Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 7: 20140824 – 20150302

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* A living wage = a human right:

Working alongside garment workers, trade unions, consumers and campaigners we are calling for those working in the garment industry to be paid a wage they can live on.

A major industry
The garment industry is a major employer across the world – in Asia for example over 15 million people are employed by the industry.  With global brands making millions in profits every year this booming industry has come to rely on, and exploit, the cheap labour of millions of garment workers whose wages fall far short of a living wage.

The right to a living wage: A living wage should be earned  in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens.

The lack of a living wage means many garment workers are forced to work long hours to earn overtime or bonuses and cannot risk taking refusing work due to unsafe working conditions or taking time off due to ill health.   The low wages mean that workers often have to rely on loans just to make ends meet and have no savings to use if they find themselves out of work.

Clean Clothes Campaign believes that in order for a living wage to become a reality brands and retailers must take concrete steps to ensure they are paying a living wage in the countries they source from, and national governments must ensure that minimum wages are set at a level that allow people to live with dignity.
20131017 CCC LW
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Site

* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA):

Print

The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) is an international alliance of trade unions and labour rights activist who are working together to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

As an alliance led by unions in the key garment producing countries in the region, the Asia Floor Wage Alliance represents the concerns and needs of the workers themselves.  Central to their demands is a call for a living wage to be paid to all garment workers, this led to the development of the Asia
Floor Wage calculation, as a  way to calculate a living wage for payment across Asia.
read more. & read more.
Site AFW stitchwage

* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage:

Pay a Living Wage Action Week

From October 21st – 28th 2013, Clean Clothes Campaign partners across Europe will be launching the next phase in our campaign to demand garment workers are paid a living wage.

* Clothing brands and companies to take action by setting concrete and measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.

* National governments in garment producing countries to make sure minimum wages are set at living wage standards.

* European governments to implement regulation that make sure companies are responsible for the impact they have on the lives of workers in their suppply chain, including their right to earn a living wage.

Join our call for all garment workers to be paid a living wage –
sign the petition today here. & read more.
Site

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20150302

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Minimum wages:

In the 2014-15 budget, the federal and provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa raised the minimum wage from Rs10,000 to Rs12,000 a month for unskilled workers.

Sindh has also raised its minimum wage from Rs10,000 to Rs11,000 a month. But Balochistan has decided to retain its earlier minimum wage of Rs9,000 a month which was set in 2012.

In Pakistan, however, minimum wages are determined by Minimum Wage Boards constituted under Ordinance, 1961, which applies to all industrial establishments’ employees whether skilled, unskilled or apprentices and even domestic workers but the ordinance has been dishonoured by most of the industries.

Private and semi-government educational institutions such as public schools, especially in rural areas, exploit their employees by denying commensurate compensation to them.
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DAWNnew

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20150301

04:34:16 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Exporters group thumbs down wage hike plea:

20150301 PHILSTAR
Philstar.com/File

Exporters are opposing calls to implement  wage hikes, arguing such would hinder job creation and economic growth.

The  Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), citing the letter of its president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. to Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board chairman Alex Avila, said that another round of wage increase would undermine the viability particularly of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Ortiz-Luis said SMEs play a vital role in job generation and livelihood opportunities.

The  Trade Union Congress of the Philippines has sought a P136 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the P734 minimum wage hike proposed by the Association of Minimum Wage Earners and Advocates to be implemented in equal tranches of P146.80 over a period of five years.

The wage hike petitions were filed citing inflationary factors, the recent increases in the fares of the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit, and impending water and electricity rate increases.
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philstarNEW

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

*  Revise minimum powerloom wages every 5 years : HC to Maha govt:

Bombay High Court has said the Maharashtra government is bound by statutory provisions to undertake a review of minimum wages payable to workers in the powerloom sector at least once in five years.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice B P Colabawalla on February 2 heard a public interest litigation filed by Anna Patil highlighting the inaction on the part of the State government in not revising the rate of minimum wages applicable to labourers in the powerloom sector.

His advocate Akshay Patil argued that since 1986 the minimum wages payable to workers were as low as Rs 300/- per month in municipal corporation areas and in its periphery and upto Rs 250/- in municipal council areas and others.
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TOInew

02:04:16 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Private sector wants legislation on Rs.2500 wage hike:

Trade unions, representing nearly eight million private sector and informal sector workers, are launching an SMS campaign from March 5 until a scheduled rally – possibly accompanied by a token strike – on March 12 demanding the government pay workers the Rs.2500 increase through legislative means.

On Thursday, the involved trade unions (TUs) agreed to submit another letter to the minister requesting a postponement of the Wages Board meeting scheduled from February 29- March 3, Free Trade Zone and General Services employees Union, Joint Secretary, Anton Marcus told the Business Times on Friday.

The TUs have cited the fact that this meeting would be held despite opposition from TUs as well as against the decision reached at the last National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting.
(…)
Mr. Marcus said that during the NLAC meeting with Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and the Employers Federation Director General Ravi Peiris, the TUs had insisted on the minister to bring in legislation to provide the Rs.2500 as budgetary relief allowance.
read more.
STM-long

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20150228

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 200 Workers Protest After Factory Blocks Return:

About 200 garment workers protested outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday after 20 colleagues were turned away when trying to enter the Smart Shirts factory earlier the same morning, union leaders said.

On February 3, about 700 workers from the Stung Meanchey district factory went on strike calling for management to give about 300 senior employees a $28 raise, after the government’s decision to increase the monthly minimum wage to $128 in January excluded workers already making above the floor wage. 

Smart Shirts filed a request to the municipal court on February 23 to issue an injunction against workers to enforce a decision made by the Arbitration Council on February 6 ordering them to return to work.

At the court Friday, union leaders were given a copy of the injunction, signed by Judge Mong Monysor­phea on Tuesday, which orders employees to return to their jobs but rejects the company’s request to ban some workers from entering the factory.
(…)
Khin Namhor, deputy head of Cambodian Federation Workers Union, said the company also filed a complaint at the municipal court against his union’s leadership and four workers.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Wage increases ‘will not put off Japanese firms’:

Sharp rises in labour costs this year are doing little to deter Japanese companies looking to do business in the Kingdom, with experts predicting the flow of investment from Japan to remain steady.

A 28 per cent increase in the garment sector minimum wage, from $100 to $128, has set a benchmark for many industries in Cambodia and sparked fears of a decline in foreign direct investment.

But while Japanese businesses need to factor a rising wage bill into their future planning, analysts say there are other factors in the global economy still in the Kingdom’s favour.

Hiroshi Suzuki, chief economist for Business Research Institute for Cambodia , said that Japanese companies such as Panasonic, Daikin and Sharp had been relocating some of their production back to Japan because of increasing business costs in China and Thailand and the depreciation of the yen. But Cambodia has been an exception.

“Even after the increase of the minimum wage, the difference between the cost in Japan and Cambodia is still large,” Suzuki said. “I suppose that investments [from Japan] using the international supply chain in the Mekong region would continue even under these conditions.”
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PPP new

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Garment Producers Ask Burma’s Government to Intervene in Strikes:

20150228 IRRAWADDY
Striking garment factory workers in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone encamp outside their place of employment. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

Japanese and South Korean owners of garment factories affected by strikes in northern Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone have asked the Burmese government to use the law to protect their businesses, according to state-run media.

Sit-in strikes involving hundreds of workers continued this week, with laborers demanding that their wages be raised to the equivalent of about US$80 per month.

Burma’s government passed a Minimum Wage Law in 2013, but the details of a basic salary for workers are still being worked out.

On Monday, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security issued a statement saying it was overseeing negotiations to end the strike, the Global New Light of Myanmar reported.
The ministry’s statement also warned that any workers who block factories and prevent them from operating would face legal action.

“The statement released by the ministry Monday also mentioned that employers have demanded the government to provide protection of law to their factories so that they can continue to run their businesses at peace as blocking businessmen, staff and sales agents in the factories and blocking the entrance of the factories by striking workers reached above the existing law,” the newspaper reported.
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IRRAWADDY

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20150227

04:34:16 local time map of china CHINA

* Guangdong finally announces plans to increase minimum wage by 19%:

After two years without any adjustment, the minimum wage in the industrial powerhouse of Guangdong will increase by an average of 19 percent on 1 May 2015, the provincial department of human resources and social security announced on 26 February.

The city of Shenzhen had earlier announced that its minimum wage would increase on 1 March to 2,030 yuan per month, the first local minimum wage in China to break the 2,000 yuan per month barrier. The hourly rate for temporary workers in Shenzhen will increase to 18.5 yuan.

In Guangdong’s provincial capital, Guangzhou, the minimum wage will increase on 1 May to 1,895 yuan per month and 18.3 yuan per hour. In second tier cities including the manufacturing centre of Dongguan, the monthly minimum wage will go up by 200 yuan from 1,310 yuan to 1,510 yuan per month.
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CHINA LABOR Bulletin

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Trade union leaders held:

As many as 80 trade union leaders were taken into preventive custody when they tried to picket the revenue offices in the district, in response to a call given by seven central trade unions protesting ‘pro-corporate’ amendments to the Labour laws.

They raised slogans in support of their 11-point charter of demands, that included social security benefits for unorganised sector workers, withdrawal of foreign direct investment (FDI), minimum monthly wage of Rs. 15,000 and effective steps to curb price rise.
The trade union leaders were taken into custody by the police amid high drama. As many as 50 trade union members were held in Kandukur and 15 leaders in Ongole and Markapur each, police said.
to read.
THEHINDU

* Trade unions protest against proposed labour reforms:

Workers belonging to various trade unions staged protest demonstrations in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts on Thursday as part of the nationwide agitation to highlight their charter of demands.

In Thanjavur, workers belonging to the Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre for Indian Trade Unions, and Labour Progressive Front staged a demonstration on the Abraham Pandither Road here protesting against the Centre’s alleged move to take away the “remaining rights” of the labour force in the garb of reforms, control the rising prices of essentials, prevent futures trading, and commodity gambling, stop direct foreign investment in the public sector, strengthen the public sector and generate jobs, ensure minimum wage of Rs. 15,000 a month for individuals working in any sector, grant pension of Rs. 3,000 a month for all those aged above 60, rescind new pension scheme, end contract worker agreements, and grant regular workers’ salary to even contract workers.
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THEHINDU

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20150226

04:34:16 local time map of china CHINA

* Guangdong to raise minimum wage by 19%:

South China’s Guangdong Province is to raise the minimum wage by an average 19 percent from May to combat a labor shortage and rising living costs.

The pay raises will go into effect in all parts of Guangdong except Shenzhen on May 1, the provincial department of human resources and social security said in a press release on Thursday. Guangdong last raised the minimum salary in May 2013.

The minimum monthly pay for full-time workers in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, will be raised by 22.2 percent to 1,895 yuan (300 U.S. dollars), the highest of four levels in the province.
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XINHUAnet

05:34:16 local time map of korea_n NORTH KOREA

* DPRK unilaterally decides to raise minimum wage for workers in Kaesong complex:

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) notified South Korea of its unilateral decision to raise minimum wage for DPRK workers employed by South Korean companies at the joint factory park in the DPRK border city of Kaesong, Seoul’s unification ministry said Thursday.

Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol told reporters that the DPRK sent a notice in the afternoon to the Kaesong industrial complex management committee saying that it unilaterally decided to raise monthly minimum wage for workers from March 1.

Under the decision, the minimum wage would rise from 70.35 U.S. dollars per month to 74 dollars, representing a 5.18 percent increase.
read more. & to read.
CHINAORG GLOBALTIMES

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* MTUF advocates for stronger worker rights laws:

Myanmar Trade Unions Federation (MTUF) is vowing to push for laws to better protect worker rights in wake of demonstrations at  several factories this month.

Workers from Tai Yi shoe factory, E-Land Myanmar garment factory, Ford Glory garment factory and COSTEC garment factory located in Shwepyitha and Hlaingthaya industrial zones demonstrated for better wages, but on February 20 protest camps were demolished and some leaders were charged.

“Our federation is built by ourselves, so we are not able to support protest camps financially,” MTUF chairperson Aung Lin said Wednesday during a news conference at the organisation’s Yangon office.
read more.
Eleven

* Protests highlight labour law shortcomings:

Labour groups have blamed weaknesses in the legal framework for an outbreak of protests at factories in Yangon that has resulted in confrontations between workers and police.

While most workers from five strike-hit factories in Yangon industrial zones have agreed to return to work, some remain on the picket lines.

Ko Aung Thu of Myanmar Trade Union Federation (MTUF) said the Settlement of Labour Dispute Law was unable to resolve the current problems.

“Laws that were enacted … cannot protect the workers. Not only are workers losing their rights but owners are also having problems too. These laws cannot solve [disputes] or protect both sides from losses,” he said.

On January 28, workers from the Red Stone, Costec, E Land Myanmar and Ford Glory garment factories and Tai Yi shoe factory – located in the Shwe Pyi Thar and Hlaing Thar Yar industrial zones – went on strike, issuing a range of demands to factory owners.

While these varied between the factories, all groups sought a K30,000-a-month pay increase.
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MMtimesnew

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20150225

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Rangoon Labor Strike Continues on Small Scale Amid Rising Tension:

All garment factories that have been at the center of a long-running strike have reopened, but about 100 laborers continued to protest on Wednesday to demand a pay rise, a labor activist said.

Labor union leaders called on factory owners, the government and laborers to come to the negotiating table to resolve the stand-off, which has become increasingly tense. The Labor Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday warning of legal actions against protestors, while several laborers were arrested in recent days.

Naing Lin Aung, coordinator for Myanmar Trade Unions Federation (MTUF) at Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone, said some 100 workers were continuing their protests on Wednesday, although their numbers had shrunk in recent days. “Among the protesting workers, some are still protesting, some have gone back to work, some have gone home, and some are somewhere else,” he said.
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IRRAWADDY

* It’s unfair! :

The three statements appeared regarding the protest of garment factory workers against the low salary in Shwepyitha Industrial Zone.

The statements were issued by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and the Yangon Region government and Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association.

Yangon Region Government also issued a statement on February 17. On the same day, negotiations were made with the worker protesters. The agreement did not reach but a promise that the problem of the pay low would be settled within three days appeared.

But the government launched a crackdown on the worker protesters on February 20. The problem was not nearer to be solved. The sign of the crackdown on the remaining worker protesters has still been found.

The worker protests of today dated back the 1300 Revolution in 1938. The 1300 Revolution occurred due to the employers treated the workers as slaves.

(2)
The protest of the workers in Shwepyithar Industrial Zone aimed at the pay rise. The workers are treated unfairly in their salary. The salary amount of the workers is not much. The salary of the workers was below Ks 100,000 per month.
The workers demanded Ks 30,000 should be increased for a month.
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Eleven

20150225 * No end in sight over wage disputes:

The labour organizations have accused the authorities of using a heavy-handed approach to solve labour disputes in Shwepyithar and Hlaing Tharyar industrial zones over wage increases.

They demanded that the Yangon Region government and the Ministry of Labour should take responsibility over the crackdown.The authorities announced on February 17 that it will take action against both the owners and workers if they break the law.

“I think the crackdown on labour disputes is heavy-handed. The government should solve the problems with more peaceful means. Both sides need flexibilities,” said Aung Lin, chairman of Federation of Myanmar Labour Union.
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20150225 * Garment workers call for more strikes if demands not met:

20150225 MIZZIMA
Workers shout slogans as they protest outside their factory after a clash with police at Shwepyithar Industrial zone in Yangon, Myanmar, February 20, 2015.
Myanmar police dismantled the protest sites and several people were injured during the clash between protesters and policemen.
Thousands of workers are demanding a raise in their basic salary at the industrial zone. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Myanmar garment workers demonstrating over pay and factory conditions threatened to continue strikes unless their demands are met and authorities release two of their representatives detained earlier this month, according to Radio Free Asia on February 24.

The promise to continue the nearly month-long strikes against Costec International, E-Land Myanmar and Ford Glory Garment in Yangon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone, came despite government warnings on Monday that “action” would be taken against protesters.

What action the government plans to take was not spelled out.
The companies are reportedly owned by Chinese and South Korean firms.
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MIZZAMA new

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20150224

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* PM takes to stump on legal limit to overtime:

Prime Minister Hun Sen broached the long-running issue of excessive overtime worked by garment factory employees in a speech yesterday, in what at least one analyst saw as a possible play for garment worker support.

During his commencement speech at the National University of Management, the premier appealed to factories in Cambodia’s garment and footwear sector to only allow employees to work two hours overtime per day, in accordance with the Labour Law.

“Please be careful, the law allows for only two hours [per day] of overtime work,” Hun Sen said. “The workers, especially the female workers, need to work overtime in order to get more money, but please understand that this poorly affects their future.”

With a base salary of $128 per month, workers in Cambodia’s largest export industry are typically forced to work more than the Labour Law’s maximum overtime hours just to make ends meet, said Joel Preston, a consultant for the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC).

“[Excessive overtime has] always been a huge problem, I think it’s endemic,” Preston said.
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PPP new

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Government responds to accusations of mishandling labour protests:

The Yangon Region government and Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security made announcements yesterday in response to criticism over their mishandling of workers’ protests in Yangon.

After the parliament and government failed to guarantee a minimum wage for manual labourers, themomentum of the protests increased.

At the beginning of February, protests by employees of the E-Land Myanmar garment factory, Ford Glory factory and COSTEC International factory in Shwe Pyi Thar industrial zone intensified, raising concerns among authorities about the possibility of a mass demonstration.
On February 20, police dispersed the protestors in what many described as people a crackdown. Several workers sustained injuries.

The statement released by the Yangon Region government said the labour affairs negotiation team for Yangon region met with owners of the factories and representatives of the workers in Shwe Pyi Thar and Hlaing Tharyar industrial zones.
The Yangon region government issued a notice on February 17 that the authorities would take action in accordance with existing laws against workers or factory owners who violated rules and regulations.
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Eleven

02:34:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Bangladesh a top choice for Japanese investors: survey:

20150224 DAILYSTAR

Most Japanese firms operating in China choose Bangladesh as the second best investment destination after India due to lower production costs here, according to a survey by Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).

Due to sluggish operations and struggle for expansion of business in China, firms are expanding their operations mainly in Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and Thailand.

Some 71.7 percent Japanese-affiliated firms in China want to expand their operations in Bangladesh, with 78.2 percent favouring India, 66 percent Vietnam and 60.9 percent Thailand, according to the official trade and investment promotion agency of Japan.

Jetro that has been conducting such surveys since 1987 took opinions of 10,078 firms from 20 countries. It also directly interviewed the chief executives of the firms between October and November last year to conduct the survey — A survey of Japanese Affiliated Firms in Asia and Oceania for the Year 2014.

Bangladesh is offering the lowest worker wage levels among its competing countries. Workers’ wages in the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh is $100 a month, while Cambodia has the second lowest wages at $113, according to the survey.
read more. & read more about Jetro survey here &  FY 2014 suvey here. (for wages: pages 66-70)
daily star bd JETRO

 

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20150220-21

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar police takes legal action against month-long labor strike:

Myanmar police force has taken legal action against a month-long labor strike staged by workers from three foreign-invested garment factories in Shwepyithar industrial zone in north of the city, local reports said Saturday.

The government warned of removing striking workers in Shwepyithar industrial zone who have blocked the entrance of the foreign-invested factories over the last three days.

About 2,000 workers from at least three garment factories — Costec International , Ford Glory and E-land Myanmar demanded more payment which meet ASEAN standard since early this month, the reports said.

There is no successful outcome from series of negotiation between the employers, the workers and the Labor Ministry.

Labor strike leaders and about 30 workers were arrested during the strike, the reports said.
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CHINAORG

* Police break up striking garment workers in Shwepyithar:

Several protesting workers from the E-Land Myanmar Garment factory in Shwepyithar Industrial Zone 2 were injured when they clashed violently with police on Friday evening.

Striking workers said the injuries were caused when police tried to forcibly remove dozens of workers who were blocking access to the factory. It is unknown whether the police sustained casualties.

Police also moved in to disperse and arrest striking or boycotting workers who were staging sit-ins at other factories in the Shwepyithar industrial estate, located some 15 kilometres north of Rangoon. Strike leaders were reportedly taken to the local police station.

Striking workers from the E-land Myanmar Garment, Ford Glory Garment, Costec International, and Han Jen Textile and Garment factories have been holding industrial action for the past two weeks, demanding pay increases from basic salaries of 30,000 kyat (US$30) per month to 60,000 kyat a month.
They are also calling for: casual daily workers to get the same labour rights as permanent workers; an increase in salary for workers once they complete one year on the job; and the participation of labor unions in the drawing up of industrial regulations.
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dvb

20150220 * Thousands of Garment Workers Strike in Rangoon:

20150220 IRRAWADDY
Employees of the Tai Ye Shoe Factory camp out in Rangoon’s Hlaing Thar Yar Township demanding higher wages, Feb. 19, 2015. (Photo: Sai Zaw/ The Irrawaddy)

Thousands of Rangoon’s factory workers this week vowed to continue a strike until they receive a pay raise, following warnings from the divisional government not to cause public upset.

