EXTRA In the news 2-3 September

UPDATED:  20140903

(Please see editor’s note at the bottom of this bulletin.)

 

20:42:43 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20140903 * Union Leaders Charged Over Nationwide Protests:

At least five of the country’s most prominent union leaders have been charged in connection with massive garment sector strikes and demonstrations in December and January and have been called to appear in court this month, according to court officials and documents obtained Tuesday.

Nationwide protests calling for a $160 minimum wage began on December 25 and ended on January 3 when military police fired into a crowd of demonstrators on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Street, killing at least five people and injuring dozens.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, one of the unions that led the protest, said he was served his summons Tuesday morning.

The summons, signed by Investigating Judge Chea Sok Heang, says the court’s investigation into the case was completed on July 2. It says the judge decided to “charge Pav Sina, a male, with intentional violence under aggravated circumstances, intentional damage under aggravating circumstances, [threatening] to inflict damage related to a certain problem and using means to block public traffic.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Court clerk San Sakny confirmed that the court had issued documents summoning six others, including least four more union leaders, over the same charges. She said the papers had been given to local authorities who have been asked to pass them on to those charged.

“The court has processed the same charges for seven people including Rong Chhun, Ath Thorn, Pav Sina, Yaing Sophorn and Chea Mony,” she said, adding that she could not remember the other names. “They will all appear to answer to the court this month.”

Rong Chhun is president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, Ath Thorn is president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, Yaing Sophorn is president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Union and Chea Mony is president of the Free Trade Union.

The union leaders face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20140903 * Charges in strike violence surface:

20140903 PPP workers-garment-protest-veng-sreng
Protesters gather at a burning improvised roadblock on Veng Sreng Boulevard in Phnom Penh during clashes with police that turned deadly in January.
Photo by Pha Lina.

A union leader has been charged with causing violence and destroying property during a garment strike that ended in security forces shooting dead at least five people on January 3, a court summons obtained yesterday shows.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), must appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on September 12 over the strike on the capital’s Veng Sreng Boulevard, the summons says.

“I, Chea Sokheang, an investigating judge … charge Pav Sina with intentional violence in aggravating circumstances, intentional damage and threats to damage and make an obstacle to traffic in front of the Canadia Industrial Park … between December 25, 2013, and January 3, 2014,” it reads.

Sina, who faces arrest if he does not attend the hearing, denied the charges and said court officials had told him that leaders of five other unions involved in the December and January minimum wage strikes would also be summonsed.

One of them, Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said he had not yet received a summons but expected to.

“I saw a complaint when I went to the court last week,” Thorn said. “I saw the summons; [an official] showed it to me.”

Thorn alleged that the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia was behind the complaint.

“GMAC are representing more than 170 [factories],” he said.
read more.
PPP new

20140903 * Yakjin factory under review:

20140903 PPP yakjin-protest
A man is beaten by authorities on a dirt road in front of Yakjin garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district in January after a protest turned violent.

South Korean garment giant Yakjin Trading Corp has engaged a top international labour rights expert to conduct a review of its factories in Cambodia, one of which was a flashpoint during labour strikes earlier this year that saw dozens arrested and at least five people shot dead by authorities.

Both Cambodian and international unions have lobbied the Carlyle Group – a global asset manager that took a 70 per cent stake in Yakjin through a holdings company just weeks before authorities violently suppressed protests outside Yakjin’s Phnom Penh factory on January 2 – to take action.

The crackdown sparked bigger protests in Phnom Penh the next day, leading to the fatal shootings.

The United States’ largest pension fund, a major investor in Carlyle, has also taken a leading role, according to labour activists in the US.

As a result, Yakjin dispatched Gare Smith, a lawyer who served as the top human rights official at the US State Department during the Clinton administration and a former vice president at Levi Strauss & Co, to Phnom Penh for a week in mid-August.
read more.
PPP new

20140903 * 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

20140903 * 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

————-

20140902 * 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

20140902 * 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

20140902 * Yakjin factory under review:

South Korean garment giant Yakjin Trading Corp has engaged a top international labour rights expert to conduct a review of its factories in Cambodia, one of which was a flashpoint during labour strikes earlier this year that saw dozens arrested and at least five people shot dead by authorities.

Both Cambodian and international unions have lobbied the Carlyle Group – a global asset manager that took a 70 per cent stake in Yakjin through a holdings company just weeks before authorities violently suppressed protests outside Yakjin’s Phnom Penh factory on January 2 – to take action.

The crackdown sparked bigger protests in Phnom Penh the next day, leading to the fatal shootings.

The United States’ largest pension fund, a major investor in Carlyle, has also taken a leading role, according to labour activists in the US.

