00:08:38 local time CAMBODIA
* Fund Set Up to Raise Money For Victim of Police Shooting:
An expatriate living in Phnom Penh has set up a fund to raise $3,000 over the next month to help pay the medical expenses of a student shot in the spine by a police officer at the SL Garment Factory workers’ protest last month.
Hoeurn Chann, a 26-year-old fourth-year student at Human Resources University, was shot after clashes erupted between the protesting workers and authorities. Mr. Chann was rushed to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital, where he underwent more than two hours of surgery to remove the bullet. Doctors have told him that he will never walk again due to his injury.
The victim’s family says they have already borrowed 15 million riel, or about $3,750 to cover hospital bills to send Mr. Chann for treatment in Ho Chi Minh City.
23:08:38 local time 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.
* Bangladesh factory fires: Fashion industry`s latest crisis:
With factory blazes happening every week, activists say fire is as serious a risk as poor construction but goes largely unreported
Nearly 800 people have been injured in scores of largely unreported fires in garment and textile factories in Bangladesh in the last 12 months, according to new figures compiled by international labour campaigners.
The high numbers of casualties will raise concerns at the slow pace of change in the politically unstable south Asian state, where more than 1,130 people died when a building housing factories making garments for chains including Primark and Matalan collapsed in April.
The tragedy was the worst industrial accident anywhere in the world for a generation.
But activists in Bangladesh say fires pose as serious a threat as poor building construction. Five months before the April collapse, 114 people had died in a fire in a factory making clothes sold by global retailers such as Walmart, Sears and C&A among others.
Last month, 10 died in a textile mill blaze.
There are an estimated 5,000 garment factories in Bangladesh, of which around two thirds are active.
“The reality is that we have so many factories that every day there is something happening in some place but it doesn`t make the news,” said Mohammad Riaz Uddin, director of the Alternative Movement for Resources and Freedom Society in Dhaka.
In 2012, there has been more than one fire a week, according to figures compiled in Bangladesh by the American Center for International Labor Solidarity. The statistics are based on reports in the local media and from their network of affiliated union groups.
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* Reddy urges for proper execution of apparel factory inspections:
Country Director of International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Bangladesh Srinivas Reddy called upon the parties concerned — Accord, Alliance and the government of Bangladesh — Monday for timely and proper implementation of their respective factory inspection programmes.
“Commitments to such initiatives are important but time factor is also crucial for the execution of the inspection to prevent the recurrence of the devastating incidents like Tazreen and Rana Plaza,” he said at the office launching ceremony of Alliance in a city hotel.
Terming the opening of the Alliance office in Dhaka a ‘significant’ step towards the implementation of such commitments and the improvement of workplace safety and labour standards in Bangladesh’s apparel industry, Mr Reddy said there are a number of issues that need to be harmonised to avoid waste of resources and times.
* Industry stakeholders call for immediate inspection at the factories:
‘Though we have made commitments of inspecting the factories, time is really sensitive,’ says Srinivas B Reddy
Speakers called for immediate inspection at every readymade garment factory in the country to avert reoccurrence of industrial disasters like Rana Plaza tragedy.
“Though we have made commitments of inspecting the factories, time is really sensitive,” said Director of the International Labour Organisation Office in Dhaka, Srinivas B Reddy while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Dhaka office of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
The ILO would play the role of coordinator among all the stakeholders to ensure a standard to be followed to inspect the factories, he said.
The alliance has targeted to inspect over 600 factories across the country by July 14, 2014.
“We believe that our commitment, transparency and accountability will help us achieve unprecedented gains in improving fire safety in Bangladesh,” said Jeff Krilla, president and chief executive officer of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
“This is an unprecedented effort to improve the safety conditions in the garment factories in Bangladesh,” he added.
* N American retailers to finish factory inspection by mid-July:
The president of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a North American retailers’ platform, Jeffrey Krilla, on Monday said that they would complete the inspection of all the garment factories in Bangladesh which produce products for them by mid July 2014.
He said speaking at the opening ceremony of the Dhaka office of the Alliance.
Krilla said that the initiative was dedicated to implementing solution to the complex challenges surrounding workers and fire safety and had made tangible progress against its ambitious goals since its founding in July 2013.
‘More than 15 technical and professional staff of the Alliance are working in collaboration with external partners, coordinating the factory inspection and remediation process and providing safety training guidance and oversight,’ Krilla said at the ceremony held at a hotel in the capital.