About 2,000 employees of several factories in Shwepyithar Township began their strike on Feb.2, demanding that their monthly wages be raised from 50,000 kyats (US$50) to 80,000 kyats.

Employees of the E-Land garment factory met on Tuesday with Rangoon Division Chief Minister Myint Swe for a fourth round of negotiations, but they declined his offer to ensure that the company implements a raise of $12, less than half of the increase employees had demanded.

“We want our basic pay to increase by 30,000 kyats,” said striking worker Khin Myo Oo, speaking to The Irrawaddy shortly after the meeting. “They only want to give us 12… We can’t negotiate, so we will continue our strike.”

On the day of the negotiations, the divisional government issued a public statement declaring that legal action would be taken against employees or employers that “harm peace and rule of law,” specifying that violence and protests that “counter” the law would be punished.
The statement said the striking workers were obstructing gates near the factories, preventing those who wanted to go to work from doing so and blocking deliveries.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

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20150218-19

03:34:16 local time map of laos LAOS

* Lao minimum wage to rise 44% in April:

Laos will raise the minimum wage for unskilled labourers by almost 50% in a move reflecting the government’s concern about a worker shortage. 

The monthly wage will rise to 900,000 kip (about 3,630 baht) in April, a 43.8% increase from the current 626,000 kip (about 2,250 baht).

”The wage adjustment will take effect on April 1, 2015,” the official Lao News Agency quoted Phongsaysack Inthalath, director-general of the Labour Management Department, as saying Wednesday.

Workers in health-threatened jobs or the dangerous working environments will be paid 15% more, the official added.
read more. & read more.
bangkokpost LAO NEWS AGENCY

 

02:04:16 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* A nod for private sector wage hike:

The National Labour Council has agreed to increase the salaries of workers in the Private Sector parallel to the salary increase in the public sector, Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today addressing the weekly Cabinet Briefing held at the Government Information Department on Thursday (19).

The Government has called on the National Labour Council to increase the salaries of workers in the Private Sector parallel to the salary increase in the Public Sector.

Accordingly it has been agreed to increase the private Sector salary by 15% – 35% according to profits and to increase the minimum salary level to Rs.10,000.

The Minister pointed out that although the privater sector salary increase are covered by Wage Board, the shops and hotels does not come under the Wage Board. However, the Minister said that their salaries too should be increased by 15%.
to read.
slgov

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201502016-17

04:34:16 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Workers picket wage board, call for Cheap Labor President’s resignation:

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno held a picket in front of the government agency in Manila that’s in charge of the country’s regional wage boards to condemn the pressing down of wages amidst soaring prices and call for the resignation of Pres. Noynoy Aquino, whom they call “Cheap Labor President.”

The labor group said the creation of the regional wage boards under the National Wages and Productivity Commission through the enactment of the Wage Rationalization Law of 1989 is an attack on workers’ right to the minimum wage, and should be countered through the implementation of a National Minimum Wage in the amount of P16,000 monthly.

KMU also condemned Aquino for refusing to significantly increase the minimum wage amidst increases in fares for the MRT and LRT, in power and water rates, and in the prices of basic goods, saying not even the meager adjustments implemented yearly by the government was undertaken in 2014.
read more. & read more.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO bulatlat_tagline

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar workers awaken to claim their rights:

Govt, employers urged to address labour rights issues if Myanmar is to become manufacturing hub of Asean

The easing of economic sanctions by Western countries in 2012 brightened the prospect that Myanmar would expand its non-resource exports through the expansion of its manufacturing sector.

However, experts warned that the turning Myanmar into a new manufacturing hub would be possible only when the government and employers, local and foreign, properly addressed several labour rights issues.

As the curtain has been raised and more foreign companies have set up production facilities in the country in recent years, Myanmar workers’ knowledge of labour rights has expanded, warned an activist who has witnessed a stronger desire among workers to form labour unions.

“Before, most of the workers had no idea about labour rights. We cannot say if labour rights have improved to meet international standards during this government’s term. But we cannot deny that many workers understand the importance of forming labour unions and move to establish them in many different areas,” said Eai Shwe Sinn Nyunt, founder of Labour Rights Defenders and Promoters (LRDP).
(…)
Minimum wage
According to the lawyer, most workers demand an official minimum wage; clean water and sanitation; transport shuttle services; and a line of communication with managers and supervisors to settle disputes.
Setting the minimum wage could be the best way to end ongoing disputes, she said.

“The authorities have delayed the decision on minimum wage, saying it has to take into consideration many issues to avoid unnecessary problems. I guess they are afraid of price hikes.
Businesses may take this opportunity to raise goods prices, and this will also hurt workers.
Even when the minimum wage is set, it will remain difficult for workers to make ends meet,” she said.
(…)(…)

“We encourage them if they undertake their tasks systematically.
We are also helping those who want to form labour unions.
We have been providing short-term trainings to employees working for factories and businesses in Yangon, Mandalay and Bago regions since June last year.
To date, we have trained more than 10,000 workers,” he said.

Yet, some workers still resort to protest.

On February 9, more than 2,500 workers from four garment factories in Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone staged a joint protest.
The companies are E-land Myanmar, Ford Glory Garment, Red Stone Garment, and Costec International joined the protests. Ford Glory is owned by a Chinese businessman, and Red Stone is a Japanese venture, while the other two factories are run by Korean businesspeople.
All the workers were on streets demanding salary increases and better working conditions.
read more.
theNATIONnew

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Violation of minimum wage law:

In the 2014-15 budget, the federal government and the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have raised the minimum wage from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per month for unskilled workers.

Sindh province has also raised its minimum wage from Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 per month. But Balochistan province has decided to retain its earlier minimum wage of Rs 9,000 per month, which was raised in 2012.

In Pakistan, however, minimum wages are determined by the Minimum Wage Boards constituted under the Ordinance 1961, which applies to all industrial establishments’ employees whether skilled, unskilled or apprentices, and even domestic workers, but the Ordinance has been dishonoured by most industries.
read more.
daily times PK

* Minimum wage policy yet to be implemented:

The bureaucratic bottlenecks have resulted in delay in the implementation of the minimum wage policy announced by the government two years back.

District social welfare officer Jaffar Khan told Dawn on Monday that at present the minimum wage in all the government offices was Rs11,000 as against the notification issued in the last budget by the government fixing the minimum salary at Rs15,000.

He said that the departmental heads were responsible to pay workers according to the government announcement, but regretted that poor workers, especially those working in the private sector were paid meager salaries.
read more.
DAWNnew

LW + 2

201502013

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* K5000-a-day proposed for minimum wage:

Workers should receive at least K5000 for an eight-hour day, say people who responded to researchers gathering data for the government’s minimum-wage enquiry.

Anything else would cause hardship, respondents said.
But many experienced workers with long service records receive much less, researchers heard — and some labour representatives expect much more.

The government has commissioned a cost-of-living survey that began work last month in order to help the government decide the level at which to set the minimum wage in each state and region.

“According to our survey, an inexperienced worker should get K5000 per eight-hour day. If not, it would be definitely hard for their daily life,” said U Ko Ko Naing, a workers’ representative who participated in data collection Yedashe township, Bago Region.

The survey will be based on the daily living expense of households in a total of 108 townships throughout the country.

MTUF vice president U Tun Wai said survey results from Yangon’s Shwe Pyi Thar township indicated the daily rate should be at least K5000, and as high as K8500, not counting bonuses.
read more.
MMtimesnew

LW + 2

201502012

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt prepares incentive for labor-intensive industry:

The incentives may comprise fiscal incentives, such as exemption of import duties for raw materials, and non-fiscal incentives, according to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Franky Sibarani.

“The most important point is that we’ve lost the momentum to boost exports and investment in the labor-intensive industry. The trend shows that in the past three years, the number of workers absorbed by the industry has declined,” Franky said Tuesday on the sidelines of an investment forum at his office.

Apart from providing the much-needed incentives, the government also wants to improve the labor climate and industrial relations by revising rules on fixed-term contracts and sub-contracts of seasonal output as well as assuring certainty in minimum wage arrangements, according to National Mid-Term Development Plan for 2015-2019.

The labor intensive industry is defined as that which employs at least 200 workers with labor costs making up at least 15 percent of total production costs. The industry comprises the manufacturers of food and beverages, tobacco, textiles and garments, leather and leather products, footwear, toys and furniture.

Main issues center on minimum regional wages, business licensing at the regional level, business energy and utility, logistics and supply of raw materials.
(…)
Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) chairman Eddy Widjanarko said at the forum that certainty in labor wage arrangements would allow footwear manufacturers to boost investment and exports significantly. Footwear exports reached US$4.5 billion last year and 68 firms poured investment into the sector.

“If the regional minimum wage problem can be resolved, I’m sure 200 new firms would inject investment. If a firm has 10,000 workers on average, the sector will take up 1 million workers,” said Eddy.
read more.
jakartapost

LW + 2

201502011

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Shwe Pyi Tha labour protest continues:

Manual workers from four garment factories in Shwe Pyi Tha Industrial Zone have staged camp-in protests in front of their respective factories since the end of last year demanding negotiations with their employers over salary raises.

The employers have yet to respond. “Our camp has been here since January 28 with 600 out of a total total 900 workers. One camp was established in December last year and is still intact. We will continue holding the protest until we get our demands,” said Aye Sandar Win, a worker from Costes International Co Ltd.

Over 3,000 labours from Ford Glory Garment, Costes International Co Ltd, E Land Myanmar Garment and Red Stone Garment have staged a demonstration calling for a minimum wage increase, the formation of labour unions, an end to discrimination against workers and guarantees on labour rights.

“Director Win Shein came and spoke recently, but he couldn’t calm the situation,” Aye Sandar Win added.

A 3,000-strong procession marched around the industrial zone on Monday morning.
to read.
Eleven

* Myanmar Workers Strike at 5 Garment Factories:

Workers from five garment factories went on strike on Monday in Myanmar’s Yangon region in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

According to Mizzima.com, about 2,000 employees from Costec International, E-Land Myanmar, Ford Glory Garment and Han Jen Textile and Garment factories marched along the streets of the Shwepyithar township demanding that salaries be adjusted to match rates in other ASEAN countries, a reasonable minimum wage and permission to form unions.

The strikes come in the wake of the Feb. 2 publication of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association’s (MGMA) first ever Code of Conduct for the country’s garment industry.
The code aims to establish responsible and ethical work practices, including compliance with national laws and regulations, labor rights, working conditions, and better wages and benefits.
read more.
SJ

LW + 2

201502010

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Orders Slow on Strikes, Wage Hikes – GMAC:

Cambodia’s $5.5 billion garment industry saw a significant slowdown in 2014, as foreign brands weighed the costs of rising wages and a restive labor pool, the sector’s main industry body said.

“We don’t have the final figures for 2014 in yet, but from all available data we expect that last year’s garment sector growth is going to be flat,” said Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

The association, which represents all Cambodian export-oriented garment factories, reported that during the first 11 months of 2014 orders for apparel and footwear from Cambodian factories inched up just 1 percent – a striking contrast from the 20.5 percent average year-on-year growth of the previous five years.

The sluggish growth is largely the result of a decline in purchase orders from American buyers, Mr. Loo told Khmer Times. He said frequent strikes, wage hikes and negative world press have “contributed to making Cambodian factories less competitive.”
(…)
He warned that if wages continue to rise Cambodia could price itself out of the market.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), doubts that. He attributes the slump in garment orders to the uncertainty surrounding minimum wage talks early last year.

“Buyers did not want to place orders during the negotiation period because they were afraid unions would [reject the government’s [proposed] minimum wage,” he said.
“They waited for Cambodia to set a new minimum wage before placing new orders.”

read more.
KHMERTIMES

* Garment-Sector Raises Hit by Falling Overtime:

Garment workers around the country have started picking up paychecks this month that for the first time include the $28 increase the government added to the sector’s previous minimum wage of $100. But with available overtime hours on the wane, enthusiasm for the raise is muted.

Outside factories around Phnom Penh over the past two days, workers said that both rising prices and falling overtime meant they took home less than an extra $28 for the work they put in last month. Some said they even earned less than they did before the raise.

Sem Pao, who supplements her work at the Bright Sky factory in Pur Senchey district as a hairdresser on her days off, said she picked up her paycheck on Thursday and that the $215 was only about $10 more than the month before.

“Our wages increased this month, but it’s almost the same as the last month because we don’t have overtime work to do,” she said. “Before we could work overtime, but they don’t ask anymore because orders are down.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* GMAC says orders are down due to wage hike:

Reports that buyer orders in Cambodia’s garment sector slowed to a crawl toward the end of 2014 have triggered mixed reasoning from industry representatives.

Bloomberg reported on February 2 that for the first 11 months of 2014, orders for the Kingdom’s garment and footwear factories increased just 1% year-on-year.

Ken Loo, secretary-general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) told the news agency that the slowdown was due to rapid wage hikes, frequent strikes, political instability, and negative media coverage that have “damaged the competitiveness of Cambodian factories”.

Loo confirmed the 11-month buyer orders figure of 1 per cent but declined the Post’s request for comment.
(…)
Dave Welsh, country director for labour-rights group Solidarity Centre, contested GMAC’s reasoning that the downturn is due largely to the wage hikes and the early 2014 protests.

“The major calculation in this downturn is the horrendous press and the government’s response that ensued after the early 2014 protests,” Welsh said.
read more.
PPP new

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Labour protest calls for union, salary raises:

More than 3,000 manual labourers from five garment factories in Shwe Pyi Tha Industrial Zone held a demonstration on Monday morning calling for the formation of a labour union and salary raises.

The procession marched around the five facilities – Ford Glory Garment, Han Jen Textile and Garment, Costes International Co Ltd, E Land Myanmar Garment and Red Stone Garment.
The protestors held placards that read ‘Salary is vital’ and ‘Foreign business owners must respect local laws.’ They called for labour rights and an end to discrimination against workers.

“We just asked for our rights. The demonstrators have long been sitting [protest] camps in front of the factories they work for. But we still see no sign of negotiation,” said an employee from Ford Glory Garment.
The protestors also expressed their will to organise a union to help resolve labour disputes.
to read.
Eleven

20150210 * Yangon garment workers protest for better pay, conditions:

20150210 MIZZIMA
More than 2,000 workers from four garment factories in Shwepyithar Township in Yangon took to the streets over pay and conditions on February 9, 2015. Photo: Thet Ko/Mizzima

More than 2,000 workers from four garment factories in Shwepyithar Township in Yangon marched on the streets in their township to call for salary increases and better working conditions on February 9.

Activists supporting the welfare of the workers said they will intensify their sit-in protests if employers fail to agree to the demands of the workers.

Thu Zaw Kyi Win, a protest leader, said, “We are scheduled to stage this protest for only a day. We will discuss the issue with the director-general of the Labour Department tomorrow [February 10]. But if the Ministry of Labour is unable to facilitate our demands from our employers, we will intensify our protest.”

The 11-point demands by the workers include salaries to be adjusted on a par with rates in other ASEAN countries, a reasonable minimum wage, and to be allowed to form workers unions.
read more.
MIZZAMA new

HAITI

* Haiti: union and maquilas negotiate on pay:

Haiti’s Textile and Garment Workers Union (SOTA), which represents a number of workers in the Port-au-Prince garment assembly sector, has reached an agreement under which the owners of three factories are to honor the legal minimum wage of 300 gourdes (about $6.38) a day for piece workers in the industry.

The 300-gourde minimum went into effect in October 2012 but has generally been ignored by management.
According to a Jan. 6 SOTA press release and a Feb. 6 radio interview with Yannick Etienne of the labor organizing group Batay Ouvriye (BO, Workers’ Struggle), under the agreement workers who were receiving 225 gourdes a day now receive 300 gourdes and those who received 300 gourdes receive 375.

In addition, the three companies agreed to provide back pay to cover the difference between the old and the new wages for two months during which SOTA and the companies negotiated; this would come to about $4,255 collectively for the workers in one of the companies, Multiwear SA.
Although the agreement falls far short of the 500-gourde minimum garment workers had demonstrated for in December 2013, BO organizer Etienne considers management’s agreement to the raise and the principle of back pay a significant step forward.
read more.
ww4

LW + 2

20150209

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Rangoon textile workers hit the streets:

Hundreds of workers marched the streets in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone on Monday morning to demand better pay and working conditions.

The employees came from five garment factories: Ford Glory Garment, Costec International, E-land Myanmar Garment, Red Stone Garment and Han Jen Textile and Garment. The workers marched out of their factory compounds where they have been staging a sit-in since 28 January.

“We are marching around Shwepyithar and we plan to assemble in protest camps in front of the police station if we do not reach negotiations on our demands in one week,” said Thein Moe Lwin, a factory worker in the march.

The demands of the workers include a basic salary increase; permission to form labour unions and to set up a labour office in their workplace; days off on public holidays; paid medical leave; and the issuing of welfare cards for all workers.
read more.
dvb

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Foreign Investors Canceled Plans for 16 Footwear Factories in Indonesia:

Aprisindo chairman: Issues with the minimum wage are worrying investors

Foreign investors, mostly South Korean and Japanese, last year canceled the construction of sixteen footwear factories worth a total Rp 4.8 trillion ($379 million), due to uncertainty over Indonesia’s minimum wage policy.

Minimum wage increases have fluctuated greatly in the past few years across the country, with local politicians often supporting workers’ demands at some point, only to back business interests later, depending on political needs.

“Issues with the minimum wage are worrying investors,” Eddy Widjanarko, chairman of Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo), said over the weekend.
read more.
jak-globe

LW + 2

20150206-07

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Wages not covering living costs, survey shows:

About 70 per cent of people have to sell their possessions to pay for health and education, according to a survey conducted by the team fixing the minimum wage.

That group raised more than 500 questions about the living costs in Shwepyitha Township.

The survey revealed that the monthly income of a household is between Ks100,000 and Ks200,000 while expenditure is at least Ks200,000.

“In a family of four, three have to go to work. Only the aged are left at home. The total income of those three has to be Ks200,000. There is an unbalanced ratio between income and expenditure due to travel fees, rent and other costs. The families where only one person works find it even more difficult. They have to sell off their belongings to pay for education and health,” said Tun Wai, who is a member of the team.

Shwepyitha is a largely working-class township.

A survey of living costs is being conducted in more than 20,000 households in 108 townships across the country, in order to fix the minimum wage.
to read.
Eleven

* Low Labor Cost Ranks Burma among Top Countries for Investment:

Burma has been named one of the five best countries in the world for cheap labor, making it much more attractive for manufacturing investment than neighbors China and Thailand.

“Businesses with supply chains and operations in [Burma], Bangladesh and Cambodia are benefiting from the world’s lowest labor costs,” a study by analysts Verisk Maplecroft said.

The business risk assessors’ Labor Costs Index measured a combination of wages, employment regulations, social security contributions and labor productivity to assess the cost-competitiveness of workforces in 172 countries.

Burma is ranked in the top five best places in the world for low labor costs by the index, which places China at 64th due to its rising wages.

Thailand is ranked 93rd in the index, where the higher the number the better the ranking in terms of labor competitiveness.

“China…has seen costs in the labor market rise rapidly in line with the country’s phenomenal economic progress. By contrast, key sourcing destinations that are increasingly replacing Chinese manufacturers in global supply chains perform very well in the index with [Burma] (ranked 171), Bangladesh (170) and Cambodia (169) all ranked among the five lowest-cost economies,” Verisk Maplecroft said.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

LW + 2

20150205

GLOBAL

* “Fair wage, decent wage, living wage…” Six things you need to know:

What is a fair wage and what can fashion factories, brands and consumers do to make sure workers receive one? Experts share their thoughts

Is a fair wage the same as a living wage?

“Fair wage, decent wage, living wage… it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s about paying workers enough so that they can cover the basic costs required for a dignified, healthy life,” says Sabita Banerji, Ethical Trading Initiative.

Some countries have a legal minimum wage, but this does not always reflect either a living or a fair wage, and there is a difference between the two, explains IndustriALL Global Union’s Monika Kemperle. “A living wage is a wage on which a worker and his or her family can live off. A fair wage does not always include the living costs for the dependents.”

So, who should take responsibility for paying more for fairer wages: factories, brands or consumers?
All of them. No one player in the fashion industry can ensure garment workers are paid a fair wage – change can only come through the combined efforts of factory owners, brands and consumers.

