in the news 25-31 Jan.2014

TIME
20140131

20:17:43 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* In pictures: Bao Loc silk:

20140131 VNNewsPower-looms of weaving small-size jacquard cloth according to the Japanese technology to make kimonos

The land of Bao Loc in Lam Dong is famous nationwide for growing mulberries, raising silkworms and weaving silk. Bao Loc silk is very beautiful, glossy and velvety.

Located at an altitude of over 800m, 190km from Ho Chi Minh City and 110km from Da Lat City, Bao Loc Plateau is cool all year round with high rainfall, humidity and mist, suitable for growing mulberries and raising silkworms.

Therefore, it has become the “capital” of the sericulture sector with large silk producing factories, such as Bao Loc Silk Joint-Stock Company, A Chau Silk Joint-Stock Company, Kimono Company, Vietsilk Company and about 20 private silk production workshops.

In 2004, Vietnam Sericulture Corporation (Viseri) cooperated with Matsumura Company (Japan) to establish three large silk producing factories in Bao Loc, including Silk Spinning Factory No.4 with a capacity of 85 tonnes of silk cords/year and two factories producing silk for making ties and kimonos with a capacity of 486,000m/year and 480,000m/year respectively, opening a new development period for the sericulture sector in Bao Loc.
read &  see more.
VNNet

* EU remains Vietnam’s largest export market:

Vietnam’s total export turnover to the EU climbed 19.8% last year to US$24.33 billion and accounted for 18% of the country’s total exports.

General Department of Customs statistics show key export commodities are telephones and spare parts (US$8.15 billion, up 43.9%), footwear (US$2.96 billion, up 11.8%), garments and textiles (US$2.73 billion, up 11.1%) and computer and components (US$2.4 billion, up 50.1%).

Eight countries saw export turnover of more than US$1 billion each, including Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, and Belgium.
Vietnam’s combined export value to those markets hit US$11.13 billion, representing 87.2% of the country’s export value to the EU.
Its import turnover from the EU was estimated at US$9.45 billion, a-year-on-year increase of 7.5%.
Key imports are machinery, equipment and spare parts (US$2.29 billion, up 11.7%), vehicles and spare parts (US$1.17 billion, down 7,5%), pharmaceuticals (US$930 million, up 6.2%), and computer, electronic products and components (US$928 million, up 47.3 %).
to read in  BUSINESS IN BRIEF 31/1. (5th item)
VNNet

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* FTU head sues police for damaged vehicles:

Free Trade Union (FTU) president Chea Mony filed suit against Kampong Speu provincial police chief Keo Pisy, alleging his department ruined cars belonging to him and other FTU members.

In the lawsuit filed in Kampong Speu Provincial Court, Mony alleges Pisey confiscated cars belonging to Mony and other FTU members after they drove to the Sabrina Garment Factory to intervene in a clash between unionists at a protest there in June.
When the cars were returned, Mony said, they were destroyed. In an interview, Mony said he was unsure if he would request monetary compensation, but wanted to press criminal charges.
to read.
PPP new

* Made here, owned there:

20140131 PPP Garment-Factory
Workers put the finishing touches on clothing at MAG garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Wednesday. Photo by Pha Lina.

At the end of a well-paved road just past the city’s airport sits a cluster of factories. Each one is barely discernible from the next – grey concrete walls and blue aluminium roofs.

But one factory in the lot, MAG (Cambodia), is different. In a country saturated with foreign investment, it’s 100 per cent locally owned.
MAG’s general manager, Nhim Bunrith, who has 17 years of experience in the sector, including in foreign-owned factories, explains the practical benefits of the arrangement.

“If we are working with a Cambodian owner, we are speaking the same language,” Bunrith said, talking from a meeting room next to the production floor, where 720 workers stitch accessories to jackets destined for Japan.
“Sometimes, managers say words with a positive meaning, but through the translator, sometimes it makes the workers understand it in a negative meaning, and then it makes them angry, and the strikes sometimes happen from that.”
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media updates 29-31 January 2014, Right to strike fundamental:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2014-01-29 Two thousands strike over factory firings
2014-01-29 Tours aim at attracting workers
2014-01-30 Right to strike fundamental
2014-01-31 FTU head sues police for damaged vehicles
2014-01-31 Made here, owned there
2014-01-31 March proceeds peacefully

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2014-01-29 Workers call for fired colleagues to be reinstated
2014-01-30 Factory rejects call to reinstate dismissed workers
2014-01-30 Petition rally for prisoners’ release ends peacefully

BetterFactories Media updates overview here.
BF NEW

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

* Appeal Court to hold hearing on request for Vorn Pov’s release on bail:

The Appeal Court will have a hearing on 11 February to look into a request for Vorn Pov’ release on bail, made by his lawyer.
In the meantime, Vorn Pov’s wife appealed to the court for the release of her husband and 22 other detainees, claiming that they were not guilty.
Vorn Pov’s wife, Prak Vanny said yesterday that her husband had been paralyzed on the left side and needed continued medical care.
Mr. Som Sok Kong, lawyer for Vorn Pov also confirmed the date of hearing, which will take place in the morning.
Also yesterday, aproximately 100 people from Civil Society and monks walked to present petitions to the Embassies of Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei, Viet Nam, the Philippines UNDP, and UEAPA, seeking for their interventions for the release of all detainees.
Mrs. Yun Sopheap, Director of Gender and Development Organization said “the main objective of the petition is to request all Embassies to intervene for the release of all detained activists and for the cessation of violence against non-violent protesters and for the authority to respect laws and human rights.
The 23 people were held during protests in early January 2014, and were taken to prison M3 of Tapaing Thlong, Panhea Krek district, Kompong Cham Province.
read more.
CAMHERALD

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 392 RMG factories among 1683 establishments sued:

Official inspection teams have filed cases against 1683 factories and establishments, including 392 garment units, across the country for doing business without valid approval and adequate safety measures, people involved with the inspection process said.

From January to December 2013, the teams, comprising factory and shop inspectors, visited 5481 factories and other establishments located in Dhaka and Chittagong. Of them 3,707 are ready-made garment (RMG) factories.

They also said the cases filed against the units may not yield positive results as non-compliant factory owners have gone scot-free. At the same time, the provision for punishment is poor.

The highest fine for an errant factory was Tk 5,000 but it has been increased to Tk 25,000 in the recently-amended labour law, they said adding the fine was still low.

Following the two recent devastating fire incidents at Tazreen Fashions Ltd and Smart Export Garment Ltd, which took about 119 workers’ lives, the Ministry of Labour and Employment formed 23 special inspection teams. There were 20 teams for Dhaka and three for Chittagong to oversee the safety-related issues, especially fire and electrical ones.
read more.
FE bd

* Flaws in rules, no legal action blamed:

SAFETY STANDARDS IN APPAREL UNITS

Labour leaders and experts said that flaws in rules and the absence of legal action encouraged apparel factory owners to overlook faulty safety systems in their units.

Although government inspection teams have filed cases against a number of apparel units for having inadequate safety measures, owners did not meet the safety standards in the absence of stringent punishment, they said.
They said that according to the labour law, Tk 5,000 in penalty is the highest punishment for owners not complying with the required safety standards in their units and owners were not willing to spend money on meeting safety requirements.
The amended labour law has increased the amount of fine from three to five-times but the amount is still low, the leaders said.
The government set up 23 inspection teams after the fire in Tazreen Fashions Ltd for inspecting fire safety and other related issues in factories across the county. The teams have visited 3,707 factories in Dhaka and Chittagong in 2013.
read more.
BD new age

* Migros, Coop again urged to sign Accord :

Migros and Coop continue to refuse to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, despite the deaths of 1,800 people in the last seven years due to unsafe factories, a statement issued by IndustriAll said.

Global unions IndustriALL and UNI wrote to the two supermarket chains late last year urging them to sign the Accord, which was founded following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April in which more than 1,100 people died.

The two global unions have now written a second time asking for a meeting with the CEOs of both the companies, it added.

More than 120 global brands that source products from Bangladesh have now committed to strict, independent safety inspections including major European supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina said it is high time the Swiss brands joined the more than 120 signatories: “Together we need to make Bangladesh a label of pride. Coop and Migros need to take their responsibility for a sustainable garment industry and sign the Accord.”
read more. & read more.
FE bd Home

* Fashion can be cheap and ethical: H&M:

Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, believes there is no conflict between its mission to sell more budget clothes and a drive to improve the environment and working conditions at its suppliers.

“We want to make sustainable fashion more democratic,” Helena Helmersson, H&M’s head of sustainability, told Reuters.
“We don’t aim for sustainability to be a luxury thing.”
The Swedish company is one of the biggest buyers of garments from Bangladesh, where the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory last April killed more than 1,100 people, drawing global attention to the poor conditions in which many in Asia work.
read more.
daily star bd

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

* Bouncing back:

Standard Group MD is hopeful of meeting export targets despite the setback

Standard Group, which had six of its units in Gazipur burnt down in an act of sabotage last November, is still hopeful of hitting the year’s export target.
“I am fighting back.

I am recovering fast, as everyone is helping me. You can say I am lucky,” Mosharraf Hussain, managing director of Standard Group, said in an interview.
The group, whose garment exports stood at $330 million and $325 million in 2013 and 2012 respectively, is hoping to hit the $350 million-mark this year.
Double shifts have been introduced in the remaining 16 units to re-manufacture the finished goods burnt down in the fire on November 28 last year, together with all furniture, machinery, fabrics, accessories and factory buildings.
Hussain expects to export the shipments, stalled by the blaze, within the next four months. He said the total losses from the fire would cross Tk 1,000 crore.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG losses spill over into backward linkage:

Political unrest claimed to have cost accessories and packaging industry Tk2,000 crore
20140131 DHAKATRIBUNE Syed-Zakir-Hossain
A worker carries a carton of garment products ready for export at a factory warehouse in Tongi near the capital Dhaka 

The backward linkage industry of readymade garment sector is estimated to have incurred a loss worth around Tk2,000 crore in last few months due to political unrest ahead of the national election held on January 5.

An internal survey conducted by Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) estimated the losses.
“Scarcity of new orders from apparel makers badly affected the accessories and packaging industry,” BGAPMEA President Rafez Alam Chowdhury told the Dhaka Tribune, claiming the loss estimate.

“Received orders could not also be supplied timely due to the political turmoil, increasing the losses.”
According to the BGAPMEA, the deemed export of packaging and accessories items in the last fiscal year would be around US$4bn, which is around 20% of the country’s total apparel exports.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Garment village on CCC land at Kalurghat by 15:

Chittagong garment factories are likely to be relocated to Kalurghat heavy industrial area in the city as BGMEA Chittagong unit and Chittagong City Corporation have agreed on the construction of a garment village on an area of 11 acres of land owned by the CCC.

A meeting of the CCC Mayor and senior officials and garment manufacturers and exporters of the BGMEA discussed in details construction of the garment village in the Mayor’s office with City Mayor M Manjur Alam in the chair.
read more.
FE bd

* Export of leather goods, not leather stressed:

Speakers at a seminar held in the city, Thursday emphasised the need for exporting leather products for earning more foreign currency, instead of exporting leather.

Bangladesh exported leather and leather goods last year worth Tk $982 million, though the country has a capacity to earn $5 billion dollar a year from the sector,” Md Nasir Uddin, Member (VAT Export, Bond and IT) of National Board of Revenue (NBR) said.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the seminar titled ‘Identifying export enlisted crust, finished and split leather’ organised by the Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) at Seemanto Convention Center.
read more.
FE bd

* BD garment productivity boosts with SewEasy:

Using only the information derived from SewEasy Industrial Engineering (IE) software The Finery Ltd. and Rhymer Apparel Ltd. increased resource utilization leading to earning better profits on garment exports.

Based on SewEasy work load estimation at each sewing machine, the accuracy improved, which led to higher daily output by most machine operators, approximately by about 10%.
Improved workflow within the sewing lines contributed to further 10% improvement gradually within the past few months; to the delight of owners who have assured workers of sharing the gains.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

       THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Charge-sheet against accused Feb 19:

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will submit the chargesheet of much-talked-about Rana Plaza Collapse case on February 19.

Confirming the matter, senior assistant superintendent of police Bijoy Krishna Dhor told banglanews that the court directed them to file chargesheet by February 19.
CID is going to file the chargesheet after 10 months of the collapse of Rana Plaza.
CID sources said owner of the building Sohel Rana, his father Abdul Khaleq and other garments factory owners of the building, will be made defendant.
Some 1,130 ready-made garment workers died in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24 in 2013.
 to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* Wages of hosiery workers to go up by 4%:

The workers in the hosiery sector in Tirupur cluster will get a raise of 4 per cent in wages from Thursday.

The wage agreement was signed by the South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association with leading trade unions like INTUC, AITUC, CITU, LPF, and ATP in 2012.
The employers and the trade unions had agreed for a 32 per cent wage increase in instalments over a period of four years.
Accordingly, the one instalment of 4 per cent increase should take effect on January 30.

While welcoming the increase, the AITUC district president, M. Mohan, said that the hosiery units should give the different scales of increase to the basic pay for all workers in the departments of tailoring, cutting, ironing, labelling, damage checking, and packing in the units.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* On a fast seeking protection for handloom weavers:

Sarvodaya Day on Thursday began on an unusual note at Charaka, a women’s cooperative society at Heggodu village in Shimoga district, with its founder, Prasanna, launching an indefinite fast demanding that the government stop attempts to mechanise of the handloom sector.

Mr. Prasanna, also a well-known theatre person, told The Hindu said that he would call off the fast only when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announces that the government would work out a mechanism to implement the Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985, aimed at “protecting handloom industry from encroachment of the powerloom and mill sector.” The State should also ensure that designated handloom clusters were reserved exclusively for handloom-related activities, he said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Apparel industry to tap winter wear exports:

While India is one of the top apparel exporters to western markets for summer wear, every year when it comes to winter wear, the country witnesses a dip in exports. In order to bridge the gap, apparel exporters are making efforts to increase import of .

Industry players and experts alike attribute the dip in winter wear exports due to lack of availability in specialised fabrics and low value addition in apparel.

“We have a very narrow fabric base and this comes in the way of producing value added apparel. Winter wear is a bigger business worldwide which India is not able to tap optimally. We have now begun developing specialised fabrics and working with polyester and blended fabrics to increase our production globally acceptable winter wear,” says Premal Udani, CMD of Pvt. Ltd.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

18:17:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* GSP plus to help fight against extremism: Khurram:

Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Thursday that the status of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) plus, granted by the European Union would act as a powerful weapon for Pakistan to fight against terrorism and extremism in the country.

“Extremism in the country is mainly due to unemployment and poverty, while GSP plus status will open the doors for new jobs as more industries will be established in the country”, said the minister while addressing the inaugural meeting of EU-Pakistan Parliamentary Group here.

The meeting was attended by Members from EU parliament, National Assembly and Senate. In the coming years, he said the GSP plus would be one of the most important driver of country’s economic development”, the minister said while addressing the inaugural meeting of EU-Pakistan Parliamentary group here. Khurram Dastgir said that the EU-Pakistan Parliamentary group was the first ever such group and the purpose of this group was to ensure interaction of Pakistani parliamentarians with the members from EU parliament.
read more. & read more.
PAKOBSERVER BUSINESSRECORDER

* GSP Plus: Textile ministry to train cotton growers:

20140131 TRIBUNE CottonpluckingAFPThe federal govt, in collaboration with the provincial agriculture departments, has already started the “Clean Cotton Picking” programme. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The ministry of textile industry has decided to train cotton growers in order to take full advantage of the Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP) Plus.

