In the news 18 August 2014

A thief, caught in the act, appears before the judge.
He apologizes and says:
Your honor, you’re right, I will respect the law and I will stop stealing from about 2018″.

Not paying workers, for her-his energy, intelligence, commitment, work, skill, expertise, a decent living wage is theft.

That’s exploitation.
A Living Wage is a Human Right.

Another thief said that he was unaware of the consequences of his theft….

16:42:55 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wage to be inflation-adjusted:

20140817 VNNet
File photo

The minimum salary by region will be revised based on the country’s consumer price index (CPI) from 2018 as planned, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan said.

Huan, who is also chairman of the National Wage Council, told the Daily that the current minimum wage adjustments are made based on the factors related to CPI, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, overall wage increases and subsistent needs of workers.

As for CPI, Huan said the ministry often focuses on price changes of necessities and services like foods, healthcare and transport when proposing wage adjustments in order to meet the basic needs of workers.

Despite careful consideration, there remains a big gap between the minimum wage and the actual income and spending of workers. Therefore, the ministry has to consider pushing up the minimum wage every year by 15-17%.

However, when the minimum salary is almost equivalent to the minimum living standards and when economic situations are stable, the annual wage will change depending on CPI.

Last week, the council agreed on a proposal by representatives of different agencies to revise up the 2015 minimum wage by region by an average of 15.1%. If the Government approves this percentage, employees in Zone 1 would get VND3.1 million per month, up VND400,000, while the respective amounts in zones 2, 3 and 4 would rise by VND350,000 to VND2.75 million, VND320,000 to VND2.42 million, and VND300,000 to VND2.2 million.

Huan said if the Government approves the suggested minimum wage increase for next year, the new wage levels can meet only 75% of the essential daily needs of vulnerable workers.
read more.

16:42:55 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Workers Faint at Six Factories in Vattanac Park:

Nearly 140 workers from six factories at the Vattanac II Industrial Park in Phnom Penh fainted at work on Friday and Saturday, leading the factories to close down for the weekend while they searched for the cause of the incident, officials said.

The faintings began on Friday morning at the industrial park when several dozen workers at the Korean-owned Newpex factory fainted, according to Kraing Pongro commune police chief Toep Bun Then.

Talk among workers and the sight of women being wheeled prostrate out of the factory then sparked a panic and led to faintings at the Taiwanese-owned factories Accasette Garment, Papillion Textile and Moha Garment, and the Chinese-owned Dongdu Textile and Bultext factories.

About 130 women fainted at work on Friday, and an additional eight women at Bultext fainted again on Saturday morning.

“The workers told us that they got fatigue and vomiting after seeing other workers faint,” Mr. Bun Then said. “We are not yet sure the reason why the over 100 workers fainted, but we conclude it was due to the bad smell of glue and other chemicals in the factories.”
read more.

* Workers collapse: More mass faintings in six factories:

About 130 workers from six factories in the capital’s Vattanac Industrial Park II fainted on Friday and Saturday, incidents officials blamed on the health of the workers and hysteria, despite complaints of poor ventilation.

“We did not smell any chemicals or see any problems with their working environments,” said Teun Bunthen, police chief in Dangkor district’s Kraing Pongro commune.
Workers had been taken to nearby health clinics, and authorities were continuing to investigate, Bunthen said.
read more.
PPP new

* Cambodia sends lawyer to seek bail for 16 detained workers:

Cambodian Consulate in Thailand’s Sakaeo province is seeking a defense lawyer to seek bail for 16 Cambodian workers arrested by Thai military.

An Vannak, head of checkpoint at Poipet border, said that “if the procedures get done, the 16 Cambodian workers will be released and repatriated between 3 and 5 o’clock this Monday.”

16 Cambodian workers were arrested and imprisoned by Thai military over the weekend after they were caught smuggling shoes and clothes.
to read.

* Workers ‘to be freed’:

After blocking Poipet International Checkpoint in protest this weekend, vendors said they are prepared to do so again if 16 Cambodian workers arrested in Thailand are not freed today.

