In the news 7 August 2014

12:34:29 local time map of china CHINA

* Activists demand that workers be given the right to supervise workplace safety:

In the wake of Saturday’s massive explosion at a Kunshan factory that killed at least 75 workers and injured 180 others, a group of labour activists and academics has issued an open letter arguing that since factory owners and local governments have failed to protect workers, the workers themselves should be given the right to supervise workplace safety, Caixin reported today.

The letter noted the failure of Zhongrong Metal Products to remove hazardous dust, install proper ventilation equipment or dust-level monitors or provide workers with adequate protective clothing.
Moreover, it noted that the Kunshan municipal government had just finished a round of safety inspections from the 16th to 25th July and that no violations were found.

Dai Chun, associate professor at a Hunan trade union school and one of the letter’s authors, told Caixin that problems with work safety were part of a wider failure to incorporate workers’ rights into China’s economic development model.
As such, the authors called on the government to give workers the authority to supervise safety in the workplace.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

11:34:29 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam’s minimum wage to increase $14-18 per month in 2015:

The National Wage Council agreed to recommend that the government increase Vietnam’s minimum monthly salary by between VND300,000-VND400,000 (US$14-18) in 2015.

The plan would raise the minimum wage to VND2.42-VND3.1 million ($114-146), Mai Duc Chinh, deputy director of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor told Thanh Nien News on the phone after the meeting.
The “maximum possible increase is VND400,000, exceeding last year’s highest recomended increase of VND350,000,” he said.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

Region-based minimum wage proposed to increase 15.1 percent:

20140807 VNNews
Textile workers in Thanh Hoa Province manufacture clothes for export. The National Wage Council will ask the Prime Minister for an average increase of 15.1 per cent in regional-based minimum wages next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet.

The National Wage Council (NWC) on August 6 adopted a proposal on a 15.1 percent rise in region-based monthly minimum wage in 2015, which will be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Under the proposal, the new monthly minimum wage levels will be applied in four different regions in the country as follows – Region I: 3.1 million VND (147 USD), Region II: 2.75 million VND (131 USD), Region III: 2.42 million VND (115.2 USD), and Region IV: 2.2 million VND (104.7 USD).

Region I covers urban Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City while Region II includes rural Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City along with urban Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Region III covers Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc provinces, and Region IV, the remaining localities.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
VIETNAMplus VOVonline DTI VNNews new

* Africa, VN cotton industries eye closer links:

A delegation of cotton producers and exporters from eastern and southern African countries met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City yesterday to explore business opportunities.

According to the Viet Nam Cotton and Spinning Association (Vcosa), more than 51 per cent of the materials needed for short-staple yarn production is natural cotton, but last year local production met only 1.2 per cent of demand.

The country had to import a lot of cotton from the US, south Asia, and Africa, it said, adding that imports would continue to be the main source of raw materials for the spinning industry.

Speaking at a seminar titled “Market transparency – East and Southern African Cotton for Vietnamese Spinners”, Nguyen Hong Giang, Vcosa general secretary, said last year Viet Nam imported more than 581,000 tonnes of cotton for US$1.17 billion, up 39.1 per cent from 2012, mainly from the US, India, Australia, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Pakistan.
read more.
VNNews new

11:34:29 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strike ends as sacked workers take cash:

Seven union leaders protesting against being sacked from the Vantage River Textile factory in Preah Sihanouk province each agreed yesterday to accept $300 compensation.

Worker representative and sacked employee Keo Srey Pich, 22, said three hours of negotiations between the union, workers and the company, in the presence of the provincial governor and labour officials, ended in the cash being offered and an agreement to end the strike.

“The boss will pay the compensation and promises to resolve other demands we have made,” Srey Pich said, adding that the workers had accepted the compensation in part because they had no other money to support themselves.
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media Upate 07 August 2014, Strike ends as sacked workers take cash:

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

2014-08-07 Strike ends as sacked workers take cash

BetterFactories Media Upate here.
BF NEW

10:34:29 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20140807 5 demands

20140807 * Tuba Group workers kept confined:

Police, ruling party men swoop on labour leaders, rights activists

The police confined and locked up agitating Tuba garment workers inside a factory building at Badda since Wednesday morning for demanding arrear wages for three months, festival allowance and overtime bills.

Supply of water and saline for the Tuba Group workers on hunger strike was also stopped by the police since the morning.

At least 20 labour leaders and right activists were injured in repeated attacks by the police with assistance from ruling party goons. The labour leaders and the right activists had gathered there to express their solidarity with the workers confined inside the Tuba Group factory.

No medical service provider or reporter was allowed to enter the factory building from which some 40 workers were allowed to leave one by one throughout the day as they fell sick getting no food, water or saline.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * Workers confined, forced to take partial payments:

Owners of Tuba Group backed by police confined more than 1,000 agitating workers for hours yesterday in an apparent bid to quell their ongoing protests for full payment of arrears.

The nine-hour confinement ends around noon when an unidentified man opened the gate of the building where the workers have been on hunger strike for ten days. But the workers refused to go to the BGMEA office to take partial payments promised earlier.
“We went to the BGMEA office several times. But it did not respond. Now it offers us two months’ salary. We want full payments, including Eid bonuses, at our factory, not at the BGMEA office,” Shiuly Akter, a 45-year-old sewing operator, said in the afternoon.

