In the news 1 August 2014

08:18:19 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Women face discrimination at work:

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

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

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

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

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

* Shoe, leather firms encouraged to be more competitive:

20140801 VNNews
Workers produce footwear at Pou Yuen Viet Nam Co. Exports of the country’s leather and footwear sector have long depended on FDI businesses, as foreign enterprises account for 77 per cent of export value. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu

Exports of the country’s leather and footwear sector have long depended upon foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses, as 77% of the total export value came from foreign enterprises.

Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, general secretary of the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) told news portal that domestic leather and footwear firms have mainly manufactured for exports.

Competitive labour costs have attracted FDI inflows, as well as orders from Taiwan and South Korea.

Xuan said it could not be denied that contributions from the FDI sector promoted export growth in the industry and provided jobs for labourers.
read more.
VNNews new

* Dong Nai: Fresh investments halted in five polluting sectors:

The authorities of Dong Nai Province have decided to suspend new investments into five industries, effective from this month, to cope with rising pollution, said the province’s Department of Planning and Investment.

Investors cannot get approval for projects in pulp and paper production, tapioca processing, rubber processing, production of basic chemicals, and leather tanning, said Bo Ngoc Thu, director of the department.

These sectors have left an adverse impact on the environment, she told a meeting held last week to review the province’s socio-economic performance in the first half of this year. She noted that a number of paper and pulp manufacturing facilities in the locality discharged toxic and stinking wastewater, frustrating local people.

“The provincial authorities have temporarily halted investments (in these industries) because it will be very difficult to handle the problem if more investors keep pouring money into these industrial operations,” Thu said.
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08:18:19 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers Protest for Speedy Pay After Fire Destroys Factory:

The roughly 900 employees of a Phnom Penh garment factory gutted by a fire that killed a Chinese supervisor on Monday protested in front of their old workplace on Thursday to demand a quick payout of their final paychecks and severance.

The Chinese-owned Cheng Sheng Garment factory, which made clothes for U.S. retailer Kmart, had arranged for the former factory owner to provide its out-of-work employees loans of up to $100 each starting on Monday to tide them over while the factory sorted out its finances.

However, Cheat Sreymath, an employee of the factory, said Thursday that she and her colleagues were not satisfied with the offer.

“We cannot wait for months for them to find a solution for us because we have to pay our rent and other expenses to live,” she said. “Although the former owner agreed to loan us money, we are unhappy with this because the factory owes us a lot more money…. We want to put pressure on the factory and authorities to find a solution for us because we have not heard anything from them.”

Sieng Yot, a legal officer for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, which represents workers at the factory, said they will organize a march on the Ministry of Labor next week if their demands are not met by then.

“We will march to the Ministry of Labor next week if there is no solution for us this week…because our workers cannot wait for months and they have not money to live,” he said.
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* Workers ill after fainting at factory:

A lingering odour in a Sixplus Industry garment factory is aggravating the already-fragile health of its workers, 100 of whom fainted last weekend, and has forced the factory to send many of them back to health centres.

Moeun Chanthy, head of the sewing section at Sixplus in Kandal province, said that over 50 workers who fainted on Saturday were sent back to health centres yesterday.

“They were ordered to rest for a day more, but they came back, so the factory checked their health and found out that their health was not good enough,” Chanthy said.
Overall, about 100 workers were sent to clinics yesterday.
read more.
PPP new

20140731 * Long shifts at factory killed worker, gov’t report states:

A National Social Security Fund (NSSF) report obtained by the Post yesterday reveals that the July 19 death of a worker at a Kandal province garment factory that supplies H&M was caused by exhaustion due to excessive overtime work.

“After investigating the case, we have come to the conclusion that Vorn Sitha’s death was caused by exhaustion,” the report says. “NSSF’s working group considers this a work-related death.”

The revelation came days after Sam Onn of the NSSF said that 39-year-old Sitha’s death was not work related. Yesterday, Onn said he provided the inaccurate information by accident.

Prior to being found dead at the New Archid garment factory (an H&M supplier where Sitha had slept after his shift) by co-workers on the morning of July 19, he had worked from 7am until about 10pm four days in a row, the report reads.

“At the moment it’s peak season, very busy,” Bun Long, New Archid’s administrative manager said yesterday. “We regret to see our worker die in our factory.”

New Archid has paid Sitha’s family $3,000 and fellow workers collectively donated $872, Long said.

Sitha punched out at 10pm on the four nights preceding his death after beginning his day at 7am – a 15-hour day – but Long said Sitha often stopped working at about 9 or 9:30 and scanned his employee ID at 10. Cambodia’s labour law stipulates a 10-hour maximum workday.
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PPP new

* Dead Worker’s Family Promised Compensation:

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) said on Thursday that it would compensate the family of a man who died on the job last month at a factory in Kandal province that produces clothing for H&M.

The NSSF said it had determined that Vorn Sitha, who died on July 19 at age 38 on the grounds of New Archid factory after a 16-hour shift, had died of work-related exhaustion.

However, the NSSF could not specify what funds would be available to the widow of Vorn Sitha and said that apart from money for a funeral, funds would not come “in a hurry.”

“The factory set the condition to [make] workers work overtime and beyond their energy. That is wrong,” said NSSF spokesman Meng Hong.
“About compensation, we will proceed according to the law but we cannot get it in a hurry,” Mr. Hong added.
read more.

* Stitching & Suffering in Cambodia’s Garment Industry:

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

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

Prior to January 2014, the monthly minimum salary for garment factory workers was $80 USD, which hardly represented one fifth of what the Asia Floor Wage calculates to be a living wage in Cambodia. After months of failed negotiations with factory owners, in December 2013, Cambodian unions called for national strikes demanding a wage increase to $160 USD per month.
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09:18:19 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Boyolali Sets Up Garment Industrial Estate:

The local government of Boyolali Regency, Central Java, is setting up an industrial estate for garment with a final target area of ​​about 500 hectares.

