In the news 13 Feb.2014

23:58:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20140213
* Strike strategy shifts:

20140213 PPP Rong-Chhun_March
Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun leads a march along Sisowath Quay on Tuesday demanding 21 detainees be released and higher wages in the garment industry. Photo by Heng Chivoan.

In the wake of a Tuesday court decision to deny bail to 21 detainees arrested at demonstrations supporting a nationwide garment worker strike, union groups yesterday agreed to reignite the strike, but to dial back their tactics.

On sheets of drawing board paper, leaders of nine union groups mapped out their timeline for the strike, which will not begin until the middle of next month and will call for workers to remain home for the strike’s duration, rather than participate in demonstrations.
“We will prepare and distribute letters to workers, so that all will know and understand the purpose of this strategy,” Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said at the meeting.

The previous strike lasted from December 24 until January 3, and only included garment sector workers, but union leaders said they will now appeal to workers in all industries to participate.
Labour representatives today today are to begin distributing to government officials and workers a letter detailing their plan to boycott overtime work at factories from February 24 to February 28; hold a public forum on March 8; and finally stage a stay-home strike from March 12 until March 19. Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, who heads a committee to investigate minimum wages, is to be an invitee to the forum.

If government officials do not free the 21 detainees, agree to a $160 minimum wage in the Kingdom’s garment and shoe industries, and comply with five other demands, the strike will continue indefinitely, Chhun said.
The timeline both gives the government time to mull over and negotiate the unions’ seven points and gives the unions time to recruit workers to participate in the strike, said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU).

“I think now, we have a month for the government to consider [our points],” Thorn said in a phone interview after the meeting, adding that the delayed strike will also provide time for international brands to apply pressure on the government, if they are willing.
read more.
PPP new

* Unions Plan 2nd Round of Mass Strikes:

After the Court of Appeal denied bail to 21 jailed protesters on Tuesday, 16 labor unions and associations announced Wednesday that they will retaliate by calling a nationwide labor strike in the middle of March.

The unions, which mainly represent workers in the garment industry, said they will also call on their members to cease working overtime between February 24 and 28 to demonstrate to factory owners and the government the importance of taking their demands seriously.
“From [February] 18 to 23, our unions will gather in front of factories to disseminate information about our seven demands,” said Yaing Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions.

The demands include the release of the 21 protest prisoners, a $160 minimum wage for garment workers, the prosecution of state forces who killed five protesting strikers on January 3, an end to the government’s ban on demonstrations, an end to legal action against union leaders who organized the first round of nationwide strike in December, and the payment of worker’s salaries during the strike.
Ms. Sophorn said the unions have given the government ample time to consider their demands, which have not changed fundamentally since December mass strikes.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor unions warn of nationwide strike next month:

Labor Unions and associations would hold nationwide strike next month to seek the release of 21 detained protesters who were rejected bail by the Court of Appeal, and to demand the minimum wage of USD160 per month for workers.

The plan of strike, which is scheduled for 12-19 March, came after a Wednesday’s meeting attended by leaders from 16 labor unions and associations.

Leaders of labor unions and associations agreed to hold the strike on 12-19 March. The workers will be informed not to go to work, said Ath Thon, President of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU).
read more.
CAMHERALD

* No End in Sight to Garment Strike Over Bonus Pay:

Workers at the U.S.-owned Galey Global garment factory in Preah Sihanouk province said they would continue to strike over more than a year’s worth of docked bonus pay after a second meeting with management failed to settle the dispute.

Factory worker Var Saul said about 2,000 employees joined the second day of the strike Wednesday calling for the firing of administration chief Sok Kong, whom they accuse of improperly docking their monthly attendance bonuses since mid-2012.

Mr. Saul said the strikers forced a second meeting with Mr. Kong and his superiors after preventing their vehicles from leaving the factory during lunch, but failed to secure Mr. Kong’s dismissal.

