Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 6: 20140607 – 20140822

lw-hr

* A living wage = a human right:

Working alongside garment workers, trade unions, consumers and campaigners we are calling for those working in the garment industry to be paid a wage they can live on.

A major industry
The garment industry is a major employer across the world – in Asia for example over 15 million people are employed by the industry.  With global brands making millions in profits every year this booming industry has come to rely on, and exploit, the cheap labour of millions of garment workers whose wages fall far short of a living wage.

The right to a living wage: A living wage should be earned  in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.

The lack of a living wage means many garment workers are forced to work long hours to earn overtime or bonuses and cannot risk taking refusing work due to unsafe working conditions or taking time off due to ill health.   The low wages mean that workers often have to rely on loans just to make ends meet and have no savings to use if they find themselves out of work.

Clean Clothes Campaign believes that in order for a living wage to become a reality brands and retailers must take concrete steps to ensure they are paying a living wage in the countries they source from, and national governments must ensure that minimum wages are set at a level that allow people to live with dignity.
20131017 CCC LW
read more.

Site

* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA):

Print

The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) is an international alliance of trade unions and labour rights activist who are working together to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

As an alliance led by unions in the key garment producing countries in the region, the Asia Floor Wage Alliance represents the concerns and needs of the workers themselves.  Central to their demands is a call for a living wage to be paid to all garment workers, this led to the development of the Asia
Floor Wage calculation, as a  way to calculate a living wage for payment across Asia.
read more. & read more.
Site AFW stitchwage

* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage:

Pay a Living Wage Action Week

From October 21st – 28th 2013, Clean Clothes Campaign partners across Europe will be launching the next phase in our campaign to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

* Clothing brands and companies to take action by setting concrete and measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.

* National governments in garment producing countries to make sure minimum wages are set at living wage standards.

* European governments to implement regulation that make sure companies are responsible for the impact they have on the lives of workers in their suppply chain, including their right to earn a living wage.

Join our call for all garment workers to be paid a living wage –
sign the petition today here. & read more.
Site

LW + 2

20140822

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Wage increase runs behind practice:

The National Wage Council has approved a proposal to increase region-based minimum wage by 15 percent in 2015. The wage after increase is much lower than workers’ real earnings now and concerns small garment and footwear companies.

According to the proposal, the minimum wage level will be VND3.1 million a month in Region I where Ho Chi Minh City is listed in, an increase of VND400,000 over the current level.

In fact, businesses in HCMC and the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai cannot recruit any worker with the above wage level. For the last several years, they have paid their workers VND4.5-5 million a month at least and 5-6.5 million at most.
Binh Hoa Garment Company in HCMC pays its 80 workers VND5 million a month at least, said director Phung Dinh Ngo.

Garment and footwear companies are facing with a lot of difficulties. The salary increase is unlikely to help workers much but worsens businesses’ difficulties because it make social and health insurances increase too.

The salary increase is expected to most affect the garment and footwear sector because 80 percent of businesses are of small and medium scales.
Tens of thousands of companies closed down last year and the number continued to run up early 2014 including a lot of garment and footwear enterprises.
to read in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 22/8.
VNNet

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20140821

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage spike seen piling pressure on employers:

Many firms have expressed concerns over a recent proposal to raise the minimum wage by region by an average of 15.1% next year as agreed upon by the National Wage Council, saying it would put them into a more difficult position.

The director of a footwear company in Binh Duong Province said if the minimum salary is raised by 14-15% to VND3.1 million, bonuses would rise accordingly. The current pay for an apprentice in the company ranges from VND6 million to VND7 million.

However, the wage hike will send other relevant costs rising, making it hard for producers to maintain normal operations and at the same time keep prices competitive, the director said.

His company spends nearly VND10 billion paying for its workers a month but when the new wage takes effect, the payroll could surge to VND11-12 billion. “We have four production lines run by 1,200 employees. We could be forced to scale down operations if the minimum salary is up 15.1%, thus laying off certain staff,” he added.

He also noted workers’ living standards and businesses’ operations could be assured without having to raise the minimum salary if inflation is kept low.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/8. (for last item).
VNNet

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20140820

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Workers at Two Factories Go on Strike for More Pay:

About 3,000 garment workers went on strike in Kompong Chhnang province for a second day Tuesday, accusing their factory of withholding some of their monthly bonuses.

Employees from the Chinese-owned Jiun Ye Garment factory blocked National Road 5 for more than four hours Tuesday, claiming that their latest bonuses were $5 to $20 shy of what they should have been.

Mum Siek, president of Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit, accused the factory, which produces children’s clothes for U.S. brand Carter’s, of deliberately trying to short-change the workers.

“The workers are striking because they believe that the factory is cheating them out of their bonus payment of $5 to $20 per month for each worker,” he said.

Nget Reaksmey, the factory’s human resources director, said the bonus cuts were not deliberate.

“We acknowledge some technical errors and appeal to workers who are missing payments to come to work and we appeal to them to double check with us,” he said.

Although the factory refused to engage in negotiations Tuesday, representatives are expected to meet with union officials Wednesday.

In a separate incident, more than 400 workers from the Taiwanese-owned Xin Fang Garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district have been striking since Monday.

They have a lengthy list of 19 demands, including a lunch allowance, benefits for pregnant women and new mothers, a $3 bonus for working on holidays and $15 per month for accommodation.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Workers in Kampong Chhnang block road:

Hundreds of workers at a garment factory in Kampong Chhnang province blocked National Road 5 for about four hours yesterday, leading to a standoff with police.

Sous Sokha, an official with the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit, said it was the second day that the workers from Jiun Ye Garment had taken to the road in Samaki Meanchey district to demand better working conditions, including a $15 monthly attendance bonus.
read more.
PPP new

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Police beat workers protesting at untimely layoff:

Industrial Police have fired tear gas and beat up workers protesting at untimely layoff and indiscriminate terminations at a sweater factory at Ashulia in Dhaka.

Workers of Sonia Fine Knit Limited at Shimultala of Ashulia went on demonstration on Tuesday morning as the factory administration had put up a layoff notice on the factory gate on Monday night without prior notice.

When agitated workers tried to enter the factory, the Industrial Police beat and shot tear gas at workers to disperse them.

Later the workers held a rally in an open place near the factory.
Workers complained they were not paid according to the wage board decisions. In off-season, they get only Tk 3,270 though they were expected to get at least Tk 5,675.

Those who protest against the irregularities were terminated from their jobs and they were paid their outstanding wages and other payments properly, said the workers at the rally.
(….)
Journalists were refused access to the factory compound as they wanted to talk to the administration over the sudden decision.
read more.
prothom

* Factory closed over workers’ unrest:

Additional police have been deployed in front of the factory to avoid any untoward situations, says Mostafizur

Authorities of a ready-made garment factory in Ashulia have declared the factory closed for an indefinite period on Tuesday amid workers protest.

Workers said some 800 workers of Sonia Fine Knit’s linking and sewing sections have been protesting to press their four-point demands including payment of Eid bonus and A-grade salary.

They said they went back to their houses when the factory authority declared holiday for the day following their work abstention on Monday.

They found the notice about the indefinite closure of the factor when they went to the factory to join their work on Tuesday morning.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU settles four week cotton textile national wage strike:

We refer to our media release of 14 August 2014 (for ease of reference it is copied below) and provide the following update:

Our 3000 striking cotton textile members have accepted the recommended settlement, following Labour Relations Act Section 150 intervention by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA).

Our final wage increase demand was 8.75%. At the time when we commenced the strike ballot,  employers were offering a 7% increase. The final settlement will be an 8.5% wage increase, backdated to 1 July 2014.  It will be a two year agreement, with a further 8.5% wage increase effective from 1 July 2015.

In addition, employers have committed to a high level engagement on the establishment of a separate bargaining chamber for industrial textiles workers.

We completed our final settlement mandating processes late yesterday afternoon. Our members are due to return to work as from today, and we are optimistic that a full return to work will be secured by Thursday morning.

A full wage agreement is due to be signed between the parties later this week.
read more.
SACTWU

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20140818-19

map of asia ASIA

* Across Asia’s Borders, Labor Activists Team Up to Press Wage Claims:

Said Iqbal, heads of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions, speaks in front of workers during rally demanding an increase in salaries in Jakarta
Said Iqbal, head of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions, speaks in front of workers during rally demanding an increase in salaries at Pulogadung Industrial Estate in Jakarta, October 31, 2013. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Labor leaders behind the biggest strikes in Cambodia’s $5 billion garment industry knew last year they had a strong case for higher wages: they had already compared notes with activists in neighboring countries.

The result was a 25 percent increase in the minimum pay for an estimated 600,000 garment workers, to $100 a month, the biggest jump in around 15 years. Now, they’re asking for more.

Negotiations over pay and working conditions have typically remained within national borders, but activists are now bringing more muscle to the table and putting more pressure on employers and governments by using shared experiences in nearby markets.

For global companies that have shifted production to Southeast Asia’s low-cost manufacturing hub, this could mean less room for wage bargaining, a squeeze on profits and maybe even higher price tags on anything from shoes and clothing to cars and electronics appliances.

“I see a trend towards more and stronger collaboration among labor leaders that can take different shapes and forms, from exchanging information to partnerships,” said Peter van Rooij, director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Jakarta, noting ties would likely strengthen with next year’s planned economic integration by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Thousands of workers in China, Indonesia and Cambodia have protested in recent months at local firms supplying US sportswear company Nike Inc to press for better pay and conditions. Up to 4,000 workers at Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Co, which makes clothes for Nike, went on strike in May last year demanding higher wages to keep pace with transport, rent and healthcare costs.

Hotel lobby
Across Asia’s low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety — an issue highlighted by the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, which killed at least 1,130 people.

Members of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) have reported a jump in the number of strikes to 147 last year from fewer than three dozen in 2011. Other international brands hit by protests at Cambodia-based suppliers last year include H&M Hennes and Mauritz AB, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Gap Inc and Puma SE.

Following the Bangladesh disaster, local unions reached out to international labor representatives, said Annie Adviento, director of IndustriALL’s Southeast Asia office, helping create the landmark Accord on Fire and Building Safety — a legally binding agreement signed by more than 150 apparel firms and the unions that requires factories to have independent safety inspections with the results made public.

IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries worldwide, said it arranges meetings two to three times a month to bring together labor activists from across Asia, something that was rarely done before last year.

“Issues are not being kept secret at the national level anymore. The capacity of the unions to share information has improved,” said Adviento.
(…)
Our motto is clear — say no to cheap wages. We’re spreading that principle in Southeast Asian countries,” he (Said Iqbal) told Reuters.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
jak-globe  reuters Mal-Insider DHAKATRIBUNE

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Plea to disburse wages quickly:

20140819 theHINDU
Members of the National Federation of Indian Women at the Tirupur Collectorate on Monday. Photo: R. Vimal Kumar

Expressing concern over the non-disbursal of wages to workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the district for almost two months, the members of National Federation of Indian Women sought the intervention of the district administration to resolve the issue.

The federation said that the issuance of certificates to get various social security schemes were being delayed in the district. The federation district secretary M. Nadia said that non-disbursal of the wages under the MGNREGS had affected the rural households as many women were solely dependent on the income to run the families.

“We are also of the view that the wages should be increased to at least Rs. 300 a day in the wake of the rising living costs, and the minimum number of working days be increased to 200 a year,” she added.
to read.
THEHINDU

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage to be inflation-adjusted:

20140817 VNNet
File photo

The minimum salary by region will be revised based on the country’s consumer price index (CPI) from 2018 as planned, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan said.

Huan, who is also chairman of the National Wage Council, told the Daily that the current minimum wage adjustments are made based on the factors related to CPI, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, overall wage increases and subsistent needs of workers.

As for CPI, Huan said the ministry often focuses on price changes of necessities and services like foods, healthcare and transport when proposing wage adjustments in order to meet the basic needs of workers.

Despite careful consideration, there remains a big gap between the minimum wage and the actual income and spending of workers. Therefore, the ministry has to consider pushing up the minimum wage every year by 15-17%.

However, when the minimum salary is almost equivalent to the minimum living standards and when economic situations are stable, the annual wage will change depending on CPI.

Last week, the council agreed on a proposal by representatives of different agencies to revise up the 2015 minimum wage by region by an average of 15.1%. If the Government approves this percentage, employees in Zone 1 would get VND3.1 million per month, up VND400,000, while the respective amounts in zones 2, 3 and 4 would rise by VND350,000 to VND2.75 million, VND320,000 to VND2.42 million, and VND300,000 to VND2.2 million.

Huan said if the Government approves the suggested minimum wage increase for next year, the new wage levels can meet only 75% of the essential daily needs of vulnerable workers.
read more.
VNNet

LW + 2

20140815-17

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* AITUC demands higher wages:

The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Goa petitioned Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday demanding an increase in minimum wages for all schedules of employment in the State of Goa.

The AITUC urged the Chief Minister to revise the minimum wages to Rs.15,000 per month for unskilled workmen for all schedules of employment.
to read.
THEHINDU

* 33% hike in minimum wages soon:

The state government has announced plans to raise the minimum wage of Haryana’s workers to Rs 7,400 a month, a 33% jump on the existing salary slab of around Rs 5,547 for unskilled workers.

According to officials, the new wage scheme will come into effect from October, the beginning of the next quarter, and could be calculated retrospectively, though the government is yet to decide from when.

The hike is also likely to include a provision for a 5% annual increment.

“A notification will be issued on the wage hike, and we have invited suggestions and objections in this regard,” said a state official. If this proposal is carried out successfully, the daily minimum wages for Haryana’s industrial workers would hit the Rs 246 a day mark, surpassing the unskilled wages being currently offered in Punjab, and just short of Delhi’s Rs 270 a day.

In November last year, the state government had announced similar plans to implement what many saw as a generous minimum wage hike in Haryana.
read more.
TOInew

* Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar seeks changes in Minimum Wages Act:

With proposals like covering all employments under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and fixing a statutory nationwide wage floor, Labour Ministry will seek Cabinet’s nod to bring in a slew of amendments in the 66-year old regulation.

The Labour Ministry has already circulated a draft Cabinet note for inter-ministerial discussion and a final note would be placed before the government’s highest decision-making body incorporating relevant feedback soon, official sources said.

“Government has been receiving suggestions from time to time for amendments in the Minimum Wages Act. Therefore, it was felt necessary that a comprehensive review of various provisions under the Act so made and necessary amendments to the Act carried out,” said an official.

The Minimum Wages Act was enacted in 1948. The latest amendment was done in 1986 by incorporating the definition of “adolescent” and “child”.
read more. & read more.
et THEHINDUBUSINESS

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU update on clothing wage dispute:

We refer to our previous media statements relating the wage dispute in the clothing industry (for ease of reference it is reproduced below):
In our last statement, we undertook to provide a further update by late afternoon today. We are able to do so earlier, as follows:

We can confirm that the 5 employer associations with which SACTWU negotiates at clothing industry bargaining council level,  have all finalised their new mandate seeking processes. This process was completed by Wednesday evening.

These employer associations have all confirmed that they have received firm mandates from their constituencies to settle the wage dispute. This is in terms of the recommended settlement package which had been developed by the parties during the special negotiating meeting held on 5 August 2014.  We were so advised by early evening on Wednesday this week.

This is a major step forward towards settlement and to prevent a national wage strike of 80 000 clothing workers.

The union has accordingly commenced its report back sessions to our members yesterday. We are recommending a settlement of the dispute.
Our settlement mandate-taking processes continue today and this weekend. However it is unlikely to be finalised before Tuesday next week.
However, we can report that initial indications are that our members are prepared to accept the recommended settlement.
We have accordingly resolved not to proceed with a strike ballot in the clothing industry.

The union’s final demand was for a 9% package increase for metro area workers and double digit increases for non-metro area workers.

The recommended settlement is an 8% package increase for metro area workers and an 11% for non-metro area workers, with effect from 1 September this year.  The due date for wage increases in  the clothing industry is 1st September 2014.

We have sought a higher settlement for non-metro area workers, so as to significantly narrow the wage gap between them and metro area workers.

To help with a longer period of wage certainty and stability in the industry, the parties have in principle also agreed to a two year wage agreement. The technical modalities of what increases would be applicable in year two is being finalised between the parties.

The parties have tentatively set aside 21 August 2014 as a date on which the agreement would be signed, should the union secure a final settlement mandate from its members.
A further update announcement will be made on Wednesday next week.
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140813

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* New minimum wage raises insurance and production costs, businesses complain:

20140813 VNNet

Nguyen Viet Khoa, director of the Tan Vinh Tien Production Trade & Service Company in HCM City, said that once the minimum wage is increased, the social insurance, unemployment insurance and healthcare insurance premiums businesses have to pay for workers are higher, which burdens businesses.

The premiums are calculated based on minimum wages.

A survey by the Vietnam Labor Union found that the average income of Vietnamese workers was VND4 million in 2013. Workers in Zone 4, which had the lowest income level, received VND2.2 million a month. The levels were much higher than the minimum wages the government set for 2013 and 2014.

Workers are almost always receiving a higher wage than the minimum wage stipulated by the government. Still, businesses do not like the minimum wage law.
read more.
VNNet

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Wrangling over wage may spur new unrest:

Unions representing garment workers have pledged to reignite protests if the minimum wage for the industry is raised to only $115 next year, a sum they say was offered by the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia during a meeting on Friday.

The Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) – made up of employers, the government and unions – hopes to agree on a new wage in October.

National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia president Ken Chhenglang said unions had proposed lifting the current $100 wage to $177, but GMAC offered $115 instead, based on the government’s plan to gradually creep to $160 by 2018.

“Of course [protests] will happen, because we cannot accept $115,” she said.
read more.
PPP new

* Factory Strikes End After Pay Disputes Solved:

About 3,000 garment workers in Kompong Chhnang province agreed to end their protest and return to work Wednesday after confusion over their monthly salaries was cleared away.

Workers from the Chinese-owned Jiun Ye Garment factory in Samakki Meanchey district went on strike Monday after picking up their latest paychecks and mistakenly thinking that the figures already included their monthly bonuses, which should have made the figures higher.

Workers agreed to end the strike after the calculations were explained during negotiations with officials from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), the Free Trade Union (FTU) and the provincial labor department.

“The workers were confused and thought the factory was cheating them of their money. But after checking and receiving an explanation from GMAC the workers said they would return,” said union representative Khim Chamnan.

“After the negotiations, the factory representative agreed to change the method of calculating the workers’ monthly salaries so that they would return,” he added.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Irregular Payment and Payment Delay Keep Causing Uproar Among Garment Workers in Bangladesh:

After the relentless Police barbarism that followed on 8 August 2014, with the arrest of labor leader Moshrefa Mishu (later released on the same day), and activists, baton charge, dispersing aggrieved workers on hunger strike from inside the factory building, Delwar Hossain finally sold off his land and machinery to give workers their 3 month worth of salaries and overtime, however festival bonuses are still not paid to the workers.

Earlier, workers called for a nation wide strike on 9 August 2014, which was not observed and later called off due to payment of dues.

Today 12 August 2014, workers of Yagi Bangladesh Garment Ltd went on protest against their management for payment of their wages for July 2014. Workers of this factory stopped all production also for the sacking of their colleagues without showing any reason.

With wages being the primary reason workers work in these factories, the non-payment or payment after shedding blood cannot be acceptable.
The outcry of Tuba Group workers have created fresh discussions where an emergency fund is proposed by the Commerce Minister for the BGMEA to meet such pressing scenarios.
read more.
RISE

LW + 2

20140812

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers strike in Ashulia – Delay in paying salaries:

Prompting owners to promise payment today; in Gazipur workers vandalise factory demanding that management find missing colleague

About a thousand workers of a garment factory in Beron of Ashulia observed work abstention yesterday demanding the factory authorities pay their salary of July and stop sacking workers, reports our Savar correspondent.

Meanwhile, workers of garment factory Multifab Limited in Gazipur vandalised the factory and also observed work abstention demanding the authorities search for a worker who has been missing since Saturday.

In Ashulia, workers of Yagi Bangladesh Garment Ltd claimed they used to be paid the salary of a month within the first 10 days of the next month, but they have not yet been paid the salary of July.

Witnesses said the workers began observing work abstention when the factory management did not allow 25 workers to enter the factory yesterday morning.
read more.
daily star bd

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Government considering amendments to Minimum Wages Act:

The government is considering a proposal to amend the Minimum Wages Act 1948, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

“The proposal to amend the Minimum Wages Act 1948 is under consideration,” Labour and Employment Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Under the provisions of Minimum Wages Act 1948, both central and state governments are appropriate governments to fix, review and revise mimimum wages of workers employed in the scheduled employment under their respective jurisdiction, Tomar said.

The appropriate governments have been empowered to notify any employment in the schedule where the number of employees is 1,000 or more in a state and fix rates of minimum wages in respect to employees employed therein, he said.
read more.
et

02:35:57 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Trade unions of Sri Lanka to meet in Colombo on August 20 to demand pay hike:

The trade unions of Sri Lanka will meet in Colombo on August 20 to initiate a massive struggle seeking higher salaries.

Trade unions of public sector, private sector, estate and other unions including the ones affiliated with the ruling alliance have been invited for the meeting.

The unions will highlight the need to grant a salary sufficient for living for each employee, said the Chairman of Inter Company Employees’ Union Wasantha Samarasinghe.

The unions will urge the government to grant their demand at the budget proposals that are to be tabled in parliament in November.
read more.
colombo

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Workers’ rights: Labourers protest in Gujranwala :

Hundreds of labourers held a protest demonstration on Monday against the government for not providing them social security benefits.

More than 500 labourers, working in various factories of Gujranwala, gathered outside the Labour department.

They shouted slogans against the government and said that factory owners had not complied with the government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to Rs12,000.

Imtiaz Rasool, a labour leader, said the labourers were registered with the Social Security Department, but had not been provided benefits like old age pension and dowry for the marriage of their daughters.

He said that most labourers were not getting the minimum wage fixed by the government. “It has become impossible for the labourers to make both ends meet. If the government does not listen to us, we will be forced to take extreme steps,” he said.
to read.
tribune

SOUTH AFRICA

* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands:

Approximately 600 striking SACTWU textile members will take to the streets
tomorrow to highlight their living wage demand.

We are demanding 10% but employers represented by the South African Cotton & Textile Processing Employers ‘ Association (SACTPEA) are offering 7.5% total package.

The details of the protest is as follows:
Date: Tuesday 12 August 2014
Time: 11 am
City: Cape Town, Durbanville

Route: Workers will gather in Minnie Road and march into Edward street, a
memorandum will then be handed over at 120 Edward street to a representative
of SACTPEA, at approximately 12h30.
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140811

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Unions, Factories Set Positions on Minimum Wage Raise:

Unions and factories remained at odds over where to peg next year’s minimum wage for the garment sector after a meeting between representatives for both sides on Friday, though they agreed to resume the talks later in the month.

Earlier this year, the Labor Advisory Committee, made up of government, factory and union representatives, agreed to hold a series of negotiations that will lead up to the start of a new minimum wage for garment workers on January 1.

The committee is aiming to settle on the new wage in October, and Friday’s meeting was the first between the unions and Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) to begin the process.

Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said the unions all went into the meeting having agreed to call for a raise of the minimum monthly wage from $100, where it sits now, to $177.

“We want the employers to increase it between $160 and $177 per month,” he said. “Although we did not reach an agreement, GMAC and the unions discussed and shared ideas, and we will continue discussing.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

05:05:57 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

2. Minimum Wage: Workers Request 30% Rise, Legislative ask Decent Living Component to be Evaluated.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

03:35:57 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Survey on commodity prices and living costs to be conducted for setting minimum wage:

A survey will be conducted across the country on commodity prices and living costs at the end of this month to help set a minimum wage, Naw Aung, a worker representative from the national committee for setting a minimum wage, has said.

Survey teams including workers will be formed in 14 regions and states throughout the country.

The survey will cover average family members, commodity prices, expenditure and other expenses for living, clothes and fuel, etc.

“We will collect the average number of households in wards. Then, we’ll classify ‘model families’. The model family has a decent living. We will conduct a survey on living costs of model families and poor families,” he said.
read more.
Eleven

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG would benefit from wage tribunals:

Set up a system that can adjudicate on wage issues and help prevent disputes

Around 1,600 Tuba Group employees have suffered from not receiving wages for on average the last three months.

The BGMEA’s action last week in paying these wages for May and June, and the company’s announcement that it will pay for July, are hopeful signs that this particular dispute may now be ended.

While there are disquieting aspects about the way this particular dispute has been prolonged, it raises a more general question for the RMG sector.

Namely that many RMG companies face severe pressures which can give rise to genuine financial reasons for delays in paying wages.

In this case, matters have been helped by the BGMEA commendably agreeing to pay some of the overdue wages even though they were under no legal obligation to assume these liabilities. A proper system is needed to help address this type of issue in other cases.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20140809

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment workers, bosses meet to discuss wage rise:

Garment industry worker and employer representatives met yesterday as part of negotiations on raising the industry’s minimum wage.

The meeting came after unions revealed on Monday they had raised their demand from $160 to $177. They agreed to reach an agreement by September.
to read.
PPP new

LW + 2

20140808

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Gazipur garment workers again take to the streets for overtimes bills:

The workers had said that if they have to work after 5pm, they must be paid overtime bills as well as wages on production beyond target

Workers of a factory demonstrated back saying that they had been cheated in the name of meeting their eight-point demand, including overtime bills and production bonus, at Kaliakair upazila in Gazipur yesterday.

