In the news 19-20 June 2014


17:50:54 local time map of china CHINA

* Lingwu Textile Park accelerates construction:

The workshop at the Lingwu Ecological Textile Park, with an annual output of 5 million cashmere sweaters, finished construction and the installation of equipment on June 12. The workshop will formally begin operations on June 15.

Occupying an area of 133 hectares, the Lingwu sub-park of Ningxia Ecological Textile Park is planning to develop cashmere, wool and flax processing projects with a planned investment of 8.5 billion yuan. It is expected to see an annual sales volume of 11 billion yuan after completion.
to read.

16:50:54 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam’s fabric & garment exports jump 18% in Jan-May’14:

The exports of fabric and garments from the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam jumped 18 percent year-on-year to US$ 7.505 billion in the first five months of 2014, according to the preliminary data released by the Customs IT & Statistics Department, General Department of Customs, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance.
With goods worth $3.685 billion, the United States was the largest importer of Vietnamese fabric and apparel during January-May 2014 period. Japan and South Korea were the other main destinations for Vietnamese fabric and clothing with exports valued at $965.373 million and $623.887 million, respectively.
During the five-month period, Vietnam exported 316,188 tons of yarn valued at $962.976 million, showing an increase of 18 percent and 19.6 percent year-on-year, respectively, the data showed. Of this, China accounted for 136,571 tons of yarn worth $447.73 million.
read more.

RoK investment grows in textile and garment sector:

Investors from the Republic of Korea (RoK) are showing greater interest in Vietnam’s textile and garment sector, the Vietnam Investment Review reported on June 19.

In early June, a big fibre manufacturing plant was launched in the southern province of Dong Nai, marking a growing presence of RoK investment in Vietnam’s textile and garment sector.

The 52 million USD project, belonging to Dong-IL Vietnam Limited under the Dong-IL group, is located in Dong Nai’s Loc An-Binh Son Industrial Park and is Dong-IL’s first project in the country.
read more.

Hanoi, Oslo trade unions boost cooperation:

A conference to enhance the sharing of experience in organising and operating trade union activities between the Hanoi Confederation of Labour (HCL) and its counterpart of Oslo, Norway, was held in Hanoi on June 17-18, focusing on developing the negotiation skills of grassroots activists.

HCL Deputy President Le Thanh Da said his organisation and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions in Oslo (LO-Oslo) have successfully organised 11 such workshops, adding the experience shared by Norwegian delegates was useful to the operation of HCL union branches.
read more. & to read.
VIETNAMplus VOVonline

* Labour productivity lags behind region:

Viet Nam’s low labour productivity has caused concern among labour experts, who recently voiced worries and called for urgent measures to boost the number of skilled workers.

The International Labour Organisation recently said that Viet Nam’s labour productivity is among the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Ho Duc Hung from HCM City’s University of Economics said Viet Nam’s labour productivity was 10 times lower than Indonesia’s, 20 times lower than Malaysia’s and 30 times lower than Thailand’s, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ website.
read more.
VNNews new

* Exporters urged to meet EU standards:

To boost exports to the European Union (EU), a demanding market with strict regulations and standards, businesses have no choice but to develop a viable strategy, improve management and apply advanced technology.

The recommendation was made by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh at a Hanoi seminar on June 19, examining EU requirements for imports.

Khanh noted that approximately 42% of Vietnamese products currently enjoy the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), however, when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed, around 90% of products will be exempt from tax, opening a huge opportunity for Vietnam.
read more. & read more.
VOVonline VIETNAMplus

16:50:54 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

Workers Take Contract Demands to Ministry:

About 200 garment workers marched from Phnom Penh’s Wincam garment factory to the Ministry of Labor on Thursday to press their demands for short-term contracts and better benefits.

The Korean-owned factory’s 800-plus workers have been protesting since June 11 to demand that the factory change their long-term contracts to short-term contracts, which award them severance pay if they leave their jobs before their terms are up.

The workers spent about an hour marching to the Labor Ministry, where an official met them outside and agreed to organize a meeting between the workers and the factory owners for today.

“Today we did not get a solution from the ministry, but they told us they would summon the factory to have a meeting at the Ministry of Labor,” said Noy Sothea, one of the protesters.