“We’re not opposed to pay being cut, we just request that he not cut so much,” Mr. Saul said. “We will continue to protest until the company fires Mr. Kong.”

The strikers accuse Mr. Kong of refusing to pay out their monthly $10 bonuses for good attendance even if they take just one day off with the factory’s permission, and of cutting their monthly pay by $30 if they miss a day without permission.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

$160 We Need

20140212

* Cambodian opposition-aligned trade unions warn to stage mass strike next month:

Cambodia’s nine opposition- aligned trade unions warned Wednesday that they would lead a weeklong strike from March 12 to 19 if the court does not free 21 detained protesters and the government does not raise minimum wages for garment workers to $160, a union leader said.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said the leaders of nine trade unions met Wednesday and approved of the protest schedule, adding that the unions would print 100,000 copies of a leaflet announcing the strike date and stating the demands.

“The demands include calls for the release of 21 detained protesters, a $160 minimum wage for garment workers and an end to the government’s temporary ban on demonstrations,” he said after the meeting.

On Tuesday, the Appeal Court refused to grant bail to the 21 protesters who were detained following violent clashes during garment workers’ protests for higher salaries early last month that left 4 people dead.
The government has imposed a temporary ban on demonstrations since then.
read more.
GLOBALTIMES

* Cambodia: Bail Denied to Imprisoned Unionists:

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) deplores the denial of bail once again for the 21 Cambodian workers who remain in prison.

An appeal was immediately filed with the Supreme Court. In the meantime, however, the investigative judge will set a trial date, which could be weeks but perhaps months from now. Some of the jailed workers recently started a hunger strike to protest their detention.

“Trade unions around the world have sent a clear message to the government that these workers must be released. We are deeply disappointed that the government continues to detain these workers for their participation in the strikes and protests that took place in January this year.
We remain particularly concerned for Vorn Pao, the president of IDEA, who remains in jail despite serious health concerns. We fully expect the government to release the workers and drop the charges,” explained Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.
read more.
ITUC CSI IGB

* Cambodian Embassies besieged – Free the 21! :

Trade unions and NGOs rallied outside Cambodian Embassies around the world  on 10 February demanding the release of Cambodian garment workers detained since the beginning of January. The campaign is set to escalate if they are not freed at tomorrow’s court hearing.

In a show of global solidarity, demonstrations took place in Brussels, Canberra, Dhaka, Geneva, Honduras, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Sri Lanka, Tokyo and Washington D.C..
It followed a call by IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union and the ITUC to show international support for 23 people arrested in the capital Phnom Penh during demonstrations by garment workers fighting for a fair and living wage.

In the past few days, two workers have been released. Of the remaining 21 detainees, 16 began a hunger strike on Sunday.
In Geneva, representatives from IndustriALL, UNI and the ITUC held constructive dialogue in a meeting at the United Nations with a senior diplomat from the Cambodian Embassy in Switzerland.
read & see more.
UNI Global Union

* Cambodian court rules against bail for protesters:

A Cambodian appeals court on Tuesday refused to release on bail 21 people arrested early last month in connection with anti-government protests.

The detainees are garment workers and rights activists arrested during protests focusing on demands for a higher minimum wage for factory workers. They were charged with causing violence and damage to property. At least four people were shot dead by police during the protests.

The protests, along with opposition demonstrations calling for new elections and demonstrations against land-grabbing, pose the biggest challenge in years to authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s rule.

Defense lawyer Sam Sokong told reporters that judges said the court feared that if these detainees were freed pending trial, it would affect public order and make it harder to conduct investigations. He said he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
read more.
sacramento-bee

* Around 2,000 workers protest in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province:

Workers from Galey & Lord factory producing jeans went on strike Wednesday for second days after local authorities failed to find solution for them.