Standing 10-15 yards away from the Tuba Group’s factory building at North Badda in the capital, she, along with her colleague Moina, was trying to contact some of the workers inside the building.
Many workers and reporters who were standing outside were barred from entering the building. But police denied such allegations.

More than 1,000 workers of Tuba Group were agitating inside the building to express solidarity with around 300 of their colleagues who have been on hunger strike since July 28, the day before the Eid festival. The arrears were for the months of May, June and July, including overtime bills and Eid bonuses, totalling Tk 4.14 crore.
Some 583 of the 1,458 workers employed at five factories of Tuba Group received two months’ salaries from the BGMEA till 10pm yesterday, according to BGMEA.
(…)
Shiuly, who has around Tk 30,000 dues with Tuba Group, said she could not pay house rent and grocery bills for the last two months. “My homeowner has already threatened to evict me,” she said.

Moina said her son was injured in a road accident and since then she has been borrowing for his treatment. She, however, refused to take partial salary from the BGMEA.

Apart from Shiuly and Moina, other workers too blamed police for locking them in.
Some labour leaders having links with the BGMEA are putting pressure on the workers to receive two months’ payments, but the workers have refused to do so, Jebunnesa Jebu, a member of the central committee of Garments Workers Unity Forum, said by phone.

Moshrefa Mishu, one of the organsiers of the protest, was threatened with arrest, she said.
“There is a shortage of saline, doctors and nurses to attend our workers observing the hunger strike,” said Utpal, who works at the cutting section of a factory of Tuba Group.
Police, however, claimed they allowed entry of physicians to ensure treatment of the fasting agitators.
read more.
daily star bd

20140807 * Many Tuba workers accept BGMEA’s offer:

Out of Tk4.13 crore dues, Tk98 lakh was paid to the workers on the first day

At least 583 workers of Tuba Group drew two months’ wages from the BGMEA office yesterday, the association claimed; while another section of workers continued their fast-unto-death for the 10th consecutive day.

RMG exporters’ association BGMEA, which, after being pressured by the government, is giving the wages on behalf of Tuba Group by managing a temporary crisis fund with contribution from its well-off members, has said the workers will be able to collect their wages until 9pm today as well.
Out of Tk4.13 crore dues, Tk98 lakh was paid to the workers on the first day.

On July 28, around 1,200 workers from five factories, who did not get wages and overtime for April-June and Eid bonuses, went on a hunger strike at the Hossain Market in the capital’s Badda area. The market houses three factories of the Tuba Group.

Labour leaders, who are spearheading the protest, said they would not accept any partial payment and announced strikes in all industrial areas of the country for Saturday. The newly formed “Tuba Group Workers Movement Committee” will stage demonstrations around the country today and tomorrow.

A number of protesters alleged that some of their colleagues had been forced to go and collect two months’ wages from the BGMEA.

However, labour leader Moshrefa Mishu, who is coordinating the committee, said those who went to take the wages were not workers; they were the security guards and employees of the factories.
She alleged that a few workers, who came out of the market for various reasons, were forcibly taken to the BGMEA building.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140807 * Tuba workers threaten strike for Saturday:

Reject BGMEA offer of two months’ back pay

Majority of the agitating Tuba workers refused to take two months’ back pays offered by the owners and threatened to enforce a strike in all the apparel units next Saturday as the starter of a tougher movement  unless their five-point demand is met today (Thursday).

Meanwhile, police Wednesday stormed the Tuba factory building where the workers have been on a fast-unto-death to realise their demand for clearing all their back pays and bonus.

The workers rejected BGMEA offer to clear two months’ wage arrears Wednesday, though police allegedly brought in a few who took the pays.

But the unpaid workers of five apparel factories of Tuba Group under the banner of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee insisted the owners must clear wages for May, June and July along with overtime bills and festival bonus on the factory premises on a single date.

Failing to brief reporters about their latest movements because of police interception, convener of the Sangram Committee Mushrefa Mishu informed newsmen about their programme in writing from the 6th floor of Hossain Supermarket, which houses three units of Tuba Group.

On that floor of the building the demonstrators have been observing hunger strike since July 27 night.

As per the announced programme, protest rally will also be held at the apparel industrial hubs today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) to mount pressure on the BGMEA leaders and the government to settle the ongoing trouble created over the payment of workers’ dues.

Contacted over the mobile phone, Mushrefa Mishu, also president of Garment Workers Unity Forum, told the FE that police entered the building several times and brought out few workers, forcing them to go to the BGMEA office to take wages of two months.
(…)
Their five demands are: immediate payment of unpaid wages, overtime and Eid bonuses, keeping factories open so that nearly 1,600 workers can retain their livelihood, compensation for workers who have fallen ill, ‘cancellation’ of Tuba Group Managing Director Delwar Hossain’s bail and compensation for the victims of Tazreen Fashions fire.
read more.
FE bd

20140807 * Tuba workers threaten nationwide RMG strike on Saturday:

The hunger striking garment workers of Tuba Group Wednesday evening threatened to call strike at all apparel units across the country for Saturday if their dues were not paid by Thursday.