As a result, Yakjin dispatched Gare Smith, a lawyer who served as the top human rights official at the US State Department during the Clinton administration and a former vice president at Levi Strauss & Co, to Phnom Penh for a week in mid-August.
read more.
PPP new

20140826 CLEC

20140901 * Workers in Kompong Chhnang End Protest:

About 3,000 workers at the Chinese-owned Jiun Ye garment factory in Kompong Chhnang province have agreed to return to work after two weeks of strikes and protests against what they claim was a deliberate effort by management to withhold part of their last paycheck.

Despite compiling a list of 17 demands over the past two weeks, the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit said it is calling off the protest after the factory agreed to drop legal complaints against the union leaders and pay each striking worker half of their $10 attendance bonus for this month.

“Some workers went back to work on Saturday and [Sunday], all the workers will go back to work following the agreement between both sides,” Mom Siek, president of the union, said Sunday.

During the protest, representatives of the workers brought their grievances to Phnom Penh, delivering petitions to the Ministry of Labor and the cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia publicly called for authorities to punish the unionists leading the protest, in which workers repeatedly blocked National Road 5.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20140830 * Unions Must Have Factory Sign-Off to Register New Branches:

Several major unions say their representatives must now seek what amounts to authorization from factory management before garment workers can form a new union or branch within the factory.

Unionists claim the Ministry of Labor now requires them to obtain a signature from a factory representative to prove that they have notified the factory of their intention to organize workers.

They say their letters of intent are going ignored by managers who are reluctant to assist their staff to form labor unions, and the new rule is being used to deliberately block unions from expanding in the wake of nationwide strikes in December and January.

The requirement for a factory signature was introduced earlier this year, around the same time the government began making unionists submit documents proving they have a clean criminal record before creating a new branch.

Kong Athit, the vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said the Ministry of Labor seemed to have reviewed several facets of the registration process since the strikes, and enforced them more strictly.

“I think it’s very hard to get the union registration now according to the new procedure introduced by the government,” he said.

“If you want to form a union, you have to notify both the ministry and the company [factory], and now you also have to get a signature from the company.”

Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, called the changes “a violation of workers’ rights.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20140901 * Workers injured in truck crash:

Nearly 40 garment workers suffered minor injuries in Kandal province on Saturday morning when the truck carrying them to their factory collided with a vehicle going in the opposite direction, officials said.

Police arrested the driver, who they said was speeding. The driver of the other vehicle – a livestock truck – was injured and is seeking compensation.

Men Chanrith, police chief of Kandal Stung district, where the accident occurred, said yesterday that 38 workers were aboard the truck travelling from Takeo province to Kampong Speu. Chanrith is overseeing negotiations between the drivers.
read more. & read more.
PPP new Cambodia_Daily_logo

* BetterFactories Media Updates 2 September 2014, Yakjin Factory Under Review:

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

2014-09-02 Thousands Strike Over Pay at K Cham Garment Factory

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

2014-09-02 Strikers Vow To Continue Protesting
2014-09-02 Yakjin Factory Under Review

* BetterFactories Media Updates Overview here.
BF NEW

19:42:43 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20140903 * Mirpur Factory Fire Shows Poor Safety Standards; Badda Factory Protests Show Poor Security for Workers:

After the recent fire in Cordial Design Limited at Mirpur-1 on 31 August 2014, workers, intellectuals and worker rights organizations have expressed their deep concern and frustration over the safety situation of Garment factories even after disasters like Tazreen, Rana Plaza, Tun-Hai and Aswad.

Fire broke out at 5:45PM in the evening at the storeroom of Cordial Design Ltd housed on the third floor of an eight-storied building at Shah Ali Bagh area of Sector-1, Mirpur. 12 Units of Fire Fighters arrived within minutes and doused the fire in 30 minutes.

Workers trapped inside were those who were supposed to do overtime, and had to made a daredevil escape with the help of common people in neighboring buildings.

Apart from the safety, Bangladesh seem to be plunged in the nightmarish conditions of worker security due to the brutal worker rights abuse consistently downplaying the industry’s repeated promises of improvement to Bangladeshis and foreign stake holders of this important sector.

After the unresolved issue of Tuba Group, where the factory owner closed down his factory with sheer injustice, pointing out to a law which is easily being abused in its definition to harm workers rights , we have more upsetting conditions in other parts of Dhaka.
read more.
RISE

20140831 * Mirpur RMG fire doused:

After one-hour effort, fire fighting team doused the fire at a garment factory in Mirpur Section-1 area of the capital on Sunday evening. 

The blaze started around 5:35pm in the factory’s 5th floor ‘Cordial Design’ at Salimuddin Market.
Being informed, some 13 units of fire fighting units rushed to the spot. After the frantic efforts, they doused the fire within an hour.
Deputy assistant director Mamun Mahmud of Fire Service monitored the activities.
to read. & read more.
banglanews24NEW DHAKATRIBUNE

20140831 * Garment factory in Mirpur catches fire:

The fire at a garment factory in Dhaka’s Mirpur has been doused after an hour-long effort.