The workers are also demanding increases to their supplemental monthly pay, including an extra $5 for good attendance and transportation and a doubling of their 1,000 riel (about $0.25) meal allowance when working overtime.

Ou Sok Heng, president of the Free Union Cooperation for Cambodia, which represents the workers, said they were not dropping their demands even though they would be going back to work today following a court order.
read more.

* Workers take strike to ministry:

More than 300 workers from a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district took their protest to the Ministry of Labour yesterday, marching there to demand government intervention.

The demonstrators, who were representing about 800 workers at Wincam Corporation who began striking 10 days earlier, demanded eight conditions, including an additional 2,000 riel for every hour of overtime and one day off for pregnant women to receive prenatal care, said Ou Sokheng, president of the Confederation of Union for Cambodia Corporation.

“The workers [who are not unionised] asked my union to help them find a resolution to their demands, and today they decided to walk to the ministry,” Sokheng said.
read more.
PPP new

* Violence ‘cost economy $1.5B’:

The consequences and containment of violence cost the Cambodian economy over $1.5 billion in 2013, just under 10 per cent of its estimated GDP for the period, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace’s Global Peace Index released yesterday.

Cambodia’s ranking moved up several spots in this year’s index to 106 out of 162, but was still held back by factors such as the potential for violent demonstrations – like the fatal garment protests in Stung Meanchey last year – and political instability.
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media updates 12-18 June 2014, Wage agrees on January 1 raises:

* to read in the printed edition The Phnom Penh Post:

2014-06-12 Strike over late wages at factory
2014-06-16 Domestic worker day to see maids rally for rights
2014-06-16 Grand Twins success in question
2014-06-16 Union leader to face another day in court
2014-06-17 GTI price drops on day one
2014-06-17 Unionist’s case hazy
2014-06-17 Wage agrees on January 1 raises

* to read in the printed edition The Cambodia Daily:

2014-06-12 Cambodia wins seat on ILO governing body for first time
2014-06-12 Workers at Box factory march for wage rise
2014-06-12 Zara owner Inditex and H&M report strong sales growth
2014-06-13 Government called upon to stamp out child labor
2014-06-13 March blocked as factory protest continues
2014-06-14-15 H&M, ILO form new industrials initiative
2014-06-14-15 Labor Minister says 43,000 workers back from Thailand
2014-06-14-15 Ocean factory dispute headed to arbitration council
2014-06-16 Despite employer’s concession, workers vow to continue protest
2014-06-17 After meeting, garment sector step closer to yearly raises
2014-06-17 Bangladesh accused 17 over factory collapse
2014-06-17 Court question union leader a second time

BetterFactories Media Updates Overview here.

17:50:54 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20140619 * 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.

* Follow on Twitter: @AFWIndonesia

* There will be updates during the Tribunal here:
INDONESIA – Permanent People’s Tribunal on Living Wages 20140620-24

15:50:54 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

tbvUPDATE1 20140620 * Fire at Savar RMG factory:

A fire broke out at a readymade garment factory in Kuturia area of the upazila, outskirt of the capital, on Friday evening.

Sources said fire originated at the ground floor of ZA Apparels around 6:00pm.
On information, five units of EPZ Fire Services and Dhamrai Fire Services rushed to the spot and trying to bring the blaze under control.
Meanwhile, at least 30 people were reported to suffer injury while trying to get out of the building.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW daily star bd INDEPENDENT DHAKATRIBUNE NEWAGEnew

tbvUPDATE1 20140620-21 * Fire breaks out in Ashulia factory:

A fire broke out in a sweater factory at Ashulia on the outskirt in the capital yesterday, gutting a large amount of clothes ready for shipment.

The fire started around 6:45pm on the ground floor of ZA Sweaters Ltd and engulfed the upstairs.
Seven fire fighting units from nearby five fire stations took the blaze under control around 8:00pm, said Rafiqul Islam, assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence, Dhaka.
The official suspected that the fire originated from a boiler explosion. The factory used the ground floor as store room.
All of around 200 workers working during the incident safely got down from the factory. But, four people including a production manager Bakul were injured while they were dousing the blaze, said Assistant Superintendent Rasel Sheikh of Savar Circle Police.
Store In-charge Nuruzzaman claimed that the fire damaged goods was worth around Tk 20 crore.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence formed a committee to find out the actual reason behind the fire and to assess the losses.
to read. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

tbvUPDATE1 20140620 * Fire panic: 50 RMG workers injured in stampede at Ashulia:

At least 50 workers of a garment factory at Ashulia were injured in a stampede while scrambling for exit in fear of fire at the building.

