in the news on-line 13 -19 DEC.1213

TIME

20131219

19:59:53 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

* ILO renews deal with government, GMAC to improve garment industry:

The International Labour Organization announced Thursday the renewal of an agreement with the public and private sectors to improve working conditions in the garment industry.

The UN agency said it signed the three-year memorandum of understanding on Wednesday with the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

A statement said the MOU provided for expanded data-sharing on the compliance of factories with Cambodian labour laws and internationally-recognized labour standards.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* ILO Better Factories Cambodia Programme gets new three-year MOU:

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding yesterday for its Better Factories Cambodia programme that aims to consolidate improvements in working conditions and competitiveness in Cambodia’s garment industry.

The new three-year MOU emphasizes improvements in the garment industry,
including expanded data-sharing with the Royal Government of Cambodia
detailing compliance and non-compliance of individual factories with Cambodia labour law and internationally recognized core labour standards.
The agreement also promotes the enforcement role of the Royal Government of Cambodia and acknowledges the re-introduction of public disclosure as mechanisms to help make significant and sustainable improvements across the industry.
read more.
BF NEW

* American Eagle outfitters and BetterWork launch her project Initiative in Cambodia:

American Eagle Outfitters has partnered with the Better Work program and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to expand the HERproject initiative to Cambodia. Using the HERproject model that has been successfully implemented in other countries, the Cambodia program aims to improve female factory workers’ access to health services and their awareness and knowledge of critical health issues.

HERproject is a global initiative founded by BSR that works with multinational companies to create education programs raising awareness about feminine hygiene, nutrition, reproductive health, and access to health care services for female factory workers in developing countries.
The program improves the well-being, confidence and economic potential of these workers through culturally adapted curricula, and has been deployed in 200 factories across nine countries, including Cambodia through American Eagle Outfitters’ support.
read more- download: .20131219 BF AEO HERProject Cambodia PressRelease.
BF NEW

20:59:53 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

20:59:53 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Rise in power tariffs to affect Indonesian textiles: API:

The Indonesian textile industry growth prospects are estimated to remain sluggish during the 2014 year, owing to the planned increase in electricity power next year, said Benny Soestrisno, chairman of the advisory board of the Indonesian Textile Association (API).
Mr. Soestrisno said the rise in electricity tariffs goes against the Government’s aim to improve competitiveness in domestic industries, especially during the phase of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will take effect from 2015, reports The Globe Journal.
read more.
fibre2fashion

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Workers wait to rejoin work:

More than 300 workers gathered in front of the factory yesterday, hoping to be re-recruited

Hundreds of workers of Gazipur’s Standard Garment Factory – which was gutted down in a fire last month – have been passing days of hardship as they wait to get their jobs back.

More than 300 workers gathered in front of the factory yesterday, hoping to be re-recruited, as production had resumed on a limited capacity on December 11.
Kamrul Islam, a worker of the cutting department, said he had rejoined work four days ago and had received the salary for November.

Nobi Hossain, who has been working up to 10-hours-a-day as line chief since the production restarted, said: “The factory owner will re-recruit the previous workers soon. At least 120 labourers worked in each line and the line can only be restarted if all the labourers started working.”

However, those who were yet to rejoin work, were passing tough times, with many of them being unable to pay back the money owed to landlords and shopkeepers.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Apparel leaders oppose Accord proposal to keep BD reps in advisory body only:

Leaders of the country’s garment sector have opposed the Accord’s proposal for including representatives of local apparel makers in its advisory committee only, not in the steering panel, sources said.

Accord is a coalition comprising more than a hundred European Union apparel buyers and retailers.

The proposal for inclusion of local representatives in the Advisory Committee  for European buyers’ fire and building safety programme was formally placed at a meeting held Tuesday between the leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Accord members at the association’s headquarters in the Dhaka.
read more.
FE bd

* Canadian retailers urged to sign BD RMG accord:

A group of 25 human rights, women’s and international development organizations is asking six of Canada’s leading garment retailers to join an international plan to improve safety conditions at clothing factories in Bangladesh.

The group has asked Canadian Tire, Giant Tiger, Hudson’s Bay Co., Sears Canada, Walmart and YM Inc., the parent company of Urban Planet and Bluenotes, to join the Accord on Factory and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

Those Canadian firms are already members of a rival group known as the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

Workers’ rights activists have charged that the Alliance is less transparent than the Accord, and that its members can more easily walk away from any commitments they make to improve factory safety.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24 daily star bd

* Industrial park the right move for RMG:

A new industrial zone is the type of bold step needed to improve conditions in the sector and to help win back buyer confidence

The BGMEA has announced plans to establish an industrial park at Bausia in Munshiganj for the country’s apparel makers. This is a sensible and long overdue move to encourage relocation of industry away from central Dhaka.

The park, which is planned to be established on 532 acres, will provide modern safe facilities in brand new factories. The plans incorporate power, transport, child care, sewage, and waste facilities.

The BGMEA chief has said that small and medium entrepreneurs will get priority in the allotment of plots, as it is intended that non-complaint companies will be encouraged to move to this park. Over 1,700 applications have been received for the 432 units to be allocated in the proposed park.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

18:29:53 local time map of india INDIA

* 41 children rescued from bag-making units:

Forty-one children were rescued by the Chamarajpet police, who raided bag-making units in Valmikinagar, Tipunagar and Azadnagar here on Wednesday. The children, most of whom were aged between 10 and 17, were making school and luggage bags.

The children hail from Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. They were being paid Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000 a month. The police said they were working from around 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Upon receiving complaints from local residents in these areas, the Chamarajpet police raided around five units. They also informed Labour Department officials and arrested four persons running these units. They have been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act.
The children will be produced before the Child Welfare Committee on Thursday.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* ‘Khadi weavers not to be included under MNREGA’:

Khadi weavers and spinners across the country will not be included under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

“Ministry of Rural Development has intimated that inclusion of khadi under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) was not found feasible as the focus of the Act is on unskilled work,” Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) K H Muniappa said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Industry bodies have been demanding that Khadi Kutir Udyog workers should be given wages at par with the MNREGA labourers, entailing a job guarantee with a daily payment of Rs 150 for eight hours of work.
At present spinners get Rs 3 for each piece of spin-bundle and weavers earn a daily remuneration up to Rs 70, according to some industry estimates.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* CITU stages demo:

Activists of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU) staged a demonstration here on Wednesday to press for a fair deal for workers both in the organised and unorganised sectors.

The activists led by CITU city committee Secretary B.Venkat Rao raised slogans against the ‘anti-labour policies’ of the Union and State governments. They raised slogans to press for hike in wages and social security benefits, including ESI hospital in Ongole.
The Labour department turned a blind eye to violation of labour laws by private units even as the both the governments pursued ”anti-people” neo-liberal economic policies putting to severe hardship the toiling masses, he said.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Pact signed to develop new fabrics:

The NIFT-TEA College of Knitwear Fashion here has signed an agreement with Central Silk Technological Research Institute (CSTRI), a wing of Central Silk Board under Union Ministry of Textiles, for research to develop new composition of fibres and fabrics as well as testing facilities.

According to the agreement, which was signed by NIFT-TEA Institute chairman C.M.N. Muruganandan, and CSTRI Director Arindam Basu, in Bangalore on Monday, a Centre for Research and Development would be set up on NIFT-TEA Institute premises at Mudalipalayam, near here.
Mr. Muruganandan told The Hindu that the centre would have gadgets for knitting, processing, finishing, and garment making so as to develop multi-range composition of fibres and evolve new methods for the production of fabrics.
The centre would be a hub for standardisation of yarn qualities and product development apart from having facilities to test the fabrics.
read more.
Return to frontpage

17:59:53 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Still in business: 3m textile workers to remain employed in winter, says APTMA:

20131219 TRIBUNE

Some three million textile workers will continue to work during the next three months due to the federal government’s decision to supply 100 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) to the textile industry in Punjab, said All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman S M Tanveer.

In previous years, the Punjab-based textile industry would have had no option but to lay off workers during three months of winter due to suspension of gas supply, he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Praising the decision of the federal government, Tanveer said each and every worker of the textile industry was acknowledging the support given by the prime minister and the chief minister of Punjab.
read more.
tribune

* Decision to supply gas: textile workers to continue jobs this winter: APTMA Punjab:

Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer has said that some three million textile workers will continue to work during next three months due to federal government’s decision of supplying 100mmcfd gas to textile industry in Punjab.

Traditionally, he said, the Punjab-based textile industry had no option but to lay off those workers during three months of winter due to non-availability of gas supply to the mills in previous years.

He appreciated the decision of the federal government and said that each and every worker of the Punjab-based textile industry was acknowledging the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chief Minister Punjab, Governor Punjab, Federal Finance Minister and Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources for their support to Punjab-based textile workers.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Improved security: PTA chairman lauds LEAs’ efforts:

Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman Fawad Jawed has expressed hope that the law enforcing agencies will remain vigilant and maintain the peaceful atmosphere in industrial areas of the city.

He urged upon the LEAs to make efforts to further improve the law and order to restore the leather exporters’ confidence so that the industry could play its due role and contribute to the national economy.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

17:59:53 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

Uzbek teachers forced to work at military base:

Military personnel of the town of Tojtepa in Tashkent province forced the town’s teachers to clean up the Ministry of Emergence Services military base.

Such exploitation of teachers by the Tojtepa military is unprecedented even in Uzbekistan where forced labor is wide-spread.
It became known that teachers and officials from Tojtepa school Number 4 were forced under the threat of dismissal to clean up an empty military base that belongs to the Ministry of Emergency Services on the edge of the town on November 5-10.
(…)
Military base instead of cotton
A school technician, who wished to remain anonymous, told Uznews.net that he was given a choice to either work on the cotton harvest or fix up the military base.
“We were told that we were to work on the base until the others were finished picking cotton,” he says.
read more.
UZnews

TIME

20131218

GLOBAL

* Migrants and the garment industry:

International Migrants Day, 18 December, is an international day appointed by the United Nations.