Earlier on Wednesday, they had reached a consensus with the owning authorities at a meeting with the police and the BGMEA in the mediating role, after three days of demonstrations and work abstention from Sunday to Tuesday to press home their demand.

Factory authorities had then refused to meet the demand of continuing the overtime system as well as the wages on production beyond target saying that there was no overtime system for those who work for wages on production beyond target.

They had though wanted that the workers work on wages for production beyond target even after working eight hours until 5pm.

The workers had said that if they have to work after 5pm, they must be paid overtime bills as well as wages on production beyond target.

However, they had promised at the meeting to join back their work with the owners promising to meet their demand to some other demand and came to office yesterday morning.

On coming to the office yesterday morning, they they were however shocked at seeing a notice, which reads that their demands would be met subject to the approval of the managing director of Haesong BD Ltd, a sweater factory, who would return home from abroad soon.

Taking it for granted that the authorities’ promise to meet their demand was nothing but pull the wool over their eyes as they said authorities had put up the notice just for buying time, not to meet their demands.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE bdnews24

SOUTH AFRICA

* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands:

Approximately 1 500 striking SACTWU textile members will take to the streets tomorrow to highlight  their living wage demand.

We are demanding 10% but employers represented by the South African Cotton & Textile Processing Employers ‘ Association (SACTPEA) are offering 7.5% total package.
The details of the protest is as follows:
Date:   Friday  08 August 2014
Time:    10 am
City: Durban

Route: Workers will gather at Dinizulu Park and march through Prixley Ka Seme Street (old West Street), a memorandum will then be handed over at the Durban City Hall to a representative of SACTPEA, at approximately 12h00.
read more.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140807

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam’s minimum wage to increase $14-18 per month in 2015:

The National Wage Council agreed to recommend that the government increase Vietnam’s minimum monthly salary by between VND300,000-VND400,000 (US$14-18) in 2015.

The plan would raise the minimum wage to VND2.42-VND3.1 million ($114-146), Mai Duc Chinh, deputy director of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor told Thanh Nien News on the phone after the meeting.
The “maximum possible increase is VND400,000, exceeding last year’s highest recomended increase of VND350,000,” he said.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

Region-based minimum wage proposed to increase 15.1 percent:

20140807 VNNews
Textile workers in Thanh Hoa Province manufacture clothes for export. The National Wage Council will ask the Prime Minister for an average increase of 15.1 per cent in regional-based minimum wages next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet.

The National Wage Council (NWC) on August 6 adopted a proposal on a 15.1 percent rise in region-based monthly minimum wage in 2015, which will be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Under the proposal, the new monthly minimum wage levels will be applied in four different regions in the country as follows – Region I: 3.1 million VND (147 USD), Region II: 2.75 million VND (131 USD), Region III: 2.42 million VND (115.2 USD), and Region IV: 2.2 million VND (104.7 USD).

Region I covers urban Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City while Region II includes rural Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City along with urban Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Region III covers Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc provinces, and Region IV, the remaining localities.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
VIETNAMplus VOVonline DTI VNNews new

LW + 2

20140806

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU update on status of clothing negotiations:

We refer to our media statement issued yesterday which, for ease of reference, is reproduced below, and provide the following update:

SACTWU has today met with the clothing employer associations.
The meeting was held at the head office of the National Bargaining Council for the
Clothing Manufacturing Industry, in Cape Town.
The union’s full national negotiating team was present.

The meeting was extremely tense but ended constructively. It started early in the morning and ended late afternoon.
The employers had earlier in the day tabled a further improved wage offer.
Regrettably, it did not constitute sufficient movement for the union to recommend settlement to our members.

The parties then explored further, and ended with a package construct which
we would be prepared to recommend as settlement to our members, provided the
employers give a firm undertaking to settle along those terms.
Regrettably, we are not at this stage able to reveal the exact figures involved, due to
the sensitivity and out of respect for the parties’ internal consultative processes and procedures.

Employers will now seek a clear and final mandate from their constituency regarding this matter. We have granted them a one week period to resolve their internal final mandating processes. A strike for us a very last resort.

In the interim, we will continue with our practical preparations for a national strike ballot, in case the employer negotiators fail to secure the recommended settlement mandate. There will be no further wage negotiating meetings with clothing employers, after today’s meeting.

We have set our final report back meetings with our members for Thursday and
Friday next week.
We will make a further announcement late afternoon next Friday.
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140805

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Min wage fails to cover min living cost in Vietnam: survey:

A survey has shown that the current minimum wage in Vietnam can cover merely two-thirds of the minimal living cost, and this gap can only be filled when the minimum wage increases by as much as 33 percent next year, according to the chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL).

The VGCL assigned the Institute for Workers and Trade Union to conduct an independent survey on wages and the lives of workers in 2014, chairman Dang Ngoc Tung told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in a recent interview.

The survey was meant to identify the actual gap between the wage workers receive and the money they use to pay for their cost of living every month in each of the four regions of the country, Tung said.

The results of the survey show that the minimum monthly living costs in Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 are VND3,996,000 (US$188.3), VND3,423,000 ($161.3), VND3,050,000 ($143.7), and VND2,695,000 (127.5).

That means the current minimum wages in all four zones can only pay for 67-70 percent of the respective minimum living costs, Tung said.
read more.
TUOITREnews

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Unions up wage demands:

20140805 PPP
Garment factory workers protest on Veng Sreng Boulevard on the outskirts of Phnom Penh last month, demanding an increase in minimum wages.
Photo by Pha Lina.

Deposite not coming close to achieving their goal of a $160 monthly minimum garment wage, unions announced yesterday that they will raise their demands to $177 for 2015.

Ken Chhenglang, acting pres­ident of the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC), said about 10 union representatives had last week reached an agreement to push for this figure in a meeting with employers scheduled for Friday.

“The groups of unions have got a positive result by [agreeing] to $177 for LAC [Labour Advisory Committee] negotiations,” she said.

With the minimum wage now at $100 and the government having used deadly violence in January to crush demands for further increases, Chhenglang conceded the new demand was ambitious.

“We know the government increases the minimum wage in very small amounts,” she said. “I won’t know what they are willing to go to until the tripartite meeting in October between the Ministry of Labour, unions and employers.”

Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said unions were prepared to ultimately accept less, without saying how low they would be willing to go.
“We do not want to see protests . . . but we will wait and see the situation,” he said.

According to a letter from the unions, $177 is an appropriate figure given the profits made in Cambodia’s billion-dollar industry and higher wages in neighbouring countries.
read more.
PPP new

* Workers Get Loans After Fire, Vow More Protests:

About 900 employees of a Phnom Penh garment factory destroyed last week by a fire were provided with loans to cover their expenses while they are out of work, but will continue to protest to demand their full paychecks and severance, a factory administrator and the workers said Monday.

“We loaned about $85,000 to 885 workers this afternoon, but the workers still keep protesting to get their last payment,” said Hel Phalla, the head of administration at the Chinese-owned Cheng Sheng Garment factory, which made clothes for U.S. retailer Kmart.

Hong Chenda, a representative of the workers, said while some workers are happy to receive the loans, they still want to receive the entirety of what they are legally owed.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU issues ultimatum to clothing employers:

Settle or face national wage strike action by 80 000 clothing workers.

This is the ultimatum which the COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has today  issued to clothing employers.

The union had submitted its 2014 wage demands veryearly this year, on 20th  March. The first round of wage negotiations was held on 15-16 April. Since then, there has been three  further normal rounds of negotiations of two days each, plus three separate conciliation meetings and numerous bi-lateral discussions.

We cannot negotiate forever. Wage increases are due on 1st September this year, in less than 3 weeks from now.
The employers’ current final offer is a total labour cost increase of 7% and the union demands a 9% increase. We regard our final demand as reasonable and as affordable.

SACTWU has now called for a final meeting with clothing employers, which will be held in Cape Town tomorrow, in a last-gasp attempt to secure a resolution of this wage dispute.
read more.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140804

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Weavers with unusually low wages await revision:

Fifty per cent hike over existing wages could appear quite steep but it means a lot for handloom weavers of Sellur who hardly make between Rs 35 to 70 in a day.

They are now eagerly waiting for the third round of talks between their representatives and employers scheduled on August 8.

“I hardly make Rs 50 paid on volume of cloth I weave. It is tricky with handlooms because it is a tiring job. If we try weaving more to make more money, we can’t wake up the next day morning due to severe body pain,” says S Soosaiammal a worker who was widowed at a young age and has to support her five-year-old son and ailing father.

Still, they prefer weaving because they don’t know any other work and they can work in flexible shifts, she said.
Most of the workers are paid based on the volume of work in a day. Ironically, the ones working more may end up getting very less like those who spin bobbins for shuttles who are paid Rs 35 per day.
The more complicated procedures may be provided a daily wage of Rs 100.

S Murugan, general secretary of United Handlooms Workers Association says wages were raised once in two years and previous contract period has ended this year and workers are desperate to get hike considering skyrocketing of prices, he said.
“The daily wages is very minimal and workers are struggling even to eat good food with such low wages,” he pointed out.
read more.
TOInew

LW + 2

20140802-03

VIET NAM

* Labor union calls for sharp increases in Vietnam’s minimum wage:

The head of Vietnam’s only labor union warned that a pledge to ensure an equitable minimum wage by 2017 will fail unless the authorities hike it by at least 23 percent next year.

“If we don’t increase the minimum wage to meet 80 percent of basic living costs in 2015, we will be unable to reach the target set for 2017,” Dang Ngoc Tung, chairman of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor was quoted by VnExpress as saying.
Starting early this year, the minimum wage reached between VND1.9-2.7 million (US$90-128) a month.
The variance is determined by the location of the worker.
Vietnam’s per capita GDP climbed to US$1,890 last year, up 8 percent from 2012.
At a recent meeting held by the National Wage Council, Tung proposed the minimum wage be increased to VND2.3-3.4 million a month.
“Wages remain low as living costs continue to rise. This means salaries are actually falling making life harder for everyone,” he said.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Staff of Suspended Factory Demand Wages:

About 70 workers from the Xing Chang Sin factory marched to the Ministry of Labor on Friday to demand intervention after the factory allegedly failed to pay wages for the past two months.

According to Ek Pheakdey, deputy director of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, the Russei Keo district factory—which he claimed produced apparel for GAP and Nike—suspended operations in mid-June due to lack of orders but told its staff of more than 500 to that they would be paid when business resumed as usual on Friday.

However, on Friday the staff were told to wait another week, according to Mr. Pheakdey, raising fears that the factory would never reopen and the staff would never see their promised wages.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile association seeks wage board:

A textile workers association has asked the Centre to constitute a national level wage board for workers in the sector saying such boards in a number of segments had proved helpful.

The textile sector had been registering good growth in the country but the plight of the workers continued to cause concern.
The wage structure was also not of help to them, the All India Textile| Workers Federation said.
Briefing reporters on resolutions adopted on the concluding day of the two-day meeting of the federation executive, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu AITUC T M Moorthy said the meeting felt that a wage board should be constituted and its recommendations implemented for the good of 3.5 crore workers directly employed in textile industries. Wage boards set up in various other sectors had proved to be helpful, he said.

Claiming that the industry’s share in foreign exchange earnings was considerable, he said the Central and state governments should take effective action to ameliorate the lot of the workers. There should be undelayed initiatives to rehabilitate those affected by closure of textile industries.
to read.
TOInew

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

*  Government yet to fix minimum wage of Rs15,000:

The provincial government and opposition’s decision to fix minimum wages for the unskilled workers at Rs15,000 per month proved nothing less than a joke as the government has not yet implemented the decision.

The government in its annual budget for 2014-15 had announced minimum wages for the unskilled labourers at Rs12,000 per month and presented the same at the provincial assembly on June 14.

The decision was taken in line with the federal government that in its annual budget for the current fiscal had also fixed the minimum wages at Rs12,000 for the unskilled workers of different organisations and factories.

However, later during the debate on budget in the provincial assembly the opposition raised the issue on the floor of the house and urged the government to revise the wages for the unskilled workers and fix it at Rs15,000. The government conceded to the opposition demand and fixed the minimum wages at Rs15,000 per month for the unskilled workers.
read more.
thenewspk

LW + 2

20140801

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Women face discrimination at work:

Female workers in Viet Nam still find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to wage payment, working environment and training and promotion opportunities, even though the country is one of Southeast Asia’s best in terms of fostering gender equality, according to an assessment by the United Nations Development Programme.

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, director of the Centre for Female Workers and Gender Studies, said at a workshop on Tuesday that the proportion of women participating in the labour force remained low, despite the fact that economic woes in recent years motivated more women to find jobs outside the home. In 2012, 72.8 per cent of women participated in the labour force, compared to 81.3 per cent of men.

Moreover, traditions and gender stereotypes – such as the commonly held belief by employers that men were more productive— hindered women’s access to varied career choices and opportunities to raise their knowledge and skills.

In 2012, the average monthly salary of female workers was VND3.2 million (over US$150), while men received more than VND3.8 million ($180), said Thuy.

In most economic sectors, the average monthly wage of female workers was lower than that of men. The greatest wage gap was found in the FDI sector, where female workers earned only half what male employees were paid.
read more.
VNNews new

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Stitching & Suffering in Cambodia’s Garment Industry:

In Cambodia’s garment factories, workers – 90% of whom are women – faint en masse alarmingly regularly, a phenomenon that highlights harsh working conditions.

Yet despite advocacy efforts from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), little improvement has taken place. So what exactly are the working conditions like and what can be done to improve the situation?
The garment industry is central to Cambodia’s economy, providing jobs to approximately 475,000 people. Working in a garment factory is often a sought-after position for many women who hope to earn a better wage than what they can expect for in rural areas.

Prior to January 2014, the monthly minimum salary for garment factory workers was $80 USD, which hardly represented one fifth of what the Asia Floor Wage calculates to be a living wage in Cambodia. After months of failed negotiations with factory owners, in December 2013, Cambodian unions called for national strikes demanding a wage increase to $160 USD per month.
read more.
CCHR

SOUTH AFRICA

SACTWU to conduct strike ballot in home textiles sector:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has issued notice to conduct a strike ballot in the home textiles sector.

The ballot commenced, yesterday 30 July 2014, after unresolved wage negotiations in the sector.

SACTWU plans to finalise the ballot during the course of next week.  Employers have offered a 7.5%  increase and it was rejected by our members.
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140731

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Day 3 of Occupy Tuba; 5 hospitalised:

20140730 UNB

Five garment factory workers were hospitalised and 12 others were receiving treatment after falling sick during the third day of a hunger strike to realize their unpaid wages plus bonuses Wednesday in North Badda.

Around 1200 workers of five factories owned by Tuba Group, occupied the three factory premises of the group at North Badda’s Hossain Market and started a ‘fast unto death’ Monday, the eve of Eid ul Fitr, demanding payment of 3 months’ wages plus festival bonus owed to them.

Workers sources said at least 20 workers fell sick on Wednesday. Among them, five were admitted to Moghbazar Community hospital, while 12 others were under treatment receiving intravenous saline at the site of the unprecedented occupation.

Agitated workers said they will continue their hunger strike until their wages are paid. But till the filing of this report on Wednesday evening, no BGMEA representative or factory-owning authority had contacted them with any news in this regard, they said.
read more.
UNBnew

* 40 RMG workers fall sick in Badda demo:

At least 40 workers of a garment factory who were observing a hunger strike since yesterday in an ongoing demonstration in capital’s Badda area fell sick on Wednesday.

Several hundred readymade garment factory workers of Toba Group started demonstrating in front of their factory there on Eid day yesterday.

Among the sick, five agitating workers were taken to a local community clinic as their physical condition took a critical turn, a participant, Monir, told The Daily Star.
Around 200 workers are observing the hunger strike.

Many of them were observing hunger strike, demanding full payment of their salaries and bonuses, Abdul Jalil, officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station told The Daily Star.

Toba group, which owned the Tazreen Fashions Ltd, have five other factories, where workers did not get paid for last few months as the owner Delwar Hossain is in jail.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bdNEWAGEnew INDEPENDENT

* No Festival to Celebrate – Garment Workers Keep Protesting After Eid:

20140730 RISE tuba-garments
Tuba Group Workers In Hunger Strike

Eid is a moment of chaos for garment workers in Bangladesh.

For what is a time of celebration and joy for the rest of the country, garment workers are found lamenting their fate and staging hunger strikes in factories which make them work but deny them their dues.

After the chaos of Eid, most workers of the main contracting factories in Dhaka saw their arrears paid except for the 1600 workers of the Tuba Group which consists of Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design.

With its Chairman and Managing Director behind bars due to the infamous Tazreen Fashions Fire (another factory under the same Tuba Group), the factories under this group have effectively denied its workers their rightful payment amounting to 3 months worth of salary, 1 month with of overtime, and Eid bonus, pushing them to a hunger strike during a time for which every one including all the garment workers in Bangladesh wait to celebrate.

Already, to this moment, at least 15 workers have fallen ill due to the hunger strike they are observing since 28 July 2014, Monday. With the Industrial Police on high alert with water cannons, it doesn’t look positive at all for the workers who are there only to demand their right.

The workers in Tuba Group have stitched jerseys for German, Brazil, French and other football fans with a contract worth of 260 Million BDT (2.5+ Million Euros), however, they remain protesting wage denial.
read more.
RISE

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Workers demand ID cards, perks:

A meeting of the CITU-affiliated Powerloom Workers Union’s state committee held here on Tuesday has called upon the State Government to make mandatory dearness allowance, minimum wages, issuance of identity cards and ESI medical facilities in all power loom units.

Wages
“At present, the wages and social security of the workers in the power loom units spread over 20 districts in the State have been pathetic.
Many of them are made to toil for 12 hours a day and they were given poor scale of wages,” M. Chandran, state vice-president of CITU, told The Hindu .
According to him, the minimum wages should be fixed at Rs. 10,000 a month.

The workers were not given dearness or house rent allowances and the unit owners were not recognising them as employees by issuing identity cards, the Union alleged.
read more.
THEHINDU

02:35:57 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Grant salary hike, suits for cost of living- write to the president:

The National Trade Union Centre that states, the cost of living which was Rs.25343 when the president Mahinda Rajapaksha came into power , is doubled up to Rs50792 per month now and the basic salary was not increased since 2006, requests from the president to take actions for the granting of salary hike which suits for the cost of living today.

The letter sent to the president by the president of the National Trade Union Centre comrade Lal Kantha, further mentions that the cost of living allowance of Rs.10300 hanged to the salary of state employees, could not be used fruitfully.

Further details are included in the letter. We request from you to take necessary actions promptly to grant salary hike suits for the cost of living value of Rs 50792 according to the cost of living index 181.4 exists for the month of June 2014, and to add all allowances for the basic salary of state servants, and if the proper response is not received, we emphasize that actions are taken to organize working people for trade union actions.
to read.
unions LANKA

* Monthly expenditure is Rs 50792; struggle for salary hike is commenced:

The struggle that for the government to increase the salary, suitable for the present living conditions as the todays unbearable living cost of Rs 50792 which was Rs 25344 when the president Mahinda Rajapaksha became for the ruling, add the all the allowances for the basic salary, was commenced today in front of the Fort railway station.

As an initial step, leaflets were distributed among the public. All the leaders of National Trade Union Centre including comrade Lal Kantha participated on this occasion. Several events are depicted below.
read-see more.
unions LANKA

LW + 2

20140730

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage not enough:

The current minimum wage meets barely 75 per cent of the minimum living standard, said Nguyen Tien Dang, head of the Salary Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a labour conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Wage negotiation mechanisms remained limited, so many enterprises forced their staff to accept low pay, Dang said. Moreover, the separation of wages by region led to confusion for areas on the border between regions, making implementation difficult.

The minimum wage currently ranges from VND1.9-2.7 million (over US$90-130).

However, Dang said the National Salary Committee aimed to raise the minimum wage gradually until it met the minimum living standard of workers while remaining within enterprises’ payment capacity.
The authorities also supported the signing of collective labour agreements in some industries so that minimum wages for those industries could be set, a mechanism that has already been piloted by the textile and rubber industries.
read more.
VNNews new

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Wages do not compute: ILO:

20140730 PPP garment-workers-protest
A garment worker holds a placard in front of the Ministry of Labour during a mass protest in Phnom Penh earlier this year to demand a $160 minimum wage for the industry. Photo by Heng Chivoan.

NGOs say the Ministry of Labour’s use of its own method for determining the garment industry’s minimum wage is risking a repeat of the tensions that exploded in violent protests in January, when authorities killed at least five people.

More than six months after the Labour Ministry commissioned the International Labour Organization to help set a formula to calculate the garment sector’s minimum wage, the advice has not been heeded, ILO national project coordinator Tun Sophorn said.

“For this year, [the Labour Ministry] will use their own way in terms of minimum wage setting,” Sophorn said.

The minimum wage in the garment industry stands at $100 per month.

A 10-day nationwide strike to demand $160 ended abruptly on January 3 when government forces opened fire on unruly demonstrators in Phnom Penh, killing at least five people. Afterwards, ministry officials told unions and international buyers that the ILO would assist them in coming up with a steady formula to annually determine the minimum wage.

But due to time constraints, Sophorn said, the ministry cannot implement a process based on objective data.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour did not respond to calls or a text message yesterday.

“It’s taken far too long already, and the urgency is great, and if their strategy is to say they didn’t have enough time . . . that boggles the mind, frankly,” said Dave Welsh, country director of labour rights group Solidarity Center.

Since a ministry task force already found a living wage to be $160 last year, the government can begin there and adjust each year for cost of living increases, said Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center.
read more.
PPP new

* Factory Ends Strike After Compromise:

Workers at a Taiwanese-owned sandal factory in Kompong Cham province on strike since last week over an eight-point list of demands agreed to go back to work Tuesday after reaching a deal with management that included a monthly lunch stipend.

A few hundred of the Carlington Factory’s workers started protesting on July 21 with a list of demands that included a monthly $15 raise, a combined $15 per month for travel and lodging costs, $1 a day for lunch, and free lodging at the factory for the leaders of its 15-person work teams, which currently costs them $19.50 per month.

By Monday all of the factory’s roughly 2,000 workers had joined the strike, at which point some also started to burn tires outside of the building.

Workers at the factory, which makes sandals for U.S. brand Reef, are represented by the Voice of Khmer Youth Union Federation.

On Tuesday, union president Long Sophan said talks with the factory brokered by the provincial labor department had won them a couple of their demands, convincing the union to cancel the strike. He said the factory agreed to provide the workers a monthly food stipend of $5 and to cut the monthly rent for group of team leaders to $10.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 1200 RMG workers on hunger strike for payment:

The workers of Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design have been observing the programme in the capital’s Badda area onTuesday morning

Around 1200 workers of four garment factories of Tuba Group have been observing hunger strike programme, demanding their unpaid salaries and allowance.

The workers of Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design have been observing the programme in the capital’s Badda area onTuesday morning, the eid day.

The demonstrating workers said they would continue the hunger strike until the dues are paid.
A team of police members were deployed in the scene, the workers said.

Earlier, the workers confined four people, including the mother-in-law of the owner. Later, they released factory guard Abdul Quddus, owner’s cousin Sohel and his maternal uncle.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers’ demo demanding salaries in Badda:

At least one hundred readymade garment factory workers of Toba Group were demonstrating in front of their factories in capital’s Badda area on the Eid day today. (Tuesday)

Many of them were observing hunger strike, demanding full payment of their salaries and bonuses, Abdul Jalil, officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station told The Daily Star.
Toba group, which owned the Tazreen Fashions Ltd, have five other factories, where workers did not get paid for last few months as the owner Delwar Hossain is in jail.

Delwar’s mother-in-law, Laily Begum, went to the factory in Badda few days back to give the workers a-month’s salary and bonuses.
But the agitated workers kept her locked inside the factory for last three days, the police official added.
Additional law enforcers were deployed to avert any untoward incidents the OC said.
to read.
daily star bd

* For unpaid Tuba workers, Eid on the factory floor :

As the vast majority of Bangladeshis celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on Tuesday, 1600 workers of 5 garment factories owned by Tuba Group, continued their occupation of three of the factories located at Hossain Market in North Badda for a second day, protesting non-payment of 3 months’ wages plus their Eid bonus.

Some of the workers, eager to salvage some of the day’s spirit and promise for all Muslims, tried in the morning to arrange an Eid prayer on the street adjoining the building, but were prevented from doing so by law-enforcement officers.

Tuba Group workers have been agitating since June over unpaid wages stretching back to May, and last Friday confined two relatives of group chairman and managing director Delwar Hossain within the factory premises demanding immediate payment of their due wages and festival bonus.

Delwar Hossain is currently in jail facing charges of gross criminal negligence over the infamous Tazreen Garments factory fire in November 2012, that killed at least 111 workers. A number of sources claim the non-payment of wages is a tactic by the management to secure bail for Delwar, as the management has said they would be in a position to pay the workers if he was freed.

Delwar’s latest bail petition was rejected by the High Court on Monday. In his absence, Laili Begum, his mother in law, and Mohammad Rubel, his brother in law who also serves as the group accountant, have been leading negotiations with the workers.