The ministry will begin programmes in electronic media to provide training to the farmers living in far-flung and remote areas of the country to introduce them to modern technologies for cultivations and crop management, said Ministry of Textile Industry Cotton Commissioner Khalid Abdullah.

“The ministry of textile industry is negotiating with Radio Pakistan and Pemra to initiate training programmes from FM radio stations to educate and equip the farmers with latest information about cotton crop cultivation,” he said. “The government, in collaboration with the research stations, will also provide first-hand training to cotton growers about technology transfer, pest and crop management to enhance crop output in the country.
read more.
tribune

* Trade: A GSP Plus for Sialkot:

Ambassador of Germany in Pakistan Dr Cyrill Nunn has said all-out efforts will be made to ensure an easy and hurdle-free access for Sialkot exporters into the international markets.

Nunn stated this while talking to industrialists and exporters in Sialkot during a visit to several leading industrial units here on Thursday.
The ambassador said there would be investments in Pakistan by different companies of Germany as they had shown a keen interest, especially in the energy sector.
read more.
tribune

* Multan should be declared new ‘textile city’: PCGA:

“Government should declare Multan new “textile city” and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) should be developed in Multan to end the unemployment,” said Sheikh Muhammad Aasim Saeed, Vice Chairman of PCGA while delivering his speech at “Planning workshop” organised by Ministry of Planning and Development on Thursday.

He also said there was no justification to establish Apparel Park in Lahore and Garment City in Kala Shah Kaku when raw material (Cotton) was 300km away from these areas which was causing high production cost. He said the dream of increasing the cotton export up to $100 billion till 2019 could not be achieved unless we would not discourage the export of raw material and promote the export of value-added items.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

18:17:43 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* More cotton injuries:

Three Angren nurses were bringing lunch and tea to their colleagues working in the cotton fields when their car was hit and the with beverages spilled on them.

This happened at a farming community Parkent in Tashkent province last year.
On October 12 three nurses from Dukent village clinic – Dilfuza Usmanova, Khalchamo Mayusupova, and Zulfiya Tajieva, were on kitchen duty and were transporting four 40-liter canisters with hot soup and tea when their car collided with another. Their transport overturned during the collision the hot liquid spilled all over the women. The driver and another passenger in the front seat were not injured.

After the accident women managed to flag a car and get to the nearby town hospital.
“It was not easy to get someone to stop. Many drivers seeing that there was an accident and people needing help simply drove on,” Dilfuza Usmanova told Uznews.net.
Mayusupova and Usmanova received second degree burns over 30 percent of her body, while Tajieva third degree burns covering 50 percent of her body.

At your own expense
The women spent 38 days at the hospital and had to buy their own medicine.
read more.
UZnews

TIME
20140130

GLOBAL

* Reducing inequality will boost economic growth:

Here’s why raising minimum wages can be good for the economy.

By Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

At first glance, it would seem this year’s Davos summit will be off to an auspicious start, with news that the global economy is recovering faster than anticipated.

Yet a closer look at the global situation reveals a potentially dangerous gap between profits and people.

Corporate profits are up and global equity markets are looking forward to another year of plenty, while at the same time unemployment and household incomes stand still.

The ILO’s Global Employment Trends 2014, which comes out this week, shows clearly that the modest economic recovery has not translated into an improvement in the labour market in most countries.

Businesses have been sitting on cash or buying back their own stocks, rather than investing in productive capacity and job creation. In part, this is a result of continued weakness in aggregate demand, both at national and global levels. It is compounded by uncertainty about where new sources of demand will come from and uncertainty about public policies, for example on financial sector reform.

The increased flow of profits and liquidity into asset markets rather than the real economy not only increases the risk of stock and housing price bubbles, but also damages long-term employment prospects.

In developing countries, informal employment remains widespread, and the pace of improvements in job quality is slowing down. That means fewer people are moving out of working poverty.
read more.
ILO

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

20:17:43 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

Vinatex raises investment in yarn, textile projects:

Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) has increased investment in yarn and textile projects to grasp export opportunities when Vietnam signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement expected for this year.

Speaking at a news conference in HCMC on Wednesday, Le Tien Truong, deputy general director of Vinatex, said that the group and member enterprises are speeding up investment in material production projects to raise localization ratios and added values of apparel products. Under the drafted TPP agreement, the yarn-forward policy will apply when textile and garment products are shipped abroad.

Last year, Vinatex deployed 42 projects with the combined capital of over VND6.3 trillion, including 12 yarn projects, nine textile projects, 17 garment projects and four others in such fields as infrastructure, supermarket, and cotton growing. Notably, the group commenced work on Phu Hung yarn plant project in Hue City with an output of over 2,000 tons of yarn a year.

To serve the integration goal, Vinatex will invest around VND5 trillion in material projects this year, focusing on yarn and textile projects as the TPP will offer many benefits in the textile, garment, leather and footwear sectors, Truong said.
read more in  BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/1  (4th item).
VNNet

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Right to strike ‘fundamental’:

20140130 PPP  Garment-Strike
Garment workers gather behind barbed wire on Russian Boulevard in Phnom Penh during a demonstration in December. Photo by Vireak Mai.

A labour law expert from the International Labour Organization yesterday rejected claims made by Cambodian factories and employers associations that workers in the Kingdom have no fundamental right to strike.

In a paid advertisement in the Post yesterday, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) and the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA) used the ILO’s Convention 87 on freedom of association to claim unions have misled the public about recent strikes.

“The right to strike is not provided for in … C87 and was not intended to be,” GMAC’s notice says. “Is the right to strike therefore a fundamental right? NO. The right to strike is NOT a fundamental right.”

But Tim de Meyer, a senior international labour law specialist for the ILO in Bangkok, said the organisation has “always” considered the right to strike fundamental.

“The claims that the right to strike is not a fundamental right and that C. 87 does not establish a right to strike are not consistent with the position taken by the International Labour Organization and its tripartite constituency as a whole (i.e. governments, employers and workers) over a period of at least the last 60+ years,” he wrote in an email.
read more.
PPP new

* Cambodian workers fight for a living wage:

IndustriALL Global Union supports the fight of Cambodian garment workers for a minimum living wage and demands the respect of freedom of association and the release of jailed unionists.

2014 had a violent start in Cambodia. Workers demonstrating for an increased minimum wage clashed with police; resulting in four deaths, three missing people, 23 jailed and hundreds of dismissed workers. Arrest warrants were issued for the trade union leaders supporting the strikes, including leaders of our own affiliates. Employers are suing unions for damages.

The situation in Cambodia is totally unacceptable and makes the country a priority for IndustriALL Global Union. We took quick action after the violence broke out in the country. Together with the ITUC and UNI Global Union, we conducted an international trade union mission to Phnom Penh in early January. The mission met with the unions, government and employer organization GMAC, demanding the release of jailed unionists, an investigation into the killings, and the continuation of talks on an increased minimum wage.

We launched an electronic solidarity campaign on LabourStart. So far almost 11,000 people have protested to the Cambodian government and GMAC.
read more.
Home

* Life on $3 a Day: Garment Workers and Cambodia’s Struggle for Human Rights:

About a month ago, I stood outside Cambodia’s National Assembly with hundreds of Buddhist monks.

They chanted in Sanskrit and tossed lotus petals into a crowd of protesters, blessing them. Many of them had walked from rural villages to Phnom Penh over 10 days. They rallied at the palatial seat of the country’s parliament, to mark International Human Rights Day and hopefully draw the government’s attention to the rights Cambodia’s people have yet to fully grasp–rights related to labor, land and a fair legal system.
People passed out water bottles and wrapped towels around their heads to protect themselves from the harsh midday sun. Others held up signs (“WE ARE WOMEN WE ARE NOT SLAVES”) and loudspeakers buzzed, ready to call people to action. We were not supposed to be there; the government had prohibited marches. I searched the crowd, waiting for something to happen.
(…)
It’s a warm morning in early December, and Win is showing me what life in Phnom Penh on $80 a month looks like.

That’s the minimum wage for garment workers in Cambodia, and for Win, it means living in a tiny cement room that fits a wooden pallet about the size of a queen bed, a sink area for cooking and not much else. Most garment workers share these spaces, where four to six people live. Like Win, most of them begin working in the factories as teenagers, around age 15 or 16.
read more.
huffpost

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

* March proceeds peacefully:

20140130 PPP March_Demonstration
Demonstrators hold a banner outside the World Health Organization office during a march through Phnom Penh yesterday calling for the release of 23 prisoners who were detained early this month. Photo by Hong Menea.

Taking a markedly different approach from Monday’s violent breakup of a peaceful demonstration at Freedom Park, authorities yesterday stood back as about 100 activists marched around central Phnom Penh, delivering a petition to embassies and the United Nations.

District security guards and riot police initially seemed ready to crack down on the group after they delivered the petition to the Singaporean embassy, blocking marchers on Street 51 and warning them over a loudspeaker to clear out or face the baton and Taser-wielding authorities’ wrath.

The petition calls for the release of 23 detainees arrested at protests earlier this month and an investigation into a police shooting that killed at least four.
read more.
PPP new

* Petition Rally for Prisoners’ Release Ends Peacefully:

A week after they began their campaign, activists and rights groups handed out the last of their petitions to embassies across Phnom Penh on Wednesday, hoping to solicit the help of foreign governments in securing the release of 23 men arrested earlier this month at protests.

The petition drive was broken up on its first day last week by Daun Penh district security guards, who grabbed 11 activists off the street and detained them for several hours.

Wednesday’s march also turned tense when riot police blocked the petitioners’ way on Street 51, in front of the offices of the World Health Organization, and threatened to disperse them by force if the marchers did not take to motorbikes and tuk-tuks within 15 minutes.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* MWB won’t include new post:

Garment workers’ wage structure

In a major shift, the Minimum Wage Board (MWB) for garment workers decided in a meeting Wednesday not to introduce any fresh post in the existing wage structure.

Rather, the Board would recommend incorporating a particular sentence in the gazette to help resolve the existing post-related problems, sources said.

On January 15, MWB asked both the factory owners and labour representatives to submit separate lists of posts for incorporation in the wage structure.

The labour ministry, earlier this month, asked the Board to sit again with the stakeholders and submit its recommendations in this regard.

The latest move came following the allegation that some posts were not incorporated in the new wage structure, announced in November, triggering a fresh problem in fixing wage hike for the RMG workers.
read more.
FE bd

* A quiet revolution: Women in Bangladesh:

Women in Bangladesh have made major strides over the past decades, putting the South Asian country at the forefront among the least-developed countries in addressing gender disparity.

Since the World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975 – which was a milestone in the battle for equality – Bangladesh has been at the forefront among the least-developed countries (LDCs) in addressing gender disparities.

Bangladesh has the eighth lowest gender gap in political empowerment in the world. This is partially due to the fact that it has had a female head of state for longer than any other country in the world. In addition, the proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament doubled from 10 per cent in 1990 to 20 per cent in 2011.

Women’s growing presence in the political sphere has had important implications on the family structure. Society is moving away from the traditional view that women are an economic liability and that sons are more desirable than daughters. Studies show that the growing independence of women is one of the major causes of a decline in the “missing women” phenomenon – gender based infanticide – in Bangladesh.

In the economic sphere, women have played a vital role as well, as evidenced by the importance of the ready-made garment (RMG) sector. While the share of men and women employed in manufacturing is roughly the same, the vast majority of RMG sector workers are women – 80-85 per cent. And, Bangladesh’s economic success in the last two decades is in large part due to the RMG exports to Europe and North America.
read more.  & read more.
ILO daily star bd

* Disaster damages could be minimised with quick response: Envoy:

German Ambassador in Dhaka Albrecht Conze on Wednesday said disasters will always occur but their amplitude can often be reduced by quick reaction with sound preparedness.

The German diplomat made the remark at a press conference here where the returnees of a Fire Safety Mission from Germany shared their experiences.
The press conference was arranged as part of Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM), a new project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German government.
read more. & read more.
UNB FE bd

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* SIMA seeks textile policy for State to boost investments:

The textile industry has appealed to the State government to formulate a textile policy that will serve as a boost to the sector to invest more.

Chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association T. Rajkumar told presspersons here on Wednesday that States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat had come out with State-specific textile policies. The association had given its suggestions to the State government for a textile policy for Tamil Nadu. “We expect the State government to announce the policy shortly,” he said. The association was also working with the government closely to find solutions to some of the challenges faced by the industry.

On the recent visit of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to Coimbatore, inviting investments in Chamarajanagar, Mr. Rajkumar said the textile mills here had not evinced interest in investing in Karnataka.

“Tamil Nadu is a good State for textile business. We do not expect investments from Tamil Nadu to go there. Karnataka is not attractive for spinning units. As an association we want the textile industry to develop in all the four southern States. But, for the units in Tamil Nadu, investing in other States has not been attractive,” he said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

18:17:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile: Take EU conventions seriously, advise experts:

20140130 TRIBUNEIn the last six months the textile sector has outperformed the KSE-100 Index posting a return of 37% against the overall KSE-100 return of 15%. PHOTO: FILE

Experts have warned the government against taking the European Union (EU) conventions non-seriously if it wants to avail the benefits of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus beyond 2017.

“I am sure that even our most important ministries have not gone through the requirements of GSP Plus scheme that the country has to comply with,” Habib Metropolitan Bank President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sirajuddin Aziz commented during a panel discussion of a conference on ‘GSP Plus: Opportunities Through Good Governance’.

The conference was organised by the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) on Wednesday.
After commenting on the government’s responsibility, Aziz said that the country would see improvement in governance when individuals also feel their responsibilities.

“Pakistan is a nation of 180 million leaders, that is why we have so many leaders and no followers,” said Aziz as he concluded his speech on corporate governance.
Pakistan’s top experts who gathered from different sectors also urged the private sector to do what it can for the GSP Plus scheme instead of only relying on the government.

“It’s a collective process in which both the private and public sector need to take steps,” Orient Textile Mills CEO Iqbal Ebrahim said.
“But I must tell you, we have to take care of the 27 international conventions to succeed in the reassessment that the EU would do after three years in 2017, or we will lose these important duty concessions,” warned Ebrahim.
read more.
tribune

* Aptma cautions govt:

The textiles industry has cautioned the government to ensure a ‘level-playing field’ in bilateral trade with India.

“Pakistan’s textiles have been unable to make inroads into the Indian market. It is also unlikely in the near future because of massive subsidies being offered by the union and state governments to the Indian textile industry,” said SM Tanveer, chairman of Aptma-Punjab, on Wednesday.

“Let us first identify government interventions, subsidies and support available to the Indian textile industry against Pakistan before we liberalise bilateral trade.”
Industry sources complain that the ‘subsidized’ Indian cotton, synthetic yarns and synthetic fabrics are already being ‘dumped’ in Pakistani market.

“Textiles worth several hundred million dollars are being brought into Pakistan via third countries,” a synthetic yarn producer told Dawn.
read more.
DAWNnew

TIME
20140129

GLOBAL

* Living Wage Engineering – new FWF Report :

FWF has published the Living Wage Engineering report. FWF director Erica van Doorn handed out the first copy to Mark Held of the European Outdoor Group.