“The factory owners must take labour cost into their calculations and make sure their workers get a living wage. Brands need then to accept that labour costs are included in the manufacturing cost. And consumers must be aware of the real price of a piece of clothing,” says Kemperle.
read more.
guardian

LW + 2

20150129

04:34:16 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Labor groups ask for P136 more in minimum wage:

Various several labor organizations, including the Trade union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP) and TUCP partylist group, on Thursday asked the wage board to add P136 to the current P466 minimum wage for workers in Metro Manila.
The groups filed the wage hike petition during the start of the panel’s review of the current wage rate held in Pasay City.
“We have been experiencing growth in our economy but the workers who worked hard for it are wallowing in poverty.
They have jobs and most are employed yet they do not benefit the development. This is highly unfair and grossly unjust to workers and their families.
It is a social discrepancy that needs urgent attention from government and employers must take seriously into consideration,” TUCP partylist Rep. Raymond Mendoza said.
read more.
philstarNEW

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Wages for hosiery workers likely to be revised:

The State government is considering the recommendations submitted by the committee formed to revise the minimum wages for hosiery sector units.

It is also studying the proposals submitted by another committee formed to implement minimum wages for knitting units.

According to a Labour Department official, the reports were submitted to the State government recently.

The official told The Hindu on Wednesday that the committees had representatives from the industry, trade unions and the government.

The government formed the committee for hosiery unit workers in 2013 and the report was submitted a couple of months ago. The minimum wages were fixed almost four decades ago and had not been revised after that.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20150128

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Govt urged to raise minimum wage:

Workers in Jambi have urged the government to raise the provincial minimum wage to Rp 1.9 million (US$151.8) from the current Rp 1.7 million.

The Indonesia Welfare Labor Confederation’s (KSBSI) Jambi coordinator, Roida Pane, explained that the recent decrease in fuel prices did not affect the price of staple foods that kept skyrocketing following the government’s earlier decision to increase subsidized fuel prices in November 2014.

“The price of fuel is down, but high food prices remain a problem. If it was only the fuel price that increased it would be no problem, but the fuel price hike triggered increases in staple food prices,” Roida told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The activist said KSBSI had met with the Jambi Remuneration Council, but it had not issued any recommendation for the government to revise the minimum wage in the province. One of the reasons the workers stopped staging rallies to protest the minimum wage was the administration’s assurances that food prices would soon decrease following the lowering of fuel prices.
read more.
jakartapost

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Ministry urged to set national minimum wage:

The Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) said it will suggest the Labour, Employment and Social Security Ministry to set minimum wages for whole country based on the eight-hour daily working period.

“We are now doing activities like fact-finding and discussing minimum wage levels, including subsidiary, allowances, overtime fees, and working hours.
This stage of the process will end on 28 of this month. Based on information collected before that day, we will submit a recommendation to the ministry to set up a countrywide minimum wage.
For the ministry to set up a minimum wage equally for the entire nation, the survey should be conducted with considerations for variances regional development,” said Win Zaw, a member from the CTUM.He continued: “Our union agrees that setting up a minimum wage should be based on eight working hours per day, not including subsidiary, allowances and overtime fees.”
read more.
theNATIONnew

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Sudden hike in minimum wages for tailors leaves industry shocked:

The textile industry is unable to come to terms with the exorbitant increase in minimum wages for employment in the tailoring industry.

Coming as it does after 10 years, the 64 per cent increase is considered sudden, huge and one that cannot be absorbed by the industry.

Revised figures
Citing the gazette notification dated December 3, 2014, textile industry sources pointed out that basic minimum wage for a cutter in tailoring industry has been hiked from Rs. 2,306/month to Rs. 5,789 across all municipal corporations (classified as Zone A), and for the machine operator/tailor to Rs. 5,639 from the earlier Rs. 2,215/month.
(…)

Discrepancies
Incidentally, there are as many as 8 schedule employment (under the Minimum Wages Act) relating to textile and clothing sector such as cotton ginning, pressing and waste cotton industry, handloom and weaving industry, handloom silk weaving industry, hosiery manufactory, powerloom industry, silk twisting industry, tailoring industry and apprentices in textile mills.

Besides these, there are many industrial establishments engaged in the manufacture of knitted and woven garments and made-ups (home furnishings).

However, it is confusing as the Tamil Nadu Government had already notified the minimum wages for hosiery manufactory.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

* Wage code to replace all related laws:

The government plans to introduce a “wage code,” that will replace Central laws pertaining to wage related matters and cover both the organised and the unorganised sectors.

Though the government had invited comments in July last year on the draft Minimum Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which included setting a national minimum wage floor, the new “wage code” once finalised will subsume key laws, including the Minimum Wages Act 1948 and the proposed amendment.

“The wage code will set basic provisions related to payment of wages and bonuses. Once this is finalised, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, will no longer be in place.
The aim is to reduce the number of laws employers have to comply with,” a senior government official said. The details of the code were still being worked out.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20150127

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* The rhythm of voices raised for their rights:

20150127 theHINDU
The 25-member team sang folk tunes to the beat of the ‘thappu’ and staged plays to raise awareness

The percussion beats of a thappu broke the silence in villages on the city’s southern fringes on Monday. A group of women were singing folk tunes to create awareness on a government notification on increased minimum wages for garment factory workers.

The caravan, carrying members of Garment and Fashion Workers Union, made a stop at villages around Chromepet, Chengalpettu and Madurantakam to campaign for the rights of the industry workers. Residents gathered on the streets as K. Anushya and her team sang ‘ Onnu Serunga ’ (be united) to the rhythmic beats of the thappu.

“Some enthusiastic villagers have joined us as we proceed to our next destination,” said Ms. Anushya, who works in a garment unit in Tambaram. The 25-member team also staged plays on different themes, from long hours of work and low wages, to sexual harassment.

Meghna Sukumar of the union said: “Instead of restricting the campaign to speeches, we adopted a lighter note to reach out to young women workers.”

Nearly three lakh workers, mostly women, are employed in over 5,000 garment units around Chennai. Most of them earn around Rs. 4,000 a month.
The union president, Sujata Mody, said the campaign was organised to support women who are fighting for an increase in their wages for several years. Several garment units have sought an interim stay on the government notification that fixes Rs. 7,000 as the minimum wage for workers.

A signature campaign was also held and this will be submitted along with a petition to the Chief Minister to implement the notification.

A caravan makes a stop at villages on the fringes of Chennai to campaign for rights of garment industry workers
to read
THEHINDU

 

LW + 2

20150124

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Textile industry wants timely review of minimum wage than sudden raise:

The Textile and clothing sector has around eight schedule employment (under the Minimum Wages Act) such as cotton ginning, pressing and waste cotton industry, handloom and weaving industry, handloom silk weaving industry, hosiery manufactory, powerloom industry, silk twisting industry, tailoring industry and apprentices in textile mills.

Besides this, there are many industrial establishments engaged in the manufacture of knitted and woven garments and made-ups (home furnishings).
Some of them cater to both – the domestic and export markets.

Industry sources are yet to come to terms with the exorbitant increase in minimum wages for employment in the tailoring industry.
Coming as it does after 10 years, the 64 per cent increase is considered sudden, huge and one that cannot be absorbed by the industry.
The last revision took place in 2004.

While admitting that the revision was being notified after 10 years, a cross section of industry stakeholders said that they were not against an increase in the basic minimum rate, but feel that a periodical review of the same would have been better than a sudden and steep increase.
(…)

Yet another confusion that seems to have cropped up is from the fact that the TN Government had already notified the minimum wages for hosiery manufactures.
If the unit does both – knitted and woven fabrics and engages the same machine operator, under which schedule of employment should such tailors be classified, posed an industry source.

To tide over such issues and bring in more clarity, the Southern India Mills’ Association Chairman, T Rajkumar, has proposed to bring the minimum wages across the state under one schedule in respect of the textile sector.

The state should come out with a comprehensive policy on minimum wages in consultation with industry stakeholders, whether it is powerloom, tailoring or textile mills, the minimum wages (which is the barest minimum for the textile sector in TN) should be only one.
read more.
ynfxlogo

LW + 2

20150123

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* After Long Delays, Govt Begins Moving on Minimum Wage:

20150123 IRRAWADDY
Factory workers protesting near Sule Pagoda in Sept. 2013. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

After a delay of nearly two years, the government announced on Friday it would this month conduct a survey on household living costs in order to determine a nationally set minimum wage.

The government had planned since early last year to conduct the survey, and the plan has finally materialized after the Union Parliament voted to approve a tripling of lawmaker salaries on Thursday.

“We will start collecting data on Jan. 26 in all states and divisions including Naypyidaw,” Aung Htay Win, a director from the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, told The Irrawaddy on Friday, adding he expected the survey to be completed in two weeks.

With the assistance of civil society organizations, labor representatives and employer groups, the survey will be conducted across more than 22,000 households in 108 townships, based on a representative sample of household size, socioeconomic level, occupation, earnings and expenses.

“Each seven-member team will collect data in one township. After we finish the survey, we will calculate the output and send it to committees tasked to determine the minimum wage in each state and division,” said Aung Htay Win.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Leather factory employees picket Assembly:

20150123 theHINDU
Employees of a private leather factory protest in front of the Legislative Assembly in Puducherryon.— Photo: S.S. Kumar

Over 300 employees of a private leather factory on Thursday picketed the Legislative Assembly demanding increase in wages and job security.

The workers, mostly women, proceeded to the Assembly to meet Chief Minister N. Rangasamy and voice their concern.

The watch and ward staff in the Assembly denied them permission following which the workers picketed the main gate of the Assembly.

The protesters alleged that over 550 workers were employed in the factory and they had no access to medical facilities.

The workers also demanded that the management raise the minimum wages.
Senior police officials intervened and pacified them following which they withdrew their protest.
to read.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20150122

CAMBODIA

 * Garment Workers No Longer Pay Income Tax on Base Salary:

20150122 KNMERTIMES
A worker in a garment factory in Phnom Penh. (Photo: Courtesy World Bank)

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has granted a series of tax exemptions to garment workers.

Workers are now excluded from income tax obligations to help them cover costs of commuting, lodging and meals.

The move, announced Tuesday, is part of a wider effort by the government to improve life for the nation’s 600,000 garment workers after a series of mass protest last year.

Union activists say the moves will contribute little to the poor living conditions of garment workers. There minimum monthly wage was increased Jan 1. by 28 percent, to $128.

“Benefits to garment workers are too small because the coverage of benefits is on travel and meals,” said Ath Thorn, director of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Worker of Democratic Union (CCAWDU). “Yet garment workers have not gotten a social security fund, costs for health insurance covered, infant support, and payment for the end of an employment contract.”

Mr. Thorn said that  the tax exemptions apply to the minimum wage, but do not apply to money earned through overtime work. This means that a large portion of garment workers will have to pay income tax.

“If the reduction of taxation is made to cover overtime and the minimum wage, I think it is right thing that can help garment workers a lot,” he said.
Income tax has been levied from garment worker salaries since 2010.
to read.
KHMERTIMES

LW + 2

20150121

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar conducts survey on minimum wage:

Myanmar is conducting survey on setting official minimum wage level for workers, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security said Monday.

In cooperation with the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, the survey to collect information on daily expense of families, sizes of families, regional prize indices for basic commodities and income and the occupation of individual able-bodied family members is being carried out in 108 townships and is expected to complete by the end of February.

The ministry has asked organizations representing employers and employees to submit their suggestions for setting the minimum wage level by Jan. 31.
read more. & to read.
FE bd CHINAORG

 

LW + 2

20150120

03:34:16 local time map of laos LAOS

* New minimum wage of $110 may take effect in Laos next month:

The promised increase of the national minimum wage, designed mainly to draw workers back from Thailand, may be officially introduced next month, according to Vientiane Times.

The daily quoted an anonymous official from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as saying that the ministry is waiting for the official documents from the Government’s Office.

The minimum wage is set to be increased from the current 626,000 ($80) to 900,000 ($110).
read more. & read more.
CAMHERALD theNATIONnew

* Min wage not govt responsibility, says minister:

Fixing the minimum wage rates this year relies on an agreement between employers and employees, announced Aye Myint, union minister for labour, employment and social security. 

The further points were to be discussed based on a survey of living costs, he added.

The minister said: “The government has to intervene in this matter. Up to now, no agreement has been reached. The gap between people’s living costs and their income is wide. It would remain unbalanced if one rate were fixed. Now we are conducting a nationwide survey on living costs.”

No consensus has been reached although the ministry has held about 30 meetings on fixing the minimum wages since 2013.
read more.
Eleven

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Power loom workers intensify stir:

20150121 theHINDU
Powerloom workers taking out a march in Andipatti in Theni district on Tuesday.

As the third round of talks on wage revision failed, power loom workers in Jakkampatti and Subbulapuram in Andipatti block intensified their 20-day-old agitation on Tuesday.

Around 1,000 workers took out a protest march to the Sub-Collector’s Office in Andipatti from Murugan theatre, pressing for their nine-point charter of demands which included wage revision and basic facilities and amenities at work places.

They handed over a petition to officials in the taluk office. The officials assured them that they would convene a peace talk with power loom owners in the presence of the Sub-Collector on Wednesday.

Already, the Joint Commissioner of Labour in Dindigul had agreed to convene the fourth round of talks on Thursday.
The workers demanded 50 per cent hike in wage, 20 per cent bonus, ESI coverage and toilet facilities for men and women workers at work places.
Powerloom weavers in Jakkampatti and Subbulapuram have been manufacturing saris and dhotis on a large scale.
More than 2,000 workers have been engaging in textile production in Andipatti block.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20150119

03:34:16 local time map of laos LAOS

* Low wage earners awaiting pay rise in Laos:

Laos’lowest-paid workers will have to wait until next month at least for a planned pay rise of 43.7 percent, state-run media Vientiane Times reported Monday.

The minimum wage is set to rise to 900,000 kip (110.64 U.S. dollars) from 626,000 Lao kip (77 U.S. dollars) at present.

The increase is awaiting official assent and was likely be officially announced in February, an official from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare was reported as saying.
read more.
globalpost

LW + 2

20150113

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* S.Korea firm to sue workers for loss-causing strike:

Striking workers at a South Korean-invested firm in HCM City will be sued for losses caused to the company.

Some 800 workers at Carimax Sai Gon Ltd. Co. went on strike January 3 after the company declined to pass on a mandated rise in minimum wages.

Company officials said on January 12 that workers who failed to carry out their duties for five consecutive days would be sacked and sued for losses incurred by the company.

Carimax said trade union intervention had failed to resolve the strike.

The government decreed last year minimum wages would rise by VND250,000-400,000 (USD11.9-USD19) a month, depending on region, from January 1, 2015.
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DTI

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Dewhirst management ‘intimidated’ workers:

Management of an English-owned garment factory yesterday refused a request by union officials to meet to negotiate a possible end of a strike that started on Thursday.

Employees at Por Sen Chey district’s Dewhirst (Cambodia) Co, Ltd yesterday showed up for their shifts, but refused to work, employee Mean Sophyreak said.

Managers intimidated many trying to protest outside the factory, he added. “The factory [managers] threatened to cut our wages if we did not work,” Sophyreak said.

Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union legal officer Sean Yoth said that earlier, management declined a request to negotiate, primarily about employees’ demand they earn a minimum monthly wage of $138, rather than the new mandated figure of $128. Dewhirst officials couldn’t be reached yesterday.
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PPP new

LW + 2

20150108-12

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150112 * Wage hike not high for some:

Garment workers earning the minimum wage will soon receive a $28 per month raise, but striking employees at a Phnom Penh factory, who earned more than the legal base pay, argue that they should receive a proportional salary hike.

Protests started on Thursday at Du Horse garment factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district. When the monthly minimum wage was $100 last year, the lowest paid employees at the factory earned $110.
Therefore, strikers reasoned, management should continue paying workers $10 over the $128 minimum put into effect at the start of the year, said Mean Sophyreak, a Du Horse employee.
“For the new minimum wage, the government approved an additional $28 to our wages, so we should receive $138 per month,” said Mean Sophyreak, a member of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), which is leading the strike. “But the company announced they would cut $10 from our normal wage before the raise, so we refused.”
(…)
Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center, said yesterday he saw both sides of the issue.
“[A strike] is a little bit over-reactive,” Tola said yesterday. “For sure, I understand [that to] the worker who already gets $110 … and now gets $128 while [workers who earned $100] get $128, it’s not fair for you.”
Better collective-bargaining systems between unions and factory management could help avoid strikes such as this one, Tola said.
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PPP new

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150110 * Hundreds strike for minimum pay rise:

20150110 DTI
Workers strike at Carimax Saigon Company

Nearly 800 workers at Carimax Saigon Company in HCMC are in the seventh day of a strike over the company’s failure to pass on a mandated pay rise.

The government decreed last year wage would rise by VND250,000-400,000 per month depending on region, from January 2015, with employers barred from removing bonuses.

But on December 27, the board of directors at Carimax said that because of losses, the pay rise would be determined according to each worker’s attitude, capability and experiences.

It also declared the Tet bonus would be 90% of a worker’s monthly wage, but if workers went on strike, the company would consider cancelling the bonus.
Workers went on strike on January 3, with no agreement reached after 15 rounds of negotiation.

“The company’s required output and productivity are impossible to meet,” one striking worker said. “It’s like outright refusing our minimum wage raise.”
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DTI

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150109 * Protesting workers demand wage increase:

The workers from Yess candy factory and Myanmar York garment factory on January 6 staged protests demanding an increase in basic wages.

The workers said they staged the protests because they have not been given wage increases.
In December, 2014, more than 1,000 workers from the garment factory demonstrated demanding increase in wages.

“I’ve been working here over 8 years. My basic salary is Ks 31,000 per month. Overtime charge is Ks.315 per hour. My total salary is only Ks 90,000. It is very little for a worker of eight years. Besides, the salary for the new workers are very low compared with other factories. That’s why we are protesting,” said Wai Phyo of Yess Candy Factory.The Yess factory produces more than 30 brands of candy.
to read.
Eleven

02:19:16 local time map of nepal NEPAL

20150109 * JTUCC demands social security:

The Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre (JTUCC) has demanded the immediate introduction of a new Labour Act and Social Security Fund Act.

The centre which comprises of 11 trade unions affiliated to different political parties organised a press meet and shared the decisions of its recent third conference. As per the decision, the centre is to launch pressure group to ensure the rights of Nepali workers in the new constitution.

Newly elected Chairman of the centre, Bishnu Rimal, said there were nearly two million workers affiliated to the centre. It aims at raising pressing issues labourers in Nepal face.

The centre has demanded the implementation of the minimum wage law by employers which has been reviewed by the parliament this fiscal year.
to read.
HIMALAYAN

04:34:16 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20150108 * P16,000 minimum wage urged to avert more hunger, deprivation:

“Wages take decades to adjust but the prices of Meralco, gas, water, increase often, just like that.” – Kadamay-NCR

The minimum wages in the Philippines have never seen significant increases for years yet beginning the first week of 2015, a sizable chunk of this wage is to be eaten up by increases in prices of services. Complaints greeted the price hikes but Malacañang tried to downplay it.

Still, protests are happening and protesters are vowing to launch some more as they urged the public to support the campaign for a substantial national wage increase. On Wednesday (Jan. 7), workers and employees from a network called “All Workers’ Unity” held a walkout protest in various locations in Metro Manila to press for the implementation of a National Minimum Wage amounting to P16,000 monthly. The group launched the campaign for national minimum wage late last year. Since 1989, there is practically no more minimum wages in the country, as the government started to fix hundreds of so-called minimum wage rates.
read more.
bulatlat_tagline

LW + 2

20150106

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* ILO Urges Global Brands to Help Pay for New Minimum Wage:

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is urging global brands to help absorb the costs Cambodia’s garment factories will have to bear owing to a $28 jump in the monthly minimum wage for garment workers that takes effect this month.

The hefty wage hike, from $100 to $128, was announced by the Labor Ministry in November and makes for a more than doubling of the minimum wage since 2012, when it stood at $61.

Though the new wage falls well short of what some of the country’s more strident unions were demanding, employers say dozens of the more than 500 garment factories in the country may be forced to close down, a move that would put tens of thousands out of work. In response, some of the brands buying from Cambodia have promised to pay more for their orders to help the factories cope. But some of the biggest brands have not.

In a statement released Monday, the ILO urges all brands to join in.

It says the latest raise will push the average monthly wage in the garment industry, including overtime and bonuses, from $183 to $217, and increase factory costs by nearly 20 percent, all while the prices the factory’s buyers are paying stagnate or even drop.
(…)

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, which represents the country’s export factories, welcomed the statement, but said it would make little difference unless the buyers start to face the same price increases in the countries Cambodia is competing with, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam.