Some 1,000 workers have been on strike since yesterday to demand the Cambodian administration chief Sok Kong be ousted from the factory based in Special Economic Zone in Bith Trang commune, Prey Nop district.
The striking workers also demanded annual leave of 18-21 days, which were rejected by the factory employer who preferred providing bonuses to annual leave.

In Phnom Penh today, around 800 workers from a factory at the Veng Sreng Street, also protested for reinstatement of four union leaders who were fired by administrator of Canadian-owned Peace Glory (Cambodia) MFG Co. Ltd.

The workers also threatened to block the road and to continue their protest until the four union leaders are accepted to to work as usual.
to read.
CAMHERALD

20140207 ALLindustry cambodian_women

 00:58:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

*Withdrawal Jack Wolfskin due to misconduct factory owner Busana, not union work:

Clean Clothes Campaign, Jack Wolfskin and the Fair Wear Foundation state that the withdrawal from the Busana Prima Global factory in Bogor, Indonesia was due to the lack of action from the factory owner to act upon labour right violations.

In early 2010, seven female workers, all members of the SBGTS-GSBI trade union, were dismissed by the management of the Busana factory for their union work. They had visited the Bogor District Department for Manpower to file a complaint about the ongoing labour rights violations at their workplace.

Jack Wolfskin and the Fair Wear Foundation confirmed several workers rights violations at Busana Prima Global, including forced and unpaid overtime, excessive use of short term contracts and the dismissal of the seven workers. Clean Clothes Campaign and the German outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin, one of the buyers from the factory, repeatedly urged the factory management to take corrective actions.
read more.
Site

22:43:16 local time map of nepal NEPAL

* Garment factory catches fire:

Properties worth approximately Rs 1.4 million were reduced to ashes as a garment factory at Gangabau-8 in the Capital caught a fire yesterday night.

Short circuit is believed to be the cause of the fire.
The factory is owned by Bibek Pandey of Jyatha, KMC-29.
to read.
HIMALAYAN

22:58:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Over 200-300 RMG workers fall sick in Gazipur:

Many of the sick workers were admitted to hospitals with complaints of frequent vomiting and diarrhoea

Over 200 workers fell sick after taking food at a garment factory at Nurbagh Telirchala in Mouchak of Kaliakoir upazila on Wednesday night.

Mouchak highway outpost in-charge SI Syed Azharul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune.
Quoting factory sources, Azharul said the workers of Karim Textiles Mills Limited, a sister concern of Purbani Group, fell sick after eating the food at 8:00pm.
Many of the sick workers were admitted to hospitals in Gazipur, Mouchak, Shafipur, and Konabari with complaints of frequent vomiting and diarrhoea.
The sick toll may be reached to 300 as there were 500 workers at the night shift, the SI added.
Affected workers said the food, which included one egg and one patty for each worker, was inedible and many fell sick after eating it.
The authorities declared the factory closed hours after the incident.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE daily star bd BANGLA NEWS24 UNB FE bd

* Five injured in Savar factory fire:

At least five people got injured yesterday after a fire broke out on the ground floor of a two-storey building of a garment factory of Anlima Textile Ltd at Ulail bus stand in Savar on the outskirts of the capital.

The finishing section of the factory, which has three more buildings employing around 1,800 workers, was situated on the floor.
“The fire might have originated from machines in the factory,” Ahammed Ali Bepary, a fire service officer, told The Daily Star.
A fireman was among the injured.
to read. & read more.
daily star bd BD new age

* Factory exits: difficult to find:

Garment workers say during survey by retailers’ group

Around half of the garment workers surveyed by a global alliance of retailers say they cannot leave their factory buildings quickly in case of an emergency.

Around 30 percent of the respondents think there is a high risk of fire in the buildings where they work, according to the survey by Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of 26 US-based clothing retailers and brands.
An upsetting finding was that about half of the respondents had not been trained in fire safety.

