17:23:44 local time CAMBODIA
* Canadia agrees to pay half of late bonuses:
Former employees of a garment factory whose owner skipped town, ceasing operation without warning last month, are to receive half the bonuses owed to them today.
Canadia Industrial Park, where Hong Kong Yu Feng factory is located, will pay more than $30,000 to the 404 employees owed seniority, attendance and other bonuses after a Monday negotiation, said Liv Tharin, president of the Independent Youth Trade Union.
Canadia Bank, which has no ties to the industrial park, recently paid about $100,000 to cover workers’ wages. A secretary for Canadia Bank board chairman Pung Kheav has said they paid salaries to avoid chaos at the industrial park.
* The Fashion Victims of Cambodia:
Khat Samneang’s husband worked in a factory that supplied the U.S. brand Walmart. He started working there when he was 16 years old and earned around USD 3 a month. In January, when fellow workers took to the streets demanding a doubling of the minimum wage, he joined them.
” The money is not enough. Everything is going up. So he joined the protest to get a raise, for our child, to live as normal people, to live a normal life.”
“The Cambodian government’s own commission had found that a livable minimum wage needed to be around USD 160 a month. So when the government announced an increase well below that, the reaction was immediate.”
see more video report.
* 45- 50- 75 workers injured in Kg Cham small truck crash:
About 75 factory workers were injured when the vehicle they were onboard crashed into a tree on Tuesday morning in Kampong Cham province.
Local police said the truck carried about 100 workers before it fell into a small canal, and crashed into the tree, about one kilometer from their footwear factory.
The accident along the National Road six took place when the steering wheel broke. Immediately after the accident, the local military police went to the scene and sent the injured people to hospitals.
to read. & read more. & read more.
18:23:44 local time INDONESIA
* Anti-Dumping Duty Hinders Textile Industry:
The government’s plan to apply an anti-dumping duty on three types of yarn is expected to make things tougher for the textile industry that is already burdened by the power tariff hike, rupiah depreciation and an increased minimum wage.
Therefore, the Indonesian textile Association (API) voiced their objection over an investigation conducted by the Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee (KADI) on the three types of imported yarn. The investigation committee is recommending the extension of additional duties on the imports of spin drawn yarn, partially oriented yarn and drawn textured yarn.
API chairman Ade Sudrajat said the dumping allegation is baseless because the investigation committee is simply referring to product codes that do not specify each item’s type.
“Many types of yarn are unable to be produced in Indonesia. Obviously they would not compete directly with local products,” he spoke during a press conference in Jakarta, yesterday.
* Textile group urges KADI to halt its probe on yarns:
Domestic textile manufacturers have asked the anti-dumping authority to drop its investigations into several types of yarns and plans to impose any measures due to potential losses on downstream players requiring the products.
The Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee (KADI) has proposed punitive duties ranging from 4.5 to 16 percent on the products in question to offset losses caused by the alleged dumping practice, according to Indonesian Textile Association (API) chairman Ade Sudrajat.
He said the additional duties imposed on the products, which are largely imported, would push up production costs.
“The snowball effects will be big. The duties will be very detrimental to our overall domestic textile industry,” Ade said.
The local production of yarns totaled 28,000 tons in the first half of this year, 25,000 tons of which were utilized by its own manufacturers for further production processes, according to an estimate by the business group.
* Illegal Apparel Import Expected to Double in Ramadan:
National businesses estimated the fasting month of Ramadan will see a surge in the imports of illegal clothing by 100 percent, due to the seasonal price increases by 10 to 20 percent during Ramadan and Eid, chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association (API) Ade Sudrajat said yesterday.
According to Ade, the price increase will prompt importers to take profits as much as possible, especially with the proposed enactment of an Anti-Dumping Duty (BMAD) on imported yarn.
Another reason, said Ade, is because the cost to ship clothes from China to Indonesia is ironically cheaper than the shipping costs between cities in Java.
16:23:44 local time BANGLADESH
* RMG workers protest for Eid bonus:
Workers of a readymade garment (RMG) factory in Gazipur on Tuesday agitated for several hours to push their management to pay their Eid bonus.