“It’s a good gesture…but the ILO has zero leverage over the buyers,” he said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Brands urged to step up:

In an open letter to global apparel brands that buy from factories in Cambodia, the International Labour Organization urges the companies to “play their part” in absorbing the financial strain local garment factories expect from the Kingdom’s new minimum wage.

The January 1 letter estimates that factories in Cambodia will take more than an 18 per cent hit from the Ministry of Labour’s November decision to hike floor salaries from $100 per month to $128 in 2015.

“It is important that all sides work together to ensure Cambodia’s garment industry remains economically viable”, said Maurizio Bussi, the ILO’s country director for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, is quoted as saying in the letter. “We call on the global brands to play their part. We have received encouraging signals that key buyers will honour the pledge they gave the Cambodian Government in September.”
read more.
PPP new

LW + 2

20150105

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* ILO urges garment buyers to help absorb new minimum wage:

The International Labour Organization (ILO) called on companies sourcing garments in  Cambodia to help the local industry absorb a new minimum wage of $128 a month which went into effect on January 1.

In a statement, the ILO said its estimates showed that average wages including bonuses and overtime were likely to rise from $183 to $217 a month.

“The pay rise is expected to increase factories’ wage bills by approximately 18.7 per cent,” the statement said, noting that this was on top of earlier increases that more than doubled the minimum wage since 2012 when it was $61 a month.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* ILO calls on global garment buyers to help absorb Cambodia’s new minimum wage:

Global garment brands who source their products from Cambodia should play a part in helping the industry absorb the new minimum wage of US$ 128 per month, according to experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The new minimum wage for the approximately half-a-million workers in Cambodia’s garment and footwear industry came into effect on 1 January 2015. As a result, average wages (which include bonuses and overtime) in the garment industry are likely to rise from US$ 183 to US$217 per month, according to estimates made by the ILO’s Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

The pay rise is expected to increase factories’ wage bills by approximately 18.7 per cent. It comes on top of earlier adjustments that have more than doubled the minimum wage since 2012, when it stood at US$ 61.
At the same time, the prices that Cambodian factories receive in their main markets have been stagnating or declining. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has calculated that prices for apparel imports from ASEAN countries have fallen by 4.5 per cent since June 2012.

“Caught between these two forces, factories have seen a substantial fall in their operating margins over the past three years”, said Malte Luebker, the ILO’s Senior Regional Wage Specialist.
“ In principle, factories can respond by increasing efficiency, using measures that range from better work organization to energy conservation.
However, our research shows that these gains are gradual and will only enable factories to cover a small share of the expected wage increase”.
read more: 20150105 ILO PR-Cambodia garment wage.
ILO

LW + 2

20150104

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Wage negotiations key to raising salaries for workers:

As workers struggle to make ends meet, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan talks to Thoi bao Ngan Hang (Banking Times) about how employers keep salaries low.

The ignorance of enterprises about minimum wage regulations is often blamed for employees’ low salaries. What is your opinion about that?

It is not that the employers do not understand the regulation. They clearly know how to apply the minimum wage, but they take advantage of the loopholes. The Government is able to establish a salary floor but not a compulsory payment level, as the payment grades are dependent on different work positions and employees’ capabilities.

Many enterprises are deliberately paying skilled employees an amount just a little higher than the minimum wage so that they do not breach the law. That is an example of taking advantage of the law. However, we should also consider the financial situation of the enterprises. There are currently many companies facing business trouble, making it difficult for them to raise salaries.

How about sanctions for enterprises that violate the law?

We did find some violations but the number was not high. Like I said, the employers did not pay the skilled workers less than the minimum wage, so it was not possible to say that the employers breached the law.

Sanctions exist but the fine amount is very low. It is going to be raised to more than VND70 million (US$3,360) soon, which is still not too high. In fact, the highest sanction will be publicly naming enterprises that violate the labour law. Global brands will always look for the manufacturers whose products are “clean” in terms of quality as well as legal compliance. Therefore, it is not likely that those brands will place orders with manufacturers that violate the law, especially the labour law. That is what truly matters, in my opinion, not the few dozens of millions that we fine enterprises.

Other countries like Bangladesh and Laos have raised their minimum wages significantly recently, some by as much as 100 per cent. How about Viet Nam?

It should be noted that those countries’ minimum wages were constant for a very long time, while our minimum wage has been gradually increasing. I would also like to stress that the minimum wage is closely related to labour productivity. Increasing labour productivity, not administrative measures, is the fastest way to raise payments.
read more.
VNNet

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Trade unions group to propose K5,000 minimum daily wage:

The Federation of Trade Unions of Myanmar will submit a proposal urging the authorities to set a minimum daily wage of K5,000 [US$5] in Myanmar, U Aung Lin, the federation chairman told Mizzima.

The federation will submit the proposal letter to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security in January 2015.

“The Federation of Trade Unions of Myanmar will propose the minimum daily wage at K5,000, excluding additional bonuses,” U Aung Lin said on December 26.

“Moreover, we will propose different amounts of gratuities and different amounts of salary increments based on job types. The Ministry will review all the results of the survey and all the proposals of employers and employees, and it will announce the minimum wage around April,” he said.

The federation’s proposal to set a minimum daily wage at K5,000 is based on a survey determining the cost of living in more than 60 townships.
read more.
MIZZAMA new

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Sircilla powerloom weavers’ strike enters sixth day:

The indefinite strike launched by the powerloom weavers of Sircilla textile town demanding increase in wages entered the sixth day on Saturday.

The AITUC and CITU trade unions had called for the indefinite strike demanding increase in wages of powerloom weavers from the existing Rs. 0.17 paise per 10 pics to Rs. 0.30 paise per 10 pics of fabric produced in the loom. The other demands are bonus for weavers and eight-hour working shift.

The strike has cast a shadow on the entire textile town with those working in allied sectors going without work since five days.
read more.
THEHINDU

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Rights of working women: Gender discrimination, low wages irk female labourers:

Industrial workers, mainly women, are exposed to difficult working conditions which are detrimental to their well-being and could prevent them from contributing to the national economy.

This was said by speakers while addressing the Women Workers Convention arranged by the Rural Development Project (RDP) in Haripur on Thursday. The event was attended by factory owners, industrial workers, teachers and home-based workers.

During the convention, industrial workers and teachers shared concerns about their working conditions.

Tahira Bibi, an industrial worker, said many women face gender discrimination and are paid below the minimum wage.

“We have also been deprived of ESSI, EOBI and other facilities which we are entitled to under labour laws,” she stated. ESSI is the Employee Social Security Institution while EOBI is a body that provides old age benefits.

Another industrial worker, Mukhtiar Bibi, claimed there are no separate toilets and changing rooms for women at the factory she works for.
read more.

LW + 2

20150101

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Powerloom weavers’ strike continues:

The indefinite strike launched by powerloom weavers of Sircilla textile town, demanding an increase in their wages and other benefits, entered its second day on Wednesday.

The powerloom weavers took out processions and rallies, demanding that the government resolve the crisis in the sector. Later, they staged a dharna in front of the RDO office, demanding that the government hold talks with the owners.
to read.
THEHINDU

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* What policy? Industrialists slap minimum wage law in the face:

Rs4,000 per month. That is the worth of Firdous who works at a local garment factory for 12 hours every day.

As she looked at the panelists with worn out eyes and spoke about her plight, they assured her that there were a lot of others like her who could speak up together, make a union and get the rights they deserved.
Firdous was attending the Women Workers’ Convention, along with 60 other women from her area. She had been promised she would be educated about her constitutional rights and civil liberties as a female member of the workforce.
The other eight participants included female workers from Hyderabad.

The minimum wage was set at Rs11,000 for the fiscal year, 2014-15 by the Government of Sindh. Most of the workers at the convention were not even getting half the amount.

A female labourer, who works for a private contractor of a spices manufacturer, told The Express Tribune that she gets paid Rs10 to peel every kilo of ginger, taking home Rs4000 per month. Yet another worker claimed she had worked in a garment factory for the last 10 years for Rs3000 to Rs4,500 per month.
read more.

LW + 2

20141231

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Loom Weavers Begin Strike, Saree Production Hampered:

The owners of power looms in Sircilla, who were happy with the bulk orders for sarees given by some major private traders of Tamil Nadu recently, are now a worried lot due to the ongoing strike by the workers that might hit saree production.

The workers under the aegis of Sircilla Power Loom Weavers (SPLW) association have launched the strike on Tuesday demanding the power loom owners to increase wages.

It may be recalled that the Sircilla power loom owners got a big boost in the form of bulk orders for sarees and dhotis from Tamil Nadu. About 1,000 owners took the work order from Raja Rani Weaving Company and two other companies from Tamil Nadu to weave sarees.

According to sources, 1.73 crore sarees and 1.72 crore dhotis will be distributed and the TN government would purchase the sarees through private agencies and will distribute the sarees and dhotis to the poor during Sankranti (Pongal).

SPLW is demanding for better wages ie. rise to 30 paise from 17 paise for 10 pics (a measurement). In view of the failure of talks with Sircilla Polyester Manufacturing Association (SPMA), SPLW began its strike on Tuesday. About 36,000 power loom units have come to stand still due to the strike.
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New-Indian-Express-Group

* Sircilla weavers go on strike:

20141230 theHINDUPowerloom workers going on strike demanding increase of rates at Sircilla in Karimnagar District on Tuesday. Photo: Thakur Ajaypal Singh

Life in the textile town of Sircilla on Tuesday came to a standstill following the indefinite strike launched by powerloom weavers demanding increase in wages. All the 36,000 and odd powerlooms remained closed and 20,000 weavers participated in the strike.

The powerloom weavers were demanding increase of wages from the existing 7 paise per 10 pics to 30 paise per 10 pics of cloth, eight hours in a shift and 8.33 per cent bonus.

The busy streets wore a deserted look as the strike had its impact on allied sectors of dyeing and warping units.

Powerloom workers union affiliated to AITUC president Samala Mallesham said that they held four rounds of talks with the owners of the powerlooms, but in vain. “The Revenue and Labour Department authorities had also intervened, but the owners did not respond. We are forced to go on strike at the cost of our wages,” he added.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20141229

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Labourers protest low wages:

Labourers of Bannu Woolen Mills on Sunday blocked Bannu-Dera Ismail Khan road in protest against non-payment of minimum wages fixed by the government.

Led by union president Saadat Shah and general secretary Falak Niaz Khan, the protesting labourers chanted slogans against the mills owners.

Speaking on the occasion, they said the KP government had fixed Rs15,000 minimum wage for the labourers in 2014 and its notification had been issued but added that the mills’ owners had secured a stay order against the decision from a court.
The court would decide the case on January 6, they added.

They said the owners had increased the prices of materials and items in proportion to increase in the salaries but the labourers were not being paid their salaries as fixed by the government.

They threatened to shut the mills and block all the roads in the district on January 7 if the court announced the verdict in favour of the mills owners.
to read.
thenewspk

 

LW + 2

20141217

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Powerloom weavers to go on strike from Dec. 29:

Powerloom weavers of Sircilla textile town in the district have decided to go on strike from December 29 onwards demanding increase in wages, which has been pending since the last two years.

The weavers decided to go on strike following failure of talks with the owners of powerloom industry. On the other hand, the owners have asked the weavers to rethink their decision and have urged them to give at least three-months time to give them a raise.

Powerloom Workers’ Union president Samala Mallesham said the existing wages were not sufficient as prices of all essential commodities have gone up. “We are getting only 17 paise per 10 pics of cloth produced in the loom. We are asking the owners to provide at least 30 paise for 10 pics,” he said.

Stating that neither the Labour Department nor the Revenue Department has come forward to resolve the issue, he warned that the agitation would be intensified if their demands were not met.
to read.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20141216

04:34:16 local time map of china CHINA

* Increases in China’s minimum wage begin to stall in 2014:

Less than two thirds of China’s provinces and regions increased their minimum wage in 2014, according to data collected by CLB from official media sources this year. In all, 20 regions raised their monthly minimum wage by an average of 13.1 percent in 2014, significantly lower than in previous years.

Twelve regions did not increase the minimum wage at all in 2014, including the economic powerhouse of Guangdong where the minimum wage has remained unchanged since 1 May 2013. The Guangdong municipality of Shenzhen, however, sets its own minimum wage, and that increased by 13 percent to 1,808 yuan per month on 1 February 2014.

The minimum wage in Fujian also remained untouched in 2014, while the monthly rates in the other major manufacturing centres of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shanghai increased by 12.2 percent, 10.1 percent and 12.3 percent respectively. The capital Beijing increased its monthly minimum wage by 11.4 percent on 1 April 2014.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

LW + 2

20141210

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Minimum Wage Protest Draws Lower Numbers Than Promised in Jakarta:

Workers rally in Jakarta
Thousands of workers took part in a protest demanding the government raise minimum wages and improve working conditions, following an increase in the subsidized fuel price. (EPA photo/Mast Irham)

Thousands of workers demanding an increase in minimum wages in the face of a recent fuel price hike rallied at Jakarta’s Hotel Indonesia traffic circle on Wednesday.

The All-Indonesian Workers Union’s (SPSI) — one of four trade union groups that organized the event — estimated 50,000 workers would join the demonstration today, but by midafternoon only a few thousand had turned up.

The numbers appear significantly lower than the turnout of millions that union leaders promised last week. The rally is part of a two-day national protest, starting Dec. 10.

“We demand the minimum age increase to be adjusted with the fuel price hike,” said Iwan, head of the National Workers Union (SPN).

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama last month approved a 2015 minimum wage of Rp 2.7 million ($219) a month, while unions were seeking at least Rp 3 million, as costs of living increased.
read more.
jak-globe

LW + 2

20141209

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Industrial units temporarily allowed to pay below minimum wage:

The Peshawar High Court on Monday granted interim relief to 19 industrial units, saying they do not have to pay the minimum wage of Rs15,000 to unskilled workers as fixed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government till further orders.

The division bench of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued the stay order against the government notification during a hearing of several similar petitions filed by Feroz Sons, Associated Industries, Saif Textile Mills, Kohat Textile Mills, Lyallpur Textile Mills Limited and Babri Cotton Mills.

The stay order would remain effective till December 17 and the court sought comments from the K-P Labour department secretary. For the time being, the industrial units would pay the unskilled workers the same salaries they received before the government issued its notification.

Rehmanullah Shah, the counsel for the petitioners, told the court that the provincial government had passed the K-P Minimum Wages Act 2013 and introduced wages and allowances for different categories of workers employed by industrial units.
read more.
tribune

* Sindh wants minimum wage raised:

The Sindh Minimum Wages Board has proposed to increase the minimum wage of unskilled adult and juvenile workers in commercial and industrial undertakings across the province from Rs10,000 to Rs12,000 a month with effect from July 1, said a statement issued on Monday.

This has already been notified in the Sindh Government Gazette (Extraordinary) dated December 4, 2014.
Objections or suggestions may be sent to the Sindh Minimum Wages Board secretary within 30 days, latest by January 3, 2015.
to read.
thenewspk

* Pakistan’s women cotton pickers find power in uniting over wages:

Azeema Khatoon, a mother of five, has spent most of her life labouring in Pakistan’s sunbaked cotton fields for less than $2 a day.

Last year, she and a group of around 40 women struggling to feed and clothe their families on their meagre wages did something almost unheard for poor women working in rural Pakistan – they went on strike. The gamble paid off.

Khatoon, 35, says she has nearly doubled her wage in the past year, now taking home $3.50 a day compared to $2, with her success just one story cited by labour activists to encourage rural women to band together and form a united workforce.

Illiterate women like Khatoon make up the bulk of the estimated half a million cotton pickers in Pakistan, the world’s fourth largest cotton producer, after China, India and the United States, but their working conditions are often poor.

Khatoon said she worked for hours for little money in the fields of Pakistan’s rural southeastern Sindh province where she lives in Meeran Pur village about 140 miles (225 kms) north of the provincial capital of Karachi.
read more.
F.WORLD

LW + 2

20141207

GLOBAL

* The state of world capitalism: Labor productivity up, real wages down:

The Global Wage Report 2014/15, released Friday by the International Labor Organization, documents the stagnation of wages for workers in most of the advanced industrialized countries, even as productivity continues to rise.

The result is an ever-rising share of income raked in by the capitalist class, while the share that workers receive from what they produce continues to shrink.

“Wage growth has slowed to almost zero for the developed economies as a group in the last two years, with actual declines in wages in some,” said Sandra Polaski, the ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Policy. “This has weighed on overall economic performance, leading to sluggish household demand in most of these economies and the increasing risk of deflation in the Eurozone,” she said.

Here are a few key facts noted in the report that have enormous implications for world politics:

· Wage rates rose by only 2.0 percent in 2013, down from the 2.2 percent increase in 2012, and well below the 3.0 percent rate before the financial crash of 2008.

· Global wage growth in 2013 was cut in half when China is excluded (1.1 percent for all other countries, 2.0 percent including China).
read more.
WORLDSOCIALIST

* How to address wage issues in garment industry: boycott, pressurise or invest?:

How the garment industry and consumers can bring about a change in the sweatshop conditions endured by workers in developing countries

The collapse last year (2013) of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh, killing more than 1,130 garment workers, shocked the world.

While campaigners had warned for years about the poor conditions endured by many of those making the cheap clothes worn and regularly discarded by western shoppers, the tragedy meant that the workers’ plight could no longer be ignored. It also helped to highlight just how little they were paid for their work – often less than £30 a month.

How to address some of these issues and achieve a fair wage in the fashion industry was the subject of a recent seminar held by the Guardian, in association with the fashion retailer H&M.

The seminar, chaired by Jo Confino, an executive editor at the Guardian, involved a panel of experts:

  • Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability for H&M
  • Jenny Holdcroft, policy director of IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 50 million workers across the world
  • Ilona Kelly, campaign director at Labour Behind the Label, which campaigns to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry
  • Lucy Siegle, the Observer’s ethical living columnist
  • Manuela Tomei, officer in charge at the International Labour Organization (ILO)

It was attended by an invited audience of sustainability experts, NGO employees and specialist fashion journalists.

Brands want to make a difference
The panel heard that Rana Plaza and the accord on fire and building safety that quickly followed, which has now been signed by more than 180 brands, had proved game-changing. Holdcroft revealed that the union is now collaborating with 14 brands on building a model for future working that others will follow. She said:
read more.
GUARDIAN

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam’s wages lag behind many neighboring countries: ILO:

Despite the overall positive developments, wages in Vietnam still lag behind many neighboring countries, said the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Friday in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi.

Between 2011 and 2013, Vietnam recorded an overall increase of 13.67 percent in average real wages, which was driven partly by substantial increases in minimum wages, ILO said in a press release on the launching of the Global Wage Report 2014-2015 released in Hanoi on Friday.

Among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), average monthly wages in 2012 of Vietnam (3.8 million Vietnamese dong or 181 U.S. dollars) was placed only ahead of Laos (119 U.S. dollars), Cambodia (121 U.S. dollars) and Indonesia (174 U.S. dollars).

By comparison, Vietnam’s average monthly wage was about half of Thailand’s 357 U.S. dollars, less than one third of Malaysia’s 609 U.S. dollars and one twentieth of Singapore’s 3,547 U.S. dollars, according to the report.

“These large wage differences between ASEAN countries reflect substantial differences in a number of factors including labor productivity. As countries adopt new technologies, invest in infrastructure, encourage structural reforms and improve the skills of their workforce, they lay the foundations for enterprises to become more efficient, and to move into higher value-added activities,” said Gyorgy Sziraczki, ILO director in Vietnam.
read more.
CAMHERALD

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20141204

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Reactions from the Factory Floor in Cambodia:

In November 2014, the Cambodian Government announced its decision to raise the minimum wage to $128 a month.

Here, two garment workers, Eam Rin and Kimlee Ngel, share with us their reactions to this decision.
see video.
labour behind the label

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20141129

GLOBAL

* Minimum wages in the global garment industry:

20141129 ILO
* Effective as of 1 February 2014.
Note: All rates refer to the lowest skill grade and new entrants; see Table 1 for further details.
Singapore h as no minimum wage and is omitted.
Source: ILO compilation based on national sources. Exchange rates are from IMF and, where not available from the IMF, from xe.net.

This research note provides a brief overview of minimum wages for the garment sector in the top 25 apparel exporters from the developing world.

Complex minimum wage structures Across the globe all major garment exporters (with the exception of Singapore) have put in place minimum wages.

However, the level of minimum wages varies widely between countries – from US$66 in Sri Lanka (for unskilled garment workers in their first year) to US$1,032 in the Republic of Korea (where a national minimum wage applies).
Many countries have more than one minimum wage that applies for the garment sector, which complicates international comparisons.