Workers of the garment factory Medlar Apparel in the area desperately tried to come out of the factory after seeing black  smoke on the ground floor when fire originated from a short  circuit at noon, police and locals sources said.
The garment authorities had brought the fire under control  before fire-fighting units reached the spot, the sources added.
The injured were sent to different hospitals of the area.
to read.

tbvUPDATE1 20140620 * Fire guts RMG unit depot:


20140619 * Fire at Jamuna Jute Mills:

A fire broke out at Jamuna Jute Mills in Mohanpur area in the city on Thursday afternoon. 

On information, two fire fighting units rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
Sadar Fire Station Senior Station Officer Shariful Islam said the fire might have originated from the warehouse.
to read.

20140618 * 200 shops burnt to ashes in N’ganj fire:

20140619 NEWAGE
Smoke spreads in the area as a fire razes wholesale hosiery hub Suhrawardy Market at Deobhog in Narayanganj early Wednesday, burning down nearly 100 shops and small garment units. — New Age photo

At least 200 clothes shops and warehouses were gutted as a devastating fire swept through three tin-shed markets at Deobhog in Narayanganj city early yesterday.

Five people also sustained minor injuries when they tried to douse the fire.

The fire originated around 4:00am at Shuhrawardi Market and spread to the adjacent Bhuiyan and Rahmania markets, said Narayanganj fire officials.
The extent of damage is around 100 crores, claimed former general secretary of Deobhog clothes manufacturer owners’ association and the victims.
Clothes and fabrics were stored in the warehouses for the upcoming Eid. Machineries and cash money were also burnt to ashes.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd NEWAGEnew

* Hit by washing machine, RMG worker dies in Gazipur:

A readymade garment (RMG) worker died after being struck by a washing machine at a factory at Konabari in the city on Thursday.

The deceased was identified as Russell, 22, son of Tofazzal Hossain of Khodejabagh village in Charfasson upazila of Bhola and a washing machine operator at ‘RR Apparels’.
Witnesses said Russell fell on the floor after being hit in the head and limbs by a washing machine around 9am.
He was taken to Konabari Adhunik Hospital where on-duty doctors declared him dead.

Outraged by the accident, workers of the factory stopped work, went out of the factory and blocked the factory gate.
They withdrew the blockade after two hours as the factory authorities assured them of a proper compensation for the deceased worker’s family.
to read.

* Accord for evacuation of Mirpur RMG unit:

The Accord will press for immediate evacuation of a garment factory in the city that is continuing production for non-Accord buyers, even though the European buyers’ inspection team earlier identified the unit ‘unsafe’.

“The Accord and signatory brands will attempt to continue working with the factory owner(s) to evacuate the unit and to perform the necessary remediation measures, so that it can be made safe for return of production and people,” said the Accord in a statement Tuesday.

According to the statement, if ‘critical findings’ are found in any unit, the Accord requires that no Accord production takes place in it.

Accord engineers have recently found such critical findings in Florence Fashions Ltd at Mirpur.

“However, they (Florence Fashions) continue to produce other non-Accord products and have employees working in the factory that has been inspected and has critical findings,” the statement said, adding the Accord feels obligated to disclose this information.
read more.
FE bd

* IFC keen to invest in improving textile sector safety standard:

IFC has ambitious plan for next year and it wants to amplify its portfolio for textile sector to improve fire and safety standards

International Finance Corporation has taken a decision to invest its resources to support improvement in the textile sector of Bangladesh.

“Textile is a sector that we decided we would be really putting resources and this is one of our transformative agenda,” IFC South Asia Director Serge Devieux told a small group of journalists in Dhaka yesterday.

IFC has ambitious plan for next year and it wants to amplify its portfolio for textile sector to improve fire and safety standards so that no tragic incident occur in the industry, said Serge, who is responsible for IFC operations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.

The private sector arm of the World Bank Group invested $774m in Bangladesh last year.

