In the news 8 August 2014

15:30:02 local time map of china CHINA

* Workers need to act before they get pushed into a corner:

There is a saying in China that “A dog can jump over a high wall if it is pushed into a corner” (狗急跳墙). For many workers in China, the same applies: They can achieve remarkable feats but all too often they will only act when pushed to the limit.

Typically, workers will only go out on strike as a matter of last resort and usually after a long period of abuse and exploitation by management, as was the case in the massive protest at the Yue Yuen shoe factory in Dongguan this spring, which was triggered by the realisation that workers had for years been cheated out of their pension payments.
Alternatively, workers will take action when absolutely have to, such as when the factory is about to close down or if they have not been paid for months on end and don’t have enough for basic necessities.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

14:30:02 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Representatives To Meet Over Factory Fire:

Representatives for the employees and owners of a Phnom Penh garment factory gutted by a fire last month will meet at the Ministry of Labor today to try and hammer out a pay package for the workers, though a factory official said they would not make any decisions until the owner returned from abroad.

The Chinese-owned Cheng Sheng Garment factory, which makes clothes for U.S. retailer Kmart, was on July 28 completely gutted by a fire that killed one of the company’s Chinese supervisors and left its approximately 900 employees out of work.

Sieng Yot, a legal officer for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, which represents the workers, confirmed his union’s plans to attend today’s meeting and to press for severance pay for the employees, as well as their final paychecks.

“We will go to the Ministry of Labor…to talk about a solution for the workers,” he said. “We want the Ministry of Labor to hurry up and find a solution for the workers because they cannot wait any longer…. They need money to pay their expenses.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Worker insurance near:

The government’s long-pledged health insurance scheme for private sector employees, including factory workers, is just around the corner, officials promised yesterday while refusing to name a more specific date.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Labour held a public forum on the insurance plan, which is expected to cover some 800,000 employees.

“We have already prepared the subdecree,” said Som Sophorn, deputy director of the National Social Security Fund. “It will be compulsory and will start later this year, beginning first with the factories around Phnom Penh and then moving step by step beyond the city.”
read more.
PPP new

* BetterFactories Media Upates 8 August 2014, Unions In Push For Park Rally:

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

2014-08-08 Unions in push for park rally

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

2014-08-08 Representatives to meet over factory fire

BetterFactories Media Upates here.
BF NEW

13:30:02 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* TUBA Garment Workers Strike & Tazreen bail:

20140807 5 demands

20140808 * Police storm Tuba factory, drive protesters out:

The police on Thursday stormed a factory of Tuba Group at Badda in the capital and drove out the workers who had been on a hunger strike there for last 11 days for wage arrears and festival allowance.

Police fired rubber bullets, used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the workers leaving at least 10 of them, including newsmen, injured.

At least 1,200 workers of five factories of Tuba Group — Tuba Textiles, Tuba Fashions, Mita Designs, Taif Designs and Bughsan Garments — had been on the hunger strike since July 28 at Hossain Market at Badda, demanding wages for May, June and July along with overtime bills and festival allowance.

From Thursday morning, workers from different nearby garment factories started gathering in front of the Tuba factory building to express their solidarity with the hunger striking workers but police swung into action to disperse them triggering clashes.
The stone-hurling workers damaged over 50 vehicles forcing traffic to halt on Badda road for two hours.
A contingent of police barged into the factory housed on the seventh floor of Hossain Market and drove the workers out charging batons and leaving at least 10 people, including newsmen, injured.

The police detained Garment Sramik Oikya Forum president Mushrefa Mishu, who was leading the hunger strike, Garment Workers Trade Union Centre joint general secretary Joly Talukder and several others during the drive, according to garment workers’ leader Zahirul Islam. Police later in the night released Mishu.
Tuba Group Sramik Sangarm Parishad, announced a dawn-to-dusk industrial strike in all garment factories across the country for Saturday in protest against the police action.
The organisation will also stage demonstrations at different garment factories today.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140808 * Tuba workers may not get Eid bonus:

The workers of apparel factories owned by Tuba Group, who have been on a hunger strike since the day before Eid, are likely to be deprived of festival allowances, on grounds that the law does not provide workers with compulsory entitlement to Eid bonus.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Atiqul Islam on Wednesday said, at a press briefing, that it was ‘completely up’ to the owner of Tuba group whether he would provide Eid bonus to the workers, as there is no specific rule in this regard in the labour law.

After a tripartite meeting between the government, BGMEA and a section of labour leaders, shipping minister Shajahan Khan on Sunday had announced that wages of the workers of five garment factories owned by Tuba Group, for May and June, would be paid on August 6.

Tazreen Fashions, in which at least 117 workers died during a fire accident in November 2012, is one of the five factories owned by Tuba Group.
The Minister had further said that wages for July would be paid by August 10 by the factory authorities, while the rest, including festival allowance, would be cleared after the owner, who had been jailed for his culpability in the Tazreen fire, was released.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140808 * End Tuba Group workers’ woes:

Women activists urge govt and BGMEA

A group of civil society organisations yesterday urged the government and garment factory owners’ association to resolve the standoff over unpaid wages of Tuba Group workers without any further delay.

Otherwise, the hunger strike enforced by the workers for two weeks now could snowball into a nationwide movement, they said.
“If a countrywide movement is formed, things might go out of control,” said Farida Akhter, executive director of Policy Research for Development Alternative or UBINIG, a nongovernmental organisation.