The Alliance conducted the baseline survey among more than 3,200 workers in 28 garment factories between November and December last year.
The survey also found 65 percent workers prefer to work on a low floor for safety reasons, even if working on a high floor offers additional financial rewards.
In addition to the survey, 10 focus groups were conducted off-site with 101 participants in three Bangladeshi regions to obtain more nuanced information on fire and other health and safety issues.

The survey pointed to the need for a comprehensive and consistent health and safety training curriculum that can be implemented systematically across factories.
In 34 percent of the surveyed factories, workers say they had witnessed fire incidents.
read more.
daily star bd

* Building, fire safety accord gets 150 signatories:

The number of signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has grown to 150, it said in a statement yesterday.

The businesses that have signed up to the Accord’s legally-binding agreement include many household names, spanning the globe. The signatories are spread across 20 countries and are drawn from Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia.
Following a period of initial factory inspections, the Accord has now also appointed inspection companies to roll out an inspection programme to more than 1,700 factories in the coming months.
“We are delighted to have reached this milestone so soon. It shows the strength of commitment to the Accord’s aims from a truly international spread of companies. We look forward to more companies joining the Accord,” said Alan Roberts, executive director of Bangladesh Accord for international operations.
“The Accord’s extensive inspection programme will help eradicate dangerous workplaces for some of the world’s most vulnerable workers.”
read more.
daily star bd

* GSP reinstatement looks elusive:

Slow progress in hiring labour inspectors, shortcomings in the amended labour law and lack of action to bring the EPZ law into conformity with international standards remain as the major roadblock to the reinstatement of GSP benefits to the US market.

Late last month, the US government conveyed to Bangladesh its conclusion that Bangladesh had not made sufficient progress to date under the Action Plan to warrant reinstatement of GSP benefits.

“…as has been conveyed with specificity to the government of Bangladesh, a great deal remains to be done to implement some of the most important elements of the (GSP) Action Plan,” said Eric Biel, acting Associate Deputy Undersecretary for International Lbour Affairs at the US Department of Labour.
He said this while making his statement at a hearing to examine the ‘prospects for democratic reconciliation and workers’ rights in Bangladesh held at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington on Tuesday.
read more. & read more.
UNB FE bd

* GSP revival seems uncertain:

Bangladesh has not yet made sufficient progress, US labour dept official tells Senate hearing

The US yesterday said Bangladesh did not make sufficient progress in improving labour standards to justify revival of duty-free trade benefits.

Eric Biel, acting associate deputy undersecretary for international affairs at the US labour department, said, “Late last month, the US government conveyed to the government of Bangladesh its conclusion that Bangladesh had not made sufficient progress to date under the Action Plan to warrant reinstatement of GSP benefits.”
He was speaking at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing styled “Prospects for Democratic Reconciliation and Workers’ Rights in Bangladesh” yesterday.
In June last year, the US suspended Bangladesh’s trade benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), citing Bangladesh’s failure in ensuring internationally-recognised worker rights.

Following the suspension, Washington laid out an action plan to improve labour, fire and building standards, remove obstacles to workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining and reform labour laws to help the country win back the GSP.
read more.
daily star bd

* ‘BD to get back GSP if there’s no politics’:

Progress report to be sent by Apr 15 fulfilling all conditions: Tofail

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday said Bangladesh would get back duty-free trade benefits in the US market under the GSP scheme if politics does not enter the revival process.

“If the decision isn’t taken on political grounds regarding GSP revival, we’ll get back the GSP,” he told journalists at his Secretariat office apparently urging the US administration to separate political issues from trade.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNB FE bd BD new age DHAKATRIBUNE

* Ticfa working group on GSP underway:

The USTR official envision Ticfa as the key coordinating mechanism for bilateral, government-to-government efforts on the GSP Action Plan

The United States is planning to create a “Ticfa Working Group on GSP/Labour Affairs” to provide an ongoing, formal mechanism for Bangladesh and US to address labour concerns.

