce the final pay structure on November 21.
The latest development came after the apparel owners’ organisation, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), held an urgent meeting with the leaders of more than 57 workers’ federations in its headquarters in the capital last night.

The two-hour long meeting held as the proposed minimum salary of apparel workers, Tk 5,300, has apparently failed to abate the ongoing unrest in the country’s 19-billion dollar sector.
The wage board announced Tk 5,300 as the minimum wage for an entry-level garment worker from Tk 3,000 now on November 4 against the demand of Tk 8,114.
read more.
daily star bd

* Gazipur knitting workers vandalise 50 vehicles:

Knitting factory workers of Gazipur blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway for three hours today and vandalised at least 50 vehicles demanding a hike in per piece production.

The demonstrating workers of eight sweater factories have also been demanding Tk 200 per day when the production of their units remains suspended. The workers usually do not get salary when the sweater factories are closed during the off season.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers go on rampage in Gazipur, Savar:

Workers of several readymade garment (RMG) factories staged demonstration in Savar and Gazipur demanding wage hike and payment of outstanding wages on Saturday.

In Savar, production of 10 garment factories, including Rose Dresses Limited owned by BGMEA President Atikul Islam, was suspended following labour unrest in Ashulia on the day.
Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said workers of a garment factory staged demonstration demanding wage hike at Jamgarah in Ashulia on Saturday morning.
read more. & to read. & read more. & read more.
UNB INDEPENDENT primenews bdnews24

* Unrest Continue as Worker Federations and BGMEA Agree To Be At Peace Till Law Is Made:

Yesterday, on 15.11.13, 57 Worker Federations came to an agreement with the BGMEA and held a press conference declaring that till the Minimum Wage Board publishes its final decision in a Gazette form, there will be no protest or rally backed by the worker federations.

However, today on 16.11.13, there have been massive worker protests in Ashulia and Gazipur by agitated workers. Workers fearing injustice in the proportionate increase of the Operators (a grade up than the helper, who is the lowest paid of the sector) may only get a few hundred BDT more than the helpers.
Operators account for more than 70% of the workforce in the garment sector, mostly women, suffer from low wages in a country with high inflation, no social security and high corruption in the public services.

The unrest among the Garment workers today is a surprising display of their helplessness.
Although the worker leaders informed that they will persuade the workers to be peaceful and get back to their work-stations till the gazette has been finally published (and thus turned to a law), their failure seems visible.
It now seems that had the leaders been more interested to pacify workers and win their hearts, listen to their demands and them peacefully associated with them to rally for support of their demands from the ordinary citizens of the country, violence could have been avoided.
The violence, as always, have only harmed innocent civilians and garment workers, and can only spur with mischief – mostly from the trapped restlessness from within when ones voice is ignored by all.
read more.

* Bangladeshi Garment Workers Fight Back:

Surging union growth and militancy is due to courageous leaders like Kalpona Akter: child laborer at 12, union president at 15, she’s now head of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.

Whenever there is another disaster in a Bangladeshi garment factory, one of the country’s most dynamic young labor leaders, Kalpona Akter, races to the scene with two aims in mind.
First, she naturally wants to help and console a new set of victims. But second, she tries to get inside the factory, even if it’s still smoldering, so she can collect the labels from the clothing that was being sewn there.
“The big European and American importers sometimes deny that their brands were sourced in that factory,” she explained, in her small, old and very busy office in central Dhaka. “So we need to get the logos, the actual proof, before the Walmarts and others can start to cover up.”

Akter, 36, started working in a garment factory when she was 12 years old, and by the time she was 15, she was president of her local union.
She is now the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, and the leading figure in Bangladesh’s small but rapidly growing independent labor movement.
She is courageous, articulate and revered by the young workers, mostly women, whom she is helping to organize. Someday she will surely be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
read more.
the NATION

 

map of Asia

* Overview of Articles in the News:

20131221
BANGLADESH
* Proposal on RMG wage board restructuring put on hold
* Workers deserve a better deal

20131220
CAMBODIA
* Svay Rieng Workers Strike Again, Throw Rocks

INDONESIA
Better Work Indonesia  Legal Update  Minimum Wage

20131219
CAMBODIA
* GMAC makes push for $130
* Unions to Push for 100% Wage Increase in 2014
* Labor Unions agree to one time hike in wage

MALAYSIA
* UN Envoy Commends Malaysia’s Minimum Wage Adoption

20131217-18
CAMBODIA
* Garment workers told to go back to factories
* Raise now or pay later?
* Government Proposes 100% Hike in Minimum Wage by 2018
* Garment workers’ patience wearing thin
* Cambodia’s garment workers needled by low wages and poor conditions

MALAYSIA
* Migrant workers to get Rs 24,000 minimum pay

INDIA
* March For a Minimum Living Wage
* Minimum wage hike upsets industry
* Textile firms compete for labour