At FWF, we see that in general, stable business relationships between garment brands and factories contribute to better labour conditions. This is especially true for the ‘Living Wage’ standard. In partnership with the European Outdoor Group, this report explores ways in which these stable business relationships can provide a context for what we propose to call ‘Living Wage Engineering’.

Most of us think of the garment industry in terms of what is often called ‘fast fashion’ and the business practices that accompany it, including: (sub)seasonal collections driven by everchanging trends, short lead times, long supplier lists, limited supplier leverage, non-committal buyer-supplier relationships, and severe price competition.
read more. & download the report here.
fairwear

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

21:17:43 local time map of china CHINA

* Retired teacher spent 11 years knitting garments from 110,000 of her own hairs:

20140127 SHANGHAIDAILY
A retired teacher in Chongqing spent 11 years knitting a sweater and a cap using her own hair.

A retired teacher in Chongqing spent 11 years knitting a sweater and a cap using her own hair as a way to preserve the long black hair she had when she was younger, China.org.cn reported today.

With hooked needles used for knitting sweaters, the 60-year-old teacher surnamed Xiang made 110,000 of her hairs into a sweater-like garment and a cap with rose patterns.
The cap, weighing 119 grams, is for her husband, the report said.
Xiang has been collecting her hair as it would fall out since the age of 34.
The typical length of hair she used for knitting is about 70 to 80 centimeters, and she used 15 hairs to make a strand of yarn, just right thickness to use.
Every day she recorded the number of hairs that fell out and that she kept, and started knitting in 2003.
Xiang said she wanted to participate in “China’s Got Talent,” a Chinese reality TV show, to tell people how she preserved her long locks of hair.
to read.
SHANGHAIDAILY

20:17:43 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Garment exports set to increase:

The Thai Garment Manufacturers Association expects garment exports to increase by 5% to US$3 billion this year despite political unrest.

President Sukij Kongpiyajarn said quality of products and competitive prices will be the key factors to achieve the target.
“Given the baht has already reached its lowest level and economies in Europe and the US are improving, our export outlook shows good signs,” he said.
Sportswear, underwear and children’s clothing are the best products for exports.

Mr Sukij said Thai sportswear has grabbed a significant share of the global market. Football’s Fifa World Cup 2014 is also providing Thai manufacturers with an opportunity to gain contracts worth more than $800 million this year.
He said political unrest is not affecting operations because purchase orders were made in advance, with product delivery scheduled for mid-2014.
read more.
bangkokpostBusiness

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Two thousand strike over factory firings:

More than 2,000 garment workers at a Vattanac II Industrial Park protested in front of the complex, threatening to block National Road 3 and demanding the reinstatement of 11 union officials and the firing of the manager who allegedly dismissed them.

Employees at Dongdu Textile began striking on Saturday evening after management dismissed Brack Mey and Chim Chan Lon, two representatives of the Cambodia Union Workers Labour for Development, saying their contracts had expired, said Chhin Sony, president of the Union of Cambodia, who aided union members in negotiating yesterday.
read more.
PPP new

* Workers Call for Fired Colleagues to Be Reinstated:

Hundreds of garment workers protested outside the Vattanac Industrial Park 2 in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district on Tuesday, calling for the reinstatement of 11 workers they claim were unfairly dismissed from their jobs at the Chinese-owned Dongdu Textile factory after they set up a union.

Negotiations between worker representatives, factory management and Labor Ministry officials stalled at the factory in Kraing Pongro commune, workers and company officials said, after Dongdu, which produces clothes for the Australian retailer Bonds, refused to reinstate the workers.

“After one hour of negotiations, the company strongly refused to accept the 11 workers back, since the factory accused them of inciting and threatening workers to protest,” said Nguon Piseth, a representative from the Cambodian Worker Labor Union Development, the union the workers established.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Witnesses speak for CC3 detainees:

Four witnesses appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday to testify on behalf of 13 of the 23 men detained in Kampong Cham’s Correctional Centre 3 since crackdowns on striking garment workers at the beginning of this month, a lawyer representing the 13 said.

Ham Sunrith, a lawyer from the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) who is defending union leader Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA), and 12 others arrested on January 2 at the Yakjin garment factory, said he had brought the four witnesses to court.
“They came to clarify to the investigating judge to find the truth about the violence that took place at Yakjin factory,” he said.
read more.
PPP new

Civil society continues to petition for freedom:

This morning, unions, associations, communities and other civil society groups submitted petitions to six embassies and two UN offices calling for the release of the 23 human rights defenders and workers arrested earlier this month, an end to violence against protesters, an inquiry into the violent clashes of Jan 2 and 3 and reparations to victims of the clashes.

Shortly after their first stop at the embassy of Singapore, the group of about 80 people was briefly obstructed by about 15 municipal guards and a line of riot police. Once they were allowed to continue, the protesters successfully submitted the petitions to the UNDP and UNFPA offices and the embassies of Brunei, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, and China. The petitions have 197 civil society signatories so far.
to read.
licadho

* Cambodia: UN labour agency urges independent probe in deadly protests:

Amid reports that riot police have been deployed in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to break up anti-Government protests, the United Nations labour agency today urged everyone to remain calm and reiterated its calls for a probe into police action.

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) is “deeply disturbed” by the continuing violence in Cambodia, including reports of another crackdown on protesting workers on Sunday, the UN agency said in a statement.

“The ILO urges all parties to refrain from further violence, and to take all steps necessary for the release of the trade union leaders and workers detained for having participated in the strike over the minimum wage,” the Geneva-based agency said.
read more. & read more.
UNnewsCENTRE   HRW

* ILO calls on Cambodian government to end violence:

The ILO is deeply disturbed by the continuing violence in Cambodia, including reports of another crackdown on protesting workers on Sunday, 26 January.

The ILO urges all parties to refrain from further violence, and to take all steps necessary for the release of the trade union leaders and workers detained for having participated in the strike over the minimum wage.

The ILO reiterates its earlier call for the Government to launch an independent inquiry without delay to determine the circumstances of police action and the deaths, assaults and arrests of workers during strike action earlier this month. The inquiry should determine responsibilities and punish those responsible where appropriate, as well as outline the steps to prevent the repetition of such acts.

The ILO stands ready to provide assistance to all parties to work towards the resolution of this conflict through dialogue.
to read.
ILO

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGMEA to press for apparel price raise to meet wage hike:

RMG factory owners meet buyers Feb 3

Enhancement of apparel prices in line with the newly-announced wage structure for garment workers and restoration of global buyers’ business confidence would dominate the next meeting of the apparel makers with the buyers’ representatives, sources said Tuesday.

The leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will sit with the representatives of the global buyers on February 3 next. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed is expected to attend the meeting as chief guest.

The BGMEA leaders also requested the minister to urge the buyers to help the readymade garment (RMG) sector implement the enhanced wage and extend support in ensuring safety compliance issues.

“The sector is passing through a tough time for various reasons which are seriously affecting the business,” Md Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE Tuesday.
read more. & read more.
FE bd DHAKATRIBUNE

* Body agrees on guideline for sweater factory workers:

Sweater factory owners and labour leaders agreed on framing a guideline for workers to resolve the prevailing dispute over payment, grades of workers and other related benefits, sources said Tuesday.

The consensus came in the first meeting of the 12-member committee formed following the recent agitation of workers over the issues.
Representatives of the government, the sweater factory owners and the labour leaders were present in the meeting held in the city.

Earlier this month the ministry of labour formed the committee, as the sweater factory workers agitated demanding an increase in the piece rate in line with the new wage structure announced for garment workers. The sweater factory workers were outside the purview of the wage structure.

Mr Faizur Rahman, joint secretary of the labour ministry and also head of the committee, said during the meeting they heard from both the groups.
“We have formed a working group that will visit some sweater factories and talk to the workers and factory authorities to gather details of the problematic issues,” he told the FE.
read more.
FE bd

* Guidelines for sweater factory workers in offing:

The government is going to formulate a set of guidelines for the sweater factory workers to resolve the prevailing disputes over payment in piece-rate basis.

At the first meeting of a labour ministry sub-committee to identify the wage-related problems of sweater factory workers on Tuesday, the representatives of factory owners and workers agreed to formulate the guidelines over the payment of piece-rate.
Md Faizur Rahman, joint secretary (labour), told New Age that the labour leaders and factory owners have discussed the prevailing situation of sweater factory workers and agreed at one point that a set of comprehensive guidelines is needed to bring discipline in the sector.
Faizur, also the head of the sub-committee, said that they have formed a working committee headed by the chief inspector of factories and establishment to visit factories and to talk with workers to dig out the real scenario of sweater factory workers.
read more.
BD new age

* 20 Savar RMG workers hurt in clash with cops:

At least 20 garment workers were injured in a clash with law enforcers on Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar this morning.

The workers of Fa Apparels Ltd also vandalised windowpanes and some furniture at the factory building at Hemayetpur protesting closure of their factory and non-payment of arrears.
Around 400 workers took to the highway around 9:00am blocking vehicular movements for half an hour in the morning rush hour, said Shahid Ullah, senior assistant director of Ashulia Industrial Police.
The clash erupted as the workers continued demonstration defying police request to free the road, reports our Savar correspondent quoting the police official.
At least 20 people were injured when police charged truncheons on the clashing workers.
On January 25, the workers demonstrated on the highway as the authorities allegedly paid the salary of December to some workers before shutting the factory January 22.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers-cop clash hurt 20:

At least 20 readymade garment workers were injured on Wednesday in a clash with police in  Hemayetpur area of Savar demanding due salaries and reopen the closed factory.

The injured workers were given first aid in various local hospitals.
Witnesses said that the workers of Fa Apparels limited put blockade on Dhaka-Aricha highway at around 8:30am demanding due salaries and reopen shut factories.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

* Five envoys meet 3 govt sceys to get updates on RMG safety, rights:

GSP issue to be in focus at February 13 sitting

Ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, and the Netherlands in Dhaka will sit with three government secretaries on February 13 to get updates on progresses made in the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector related to workplace safety and labour rights, sources said.

“The ambassadors have expressed their interest in sitting with the secretaries. We have forwarded a letter to the ministry of commerce to arrange the meet,” a senior foreign ministry official told the FE Tuesday.

“We have been informed that the five mission heads are ready to sit with the secretaries to get updates on labour rights and workplace conditions in the Bangladeshi factories. Further course of actions to improve the conditions may also be discussed at the meeting,” he said.
read more.
FE bd

* Govt to meet RMG buyers to restore confidence:

The government will hold a meeting with the foreign buyers of Bangladesh readymade garments to restore their confidence that has been dashed due to the prolonged political unrest and two major factory disasters.

The garment sector leaders said that commerce minister Tofail Ahmed is likely to sit with the Buyers Forum on February 3 at a hotel in the capital as sector players have recently urged the minister to arrange a meeting with the buyers.
They also requested the minister to urge the buyers to participate in the implementation process of new wage board by increasing prices and to extend support on the compliance issues in the sector.
‘The readymade garment sector in Bangladesh is passing through a tough time at home and abroad due to various reasons and so we requested the government to arrange a meeting with the buyers to restore their confidence,’ Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Tuesday.
read more.
BD new age

* First Ticfa meeting in April:

Bangladesh and the United States will discuss trade and commerce at their first meeting under Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement in Dhaka in April, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said in a statement yesterday.

The meeting comes after the two nations signed Ticfa in Washington on November 25 last year.
Ticfa provides a forum to discuss ways to remove trade disputes between the two countries.
On the World Trade Organisation’s recent meeting in Bali, Ahmed said the government would also take all possible steps to help realise the potential benefits of preferential treatment decisions for LDCs taken at the meet.
In the last six months, Bangladesh exports were 3.08 percent higher than the target, which raises hopes that the $30.5 billion export target for the year could be achieved, Ahmed said.
to read. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

       THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Sons of Rana Plaza victim get cheque:

Two minor children of a deceased Rana Plaza victim received a cheque of Tk 3,00,000 from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund yesterday.

The money was fixed deposited with the local branch of Sonali Bank as both Ismail Hossain and Insan Ali, sons of deceased victim Shirin Akhter, are under age.
Deputy Commissioner of Chapainawabganj Sardar Sarafat Ali handed over the cheque yesterday to Ismail Hossain and Insan Ali at his office in the district.

Shirin Akhtar was an inhabitant of Masjid Para of Chapainawabganj. Among others, Additional District Magistrate Ashraful Islam, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Dr KM Quamruzzaman Selim, Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Dr Chitralekha Naznin, district Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Matiur Rahman and Sadar Upazila Project Implementation Officer Mansurur Rahman, were present, in the programme.
to read.
INDEPENDENT

* Rana Plaza victim conquers disability:

Saddam Hossain, a victim of the Rana Plaza collapse has earned a masters degree from the National University despite losing his right arm during the tragic accident.

A strong desire and diligence allowed him to overcome his disability and pass the exam successfully against all odds, he said. The results of his post-graduate examination were published recently where he secured a second class, narrowly missing the marks needed for a first class.
Saddam appeared for the examinations at the Bhawal Bodre Alam Government College centre from June 23 last year. He had to travel on an ambulance to the examination centre and later on rented vehicles as he was unable to move properly.
He also managed a proxy writer who wrote during the exam as per his dictation. Self determination led him to gain the degree, he asserts.
Saddam Hossain, a resident of Mirzapur upazila in Tangail, took admission at Tongi Government College for post-graduation in Economics under the national university after obtaining a bachelor degree.
But financial hardship forced him to take up a job at a business centre, Sarker and Brothers, located on a 3-storey building beside the Rana Plaza in Savar.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Rana Plaza funds get closer:

Victims of the nation’s worst industrial disaster appear one step closer to receiving compensation from the government after a 31-member panel finalised a set of recommendations.

“We will submit them to the government anytime now,” said MM Akash, chief of the panel formed on a High Court order on August 29 last year, after the Rana Plaza collapse.
The committee recommended Tk 14.5 lakh for the dead and missing workers and the permanently disabled ones, Tk 7.5 lakh for those who have lost one limb, Tk 4.5 lakh for workers needing long-term treatment and Tk 1.5 lakh for the traumatised survivors.
The victims who have already received a certain sum from the Prime Minister’s Fund will receive the balance of their respective package, he said.
For instance, families of the 777 deceased workers who earlier received Tk 1 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Fund will get Tk 13.5 lakh.

The court will determine the source of funding for the compensation packages, Akash added.
Meanwhile, Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the body will contribute to the compensation packages as per the law of the land.
“It is still undecided who will contribute what amount, but everybody who is involved will have to donate,” he said, adding he will sit with the international retailers once the government locks in the compensation committee’s recommendations.
Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary general of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the local arm of the global union federation IndustriALL, however, disapproved the recommended figures as they were not arrived at by following Article 121 of ILO convention.
read more.
daily star bd

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* NTC wage talks postponed:

With no agreement reached here on Tuesday for a wage settlement for the workers of National Textile Corporation (NTC) mills in the State, talks have been postponed. Workers of the seven NTC mills in the State are on strike since January 21 demanding revision of wages.

K.G. Jagannathan, secretary of Coimbatore District Textile Mill Workers’ Union (AITUC), said that the trade unions sought on Tuesday the same benefits that the workers of co-operative mills in the State receive.

The three-year wage agreement expired in December 2012. About 4,500 workers are employed in the seven mills. The NTC management held talks with some trade unions last month and agreed for Rs. 1,650 increase in monthly wages and payment of arrears for 12 months. However, the amount was not disbursed till Pongal and hence the workers went on strike. Officials of the Labour Department have been holding talks with representatives of the trade unions and the management. “We are waiting for details on when the next round of talks will be held,” he said. “We had modified the demand hoping to arrive at an agreement soon,” he said.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* 10 persons injured:

Ten textile mill workers sustained injuries when the company van in which they were travelling hit a lorry going in the front near here on Tuesday.