“Textile sector is very important for Bangladesh in terms of export and employment generation, and IFC wants to be a part of it,” Serge said. “We are talking about complete solution.”

IFC is interested to provide advisory services to investment through forging partnership with the private sector so that the compliance issues could be addressed, the IFC director said.
read more. & read more.

* New RMG plant at DEPZ:

Bangladeshi company HASFAB Wear Limited is going to establish a readymade garments industry at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ).

The company will invest $6.913 million for setting up its plant with annual production capacity of 3 million pieces of all types polo-shirt, t-shirt, camisole, shapewear and ladies intimate garments, says a press release.
Some 1632 Bangladeshi nationals will get employment opportunity in HASFAB Wear factory, the release said.
read more.

* ‘Bt Cotton’ soon to boost cotton production: Matia:

Veteran agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury Wednesday said farmers will soon start producing Genetically Modified ‘Bt Cotton’ following field trials of bio-safety rules to boost cotton production in the country.

‘In Bangladesh about 0.5 million hectares of lands are under cotton production which can be brought under the GM, hybrid cotton cultivation to enhance harvest,’ she said.

The minister made the announcement while inaugurating a three-day conference on ‘The 6th Meeting of Asian Cotton Research and Development Network’ started at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council auditorium in the city.
Speaking as the chief guest, Matia Chowdhury said the introduction of ‘Bt cotton’ could raise substantially the production of the natural fibers which would meet partly the demand for the country’s textile mills.

Agriculture secretary SM Nazmul Islam presided over the inaugural session, which was addressed among others by BARC executive chairman Md Kamal Uddin, FAO country representative Mike Robson, Cotton Development Board executive director Md. Abdul Latif, director general of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute in Pakistan Abid Mahmud and Rafiq Chaudhury from the International Cotton Advisory Committee, USA.
Apart from local cotton experts, about 40 foreign delegations from different countries including India, Pakistan, China, and Uzbekistan are taking part in the three-day international meeting.
to read. & read more.
NEWAGEnew daily star bd

15:20:54 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.

* Union criticises knitwear manufacturers:

Baniyan Factory Labour Union (BFLU), affiliated to All India Trade Union Congress, in a resolution criticised the knitwear manufacturers of not raising “serious issues” concerning the workers in Tirupur apparel cluster during the meeting the representatives of entrepreneurs had with Union Ministers ahead of the budget.

Referring to the contents in the pre-budget memorandums submitted by the manufacturers, BFLU general secretary M. Mohan said the requisitions of the businessmen were mostly confined to seeking sops for them in the form of duty and other exemptions which would be only increasing the profit margins of the unit owners.

“It should be remembered by them that the predominant migrant workforce have been the primary factor behind the success story of the cluster. However, the wages of them have been hiked only marginally in the last one decade and their social security remaining pathetic,” he pointed out to The Hindu. The industrialists should have asked for speedy execution of the ESI multi-speciality hospital, a project that had been pending completion for many years, and fund allocation for improving housing facility for migrant workforce in the cluster, the trade unionists opined.

Textile sector
The trade union was also critical of the suggestion by the knitwear exporters to bring the textile sector under the ambit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
to read.

* Can India beat China in the race for exports dominance?:

Yes, says Edelweiss Securities in a report that rates India’s chances higher than China’s

There is a lot of apprehension on how Indian exports will grow if the global economy does not pick up. India’s growth story, to an extent, is also dependent on export growth.

And it is widely believed that India’s growth in manufacturing sector is solely dependent on growth rate of global economies. How will India grow if global economies were to slow down?

A report titled ‘Manufactured Exports – Propitious time’ by Niraj Mansingka and Amit Mahawar of Edelweiss Securities says that favourable demographics, rising competitiveness and positive changes in the business environment will drive Indian exports.
The report says that India is rightly placed to exploit the vacuum that will be created by China. By calendar year 2012, China had cornered 10.6 per cent of world manufactured exports.
China’s competitiveness can be judged from the fact that only nine other countries in the world could increase their market share by more than one per cent. India’s increased by only 0.8 per cent.
4) Textiles
·  There are many positives for India in the textile space which include a multi-fibre raw material base (cotton/jute/cellulose and synthetics).
·  India has 19 per cent of global spindle capacity (second only to China); 8 per cent of rotor capacity (third to China and Russia) and has the largest number of looms in the world.
·  India is as cost efficient as most of the large exporters in the world with only power cost being amongst the highest.
·  The country has a reasonable presence in the export market being the largest in the world with a 25 per cent share of global cotton yarns, 12 per cent of world’s production of textile fibres and yarn.
·  India accounts for 36 per cent share of US imports of cotton towels and 47 per cent of US imports of bed sheets.
read more.