The rights activist spoke at a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the city.
Songkhubddho Nari Samaj, a platform of more than a dozen civil society organisations and rights groups, organised the programme to express solidarity with the workers of Tuba Group. Some of the workers of the garment maker have been on hunger strike since July 28 to realise wages of the past three months, overtime dues and Eid bonuses.
They alleged that the wages and other benefits were unpaid purposefully to compel the workers into the protest movement to free Tuba Group Managing Director Delwar Hossain from jail.

Hossain had been detained until Tuesday in a case linked with a 2012 fire that killed 112 people at Tazreen Fashions, a garment unit of Tuba Group in Ashulia. “Delwar Hossain was freed through the protest of the workers,” said Kamrun Nahar, a member of Naripokkho, a women’s activist organisation.

She said police did not allow anybody, even doctors and nurses, to contact the striking workers at the Tuba Group factory in Badda. “Who will take the responsibility if any worker dies because of starvation?” she questioned.

The platform, which brought out a procession in the capital on Monday to urge the government and BGMEA to end the impasse, strongly denounced the release of Hossain on bail and demanded cancellation of the bail immediately.
read more.
daily star bd

20140808 * Crackdown on Tuba workers:

Workers driven away from protest site to take partial salaries

Police yesterday clamped down on Tuba Group workers in a bid to force them to break an 11-day hunger strike and take a portion of their outstanding salaries.

Around noon the law enforcers drove nearly 1,000 workers away from the protest site by using teargas and pepper spray inside the garment maker’s 12-storey factory building in North Badda in the capital.
The workers had been staging protests in the building — around 300 of them 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.
Dejected, hundreds of workers, including the injured ones, went to the BGMEA office in the afternoon to receive two months’ salaries offered by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) earlier.

Meanwhile, Tuba Group Shramik Sangram Committee, a temporary platform of left-leaning labour rights organisations, called strike in garment factories across the country tomorrow.

“Police were asking us to leave the place. Suddenly 15-20 police personnel stormed into the seventh floor and started spraying pepper on us,” said Minhazul Haque Nahid, a 23-year-old agitating worker of Tuba Group.

“My eyes, nostrils and throat were burning. I couldn’t see anything,” he said.
“We were on protests due to our hardship. What is our fault?” said a sobbing Bijli Begum, after being thrown out of the protest site.

Amid police action, workers were seen coming out rubbing their bloodshot eyes.
However, police denied the allegation of driving the workers away. “We did not force the workers to leave the site,” said MA Jalil, officer-in-charge of Badda police station.

Another worker, Rubi Akhter, said: “I was hit by the pepper spray from a close distance and fell on the ground. Later my colleagues helped me come out of the building.”
Three hours before the police action, water supply to the building was cut, some workers said.
Workers were seen hanging ropes from the top floors of the building to collect drinking water from their relatives and colleagues outside.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd bdnews24

20140808 * Police drive out Tuba workers:

20140808 DHAKATRIBUNE
Police chase Tuba garment workers as they were observing an indefinite strike demanding their overdue wages and Eid bonus yesterday . The photo was taken from Badda

Strike called in factories across the country for tomorrow

Police yesterday drove Tuba Group workers out of their factory where they had been on an indefinite hunger strike for the last 11 days demanding their overdue wages and Eid bonus.

Police used rubber bullets, teargas canisters and water canon to disperse the agitating workers on the factory premises in the capital.

Around 30 workers including photojournalists of different media houses sustained injuries in the police assault. Agitating workers in retaliation vandalised at least 20 vehicles on the road in front of the factory.

The clash has suspended all traffic movement in the area for one and a half hours from 12.30pm.

Police also picked up Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garments Sramik Oikya Forum and Bangladesh Trade Union Centre’s Assistant General Secretary Jolly Talukder, after evicting them from the factory.

However, Mishu was released after six hours of her arrest.

Before her arrest Mishu alleged that police had forcefully evicted the workers from the factory although they were observing a peaceful demonstration.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140808 * Police attack on Tuba workers condemned:

Different socio-political and labourers’ organisations yesterday condemned police’s attack on the workers of Tuba Group garment factories, who were staging a hunger strike demanding to be paid three months’ arrears and Eid bonuses.

They termed the attack a gross violation of human rights.
A few hundred workers had been in the strike since July 28 but police ousted them from inside the factories at the capital’s Badda, using tear gas and batons yesterday.
The Tuba authorities, backed by police, also confined over 1,000 workers to the factories for hours Wednesday in allegedly to quell their ongoing protests for full payment.
In a statement, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the attack was comparable to those in the medieval age.
He demanded that the government take proper initiatives for full payment of their arrears.
read more.
daily star bd

20140808 * Strike at apparel hubs tomorrow:

Payment of July salary on Aug 10

Agitating workers of the Tuba Group called Thursday strike at apparel factories across the country for Saturday after they had been forcibly driven out of the venue of their hunger strike in the city by the police in the afternoon.

The leaders of the Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee at a rally held in the evening in protest against the police action announced the strike.

Earlier the Sangram Committee’s coordinator Mushrefa Mishu called an indefinite strike with effect from Thursday before being arrested by the police on the day. She, however, was released later on the day.

About the announcement of Mishu the leaders said the non-stop strike call was an immediate reaction of her in the face of police action.