Currently the acquisition of the land has reached 40 hectares and by the end of the year it is expected to reach 100 hectares.

According to Boyolali Regent Seno Samodro, his administration has allocated Rp100 billion for the land acquisition. The phase will be developed in a 300-hectare area. “The plan is to begin the construction in 2016 and to be completed in 2018,” he said.

He added that the South Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has provided a grant of US$4.8 million for preparing the master plan and detailed engineering design (DED). A total of 87 companies have expressed their interest to open a factory there, including a number of Korean companies.

The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) has assessed that Boyolali is apt to be the central production of garment, especially for export, given the human resources for this sector is available quite abundant in this district.
to read.

07:48:19 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* South Korean shoe factory officials facing charges:

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has initiated legal action against officials from a South Korean shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar township that closed abruptly at the end of June and has refused to compensate laid-off workers, a deputy minister says.

Deputy Minister Daw Win Maw Tun said the owners of the Master Sports have been deliberately stalling in the face of ministry efforts to resolve the conflict with its workers.

She said that the ministry is also doing what it can to place them in other jobs. Another shoe factory has already said it will soon take 1000 workers, while 11 other factories collectively requested more than 600 workers.

“This is more than the number of people who have lost their jobs at Master Sports so I am sure that all of those workers can get new jobs soon,” she said at a July 25 conference.

Master Sports has been accused of pressuring workers to sign agreements waiving their right to compensation from the company. Under Myanmar law, they would receive compensation of an additional one month’s wages.
read more.

07:18:19 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Owner of Tazreen Gets Bail – Delwar Hossain Roams Free Again:

The owner of the Tazreen Fashion factory that caused 124 deaths with numerous more injured is now free once more after he secured bail and is supposed to be finally released on Sunday or Monday (3 or 4 August 2014).

This news was confirmed by the State Minister for Labor Mr Mujibul Hoque Chunnu.
After a delay of more than a year, the infamous owner of Tazreen Mr. Delwar Hossain was finally jailed following a court order to which he surrendered.

After numerous attempts to get a bail, the recent “hunger strike till death” of the workers of Tuba Group (Tuba Group is owned by Delwar Hossain) who have not been paid their 3 months of due wages as well as overtime and festival bonus are alleged to have created an atmosphere where the possibility of negotiating in favor of Delwar Hossain’s bail and possible immunity from law could be forwarded by his relatives who now hold the helm of the group.

The ongoing protest has taken a toll on the workers who are already falling sick. However, they have been getting promises of a relief from this suffocating situation of hunger, grief and restlessness to no avail as yet.
to read.

* Tuba Group crisis ‘stage-managed’:

Workers continue hunger strike for the fourth day; High Court bench granted Delwar bail before Eid


The non-payment of due wages and bonuses that prompted the workers of five factories of Tuba Group to go on hunger strike and the crisis created thereby was “stage-managed” by the management to orchestrate the freedom of owner Delwar Hossain, workers have alleged.

A High Court bench on July 24 granted two months’ ad interim bail to Delwar, arrested in connection with the November 2012 Tazreen factory that killed more than a hundred people.

Delwar, however, was still to be freed yesterday because his bail order was not processed due to the Eid vacations. For reasons unknown, the developments surrounding the bail remained out of media radar until the crisis deepened during the Eid vacations.

According to a court source, Delwar’s lawyer argued that he had to be freed for making sure that the workers of his factories got their dues paid.

Workers, who have been fasting for four days, alleged that the management of the group “created an artificial crisis” so that it could lead to the release of the owner.
They said the mother company needed more than Tk4.13 crore to clear all the dues of those five factories.

Interestingly, around 1,000 workers of another factory owned by Delwar got all their wages and bonuses in right time.
The fact that Delwar was in jail did not appear to be a problem as Tuba Group managed a packaging credit of over Tk1 crore from a commercial bank for paying their dues.

Yesterday, this reporter visited the site of Tuba Garments, the concern of the group whose workers got all their dues paid in time.
It was closed for seven days for the Eid vacations and there had not been any trace of worker unrest.

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has also been saying that Tuba Group would not be able to pay the dues of the workers of those five factories unless their owner was released.

The BGMEA wanted to pay the dues before Eid but the banks refused to provide the fund because the owner was in jail, claimed SM Mannan, acting president of BGMEA.
More than 70 of the agitators, including some workers’ leaders, have fell ill. Eight of them have been admitted to the Dhaka Metropolitan Community Hospital in Moghbazar.

“We were paid our wages up to April, when the factory made jersey for the FIFA World Cup,” said a line supervisor of one of the factories named Tuba Fashion.

 “The management started delaying our payments in a planned way so that they could get the owners released before Eid. They thought if they could give rise to a labour unrest before the festival, it would draw media as well as government attention,” he said.

“These five factories have been used as a tool for freeing the owner because there are more workers… They wanted us to demonstrate so that they could free the owner by indirectly creating pressure on us,” said a female sewing operator of Tayed Design, another factory owned by Delwar’s Tuba Group.

Labour leader Sirajul Islam Rony, who has expressed solidarity with the agitating workers, endorsed the Tuba management’s scheme.

“The allegation that they tried to free the owner by holding the workers hostage is not completely baseless. An NGO tried to persuade the workers to directly demand the owner’s release. But they did not pay heed,” Rony said.

When asked why they had not gone to meet the agitating workers, former BGMEA president Tipu Munshie said: “I urge media to convey our message to the workers that we will talk to the government about the problem and make a decision about their going there.”

Tipu also said: “The workers demanded wages and other dues; they did not demand the release of Delwar.”
read more.