Around 4,500 workers of Aman Tex in Boiragir Chala locality at Sreepur Upazila joined the protests from 8am on Tuesday, said Md Kabir Hossain, inspector of Gazipur industrial police.
‘The workers also demonstrated on Monday for earn leave. They stopped their movement after the factory management promised to fulfil their demand,’ he said, according to a news agency.
to read. & read more. & read more.
* RMG workers demand wages, bonus before Ramadan 20:
Readymade garment (RMG) workers demanded Tuesday that their wages, dues and festival bonus be paid before Ramadan 20, reports UNB.
They came up with the demand at a human chain organised by Jago Bangladesh Garments Sramik Federation (JBGSF) in front of the Jatiya Press Club.
The workers alleged that factory owners are showing reluctance over paying the wages and bonus before the Eid like every Eid in the past.
Speaking on the occasion, JBGSF president M Bahar Sultan said, “The wages for July and other dues, including festival bonus, must be paid by 20 Ramadan.”
Around 5.0 million people are working in the country’s RMG sector and it is not possible to run the industry keeping the employees hungry, he said.
* Accord, Alliance react to ministers’ remarks:
The recent remarks made by two ministers and BGMEA leaders have sparked strong reactions from the western retailers’ groups – the Accord and the Alliance.
Steering committee members of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in a letter to the commerce and labour ministers have expressed their resentment, saying such remarks could be considered as a threat to the rights and safety of the trade union activists, including members of IBC (IndustriAll Bangladesh Council).
On the other hand, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in a separate statement published on its website Monday, termed the BGMEA president’s remarks, which publicly questioned the motives behind the letter about the torture of Bangladeshi workers and suggested legal action against its author, ‘inflammatory’ and ‘unacceptable’.
However, both the platforms sought the government’s support for achieving a real and lasting change in the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector.
The Accord in the letter said: “We are particularly concerned with comments that could be considered as threatening to our IBC colleagues, made by the state minister at an ILO event in late May, and comments, made by the commerce minister at two separate press briefings.”
* Alliance terms BGMEA chief’s remark unacceptable:
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of North American retailers, on Monday termed the remarks of the Bangladesh apparel association leader’s comment regarding a letter about workers’ harassment to the US Congress unacceptable.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Atiqul Islam earlier demanded legal action against the labour leaders who wrote letter to the US Congress about harassment of workers in the garment factories.
During the recent visit of Bangladesh trade delegation to Washington, the US congressmen expressed concern about a letter they had received that cited harassment of workers attempting to unionise in Bangladesh garment factories.
The BGMEA president publicly questioned about the motives behind the letter and demanded legal action against some trade union leaders.
In a statement the chair of the Alliance, Allen Tauscher, said, ‘As an organisation that is deeply committed to protecting and supporting workers in the Bangladesh garment industry the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety finds Mr Islam’s remarks inflammatory and unacceptable.’
The BGMEA president, however, in a different letter to US congressman George Miller said, ‘In Washington I was very distressed to learn about the complaints where the domestic remedies available have not been exhausted………… The comment I made to the press was meant for affirmative action in that context and the need for all to realise that our government is also strongly supportive of protecting workers’ rights. I deeply regret any misunderstanding that may have been caused’.
* Cool response to BGMEA move tocreate a central workers’ database :
The initiative of the BGMEA, the apex body of the apparel sector, to create a central workers’ database is yet to get any headway in absence of positive responses from many of its member factories, according to industry insiders.
Only 270 out of the country’s 3,500 existing apparel units have so far got listed with the central workers’ database since it was launched in May, 2013.
According to the sector leaders, many garment owners don’t have much interest in getting enlisted with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) central workers’ database.
The readymade garment (RMG) workers’ central database is aimed to automate the apparel industry and its all employees using latest technology.
“We have taken an initiative in May, 2013 to create a central workers’ database that will hold all RMG factories and employees’ personal and employment history and will issue high-tech chip based ID card for each employee but the response is very poor”, vice president of BGMEA Shahidullah Azim told the FE.
* Govt fails to recruit addl factory inspectors within extended time:
The government has failed to complete the recruitment of additional 200 factory inspectors within the extended timeframe until June 30 due to some procedural complexity.