The workers said after the management failed to meet their obligations set out in an agreement brokered by BGMEA last June 24 on three separate occasions, they were forced to take the step of confining Laili Begum and Rubel on Friday. On Saturday however, Rubel was released on the premise that he would try and arrange the funds to pay them. But he has since proved untraceable.

In comments to sections of the press over phone, Laili Begum has tied the management’s inability to secure a bank loan towards payment of the arrears to Delwar’s incarceration. But workers on Tuesday refused to be drawn on this.

“We are aware of what happened at Tazreen, but just as our work has nothing to do with what happened there, we don’t want our wages to be dragged into any court case over that either,” said Hyder Ali, who works as a security guard for the group at Hossain Market, to the approval of scores of workers surrounding him on the factory floor as he spoke to UNB.

“We just want to be paid our hard-earned money, we don’t care how they pay us. As it is when we were negotiating on Saturday we knew even if they paid us at that late stage, we wouldn’t be able to go home for the holidays,” said Shakil, another worker. “When even then they didn’t pay us, we took the step of spending Eid in the factory itself.”
read more.
UNBnew

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU Cotton textiles industry strike-7th day:

A national wage strike by about 3000 cotton textile members of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union(SACTWU) enters its 7th day tomorrow.

The strike has grown stronger by the day with an 85-90% participation rate now. There has been no further negotiations, which have been convened with the disputing parties.
SACTWU will continue to responsively intensify the strike in furtherance of our demands for a living wage.
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140729

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers confine 4 for dues:

The confined persons are factory guard Abdul Quddos, owner’s cousin Sohel, mother-in-law and maternal uncle

The workers belong to four factories – Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design of Tuba Group – have confined four persons including in the capital’s Badda on Monday morning.

The confined persons are factory guard Abdul Quddos, owner’s cousin Sohel, mother-in-law and maternal uncle.

Tuba Group did not pay its 1,500 employees the arrears of three months and festival allowances on Sunday, the last working day before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Although the owners had promised to clear the dues by Sunday, the workers did not receive any money despite waiting in front of the Hossain Market in capital’s Badda area for around five hours.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140724 * Tuba Group workers unpaid for 3 months:

Govt says owners to sell building to pay dues

Tuba Group may not be able to pay its 3000 workers their wages and bonus before Eid. With the company’s managing director in jail, three months’ wages and benefits remain due. The chairman and other officers of the company are taking no initiative to pay these dues.

The government has instructed that even if they have to sell two floors of their building, Tuba Group must pay the workers’ dues. If not, stern action will be taken against the responsible officials under the labour laws.

The labour leaders say that the company can afford to pay the wages and benefits. They say the management is intentionally not paying the wages as a strategy to get managing director Delwar Hossain released.

Sources in the labour ministry say that on Monday there had been a chance of Delwar Hossain getting temporary bail, but that did not come through. After that the workers broke out in protest.
On Wednesday, 1200 workers of Tuba laid siege to the BGMEA building at Kawran Bazar from morning till evening.
The protesters work for five factories — Tuba Fashions, Tuba Textiles, Bughsan Garments, Taif Design and Mita Design. In order to bring the situation under control, BGMEA leaders promised to pay them two months’ wages on Saturday.
read more.
prothom

* Workers started their fast unto death demanding their 3 months salary:

20140729 Rezaur

“Toba Group (Tazreen) workers started their fast unto death demanding their three months salary (may to july) and festival bonus.

The factory management unreasonably made owners bail conditional to wotkers pay. please help us spread the news and mobilize media.”
to read.
facebook

LW + 2

20140728

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Govt no less responsible for plight of RMG workers:

A little more than two-thirds of apparel factories paying workers their wages for July and the festival allowance for Eid-ul-Fitr by Saturday is a good enough reason for a sigh of relief but the pang remains that about a third of the factories, as New Age reported on Sunday, did not pay workers the wage and the festival allowance by the deadline of Saturday that they had set at a meeting with the state minister for labour and employment on July 15 for the payment.

Apparel workers’ leaders said that the number of factories not paying their workers by the deadline accounted for 30 per cent while the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association said that most of the factories, barring a few, had made the payment.

The statement that a BGMEA vice-president made may not hold true as authorities, public or private, in most cases remain in a denial mode especially to head off untoward happening.
Apparel factory owners’ flustering about the issue of worker payment, by the deadline in question and also at other times, prompted workers to hold protests, which in some case turned violent, disrupting law and order and causing inconvenience to people.

The workers, who expected to get paid by Saturday but did not get the money, had hardly any option but to go on demonstrations, with only one working day, Sunday, in hand or at best two days in all before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Most of the 40 lakh apparel workers, with females accounting for about 80 per cent, would also need a day or two to travel to outlying areas to spend Eid with their families and friends.

They need the money for the travel and for clothes and food for their families. Such protests for payment, which the workers have been holding for a couple of weeks, are not typical only of this Eid. This has been happening for a couple of decades as the apparel workers are not paid in time.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* 200 RMG factories fail to clear wages, allowance in time:

About 200 apparel factories have failed to clear wages, festival allowances and other financial benefits although the government and manufacturers assured of clearing all kinds payments to the workers by Sunday.

Workers’ representatives in the apparel industry sought government’s immediate intervention in this connection expressing fear that the unpaid workers could go for violent protests.

They said payments were cleared in three categories as many factories cleared wages for running month, festival bonuses and overtime bills, a number of units cleared only wages and some others paid only festival allowances.

When contacted, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Industrial Police Abdus Salam said around 200 apparel units are yet to clear payments of the workers as 3069 units out of 3265 apparel factories in the country have cleared such payments by 6:00pm on the day.

“We are mounting pressure on the errant manufacturers regarding payments of the workers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr,” he added.
read more. & read more.
FE bd daily star bd

* RMG workers of 2 Savar units still not paid:

Workers of a garment factory in Ashulia of Savar demonstrated yesterday demanding arrears and Eid-ul-Fitr bonus as the factory authorities are yet to pay them even though the festival is just one to two days away.

Workers of Fantasy Sweater Ltd went to the factory yesterday to find it shut. They then demonstrated at the factory gate demanding salaries for the months of June and July and Eid bonus.
The factory authorities could not be reached despite several attempts by The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, several hundred workers of Shamim Group Garment Factory in Fulbaria of Savar demonstrated for Eid bonus.
The agitating workers also brought out a short procession on the road in front of the factory, said witnesses.
to read.
daily star bd

* No salary, Eid bonus for 1,500 RMG workers:

The workers belong to four factories – Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design of Tuba Group – all located in Badda

Families of at least 1,500 ready-made garment workers are likely to be deprived of Eid celebrations this year as the employer Tuba Group did not pay them the arrears of three months and festival allowances yesterday, the last working day before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Although the owners had promised to clear the dues by yesterday, the workers did not receive any money despite waiting in front of the Hossain Market in capital’s Badda area for around five hours.

The workers belong to four factories – Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles and Mita Design of Tuba Group – all located in Badda.

Sitting in front of the market around 9pm,  Obaidul, a cutting supervisor of Tuba Fashions, said: “We came here during evening. The management asked us to wait and said they would get back with the money. But they have not returned yet and also kept their cell phones switched off.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Some RMG workers yet to get dues:

Owners of around 20 garment factories have failed to pay wages and bonuses of their workers before Eid Ul Fitr, till Saturday evening, although they had committed to pay it by July 26, said labour leaders.

The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association leaders on July 15, at a meeting with the state minister for labour and employment M Mujibul Haque, committed to pay the workers wage of the month July and bonus within July 26.

The BGMEA leaders on Sunday convened a press conference at its office to brief
the media about the latest situation in the payment of workers, but they cancelled the conference at the last moment.
National Garment Workers Federation president Amirul Haque Amin said some factory owners were yet to pay the wages and festival allowances of the workers.
Some of the owners have now made a new commitment to pay on Monday, Amirul added.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* RMG workers’ bonus in intricacy of law:

Workers of fifty percent garments factories did not get full bonus owing to the jugglery in law as there is no mentioning in the labor law about what percentage of salary will be given as bonus.

When demands were made from the workers for full bonus the owners use the intricacy of law rather a fixed amount was declared as bonus. The amount declared by the owners is some where one third of the basic salary, as informed by the labor organizations. Finding no other alternative the workers accepted it.

Bangladesh Textile Garments Workers Federation president Advocate Mahbubur Rahman Ismail told banglanews that in the labor law there is no direct provision about percentage still the owners so long used to pay equal amount of the basic pay as bonus. But the owners this year have broken that practice.

In a large number of factories including Future Knitwear, Regal Attires, NS New wear and Union New wear bonus was paid much less than basic salary.

Advocate Zafrul Hassan Sharif told banglanews about the jugglery in law where there is mentioned about bonus but nothing mentioned about the percentage or what portion of basic salary. Taking this scope the owners have paid bonus as per their will.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* “Follow new wage pact”:

Tamil Nadu Thyagi Kumaran Pothu Thozhilalar Sangam has called upon the textile unit owners here to disburse wages to workers according to the terms and conditions in the new wage pact and further asked the district administration to operate public transport buses exclusively for women workers.

To highlight these demands, along with few other issues, the Sangam members staged a demonstration in the city on Sunday.
N.D. Rajasekar, the state president of the Sangam, alleged that many textile unit owners were still not paying wages to workers at the enhanced scales.
“Such acts should be considered an attack on labour rights,” he said.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20140726-27

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Law silent about festival allowance:

RMG workers paid at varied rates, deprived

Garment workers are deprived of their desired festival allowances ahead of every Eid for what experts and labour leaders described as loopholes in the law.

Usually workers of other sectors get one month’s basic pay as festival allowances.

But many apparel-factory owners were not following the practice, labour leaders alleged with barely two days to go before celebrating one of the two largest Muslim religious festivals.

Before Eid, every year, labour unrest breaks out over non-payment of wages and the payment of festival allowances at varied rates, they have pointed out.

There is no clear directive about festival allowances for garment workers in the existing labour law. And many of the factory owners take this advantage and hand out the festival allowances less than the basic amount. In some cases, they provide festival allowance at the rate of only Tk 500 per head, the labour leaders have alleged.

They have demanded a fixed amount-the basic pay of one month-as the festival allowance for all workers by incorporating a provision on it in the labour law.

“Irregularities over payment of festival allowances are happening in the garment units, mainly because nothing is made clear in the labour law regarding this,” Sirajul Islam Rony, president of Bangladesh National Garment Workers-Employees League, told the Financial Express.
(…)

Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary-general of IndustriAll Bangladesh Council, said the law should be equal for all. The provision with a clear directive about festival allowance must be incorporated in the law.

“Workers are getting festival allowances conventionally and it should be equal to the basic payment,” he added.

Workers were being deprived of proper festival allowances in the absence of a clear directive in the law, said Trade Union Centre secretary Wazedul Islam Khan. “Some owners are also taking its advantage, which is an unhealthy practice.”

The Industrial Police in a recent report to the government authorities concerned conveyed their apprehension about labour unrest in about 500 garment factories, mainly over payment of wages and festival allowances.

There have already been some outbreaks of unrest in factory areas.
read more.
FE bd

* Many RMG workers get poor amount instead of legitimate festival allowance:

Workers of many apparel factories are being deprived of legitimate festival allowance as there is no specific provision in the Bangladesh Labour Act.

As per the convention workers are entitled to festival allowance equivalent to monthly basic pay, but the apparel workers are getting a poor amount as festival allowance because of loopholes in the law causing labour unrest in the sector ahead of Eid almost every year, labour leaders said.

‘Taking the advantage of the loopholes in the law, some apparel factory owners are depriving their workers of legitimate festival allowance,’ Bangladesh Trade Union Centre secretary Wajedul Islam Khan told New Age on Friday.
There is no specific provision for festival allowance for apparel workers in the Labour Act, but it has become a convention that owners will pay the basic pay of a month as festival allowance, he said. ‘If any owner deprives the workers of the legitimate festival allowance and pay a poor amount citing the law, it will be an “evil practice” and the sector will continue to face labour unrests,’ Wajedul said.

On July 15, after a meeting with the apparel factory owners and labour leaders, the state minister for labour, Mujibul Haque, told reporters that the owners would decide how much they would pay as festival allowance for Eid according to their abilities since the law was silent on the matter. At the meeting, the factory owners agreed to pay the workers partial wages for July and festival allowance by July 26 ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. ‘Festival allowance for the apparel workers is not a of labour law but it is a convention and owners must pay the allowances before Eid,’ said National Garment Workers Federation president Amirul Haque Amin.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Wait for salaries, bonus gets longer:

 Garment makers delay payment to several thousand workers

With Eid only a day or two away, thousands of garment workers did not receive their salaries and bonuses even yesterday, the deadline earlier set by the garment owners.

The owners have sought one more day, which is today, to pay the workers before the Eid festival.
This means the workers are going to have an Eid they never expected, if they are not paid by today, the last banking day before the Eid holidays begin. And even if they do get paid today, many of them may not be able to spend the biggest religious festival with their near and dear ones back home away from the capital.

The garment makers at a meeting with State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry Mujibul Haque Chunnu and workers’ leaders on July 15 had said the salaries and bonuses would be paid by July 26, which was yesterday.
Sirajul Islam Rony, member of the minimum wage board for the garment workers, said, nearly 500 garment factories did not pay the workers till yesterday.

“I personally talked to many owners and they took one more day, meaning they will pay the workers on July 27 [today],” Rony told The Daily Star over the phone.
Nazma Akter, president of Sammilito Garment Sramik Federation, said still there are at least 20 factories, including Tuba Group, which are in such a weak state that “these factories may not pay the salaries for the current month, although they may pay the bonuses”.
read more.
daily star bd

* Workers of 6 Savar units demonstrate for payment:

 Eid Bonus, Arrears at RMG Factories

Workers of six garment factories of Savar demonstrated yesterday for arrears and Eid-ul-Fitr bonus as the factory authorities are yet to pay them even though the festival is just two to three days away.

Workers of SMN Sweater (Pvt) Ltd in Mozidpur demonstrated on the factory premises for the fourth consecutive day demanding salaries of May, June and July and Eid bonus.
Later, they marched to the Rana Plaza site and formed a human chain there. The workers claimed Mamunur Rashid, managing director of the factory, told them that they would be paid on July 10, but he has been missing since then.
The factory authorities could not be reached despite several attempts by The Daily Star.
Workers of Five Star Sweater Ltd in Ashulia demonstrated at the factory gate demanding July’s salary and Eid bonus.
read more.
daily star bd

* Many factories fail to clear wage, bonus:

Authorities of several readymade garment factories did not pay wages and festival allowances to their workers even on Saturday, in breach of their commitment, creating uncertainty about whether these garment workers will get their outstanding wages before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Garment workers, meanwhile, continued their agitation at different factories, demanding the wages and festival allowances, with only one day left before the Eid holidays.
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures’ and Exporters’ Association at a meeting with the state minister for labour and employment M Mujibul Haque on July 15 committed that the factory authorities would pay workers’ wages for the month July and festival allowances, within July 26.

But workers’ leaders on Saturday alleged that owners of at least 30 per cent garment factories in the country did not pay the wages in line with their commitment, till the filling of this report Saturday evening.
BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim, however, claimed that most of the factory owners paid wages and bonuses on Saturday barring a very few.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Rendered Jobless-Left Penniless – Garment Workers Cry Out Before Coming Festivities:

While victims of Tazreen Fashion yearn for a complete compensation package from the brands and government, and victims of Rana Plaza look forward towards the fulfillment of an unfulfilled promise to get a compensation with which they may hope to survive on, more workers have been pushed to streets and a higher number scratching for the very last pennies from those who they helped earn millions.

Brands, factories and governments have always been true to their history when it comes to the treatment of workers, and have unfortunately been consistent with their reputation against women workers who constitute the biggest portion of the 4.0 million worker strong garment industry in Bangladesh.
While economies and wealth have multiplied with export volumes reaching over $24billion (2013-14) with over 16 percent rise in shipments in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13, usual issues such as festival bonuses still plague the lives of workers protesting against factories who refuse to pay the due bonuses or even the rightful wages for the upcoming festival of Eid (the biggest festival celebrated in Bangladesh).

Strong Performance By the Industry
Recent protests, however are not limited to bonuses, wages and layoffs, but rather have increasingly comes across due to factory closures by either the Alliance or the Accord (or both) where the closing time remains indefinite (or not communicated well enough with the workers) and compensation for their loss of employment/income being either inadequate or none-existent.
(…)

Catalysts of Chaos
Unfinished Story of the Tazreen Fashion Tragedy:
After almost 2 years of suffering, the Tazreen Fire victims can still be found on the streets of Dhaka, begging the government to come to their aide with the promised “Prime Minister’s Relief Fund” which had been offered to them repeatedly.
(..)

Rajia, Tazreen Fashions Limited
Ms. Rajia, a 26 year old injured ex-Sewing operator from Tazreen Fashions Limited worked on the 3rd floor.
On the day the factory was on fire she suffered from severe burns and injuries due to jumping off the building.
She received BDT 1,00,000 each from the BGMEA immediately after the incident and a constant supply of medical treatment from C&A and Li-Fung via Caritas Bangladesh and their basic wage monthly wage according to the upper work grade scale from C&A and Li & Fung via Caritas until April this year.
Around 40 injured workers from Tazreen Fashions received a 3 month long vocational training in Zirabo from C&A and Li & Fung via Caritas Bangladesh that ended in April 2014.

Morsheda, Tazreen Fashions Limited
“Only around 13 victims of us from Tazreen Fashions Limited received BDT 50,000 from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.”
Morsheda says she also received BDT 1,00,000 from the BGMEA. C&A and Li-Fung via Caritas Bangladesh paid her monthly wage according to the upper grade scale until April 2014 when they abruptly stopped doing so.
Also in the case of the medical bills reimbursement, Caritas refused to pay for the lump sum BDT 20,000 which Morsheda spent in Rangpur Medical College and Hospital for her back bone injury in July 2014.

(…)

Rupali, Tazreen Fashions Limited
Another injured victim, 22 year old ex-Sewing Operator Ms Rupali worked on the 4th floor in Tazreen Fashions Limited.
She attended the 3 month vocational training rendered by Caritas in Kamalapur, Savar, on Animal husbandry and poultry farming. She reports that she has learnt well. She received BDT 1,00,000 from the BGMEA but only BDT 50,000 from the Prime Minister immediately after the fire.
(…)

Awaiting Justice and Compensation for the Rana Plaza Tragedy:
The biggest ever tragedy to hit Bangladesh was the Rana Plaza Tragedy, and it happened in quick succession to the Tazreen Tragedy.
In a similar way to its predecessor, Rana Plaza workers have still been denied of their rightful compensation.
The Rana Plaza arrangement is less than half way into their goal of collecting 40 million dollars for the victims, with Primark leading the compensation attempt by taking care of its workers from the New Wave Bottoms factory.

The protesters declared today, 26 July 2014, that they would observe the upcoming Eid-u-Fitr at the Rana Plaza site and march towards the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital like the previous year, if they were not compensated before the festival.
read more.
RISE

* Pay wages, bonus by Saturday: labour leaders:

Garment labour leaders on Friday at a rally in the city called on garment factory owners to pay wages and festival allowances by Saturday, in accordance with their commitment to the government.

National Alliance for Protection of Garments Workers and Industries, a combine of the garment labour rights bodies, held a rally in front of the National Press Club to press their demand.
Labour leader Abul Hossain said the owners of garment factories had committed to the government they would pay wages and bonuses to workers by July 26.
He called on garment owners to clear the payments avoid labour unrest in the industry.
Some garment factories in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar and Ashulia are yet to pay the wages and bonuses of workers, and as a result, workers have begun demonstrating for their payments.
Chaired by Abul Hossain, the rally was addressed, among others, by its leaders Lovely Yesmin, Shahidullah Badal, Zahanara Begum, Tapan Saha and Shahida Sarker.
to read.
NEWAGEnew

* Arrears: RMG workers threaten to gherao owners’ houses on Eid day:

Garment workers here on Friday threatened to lay siege to the houses of factory owners on Eid day if they are not paid their salaries and bonuses before the festival.

President of central committee of Bangladesh Textile Garments Workers Federation Advocate Mahmudur Rahman Ismail issued the threat while addressing a protest rally in the court (old) area of the city in the morning.

Narayanganj chapter of the federation arranged the rally demanding payment of dues to the workers of Future Knitwear and Regal Garments Ltd located in the city.

Workers’ leaders Mahmud Hasan, Sabur Hossain and Ahmed Ali, among others, addressed the rally.
After the rally, the workers brought out a procession which paraded different streets in the city.
to read. & to read.
UNBnew FE bd

* Unrest feared if RMG workers not paid:

$150m needed in 18 months for factory safety: Alliance

Intelligence activities and vigilance in and around the apparel manufacturing hubs have been beefed up in apprehension of violence over non-payment of wages and festival allowances ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, officials have said.

Workers’ representatives in the readymade garment (RMG) sector said fresh unrest might break out in the garment sector before the Eid, if owners fail to clear workers’ wages, festival allowance and other benefits by Saturday (today).

They say workers in several factories already staged demonstration over such demands and it could lead to violence unless necessary measures are taken immediately.

The labour leaders’ apprehension came Thursday, a day after two factories witnessed protests in the capital over the same issue.

About 300 workers of Shishir Knitting and Dyeing Factory, a unit of Shishir Group, which employs around 1,000 workers, demonstrated in front of the Planners’ Tower demanding their dues.

At the same time, nearly 1500 workers of Tuba Group also demonstrated in front of the BGMEA headquarters demanding their three months’ wage arrears, along with festival allowance.

Tuba Group is the parent company of Tazreen Fashions where a fire broke out on November 24, 2012 killing at least 112 workers.

Seeking anonymity, an intelligence official said they had information about possible violence in garment factories and shared with those to the headquarters of Industrial Police, Police Headquarters, the Ministry of Home Affairs and BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) for taking necessary measures.
(….)

London-based The Guardian adds: Work to bring Bangladesh factories used by north American retailers, including Walmart and Gap, up to fire and building safety standards will cost more than US$150 million (£87.9 million) and take at least 18 months to complete.

In its first annual report, the US Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety, formed in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka killing more than 1,100 people in April last year, said it had completed fire and building safety inspection of all the 587 factories its members were using now.

Ten factories had been closed or partially closed, as a result of structural faults revealed in inspections.
read more.
FE bd

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Garment workers protest in Chennai, but minimum wages are low across India:

20140725 scroll
In the absence of a common minimum wage, labourers in India face arbitrary and fluctuating basic wages that are too little to sustain their families.

It has been nearly five months since the Tamil Nadu government announced an increase in minimum wages for labourers across different industries, but the state’s garment and tailoring workers have had little cause for cheer.

On Tuesday, hundreds of workers from the Garment and Fashion Workers Union, which represents labour from most of the major garment factories in the state, organised a day-long protest in Chennai to demand that the wage increase announced in February – around Rs 3,000 more than the average garment industry wages announced in 2004 – be actually implemented on the ground.

As of now, workers in garment factories are still getting paid between Rs 4,000 and Rs 6,000 a month, based on the range of minimum wages stipulated by the Tamil Nadu government’s labour and employment department in 2004.
These 2004 wages were themselves implemented only in 2012, after several years of agitation by the Garment and Fashion Workers Union.

The garments manufactured in these factories – by more than two lakh workers in Chennai alone – are supplied to several prominent, high-end international brands from the US, Europe and Japan, say union workers.

Such delays and violations in the payment of minimum wages to labourers are neither new nor surprising, but the ongoing protests by the garment workers in Chennai reveal the abysmal and arbitrary pay scales that workers across India are forced to survive on, despite rising costs of living.

Minimum wages in India are determined by different states under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948. “India does not have a common minimum wage policy that cuts across different industries,” said Sujata Mody, president of the Garment and Fashion Workers Union. “We have a backward policy in which wages are arbitrary and different for different states, regions, sectors and genders.”
read more.
scroll

LW + 2

20140725

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Workers Demand District Intervention:

About 200 garment workers on Wednesday marched from the Sun Well Shoe Factory on Veng Sreng Street to the Pur Senchey district office, demanding intervention in an ongoing dispute over their wages, a union representative said.

At 7 a.m., the workers left the factory, marching out of the industrial area and onto Russian Boulevard before reaching the office, said Sieng Sambath, president of the Worker Friendship Union Federation.

“If the intervention by the district cannot organize for us to negotiate, we will protest at the factory,” Mr. Sambath said.

The workers went on strike last week to demand seven points, including a monthly $5 attendance bonus, a $15 per month travel and accommodation stipend, severance pay and better safety equipment.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers besiege BGMEA building for salary, bonus:

20140725 NEWAGE
Jocky Garments workers hold demonstration inside Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association office in Dhaka on Thursday night as they were yet to get arrear wages and festival allowance. — Indrajit Ghosh

Several hundred apparel workers on Thursday evening surrounded the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building in the capital’s Kawran Bazar area demanding their salaries and festival allowances.

Workers of Jockey Garment besieged the BGMEA building and some of its officials since morning as promise to pay their salaries and festival allowances were not kept.
Gias Uddin, a supervisor of Jockey Garment, under the ownership of Opsonin Group, at Mirpur 13, said that the owners of the RMG factory closed it on May 30 saying they would reconstruct the building within 15 days. However, the factory was then permanently shut down.
They workers then demanded two months’ salaries and festival bonuses.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Garment workers protest in Chennai, but minimum wages are low across India:

20140725 scroll
In the absence of a common minimum wage, labourers in India face arbitrary and fluctuating basic wages that are too little to sustain their families.

