In the news 11 July 2014

19:32:00 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Seminar discusses investment opportunities in the US/
US laws introduced in HCM City :

20140711 VNplus
Inside a workshop of the Khanh Hoa Garment JSC (Photo: VNA)

A seminar in HCM City on July 10 focused on assisting Vietnamese businesses improve their understanding of American laws and increase their capacity to effectively seek cooperative investment opportunities in the US. 

During the seminar, experts agreed that the US Foreign Investment Act has opened up the market to allow for wholly owned foreign-invested companies with adequate safeguards to enforce those rights in American courts.

Hoang Kim Son, Head of Vietnam’s trade office in San Francisco emphasized that Vietnamese businesses should learn more about the laws, regulations and requirements of the US market to operate effectively, especially after the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement comes into effect.
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VOVonline VIETNAMplus

* No end in sight for Vietnam’s human resource crisis:

20140711 THANHNIENews education
Workers arrange pieces of fabric under embroidery machines inside a garment factory the southern Binh Duong Province. The poor quality of Vietnam’s labor force “remains a challenge” to its development. Photo credit: Bloomberg

A recent World Bank report confirmed that the poor quality of Vietnam’s labor force “remains a challenge” to the country’s development as educational reforms flounder.

“Employers continue to report [the lack of] availability of skilled workers as a more severe binding constraint than labor market regulations or taxes,” according to the report, released on July 8 and titled Taking Stock: An Update on Vietnam’s Recent Economic Developments..

“Many employers identify hiring new workers as a particularly serious challenge due to inadequate skills, especially among those applying for technical, professional and managerial positions,” the report said.
The issue also topped the agenda of a recent meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF)–a consortium of international and local business associations and chambers of commerce.
“It is urgent that Vietnam modernize and upgrade its national curriculum, particularly at the vocational and university levels,” Marc Townsend, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said at the meeting.
Experts say Vietnam’s education system remains overly rigid and addled by scandals. The country’s notoriously passive teaching methods afford students few chances to interact with teachers, participate in discussions or ask questions, they argue.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

19:32:00 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers Protest After Factory Ignores Arbitrator:

About 400 workers protested and burned tires outside the Ocean Garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Thursday after the factory failed to follow an Arbitration Council ruling from Wednesday to give the workers $120 each in furlough pay since the factory suspended operations.

At about 9 a.m., workers set alight 10 tires and blocked the road to the factory for two hours before deciding to delay the protest until Monday, when they plan to march from the factory to the Labor Ministry. 

“I am very angry. I need the money to pay for my house and other things. I have waited for this money from the factory for a very long time,” said Sin Sophoan Narin, 51, an Ocean Garment worker who attended the protest.

“If we don’t burn tires, the institutes involved will continue on living without paying attention to us,” said Khut Maly, another protester. “Just burning [tires] is not enough. We have to march into the city.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Factory wage rallies heat up:

20140711 PPP Ocean-garment-protest
Workers from Ocean Garment factory burn tyres in front of the company’s factory during a protest yesterday demanding to be paid for the period of time the factory was closed. Photo by Pha Lina.

More than 1,000 workers held a demonstration in front of Ocean Garment factory in the capital yesterday, burning tyres and blocking the road in protest against the management’s refusal to abide by a ruling that workers be paid in full for a one-month closure.

On May 24, Ocean management announced to employees that the factory would close until June 26, and that workers would be paid $15 for the intervening period.

After the Arbitration Council ruled on Wednesday that the factory – which remains closed – must pay employees their full salaries for the month (at least $100 per worker), Ocean wrote in a letter that it would not follow the ruling and intended to pay workers just $50 for that month.

“Because of our anger, we decided to block the street in front of the factory and burn more than 10 tyres on factory grounds,” said Houn Vanna, a representative of workers at the factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.
read more.
PPP new

* Garment Factory Donates Rice to Workers:

Grand Twins International (Cambodia), a manufacturer for U.S. athletic apparel brands, donated 80 tons of jasmine rice to about 6,000 workers at its factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Thursday.