“As agreed by the government of Bangladesh in the meeting following the Ticfa signing in late November 2013, we plan to create a Ticfa Working Group on GSP/Labour Affairs…,” said Lewis Karesh, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Labour, office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Ticfa working group on GSP likely :

US to set up full-time labour attaché in Dhaka

The United States (US) is planning to create a ‘Ticfa Working Group on GSP/Labour Affairs’ to provide an ongoing, formal mechanism for Bangladesh and US to address labour concerns, reports UNB.

“As agreed by the government of Bangladesh in the meeting following the Ticfa signing in late November 2013, we plan to create a Ticfa Working Group on GSP/Labour Affairs…,” said Lewis Karesh, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Labour, office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
read more.
FE bd

* US to establish full-time labour attaché in Dhaka:

The United States Department of Labour is working actively to establish a full-time labour attaché for its embassy here to ensure ‘greater engagement’ on workers’ rights and workplace safety in Bangladesh in the coming months and years, reports UNB.

“We’re working actively to establish a full-time labour attaché in our Embassy in Dhaka,” said Eric Biel, acting associate deputy undersecretary for International Lbour Affairs at the US Department of Labour.
He shared the plan while making his statement at a hearing to examine the ‘prospects for democratic reconciliation and workers’ rights in Bangladesh held at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington on Tuesday.
“We at the Department of Labour have been in regular contact in the past three months with ambassador Mozena and his team, and others at the State Department, on the steps needed to establish this permanent labor attaché position,” Eric Biel said.
read more. & read more.
INDEPENDENT daily star bd

* A long way to go, still:

GSP Restoration

With less than three months to go for the final review by the Obama administration, the government is yet to fulfil many of the 16 conditions laid out to win back trade privileges to the US market.

The development comes as the commerce, labour and foreign secretaries are due to meet the chiefs of missions of the US, the EU, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany today at the foreign ministry office in Dhaka to brief them on the progress made towards enhancement of labour rights and factory safety.
Foremost among the 16-point roadmap to get the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status reinstated was the amendment to the labour law to address key concerns over freedom of association, collective bargaining and registration of trade unions in the garment sector.
While the government made the necessary amendments last July, it is yet to formulate the rules needed to implement the new law.
Still, trade unions at garment factories are still able to obtain quick registrations.
read more.
daily star bd

* Global textile brands may invest in Bangladesh: BTMA:

International textile and readymade garment brands are increasingly taking interest in investing in Bangladesh, which clearly indicates the potential of the country’s clothing industry, said Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) president Jahangir Alamin during a press conference held prior to the 11th Dhaka International Textile and Garments Machinery Exhibition, DTG 2014, which has opened at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital city of Dhaka.
Mr. Alamin said that Bangladesh is becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors and in order to take advantage of the situation the BTMA is hosting the four-day DTG fair.
read more.
fibre2fashion

* Tazreen chairman’s bail challenged:

A Dhaka court today accepted an appeal filed by prosecution challenging the legality of granting bail to Tazreen Fashions Chairman Mahmuda Akhter in a case filed over the devastating fire that killed 112 workers.

The prosecution filed the appeal two days after another Dhaka court granted her conditional bail for one month.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Md Ismail Hossain on Monday granted bail to Mahmuda, also wife of Tazreen MD Delwar Hossain, saying that she had to appear before the court every Sunday throughout the bail period.
Two days after the order, District Public Prosecutor Khondaker Abdul Mannan today filed the petition with the court seeking cancellation of the bail.
read more.
daily star bd

* Cancellation of bail to Tazreen chair sought:

Prosecution on Wednesday filed a petition with the Dhaka district court seeking the cancellation of bail granted by another court to Tazreen Fashions chairman Mahmuda Akhter on Tuesday.