* Counsel cashed Tuba crisis:

Despite repeated attempts, this correspondent found Advocate Amin’s mobile phone switched off


Tuba Group’s imprisoned Managing Director Delowar Hossain’s counsel capitalised the mounting crisis surrounding the unpaid dues of some 1,600 workers in five garment factories in the capital’s Badda area, as he secured bail for his client from a High Court bench just before the summer vacations of the Supreme Court began on July 25.

On July 24, the bench granted two month’s ad interim bail to Delowar – also owner of Tazreen Fashion where a fire killed 112 workers in November 2012.

It was the last working day of the Supreme Court before its month-long summer vacation started. Justice Syed A B Mahmudul Huq and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder passed the bail order, said Deputy Attorney General Shafiul Bashar Bhandary, who said he had opposed the bail prayer.

DAG Shafiul said Delwar was not supposed to get bail if the merit of the case was being considered. But Delwar’s counsel M Aminuddin argued that the workers were in crisis and so Delwar needed to get bail.

He also argued that the Tazreen Fashion owner needed to be freed for the sake of law and order, peace and tranquility in and around the industry concerned.
read more.

* Delwar granted bail by HC:

State minister for labour and employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said on Thursday that Tuba Group owner Delwar Hossain was granted bail by the High Court and hoped that he might be released from jail on Sunday or Monday.

‘Toba Group owner Delwar obtained bail before the Eid. I hope, the ongoing problems [over the workers’ dues] will be resolved after he is releases from jail on Sunday or Monday,’ the minister told New Age on Thursday night.

Rumours, meanwhile, spread among the hunger striking garment workers on Thursday that Delwar Hossain was released on bail but the authorities concerned said he was still in Dhaka Central Jail.

The workers of Tuba Group in the capital have been observing a hunger strike for the last four days for back pay and festival allowance.
Some members of law enforcement agencies deployed on the Tuba Group premises said that Delwar Hossain was bailed out.

Laili Begum, mother-in-law of Delwar Hossain, who was confined by the agitating workers, told New Age that she heard Delwar had obtained bail on the last working day (Sunday) before the Eid.
‘As it was the last working day, Delwar could not be freed from jail due to some procedural complexities and he would be freed any day,’ she said.
Laili also said that Delwar’s bail could only solve the problems of workers’ dues.
read more.

* Tuba Group workers continue hunger strike:

Workers of Tuba Group continued their hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday on the factory premises at Badda in the city demanding their wages and festival allowance.

On the fourth day of the protest, at least 30 workers of five factories of Tuba Group and a labour leader fell sick pushing the number of such cases to 100 in four days.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, however, said in a press briefing on the day that the payment to the workers of the five garment factories of Tuba Group would be made in seven days.

Acting BGMEA president SAM Mannan urged the workers to have patience and said that the association was trying its best to resolve the problem with the cooperation of the government and the bank.
‘We sympathise with workers who did not get wage and festival allowance before Eid…Their hardship has moved us,’ he said in the press briefing at the BGMEA office in the city.

The BGMEA leaders said that the company had failed to pay the workers as its owner Delwar Hossain was in prison in a case filed over the tragic fire incident at Tazreen Fashions Ltd on November 24, 2012 which had killed 112 workers. Delwar is also the managing director of Tazreen Fashions Ltd.

‘We cannot go home without pay as we have to pay house rents and grocers’ dues,’ she said.
Sandhya, along with Mushrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum, and more than 50 sick workers lay on the floor taking intravenous saline.

Mushrefa, whose condition turned serious on the day, refused to go to hospital, labour activists said.
Ahmed Mohiuddin, coordinator of the medical team working there, said that eight doctors were giving treatment to the sick workers.

Kulsum Akhter, who worked in Taif Designs Ltd seven years long, said that she was the only bread earner of her family.
She earns Tk 7,500 a month. ‘I have been suffering severe hardship for last three months due to non- payment of my wage…,’ she said.

A production manager of Tuba Group alleged that the factories had received sufficient orders but the authorities were unwilling to pay the employees properly.

Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of eight left leaning political parties, in a press statement called on the government to take steps to pay the wage and allowance of the workers immediately.
Communist Party of Bangladesh president Mujahidul Islam Selim and Socialist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Khalequzzaman demanded immediate payment of the wage and allowance of the workers.
read more.

* 77 striking RMG workers fall sick:

About 77 readymade garment (RMG) workers of the Tuba Group fell sick until Thursday, the fourth day of their hunger strike.

Nearly 1,600 labourers from five factories of the apparel group in the city have gone on the hunger strike demanding their wage arrears and other benefits.
At least 10 of the sick workers were hospitalised until 5pm on the day, the agitating workers said.
If the situation is allowed to linger on, the health condition of many agitating workers might turn critical, the warned.

Around 66 workers have been receiving treatment including saline intake on their garment factory floor.

Meanwhile, a BGMEA top leader said the wage arrears and allowances of the striking Tuba Group workers would be paid within seven working days.
SM Mannan Kochi, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), made the announcement at a press briefing at the BGMEA headquarters in the city Thursday afternoon.

When asked about the BGMEA’s pledge for resolving the situation within seven days, Garment Workers Solidarity Forum leader Moshrefa Mishu said: “We have rejected their (BGMEA) call and decided to continue our programme.”

The workers will hold a press conference today (Friday) on the factory premises to give their reaction in this connection.
Asked, Moshrefa Mishu said: “The workers have the records as to whether they work or not.”

On the other hand, BGMEA Vice-President at the press conference said that the workers were supposed to get wages and benefits for the months of May, June and July and the festival allowance.

While visiting the Tuba Group at Badda in the city, it was found that most of the striking workers were sitting or lying down on the fifth floor.