“I got 15 kg of rice because I have worked here for three years,” said Lim Chanda.
“But I don’t know why the factory offered the rice to workers. It’s strange to me.”

Another worker said she received 5 kg of rice, but also did not know why the company gave it to the workers. “I am happy to receive 5 kg of rice.
I asked other workers and they said they don’t know, either,” said Chhim Vuthy, 22.

Grand Twins officials could not be reached for comment, but local media reported that the donation was to encourage workers to continue to do good work.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* BetterFactories  Media updates 5-10 July 2014, Registration of garment factories up in the first half:

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

2014-07-07 Registration of garment factories up in the first half
2014-07-10 Thailand plus one equals gains

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

2014-07-05-06 Disability initiatives launched as jobs quota not met
2014-07-07 Workers continue strike over change to pay day
2014-07-09 FTU trio held at factory by rivals in union clash
2014-07-09 Growth masks garment sector woes, groups say

Betterfactories Media Updates Overview here.
BF NEW

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

20:32:00 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Workers’ Survey Report 2014:

Worker communication is a core activity of Better Work.
Significant resources are allocated for this particular area.

Therefore, to better understand the effectiveness of the workers communication, Better Work Indonesia conducted workers’ survey in the greater area of Jakarta. The survey shown the most common  and effective of communication channel for workers in the garment factories.
read more.
BW indonesia

* Maternity Protection at Work Guideline:

For working women, pregnancy and maternity are vulnerable times. Maternity leave and breastfeeding breaks while at work are protected under national and international law in most countries. 

Special protection is required in the workplace for expectant and nursing mothers to prevent harm to their health or to health of their children, and they need adequate time to give birth, recover and nurse their children.  They also need social protection to ensure job security that prevents dismissal based on pregnancy or maternity leave.

In Indonesia, the vast majority of workers employed in garment factories are young women who have recently had or are planning to have children in the near future.

Despite the many calls for and commitments to maternity protection for all workers, many women are denied such rights and remain vulnerable throughout maternity. In some cases, women workers lack maternity protection at work, because even though they are legally entitled to maternity protection, such rights are not recognized by many employers or are difficult to claim.
They fear among other things that work may harm their maternal health or that maternity leave may threaten their livelihoods and economic security.
read more.
BW indonesia

* Impact Assessment Manager Report:

This report focuses on factory manager perceptions of challenges to their business success, production innovation planning and preliminary findings on the impact of Better Work on factories participating in the Better Work impact assessment.

Year-over-year data show that factory managers report a 24% increase in being the preferred supplier of their most important customers.
Factories enrolled in Better Work Indonesia are receiving fewer factory visits from their most important customers, as the proportion of factories receiving 2 or fewer visits per year from their most important customer increased 31% between data collections.
Follow-up surveys show that sourcing challenges remain fairly consistent over time, including challenges stemming from uncertain customer orders and increasing concern with the frequency of rush orders.
read more.
BW indonesia

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

19:02:00 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* ILO, Myanmar to develop employers’ capacity:

Myanmar’s biggest business organization and the International Labor Organization (ILO) will launch a project for boosting the capacity of employers’ organizations in Myanmar and promoting work principles and sustainable enterprises, state media reported today.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce an Industry (UMFCCI) and the ILO, the project, aimed at solving disputes between employers and employees and promoting skill of laborers, will be implemented up to April 2016.
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BSS

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

18:32:00 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers’ dues to be cleared before Eid: Tofail:

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed Thursday assured of clearing all kinds of payments of the apparel workers ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of the Muslim community.

“The garment owners will have to pay salaries, festival allowances and other financial benefits to the workers, and the government will not allow any errant manufacturer this time,” the commerce minister told reporters after a meeting with the European Union (EU) Ambassador William Hanna at his Secretariat office.

Responding to a question, he admitted that the workers of Tazreen Fashions have not received wages for the last two months, as the apparel group owners were in jail following the tragic fire incident that killed 113 workers in 2012.

“We’ll take necessary measures to clear salaries of the Tazreen workers before the Eid after consulting with the leaders of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association).”

In response to another query, he claimed of achieving substantial progress in the garment industry since the Rana Plaza tragedy, in which more than 1,130 workers were killed.