It has been nearly five months since the Tamil Nadu government announced an increase in minimum wages for labourers across different industries, but the state’s garment and tailoring workers have had little cause for cheer.

On Tuesday, hundreds of workers from the Garment and Fashion Workers Union, which represents labour from most of the major garment factories in the state, organised a day-long protest in Chennai to demand that the wage increase announced in February – around Rs 3,000 more than the average garment industry wages announced in 2004 – be actually implemented on the ground.

As of now, workers in garment factories are still getting paid between Rs 4,000 and Rs 6,000 a month, based on the range of minimum wages stipulated by the Tamil Nadu government’s labour and employment department in 2004.
These 2004 wages were themselves implemented only in 2012, after several years of agitation by the Garment and Fashion Workers Union.

The garments manufactured in these factories – by more than two lakh workers in Chennai alone – are supplied to several prominent, high-end international brands from the US, Europe and Japan, say union workers.

Such delays and violations in the payment of minimum wages to labourers are neither new nor surprising, but the ongoing protests by the garment workers in Chennai reveal the abysmal and arbitrary pay scales that workers across India are forced to survive on, despite rising costs of living.

Minimum wages in India are determined by different states under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948. “India does not have a common minimum wage policy that cuts across different industries,” said Sujata Mody, president of the Garment and Fashion Workers Union. “We have a backward policy in which wages are arbitrary and different for different states, regions, sectors and genders.”
read more.
scroll

* Government aims at benifiting workers, to amend 3 labour laws:

The ministry of labour and employment will soon seek Cabinet approval for amendments to three archaic labour laws, kickstarting a long-pending revamp of labour market rules with the aim of benefitting workers and increasing productivity.

The ministry is finalising changes to the Child Labour Act of 1986, the Minimum Wage Act of 1948 and the Apprenticeship Act of 1961, a senior official told ET. The proposed amendments will be put up before the Cabinet next week, after which they will be introduced in Parliament in the ongoing budget session, the official, who did not wish to be named, said. Parliament’s budget session ends on August 14.

“The ministry is keen to see these amendments going through in the current session and I see no hindrance in getting them passed in Parliament. We are finalising the amendments proposed to the above laws by incorporating the views of various stakeholders,” the official said.
Meanwhile, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state for labour and employment Vishnu Deo Sai said, “Government is actively considering amendments to various labour laws. The interministerial/public/tripartite consultations is in progress.”
(…)

As part of the amendments proposed to the Minimum Wage Act, the ministry will set a national floor for minimum wages for workers across professions, resulting in a significant jump in salaries for workers in the unorganised sector. The minimum wages would be revised every five years by the Centre in accordance with the NSSO’s Consumer Expenditure Survey. It would also be revised every six months by state governments in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

In the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, the proposed amendments will bar children between 14 and 18 years from taking up hazardous occupations such as mining related jobs.
At present, children under 14 years can work except in prohibited sectors such as domestic work, automobile workshops, bidi making, carpet weaving, handloom and powerloom industry, and mines.
The move is significant as child labour accounts for nearly 8.5% of the country’s 312 million-strong workforce. Of these, 43.53 lakh children are between 5 and 14 years of age, as per the Census 2011.
read more.
et

LW + 2

20140724

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* After deal, unions expect support:

News of an end to a year-long political deadlock has labour union leaders believing the opposition party can bring their interests to parliament, but a lack of follow-through could cost the Cambodia National Rescue Party vital support from one of its key interest groups.

Different union leaders said yesterday they hope that once the CNRP takes its seats and takes charge of its many committees, the newfound influence will translate into a reinvigorated push for a higher minimum wage and for investigations into fatal strike shootings.

“I would say there’s potential [for labour reform] and there’s also an obligation,” said Dave Welsh, country director of labour rights NGO Solidarity Center. “If we recall what happened in January, what was a labour issue turned into a political issue.”

During a 10-day strike in December and January, CNRP members – including senior lawmaker-elect Mu Sochua and opposition leader Sam Rainsy – encouraged unionists to strike until the minimum monthly wage was raised to $160. Workers wearing stickers reading “$160” joined CNRP supporters in massive gatherings at Freedom Park and in marches around Phnom Penh.

The strikes and marches, however, ended in an abrupt series of crackdowns, punctuated by the shooting deaths of at least five garment workers on the capital’s Veng Sreng Boulevard on January 3.
(…)

“Workers still demand a wage increase and the government and garment factories still have not resolved this, but with a two-party system, we can get closer to $160,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), the Kingdom’s largest independent garment union. “Politicians can have more influence on workers and workers can have more influence on politicians.”

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina and Free Trade Union president Chea Mony both said their continued support of the CNRP at least partially hinges on its promise to raise the minimum wage in the garment sector to at least $160.

“The largest priority for the [C.CAWDU] is to find out [what happened] and find justice for the people,” said Kong Athit, C.CAWDU’s vice president, referring to deadly shootings at garment protests in November and January and the arrest and conviction of 23 people.
read more.
PPP new

* After NEC Reform, Rainsy Says Higher Wages are Top Priority:

CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said Wednesday that a higher minimum wage for garment workers and civil servants would be the opposition’s top legislative priority—after reconstituting the National Election Committee (NEC)—when it takes the 55 National Assembly seats it has been boycotting for the past year.

The CNRP has been refusing to take its seats in protest over what it says were rigged national elections last July but is expected to have its lawmakers-elect sworn in by the King in the coming days after reaching a deal with the ruling CPP on Tuesday to reform the NEC.

But even an optimistic Mr. Rainsy conceded that getting any of the opposition’s legislative agenda past the CPP—which will hold on to a majority of the assembly’s 123 seats as well as its standing committee, which decides what laws make it to the floor—will be much easier said than done.

“All our promises we will push through,” he said. “Whether we will succeed or not…we want our objectives to be the law, especially the minimum wage, to end the modern form of slavery.”

A $250 monthly minimum wage for the country’s civil servants and $150 for its garment workers were two of the CNRP’s key campaign pledges leading up to the elections, and among the most popular with voters.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BGMEA Bhaban seized for salary, bonus:

Some 5,000 workers of Tuba Garments on Wednesday besieged the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) Bhaban in the city demanding salary and bonus.

The angry workers besieged the building around 11:00am.
BGMEA vice-president Riaz-bin-Mahmud was talking to journalists.

The workers were not paid as the owner of Tuba Group was sent to jail over the Tazreen Fashion fire case, he added.

The business leader said, “We could not enter the office in the morning due to gherao, Riaz added.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

* Knitting workers demonstrate for arrears in capital:

20140723 DAILYSTAR rmg-workers

Workers of a knitting and dyeing factory staged demonstration in the capital’s Bangla Motor area today demanding wages and festival bonuses ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.

The workers alleged that the owners on July 14 shut down Shishir Knitting and Dyeing Factory, a concern of Shishir Group, located at Pagar in Tongi of Gazipur without any prior notice.
Today, they were bound to come to the factory’s head office at Planners Tower in Bangla Motor area from Tongi to materialise their demands.
“We get one month’s wage and Eid bonus. But we saw owners and top management closed down the factory without telling us anything,” said Md Mizan, a worker.

He said around 1,000 workers are employed in the factory and none of them received Eid bonus so far.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd daily star bd

* RMG workers-cops clash in city:

The workers of Rahmatuallah Garments in Badda area of the city staged demonstration as they were not paid full salary and bonus.

During the demonstration, workers locked into a chase-counter chase with law enforcers in the area. Police opened blank fires to bring the situation under control.
Officer-in-Charge of Badda Thana MA Jalil told banglanews that the situation is under control now.
He added: “We also have kept our forces on alert to thwart further untoward situation.”
to read.
banglanews24NEW

* RMG workers of 3 more Savar units want payment:

Hundreds of workers of three garment factories in Savar demonstrated yesterday demanding arrears and Eid-ul-Fitr bonus.

Workers of SMN Sweater (Pvt) Ltd demonstrated on the factory premises around 9:00am. The demonstrators then gathered at the Rana Plaza site and formed a human chain there to press home their demands.
The workers claimed that they have not been paid salaries of May, June and July.
They said the factory manager told them that they would be paid on July 10, but he has been missing since then.
The factory authorities could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, Adorn Garment (Pvt) Ltd workers continued their demonstrations for the third consecutive day on the factory premises demanding arrears and bonus.
The workers claimed they have not been paid salary of June.
read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers take to the streets again for dues:

Agitated workers clashed with police and blockaded roads in the area causing traffic congestion

 

At least 15 workers of a factory in the capital’s Bhatara area sustained injuries as police fired rubber bullets and hurled tear gas cannister at them during a demonstration demanding immediate payment of wages and bonuses.

Agitated workers clashed with police and blockaded roads in the area causing traffic congestion.
The Satarkul area under Bhatara police station turned into a battlefield when several hundred workers of Fuwang Garments Factory locked into a clash with law enforcers yesterday afternoon.

The workers had been demonstrating on the road by leaving their workplaces since morning demanding their dues.
(…)
Meanwhile, workers of five factories of the Tuba Group that also owned the fateful Tazreen Garments in Savar, laid siege to the BGMEA building in the capital yesterday, in the same demand.

Witnesses said several hundred workers of Tuba Fashions, Bukshan Garments, Tuba Textiles, Pipe Design and Mita Design gathered in front of the BGMEA building around 11:30am and kept everyone inside confined by locking the main gate.

Johora Khatun, a worker of Tuba Textiles, said they had not been paid their dues for May, June and July.

“We have been agitating for more than a month… but the authorities told us that unless the factory owner was freed, we would not be paid,” she said.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Labour unrest feared over non-payment of wages:

20140724 NEWAGE
Workers of Tuba Group on Wednesday go out on demonstration inside Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building against the authorities’ failure to pay wage and allowances despite issuing several deadlines. —Snigdha Zaman

BGB kept standby to maintain order

 

An Inter-Ministry meeting on Wednesday identified non-payment of wages in readymade garment sector and rundown highways in many places as major concerns for maintenance of law and order ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.

Law enforcement agencies apprehended that non-payment of wages and festival allowance in the RMG units in Dhaka, particularly at Ashulia, Savar and Naraynaganj, might cause labour unrest.
But the owners alleged that some quarters were out to create anarchy in the labour-intensive industry, said officials who attended the meeting.

Presiding over the meeting on law and order at the secretariat, state minister for home Asaduzzaman Khan directed the law enforcement agencies to strengthen vigilance in the industrial belts in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna to prevent labour unrest or any untoward incidents there.
‘We have asked the apparel factory owners to clear wages and festival allowances of workers before Eid,’ Asaduzzaman told reporters after the meeting.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Proposals invited to accommodate workers’ bonus in labour law:

The state minister once again urged the owners to ensure payment of salary, bonus and other allowances to the workers by July 26

 

State minister for labour and employment ministry Mujibul Haque Chunnu has sought specific proposal from the workers’ leaders over bonus issue to accommodate in the existing labour law.

Come up with a specific written proposal, so we can consider to include bonus issue in the law to avert any dispute over it, said Mujibul Haque while addressing a roundtable titled “Garment workers’ salary and bonus: Eid Festival” held in the city yesterday.

Imdadul Haq Milan, Editor of daily Kaler Kantho moderated the roundtable, which was orgained by the East West Media Limited.

“I do not see any reason for discussing on the payment of salary and bonus for the workers before Eid as it is a routine work for the owners to pay them salary and bonus,” said Mujibul.

The state minister, however, once again urged the owners to ensure payment of salary, bonus and other allowances to the workers by July 26.

“If the issue relating to salary and bonus can be brought into a specific law, there will be no more dispute related to wages,” said Abdus Salam, Director General of Industrial Police.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20140723

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 3 labour leaders sacked for demanding dues:

20140722 FE

Three labour leaders of the state-owned Crescent Jute Mills in Khulna have been sacked for besieging its administrative office to press for the payment of their dues.

The mill authorities specified the cause of the termination in a notice signed by Deputy General Manager Khandaker Shahadat Hossain at 10:00pm on Monday.

The move sparked protests by thousands of workers, who gathered in front of the mill’s administrative building, remaining there until midnight, said CBA President Murad Hossain. Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) General Secretary Hemayet Uddin Azadi, Press Secretary Abdus Salam and Sports Secretary Ismail Hossain have been sacked.

Workers had cordoned off the mill’s administrative building on Sunday to demand the payment of three weeks’ wages.
The mill authorities had earlier announced that the workers would be paid a week’s wages on Sunday, and for another, on Wednesday, according to bdnews24.com.
to read. & read more. & read more.
FE bd bdnews24 daily star bd

* RMG workers stage demo in CEPZ:

Industrial police forces have rushed dispersed the workers

 

The workers of a Korean ready-made garments have staged an hour long demonstration at the factory in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) demanding advanced salary and Eid bonus.

The agitated workers of New Era Fashion also vandalised the factory building during the demonstration, CEPZ sources said.

Inspector (Intelligence) Ariful Islam Arif of industrial police said some 950 workers of the factory were demanding their advanced salary of July and Eid bonus ahead of Eid-ul-fitr for a few days.
They started the demonstration around 9am when the factory authorities announced that the workers would only get the Eid bonus.

On information, industrial police forces rushed to the factory and dispersed the workers.

Police took control over the situation within an hour, he said.
“The factory authorities and workers representatives sat into a meeting to figure out a solution over the issue,” added the inspector.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* More RMG workers demand Eid bonus immediately:

Demonstrate in Savar, Ctg

Garment factory workers in Savar and Chittagong demonstrated yesterday demanding festival bonus immediately as Eid-ul-Fitr is only about a week away.

Nearly a thousand workers of Rakib Fashion in Tetuljhora of Savar demonstrated on the factory premises demanding that they be paid Eid bonus immediately, reports our Savar correspondent.
They also brought out a short procession on the road in front of the factory.
Mirza Shaijuddin, inspector of Ashulia Industrial Police, said the workers had received their salary on Monday, but did not get Eid bonus.
When the workers asked about Eid bonus, the authorities told them that the festival bonus would be paid on July 26, he said, adding that the workers said July 26 was too late and demanded bonus immediately.
The workers dispersed after police were deployed.
read more.
daily star bd

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* The labour reforms we truly need:

The case against labour inspector raj is overstated. Labour courts need to be strengthened

The labour reform debate in India has acquired renewed vigour under the new government.

The Rajasthan and the Haryana governments have recently proposed to amend a few Central labour laws.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has also circulated labour reform proposals.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has issued an “advisory” to the state governments to institute reforms relating to inspection.

Labour flexibility measures, especially in respect of hire and fire and contract labour, have caused industrial unrest and violence. India is committed to the pursuit of the ‘decent work’ agenda of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which essentially seeks to promote just and efficient workplaces.
(…)

India has not ratified four of the eight ILO Core Conventions concerning child labour (C.138 and C.182), trade unions and collective bargaining (C.87 and C98). Out of 185 countries, 153 countries have ratified conventions covering these three areas. While mere ratification does not lead to solutions, the commitment of the Indian Government to decent work makes early ratification imperative.

The Trade Unions Act, 1926, merely provides for voluntary registration of trade unions and not for recognition of trade unions, which is more relevant for collective bargaining.
Trade union recognition is provided for by laws at the state level, such as in Maharashtra.
Legal amendments providing for trade union recognition, time-bound union registration, sharing of information by parties for efficient collective bargaining, strong union democracy and proscription of unfair labour practices must be initiated.

The law on minimum wages and its implementation urgently needs reforms. For example, there is no definition of “minimum wages” in the law.
The penalties prescribed in the law for violations of this important socio-economic law are absurdly low.
Minimum wage boards are not re-constituted in time and minimum wages are revised after a considerable time lag.
The frequent incidence of fatal industrial accidents especially among contract workers calls for stricter regulations and efficient governance.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

LW + 2

20140722

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Ocean Settles as Other Worker Strikes Gain Steam:

Workers from the beleaguered Ocean Garment Factory on Monday came to an agreement with management over furlough pay, following more than a month of protests.

“All the workers at Ocean Garment Factory have accepted the offer from the factory and the strikes are finished now,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union Movement of Workers.

Mr. Sina said workers agreed to accept the factory’s offer of $100 payouts for senior employees and $50 for newer workers, after the factory suspended operations in May due to a lack of orders. The amount is below the $120 called for in a ruling by the Arbitration council, but the Ministry of Labor has pushed workers to accept the offer.

Separately, however, more than a thousand garment workers around the country Monday remained at loggerheads with their factories, prompting continued strikes over wages and benefits.

About 500 workers at the Teng Xun factory in Kompong Speu province went on strike Monday morning over demands that include the provision of lunch money, permission to have mobile phones at work and an end to their wages being taxed.

“Before we went on strike, the factory announced that workers who are earning $125 will have their wages cut by 5 percent in tax. But we did not agree to this,” said Sun Vannak, an employee at the factory, which makes women’s handbags.

Sar Chanthou, an official from the Free Trade Union, said negotiations failed between staff and management following the rejection of the factory’s tax proposal.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Brands Dodge Blame Over Substandard Factory:

Behind the walls of the nondescript Hung Tak garment factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, more than 400 workers have been toiling in substandard conditions to cut and stitch clothing for some of the world’s biggest brands.

But since the factory was named by the International Labor Organization as one of the country’s lowest compliance factories, the brands are quickly backing away—a unionist and a factory representative said at least one brand had begun quietly pulling out—leaving workers with less work and less pay.

Three international brands—Kappa, Walmart and Primark—have been linked to the Hong Kong-owned factory. Despite tags provided by workers bearing their brand, both Kappa and Walmart said they had not “authorized production” at the factory and were investigating the matter. Walmart said it last used Hung Tak in 2007 while Kappa said it plans to “clear the eventual relations with the factory.”

When inspectors from the International Labor Organization (ILO) visited the Hung Tak garment factory in January, they discovered that its employees were subject to illegal wage deductions and were working in an unsafe environment. Later, those findings would earn the factory a spot on the ILO’s Better Factories Cambodia’s (BFC) “lowest compliance” list for failing to meet 19 criteria for basic working conditions.

Just days after the publication of an article linking the brands to the factory, Free Trade Union representative Yim Chan, 40, said a factory manager told her a major buyer cut its orders as a result of the media coverage.

“Now, we have nothing to sew. They have stopped sending us clothes. We all leave the factory at 4 p.m.,” she said. “Half of the workers from group one and six are sent home after their morning shift and receive half their [usual] wage.”
(…)

Dave Welsh, country director of the Solidarity Center, a U.S.-based labor rights organization, said some brands were publicly espousing ethical policies on the one hand and squeezing factories to boost their own profit margins on the other.

“There is no question that brands are driving down worker salaries and conditions in factories,” he said.
Mr. Welsh said there was “little or no excuse” for brands to claim they did not know where their products were being made.

“Rarely do brands ever take responsibility. They either try to deflect—they say they have no involvement with a factory—or they pull out, and no one wants them to pull out of the garment industry in Cambodia. They want them to use their leverage to improve conditions and wages,” he said.

Anne Dekker, an appeals coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign, a network of organizations working to improve global garment industry conditions, said via email that brands should recognize their purchasing practices were hugely influential.

“[They should] pay fair prices to the factories that are sufficient to pay the workers a decent wage so they don’t need to work up to 60 hours in total a week in order to feed themselves and their families,” she said.

Ms. Dekker added that brands should “set realistic deadlines to the factories for orders that are possible to produce in the set time by the available workforce within their normal working hours.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Garment workers blockaded:

20140722 FEGarment workers blockaded Nur Ahmed Road at Lovelane in Chittagong Monday demanding wages and Eid bonus. —Focus Bangla Photo.
to see.
FE bd

* Roads blocked for pay in Savar, Ctg:

Rmg Workers, Families Want To Get Paid Well Before Eid

Garment workers demonstrated in Savar and Chittagong yesterday demanding festival bonus ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Nearly a hundred workers of Maggie and Liz Corporation (Pvt) Ltd blockaded Nur Ahmed Road in Chittagong city for about half an hour from 1:00pm, reports our Chittagong correspondent.
Quoting the demonstrators, Arifur Rahman Arif, deputy assistant director of Industrial Police-3, Chittagong, said the workers blockaded the road fearing that the factory authorities would not give them bonus before Eid as only about a week is left for the festival.

They demanded that the factory management give them Eid bonus immediately.
The road blockade was withdrawn after police arranged a meeting between the workers and factory management where it was settled that the workers would get Eid bonus on July 26.

Meanwhile, over a hundred workers of SMN Sweater (Pvt) Ltd of Savar demonstrated on the factory premises demanding festival bonus and arrears for May and June, according to our Savar correspondent.
read more.
daily star bd

LW + 2

20140721

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Salaries of 10 lakh RMG workers of subcontracting factories uncertain:

‘We have information that the subcontracting factory owners are facing problems in managing funds to pay the workers’ dues before Eid’

Some 10 lakh workers, who are employed in around 1,200 subcontracting ready-made garment factories, are still facing uncertainties in getting their salaries and bonus before Eid as the factory owners are now facing fund shortage due to order crisis.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), there are 1,200 subcontracting RMG factory in the country employing over 10 lakh workers.

Among the subcontracting factories, 800 are fully depend on subcontracting job while rest of the 400 are directly export-oriented factories, which also do subcontract job when they lack work orders.

The subcontracting factories cut and make garments in contract and are paid off for that, which is also known as cutting and making (CM) charge.

I have got my salary of the last month on Thursday last, which has become a usual scenario for us as it is happening every month, Ahsan, an operator at a subcontracting factory at Badda in the capital, told the Dhaka Tribune.

“We may get only bonus before Eid as the factory has not enough funds to pay the monthly salary,’’ said Ahsan quoting a factory official.

After the Rana Plaza incident, which killed 1,135 workers and injured over 2,500 last year, global buyers have become more cautious about workers’ safety and also imposed conditions on subcontracting.

According to a BGMEA source, factory owners, especially the actual subcontracting factory owners, are facing financial crisis due to lack of enough work orders.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Wage, festival allowance before Eid uncertain:

Uncertainty looms large over the payment of wages and festival allowance of about 8 lakh workers engaged in more than 800 subcontracting factories before Eid-ul-Fitr with factory owners yet to decide on payment.

BGMEA leaders claimed that these factories were facing order shortage in the current ‘lean period’, while labour leaders said that the owners were looking for excuses not to pay wages and allowance before the Eid.
There are 1,200 subcontracting garment factories in the country and 800 of them are fully dependent on subcontracting, while the rest 400 are directly exporting factory but they also do sub-contract when they don’t have export orders, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

‘We are in fear that untoward situation may erupt in the subcontracting factories before Eid due to lack of payment in time as the companies suffered order crisis,’ BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Sunday.
He said that normally the period of May-August is lean time for the garment sector when there is order crisis in the subcontracting factories.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

LW + 2

20140719-20

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 30 injured in RMG workers-police clash:

At least 30 people have been injured in a clash between readymade garment workers and police in Tongi Industrial Zone on Friday morning.

Witnesses said the workers of Jaber and Jubaer Fabrics took to the street around 7am in order to press-home their demands, including salary and festival bonus hike.

The agitated workers went on a rampage in the factory premises and set fire at the godown of the factory.

Later, they engaged in a series of chase and counter chase with the law enforcers as the police were trying to brought the situation under control.

Assistant Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Abdul Khaleque said: “At least 15,000 workers have taken part in the agitation. They took position on Tongi-Pagar road, halting the vehicular movement for some two hours. Later, they locked in clashes with police as police were trying to disperse them from the road, leaving at least 30 workers injured.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & to read. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  UNBnew NEWAGEnew FE bd INDEPENDENT

* EPZ units told to pay workers by next week:

Authorities of the factories in the country’s eight export processing zones (EPZs) have been directed to pay wages and allowances to their workers before the holy Eid-ul-Fitr.

The Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) recently instructed the factory authorities to pay wages and festival allowances to the workers by next week so that they could celebrate the Eid happily with their family members, said a high official.

The BEPZA authorities directed the factory owners to disburse the payment as early as possible while meeting with the executives and representatives of the factories in the EPZ enclaves last week.

“The workers will get both wages and allowances in accordance with the new wage scale which came into effect from December 1, 2013,” said the official. The government in November last announced a new wage structure featuring Tk 5,300 as the minimum monthly salary for readymade garment (RMG) workers.
to read.
FE bd

* RMG workers demand wage, allowance by July 26:

20140720 NEWAGE
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati brings out a procession in Dhaka on Saturday, demanding payment of arrears, wages and festival allowance in all apparel factories before Eid. — New Age photo

Garments Sramik Oikya Forum and Garment Sramik Sanghati on Saturday at separate programmes in the capital urged apparel factory owners to pay wage and festival allowance of the workers by July 26.