On the 11th straight day of their hunger strike, police stormed into the 6th floor of the Hossain Super Market at Badda in the city, where the workers of the five Tuba Group units had been on a hunger strike demanding full payment of their wage arrears. The police fired teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse them.

In the face of the police action the agitators came out of the 12-storey supermarket, which houses three Tuba factories. They took to the streets protesting against the police action. It led to chase and counter-chase between the workers and the law enforcers.

In an immediate reaction, Mushrefa Mishu, also President of Garment Workers Unity Forum, told reporters that police had baton charged the workers, who had been sick because of the hunger strike, forcing them to vacate the venue.

“Indefinite strike will be observed from today (Thursday) at all apparel units and their ongoing hunger strike will also be observed at the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital, unless their demands are met,” she said.
read more.
FE bd

20140808 * Workers queue for dues as police foil agitation:

Until 3:30pm, a total 450 workers received their two months’ wages

The queue of Tuba Group workers present to pick up overdue wages for the month of May and June, promised by the BGMEA, increased after the law enforcers yesterday evacuated its factory building by charging batons on the agitating workers around noon.

In the morning, the flow of workers at the BGMEA headquarters was very thin. Until around 11:30am, only 60 workers went there to receive wages.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140808 * Pay by Sunday or face legal action:

State minister Mujibul Haque Chunnu warns Tuba owners

20140808 DSAILYSTAR activists-of-the-ruling-awami-league
Activists of the ruling Awami League beat up a Tuba Group worker in the capital yesterday as workers demonstrated for arrears. Photo: Amran Hossain

The government will take legal action against Tuba Group should it fail to clear its workers’ dues by Sunday, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said yesterday.

Factory owners have to clear their payroll for a calendar month within the first ten days of the following month as per the labour law, he said at a press conference yesterday at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s office.
read more.
daily star bd

20140808 * Bangladesh police fire tear gas at garment workers on hunger strike: union official:

Bangladesh police have fired tear gas and stormed a garment factory where workers were staging a hunger strike over pay, a union official says.

The police, armed with batons, forced 400 workers to flee the factory in the capital Dhaka where they had been holding a 10-day strike to demand back pay and a holiday bonus, the official said.

Bangladesh’s garment industry, the world’s second largest, which supplies top Western retailers such as Wal-Mart and H&M, has a woeful history of poor pay and conditions for its four million workers.

“Police fired tear gas and baton charged us, they forced us out of the factory, where we were staging the hunger strike,” said Moshrefa Mishu, head of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee, which represents 15 garment unions.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw workers running out of the factory crying due to the tear gas, while others were bleeding from head injuries.
read more.
ABC au

 ———–

20140807 * Mishu freed:

The police on Thursday evening released labour leader Mushrefa Mishu, who has been struggling to realise demands of Tuba Group workers, hours after her detention.

DB police freed Mishu at about 8:00pm, said Shahidul Islam Sabuj, a central leader of the Garments Sramik Oikya Forum. He also expected that the other detained leaders kept at Badda police will get release immediately.

The police detained 3 top apparel workers’ leaders, including Mushrefa Mishu, storming into a factory of troubled Tuba Group at Badda in the capital, where the workers were on hunger strike since July 28, this afternoon.
The police firing rubber bullets and teargas shells have vacated the Tuba Group factory premises where its workers had been observing a hunger strike unto death programme demanding payment of their wages and other arrears.
to read. & read more. & read more.
NEWAGEnew UNBnew banglanews24NEW

20140807 * RMG workers backtrack from strike, call demo:

20140807 UNB

Amid the confusion of salary disbursement, agitating garment workers on Thursday backtracked from their indefinite countrywide strike but announced demonstrations for Friday while a countrywide strike on Saturday protesting ‘police attacks’ on them and the arrest of their leaders.

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee made the revised programme following changed scenario.

Earlier, Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum, had announced the indefinite countrywide indefinite strike on behalf of the workers when she was arrested by police in front of Tuba Group factory in the city’s Badda area.

Before being picked up by Badda police, Mishu told reporters that the workers would continue their hunger strike at Central Shaheed Minar.

However, Garment Workers Unity Forum Finance Secretary and Mishu’s spokesperson Shahidul Islam Sabuj told UNB that they have postponed the hunger-strike programme. “We’ll let you know if there is any further decision about it.”
(…)

“Only 20 workers are left so far to receive their salaries,” BGMEA vice president M Shahidullah Azim told UNB.

However, Garment Workers Unity Forum rejected BGMEA’s claim and termed it a blatant lie.
read more.
UNBnew

20140807 * Chunnu: Tuba workers’ July due payment Sunday:

State Minister for Labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu has said Tuba workers’ due salary of July will be given on Sunday.

The junior minister made the statement in a press conference at BGMEA building in the capital on Thursday afternoon.

“We have talked with the garment owners about the payment. We asked them to ensure the workers’ payment by any means,” said Chunnu.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  BSS daily star bd bdnews24

20140807 * BNP condemns attack on Tuba workers:

The BNP has condemned the police attack on the agitating Tuba Group workers alleging that such type of attack on the labourers can be compared only to the age of barbarism.