In one room workers were found delivering speeches demanding three months’ unpaid wages and festival allowances. A number of trade union leaders and left-leaning political activists were also seen present there volunteers.

The apparel factory owner’s mother-in-law Laili Begum is practically held a hostage in the packaging room on the ninth floor. Workers are standing guard there and also taking care of her there. She is sleeping on the floor in a sari supplied by the workers.

However, there is an allegation that the Tuba Group and the BGMEA have intentionally used the 1,600 workers as the pawns to free Delwar Hossain, managing director of Tuba Group, who is now in jail in the Tazreen Fashions fire case.
The fire incident claimed 117 lives in 2012.

Tazreen Fashions Limited and Tuba Group Managing Director Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda Akter Mita, also chairman of the garment factory, were sent to jail after the couple surrendered to a Dhaka court seeking bail in February last.
read more.
FE bd

* Tuba Group workers still wait for arrears:

12 hospitalised as hunger strike continues; payment in 7 days, BGMEA assures workers

Tuba Group’s 1600 workers did not get three months’ arrears and festival bonus even yesterday, pushing some to observe hunger strike for four days straight in a bid to drive their demands home.

As many as 60 workers on strike have fallen ill so far and 12 of them had to be hospitalised.
“As most of the workers are malnourished and anaemic, prolonged hunger strikes could permanently damage their kidneys,” said Dr Mojibul Haq Arzu, convener of Progressive Doctors’ Forum, who has been attending to the on-strike workers since Wednesday.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday said they would ensure payments of the protesting workers by the end of this week.
“We are currently negotiating to get a bank loan to pay the workers with. We will pay them by the end of this week,” said SM Mannan Kochi, acting president of the garment makers’ apex platform, at a press conference at the association’s office in the capital.
Kochi also said both the BGMEA and Tuba Group management tried to collect funds from the bank to pay workers, but failed as the group’s owner is currently in jail.
At the press conference, Tipu Munshi, former BGMEA president, said Tuba Group MD might get bail from the court as his lawyers were trying to this end.

“But, we will not wait for the bail of Delwar Hossain to pay the workers. We will pay the workers by the end of this week as negotiations with the bank are going on for a packing credit,” Munshi said.

A labour leader alleged that the BGMEA used two frontline union leaders to incite the workers to go on the hunger strike.
And the association did so in a bid to force the government to release Delwar.

The BGMEA, however, denied the allegation when journalists drew their attention to this yesterday.
read more.
daily star bd

20140731 * Tuba Group owner to be released in few days as he got bail before Eid, says minister:

The state minister for labour and employment, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, on Thursday said that Tuba Group owner Delwar Hossain had obtained bail from the High Court and hoped that he might be released from jail on Sunday or Monday.

Tuba Group owner Delwar got bail before the Eid.
I hope, the ongoing problems [over the workers’ dues] will be resolved after he is releases from jail on Sunday or Monday,’ the minister told New Age on Thursday night.

Delwar, also the owner of Tazreen Fashions where at least 117 workers died in a deadly fire because of negligence on the part of owners in 2012, was arrested in the Tazreen fire case.

Workers of five units of the Tuba Group were on hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day demanding payment of their arrears, wage and festival allowance since Monday.

Rumours, meanwhile, spread among the hunger striking garment workers on Thursday that the Tuba Group owner Delwar Hossain was released on bail but the authorities concerned said he was still in Dhaka Central Jail.

Laili Begum, mother-in-law of Delwar Hossain, who was confined by the agitating workers, told New Age that she heard Delwar had obtained bail on the last working day (Sunday) before the Eid.
‘As it was the last working day, Delwar could not be freed from jail due to some procedural complexities and he would be freed any day,’ she said.
to read.

“We’ll try to partially clear their outstanding salaries and bonuses within a week,” acting president SM Mannan Kochi said on Thursday.

“We agree with your demands,” he said, addressing the ailing factory workers and urged them to be patient. “Please allow us some time.”

A fire in Tuba Group owned Tazreen Fashions in 2012 had killed 112 trapped workers.

Owner Delwar Hossain was behind bars on charges of negligence, seen as the cause of the fire that had left hundreds with burn injuries.

When asked how BGMEA plans to source the money, Kochi said Tk 10.2 million Packing Credit can be had from the bank in exchange of Tuba Group’s LC (Letter of Credit).

The amount will be enough to pay workers’ wages for two months, while the rest would be cleared in phases, he said.

The workers of Tuba’s five factories say the management owes them three months’ wages as well as bonuses.

The BGMEA’s acting chief said problems would be resolved if Tuba’s owner Delwar was released on bail.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 FE bd

20140731 * Tuba salaries within 7 days: BGMEA:

20140731 DAILYSTAR tuba-garment-worters-demo
Garment workers of Tuba Group chant slogans demanding their outstanding salary and bonus at the factory premises in capital’s Badda on Thursday. Photo: Palash Khan

The outstanding salaries and bonuses of Tuba Group, which is witnessing workers’ demonstration since Tuesday, will be paid within seven working days, according to a BGMEA top leader.

SM Mannan Kochi, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), made the announcement at a press briefing at BGMEA headquarters in Dhaka this afternoon.
Several hundreds of workers of Tuba Group are continuing their hunger strike for the third consecutive day today, demanding their outstanding salaries and Eid bonus.
At least 30 workers have so far fallen sick as the staff of five factories under Tuba Group started the hunger strike on the sixth floor of the factory housed at Hossain Market in Uttar Badda in the capital since the Eid day.
Most of them are seen sitting or lying down on the floor with IV saline.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd  DHAKATRIBUNE BSS banglanews24NEW

20140731 * 21 more fasting workers of Tuba group fall sick, 11 hospitalised:

Hunger strike continues for the fourth consecutive day, BGMEA assures resolving problems in 7 working days

At least 21 more apparel workers who were on a hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day, demanding payment of arrears, wages and festival allowance, fell sick on Thursday.