The Garment Sramik Oikya Forum president, Mushrefa Mishu, at a press conference at Nirmal Sen auditorium at Segunbagicha, said that as apparel workers were low paid, they would not be able to enjoy the Eid-ul-Fitr if they did not get wage of July and festival allowance by July 26.
She urged all the apparel factory owners to pay the wage and festival allowance by July 26 in accordance with their commitment and warned that otherwise the apparel sector might face labour unrest before the Eid.
Oikya Forum leaders also demanded more compensation for the families of the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse before Eid-ul-Fitr.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* RMG workers sceptical about payment before Eid:

Garment workers’ leaders and survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen fire warned the government at a programme yesterday that they would wage movements if the workers were not paid their due wages and allowances before Eid.

Even though the government has set July 26 as the deadline for paying the wages and Eid bonuses, many workers said they were doubtful about it, considering previous experiences. The workers also protested the sudden lay-offs that were being made at different garment units ahead of Eid.

They allege that usually the owners pay only Tk400-500 as bonus just before Eid day. They do not pay the actual bonus which would be 40-45% of the wages, while the monthly wages remain unpaid at most factories.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20140718

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Employers snub talks over wages:

Management at Ocean Garment factory yesterday flouted a Ministry of Labour invitation to sit at the negotiating table with employees protesting the factory’s refusal to abide by an Arbitration Council decision in their favour.

Nobody from the factory came to the Ministry of Labour, after ministry officials ended a worker roadblock of Russian Boulevard on Wednesday, telling them they would mediate a discussion between the groups.

As Ocean officials drag their feet in paying their entire monthly wage for a planned temporary closure from late May to June 26 – the factory remains closed – the situation has become dire for many employees there, said Houn Vanna, an employee representative.
read more.
PPP new

* Garment Worker Wage Negotiations Break Down:

Garment workers from two factories descended on the Labor Ministry Thursday morning as talks over their separate wage demands began and then broke down within a matter of hours.

About 60 workers from Ocean Garment factory, which suspended operations on May 26 and ignored an Arbitration Council ruling to pay wages during the shutdown period, turned up to the negotiations at 8.30 a.m. but factory representatives were a no-show. 

Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union Movement of Workers (CUMW), said that officials from the Ministry of Labor’s department of labor conflict advised workers to take an offer from Ocean Garment of $100 for staff employed for more than six months and $50 for those who have worked for less than six months.

“Some workers have now agreed to take that money because they badly need to pay for living costs such as rent,” he said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* BetterFactories Media updates 11-18 July 2014, Garment worker wage negotiations break down after talks:

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2014-07-11 Factory wage rallies heat up
2014-07-14 Getting on the same page
2014-07-14 Ocean flight looks to the government
2014-07-15 Unions to stick with push for $160 wage
2014-07-16 Workers block airport road
2014-07-17 Arbitration group weighs in
2014-07-18 Employers snub talks over wages

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2014-07-11 Garment factory donates rice to workers
2014-07-11 Workers protest after factory ignores arbitrator
2014-07-12-13 Global brands linked to latest shamed garment factory
2014-07-15 Trade unions approve minimum wage, draft law proposals
2014-07-16 Garment workers block road in protest over unpaid wages
2014-07-17 Shoe factory workers strike for seven demands
2014-07-17 Workers end blockade, agree to negotiations
2014-07-18 Garment worker wage negotiations break down after talks

Betterfactories Media update overview here.
BF NEW

04:05:57 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Wage policy flaws ‘need careful study’:

Flaws in the last minimum wage increase mean careful studies must be conducted before any similar policy is introduced in the future, according to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). 

The 300-baht minimum wage policy, launched by the previous Yingluck Shinawatra government, did not improve workers’ financial status, said Yongyuth Chalamwong, a research director of the TDRI’s labour development unit.

Many workers did not benefit from the policy because the pay rate did not match the cost of living, Mr Yongyuth said.
Workers were able to save less money each month despite the wage hike, which was implemented in April last year.

In 2011, each worker on average had 1,838 baht left in their savings at the end of the month, according to the National Statistical Office.
Last year, workers’ savings dropped to 1,341 baht per month.
read more.
bangkokpost

LW + 2

20140717

05:05:57 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Empty plate lunchbreak protest highlights demand for living wage:

20140716 BULATLAT

The protesters said that no amount of reports or studies could cloak the workers’ slide into worse conditions, and the more appalling poverty in urban poor communities where they also live.

Workers and urban poor in Makati and Pasay cities brought empty plates, spoons and forks to dramatize the effect of low wages during a protest action held today July 16 in front of the Philippine Institute on Developmental Studies – National Economic Development Authority (PIDS-NEDA) offices in Amorsolo St., Makati.

The protesters took issue with the government agency’s recent statements attacking the minimum wage and casting it as an impediment to employment in the country.

PIDS-NEDA has recently released a report advancing such a conclusion in “Labor Policy Analysis for Jobs Expansion and Development,” written by Vicente Paqueo, Aniceto Orbeta, Leonardo Lanzona and Dean Dulay. Also, in a presentation of PIDS Economic Policy Monitor Seminar three months ago (April 3, 2014), it said: “The case of Minimum Wage is, generally, not only unhelpful but highly detrimental to the welfare of the common man and the disadvantaged.”

Unionist Gabby Delos Reyes from Wyeth Philippines Progressive Workers Union (WPPWU) said in a statement that workers today including those in the gleaming business district of Makati and Pasay cities are in need of a living wage. He said the current minimum wage is not enough for the day-to-day needs of Filipino families.
read more.
bulatlat_tagline

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers End Blockade, Agree to Negotiations:

Workers from Ocean Garment factory on Wednesday ended a blockade of Russian Boulevard after the Ministry of Labor intervened in their dispute with management over unpaid wages.

Hundreds of workers began a second day of protests near Phnom Penh International Airport in Pur Senchey district at 8:30 a.m. but left the road after two hours when union representatives received a letter from the ministry inviting them to attend negotiations Thursday.

A non-binding Arbitration Council ruling handed down last week found that Ocean Garment should pay workers full wages and benefits for the month starting May 26, when production was suspended after brands pulled orders.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Arbitration group weighs in:

20140717 PPP Ocean-Garmnet-Portest
Ocean Garment factory workers hold placards during a protest on Tuesday near Phnom Penh international Airport, demanding the company pay wages for the month the factory was closed. Photo by Pha Lina.

Cambodia’s Arbitration Council yesterday called Ocean Garment factory’s continued refusal to abide by the body’s decision last week to pay workers their full salary during a temporary closure “discouraging”.

Ocean Garment employees blocked Russian Boulevard for the second day in a row yesterday, eventually vacating the main road at about 11am after Ministry of Labour officials pledged to mediate talks between management and employee representatives today.

“I really do not trust the company at all to resolve the issue, because they have pulled a lot of tricks,” Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday. “We will wait and see how they plan on solving it,” he continued.

Workers at Ocean Garment began protesting after a May 24 announcement from the company that it would close for one month ending June 26 and pay employees only $15 for that time.

Demonstrations intensified after the factory responded to an Arbitration Council decision that they must pay workers their full salary during the closure by offering them $50.
read more.
PPP new

* Shoe Factory Workers Strike for Seven Demands:

About 1,000 workers from the Sun Well Shoes factory went on strike for the second day running Wednesday, appealing for wage benefits and better safety equipment.

Half of the striking workers protested in front of the factory on Veng Sreng Street in Pur Senchey district on Tuesday and again Wednesday morning after not receiving a response to a list of seven demands submitted to their employers on July 10.

The workers’ demands include​​ a $15 monthly accommodation and travel allowance, $5 per month for good attendance, guaranteed severance pay, better safety equipment and factory coverage of their tax payments.

Ou Ry, a 29-year-old worker, said the maximum base monthly salary of $105 was not enough to live on.

“We don’t want to protest. We don’t want to stand on the road under the sunlight. But the factory does not think of our livelihoods,” she said.

“We will continue protesting for our demands until they are met. We are not afraid of a crackdown because we need those benefits.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* ‘Pay salaries, bonus to RMG workers by 26 Ramadan’ :

Garment workers on Wednesday demanded paying their salaries, dues and Eid bonus before the 26th of Ramadan as fixed by the government.

The demand was made at a human chain programme arranged by Textile Garments Workers Federation in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.

Federation president Abul Hossain said the garment owners must stop attacks on trade union leaders, job termination of workers and repression on them.

He said the owners of several closed factories went into hiding without paying workers’ salaries, and demanded that they be arrested so that they are compelled to provide the dues salaries of the workers.
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UNBnew FE bd INDEPENDENT

LW + 2

20140716

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Workers Block Road in Protest Over Unpaid Wages:

20140716 CD cam-photo-ocean-protest
Workers from Ocean Garment factory block Russian Boulevard in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Tuesday morning. (Holly Robertson/The Cambodia Daily)

Hundreds of Ocean Garment factory workers staged a sit-in on one of Phnom Penh’s major thoroughfares Tuesday to protest the factory’s failure to follow an Arbitration Council ruling on unpaid wages.

Brandishing tree branches for shade and protest signs, the workers formed a human barricade across Russian Boulevard in Pur Senchey district at about 8 a.m. and refused to move for eight straight hours.

Ken Chantha, a 40-year-old worker, said blocking the major transportation route, which is near the Ocean Garment factory, was the only way to push local officials to deal with their problem.

“I haven’t been able to pay the rent for my house for one month, so I need to do it,” she said.

The Arbitration Council ruled last week that Ocean Garment, which suspended operations on May 26 due to a lack of orders, should give the workers $120 each in furlough pay.

However, the factory chose to ignore the ruling and said it would pay $100 to staff employed for more than six months and $50 to those who had been working less than six months.

Rejecting the factory’s offer, about 600 workers turned out Tuesday morning to form the roadblock, with several arguments erupting between drivers and the protesters, who eventually allowed some vehicles to pass through.

“I am angry too,” said driver Bi Bun Sak, who had been stuck in the traffic jam for nearly two hours. “[The workers] should not do this as it affects my job and other businesspeople.”
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers to get Eid bonus, salary by July 26:

20140715 DAILYSTAR rmg-worker-wb
Workers are seen working at a Bangladesh garment factory. Photo: Getty Images

Garment factory owners have agreed to pay workers their salary and Eid bonus by July 26.

State Minister for Labour and Employment M Mujibul Haque Chunnu came up with announcement after a meeting with the representatives of garment owners and workers at Secretariat.
Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), was also present at the meeting.
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daily star bd  NEWAGEnew  INDEPENDENT  banglanews24NEW  DHAKATRIBUNE   FE bd
BSS

* Pay salaries, bonuses to RMG workers by July 26:

The government yesterday asked the owners of country’s readymade garment (RMG) factories to pay the salaries and Eid bonus of their workers by July 26.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry Mujibul Haque Chunnu disclosed it while briefing the media after a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and trade unions at the Secretariat in the capital.

“The RMG factory owners also assured of paying the salaries and Eid bonus of their workers by July 26,” the minister added. Every year, labour unrest is experienced at various RMG factories just before the Eid following the salaries and Eid bonus of RMG factory workers.
Often, heavy congestion is created in the highways ahead of Eid due to the demonstration of RMG factory workers through blocking roads.
The meeting was held in line with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive to avoid labour commotion over salaries and bonus just ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, Chunnu said.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

* Factory owners agree to pay apparel workers by July 26:

Apparel factory owners on Tuesday agreed to pay the workers partial wages of current month and festival allowance by July 26 ahead of Eid.

‘The factory owners have agreed to pay apparel workers partial wages of the current month along with festival allowance by July 26 so that all of them could celebrate Eid with their families in a better manner,’ state minister for labour Mujibul Haque told reporters after he held a meeting with the factory owners and labour leaders at the secretariat.
He said, the owners would decide how much they will pay as Eid bonus according to their abilities since the labour law says nothing about it.
Representatives from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association assured the government and the labour leaders that they would help factory owners in paying the wages and festival allowances to the workers by the deadline.
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NEWAGEnew DHAKATRIBUNE

LW + 2

20140715

05:05:57 local time map of china CHINA

* Shanghai enjoys highest minimum wage in China:

15 provinces or cities have recently raised their minimum wage, and Shanghai enjoys the highest monthly minimum wage and hourly minimum wage, 1,820 yuan and 17 yuan respectively, according to a report from Chinanews.com.

The minimum wage of the class-Aregions of eastern China’s Jiangxi Province stands at 1,390 yuan, an increase of 160 yuan from last year. The minimum wage in Southwestern Guizhou Provinceis 1,250 yuan, and in northern Inner Mongolia 1,500 yuan.
The 15 provinces or cities include Sichuan Province, Chongqing Municipality, Shannxi Province, Shandong Province and Shenzhencity. (One US dollar=6.2 yuan)
read more.
people rood

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* After Factory Ignores Ruling, Garment Workers to March:

Employees of the Ocean Garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district continued to protest Monday against management’s decision to ignore an Arbitration Council ruling on owed wages.

Cheng Chhorn, secretary general of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said the workers will march to the Labor Ministry today, and may also petition Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet, which usually means a brief meeting with a cabinet representative at Wat Botum Park.

“Almost certainly we will march to Hun Sen’s cabinet because representatives of the Labor Ministry give us nothing,” he said.

The Arbitration Council ruled last week that employees of the factory—which suspended operations in May due to a lack of orders—were each entitled to $120 furlough pay.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Unions to stick with push for $160 wage:

The majority of union representatives attending a minimum wage forum yesterday favoured pushing for a $160 floor wage for Cambodia’s garment sector next year.

“Why don’t we set [minimum wage] at $160? That’s what we’ve been advocating for,” asked Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers.

Few of the government or factory-affiliated unions invited to the meeting organised by the independent Cambodian Union Confederation (CLC) attended yesterday’s event, and those who showed up remained silent when the wage issue arose.

Sina and others seemed to take little note of CLC president Ath Thorn asking about a back-up offer in case those attending next week’s official conference held by the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) pushed for less.

“Why don’t we ask them to do it in 2014? Why let them exploit us longer?” Workers Friendship Union Federation president Seam Sambath said.
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PPP new

* Trade Unions Approve Minimum Wage, Draft Law Proposals:

Representatives from 25 trade unions Monday sent a request to the Ministry of Labor seeking several changes to a controversial draft union law and asking that a new $160 monthly minimum wage for the country’s volatile garment sector take effect in October.

Garment factory owners say the current preponderance of unions makes it nearly impossible to effectively negotiate with workers. Unions not aligned with the ruling CPP fear the new law would further tighten what they consider an already restrictive environment for independent trade groups.

“With this law, employers will be able to violate workers’ rights legally if some provisions are not changed,” Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said during Monday’s meeting. “Unions have the right to complain already, so why do we need this law?”

Mr. Thorn, who heads the largest independent trade union in the country, would like to see the government scrap its plans for the law altogether. The request the unions passed Monday, however, simply recommends several changes to the draft.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

$160 We Need

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 500 garment units facing problems in paying salary, bonus:

20140715 DAILYSTAR 500-rmg-salary

Nearly 500 garment factories are under watch of the industrial police as the units are still not ready to pay worker salary and bonus before Eid-ul-Fitr.

The industrial police have prepared a list of such factories in five zones — Dhaka, Chittagong, Savar, Narayanganj and Ashulia — and are holding meetings with owners to avert any untoward incident.
Owners of many factories are yet to pay salaries of June, though workers demand salaries of July and festival bonus before the 20th of Ramadan, Abdus Salam, director general of industrial police, said yesterday.

Workers of some factories have already staged demonstrations for salary and bonus, he said.
“Many owners have agreed to pay festival bonus and 15 days’ salary of July before Eid,” Salam said.
The workers are also bargaining for additional leave during the festival as many will go to their villages, but the owners are against granting such leave due to strict lead-time, Salam said.

However, Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the number of vulnerable factories that are struggling to pay salaries would be around 250.
The BGMEA is keeping close watch on these factories, Azim said.
“Initially, the number of such factories was around 1,000. We negotiated with the owners and many of them agreed to pay the workers now,” he said.
Azim said many factories might not be able to pay salaries of two months and bonus at one go, but may pay salaries of June, 15 days of July and the festival bonus.
read more.
daily star bd

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Mean and petty labour reforms:

Even decades after independence, the introduction of a ‘secret ballot’ for labourers to recognise trade unions remains elusive

The National Democratic Alliance government, on June 5 and June 17, notified the proposed amendments to the Factories Act, 1948 and the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.

Given that the process of amendments began in 2008 and went through a number of expert committees, one would have expected the amendments to be carefully thought-out. On the contrary, they are petty, anti-labour and poorly conceived.
Given also that these are the Narendra Modi-led government’s first pronouncements on labour, one can only lament the absence of a vision that a global power ought to have: that increased productivity comes from having satisfied workers, who produce quality products.

One would have thought that since these two statutes have hardly been implemented, the emphasis would have been on bringing in amendments to make them effective.
The Thermal Power station case, decided by the Supreme Court recently, had on record data showing hundreds of workers dying prematurely and over 50 per cent of the workforce suffering from lung diseases, deafness and other occupational illnesses.
The Commonwealth Games case decided by the Delhi High Court found workers living in conditions akin to bondage — without safety equipment, sleeping in sheds without mattresses and fans, and using toilets without doors and water.
This is the reality of labour in India.

Unfair to women
So what do the amendments to the Factory Act suggest?
Instead of suggesting that in globalised India, where workers ought to work for eight hours as per the international norm, they suggest that Section 56 be amended to increase the working day to spreadover 10/ hours to 12 hours; that under Section 65(2), compulsory overtime be increased from 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours, and that under Section 66, women not be allowed to work after 7 p.m., unless a specific notification is issued qua a particular factory that is capable of demonstrating that it has facilities in place to guarantee the safety of women workers.

Thus, instead of statutorily making it the norm that men and women work equal hours, women have been penalised.
Though the Supreme Court has laid down that storage in factories of hazardous substances attracts strict liability or no excuse standard for liability, Section 7(b) lays down that the employer must ensure — “as far as practicable” — that the substance is safe. Section 99 enables an employer to employ children.

Any person up to the age of 18 is a child under the Juvenile Justice Act. Under the Factories Act, however, the ceiling continues at the obsolete level of 14 years. Moreover, the parents will be punished, not the employer.

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, was enacted to progressively introduce minimum wages in a situation where industries were gradually being established.
Thus, it did not cover all workers, but only workers in notified industries — only a part of the workforce. Domestic workers, for example, are not covered. In a globalised economy one needs to shift to universal coverage.
What was needed was a simple amendment saying that those not covered by the existing notifications would be covered by a residual notification.
This seems to be coming in by amendment.
However, this residual minimum wage will be the lowest of all the minimum wages notified.
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THEHINDU

LW + 2

20140714

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Getting on the same page:

20140714 PPP Workers-Factory-protest
Garment workers rally in front of the Ministry of Labour in December last year during a protest demanding a minimum wage rise. Photo by Heng Chivoan.

In what is shaping up to be the first of several pivotal garment wage talks, unions are to meet for the first time today to discuss the amount they should request for next year’s minimum wage – but labour leaders and observers say coming to a consensus will be difficult, if not impossible.

Up to 50 representatives of pro-government, pro-opposition, pro-factory and independent unions are scheduled to gather at the Green Palace Hotel in Phnom Penh at 8am. The event was organised by the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) and several international labour organisations.

The meeting comes a week before an official two-day workshop of the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC). Floor wages at the Kingdom’s garment and shoe factories stand at $100 per month.

“The only question is how strong the unions can work together,” said Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC). “How can the unions maintain their solidarity?”

Following discussions this month, union leaders will meet with factory representatives in August, followed by a September forum at the Ministry of Labour that will include government officials. The LAC, comprising government officials, industry representatives and union representatives, is scheduled to set next year’s minimum wage in October, which will then go into effect on January 1.

Without divulging the lowest wage his organisation could accept, CLC president Ath Thorn said $160 per month is reasonable, but that the figure could go as low as the $140 range. But the wide variety of interests in play poses obstacles.
read more.
PPP new

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Labour unrest could flare up at 506 garment factories:

Labour unrest might flare up at 506 apparel factories at Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong ahead of Eid on the demand of payment of wages and festival bonus, industrial police cautioned the authorities in a report Thursday.

The industrial police in the report submitted to the home ministry explained the overall situation facing the apparel industry.
The unrest could affect production at 506 out of the country’s 3,655 apparel factories, the industrial police cautioned the authorities.
In the report industrial police expressed the apprehension that the unrests could flare up at 506 factories in the four hubs due to delays or non payment of wages and festival bonus to workers in time to facilitate workers’ Eid celebrations.

According to sources, out of 506 factories, 225 are affiliated to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 83 are members of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 16 are members of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association and the rest are unaffiliated.
BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim told New Age Sunday that 250 affiliated garment factories might fail to pay the wages and festival bonus to their workers in time due to business slowing down.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* 280 RMG factories unable to pay wages and bonus before Eid:

The factories have been identified and brought under close monitoring as those are not capable to meet the expenditure before Eid, according to BGMEA and BKMEA executives

Around 280 apparel factory owners are unable to pay the wages and festival bonus to the workers as per their demand before the upcoming Eid-Ul-Fitr. 

The factories have been identified and brought under close monitoring as those are not capable to meet the expenditure before Eid, according to BGMEA and BKMEA executives.

However, labour leaders accused the garment owners of the dilly-dally in paying the workers’ wages and festival bonus due to their “unwillingness.”

Although the government has already disbursed Tk734 core as cash export subsidies for the RMG sector, the sector has reportedly been suffering from fund shortage.

Among the troubled factories, 93 are located in the Chittagong district while 137 are located in Dhaka, Naryangong, Savar, Gazipur and Ashulia, a BGMEA high official told the Dhaka Tribune on condition anonymity.
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DHAKATRIBUNE

* RMG workers rally for arrears and festival allowance before Eid:

Leaders of National Garments Workers Federation on Sunday at a human chain in Dhaka demanded paying the wages and festival allowance of the garment workers within Ramadan 20.

The federation formed a one hour human chain in front of the National Press Club at 11:00am to press their demands.
Amirul Haque Amin, the president of the organisation called on the Awami League-led government to take steps to pay the wages and bonus of the apparel workers within Ramadan 20.
He also called on the government to take steps for holding meetings between the management and the workers’ leaders to avoid labour unrests in the factories before Eid-ul-Fitr.

In past years, Amirul said, the factory owners did not pay the wages and the festival allowance properly in due time resulting the labour unrests before Eid.
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NEWAGEnew DHAKATRIBUNE

* Speakers for minimum national wage for women:

Speakers at a discussion here today suggested fixation of minimum national wage for marginal workers to ensure fair rights of wage for working-class women in labour market.

“Achieving economic emancipation for women will not be possible unless equal rights of wage for women are not ensured in workplaces . . . if minimum national wage is announced such disproportion will gradually be eliminated,” said state minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroz Chumki while speaking at the publication of a research report styled “Economic Justice for Women”.

Steps Towards Development, an NGO, conducted the research in cooperation with World Vision. Member of the parliamentary standing committee on labour and employment affairs ministry Chhabi Biswas, executive director of Ain-o-Salish Kendra Advocate Sultana Kamal, president of Mahila Parishad Ayesha Khanom, economist Prof MM Akash, Mamun Rashid and joint secretary of labour and employment affairs ministry Khandaker Mostan Hossain, among others, took part in the discussion.
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BSS

* Govt urged to abolish discriminatory laws:

Speakers at a discussion urged the government Sunday to abolish or revise all the discriminatory laws and provisions and social culture that deter women from property rights.  

Around 82 per cent women do not have any ownership on inherited or purchased property though women entrepreneurs or workers are playing a significant role on asset creation, according to a research finding.

They said declaration of national minimum wage for different informal sectors will help control gender- based wage discrimination.

They said social justice is a very important factor in economic justice system, it cannot be ensured without addressing social and legal discrimination in the society.

These were uttered at a national sharing of research report on Economic justice for women: fair wage, rights on resources and property, and market access perspectives at CIRDAP auditorium. Steps Towards Development and World Vision Bangladesh jointly organised the programme.
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FE bd

* Women workers still paid less than men:

Reveals a study of STD, World Vision Bangladesh

Women workers are still paid less then men in agriculture and construction sectors in the country, revealed a study conducted on 68 female and 51 male labourers.

Key findings of the study titled “Economic Justice for Women” were presented by Ranjan Karmakar, executive director of Steps Towards Development (STD), at a seminar in Cirdap auditorium in the capital yesterday.
According to the findings, 32 percent of the female respondents get less than Tk 100 a day while the percentage of the male respondents earning the same wages is only 6.
It also showed that 56 percent of the male workers get Tk 200-400 daily where only 7 percent of the women workers get the same amount in similar jobs.
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daily star bd NEWAGEnew

LW + 2

20140711-13

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Workers apathetic about wage hike:

20140713 VNNet

Workers are showing apathy toward the Vietnam National Wage Council’s effort to seek public opinion on how much the minimum wage should be increased by in 2015 due to it likely having little impact on their socio-economic status.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) asserted that the base wage should not be increased by more than 12 per cent. This figure was calculated based on GDP and inflation.

Disagreeing with the VCCI, Mai Duc Chinh, deputy general director of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, insisted that the wage must increase by more than 12 per cent because “only in that way will workers’ lives be improved.”

Workers seem to care little about the upcoming pay rise.

Bui Thi Thuong, a 27-year-old worker at ASTI Electronics Ltd., said the increase would not affect her higher than base monthly wage of VND3 million (around $95) but said she “will have to pay more social insurance while not receiving a higher salary.”