“Only 2% factories have been found with structural vulnerability in the recent inspections of 1,500 apparel units, and we closed down those units to avert any further untoward incident.”
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FE bd banglanews24NEW NEWAGEnew DHAKATRIBUNE

* Exports up by 11%  as RMG sales rise:

The exports of the country rose around 11.65 percent in the 2013-14 Fiscal Year that ended in June than the previous year, thanks to the stronger clothing sales.

The Export Promotion Bureau disclosed the matter on Thursday saying the amount of export was nearly $30.18 billion.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

* RMG exports hit record $24.5b -$ 30b:

20140711 NEWAGE
by NEWAGE

Garment exports hit a record high at $24.50 billion in the immediate past fiscal year, rising 13.86 percent year-on-year, according to Export Promotion Bureau.

Competitive prices of Bangladeshi products and a higher demand among Western consumers have led to the growth despite all domestic and international odds, exporters said.
Export of knitwear products rose 15.02 percent to $12.04 billion, while that of woven garments grew 12.70 percent to $12.44 billion.
The total garment exports were worth $21.51 billion in fiscal 2012-13.
“2013 was a challenging year for us. Still, garment exports rose $3 billion in fiscal 2013-14 compared to that a year ago,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
“We have proved our resilience again,” he said, adding that garment exports would have crossed $28 billion in 2013-14 had there been no disasters like the Rana Plaza building collapse and political turmoil.

“The trend is good as international retailers are still coming to Bangladesh with a lot of work orders. China has already become an expensive destination for them.”
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daily star bd NEWAGEnew

* Roundup: Bangladesh’s 2013-14 fiscal exports hit all-time yearly high:

20140711 FE
by FE

Bangladesh grossed the highest ever yearly export income in the immediate past 2013-14 (July 2012-June 2013) fiscal year as demand for garment products further soared on Soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil, officials said Thursday.

An Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) official told Xinhua export income in the 2013-14 fiscal year grew 11.65 percent year on year to exceed 30 billion U. S. dollars for the first time.
“2013-14 fiscal year exports reached 30,176.80 million U.S. dollars, setting a new record,” said the official who preferred not to be named.

With 2.80 billion U.S. dollars export earning in June, up 3.50 percent over the same period a year ago, he said the country’s overall export earnings in the last fiscal year, however, fell short of target by 1.06 percent.
(…)

Soccer World Cup has come as a big boon for Bangladesh’s ready- made dress makers as they bagged about 1 billion dollars in export orders to sew clothing for fans of the participating teams, industry insiders say.
Garment makers say they have made millions of pieces of soccer jerseys, T-shirts, flags and hats for fans of all the World Cup’s 32 teams and already sent their products to all across the world.
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CHINAORG DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

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18:02:00 local time map of india INDIA

* Powerloom weavers oppose DGVCL move to collect security deposit:

Powerloom weavers from more than 200 industrial societies across the city have opposed Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited’s (DGVCL) decision to raise security deposit from industrial users on Monday.

Many powerloom weavers joined a protest programme held outside DGVCL’s headquarters in Kapodara under the leadership of Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA).
They also submitted a memorandum opposing the decision.
The weavers demanded the DGVCL authorities revoke the decision to raise security deposit from the industrial customers who are regularly paying their bills.

President of FOGWA Ashok Jirawala told TOI, “The industrial users have already paid security deposit when they were provided electricity connections many years ago. Now, there is no question of again asking the consumers to pay security deposit.
The weavers and other industrial consumers in the city have decided not to pay security deposit.
If the company officials force us to pay the deposit amount then we will hand over the keys of our units to them as a mark of protest.”
read more.
TOInew

* Fillip for textiles, garments:

Rs 50 cr allocated for trade facilitation centre and crafts museum to promote handlooms

In a boost to the readymade garment sector, the Budget has announced duty-free entitlement for import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified items to five per cent of the value of their exports, from the current three per cent.

“This will help increase exports and is a good boost for the industry,” said Rahul Mehta, president of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India. The government has fixed a $50-billion textile export target for the current year. Nearly 40 per cent of this is readymade garments.