On this day in 1990, the UN General Assembly adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families. It is observed throughout the world as an opportunity to highlight the risks and abuses faced by migrants and also as an opportunity to celebrate their enormous contribution to the global economy, their host countries and their home countries.

Migrants and the garment industry
Migrant workers are becoming an increasingly important part of the workforce within the global garment industry.

Countries with a high proportion of migrant workers employed in the garment industry includes Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Mauritius, Jordan, Egypt and the Maldives. For most of these countries the industry more or less relied on the import of labour for its ability to compete on a global level. In China, internal migrants make up the majority of garment workers.

The increasing presence of migrant garment workers cannot be separated from a more general trend in the industry, namely a dramatic shift from the use of permanent, regular employment to temporary, contract and seasonal labour.

As brands and retailers develop buying policies that are based on lower prices, shorter lead times and more favourable (to them) terms of trade and credit their relationships with suppliers are becoming increasingly unstable and temporary. This in turn is translating into an increase in job insecurity and worsening working conditions.

Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Migrant garment workers are part of a growing global industry of managed labour migration, sometimes involving long and complex labour supply chains that obscure normal relationships between employer and employee.

At the same time most migrant workers exist in legal grey areas, where their status and identity as workers is subject to constant legal and economic insecurity. Government policies on migration and work are instrumental in creating a whole tier of workers whose legal status prevents them from speaking out to demand their rights and creating a pool of workers subjected to conditions akin to modern slavery.
read more.
Site

* I am a shoe :

A closer look at how a sports shoe is manufactured and distributed in what is a multi-billion dollar industry.
see more. (Interactive)
aljazeera

20:59:53 local time map of china CHINA

* China’s sliding-scale tariff for cotton imports in 2014:

China’s Ministry of Finance has announced the sliding-scale tariff plan for import of cotton in 2014.
The tariff, applicable for cotton imports excluded from volume under import quotas, is as follows:
a.If the cotton import quoted price equals or exceeds 15,000 yuan per ton (equivalent to 110.98 US cents per lb based on US$/RMB exchange rate of 6.1305), the unit tax of 570 yuan per ton will be applicable.
b.If the price of imported cotton is below 15,000 yuan per ton, the sliding-scale tariff rate will be calculated according to the formula:
read more.
fibre2fashion

19:59:53 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam’s garment exports reach $16.24bn in Jan-Nov’13:

The exports of garments and textiles from Vietnam reached US$ 16.241 billion during the first eleven months of the current year, according to the statistics released by the General Department of Customs, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance.
Of the total textiles and garment exports of US$ 16.241 billion made by Vietnam, fabrics accounted for only US$ 648.23 million.
From January to November 2013, Vietnam’s garments and textiles exports to the US stood at US$ 7.782 billion, followed by Japan with US$ 2.181 billion, and South Korea with US$ 1.509 billion.
read more.
fibre2fashion

19:59:53 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

* 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

20:59:53 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Apparel exports from Indonesia rise 3.23% in Jan-Oct’13:

The exports of apparel and clothing accessories from the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia grew marginally by 3.23 percent to US$ 6.2 billion in the first ten months of the current year, compared to exports of US$ 6.006 billion made during the corresponding period of last year, the data from Statistics Indonesia showed.
Knitted apparel and clothing accessories exports from Indonesia were valued at US$ 2.918 billion from January to October 2013, as against exports of US$ 2.871 billion made during the same period in 2012.
read more.
fibre2fashion

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* This Girl Walked Through Fire So We Can Get Jeans for $9:

Low production costs have made Bangladesh the world’s second-largest producer of ready-made fashions. What’s the real price we pay for cheap clothing?

The evening light is fading as Kala Begum carries her 16-year-old daughter out of their tiny tenement room and down the alley. It’s been another long day of scraping by on handouts to pay for Shumaya’s medical treatment; swelling around her badly injured eye, contorting her young face, has grown much worse since I first met her, several months ago.
Kala walks past idling onlookers toward the small pharmacy where she spends their meager savings on medicine in the hope of stemming the girl’s horrendous pain.

For a time, Kala and Shumaya worked side by side in a garment factory here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hundreds of such factories employ millions of Bangladeshis, and many have escaped extreme poverty.
Shumaya, though, has been unable to work or attend school for more than a year because of her poor health, and Kala limited her hours so she could tend to her daughter.

Shumaya started working at age 11. She began at her last employer, Tazreen Fashions Ltd., which towers over the dusty suburb of Nischintapur, Ashulia, just outside Bangladesh’s capital, at 13. It was the only factory in the neighborhood that would take her at such a young age.
A typical day meant sewing 90 pieces an hour—T-shirts one day, dresses the next—with no toilet breaks outside of lunch hour; days could be long, sometimes more than 12 hours, six days a week. Tazreen was known for its place on the lower rung of a subcontracting system common in Bangladesh, whereby factories accept orders they can’t complete and farm out the work to other producers, which can be less compliant with recognized safety standards.
read more.
takepart

* Newsmaker of the Year: The Bangladeshi Apparel Worker:

As the 72-hour blockade imposed by the opposition party lifts briefly in Dhaka, 26-year-old Mina walks briskly to her factory in Tejgaon, in the central part of the Bangladeshi capital.

There is an element of fear and uncertainty, and police are posted around the street, alert after days of violent protests that have included arson, attacks and deaths.

Mina, who is a senior machine operator in a garment factory, moved to the city to work in the industry when she was 17. For many years, she has faced long working hours. “I feel sometimes that the production pressure may be impossible to endure,” says Mina, “because some days we work 12 hours, or 15 hours or more to meet it. But we are even more afraid that the factories may close down and we will be out of a job.”

She is one of the 3.8 million garment workers in Bangladesh, more than 85 percent of whom are women.
read more.
WWD

* Labour activist sheds light on working conditions in Bangladeshi sweatshops:

Kalpona Akter knows what she’s talking about when she describes the conditions of sweatshop workers in Bangladesh. After all, she started to work in one when she was just 12 years old.

At 16, she was fired for her union activities and was blacklisted, which she challenged in court. She was then hired by the union and later became part of its leadership.

Now a seasoned labour activist, Kalpona is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, a labour organization she founded with two other former garment workers in 2001. Based in the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka, it conducts labour rights training and leadership education for garment workers and advocates for labour rights.
Kalpona was in Ottawa in early December as part of a five-city tour in Canada to raise awareness about and garner support for BCWS’s advocacy work.

Many of us have heard of the extreme results of the wretched working conditions of the garment workers in Bangladesh – the 1,100 who died in the Rana Plaza building collapse and the more than 100 killed in the Tazreen factory fire. The substandard workplace health and safety conditions are all due to the sweatshop owners’ drive to save on production costs and squeeze out maximum profits.

“They lock the doors of the factories while workers are inside working,” says Kalpona as she talks about one of the common safety hazards in garment sweatshops. “When you ask the supervisors why they lock the doors, they say, ‘Because the workers will steal the merchandise.’ That’s their answer because they don’t recognize the workers as humans. They value the merchandise more than the workers.”
read more.
psac

* Bangladesh garment workers need union advocacy, says Ms. Kalpona Akter:

Horrendous factory fires and other disasters have alerted the public worldwide to the labor exploitation of garment workers in Bangladesh.

But even with improvements on a new focus in Bangladesh to make factory buildings more safe, it’s not time to let up on public pressure under and industry that has too often shown little regard for women who work in the textile industries.
Kalpona Akter,  a former child factory worker and now Executive Director of Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, speaks out about the current needs and conditions for women most people don’t even consider when they buy clothes.

“The bottom line is, we need these jobs. It is important for those females who work  in the factory to work these jobs with dignity and in a dignified way,” says Akter during her recent radio interview.
Safety through a dignified place to work, along with a union representative voice for workers is what’s needed say union advocate, Kalpona Akter.
read more.
WWN

* Anguish in RMG sector exist almost whole of 2013:

Due to the ongoing political impasse, the country’s RMG sector losses in billions of taka every day. Foreign apparel orders worth $3.96 lakh were cancelled while the exporters spent $3.08 lakh on air shipment during the first three days of the current month, according to the data collected by BGMEA’s research and development team.

The research unit collected data from 10 exporters to assess the overall losses caused by the blockade. Many small factory owners may go bankrupt due to failing shipment on time.
The 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. Some buyers are also imposing penalties in case of delayed shipment, cutting prices of garment products and transport costs have surged by around 30 percent due to expensive air shipment. Many factories have halted production as they can’t bring imported raw materials from ports.
read more.
BDreports24

* Aussie retailers to publish address of Bangladesh RMG maker:

Target Australia and Pacific Brands have promised to publish the location of their supplier factories in Bangladesh, in what human rights groups described as a ”watershed moment” for Australian retailers.

Kmart, the first Australian company to pledge full transparency of its supply chain, will publish the location of every Bangladesh factory on Tuesday.
Oxfam’s chief executive, Helen Szoke, said the announcements would encourage transparency.
”Without releasing information about supplier locations, there is no way to independently check with workers that decent conditions and basic rights are being upheld within factories,” she said. ”We urge other Australian retailers to follow Kmart’s lead, by being open about where they source their garments.”
read more. & read more.
BDreports24 daily star bd

* New investments in RMG sector drop sharply in first half of FY’14:

New investments in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector dropped sharply in the first half of the current financial year following some tragic incidents and ongoing political unrest, sources said.

High interest on bank loans, a protracted energy crisis during the period and international conspiracy against the industry are also responsible for the poor interest of the investors, they added.

