07:06:36 local time VIET NAM
* Textile & garment companies short of orders for rest of year:
Many small-and medium-sized garment companies in HCM City reportedly have received only half to 60 percent of the orders they expected this year.
Very few companies have orders for the fourth quarter of the year.
The chair of the HCM City Textile, Garment, Embroidery and Knitting Association, Pham Xuan Hong, said many member companies of the association still needed orders.
“By this time last year, 50-60 percent of enterprises had fulfilled 80 to 90 percent of their production plans. The figure is only 25-30 percent this year,” Hong said.
Hong noted that foreign garment importers are placing more orders with Cambodia, Bangladesh and Myanmar producers instead of Vietnam because the production costs in Vietnam are 50 percent higher than in those countries.
However, importers still seek Vietnamese producers for high-value contracts because Vietnamese can better satisfy their technical demands. However, high-value contracts do not bring high profits to Vietnamese companies as they have to pay high costs for input materials.
The director of a big garment company said that the number of orders his company has for the second half of the year was 30 percent lower than that of the same period last year.
“The number of orders has been decreasing, especially from Europe. The profits we have received in recent months were just to pay workers. I think the lateness in the negotiations for TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) was also a reason behind the decrease in the number of orders,” he said.
07:06:36 local time CAMBODIA
* Strikers’ demand violates constitution, international treaties:
In a recent article, you reported on a demand by unionists and striking garment factory workers that two administrators be fired.
Under the law, their demand is not only illegal but also a serious abuse of the right to employment – a right that protects all workers, even managers and administrators.
The Cambodian Constitution is the highest law in the Kingdom and it accords all Cambodians with equal rights. Article 31 of the constitution ensures citizens equality before the law and that they all have the same rights and freedoms.
The article also adds that the exercise of personal rights and freedoms by any individual shall not adversely affect the rights and freedom of others. Moreover, Article 36 clearly states that citizens shall have the right to choose their employment according their ability and the needs of society.
Article 23 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights spells out these rights: (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
In addition, Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights says that the states party to the covenant recognise the right to work.
08:06:36 local time INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:
1. BPJS ready to manage the pension fund.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.
2. Employ Expatriate, companies required to appoint an Indonesian employee as assistant.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.
3. Many workers yet to receive annual bonus. Read the full article here.
4. US key market for Bali`s non-knitted garments. Read the full article here.
5. July inflation below one percent: Economist. Read the full article here.
6. Investment Realization Grows Beyond Expectation. Read the full article here.
7. Regaining economic stride.Read the full article here.
BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates Overview here.
07:06:36 local time THAILAND
* Exporters prepare for loss of GSP privileges:
Thai enterprises in various industries are struggling to adjust their business models and investment plans in preparation for losing Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) privileges in the European Union next year.
06:06:36 local time BANGLADESH
20140804 * RMG workers take to the street for overtime remuneration:
Workers said the factory authority had recently stopped proving the overtime remuneration to them
Hundreds of workers of Hatchong BD Limited, a sweater factory in Baroipara area under Kaliakoir upazila in Gazipur, staged a demonstration and observed work abstension yesterday morning demanding arears.
Workers said the factory authority had recently stopped proving the overtime remuneration to them.
In the morning, the workers went to the factory and demanded the authority to include overtime remuneration into their salary.
Earlier, the garment authority pledged that it would provide overtime remunartion to those workers who stay at factory after 5pm, according labour law.
As the authority refused to pay overtime’s salary, the workers left their working place and started a peacefull demonstration in front of the factory.
20140804 * BGMEA to pay Tuba workers:
Garment makers platform BGMEA yesterday agreed to pay two months’ salaries to the 1,600 workers of Tuba Group.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in a statement asked the workers to receive two months’ salaries from the office of the association on Wednesday.
Tuba Group will pay Eid bonuses and the salary of the rest one month later, said SM Mannan Kochi, the acting BGMEA president.
The BGMEA will arrange the fund from big garment exporters as loan and Tuba will repay it, Kochi said.
The decision was taken at an emergency meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu and labour union leaders.
The BGMEA on Saturday sought emergency funds from some garment companies to clear the dues. On July 31, the association promised to pay three months’ arrears, overtime and festival bonuses of the workers in seven workdays.
20140804 * Under pressure, BGMEA to pay dues of Tuba:
Agitating workers say they will not accept anything other than full payment of all their dues
Garment exporters’ association BGMEA has agreed to pay two months’ wages to more than 1,600 workers of the Tuba Group, but not before the prime minister’s intervention.
However, the agitating workers have rejected the proposal demanding all their dues be paid altogether.