The move will also help Indian manufacturers to compete with other countries in getting more orders from global retail sourcing entities, such as Walmart.
The industry says the move will help bring down the cost of readymade garments meant for export by two to three per cent.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Good days ahead: apparel cluster:

Overall business activities will see an exponential growth

Different stakeholders in the MSME (micro small and medium enterprises) dominated Tirupur apparel cluster, and farmers here see ‘Achche Din’ (good days) ahead following the proactive proposals in the Union Budget for the said sectors.

According to technocrats, the creation of Rs. 10,000 crore fund for a conducive system for venture capital in MSME segment is going to promote entrepreneurship, and emergence of start-up companies in clusters like Tirupur. “With the fund to be allocated as equity/risk capital for start-up ventures, overall business activities are going to witness an exponential increase,” said S. Dhananjayan, chartered accountant and industry consultant.

Entitlement
Apparel exporters here were enthused that the Finance Minister had decided to increase the duty free entitlement for import of trimmings and embellishments from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the value of their exports.
read more.
THEHINDU

* Government to invest Rs 200 cr in 8 textile mega clusters:

To encourage exports of readymade garments, FM proposed to increase the duty free entitlement for import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified items

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced to set up eight textile mega clusters at Varanasi, Bareily, Lucknow, Surat, Kutch, Bhagalpur, Mysore and one in Tamil Nadu with a sum of Rs 200 crore. Jaitley also proposed to provide Rs 50 crore to set-up a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum to develop and promote handloom products and carry forward the rich tradition of handlooms of Varanasi.
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BUSINESSSTANDARD 2 Fibre2fashion THEHINDUBUSINESS

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

17:32:00 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Punjab-based textile mills: Minister saves one million jobs by revising gas supply schedule, says APTMA chief:

Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer has said that the Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources has saved one million jobs of the Punjab-based textile industry by revising gas supply schedule to 8pm to 2am during the holy month of Ramazan.

He said APTMA leadership was grateful to the Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, State Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Advisor to Petroleum Minister Zahid Muzaffar, Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Naeem Malik and MD SNGPL Arif Hameed for realising the plight of the Punjab-based textile industry and its workers with the imminent closure of mills during the Holy month of Ramadan.

He said the APTMA delegation, led by the group leader Gohar Ejaz, Senior Vice Chairman APTMA Seth Akbar, Wisal Monnoo and himself had called on the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources in follow up of an emergent general body meeting of APTMA Punjab against the gas supply schedule of 9am to 3pm.
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BUSINESSRECORDER

* Punjab-based textile mills to get gas from 8pm to 2am during Ramazan:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab zone said federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources has saved one million jobs of the Punjab-based textile industry by revising gas supply schedule to 8pm to 2am during Ramazan.

APTMA’s SM Tanveer said the APTMA leadership was grateful to the Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, State Minister Jam Kamal Khan, adviser to Petroleum Minister Zahid Muzaffar, Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Abid Saeed, additional Secretary Naeem Malik and Managing Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Arif Hameed for realising the plight of the Punjab-based textile industry and its workers with the imminent closure of mills during Ramazan.
He said the APTMA delegation led by the group leader Gohar Ejaz and senior members remained successful for bringing change in schedule of gas supply from 9am to 3pm through perusing concerned quarters.

He said the response of the government functionaries was highly encouraging and positive, as they understood the viewpoint of APTMA leadership and changed the gas supply schedule.
read more.
daily times PK

*  Industrialists stress revival of sick units:

Revival of sick units should be the top priority of the government in order to fully harvest the benefit of GSP Plus, and to create new jobs, said participants of a meeting.
The participants urged the government to take immediate steps for the revival of value added textile sector as the yarn consumption at international level was declining for the last few years and the whole production of spinning units will be in local value added textile sector.

The meeting was attended by Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid, Mian Azhar Majid of Arzo Textile, Mushtaq A Cheema of MSC Textile, Mian Muhammad Latif of Chenab Group, Mian Farhan Latif former president of FCCI and Muzammal Sultan.