Nguyen Thi Thuan, an employee of Canon Vietnam said, “Rather than the retirement pension being raised, the minimum salary is being increased, our wages would be better if it stayed the same. Workers suffer from a higher living cost regardless of the minimum wage going up.”
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VNNet

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodia garment workers struggle to survive:

20140712 NEWAGE

After a 10-hour shift stitching clothes for western brands, Cambodian factory worker Ry Srey Bopha walks to her tiny shared room, eats leftovers, then sleeps on the floor.

Like many of Cambodia’s 6,50,000 garment workers, who are overwhelmingly women, Bopha’s days are monotonous and exhausting, and her diet is poor.
She rarely sees her five-year-old daughter, who is being raised by an elderly grandparent in the countryside.
‘Life in the garment factories is very difficult,’ she told the AFP. ‘But I need the money so I just try to be patient.’
Once hailed as a model for sweatshop-free manufacturing, Cambodia’s booming garment sector has seen working conditions deteriorate as the number of factories has swelled.
As money and orders have flooded into the industry in recent years, new factories have emerged ‘that either don’t know what legal requirements are… or don’t care,’ said Jason Judd, a technical specialist with the International Labour Organisation’s Better Factories Cambodia programme.

‘They’re not paying attention to legal compliance. They’re focused on making money,’ he said.
From a violent strike in January, in which four workers died after police fired live ammunition at protesters, to repeated mass faintings on the factory floor, the once praised sector has had its reputation dented, alarming some top western brands.
But workers say that despite the publicity surrounding the protests and some nominal wage increases since, little has changed.

“We’re a pitiful part of this garment industry,’ Bopha said, adding that she had recently passed out on the job after inhaling fumes from chemicals used on the clothes.
‘Even if we’re sick and cannot work they cut out salaries. We work when we’re ill.’
Bopha works six days a week, starting her shift at 7am and often finishing late at night as she does extra overtime to make ends meet.
‘Sometimes, we have to work overtime all night,’ she said, adding that she usually took home around $130 a month of which she sent $50 home to her family.
‘I often eat leftover rice as I need to save money,’ she said, adding her only hope was that her daughter would have a better life than her.

Many female workers say conditions in the factories are such that they are forced to choose between their family and their job.
‘I can’t keep my daughter here as there is no childcare at the factory,’ said worker Ton Sam Ol, who has a month-old baby.
Ol planned to ask her mother to care for the baby or ‘I’ll have to quit,’ she told AFP while breastfeeding the tiny infant.
Ol was given a small amount of paid maternity leave but many factories have taken to employing female workers on short-term contracts to avoid paying such benefits, union leaders say.
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NEWAGEnew MY sinchew BUSINESSRECORDER globalpost THEHINDU daily star bd MALAYonLINE
FREEMALAYSIATODAY bangkokpost gulftimes

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 30 injured as apparel workers demonstrate for dues in Savar, Ibrahimpur:

20140712 UNB RMG-clash

Apparel workers in Savar and Ibrahimpur in Dhaka went out on demonstrations demanding payment of their due wages and festival allowance on Saturday.

Workers of Surma Garments of Savar Textile Group in Aicha Noadda area began skipping works demanding payment of their two-months’ due wage and festival allowance after the owners did not pay the wages on the day.
The workers complained that giving 15-day salary of July month the factory owners declared the factory closed. Later, agitated workers took position on Savar Birulia road.

Meanwhile, police fired tear shells disperse agitating workers. The workers said at least 20 of their fellows sustained injuries in the police action.
Workers of two garment factories in near Dhaka Export Processing Zone also staged sit in program.
Besides, workers of another garment factory staged protest procession in Ashulia Ziarani Bazaar area.
The director of Ashulia Industrial Police-1, Mostafizur Rahman, said workers of Surma Garments went out on demonstration inside the factory after they did not get due wages on the scheduled day on Saturday.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
NEWAGEnew banglanews24NEW UNBnew INDEPENDENT DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

* RMG workers clash with staff, cops for arrears again:

30 demonstrators hurt in Savar; 150 block road in Mirpur-14 on similar demand

At least 30 people were injured in a clash among the workers and management staff of a garment factory and Industrial Police at Aichanorda in Savar outside the capital yesterday when the workers were demonstrating at their workplace demanding their salaries of June.

Police and factory sources said the workers of Surma Garments Ltd started demonstration in the morning.
During the demonstration, some miscreants hired by the factory authorities beat three workers Mahfuz Rahman, Md Alauddin and Lokman who were leading the movement, an allegation of the demonstrators denied the factory Deputy General Manager Md Moshiur Iqram.
Afterwards, the workers ransacked the factory, triggering the clash that injured around 30 people from the workers and staff, said witnesses.
Sahadat Hosen, Sadek Ali and Ahsan Habid were among the injured staff, said Moshiur.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd NEWAGEnew

* RMG workers demand Eid bonus equivalent to a months wage:

The Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra apprehended Friday that the readymade garment (RMG) factory owners might be hatching a conspiracy for not paying Eid bonus or paying nominal bonus to the RMG workers, reports UNB.

It demanded that the Eid bonus to the workers should be equivalent to the monthly wages.

The concern and demand were voiced from a human chain programme arranged by Khilgaon-Malibagh regional committee of the trade union in front of Khilgaon Taltala market in the capital.

Addressing the programme, the leaders of Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra also demanded that the RMG workers be paid their July wages and Eid bonus before Ramadan 20.

Leaders of the trade union Jolly Talukder, Mohammad Suman, Nila Akter, Marjina Begum, Mohammad Shahin and Jahangir, among others, spoke at the programme.
to read.
FE bd

about brands and about…

* Tailored Wages – new report investigates clothing brands’ work on living wages:

20140712 CCCirl Tailored-Wages

Survey of 39 leading clothing brands on Irish high-street show they must do much more to ensure garment workers receive a wage they can live on.

Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland has launched ‘Tailored Wages’ an in depth study of what the leading 39 clothing brands on the Irish and European high-street are doing to ensure that the workers who produce the clothes they sell are paid a living wage.

 Based on a multi-brand survey “Tailored Wages” found that whilst half of those surveyed included wording in their codes of conduct saying that wages should be enough to meet workers’ basic needs; only four brands – Inditex (Zara), Marks & Spencers, Switcher and Tchibo – were able to show any clear steps towards implementing this – and even they have a long way to go before a living wage becomes a reality for the garment workers that produce for them.
read more.
cccirl

* Tailored Wages:

20140712 LBL TailoredWages

Highstreet fashion – everyone wants it fast and cheap.
But what does this mean for the workers who make our clothes?

Labour Behind the Label asked the UK’s top 40 high street retailers and influential European brands what they are doing to ensure the workers who make their clothes are paid a LIVING WAGE – enough to meet their basic needs and the needs of their families. The results are here for you to browse.

Find out what your favourite brand is doing to improve workers’ rights
read more. & read more.
labour behind the label labour behind the label

* FWF launches first new Brand Performance:

Fair Wear Foundation is launching its new Brand Performance Checks system. On Thursday the first new reports go online.

The high level of transparency into the operations of FWF member brands, allows FWF to provide more directed feedback, so brands can set clear targets on how to improve labour conditions.

Through the Brand Performance Check system, FWF publicly reports on how the decisions of clothing brands support human rights compliance in their supply chains. The system includes a scoring and benchmarking element.
Brand performance is evaluated against a range of indicators.
Does production planning support reasonable working hours?
How does it follow up on complaints from workers?
What actions does a brand take to implement living wages?
read more.
fairwear

* Will Adidas garment workers share in its World Cup profit? :

With Adidas set to make €2bn from football related sales, the Cambodian garment workers behind its merchandise are still fighting for a fair wage

The World Cup represents a huge pay cheque for corporate sponsors – the chance to associate products with athleticism and global excitement.

Official sponsor Adidas has kitted out both teams in the World Cup final, as well as officials, referees and volunteers. Screens will be filled with their logo and as such, Adidas predicts that it will make €2bn in football-related sales, in large part thanks to its association with the tournament as sports fans rush to buy merchandise.

But behind each football boot or shirt is an assembly line of garment workers in countries such as Cambodia who have crafted each item. Can they expect to receive any part of this €2bn windfall? Will they receive a bonus cheque for propelling Adidas to the top of the sports market?

While football merchandise sells on a vision of good health, in Cambodia factory workers are struggling to get by on wages so low that malnutrition and fainting fits are rife.
The accepted number of calories needed for an adult to carry out a day’s labour is 3,000, yet research by Labour Behind the Label and the Community Legal Education Centre in Phenom Penh has shown that Cambodian garment workers are only able to afford an average of 1,598 calories a day – half the required amount.

The problem is that the minimum wage in Cambodia is just 25% of the living wage.
A living wage is the amount needed to adequately cover food, rent, education, transport, healthcare and which allows for a small amount of savings to begin to break the cycle of poverty.
It is a standard enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to Tailored Wages (pdf), a report from the Clean Clothes Campaign, a living wage in Cambodia would be €285.83 whereas the minimum wage is just €72.64.

Jyrki Raina is the general secretary of global trade union IndustriALL, and believes brands can have an impact on the setting of wages by agreeing to pay higher prices for products. It is a concession that would only have a ‘fractional’ impact on the cost of each item for consumers.
“We’ve been working intensely with around 30 brands, including Adidas,” Raina says. “We’re in negotiations with the Cambodian government, garment employers and unions to secure a process that moves people from poverty wages towards living wages.”
(…)
But not everyone is convinced that Adidas plays fair.
The Clean Clothes Campaign point to a recent article by Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer which stated that the increased cost of wages in China has prompted Adidas to grow production elsewhere.
read more.
GUARDIAN

* Dignity needed:

In factories in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and more, the people who make our clothes live in poverty, usually earning just half of what they need to meet their basic needs and care for their families.

In the UK at least, this is an industry that on paper supports the principle of a living wage. Most high street fashion brands have the commitment to pay a living wage written into their ethical codes. But little is being done to deliver this into the pay packets of workers who desperately need it.

The spirit of football is meant to be unity and fair play. But it takes a garment worker 18 months to earn what Herbert Hainer makes on his lunch break!

This is unacceptable! Join our campaign to ask Adidas to go #ALLIN for a living wage.
Read more.
labour behind the label

LW + 2

20140709

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment worker crackdown – six months on:

For “the 23”, life after prison is filled with painful memories and worries about their future.

Six months ago, on January 2 and 3, they were arrested during a violent crackdown on protesting garment workers that killed four and left one missing.

Five weeks after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted but released the 23, they are coming to terms with what this will mean for their lives and for the future of their campaign to raise the minimum average wage to $160 per month.
see video report.
PPP new

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG factory owners for release of cash incentives:

Payment of wages before Eid to be difficult

A large number of readymade garment (RMG) factory owners may face difficulties in paying wages and allowances to their workers if the government does not release committed cash incentive on time before Eid-ul Fitr, industry insiders said.

It usually takes 15 to 20 days for the exporters concerned to get cash incentive after its release from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). So, it will be very difficult to provide wages and allowances to their workers before Eid if funds are not cleared from the very beginning of Ramadan, they pointed out.

The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) has sought cash incentive to be cleared by July 10 next, officials said.

They said acting President of the association Mohammad Hatem recently sent a letter to Finance Minister AMA Muhith seeking release of cash subsidy.

The government released Tk 6.48 billion in April last. But the allocation for the apparel exporters was Tk. 5.55 billion. At that time, they had applied for Tk 8.50 billion. There was a deficit of some Tk 3.50 billion then.
read more.
FE bd

* 20 RMG workers hurt in clash with cops:

They demand arrears from shutdown garment company in N’ganj

At least 20 workers of a garment factory were injured in a clash that ensued when police tried to stop them from blocking Dhaka-Narayanganj link road yesterday.

The workers of Radical Design Ltd, a company closed for six months, took to the streets and tried to block the road in Shibu Market area demanding payment of arrears.
The authorities kept promising them to pay their arrears but did not keep their words.
Inspector Rezaul Karim of Industrial Police said several hundred workers vandalised vehicles around 3:30pm.

When police tried to disperse the demonstrators they started throwing brick chips at the law enforcers triggering the clash.
Later, police brought the situation under control by firing 12 bullets, said police.
On June 15, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), fearing labour unrest in the zone due to the closed factory, sent a letter to State Minister for Labour and Employment Mojibul Haque Chunnu.
A garment inspector in the zone recently filed a case with the labour court asking to pay the arrears of the worker’s salary selling the assets of the Canadian owner of the garment.
to read.
daily star bd

* RMG workers stage demo for wages at Badda:

Workers of a readymade garments (RMG) factory staged a demonstration at North Badda in the city to press for payment of their due wages on Wednesday, disrupting traffic on the Rampura-Badda Road.

Police said the workers of Toba Garments factory took to the street at around 9:50am demanding their outstanding wages of three months and overtime.
They blocked the busy road halting traffic movement.
On information, additional force of police was deployed in the area to avert further trouble.
to read.
UNBnew

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Raise wages: textile workers:

Loadmen, and others employed in the textile sector took out a rally here on Tuesday demanding that wages be raised.

Under the aegis of Erode District All Loadmen Central Unions Coordination Committee, the workers took out a rally from Chokkanathan Street to Brough Road via Brinda Nagar, Easwarankoil Street, Tiruvenkataveethi, NMS Compound, and Brough Road.
They subsequently submitted a petition containing their demand.
to read.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20140705-07

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers Continue Strike Over Change to Pay Day:

About 1,000 workers from the Canteran factory in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district continued to strike on Saturday over a decision to push back the day they are paid.

The workers have been on strike since Thursday after being told they will be paid on the 10th day of the month instead of the fifth or sixth.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said the policy change had come without prior warning.

“The workers have to pay their rents, food costs and other expenses, since they are due that day,” he said.
Yin Sotha, 34, factory representative of the Collective Union, said the managers of the factory, which supplies garments to U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart, had been consistently late in paying workers for months before announcing the official change.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Workers at CEPZ foreign factory carries ransack for wage hike:

The workers of a Readymade garment (RMG) at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) ransacked in a Hong Kong-based foreign factory, demanding wage hike and summer allowances on Sunday.

CEPZ thana police said the workers were agitating since 8am this morning at the ‘Denim Jeans Limited’, a Hong Kong-based factory, demanding 10 percent hike on their gross wages and summer allowances at the Sector-7 of the EPZ.

Officer in Charge of CEPZ thana Abul Monsure said over 2000 workers started vandalizing the factory at one stage of their demonstration.
“Police rushed to the spot and took control of the situation,” he said.

Nazim Uddin, a worker of ‘Denim Jeans Limited’ claimed that they were got a 10 percent hike on their gross wages. However, the factory owners gave them a 10 percent increment on basis of their basic wages, he alleged.
read more. & to read.
BSS FE bd

* RMG workers stage protests in Savar, CEPZ:

Workers of Green Life factory had put work on hold since yesterday morning

Ready-made garment (RMG) workers of several factories in Dhaka and Chittagong staged protests yesterday in their respective factories over wage-related issues.

In the capital’s Savar area, workers of Green Life Knit Composite Ltd and ZA Apparels Ltd in Ashulia and Snow White Composite Ltd in Akran staged protests over the delay in wage payment, reports our Savar correspondent.

Workers of Green Life factory had put work on hold since yesterday morning as the factory owners failed to pay their due wages of two months on Saturday as promised, said several factory workers as well as police sources.

In Snow White factory, workers staged an agitation movement and vandalised the factory as the owners owed them three months’ pay and were stalling the payments.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Labouring for flexibility:

Rigid labour laws have had serious implications for industry, which now hopes that Rajasthan’s initial steps will be replicated in other states

In the Budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly starting next week, the Vasundhara Raje-led government in Rajasthan will table amendments to certain labour-related Acts.

If passed by the House and approved by the President, employers in Rajasthan will have the right to retrench up to 300 workers without seeking the permission of the government, up from 100 currently. There will also be a three-year limit within which to raise disputes, the percentage of workers needed to register a union will be increased from 15 per cent to 30 per cent and the provisions of the Contract Labour Act will be applicable only to companies with more than 50 workers, as opposed to 20 at present.

Simultaneously, the Union government has also proposed changes to four labour-related laws – Minimum Wages Act, Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, Factories Act and Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers) Act – and has invited comments about the amendments.
This includes standardising minimum wages nationally and doing away with a rule that prohibits women from working in factories at night.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Welcome relief: 10.5% raise in loom workers’ wages:

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Noorul Amin Mengal on Sunday announced a 10.5% increase in the wages of power loom workers in Faisalabad district.

The DCO was chairing a meeting in this regard. He said the increase in the power loom workers’ wages was imperative due to the prevailing price hike and inflation.

“The poor loom workers labour day and night, but their hard work is cashed on by factory owners, who do not pay them they due wages,” the DCO said.
He ordered all power loom owners to ensure that the workers’ wages were increased. “All factory owners should raise the salaries of their employees. Otherwise, legal action will be taken against them,” he said.
The DCO also formed a committee to ensure that the orders were implemented. MNA Mian Abdul Manan will supervise the working of the committee and address problems of power loom workers.
to read.
tribune

LW + 2

20140704

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Hundreds to march after failed factory talks:

Workers at a Preah Sihanouk province garment factory plan to march to Provincial Hall today, after negotiations fell apart between management and employees demanding the reinstatement of five workers sacked for declining overtime work.

The strike at Pollysa (Cambodia) Home Textile factory began on Wednesday, two days after the workers were terminated for declining to work overtime hours, said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW).

More than 200 workers protesting the firings demand a total of 17 points, including a daily 2,000 riel ($0.50) food allowance during overtime worked and for management to treat workers in a more respectful manner, Sina said.

Officials from Pollysa could not be reached for comment.
Provincial Labour Department director Yov Khemera yesterday said the case will be submitted to the Aribtration Council.
to read.
PPP new

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU settles Woven and Crochet textiles sector 2014 wage negotiations:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has settled its 2014 wage negotiations in the woven and crochet textiles sector, after the second round of negotiations.

The settlement package is 8% covering wages and an improvement in family responsibility leave.
Approximately 1500 workers in 30 factories, nationally, will benefit from this increase. SACTWU’s final package demand was 8%.
The agreement was reached under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council, between SACTWU and the Narrow Fabric Manufacturers Association.

The agreement was signed yesterday,  2 July  by the employers. The union is expected to sign the agreement by close of business today.
The increases will be effective from 1 July 2014.
Workers can expect the increase to reflect during next week’s pay run.
to read.
SACTWU

ACTION

* The spirit of football is meant to be fair play-  Tell Adidas to go “all in” for a living wage:

An estimated 3.5 billion people, or half the world’s population, will tune in to watch this years’ FIFA World Cup, leaving sponsors scrambling to capture fans imaginations.

For sportswear giant Adidas the potential return is huge, after spending £62million in order “to make the World Cup in Brazil the best World Cup ever” – for the Adidas brand. Adidas expects to make €1.7billion from the sale of football merchandise this year alone and Adidas’s CEO Herbert Hainer hopes the Cup will catapult the Adidas Group into pole position as leader of the sportswear industry.

Through flashy ads, acclaimed and influential spokespeople, and catchy slogans, Adidas is harnessing the world’s passion for the World Cup to grow their brand profile and profits.

As Adidas is encouraging the world to go all in, for garment workers around the world, they have no choice but to go all in for close to nothing. A majority of the world’s garment workers are young women struggling to survive on their poverty wages. At its core, the garment industry continues to perpetuate a system of extreme inequality, providing inordinate wealth for the privileged few, while condemning the vast majority of workers in the supply chain to unconscionable poverty.
read more.

Join our campaign to ensure that Adidas goes all in for a living wage.
Sign and share the petition: Here
labour behind the label

LW + 2

20140703

05:05:57 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Workers mark Wage Law’s 25th year with DOLE protest:

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marked the 25th year of the implementation of the law regionalizing wage fixing in the country with a rally in front of the Department of Labor and Employment’s main office in Intramuros, Manila, slamming the law for pressing down wages in the country.

The labor group said that since the Wage Rationalization Law was implemented on July 1, 1989, workers received only meager adjustments that has widened the gap betwen the minimum wage and the family living wage.

“The Wage Rationalization Law was designed to ward off a significant wage hike and therefore press down wages. It has contributed to the worsening hunger and poverty being experienced by workers and their families and should be junked,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

The labor leader cited a May 2013 study of independent think-tank Ibon Foundation which shows that the gap between the minimum wage in Metro Manila and the family living wage has increased by 108.7 per cent since March 2003.

“Wage levels show the living condition of the country’s workers. Since the Wage Rationalization Law was implemented, the living condition of Filipino workers has only further deteriorated,” Soluta added.
read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 200 Workers Protest Against Forced Overtime:

About 200 workers from the Chinese-owned Pollysa (Cambodia) Home Textile factory in Sihanoukville protested Wednesday against the overtime they were being forced to work and the firing of 20 employees earlier this week who refused the extra hours, workers and a union representative said.

Starting at about 11 a.m., some 100 workers protested outside the special economic zone that hosts the factory, while another 100 protested inside and were prevented from leaving the building until 5 p.m., said Pao Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers.

“The factory is abusing labor rights by firing 20 workers when they refused to work overtime and demanded their labor rights. They keep threatening the workers from the factory again and again, forcing them to work,” he said.

Non Thary, 26, who joined Wednesday’s protest, said the factory’s actions were unacceptable.

“The employers are exploiting us,” she said. “They order us to work after our full time but will not pay us compensation. They called us to work for two hours, but we were not paid. When we request a day off when we are sick, they fire us. Do they want the workers to die in the factory?”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Labor committee details schedule for wage talks: report:

The Labor Advisory Committee has asked unions and employers to start separate internal talks on wages this month under a schedule it approved in June, an industry source says.

In a report late Wednesday, Fibre2fashion.com said the 28-member committee had agreed that the talks would be followed by discussions between the two sides in August.

The government is scheduled to join the talks in September, the report said, adding that any vote on the issue would take place in October with new wages taking effect on January 1.

The committee, comprising members of all three groups, agreed last year to raise the minimum monthly wage from $80 to $95.
Following protests by garment factory workers seeking $160 a month, the minimum monthly wage was later raised to $100.
to read.
CAMHERALD

05:05:57 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Presidential candidates seek support of Indonesia’s unions:

Indonesia’s labour unions have gotten into the fray of the presidential elections — they are pressing for salary hikes in exchange for workers’ support for the presidential candidates.

Indonesia’s labour unions have gotten into the fray of the presidential elections — they are pressing for salary hikes in exchange for workers’ support for the presidential candidates.

Not only do their sizeable numbers make them an important support base for candidates, observers said tackling labour issues would be a key task for next president if the government wants to create more jobs for Indonesians.

Some union workers have thrown their support behind Prabowo Subianto as Indonesia’s next president — in return for their backing, Mr Prabowo has signed a 10-point agreement with their six million member-strong confederation that includes an increase in minimum wage.
read more.
channelnewsasia

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Over 1,000 RMG factories face unrest ahead of Eid:

Garment manufacturers have identified over 1,000 factories that risk labour unrest ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr over payment of wages and festival allowances.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the apex trade body of the apparel makers, identified the factories in readymade garment (RMG) hubs in Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Tongi and Savar, sector insiders said.

They said a large number of factories had been struggling to pay the workers their monthly wages and other facilities for a long time. So, labour unrest might break out there any time.
An investigation committee of the BGMEA has submitted a report to the trade body in this connection.

“We have found out more than 1,000 RMG) factories that will not be able to pay wages and festival allowances before the Eid. As a result, labour unrest may break out in a large number of factories”, convener of the investigation team SM Mannan Kochi told the FE.

He said most of the factories were small and medium-size ones and they were faced with a shortage of fresh work orders.
read more.
FE bd

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU settles Carpet Textiles sector wage negotiations:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has settled its 2014 wage negotiations for the Carpets sector.

A dispute was declared after the 3rd round and settlement was reached during conciliation which took place on 25th June 2014.
The settlement package is 7.75%  covering a wage increase and an improved service allowance. The Union’s settlement demand was 8%. Approximately 1000 workers from 4 factories, nationally, will benefit from this increase.
The settlement was reached under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council.
Increase is effective from 1st July 2014
to read.
SACTWU

LW + 2

20140701

04:05:57 local time map of laos LAOS

* Lao minimum wage under debate:

Various sectors have met here in the capital to discuss the possibility of a raise to the minimum wage, according to state-run daily Vientiane Times on Monday.

Representatives from the Lao Federation of Trade Union, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare are debating the possible change. This would be the sixth minimum wage adjustment since 1991.

The wage rise is being considered to help better cater for the cost of living, to help people improve their living standards, and to counteract a labor shortage in the country.
read more.
CHINAORG

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Wage Plan Set; Some Unions Hold Out:

The Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) on Monday approved a detailed schedule leading up to a pay raise for the country’s restive garment sector by January 2015, though a few unions continued to hold out for a raise in October and said protests might resume if they were refused.

The LAC, made up of government, factory and union representatives, approved a draft of the schedule two weeks ago. At Monday’s follow-up meeting, they made the plan official and added a few details.

According to a statement from the LAC, the government, factory owners and unions will all hold separate, internal meetings this month to start discussing next year’s raise. They will follow that with a series of bilateral meetings in August, a tri-partite meeting in September and finally a vote in October before the new minimum wage takes effect January 1.