The accident took place at Kadayur and the injured were taken to hospitals for treatment.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Textile entrepreneurs preparing road map for Tirupur cluster:

A group of textile entrepreneurs from Tirupur knitwear cluster have started preparing a road map for Tirupur knitwear cluster for handing over the same to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi shortly.

“The team has asked us to prepare a road map that could take the foreign exchange earnings from the cluster from the present Rs. 13,000 crore to Rs. one lakh crore in the next 10 years.

Raja Shanmugam, an exporter and advisor to NIFT-TEA Knitwear Institute, who is coordinating the preparation of the road map, told The Hindu. that the road map being prepared would be incorporating the needs of the industry from different perspectives.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Farmers demand better price for cotton, block road:

Tension prevailed at the Agricultural Producers Cooperative Marketing Society in Pudupet near Attur on Monday and Tuesday over fixing price for cotton that was auctioned on Monday.

More than 200 farmers resorted to a road blockade during the late hours of Monday seeking better price for their produce.
Farmers from Perambalur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Namakkal and Salem, who brought cotton for auction, were agitated as the price was less this week. The protest affected movement of vehicles on the road for about two-and-a-half hours.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* International cotton experts meet textile mill owners:

The International Cotton Association plans to organise a training session here on its contract rules and bylaws.

President of the association Mohit Shah told the mill owners here on Tuesday, at a meeting organised by the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), decision makers at textile mills on raw material purchase should participate in the training. They will learn more about writing a contract, rules of the association, etc. “They should participate to know about the rules and their rights,” he said. This will reduce the problems that come up between cotton buyers and suppliers on cotton contracts.

“Imports (of cotton) are here to stay and rise,” he said. Disputes can be settled in a mutually satisfactory way when there is more awareness on the contract rules.
read more.
Return to frontpage

18:17:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* EU conventions of GSP Plus status: PIAF, Punjab labour department to create awareness about labour rights:

Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) and Punjab Labour Department decided to join hands to create awareness among the employers and employees about the labour rights related EU Conventions of the GSP Plus status.

The decision was taken at a meeting between PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid and District Labour Officer Muhammad Naeem while the Chairman Lahore Township Industries Association Chaudhry Zaheer Bhutta was also present on the occasion.

It was also decided that the two sides would pool their efforts for a joint seminar on February 23, to educate the manufacturing sector about the EU Conventions. The two sides also agreed to form a Tripartite Committee having representatives of the employees, employers and the government to ensure the implementation of the EU Conventions.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

TIME
20140128

21:17:43 local time map of china CHINA

* Income disparity continues to rise in China:

Despite the central government’s attempts to tackle the alarming gap between the rich and the poor in China, the latest job data shows that wages in the two highest paid sectors, finance and high-technology, were growing at a faster rate than those in already poorly paid manufacturing and service industries.

A survey conducted by the human resources company, 51job.com, showed that salaries in the financial sector increased by 10.4 percent in 2013 and that wages were expected to increase even more this year because qualified staff were still in short supply. Salaries in high-tech industries increased by 9.9 percent last year, while those in bio-pharmaceuticals went up by 9.2 percent, the survey found.

Meanwhile, businesses in manufacturing and services continued to lose employees at a faster rate than higher-paying sectors. Manufacturing and services recorded the highest attrition rates of all industries, reaching 19.1 percent and 19.4 percent respectively.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

* 8.8% salary hikes expected for 2014:

Salary increases are expected to hit 8.8 percent in 2014, a slight rise on the 8.6 percent for 2013, according to a survey issued by 51job.com, a human resources service provider.

More than 3,400 enterprises and 4,600 employees were interviewed in the survey from September to November 2013, covering sectors including real estate, high-tech, consumer products and manufacturing.
It found that the highest salary increases occurred in the financial sector, reaching 10.4 percent, followed by real estate (10.1 percent), high tech (9.9 percent) and bio-pharmaceuticals (9.2 percent).
Feng Lijuan, chief consultant at 51job.com said that “the salary increase reflects that the demand for expertise in these industries is great, but suitable and qualified people are in short supply, so the competition in these industries is fierce”.
read more.
XINHUAnet

21:17:43 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* TUCP proposing low-cost dorms for minimum wage earners:

A labor group is eyeing idle government lands for the construction of low-cost dormitories for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila and other urban areas.

In an interview, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said these will be included in their demands during the upcoming Labor Day this May.
Their other demands include lowering local power rate, passage of the security of tenure bill, and the consultation of workers in the rehabilitation efforts in the areas ravaged by typhoon “Yolanda.”
Tanjusay said the dorms will help employees, particularly those who live far from their work places, to save income by cutting down on travel expenses.
read more.
MBnew

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Union reps fired after strike:

20140128 PPP Garment-Protest-Veng-Sreng
Garment workers fill balconies and Veng Sreng Boulevard in Phnom Penh during a strike calling for an increase to their minimum wage earlier this month.
Photo by Pha Lina.

Despite Cambodia’s labour law forbidding employers from taking action against workers for engaging in union activity, more than 100 labour union representatives have been fired from at least 12 factories this month for encouraging workers to strike for a $160 monthly minimum wage.

The firings came shortly after the mass strike over wages waned in the wake of authorities shooting dead at least four people on January 3 and a subsequent government ban on public demonstrations.
“I can’t see why any of these terminations would be legal,” said Joel Preston, a consultant for the Community Legal Education Center.

Factories that fired employees supply to brands including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Armani, among others, he said.
Cambodian Alliance Trade Unions (CATU) president Yang Sophorn yesterday said 50 CATU union representatives have been fired from the Manhattan Textile and Garment factory in Kampong Cham since early January.
“The reason that factories fired them was because they joined in the strike, but some factories claimed their contracts were finished, even though they were not,” Sophorn said yesterday.
read more.
PPP new

* Union Reps Questioned Over Violent Protests:

The Interior Ministry’s penal department on Monday questioned two representatives of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) over claims that they incited violence during protests at a Kandal province garment factory in late December.

Jack Liu, director-general of Tainan Enterprises (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., filed a complaint against six members of CATU after workers protested on December 26 and 31 at his factory in Ang Snuol district, demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $160.

In a letter dated Thursday, the Interior Ministry’s penal department chief In Bora called three of the accused, Khem Nath, Chhim Nimul and Nget Moniroath, for questioning Monday.
Mr. Nath, head of Tainan’s CATU branch, and CATU representative Ms. Moniroath appeared Monday but Mr. Nimul’s questioning was delayed until Wednesday due to illness.
“Police told me that the company accused me of cursing the factory owner and causing chaos and demanded $100,000 compensation,” Mr. Nath said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Poipet to see new economic zone:

Japanese investors will put $56 million into a joint venture with local company Sanco Investment Group (SIG) to build a new special economic zone in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, officials said yesterday.

Chhour Vichet, executive director of SIG, said Thailand’s labour shortage, Cambodia’s ongoing political unrest and the markedly higher minimum wage, which doubled to $9.77 per day in December 2012, all make the Kingdom a well-situated investment alternative.

As the Post reported at the time of the wage increase, Thailand’s leading garment manufacturer, TK Garment Co Ltd, shifted operations to Cambodia in response to the decision.
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media updates 18-28 January 2014, Brands call for trade union law:

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

2014-01-20 Brands call for trade union law
2014-01-20 Getting appy mobile expo a first for growing industry
2014-01-20 Unionists to march for Vichea
2014-01-21 Acting head of IDEA released
2014-01-21 Vichea legacy endures
2014-01-22 Large protest planned for Sunday
2014-01-22 Little progress on rights HRW
2014-01-22 union boss’s murder gets day in court
2014-01-23 Cambodia bourse to get second IPO in April
2014-01-23 Memorial plea end the violence
2014-01-23 Minimum wage up for discussion
2014-01-24 Chantol on reform, wages, politics
2014-01-24 Decades in prison for traffickers
2014-01-24 Garment IPO to pay for factory
2014-01-24 Unions take big picture view
2014-01-24 Workers strike again to demand strike pay
2014-01-27 Clashes as rally ban enforced
2014-01-28 Poipet to see new economic zone
2014-01-28 Union reps fired after strike

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:

2014-01-18-19 Union to defy order, March to commemorate Chea Vichea’s slaying
2014-01-20 International brands seek probe into protest killings
2014-01-20 Union leader grabbed off street after peaceful protest
2014-01-21 Beyond Chea Vichea, many cases lack accountabilities , justice
2014-01-21 Union leader released, Free the 23 protest to continue
2014-01-22 Court hears request to reinvestigate slaying of FTU leader
2014-01-22 The assassination of union leader Chea Vichea A decade on
2014-01-22 Who killed Chea Vichea 10 years and still waiting for justice
2014-01-23 After arrest, NGOs continue petitioning to free the 23
2014-01-23 Cambodians hold free the 23 rally outside White House
2014-01-23 Chea Vichea remembered 10 years after slaying
2014-01-23 NGOs continue to march to embassies to free the 23
2014-01-23 Pro-government unions call for action against leaders of strikes
2014-01-23 Unions to proceed with mass rally in freedom park despite ban
2014-01-23 Chea Vichea documentary set for public screening
2014-01-23 Unions to proceed with mass rally in freedom park despite ban
2014-01-24 Deportation, jail threatened if film screened
2014-01-25-26 Film screening canceled after government threatens jail
2014-01-25-26 The ban on screening Chea Vichea film should be lifted
2014-01-27 Ministry questions unioins over role in Kandal garment protest
2014-01-28 Union reps questioned over violent protests

BetterFactories Media updates overview here.
BF NEW

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Expo on building, fire safety products in city next month:

Apparel makers and two global buyers’ platforms-Accord and Alliance-have joined hands to display proper building, fire and electrical safety products and service under one roof.

The expo aims at improving and ensuring workplace safety in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry, sources said.

Frequent industrial incidents, especially fires at Tazreen and Smart factories and the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,200 garment workers have highlighted the building, electrical and fire safety issues in the garment sector, they added.

Since the beginning of the apparel manufacturing in Bangladesh, the sector has not taken enough steps to protect its workers. Moreover, tragedies occurred due to unsafe working conditions or poor building construction as there was not enough awareness about those issues, they added.

But the Tazreen fire and the Rana Plaza collapse triggered severe criticism both in local and international business and human rights circles regarding the poor workplace safety and labour standards.
To respond to this need, the Bangladesh government, the industry, the workers’ organisations, the foreign buyers and governments are working together to prevent future tragedies, they added.
read more. & read more.
FE bd BD new age

* 9,000 maunds jute gutted in Faridpur:

Huge valuables, including 9,000 maunds of jute, were gutted by a devastating fire at Satoir Bazar in Boalmari upazila early Monday.

Locals said the fire originated from an electrical short circuit at the jute godown of Badu Mia in the largest jute market of the district around 3am and it soon engulfed 12 other adjoining establishments.
The fire burned down 9,000 maunds of jute and huge groceries of the shops.

On information, three firefighting units rushed in and doused the fire after three hours.
General secretary of Satoir Bazar Traders’ Association M Atiar Rahman claimed that the extent of loses caused by the fire would exceed Tk 3 crore.
Local MP M Abdur Rahman, upazila chairman MM Mosharraf Hossain, upazila nirbahi officer M Sahiduzzaman and officer-in-charge of Boalmari Police Station M Ruhul Amin visited the spot.
to read. & read more.
UNB daily star bd

* Tk 30 lakh cotton damaged in Laxmipur fire:

A cotton warehouse caught fire burning down cotton worth at least Tk30 lakh in Ramganj upazila headquarters on Monday.

Local fire service sources said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at the cotton warehouse owned by Kartic Debnath near Jabed Cinema Hall of the upazila town at noon and soon engulfed the whole storehouse.
On information, fire fighting units rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts.
Kartic claimed there had been stored Tk30 lakh cotton that was completely damaged by the blaze.
to read.
UNB

* Reinstating US GSP:

No clear indication is there about progress in the matter of restoration of the US generalised system of preferences (GSP).

The duty-free preferential scheme, suspended more than six months ago following two major factory disasters in Savar, triggered uncertainties that many thought would be over in view of the activities undertaken by the government in keeping with the work plan of the office of the USTR (United States Trade Representative).
But things have not moved as expected. Although suspension of US GSP has not affected Bangladesh’s exports because of poor product coverage of the scheme that excludes most major items including garments, the critical need to reinstate the benefit lies obviously in snuffing off the negatives brewing over the country’s labour rights and workplace conditions.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG exports earn $23.5b last year:

Despite Rana Plaza collapse, Tazreen fire

The country’s readymade garment (RMG) exports earned US$23.5 billion in 2013 with a 13 per cent year-on-year growth despite the sector witnessing several dreadful accidents including Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashion fire that left over 1200 people dead in the year.  

Woven items led the earning spree as it fetched $12.05 billion while knitwear sector $11.44 billion in the year (January-December), Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics said.

“Garment exporters are aggressively pushing the exports though it had to enforce several compliance requirements after the disasters had taken place,” said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Md. Atiqul Islam.

Bangladesh’s garment exports increased from $6.8 billion in 2005 to $23.3 billion in 2013, recording a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6 per cent.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG sees slow but steady growth in 2013 despite unrest:

Both the BGMEA and BKMEA data showed a remarkable hike in their respective membership categories

Despite the political unrest coupled with global retailers’ threat not to buy Bangladeshi products following the worst-ever Rana Plaza disaster, the country, however, witnessed a slow but steady growth in the apparel sector in 2013.

A good number of apparel manufacturers have come up with more investments either to establish or to expand their own readymade garment factories in the just concluded year, according to the statistics Bangladesh Garment manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA). Apart from that, both the BGMEA and BKMEA data showed a remarkable hike in their respective membership categories.

According to statistics, a total of 192 factory owners got the memberships from BGMEA and BKMEA. A total of 139 factory owners took membership from BGMEA, while BKMEA provided membership to 53 factory owners in the year 2013. Currently, the BGMEA membership number rose to 5674, while the memberships of BKMEA rose to 1931.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

       THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Rana Plaza compensation:

Why the delivery shortfall?

Rana Plaza disaster will continue to remain for a long time a blot on the country’s RMG sector.

And whatever we do or fail to do to address the multifarious issues related to the disaster, that will have a far reaching effect on the relationship between the buyers and the industry, and the longer it will take the country to remove the blot.
Compensation and rehabilitation of the survivors are two such issues that we cannot give a short shrift to.

And we cannot but view the matter of compensation to the victims and their relatives, as it stands now, with a degree of consternation given the poor delivery of compensation even after nine months of the disaster.
It is not as if there are not enough funds with the government. Reportedly, the

PM’s fund has nearly a 100 crore taka of which only 18 crore have been disbursed.
We fail to understand why not all of the families of the 1135 dead workers have received the compensation as yet.
The problem we feel lies with the process of ascertaining the exact number of victims and confirming their identity. And as long as that remains indeterminate, the victims, dead, injured and missing, and their families, will be deprived from getting the proper compensation.
While there is reservation about the amount of compensation, we feel that it is more of a management issue which must be removed in order to make the matter of Rana Plaza compensation more efficient, speedy and transparent.
to read.
daily star bd

* Two Rana Plaza factory owners get bail:

The High Court on Thursday granted interim bail for six months to the chairman and the managing director of two apparel factories housed in the Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24, 2013 killing more than 1100 people, mostly apparel workers.