The workers, who are on hunger strike since July 28 at Badda in Dhaka demanding payment of their outstanding salaries of the month of May, June and July and festival bonus, also announced to stage a countrywide demonstration on Thursday and Friday to press home their demands, said labour leader Jolly Talukder.

The announcement was made through a loud speaker from the sixth floor of a factory  housed at Hossain Market in Badda as they could not meet media due to restrictions of law enforcers.
They also dropped a press notes carrying the message singed by Mushrefa Mishu, president of Garment Sramik Oikya Forum, from the floor during the announcement.

Police did not allow the hunger striking workers to talk to press and they also barred a group of rights activists led by Khushi Kabir to enter the factory saying there were instructions from ‘high-level’ not to allow anyone to enter the factory.

In the afternoon, police and the activists of Shramik League, labour wing of ruling Awami League, allegedly beat up Dhaka University sociology teacher Samina Luthfa and an anthropologist Saydia Gulrukh as they tried to enter the factory to observe the humanitarian aid condition of agitating workers.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * BGMEA gives workers more time to take salary:

583 workers receive two-month salary from BGMEA

The BGMEA yesterday extended the deadline for Tuba Group workers to collect their two months’ salaries to Thursday after requests from many workers, who were held off at their factories.

The garment makers’ platform initially asked the workers to come between 9am and 6pm yesterday to its headquarters at Karwan Bazar to pick up their salaries, but only about 583 of the 1,458 workers managed to get there.
“Many workers were unable to come to the association office to draw their salaries as a vested quarter is playing games with innocent workers,” Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said at a press conference.
He said the workers could not collect their ID cards from factories as they were caught up at Badda’s Hossain Market that houses three factories of the group.
The BGMEA chief also said the management of Tuba Group will pay salary for the remaining month on August 10.

“We expect Tuba Group will pay all their dues to worker since its owner, Delwar Hossain, was freed from jail on bail,” he said.
read more.
daily star bd

20140807 * A Troubled Day for Tuba Workers:

20140807 DAILYSTAR
Striking garment workers look out from behind the metal bars of a locked collapsible gate of a Tuba Group factory in Badda, Dhaka yesterday. Photo: Amran Hossain
see more.
daily star bd

——-

20140806 * RMG workers to observe strike Saturday if Tuba workers’ dues not paid :

Ready-made garment workers will observe a daylong strike in all the RMG units across the country on Saturday if the back pay, bonuses and Eid bonuses of Tuba Group workers are not cleared by Friday.

Mushrefa Mishu, coordinator of ‘Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee’ and also president of Garments Sramik Oikya Forum, announced this from their hunger strike in the afternoon.

The workers of the Tuba Group factories have been on the hunger strike inside their factory floors at Hossain Market at Uttar Badda under Badda Police Station since July 28 demanding that they be remunerated for three months of unpaid work and Eid bonuses.

Around 1,000 protesting workers remained confined to the factories since Wednesday morning as police reportedly locked all the gates of Hossain Market.

Talking to UNB over phone, Mushrefa Mishu said various programmes, including agitation, will be observed in all garment industries across the country on Thursday and Friday to realise the demand. “If the authorities do not pay the full dues, including wages of three months, by Friday, we’ll enforce the strike on Saturday.”
read more.
UNBnew

20140806 * Unpaid garment workers on hunger strike:

1,600 Bangladeshi garment workers on hunger strike for more than a week have called for a strike at garment factories across the country on 10 August if outstanding salaries and bonuses are not paid.

More than 1,600 workers at garment manufacturer Tuba Group have been on a hunger strike since 28 July because they have not been paid for three months.

They are demanding payment of their salaries, three months worth of overtime, as well as their Eid festival bonuses.

The workers, who produced garments for the International Football Federation (Fifa), today announced that if outstanding payments are not made by 7 August, they would call on garment workers across the country to strike on 10 August.

Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, calls for immediate payment of outstanding wages and bonuses.
“The women and men who toil in the garment industry in Bangladesh are our members and we will fight for them. They are the backbone of a very profitable industry which can’t afford to treat people like this.”

The managing director of the Tuba group, Delwar Hossain, had been in jail since February 2014 for his role in the Tazreen tragedy, a factory fire claiming 112 lives and injuring more than 200 people. However, in a move by the High Court he was released on bail on 5 August.

The workers on hunger strike have been camping out in one of the factories. To date nearly 100 have fallen ill as a result, and around 20 people have been admitted to hospital.

This morning, 6 August, they woke up to find the entrances locked. The workers were confined for six hours before the gates were opened by the police.
read more.
INDUSRIall

20140806 * Tuba workers set ultimatum, call strike:

At least 1,200 workers from five factories under the Tuba Group have been on a hunger strike for tenth consecutive day

Agitating Tuba group workers, beside setting an ultimatum to meet their demands, have called a general strike in industrial areas across the country from Saturday.

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee Convenor Moshrefa Mishu made the announcements from a fifth floor
window of Tuba factory at Badda area in the capital on Wednesday evening.

Mishu alleged police barred them from holding a press conference scheduled to begin at 5pm.

She also announced protest rally throughout the country for Thursday and Friday.
“We will continue our huger strike and observe a general strike in industrial areas if our five-charter demands are not met within Thursday,”she said.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE INDEPENDENT

20140806 * Tuba workers get also due Thursday:

Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) extended time till Thursday to pay the due wages and bonuses of Tuba Group workers. 