For example, each Indian state sets minimum wages, sometimes differentiating further by industry and skill grade.
In Indonesia, provinces, regencies and towns can set their own minimum wage rates.
Compiling each and every minimum wage rate for the garment sector is therefore a nearly impossible task.

For countries with complex minimum wage structures, Table 1 therefore only selects the most representative rates – for instance, by focussing on the Indonesian provinces where most of the garment industry is concentrated.
Figure I further simplifies this by indicating the range of minimum wages, i.e. the lowest and highest relevant rate that applies to unskilled workers in the garment
industry.
read more.
ILO

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20141125

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:

1. West Java Minimum Wage 2015: Vice Governor welcome Apindo to bring the minimum wage of 4 regions to court. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
See the Google Translate English Version here
2. Workers pressing Ahok to revise the Jakarta Minimum Wage of 2015.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
3. Here are the West Java Minimum Wage for 2015.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
4. Central Java City Minimum Wage in 6 regions had not reached 100% Decent Living Needs.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)See the Google Translate English Version here
5. Here are the City Minimum Wage of Banten Province for 2015.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
See the Google Translate English Version here
6. Local Government of Yogyakarta gives chance for nominating revised Minimum Wage of 2015. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
See the Google Translate English Version here

BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates overview here.
BW indonesia

03:04:16 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Demands grow for minimum wage:

Workers’ rights activists are demanding that the government take action to carry out labour laws enacted in March last year. One says failure to do so amounts to a continuation of forced labour.

The activists want the government to fix a minimum wage as soon as possible, through the enacting of necessary bylaws.

At a meeting between the activists and labour department officials two months ago, the government said the bylaws would be enacted in December. But the activists say they see no signs of progress.

Daw Ei Shwe Zin Nyunt, communications coordinator of Labour Rights Defenders and Promoters, said the government could not start talks on the minimum wages because the employers had rejected labour’s demands of a minimum of K5700 a day against the employers’ offer of K3500, which she dismisses as inadequate to keep up with price rises.
read more.
MMtimesnew

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20141117

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Unions Displeased With Wage Hike, But Not Enough to Strike:

Four of the country’s most prominent unions say they will not strike over the government’s latest rejection of their wage demands for garment workers, making a repeat of the unrest that rocked the garment sector in December and January increasingly unlikely.

But they warned that protests could pick up again if landlords around the factories start raising their rents and utility fees, as they usually do whenever wages increase.

Several unions staged crippling strikes that briefly brought the $5.5 billion garment sector to a standstill when the government rejected their demands for a $160 monthly minimum wage in December last year. The strikes only came to an end after military police shot into a crowd of protesters in Phnom Penh on January 3, killing at least five workers and injuring dozens more.

Unions this time around had lowered their demands to $140, but still came up short when the Labor Ministry last week decided to raise the current minimum wage of $100 to $128.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, the largest independent union in the country, said nearly all his factory representatives voted against going on strike at a meeting Friday evening.

Between going on strike, happily accepting the new wage, and objecting to the new wage but opting not to strike, almost all of the roughly 100 representatives at the meeting voted for the third option.

“That means they are not happy, but we will not strike,” Mr. Thorn said Sunday. “So they will try to find another way [to raise the wage], but not a strike.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Most are OK with the new wage, not all:

After meeting with members, several labour union leaders yesterday said that they will not hold protests against the government-set garment industry minimum wage for 2015.

Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng last week approved $128 as 2015’s minimum monthly wage in Cambodia’s garment sector. The increase, up from the current wage of $100, goes into effect January 1.

Union heads and labour advocates denounced the wage, which was $12 less than unionists proposed, but several yesterday said their members accepted the raise.

“About 80 per cent of my more than 40,000 members said they are happy with the new wage,” National Trade Union Confederation president Fa Saly said. “For me, I will keep demanding higher wages … by pushing the buyers, government and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia to reconsider the raise, but will not strike.”
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PPP new

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20141113

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Global unions dismiss 128 USD wage as inadequate:

IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) dismiss today’s decision by the Cambodian government to set a minimum wage of US$128 a month for the garment sector as inadequate.

Since January, when the government sent troops into the streets to quell protests over the then-poverty wage of US$100, local and global trade unions, international brands and governments made clear that the garment industry cannot be sustainable where workers’ wages are set below or on the margins of poverty.

The government’s decision, while slightly higher than the labour advisory committee’s recommendation of US$123, represents yet another squandered opportunity.
“A living wage is not only necessary for workers to live with dignity but it is also essential for the sustainability of the garment industry. That is why leading international apparel brands have indicated their support for a fair living wage,” explained Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL. “We intend to hold the brands to their word and will continue working with them on a mechanism that will extend higher wages to workers in their supplier factories.”

Speaking in Brisbane ahead of the G20 summit, UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “Cambodian garment workers need a pay rise. Supply chains will be examined here at the G20 and we will make clear our disappointment with Cambodia.”
Additionally, the global unions are deeply concerned with recent drafts of the Trade Union Law, which represent a major step in the wrong direction.
read more.
INDUSRIall

* Minimum wage set:

Vitriol rang from all sides yesterday following a government decision to raise the monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to $128, with labour unions declaring it too little and employer representatives claiming such a large raise could close factories.

The Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) held a vote yesterday morning and emerged with a figure of $123 as next year’s industrial floor salary – up from the current $100.

A meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen directly after the vote led Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng to raise that figure by an additional $5, to $128, a Labour Ministry statement reads.

Union leaders who battled for $140 remained unsure of whether their members would accept the amount, or if they would be prompted to launch a campaign against the government-mandated figure.

Labour rights advocates, meanwhile, expressed concerns that the move could provoke strikes and cause international brands to pull out of Cambodia.

“I hope that unions will understand, because they joined the discussion, that we cannot meet their demand,” said Sam Heng.

He discouraged demonstrations akin to those after last year’s minimum wage decision, which resulted in arrests, violence and at least five deaths.

“Don’t use demonstrations to push for your demands,” Heng said.

Including transportation, seniority and other bonuses, workers will be able to earn a total monthly salary of between $147 and $156 a month next year, a Labour Ministry statement reads.

Unions were clear on their minimum financial needs, said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and one of two people who voted for a $140 wage at the LAC meeting.

C.CAWDU members will meet on Sunday to discuss their next course of action. “Until [we receive] $140, I’m not satisfied,” Thorn said. “We will discuss with my members; if my members want to campaign [against the wage], we will.”
(….)

What the government and brands should worry about, he continued, is possible unrest resulting from the Labour Ministry’s decision yesterday.

“The government is walking a fine line,” Preston said. “I think there’s a real possibility that we could see a repeat of last year; I don’t think the government or the brands can afford that.”

Even without the violence Cambodia experienced in January, brands could fear the worst-case scenario and leave the country proactively, said Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center.

“You may see brand pullout based on the fear of what they anticipate,” Welsh said.
read more.
PPP new

* Gov’t Sets Minimum Wage for Garment Workers at $128:

The Ministry of Labor set the new monthly minimum wage for the country’s garment workers at $128 Wednesday, hoping it will be enough to stave off the crippling strikes that hit the $5.5 billion industry after the last wage revision in December while still keeping Cambodia competitive.

The announcement follows months of fraught negotiations between the government, unions and factory owners during which all sides had divergent views on how much to raise the current $100 minimum wage by.

Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng announced the new wage Wednesday afternoon, only a few hours after the ministry’s 28-member Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) —made up of government, union and factory representatives—voted for a new wage of $123.

“The minimum wage for employees working in the garment and footwear sector in 2015 is officially set at $128 per month,” the minister said in a signed government decree.

It says the new wage will take effect on January 1 for most workers. Those on probation will receive only $123 until their probation ends.

The LAC’s two independent unions—the other five unions on the committee are widely seen as aligned with the government—said they would meet with their members in the coming days before deciding whether to accept or oppose the new wage.

“We are waiting to discuss it with our members. We will meet next week,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, the country’s largest independent union.

Mr. Thorn’s union helped launch nationwide strikes that briefly brought the garment sector to a standstill in December when the Labor Ministry rejected union calls at the time for a new minimum wage of $160 and decided on $95 instead.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Minimum Wage of $128 Proposed:

The Labor Advisory Council (LAC) has voted to raise the minimum wage to $128 per month for next year, in the face of calls from labor unions for a higher figure.

This morning’s meeting of the LAC, which brings together 28 representatives of the government, garment industry and unions, follows a series of strikes by garment workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions.

Factory owners are hoping that an agreement on a new minimum wage will bring an end to the walkouts, which threaten an industry that employs close on half a million Cambodians and is worth $5 billion annually.
read more.
KHMERTIMES

* What next should be done by the government to improve livelihoods of factory workers, citizens?:

The Cambodian government decided to set new monthly minimum wage for workers in garment sector at US$ 128 for 2015, up 28 percent from the current US$ 100 after a long negotiation between representatives of labor unions, Ministry of Labor and the Garment Manufacturers Association (GMAC) in Cambodia on Wednesday.

The new wage increase will help the Cambodian garment workers to enjoy better livelihoods as they have been experiencing  a lot of difficulties.

But the increase to US$ 128 per month hasn’t satisfied either factory employers or union leaders.

GMAC warned that about 30 percent of factories can face business closure due to the high monthly minimum wage which they can not afford.
To get rid of this fear, the factory side hopes that the government will improve law implementation and takes any necessary measures that can benefits the garment sector in the country.
Unnecessary expense shall be cut off and labor productivity should be increased. This probably refers to elimination of corruption committed by related officials, and reduce strikes.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Cambodian manufacturers group dissatisfied with 28 pct wage rise for garment sector:

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has expressed regrets for the Cambodian government’s decision to increase the monthly minimum wage for the garment sector to 128 U.S. dollars for 2015, up 28 percent from the current 100 U.S. dollars.

“GMAC expresses deep regrets for the government’s unilateral decision to raise the monthly minimum wage to 128 U.S. dollars from January 2015,” GMAC said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

It said the government’s decision has kicked out the results of the tripartite working group that has selected two figures, 110 U. S. dollars and 121 U.S. dollars, for a final decision.

“The steep rise in wage will seriously affect the survival of many factories, especially those with poor financial stability and weak purchase order,” it said.

According to GMAC, besides the basic wage of 128 U.S. dollars, workers have received other fringe benefits such as a transport and housing allowance of 7 U.S. dollars and a regular attendance bonus of 10 U.S. dollars.

“In total, a worker has received a monthly minimum wage of 145 U.S. dollars. This amount is the same as the minimum wage in the Vietnam’s most expensive zone and nearly twice higher than current rates in Bangladesh and Myanmar,” it said.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* Manufacturers warn of factory closure as wage in Cambodian garment sector rises for 2015:

20141113 CH
Cambodian garment workers leave a factory after work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 12, 2014. The garment and footwear manufacturers group in Cambodia warned Wednesday that up to 50 factories will be closed due to the government’s decision to increase monthly minimum wage in the sector to 128 U.S. dollars from the current 100 dollars.

The garment and footwear manufacturers group in Cambodia warned Wednesday that up to 50 factories will be closed due to the government’s decision to increase monthly minimum wage in the sector to 128 U.S. dollars from the current 100 dollars.

“According to the estimation of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, between 30 and 50 factories will be closed under the new minimum wage and at least 50,000 workers will lose their jobs,” Nang Sothy, co-chair of the Government-Private Working Group on Industrial Relations, which represents the manufacturers, told reporters.

However, he said the manufacturers will follow the government’s decision.

“It’s our obligation to comply with the government’s decision, but we are not satisfied with this decision because the new minimum wage is very high,” he said, stressing that the employers wanted the monthly minimum wage to be raised to 110 dollars only.

He warned that some factories might move to neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar, where labour cost is cheaper.
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CAMHERALD

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20141112

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Minister adds $5 to garment wage:

Next year’s minimum monthly wage in Cambodia’s garment industry will likely be $128, after Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng over-road the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC)

Sam Heng met with Prime Minister Hun Sen after the LAC voted in favour of a $123 monthly minimum wage. An additional $5 was added “according to the high recommendation from the Prime Minister,” a Labour Ministry statement says.

This morning, sixteen committee members voted for the government-sponsored $123 figure, while seven voted for the employer-backed $110 and two voted for the union-suggested $140, Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said this morning.

The committee contains 14 representatives from government, seven representing factories and seven from the union side.
read more.
PPP new

* Labor Committee Decides on $123 Minimum Wage:

Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said Wednesday morning that he will recommend $123 as the new minimum wage in the garment sector, set to take effect in January, and that the government will make a final decision on the wage revision later in the day.

The labor minister spoke to reporters following a vote by the Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) in which the figure received majority support from the 28-member panel of government, factory and union representatives.

“In the meeting, we decided with a majority vote of 16 out of 25 to implement a $123 [minimum wage] in 2015,” Mr. Sam Heng said. “This evening, it will be announced officially.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Cambodia to raise monthly minimum wage for garment workers to 123 USD for 2015:

Cambodia on Wednesday decided to increase the monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to 123 U.S. dollars, up 23 percent from the current 100 U.S. dollars, Labor Minister Ith Samheng said.

“After a confidential vote by the representatives of the Labour Ministry, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, and the trade unions, the majority vote agreed to increase the monthly minimum wage for the garment sector to 123 U.S. dollars for 2015,” the minister told reporters after a voting session. “The new minimum wage will be implemented from Jan. 1, 2015 onwards.”

The garment and footwear sector, the kingdom’s largest foreign currency earner, comprises 960 factories with approximately 620, 000 workers, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The sector exported products in equivalent to 4.44 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of this year, up 6 percent over the same period last year.
read more.
CAMHERALD

* New $123 garment wage tops LAC voting:

Next year’s minimum monthly wage in Cambodia’s garment industry will likely be $123, after the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) voted for the wage this morning.

Sixteen committee members voted for the government-sponsored $123 figure, while seven voted for the employer-backed $110 and two voted for the union-suggested $140, Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said this morning.

The committee contains 14 representatives from government, seven representing factories and seven from the union side.

“[LAC members] did not come to a consensus, so they voted,” Sour told the Post. “We just completed the vote and the majority of the LAC unions voted for $123 for the new minimum wage for 2015.”
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PPP new

* No boycott: Union meet could decide wage today:

Independent labour unions will take part in the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) meeting today, possibly making their decision on next year’s minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector.

The two independent LAC unions yesterday decided against boycotting the process after the Labour Ministry decided to include a union-endorsed $140 monthly wage as a suggested option for the LAC, which ultimately approves the minimum wage.

“I don’t want the wage discussion to be delayed more, because workers will lose,” said Ken Chhenglang, head of National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC), one of the LAC’s independent unions.

NIFTUC and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) considered boycotting the LAC after a working group decided to propose that the LAC consider only an employer-suggested wage of $110 and government-suggested wage of $121.
read more.
PPP new

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20141109

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Govt plan to legislate on minimum wages payment delivering:

Many organisations enhance salary of lower staff

The PML-N government’s plan to bring a legislation to protect minimum wages instead of merely fixing an amount in budget has worked out and many organisations have increased wages of their lower staff to Rs12,000 per month though still there are many who are considering government non-serious.

In an appreciable move, the government not just relied on fixing minimum wages in the budget but also planned to introduce a legislation to declare payment of at least Rs12,000 per month to any employee hired for any job, by any organization or individual, a legal requirement.

It is important to mention here that the salary of lower staff (peons, guards, drivers, sweepers) is as low as Rs5,000 ($50) per month and not only this, even clerical staff in many cases is paid this much amount.

The organisations in most cases pay maximum Rs8,000 per month to their lower staff. In some cases in big cities and in majority of cases in small cities or industrial areas situated on the outskirts of cities, the wages of lower staff or labourers are always much lower than the minimum level fixed by the governments.

In the past, governments would just announce a certain amount in the annual budget as ‘minimum wages’ but sincere attempts were never made to implement this minimum level of wages.
Government divisions/departments like labour, manpower, human resource and human rights were supposed to monitor and do their best to ensure implementation of minimum wages decision. However, it was never done and ‘labour’ is not part of federal ministries now.
read more.
Many organisations enhance salary of lower staf

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20141023

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Wage talks remain in deadlock:

The third day of negotiations between members of a working group trying to reach a consensus on the minimum monthly garment wage remained stagnant yesterday, as manufacturers refused to budge from their $110 offer.

Although members of the government delegation to the working group – also made up of factory and union representatives – urged employers to at least consider $120, they flatly refused, said Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina.

“If the employers increase their offer, we will lower our demand from $150,” Sina said, referring to the amount unions have loosely agreed upon.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached after the meeting.

Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour program, said he believed standing firm for the time being is a tactic manufacturers are using so that unions will accept a lesser amount in the end.

“I think it’s only the strategy of the manufacturers,” he said.
to read.
PPP new

LW + 2

20141021

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Labour talks ‘show promise’:

The first of 10 planned negotiation sessions between union, manufacturer and government officials on the minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector yesterday showed promise, several who attended the meeting said.

After the meeting of the working group, which includes nine members from each stakeholder group, participants were introduced to each other and given data to consider.

“From my point of view, I think it’s good that the government has brought both parties to the table to discuss,” said Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.
read more.
PPP new

* Gov’t Sets Ground Rules for Ongoing Wage Talks:

The Labor Ministry laid out the ground rules for unions and factories Monday at the first meeting of a new working group charged with getting the two sides to agree on a new minimum wage for garment workers, including a condition that they address each other politely.

The ministry wants the unions and factories to agree on a recommended raise to the current monthly minimum wage of $100 in order to avoid the crippling strikes some of the unions staged after failing to win the $160 they were demanding in December.

Aiming to get the more militant unions in on the talks, the ministry announced the creation of a new working group last week made up of nine representatives each from the unions, factories and government. They are tasked with formulating a recommended raise for the Labor Advisory Committee, which will then recommend a raise to the Labor Ministry before the government makes a final decision.

The latest offer from the fac- tories was a raise of $10. Unions have been pushing for as much as $77, though some of them in recent days said they were willing to go as low as $35 or even $30.

At the end of its first meeting Monday, the new working group failed to emerge with a common figure for the new wage. But the ministry did put out a six-point list of rules on how the representatives are to comport themselves so as to keep the proceedings civil and moving apace.

“Do not use violent words or make conflict with each other,” the first point says.

The other points urge the representatives not to spread information that would cause violence or spark any “illegal” gathering, not to skip any future meetings except in the case of a debilitat- ing illness, back up all their arguments with sound reasoning and respect anyone’s request to keep a particular comment secret.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

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20141020

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Free Trade Union Proposes $130 Garment Worker Minimum Wage:

One of the country’s largest unions on Sunday came out in favor of a new minimum wage for garment workers far lower than what many of its counterparts have been agitating for over the past several months, bolstering prospects for a compromise with factories.

The Labor Ministry is mediating talks between the unions and garment factories with the hope of getting them to agree on a raise to the current monthly minimum wage of $100 before the increase takes effect in January.

But with the unions demanding a $77 raise and the factories insisting on no more than $10, there has been little progress.

On Sunday, however, Free Trade Union (FTU) president Chea Mony said his network of unions was ready to back a more modest raise of $30.

“We call on the government and employers to provide a $130 minimum wage because they can afford to provide this amount and the factories will not shut down,” he said by telephone after a biannual meeting with 77 of his officials Sunday morning.

“If we cannot get this wage, we will protest to demand it,” he said.

The FTU’s $130 is even lower than the $135 concession put forward last week by Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, one of the country’s most prominent nongovernment-aligned unions.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

LW + 2

20141017

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Garment Factories, Unions Edge Closer to Wage Deal:

Some of the unions that have been demanding a hefty $77 raise to the current monthly minimum wage of $100 for the country’s garment workers said Thursday they were willing to go as low as a $35 increase, though others refused to budge.

Before closing the doors to reporters at a meeting with several of the unions Thursday, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said he heard of the reduction in the unions’ demands from ministry officials who had met recently with Dave Welsh, country director for the Solidarity Center, a U.S.-based group that advocates for trade unions.

“I…know that Mr. David John Welsh met with [Labor Ministry officials] Oum Mean and Sat Samoth and that [the unions’] last position was between $135 and $140,” he said. “It is an improvement.” But Mr. Sam Heng added that about 30 of the biggest factories had actually moved further away from finding common ground with unions, withdrawing an earlier offer of a $15 raise and sticking to $10.

“They still hold strongly to this position and do not change,” he said.

Contacted after the meeting, Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, confirmed that his union had softened its demand.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

LW + 2

20141013

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Thousands rally over wage:

20141013 PPP
Garment workers line up with banners in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park yesterday during a rally calling for the minimum monthly wage in the sector to be increased to $177, up from the existing $100 rate. Photo by Vireak Mai.