A labour ministry official said that all the complicities including amendment of a relevant rule have been completed and the recruitment process might be complete within 2 months.
The recruitment of 200 factory inspectors was the key requirement of EU Sustainability Compact as well as the GSP action plan for restoring generalised system of preferences in the US market.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24 last year which killed more than 1,100 garment workers, the EU and the Bangladesh government signed the Sustainability Compact in July last year, and later the US joined the initiative.
The Compact set the deadline of December 30 last year for recruiting 200 additional inspectors to ensure effective inspection in the readymade garment sector in Bangladesh.
Due to some procedural complexity the government sought time up until March and latter on it promised to complete the recruitment by June 30.
* GSP revival, retention may come into question from US, EU:
Latest deadline for recruiting inspectors over
With the latest deadline now well over, Bangladesh might face question at the review meeting on the progress in fulfilling terms of the GSP-related Sustainability Compact due to failure in recruiting additional 200 inspectors for garment factories within the extended timeframe, sources said.
The Compact initially set December 30, 2013 as the deadline for recruiting 200 additional inspectors. The government, however, sought time twice for the purpose due to non-completion of necessary formalities.
Failing to complete the recruitment by the December deadline, the government had got the timeframe extended until March. Then again, it further sought time until June 30. The latest timeline was well over yesterday (Monday).
The government has missed the second-time extended deadline for recruitment of 200 additional inspectors for the country’s readymade garment (RMG) factories for compliance with the terms of the consumer nations for some ‘procedural complexities’, sources involved with the process said.
* Broad-based plans for further improving handloom sector: Minister:
The present government has undertaken broad-based initiatives for further improving the handloom sector with all modern facilities including training and setting up of new establishments.
“The Bangladesh Handloom Board has placed eight proposals to the government to achieve the target in the sixth and seventh five-year plans during 2011-2021,” said Jute and Textile Minister Imajuddin Pramanik in the Jatiya Sangsad Tuesday, reports BSS.
Replying to a question from treasury bench member Abdur Rouf from Kusthia, the minister said of the total projects, three are ongoing and the rest five are proposed.
The ongoing projects under the 6th plan are fashion design and training institute, one basic centre, BMRE of the existing textile processing centre at Madhabdi (Narshingdi) and three service centres at the handloom-dominated areas under the 6th plan.
* Financial, jute crisis hit production in Khulna, Jessore jute mills:
Financial crisis and shortage of raw materials are hampering normal production in nine state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt, said officials concerned.
They said that the authorities of the mills might be forced to suspend production as it would not be possible for the mills to continue the production for more than three or four days with the stocks of jute.
The nine mills now cannot buy raw jute because of financial crisis as 42,600 tonnes of jute products of about Tk 400 crore have been lying unsold in their warehouses due to sharp fall of demand in international markets, said the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation zonal office liaison officer, Jahangir Noorie. Financial, jute crisis
* State-owned jute mills lose Tk 383.87cr in current fiscal:
State-owned jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation incurred loss of Tk 383.87 crore in the 2012-13 fiscal, after making profit in the previous two fiscal years.
Textiles and jute minister Emajuddin Pramanik stated this in parliament in reply to a starred question of Sharif Ahmed.
RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE
* Seven European countries urge retailers to contribute to Rana Plaza fund:
The governments of seven European countries have asked retailers to immediately put in their contributions to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund as the victims are yet to receive adequate compensation more than one year after the deadly industrial disaster.
The message came in a joint statement from the governments of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain, read out by Liliane Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris last week.
“We recommend that companies that sourced in Rana Plaza contribute to the established trust fund… immediately, and we invite all companies irrespective of whether they have any sourcing links to Rana Plaza to also contribute,” she told the OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct on June 26.
“Finally, we also urge the government of Bangladesh and the BGMEA to increase their contribution and ensure their public accountability.”
The trust fund needs $40 million to fully compensate the victims, but has only received $17 million so far, nearly half of which has been given by one company alone, British retailer Primark, the statement said.
Of the $17 million, $4 million has already been disbursed to the victims, according to Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary general of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the local chapter of IndustriALL, the global union federation which was instrumental in drafting in the trust fund.