Emerging from the meeting, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said three of the LAC’s 23 members present Monday voted against the plan and that there had been some “tension” in the room “because each side tried to protect its interests.”

The minister did not elaborate on who the holdouts were or the exact nature of the tensions, but—responding to reporters’ questions—said unions unhappy with the schedule were free to protest as long as they did so legally.

“We do not ban all those people from protesting because it is their right, but they must respect the law,” he said.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers of Democratic Union, said he and Chheng Lang, deputy president of the National Independent Federation of Textile Unions in Cambodia, were among the three who voted against the plan. The vote was carried out by secret ballot.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Wage raise decision in Oct: gov’t:

The controversial matter of next year’s garment sector minimum wage will be finalised in October and put into effect on January 1, a Ministry of Labour committee decided yesterday.

At a meeting of the Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) at the Labour Ministry, Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng advised unions and employers to begin their own internal discussions about wages in July. Talks between the two groups will take place at the Ministry of Labour in August, he said.

“After August, we will have another meeting between unions, employers and the Ministry of Labour to discuss the minimum wage in September,” Sam Heng said. “In October, we will discuss and make the final decision of how much the . . . wage will be increased in 2015.”

The LAC’s decision in December to set 2014’s minimum wage at $95 per month, later changed by Sam Heng to $100, caused a nationwide strike led by unions who demanded their monthly floor wage be $160. The strike ended in deadly violence in early January.
to read.
PPP new

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Wage discrimination against women still largely evident:

Taking advantage of their poverty and lack of awareness, middlemen hire them for low wages

Breaking the century-old tradition of remaining confined to their household chores, women are now getting engaged in physical labour outside their homes to support their poor families along with their fathers and husbands.

Taking advantage of their poverty and lack of awareness, middlemen hire them for low wages. Both the demand and employment of female labourers have considerably increased recently, but employers still often tend to exploit them.

“Although female workers are said to be more sincere and active than their male counterparts, the female workers are paid far less,” said  Mim, 26, a sewing worker of the Ayesha-Abed Foundation at Rajbari BSCIC under Ramkantopur union of Sadar upazila in the district.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Secy admits failure to enforce minimum wage:

Parliamentary Secretary for Labour and Human Resources Mian Naveed Ali is not satisfied with the performance of his department.

“Officials at the labour and HR departments hardly discharge any of their duties. I have no hesitation in accepting failure of my department to implement minimum wages,” said the parliamentary secretary in his keynote address at a convention on labour and minimum wages issues here on Saturday.
(…)
Pattan Development Organisation National Coordinator Sarwar Bari said successive governments failed to improve working conditions of a large majority of the masses. “Minimum wage covers just calories needs of a person while human beings have other basic requirements too – shelter, clothing, education, health care etc. If the government intends to achieve its ‘education for all’ goal without giving ‘living wages’ this will never be fulfilled.”
read more.
DAWNnew

LW + 2

20140628-29

03:05:57 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 39% female apparel workers denied minimum wage: study:

Thirty-nine per cent of female garment workers are still receiving lower than the government-set minimum wage of Tk 5,300 that was raised in December last year, a study revealed on Friday.

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad has conducted the study titled ‘Women in Readymade Garment Industry: Understanding Capabilities and Vulnerabilities of Female Garment Workers in Bangladesh’.
The study shows that the living condition of the female garment workers has improved but venerability remains as 65 per cent
of sever workers are not covered by any pension scheme after finishing the job.
The study reveals that the lower wage is one of the prime vulnerability for the workers as average monthly wage is Tk 6,661 which is much less than their monthly minimum expenditure.garment

According to the study, most of the female workers lose jobs when they reached aged 35 and fall in serious economic hardship after leaving the job.
The age of 87 per cent of woman garment workers are between 18-35 years and only 5 per cent workers are above 35 years and rest of the workers are below 18 years, the study finds.

Dhaka University professors Zahid Chowdhury and Samina Luthfa presented the study report at a programme at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
According to the study, most of the woman garment workers are living with health risk as 90 per cent of the 1,034 respondents say they have to share their toilets with about 22 other people and kitchen with five other families.

The study finds that a large number of respondents are missing important protein elements such milk and egg. Only five per cent of workers are able to drink milk while one third of the female workers manage to consume egg.

The study shows 30 per cent of workers are not sure about the structural state of the factory and 56 per cent of respondents think that in absence of trade unions their rights are not secured.
Despite low wages, verbal and physical abuse, an increasing number of women are moving to the garment sector to earn more
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Experts doubt high job satisfaction rate in survey:

A survey revealing that 84 percent of female garment workers are satisfied with their job drew flak from experts discussing the study findings at the report’s launching ceremony yesterday.

Some panellists and a female worker doubted the results, saying there might have been some flaws.
The workers, mostly from low education, poor and rural backgrounds, might not have understood the proper meaning of job satisfaction, said eminent economist Prof MM Akash.
At the initiative of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, some Dhaka University teachers conducted the survey titled “Women in Readymade Garment Industries”. DU Assistant Professors Zahid Chowdhury and Samina Luthfa jointly presented the findings in the capital’s Cirdap auditorium.

The findings are based on the interview of 1,013 female workers from the garment factories, which are owned by BGMEA members and located in and around the capital, between last December and March this year.
According to different estimates, Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories employ 40 lakh workers, 80 percent of whom are women. Criticising the report, a worker, Nilufar Yasmin, said there were long working hours, and they faced losing job if they were sick for some days or applied for two or three days leave.
“If production falls, the workers get sacked and are not paid the salary of that month,” she said.

The workers’ job satisfaction was determined on the basis of some criteria, including safety at workplace, relationship with supervisors, and team spirit, according to the report.
The study also said 39 percent of female workers received less than the minimum wage of Tk 5,300, which was fixed by the government in December last year.
Due to low salaries, around 70 percent of workers cannot afford enough protein in their food intakes and consequently half of them suffer from health problems and take treatment from non-physicians.
read more.
daily star bd

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* States to pay entire compensation for wage delay by July 31:

Centre has come down heavily on states asking them to pay the entire compensation to workers arising out of delay in wages by July 31 under the employment guarantee scheme, in the absence of which states will not be allowed to apply for further funds under the scheme from the Centre.

At present, 25% of the payments amounting to Rs 2,700 crore are delayed beyond the stipulated 15 days. A fraction of payments, about Rs125 crore, have been delayed for over 90 days.
read more.
et

LW + 2

20140626-27

05:05:57 local time map of china CHINA

* Wages in China:

Wage levels in China have increased continually over the last two decades as the economy has developed and the private sector has created new employment opportunities.

However, disparities among geographic regions, industrial sectors and between top executives and ordinary workers have also increased significantly, widening the rich-poor gap. Moreover, wage increases for China’s lowest paid workers have often been eroded by higher costs of living, and the issue of wage arrears remains a serious and unresolved problem throughout the country.

Legal provisions on working hours and wages

  • The standard workweek in China is 40 hours (eight hours per day, five days per week).
  • The 1994 Labour Law stipulates that overtime shall be paid for any work exceeding standard working hours and that overtime shall not exceed three hours a day or 36 hours per month (Article 41).
  • Overtime pay should not be less than 150 percent of an employee’s wages during normal working days; 200 percent on rest days, and 300 percent on national holidays, such as the Lunar New Year (Article 44).
  • Wages shall be paid to the workers themselves in legal tender and on a monthly basis. Deduction of wages or delay in payment of wages is strictly prohibited (Article 50).
  • An employer shall pay wages to workers during their statutory holidays, marriage or funeral leave (Article 51).

The minimum wage
Article 48 of the Labour Law stipulates that the statutory minimum wage should be set at a level sufficient to support the daily needs of employees. It was not until March 2004 however, when the then Ministry of Labour and Social Security implemented its Minimum Wage Regulations, that guidelines were put in place to establish a framework calculating and adjusting the minimum wage.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Labour ministry okays new scheme for inspection:

A CAIU will be set up to analyse and collect field data for a transparent and accountable labour inspection system

The Union labour ministry has approved a more liberal inspection scheme aimed at simplifying business regulations and bringing “transparency and accountability” in the system.

For this purpose, a Central Analysis and Intelligence Unit (CAIU) will be set up to analyse and collect field data “for a transparent and accountable labour inspection system”.

The scheme will be brought into effect from October 1 for the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), inspections under the ambit of the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) and the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS).

Under the new scheme, inspection of factories will be carried out under 11 Acts, including the Minimum Wages Act, Contract Labour Act and Child Labour Act. There are different inspection guidelines for EPFO, ESIC, CLC and DGMS.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

LW + 2

20140625

05:05:57 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Worker, trade union rights must be prioritised for well being of workers, their families:

20140624 ALIRAN

Almost four dozen civil society organisations have called on the government to prioritise the rights of workers and trade union to ensure the well being of workers and their families.

We, the undersigned 47 civil society organisations, trade unions and concerned groups, make the following demands to better protect worker and trade union rights in Malaysia.

It is sad when a government places the interest of businesses, investors and employers over the rights and welfare of workers and their families.

1. Stable regular employment until retirement age – abolish precarious short-term employment contracts
The right to permanent regular employment until retirement age is essential for the economic wellbeing and financial stability of the worker and their families.

A short-term or fixed term employment contract is a form of precarious employment that must be abolished. It allows for the denial of the right of retirement at 60, maternity rights and benefits, increments of rights which comes with tenure and makes it near impossible for such workers to form, join or even serve as leaders in existing unions.
(…)

13. Minimum wages must be sufficient to sustain a decent livelihood
All workers in Malaysia are supposed to be receiving minimum wages as of 1 January 2014. But alas the quantum of minimum wages fixed in 2012 at RM900 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak is no longer sufficient to ensure a decent livelihood for workers and their families given the large increases in the cost of living.

While public sector workers also get a Cost of Living Allowances (Cola), the majority of workers are in the private sector and they do not get Cola. Using also the fact that the Malaysian government has declared that households earning less than RM3,000 are in need of financial assistance, it is only logical that minimum wages be increased for all workers to at least RM1,500.
read more.
Aliran

* 98% employers implementing minimum wage scheme:

About 98 per cent of employers in the country were found to have implemented the minimum salary scheme, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

He said this was based on 986 statutory inspections by his ministry.
“As human resources minister, I am happy because the implementation of the minimum salary scheme is on the right track.
“Of the 986 inspections, 98 per cent have implemented the scheme while two per cent have yet to do so,” he noted.

He was speaking to reporters after opening the 2014 Social Security Organisation (Socso) regional conference, ‘Return to Work’ (RTW) at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
read more.
MY sinchew

05:05:57 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesian wage trial: human rights violations ‘systemic’:

After a two-day public hearing, the jury of the People’s Tribunal to assess human rights abuses faced by workers in the Indonesian garment industry, announced its verdict today.

Judges found overwhelming evidence of ‘systematic violation of the fundamental right to a life lived with human dignity’ in an industry employing mostly women and said ‘urgent action must be taken’ by a variety of stakeholders.

The jury stressed the fact that a living wage and freedom of association are imperative to sustain a global garment industry which respects human rights of garment workers.
They acknowledged that ‘in recent years some progress has been made in tackling the challenges faced by workers in an industry dominated by a small number of buyers’, however they expressed grave concerns for ‘the lack of urgency and transparency’ among the brands.

Mirjam van Heugten from Clean Clothes Campaign says: “A living wage is the cornerstone of decent working conditions. If garment workers are still living in poverty, which we know they are, no brand can claim that they are truly a sustainable company. The fact that brands have become ‘manufacturers without factories’, does not mean they can shirk responsibility for the human right violations of the women who stitch their clothes.”

The judges described in detail the immediate actions to be taken by global brands and pointed to the fact that a living wage is an enabling human right that must be an inherent part of any sustainable corporate accountability framework.
They also expressed great concern for the existing legislation making suspension of the minimum wage a relatively easy process in Indonesia, and ‘one that is not uncommon’.
read more.
CCC20140624 AWIWorkers protes to adidas representatif on Indonesia Peoples Tribunal
to see.
ASFWa

LW + 2

20140624

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Six unions call for pay, acquittals:

Union leaders made another appeal for the Cambodian government to raise the minimum wage to $160 and rescind convictions of 25 workers arrested during deadly demonstrations in November and January.

In a press statement released yesterday, leaders of six local labour unions called on international unions to help the Cambodian government in giving in to the demands. The statement also calls for equal representation in the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Council and the withdrawal of all lawsuits against unionists.

It reads: “Despite strong support from involved partners to resolve the situation, the government has delayed from January until June 2014 and still has not resolved the problems.”
read more.
PPP new

LW + 2

20140621-23

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* With wages lower than China’s, Cambodia sees hope for more garment exports to Washington:

Wages in Cambodia are about one-third the level of those paid in China. And that’s part of why Cambodian Minister of Commerce Chanthol Sun hopes to win more connections between his country’s economy and that of Washington state.

“We’re hoping by furthering the ties and relationships, we can build on those relationships and have further commerce between the state of Washington, and Cambodia,” he said during a visit to Seattle this week.
(….)

Garment imports could be one potential area of growth. Washington is home to a number of large garment importers, including Union Bay, Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), Tommy Bahama and REI. Cambodia already employs 600,000 people in its garment industry, and exports $5 billion in garments every year.
read more.
PUGETsound

05:05:57 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum Salary Scheme Review To Be Finalised In August:

The revision of the minimum salary scheme will be finalised in August, said Human Resource Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Mutalib.

He said the scheme review process was now in the final stage and the announcement of the results would be made by Human Resource Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem.

“The government provided opportunities and adequate time for employers and employees to give their views until May and the results of the review will be announced by the Minister of Human Resources,” he told reporters after the presentation of spectacles to 53 senior citizens at Dewan DUN Lui in Maran, Friday.

According to Ismail the minimum wage revision was made every two years by the National Wages Consultative Council coordinating discussions involving employers, workers, the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation.
read more.
BERNAMA

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Minimum wage increased to Rs12,000:

Sindh has increased the minimum wage for labourers from Rs11,000 to Rs12,000 for the fiscal year 2014-15, it has been learnt on Friday.

In his budgetary speech before the Sindh Assembly on June 13, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah had announced Rs11,000 as the minimum monthly wage, in line with the figure set in the preceding federal budget.

However, the provincial finance department has issued an amendment notification to increase the figure by Rs1,000, citing the government’s commitment to the welfare of the working class and the increase in salaries of government employees as the main reasons.
to read.
thenewspk

LW + 2

20140619-20

05:05:57 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Permanent People’s Tribunalon Living wages:

Giving workers a voice

As part of the Asia Floor Wage Alliance Worker Tribunals have been taking place across the region given workers an opportunity to share their expereinces and speak with government and brand represenatives around the issues they face due to poverty pay in the garment sector.

The tribunals have been held in conjunction with the Permanent People’s Tribunal and have gathered testimony from workers, trade unions and experts.

Tribunals have taken place in Sri Lanka, India and Cambodia,
and between June 21- 24 2014 the next tribunal will take place in Indonesia.
read more.
CCC

* Follow on Twitter: @AFWIndonesia

* There will be updates during the Tribunal here:
INDONESIA – Permanent People’s Tribunal on Living Wages 20140620-24

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Workers’ reform high on labour ministry’s 100-days agenda:

The labour ministry has proposed a slew of  welfare measures, including notifying minimum monthly pension of Rs 1000 for Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers, in its 100 days action plan.

This decision was taken by the Cabinet in February and the pensioners were to get a benefit from 1 April this year, however, due to the model code of conduct, this couldn’t be implemented.

The ministry will also notify the increase in wage-ceilings to Rs 15,000 per month from the present Rs 6,500. This covers the organised sector workers under the EPFO ambit.

Along with this, the agenda includes sending proposal to Cabinet for various labour law reforms like amendments in Factories Act, 1948, Mines Act, 1948, Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act, 1988.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

LW + 2

20140617

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* After Meeting, Garment Sector a Step Closer to Yearly Raises:

The tri-partite Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) made some progress in coming up with a new way to set the minimum wage for the country’s volatile garment industry Monday, agreeing to announce raises at the end of each year and to start paying the raises at the beginning of the next.

Some unions, however, pressed for an exception for this year.

The LAC, composed of representatives from the government, factories and unions, met to follow up on an April workshop at which the government and unions agreed the basic wage should be adjusted annually by taking into account both economic and social impacts.

The process for coming up with a new wage-setting system was set in motion after a wave of garment worker strikes, triggered late last year when the LAC decided to raise the sector’s monthly minimum wage from $80 to $95 instead of the $160 that some unions were demanding.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Wage group agrees on January 1 raises:

20140617 PPP Garment-Protest
A demonstrator holds a sign while shouting chants last year in Phnom Penh during protests to demand a higher minimum wage. Photo by Vireak Mai.

The group in charge of determining the national minimum wage for the garment sector yesterday agreed to increase salaries annually on January 1, determined by discussions that are to take place in the final quarter of each preceding year, officials said.

The agreement was signed during a meeting of the Labour Ministry’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC), attended by representatives of the ministry, trade unions and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia.

“We stand in unity together to protect the best interests of all within our system,” Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng said after signing the agreement.

Until now, minimum wage decisions were an ad hoc affair, with the LAC visiting the issue at irregular intervals and using no particular formula in determining wage scales.

Such an approach became apparent late last year when the LAC raised the minimum monthly wage from $80, which included a $5 health bonus, to $95, before Sam Heng unilaterally raised it to $100.
(….)
“We had a good result today, because we now have clear dates for minimum wage implementation,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union. “Before, we did not have an exact time frame for discussing the minimum wage.”
read more.
PPP new

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* No need to extend job guarantee scheme to textile sector: CPI(M):

The CITU has termed it ridiculous the recent demand of the Tirupur Exporters Association that the job guarantee scheme be extended to the garment sector.

“It is an insult to the workers in Tirupur knitwear cluster considering that the wages given under the MGNREGS is just close to Rs. 150 a day while the garment sector workers here are already drawing much more than Rs. 200 a day,” said C. Moorthy, district joint secretary of the CITU, and general secretary of the Baniyan General Workers Union.

Mr. Moorthy told reporters here that MGNREGS as the name indicates is a rural employment provider scheme aimed at creating infrastructure in mofusils along with job, whereas the garment clusters here were in urban/semi urban locality.

“Moreover, the garment industry is covered under the Factory Act, and wages are in accordance with rules stipulated in the Act,” Mr. Moorthy said.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20140614-16

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Employers want low minimum wage increase in Vietnam:

20140615 THANHNIENews
Vietnam’s garment industry is expected to affected the most by minimum wage increase. Photo: Diep Duc Minh

Employers’ organizations have asked that minimum wage increase be kept below 12 percent in 2015 or halted altogether to ensure sustainable employment in Vietnam.
“We expect 2015 to be another difficult year and many companies will tighten recruitment and business expansion if there is a high increase in minimum wage,” Phung Quang Huy, director of Employers’ Bureau at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to National Wage Council regulations, plans involving minimum wage adjustments have to be based on an agreement between representatives of employers, employees and the government.
The minimum wage is currently between VND1.9-2.7 million (US$90-128) a month, depending on the locations.
At a recent meeting the on minimum wage held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the International Labor Organization in Vietnam, many representatives from employers’ organizations recommended that minimum wages increase in 2015 in accordance with the growth of the Gross Domestic Product and inflation.
read more.
THANHNIENews

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodian minimum wage activists “won’t be silenced by weapons and bullets”:

There is an arc that stretches over the past 10 years and connects, in blood, the fight for a living minimum wage for Cambodia’s 600,000 garment workers.

At one end is the 2004 assassination of Free Trade Union leader Chea Vichea, who had been pushing for an increased minimum wage, but was shot dead in broad daylight by a helmeted gunman on Thursday 22 January, 2004, as he bought a newspaper in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

A decade later, on Friday 3 January 2014, five people were shot dead in Phnom Penh by military police officers during a second day of garment strikes for a US$60 increase to the US$100 minimum wage on a dusty stretch of road that is home to garment workers and the factories in which they make big-brand clothes.

In these protests, 23 unionists and workers were rounded up and summarily incarcerated in a remote prison bordering Vietnam awaiting trial on charges that included incitement, aggravated intentional violence and the destruction of public property. Two were bailed.

After five months, during which the rest of the men languished in prison, the trials began.
Outside the barricaded court, supporters held signs that read: “The world is watching,” while others scuffled with police.
On Friday 30 May, all 23 were found guilty, but released from prison on suspended sentences.

Of these, the president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDEA), Vorn Pao, has become a symbol of the minimum-wage movement—something he remains committed to despite ill health, compounded by being beaten during his arrest, and a suspended sentence hanging over his head.
read more.
EQUALtimes

LW + 2

20140612-13

05:05:57 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Minimum Wages Policy Encourages More Locals To Seek Employment – MTUC:

The minimum wages policy has succeeded in encouraging more locals to seek employment in sectors which were previously monopolised by foreigners, said Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), Deputy Secretary General, A. Balasubramaniam.

He told BERNAMA that policy’s positive effect was seen in more locals being employed at supermarkets, petrol pumps, cleaning services business, fast food outlets and many more sectors.

The policy had also helped families to acquire better living quarters, afford more nutritious food, newer clothes and overall higher living standards.

The minimum wage of RM900 per month in the Peninsular and RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak was fully implemented in January this year.
read more.
BERNAMA

03:35:57 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Footwear factory workers on strike for minimum monthly wage:

20140612 MIZZIMA
Striking workers outside the Li Kyant Footwear Factory in Yangon’s outer western Hlaing Tharyar Township on June 11. Photo: Nyein Thit Nyi

The management of a footwear factory in Yangon says it cannot afford to pay the K30,000 minimum monthly wage demanded by 600 workers who went on strike over the issue on June 9.

“As we are paying a rate of 125 kyats an hour, their salary is at least 65,900 kyats a month and we will not meet their demand for a minimum wage,” Daw Aye Aye Mon from the Myanmar Li Kyant Footwear Factory in the industrial zone at Hlaing Tharyar Township told Mizzima on June 10.

Documents released by the factory showed that the minimum monthly salary of K65,900 includes overtime and allowances.

Daw Aye Aye Mon, who works in the administrative office at the Chinese-owned factory, said management was only prepared to pay a maximum K8,000 monthly allowance to workers based on their level of skill and length of service and provide some other benefits.

She was speaking after negotiations held between management and the workers at the Hlaing Tharyar Labour Office on June 10 failed to resolve the dispute.
Daw Aye Aye Mon said the strike had shut down the factory, which opened last December.

The K30,000 monthly minimum wage is one of 16 demands made by the workers. They also want all employees to be regarded as permanent staff, an increase in a food allowance from K10,500 to K25,000 a month and a monthly bonus of between K15,000 and K25,000 depending on levels of skill.
read more.
MIZZAMA new

LW + 2

20140610-11

05:05:57 local time map of china CHINA

* China’s clothing export growth may falter:

The competitiveness of the Chinese clothing industry is set to weaken over the next few years as costs rise. As a result, export growth could falter.
Rising costs in China are already forcing an increasing number of Western apparel brands and retailers to cut back on their sourcing from China and have their apparel manufactured elsewhere. In response, the Chinese government is pursuing a policy of encouraging growth in the domestic clothing market in order to take up slack in its manufacturing sector caused by this apparent loss in competitiveness.
The rise in costs in China stems in part from significant increases in fuel costs and shipping costs.
Also, wage rates have risen to the point where they are higher than in many other Asian countries.
Moreover, wage costs are set to increase further, given the Chinese government’s commitment to raising minimum wage rates by an average of 13% per annum during 2011-15.
Early signs of a shift in apparel manufacture have been seen in EU and US clothing import trends. In 2013 China’s share of EU clothing imports from all sources in value terms fell from 41.7% to 40.1%, having fallen sharply in the previous year. China’s share of US clothing imports from all sources fell from 37.8% to 37.3%.
read more.
ChinaTexnet

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Factory Shuts Down, Doesn’t Pay Salaries:

About 400 garment workers arrived for their shifts and monthly pay at Phnom Penh’s Hongkong Yufeng factory Tuesday only to find it shuttered and its owner nowhere to be found, workers’ representatives said.

“Today is payday for the workers and since the employer did not have the money to provide to the workers, he ran away yesterday evening,” said Liv Tharin, president of the Independence of Democratic Youth Trade Unions.

“About 400 workers have to pay their rent, for food,” he said, adding that the factory produced garments for global brands including Gap and Adidas.

Mr. Tharin said the workers—whose factory is in the Canadia Industrial Park, where military police shot dead at least five garment protesters in January—have begun protesting outside the factory demanding their May salary be paid in full.

“We do not know the reason behind his running away—whether Gap or Adidas stop orders or what,” he said.

Managers at the Hongkong Yufeng factory could not be reached for comment.

Workers at the Ocean Garment factory in Phnom Penh also protested last month after being informed that the factory was shutting down operations for a month, and would pay them only $15 during that time, due to flagging demand from buyers including Gap.

A group of 30 major clothing brands and global unions met with government officials at the end of May and said the future of the garment industry was dependent upon an end to violence against workers and supply disruptions due to labor unrest.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Ocean workers pray for jobs:

20140611 PPP Ocean-Strike
Workers from Ocean Garment factory march through the streets on the outskirts of Phnom Penh last week, demanding the company pay their full monthly wage during its temporary closure. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Protesting workers at Ocean Garment factory say they are worried the manufacturer, which has suspended operations for one month, will close altogether.