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the statement in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“Police attack on the workers proved that the country has been running by the criminals not by the rule of law,” he said.
The BNP spokesperson said: “When the common people, various political and social organisations raised their voices demanding the dues of Tuba workers, a section of BGMEA leaders patron by the government and Tuba garments authorities remained silent.”
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

20140807 * Nearly 1000 Tuba workers received payment:

Some 1000 Tuba Group workers out of 1,458 have received their last two months’ salaries offered by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Till filing of this report at 3:30pm, some 450 workers have the dues on Thursday.
On Wednesday, only 583 out of 1,458 workers received the partial dues from the BGMEA, said BGMEA official Rafiqul Islam.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140807 * Nationwide strike in apparel units for Saturday:

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Parishad called countrywide dawn to dusk strike in garment factories on Saturday protesting against the police attacks on the workers of the Tuba Group

The group will also hold demonstrations in the garment industrial belts on Friday.
Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Parishad leader Zahirul Islam announced the programmes on Thursday afternoon at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club.

He condemned the ‘barbaric’ police attacks on the workers of the Tuba Group taking part in the 11 day fast un to death at Hossain Market in North Badda.

Police detained the president of Garments Sramik Oikya Forum, Mushrefa Mishu, Garments Workers Trade Union Centre joint general secretary Joly Talukder and others during the police action, Zahirul alleged.
Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of the eight left leaning political parties at protest
rally in front of the Press Club, extend their support to the strike programme of the garment  workers and also hold countrywide protest rallies on Saturday.

Communist Party of Bangladesh and Socialist Party of Bangladesh leaders at a protest rally in the same venue also extend support to the strike of the garment workers.

Meanwhile, the state minister for labour and employment, Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu, at a news conference at Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association office asked the labour leaders not to wage ‘unnecessary’ programme that would hamper the country’s apparels sector, which is
now at a stable position.
‘Those who taken hunger strike programme for the sake of workers, they gained success. Is there any necessity of waging fresh programme?’ he asked.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * CCC News flash: violent crackdown of Tuba protest Bangladesh:

Clean Clothes Campaign demands the immediate release of union leader Moshrefa Mishu and all others and calls for an end to the violence against the worker’s strike in Bangladesh.

The protesting women announced a nation-wide strike of all garment producing factories this week if they do not receive three months salaries and allowances owed to them by garment producer Tuba Group.

President of the Garment Workers Unity Forum Moshrefa Mishu was arrested today when police stormed into a factory of Tuba Group in Dhaka, firing rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse workers who were observing indefinite hunger strike demanding their three months’ salary and bonuses in full.

Police also arrested Jolly Talukder, joint seceretary of the Bangladesh Trade Union Center and Monjur Moin, labour leader from the Communist party.

Hundreds of workers from five Tuba Group factories have been protesting since the day before Eid. More than 100 workers collapsed and 17 have been hospitalized since the hunger strike began on Monday 28th July.

We urge garment producer Tuba Group in Bangladesh to immediately pay all outstanding wages and bonuses to 1,600 of their employees.
We stand in solidarity with the Tuba workers who enter the 11th day of their hunger strike demanding payment of their wages, overtime dues and allowances for the months of May, June and July including their Eid bonus.
read more.
CCC

20140807 * RMG workers announce countrywide indefinite strike:

20140807 DHAKATRIBUNE Tuba
Photo by DhakaTribune.

Agitating garment workers on Thursday announced an indefinite countrywide strike with immediate effect protesting ‘police attacks’ on the garment workers and their arrest and aiming to protect their rights.

Moshrefa Mishu, president of the Garment Workers Unity Forum, made the announcement on behalf of the workers when she was arrested by police in front of Tuba Group factory in the city’s Badda area.
Before being picked by Badda police, Mishu told reporters that the workers would continue their hunger strike at Central Shaheed Minar.

Police also arrested Bangladesh Trade Union Center’s joint secretary Jolly Talukder shortly after her removal from Tuba Group factory at Hossain Market, Badda.
read more. & read more. & read more. & to read. & read more.
UNBnew bdnews24  FE bd INDEPENDENT DHAKATRIBUNE

20140807 * Bangladesh police forcibly end garment workers’ strike:

Bangladesh police used water cannons and teargas on Thursday to disperse hundreds of garment workers staging a hunger-strike to demand back-pay and a holiday bonus.

The authorities also detained union leaders as well as some workers who smashed vehicles and pelted police with stones to show solidarity with their colleagues on strike.

About 1,600 workers from five factories of the Tuba Group have been on hunger strike since July 28, demanding the payment of salary for three months, overtime and a holiday bonus. The Tuba Group owned the plant at which 112 workers were killed in 2012 in Bangladesh’s worst factory fire.

Officials at the company were not available for comment.
read more.
reuters

20140807 * Police detain Mishu, Doly as workers vandalise vehicles:

The police detained 3 top apparel workers’ leaders, including Mushrefa Mishu, in a drive at the city’s troubled Tuba Group factory premises this afternoon.

The police have vacated the Tuba Group factory premises where its workers had been observing a hunger strike unto death programme demanding payment of their wages and other arrears.

Several hundred police personnel took part in the operation which lasted almost an hour, witnesses said.
The workers, after coming out of the factory, vandalized dozens of cars and other vehicles, the witnesses claimed. The streets around the premises at Central Badda were shut to traffic for almost 2 hours, beginning at around 12.30pm, witnesses said.

The other detained leaders are: Doly Talukder and Akbar Hossain.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * Police evict protesting Tuba workers:

Police have evicted Tuba Group workers from the factory where they have been on a hunger-strike for the last ten days.