After four-day’s silence, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Thursday said the organisation would resolve the stalemate at Tuba Group in next seven working days.

The owners’ association said this at a news conference held at BGMEA headquarters in the afternoon.
The association’s acting president SM Mannan at the news conference said, ‘Hunger strike is not a solution.’

He urged the workers who are on hunger strike to keep patience for resolving the crisis.
About 1600 workers of five units of Tuba Group, which also owned Tazreen Fashions where at least 117 workers died in a deadly fire in 2012 due to negligence of owners, began fast-unto-dead on Monday, the day before Eid, at a unit of the group at Central Badda.
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20140731 * Fate of Tuba Group workers uncertain:

The fate of several thousands workers at Tuba Group, who have been observing fast-unto-death demanding payments of due, has been covered by uncertainty as the workers and the owners seemingly will not reach any negotiation soon.

Agitating workers said they would continue the movement until their due for three months was fully paid whereas the owners said full payment of the due is not possible right now.

Prior to the holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the workers besieged the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at Kawran Bazar in the city.

Following the siege, the garment traders’ highest body sat with State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry Mujibul Haque Chunnu and decided to pay the workers’ due payment by selling the factory’s floors.

The workers’ fate went under more uncertainty after the owners got no buyer to sell the floor; in addition, no bank agreed to lend money to the factory authorities amid this volatile situation.

Later, BGMEA clearly told no more help is possible by BGMEA though Toba Group is a member of the association.
read more.

20140731 * Workers’ leader among 14 fall sick:

In a latest development to Tuba Group workers’ fast-unto-death demanding payments of due at the city’s Middle Badda area, at least 14 protesters including workers’ leader Moshrefa Mishu fell sick on Thursday.

They are being pushed saline on the spot. A medical team, sent by progressive leftist parties, is giving treatment to the ailing people there.
With this figure, the number of sick people rose to 64 as earlier some 50 workers had also were given saline due to sickness.
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20140731 * 30 fall sick as workers continue hunger strike:

Several hundreds of workers of Tuba Group are continuing their hunger strike for the third consecutive day today, demanding their outstanding salaries and Eid bonus.

At least 30 workers have so far fallen sick as the staff of five factories under Tuba Group started the hunger strike on the sixth floor of the factory housed at Hossain Market in Uttar Badda in the capital since the Eid day.

Most of them are seen sitting or lying down on the floor with IV saline.

Five of the workers were admitted to local clinics with deteriorating condition, Sumi Akter, a sewing operator of the factory, told The Daily Star.

They neither celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr nor get their wages as none of the authorities concerned including the owner and BGMEA are paying heed to their damands, Sumi said.

Over 1,600 workers of Tuba Group, which also owns Tazreen Fashions Limited that was burnt down in November 2012 killing 112 workers, protested for their salaries and and Eid bonuses during the months of May, June and July.

Meanwhile, the workers have confined the mother-in-law of company owner Delwar Hossain in the factory since Friday.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

In one room, workers are making speech, demanding three months of unpaid salaries and Eid bonuses.

The owner’s mother-in-law Laili Begum, is practically a hostage in the ninth-floor packaging room. Workers are standing guard over her and feeding her. She is sleeping on the floor wearing a sari supplied by the workers.

A police car stands in front of the 12-storey building, and on the ground floor several policemen are standing on alert.

Over 300 workers of the garment factory have been holding a hunger strike inside Hossain Market, the building owned by Tuba Group, since the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Neither the owners, police nor BGMEA, the apex body of garment manufacturers, has been able to provide a solution to end their plight.

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association’s Labour Standing Committee Chairman Ahad Ali Ansari said, “We’re really sorry. They could not celebrate Eid and they’re on a hunger strike.”
read more.

* Police informant confesses to garment waste trader killing:

Sujan’s wife Momtaj Sultana Lucky filed a case against police with Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court in connection with the incident


Police informant Nasim Sheikh yesterday confessed that he was involved in the killing of Mahbubur Rahman Sujan, a garment waste trader in Mipur, in police custody.

Following a 12-day remand in three phases, Nasim was produced before Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar Dutta’s court in the afternoon where he made the confession.

On the other hand, Sub-inspector Jahidur Rahman Khan, the main accused in the case, was put on a two-day fresh remand as he first wanted to confess before court after the 12-day remand in two phases but later changed his mind. DB Inspector Nibaran Chandra Barman, investigating officer in the case, had sought a three-day remand for Jahidur before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Rani Chakrobarti.

Court sources said in his confessional statement, Nasim said he was with the police team that picked Sujan up from his Hazaribagh residence on July 13. He said he had witnessed the torture Sujan was subjected to at the house and the police station, and was with Jahidur when Sujan was being taken to hospital.

Sujan’s wife Momtaj Sultana Lucky filed a case against police with Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court in connection with the incident. The court appointed a magistrate to conduct judicial enquiry.

Following Sujan’s arrest from his Hazaribagh residence, he was allegedly beaten up at the house, inside the police van and also at the police station for the whole night, and died in police custody in the morning.
read more.


* Matalan bows to pressure to compensate Rana Plaza victims:

UK clothing chain Matalan has bowed to pressure and made a donation to the UN-backed fund to compensate the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse – one day before the deadline for payments.

The retailer, however, refused to say how much money it had offered to the fund, reports The Guardian.
The announcement came after UK shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy and UK shadow international development minister Alison McGovern wrote to Matalan boss Jason Hargreaves, the son of the chain’s billionaire founder John, asking him to reconsider the retailer’s position and pay into the compensation fund, which is well short of its $40m (£24m) target.