About 20 per cent of Ocean’s 1,300 workers demanding full payment during the break have found work elsewhere, while longtime employees are literally praying for a palatable solution, said Houn Vanna, a representative of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW).

“Most of the workers who abandoned the protest have worked at Ocean for only about three to four months, so it will not benefit them much to continue,” Vanna said.

While some have sought other job opportunities, many of the 1,214 still striking have worked at Ocean for more than a decade and are entitled to seniority bonuses if the factory closes for good, Vanna said.

Ocean workers began striking on May 24 after management announced it would shut down for a month from May 26 due to low orders and that employees would each receive $15 during the closure. Strikers demand that Ocean pay their full salaries during the period.
read more.
PPP new

* Gov’t to meet unions for salary talks:

Union members of the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) will meet on Monday for a garment industry wage discussion focusing on ideas raised at a workshop in April.

The invitation from Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng was sent to the seven LAC unions on May 30. Items on the agenda for the meeting include setting a date to begin garment industry minimum wage talks for next year and establishing a deadline for finalising 2015’s minimum wage.

“The [International Labour Organization] has recommended we prepare a system of negotiation of minimum wage, and set a clear date for these negotiations every year,” said Ken Chhenglang, acting president of the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia. “This would avoid protests and disappointment.”

In December, the LAC approved an industry minimum monthly wage raise from $80 to $95. Sam Heng later unilaterally raised it to $100.
to read.
PPP new

$160 We Need

05:05:57 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* ‘How can minimum wage be lower than the poverty line?’:

Lim Guan Eng says Malaysia should pull out of the ILO and assistance be given to SMI’s in their implementation of minimum wage.

Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng criticised the government’s stipulated minimum wage which is less than the poverty line level.

“This doesn’t make sense at all. The minimum wage should be raised to RM1100 as was recommended by Pakatan Rakyat,” said Lim.
“No country in the world stipulates a minimum wage that is less than the poverty line level. This is truly Malaysia Boleh,” he said.

In a written response to Lim yesterday, Human Resources Minister, Richard Riot said that the minimum wage for 2012, in Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak was RM800.
In 2009, the poverty level in Sabah and Labuan was RM1048 and the poverty level in Sarawak was RM912.

Riot justified the rates based on the grounds that Malaysia had endorsed the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention number 100 regarding equal remuneration in 1997.
It was also against section 60L, in the 1955 Labour Act, section 118B of the Sabah Labour Ordinance and section 119B of the Sarawak Labour Ordinance, that prevents any discrimination between foreign and local workers.

To overcome the problem, Lim suggested that Malaysia opt to stay out of the ILO.
read more.
FREEMALAYSIATODAY

05:05:57 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* ILC Lauds Indonesia for Eliminating Discrimination Against Wages:

The International Labor Conference (ILC) has lauded Indonesia and 36 other countries for applying ILO Convention No. 100 on equal remuneration and ILO Convention No. 111 on elimination of discrimination against wages and occupation, as reported by Antara News.

“The management of the Indonesian manpower sector has received appreciation from the ILO and ILC participants. We will continue to cooperate with ILO in handling the manpower system,” Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said in a press release on Monday.

Muhaimin led the Indonesian delegation to the 103rd Session of ILC held in Geneva from May 28 to June 9.

In the Standard Application Committee, Indonesia is one of 98 countries, which are not late in submitting a report on the implementation of ILO conventions, including Nos. 100 and 111, on elimination of discrimination against wages and occupation, he said.
read more. & read more.
tempo-eng antara

02:35:57 local time map of india INDIA

* Union lists demands:

The district committee of the National Handloom Labour Union (NHLU) has asked the State government to find a solution to the problems faced by the handloom industry and workers in the district.

The union called on the government to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to chalk out a solution.

Expedite rebates
In the NHLU workers’ meeting convened here on June 8, it was pointed out that delay in disbursing government rebates to handloom products was the major cause of financial problems of the weavers’ societies.

Revise wages
A press release said the union wanted the government to bring all handloom workers under the income support scheme and to revise their minimum wages.
The union also asked the government to announce a special package for the handloom sector.
to read.
THEHINDU

02:05:57 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Budget blues: ‘Raise minimum wage and pensions’:

“We demand that the provincial government raise the minimum wage to Rs20,000 and minimum pension from Rs3,600 to Rs10,000,” Hanif Ramay, the Muttahida Labour Federation (MLF) general secretary told The Express Tribune on Monday.

The budget session of the provincial assembly will start on June 13. The budget will be presented by Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman.

Ramay asked rhetorically how a retired worker could make ends meet in Rs3,600. He said the government had set Rs3,600 as the minimum pension for retired workers in 2012, and had not raised it last year.

He urged the federal government to transfer the Employees’ Old Benefits Institution to the provinces so they could ensure social security for workers.
read more.
tribune

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU declares wage dispute in the wool and mohair textiles subsector:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has declared a wage dispute in the wool and mohair textiles subsector  as employers have failed to table a decent wage offer.

The issue in dispute is the employers’ final wage offer of 6.5%. Our members are demanding a 9.5% wage increase.
Wage increases are due on 1 July 2014.
We have referred our formal dispute to the National Textile Bargaining Council and now await on the date for the conciliation meeting.
to read.
SACTWU

* SACTWU issues strike notice in the footwear sector:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has issued a strike notice to footwear sector employers after wage negotiations for the industry failed to yield a settlement.

The union has completed a national strike ballot by Wednesday this week. This secret ballot  covered 2038 of our members who are employed at 34 of 40 footwear companies nationally, where we are organised.  The strike ballot outcome shows that  70%   (69.68% to be exact) of our members support a strike to pursue their wage demands.

The strike notice was issued yesterday and the strike is due to commence on Monday morning. The other trade union in the sector, NULAW, has already commenced strike action. The strike action will now be intensified with SACTWU members now formally joining it as from Monday.

The issue in dispute is the employers’ final wage offer of 7.75%. Our members are demanding a 10% wage increase.
Wage increases are due on 1 July 2014.
to read.
SACTWU

20140610 * SACTWU settles Leather Tanning wage negotiations:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has settled its 2014 wage negotiations for the leather tanning sector.

This follows on a two year agreement reached with the South African Tanning Employers Organisation (SATEO), last year.

The new increases for this year will come into effect on 1 July 2014, and will be equal to a 7% upwards adjustment on prescribed minimum wages for the sector. In addition, workers in the non-auto tanning section will receive an increase in their annual bonus, of an additional one day’s pay.

This agreement was reached under the auspices of the national bargaining council for the leather sector. Approximately 3100 workers employed in 32 tanning factories nationally will benefit from this wage improvement in conditions of employment.
to read.
SACTWU

EUROPE AND TURKEY

* Stitched Up!:

New report busts myth of ‘better’ fashion as it finds workers in Europe and Turkey are paid poverty wages.

Clean Clothes Campaign today releases a new report that uncovers the truth behind high-end fashion chains and the Eastern European and Turkish garment workers that make their clothes.

“Stitched Up – Poverty wages for garment workers in Eastern Europe and Turkey” is a result of extensive research, including interviews with over 300 garment workers, in 10 countries across the post-socialist Eastern Europe and Turkey.

The region is a relevant production hub for the EU27 consumption, since approximately half of the garments imported into the EU27 are produced within geographical Europe.

The report shows that post-socialist European countries function as the cheap labour sewing backyard for Western European fashion brands and retailers.
Despite a long history in garment production and the highly skilled workforce, researchers found that nearly all those producing clothes for major European retailers such as Hugo Boss, Adidas, Zara, H&M or Benetton are paid below the poverty line, and many have to rely on subsistence agriculture or a second job just to survive.
The report reveals that the legal minimum wages only covers between 14% (Bulgaria, Ukraine, Macedonia) and 36% (Croatia) of a basic living wage.

Christa Luginbühl, one of the writers of the report, said: “This research shows that on our own doorstep, European garment workers are working long hours for wages that cannot sustain even their most basic of needs.
Complex and opaque supply chains are not an excuse for denying people their basic right to a living wage.
While brands such as Zara and H&M enjoy rising profits even during the crisis, working conditions in the production countries of the researched region have deteriorated particularly since 2008/9”.
read more. & read the report here.

The report interviewed workers in 10 countries – Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Georgia, Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia & Herzegovina and Moldova.

CCC

LW + 2

20140609

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Employers discuss 2015 minimum wage increase, better co-ordination and evidence-based data needed:

Regional minimum wages in Vietnam could increase in 2015 in accordance with growth rate of the nation’s GDP and inflation, employers’ organisations have recommended.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Vietnam Co-operative Alliance (VCA), Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Vietnam Garment and Textile Association (VITAS) and other sectorial associations sat down together in Hanoi today to discuss “Employers’ proposal on adjustment of minimum wages for 2015” at a workshop co-organised by VCCI and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

According to the statistics of VCCI, regional minimum wages in Vietnam grew on average by 9.9 per cent in 2010, 30.1 per cent in 2012 and 15.2 per cent this year. The growth rate of regional minimum wages was equivalent to that of CPI in 2010-2011 but three times higher than CPI growth since 2012.

“The increase of minimum wages for 2015 should ensure both the actual salaries of workers and the production of enterprises,” said VCCI Employers’ Bureau director Phung Quang Huy.

According to VCCI, minimum wage adjustment mostly affects garment, footwear and fishery industries.

“Increasing minimum wages by 10 per cent could increase enterprises’ costs for salaries by over 17 per cent due to increased allowances and other social benefits,” said VCCI Employers’ Bureau deputy director Vi Thi Hong Minh.

Representing employers’ organisations at the National Wage Council are VCCI, VCA, Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association, and VITAS.

ILO Vietnam’s chief technical advisor on Industrial Relations, Phillip Hazelton, said that it was important to enable and encourage joint and evidence-based discussion and interventions of key employers’ groups on minimum wage adjustment.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/6 (14th item).
VNNet

LW + 2

20140607-08

05:05:57 local time map of china CHINA

* China’s clothing export growth may falter:

The competitiveness of the Chinese clothing industry is set to weaken over the next few years as costs rise. As a result, export growth could falter.
Rising costs in China are already forcing an increasing number of Western apparel brands and retailers to cut back on their sourcing from China and have their apparel manufactured elsewhere. In response, the Chinese government is pursuing a policy of encouraging growth in the domestic clothing market in order to take up slack in its manufacturing sector caused by this apparent loss in competitiveness.
The rise in costs in China stems in part from significant increases in fuel costs and shipping costs.Also, wage rates have risen to the point where they are higher than in many other Asian countries.
Moreover, wage costs are set to increase further, given the Chinese government’s commitment to raising minimum wage rates by an average of 13% per annum during 2011-15.

Early signs of a shift in apparel manufacture have been seen in EU and US clothing import trends. In 2013 China’s share of EU clothing imports from all sources in value terms fell from 41.7% to 40.1%, having fallen sharply in the previous year. China’s share of US clothing imports from all sources fell from 37.8% to 37.3%.
read more.
Fibre2fashion

04:05:57 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Enterprises propose to cap minimum salary increase at 12% :

Enterprises in Vietnam have asked that the government limit next year’s increase in minimum salary to 10% to 12%.

This is the second year the National Salary Council has been in operation. As a result, employers, labourers and the government meet together to discuss the best level for salary increases.

 >>  Finance ministry confirms no salary cuts next year
 >>  Finance ministry’s salary cut proposal faces government opposition
 >>  Four firms in HCM City face thorough inspection after salary theft scam
 >>  Top State enterprise officials sacked for salary violations

At a recent seminar, held in Hanoi on June 5 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), employers in Vietnam proposed increasing the minimum salary by a maximum of 12% next year.

VCCI statistics show that regional minimum salaries were increased by 9.9% in 2010, 30.1% in 2012 and 15.2% in 2014. The increases in the regional minimum salaries are equivalent to the the country’s rise in the consumer price index (CPI) during the 2010-2011, period but triple the CPI estimated for 2015.
read more.
DTI

04:05:57 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Ocean Staff Double-Down on Wage Demands:

More than 200 workers from the Ocean Garment Factory on Friday filled 18 trucks and drove to the Ministry of Labor, where they spent two hours in a notably sedate protest calling for their wages in full, despite the factory having suspended business for a month.

But, after two hours quietly sitting outside the Ministry, the protesters left following a request to be patient while a meeting between the Ministry of Labor and representatives of the factory was arranged.

“Now, we have to wait for a date when [the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia] and Ocean can meet with investors in order to compromise and be clear about how long the suspension will be,” said Prak Chan Thoeun, secretary general of the National Committee for Demonstration and Strike Resolution.

Staff at Ocean began protesting late last month after the factory announced that it was suspending business from May 26 through June 26—due to a lack of orders from brands including Gap—and was planning on paying staff just $15.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

LW + 2

see parts:

Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 5: 20140307- 20140606

Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 4: 20131223- 20140306

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

Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 2: 20131016- 20131115

Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 1: 20130921-20131015

 

map of Asia

* INTRO- INFO about Living Wage

* A living wage = a human right
* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)
* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage

* Overview of Articles in the News:

20140822
VIET NAM
* Wage increase runs behind practice

20140821
VIET NAM
* Minimum wage spike seen piling pressure on employers

20140820
CAMBODIA
* Garment Workers at Two Factories Go on Strike for More Pay
* Workers in Kampong Chhnang block road

BANGLADESH
* Police beat workers protesting at untimely layoff
* Factory closed over workers’ unrest

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU settles four week cotton textile national wage strike

20140818-19
ASIA
* Across Asia’s Borders, Labor Activists Team Up to Press Wage Claims

INDIA
* Plea to disburse wages quickly

VIET NAM
* Minimum wage to be inflation-adjusted

20140815-17
INDIA
* AITUC demands higher wages
* 33% hike in minimum wages soon
* Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar seeks changes in Minimum Wages Act

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU update on clothing wage dispute

20140813
VIET NAM
* New minimum wage raises insurance and production costs, businesses complain

CAMBODIA
* Wrangling over wage may spur new unrest
* Factory Strikes End After Pay Disputes Solved

BANGLADESH
* Irregular Payment and Payment Delay Keep Causing Uproar Among Garment Workers in Bangladesh

20140812
BANGLADESH
* RMG workers strike in Ashulia – Delay in paying salaries

INDIA
* Government considering amendments to Minimum Wages Act

SRI LANKA
* Trade unions of Sri Lanka to meet in Colombo on August 20 to demand pay hike

PAKISTAN
* Workers’ rights: Labourers protest in Gujranwala

SOUTH AFRICA
* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands

20140811
CAMBODIA
* Unions, Factories Set Positions on Minimum Wage Raise

INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Survey on commodity prices and living costs to be conducted for setting minimum wage

BANGLADESH
* RMG would benefit from wage tribunals

20140809
CAMBODIA
* Garment workers, bosses meet to discuss wage rise

20140808
BANGLADESH
* Gazipur garment workers again take to the streets for overtimes bills

SOUTH AFRICA
* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands

20140807
VIET NAM
* Vietnam’s minimum wage to increase $14-18 per month in 2015
* Region-based minimum wage proposed to increase 15.1 percent

20140806
SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU update on status of clothing negotiations

20140805
VIET NAM
* Min wage fails to cover min living cost in Vietnam: survey

CAMBODIA
* Unions up wage demands
* Workers Get Loans After Fire, Vow More Protests

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU issues ultimatum to clothing employers

20140804
INDIA
* Weavers with unusually low wages await revision

20140802-03
VIET NAM
* Labor union calls for sharp increases in Vietnam’s minimum wage

CAMBODIA
* Staff of Suspended Factory Demand Wages

INDIA
* Textile association seeks wage board

PAKISTAN
* Government yet to fix minimum wage of Rs15,000

20140801
VIET NAM
* Women face discrimination at work

CAMBODIA
* Stitching & Suffering in Cambodia’s Garment Industry

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU to conduct strike ballot in home textiles sector

20140731
BANGLADESH
* Day 3 of Occupy Tuba; 5 hospitalised
* 40 RMG workers fall sick in Badda demo
* No Festival to Celebrate – Garment Workers Keep Protesting After Eid

INDIA
* Workers demand ID cards, perks

SRI LANKA
* Grant salary hike, suits for cost of living- write to the president
* Monthly expenditure is Rs 50792; struggle for salary hike is commenced

20140730
VIET NAM
* Minimum wage not enough

CAMBODIA
* Wages do not compute: ILO
* Factory Ends Strike After Compromise

BANGLADESH
* 1200 RMG workers on hunger strike for payment
* RMG workers’ demo demanding salaries in Badda
* For unpaid Tuba workers, Eid on the factory floor

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU Cotton textiles industry strike-7th day

20140729
BANGLADESH
* RMG workers confine 4 for dues
* Tuba Group workers unpaid for 3 months
* Workers started their fast unto death demanding their 3 months salary

20140728
BANGLADESH
* Govt no less responsible for plight of RMG workers
* 200 RMG factories fail to clear wages, allowance in time
* RMG workers of 2 Savar units still not paid
* No salary, Eid bonus for 1,500 RMG workers
* Some RMG workers yet to get dues
* RMG workers’ bonus in intricacy of law

INDIA
* “Follow new wage pact”

20140726-27
BANGLADESH
* Law silent about festival allowance
* Many RMG workers get poor amount instead of legitimate festival allowance
* Wait for salaries, bonus gets longer
* Workers of 6 Savar units demonstrate for payment
* Many factories fail to clear wage, bonus
* Rendered Jobless-Left Penniless – Garment Workers Cry Out Before Coming Festivities
* Pay wages, bonus by Saturday: labour leaders
* Arrears: RMG workers threaten to gherao owners’ houses on Eid day
* Unrest feared if RMG workers not paid

INDIA
* Garment workers protest in Chennai, but minimum wages are low across India

20140725
CAMBODIA
* Garment Workers Demand District Intervention

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers besiege BGMEA building for salary, bonus

INDIA
* Garment workers protest in Chennai, but minimum wages are low across India
* Government aims at benifiting workers, to amend 3 labour laws

20140724
CAMBODIA
* After deal, unions expect support
* After NEC Reform, Rainsy Says Higher Wages are Top Priority

BANGLADESH
* BGMEA Bhaban seized for salary, bonus
* Knitting workers demonstrate for arrears in capital
* RMG workers-cops clash in city
* RMG workers of 3 more Savar units want payment
* RMG workers take to the streets again for dues
* Labour unrest feared over non-payment of wages
* Proposals invited to accommodate workers’ bonus in labour law

20140723
BANGLADESH
* 3 labour leaders sacked for demanding dues
* RMG workers stage demo in CEPZ
* More RMG workers demand Eid bonus immediately

INDIA
* The labour reforms we truly need

20140722
CAMBODIA
* Ocean Settles as Other Worker Strikes Gain Steam
* Brands Dodge Blame Over Substandard Factory

BANGLADESH
* Garment workers blockaded
* Roads blocked for pay in Savar, Ctg

20140721
BANGLADESH
* Salaries of 10 lakh RMG workers of subcontracting factories uncertain
* Wage, festival allowance before Eid uncertain

20140719-20
BANGLADESH
* 30 injured in RMG workers-police clash
* EPZ units told to pay workers by next week
* RMG workers demand wage, allowance by July 26
* RMG workers sceptical about payment before Eid

20140718
CAMBODIA
* Employers snub talks over wages
* Garment Worker Wage Negotiations Break Down
* BetterFactories Media updates 11-18 July

THAILAND
* Wage policy flaws ‘need careful study’

20140717
PHILIPPINES
* Empty plate lunchbreak protest highlights demand for living wage

CAMBODIA
* Workers End Blockade, Agree to Negotiations
* Arbitration group weighs in
* Shoe Factory Workers Strike for Seven Demands

BANGLADESH
* ‘Pay salaries, bonus to RMG workers by 26 Ramadan’

20140716
CAMBODIA
* Garment Workers Block Road in Protest Over Unpaid Wages

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers to get Eid bonus, salary by July 26
* Pay salaries, bonuses to RMG workers by July 26
* Factory owners agree to pay apparel workers by July 26

20140715
CHINA
* Shanghai enjoys highest minimum wage in China

CAMBODIA
* After Factory Ignores Ruling, Garment Workers to March
* Unions to stick with push for $160 wage
* Trade Unions Approve Minimum Wage, Draft Law Proposals

BANGLADESH
* 500 garment units facing problems in paying salary, bonus

INDIA
* Mean and petty labour reforms

20140714
CAMBODIA
* Getting on the same page

BANGLADESH
* Labour unrest could flare up at 506 garment factories
* 280 RMG factories unable to pay wages and bonus before Eid
* RMG workers rally for arrears and festival allowance before Eid
* Speakers for minimum national wage for women
* Govt urged to abolish discriminatory laws
* Women workers still paid less than men

20140711-13
VIET NAM
* Workers apathetic about wage hike

CAMBODIA
* Cambodia garment workers struggle to survive

BANGLADESH
* 30 injured as apparel workers demonstrate for dues in Savar, Ibrahimpur
* RMG workers clash with staff, cops for arrears again
* RMG workers demand Eid bonus equivalent to a months wage

about brands and about…
* Tailored Wages – new report investigates clothing brands’ work on living wages
* Tailored Wages
* FWF launches first new Brand Performance
* Will Adidas garment workers share in its World Cup profit?
* Dignity needed

20140709
CAMBODIA
* Garment worker crackdown – six months on

BANGLADESH
* RMG factory owners for release of cash incentives
* 20 RMG workers hurt in clash with cops
* RMG workers stage demo for wages at Badda

INDIA
* Raise wages: textile workers

20140705-07
CAMBODIA
* Workers Continue Strike Over Change to Pay Day

BANGLADESH
* Workers at CEPZ foreign factory carries ransack for wage hike
* RMG workers stage protests in Savar, CEPZ

INDIA
* Labouring for flexibility

PAKISTAN
* Welcome relief: 10.5% raise in loom workers’ wages

20140704
CAMBODIA
* Hundreds to march after failed factory talks

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU settles Woven and Crochet textiles sector 2014 wage negotiations

ACTION
* The spirit of football is meant to be fair play- Tell Adidas to go “all in” for a living wage

20140703
PHILIPPINES
* Workers mark Wage Law’s 25th year with DOLE protest

CAMBODIA
* 200 Workers Protest Against Forced Overtime
* Labor committee details schedule for wage talks: report

INDONESIA
* Presidential candidates seek support of Indonesia’s unions

BANGLADESH
* Over 1,000 RMG factories face unrest ahead of Eid

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU settles Carpet Textiles sector wage negotiations

20140701
LAOS
* Lao minimum wage under debate

CAMBODIA
* Garment Wage Plan Set; Some Unions Hold Out
* Wage raise decision in Oct: gov’t

BANGLADESH
* Wage discrimination against women still largely evident

PAKISTAN
* Secy admits failure to enforce minimum wage

20140628-29
BANGLADESH
* 39% female apparel workers denied minimum wage: study
* Experts doubt high job satisfaction rate in survey

INDIA
* States to pay entire compensation for wage delay by July 31

20140626-27
CHINA
* Wages in China

INDIA
* Labour ministry okays new scheme for inspection

20140625
MALAYSIA
* Worker, trade union rights must be prioritised for well being of workers, their families
* 98% employers implementing minimum wage scheme

INDONESIA
* Indonesian wage trial: human rights violations ‘systemic’

20140624
CAMBODIA
* Six unions call for pay, acquittals

20140621-23
CAMBODIA
* With wages lower than China’s

MALAYSIA
* Minimum Salary Scheme Review To Be Finalised In August

PAKISTAN
* Minimum wage increased to Rs12,000

20140619-20
INDONESIA
* Permanent People’s Tribunalon Living wages

INDIA
* Workers’ reform high on labour ministry’s 100-days agenda

20140617
CAMBODIA
* After Meeting, Garment Sector a Step Closer to Yearly Raises
* Wage group agrees on January 1 raises

INDIA
* No need to extend job guarantee scheme to textile sector: CPI(M)

20140614-16
VIET NAM
* Employers want low minimum wage increase in Vietnam

CAMBODIA
* Cambodian minimum wage activists “won’t be silenced by weapons and bullets”

20140612-13
MALAYSIA
* Minimum Wages Policy Encourages More Locals To Seek Employment – MTUC:

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Footwear factory workers on strike for minimum monthly wage

20140610-11
CHINA
* China’s clothing export growth may falter

CAMBODIA
* Factory Shuts Down, Doesn’t Pay Salaries
* Ocean workers pray for jobs
* Gov’t to meet unions for salary talks

MALAYSIA
* ‘How can minimum wage be lower than the poverty line?’

INDONESIA
* ILC Lauds Indonesia for Eliminating Discrimination Against Wages

INDIA
* Union lists demands

PAKISTAN
* Budget blues: ‘Raise minimum wage and pensions’

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU declares wage dispute in the wool and mohair textiles subsector
* SACTWU issues strike notice in the footwear sector
* SACTWU settles Leather Tanning wage negotiations

EUROPE AND TURKEY
* Stitched Up!

20140609
VIET NAM
* Employers discuss 2015 minimum wage increase, better co-ordination and evidence-based data needed

20140607-08
CHINA
* China’s clothing export growth may falter

VIET NAM
* Enterprises propose to cap minimum salary increase at 12%

CAMBODIA
* Ocean Staff Double-Down on Wage Demands

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