Only three RMG units have been listed with the Registrar, Joint Stock Companies and Firms till December 15  of FY-2013-14 against twelve in the corresponding period last year, reflecting the uncertainty that has gripped the industry, which accounts for 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports worth US$ 27 billion.
read more.
FE bd

* Foreign buyers frustrated:

Frustrated foreign buyers have shifted their apparel orders to other countries with the increase of political violence on the highways.

An attack on the transports by the miscreants during blockade, one of them carrying three foreign buyers, in the capital several days ago prompted the buyers to take quick decision.
After tragic death of 1,245 workers in Rana Plaza collapse and fire incident at
Tazreen Fashions, the prevailing political unrest and violence have aggravated the uncertainty among the buyers, garment industry entrepreneurs said.
read more.
NEWNATIONnew

* Drastic fall in leather export orders:

The export orders for finished leather, leather goods and footwear have drastically declined by around 60 per cent following the political standoff, frequent long spells of nationwide hartal and blockade in the last one month, making a heavy blow to the sectors.

The industry insiders said the foreign buyers of Bangladeshi finished and crust leather and leather goods were refraining themselves from making new export orders in the last month as they were skeptical of timely delivery of their import orders amidst ongoing nationwide political violence.
The back-to-back long spells of countrywide blockade and hartal by the opposition have drastically broken down the entire supply chain of the three sub-sectors of leather industry—tannery, leather goods and footwear industries—and also made the entrepreneurs anxious about the achievement of export target of US$ 669.80 million,set by the government for the current fiscal year 2013-14.
read more.
theindependent

* Bangladesh apparel sector benefits from China slowdown:

Bangladesh has slowly emerged as the world’s second largest exporter of ready-made clothes and has been able to slowly close the gap with China, the once ‘leading dragon’ of the global economy.

According to the reports, Bangladesh’s garment industry is expected to scale new heights and reach USD 30 billion by 2015. The country boasts of approximately 5,000 garment factories which sell their clothes to western brands like H&M, Gap, Marks and Spencer.

With China losing its ‘low cost’ advantage, countries like Bangladesh with its cheap labor and low production costs have risen to take over the mantle. Emerging as the top apparel sourcing destination, Bangladesh has begun to build the required infrastructure to absorb large-scale orders from the western countries.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Chinese company invests US$ 22m in Ishwardi EPZ:

China is going to set up a Spinning and Textile industry in Ishwardi EPZ. This company to be known as M/s Asia Spinning and Textile Mills Ltd.

The fully foreign owned company will invest US$ 22 million for setting up their plant with annual production capacity of 19,000 tons of Yarn and 6,000 Yds of Fabrics. Asia Spinning and Textile Mills will create employment opportunity for 1,450 Bangladeshi nationals.

An agreement to this effect today signed between Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and M/s Asia Spinning and Textile Mills Ltd in Dhaka at BEPZA Complex Sayed Nurul Islam, Member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA and Li Zhan Bin, Managing Director of M/s. Asia Spinning and Textile Mills Ltd. signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
read more. & read more. & read more.
bss DHAKATRIBUNE daily star bd

* Factory worker murdered:

A textile mills worker was slaughtered by some unidentified assailants at Bhagdi in Narsingdi town on Monday night.

The deceased was identified as Riyad, 24, son of Harun-Or-Rashid of Ruposdi village in Bancharampur upazila. Relatives said that his friend Shahid and Amin called out Riyad from his house for watching Victory Day programme but he did not return home yesterday night.
On Tuesday morning, local villagers found his body and informed Narsingdi sadar model thana.
On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. They suspect that Riyad’s friends took him to the nearby Bhagdi field and murdered him with the help of some other killers.
to read.
theindependent

18:29:53 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

* Uster hosts brainstorming session for Indian spinners :

The Indian arm of textile yarn quality control equipments producer and Switzerland based Uster organized a panel discussion involving experts from the cotton textile sector at a seminar befittingly called ‘Uster Quality University’ in Goa last week for the benefit of spinners from the Guntur belt of Andhra Pradesh.

The panel discussion included Mr Shashi Stalekar, a cotton expert and Vice President of the cotton division of Ahmedabad based – Sagar Associates, Mr Manohar Kanitkar, Country Head at US based Werner International, Mr G Punnaiah Choudary – Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Spinning Mills Association and finally Mr Thomas Nasiou – Vice President (Textile Technology) at Uster. The discussion was moderated by the India head of Uster – Mr V.R. Rathnam.

Before the start of the panel discussion, Mr Thomas Nasiou gave a brief background on the first ever two-day Uster Quality University – top management summit being held in India after receiving due success in China.
He said that the main mission behind hosting this summit was to help their partners (spinners) in achieving excellence in bottom-line performance in their spinning mills through quality. He added that this summit would also prove to be a platform to share ideas and experiences among participants.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Surat textile industry shelves yarn bank project:

According to industry players, the volatile international yarn market has rendered the project unviable

With the frequent price and global demand fluctuations in the , the -based players have shelved the plan for setting up a . The Surat based industry was supposed to set up a yarn bank with the help of the Textile Ministry and had made announcement in July this year.

According to industry players, the volatile international yarn market has rendered the project unviable.
Early in July this year, the Surat-based synthetic textile industry had sought support of the Ministry of Textiles for setting up of a yarn bank.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

17:59:53 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Workers Union raises voice against Precarious Work:

20131217 PTGLW 1b

On December 13 ,2013 Pakistan Textile Garments and Leather Workers Federation organized a rally  at Faisalabad (Pakistan ) to raise their voice against Precarious Work .

The workers demanded security of employment and protection from exploitation>
Several representatives of trade unions from textile, Garments, Hosiery, powerlooms and workers joined the Rally.
Reported By Nadeem Parwaz, General Secretary, PTGLWF.
ITGLWF

* GSP plus to help increase exports by $1 billion annually: Senate told:

Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday informed Senate that Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP Plus) status given by the EU will help increase Pakistan’s exports $1 billion annually.

In a policy statement on the floor of the house, the minister said that gaining access to EU markets was a collective effort of the incumbent and the previous governments of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

He said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took special interest in securing the GSP plus status, for which he specially invited EU ambassadors to Pakistan at luncheon, which helped in lobbying for this great opportunity. Besides, Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar and Sajjad Tareen used their clout in EU countries to make GSP Plus status a reality, which will strengthen Pakistan’s economy with the creation of more jobs in thousands.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* ECC diverts gas to textile units:

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Tuesday formally approved a prime minister’s directive for diversion of 85 million cubic feet of natural gas from electricity to textile units.

A senior government official said the withdrawal of gas from power sector would have an adverse impact on electricity tariff because of resultant reliance on furnace oil when hydropower generation would come to almost negligible level in the wake of winter canal closure.

However, the prime minister on the request of influential textile tycoons had desired that additional gas be given to take an advantage of the grant of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status to Pakistan.
read more.
DAWNnew

* An impetus for investment:

The grant of duty-free access to Pakistan’s exports to the European Union under the bloc’s GSP Plus scheme may spur Chinese investment in the country’s textiles and clothing industry.

Conversations with several knitwear and garment manufacturers last week showed that many expect substantial relocation of downstream, value-added Chinese textile industry to Pakistan over the next couple of years.

For some, the proposed purchase by a Chinese firm of a majority shareholding in Maqsood Textiles in Faisalabad is indicative of the deep interest of Chinese investors in entering into joint ventures with local manufacturers to take advantage of the trade concessions allowed by the 27-member economic bloc to Pakistan from next year.
read more.
DAWNnew

* Safe Environment training workshop:

20131217 PTGLW 2b

On 14/15 December 2013 Pakistan Textile Garments and Leather Workers Federation in collaboration with UA ZENSEN (Japan ) training workshop was conducted at Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The theme of  workshop was “To sensitize Stake Holders for Safe Environment at work places”. 35 Participants from different textile, garments, powerlooms, hosiery and connected industries joined the workshop.
It was approved during workshop that our common agenda to improve working environment so the health and life be secured.
Reported by Nadeem Parwaz, General Secretary, PTGLWF
ITGLWF

17:59:53 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* In Uzbekistan, the Practice of Forced Labor Lives On During the Cotton Harvest:

For most of the year, Dr. Tamara Khidoyatova treats patients as a doctor at a hospital here in this picturesque, old Silk Road city. But for a few weeks every autumn, she is forced to pick cotton, for which she is paid little or nothing.

Throughout the fall, when the cotton harvest comes in, the government drafts about a million people, primarily public-sector employees and professionals, to work as cotton pickers, helping bring in the harvest for the world’s fifth-largest cotton exporting nation.

“You come to work, with all the makeup, wearing nice clothes, good shoes,” Dr. Khidoyatova, 61, said. “And the polyclinic director runs in and says, ‘I need 40 people in the field, the bus is outside, hurry, hurry!’ ”

That was just a day trip. But most people are given some notice, and then go away for a month at a time. Once in the fields, pickers loop heavy cloth sacks over their necks, stoop between the furrows and repeatedly clutch at the white puffs to gather a quota of 120 pounds of raw cotton a day. At night, they sleep on cots in the gymnasiums of village schools or in crude barracks in the fields.
read more.
NYT

TIME

20131217

19:59:53 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Apparel exports to the US likely hit 8.5 billion USD:

Vietnam’s garment and textile industry is able to earn 8.5 billion USD from selling its products to the US by the year-end, up 10.4 percent from 2012.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam, the sector is likely to post a gradual growth in its apparel exports to the market due to a moderate increase in labour costs estimate for next year.
The Southeast Asian nation is expected to enjoy the strongest growth among the largest clothing exporters to the US, namely China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Bangladesh.
Currently, Vietnam ’s textile-garment exports account for 36 percent of its total export turnover to the US .
The sector might bring home 16.4 billion USD from shipping its products to the US by 2025.
to read.
VNBusinessTIMES

19:59:53 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 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

20:59:53 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

 19:29:53 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Exports to the U.S. top US$11 million this year:

Myanmar has exported more than US$ 11 million worth of products, mainly in garments and fishery, to the United States this fiscal year, according to government statistics.