At least 1,200 workers of five factories of the Tuba Group have been fasting for seven days at the Hossain Market in the capital’s Badda area, demanding payment of three months’ wages, overtime and Eid bonuses.
Around 90 workers have fallen sick from days of fasting and 15 of them, in critical conditions, have been admitted to various hospitals in the city.
The fateful Tazreen Fashions, where a factory fire killed more than a hundred people in November 2012, belonged to this group. The group’s Managing Director Delowar Hossain was arrested last year on charges of showing “negligence” which led to the factory fire.
The group’s management has been saying that it could not pay the dues for May, June and July and the Eid bonuses as the banks would not give them the fund unless their owner was freed.
However, the group paid all the dues to the workers of two of its factories before Eid. The fact that the managing director was in jail did not prevent them from getting the funds out of banks.
20140804 * Tuba workers reject offer to clear dues in phases:
The striking Tuba Group workers rejected the authorities’ offer at a tripartite meeting Sunday to start disbursing their wage arrears from Wednesday.
The workers said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders and the government were mocking them by making such an assurance.
According to the decision at the tripartite meeting, the unpaid workers will receive wage arrears for the months of May and June last on August 6 from the BGMEA.
Dues for the month of July will be cleared on August 10 next as per the decision of the tripartite committee reached in the meeting among government high-ups, apparel makers and a section of apparel workers’ leaders.
After the meeting, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan shared the decision with the reporters. He said the decision on payment of the festival allowances and overtime bills would be taken later after discussion with the management of Tuba Group.
“It’s up to the workers whether they will receive their dues or not,” the minister said in response to a query at the post-meeting briefing.
* Government to challenge Delowar’s bail:
It was the last working day of the Supreme Court before its month-long vacation began
The government will appeal with the Supreme Court against a recent High Court order that granted bail to imprisoned Delowar Hossain, the owner of Tuba Group which also owns Tazreen Fashions, where a fire killed at least 112 workers in 2012.
Deputy Attorney General Shafiul Bashar Bhandary yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “The appeal against Delowar Hossain’s bail is under process. A decision has been made to file the petition seeking a stay order on the High Court’s bail order.”
Bhandary had opposed the bail prayer by Delowar’s counsel during a hearing on July 24 when the High Court bench of Justice Syed AB Mahmudul Huq and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder granted him two month’s ad interim bail in a case filed regarding the tragic factory fire.
It was the last working day of the Supreme Court before its month-long vacation began. During the vacation, only special courts sit to deal with urgent cases. Bhandary, however, could not confirm when they would submit the appeal to the Supreme Court’s chamber judge’s court.
The chamber judge’s vacation court sat on July 31. It will sit again tomorrow and on August 12, 19 and 25, according to the official website a the apex court.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam is currently abroad.
Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, who is now working as the acting attorney general, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Deputy Attorney General [Shafiul Bashar Bhandary] has sent me a note regarding the appeal.
We will make a decision regarding the issue after seeing the note.”
When asked how long it may take to file the petition, Murad Reza said: “The process is underway. It will take two or three days.” In response to another question, he said: “If the accused [Delowar] is released from jail by this time, we will pray to the court to issue a directive for his surrender.”
* Govt to appeal HC order:
Tuba Group MD’s bail
The government has decided to appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking its stay on the High Court (HC) Division’s order that recently granted bail to detained Tuba Group managing director (MD) Delwar Hossain.
The state law officer concerned, however, could not specify any date of filing the petition for the apex court’s stay on the HC bail order.
“We have decided to appeal against the HC bail order,” Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Shafiul Bashar Bhandary told the FE Sunday.
About the date to do so, Mr Bhandary said, “Filing of the petition against the HC’s bail order is under process; it may take time.”
In reply to a query whether the Attorney General’s office received certified copy of the bail order, the DAG said, “There is no need of the certified copy because we will file a civil miscellaneous petition (CMP) for leave-to-appeal, which does not require it (certified copy).”
read more. & read more.
20140803 * Workers reject new wage date, continue demo:
The agitating garment workers of Tuba Group this afternoon vowed to continue their demonstration rejecting the authorities’ assurance of payment of two months’ wages on Wednesday.
Today, the seventh day of their mass hunger strike, they insisted that the owners pay their three months’ due salaries and festival bonuses in full and immediately.
The workers’ announcement came around 6:30pm, one and half hours after garment the factory owners’ association — Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) — had asked them to end their demonstration and return to work.
20140803 * Tuba Group RMG workers to be paid Wednesday:
The arrears of garment workers employed in five factories of Tuba Group will be disbursed on Wednesday as tension was growing over the issue.