President of BGMEA Atiqul Islam said this in a press conference in its office on Wednesday.
He said BGMEA would pay the salary and bonus from 9:00am to 6:00 pm.
Earlier in the day, the BGMEA pay the dues of the workers of five factory of Tuba Group but most of the workers didn’t receive the money.
to read. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW BSS DHAKATRIBUNE

20140806 * Tuba group: Only 24% workers accept part payment:

We hope the rest of them will collect the due payments till 9pm, says BGMEA president

More than 70% of Tuba Group workers have refrained themselves from receiving partial dues offered by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Only 343, out of 1,458 workers, received the partial dues from the BGMEA.BGMEA, the apex of garment manufacturers in Bangladesh, has decided to continue the payment till 9pm.

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam informed the media at a press briefing held at the BGMEA building in the capital.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140806 * Nationwide labor strike Thursday:

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee called for countrywide protest on Thursday if their demand is not meet by authorities of the group.

Leader of the committee and deputy general of Bangladesh Garment Workers’ Trade Union Jolly Talukder confirmed the matter to banglanews.

She said, they will observe labor strike if the Tuba group authorities don’t meet their demand till Saturday.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

20140806 * Police attacks Tuba demonstrators, oust all but workers from factory bldg:

Police in a severe action on labour leaders and people extending their solidarity with the demands of garment workers injured at least 20 and ousted them from a factory building of Tuba Group in Badda on Wednesday where 1,000 workers were on hunger strike since July 28.

Dhaka University sociology teacher Samina Luthfa, anthropologist Saydia Gulrukh, Prothom Alo assistant editor Faruk Wasif an labour leader Shabnam Amir were among the injured activists in police action.

Police also picked up 10 of the activsist and took to Badda police station and later released all but Shabnam Amir.
Earlier, police locked up the factory building confining over 1,000 workers, who have been agitating in demand of their due wages and allowances, for almost six hours since the morning.

According to police deployed there, they entered the factory to clear out what they termed ‘outsiders’ who joined the workers observing a hunger strike.
Police also charged batons on activists of a left-leaning alliance and journalists when they tried to enter the factory, our correspondent reported from the site.

The workers said police had locked up the building and allowed none to go in or out but police claimed they were unaware who had locked up the four entrances of the factory.
The authority has stopped the supply of food and saline to the workers, who continue fast unto death for the 10th day and have fallen ill, said factory workers including Asma Khatun and Mizanur Rahman.

The confinement, attacks and stoppage of supply of saline came a day after the Tuba Group managing director, Delwar Hossain, was released on Tuesday evening on bail granted by the High Court. No reporter or medical service provider was allowed to enter the building, while water cannon and riot car were standing outside the building.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Gulshan zone additional deputy commissioner Mahbub Hassan said, ‘We are not permitting anyone to enter the factory.’ Asked about the reason, he said, ‘We do not know.’
The Ganasnaghati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki, said that Awami League activists along with the police attacked their demonstration under police monitoring. They took away the banner and loudspeaker used in the demonstration and left many of the protesters injured.
read more. & read more.
NEWAGEnew bdnews24

20140806 * Tuba workers again confined; 55 receive dues at BGMEA Bhaban:

Tuba Group factory workers remained confined as police again locked all the entry gates of the factory while 60 workers collected two months’ outstanding wages at BGMEA Bhaban on Wednesday.

Around 1,000 protesting workers remained confined for several hours in the morning as police locked all the gates of Hossain Market at Uttar Badda in the capital which house the Tuba Group garment factories.

Officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station MA Jalil said they locked the gates so that the protesting workers could not carry out vandalism on the nearby streets.

However, police opened the gates around 12:25 am for a while to allow the workers to go for collecting their dues from the BGMEA Bhaban.

Police again locked all the entry gates to the Tuba Group factories at the Hossain Market as the situation went out of control, witnesses said.
read more.
UNBnew

20140806 * Police occupy Tuba factory as workers leave it for BGMEA Bhaban:

20140806 FE2

Police on Wednesday morning occupied the entire Hossain Market in the city’s Uttar Badda which houses 5 readymade garment factories of Tuba Group after most of the workers left it for BGMEA Bhaban in Karwan Bazar to receive dues.

However, those who were observing the indefinite hunger strike at the five RMG units stayed at the factories and continued their fast-unto-death programme to realise their demands, including three-month’s wages and other allowances.

The agitating workers alleged police entered the premises of the factories in the morning to ‘clear out’ activists of various labour organisations who are staging peaceful demonstrations for full payment of their three months’ outstanding salaries and Eid bonus.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started disbursement to Tuba workers two months, out of three months, outstanding salaries around 10:30am and thirty Tuba workers received their salaries till then, the apparel makers and exporters’ apex body said.
read more.
FE bd

20140806 * Tuba Group workers confined, 10 injured in AL, police attacks:

The police and Tuba Group authority have confined several hundred protesting workers in the group’s apparel units at Badda in the city since this morning.

The confinement came a day after the Tuba Group managing director, Delwar Hossain, was released on Tuesday evening on bail granted by the High Court.

At least 10 people, including workers and political leaders and activists, were injured as the police and ruling Awami League activists attacked the protests organised by the workers and left parties at Badda at about 11:00am, witnesses said.