* Northbrook incident triggers lockouts in five jute mills:

Livelihood of nearly 25,000 workers at stake

In a cascading effect of the Northbrook Jute Mill episode, where the CEO was lynched by a group of workers on the mill premises, lockouts were declared in at least five other mills, throwing nearly 25,000 workers out of employment .

The Chief Executive Officer (works) of Northbrook died on Sunday after he was attacked by workers who were agitating against a management proposal to cutback working hours due to paucity of orders.

Amid fears of recurrence of such incidents, mill owners began shutting their gates on workers between June 15 and 18, and work suspension was declared in at least five mills. There are 52 jute mills employing around 2.5 lakh persons in the State.
read more.

14:50:54 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* MPAs input sought for welfare of labourers:

Provincial Minister for Labour and Human Resource Raja  Ashfaq Sarwar has said that after the 18th Amendment to Pakistan’s  Constitution, Punjab had additional powers to enact new legislation, and  the representatives of the electorate in the Punjab Assembly should fulfil  their responsibilities by bringing forward their recommendations on job  creation, access to the international labour market, implementation of  labour laws and redress of grievances of labours.

He said this on June 18 at a seminar organised at a local hotel with the objective of highlighting problems being faced by the province’s workforce  and their solution.

Noted economist Saboor Ghayoor briefed the minister on Punjab’s population,
workforce and its level of skill development, implementation of the international labour standards and GSP Plus status for Pakistan that required an end to child labour.
read more.

* Accidental fire: Cotton stocks burn down in fire:

Cotton bales and machinery were gutted in a fire that erupted at a textile mill in Khurarianwala on Wednesday.

A Rescue-1122 team reached the scene and put out the fire. No one was reported injured.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2014.

* Textile industry: APTMA ready to mainstream sustainability: Ahsan:

Chairman APTMA Punjab Syed Ali Ahsan has said that APTMA is ready to mainstream the sustainability of textile industry.

He said the rising energy prices, increased production costs, lowered productivity and consumer demands for environmentally friendly textile products are some of the challenges forcing textile industry to follow best practices.

According to him, the APTMA has set up Sustainable Production Centre (SPC) with the help of GIZ to provide technical and management services on sustainable production related aspects including policy issues, technical and technological solutions for continuous improvement in APTMA member mills.
Energy being the issue in the limelight will be particularly addressed, he added.
read more.

* Agitation: Textile sector laments GIDC increase again:

The textile sector, especially the producers of finished textile products, has urged the government to reduce the percentage of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC), stressing that the sector cannot share its burden with the consumers in export markets.

The federal government on Tuesday notified the levy of GIDC at different rates on all industrial consumers in which it levied Rs100 per mmbtu on general textile consumers of gas while Rs150 per mmbtu has been notified for those textile mills that have captive power plants.

“Textile mills, especially the producers of finished textile products, will not be able to sustain this tax as they cannot pass through this cost increase to their foreign buyers,” said a managing director of one of the country’s leading composite textile mills from Karachi.
read more.

* Revised GIDC unacceptable, illegal: Baig:

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) and other representatives of the textile industry on Wednesday rejected the revised GIDC tariff, some of them denouncing the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess as illegal from the beginning, a statement said.

At an urgent meeting held at the office of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, they demanded the immediate withdrawal of the revised GIDC, saying it would result in the closure of industries, a drastic fall in exports and a sharp rise in unemployment in the country.
Some speakers said the GIDC had been “illegally” imposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.
read more. & read more.

* Textiles development collaboration: Pakistan, Tajikistan ink MoU:

Pakistan and Tajikistan inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration in textiles development, in a bid to enhance friendly ties and to promote bilateral co-operation.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Textile Industry here Wednesday the MoU was signed by Senator Abbas Khan Afridi Minister of Textile Industry, Government of Pakistan; and Minister of Industries and New Technologies Government of Tajikistan, during Prime Minister’s visit to Dushanbe.
read more.