20131216
CAMBODIA
* New date set for further wage talks
* GMAC floats ‘no strike’ bonus

20131214
MALAYSIA
* Ministry To Look Into Suggestion On Minimum Wage Tripartitie Committees – Riot

20131213
MALAYSIA
* Employers Still Shortchanging Workers – MTUC

INDIA
* Hike minimum wages: CITU
* Fix minimum wage at Rs. 10,000: trade unions
* Union demands better facilities for workers
* Trade union leaders meet PM

PAKISTAN
* Call for steps to ensure compliance with labour laws
* Voicing concerns: ‘Labour laws must be enforced to sustain businesses’

20131212
INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

20131211
INDONESIA
* Employers To Asks Minimum Wage Suspension

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers welcome minimum wage

20131210
BANGLADESH
* Wage hike in garment sector: Motivating the workers

20131208
INDONESIA
* Roda Vivatex Layoffs Workers on Rupiah Depreciation, Minimum Wages-Hike

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase

BANGLADESH
* Minimum Wage 2013 – An Insight
* Sweater units’ workers demand hike in piece-rate after RMG sector wage raise

20131206
BANGLADESH
* RMG minimum wage gazette today
* Gazette on RMG workers’ wage hike published, giving effect from Dec 1
* RMG workers’ wage structure gazetted
* Inflation picks up for first time since July on political unrest
* Inflation rises as shutdown rips supply chain

20131205
INDONESIA
* Thousands of Labors Rally over Serang Minimum Wage

BANGLADESH
* Rising living costs eat up RMG workers’ wage benefit
* Bangladesh factory owners wary of wage increase
* Businessmen seek interim loan from government to pay wages

INDIA
* Garment workers ramp up campaign for wage revision

20131204
MALAYSIA
* Portal To Help Employers, Workers Understand Minimum Wages Implementation

BANGLADESH
* REPORT: IndustriALL leading the struggle for Bangladeshi garment workers

20131130
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration

BANGLADESH
* Living wage is a good target

20131129
ASIA & GLOBAL
* H&M’s living wage roadmap needs concrete benchmarks
* Living Wage conference – 25-26 November 2013
* Living wage conference calls for action
* News Analysis: Wage-induced inflation to dim Asian economic outlook

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Setting up a minimum wage needs consideration

LAOS
* Ministry leaves minimum wage unchecke

CAMBODIA
* Labor Minister Proposes Annual Wage Rise
* Labor Minister urges workers to remain calm as wage talks are underway
* Cambodia to discuss 2014 pay rise for garment workers next month

INDONESIA
* Protests Over Minimum Wage Rage On

BANGLADESH
* Int’l conf on living wages held in Berlin

SRI LANKA
* No relief to battle high cost of living

20131128
CAMBODIA
* Hundreds block road in Bavet for better working conditions
* Minimum wage ‘to be set next month’

MALAYSIA
* 82% Of Companies Will Not Defer Implementation Of Minimum Wages, Says MEF

PAKISTAN
* 10 labourers attacked for protest

20131127
CAMBODIA
* Government to Meet Over January Minimum Wage Increase
* Labor Ministry says brands hold key to wages
* Cambodian Unions Call for Doubling of Minimum Wage for Factory Workers
* H&M pledges living wage pay for Cambodia and Bangladesh workers
* BetterFactories Media updates 23-27 November 2013

MALAYSIA
* Labour Market Reform A Must, Says MIER

INDONESIA
* Workers to rally again on Thursday

BANGLADESH
* As wages rise, so do rents

20131126
CAMBODIA
* Union leaders threaten nationwide protest if salary not raised
* Food-price hike hits workers

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* 10 hurt as RMG workers clash with police in Gazipu
* H&M aims to pay RMG workers ‘living wage’ by 2018

INDIA
* ‘Issue minimum wages for unorganized labourers’

20131123-25
VIET NAM
* Minimum wage increase fails to meet living costs

INDONESIA
* Apindo rejects West Java minimum wage
* Brace for more rallies, say unions
* The varied demands of striking laborers
* Better trust and data in wage deals: Hpeful changes under Jokowi

BANGLADESH
* Bangladesh’s RMG wage still the world’s lowest
* Minimum wage in RMG sector from global perspective
* RMG workers’ peace rally at Ashulia
* Winners and losers

20131122
VIET NAM
* Minimum wage set to rise

CAMBODIA
* BetterFactories Media updates 15-22 November

BANGLADESH
* Owners and workers reach consensus on RMG wages
* Apparel Labour Bodies demand upward wage adjustment
* RMG minimum wage set at Tk5,300 with 5% of basic as yearly increment
* Board fixes minimum wage for RMG workers at Tk 5,300
* Tk 5300 minimum wage for RMG workers fixed
* Minimum wage for garment workers at Tk 5,300
* It’s final: 77% hike in garment wage
* Rights groups demand enhanced minimum wage for RMG workers
* Bangladesh approves wage hike for garment factory workers
* Bangladesh garment factories reopen after unrest
* RMG workers join work in Ashulia
* RMG units in Ashulia, Konabari reopen after days of violence
* Labour leaders warned against RMG unrest