Of the injured, worker leaders Saiful Huq, Kallyan Datta and Riku Roy were rushed to hospitals in critical condition, said the left leaders there.
The Ganasnaghati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki, said that Awami League activists along with the police attacked their demonstration under police monitoring.

They took away the banner and loudspeaker used in the demonstration and left many of the protesters injured.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Gulshan zone assistant commissioner Nurul Alam, however, claimed that the clashes took place between two groups of the workers.
Announcement was heard through a loudspeaker outside the apparel factory asking the workers to go Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association headquarters at Karwanbazar to receive their wages for two months.

Three buses were standing outside the building to take the workers to the association building.
No reporter or medical service provider was allowed to enter the building, while water cannon and riot car were standing outside the building.
(…)
Only thirty-four members among the officials, security parsons and workers of Tuba Group received the wages till 1:00pm, association sources said.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140806 * Tuba workers receiving dues at BGMEA Bhaban:

20140806 UNB

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started distributing two months’ outstanding salaries to Tuba Group workers at BGMEA Bhaban on Wednesday.

The BGMEA authorities started disbursement of the dues around 10:30am and 25-30 workers of the garment factories of Tuba Group received their salaries, BGMEA sources said.
More workers started to come to BGMEA Bhaban to collect their dues, the sources added.

Earlier, around 1,000 protesting workers remained confined for several hours as police locked all the entries of Hossain Market at Uttar Badda in the capital, that houses garment factories of Tuba  Group.

Officer-in-charge of Badda Police Station MA Jalil said they locked the entries so that the workers could not carry out vandalism on the nearby streets.
Later, police opened the lock around 12:25 am for collecting dues from the BGMEA.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20140806 * Tuba workers taking wages from BGMEA:

Garment owners’ organization Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has started giving wages to the workers of five Tuba Group factories.

The process has started at 11:00am on Wednesday from BGMEA building in city’s Karwan Bazar area.
Two hundred and ninety six workers from Tuba Textiles, 384 from Bukshan Garments, 121 from Mita Design, 353 from Taif Design and 286 from Tuba Fashion were listed for wages.

TK2.36 crore will be disbursed for a total of 1,427 workers of the factories.
BGMEA has managed the money to pay the wages of May and June for the workers.
Besides, six buses from Dibanishi company have been provided to carry the workers from the factories to the BGMEA building.

However, only seven workers got salaries from 11:00am to 11:30am.
BGMEA president Atiqul Islam claimed that workers are late to reach here due to rain.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW bdnews24

20140806 * Police lock up building gate, claim Tuba workers-  Tuba building gate unlocked:

The workers of Tuba Group have claimed that police have locked up the building where they have been observing a hunger strike for nine consecutive days in demand of the payment of their dues.

The workers have claimed that the police locked up the gate in the early hours of Wednesday.
President of the Garment Workers’ Unity Forum Moshrefa Mishu said: “The workers found the gate of the building locked up when they tried to get out of it for Fajr prayer.”

Quoting the workers, he said: “Police told the workers that they would see for how long the workers can stay in the building without food.”

However, the police officials present in front of the building have denied the claims of the workers.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association had agreed to pay two months’ wages to more than 1,600 workers of the Tuba Group at the BGMEA building on Wednesday.
read more. read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE banglanews24NEW banglanews24NEW

20140806 * ‘Tuba Group workers confined’- Cops enter Tuba factory:

Strike Saturday if dues not paid by tomorrow: Tuba workers
Also announce demo at RMG units across country Thursday, Friday

Police entered a factory of Tuba Group at Badda area in Dhaka around the noon where over 1,000 workers, who have been agitating in demand of their due wages and bonuses, were confined for almost six hours since the morning.

According to police deployed there, they entered the factory to clear out what they termed “outsiders” who joined the workers observing a hunger strike since July 28, Bangla daily Prothom Alo reports.

Police also charged batons on activists of a left-leaning alliance and journalists when they tried to enter the factory, our correspondent reported from the site.

The confinement came hours after Delwar Hossain, managing director of the group, was freed on bail.
read more.
daily star bd

* Mockery of union rights in RMG sector should be stopped:

Regardless of the reasons, be it involving long-standing worker struggle or increasing pressure from the western countries that are the destination of the most Bangladeshi apparel exports over the issue, the government made some changes in the labour law in recent years paving the way for trade unions to operate in the apparel sector.

Despite some criticism, particularly of the provision that requires a union to have at least 30 per cent workers of the factory as members for its coming into being, it was welcomed by almost all at least as a step forward.

Regrettably, however, what the labour directorate, responsible for the task, is allegedly doing in the name of giving registration to trade union federations in particular appears to tell otherwise.

As New Age reported on Tuesday, labour leaders alleged that influenced by employers, the directorate has so far given registration mostly to signboard-only trade union federations in the apparel sector denying the people actively working for labour rights for years the legal basis for the work despite repeated efforts on their part.

According to them, at best 12 out of the 38 trade union federations registered with the government are now active; of course, a 2013 study by the corruption watchdog Transparency International, Bangladesh put the figure at ‘no more than nine.’