15:53:44 local time INDIA
* 65% fall in child labourers, but we still have 44 lakh:
India has 43.5 lakh labourers in the age group of 5 to 14 years, according to the 2011 census. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of child workers with nearly 9 lakh and a majority of them are in the rural areas.
This is followed by Maharashtra with close to 5 lakh.
Compared to the 2001 census, there is a drop of 65% in the number of workers in this age group.
In the last census, there were 1.3 crore children aged 5 to 14 working fulltime in various factories, shops and establishments.
A combination of efforts by governments through various legislations, judicial intervention and also by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seems to have brought down the number of child labourers in the country.
The 2009-10 NSSO survey estimated that there were 49.8 lakh child labourers.
Children in UP are employed in the carpet and textile industries as well as domestic help in cities. ”
Many children are employed in carpet and textile industries in the state.
We have adopted 200 villages in the state and have successfully weaned away children from these industries,” said Lenin Raghuvanshi, executive director, Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) involved in Varanasi and nearby districts. Campaign and boycott of goods made by Indian children across the world has also lent a sense of urgency to tackling the social evil.
* Tender years blighted in Gujarat’s cotton fields:
Craving a mobile phone but unable to afford it, a boy, not even in his teens, dropped out of school in his Rajasthan village to join friends working at a cotton plantation in neighbouring Gujarat.
What followed was a harrowing two months that not only shows how child labour is flourishing but the inhuman conditions and near-torture thousands of such minors across the country undergo.
Lakshman Lal Kharari, a 12-year-old from Bhesana village in Jhadol block, around 40 km from Udaipur, was one of the lucky ones who could return home.
Lakshman said he (a class 8 student then) dropped out of school in 2013 when many of his classmates and neighbours, all in their teens, told him about a seth’s (affluent man) plantation in Gujarat that grew Bt cotton, a genetically modified variety.
With the promise of getting paid Rs.120 per day, Lakshman crossed over into the neighbouring state to work there — but two months was all he could endure before returning to his village and vowing never to return.
The trauma on his face is quite evident when he says his time there was “torturous”.
“We had to work from 4 a.m. till 2 p.m. harvesting cotton, while standing in ankle-deep muddy water,” Lakshman told IANS.
* Cheaper imports make textile products vulnerable: President:
I firmly believe universities, corporate sector and government departments can contribute: President
President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday called for urgent steps to develop the textiles sector, saying its products are vulnerable to competition from cheaper imports and machine-made substitutes.
He said there should be “concerted and collective” steps to safeguard the interests of the handloom and handicrafts sector, including facilitation of easier access to credit.
Besides, he said, promotion of handloom and handicraft products in domestic and foreign markets and research for developing innovative technology will help the sector.
Mukherjee said: “It cannot be ignored that this (textile) sector despite its wide production base has been constrained in its growth. It has been disadvantaged by its inadequate access to credit, dependence on middlemen, inadequate availability of raw material, outdated technology and limited access to markets. The products in this sector remain vulnerable to competition from cheaper imports and machine-made substitutes.”
read more. & read more.
* Textile entrepreneurs welcome proposal to simplify Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme:
Textile entrepreneurs in the country’s biggest man-made fibre hub are excited after Union textile minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar recently said in Mumbai that the government planned to simplify the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) and allocate to it Rs 2,500 crore in this financial year.
Modernization in the MMF textile hub, which started a few years ago, is set to get a major boost in 2014-15. As the textile industry has set a $50 billion export target, the TUFS scheme is likely to play a major role by improving infrastructural facilities and creating a skilled manpower for the sector.
* At the loom:
Karghaa, a weavers initiative, is all set to celebrate its first anniversary this week
When Karghaa first set up shop in upmarket Banjara Hills last July, the aim was to carve a niche for itself and its 120 weavers.
Today, a year since it first made its debut, the store has done that and more, with bulk orders being placed for their intricate weaves by fashion houses and a loyal clientele base.
The store, which is a weavers initiative, was set up by Chenetha Colour Weaves (CCW), a handloom weaver owned social enterprise. The organisation which initially operated from Choutuppal moved base to Banjara Hills, with the view of making their weaves more accessible to city shoppers and attract the big guns.