* ‘Around 80 percent population living below poverty line’ :

Criticising the government for presenting an inflation-triggering budget, office-bearers of Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) at a press conference said that about 80 percent Pakistanis either live below the poverty line or close to it.

Making this year’s minimum wage of Rs10,000 a barometer to measure poverty in the country, EFP President KM Nauman said, “80 percent of the population is living below the poverty line, while rest of the 20 percent are those who are consuming a larger part of the economic production.”

Addressing the conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday, the EFP president also said, “When we review the first year’s progress of the present government, we do not find any improvement.”
read more.

14:50:54 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Activists warn World Bank of unintended consequences:

20140619 UZNEWS

Activists from the Cotton Campaign are warning the World Bank about unintended consequences of its recently approved grant for the development of agriculture in Uzbekistan.

Responding to request for comment from human rights activists in Uzbekistan describe possible negative consequences from the 410.3 million USD grant to develop food production and irrigation in Karakalpakstan.

Umida Niyazova, head of Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, is one of the Cotton Campaign participants; a coalition of activists and businesses speaking out against forced labor in Uzbekistan.

Niyazova notes that the coalition had called on the World Bank to postpone its grant authorization until Uzbekistan develops and implements meaningful mechanisms to curtail human rights abuses in the country.

Forced labor in Uzbekistan affects not just cotton production
“Forced labor in Uzbek agriculture is not limited to just the two months of the cotton harvest,” explains Niyazova. “It affects tens of thousands of farmers growing cotton, grain, and silk worms.”
read more.

* Ten reasons the US Government should maintain Uzbekistan in Tier 3 in the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report:

The US Government releases the TIP Report June 20. “The Government of Uzbekistan remains one of only a handful of governments around the world that subjects its citizens to forced labor through implementation of state policy,” reported the US Government in the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report.

This tragic reality has not changed.
In the last year, the Uzbek Government has continued its forced-labor system, in violation of the rights of Uzbek children and adults, and undermining development of the Uzbek nation.
Here are ten reasons that maintaining Uzbekistan in Tier 3 in the 2014 TIP Report would be the right decision by the US Government:
read more.

* Uzbekistan and South Korea sign agreements for US$350m:

Uzbekistan and South Korea signed a package of agreements for US$350 million within the visit of the President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye to Uzbekistan.

The documents were signed within the results of negotiations between President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye.

In particular, the sides signed a framework agreement between the Government of Uzbekistan and the Government of South Korea in relation of loans of the Fund for Economic Cooperation and Development for 2014-2017. Within the agreement, the Korean Fund will allocate US$250 million funds to Uzbekistan.
read more. & read more. & read more.
UZDAILY Fibre2fashion centralASIAonline


* Chinese Firm to Set Up Textile Industrial Zone in Ethiopia:

A Chinese textile company, Zhejiang Jinda Flax Llc, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Industry, is going to set up a textile industrial zone in the Bole district of the capital Addis Ababa, reports Addis Fortune.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Industry and the Chinese firm was signed in mid-May 2014, and a formal investment agreement is likely to be signed by July-end this year, according to the report.

As per the MoU, the Ministry and Zhejiang Jinda Flax would jointly set up a new company by the name of Kingdom Linen Textile Industrial Zone, which would oversee the construction and development of the textile industrial zone project.
read more.

* Embassy promotes Ethiopian textile sector in Sweden:

Ethiopian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, in collaboration with Chamber Trade Sweden and the Swedish-Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce (SECC), organized a seminar last week to promote investment and business opportunities in Ethiopia.
The seminar was attended by Ethiopian textile and leather companies, the Ethiopian Women Exporters Association and a number of companies from Sweden, according to a statement from Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
read more.


* Human Trafficking in Bahrain: 14 Workers Still Imprisoned at MRS Fashions Factory:

Wal-Mart and JCPenney Responsible

Over 70 Sri Lankan, Indian and Bangladeshi garment workers have been forcibly deported from the MRS Fashions sweatshop on June 16, 17 and 18, and cheated of their back wages.

Two thousand guest workers from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma went on strike seeking justice at MRS Fashions from June 9 through 16.
Two nights ago, on June 16, factory managers accompanied by armed police officers entered the workers’ dormitories, threatening them to return to work or be forcibly deported.