The figures show a sizeable increase from US$ 2.81 million earned in exports to the U.S in the same period last year.
The United States lifted economic sanction on Myanmar to increase the economic ties between the two countries and support democratic reforms.
read more.
Eleven

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bata Bangladesh to invest Tk 2000m:

Jack Clemons, worldwide CEO, Bata Shoe Company said Bata Bangladesh is going to invest Tk 2,000 million in next 5 years which will create more employment in Bangladesh.

The chief executive of Bata Shoe made the remark while speaking at a press conference at the corporate office at Tongi in Gazipur on Sunday.
Bata Shoe Company organized the press conference.
read more.
Print

18:29:53 local time map of india INDIA

* 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

* Garment industry in Indore yet to adopt new tech:

It may be the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh, but when it comes to technology, garment manufacturers have not yet developed a liking for the same.

There are two main reasons for their inhibitions for not embracing modern technology. There is cheap labour available in the city and the labourers employed are not skilled in the art of garment manufacturing.

Those who have been in this business for years, feel that it is better and cheaper to employ a large number of workers. Their thinking is clouded by sentiments. And the traditional thinking is overpowering the potential of a better market. ”

Their family is dependent on the wages brought home by the worker and hence the emotional attachment restricts them from investing properly. The approach is definitely positive, but in a negative direction,” director of Capital Apparels, Prabhat Chakrabarty, said.
read more.
TOInew

* A journey into North-East’s textile tradition:

20131217 HINDU
An Assamese artiste weaving a traditional design.File Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

One hundred distinguished alumni of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad recently undertook a journey to the North-East to interact with indigenous communities in a bid to document their design and traditional socio-cultural practices. In the process, the NID team also managed to conduct a holistic study of the traditional textiles of the region.

The results of this exercise will soon be out in the public domain in a two-day event titled “Threads of Change: Textile Cultures of North-East India Components” at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts here beginning January 7.

According to IGNCA member secretary Dipali Khanna, the ongoing documentation project is basically a design study of textile traditions in the North-East.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Private cos, dealer network facilitated growth of Bt cotton in India: study:

A chain of farmers, technical personnel from private seed companies and network of retailers, dealers and distributors facilitated the swift and sometimes controversial growth of Bt technology among cotton farmers of India.

According to a survey conducted among 2,400 cotton farmers spread across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, the financial support system extended to cotton growers by cooperative banks and ginners also helped in adoption of this technology.

was commercialised in India in 2002 and since then adoption of the technology has grown at a rapid pace across the country, so much so that almost 93% of the total cotton sown in the country is now Bt cotton.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Labour unions’ plea for reopening tanneries:

The Joint Committee of All Labour Unions of Tanneries in Tamil Nadu has appealed to the government through the Vellore District Collector to take steps to reopen the 56 tanneries which were closed on November 27 for their failure to comply with the norms of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on zero liquid discharge in the treatment of the tannery effluents.

Workers rendered jobless
In a petition submitted to the Collector during the weekly public grievances reddressal day camp at the Collectorate here on Monday, the functionaries of the member unions stated that more than 10,000 tannery workers have been rendered jobless on account of the closure of the tanneries. As a result, they and their families were struggling to eke out a livelihood.

If the tanneries were not reopened, there was a danger of nearly 30,000 workers in the ancillary industries being rendered jobless, they pointed out.
The Joint Committee urged the State government to contribute its share of the fund which the Supreme Court wanted to be created to initiate measures to protect the Palar River from the damage caused by the polluting tanneries.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* LMW rolls out new spinning system:

Textile machinery manufacturing major Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW) has introduced a compact spinning system.

“This system has helped us set new standards in compact spinning technology and improve the efficiency of looms by 10 per cent,” said M. Sankar, Vice President – SMG, LMW.
“Customers’ needs have become more explicit on yarn quality requirements to meet the end-users’ demands. Compacting or condensing minimises the width and height of the spinning triangle. Fibres align more uniformly with less hairiness and uniform twist flows,” he explained.
read more.
Return to frontpage

17:59:53 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile sector: uninterrupted power, gas supply must be ensured: PHMA:

Senior Vice Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) north zone Zia-ur-Rehman Choudhary said in a press release issued on Monday that textile exports had been declining in Pakistan, as manufacturers and exporters were facing hardships to compete with its competitors, especially Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who already had duty-free access to European markets.

GSP Plus status is a great achievement for Pakistan which will give the positive effect on Pakistani products, especially textiles, he said. The status, he said, will prove to be of great benefit to Pakistan’s textile manufacturers and exporters who will now have access to 27 European countries without having to pay duties.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Getting ready: SITE body calls for GSP Plus preparation:

20131217 TRIBUNEYounus Bashir stressed upon the need of self-sustainable special economic zones for the purpose of producing exportable commodities on a 24-hours basis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

SITE Association of Industry Chairman Younus Bashir said that the government should prepare a comprehensive strategy for the textile sector to ensure that the country benefits from the grant of GSP Plus status which is very important under the current circumstances.

He stressed upon the need of self-sustainable special economic zones for the purpose of producing exportable commodities on a 24-hours basis.
“Such a zone will be very successful where a developer can develop an area, produce its own energy requirements, place effluent treatment plant and implement international labour organisation regulations and other social compliances,” said Bashir.

He hailed the decision of the European Parliament granting the status to Pakistan and said that the industrialists of SITE – one of the oldest and biggest industrial zones in the country – are overwhelmed by this decision.
“This is a success of the government that did proper lobbying at the right forum” Bashir added.
to read.
tribune

* ‘Granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan shows confidence of global markets’:

SITE Association of Industry hailing the decision of European Parliament granting of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status to Pakistan with a majority vote said the decision showed confidence of the global markets on the excellent quality of Pakistani products.

The industrialists suggested the government should prepare a comprehensive strategy for the textile sector to ensure the country benefits from the grant of GSP status, which is most essential under the given circumstances.

They suggested promoting self-sustainable special economic zone for the purpose of producing exportable commodities on 24 hours basis. This kind of zone approved very successful, where a developer develops an area and produce its own energy requirements plus effluent treatment plant implementation of International Labour Organistaion and other social complaint requirements.
read more.
thenewspk

* Improvement needed: A reality check on the GSP Plus status:

Amid all the hype surrounding Pakistan being granted the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) Plus status, a government functionary was quick to provide a reality check.

Trade concessions that the country has won from the European Union cannot be fully exploited as, presently, Pakistan exports only 150 – or 2.5% — of the total 6,000 duty-free product lines that the bloc of 27 nations has offered, said the official.

In his first interaction with the media after the EU granted Pakistan the status, Minister of State for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Dastgir said the country now needed to diversify its export base. “In the coming days the foremost challenge is how to diversify an extremely narrow base of exports,” said Dastgir.
read more.
tribune

* ‘GSP Plus status big development towards realising trade not aid’:

Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Monday the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status given by the European Union would raise Pakistan’s exports by $1 billion annually and it was a big development towards realising the slogan of `trade not aid’.

The GSP provided concessions on about 6,000 tariff lines, while Pakistan had currently around 150 tariff lines.

This was an opportunity as well as a challenge for the government and exporters to enhance their export products, he said at a press conference. Khurram said, “This is an opportunity as well as a challenge for the government and traders to diversify their export basket and expand their capacity to boost exports.”
read more.
thenewspk

* Exporters demand ‘GSP Plus Cell’:

The export-oriented industry has asked the government to establish a ‘GSP Plus Cell’ for maximum utilisation of duty-free access to 27-member European Union (EU) as well as job creation and earning foreign exchange.

The proposal was part of various demands raised by the leaders of six leading value-added textile sectors at a hurriedly called press briefing held at the Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures Association (PHMA) House on Monday.

The representatives said that the cell could monitor each consignment leaving the country’s ports and the information would be shared with exporters so that no over shipments can be made and risk any default.

Similarly, the government should immediately match tariff lines with the EU as out of the total 949 tariff lines of Pakistan, around 210 do not match with the Brussels tariff lines. “This will cause problem to exports at port of entry when EU customs and tariff lines do not match,” the maintained.
read more.
DAWNnew

* GSP plus likely to enhance domestic cotton consumption:

Following the approval of GSP Plus status by European Union (EU), the domestic textile industry may require an additional quantity of one million cotton bales during this year.

Cotton traders said on Monday that cotton demand by the domestic mills is likely to increase in the coming days as exporters will require more cotton for exports to EU.

As per the new trade concessions under the GSP Plus, 3,500 Pakistani products will be allowed to enter EU on a duty free or preferential duty rate. Currently Pak textile exports to the EU draw an 11 percent duty. Under the new rules, almost 20 percent of Pakistani exports will be allowed to enter the EU at zero tariff, while a further 70 percent will be allowed to enter at preferential rates.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* GSP+ status: questions on Balochistan to be dealt with, says Dastgir:

Minister of State for Commerce and Textile, Engineer Khurram Dastgir said on Monday that if issues relating to Balochistan are taken up at the European Union (EU) with reference to Generalised System of Preference (GSP) plus status, the government will deal with those accordingly.

He was addressing a press conference on the process of EU”s grant of GSP plus status to Pakistan and acknowledged diplomatic efforts by the previous as well as the incumbent government that led to a duty-free access to 27-sate of the European bloc.

Replying to a question “if operations continue in Balochistan, will that not affect Pakistan”s GSP plus status when it is reviewed in three year”s time like in Sri Lanka?,” the Minister said: “there is no formal operation in Balochistan and if issues are raised we will deal with them appropriately”.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

17:59:53 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

On who receives profit from Uzbek cotton:

In her interview to the Turkish Hürriyet Daily, Gulnara Karimova named the individuals who according to her receive profits from the sale of the Uzbek cotton, and revealed the secret behind her fortune.