Some 2,000 unionists supporting an increase in the monthly minimum wage to $177 in Cambodia’s garment sector marched to several embassies yesterday and set up a meeting between labour leaders and parliamentarians at the National Assembly this morning.

Led by six unions, the group, donning pink shirts reading “We need a Decent Wage” and carrying banners with slogans including “Gap Starves Cambodian Workers”, the group congregated at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park yesterday at about 8:30am.

From there, they marched and delivered petitions to the embassies of the United States and European Union, ending at the National Assembly, where several MPs met them outside, promising to meet with two representatives of each of the unions leading the crowd at 9am today.

“We expect that [the MPs] will solve the problems we have raised,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, one of the unions leading the rally. “If they cannot solve the problem, they will lose our support.”

The march came less than a week after Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng postponed until next month the Labour Ministry’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) decision on next year’s industrial minimum wage. LAC members were originally scheduled to determine floor salaries last Friday.

Workers have campaigned for a minimum of $177 monthly, up from the current $100, but the seven unions on the LAC – none of which participated in yesterday’s event – have reached a consensus of $150.
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PPP new

* Garment Workers March for Higher Wages:

20141013 CD
Garment workers arrive in central Phnom Penh on Sunday for a rally to demand a higher minimum wage. (Photo by John Vink)

More than 1,000 garment workers gathered in Phnom Penh and marched through the city center Sunday, demanding a “decent wage” from their factories, the largest garment-sector demonstration in the capital since military police fatally suppressed a protest for higher wages in January.

Six unions teamed up to organize the rally, aimed at putting pressure on the government to approve a hefty raise to the industry’s monthly minimum wage, now set at $100. The Labor Advisory Committee—composed of government, factory and union representatives—is set to make a wage recommendation to the government next month, with a new floor wage scheduled to take effect in January.

The unions deliberately avoided demanding a specific figure Sunday—unlike a smaller “day of action” in September, when workers called for $177 per month—but have been asking for a raise of at least $50. The factories say they can’t afford more than a $10 wage hike.

Sporting bright pink T-shirts that read “We want a decent wage,” the workers, from Phnom Penh and surrounding provinces, gathered at Freedom Park in the early morning before beginning their march.

“We demand a decent wage because we want a decent living, good health and to send our children to school,” Ken Chhenglang, acting president of the National Independent Federation of Textile Unions in Cambodia, told the crowd.

Last month, the International Labor Organization said a recent sample survey of the country’s 600,000 garment workers found that two-thirds of the laborers did not consume enough nutritious food to stay healthy, more than 40 percent suffered from anemia and 15.7 percent were underweight.

“We came to join the protest because we can’t live on today’s wages,” said Yuos Makara, a garment worker from Phnom Penh. “We spend it on electricity, on water, on rent, on food and we send some money back home. Sometimes, we have to borrow money from other people to cover our expenses when we get sick.”
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* About 1,000 Workers Protest for Salary Increase:

Workers protest for wage increase to 177 U.S. dollars per month at the Freedom Park. The protest was led by six unions.

The representatives of the unions led the protest today are Pav Sina,  president of Collective Union of Movement Workers and Sieng Sambath, president of the Worker Friendship Union Federation.

The workers who came to protest have written “demanding salary increase” on the white pieces of paper and spoken through the speakers demanding that the Work Council Committee increase fair salary for them to be spent in their daily lives.

Pav Sina said that Work Council Committee has to find way to increase workers’ salary, and the increase is to be transparent.

“Work Council Committee has to talk to increase wage impartially, transparently, accurately acceptable. Otherwise, we’ll assembly to protest in a bigger rally,” he said.

According to Mr. Pav Sina, Work Council Committee should increase the minimum wage from 150 U.S.dollars up to 177 U.S. dollars per month.

The ministry of Labor announced the delay on minimum wage discussion for textile and footwear industry to November, 2014 to have enough time for each party to contemplate to reach a consent agreement.
to read.
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* Eliminate corruption, raise wage: Sar Kheng:

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng pledged to rid the garment industry of corruption yesterday as a way of cushioning factories against an upcoming minimum wage increase.

In a meeting with Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, Kheng said ridding Cambodia’s biggest export industry of bribery – particularly between factory owners and corrupt government officials – would make it easier to increase the minimum wage.

However, the minister did not give specifics on how to tackle corruption or what he believed the minimum wage should be.

“We will eliminate under-the-table fees and resolve the issue [of the minimum wage] with transparency,” he said during the meeting. “I hope I can work with Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, to create a better environment for business.”

Unions have been demanding a minimum “living wage” of $177 per month, nearly double the current wage. The Ministry of Labour this week postponed a decision on a wage increase due to take effect in January.
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PPP new

* Six labor unions to hold public forum on minimum wage this weekend:

At least six labor unions to be led by Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, will hold public forum at the Freedom Park on October 12 to discuss minimum wage demand for footwear and garment workers.

A plan to hold the forum is being discussed Thursday between Phnom Penh City Hall officials and union representatives.

The city hall is seeking permission from Ministry of Interior for the labor unions as about 3,000 people plan to participate in the forum.

Pav Sina said Thursday that the forum on this upcoming Sunday will provide workers opportunity to raise their demand, and the labor union leaders will bring the demand to talk with factory employers and government officials during a meeting scheduled November.
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* Garment Factory Rep Says Delaying Wage Vote Won’t Help:

A representative for Cambodia’s garment factories on Tuesday said the government’s last-minute decision to delay a vote on a new minimum wage for the sector was unlikely to bridge the gap between factories and unions and could actually hurt the industry by further shaking buyers’ confidence in the country.

The Labor Advisory Committee (LAC)—composed of representatives from the government, factories and unions—was scheduled to vote on how high to raise the current monthly minimum wage of $100 on Friday. But in a move that took even factory owners by surprise, the Labor Ministry announced on Monday that the committee would instead be meeting sometime in November “to have enough time for the related parties to discuss and consider all angles to reach a consensus all parties can accept.”

But Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), said there was “no way in hell” the factories and unions will agree on a new figure with the added time. The unions are pushing for a $77 raise to the current wage, while the factories want a $10 hike.

“It depends on what each stakeholder does during this period,” he said. “If we all do nothing, how [will it] help? Or if we all meet and say the same things again and again and again?”

Drawing on past experience, and the temper of the present negotiations, Mr. Loo said he is not expecting a breakthrough. If he’s right, the LAC will take a vote by secret ballot come November and the Labor Ministry will take that number into consideration and set a new minimum wage that will take effect in January.

Rather than helping matters, Mr. Loo said the government’s surprise move to postpone a decision, and not even set a new date for the LAC’s next meeting, only adds more off what buyers hate most—uncertainty.

“Price, we always claim that it’s one of the most important factors, and it is,” Mr. Loo said. “But before the buyers can even consider your price, they need to have the confidence that we are able to hold on to our end of the bargain, we are able to deliver the goods. If they have no confidence in our promise to uphold the contract, then we can be as cheap as you want…. And the longer you delay, unless you have very clear plans, that’s going to create more uncertainty.”

If anyone does budge, Mr. Loo said it would not be the factories. He said employers are sticking to a $10 raise because it’s all they can afford.
(…..)

Ath Thorn, who sits on the LAC and heads the largest of the independent unions, welcomed the delay. He said the previous two meetings between all three parties were not enough to get into the details of each other’s positions and was hopeful that more time would make a difference, though he still refused to entertain any new wage less than $150.

“If they had gone ahead with making a decision on October 10, there would have been protests and violence because there have only been two meetings and we haven’t discussed the details, and we heard the [new] wage would have been low,” he said.

“We hope the unions, employers and the ministry will now have more time to talk and find a solution everyone can accept.”
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Unions to march over wage delay:

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Workers march through the streets of Phnom Penh in August, calling for better working conditions and a higher minimum wage. Photo by Pha Lina.

Six garment unions will hold a march beginning in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Sunday to demand a higher industrial minimum wage, after the Ministry of Labour delayed a meeting about an increase, according to a letter obtained by the Post yesterday.

In the letter, sent to City Hall on Monday, presidents of the six unions said 3,000 people would gather at Freedom Park and then march to US and European embassies, followed by the offices of clothing brands.

“The negotiation on the 2015 minimum wage for garment workers has been delayed without setting a specific date,” the letter reads. “We hope the governor will allow us to use Freedom Park.”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said yesterday that no decision has been made on whether the event will be allowed.

The Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) had originally planned to set next year’s industrial monthly minimum wage – which is currently $100 – on Friday. On Monday, the ministry delayed this meeting until next month.

Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng also said ministry officials would meet with unions other than the seven on the LAC during this time.

None of the presidents of the six unions that signed on to the letter are on the LAC.

“We know the employers have offered $110,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, and signatory to the letter. “But we need to negotiate for a better wage.”

Ath Thorn, president of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union and a LAC member, said yesterday that he was not sure if his union would participate, but supports any effort to raise floor salaries.
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* Prime Minister Weighs In on Wage Talks:

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned against a steep and sudden rise to the minimum wage in Cambodia’s crucial garment sector at an investment conference in Phnom Penh on Monday, during which government and business leaders were mostly positive about the impact of Cambodia’s coming integration with its neighbors in the region.

The prime minister’s cautionary note came amid tense negotiations between the government, factories and unions over a new monthly minimum wage for the garment industry, which earned more than $5 billion last year. The government on Monday pushed back a vote on a new minimum wage from Friday to next month.

When unions failed to get their way during wage talks in December, they launched nationwide strikes that briefly crippled the industry and ended with the deaths of at least five workers when military police fired into a crowd of protesters in Phnom Penh on January 3.

Some of the same unions are threatening to stage mass strikes again if the current minimum wage of $100 isn’t raised by $77 this year.

Stepping into the fray Monday, Mr. Hun Sen sided with the factories, who are pushing for a more modest $10 wage hike, warning that a more significant raise might drive investors out of the country, as has happened in China.

“I would like people to know clearly that this minimum wage can be a risk,” the prime minister said in his opening remarks at the conference, which was hosted by the International Business Chamber of Cambodia.

“Since China and Thailand increased wages for their workers, there were difficulties immediately for industrial operators who became less competitive because of higher costs, making investors think of moving to a new location,” Mr. Hun Sen said. “So Cambodia has to take this opportunity to think about a proper minimum wage and wait for investors looking for new places to invest.”

The prime minister conceded that Cambodia had a lot of catching up to do with its neighbors, from building up its network of roads to bringing down the price of electricity, the highest in the region. Cambodia also wasted 246 megawatts of capacity this rainy season, he said, because the country lacked the transmission lines to distribute it.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Wage decision delayed:

Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng yesterday postponed his ministry’s Labour Advisory Committee’s decision on Cambodia’s garment sector minimum wage from Friday until next month, leaving some optimistic and others dubious.

In the original schedule, the minimum wage for 2015 was slated to be set in October and go into effect in January. The LAC had been expected to set the minimum wage unilaterally – a system that concerned some unionists – but according to a statement released by the Labour Ministry yesterday evening, a specific date for the setting of the new wage has yet to be determined.

“If they come up with a better strategy [for setting the wage] in this time, it’s good,” said Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), which is represented on the LAC. “But if they don’t, it will just make people lose confidence and get worried.”

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached yesterday evening for comment.

In past years, the LAC’s two independent unions – C.CAWDU and the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC) – clashed with unions perceived to be government-leaning, such as the Cambodian Union Federation (CUF). However, this year, all LAC unions met and agreed to seek a minimum monthly wage of $150.

The unprecedented unity among the seven unions represented on the LAC – the 21-member committee also includes seven government representatives and seven factory representatives – is a large part of why the ministry is erring on the side of taking its time, said Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center.
(…)

Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour program, said the Ministry of Labour should do away with the LAC and find a completely new system of setting the minimum wage.

While the LAC sets the minimum wage, by law, it is only supposed to advise the government on wages, Tola said. The makeup of the committee and its perceived power allows it to be the government’s scapegoat.
“The LAC only has the power to advise,” he said.
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* Gov’t letter to brands ‘lacking in substance’:

A government letter that responded lukewarmly to an offer last month from eight global brands to pay more for clothes so that garment workers can earn higher wages has been met with a shrug by some worker advocates.

Dated September 26, the letter from Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng is addressed to “Representatives of Global Brands”.

It thanks them for their offer to increase the price – and volume of orders – for garments purchased from Cambodian factories, then goes on to describe the process of meetings between unions, factories and government officials leading up to the October 10 decision on the sector’s minimum wage, which will be implemented on January 1.

“We are very pleased to hear that you wish to increase your purchasing volumes and prices for our products,” Sam Heng’s letter reads. “Indeed. [sic] this is really a positive signal for Employers to consider the possibilities of increasing minimum wage.”

Advocates for higher salaries were not impressed with the vague tone of the letter.

“There’s no mention of a fair wage or living wage. It’s getting pretty ridiculous,” said Joel Preston, a consultant for the Community Legal Education Center.
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PPP new

* With Wage Hike, Workers to Face Higher Taxes:

The director-general of the Finance Ministry’s tax department told union leaders Wednesday that garment workers, currently guaranteed a monthly salary of $100, need to be prepared to pay an income tax once the minimum wage increases in January.

Many of the 600,000 workers employed in the garment sector can expect to start paying a 5   percent income tax if their total monthly salary, including bonuses and allowances, gets bumped past 500,000 riel, or $125, Kong Vibol told union representatives at a workshop at Raffles Hotel.

Next week, the Labor Advisory Committee, which is composed of representatives of the government, factory owners and unions, is expected to vote on a new minimum wage. Union leaders are demanding a $77 increase while factory owners are calling for a more modest $10 raise.

Mr. Vibol explained that under the 1997 taxation law, salaried employees are obliged to pay a portion of their monthly earnings in tax depending on what income bracket they fall into.

“Today we are holding a press conference to disseminate information to all unions,” he said. “We hope that brothers and sisters can explain to workers their obligation to pay tax and contribute to build the country together.”

But the worker representatives weren’t optimistic that their members would be receptive to the news.

“We do not have enough salary to cover our living costs and now the government asks us to pay tax,” said union representative Long Sokros. “We will talk to our workers and see what they think about this.”
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Gov’t says no to calls to raise minimum income tax level:

Despite calls from factory representatives and unions to review the minimum threshold for income tax, the General Department of Taxation (GDT) said yesterday it would stick to the $125 tax-free limit.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) and the tax department held a workshop in Phnom Penh yesterday aimed at educating factory workers on their tax obligations. The workshop comes days before a new minimum wage rise is expected to be announced.

As wages rise, a growing number of factory workers are earning a taxable rate, but attendees at the workshop called for the threshold to be raised to accommodate modern living costs.

Speaking to about 300 representatives from various unions yesterday, GDT director Kong Vibol ruled out changes to a 1997 tax law that states incomes of $125 or more are subject to taxation.
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PPP new

02:34:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* 385 factories may default on workers’ wage, bonus: industrial police:

The industrial police have identified 385 garment factories where wages and festival allowances, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, may remain unsettled, leading to unrest among the workers.

A high official of the industrial police said they have been monitoring a total of 3,655 garment factories in Ashulia, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chittagong, and apprehended that labour unrest might take place in some factories as owners are unwilling to pay festival allowances and wages for September.

‘We have already sent a list of 385 factories to the labour ministry last week and asked them to take necessary initiatives,’ he said Monday.
A source in the industrial police said that only 40 per cent of the surveyed factories provided festival allowances to workers by the government deadline on Sunday.
Labour secretary Mikail Shipar, however, disputed the figure provided by industrial police and the said the situation has since improved. ‘The number of at risk factories will not exceed 80,’ he said.
Shipar further said he did not foresee any major trouble in the RMG sector, though, ‘the Tuba Group situation is still problematic.’
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* Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?:

Minimum wage for workers in Bangladesh garments industry is a hot button issue for both manufacturers and the Western retailers.

At the recent Harvard University Conference on “Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garments Industry”, two issues dominated the discussions: wages and workers’ safety.
The participants, while supporting the cause of workers’ rights to a decent wage for their labor, also voiced concern that the rise in the cost of production triggered by higher wage rate may put upward pressure on profit margins and jeopardize our competitive edge.

In light of these claims and counter-claims, a fair question to ask is: will raising the minimum wage affect the competitiveness of the garments industry of Bangladesh? To put the discussion in context, I will cite a recent observation in the Wall State Journal which raised the alarm, echoed by others, when the minimum wage was raised to Tk. 5,800 at the end of last year.

The Journal cautioned that the higher minimum wage “puts Bangladesh into roughly the same league as other low-cost apparel exporters such as India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
But factory owners here said the increase risks making the industry, a mainstay of the impoverished country’s economy, less competitive” in a story published on December 4, 2013 under the banner “Pay Raise for Garment Workers Could Hurt Competitiveness, Bosses say.” My goal here is to reassure the industry bosses and the other stakeholders that there is no reason for concern, at least in the short run.

Has “Real Wage” Really Gone Up?
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* JS body opposes lowering minimum age for marriage:

A parliamentary body on Tuesday opposed a bill approved in principle by the cabinet seeking enactment of a law lowering the minimum age for marriage to 16 years from the existing 18 years for female.

The parliamentary standing committee on women and children affairs ministry at a meeting held at the Jatiya Sangad Bhaban discussed the move and decided that the committee members would meet the prime minister soon to know the causes of lowering the minimum age of female for marriage.
The cabinet on September 15 approved in principle the Child Marriage Restraint Bill 2014 lowering the minimum age for marriage to 16 years and 18 years for female and male respectively.
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NEWAGEnew

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Minimum wages: Govt inches closer to implementing pay rise:

Like the Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) government before it, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has announced plans to increase the minimum wage but neither of them has enacted the required legislation to implement the decision.

What both the PPP and the PML-N needed to do was to amend the relevant laws – Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers Ordinance 1969 – which has gone unrevised for the last six years [since 2008].

However, earlier this week the PML-N government approved a summary submitted by the Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OPHRD) Division, requesting an amendment to the ordinance.

According to the minutes of a meeting available with The Express Tribune, the cabinet was informed that Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) – an autonomous body of the OPHRD division, which provides old age, invalidity and survivor’s pension to the workers of private sector – had said it could not collect contributions from the employers/insured persons due to non-revision of schedule of the Ordinance 1969.
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* No deal in garment wage talks:

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Workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour. Photo by Pha Lina.

Minimum wage negotiations between garment industry unions and employer representatives remained in a stalemate after a meeting yesterday, with neither side willing to budge.

A coalition of unions is calling for the industry minimum wage to be raised to $177 a month, but employers say they can only afford $110 – a $10 bump from the current wage floor.

Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Samheng, who facilitated the meeting, said that if a consensus was not reached by October 10, the two sides would take part in a Labor Advisory Committee vote on the issue.

Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thorn said: “I think that if the employers dare not increase the minimum wage like this, there will still be a deadlock or no solution for the final meeting next month.”

Thorn said that if the minimum wage was not lifted to a level that can provide decent living conditions for workers, his union would continue to hold protests.

Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo said there was “always a chance” that the factory owners would consider agreeing to a higher minimum wage.

“In any case, the number of $110 is not what we are offering, it’s what we are saying is our ability to pay,” Loo said.

Loo said that a letter last Thursday from eight major global fashion brands committing to pay higher prices for stock would have “no effect” on the factory owners.
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PPP new

* Minister Says Wage Agreement Must Be Reached Next Month:

Negotiations held on Friday between garment factory owners, union leaders and government officials failed to set a new industry minimum wage for next year, but a final decision will be reached by October 10, according to Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng.

The tripartite Labor Advisory Council (LAC) met to discuss a planned raise to the floor wage, which is currently $100 a month. Going into the meeting, unions were calling for a $77 increase while factories were pushing for a $10 raise.

Emerging from the three-hour-long meeting, Mr. Sam Heng told reporters that no solution had been reached.

“There is no agreement from both sides yet, the unions demand too much and the employers are also trying [to meet their demands], although we have nearly achieved a result,” he said.

Mr. Sam Heng, who declined to reveal what figures had been discussed during the talks, said that a minimum wage, set to take effect in January, must be set at the next meeting of the LAC, due to be held on October 10.

“Our procedure cannot get into deadlock, we will have agreement,” he said. “If the final discussions are still not successful, then we will have a secret ballot where whichever number has a lot of support voiced for it, we will agree to it.”
(…)

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said unions had faced strong disagreement from GMAC over their wage demands.

“So the employer asked the government to decide [but] unions will not decrease the amount we want, therefore the government should provide a suitable minimum wage,” he said.