Labour leaders also alleged that activities of many of the registered federations are limited to sending out press releases on different occasions while leaders of some of them are involved in infighting over the control of the federation.
Even the president of the Jatiya Garments Sramik Kalyan Federation, one of the fortunate 38 registered federations, has admitted that as they are not linked or affiliated with any political party, their activities are limited.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* USTR team satisfied over action plan execution:

RMG workplace safety, labour welfare

A visiting team of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has expressed its satisfaction over the progress the country’s apparel industry made in implementation of its action plan regarding workplace safety and labour welfare, sources said.

A four-member delegation comprising two from the USTR and two from the US embassy in Dhaka, led by Deputy Assistant USTR for South and Central Asia Mara M Burr, met several government secretaries and stakeholders Tuesday and Wednesday and discussed about the progresses made since the action plan was forwarded by the US to Bangladesh last year.

“During our meeting Tuesday, they inquired about the activities we are doing now and implemented in the past to comply with their requirements.
They were found to be satisfied with our progress,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE Wednesday.
read more.
FE bd

* Ensure RMG factory safety, labour rights: Mozena:

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena yesterday put emphasis on ‘transformation’ particularly in ensuring safety of the garment factories and labour rights so that the tragedies like Rana Plaza and Tajrin Fashions do not recur in future, reports BSS.

The US ambassador was addressing the business leaders at Faridpur Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FCCI) conference hall in the district town.
He said Bangladesh’s garments, leather products, jute materials, frozen shrimp, silk, ceramic products and soft ware would soon make this country an important ‘economic global player’.
read more. & read more.
INDEPENDENT BSS

* Jute processing hits snag for water crisis in north:

Farmers of northern districts are facing serious problem in processing raw jute. They are not being able to do the retting of jute due to crisis of water, caused by insufficient rainfall during the peak season.

Water sources like ditches, canals and ponds have dried up. As a result, farmers are apprehending substantial losses from jute cultivation this year.
Officials of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) have been asking farmers to adopt ribbon retting system that requires separating fibres from jute plant and rot them in a ditch.
But the farmers are not showing any interest due to lack of awareness.
They are also shy about switching to the improvised method as they prefer the traditional way of retting by sinking the plant into the water of ditches and canals, which they deem less expensive.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

                  THE TAZREEN FACTORY FIRE

* AG office yet to get copy of order on Delwar’s bail:

The attorney general’s office is yet to get the certified copy of one-page High Court order that granted bail to Tuba Group managing director Delwar Hossain even a day after his release from Dhaka central jail on Tuesday.

The High Court on July 24 granted Delwar interim bail for two months and the order was signed by the judges on Tuesday and it reached Dhaka central jail via Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court on the same day.

‘We cannot make a decision whether to move the Appellate Division challenging the bail, as we are yet to get the certified copy of the High Court order,’ said additional attorney general Murad Reza, now in charge of the attorney general’s office.

He told reporters that his office had applied for a copy of the order following issuance of the order on July 24. Delwar Hossain was released on Tuesday on bail in a case of culpable homicide by negligence in connection with the fire at his apparel factory Tazreen Fashions that killed 112 workers in November 2012.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Delwar’s bail betrays pro-rich bias of state, political elite:

The release on a bail of Delwar Hossain, who had been behind bars since February 9, accused of culpable homicide in connection with the November 24, 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashions Limited, one of the companies he owns, that left at least 112 apparel workers killed, could be interpreted as yet another pointer to the essential pro-rich bias of the state and the political elite, both governing and non-governing.

The two-month bail, granted by the High Court on July 24 in response to the submission that Delwar needed to be outside prison to pay wages to about 3,000 workers of the Tuba Group, who have not been paid since April and some of whom have been on a fast unto death in demand for the arrears and festival allowance, could also set a precedent for the unethical section of entrepreneurs to first
inflict misery on their workers and then use it as protection from the law for transgressions previously committed.

There are more reasons than one to believe that the travesty of justice played out in Delwar’s case may have been possible because of the Awami League-led government’s connivance.

According to a report published in New Age on Wednesday, the additional attorney general had said on Sunday that the office of the attorney general would appeal against the bail although there was no instruction from the government.

However, on Tuesday, the day Delwar was released, he said that the office had applied for a certified copy of the order and would ‘decide whether an appeal … would be filed or not’ after ‘examining the order’.
Such a change of heart could well have been at the behest of the government, especially in view of its not-so-subtle an attempt to save Delwar’s skin by portraying the Tazreen fire as ‘an act of sabotage’ and ‘planned arson’ in its immediate aftermath.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

* Delowar’s counsel allegedly suppressed info in bail petition:

Delowar’s lawyer again files a petition for bail before another bench

Tuba Group owner Delowar Hossain allegedly concealed some information in his petition for bail, which the High Court granted on July 24.

Several lawyers yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that before submitting the petition before the bench of Justice Syed AB Mahmudul Huq and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder, Delowar’s counsel had submitted the same petition to three other benches.

Musharrof Hossain Sardar, a deputy attorney general (DAG), said: “Delowar applied for bail in my court where I was assigned as law officer. Judges turned it down as being not pressed.

“If Delowar’s lawyer again files a petition for bail before another bench, he needs to mention that a petition of similar nature was rejected earlier by a court.”

DAG Khurshedul Alam said Delowar had applied for bail in his court too, but the judges returned the petition without hearing it .