20131121
VIET NAM
* Minimum wage to increase from 2014
* Minimum wage to be raised up to $127

CAMBODIA
* Strike reaches City Hall
* End strike or go to court, gov’t says

BANGLADESH
* RMG unrest continues
* Minister, labour leaders trade blame
* RMG workers’ leaders’ divided over minimum wage
* 30 RMG units shut at Ashulia, Tongi
* Name RMG unrest instigators: Minister asks intelligence
* CCC disappointed at new Bangladesh minimum wage level
* The RMG paradox: Best quality at the cheapest price
* BGMEA-workers leader talks
* PM asks RMG owners to keep labour leaders happy
* Top exporters awarded for excellence
* “Good deal” for garment workers to benefit Awami League in poll-bound Bangladesh

20131120
CAMBODIA
* Despite Denials, Levi’s Still Producing at SL Garment Factory
* One Week on, Shooting Investigation Has Yielded Nothing
* Cambodian workers battling for their rights

INDONESIA
* Labors Rally over Minimum Wage in Bekasi
* Bekasi workers demand higher wage
* Three provinces have yet to set 2014 minimum wage: Minister
* C. Java sets highest 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1.42 million

BANGLADESH
* Bangladeshi Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Protesting Garment Workers
* 2 Protesting Garment Worker Dies and Hundreds Injured While Protesting for Minimum Wage 2013
* PM asks RMG owners to keep labor leaders happy
* PM alerts RMG owners to misguiding labour leaders
* Shun violence, join work, PM to RMG workers
* Labor ministry calls urgent talks
* Workers’ demo- 30 RMG units shut in Ashulia
* Gazipur RMG factories reopen
* 10 injured in Police-RMG workers’ clash in Gazipur

* Violence goes on unabated in apparel hubs
* Garment workers seek clarity over wage
* RMG workers go wild in Ashulia, Gazipur
* RMG unrest in Ashulia, Gazipur, 80 units shut
* Massive protests erupt in Bangladesh over pay rise death
* RMG unrest continues in Gazipur, BGB deployed
* RMG owners sit with Home Minister
* Govt to prevent RMG violence sternly
* RMG owners for action
* 60 injured as apparel workers, police clash
* Government to bring RMG troublemakers to book
* RMG sector working state among global worst: ILO
* Better RMG working terms key to sustainable economic growth: ILO

20131119
CAMBODIA
* No violence main goal, SL exec says
* SL Management Agrees to Reinstate 19 Fired Union Members
* Union to Hold 5,000-Strong March During CNRP Protest
* CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers

INDONESIA
* Indonesia Unions Announce Another Strike as Wage War Continues
* Big minimum wage rises in Badung, Denpasar
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BANGLADESH
* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur
* 2 killed as RMG workers, cops clash in Gazipur- 140 factories shut
* Two RMG workers killed in clashes with police
* 140 factories closed in new wage protest
* 50 hurt in workers-cops clash in Savar, Gazipur
* No respite from unrest
* RMG unrest continues in Ashulia, Gazipur
* RMG unrest continues, 50 units shut
* Garment sector instability continues despite pay raise
* RMG factory owners plan to discuss price rise of products with buyers
* The factors that can do wonders in RMG sector
* Minimum Wage 2013 Infographic
* ILO on BD RMG crisis: Decent working conditions must

PAKISTAN
* Labour activists demand inspection of factories

20131118
THAILAND
* Stanley Kang says the garment industry needs to adopt a new approach
* Drop costly populist ploys, businessmen tell parties

CAMBODIA
* Government steps in
* CNRP to Protest in Solidarity With SL Workers

INDONESIA
* Unions want higher minimum wage

BANGLADESH
* Labour unrest- Gazipur turns into battlefield
* Production at 100 RMG units suspended
* 70 RMG units closed following unrest
* 45 RMG unions demand Tk6,000 minimum wage
* Clash erupts in Ashulia RMG belt
* 50 hurt in cop-RMG worker clash
* BGB deployment in Gazipur
* RMG troubles: No signs of abatement

20131117
BANGLADESH
* RMG workers demonstrate in Gazipur- 25 hurt/20 units shut
* Ashulia unrest hurt 50-200 – Highway blocked, 20-50 factories shut
* Workers torch 2 Gazipur garment factories: 25 Ashulia RMG units shut
* Labour unrest shuts 25 RMG units in Ashulia- Gazipur

* 40 hurt as RMG workers agitate for wages
* Factory owners, labour leaders call for calm
* Better pay means more productivity

20131116
CAMBODIA
* At Strife-Ridden SL Garment Factory, Managers Stand Ground
* Lawyers Condemn Police Shooting of SL Factory Protesters

BANGLADESH
* RMG owner-worker federations for an end to unrest
* Gazipur knitting workers vandalise 50 vehicles
* RMG workers go on rampage in Gazipur, Savar
* Unrest Continue as Worker Federations and BGMEA Agree To Be At Peace Till Law Is Made
* Bangladeshi Garment Workers Fight Back

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