“We have nearly 120 weavers who are a part of the initiative and this is an attempt to ensure that they get the full profits for their skills.
With no middle men in the equation, it is the weavers who stand to profit,” says Sudha Rani, chief executive officer, at CCW.
15:23:44 local time PAKISTAN
* Labour unions protest mills closure:
About 12 labour union of different departments under the banner of Muttahida Mazdoor Mahaz on Tuesday protested against the closure of Anmol Textile Mills.
Mahaz President Muhammad Azam Khan, Secretary-General Muhammad Iqbal Khan with other labour representatives said the mills administration had closed the unit unlawfully and without notice, rendering 600 workers jobless.
Azam said: “As per the law, any factory is bound to pay half salary to the labourers till its closure.”
He demanded that the Punjab government take notice of the situation and provide relief to poor workers.
Anmol Mills Admin Officer Rana Shafqat said the unit was closed because of non-supply of electricity for more than 20 hours.
“We had closed the unit after paying the entire amount of the working 250 labourers.”
* July-May 2013-14: readymade garment exports witness 8% increase:
Despite attaining a much-desired GSP plus status, the country could earn just $1.768 billion in July-May period of fiscal year 2013-14 through the export of readymade garments, exporters said on Tuesday.
The country’s total export of readymade garments during July-May 2013-14 witnessed a meagre increase of $128 million (8 percent) from $1.640 billion in the same period last fiscal year, official figures say.
The exporters said that the 8 percent increase was not an impressive growth considering the GSP plus status. The export of apparel textile should have grown threefold only to the EU market, they added.
“The government is unable to formulate a viable policy to boost the textile export under GSP plus regime,” said chief co-ordinator, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Ijaz A Khokhar.
* Textile exports up 6pc to $12.6b:
The textile exports from the country increased by 6 per cent, mainly due to growth in value-added products, during the first eleven months of the fiscal year 2013-14, compared to the exports of the same period of last year.
The overall exports from the country during July-May (2013-14) were recorded at $12.626 billion against the exports of $11.916 billion during July- May (2012-13), according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The products that contributed in positive growth of textile trade included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 38.84 per cent by surging from $146.724 million last year to $203.709 million in 2013-14.
The exports of cotton cloth increased from $2,466.739 million to $2,576.765 million, showing an increase of 4.46 per cent while the exports of cotton (carded or combed) increased from $6.086 million to $6.260 million, an increase of 2.86 per cent.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* Exports of synthetic textile, towel, yarn drop despite GSP Plus:
Despite duty-free market access granted to Pakistan by the EU countries under GSP Plus status from January 2014, the exports of several textile items including towel, synthetic textile and cotton yarn, are still showing negative growth.
As per data, the exports of synthetic and silk textile during the concluding fiscal year of 2013-14 were recorded at $348.39 million compared to $369.17 in 2012-13, showing a decrease of 5.63 percent.
However, the exports of all other textile products increased by 20.74 percent during the first eleven months of the FY2013-14 as these grew from $351.91 million last year to $424.88 million.
* FPCCI seeks reduced income tax rate of 0.25% on textile exports:
Pakistan’s apex trade body on Tuesday proposed extension in existing Textile Policy for the next five years with the reduction of income tax to 0.25 percent on export of textile products.
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) informed the Textile Ministry that in Bangladesh the rate of income tax on export is 0.25 percent, while in Pakistan it is one percent, which immediately required to be matched with Bangladesh.
It is also proposed that 0.25 percent export development surcharge deducted from export proceeds is burden on exports and must be abolished. The government should find alternative of the collection but not from exporters.
* Experts concerned over Indian growth in exports to EU:
Though Pakistan and Bangladesh enjoy GSP Plus status and Indian value-added textile exports are subject to normal duties in the European Union, still India posted highest growth in exports to the EU in the first quarter of 2014, experts said on Tuesday.
Less increase in exports than non-GSP Plus India is not a good omen for Pakistan, as India’s extraordinary surge in exports reveals the preparedness of the Indians to deal with the GSP Plus advantage of Pakistan. It also shows the non-professional approach of Pakistan’s private sector and the state machinery dealing with textiles, the experts said.