The decision came from a tripartite meeting among the government, leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters association (BGMEA) and Garment Sramik Somonnoy Parishad held at the BGMEA office on Sunday.
According to the decision, workers and employees of the five garment units will be able to collect their salaries of May and June from the BGMEA Complex from 10am on the day.
The three parties agreed that the factory authorities will timely disburse the salaries of July, as fixed by them while the allowances and other arrears will be paid soon.
20140803 * Tuba group workers to get 50% arrears by Thursday: BGMEA:
The demonstrating garment workers of Tuba Group will get over 50 of their salaries and Eid bonuses by Thursday, a BGMEA leader said here today.
“We hope that the Tuba Group workers will get a big chunk of their arrears by Thursday,” Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told BSS.
Nearly 1,600 apparel workers of the group went on fast-unto-death on the seventh floor of the factory housed in Hossain Market at Pragati Sarani since the Eid Day demanding their arrears.
Azim said, “We’ve already said that the problems regarding payment of outstanding salaries and bonuses of Tuba Group workers will be resolved in a week.” “We’re working to that end,” said the BGMEA leader.
20140803 * BGMEA pays workers’ salary Wednesday:
Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association (BGMEA) will pay the due salaries of the workers of Tuba Group on Wednesday.
The BGMEA leaders made the disclosure after the meeting with the labor leaders on Sunday afternoon.
The authorities said they would pay the salary of May and June at BGMEA building from 10:00 am on that day.
They will also give the salary of July till August 10.
Earlier in the day, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed asked the authorities concerned to pay workers’ salary.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
20140803 * RMG workers to lay siege to BGMEA bhaban Aug 5:
Readymade garment workers from across the country will lay seize to BGMEA Bhaban in the capital on August 5 to drum up the movement for realising the arrears of Tuba Group’s labourers.
They will also hold rallies and bring out processions across the country tomorrow (August 4). The programme will begin in every RMG industrial area of the country at about 4:00pm.
Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum, made the announcement at a press conference held at the Hossain Super Market, which houses three units of the group, this afternoon.
In her written statement, she called upon the country’s “patriotic people, labours and workers” from all sections of life to ensure their overwhelming participation to make the programme a success.
Earlier, Mishu, who has been fasting along with the RMG workers of Tuba Group since Monday, threatened that they would wage a tougher movement if the authorities concerned failed to pay their arrears immediately.
read more. & read more.
20140803 * Clear Tuba Group workers’ dues demand by Monday: Union leaders :
Garment workers here on Sunday gave the government and the BGMEA an ultimatum to make arrangements for the payment of their four months’ salaries, Eid bonus and overtime bills by Tuba Group by Monday (Aug 3).
They also threatened to wage a strong movement in industrial zones across the country if the authorities fail to clear their dues by the given time.
Leaders of different garment workers’ organisations came up with the ultimatum at a human chain programme arranged by Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad in front of the Jatiya Eidgah gate in the city.
They urged the government to cancel the bail of Tuba Group managing director Delwar Hossain and hang him to death for the destructive fire at Tazreen Fashions in 2012.
Convener of Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad Shamim Imam said, “BGMEA had assured the 1,600 unpaid workers of Tuba group of paying their dues before Eid but they didn’t.”
20140803 * Tuba workers threaten tougher movement:
The demonstrating garment workers of Tuba Group today threatened to wage a tougher movement if the authorities concerned failed to pay their arrears immediately.
“We will strengthen our agitation by occupying the BGMEA Bhaban and confining its leaders,” said Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum.
Mishu, who has been fasting along with the RMG workers of Tuba Group since Monday, was talking to reporters at Hossain Super Market, which houses three units of the group.
“We have been observing hunger strike for the last seven days in a peaceful manner. It will be a great mistake if the government and the authorities concerned treat us as weak,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the leaders and activists of Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, which expressed solidarity with the workers, announced to lay siege to the labour ministry tomorrow.
“We will seize the labour ministry at about 11:00am Monday to realise the workers’ demands for their arrears,” Subhrangshu Chakravarty, convener of the Bam Morcha, an alliance of several leftist parties, told The Daily Star today.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
20140803 * Labour leaders oppose Delwar’s bail, ministers at BGMEA to discuss way out:
Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad, a combine of eight apparel workers’ rights body, on Sunday formed a human chain in front of the High Court premises to oppose Tuba Group owner Delwar Hossain’s two months’ interim bail.
Tuba Group owner Delwar Hossain obtained two months’ interim bail from a High Court bench.
He is in jail on homicide charges after one of his apparel factories Tazreen Fashions limited was gutted in 2012, killing 112 workers.