The Alliance will inspect more than 600 factories in Bangladesh and take necessary remedial measures.
Canadian high commissioner Heather Cruden said all parties including the Alliance, Accord and National Tripartite Committee were playing a crucial role to tell a positive story of the garment sector in Bangladesh and her government was also committed to the sector.
* Retailers’ alliance beefs up factory safety effort:
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety yesterday opened its office in Dhaka to supervise efforts in improving safety standards in the garment industry.
The group of 26 retailers, mostly North American, launched its country office to lead on-the-ground implementation of its initiative, said Jeffrey Krilla, president of the group.
“We believe that our principles of commitment, collaboration, transparency and accountability will help us achieve unprecedented gains in improving fire and building safety in Bangladesh,” he said at the launching ceremony at The Westin Dhaka.
The group was formed five months ago in response to pressures on international buyers sourcing from Bangladesh to step up and help improve working conditions in the apparel industry.
Krilla said tragic events such as the Rana Plaza building collapse are unacceptable and led to formation of the alliance. “No one — no matter where they live or what their job is — should have to put their life at risk in order to make a living.”
* RMG exporters in a tight corner:
Repeated blockades have put the garment sector in a tight corner as exporters are counting losses from order cancellation and rising transport costs.
Buyers are cancelling orders as exporters fail to meet the lead time due to transport crisis, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Some buyers are also imposing penalties in case of delayed shipment, cutting prices of garment products, he mentioned, adding that transport costs have surged by around 30 percent due to expensive air shipment.
The BGMEA’s research and development team has collected three-day data (December 1-3) from 10 exporters to assess the overall losses caused by the blockade.
Orders worth $3.96 lakh were cancelled during the period, while the exporters spent $3.08 lakh on air shipment.
* Apparel makers want interest waiver:
Political unrest almost halts shipment, says BGMEA; a meeting with bankers set today
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sent a letter to Bangladesh Bank seeking interest waivers as the apparel makers could not ship their products due to continuous hartals and blockades.
The letter was sent on 5th this month signed by BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim.
But Bangladesh Bank sources said the central bank is not the authority to ask the banks for interest waiver.
They said it is the matter of respective banks if they would come up with such facility for the apparel makers.
BGMEA letter claimed due to political and labour unrests, the garment manufacturers failed to meet supply orders from international buyers,
* Withdrawal of export subsidy on cotton may affect BD RMG: CPD:
If the subsidy for cotton export is withdrawn as per the decision of the WTO Ministerial Conference recently held in Bali, the readymade garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh may face a hurdle, says Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank.
“If the export subsidy on cotton is withdrawn Bangladesh as a cotton-exporting country will have to import cotton at higher prices. This could increase the cost of production,” CPD research director Dr Fahmida Khatun said.
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* Political turmoil deals crushing blow to RMG:
The ongoing confrontational political situation has dealt a crushing blow to the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector due to disruption caused to timely shipment and cancellation of orders, industry insiders said Monday.
According to an assessment, some 19 garment factories suffered a US$10 million loss since November to December 7, 2013 mainly because of the political turmoil.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has assessed the impact of frequent hartals and blockades on the country’s apparel industry.
The BGMEA data shows that orders worth about $1.7 million have been cancelled while the 19 factories faced discounts worth nearly $1.0 million, paid $0.66 million for air shipment. Besides, the shipment of apparels worth $6.5 million is being delayed.
22:38:38 local time INDIA
* Tirupur knitwear exporters reel under power cuts:
The Rs 13,000-crore knitwear industry at Tirupur in Tamil Nadu is faced with a peculiar problem.
The export-based industry has been witnessing an uptick in enquiries and orders, but it is unable to accept all orders. Reason: unprecedented power cuts lasting eight to 10 hours a day.
With the industry reeling under frequent power cuts, mostly unscheduled, almost all units have been forced to run on gen-sets. This is a costly proposition for companies, because gen-set power costs Rs 18-19 for a unit, compared with the grid’s Rs 6.50, industry sources said. Some units that could not afford to hire or buy gen-sets have downed shutters, they added.
* Apparel village project soon:
Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer has said that an apparel village project will be started in the State with the objective of setting up a market for products of Kudumbasree apparel parks.