Pakistan did benefit from GSP Plus huge duty concession in the first three months of this year with quantitative export growth of 28 percent in knitted garments and 29 percent in woven garments after obtaining the GSP Plus status in January, according to the data retrieved from EUROSTAT and Emerging Textiles.
India has graduated out of even GSP status that provides some relief in duties than the normal EU tariff. However, Indian textiles showed remarkable growth in value-added exports to India in the first three months of 2014.
* Energy loadshedding: textile industry irked by absence of minister:
Textile industry circles have raised eyebrows over the absence of Minister of Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi from the scene when the Punjab-based textile industry is going through the mill on account of energy shortage.
Talking to the Business Recorder, they said the textile industry is the only industry having a separate ministry with an independent minister but the way the Punjab-based textile mills are facing energy shortage has exposed the hollowness of the ministry as well as the apathy of its incharge.
* Cotton prices fall by Rs300:
Cotton prices fell on Tuesday due to a decline in consumption by spinning mills.
According to a dealer, monthly average consumption of the country’s textile sector was between 1.3 million and 1.4m bales, but it has now been plummeted to around 400,000 bales since the start of Ramazan.
He said the government had also increased the duration of load-shedding for the textile sector during the holy month from eight hours to 12 hours. “This has also hurt the consumption,” he said.
Arrivals in Punjab have doubled as the factories were getting 50 to 100 maunds, he said.
He said that a total of 22 ginning factories were functional across the country, of which five were from Punjab and the remaining from Sindh. Although there is a downward trend in cotton prices in South Asian markets, the India is the only country where the market is steady and prices are increasing.
* Textile industry: JICA to provide technical experts:
The Director General of Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) informed the Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi that JICA would be providing technical experts to the Ministry for marketing, vocational training for women and capacity building of garment technology institutes.
During a high level meeting held here on Tuesday, Director General JICA stated that at present, three initiatives had been identified; one each at the Ministry of Textile Industry, the Faisalabad Garment City and Pakistan Knitwear Training Institute, Lahore, but these will begin next year after formalities have been completed at their level.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* H&M’s response to Tailored Wages:
H&M has made a direct response to our analysis of its ‘fair living wage’ project published in the Tailored Wages report March 2014. H&M says:
“[H&M] believe that it is an outdated view that foreign companies should determine what a living wage is in for example Bangladesh. It is the textile workers own perception of what a fair living wage is that serves as our definition of a living wage. It is also important that the wages should be set by negotiation between the different parties of the labour market.”
See here for their full response.
Just like H&M, CCC considers wage negotiations to be essential for achieving living wages and just like H&M, CCC believes that this wage should be agreed between different parties in the labour market. However it is disappointing to see that H&M seems to have adopted the view that it is neither a part of these negotiations nor has a role in ensuring these result in achieving a living wage.
Picture this. Workers are asked in a factory how much they think they need to live with dignity.
They look at their wages (which are very little), and ask for that wage to be increased by 160%.
This seems like a huge increase from their position, but in reality, when a living wage is 400% of the current minimum wage, this increase clearly doesn’t cover living costs for a family.
The factory owner says that he can’t afford to increase it by this amount anyway as his margin is too small.
At a national level, unions try to negotiate for the minimum wage to go up to 160% also, but the government says it is unable to increase the minimum wage by this margin because it will mean buyers relocate to other Asian countries.
Workers and local unions therefore gather at a regional level and decide a living wage figure to represent them, and ask brands to negotiate on it.
But brands like H&M see these figure, and say instead that it has to be negotiated at the factory level.
The stalemate at a local, national and regional level, can only be broken by brands, who work at all three levels, engaging in the wage process, making a public commitment to a wage figure, and using this to increase prices paid to factories. Public commitment to a figure opens up the space in negotiation on a national level for wage increase. The figure can also be factored into pricing, making wage negotiations on a factory level plausible and empowered.
For us this commitment should be to the Asia Floor Wage – which is a union led, democratic, transparent process to define a living wage on a regional level.
If another regionally negotiated, transparent, union supported demand were to emerge, the CCC would also support this.