The Uzbek president’s oldest daughter included the well-known human rights activist Mutabar Tajibaeva and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, in a “corrupt gang” who are receiving money from the re-sale of cotton picked by slave labor.

According to Karimova, Tajibaeva plays a “certain part” in this large criminal organization and former ambassador Craig Murray provides his protection. She says that Murray received funds from Atabek Gaziev (a relative and key member of the Salimov, Usmanov, Alimov and Shodiev clans), Xajet Sharifhodjaev (the deputy head of the secret police – Editor) and Bekzod Ahmedov (CEO of the MTS subsidiary who fled the country – Editor) through a certain trusted Pakistani businessmen.

Karimova maintains that all the afore-mentioned had common business interests in the transport and import of cotton, which they still control today through more stable money-laundering companies.
read more.
UZnews

TIME

20131216

20:59:53 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Price surge makes P125 wage hike more urgent – KMU:

Even as they express opposition to increases in the prices of basic goods and payments for basic services, workers reiterated their call for a significant wage hike today, saying the latest price surge highlights the need for a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide.

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said that workers have for decades been denied by the country’s regional wage boards of a significant wage hike, causing price increases to outstrip wage increases and workers’ families to suffer from increasing hunger and poverty.
read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO

20:59:53 local time map of china CHINA

* Many hands make light work in glove firm:

201312116 CHINDAILY
Workers make gloves at one of the 11 glove-producing factories run by Meng Hongjian. [Photo / China Daily]

Protecting fingers has turned into a lucrative industry for Shandong sewers

It is early winter, and the sound in the air is an incessant whirring of sewing machines.

“At busy times of the year, hundreds of workers are at those machines about eight hours a day,” says Meng Hongjian.
This day, about 100 women are sitting behind rows of sewing machines. Meng, general manager of Jining Yicheng Glove Co Ltd, points out that winter is a slack season for the glove makers.

The factory, in Dazhanglou, Jiaxiang county, Shandong province, is one of 11 such factories that Meng, who has been making and selling sports gloves for more than 20 years, runs.
The company says it turns out 2.2 million pairs a year, ranking it second among the county’s 227 glove-making companies in terms of production.
The county produced gloves worth 3 billion yuan ($494 million) last year, 27.5 percent higher than six years earlier.
The industry in the county focuses on sports gloves, mainly for skiing, hunting and shooting, says Wang Ruifeng, deputy director of the county’s organization that represents small and medium-sized enterprises.
read more.
CHINADAILY

19:59:53 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

* Factory Owners Slam Government Over Handling of Strikes:

Members of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said during a conference Sunday that they are “fed up” with the government for not controlling strikes by labor unions.

“All of us have the same issue: illegal strikes,” Van Porphin, a member of GMAC’s executive committee, told an audience of about 200 factory owners and managers gathered for GMAC’s Open Forum 2013 at Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Casino.
“We have seen that the government doesn’t have the will or want to enforce the law. We are fed up about this situation. So, I think to be realistic, we have to fight for ourselves, we have to find our own solution,” she said.

One way to deal with the relatively high rate of industrial unrest in the country, Ms. Porphin suggested, would be to stop paying bribes to union leaders to stay off the picket lines and to instead use that money to raise wages.
“Instead of giving money under the table to bad unions to settle disputes, give the money to the workers,” she suggested.

GMAC chairman Van Sou Ieng said that, without government intervention, garment manufacturers being pressured by unions “are put in a corner as if a gangster is pointing a gun to your head,” requiring them to take matters into their own hands by bribing union leaders to stand down when industrial disputes arose.
Mr. Sou Ieng said upcoming negotiations over the minimum wage, which are set to begin today, would “mean nothing if illegal strikes continue.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* 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

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Companies fail to compensate Bangladesh fire victims: HRW:

‘Retailers should fulfill responsibility to ensure worker protections’

The survivors of a Bangladesh factory fire, which killed at least 112 garment workers last year, are still suffering from their injuries and loss of income, and have not received adequate compensation, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

The brands that were sourcing garments from Tazreen Fashions should immediately join an International Labour Organization effort to fund full and fair compensation to all the injured and the families of the dead.

In recent interviews with workers and relatives of two missing workers, many told Human Rights Watch that a year after the November 24, 2012 fire, they had received no compensation.

Survivors said that they have been forced to sell off their possessions to pay for treatment. One said her husband was now begging for money. Others said they could not afford medical care, could no longer work, and were continually in pain.
read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE

* HRW spurs int’l brands to compensate Tazreen victims:

Human Rights Watch has called upon the brands that were sourcing garments from Tazreen Fashions to immediately join an International Labour Organisation effort to compensate the injured and the families of the dead.

At least 112 garment workers were killed and many injured when fire raged through the garment factory in Ashulia on November 24 last year.

In recent interviews with workers and relatives of two missing workers, many told the New York-based rights organisation that a year after the fire, they had received no compensation, according to a HRW report published Monday.

“One year after the Tazreen fire, victims are still suffering and waiting for adequate compensation,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW.

“Many retailers with production at the factory have not yet helped a group of very poor workers and their families.”
read more. & read more.
daily star bd FE bd

* Companies Fail to Compensate Fire Victims:

The survivors of a Bangladesh factory fire, which killed at least 112 garment workers last year, are still suffering from their injuries and loss of income and have not received adequate compensation, Human Rights Watch said today.

The brands that were sourcing garments from Tazreen Fashions should immediately join an International Labour Organization effort to fund full and fair compensation to all the injured and the families of the dead.

In recent interviews with workers and relatives of two missing workers, many told Human Rights Watch that a year after the November 24, 2012 fire, they had received no compensation. Survivors said that they have been forced to sell off their possessions to pay for treatment. One said her husband was now begging for money. Others said they could not afford medical care, could no longer work, and were continually in pain.
(…)
Some survivors who were badly injured as they jumped out of the burning factory said that they had not received anything because they were not healthy enough to claim the compensation package provided by the BGMEA. Others said that the officials handling compensation claims did not believe them despite their injuries.

The Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes campaign has calculated that the amount of long-term compensation for the injured and deceased should be at least US$5.7 million, and could be shared between the factory owner, retailers, the BGMEA, and the government. This is based on a formula previously used by Bangladeshi trade unions and foreign retailers, including Gap, to set the amount of compensation following a factory fire in 2010, in which 29 people died.
(….)

Statements from injured workers who did not receive compensation:
“I was on the fourth floor when the fire started. I jumped onto the roof of a two-storied building next door. I hurt my head, side, and leg. Because of my injuries, I can’t operate a sewing machine anymore. I still have severe headaches. I needed surgery for my injuries and then went to stay in my village to recuperate. I did not get any compensation. I was away for four months, and when I came back the factory owner told me I was too late.”
read more. & read more. & to read.
banglanews24 HRW theindependent

* BGMEA to screen out members:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has decided to cancel the membership of the factories, which will fail to submit renewed trade licenses and updated tax returns by the year end.

The decision was taken at a board meeting held Saturday night, with the association president M Atiqul Islam in the chair.

“We have taken an epoch making decision for the non-compliant members of BGMEA. We want to make readymade garment industry a matured and compliant one,” Atiqul Islam told Dhaka tribune yesterday.

According a commerce ministry circular published on January 12, 2010, a businessman must have a TIN, updated tax return documents and trade license to be a member of any business association of their respective area and business.

The membership of any association will be cancelled, If any member of any association, excluding federation chamber, fails to place his or her updated tax return documents and trade license within the stipulated time.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* 8,000 apprentices graduate under EU funded ILO project:

The European Union ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna on Saturday handed certificates to a group of the total 8,000 apprentices across Bangladesh who recently completed skilled apprenticeships.

Just three years ago, there were only 98 apprentices registered under the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
Introducing apprenticeships and their up scaling has been a key initiative of the TVET Reform Project, supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and funded by the European Union (EU), says a press release.
Two programmes taking apprenticeships to this new level in Bangladesh are in the Centre of Excellence for Leather (COEL), graduating 6,000 apprentices in the leather sector; and a partnership between UNICEF, BRAC and the ILO, graduating 2,000 apprentices in a number of trades, with another 3,000 starting in 2014. EU ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna said, “In developing countries, skills are the key to reducing poverty.
read more.
theindependent

* BB cuts 1pc interest on EDF to help exporters recover losses:

The central bank has slashed 1.0 per cent interest on its export development fund (EDF) scheme for the next six months aiming to help exporters recover their losses caused by the ongoing political unrest.

Under the amended rules, exporters are allowed to get such foreign currency loan through commercial banks on payment of 1.50 per cent interest instead of 2.50 per cent earlier.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a circular in this connection Sunday and asked the commercial banks to follow the revised interest rate on the EDF scheme from the date of issuance of this circular.
read more.
FE bd

18:29:53 local time map of india INDIA

* 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

* Mill workers complete undergraduate course:

For M. Saranya from Villupuram, M. Priya from Karur and 30 more workers of KPR Mills at Arasur here, December 14, 2013 is one of the most memorable days. 

With their parents among the audience, the workers received the degree certificates at a convocation function organised by the mill on Saturday. They had completed B.A., B.Com or BBA from the Tamil Nadu Open University or Alagappa University.  The mill has 1,980 women workers at the Arasur unit and 32 of them have completed undergraduate courses this year. They joined the mill after completing Standard XI or XII. They worked from morning to evening and studied for four or five hours a day at the special facility created by the mill.