The collapse of the Bangladeshi factory killed 1,129 people and injured 2,515 in April 2013. Matalan was the only large British retailer not to have donated money, according to the campaign group 38 Degrees.
The group’s Susannah Compton said: ‘This week, tens of thousands of people emailed, called and tweeted Matalan to tell them they couldn’t walk away from the devastating consequences of the Rana Plaza disaster.’
read more.

* Matalan to donate for Rana Plaza victims:

Campaigners remained concerned because it was not clear how much money Matalan was committing to the victims fund


Bowing to pressure from campaigners, budget clothing firm Matalan has announced to donate to an UN-backed fund for victims of a collapsed clothing factory Rana Plaza in Savar of Dhaka.

However, the company has not disclosed how much it will pay to help compensate people left with disabilities, and families who lost their main providers, reports The Independent of UK.

Campaigners remain concerned as it did not clear how much it will pay for the victims, the report said.

On Monday, the campaign groups launched a social-media campaign which saw tens of thousands of people send emails, make calls and send tweets urging Matalan to contribute.

On Wednesday, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Jim Murphy, and Shadow Development Minister Alison McGovern also called on Matalan to pay towards compensation.
read more.

* Eid void of happiness for families of Rana Plaza victims:

On Eid day, the Dhaka Tribune also visited the homes of several other Rana Plaza victims, only to find that the colours of the festival had not reached those households


The joys and festivities of Eid continue to evade the families of Rana Plaza victims, many of whom are living in financial uncertainty after losing their only breadwinner in the disaster.

During the three Eid festivals that followed the tragic day on April 24 last year, sorrow had been a constant companion for the family of Shyla Akhter, a garment worker who remains missing since the collapse of the building she worked at.

Reshmi Begum, Shyla’s sister who is also a garment worker, said: “Shyla is the youngest child of my parents. She had been working in garment factories since she was 11 years old and been supporting the family after our father’s death in 2003.

“Now this five-member family is totally dependable on me, even though I am married and I also have a child and husband whom I have to support.”

Family members said Shyla’s 78-year-old mother Zamila Begum had only searched for the body of her daughter instead of running to different organisations seeking compensation. The family got only Tk30,000 in compensation through bKash, reportedly by the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.

Reshmi said: “Our family needs Tk11,000 per month to meet our household needs. But I am earning only Tk4,500 per month… We do not know how we should try to get compensation now.”

Although the government and several organisations have initiated separate efforts to compensate the victims’ families, many still claim that they have received little or no amount of the money.

The BGMEA claims it had already spent Tk14 crore to compensate the families, said Taslima Akter, coordinator of Garment Workers Solidarity. The prime minister’s fund also had Tk105 crore remaining to be spent, with only Tk22 crore so far distributed, she added.

Irish clothing retailers Primark has set aside a $9 million dollar fund for the victims who worked on the third floor of the building, Taslima said, adding that the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund already has Tk141 crore deposited with a target of reaching the Tk320 crore mark.

Asked about compensations to Rana Plaza victims’ families, Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Tofazzal Hossain Mia said: “Very soon the money deposited in the prime minister’s fund will be distributed among the families of Rana Plaza victims. We are now nearing the end of investigating the proper identification of victims’ families as we want to distribute the money to the actual dependants.”

“However, we do not know about the missing people,” he added.

On Eid day, the Dhaka Tribune also visited the homes of several other Rana Plaza victims, only to find that the colours of the festival had not reached those households. The victims’ relatives neither donned any new dress nor cooked any special food to celebrate the occasion.

“Every day remains the same since I have lost my husband. Nothing changes, nothing new happens, everything is deteriorating day by day,” said Nazma Akter Lily, who lost her husband Jewel in the Rana Plaza collapse.

At the time of the disaster, Lily was already pregnant and gave birth to her son Zunayed six months after her husband’s death.

“Although I have got some amount of money, but our future is still uncertain. When I went to the Savar thana nirbahi officer [for compensation] he became angry and shouted at us telling us not to disturb him any more,” Lily said.

Asked about the issue, the thana nirbahi officer, Kamrul Hasan Mollah, said: “It is not true that we became agitated against the victim’s family. We told them that once we get the money, we will provide it to them as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, only 200 metres away from the Rana Plaza site, the Dhaka Tribune came upon a building which housed three families who had lost a total of four of their relatives in the disaster.

Although the surrounding houses were abuzz with the sound of Eid celebrations, the building stood silent devoid of any sign of festivity.
read more.

06:48:19 local time map of india INDIA

* Textiles Minister wants PM to link the sector to rural job guarantee scheme:

National Textiles Policy likely to be finalised by Aug 15

Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that the entire textile sector, including garments and fibre, be linked to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).

The proposal, if accepted, will not only guarantee minimum wages to workers in the textile sector but also ensure adequate availability of labour for manufacturers.

“I have written to the Prime Minister to link the entire textile sector with MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee) Scheme. It will ensure that the thousands of workers employed in the sector get a guaranteed minimum wage,” Gangwar told Business Line .

The Textiles Ministry is also in talks with the Labour Ministry to streamline labour laws for the sector. This may form part of the National Textiles Policy which Gangwar hopes to finalise by August 15.

The draft policy, which will be uploaded on the Ministry’s Web site soon, will invite comments from all, the Minister said.
The new Textiles Policy will have a vision statement for the sector for the next 10 years that would include the target of trebling India’s market share in the world from the current 4 per cent.

Textiles park soon
Gangwar said that the proposed textiles parks with initial investment of Rs. 100 crore – 40 per cent of which would be subsidy from the Government – were also expected to be set up soon. “August 7 is the last date for the bids,” the Minister said.
read more.

* Government allocates Rs 11,952 crore for powerloom sector:

With an aim to modernise the powerloom sector in the country, government has allocated Rs 11,952 crore under the Revised Restructured Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (RR-TUFS) to be implemented during the 12th Plan period.

Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in Lok Sabha that to give emphasis on decentralised powerloom sector, interest reimbursement and capital subsidy for new shuttleless looms have been raised from five per cent to six per cent and 10 per cent to 15 per cent respectively.

The margin money subsidy has also been increased from 20 per cent to 30 per cent with an increase in subsidy cap from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore, he said.

The Minister said a pilot project has also been envisaged under the powerloom sector which aims at providing subsidy for developing infrastructure, common facilities, construction of factory buildings and for shuttleless looms on hire purchase basis to improve their quality and production and to face the competition from domestic market as well as export market.
read more. & read more.

* Changes made in labour laws, trade unions criticise:

As part of labour reforms, the government has amended three archaic laws to provide for doubling of the overtime hours from 50 per quarter and enabling women to work in night shifts among other changes which evoked sharp critism from labour unions.

The amendments to the Factories Act, the Apprentices Act and the Labour Laws (exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Act were approved by Cabinet last night.

“The Cabinet has given its approval (for the amendments). The amendments would be beneficial for the labourers,” Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said here today. “We expect that it will be tabled in the present session of Parliament,” he added.

Among the changes made in the laws are relaxing of certain norms to enable women to work in night shifts, doubling the provision of overtime from 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours in some cases and from 75 hours to 125 hours in other work of public interest and others.
read more.

* Cabinet nod for labour law reforms:

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to three archaic labour laws aimed at easing regulations which have acted as an obstacle to faster growth and hurt employee interests.

Sources said the cabinet had approved amendments to the Factories 1948, the Apprenticeship Act 1961, Labour Laws (Exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining of registers by certain establishments 1988), a bold reform move expected to help attract investments and improve the ease of doing business
in the country.

The amendments to the Factories Act 1948 is expected allow women for night duty with adequate safety and provision for transport after work.
This is expected to help several sectors such as textiles and garments.

It also aimed to raise the overtime hours from the current ceiling of 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours per quarter.
The amendment also proposes this limit to be increased to a maximum of 125 hours
per quarter in public interest with the approval of state government.
read more.

* PSU cites labour woes to shut down jute mill:

A Titagarh jute mill run by the National Jute Manufactures Corporation (NJMC), a central public undertaking, has closed its gates citing labour unrest.


Around 1300 workers of the Kinnison Jute Mill were taken aback by the management’s pasting of a “suspension of work” notice on the mill gate on Wednesday morning.
The NJMC management cited deficit in raw jute supply and labour unrest as grounds for the move. Kinnison is one of the six jute mills whose management the NJMC took over in 1980.

Workers staged an agitation in front of the closed mill gates and blocked BT Road for half an hour while Titagarh Police tried to pacify them.
There was tension in the locality till Titagarh municipality chairman and senior INTTUC leader Prasanta Chowdhury and police persuaded workers to lift the blockade. “We will take up the matter with the mill management. I hope the mill will reopen by next week,” said Chowdhury.

Kinnison is the fourth mill out of 18 in the Barrackpore industrial belt to have suspended operations, leaving 10,000 workers out of a job.
read more.

06:18:19 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Fire guts garments factory:

A garments factory was destroyed by fire in SITE on Thursday, causing loss of millions of rupees.

The fire broke out at about 2:30am at Naeem Enterprises near Metroville, reducing goods worth millions of rupees to ashes.
At least 14 fire engines of the KMC and a snorkel extinguished the fire. It took at least eight hours to control the blaze.
The police cordoned off the area, while Edhi ambulances were also present on the spot. The cause of the fire was said to be a short circuit.
to read.

* Factory workers’ lack of security:

Zahid Ali lies on his bed, smoking a cigarette with his good hand. The other one is just a stump now. It is aligned beside him limply, reminding him of that awful day at the factory where he worked, when it got clean cut off by a machine.

Other than the fact that he was laid off from the factory, Zahid was not even given compensation for his injury – not even medical bills – and now he has resolved to fight a court case to get his right.

But Zahid is only a drop of water in an ocean. When it comes to risks and health hazards workers in most of the factories across the country are highly endangered and lead a working life of uncertainty where ‘anything can happen’.

Despite several conventions of International Labour Organisation (ILO) and ratifications, factories in Pakistan do not follow any rules when it comes to protecting their workers.

“We work for long hours and many of us die deaths which are not even get noticed,” says Zahid. “For example, someone who dies of a respiratory illness is never going to be given media attention, although these deaths are not really caused by ‘natural illnesses’ as they say. There is always a long-term effect of where you have been working.”

Only large-scale incidents like factory building collapse or a massive fire or an industrial explosion get the government or media attention, says Zahid. And in most of these incidents the lack of safety becomes apparent.
read more.

* Unfair competition: Pakistan’s top taxpayers fight to save business:

20140801 TRIBUNE
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), the powerful body that represents textile spinners, had long argued in favour of import of synthetic fibres. PHOTO: FILE

For Mohammad Naeem Mukhtar having three members of his immediate family including himself in the list of top five taxpayers in Pakistan offers neither consolation nor pride. His key business continues to suffer and all government officials conveniently look the other way.

Mukhtar, Chief Executive Officer of Ibrahim Fibres, the country’s largest maker of man-made fibres, has been fighting a losing battle against Chinese exporters who have flooded local markets with cheaper products under the cover of free trade.

“We are no longer a textile country,” he told The Express Tribune in a recent interview over telephone.

“It is near impossible to export polyester staple fibre and textile made-ups to India. China and Bangladesh have made it equally difficult to import textiles like woven garments. But we have opened ourselves completely for everyone.”
read more.