They entered the factory premises around 1.15 pm, lobbed tear gas canisters and charged with batons.
The workers, who were protesting for three months due salary and festival allowances since July 28, were driven out.
More than 200 workers rushed out in panic from the factory at the sixth floor of ‘Hossain Market’ in Dhaka’s Badda area.

Police also evicted labour activists including Garments Sramik Oikya Forum President Moshrefa Mishu and Bangladesh Trade Union Centre’s Assistant General Secretary Jolly Talukder, who were with the workers in the factory
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
bdnews24  FE bd DHAKATRIBUNE banglanews24NEW

20140807 * Police detain garment workers’ leader Mushrefa Mishu:

The main leader of the Tuba Group factory workers’ hunger strike programme, Mushrefa Mishu, has been detained by police, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association source.

However, Badda police neither acknowledged, nor denied her detention.
Mishu is the president of Garment Sramik Oikya Forum and has been leading the hunger strike programme by the Tuba Group factory workers in the city.
It was not known immediately, what were the charges, if any, against her.
to read. & read more.
NEWAGEnew DHAKATRIBUNE

20140807 * Police detain Mishu, Doly as workers vandalise vehicles:

The police detained 3 top apparel workers’ leaders, including Mushrefa Mishu, in a drive at the city’s troubled Tuba Group factory premises this afternoon.

The police firing rubber bullets and teargas shells have vacated the Tuba Group factory premises where its workers had been observing a hunger strike unto death programme demanding payment of their wages and other arrears.

Several hundred police personnel took part in the operation which lasted almost an hour, witnesses said.
The agitated workers, being flushed out of the factory, vandalized dozens of vehicles, the witnesses claimed. The streets around the premises at Central Badda were shut to traffic for almost 2 hours, beginning at around 12:30pm, witnesses said.
The other detained leaders are: Jolly Talukder and Akbar Hossain.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * Tuba apparel worker crisis over pay lingers onmm:

Protesting workers of Tuba Group have taken an unyielding stance, foiling BGMEA’s efforts to pay part of their overdue salaries.

Around 1,500 workers of five factories of Tuba Group went on hunger strike on July 28, demanding the payment of three months’ wages and festival allowances.
On Wednesday BGMEA prepared to pay the workers at their headquarters but only one-thirds of them turned up.

Most of the workers are continuing their hunger strike at the Badda factory. Workers’ leaders and other activists are there as well.
Since morning police and activists have clashed several times. Ganasanghati Andolan chief Zonayed Saki was injured in police assault.
(…)
Police raided the factory building on Wednesday afternoon and threw out 20-25 people. Workers alleged that police were trying to send them forcefully to collect the pay from BGMEA but police said they were removing ‘outsiders’.
read more.
bdnews24

20140807 * Cops fire rubber bullets, tear gas on Tuba Group workers:

Use water canon to disperse workers of nearby factories

Police used water cannons to disperse workers of different garments factories as they tried to gather in front of Tuba Group factory at Badda in the capital today expressing solidarity with its demonstrating workers.

Nearly 1,000 workers of several nearby garment factories, who thronged in front of the factory around 1:00pm, were protesting what they said water supply cut off to the Tuba workers.

Earlier, Tuba Group workers alleged that police have cut off water supply to the factory building at Badda in the capital where they are observing a hunger strike for the tenth consecutive day today demanding full payment of their arrears.

“Nobody is allowed to join us today, water lines have also been cut off by police,” said a footnote, which was thrown to the ground by the workers from the seventh floor of the building.

Asked, Mahbub Hasan, additional deputy commissioner (ADC-Gulshan zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, avoided a direct reply saying, there has sufficient storage of food and drinking water inside the factory.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd banglanews24NEW

20140807 * Resolve Tuba crisis peacefully: DLA:

Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of eight left leaning political parties on Thursday called on the Awami League-led government to take steps to resolve Tuba Group factory crisis peacefully.

The parties also urged the authorities to avoid applying forces. Shubhrangshu Chakrabarty, the coordinator of the combine at a press conference at Segunbagicha in the city alleged that the police along with the BGMEA-backed labour leaders and their musclemen launched attacks on the workers observing hunger strike.

The police had kept the workers of the Tuba Group confined and stopped water
supply as the workers’ life-taking hunger strike entered in the 11th day, the DLA leaders said.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140807 * Water supply to Tuba factory ‘halted’:

Tuba Group workers alleged that police have cut off water supply to the factory building at Badda in the capital where they are observing a hunger strike for the tenth consecutive day today.

“Nobody is allowed to join us today, water lines have also been cut off by police,” said a footnote, which was thrown to the ground by the workers from the seventh floor of the building.

Asked, Mahbub Hasan, additional deputy commissioner (ADC-Gulshan zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, avoided a direct reply saying, there has sufficient storage of food and drinking water inside the factory.

Over 1,000 garment workers have been observing the hunger strike on the seventh floor of Hussain Super Market, which houses the garment units of Tuba Group. Meanwhile police have locked all the entrances of the building excepting the front gate since morning.

They are not allowing anybody to enter the building. But if anyone wants to come out of the building, they are being allowed.

“Police have been asking us to leave the place breaking our fast-unto-death,” Nahid, one of the protesters, told our correspondent over phone.
read more.
daily star bd

20140807 * Police bar workers to enter factory:

Police have been preventing the Tuba workers to enter in their factories at Hossain Market in city’s Badda area on Thursday.