Over 300 rallying vendors shut down the checkpoint on Saturday, using carts to block the road following the arrest earlier this week of 16 workers who allegedly attempted to smuggle counterfeit goods into the neighbouring country.

“It is illegal to take fake products into Thailand. The Thai customs officials are serious about checking since the [May 22] coup,” said Sek Samon, an officer at the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Office.
read more. & read more.
PPP new Cambodia_Daily_logo

17:42:55 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. This is the 10 most harmonious companies in Indonesia.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here.
2. Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration will socialise Bipartite Institution.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
3. JHT can be workers’ alternative investment.
Read the full article here  (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
See the Google Translate English Version here

4. Development and Industrial Relocation to Jabar Hampered.
Read the full article here  (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here
5. Pan Brothers Ready to Operate 4 New Garment Factories.
Read the full article here  (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
See the Google Translate English Version here
6. EXPORT OF FOOTWEAR: Believed to Grow 8%.
Read the full article here  (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Read the Google Translate English Version here

7. RI supplies 3% of global footwear: Govt. Read the full article here

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates Overview here.
BW indonesia

16:42:55 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Boiler explosion injures 21 – 22 (video, gallery):

20140817 BANGKOKPOSTA boiler at a cloth dyeing factory in Samut Prakan exploded early Sunday, injuring at least 21 people and damaging many houses nearby. (Video by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill. Photos by Sutthiwit Chayutvoraken and Thiti Wannamontha)

A total of 21 people were injured, five seriously, when a boiler at a cloth dyeing factory exploded early Sunday, police said. 

Pol Lt Chainaret Suporn, a duty officer at Samut Prakan police station, said the explosion happened about 4.50am. The factory, operated by Wongpasit Printing Co Ltd, is located on Tai Ban Road in Samut Prakan’s Muang district.

The injured were admitted to Samut Prakan Hospital. Most of them were workers from Myanmar.
The blast destroyed about 10 wooden houses behind the factory.
Four fire engines were deployed to put out the fire.

Police suspect that the boiler exploded because there was not enough water in it. The cost of the damage is estimated to be over one million baht, police said.

Prajak Makaew, a 38-year-old factory worker, said he heard a loud explosion while working on a night shift inside the factory building.

“I ran to see what happened and I saw the large boiler fall to the floor. The roof was blown off and flames spread everywhere,” Mr Prajak said.
read & see more. & read more.
bangkokpost theNATIONnew

15:42:55 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG workers, rights activists voice renewed demands:

As per their declared schedule, the Garment Workers Unity Forum (GWUF) held the solidarity rally at Shahbag yesterday

The workers of Tuba Group, RMG workers leaders and rights activists again urged the Tuba Group owners yesterday to reopen closed factories and demanded payment of Eid bonuses immediately.

The workers and activists made the renewed demand at a “Solidarity Meeting” held in support of Tuba Group workers’ demands.

As per their declared schedule, the Garment Workers Unity Forum (GWUF) held the solidarity rally at Shahbag yesterday.

Mosrefa Mishu, president of the organisation, presided over the meeting which was also attended by Dhaka University Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, Anu Muhammad, a rights activist and economist, and leaders of RMG workers.

“The hard labour of our workers sustain the economy of our country but they do not get due respect for their diligence,” said Serajul Islam Choudhury.

The government and the BGMEA are working for the owners, not for the workers, he added.

“The RMG workers are being deprived of their demand due to Trade Union leaders and BGMEA,” said Anu Muhammad, who expressed solidarity with the workers.
He expressed concern that the workers might not get their dues.

“Our prime demand is reopening factories as we are now jobless and have to starve if the factory does not run,” said Amena Akter, a worker of Tuba Group.
read more.

* Tuba workers threaten for stern movement:

The workers of Tuba Group threatened for stern movement if the authorities failed to open the factories and pay bonus by August 20.

The leaders of Garment Sramik Oikya Forum issued the threat while addressing a rally held in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh in the capital on Sunday afternoon.

Addressing the rally, President of the forum Mosrefa Mishu forewarned that if the authorities keep the factories closed, they have to pay salaries as per the factory rules.

She added: “Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have to take imitative to employ the workers and we will wait till August 20.”