The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed also asked the police to explain why the two — New Wave Buttons and New Wave Style chairman Bazlus Samad Adnan and managing director Mahmudur Rahman Tapos — would be granted
regular bail in a case relating to the building collapse.
Their counsel SM Rezaul Karim said that Bazlus and Mahmudur would be release from jail as they were wanted in no other case.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* One killed in garment factory fire:

A factory worker was killed while three others sustained serious burns when a fire broke out in a cloth factory in South Delhi’s Shahpur Jat area.

A fire official said that around 6-30 p.m. smoke was seen coming out from a section of the factory and four men were found to be caught in the fire. Four fire tenders were able to douse the flames after an hour. Lalit, Sajid, Masood and Jamshed were rushed to a nearby hospital where Lalit was declared brought dead.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* NTC workers observe fast:

20140128 the HINDU
Workers of National Textile Corporation mills observing a fast pressing for wage revision in Coimbatore on Monday.— Photo: K. Ananthan

The National Textile Corporation (NTC) workers’ strike at the seven textile mills in the State, demanding revision of wages, entered the seventh day and some of the workers observed a fast here on Monday seeking an early solution to the wage settlement problem.

The three-year wage agreement for the workers expired in December 2012. The management held talks with some of the trade unions and reached an agreement last month for Rs. 1,650 increase in monthly wages for each worker.

The Unions are seeking payment of arrears for 12 months (from January 2013). Since the amount was not disbursed till Pongal, the workers went on strike from January 21, according to trade union sources here.

The AITUC, MLF, HMS, BMS and ATP called for a fast here on Monday. They said since it might take time to arrive at an agreement, interim relief should be paid for four months.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Punjab textiles units in dire straits: Report:

The number of dysfunctional units in Punjab, Haryana rise exponentially

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate () of about 35 per cent, the number of non-operating textiles units in grew from 11 to 227 units between 2000-01 and 2010-11, according to a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India ().

“The number of jobs lost due to non-operation of textile factories in Punjab have grown at a CAGR of 41 per cent during the period as the state has suffered a loss of about 32,600 employment opportunities in 2010-11 as against about 1,000 in 2000-01,” the study, state-wise assessment of textile sector & recommendations, said.

Similarly, in Haryana, non-operating textile factories grew from 11 to 175 during the period, thereby clocking a CAGR of 32 per cent, and the state suffered a loss of 14,300 job opportunities in 2010-11  against 675 jobs lost in 2000-01.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

18:17:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Chinese keen to invest in textile sector:

Chinese investors have shown interest to invest in the textile sector of Pakistan and offered government to relocate 200 spinning mills in Punjab, if land is leased at $8,900 per acre per annum and electricity assured at 12 cents, official sources said.

The officials told The News that on the request of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Chinese investors agreed to relocate their yarn making industry in Punjab, if the government removes infrastructure bottlenecks.

“They specifically demanded availability of land in developed industrial estates at a yearly lease of $8,900 per acre and power supply at 12 US cents per unit,” an official said, adding that the Punjab government is already developing large special export zones for this purpose and provision of land as desired by the Chinese investors will not be a problem; however, providing power at the rates demanded by the Chinese is not currently possible.
read more.
thenewspk

18:17:43 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Global Coalition Calls on the Asian Development Bank to Halt Project Supporting the Cotton Industry in Uzbekistan, in which Forced Labor Continues:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) should halt the Modernization and Improved Performance of the Amu Bukhara Irrigation System (ABIS) project in Uzbekistan, until the Uzbek government ends forced labor of children and adults in the agricultural sector, said 38 human rights, labor, business, investor, and religious organizations today in a letter to ADB President Takehiko Nakao.

“The ADB should urge the Uzbek government to end forced labour, not fuel the sector in which human rights abuses continue,” said Umida Niyazova, Director, Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights.

Cotton is the sector that stands to benefit most from the ADB ABIS project, yet the Uzbek government continues to operate a forced-labour system of cotton production. In 2013, the government systematically mobilized children aged 15 to 17 and adults to pick cotton throughout the country, and authorities mobilized even younger children in some locations.
Forced child labour was organized through the state education system, under threat of expulsion from school. Public- and private-sector workers were forced to pick cotton under threat of losing their jobs.
Authorities transported students from the schools to the fields in public buses, and students and adults who were deployed to pick cotton far from their homes were housed in schools and other public buildings, often at their own expense.
read more.
COTTONcampaign

TIME
20140127

21:17:43 local time map of china CHINA

* World’s largest cotton producer battles soil residue:

Plastic mulch, a technology that helped make China the world’s top cotton producer over the past 30 years, may have outlived its usefulness, as local farmers battle mulch residue in soil.

In the country’s cotton base, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, mulch films are buried deep in the soil, with some rotted to shreds that can’t be picked up by hand.

“In the past when we turned up the land, the residue was there and very easy to clear. Now we can hardly find surface soil among the residue,” said regional agricultural bureau chief Akbar Gopur.

The situation has emerged as a major environmental concern for the government, agrotechnicians, farmers and the general public. While the central government issued a policy document on January 19 vowing to preserve every inch of farmland, the regional government is striving to offer solutions to the soil residue problem.
read more.
CHINADAILY

20:17:43 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Reeling from the Wage Hike:

Government-mandated increase has led to lay-offs amid a labour shortage and even lower earnings.

It was just another morning when Somporn, a 40-year-old worker in a ceramics plant, awoke to find she had lost the job she had held for several years.

In fact, she’d anticipated this day would come, as the plant had downsized operations in response to the 300-baht daily wage. The factory agreed to pay a small compensation to laid-off workers.
Mrs Somporn is among the large number of workers laid off by companies that can no longer shoulder higher labour costs after the Pheu Thai-led government raised daily wage to 300 baht nationwide on Jan 1, 2013.
The government implemented this populist policy in order to narrow the income gap as well as to draw grass-roots votes.

However, 21 months after its implementation, has the wage hike improved the lives of those on the lower rungs of society?
“The policy hasn’t really helped ease the lives of workers as a large number of them have been laid off as many factories struggle to survive amid a sharp rise in production costs driven by the hike in daily wages,” said Wilaiwan Sae Tia, vice-president of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee.
read more.
bangkokpostBusiness

* Garment exports to benefit from US, Japan recovery:

Thailand’s garment industry anticipates an improved export situation this year.

Sukij Kongpiyajarn, president of the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association, said foreign shipments will improve by 5% from last year on the back of the economic recovery in the US and Japan..

Meanwhile, the euro zone’s economy will neither worsen nor improve much, while Asean markets are still growing, he said.
In the first 11 months of last year, garment exports totalled US$3 billion, down by 4.2% year-on-year.
The export sector has not been directly affected by the latest round of domestic political unrest, but it could be hit hard if the protests start disrupting logistics.

However, Mr Sukij does not see the situation as worrisome, as violence has so far been minimal.
“If customers are reluctant to come here, we can go to them instead,” he said.
“In my experience, Thai entrepreneurs cope with unrest quite well. They’ve had to adjust their business before and not only survived but emerged stronger each time.”

Meanwhile, the trend among exporters of relocating to neighbouring countries continues, said Mr Sukij.
He said over the past five years, large garment manufacturers have invested in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
read more.
bangkokpostBusiness

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Ministry Questions Unions Over Role in Kandal Garment Protest:

The Interior Ministry has summoned six union representatives for questioning following a complaint from Jack Liu, director-general of Tainan Enterprises (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., alleging that they incited violence at his Kandal province garment factory in late December.

A letter dated Thursday, signed by the Interior Ministry’s penal department chief In Bora, called Khem Nath, Chhim Nimul and Nget Moniroath from the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) for questioning today. It also orders three other union members, Kol Kurn, Ouk Khen and Sem Kosal, to appear for questioning Wednesday.

“All of those people must present [themselves] following the warrant,” the letter reads.
“We summoned these people for questioning because the company representative [Mr. Liu] accused [them] of inciting violence among workers and [leading them] to destroy the factory’s property, but we have no plans to arrest anyone,” Mr. Bora said Sunday.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Clashes as rally ban enforced:

Violence again erupted in Phnom Penh yesterday, as security forces blocked demonstrators from Freedom Park, where they intended to protest against low wages and the continued detention of 23 people.

Nearly 10 people suffered minor injuries, while police arrested two people, Mathieu Pellerin, a consultant for rights group Licadho, said.
Deputy Phnom Penh municipal police chief Choun Narin identified the men arrested as Pheng Pha, 32, and Ham Huth, 18.

The demonstration was the first attempted at Freedom Park since January 4, when district security guards tore down tents and chased off protesters who had occupied the area for 20 days, demanding Cambodia hold a new national election and raise the minimum monthly garment wage to $160.
(…)

Nine unions and associations, among them the Independent Democratic Association of Informal Economic (IDEA), Free Trade Union (FTU) and Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA), planned the demonstration last week, only for City Hall and the Ministry of Interior to refuse them permission to hold it.
A formal request the trade groups filed with City Hall noted their demands of a $160 minimum wage and the immediate release of 23 people – among them IDEA chief Vorn Pov – arrested during demonstrations on January 2 and 3.
read more.
PPP new

* After Clash, Crowd Turns on Suspected Provocateurs:

Protesters demanding the release of 23 imprisoned activists and workers clashed with security guards at a demonstration in central Phnom Penh on Sunday, with the crowd then beating at least three plain-clothes men they suspected of having been planted among them to stir up trouble.

Two of the men—one with a bloody wound to the head—were afterward driven off by some of the protesters and handed over to police in Chamkar Mon district’s Boeng Keng Kang I commune, who sent them on to municipal police headquarters.
The protest was called by a group of nine trade unions hoping to gather a crowd of 10,000 at the city’s Freedom Park to demand both higher garment sector wages and the release of 23 men arrested earlier this month during two days of protests outside Phnom Penh factories.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Officers queried on shootings:

Military police officers involved in the clash on Veng Sreng Boulevard that led to the deaths of at least four protesters earlier this month have been questioned in connection with the shootings, though none will face charges, a military police spokesman said yesterday.

The five officers, whose names and positions are unknown, were questioned about their role in the violence at Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week, Brigadier General Kheng Tito said.

“They were already questioned by the prosecutor last week,” he told the Post. “They were summonsed by the prosecutor to give their explanations about the violent clash that happened between the violent protesters and our military police forces.”
read more.
PPP new

* UN asked to ‘address crisis’:

Amnesty International and rights group Licadho in a joint statement yesterday called on UN member states to “address the country’s human rights crisis” at a UN Human Rights Council hearing in Geneva on Tuesday.

The statement, which was sent to foreign embassies, the Cambodian government and country missions in Geneva, said that since the groups made a series of recommendations in mid-2013, the human rights situation has deteriorated significantly.
read more.
PPP new

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

21:17:43 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Textex seminar on sustainability in textile production:

TESTEX Indonesia in collaboration with Clariant Indonesia held a seminar on December 3rd, 2013 at JW Marriot Hotel Kuningan, Jakarta with the topic “Sustainable Production & High Performance Textile”.

With increasingly demand of consumers and NGO’s towards more environmentally-friendly and socially responsible production of textile products, this topic refers to global interest.

This event was also supported by International Labor Organization (ILO), Indorama Synthetic Tbk., AmerSport, Archroma Singapore and School of Textile Technology Bandung. More than 200 textile professionals from brands, retailers, manufactures and textile organizations from various cities in Indonesia and neighboring countries like Singapore and Thailand had registered.
read more.
fibre2fashion

19:47:43 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Minimum wage move takes a big step forward:

A proposal for a minimum national wage dominated a meeting that brought together a government agency, workers’ representatives and the International Labor Organization in Naypyitaw recently.

The January 16 meeting to negotiate a minimum wage also discussed proposals for variations in a minimum wage according to industrial sector and geographic region.
As well as the government’s Minimum Wage Board, the independent workers’ groups, and the ILO, the negotiations were also attended by experts on the issue.

They included Andrea Smurra, a technical adviser to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, said he was impressed by the commitment of the participants to setting a minimum wage.
However, Mr Smurra said that rushing a minimum wages policy in Myanmar’s economic climate could create risks in the future, particularlyby limiting the bargaining power of trade unions and affecting the ability of companies to pay if minimum rates were set too high.
read more.
MIZZAMA new

* Parliament to discuss minimum wage issue in June:

Myanmar’s members of parliament will discuss an important issue for the country’s employees in June, as a proposal to establish an official minimum wage comes up for review, says a national committee working on the issue.

Researchers are conducting an extensive survey across the country, with canvassing on the issue in Yangon, Mandalay and Bago reportedly complete.

“The labour minister asked us to complete a proposal to submit to parliament in June for setting the minimum wage. Many negotiations are required between local workers and employers before the proposal is submitted to parliament, as problems could come up as a result,” said Naw Aung, a worker representative on the committee.
read more.
Eleven

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG sector needs broad reforms to ride out crisis:

Analysts show ways to improve factory standards

Bangladesh should prepare a national restructuring plan for the garment sector for the next five to 10 years to help the industry ride out its current crisis and reap potential, the Centre for Policy Dialogue said yesterday.   

“Many talk about the McKinsey Report and the potential of garment exports, but we do not see measures to exploit the potential,” said Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the CPD.
“At the end of the day, the garment industry is an international sector. We don’t have an alternative to making a comprehensive plan to restructure the sector and move forward.”
He spoke at a dialogue, Rana Plaza tragedy and beyond: an update on commitments and delivery, at Brac Centre Inn in Dhaka.

In August last year, the think-tank launched a civil society initiative, in partnership with 15 rights organisations, professional bodies and media organisations, to monitor commitments and implementation of promises made by local and international organisations following the disaster.
Bhattacharya said the building collapse has created a sort of opportunity, which has raised awareness but actions are not forthcoming.
It would not be possible to change the fate of the workers just by changing the domestic conditions, he added.
“The major portion of the profit of the garment supply chain exists outside the country. It is not possible to do everything by squeezing the 20 percent that remains in the country.”
read more.
daily star bd

brands PAY 2How long people, who work for you, have to suffer, because they do not get decent wages.

* Govt prepares draft of rules to implement labour law:

The government has prepared the draft of rules to implement labour laws and has given one month’s time to the stakeholders including owners and workers for their opinions, sources said.

The first meeting of the committee headed by Labour Secretary with representatives from the government, employers’ federation, apparel apex bodies-BGMEA and BKMEA-and labour organisations was held on January 23 when the draft was shared with them, they added.

Formulation of the necessary rules came aiming to implement the country’s labour laws, they said adding there is also international pressure to amend the laws and properly put them into practice to improve and ensure workplace safety and labour standards, especially in the garment sector following the deadly Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza building collapse.

The Bangladesh Labour Act of 2006 still lacks the required rules even though the Act was passed a couple of years back, they said adding the labour laws were amended on three occasions with the latest change taking place in 2013.
read more.
FE bd

* Regulations under amended labour law by March: official:

The government will finalise the regulations by March, which were required to apply the amended labour law in factories, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said yesterday.