K. Somasundaram, factory manager, told The Hindu that the textile mill had teachers to take classes on the mill premises for the workers who are studying after work hours. There was a tuition centre too. The class hours were flexible. Education was provided free of cost to the interested workers and they had to pay only part of the examination fee.  There were now 96 workers studying Standard XII, 84 studying Standard X, 13 doing MBA course and eight in M.Com. Nearly 25 per cent of the women workers, who joined the mill for work, decided to continue education when they see many others studying after work hours.
read more.
Return to frontpage

17:59:53 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* On verge of failure: Textile City leaking cash and resources:

Time management is undoubtedly the most important aspect of any successful project because a very common cause of soaring project budgets is the inability to follow set timelines.

Pakistan Textile City Limited at Port Qasim is a classic example of missing the schedules. The project, conceived in 2003 with the capacity to export textile goods worth $2 billion per annum and create 80,000 jobs for the unemployed youth of Karachi, has so far neither been able to complete infrastructure facilities nor sell plots to prospective textile entrepreneurs.

Interestingly enough, this city was planned as a pilot project and after its completion 20 more such cities were to be developed across the country. In the meantime, the infrastructure cost has increased so rapidly that investors are questioning the viability of even the pilot project.
read more.
tribune

* Dollar won”t soar, textile tycoons told:

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has advised industrialists to encash their dollars without any delay as it will not go up further.

“I advise you to encash your dollar as I guarantee you that it will not go up,” he said while addressing the annual dinner of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) at Punjab Governor”s House.

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State Khurram Dastgir, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and others were also present on the occasion. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was due to attend the function as chief guest but he could not make it on doctors” advice.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* GSP+ status Call for comprehensive policies to take full benefit:

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has emphasised the need to evolve comprehensive industrial policies to fully utilise the benefits of GSP plus and demanded uninterrupted power supply to industries throughout the year.

Talking to newsmen, Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, Chairman and Adil Tahir, Vice Chairman PTEA hailed the GSP plus status for Pakistan and hoped that this would led to a significant surge of $1 billion in textile exports.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

TIME

20131215

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Businesses lie in ashes:

Huq runs a big spinning mill in Bhaluka, Mymensingh. For the last five days his factory has been totally idle. He has run out of raw materials . His cotton is lying at Chittagong port, from which he cannot transport it.

He also owns a few fish projects in the Mymensingh belt. He could not sell his fish because there are no buyers.  He is feeding them and the fish are growing bigger. This means a loss for him because after a certain size the Pangas does not sell.
His bank loans are piling up. He knows he will be a defaulter this time. And then he does not know how he will overcome the situation.
This is the situation for all businessmen in Bangladesh today. As we talked to them, we found that most of them have either shut down their operations or have drastically scaled down production.
Bangladesh’s economy has today collapsed beyond any measure.
Many businessmen like Parvez are trying to grab at any straw they find to keep afloat. Parvez took the risk of bringing two truckloads of  fabrics for his garment factory in Ashulia five nights ago. Both his trucks were burned down at Sitakunda.
He has no answer as to how he will make his American buyer understand his plight.
The story is the same everywhere.
read more.
daily star bd

* ‘CSR way forward for RMG sector’:

Speakers at seminar here on Saturday laid emphasis on Bangladesh-Korea partnership to strengthen the activities of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) saying the CSR is the way forward for Bangladesh and its better economy.

“We believe the CSR is the way forward for Bangladesh and it’s the way forward for the RMG (readymade garment) sector,” said Farooq Sobhan, chairman of the CSR Centre Board of Trustees, at the inaugural session of the seminar.
As part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Bangladesh, the Korean Embassy in Dhaka in collaboration with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Centre arranged the seminar, titled ‘Bangladesh-Korea CSR Seminar 2013: Further Strengthening the 40 Year-Long Partnerships through CSR’ at a city hotel.
read more.
theindependent

* Chinese firm wants to invest Tk 14b for garment village:

A Chinese firm has shown its interest to invest Tk 14 billion for land and infrastructure development of the proposed garment industrial park at Bausia in Munshiganj, sources said.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) will jointly form a company by December to sign a deal with the Chinese company by this month, they added.

“A Chinese firm is willing to fund land and infrastructure development of the garment palli (village) in Bausia,” BGMEA vice president Md Shahidullah Azim told the FE Saturday.
read more.
FE bd

* BGMEA to form company for industrial park:

The non-compliant RMG factories will be relocated in the industrial park to make the country’s apparel industry compliant

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will form a company by this month to establish an industrial park at Bausia in Munshiganj for the country’s apparel makers.

The decision came at a board meeting of BGMEA at its office in Dhaka yesterday with president M Atiqul Islam in the chair.
“We are going to form a company to set up an industrial park at Bausia in Munshiganj for the RMG industry,” said M Atiqul Islam.
He added the non-compliant factories will be relocated at the park.

BGMEA chief said small and medium entrepreneurs will get priority in the allotment of plots, and if the SMEs fail to pay for their allotted plots, others will get opportunity.
As per decision at the meeting, the company will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hong Kong KRD International Investment Group Ltd for establishing the park.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Cotton import from Uzbekistan triggers row over warehouse:

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is in a dilemma over allowing bonded warehouse facility on imported cotton from Uzbekistan as it found local buyers not in favour of the authorities monopolising import destination.

Local entrepreneurs want the import destinations to be open so as to negotiate lower prices of cotton.
The issue remained pending for long as the authorities concerned are yet to reach a consensus over the issue.
Sources concerned said there are complexities on government-to-government agreement on the issue as the government cannot force the private sector to import cotton from any specific destination.
read more.
FE bd

* Leather industry demands interest waiver on loans:

Owners of tannery, leather and leather goods industries demanded interest waiver on bank loans for the next two years in order to recover the business-losses during the past few months due to the political violence in the name of frequent hartal and blockade across the country.

In addition, they also demanded fresh loans with a view to making payments of salaries and wages of the employees and workers during the period of political standoff. Engr M Abu Taher, chairman of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporter’s Association (BFLLFEA), placed the demand at a press briefing on “Protect the tannery, leather goods and footwear industries from the ongoing political impasse” at BFLLFEA office in the city on Saturday.
read more.
theindependent

* Bangladesh Factory Fires: Why Brands Are Accountable and Should Compensate Victims Now:

On the evening of April 23, 2013, garment factory employees of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, pleaded with management to take notice of the sudden cracks that had appeared in the walls and foundations.

Their requests for evacuation were ignored on the basis that the building owner, Sohel Rana, had just hired an engineer who had pronounced the building safe. The mostly female labor force, who were threatened with losing a month’s pay if they did not return, were ordered to work the next day. As they arrived at the building, the first thing they heard over the loudspeaker was this: “All the workers of Rana Plaza, go to work.
The factory has already been repaired.” Just half an hour later, the eight-story building collapsed, killing over 1,000 people and injuring more than 2,500. Local workers and relatives were some of the first on the scene, digging out mutilated bodies, including those of children who had been staying at the building’s day care center, from the rubble.
read more.
LISTENGIRLFRIENDS

             THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Victim primarily identified as Obaidul:

He worked as sewing assistant at New Wave Bottoms garment factory

The skeletal remains which were found with an ID card and a mobile phone in the Rana Plaza debris Friday belong to garment worker Obaidul, police primarily confirmed yesterday, after contacting the victim’s relatives through the retrieved SIM card.

They, however, will send the remains alongside a skull, located about 50 feet away, for DNA tests to properly establish the identity, said Dipok Chandra Saha, inspector of Savar Model Police Station, as locals presume that the remains are of two persons.
On Friday night, police dialled a number saved in the SIM card as “Vial” (thought to be misspelt for “Via” meaning brother) and one Faruq Hossain replied from the other side identifying him as a cousin of Obaidul, said police. Faruq answered all their queries properly, they added.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza victim’s skull handed over to relative:

Some street boys while scavenging garbage at the Rana Plaza site found the skull and bones

A human skull and bones recovered from the debris of multi-storey Rana Plaza at Savar were handed over to the relatives yesterday.

After the skull was found on Friday, police sent it to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Savar model police station confirmed that the skull was of Obaidul, a sewing operator of New Wave Bottom on the third floor of Rana Plaza.
Obaidul came from Dakirkanda village in Tarakanda upazila under Mymensingh. He had been missing since the deadly collapse of the building on April 24.
After failing to trace the body of his son, father Hafizur Rahman filed a general diary with Savar police on May 25.
Hafiz received the skull from DMCH.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

18:29:53 local time map of india INDIA

* Stitching a new story:

An opportunity for the garment industry to increase its global presence

After a couple of years of challenging times, the readymade garments industry has reasons to cheer now. Demand has revived both in the overseas and domestic markets giving a fillip to garment production and exports during the last eight months.

However, what is more significant than the revival in exports is the fact that several factors are favourable to the Indian garments industry now and these can be leveraged to increase India’s share in the global apparel market.

Second opportunity
Some in the industry are of the view that this is a second opportunity for the garments industry to increase its global presence substantially.
In 2005-06, when the quota restrictions made by the multi fibre agreement were completely phased out, India’s apparel exports grew 32 per cent over the previous year.
The country had about 2.8 per cent share in the global apparel trade then. The years after that had not go well for the garment exporters for several reasons.
In the last eight years, India’s share in the global apparel trade has increased to just 3.2 per cent. Countries such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Turkey are doing better.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Textile industry bullish on growth prospects …:

There is no better time than the present for the Indian textile industry to capitalise and grow, Prem Malik, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, New Delhi said.

Highlighting the gap between the textile industry in China and India, he said India used to have a larger share of the market in the 50s, but due to policy interventions, the country lost its share.

India vs China
India’s present share in the global market is just 4-4.5 per cent against China’s 35 per cent in the world market for textiles.
“But this is the most opportune time to grow, capitalise on the potential,” he said and continued: “the rationale behind this is simple,” enlisting India’s advantage vis-à-vis China
China has become close to a developed economy now. The costs are soaring, especially on the labour front and they have no advantage on power.
There is a huge gap in fibre pricing; so they are looking to import textile goods – be it home textiles or apparels.