Md Selim, another DAG, said: “Delowar applied for bail in my court long ago, but the judges gave it back, saying they had a lot of other cases to deal with and hence did not have the time to hear it.”

However, DAG Shafiul Bashar Bhandary, who was the state counsel in the High Court bench granting the bail order, said: “Delowar’s lawyer did not mention anything in his application regarding the previous attempts at obtaining bail. I have a copy of the application and it has no such information.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

* Tuba owner Delowar’s freedom was not necessary to pay workers:

The Dhaka Tribune managed to contact the owner of one of Tuba’s clients who said he had made a payment in early July

The five factories of Tuba Group worked on sub-contracts and generally received payments in cash, so the management’s claim that banks were not giving them funds because the owner was in jail, does not stand, agitating workers have said.

Workers claimed that Tuba Group had enough money to clear their dues because all the clients had made payments in July.

The Dhaka Tribune managed to contact the owner of one of Tuba’s clients who said he had made a payment in early July.

“I made some of my products at Tuba Group on the basis of a sub-contract…I could not get the entire order completed because the workers were protesting and abstaining from work demanding their dues…So I paid Tk8.9 lakh to the management of Tuba in the beginning of July for the partial work they had done,” AKM Ansarul Alam, managing director of Azra Enterprise Limited, told the Dhaka
Tribune.

“The owner is in jail for the last eight months but the crisis started only three months ago. This proves that they can manage fund for wages without the MD,” Shafiqul Islam, packing supervisor of Tuba Textiles, told the Dhaka Tribune.

Md Anwar Hossain, admin manager of Taif Design, a sister concern of Tuba Group, whose workers are also fasting, said: “The payment of workers was regular until April, although the MD [Delowar] was in jail. But the crisis was created only to free the MD.”

“Even in July, there were enough subcontracting orders and the factory was kept operational,” Anwar said.

A worker of Tuba Group told the Dhaka Tribune: “We got the wage for March in April. We were still working. But we did not get any payment in May and June. By the beginning of July, workers were getting restless
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

        The RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Matalan slammed for “trivial” compensation payments to Rana Plaza victims:

Cheap clothes giant Matalan asked to pay UN backed scheme £3m donates only £60,000, representing just £50 to each family of a worker killed.

Labour rights campaigners and 38 degrees members are condemning Matalan for making what they claim is derisory payment to the families of those killed and injured at the Rana Plaza building collapse in April last year

Last week Matalan finally agreed to pay into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, over six months after it was set up by the International Labour Organisation to fund compensation payments to the dependents of the 1338 workers killed and 2000 workers injured in the disaster.
Yesterday it became clear that the Skelmersdale based company, which makes a profit of over £100 million a year, had paid no more than £60,000 to the Fund, just 2% of the £3million demanded by campaigners, and representing a payment of just £50 to each killed worker.

Until last week Matalan was the only major British retailer linked to the Rana Plaza factory that had not contributed to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, despite sustained calls for it to pay up, including a direct request from the UK government.

The company relented last Thursday following a major consumer campaign driven by 38 degrees members that saw the company receive over 1000 social media messages per hour and which forced them to temporarily suspend their customer helpline.
Protests by 38 degrees members continued over the weekend, calling on Matalan to publicly disclose the amount paid, a demand refused by the company.
read more.
labour behind the label

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10:04:29 local time map of india INDIA

* Labour law amendments: 11 unions to discuss course of action today (6th):

Eleven trade unions, including those backed by the BJP, Congress and the Left parties, are meeting on Thursday to chalk out their future course of action on the recent labour law amendments approved by the Narendra Modi Cabinet, as also their 10-point agenda submitted to Finance Minister demanding a check on price rise and opposing disinvestment and privatisation, among others.

On July 31, the Modi Cabinet cleared amendments to three key Acts — the Factories Act 1948, the Apprentices Act, 1961, and the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act, 1988 — to ease ‘doing business’.

A World Bank report has ranked India 134{+t}{+h}among 189 countries in the ease of ‘Doing Business’, indicating that its regulatory environment is not conducive for business. The amended laws are slated to be tabled for approval in the ongoing session of Parliament.

“Central trade unions have responded separately to the move to change labour laws. On Thursday, we will meet and formulate what we will have to do to check this Government’s anti-labour moves,” said Amarjeet Kaur, Secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

* Labour reforms: Govt to scrap inspectors’ discretionary powers:

Among its initiatives to make doing business in the country easier, the labour ministry will on September 1 launch a scheme to liberalise the way inspection for compliance with labour-related laws is done.

In what could be a move to crack down on the so-called inspector raj, the new inspection scheme will take away inspectors’ discretionary powers.

The next such initiative will be a unified portal, to be launched on October 2, that will serve as the common platform for employers to file their annual returns and compliance & inspection reports.

“These steps will bring a paradigm shift in the way the country is viewed and help boost India’s ranking in ease of doing business,” said a senior labour ministry official asking not to be named.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* CII to come out with customised road map for Tirupur garment units:

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has commenced an assessment of production practices of garment units in Tirupur and subsequently bring out a ‘customised road map’ for them to improve the profitability.