The Dhaka district and sessions judge, Abdul Majid, set February 27 for passing the order in this regard.
Dhaka chief judicial magistrate Ismail Hossain on 11 February had rejected bail the petition of Tazreen Fashions managing director Delwar Hossain but had granted bail for one month to his wife Mahmuda Akhter, also the company’s chairman.
read more.
BD new age

22:28:16 local time map of india INDIA

* AFT mill resumes partial production:

Even as questions are raised about the sustainable functioning of the century-old Anglo French Textile (AFT), the mill resumed partial production on Wednesday, setting the machinery that fell silent working again, bringing much cheer among workers.

The mill had been closed since 30 December, 2011 except for a brief period, and, subsequently, the management declared lay-off of all workers as per the Industrial Dispute Act.
After customary puja and formal signal for restarting the mill by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy at the Unit A, a group of workers, who were relieved of lay-off, resumed duty.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* AFT Mill accepts 283 workers’ offer to retire voluntarily:

Bhalan, Chairman, Anglo French Textiles, on Tuesday said that the management had formally accepted the request for Voluntary Retirement Scheme from 283 workers and 50 per cent of financial package would be settled immediately after resuming the mill on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters here in connection with the run-up to the last-stage preparation of reopening the mill, which remained closed since December 30, 2011 except for a brief period, he said the remaining package and gratuity would be settled within June.
Similarly, gratuity to the tune of Rs. 1 crore would be given to 29 workers, who retired in 2011 on Wednesday.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Cotton exports likely to be hit by Chinese move to cut inventories:

China’s plan to sell raw cotton cheap in the domestic market to cut down its inventories may hit exports from the country.

With massive reserves to offload, allocation of import quota by the country has become uncertain.
China could cut the base selling price of 18,000 yuan/tonne ( Rs. 1.84 lakh) of cotton by about five per cent to spur purchases, according to trade sources.
This may diminish the arbitrage advantage offered by Indian imports. Now, Indian raw cotton is available for Chinese mills are at around 12,301 yuan.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* ‘India filling China, Bangladesh void in garment sector’:

India is outpacing Pakistan when it comes to filling the void created in the global textile market due to an increase in the cost of Chinese products.

India has 26 operational integrated textile parks out of 50 planned parks, while Pakistan has only planned two garment cities which are still under construction.
“After losing the edge in basic textiles, China is also opting out of low value added garments and knitwear as increased labour costs has made these products commercially unviable,” said Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association chairman Shahzad Ahmad Khan.

Bangladesh and Vietnam have grabbed a part of the market that China left but recent controversies regarding the garment industry in Bangladesh have forced many buyers to look elsewhere.

“Indian planners spotted the great opportunity coming their way and planned 50 integrated textile parks,” Khan said, adding that the Indian government began allocating funds for these parks in 2009-10 and has up till now provided a grant of Rs12.76 billion. With the grants covering 40 percent of the costs, the scheme has been able to leverage industry investment significantly which is four times the grant support so far, he added.
read more.
thenewspk

21:58:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Labour court permits closure of Lawrencepur:

A labour court has granted permission for the closure of Lawrencepur Woolen and Textile Mills, Dawood Lawrencepur Limited (DLL), the pioneers of textile composite units in Pakistan announced on Wednesday.

DLL is one of the few woolen and worsted fabric spinning and weaving units in the region. Lawrencepur woolen and worsted fabric, one of the most prestigious brands in the French and Italian fashion industry, will now operate under licence.
The board of directors of the company decided to suspend operations of Lawrencepur Woolen and Textile Mills due to a fall in demand.
read more.
thenewspk

* Availing GSP plus opportunity: PTEA demands immediate payment of ST refunds:

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has demanded immediate payment of outstanding sales tax refunds to continue their export activities, which are being adversely affected and also minimised the opportunity to avail the GSP plus scheme, said Chairman PTEA Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood.

Expressing grave concern over the long outstanding amounts of exporters in refund regimes, he said the financial crunch had been creating hurdles in business flow and hampering the export.