The rights body also held the protest programme to realise theb workers’ demand for payment of their wages, arrears and Eid bonus.
Meanwhile, Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee is likely to announce its fresh programme at a press conference this afternoon at Hossain Market of North Badda in the city.
20140803 * Govt to appeal against Delwar’s bail:
The government will appeal against the High Court order that granted bail to Tazreen Fashion’s Limited Managing Director Delwar Hossain.
Deputy Attorney General Shafiul Bashar Bhandary said this on Sunday.
Bhandary said: “The appeal against the Tazreen Fashion’s owner Delwar Hossain’s bail is under process.”
However, Acting Attorney General Murad Reza said: “The DAG has sent a note regarding the appeal. But we will decide whether to appeal or not after seeing the note.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* RMG workers demonstrate for overtime pay in Gazipur:
Workers of a garment factory in Gazipur demonstrated on the factory premises and observed work abstention yesterday demanding overtime pay.
Workers of Hatchong BD Limited in Kaliakoir upazila said the factory authorities stopped paying them overtime allowance in July.
The workers yesterday morning demanded overtime pay for the month of July, but when the factory management refused to pay, they demonstrated on the premises and observed work abstention.
The demonstrators dispersed when police arrived at the spot, said Mohammed Zakir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Gazipur Industrial Police-2.
He added that additional police have been deployed there to prevent any untoward situation.
Dulal, deputy general manger of the factory, said they have stopped paying overtime allowance following the amended labour law in 2013.
to read. & read more.
* Remediation of errant RMG units uncertain over funding:
Experts suggest tapping ILO, stakeholders’ assistance
Uncertainty looms large over remediation of non-compliant garment factories identified under a government-led inspection drive prompted by a recent crisis as the necessary funding matter is not effectively settled, industry-insiders and officials have said.
Under the government-ILO scheme, BUET has already assessed 250 garment units and is expected to inspect about 1300 to 1500 factories left out of the purview of inspection by the two retailers’ groups Accord and Alliance. The two have raised the issue of worker safety and factory conditions against the backdrop of workplace tragedies.
Twenty-five percent of the BUET-inspected units were marked red and amber while the rest were marked yellow and green. Of the factories marked red, two were closed so far.
BUET has handed over the reports on inspected 200 factories to the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) and the latter started on July 2 distributing the reports with corrective action plan to the factory owners concerned.
But sector-insiders and officials apprehend that the government-led improvement programme might fail to bring the desired result, if the remedial work could not be done due to shortage of funds as majority of the factories are small and medium ones.
The western retailers-Accord and Alliance-have commitments to assist those factory owners who are unable to carry out the remedial mark while the government-ILO project has no such clear indication what the insiders they pointed out as a cause of uncertainty.
“We are also concerned about the funds required for post-inspection period as there is no such arrangement,” a top government official said, indicating difficulties in doing the daunting task of streamlining the industry as per the westerners’ set standards.
* Khulna labour leaders urge PM to revive jute industry:
The Jute and Jute Industry Committee (JJIC) called on the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to revive the jute sector in the country along the Khulna-Jessore industrial belt.
The newly-formed committee, comprising of labour leaders associated with left-leaning parties Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal and Sramik Dal, addressed a memorandum to the Prime Minister, handing it over to Deputy Commissioner of Khulna Md Anis Mahmud.
Through the memorandum, the committee urged the PM to provide funds to reopen jute mills, subsidise ailing mills, and enforce the law which makes the use of jute bags compulsory.
05:36:36 local time INDIA
* Weavers with unusually low wages await revision:
Fifty per cent hike over existing wages could appear quite steep but it means a lot for handloom weavers of Sellur who hardly make between Rs 35 to 70 in a day.
They are now eagerly waiting for the third round of talks between their representatives and employers scheduled on August 8.
“I hardly make Rs 50 paid on volume of cloth I weave. It is tricky with handlooms because it is a tiring job. If we try weaving more to make more money, we can’t wake up the next day morning due to severe body pain,” says S Soosaiammal a worker who was widowed at a young age and has to support her five-year-old son and ailing father.
Still, they prefer weaving because they don’t know any other work and they can work in flexible shifts, she said.
Most of the workers are paid based on the volume of work in a day. Ironically, the ones working more may end up getting very less like those who spin bobbins for shuttles who are paid Rs 35 per day.
The more complicated procedures may be provided a daily wage of Rs 100.
S Murugan, general secretary of United Handlooms Workers Association says wages were raised once in two years and previous contract period has ended this year and workers are desperate to get hike considering skyrocketing of prices, he said.
“The daily wages is very minimal and workers are struggling even to eat good food with such low wages,” he pointed out.