Cheema said that the government had two basic responsibilities including earning foreign exchange and providing jobs. He said that textile sector was capable of catering to the basic requirements. Hence, revival of the sick units is very important for the government as well as for the country, he said.
read more.
the NATIONnew

And What About Living Wages….?  It Is A Human Right…..!   Who Cares……

17:32:00 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* End Daewoo Profits from Forced Labor! :

20140710 ILRF Daewoo protest graphic III

Nearly 230,000 people from more than 190 countries have signed a petition demanding Daewoo International, a South-Korean-based multinational corporation stop profiting from forced labor of children and adults in Uzbekistan.

Daewoo is the largest processor of cotton in Uzbekistan, where the Uzbek government requires more than a million children and adults to grow and harvest cotton each year in one of the world’s largest systems of state-orchestrated forced labor. Eleven people died in the 2013 harvest, including Amirbek Rakhmatov, a six-year-old boy who suffocated under a pile of cotton during a nap while accompanying his mother to the fields.

Cotton is a state-controlled business in Uzbekistan, feeding the coffers of the elite on the backs of citizens. Each year, the government forcibly mobilizes farmers to grow cotton and more than a million men, women and children to harvest it. Daewoo gets discounted cotton prices, tax incentives and preferential loans for its large, and growing, investments in the Uzbek cotton sector. Daewoo has publicly admitted it knows the cotton it uses in its textile factories in Uzbekistan is made with forced labor, but it chooses profit over the lives of Uzbek citizens forced to toil in the fields. 

You can help hold Daewoo accountable for its participation in this unconscionable violation of human rights:
Sign the petition
read more.
ILRFnew

NAMIBIA

* Namibian tannery workers strike :

Around 120 members of the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) have downed tools at Nakara Tannery in Windhoek demanding transport to and from work.

Workers are ready to accept the wage increase negotiated between their employer and IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, Manwu, but have stood fast on their demand for transport, voting to go on an indefinite strike after coming to a deadlock on the matter.

The impact of rising transport costs are often overlooked and increasingly low waged workers opt to walk to work in order to not incur these costs. This increases their daily calorie intake requirements which are often not met, thus workers are going hungry.

“Some workers have to walk very long distances to work, up to five kilometres each way every day and what is worse is that they are often victims of crime, being an easy target for robbers,” said Justina Jonas, General Secretary of Manwu.

“This time workers felt that they could not compromise on their need for transport.”
Jonas also raised concerns on health and safety at the tannery, saying that the health consequences of long term exposure to chemicals and the lack of protective gear needed to be addressed.
read more.
INDUSRIall

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So About ….

 

map of Asia

Info:
there is an update under “special overviews”:

* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 5 20140502- now

* Cambodian Garment Workers: $160 We Need! Part 4 20140523- now

HEADLINES:

VIET NAM
* Seminar discusses investment opportunities in the US/
US laws introduced in HCM City
* No end in sight for Vietnam’s human resource crisis

CAMBODIA
* Workers Protest After Factory Ignores Arbitrator
* Factory wage rallies heat up
* Garment Factory Donates Rice to Workers
* BetterFactories Media updates 5-10 July

INDONESIA
* Workers’ Survey Report 2014
* Maternity Protection at Work Guideline
* Impact Assessment Manager Report

BURMA/MYANMAR
* ILO, Myanmar to develop employers’ capacity

BANGLADESH
* RMG workers’ dues to be cleared before Eid: Tofail
* Exports up by 11% as RMG sales rise
* RMG exports hit record $24.5b -$ 30b
* Roundup: Bangladesh’s 2013-14 fiscal exports hit all-time yearly high

INDIA
* Powerloom weavers oppose DGVCL move to collect security deposit
* Fillip for textiles, garments
* Good days ahead: apparel cluster
* Government to invest Rs 200 cr in 8 textile mega clusters

PAKISTAN
* Punjab-based textile mills: Minister saves one million jobs by revising gas supply schedule, says APTMA chief
* Punjab-based textile mills to get gas from 8pm to 2am during Ramazan
* Industrialists stress revival of sick units

UZBEKISTAN
* End Daewoo Profits from Forced Labor!

NAMIBIA
* Namibian tannery workers 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