MRS Fashions’ management is linked to a serious crime: illegally confiscating workers’ passports upon arrival in Bahrain. From the moment guest workers arrive from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma, they are stripped of their passports. Confiscation and withholding of passports is criminal under both the Penal Code of Bahrain and under the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement.
read more (and please sign!).


* Employers deny the international right to strike:

 At the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2014, during the discussions in the Committee on Application of Standards, the Employers’ Group persisted to deny that the right to strike forms part of the ILO Convention 87, thus undermining the decades’ long practice of international law application.

The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) is a tripartite body of the ILC consisting of employers, workers and governments.
It has the mandate to scrutinize measures taken by member countries to observe ILO Conventions and make recommendations to governments, aiming to improve the implementation of the Conventions they have ratified.
Each year, the Employers’ Group and the Workers’ Group negotiate a shortlist of 25 countries to examine during the ILC, which must come to consensual conclusions on the recommendations it makes.

The attack on the right to strike started at the International Labour Conference in June 2012, when the spokesperson of the Employers’ Group unexpectedly announced that the Employers would refuse to agree to a negotiated short list of countries that included any case where the right of strike was involved.
This intransigent statement provoked a deadlock and completely blocked the discussion of cases in the CAS.

The Employers’ Group argues that in the absence of any explicit reference to the right to strike in the actual text of ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, the internationally accepted rules of interpretation require Convention 87 to be interpreted without a right to strike.

“The Employers’ Group’s argument relies on a deeply-flawed understanding of the right to freedom of association.
They take a deeply conservative view, where freedom of association is a self-contained, individual right, wholly divorced from the context of industrial relations,” argues Jeff Vogt, legal advisor for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
“However, the right to Freedom of Association has long been understood as a collective right, particularly in the context of industrial relations, and indeed is a bundle of rights, which includes the right to strike.”
read more.



map of Asia


The next bulletin will be published 23 June.

(These pages will be updated as articles are found):
There are updates now under ‘special overviews’:

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 6: 20140607 – NOW
* INDONESIA – Permanent People’s Tribunal on Living Wages 20140620-24

* Lingwu Textile Park accelerates construction

* Vietnam’s fabric & garment exports jump 18% in Jan-May’14
* RoK investment grows in textile and garment sector
* Hanoi, Oslo trade unions boost cooperation
* Labour productivity lags behind region
* Exporters urged to meet EU standards

* Workers Take Contract Demands to Ministry
* Workers take strike to ministry
* Violence ‘cost economy $1.5B’
* BetterFactories Media updates 12-18 June

* Permanent People’s Tribunalon Living wages

* Fire at Savar RMG factory
* Fire breaks out in Ashulia factory
* Fire panic: 50 RMG workers injured in stampede at Ashulia
* Fire guts RMG unit depot

* Fire at Jamuna Jute Mills
* 200 shops burnt to ashes in N’ganj fire
* Hit by washing machine, RMG worker dies in Gazipur
* Accord for evacuation of Mirpur RMG unit
* IFC keen to invest in improving textile sector safety standard
* New RMG plant at DEPZ
* ‘Bt Cotton’ soon to boost cotton production: Matia

* Workers’ reform high on labour ministry’s 100-days agenda
* Union criticises knitwear manufacturers
* Can India beat China in the race for exports dominance?
* Northbrook incident triggers lockouts in five jute mills

* MPAs input sought for welfare of labourers
* Accidental fire: Cotton stocks burn down in fire
* Textile industry: APTMA ready to mainstream sustainability
* Agitation: Textile sector laments GIDC increase again
* Revised GIDC unacceptable, illegal: Baig
* Textiles development collaboration: Pakistan, Tajikistan ink MoU
* ‘Around 80 percent population living below poverty line’

* Activists warn World Bank of unintended consequences
* Ten reasons the US Government should maintain Uzbekistan
* Uzbekistan and South Korea sign agreements for US$350m

* Chinese Firm to Set Up Textile Industrial Zone in Ethiopia
* Embassy promotes Ethiopian textile sector in Sweden

* Human Trafficking in Bahrain: 14 Workers Still Imprisoned at MRS Fashions Factory:

* Employers deny the international right to strike

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