The Chairman said that we had to generate energy through other sources due to shortfall of it, which consumed a major part of our finances that squeezed our financial streams too and it had been intensified by the delay in sales tax refunds. In the face of fierce competition from rival countries, Pakistan’s textiles sector had already been struggling hard to maintain their position in the international market, he added.
He claimed that the export sector had been the life line of national economy and any hurdle in export-related activities would naturally hurt the country’s financial hopes. It had also been one of the major sources of employment, he added.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Sales tax regime: PAF demands zero-rate facility for exporters:

Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF) has demanded the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of treating value-added textile sector exporters separately from local suppliers of textile raw material under the sales tax regime.

Chairman of the Forum Shahzad Azam Khan was talking to media persons on Wednesday, saying that the export sector is exempted from all taxes as exports are zero rated around the world.

He said exporting sectors earlier were exempt from sales tax but sales tax was imposed on all exempted when the FBR detected a huge tax evasion of over Rs 25 billion by the producers of ladies fabric supplied in the local market. He said under the pressure of influential millers the incidence of sales tax was reduced from normal 15-17 per cent to two per cent.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

21:58:16 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Daewoo: Hel[p Uzbek Cotto Slavery:

You may have heard of Daewoo cars or electronics but did you know that Daewoo is the largest processor of slave labour-picked Uzbek cotton?
In Uzbekistan’s last cotton harvest, eleven citizens forced to pick cotton lost their lives.

The tragic losses included Tursunali Sadikov, a 63-year old farmer who died of a heart attack after being beaten by an official of the Department of Internal Affairs, and Amirbek Rakhmatov, a six-year schoolboy who accompanied his mother to the cotton fields, napped in a trailer, and suffocated when cotton was loaded on top of him.

Daewoo has continued doing business in Uzbekistan even after publicly acknowledging that the Uzbek government uses forced labour to produce the cotton it buys and processes.
read more & please sign the petition.
COTTONcampaign

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:

There are updates under ‘special reports’:

* Cambodian Garment Workers Demonstration: $160 We Need!
* THE TAZREEN FACTORY FIRE

HEADLINES:

CAMBODIA
20140213
* Strike strategy shifts
* Unions Plan 2nd Round of Mass Strikes
* Labor unions warn of nationwide strike next month
* No End in Sight to Garment Strike Over Bonus Pay
20140212
* Cambodian opposition-aligned trade unions warn to stage mass strike next month
* Cambodia: Bail Denied to Imprisoned Unionists
* Cambodian Embassies besieged – Free the 21!
* Cambodian court rules against bail for protesters
* Around 2,000 workers protest in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province

INDONESIA
*Withdrawal Jack Wolfskin due to misconduct factory owner Busana, not union work

NEPAL
* Garment factory catches fire

BANGLADESH
* Over 200-300 RMG workers fall sick in Gazipur
* Five injured in Savar factory fire
* Factory exits: difficult to find
* Building, fire safety accord gets 150 signatories
* GSP reinstatement looks elusive
* GSP revival seems uncertain
* ‘BD to get back GSP if there’s no politics’
* Ticfa working group on GSP underway
* Ticfa working group on GSP likely
* US to establish full-time labour attaché in Dhaka
* A long way to go, still
* Global textile brands may invest in Bangladesh: BTMA
THE TAZREEN FACTORY FIRE:
* Tazreen chairman’s bail challenged
* Cancellation of bail to Tazreen chair sought

INDIA
* AFT mill resumes partial production
* AFT Mill accepts 283 workers’ offer to retire voluntarily
* Cotton exports likely to be hit by Chinese move to cut inventories
* ‘India filling China, Bangladesh void in garment sector’

PAKISTAN
* Labour court permits closure of Lawrencepur
* Availing GSP plus opportunity: PTEA demands immediate payment of ST refunds
* Sales tax regime: PAF demands zero-rate facility for exporters

UZBEKISTAN
* Daewoo: Hel[p Uzbek Cotto Slavery

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2