“For us, $177 is a number for discussion that we will negotiate, but the employers say that $110 is their final figure.”
Mr. Thorn, who heads the largest independent union in the country, said unions will hold strikes or demonstrations if workers are unhappy with the end result.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* 10 Oct. set for final wage negotiation for workers:

Representatives of government, factory employers and union leaders will meet on 10 October to discuss and decide on minimum wage for footwear and garment workers in 2015.

The new date for wage talk was set during a trilateral meeting Friday involving government officials, factory employers and union leaders at Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

Union leaders demanded USD 177 per month for workers while employers agreed to provide only USD 110 per month for the workers.
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* Brands Distance Themselves From Price Pledge:

A number of the most influential brands in the country’s garment industry—including U.S. clothing giants Gap and Levi’s—distanced themselves this week from a pledge by eight of their competitors to pay more for garments sourced from Cambodia.

After a global day of action last week, brands including H&M, New Look, Next, Primark, Zara and C&A wrote in a letter to the government and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) that their “purchasing practices will enable the payment of a fair living wage” in Cambodia.

The unprecedented commitment came amid final negotiations between factories and unions over a new minimum wage, set to take effect in January. Eight Cambodian unions, backed by labor activists around the world, have been campaigning this month to pressure major buyers to back a new monthly minimum wage of $177, up from the current wage of $100.

Despite the commitment of some brands to pay more for goods coming from Cambodia, Wal-Mart, Gap, Levi’s and M&S made no such promise when contacted this week, instead offering vague commitments in support of the ongoing minimum wage talks and the principle of fair wages.

A spokeswoman for the German athletics brand Puma, which has previously met with Cambodian government officials to express concern over labor rights, said the company was “not currently commenting on the situation.”

U.S. jeans maker Levi’s said the company “encourage[s] governments to establish inclusive and transparent processes for regular minimum wage setting” so that workers in developing countries receive fairer salaries.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Brands’ pledge questioned:

20140926 PPP
Garment workers attend the launch of a campaign at Veng Sreng Boulevard earlier this month to demand the minimum wage be raised to $177 for their industry.
Photo by Hong Menea.

A letter from eight international clothing brands seemingly assuring the Cambodian government of plans to increase the amount they pay for clothing, thus enabling wage increases for workers in the sector, has left unionists and advocates sceptical.

Dated September 18, the message addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon and the heads of three ministries says the increased amount the companies are willing to pay reflects their commitment to a fair living wage.

“As responsible businesses our purchasing practices will enable the payment of a fair living wage and increased wages will be reflected in our [delivered goods] prices,” the letter reads. “We also expect government and [the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia] to establish processes to ensure all workers receive the new agreed minimum wage by monitoring wage implementation.”

While the communication appears to show good faith on the part of the letter’s signatories – which include H&M, Inditex, C&A, N Brown Group plc, Tchibo, Next Retail Ltd, Primark and New Look – it still seems to leave the government responsible for setting a minimum wage, without a guarantee of any specific amount, said Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center.

Although these corporations have engaged with the government, none have reached out to factories or unions, Tola said.

“I think at least it’s good the brands said something about the wage, but it’s still not a clear position that the brands will come up with a [deal] with the unions,” Tola said. “It seems that the brands are playing a trick again; they kick the ball to the government and GMAC to set the minimum wage.”
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PPP new

02:34:16 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Rising living cost, wage delay major reasons:

INSTABILITY IN RMG SECTOR

The home ministry has identified about half a dozen factors, including failure of owners to pay wages to the workers timely and rising cost of living, which are causing instability in the ready-made garment sector, officials have said.

Besides, termination of workers without notice, workers’ demand for increase in different benefits, unusual increase in house rents and instigation by the workers’ associations remained the other major problems facing the burgeoning RMG industry, they said.

The home ministry officials discussed their findings and overall situation in the RMG sector with leaders of the owners’ associations at a meeting at the secretariat on Thursday.
State minister for home Asaduzzaman Khan presided over the meeting amid pressure from the RMG workers to disburse wages and allowances before the Eid.

He told reporters after the meeting that the government had asked the owners to clear the festival allowances and wages by September 28 and October 2 respectively.
He said they had also asked the owners to settle the problems to prevent unrest.
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NEWAGEnew

* Uniform minimum wage can protect workers from discrimination: Inu:

Uniform minimum wages can protect workers across all sectors from discrimination, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said yesterday.

The minister spoke at the launch of a national campaign demanding declaration of minimum wage for agricultural labourers, at Cirdap auditorium in the capital.

Setting a minimum wage especially for the informal sector would at least put social pressure on the employers to act accordingly, Inu said at the event organised by Steps Towards Development and World Vision Bangladesh.
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* Workers Start Wage Battle a Day Early:

About 1,000 workers from a Phnom Penh footwear factory got an early start on Tuesday on a cross-union campaign for a $177 minimum wage, set to start today, protesting in front of their factory over internal workplace grievances.

Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, which led the demonstration, said the workers from Huey Chuen factory, on National Road 1 in Chbar Ampov district, walked out over the firing of a colleague.

“At the same time that we held the protest, we also started our campaign on National Road 1 to show other workers and people that we have started our campaign to demand a $177 minimum wage,” Mr. Saly said.

The push for a $77 increase to the current base wage of $100 per month, which is being organized by eight unions, is set to begin in earnest today.

Unions plan to hand out more than 100,000 stickers to workers at up to 300 factories, hand out T-shirts bearing “$177” and deliver speeches during lunch breaks. They will also petition global brands and foreign embassies for support.
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Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Factory walkout to kick off $177 drive:

20140917 PPP garment_protest
Garment workers hold placards in front of the Huey Chuen garment factory during a protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. PHOTO SUPPLIED

More than 1,000 garment workers at a Phnom Penh factory entered their second day of striking yesterday, ahead of today’s start of global and national union campaigns to raise the minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector.

Workers at the Huey Chuen garment factory in Meanchey district began striking Monday, in opposition to the suspension of employee Heng Siheoun.

Huey Chuen’s administrative manager said Siheoun had come to work drunk and tried to force workers to protest, but Siheoun denies wrongdoing.

The industrial action seemed like a warm-up for today’s planned walkout at about 300 garment factories nationwide, in which 18 different unions plan to take part.

The protests mark the beginning of a campaign for garment workers’ minimum wage to be raised to $177 next year.

“Our campaign for demanding [a hike in the] minimum wage will start tomorrow, but the workers in Huey Chuen factory started today,” Fa Saly, president of the National Trade Union Confederation, said.
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PPP new

* Cambodian garment workers demand higher minimum wage:

H&M among the leading clothing brands urged to show leadership and commitment to achieving a living wage

Today garment workers across Cambodia and across the world will take action demanding an increase in the minimum wage to US$177 a month.

Clean Clothes Campaign partners are taking action in front of stores and on shopping streets in support of the Cambodian garment workers. They demand brands, including H&M – one of the largest buyers from Cambodia – show leadership by committing to the immediate increase in the minimum wage to US$177.

The day of action builds on intense campaigning by Cambodian workers who have been demanding an increase in the minimum wage in order to take crucial steps towards the payment of a living wage since late 2013. In early January, wage struggles escalated when police and military cracked down on wage protests and 23 workers were arrested and 4 died.

The current minimum wage level of US$100 a month is just 25% of the estimated living wage by the Asia Floor Wage, and means many of the 500,000 garment workers in Cambodia are unable to afford even the most basic necessities.

Year long struggle
At the start of October the Cambodian Labour Advisory Committee will reconvene its wage board with an expected announcement of an increase in the minimum wage. Trade unions and workers insist that this must be US$177 a month, whilstthe Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) propose just a minimal increase to US$115. Unions have rejected this as not being sufficient to cover basic living costs.

Unions including IndustriALL affiliate C.CAWDU, CLC and others across Cambodia have come together behind the demand of US$177 a month, and believe after a year of struggle it is the brands who can show leadership and take the important step of increasing the wages garment workers receive.

Ath Thorn, President of Cambodian trade union C.CAWDU says Brands continue to squeeze the already small profit margins. It is high time brands take their responsibility and tackle the issue which lies at the heart of our protests: a living wage. The wage hike to US$177 is one step into that direction.”

H&M could lead the way
H&M last year announced a pilot project in Cambodia as part of its Road Map to a Living Wage, and yet they have failed to announce any benchmarks or figures around what a living wage would mean in the country. Clean Clothes Campaign is calling on them to show their commitment to the workers who produce their clothes.

Emma Harbour of Clean Clothes Campaign saysH&M have stated a commitment to improving the conditions of the women and men they rely on, this is the opportunity to show they can lead the way. Having identified Cambodia as a key focus for their Roadmap to a Living Wage, H&M should reinforce this commitment by recognising and implementing the workers call for US$177 a month.”

New report
Alongside the day of action Clean Clothes Campaign has also released it’s latest report on the state of the Asian garment industry.  The Asia Wage Report, builds on extensive research in six garment producing countries and lays out the the steps according the the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that companies and governments should take to ensure workers earn a living wage.
read more.
CCC

* Beyond Garment Sector, Worries Over Wage Hike:

When it comes to wages, business leaders this week agreed that what happens in Cambodia’s all-important garment industry does not stay in the garment industry, which accounted for a third of the country’s $15.25-billion GDP last year.

Representatives across industries, from restaurants and hotels to auto dealers, said during a conference in Phnom Penh on Monday that wage increases for the country’s 600,000 garment workers affected them all.

The event, which was hosted by the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (Camfeba) and drew about 150 businesspeople, came just as the government, factories and unions close in on a decision on where to set the garment sector’s monthly minimum wage, now at $100, for 2015.

The last time the minimum wage was revised in December, unions staged industry-crippling strikes after their demand for a mandatory $160 monthly wage was not met. They are threatening to do the same if their new demand for $177 is not heeded this time around.

“Today it’s not just a case of ‘Oh, it’s the garment sector, we don’t need to talk about it.’ It’s really affecting other sectors,” said Sandra D’Amico, vice president of Camfeba. “What happens in the garment industry affects all of us.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Poverty wages behind Cambodian garment workers collapsing:

Hundreds of garment workers pass out in Cambodian textile factories every year. As they fight for a raise in the minimum wage from US$100 to US$177 a month, Luc Forsyth finds that poverty wages are largely to blame…

When Neang Sokly woke up under a tree outside the Conpress garment factory where she has worked for the last two years, she screamed for help.
The last thing she remembered was seeing factory security guards directing workers to get out of the building and going to investigate.
“I went to see what the problem was and I passed a pile of jeans being dyed.
The smell was horrible. I realized it must be from chemicals so I started to run out of the factory, but I fainted,” remembers Neang.

She is just one of hundreds employed in Cambodia’s garment manufacturing industry, producing clothing for the world’s biggest brands, such as Puma, H&M and Nike, who have fainted on the job this year alone.
During a single week in July over two hundred workers were admitted to the Prek Anhchanh Health Center, a small rural clinic on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, after collapsing at work.

“I don’t remember what happened,” says Sao Nari, a 22-year-old seamstress employed at the Chinese-owned Sixplus factory, where she sews the elastic waistbands into Adidas sports shorts.
“I was working in the back of the factory and I saw people running out, but I didn’t know what was happening. I started to run out as well, but there was a strange odour I had never smelled before. Then I fainted outside.”
Hooked up to an IV drip in Prek Anchanch, she complained of lingering chest pains nearly three hours later.

Yet fainting workers could be considered lucky. At the New Archid and Sangwoo garment factories, located in Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces respectively, Sokny Say of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) reported that two workers died last month from factory-related ailments. Thirty-five year-old seamstress Nov Pas, who spent nearly four years making clothes for brands like Gap and Old Navy, passed out at her post in the Sangwoo factory at 8am on 24 July 2014.
By 9am she had been admitted to the nearest provincial hospital, and around 6pm she was pronounced dead.

When contacted for comment, Chea Sok Thong of the Korean-owned Sangwoo factory denied corporate responsibility for Ms. Nov’s death, claiming medical carelessness from the hospital where she was receiving treatment.
When questioned about the reason for her presence in the hospital in the first place, Chea stated only that “she seemed sick and weak,” but was adamant that it was unrelated to working conditions.

Sithyneth Ry, a labour resolution officer from FTUWKC, while agreeing that there is room for improvement in how garment workers are treated in hospitals, offers sharp criticism of Sangwoo’s official position.
“Excuses about illnesses not being related to work are very common. [The factories] will always try to avoid being responsible.” Ultimately, he asserts, it is the responsibility of the factory to provide a safe working environment.
read more.
INDUSRIall

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20140915

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* As Union Bosses Face Charges, Wage Campaign Rolls On:

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday will question the second in a list of union leaders accused of playing a criminal role in garment sector protests in December and January, only days after the court placed unionist Pav Sina under judicial supervision for his alleged role in the events.

Mr. Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, was placed under judicial supervision on Friday, barring him from joining any public gatherings. He is one of at least five union leaders accused of fueling the protests, which ended on January 3, after military police fatally shot at least five garment workers on Veng Sreng Street in Phnom Penh.

On Monday, the court will question Free Trade Union president Chea Mony.

“Me and my lawyer will appear at the court at 2:30 [p.m.] and I am not concerned about my safety because I was not involved in the Veng Sreng incident and at the time I was at my office,” he said Sunday.

“If the court puts me under supervision I will file an appeal because it would not be fair.”

The court was also scheduled to question union leader Ath Thorn on Monday about allegations that he embezzled $93,000 after his union settled a labor dispute with the E Garment Factory last year. However, Mr. Thorn’s lawyer, Kim Socheat, said his client had requested a delay because he was busy with other work.

Mr. Thorn is also one of the union leaders charged in connection with the December and January garment protests and is scheduled to be questioned in that case on Thursday.

The sudden spate of court dates for the union leaders come just as negotiations between the unions, factories and government over a new monthly minimum wage for the garment sector, currently set at $100, enter the final stretch.

The government and factories, represented by the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), want the wage raised by $10. The unions are gearing up for a nationwide campaign to push for a new minimum wage of $177 and say the court dates are meant to distract and intimidate them.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Wage protests still on:

Labour union leaders charged with crimes stemming from violent demonstrations during a 10-day nationwide garment worker strike in December and January say they will protest this week supporting a minimum wage raise.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina, who was ordered by Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge Chea Sokheng not to participate in demonstrations while the case is being investigated, will ignore the injunction, he said yesterday.

“I am not afraid or worried of being arrested,” Sina, who will also be under court supervision until his trial, said.

Sina and five other union leaders have been charged with several crimes, including intentional violence. The charges are connected to the strike, which came to a sudden end on January 3, when military authorities shot at least five demonstrators dead.

Today and Tuesday 18 union leaders and advocates will meet to discuss a mass protest planned for Wednesday. Garment workers will demonstrate in front of their individual factories, demanding the minimum monthly wage be raised from $100 to $177 next year, Sina said.

Charges against the leaders of six independent unions are meant to derail their wage campaign, which will officially begin on Wednesday, said Ath Thorn, president of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union. Thorn is also charged and due in court on Thursday for questioning.
read more.
PPP new

* Union leaders to hold major rally to demand USD 177 per month:

Union leaders from 18 coalition will hold one-day campaign this week in 300 factories throughout the country to demand wage increase to USD 177 per month for workers, said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers.

Online campaign will also be part of the demand as the unionists will send emails to foreign embassies in Phnom Penh as well as main buyers.

“On September 17 unionists will start their campaign by distributing T-shirts featuring with name of buyers including H&M, WaLMART, Levi’s, Adidas, GAP, C&A, Puma … to show our message,” Sina said.

When the workers get out of factories during lunch break, the unionists will gather with them and wear T-shirts, hold banners and read statement to demand USD 177 per month, he said, adding that the campaign will last for only 20 minutes.
read more.
CAMHERALD

SOUTH AFRICA

2014 Clothing industry wage dispute resolved:

The COSATU affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), has now finally resolved its 2014 clothing industry national wage dispute with clothing employers.

The new wage agreement was adopted by and signed at a Special Council meeting of the clothing industry bargaining council, earlier today.
The meeting was held in Cape Town, at the Head Office of the bargaining council.

Approximately 80 000 clothing workers nationally will benefit from the agreement. The key elements of the agreement are as follows:
read more.
SACTWU

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20140911

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Support Cambodian Garment Workers in their Fight for Fair Wages! $177 NOW!:

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Cambodian garment workers and unions in their demand for an immediate increase to their minimum wage to $177(USD) a month.

We demand that companies such as H&M, The Gap, Adidas, Walmart, Puma, Levi’s, C&A, and Zara pressure their factory suppliers in Cambodia to respect workers’ rights and make immediate meaningful improvements to working conditions.

Cambodian garment workers are forced to work for poverty-level wages while the companies they manufacture for make billions of dollars in profits. Four major brands, H&M, GAP, Walmart, and Adidas, for example, had combined revenues of roughly $608 billion in 2012, an amount almost 43 times Cambodia’s entire GDP.

The legal minimum wage for garment workers is a miserable $100 per month. Thousands of workers have fainted at their sewing machines due to malnutrition, overwork, heat, poor ventilation, and fumes from chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

Earlier this year, when over 200,000 Cambodian workers stood up to demand a fairer wage, authorities shot four workers dead in the streets and threw 23 union activists in jail. Consumers don’t want clothes tainted with exploitation and repression!

We therefore support Cambodian union calls for the following:
read more & please sign.
workersunitecanada

* Global call to back $177 local wage:

A group of international unions is organising a Global Day of Action later this month to show support for Cambodian garment workers’ demands for a $177 monthly minimum wage.

IndustriALL Global Union, the ITUC and UNI Global Union are backing a national campaign, organised by Cambodian unions, by calling for affiliates to gather outside Cambodian embassies on September 17 and present a letter to the ambassador, or to send it directly to the government, demanding the wage hike.

The “major objective is to ensure living wages for all workers in the global garment industry”, said Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union. Cambodia’s image has been “tarnished by poverty wages, long working hours … and deadly violence. A number of brands have reduced their orders … because of the instability caused by the lack of a functioning bargaining system.

“We talk about win-win solutions, because living wages will increase purchasing power, economic growth and help create new jobs,” he added.
to read.
PPP new

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20140910

04:34:16 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesian labor demand 30-40% hike in minimum wage:

Indonesian Labor Union Confederation (Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia or KSPI) demand a 30% increase in minimum wage for Jakarta from IDR2.4mn (USD200) to IDR3.2mn (USD270) per month and 40% increase for others area in 2015F.

The union target to level the minimum wage to Thailand.
Currently, Indonesian minimum wage is still relatively lower than other South East Asia regions such as Thailand, which has lowest wage rate of around IDR2.9mn (USD240).
It plans a nationwide 10-30K labor strike on Oct-Nov14 if their demands are ignored by the government.
read more.
SahamWS

* New mechanism to set minimum wage in 2015:

New mechanism to set minimum wage in 2015. The Man Power Ministry is formulating a new system which will provide guidance for minim wage in 2015.

Under the new system, the government will link the salary hike to the firms’ revenues which will fluctuate based on their performances.
For managerial level employees, all of them receive the same monthly salary but their final take-home pay will be different based on the duration of their services and performances.
The government expects this scheme will reduce the frequencies of conflicts between employees and employers.
read more.
SahamWS

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20140909

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Urgent call to action for Cambodian garment workers! :

20140909 I-ALL cambodia_action_day_17_september

IndustriALL Global Union, the ITUC and UNI Global Union are asking affiliates to join Cambodian unions in a Global Day of Action on 17 September to demand a living wage for garment workers.

In early October, the Labour Advisory Committee in Cambodia is to announce a new minimum wage for workers in the garment, textile and footwear industry, which generates US$5 billion in revenue for the country.

At this critical juncture, a coalition of Cambodian garment unions has called for international solidarity to support their demands for a raise in the minimum wage from US$100 to US$177 a month.

IndustriALL, the ITUC and UNI are asking affiliates to take part in the global day of action by organizing mobilizations outside Cambodian embassies and presenting a letter to the ambassador. As there are only a few Cambodian embassies around the world, affiliates can also send a letter directly to the Cambodian government.

Garment workers in Cambodia deserve to live in dignity and receive a fair wage. Poverty wages mean that many workers are undernourished and compelled to work exhausting overtime hours to survive.
read more.
INDUSRIall

20140826 CLEC

* Seven Unions Plan Campaign for $177 Wage as Revision Looms:

With the government set to decide on a new minimum wage next month, a group of seven unions say they are set to launch a campaign to rally support around their demand for a $77 increase to the current floor wage of $100.

Beginning on September 17, the unions will distribute T-shirts and stickers bearing “$177,” hold speeches and discussions during lunch breaks and petition global brands for support, union leaders said.

More than 100,000 leaflets will be disseminated to workers at up to 300 factories while about 2,000 “$177” T-shirts will be donned by union activists, who will also spend part of their lunch break holding banners, said Ken Chheng Leng, acting president of the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia.