The law enforcers also deter them to stand in the road.
The workers have been continuing hunger strike to press home their 5-point demand including to give the wage in the factory.

Earlier, Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee called for demonstration on Thursday and Friday and threatened for strike on Saturday if authorities don’t meet their demand.
Some 100 workers tried to enter the factory in the morning but police obstruct them. Later, they protested against the behavior taking position on the road.
Nazma, a garment worker, demanded that they want to receive their salary from the Tuba factory.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

20140807 * Huge Tuba workers turnout at BGMEA:

A lot of workers of Tuba Group were seen at the BGMEA office on Thursday collecting their partial dues.

The BGMEA representing garment factory owners had promised to pay two months’ salary dues to the Tuba workers but the response on Wednesday, when the payments started, was fairly poor.

Some of the workers told bdnews24.com that they had no options but to accept the two months’ salary despite going on a hunger strike since July 28 for three months’ wages and allowances.

The BGMEA promised to pay partial dues of the workers from Wednesday and only 550 workers, out of the almost 1,600, showed up to receive it on Day one.
But, on Thursday, 145 workers collected their dues within the first 90 minutes after payments started at 10 am.
A long queue of Tuba workers could be seen at the ground floor of the BGMEA office in the capital’s Karwan Bazaar area.

Ashia, who works for Tuba-owned Bukshan Garments, collected her two months’ due salary.
“My children’s exams are ahead. I asked many to lend some money, but did not get any. I know, I am betraying with (Moshrefa) Mishu, but I have no other options,” she said while speaking to bdnews24.com.

Labour activist Moshrefa Mishu and her organisation Garments Sramik Oikya Forum expressed solidarity with protesting workers from the very beginning.

Nazma, an operator of Tuba-owned Tayeeb Design, collected Tk 13,000 as salaries for two months on Thursday from the BGMEA.
She told bdnews24.com that she spent Tuesday night at the factory, but left the next evening as there was no drinking water.
read more.
bdnews24

20140807 * Tuba workers taking wages for day-2:

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

The process has started at 9:45 am on Thursday from BGMEA building in city’s Karwan Bazar area.
BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said to the banglanews that 16 teams have been working in five temporary booths to pay the salaries and the authorities also monitoring the situation intensively.

He said they started to pay the salaries on Wednesday and will continue till the workers came to receive their dues and a total of 595 workers received their wages.
Like that, the workers could take their salaries when they would come on Thursday.
But only a few workers came to take the wage as they have been confined in the Tuba Factory at Hossain Market in Badda.
read more. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

A factory worker for Tuba Group, travelling to the capital for her dues, was killed with hundred others when their passenger launch ML Pinak-6 drowned in the Padma.

—–

* Bangladesh sees sharp rise in trade unions:

Increasing number of labour groups are protesting against the longstanding exploitation of country’s garment workers.

Bangladesh police have fired tear gas and stormed a garment factory in the capital Dhaka where workers had been staging a hunger-strike over pay, a union official has said.

The police forced hundreds of protesters to flee the factory on Thursday where they had been holding a 10-day strike to call for the payment of back wages and a holiday bonus.

Bangladesh’s garment industry, the world’s second largest and which supplies top Western retailers such as Wal-Mart and H&M, has a history of poor pay and hazardous conditions, which have often been deadly for its four million employees.

The country has seen a sharp rise in trade unions protesting against the government’s alleged inaction towards improving workers’ rights and the brutal crackdown on their demonstrations by police.
read more & see video report.
aljazeera

* Gazipur garment workers again take to the streets for overtimes bills:

The workers had said that if they have to work after 5pm, they must be paid overtime bills as well as wages on production beyond target

Workers of a factory demonstrated back saying that they had been cheated in the name of meeting their eight-point demand, including overtime bills and production bonus, at Kaliakair upazila in Gazipur yesterday.

Earlier on Wednesday, they had reached a consensus with the owning authorities at a meeting with the police and the BGMEA in the mediating role, after three days of demonstrations and work abstention from Sunday to Tuesday to press home their demand.

Factory authorities had then refused to meet the demand of continuing the overtime system as well as the wages on production beyond target saying that there was no overtime system for those who work for wages on production beyond target.

They had though wanted that the workers work on wages for production beyond target even after working eight hours until 5pm.

The workers had said that if they have to work after 5pm, they must be paid overtime bills as well as wages on production beyond target.

However, they had promised at the meeting to join back their work with the owners promising to meet their demand to some other demand and came to office yesterday morning.

On coming to the office yesterday morning, they they were however shocked at seeing a notice, which reads that their demands would be met subject to the approval of the managing director of Haesong BD Ltd, a sweater factory, who would return home from abroad soon.

Taking it for granted that the authorities’ promise to meet their demand was nothing but pull the wool over their eyes as they said authorities had put up the notice just for buying time, not to meet their demands.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE bdnews24

* Accord inspections Reports update:  1000 factories inspected,  150 Corrective Action Plans published online:

Welcome to the inspection reports page. Here you are able to download the PDF reports published for factories. The Key guide is to give an overview of the report.
read more.
BANGLADESHACCORD

        The RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

* Triangle Shirtwaist and Rana Plaza- Same Struggle:

Protesters gathered today in front of the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to call on Ralph Lauren to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to improve workplace safety for garment workers.