The government amended the labour law of 2006 on July 15 last year to allow full freedom of association and trade union in factories after the twin industrial disasters: Tazreen Fashions’ fire and Rana Plaza building collapse.
But the law could not be applied due to the absence of regulations.
“The regulations were supposed to be made by December, but it was not possible due to political unrest,” Shipar told The Daily Star.
“I hope the sub-committee which has been assigned to finalise the regulations in consultations with the stakeholders will be able to complete the job by March.”
read more.
daily star bd

* Industrial park for ‘RMG sector soon’:

Labour Secretary Mikail Shipper on Sunday said a 530 acre industrial park for the readymade garment (RMG) sector is in the offing.

“The government will set an industrial park for garment factories at Gazaria upazila in Munshiganj,” he said adding, “We’ve already completed the preliminary works for the acquisition of about 530 acre land.”

The Labour Secretary was addressing a dialogue, titled ‘Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: An Update on Commitment and Delivery’, organised by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at Brac Centre Inn.
read more. & read more.
UNB FE bd

* B’desh industrial future hinges on int’l social standards, says German envoy:

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Albrecht Conze on Sunday said Bangladesh should establish internationally agreed social standards to be an emerging industrial country.

“Bangladesh’s future as an emerging industrial country depends on a reputation of excellence – not only with regard to the quality of its products, but just as much in terms of compliance with internationally agreed social standards,” he said.

These standards need to be established, controlled and monitored, the German Ambassador said while addressing a ceremony organised to handover motorcycles to the labour inspectors at the CIRDAP auditorium.
read more.
FE bd

* Germany to continue help in RMG sector:

German Ambassador to Dhaka Dr Albrecht Conze made the assurance while addressing a handover ceremony on Sunday at the CIRDAP auditorium where the German International Development Agency, GIZ, presented 20 motorcycles to the Labour Inspectors under the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE).

He said, “Bangladesh`s future as an emerging industrial country depends on a reputation of excellence-not only with regard to the quality of its products, but just as much in terms of compliance with internationally agreed social standards.”

“These standards need to be established, controlled and monitored. A well trained and adequately equipped public inspection system is needed to avoid any repetition of the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters. Germany remains committed to help. Factory inspectors need to be mobile, and today, GIZ provides transport capability.”
read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd

German Ambassador Albrecht Conze, while handing over the bikes on Sunday, said they would ensure “transparency through surprise visits”
He said it would enhance the “frequency and mobility of the inspectors by making them less dependent on factory owners who used to provide vehicles for inspections”.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 daily star bd

* GSP to return by April: Tofail:

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday expressed hope that it would be possible to return the US suspended Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) within April.

The commerce minister, also ruling Awami League lawmaker, made the assertion at a meeting with delegates of Dhaka Chambers at his secretariat office.

He said, “We have almost fulfilled the conditions that the US asked for the continuation of the halted GSP facilities.”
read more. & read more. & read more.
BANGLA NEWS24 UNB BD new age

* Tanners urged to form working committee for relocation to Savar:

Tanners on Sunday renewed their demands including bank loan at easy terms and lower interest rates while the government urged them to start shifting process to the Savar Tannery Estate gearing up the relocation process.

Newly-appointed Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu urged them to form a working committee with representatives from both the government and the industry owners. The committee will supervise the progress of relocation process of tanneries and solve the problems of the entrepreneurs at administrative level, he added.
read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.
FE bd UNB INDEPENDENT  daily star bd

* Tanners demand soft loans for relocation:

Tannery owners yesterday urged the government to provide long-term loans with less than 5 percent interest rates to expedite the relocation of the hazardous tanneries from Hazaribagh in Dhaka to Savar.  

“We need soft loans to relocate the tanneries as leather is a capital-intensive industry,” said M Abu Taher, chairman of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association, adding that many will have to fold their businesses if the government does not arrange the
financing.
read more.
daily star bd

       THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Social, financial commitments to Rana Plaza victims unfulfilled:

CPD dialogue seeks info on compensation money

Most of the social and financial commitments regarding the Rana Plaza tragedy have remained unfulfilled even nine months after the deadliest incident, speakers at a dialogue in the city said Sunday.

They also found lack of transparency, accountability and absence of a complete list of the victims including the dead, the injured and the unidentified.

The discussants recommended a number of steps including preparing a complete list of the victims, a central mechanism of collecting compensation fund and its proper distribution, long-term treatment of the injured, availability of information and proper implementation of the pledges by the Bangladesh government, the Accord and the Alliance.

They also suggested co-ordination, transparency and accountability regarding the promises made towards fund collection and compensation disbursement for workers’ treatment and rehabilitation.

The observations and recommendations came at a dialogue organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on ‘Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: A Follow- up on Commitments and Delivery’.
read more.
FE bd

* Yawning gap between pledges and delivery:

20140127 DAILYSTARrana-plaza-info

 9 months on, many victims still deprived

Many Rana Plaza victims are yet to receive their promised compensation from the government and Western retailers, nine months after the industrial tragedy.

To date, families of 777 of the 1,135 deceased workers have received Tk 1-5 lakh each in compensation from the Prime Minister’s Fund, while most of the 1,800 injured workers received “very insignificant” compensation, according to an analysis of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
“A number of victims who were interviewed have not yet received any of their financial dues,” said KG Moazzem, additional research director of CPD.
In August last year, CPD in partnership with 15 other rights organisations, professional bodies and media outlets launched a civil society initiative to monitor the progress of the commitments made by the local and international organisations.
read more.
daily star bd

* Commitments to victims mostly remain unfulfilled: CPD dialogue:

Most of the commitments made by the government and trade bodies after the Rana Plaza collapse about compensation and rehabilitation of the victims remained unfulfilled, said speakers in a dialogue in the city on Sunday.

In the dialogue on ‘Rana Plaza tragedy and beyond: an update on commitments and delivery’ organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue, they demanded a comprehensive and transparent list of the dead, injured and missing workers in the worst industrial disaster in the country’s history and discloser of the disbursement of compensation from the prime minister’s fund.
‘The confusion over the list of deceased, injured and missing workers will have to be allayed and the national tripartite committee could initiate a move to prepare a complete list which is essential for meeting the commitments,’ Khandakar Golam Moazzem additional research secretary of CPD, said in his key note paper.
read more.
BD new age

* Rana Plaza Tragedy: Survivors suffer ‘as fund lies idle’:

The workers who suffered serious injuries as well as the relatives of many deceased or ‘missing’ workers are living a miserable life though the charity fund at the Prime Minister’s Office is laying idle, observed speakers at a dialogue here on Sunday.

They urged the government for preparing a full list of the dead, injured and missing workers, and for quick and transparent steps to disburse the appropriate compensation to the victims and the relatives.

The dialogue was organised by leading think thank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at Brac Centre Inn.
The draft of a CPD report, titled ‘Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: An Update on Commitment and Delivery’, was also placed before different stakeholders of the readymade garment sector (RMG) present at the dialogue.
read more.
UNB

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* Powerloom units seek changes in subsidy scheme:

The Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) has appealed to the Union Ministry of Textiles to remove some of the machinery specifications to be eligible for higher subsidy under the Revised Restructured Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (RR-TUFS).

According to a press release from PDEXCIL, the Centre introduced the revised scheme in April last year.
The scheme offered 30 per cent capital subsidy for powerloom units that invested in shuttleless looms. However, the shuttleless looms should have the speed specified in the scheme.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* CITI welcomes restoring textile export benefits under IEIS:

Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has welcomed the restoration of export benefits under Incremental Export Incentivisation Scheme (IEIS) vide Notification No.66 (RE-2013)/2009-2014 dated 23rd January 2014, on cotton yarn.

In a statement issued here, Shri Prem Malik, Chairman, CITI stated that withdrawal of the benefits of IEIS had dampened the enthusiasm of cotton yarn exporters and the restoration of these benefits will reflect in the export performance during the remaining part of the year.

He thanked Shri Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Dr. K. Sambasiva Rao, Minister of Textiles, for considering the presentations made by CITI for restoration of these benefits and taking a positive decision.
read more.
fibre2fashion

ETHIOPIA

* If the shoe fits then wear it:

Ethiopia trying to become center for manufacturing in Africa on the back of Chinese investment, report Andrew Moody and Wang Chao

Modern and brightly lit with all the staff in neat uniforms, it could be a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shenzhen or Guangzhou.
The Huajian shoemaking factory is not in China, however, but about 30 kilometers from the center of Addis Ababa.

Even its location is something of a disguise. There is nothing much African about the Eastern Industry Zone in that in appearance it could be any one of thousands of industrial parks around China.
Huajian, which employs 3,000 local workers, however, could have a significance way beyond just being a single factory.
read more.
CHINADAILY

* Turkish company invests 1.2 bln. birr in textile sector:

The Turkish textile factory MNS Manufacturing P.L.C. has launched the first phase production of carpet, towel and bathrooms, polyester, fiber-line home furniture (spring mattress and sofa) investing of over 1.2 billion birr.

The company has been undertaking expansion activities in three phases around Laga Tafo area. The factory has already accomplished the task of construction and equipment installation. The factory entered first production phase and is expected to finalize phase two and three construction very soon.

MNS Project Coordinator Nursel Aslan said: “We are working very hard to finalize the whole project and make the investment generate income as quickest as possible. Investors should be very committed to succeed in Ethiopia as we do. If you are suspicious you cannot be successful.”

Asked about employment opportunities created by the factory, she said that when the factory goes fully operational it was expecting to create around 1,000 jobs only in its first phase . “So far, we have employed 400 Ethiopians, which is increasing day by day. We didn’t reach the peak. We have just started. This year, when the first and the second phases go fully operational, we will have approximately 1,200-1,500 Ethiopian workers,” she added.
read more.
theETHIOPIAherald

* Turkish textile firm begins production in Ethiopia:

MNS Manufacturing P.L.C, a Turkey-based textile company, has begun production of carpets, towels, polyester, and home textiles with an investment of more than 1.2 billion birr, The Ethiopian Herald reported.
The Turkish company is setting up textile production in three phases in Laga Tafo in the Oromia state, according to the report.
The first phase of the construction is completed and production has started, while the company is soon going to start construction of the remaining two phases.
The company is making effort to generate income from the Ethiopian factory in the quickest possible time, Nursel Aslan, project coordinator for MNS told the Ethiopian daily.
MNS has already employed 400 Ethiopians at the textile plant and it is expecting to create around 1,000 jobs in the first phase and by the end of second phase, the number of people employed in the textile factory is likely to go up to 1,200-1,500 workers.
read more.
fibre2fashion

TIME
20140125-26

21:17:43 local time map of china CHINA

* China moves to world top spot in trade competitiveness:

20140125 PEOPLE

China has moved to the world top spot in trade competitiveness in terms of the number of export items, according a report from South Korea’s International Trade Association Thursday.

The report said China secured the spot as its number of export items reached as many as 1,485 in 2012.
The next spot was taken by Germany (703 items), followed by the U.S. (603) and Japan (231).

The Chinese manufacturers have overtaken South Korea by exporting 440 out of 779 in the textile products category and 50 out of 166 in the category of leather and rubber products, shoes and travel-related products.

The textile products and leather, rubber, shoes and travel-related products helped South Korea occupy a lead position in foreign trade in the 1980s and ’90s, the report said.
to read.
people rood

20:17:43 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment industry needs to cut dependence on imports:

Vietnam’s garment sector is too dependent on foreign imports according to Pham Xuan Hong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).

Vietnam’s garment exports spiked 16.3% to a record high US$20 billion in 2013,which included garment and textile sales of US$17.9 billion,with the balance coming from ancillary products.
However, major input materials, currently estimated at more than 70%, such as fabrics, labels, zipper pullers, and strings are imported from overseas markets, Hong said,  and Vietnam needs to develop domestic alternatives to ease the situation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) predicts that Vietnam’s garment sector will continue enjoying export growth in 2014 thanks to an abundant labour force and effective market expansion.
Vietnamese firms are keeping a close watch on traditional big markets such as Russia, East Europe, the US, Japan and the European Union (EU), while cultivating new markets in Africa and the Middle East.
to read in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/1 (2nd item).
VNNet

20:17:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20140125 * Union leaders denied access to 23 protesters in prison:

The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prison didn’t allow union leaders to visit the 23 protesters who are currently in a prison in Kampong Cham province.

Vorn Pov, President of Independent and Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDIEA) and other 22 protesters were arrested in two different protest crackdowns in Phnom Penh early this month.

“Detainee Vorn Pov is now under court investigation. Only family members and defense lawyer are allowed to visit him,” Koy Bunsorn, Director General of the prison, said Friday in a letter to Ath Thon, President of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’s Democratic Union (C.CAWDU).
read more.
CAMHERALD

20140125 * Interior Ministry Says No to Freedom Park Rally:

The government will consider a planned union rally on Sunday of several thousand people at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh an attempt to “overthrow the government,” Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said on Friday.

Nine unions plan to gather at the park on Sunday morning with some 10,000 supporters to call on the government to release 23 unionists and garment workers grabbed by soldiers and military police during demonstrations earlier this month, and to demand a monthly minimum wage in the garment industry of $160.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20140126 * More violence at Freedom Park:

Security forces beat protesters with truncheons and stunned them with electric cattle prods as more violent clashes broke out in Phnom Penh this morning between authorities and protesters trying to gather in Freedom Park.

One of a number of clashes in and around Freedom Park was sparked by a protester kicking a helmeted security guard in the groin near Naga bridge, prompting authorities – which included municipal security guards and military police – to charge at a group of protesters and beat them with truncheons.
read more. & read more.
PPP new PPP new

* Two arrested, many injured as clash breaks out at Freedom Park:

Two men were arrested and many people from both sides were reportedly injured after the police clashed with protesters at the Freedom Park on Sunday morning, according to a reporter of The Cambodia Herald.

The clash broke out after the protesters led by nine labor union leaders gathered near the Freedom Park to demand wage increase to $160 per month for workers and release of 23 people arrested in bloody crackdowns earlier this month, the reporter said.
The Cambodia Herald reporter, who is at the scene, said a protester seriously wounded while many others from both side were lightly injured.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Cambodian police again clash with anti-government protesters:

20140126 SCMP cambodia
Protesters clash with security guards as they attempt to break through to Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh. Photo: Reuters

Baton-wielding Cambodian police clashed today with protesters — including Buddhist monks — demanding higher wages for garment workers and the release of 23 people arrested during a recent bloody crackdown on a rally.

About two hundred textile workers, union members, land protesters and several monks attempting to rally at a Phnom Penh park were met by scores of riot police, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
A brief clash broke out when some of the protesters tried to make it through police lines into Democracy Park, prompting security forces to use batons against them.
Protesters then responded by throwing rocks, water bottles and sticks.
At least 10 people from both sides were injured during the violence, according to activist Am Sam Ath of local rights group Licadho.
read more.read more.
MALAYonLINE SouthchinaMORNINGPOST asia

* Cambodia blocks garment workers’ protest:

Demonstrations and labour activists demand release of workers arrested during previous protests

A heavy police presence in Cambodia appears to have halted a planned rally against the mistreatment of garment workers.

There were supposed to be demonstrations demanding the release of 23 people arrested during previous protests.
But the government is also under pressure to improve the situation of garment workers, with dozens of global brands and unions calling for a resolution to the situation.
read & see more. (video report).
aljazeera

* Video of clash between authority and people this morning in

See Video Report.
CLEC

* Military police officers summoned over deadly crackdowns:

The Phnom Penh Court summoned several military police officers to appear at the Court for questioning over the violent clashes earlier this month, said Phnom Penh Military Police Commander, Rath Srieng.

Srieng, however, declined to provide more details on specific date and name of the officers who would be questioned by the Court, turning the questions to the spokesman for the military police.
Kheng Tito, spokesman for the military police, could not be reached for comments.