06:18:19 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Kokand doctor: “Every morning we are taken to the cotton fields. And we have to pay for our transportation.”:

20140731 UZnewsShoira Salokhitdinova, a doctor in Kokand who has turned to prominent activist Elena Urlaeva for help, told correspondent that she and her colleagues are constantly being taken to the Fergana Valley cotton fields.

A US Department of Labor delegation is currently visiting Uzbekistan on a monitoring mission. The group has already met with human rights activists and visited several provinces.

According to the activist Elena Urlaeva, particular attention should be paid to the use of labor by public healthcare employees, including doctors, who are forced to work in the fields instead of being allowed to do their jobs.

“Only one doctor stays behind at the clinic”
“I am a doctor at a clinic in Uchkuprikskiy district.
For the last two weeks all doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel have been weeding the cotton fields at the Gulmekhnatobad farm located in the Fergana Valley’s Uchkuprikskiy district,” says Dr. Salokhitdinova.
“Only one doctor is left at the clinic, usually of retirement age, someone who is no longer able to work in a cotton field. We come to work every day and instead of patients we are greeted by buses and minivans to take us to the fields.
We have to work for 16 hours in 45 degree heat. They do not feed us, we are expected to bring our own lunch.
And we have to pay for transport. The drivers are also unhappy – instead of driving their usual city routes they are being forced to shuttle people to the fields.”

“The prosecutor general tried to intimidate us”

The Kokand doctor is dreading the harvest time when, as she fears, they will be forced to work on harvesting cotton.

“I remember how in 2013 we came to work in nice clothes, in high-heels, and were immediately taken to the fields. We had to ask the locals for some shoes. Last year I got pyelitis while picking cotton but had to continue working with a high fever.”

Dr. Salokhitdinova and a friend tried to complain about this exploitation to the prosecutor general of Uzbekistan.
read more.


SACTWU to conduct strike ballot in home textiles sector:

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

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

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


* Survey Reveals Abuse of Textile Workers in Swaziland:

A recent survey by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) of more than 400 textile workers in Manzini, Swaziland, reveals that workers in the textile sector are subject to harsh and sometimes abusive conditions, many of the country’s labor laws are routinely violated by employers, and union activists are targeted by employers for punishment.

Surveys were collected by a team of five TUCOSWA union organizers from June 23–July 2, 2014.
Workers from 18 of 28 textile companies in Manzini were represented in the survey and included sewing machine operators, pressers, quality controllers, packers, cleaners, trimmers, cutters and storeroom workers.
The vast majority of respondents—94 percent—were women. And nearly a third of workers surveyed had post-secondary school education.

Notably, 91 percent of workers surveyed reported being punished by management for making errors, not meeting quotas or missing shifts.
“I was a victim of physical abuse,” said one survey respondent. She is not alone. More than 70 percent of survey respondents reported witnessing verbal and physical abuse in their workplace by supervisors.

Women reported instances of sexual harassment, as well. Several workers said they or other contract (temporary) workers were offered a permanent job in exchange for sex.

Nearly all workers—90 percent—reported having production quotas.
Of these, more than 30 percent said they can never, or almost never, meet their quota, while more than 80 percent reported difficulty meeting their quota.
According to the survey, punishments for not meeting quotas include suspension without pay, mandatory unpaid work through lunch breaks and verbal harassment.

Survey results also show that employer punishment of workers who are ill, injured or pregnant is common.
More than 60 percent of workers said they knew someone who was fired for being sick or pregnant.
Some respondents said any worker taking five sick days are automatically punished with three months forced unpaid leave.
read more.



map of Asia

There are updates under “special overviews”:

* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 5 20140502- now
* TAZREEN Fire Part 2 20 November 2013- NOW
* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 6: 20140607 – NOW


* Women face discrimination at work
* Shoe, leather firms encouraged to be more competitive
* Dong Nai: Fresh investments halted in five polluting sectors

* Workers Protest for Speedy Pay After Fire Destroys Factory
* Workers ill after fainting at factory
* Long shifts at factory killed worker, gov’t report states
* Dead Worker’s Family Promised Compensation
* Stitching & Suffering in Cambodia’s Garment Industry

* Boyolali Sets Up Garment Industrial Estate

* South Korean shoe factory officials facing charges

* Owner of Tazreen Gets Bail – Delwar Hossain Roams Free Again
* Tuba Group crisis ‘stage-managed’
* Counsel cashed Tuba crisis
* Delwar granted bail by HC
* Tuba Group workers continue hunger strike
* 77 striking RMG workers fall sick
* Tuba Group workers still wait for arrears
* Tuba Group owner to be released in few days as he got bail before Eid, says minister
* Tuba workers promised part payment
* Tuba salaries within 7 days: BGMEA
* 21 more fasting workers of Tuba group fall sick, 11 hospitalised
* Fate of Tuba Group workers uncertain
* Workers’ leader among 14 fall sick
* 30 fall sick as workers continue hunger strike
* BGMEA ‘sorry’ as Tuba workers keep collapsing
* Police informant confesses to garment waste trader killing
* Matalan bows to pressure to compensate Rana Plaza victims
* Matalan to donate for Rana Plaza victims
* Eid void of happiness for families of Rana Plaza victims

* Textiles Minister wants PM to link the sector to rural job guarantee scheme
* Government allocates Rs 11,952 crore for powerloom sector
* Changes made in labour laws, trade unions criticise
* Cabinet nod for labour law reforms
* PSU cites labour woes to shut down jute mill

* Fire guts garments factory
* Factory workers’ lack of security
* Unfair competition: Pakistan’s top taxpayers fight to save business

* Kokand doctor: “Every morning we are taken to the cotton fields. And we have to pay for our transportation.”

* SACTWU to conduct strike ballot in home textiles sector

* Survey Reveals Abuse of Textile Workers in Swaziland

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

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