The protest preceded Ralph Lauren’s annual shareholders meeting where the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund (its investments) had a proposal on the ballot related to human rights reporting.

At today’s shareholder meeting, Nazma Akter, president of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, representing 70,000 workers, spoke to the protesters and called on Ralph Lauren join with more than 180 brands that have agreed to participate in the Accord.
The Accord is a binding and enforceable agreement that represents a new model in supply chain accountability and risk management.
Other programs to audit and monitor for workers’ safety follow the same model that has failed the hundreds of workers who have died in preventable garment factory fires and building collapses over the past 20 years.

Akter spoke in the name of “women like me, who produce goods for Ralph Lauren in Bangladesh.”
Young women are 80% of the garment workforce in Bangladesh.
Most of the more than 3,600 workers killed and seriously injured in the April 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse were young women.
Hundreds of children were orphaned when their parents were killed in the collapse.

But Rana is only the most notorious of recent deadly workplace disasters in factories along the global supply chains of major U.S. and European brands and retailers.
read more.
talkingunion

13:00:02 local time map of india INDIA

* CITU condemns attacks on activists:

Activists associated with Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a demonstration outside the office of Deputy Commissioner here on Thursday protesting against the alleged attacks on activists of left parties in West Bengal by the ruling Trinamool Congress.

They burnt an effigy of the West Bengal government to register their protest.

“The Trinamool Congress party in West Bengal has unleashed its violent attacks on the supporters of left parties after it assumed power in the State.
The attacks are carried out and justified in the name of protecting democracy and women’s rights,” H. Padma, a CITU leader alleged.
She said that the Trinamool Congress was ruthlessly suppressing the workers’ movement.
read more.
THEHINDU

* Labour reforms: 11 trade unions to launch nationwide protest:

 A total of 11 trade unions will launch a nationwide movement, opposing the recent labour law amendments, approvals to foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence, insurance and railways, and disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs).

The decision was taken after a three-hour meeting of the unions here on Thursday. B N Rai, general-secretary of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, said a formal statement in this regard would be issued on Friday morning.

A K Padmanabhan, president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said, “We have decided to concentrate on these issues unanimously, especially the labour law amendments in Rajasthan.
We will go for a countrywide programme which will start with a national-level convention by the end of August.”
He added though various unions had written to Union Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in this regard, they hadn’t even received “an acknowledgment” from him.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

* Labour reforms in haste a bad idea, says ILO India director:

Says it can lead to labour unrest

Bringing labour law reforms in haste is not a good idea, according to Tine Staermose, director of International Labour Organization’s (ILO) decent work team for South Asia and country office for India.

On Rajasthan Assembly passing four labour amendment Bills recently, Staermose said: “Rushing through such things is a bad idea. It can lead to labour unrest. Investment is a short-sighted way of approaching such reforms.”

She was talking to Business Standard on the sidelines of Confederation of Indian Industry’s third industrial relations summit here on Thursday.
read more.
BUSINESSSTANDARD 2

12:30:02 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Energy supply to textile industry still under pressure:

Both electricity and gas supply to the textile industry is under pressure, as the NTDC has denied to uninterrupted power supply to mills on independent feeders and the SNGPL has stopped gas supply to captive power plants owing to technical reasons.

The textile industry millers, particularly in Punjab, are seriously worried over the situation, running from pillar to post in search of energy to keep mills’ operations intact.

Meanwhile, the textile millers have started looking for alternate arrangements to generate electricity on long-term basis.
It is a general impression on the part of the textile millers that the government will not be able to ensure energy supply to mills in near future.
According to them, they cannot wait further for energy and time has come to look for alternate issues.
Some of them are thinking seriously of shifting their businesses to Karachi.
Others will go for expensive options of generating electricity for mills.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Textile: SMEDA, FCCI join hands to promote sector:

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) is planning to set up a Common Facility Centre (CFC), at an estimated cost of Rs100 million, for the manufacture of textile machinery and agriculture implements.

Smeda Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alamgir Chaudhry said that the body has requested the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) to facilitate the establishment of the centre.

Addressing the FCCI’s Executive Members, Alamgir said that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are baseline for industrial development and establishment of major units.
“Smeda is helping SMEs to invest and start their own business in many different sectors including textile machinery manufacturing, agricultural implements and foundry etc,” said the CEO. “The government is fully aware of SMEs’ importance and is extending support for the segment’s development.”
read more.
tribune

* No concessionary SRO to be issued in fiscal year 2015: APTMA told:

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday categorically conveyed to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) that post-budget proposals of the industry cannot be implemented vis-à-vis government policy of not issuing SROs or exemption orders.

Official sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that a meeting between the APTMA delegation and FBR team headed by FBR Acting Chairman Shahid Hussain Asad took place at the FBR House to discuss tax related issues raised by the textile industry.

Tax authorities have clarified to the representatives of the industry that no concessionary SRO regarding sales tax or customs duty would be issued in 2014-15. For changes in the tax laws or concessions, the business and trade has to wait for the next fiscal year.
Under the government policy to eliminate the number of SROs, the FBR will not issue SROs to grant tax concessions to any specific industry.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

* Leather goods’ export increases by 11 percent to $621.52 million:

Pakistan’s overall export of leather goods has posted an increase of 11 per cent to $621.520 million in the just concluded fiscal year 2013-14, an official statistics say.