Inaugurating the Kudumbasree Apparel Park at Kuttyattoor here on Monday, the Minister said that the project was planned to ensure a market for the products of the apparel parks.
Each Kudumbasree apparel parks would be granted Rs. 35 lakh for setting up an apparel village, he said.
The project was part of the government’s plan to ensure livelihood for people experiencing financial difficulties, he said.
At the function, James Mathew, MLA, inaugurated the ‘Aroodam’ scheme to make Kannur a child-friendly district. District panchayat president K.A. Sarala presided.
* Pakistan’s textile group eyeing Surat:
The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SGefforts to establish a strong business tie in the field of textiles with Pakistan seem to have paid off.
For the first time, Pakistan’s largest textile manufacturing company Gul Ahmed is participating with its range of fashion products for women, including bed sheets, comforters, multi-needle quilts, decorative pillows, window hangings, table and kitchen linen in the three-day ‘Fibre to Fashion’ event inaugurated at Surat International Exhibition and Convention Centre (SIECC) on Saturday.
22:08:38 local time PAKISTAN
* APTMA to unveil 5-year plan to double exports:
Taking the expected Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus as a source of respite for Pakistan’s textile sector, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) is hoping to convert Pakistan’s current account deficit into a surplus during the next five years.
The textile industry contributes $13 billion annually to the national exchequer in exports and is confident that Pakistan will get the status. To avail maximum benefit, the textile lobby has chalked out a five-year plan, dubbed the “Vision”.
APTMA management will unfold the plan to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is expected to attend the APTMA annual dinner at the Governor House Lahore on December 14.
* Aptma plans to raise textile exports to $40bn in 10 years:
Pakistan is a beneficiary of the positive trends in international textile markets, central chairman of All Pakistan Mills Association (Aptma) Yasin Siddique said in a press conference on Monday.
“The country enjoys a competitive edge over most low-cost textile producing countries and is close to obtaining huge market access through GSP plus status in the European Union,” he said. “Due to these positive trends, Aptma has decided to unveil its vision of increasing textile exports to $40 billion in 10 years to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”
The textile industry is well placed to increase its exports to $26 billion in the next three years, he added. The industry, he said, does not want any subsidies but simply an enabling environment with the provision of power. “The decline in mark up would also give a boost to investment, which is badly needed.”
* Buy-out: Interested Chinese group tries to acquire Masood Textile Mills:
A Chinese business group has shown interest in acquiring 52% shares in one of Pakistan’s leading textile manufacturing companies, according to a recent notice sent to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).
As per the KSE regulations about substantial acquisition in a listed company, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group has formally expressed its intention to acquire up to 31.2 million ordinary shares of Masood Textile Mills through AKD Securities, which is acting as a manager to the offer.
Based in Faisalabad, Masood Textile Mills is one of the few vertically integrated textile mills in Pakistan with in-house yarn, knitting, fabric dyeing, processing, laundry and apparel manufacturing facilities. For the fiscal year 2012-13, its profit after tax amounted to Rs906.3 million, up by 8.5% on an annual basis. Its revenues grew at an annualised rate of 25% between 2008 and 2012.
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* ITC: Textile industry collaborates:
The first International Textile & Clothing Conference (ITC) Pakistan was held under the title, ‘Pakistan’s Industry: Integrated & Collaborating for Today and Tomorrow.’ The conference was organised by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT).
The ITC has not only provided a detailed evaluation of Pakistan’s textile industry’s strength but also provided an opportunity for an open forum to discuss ways and means to resolve any issues. The conference also laid a special emphasis on partnerships and integration.
With a view to bringing all links of the supply chain together to form actionable and meaningful alliances, the board invited about 300 strategically varied individuals representing all sections of the textile sector.
The ITC is divided into three main sections, general business environment, innovation and manufacturing excellence. Sessions were also held highlighting government initiatives, energy, financing and trade associations.
* Punjab setting up modern garment economic zone, says Shahbaz:
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is a big cotton producing country but is lagging far behind in textile sector and hence stressed the need for promotion of textile industry for increasing exports and strengthening of national economy.
He was addressing the concluding session of the first international textile and clothing conference, arranged by Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, here on Monday.
Federal Minister for Trade Khurram Dastagir Khan, Advisor on Economic Affairs Dr Ijaz Nabi, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board Maratab Ali, Chairman Planning and Development as well as a large number of local and foreign industrialists were present on this occasion.
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