The clashes on January 2-3 left five people dead and 40 injured. The military police also arrested 23 protesters in the heavy-handed crackdowns, which drew a lot of criticism from the international community.
to read.
CAMHERALD

* Finding a Resolution to Cambodia’s Labor Disputes:

By William E. Todd, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia

Deciding on a proper minimum wage is often a contentious debate, in any country, and Cambodia has been no different.

The recent labor unrest in the country’s garment-manufacturing sector, which has resulted in large-scale strikes,demonstrations, and most recently violent clashes between protestors and security forces,attests to the difficulties of setting a wage upon which all sides can agree.  Many readers have expressed their concerns about the possibility of further unrest and violence, with one person asking, “What can be done to solve the problems between workers and business owners?”
read more.
CAMHERALD

brands PAY 2

19:17:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 20% RMG workers to lose job:

After the fire at Tazreen Fashion, ill fate did not leave the readymade garment workers. Around 20 percent workers are likely to be lost their jobs this year too.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association (BGMEA), the production of around 400 small and medium factories is likely to be stopped in current year if they fail to pay minimum wage. So, 10 percent workers will lose their job.

On the other hand, big factories are going to install modern technology to increase productivity declining cost of production.
And most of the primary work would be done through the machine.
So, preliminary stage workers lose jobs due to lack of the requirements. As a result, more 10 percent workers will lose job for the introduction of new technology.

As per the calculation, around eight lakhs workers (total 20 percent) are going to lose their jobs, said BGMEA source.
read more.
BANGLA NEWS24

* Labour protests in Savar:

Workers of Fa Apparels Ltd at Hemayetpur in Savar yesterday took to the streets to protest the shutdown of the factory and non-payment of arrears.

The factory management paid a few workers before the factory’s closure last Wednesday but many are yet to get December salaries, said Sumon Talukder a worker of the factory.
The workers gathered at the factory gate early in the morning and they set off to barricade the Dhaka-Aricha highway. The workers’ attempt was foiled by the police.
Shahid Ullah, senior assistant director of Ashulia industrial police, said the workers and the factory management are now discussing the issue.
to read.
daily star bd

brands PAY 2

* Worker dies at workplace in Ashulia:

At Mirjanagar in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital, Al-Amin, 22, of Charigram village, a dyeing assistant, was crushed by a dyeing machine at Mab Spinning Ltd in Takshur after his shawl got stuck to it, reports our Savar correspondent.
He was declared dead at Gonoshasthaya Kendra Hospital.
to read.
daily star bd

* Garment factories’ profits erode:

CPD analyses impact of shutdowns, blockades on apparel manufacturing

The average losses incurred by a garment factory due to the most recent spell of shutdowns and blockades would cross $600,000, the Centre for Policy Dialogue said yesterday.

The think-tank came to the inference based on the findings of an impact assessment survey conducted by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on 42 units between December 1 last year and January 11.
“Whilst no comprehensive damage assessment is available, it is highly conceivable that the sector has suffered significant cost escalation and profit erosion,” the CPD said.
The BGMEA survey found the total loss incurred by the 42 units is $26.1 million.
“In some instances, business deals could not be stuck and orders got cancelled and shifted because of the uncertainties,” the CPD said.

It also said that transportation cost experienced a significant rise during the blockade: the payment for a truck which previously varied between Tk 12,000 and Tk 15,000 increased to Tk 45,000 to Tk 60,000.
read more.
daily star bd

* Legal aid cell to help protect workers’ rights:

The Labour Legal Aid Cell, a government agency, is going to organise awareness programme in order to protect and ensure the rights of the workers especially in the readymade garment (RMG) sector.

“About 30 labour leaders, a number of factory inspectors, representatives from the labour directorate and media houses, and chairmen of the labour courts are set to attend the programme, likely to be held on February 5, 2014,” sources at the cell said.

“We are expecting that the programme will suggest specific measures that need to be taken to address the workers’ problems and protect their rights, and how the labour legal aid cell can effectively move in this connection,” Moshiur Rahman Chowdhury, law officer of the cell, told the FE Saturday.

The participants will also discuss the issues and problems regarding the workers’ rights, creating awareness about their rights among all the stakeholders in the sector and finding probable actions, he added.
read more.
FE bd

* Statement on unauthorised subcontracting to Accord signatories in Dutch media:

Commenting on Dutch media reports, Accord Executive Director for International operations, Alan Roberts, said:

“The contract of the Accord, to which signatories are legally bound, is explicit in its wording: there is no room for doubt that all suppliers and sub-contractors are covered by the conditions of the Accord.

“Unauthorised sub-contracting is one of the many recognised challenges for the Accord and it is impossible for the Accord alone to end the practice of unauthorised subcontracting. Where factories of unauthorised subcontractors are identified and confirmed as supplying an Accord signatory, they will be subject to the same process of inspection as primary suppliers. Our inspectors will inspect and support remediation of safety issues at such locations where necessary.
read more.
BANGLADESHACCORD

* ‘Garment industry will be damaged’:

Country’s garments industry will be damaged if the building codes, instructed by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, are followed.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Md Atiqul Islam commented while addressing a discussion, organized by Centre for Policy Dialogue at city’s BRAC Centre Inn on Sunday.

He was talking about the current situation of the implementations of the promises after Rana Plaza tragedy on April 24 last year.

Md Atiqul Islam said, “The garments industry will be damaged if the building codes instructed by American-led group the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the European dominated group Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh are followed.”

A massacre will be occurred across the country, he opined.

If the Accord sees factory building housed any shop they will close the factory, he said.
to read.
BANGLA NEWS24

* IAF given EU-funded project on capacity building in BD:

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has been granted a EU-funded project aiming to build capacity in Bangladesh.

The IAF is an international trade association whose members include national clothing associations and companies whose core business is sourcing, designing, development, manufacturing, distribution, and retailing of apparel products.

The IAF is granted the project together with its two association members BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and HCIA (The Hellenic Clothing Industry Association), said a report by knittingindustry.com.

The project is aimed at capacity building, network extension and knowledge transfer and BKMEA and HCIA will be able to better service the companies that are their members by having gained more international contacts, more knowledge and insights, it added.
The project will include training sessions in Bangladesh and several networking trips to Europe and to Bangladesh.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG sector in need of bailout package:

Our readymade garments sector has been passing through a tough time due to political unrest over the last three months.

We have lost many foreign orders already and the buyers are yet to be reassured about our garments industries. The Bangladesh Bank has taken some steps to reduce pressure on the investors but those are inadequate. The investors need immediate financial help at low interest rate in order to cope with the loss they suffered.

Many factories are on the verge of closing down due to liquidity crunch and unable to run their production smoothly. Many of them will find it difficult to pay their workers in the upcoming months.
The banks are pressurising the investors to pay the bank interests and installments that remain unpaid due to the political stalemate. We are also experiencing periodic violence in our readymade garments sector which is a matter of great concern.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG buyers begin to return:

Garment exporters are now breathing easy as foreign buyers are beginning to return, with Bangladesh getting down to business after a spell of political upheaval.

Upset over deadly factory fires, collapsing buildings, raging workers’ unrest over wages, and relentless political violence, many buyers had turned their backs on the country’s garment industry, factory owners say.
But now they have resumed negotiating orders for the year with normalcy in air, say industry insiders, according to a news agency.
to read.
FE bd

* Exporters relieved as RMG buyers returning:

Apparel exporters are now breathing easy, as foreign buyers are beginning to return, with Bangladesh getting down to business after a spell of political upheaval, reports bdnews24.com.

Upset over deadly factory fires, collapsing buildings, raging workers’ unrest over wages, and relentless political violence, many buyers turned their back on the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry, factory owners said.

But now they have resumed negotiating orders for the year with normalcy in air. Many see several of the government’s export-friendly initiatives helping to attract new orders.
“There is a positive attitude among the buyers with the new government taking charge,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said.

He said they are getting new enquiries and several new buyers are already here for talks. But it will be difficult to sustain the buyers’ interest, if the industry-friendly climate is vitiated again.
read more. & read more.
FE bd bdnews24

* BD wants Ticfa debut meeting in early March:

Bangladesh is discussing with the United States (US) to host the debut meeting under the much-talked-about deal – Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) – by the first week of March.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Akramul Qader already had a meeting with US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal in Washington on Friday where the issue was also discussed.
“Yes, we’re planning to arrange the meeting (of Ticfa) at the beginning of March. But it depends on mutual understanding between both sides,” Ambassador Quader told UNB over phone on Saturday.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB DHAKATRIBUNE daily star bd

       THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Injured worker kills herself:

A female survivor of the Rana Plaza collapse has allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of her bedroom in Tongi’s Turga area on the outskirts of the capital.

The 27-year-old garment worker Salma Akter was rescued several days after the building collapsed on April 24 last year, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring hundreds others, mostly garment workers.
Police have detained her husband Babu Miah for interrogation.
Salma went to bed with Babu around 11:45pm on Thursday. After getting up at around 6:00am, Babu found his wife hanging from the ceiling with a scarf and informed the police, Kamal Hossain, sub-inspector of Turag Police Station, told The Daily Star, quoting the husband.

Babu told police that his wife had been suffering from severe headache due to her injuries from the Rana Plaza tragedy and she might have committed suicide as she could not bear the pain anymore.
Salma, a worker of New Wave Style garment housed in Rana Plaza, sustained severe head injuries in the deadliest industrial tragedy of the country’s history and underwent treatment for five months at a hospital in Savar.
Later, she moved to Bamlartek in Turag and started living there with her husband Babu, a bus helper, from December last year.
Salma, who hailed from Sarishabari under Jamalpur district, managed a job in a garment factory in the area.
However, she could not overcome the mental trauma she experienced in the Savar tragedy, Babu added.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age

* Rana Plaza victim found dead:

Her husband claimed that she committed suicide failing to bear the pain

An injured female garment worker, who had survived the deadliest factory disaster “Rana Plaza collapse”, was found dead in her residence yesterday.

The husband of the deceased claimed that she “committed suicide” for mental stigma and unbearable pain she was suffering from her injuries she received from the building collapse.
The victim was Salma, 27, who had been living for the last two months in a rented house with her husband Babu, a bus helper, in Bamnartek area in the capital’s Turag.

Police recovered the hanging body of Salma from the house around 11am after Babu informed them.
A Sub-Inspector of Turag police station Kamal Hossain quoting Babu said Salma sustained injuries to her head and body in the building collapse on April 24 last year. She had severe headache and also suffered from mental stigma.
“Babu claimed that she committed suicide failing to bear the pain,” he said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Human remains unearthed again from debris:

Local people on Friday recovered 17 pieces of human bones, including a broken skull, and a lock of hair from the debris of Rana Plaza at Savar after eight month of the building collapse in April 2013 that left at least 1,133 dead.

They, however, said that the police termed the retrieved bones as ‘staged’.
After receiving the human bones, Savar Model Police Station’s officer-in-charge Mostafa Kamal, said that ‘some miscreants’ have staged the bone recovery drama to embarrass the government.
The former workers of the garment factories at Rana Plaza and a workers’ leader told New Age that they have no doubt the bones recovered on Friday were human bones, and that some of the recoveries also included human skulls.
Emdadul Haque, who survived the Rana Plaza collapse, said Mazed, husband of missing worker Arina Begum who used to work on the fifth floor of the building, unearthed those bones and skulls from the debris  in the afternoon.
read more. & read more.
BD new age daily star bd

* Rana Plaza disaster: Gap ranks world’s worst:

Gap leaves the lives of thousands of workers at risk

In wake of the Rana Plaza disaster that occurred earlier in 2013, a jury of experts have awarded Gap the “Public Eye” award for the worst company of the year for its failure to sign a binding agreement to make factories safe.

In making their decision, the panel ranked Gap’s behaviour worse than HSBC’s involvement in land-grabbing, Syngenta, Bayer & BASF’s production of bee killing pesticides and mining giant Glencore’s impact on communities around the world.

The Public Eye award is run by Greenpeace and the Berne Declaration and is awarded every January to the worst behaved companies of the year. The jury is made up of internationally renowned business ethicists and environmental and human rights experts.
Cecile Buhlmann is the former member of the National Council (Parliament) of Switzerland and is also the president of the foundation board of Greenpeace Switzerland since 2006. Previous winners of the jury’s prize include Goldman Sachs and Barclays. The jury justified the award to Gap saying that the company “steadfastly refuses to contribute to effective reforms in the textile industry.”

Bangladeshi labour activist and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity Kalpona Akter collected Gap’s award, saying Gap still refuses to make a contractual commitment to work with their suppliers and local and international trade unions to ensure that repairs are made and workers have the right to refuse dangerous work.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Salma’s death: Ashraf decries media reports, asks for more investigation:

AL Genaral Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam noted in a statement that media reports published over the incident were flawed

The ruling Awami League yesterday urged the authorities concerned to immediately unearth the reasons behind the death of Salma, a Rana Plaza survivor who reportedly committed suicide Friday morning.

In a statement, AL Genaral Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam also noted that media reports published over the incident were flawed.
Contrary to media reports, Ashraf, also the local government and rural development minister, said the main reasons behind the suicide were not lack of treatment and financial needs.

The statement, signed by party office secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap, said: “The government has provided all necessary medical support to the Rana Plaza survivors and the Ninth Infantry Division of the Army has coordinated the works, but media reports claimed Salma received only Tk1.20lakh from government and other organisations, which is ‘incorrect’.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Salma’s death termed act of murder:

They said that the worker, Salma Akhter, had committed suicide on Sunday to escape the pain caused by the wounds she had suffered in the Rana Plaza collapse.

They alleged that the victims of the collapse had not been adequately compensated.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, also LGRD minister, however, said that the news published in different newspapers about the alleged negligence in the treatment of Salma Akhter was not true.
The minister, in a statement on Saturday, said alongside different government and non-government organisations, prime minister Sheikh Hasina herself had provided adequate financial assistance for Salma.
read more.
BD new age

* Syed Ashraful demands probe:

The ruling Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday demanded investigation into the death of a female garment worker who had survived the April 24, 2013 Rana Plaza collapse and allegedly committed suicide on Friday.

In a press release, he termed false and baseless some media reports that the state of being financially insolvent drove Salma Akter to commit suicide, stating that such reports were attempts to mislead investigations.
The LGRD minister claimed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and government and non-government organisations had provided Slama adequate assistance. “It will be known by inquiring into Salma’s bank account,” he added.
The 27-year-old’s body was found hanging by the neck from a ceiling fan inside her Turag residence on the outskirts of the capital.
to read.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza survivors still traumatised:

Salma, a seamstress by profession, suffered head injuries as well as injuries in other body parts on that day and had been enduring chronic headaches since

Twenty-seven-year-old Salma Akhter committed suicide last Friday reportedly because of the traumatic disorders she had been suffering from since the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24 last year.

Salma, a seamstress by profession, suffered head injuries as well as injuries in other body parts on that day and had been enduring chronic headaches since.
“She used to bump her head on the wall when the pain became too unbearable,” Babu, her husband, was quoted as saying in an inquest report by the Turag police station.

The report also mentioned her neighbours who said she had been “mentally unstable” as a consequence of the history’s deadliest apparel industry disaster.
Experts say many of the over 2,500 survivors of the collapse suffer from what is known as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many tried to return to normal life with new jobs but they too reported their inability to stand loud noises typical of a factory job.