“The assessment is being done under various parameters like inventory ratio, customer complaints, space utilisation on unit premises, employee involvement and manufacturing excellence,” R. Narayanan, Head of CII-Avantha Centre for Competitiveness for SMEs, the body which is doing the assessment exercise, told The Hindu .

Based on the observations, the units would be guided to improve the critical gaps , he added.
Presently, the evaluation was carried out in the first set of around 15 units which had joined the cluster based initiative adopted by the CII for improving competitiveness and profitability of small and medium enterprises in Tirupur.
More clusters within the Tirupur apparel production hub were expected to be formed later with each cluster having around 10 to 12 units.
read more.
THEHINDU

* Low prices, erratic monsoon boost India’s cotton imports:

A sharp drop in cotton prices overseas and a weak monsoon have raised India’s imports in recent weeks, which could lift shipments more than 25 percent above the official forecast for this season ending September and help support cotton futures.

Cotton sowing in India, the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of the fibre, has been delayed this year due to erratic monsoon rains, raising concerns about production.
Mills in the coastal textile hubs of southern India buy cotton from Africa due to lower freight costs and are bringing in shiploads now as benchmark prices fell to a five-year low on Aug. 1 because of the prospect of ample global supply.
read more. & to read.
et BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Textile mills postpone cotton buying:

International cotton prices are at five-year low

Amid reports of a fall in cotton sowing this season, textiles mills and spinners are taking a wait-and-watch approach to stocking the commodity, as they feel supply will improve and prices will fall in a couple of months, when the new crop arrives.

Globally, cotton prices have fallen to a five-year low.
In a report, International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) said, “Though the monsoon has arrived in India, the volume of precipitation has varied widely and yield is likely to suffer in some places.”
The committee has estimated India’s cotton crop will fall about 10 per cent this year. ICAC and the US department of agriculture (USDA) have pegged India’s 2014-15 cotton production at about 35 million bales.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

09:34:29 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile industry: Load-shedding a major concern for industrialists :

Representatives of various industrial organisations of Faisalabad held a meeting against the 16 hours- a-day electricity load-shedding. They have decided to close their mills from August 8 and hold protests in the city.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturing Association Chairman Khuwaja Amjad said prolonged load-shedding will idle production capacity and the textile industry will have no option but to hold roadside protests

“The sector provides employment to millions of workers in Pakistan,” said Amjad. “If these workers come out on the roads it will definitely worsen the law and order situation of the country. The government have to shoulder this responsibility.”

He added that the preservation of the textile city of the country is also important and the government should give it a fair bit of thought instead of being wholly occupied by the plague of political instability.
read more.
tribune

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:
There are updates under “special overviews”:

* TUBA Garment Workers Strike & Tazreen bail 20140724-now
* TAZREEN Fire Part 2 20 November 2013- NOW
* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 6: 20140607 – NOW
* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 5 20140502- now

CHINA
* Activists demand that workers be given the right to supervise workplace safety

VIET NAM
* Vietnam’s minimum wage to increase $14-18 per month in 2015
* Region-based minimum wage proposed to increase 15.1 percent
* Africa, VN cotton industries eye closer links

CAMBODIA
* Strike ends as sacked workers take cash
* BetterFactories Media Upate 07 August

BANGLADESH
* Tuba Group workers kept confined
* Workers confined, forced to take partial payments
* Many Tuba workers accept BGMEA’s offer
* Tuba workers threaten strike for Saturday
* Tuba workers threaten nationwide RMG strike on Saturday
* BGMEA gives workers more time to take salary
* A Troubled Day for Tuba Workers
* RMG workers to observe strike Saturday if Tuba workers’ dues not paid
* Unpaid garment workers on hunger strike
* Tuba workers set ultimatum, call strike
* Tuba workers get also due Thursday
* Tuba group: Only 24% workers accept part payment
* Nationwide labor strike Thursday
* Police attacks Tuba demonstrators, oust all but workers from factory bldg
* Tuba workers again confined; 55 receive dues at BGMEA Bhaban
* Police occupy Tuba factory as workers leave it for BGMEA Bhaban
* Tuba Group workers confined, 10 injured in AL, police attacks
* Tuba workers receiving dues at BGMEA Bhaban
* Tuba workers taking wages from BGMEA
* Police lock up building gate, claim Tuba workers- Tuba building gate unlocked
* ‘Tuba Group workers confined’- Cops enter Tuba factory
* Mockery of union rights in RMG sector should be stopped
* USTR team satisfied over action plan execution
* Ensure RMG factory safety, labour rights: Mozena
* Jute processing hits snag for water crisis in north
THE TAZREEN FACTORY FIRE:
* AG office yet to get copy of order on Delwar’s bail
* Delwar’s bail betrays pro-rich bias of state, political elite
* Delowar’s counsel allegedly suppressed info in bail petition
* Tuba owner Delowar’s freedom was not necessary to pay workers
The RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Matalan slammed for “trivial” compensation payments to Rana Plaza victims

INDIA
* Labour law amendments: 11 unions to discuss course of action today
* Labour reforms: Govt to scrap inspectors’ discretionary powers
* CII to come out with customised road map for Tirupur garment units
* Low prices, erratic monsoon boost India’s cotton imports
* Textile mills postpone cotton buying

PAKISTAN
* Textile industry: Load-shedding a major concern for industrialists

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