At the rally, the workers claimed that some 95 percent people of the country supported the demonstration and the rest five percent did not support them as “they are mass enemy”.
read more.

* RMG workers protest at Mirpur:

The workers of a readymade garment staged protest in Milkvita area of Mirpur in the city on Monday morning.

Sources said that a good number of workers of Pentagon Garments thronged there since morning and staged demonstration, protesting workers’ lay-off.

Confirming the matter, Rupnagar Thana Officer-in-Charge Shamim Shikdar said that additional six platoons of police have been deployed in the area to avoid any untoward situations.
to read.

* Number of closed RMG factories may increase:


The number of closed factories on the Alliance list is likely to increase as the government-set review panel is going to start its review work on the eight factories from next week where the North American retailers’ group found serious structural faults and suggested for evacuation.

Name of one more factory has been sent to the review panel by the European retailers’ group recommending immediate evacuation.
The Alliance has already completed its safety assessment at more than 600 garment factories which are the suppliers of the North American retailers and brands, but the platform is yet to complete all the inspection reports.

During the inspection the Alliance-listed five units were permanently closed while five more were partially shut down due to structural faults. In a latest progress, the Alliance found serious structural faults in eight more factories and sent recommendation for evacuation to the review committee.

The units where the Alliance found structural flaws are Benhid Apparels, Bonny Apparels, Global Merchants, Odessa Fashions, Love Craft Garments Fabric and Ashiana Garments Industries in the Dhaka city, Arrow Apparels Ltd in Narayanganj and Artistic Apparels Ltd in Chittagong.

Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments officials said the Alliance inspection team had sent the list of eight factories and the EU retailers’ group Accord had sent the name of a factory to the review committee suggesting immediate evacuation due to structural flaws.

A source close to the inspection process said out of the eight factories inspected by the Alliance more than one factories might be fully or partially closed considering their vulnerability of the structures.

According to the source, the factory where the Accord inspection teams found critical findings located at Sabujbagh in the capital city might shut after the inspection of review committee as the condition of the factory building is very risky.
Syed Ahmed, inspector general of the DIFE, also the chairman of the review panel, told New Age that there was a list of nine factories in their hand and they would start review from next week.
read more.

* Worker database seems far off:

The absence of a central database of workers and factories has left many outstanding issues unresolved in the garment sector.

Names, addresses, age and dates of birth of many workers remained unknown, creating obstacles in resolving issues such as compensations for accidental deaths.

Factory owners sometimes publish incorrect info, making it tougher to verify the identification of the victims in case of an accident.

Take the latest spell of labour unrest at Tuba Group for an instance: the number of workers could not be initially confirmed. The number varied between 1,600 and 1,400.

Some garment makers say the total number of garment workers in the country is 4.4 millio, while others say it is 3.5 million.

The same confusion is there on the number of factories, which could either be 5,500 or 4,000, according to industry insiders.
read more.
daily star bd

14:42:55 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* PCGA urges government to introduce support price of phutti:

Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has demanded of the Government to save the farmers and ginners from the exploitation of textile millers by introducing support prices of “Phutti” (raw cotton).

Problem of low voltage in MEPCO and FESCO jurisdiction should be resolved which badly hit their machinery and electronic appliances.

Five percent General Sales tax be withdrawn on oil-cake to save the livestock sector. While Phutti prices posted a decline of Rs 700 per maund during the current crop season due to imposition of General Sales Tax (GST) on oil cake.
read more.



map of Asia

There are updates under “special overviews”:

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 6: 20140607 – NOW

* TUBA Garment Workers Strike & Tazreen bail 20140724-now


* Minimum wage to be inflation-adjusted

* Workers Faint at Six Factories in Vattanac Park
* Workers collapse: More mass faintings in six factories
* Cambodia sends lawyer to seek bail for 16 detained workers
* Workers ‘to be freed

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

* Boiler explosion injures 21 – 22

* RMG workers, rights activists voice renewed demands
* Tuba workers threaten for stern movement
* RMG workers protest at Mirpur
* Number of closed RMG factories may increase
* Worker database seems far off

* PCGA urges government to introduce support price of phutti

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