Yaing Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said the unions would petition brands including Adidas, Gap and Puma, who source from Cambodia’s factories.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

 

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20140905

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Labor Unions Soften Minimum Wage Demand:

Labor unions have agreed to lower their demand for next year’s minimum wage hike in the all-important garment sector as a vote on the new wage approaches.

However, they are yet to significantly narrow the gap between the figure being put forward by the government and factories.

The Labor Advisory Committee (LAC), made up of representatives from the unions, factories and government, is scheduled to vote in October on a new minimum wage that will take effect in January. Bilateral meetings among the three parties have been ongoing since August.

At the latest meeting between unions and factories on Monday, the unions agreed to drop their original demand—which topped out at $177—to $150.

Som Aun, director of the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia, said the figure was a fair compromise between the needs of the workers, who must make a living, and those of the factories, which need to turn a profit.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

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20140903

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Protest Continues as Shoe Factory Spurns Talks:

Thousands of striking workers protested in front of a shoe factory in Kompong Cham province for a second day Tuesday after factory management refused to take part in negotiations organized by provincial labor department officials.

About 5,000 workers rallied outside the Taiwanese-owned Juhui Footwear factory in Choeung Prey district to demand that the factory meet 15 demands including extra pay for skilled workers and overtime shifts.

Mon Sarem, a representative from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said the workers would block National Road 7, along which the factory is located, today if management refused to act on their demands.

“We will block the road into the factory and not allow them across if they still do not respond to the workers’ requests,” she said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Workers’ wage to rise to USD 110 per month in 2015:

Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Labour Union Confederation, said that employers of garment and footwear factories agreed to raise minimum wage to USD 110 per month for 2015 after a meeting Tuesday.

“Garment sector investors were paying attention on wage increase for factory workers despite increase of new factories in provinces and along national road two, three, four and five,” Aun said.

“Labour Advisory Committee has implemented procedure which was agreed by employers, unionists and government for raising wage once every year for workers depending on the economic situation,” he said, adding that the minimum wage of USD 110 per month will be implemented from January, 2015.
read more.
CAMHERALD

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20140902

03:34:16 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Thousands Strike Over Pay at Kompong Cham Garment Factory:

20140902 CD cam-photo-workers-strike
Workers from the Xin Fang Garment factory gather in front of the Ministry of Labor in Phnom Penh on Monday. (Holly Robertson/The Cambodia Daily)

More than 5,000 workers from a footwear factory in Kompong Cham province went on strike Monday, calling on factory management to increase their benefits.

The lively crowd rallied outside the Taiwanese-owned Juhui Footwear factory in Choeung Prey district, dancing to music pumped out of loudspeakers as some 60 military and district police officers looked on.

Led by the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), the workers brought a list of 15 demands, including a $1 daily lunch allowance, skilled-worker payments and 2,000 riel ($0.50) for every hour of overtime.

The protest followed the Arbitration Council’s rejection of a similar list of 11 demands in a ruling handed down on August 12.

Mom Sarem, a representative of CCAWDU in the factory, said she informed authorities on August 25 of the workers’ intention to hold a demonstration, after management failed to enter into discussions over the new list of demands.

“The workers will stop striking if their demands receive a response from the factory,” she said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

* Strikers vow to continue protesting:

Nearly 400 workers made a four-hour trek yesterday from their garment factory in Por Sen Chey district to Phnom Penh’s Ministry of Labour, where they demanded the government intervene in their dispute.

Employees at Xin Fang garment factory walked off the job on August 18, said Chhun Rinda, a union representative of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU). Among 20 demands strikers are making is that Xin Fang management reinstate three fired union workers.

“Union officials and worker representatives negotiated with Labour Ministry officials after we marched to the ministry,” Rinda said. “But good faith negotiation could not take place, because the factory officials did not appear.”
read more. & read more.
PPP new CAMHERALD

20140826 CLEC

LW + 2

20140829

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Workers and businesses alike warn against Vietnam’s planned minimum wage hike:

20140826 THANHNIENewsA proposed wage hike should be carefully considered to ensure it doesn’t hamper Vietnam’s competitiveness, FDI flows or job creation. Photo: Diep Duc Minh

A proposed minimum wage hike has drawn criticism from those who fear it will accelerate inflation and raise the cost of doing business in Vietnam, where entrepreneurs say times remain tough.

The National Wage Council has recommended the government increase Vietnam’s minimum monthly salary by 15.1 percent to VND2.42-VND3.1 million ($114-146) starting 2015.

Each worker’s precise wage will be determined (within that range) by the cost of living in his or her location.

Nguyen Thi Hanh, an employee at a machinery production firm in Hanoi’s Quang Minh Industrial Park said the new hike would only bring her an extra VND300,000-400,000 per month.
“That’s not nearly enough for workers like me to be able to afford a life in this city,” she said while preparing dinner in the tiny rented room that serves as her kitchen, living room and bedroom.
“What’s worse, it could trigger a rise in the price of consumer goods making life even more difficult.”
For decades, Vietnam has failed to establish a minimum wage that comes close to covering the basic cost of living here. Even with the proposed rise, the new minimum wage will only cover 75 percent of the cost of a worker’s basic needs, said Dang Quang Dieu, from the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.
“In order to survive, many workers will have to do extra jobs to increase their income,” he said.

Many other laborers say they aren’t interested in the minimum wage increase, since most of their income comes from allowances and bonuses which are often calculated based on their employers’ business.
Hanh’s roommate Le Thi Ha, a worker at a garment company, said the hike would not significantly her raise her monthly income as nearly half of her money (a little over VND6 million a month) comes from special bonuses, overtime, incentives, etc.
The salaries that many firms pay their workers are higher than the minimum wage set by the government. So they won’t increase wages following the government’s minimum wage hike.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

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20140826

02:04:16 local time map of india INDIA

* Powerloom weavers wage battle against crisis, appeal to Collector:

Powerloom weavers in parts of Vellore are a worried lot. Already hard-pressed to make ends meet, the weavers are facing a crisis as their wages have been dwindling in the last three years.

As a sign of protest, the weavers in Ponnai, Rendadi and Kodaikal are on an indefinite strike from August 22.

On Monday, they submitted a petition to the Collector during the public grievance redressal day meeting seeking intervention for better wages.

There are close to 1,500 powerloom owners and more than 4,000 labourers in the three areas. They weave and supply lungis for private brands through the weaving cloth agencies. They were involved in weaving for nearly 25 years.

“In 2013, we were paid Rs. 9,200 for 600 metres of material. The agencies then reduced the wage by Rs. 500. In January 2014, the wage was again reduced by Rs. 700. Now, they are planning to cut down again by Rs. 600,” said R. Mani, a weaver from Ponnai.
The weavers said their wages have been dwindling and now stood at Rs. 7,400.
read more.
THEHINDU

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20140824

03:34:16 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Experts discuss minimum wage increase:

The region-based minimum wage in Viet Nam would increase by 15.1 per cent starting next year under a proposal that the National Wage Council recently submitted to the Government.

The minimum wage varies between four regions. Under the proposal, it would range from VND2.2 million (US$103) to VND3.1 million ($145) per month.

Some feel the move is necessary to help workers cover the increasing cost of living. However, others express concern that a minimum wage increase would be costly to businesses.

Vietnam News talked to various stakeholders about this issue.

The Government is planning to raise the minimum wage so that it will soon cover the minimum living standard. How can we determine the minimum living standard?

Pham Minh Huan, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Chairman of the National Wage Council

To set the minimum wage, the key is to first determine the minimum living standard. This should be considered in the context of the country’s socio-economic development, considering demand for food, clothing, travel, education and child care.

State agencies are working together to determine the minimum living standard. The Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour is conducting surveys into the lives of workers at enterprises. The National Wage Council’s technical team is calculating demand for 45 basic goods and the General Statistics Office is studying the living standard of the population.

Based on these studies and surveys, we plan to reach an agreement about the minimum living standard by 2015. Of course, there will be certainly some gaps between studies, but we will work to reach an agreement by then to make sure to produce the most realistic result based on scientific calculation.

Is it expected that by 2017, the minimum wage will be able to cover the minimum living standard?

Huan: Previously, we hoped to achieve that by 2016, but in the current context, we had to prolong the adjustment. Now the plan is to achieve that target by 2017.
(…)

Dang Quang Dieu, Head of Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour’s Policy and Law Department

I doubt that we will be able to meet this target by 2017. This year, the minimum wage only meets around 70 per cent of the minimum living standard. With the 15-per-cent adjustment next year (if the National Wage Council’s proposal is approved by the Prime Minister), we would be able to raise it only to around 75 per cent, considering the compensation for devaluation.

Dang Nhu Loi, former chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs, an independent expert in wage policy

I think we need to differentiate between two concepts: minimum wage and the floor minimum wage. The Government can determine the floor minimum wage, which means businesses cannot pay lower than that benchmark. I think what we’ve been talking about is the floor minimum wage.

The actual minimum wage should be determined by the business based on its production and operation. In addition, the role of trade unions must be boosted. Like other countries, trade unions can negotiate with employers to determine the level of minimum wage for that business, which can obviously be higher than the floor minimum wage set by the Government. We need to let the market decide that level.

If the National Wage Committee’s proposal is approved, how do you foresee it impacting enterprises and workers?
read more.
VNNet

01:34:16 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* It’s transfers not minimum wages that raise the incomes of the poor:

Part of this ongoing debate about whether or not to raise the minimum wage is the point that, well, we’d like to raise the incomes of the poor.

Some argue we should do that simply through pure free market measures, others through rigging the markets by, say, raising the minimum wage.
However, there’s an important point that we can make by looking at matters international.

Which is that other places haven’t in fact raised the incomes of the poor through raising the minimum wage.
That’s just not been the effective policy.
Lane Kenworthy is no free market extremist like myself, most certainly not, but rather a socially democratic leaning (we might call this “liberal” in the context of the American political debate) economist and an economist who actually looks at the evidence of what has been working: Reihan Salam: Much of your work is based on the notion that the United States can learn from the efforts of other affluent market democracies to better the lives of the poor.
Across these countries, have rising wages been the chief vehicle for raising incomes at the bottom or has it been rising transfers?
read more.
daily times PK

LW + 2

See Part 6.

 

map of Asia

* INTRO- INFO about Living Wage

* A living wage = a human right
* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)
* The Clean Clothes Campaign calling for living wage

* Overview of Articles in the News:
20150302

PAKISTAN
* Minimum wages

20150301
PHILIPPINES
* Exporters group thumbs down wage hike plea

INDIA
* Revise minimum powerloom wages every 5 years : HC to Maha govt

SRI LANKA
* Private sector wants legislation on Rs.2500 wage hike

20150228
CAMBODIA
* 200 Workers Protest After Factory Blocks Return
* Wage increases ‘will not put off Japanese firms’

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Garment Producers Ask Burma’s Government to Intervene in Strikes

20150227
CHINA
* Guangdong finally announces plans to increase minimum wage by 19%

INDIA
* Trade union leaders held
* Trade unions slam “anti-labour” policies of the Centre

20150226
CHINA
* Guangdong to raise minimum wage by 19%

NORTH KOREA
* DPRK unilaterally decides to raise minimum wage for workers in Kaesong complex

BURMA/MYANMAR
* MTUF advocates for stronger worker rights laws
* Protests highlight labour law shortcomings

20150225
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Rangoon Labor Strike Continues on Small Scale Amid Rising Tension
* It’s unfair!
* No end in sight over wage disputes
* Garment workers call for more strikes if demands not met

20150224
CAMBODIA
* PM takes to stump on legal limit to overtime

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Government responds to accusations of mishandling labour protests

BANGLADESH
* Bangladesh a top choice for Japanese investors: survey

20150220-21
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar police takes legal action against month-long labor strike
* Police break up striking garment workers in Shwepyithar
* Thousands of Garment Workers Strike in Rangoon

20150218-19
LAOS
* Lao minimum wage to rise 44% in April

SRI LANKA
* A nod for private sector wage hike

20150216-17
PHILIPPINES
* Workers picket wage board, call for Cheap Labor President’s resignation

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar workers awaken to claim their rights

PAKISTAN
* Violation of minimum wage law
* Minimum wage policy yet to be implemented

20150213
BURMA/MYANMAR
* K5000-a-day proposed for minimum wage

20150212
INDONESIA
* Govt prepares incentive for labor-intensive industry

20150211
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Shwe Pyi Tha labour protest continues
* Myanmar Workers Strike at 5 Garment Factories

20150210
CAMBODIA
* Garment Orders Slow on Strikes, Wage Hikes – GMAC
* Garment-Sector Raises Hit by Falling Overtime
* GMAC says orders are down due to wage hike

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Labour protest calls for union, salary raises
* Yangon garment workers protest for better pay, conditions

HAITI
* Haiti: union and maquilas negotiate on pay:

20150209
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Rangoon textile workers hit the streets

INDONESIA
* Foreign Investors Canceled Plans for 16 Footwear Factories in Indonesia

20150206-07
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Wages not covering living costs, survey shows
* Low Labor Cost Ranks Burma among Top Countries for Investment

20150205
GLOBAL
* “Fair wage, decent wage, living wage…” Six things you need to know

20150129
PHILIPPINES
* Labor groups ask for P136 more in minimum wage

INDIA
* Wages for hosiery workers likely to be revised

20150128
INDONESIA
20150128 * Govt urged to raise minimum wage

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Ministry urged to set national minimum wage

INDIA
* Sudden hike in minimum wages for tailors leaves industry shocked
* Wage code to replace all related laws

20150127
INDIA
* The rhythm of voices raised for their rights

20150124
INDIA
* Textile industry wants timely review of minimum wage than sudden raise

20150123
BURMA/MYANMAR
* After Long Delays, Govt Begins Moving on Minimum Wage

INDIA
* Leather factory employees picket Assembly

20150122
CAMBODIA
* Garment Workers No Longer Pay Income Tax on Base Salary

20150121
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar conducts survey on minimum wage
* Min wage not govt responsibility, says minister

INDIA
* Power loom workers intensify stir

20150120
LAOS
20150120 * New minimum wage of $110 may take effect in Laos next month

20150119
LAOS
* Low wage earners awaiting pay rise in Laos

20150113
VIET NAM
* S.Korea firm to sue workers for loss-causing strike

CAMBODIA
* Dewhirst management ‘intimidated’ workers

20150108-12
CAMBODIA
* Wage hike not high for some

VIET NAM
* Hundreds strike for minimum pay rise

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Protesting workers demand wage increase

NEPAL
* JTUCC demands social security

PHILIPPINES
* P16,000 minimum wage urged to avert more hunger, deprivation

20150106
CAMBODIA
* ILO Urges Global Brands to Help Pay for New Minimum Wage
* Brands urged to step up

20150105
CAMBODIA
* ILO urges garment buyers to help absorb new minimum wage
* ILO calls on global garment buyers to help absorb Cambodia’s new minimum wage

20150104
VIET NAM
* Wage negotiations key to raising salaries for workers

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Trade unions group to propose K5,000 minimum daily wage

INDIA
* Sircilla powerloom weavers’ strike enters sixth day

PAKISTAN
* Rights of working women: Gender discrimination, low wages irk female labourers:

20150101
INDIA
* Powerloom weavers’ strike continues

PAKISTAN
* What policy? Industrialists slap minimum wage law in the face

20141231
INDIA
* Loom Weavers Begin Strike, Saree Production Hampered
* Sircilla weavers go on strike

20141229
PAKISTAN
* Labourers protest low wages

20141217
INDIA
* Powerloom weavers to go on strike from Dec. 29

20141216
CHINA
* Increases in China’s minimum wage begin to stall in 2014

20141210
INDONESIA
* Minimum Wage Protest Draws Lower Numbers Than Promised in Jakarta

20141209
PAKISTAN
* Industrial units temporarily allowed to pay below minimum wage
* Sindh wants minimum wage raised
* Pakistan’s women cotton pickers find power in uniting over wages

20141207
GLOBAL
* The state of world capitalism: Labor productivity up, real wages down
* How to address wage issues in garment industry: boycott, pressurise or invest?

VIET NAM
* Vietnam’s wages lag behind many neighboring countries: ILO

20141204
CAMBODIA
* Reactions from the Factory Floor in Cambodia

20141129
GLOBAL
* Minimum wages in the global garment industry

20141125
INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Demands grow for minimum wage

20141117
CAMBODIA
* Unions Displeased With Wage Hike, But Not Enough to Strike
* Most are OK with the new wage, not all

20141113
CAMBODIA
* Global unions dismiss 128 USD wage as inadequate
* Minimum wage set
* Gov’t Sets Minimum Wage for Garment Workers at $128
* Minimum Wage of $128 Proposed
* What next should be done by the government to improve livelihoods of factory workers, citizens?
* Cambodian manufacturers group dissatisfied with 28 pct wage rise for garment sector
* Manufacturers warn of factory closure as wage in Cambodian garment sector rises for 2015

20141112
CAMBODIA
* Minister adds $5 to garment wage
* Labor Committee Decides on $123 Minimum Wage
* Cambodia to raise monthly minimum wage for garment workers to 123 USD for 2015
* New $123 garment wage tops LAC voting
* No boycott: Union meet could decide wage today

20141109
PAKISTAN
* Govt plan to legislate on minimum wages payment delivering

20141023
CAMBODIA
* Wage talks remain in deadlock

20141021
CAMBODIA
* Labour talks ‘show promise’
* Gov’t Sets Ground Rules for Ongoing Wage Talks

20141020
CAMBODIA
* Free Trade Union Proposes $130 Garment Worker Minimum Wage

20141017
CAMBODIA
* Garment Factories, Unions Edge Closer to Wage Deal

20141013
CAMBODIA
* Thousands rally over wage
* Garment Workers March for Higher Wages
* About 1,000 Workers Protest for Salary Increase

20141009
CAMBODIA
* Eliminate corruption, raise wage: Sar Kheng
* Six labor unions to hold public forum on minimum wage this weekend

20141008
CAMBODIA
* Garment Factory Rep Says Delaying Wage Vote Won’t Help
* Unions to march over wage delay

20141007
CAMBODIA
* Prime Minister Weighs In on Wage Talks
* Wage decision delayed

20141001-02
CAMBODIA
* Gov’t letter to brands ‘lacking in substance’
* With Wage Hike, Workers to Face Higher Taxes
* Gov’t says no to calls to raise minimum income tax level

BANGLADESH
* 385 factories may default on workers’ wage, bonus: industrial police
* Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?
* JS body opposes lowering minimum age for marriage

PAKISTAN
* Minimum wages: Govt inches closer to implementing pay rise

20140927
CAMBODIA
* No deal in garment wage talks
* Minister Says Wage Agreement Must Be Reached Next Month
* 10 Oct. set for final wage negotiation for workers

20140926
CAMBODIA
* Brands Distance Themselves From Price Pledge
* Brands’ pledge questioned

BANGLADESH
* Rising living cost, wage delay major reasons
* Uniform minimum wage can protect workers from discrimination: Inu

20140916-17
CAMBODIA
* Workers Start Wage Battle a Day Early
* Factory walkout to kick off $177 drive
* Cambodian garment workers demand higher minimum wage
* Beyond Garment Sector, Worries Over Wage Hike
* Poverty wages behind Cambodian garment workers collapsing

20140915
CAMBODIA
* As Union Bosses Face Charges, Wage Campaign Rolls On
* Wage protests still on
* Union leaders to hold major rally to demand USD 177 per month

SOUTH AFRICA
* 2014 Clothing industry wage dispute resolved

20140911
CAMBODIA
* Support Cambodian Garment Workers in their Fight for Fair Wages! $177 NOW!
* Global call to back $177 local wage

20140910
INDONESIA
* Indonesian labor demand 30-40% hike in minimum wage
* New mechanism to set minimum wage in 2015

20140909
CAMBODIA
* Urgent call to action for Cambodian garment workers!
* Seven Unions Plan Campaign for $177 Wage as Revision Looms

20140905
CAMBODIA
* Labor Unions Soften Minimum Wage Demand

20140903
CAMBODIA
* Protest Continues as Shoe Factory Spurns Talks
* Workers’ wage to rise to USD 110 per month in 2015

20140902
CAMBODIA
* Thousands Strike Over Pay at Kompong Cham Garment Factory
* Strikers vow to continue protesting

20140829
VIET NAM
* Workers and businesses alike warn against Vietnam’s planned minimum wage hike

20140826
INDIA
* Powerloom weavers wage battle against crisis, appeal to Collector

20140824
VIET NAM
* Experts discuss minimum wage increase

PAKISTAN
* It’s transfers not minimum wages that raise the incomes of the poor

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