During the last fiscal year 2013-14, the country’s export of leather goods went up by $60.227 million from $561.293 million in the corresponding fiscal year 2012-13, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) depicts.

In June 2014, the export of leather goods, however, showed a fall of $1.07 million (2 per cent) to $50.981 million as compared to the goods export of $52.051 million in June 2013, the statistics suggest. In break-up: Export of leather garments stood $405.695 million in the last fiscal year 2013-14 up by $27.697 million (7.33 per cent) from $377.998 million in the corresponding fiscal year 2012-13, the PBS says.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

12:30:02 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Teachers in Uzbekistan preparing for cotton harvest:

Angren’s City Board of Education is gearing up for the upcoming cotton harvest.

Every educational institution in Tashkent province, including kindergartens, has been required to submit a list of employees selected to participate in picking cotton.

It is expected that the work will start around September 5 and last at least two months. The work will be done in three shifts of twenty days each.

According to unconfirmed reports, the number of employees required to participate in cotton picking is set to increase this year: from 30 percent of all staff to 40 percent.
read more.
UZnews

* Social workers in Jizzakh’s cotton fields:

Social workers assisting blind people and orphanages from the Zarbdarsky district in Jizzakh province are currently being forced to work in nearby cotton fields.

Employees from the Society for the Blind, the House of Mercy No. 29, and the boarding school in the village of Buston have all been working in the fields since July 29.

Additional public-sector workers, including those from kindergartens, schools, group homes for children, and boarding schools, have been employed the same fields since August 6.

The workers start fieldwork at 6 am and return home at 6 pm. They must take care of their own meals during the day. The local government provides transportation to and from the fields free of charge.
read more.
UZnews

SOUTH AFRICA

* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands:

Approximately 1 500 striking SACTWU textile members will take to the streets tomorrow to highlight  their living wage demand.

We are demanding 10% but employers represented by the South African Cotton & Textile Processing Employers ‘ Association (SACTPEA) are offering 7.5% total package.
The details of the protest is as follows:
Date:   Friday  08 August 2014
Time:    10 am
City: Durban

Route: Workers will gather at Dinizulu Park and march through Prixley Ka Seme Street (old West Street), a memorandum will then be handed over at the Durban City Hall to a representative of SACTPEA, at approximately 12h00.
read more.
SACTWU

LESOTHO

* Shaky US trade deal threatens Lesotho jobs:

About 50 African leaders are in Washington for a three-day summit to boost trade.

The US Congress is reviewing the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which expires next year.
AGOA is a deal which allows several African countries to export specific products to the US duty free.

If not renewed it could result in massive job loses in countries like Lesotho.

Pact which allows African countries to export products to the US duty free, may be ended threatening massive (textile) job loss.
see video report.
aljazeera

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:
There are updates under “special overviews”:

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

CHINA
* Workers need to act before they get pushed into a corner

CAMBODIA
* Representatives To Meet Over Factory Fire
* Worker insurance near
* BetterFactories Media Upates 8 August

BANGLADESH
* Police storm Tuba factory, drive protesters out
* Tuba workers may not get Eid bonus
* End Tuba Group workers’ woes
* Crackdown on Tuba workers
* Police drive out Tuba workers
* Police attack on Tuba workers condemned
* Strike at apparel hubs tomorrow
* Workers queue for dues as police foil agitation
* Pay by Sunday or face legal action
* Bangladesh police fire tear gas at garment workers on hunger strike: union official
* Mishu freed
* RMG workers backtrack from strike, call demo
* Chunnu: Tuba workers’ July due payment Sunday
* BNP condemns attack on Tuba workers
* Nearly 1000 Tuba workers received payment
* Nationwide strike in apparel units for Saturday
* CCC News flash: violent crackdown of Tuba protest Bangladesh
* RMG workers announce countrywide indefinite strike
* Bangladesh police forcibly end garment workers’ strike
* Police detain Mishu, Doly as workers vandalise vehicles
* Police evict protesting Tuba workers
* Police detain garment workers’ leader Mushrefa Mishu
* Police detain Mishu, Doly as workers vandalise vehicles
* Tuba apparel worker crisis over pay lingers onmm
* Cops fire rubber bullets, tear gas on Tuba Group workers
* Resolve Tuba crisis peacefully: DLA
* Water supply to Tuba factory ‘halted’
* Police bar workers to enter factory
* Huge Tuba workers turnout at BGMEA
* Tuba workers taking wages for day-2
* Tuba apparel worker died in Padma ferry disaster
* Bangladesh sees sharp rise in trade unions
* Gazipur garment workers again take to the streets for overtimes bills
* Accord inspections Reports update
The RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Triangle Shirtwaist and Rana Plaza- Same Struggle

INDIA
* CITU condemns attacks on activists
* Labour reforms: 11 trade unions to launch nationwide protest
* Labour reforms in haste a bad idea, says ILO India director

PAKISTAN
* Energy supply to textile industry still under pressure
* Textile: SMEDA, FCCI join hands to promote sector
* No concessionary SRO to be issued in fiscal year 2015: APTMA told
* Leather goods’ export increases by 11 percent to $621.52 million

UZBEKISTAN
* Teachers in Uzbekistan preparing for cotton harvest
* Social workers in Jizzakh’s cotton fields

SOUTH AFRICA
* Cotton workers to protest in support of living wage demands

LESOTHO
* Shaky US trade deal threatens Lesotho jobs

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