Home textiles
“Home textile alone is a $300-billion market and currently we are doing only $3.5 million (in home textiles). Now is, therefore, the second best life time opportunity for the textile industry in India,” he said and urged the participants at the 8th edition of TexFair 2013 to gear up and face the challenges, going forward.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* ATDC Indore showcases skill development opportunities in apparel sector:

Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC), Indore, showcased skill development opportunities in the apparel sector at GARMEK, an exhibition on garment, embroidery and finishing machinery and accessories began here on Saturday.

The three-day event will conclude on Monday.
The display at the ATDC Indore stall aimed at showcasing the infrastructure & machinery available at their centre along with project reports and garment prepared by the students giving a complete insight to the individuals developing interest to explore the industry.
read more.
TOInew

* India’s cotton industry losing profitability:

Farmers consider abandoning sector worth $1bn claiming profit margins are too low.

Cotton farmers across India are feeling the pinch.

While they produce bumper crops many are struggling to make a profit, and with a dwindling workforce of cotton pickers some are considering leaving the industry all together.
see video reort.
aljazeera

17:59:53 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Agriculture aim: Pakistan likely to miss cotton production target:

Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah said that the recent floods, water shortage and low market price were the major reasons behind the low production of cotton, adding that Pakistan was likely to miss its production target for year 2013-14.

According to a senior official, the government had set the cotton production target at 14.1 million bales for year 2013-14, whereas the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC), in its meeting on December 11, estimated the total cotton production at 12.3 million bales.

“Cotton was grown on a smaller area by farmers due to low market price,” official added.
The fourth meeting of CCAC was held at the Textile Industry Division (TID), under the chairmanship of federal secretary Rukhsana Shah. The objective was to re-assess the third assessment of the cotton crop.

Abdullah presented an overview of cotton production in the country. He discussed the various challenges faced by the cotton crop; especially low availability of irrigation water at the time of sowing, problems of low germination of seed, flood damage and attack of cotton pests.
read more.
tribune

TIME

20131214

20:59:53 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

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* A revolution that changes people’s lives silently:

A revolution on hosiery industry has taken place at Nayabandar and its surrounding areas in Gaibandha that has created employment opportunities

Nayabandar, a remote village in Gaibandha, where more than 50,000 people, including 20,000 technicians and workers are engaged in hosiery factories as the industry has grown up there and gives people the chance to have a dream of living a decent life. 

A revolution on hosiery industry has taken place at Nayabandar and its surrounding areas under Cochashahar union of Go-bindaganj upazila in recent years that has created employment opportunities for the skilled, un-skilled, educated and un-educated per-sons of the districts.

More than 2000 small, medium and big factories have been set up at different villages such as Pepulia, Bhagbari, Shaktipur, Dharma, Baichpur, Mukundapur, Sudhardhap, Ratanpur, Choygharia, Dharaikandi, Nayarhat, Kumirdanga, Ulipur, Puntair, Jagadishpur, Bongram, Pathanpara, Mirpur, Arzisahapur, Balua, Malancha, Sonarpara, Khiligram and Mohimaganj of the upazila.

The socio-economic conditions of the entrepreneurs, traders, technicians and workers have been changed radically as they have got a way of earning money on a regular basis.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Turmoil blocks apparel factory inspection:

The tripartite efforts to improve working conditions in apparel factories are facing a blow as the prevailing political turmoil has virtually blocked timely implementation of factory inspection programmes, officials and sector insiders said.

The government along with two platforms of global buyers — Alliance and Accord — joined an initiative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to separately inspect the country’s garment units.

The activities of the government-sponsored factory inspection programme have almost come to a halt due to the volatile political situation. Uncertainty has loomed over launching of such initiatives by two other partners too, people familiar with the initiative said.

“Uncertainty has hung over the timely execution of garment factory assessment programmes by three parties — the government, Accord and Alliance following the ongoing political impasse,” said a competent source.
read more.
FE bd

* Uncertainty over inspection of RMG factories in time:

Current political unrest across the country has made uncertain a timely completion of garment factory inspection by the government-sponsored teams with the assistance of International Labour Organisation, officials concerned said.

They said that the government and the ILO targeted to complete the inspection of 200 readymade garment factories by December but it would not be possible as the dreadful political situation hindered the inspection programme.
To ensure fire and building safety in the RMG sector, the government in association with the ILO on November 22 had started formal inspection of the factories which are not on the inspection lists published by EU Accord and North American Alliance.
Earlier, labour secretary Mikail Shipar told New Age that under the National Tripartite Committee the government and ILO would inspect about 2,000 factories across the country.
read more.
BD new age

* Documentary sheds light on importance of RMG sector:

It is easy to go from one factory to another bargaining for getting prices lower and lower. But as a buyer one should think about the costing of garments, a UK-based buyer has said in the visual documentary on “It’s not all about the Price Tag”.

The buyer has observed: “At the end of the day if you are not paying the right price, the factory will cut some things…..affecting the wages of workers, further investment in equipment or the building …it’s not expected.”

Mohammad Mufazzal, a young journalist and novelist, wrote the screenplay and directed the documentary highlighting importance of the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in perspectives of the country’s economy and employment generation.

The buyer put emphasis on concerted efforts of workers, factory owners, buyers, law enforcing agencies and the government to ensure sustainable development of the sector.

The focal point of the documentary is: It is not all about the price tag. It is also about humanity. It is also about feeling the pain of losing dearest ones. It is about the survival of 4.0 million workers and the image of the country.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG sector needs government help:

RMG entrepreneurs need help to ensure that they can keep growing exports, while also managing to invest in commitments to improve factories and working conditions

The finance minister has assured leaders of the BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA that the government is looking at measures to support apparel makers affected by the political crisis.

Many of the measures being sought by the industry bodies relate to short to medium-term financing needs. With the supply chain enduring massive disruption, cash flow is tight so interest waivers and financial support are the most urgent priorities for many factory owners.

It is still important however to keep developing a long-term strategy. The industry associations have rightly asked for financial incentives to explore new markets and for measures such as reducing tax at source. These need to be considered as well, because even without short-term disruption, Bangladesh’s RMG industry faces increasing challenges from competitors as well.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Canada to help fund effort to boost worker safety in B’desh:

The Canada federal government has kicked in funding for an international effort to boost worker safety in Bangladesh clothing factories, which manufacture products for many Canadian retailers, reports theglobeandmail.com.

Canada’s $8-million over four years, announced on Thursday, will help the International Labour Organisation offer technical support to Bangladesh’s government to inspect its factories in response to the collapse of Rana Plaza earlier this year, in which 1,131 people, mostly garment workers, died.
read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd

* Liberty Fashion Wear Workers – An endless wait for justice …:

Since Tesco decided to pull out of Liberty Fashion Wears building number 2 in the month of July 2013 due to cracks in the building, there had been a united effort from local and international NGOs, trade unions, and global unions to inform the workers of the dangers of the factory and that their wages and other dues will be paid regardless if the factory remains closed for repairs as promised by Tesco.

However, that was not the case as supervisor level workers were compelled to work without payment till they had to protest for their rights, which eventually gathered the attention of activists and NGOs who had earlier known the problem to have been resolved through various sources – although RISE Society continually informed of the situation as one where the workers received no payment or promise to get paid and work had always been going on [3] which later the factory owners also accepted.

Currently more than 5500 workers of Liberty Fashions Limited (Mainly run by TESCO orders) hit abject poverty after the management staff paid BDT 1500 to each worker on Oct 15, 2013. That was when the workers last went to the factory premises.
(…)

Some of the Liberty workers had 4 members of the family working in the same factory. All lost their income source all at once.

Workers still cry for the days when they had work in their factory, the days when they could extend a handful of rice to their children’s mouth. Now all they remain with are tears of hopelessness. Their futures bleak, they want a job or their factory to be reopened.

A grocer who is the husband to a Liberty worker says, ‘My wife lost her job at the factory… we thought that we could survive on my vegetable sale everyday…but how wrong I had been… all Liberty workers live in the same area in Zirani…they all buy from the same local grocers…now all my customers (liberty workers) take the vegetable out on loan…what will I feed my children then?!’

Many sold their television sets, ceiling fans, gold plated ear-rings and other things to pay  their house rent. An ex-Helper now begs for a bowl of rice to bring to her son who remains locked for hours in a one-room shelter.

Ex-workers mention, ‘We didn’t think that would be the end…we thought we could easily get another job in any of the neighboring factories…but this was shocking to us when we were told that if we had ever worked for Liberty Fashions, we will never be recruited in the neighbouring factories! That’s not fair!…we cannot leave this area all of a sudden! How can 5000 workers suddenly shift to another area?!’

Two workers willingly gave us their stories:
read more.

             THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* DNA-identified victims’ families await aid:

The BGMEA has also reportedly donated more than Tk125.5m to a total of 2,785 victims

The families of the Rana Plaza victims – who were recently identified through DNA tests – are still waiting for financial assistance, although the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has already received the “Inheritance Verification Reports” on the victims.

Out of 157 individuals, the identities of 155 were confirmed by the offices of deputy commissioners of the respective districts after visiting the addresses given against the victims’ names. One address was found to be wrong, while the other could not be verified by anyone.

It has been learnt that as part of the PMO’s plan to provide financial assistance to the lawful heirs in phases, a list of 132 victims has been prepared for the first phase. The victims’ families would receive between Tk100,000 to Tk500,000, based on the number of family members who depended on the victims.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

18:29:53 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile industry upbeat on growth prospects:

‘India’s textile and clothing exports this fiscal is expected to be about $ 40 billion’

Indian textile and clothing industry is hopeful of increasing its share in the global market as there are several favourable factors for its rapid growth now.