Poli, a 19-year-old survivor, said she had tried a new job after the incident but left it within days because of the stress and noise associated with a factory job.
“I cannot tolerate any loud noise now. I left the job because there was too much noise which would cause unbearable pain. It seemed as if someone was banging a drum inside my head,” she said.

Another survivor, Rekha Begum, said she had seen the eight-storey building collapse with her own eyes and the memory of it continued to haunt her.
“I still see the building crumble down in my dreams. It is painful and I cannot sleep the whole night.”
She also said she had developed a fear of great heights and had trouble climbing stairs above third floors of any building.

According to an assessment report by ActionAid, 92% of the survivors of Rana Plaza are “deeply traumatised” with over half experiencing difficulty in sleeping and almost the same number suffering from depression. Some survivors said they were scared to walk into a building or an enclosed room.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Govt to observe Rana Plaza tragedy’s anniversary:

The Bangladesh government has declared that it would observe the first anniversary of Rana Plaza Tragedy on April 24 of this year.

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment Mikail Shipar disclosed the plan in a programme organised by Centre for Policy  Dialogue in BRAC Inn in the capital on Sunday afternoon.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

18:47:43 local time map of india INDIA

* NTC wage talks to continue today:

 Wage talks for about 4,500 workers (permanent and non-permanent) in the National Textile Corporation (NTC) mills in the State was held here on Saturday and, since an agreement was not reached, the talks will continue on Sunday.

Majority of the workers in the seven mills of NTC are on strike since January 23 demanding higher wages.

Agreement
The three-year wage agreement for the workers expired on December 31, 2012. Since then, the unions have submitted representations to the management. Trade union sources told The Hindu that some of the unions reached an agreement with the management last month for Rs. 1,650 increase in monthly wages for each worker and payment of arrears from January 2013. However, the payments were not made till Pongal.
Hence, the workers went on strike.
Labour department officials held talks here on Saturday with representatives of the management and trade unions.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Weavers seek revival of KHDC:

Scores of weavers took out a protest march here on Saturday seeking a new Textiles Minister and the revival of Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC).

The protest march, held under the banner of Akhila Karnataka Kaimagga Nekarara Sangha, began from Kittur Chennamma Cricle and concluded at Mini Vidhana Soudha.
The main grouse of the agitators was that Minister for Textiles Baburao Chinchanasur had not taken steps to solve the problems of the weaver community.

Addressing the protestors, State vice-president of the sangha N.J. Malawade and district unit president Nagappa Bannigida criticised the style of functioning of Minister Chinchanasur and urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to appoint a new Minister. Mr. Malawade also urged the State government to allocate a yearly grant of Rs. 50 crore to KHDC and an additional Rs. 10 crore towards wages. He demanded an increase of 50 per cent in the wages of weavers.
to read.
Return to frontpage

18:47:43 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Apparel exports income to hit US$ 4 b this year:

The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) targets an export income of US$ 4 billion by the end of this year, SLAEA Chairman Yohan Lawrence told a seminar on ‘Port development in Sri Lanka’ organised by the Shippers’ Academy and the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association last week.

Lawrence said that income from apparel exports will increase this year compared to 2013. Revenue from apparel exports last year was US$ 3.8 billion, a 11 percent increase compared to 2012. Apparel exports recorded remarkable growth last year despite many challenges in the global export market.
It was a tough year for exports due to the slow down in economic growth in Europe and the USA which are major markets for Sri Lankan apparel exports.
“We are confident of achieving around US$ 4 billion this year outdoing our competitors from emerging markets,” Lawrence said.
Sri Lanka exports around 40 percent of its apparel to the USA and Europe.
read more.
SUNDAY OBSERVER

* Intertek to launch Textile Testing Lab:

Intertek, (listed on the London Stock Exchange) a leading provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of industries around the world, is all set to open  a new apparel and textiles testing laboratory in Battaramulla to support the growing textile and garment industry in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s textile and apparel industry accounts for nearly half of all its exports, making it one of the top apparel-producing countries. As this industry continues to grow, so does the demand for textile safety, quality and performance testing.
read more. & read more.
theNATION SL dailynewsSL

18:17:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* ‘231 factories are polluting canal water’:

As many as 231 factories and mills in the district were polluting canal water with their chemical effluent being discharged into the water directly, Environment District Officer (DO) Mian Nawaz told to The Express Tribune on Friday.

He was sharing results of a survey conducted recently by the Environment Protection Department. The District Officer said that the research was conducted to study environmental pollution in Faisalabad.

He said all seven major canals passing through the Faisalabad district were polluted. He said this was hazardous to both the residents of the area but also other people and animals depending on these canals as a major source of water.

The DO said that 54 textile mills, 20 cotton factories, six paper factories, one sugar mill and one chemical factory were discharging effluent in Maddoana drain; 22 textile mills, two hosiery units, one hospital, one pulse factory and a cardboard mill were discharging effluent in Paharang Drain; 22 textile mills, two hosiery units and a soap factory were discharging effluent in Sarangwala drain; two sewerage disposal points, two slaughter houses, two plastic factories, a cotton factory, a sugar mill, a marble factory were discharging effluent in Sammundri drain; 41 cotton waste factories, one hosiery unit, one paper board mill, one chemical factory, one lubricant mill and two poultry waste factories were throwing effluent in Awagat drain; and a textile factory was discharging effluent in Samundri drain.
read more.
tribune

* Chinese firms all set to invest in textiles:

Many Chinese companies are all set to invest in Pakistan’s textile industry and a Chinese delegation has recently visited Pakistan to assess the investment potential in Pakistan.

They are interested to know about the working environment, gender equality, price and quality competitiveness, transportation cost between province of Punjab to Chinese province Xinjiang through road link while using the Gwadar Economic Corridor.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced construction of road link between Khanjrab to Kashgar to enhance trade co-operation between the two sides. The distance between Lahore and Kashgar is 1800KM and the Chinese investors are interested to assess the transportation cost between the two destinations.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* GSP+ opportunity: value-added textile exporters propose 6-point agenda:

The struggling value-added textile sector proposes a six- point agenda to the premier with a view to exploit the EU’s GSP plus facility fully, since the industry faces financial hardships.

In a letter Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF), proposed six points to the premier for implementation to facilitate the local exporters, besides making the duty-free regime for the textile products more viable.

The PAF seeks a separate status, asking the government to highly prioritise the export-oriented manufacturing units with power, gas and water supplies to help increase their output capacity. It called the government’s policy towards the “struggling” export-oriented-industries “most unfortunate”, which are treated as a general industry, despite its earnings are in billions of dollars, which boost the national economy annually, besides generating “largest” employment.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* GSP plus opportunity: value-added textile industry begins reaping benefits:

Value-added textile industry has started reaping benefits of the GSP plus status, as the EU customs officials are clearing consignments duty free. Leading value-added exporters told Business Recorder that the consignments are being cleared under the Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of 25 October 2012 (GSP Regulation) issued as Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 1/2014 of 28 August 2013.

Former Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Ijaz Khokhar said the consignments, treated under the GSP plus arrangement have been shipped by air so far. “No complaint has so far been received from any member yet,” he said and added that his own consignments are cleared duty free by the EU officials.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* ‘Textile ministry likely to be restored soon’:

The Ministry of Textile Industry is likely to be restored soon said reliable sources. According to the sources close to the Federal Commerce Minister, Khurram Dastgir Khan, the Prime Minister is likely to notify restoration of the Ministry of Textile Industry in the coming days.

They said the decision is being taken to reap full benefit out of GSP plus status.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:

There are updates under ‘special reports:

* Cambodian Garment Workers Demonstration: $160 We Need!
* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE
* THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

HEADLINES:

20140131
VIET NAM
* In pictures: Bao Loc silk
* EU remains Vietnam’s largest export market

CAMBODIA
* FTU head sues police for damaged vehicles
* Made here, owned there
* BetterFactories Media updates 29-31 January 2014
* Appeal Court to hold hearing on request for Vorn Pov’s release on bail

BANGLADESH
* 392 RMG factories among 1683 establishments sued
* Flaws in rules, no legal action blamed
* Migros, Coop again urged to sign Accord
* Fashion can be cheap and ethical: H&M
* Bouncing back
* RMG losses spill over into backward linkage
* Garment village on CCC land at Kalurghat by 15
* Export of leather goods, not leather stressed
* BD garment productivity boosts with SewEasy
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Charge-sheet against accused Feb 19

INDIA
* Wages of hosiery workers to go up by 4%
* On a fast seeking protection for handloom weavers
* Apparel industry to tap winter wear exports

PAKISTAN
* GSP plus to help fight against extremism: Khurram
* GSP Plus: Textile ministry to train cotton growers
* Trade: A GSP Plus for Sialkot
* Multan should be declared new ‘textile city’: PCGA

UZBEKISTAN
* More cotton injuries

20140130

GLOBAL
* Reducing inequality will boost economic growth

VIET NAM
* Vinatex raises investment in yarn, textile projects

CAMBODIA
* Right to strike ‘fundamental’
* Cambodian workers fight for a living wage
* Life on $3 a Day: Garment Workers and Cambodia’s Struggle for Human Rights
* March proceeds peacefully
* Petition Rally for Prisoners’ Release Ends Peacefully

BANGLADESH
* MWB won’t include new post
* A quiet revolution: Women in Bangladesh
* Disaster damages could be minimised with quick response: Envoy

INDIA
* SIMA seeks textile policy for State to boost investments

PAKISTAN
* Textile: Take EU conventions seriously, advise experts
* Aptma cautions govt

20140129

GLOBAL
* Living Wage Engineering – new FWF Report

CHINA
* Retired teacher spent 11 years knitting garments from 110,000 of her own hairs

THAILAND
* Garment exports set to increase

CAMBODIA
* Two thousand strike over factory firings
* Workers Call for Fired Colleagues to Be Reinstated
* Witnesses speak for CC3 detainees
* Civil society continues to petition for freedom
* Cambodia: UN labour agency urges independent probe in deadly protests
* ILO calls on Cambodian government to end violence

BANGLADESH
* BGMEA to press for apparel price raise to meet wage hike
* Body agrees on guideline for sweater factory workers
* Guidelines for sweater factory workers in offing
* 20 Savar RMG workers hurt in clash with cops
* RMG workers-cop clash hurt 20
* Five envoys meet 3 govt sceys to get updates on RMG safety, rights
* Govt to meet RMG buyers to restore confidence
* First Ticfa meeting in April
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Sons of Rana Plaza victim get cheque
* Rana Plaza victim conquers disability
* Rana Plaza funds get closer

INDIA
* NTC wage talks postponed
* 10 persons injured
* Textile entrepreneurs preparing road map for Tirupur cluster
* Farmers demand better price for cotton, block road
* International cotton experts meet textile mill owners

PAKISTAN
* EU conventions of GSP Plus status: PIAF, Punjab labour department to create awareness about labour rights

20140128

CHINA
* Income disparity continues to rise in China
* 8.8% salary hikes expected for 2014

PHILIPPINES
* TUCP proposing low-cost dorms for minimum wage earners

CAMBODIA
* Union reps fired after strike
* Union Reps Questioned Over Violent Protests
* Poipet to see new economic zone
* BetterFactories Media updates 18-28 January 2014, Brands call for trade union law

BANGLADESH
* Expo on building, fire safety products in city next month
* 9,000 maunds jute gutted in Faridpur
* Tk 30 lakh cotton damaged in Laxmipur fire
* Reinstating US GSP
* RMG exports earn $23.5b last year
* RMG sees slow but steady growth in 2013 despite unrest
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Rana Plaza compensation
* Two Rana Plaza factory owners get bail

INDIA
* One killed in garment factory fire
* NTC workers observe fast
* Punjab textiles units in dire straits: Report

PAKISTAN
* Chinese keen to invest in textile sector

UZBEKISTAN
* Global Coalition Calls on the Asian Development Bank to Halt Project Supporting the Cotton Industry in Uzbekistan, in which Forced Labor Continues

20140127
CHINA
* World’s largest cotton producer battles soil residue

THAILAND
* Reeling from the Wage Hike
* Garment exports to benefit from US, Japan recovery

CAMBODIA
* Ministry Questions Unions Over Role in Kandal Garment Protest
* Clashes as rally ban enforced
* After Clash, Crowd Turns on Suspected Provocateurs
* Officers queried on shootings
* UN asked to ‘address crisis’

INDONESIA
* Textex seminar on sustainability in textile production

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Minimum wage move takes a big step forward
* Parliament to discuss minimum wage issue in June

BANGLADESH
* RMG sector needs broad reforms to ride out crisis
* Govt prepares draft of rules to implement labour law
* Regulations under amended labour law by March: official
* Industrial park for ‘RMG sector soon’
* B’desh industrial future hinges on int’l social standards, says German envoy
* Germany to continue help in RMG sector
* German motorcycles for inspectors
* GSP to return by April: Tofail
* Tanners urged to form working committee for relocation to Savar
* Tanners demand soft loans for relocation
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Social, financial commitments to Rana Plaza victims unfulfilled
* Yawning gap between pledges and delivery
* Commitments to victims mostly remain unfulfilled: CPD dialogue
* Rana Plaza Tragedy: Survivors suffer ‘as fund lies idle’

INDIA
* Powerloom units seek changes in subsidy scheme
* CITI welcomes restoring textile export benefits under IEIS

ETHIOPIA
* If the shoe fits then wear it
* Turkish company invests 1.2 bln. birr in textile sector
* Turkish textile firm begins production in Ethiopia

20140125-26
CHINA
* China moves to world top spot in trade competitiveness

VIET NAM
* Garment industry needs to cut dependence on imports

CAMBODIA
* Union leaders denied access to 23 protesters in prison
* Interior Ministry Says No to Freedom Park Rally
* More violence at Freedom Park
* Two arrested, many injured as clash breaks out at Freedom Park
* Cambodian police again clash with anti-government protesters
* Cambodia blocks garment workers’ protest
* Video of clash between authority and people this morning in PhnomPenh
* Military police officers summoned over deadly crackdowns
* Finding a Resolution to Cambodia’s Labor Disputes

BANGLADESH
* 20% RMG workers to lose job
* Labour protests in Savar
* Worker dies at workplace in Ashulia
* Garment factories’ profits erode
* Legal aid cell to help protect workers’ rights
* Statement on unauthorised subcontracting to Accord signatories in Dutch media
* ‘Garment industry will be damaged’
* IAF given EU-funded project on capacity building in BD
* RMG sector in need of bailout package
* RMG buyers begin to return
* Exporters relieved as RMG buyers returning
* BD wants Ticfa debut meeting in early March
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Injured worker kills herself
* Rana Plaza victim found dead
* Human remains unearthed again from debris
* Rana Plaza disaster: Gap ranks world’s worst
* Salma’s death: Ashraf decries media reports, asks for more investigation
* Salma’s death termed act of murder
* Syed Ashraful demands probe
* Rana Plaza survivors still traumatised
* Govt to observe Rana Plaza tragedy’s anniversary

INDIA
* NTC wage talks to continue today
* Weavers seek revival of KHDC

SRI LANKA
* Apparel exports income to hit US$ 4 b this year
* Intertek to launch Textile Testing Lab

PAKISTAN
* ‘231 factories are polluting canal water’
* Chinese firms all set to invest in textiles
* GSP+ opportunity: value-added textile exporters propose 6-point agenda
* GSP plus opportunity: value-added textile industry begins reaping benefits
* ‘Textile ministry likely to be restored soon’

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

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