At the inaugural of Texfair 2013, a textile machinery expo organised by the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) here on Friday, the speakers gave details of the opportunities.

Second largest
According to Prem Malik, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, India has the second largest textile industry globally.
While China has 35 per cent share in the world market, India’s share is just 4.5 per cent. China took efforts to develop the industry 10 years in advance before the quotas were phased out in 2005. This is the second opportunity for India after that to take the leap.
China has now become close to a developed economy and costs are increasing.
Chinese textile industry wants to import cotton and yarn from other countries.
read more.
Return to frontpage

TIME

20131213

18:59:53 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Canada joins $25-million effort to clean up Bangladesh factories:

Canada is joining Great Britain and the Netherlands in a $25.4-million campaign to bring robust, ethical, safety standards to improve ghastly working conditions inside Bangladeshi clothing factories.

The three countries will finance the efforts of an International Labour Organization-led program as it tries to lift the appalling state of conditions inside nearly 2,000 of Bangladesh’s 4,500 garment factories.
read more.
the STAR 2

* Emerging markets look at ESG issues after RMG blow in Bangladesh:

Investors in emerging market companies are looking more closely at environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues before they buy as the Bangladesh factory collapse.

Cajoled by developed world governments and shocked by disasters, almost all emerging fund managers in a survey by UK development finance arm CDC to be published this week consider ESG to be integral to their investment strategy, and in many deals they regard it as a “fact of life”.

It is a sharp contrast to a few years ago, when emerging market investors saw sustainable strategies as an irritant imposed by worthy multilateral lenders, or “the dead hand of eco-fascism”, according to CDC’s ESG director Mark Eckstein.

Once the preserve of religious and ethically minded funds and the development finance arms of major economies, these ESG themes have moved into the mainstream.
read more.
BDreports24

             THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* 2 more corpses found under rubbles:

Two more corpses were found under the rubbles of Rana Plaza which could certainly made another eye-opener on the world’s one of the largest factory disaster.

Some street children found the bodies while they were trying to pull out a jacket from the rubbles of Rana Plaza at Savar around 5.00pm Friday.

Witnesses said that human bones, skulls, identity cards, money bags were spotted while four street children lugged a jacket from the rubbles while they were collecting wasted bottles-iron pins in the area.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24 daily star bd

TIME

* The next newsletter and news bulletin:

The purpose of this bulletin and newsletter is  to let you know about  (news) articles in the media, online, about workers and their work in the garment and textile industry.

It is not the purpose to publish articles (almost) only about money, economy,
profits in these industries.
Of course there is a relationship. Sure there is a connection

For investors, many companies, banks, only counts the money, profit, and not people, unless there is profit to be made.
(A reflection can be found in the media.)

So until next year, no regular bulletin will be published and no regular newsletter will be send,  ’cause the ‘last time’ almost no articles were found about people, workers, about labour and conditions.
(and
also, due to some other reasons, causes.)

When there is an event or something happens that requires a publication, or/and there is an article that demands a publication, there will be, and will be announced via twitter: @DressedStripped or/and a newsletter.
(ducs is keeping an eye on the newsmedia:)
 
The regular publication of the bulletin with (news)articles, and sending the newsletter, will resume next year, and hopefully with the new website.
You will be kept informed.

Kind regards and thank you for your interest.
j.

PS.This page will be updated regularly the coming days.
8ducs schaal1

 

map of Asia

INFO:

under ‘special reports you can find Updated:

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE

* TAZREEN Garment Factory Fire

* RANA PLAZA building Collapse PART 3

HEADLINES:

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
* ILO renews deal with government, GMAC to improve garment industry
* ILO Better Factories Cambodia Programme gets new three-year MOU
* American Eagle outfitters and BetterWork launch her project Initiative in Cambodia

MALAYSIA
* UN Envoy Commends Malaysia’s Minimum Wage Adoption

INDONESIA
* Rise in power tariffs to affect Indonesian textiles: API

BANGLADESH
* Workers wait to rejoin work
* Apparel leaders oppose Accord proposal to keep BD reps in advisory body only
* Canadian retailers urged to sign BD RMG accord
* Industrial park the right move for RMG

INDIA
* 41 children rescued from bag-making units
* ‘Khadi weavers not to be included under MNREGA’
* CITU stages demo
* Pact signed to develop new fabrics

PAKISTAN
* Still in business: 3m textile workers to remain employed in winter, says APTMA
* Decision to supply gas: textile workers to continue jobs this winter: APTMA Punjab
* Improved security: PTA chairman lauds LEAs’ efforts

UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbek teachers forced to work at military base

20131218

GLOBAL
* Migrants and the garment industry
* I am a shoe

CHINA
* China’s sliding-scale tariff for cotton imports in 2014

VIET NAM
* Vietnam’s garment exports reach $16.24bn in Jan-Nov’13

CAMBODIA
* Garment workers told to go back to factories
* Raise now or pay later?
* Cambodia’s garment workers needled by low wages and poor conditions

INDONESIA
* Apparel exports from Indonesia rise 3.23% in Jan-Oct’13

BANGLADESH
* This Girl Walked Through Fire So We Can Get Jeans for $9
* Newsmaker of the Year: The Bangladeshi Apparel Worker
* Labour activist sheds light on working conditions in Bangladeshi sweatshops
* Bangladesh garment workers need union advocacy, says Ms. Kalpona Akter
* Anguish in RMG sector exist almost whole of 2013
* Aussie retailers to publish address of Bangladesh RMG maker
* New investments in RMG sector drop sharply in first half of FY’14
* Foreign buyers frustrated
* Drastic fall in leather export orders
* Bangladesh apparel sector benefits from China slowdown
* Chinese company invests US$ 22m in Ishwardi EPZ
* Factory worker murdered

INDIA
* March For a Minimum Living Wage
* Uster hosts brainstorming session for Indian spinners
* Surat textile industry shelves yarn bank project

PAKISTAN
* Workers Union raises voice against Precarious Work
* GSP plus to help increase exports by $1 billion annually: Senate told
* ECC diverts gas to textile units
* An impetus for investment
* Safe Environment training workshop

UZBEKISTAN
* In Uzbekistan, the Practice of Forced Labor Lives On During the Cotton Harvest:

20131217

VIET NAM
* Apparel exports to the US likely hit 8.5 billion USD

CAMBODIA
* Government Proposes 100% Hike in Minimum Wage by 2018
* Garment workers’ patience wearing thin

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

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Exports to the U.S. top US$11 million this year

BANGLADESH
* Bata Bangladesh to invest Tk 2000m

INDIA
* Textile firms compete for labour
* Garment industry in Indore yet to adopt new tech
* A journey into North-East’s textile tradition
* Private cos, dealer network facilitated growth of Bt cotton in India: study
* Labour unions’ plea for reopening tanneries
* LMW rolls out new spinning system

PAKISTAN
* Textile sector: uninterrupted power, gas supply must be ensured: PHMA
* Getting ready: SITE body calls for GSP Plus preparation
* ‘Granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan shows confidence of global markets’
* Improvement needed: A reality check on the GSP Plus status
* ‘GSP Plus status big development towards realising trade not aid’
* Exporters demand ‘GSP Plus Cell’
* GSP plus likely to enhance domestic cotton consumption
* GSP+ status: questions on Balochistan to be dealt with, says Dastgir

UZBEKISTAN
* On who receives profit from Uzbek cotton

20131216

PHILIPPINES
* Price surge makes P125 wage hike more urgent – KMU

CHINA
* Many hands make light work in glove firm

CAMBODIA
* New date set for further wage talks
* Factory Owners Slam Government Over Handling of Strikes
* GMAC floats ‘no strike’ bonus

BANGLADESH
* Companies fail to compensate Bangladesh fire victims: HRW
* HRW spurs int’l brands to compensate Tazreen victims
* Companies Fail to Compensate Fire Victims
* BGMEA to screen out members
* 8,000 apprentices graduate under EU funded ILO project
* BB cuts 1pc interest on EDF to help exporters recover losses

INDIA
* Minimum wage hike upsets industry
* Mill workers complete undergraduate course

PAKISTAN
* On verge of failure: Textile City leaking cash and resources
* Dollar won”t soar, textile tycoons told
* GSP+ status Call for comprehensive policies to take full benefit:

20131215

BANGLADESH
* Businesses lie in ashes
* ‘CSR way forward for RMG sector’
* Chinese firm wants to invest Tk 14b for garment village
* BGMEA to form company for industrial park
* Cotton import from Uzbekistan triggers row over warehouse
* Leather industry demands interest waiver on loans
* Bangladesh Factory Fires: Why Brands Are Accountable and Should Compensate Victims Now
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Victim primarily identified as Obaidul
* Rana Plaza victim’s skull handed over to relative

INDIA
* Stitching a new story
* Textile industry bullish on growth prospects …
* ATDC Indore showcases skill development opportunities in apparel sector
* India’s cotton industry losing profitability

PAKISTAN
* Agriculture aim: Pakistan likely to miss cotton production target

20131214

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

BANGLADESH
* A revolution that changes people’s lives silently
* Turmoil blocks apparel factory inspection
* Uncertainty over inspection of RMG factories in time
* Documentary sheds light on importance of RMG sector
* RMG sector needs government help
* Canada to help fund effort to boost worker safety in B’desh
* Liberty Fashion Wear Workers – An endless wait for justice …
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* DNA-identified victims’ families await aid

INDIA
* Textile industry upb
eat on growth prospects

20131213

BANGLADESH
* Canada joins $25-million effort to clean up Bangladesh factories
* Emerging markets look at ESG issues after RMG blow in Bangladesh
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* 2 more corpses found under rubbles

* The next newsletter and news bulletin

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