Smoke was seen coming out of the five-storey building that houses factory ‘Cordial Design’ around 5:30pm Sunday, Fire Service and Civil Defence Control Room official Brojen Sarkar said.

The unit is located on the third floor.
Thirteen fire engines fought for more than an hour to extinguish the blaze, he said.
The fire started from the factory’s storage room and has damaged the materials, said lineman Md Lovlu.

Several workers have been injured while hurrying out of the building in panic, the lineman said.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 NEWAGEnew

20140831 * Fire at Dhaka RMG factory:

20140831 DAILYSTAR
This grabbed photo of a video shows the trapped garment workers of Cordial Design Ltd are rescued by locals after the factory’s third flood caught fire on Sunday afternoon. A youth named Sabbir Ahmed recorded the video during the incident.

A fire broke out at a readymade garment factory in Mirpur-1 of Dhaka this afternoon.

The fire originated around 5:45pm at the storeroom of Cordial Design Ltd housed on the third floor of an eight-storey building at Shah Ali Bagh area of Sector-1, Mirpur, Abdul Halim, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence, told The Daily Star

Twelve units of firefighters brought the blaze under control around 6:22pm after over half an hour of their effort.
A few numbers of workers were still remained in the factory as they were working overtime when the fire broke out, the fire service official.
Later, the firefighters and locals rescued the workers, who took shelter on the rooftop of the factory, from nearby buildings.
The fire official however could not ascertain the cause of the fire and the losses immediately.
read more. (+ video) & read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd NEWAGEnew UNBnew FE bd

20140902 * Incentives being finalised to help snare investors in EZs:

The government is set to offer a slew of incentives including tax holiday for economic zones (EZs) to foster investment in the country, which can spur higher economic growth, officials said.

The planned incentives will be extended in the forms of tax holiday, duty waiver, and capital subsidy, they said.

A high-powered committee led by senior secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will sit Tuesday to finalise the incentive package, which will encourage developers and investors to make investment in the EZs.

Bangladesh is placing importance on such zones to help accelerate the country’s economic growth and boost employment.

The state-run Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has carried out a comparative analysis of incentives and services given to special economic zones in India, economic zones in the Philippines and Export Processing Zones in Bangladesh to make the proposed incentive package “attractive,” officials said.
read more.
FE bd

20140831 * EPZ investors worried over trade union:

Foreign investors in the export processing zones (EPZs) do not want trade unionism as any agitation or demonstration in such specialised industrial zones will hamper production and overseas trade.

“We are worried about protecting our investment as the cabinet agreed to amend the EPZ law, which will allow unionism in the EPZs,” said a Japanese investor in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), asking not to be named.

“We do not want any new unionism as we already have a workers’ welfare committee (WWC) at every factory in EPZs. This committee is enough to protect the interests of workers.”

The current welfare committees were formed in collaboration with six important stakeholders — Bangladesh government, World Bank, AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations), US Embassy in Dhaka, International Labour Organisation, and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza), in 2009.

“So these committees are still well-functioning. We do not need any new unions. Any new union having provisions for agitation and demonstration by the workers will be suicidal for Bangladesh as it will take a toll on foreign investment,” the investor said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Labor Dispatches: Tuba Group Workers’ Struggle Gestures Towards a Broader Labor Movement in Bangladesh:

We are building a national, democratic workers’ rights movement” explains Moshrefa Mishu, Garment Workers Unity Forum (GWUF), on their recent campaign by Tuba Group workers for their wages and benefits that has led to street protests, hunger strikes, and being on the receiving end of violence by police.

“Our movement is not over.”

She continues countering the naysayers:  “The workers’ have shown an aspiration to realize greater workers’ rights, and we want to spread this aspiration to all workers in Bangladesh.”

Ms. Mishu’s rejection of the Tuba Group workers wage strike as one being parochial and pertaining to one factory owner was echoed by workers’ themselves. Chanting for all workers to struggle and to be united, workers spoke of the challenges of their movement.

Since May, the garment workers of five factories owned by Delwar Hossain, the same owner of Tazreen Fashions where a factory fire resulted in the deaths of at least 112 workers, have been struggling for their owed wages and benefits.

Earlier, in February of this year, the court brought formal charges against Hossain for homicide, and he remained in jail until he was released on bail on August 6. Incredibly, the reason given for the bail was so that he could pay the workers wages owed. He remains out on bail.
read more.
LAW attheMARGINS

20140830 * Clear Tuba workers’ back pay within 3-day: Mishu

Garments Sramik Oikya Forum president Moshrefa Mishu has reiterated the threat to launch tougher programme in their on-going movement if the Tuba workers are not paid their dues fully by the owners within the next 3 days as per the country’s labour law.

Mishu also reiterated the demand to cancel the bail granted to Tuba Group’s managing director Delwar Hossain, and the reopening of the Tuba factories immediately.
Addressing a rally of 1,600 Tuba Group workers in the city, Mishu announced that the garment workers will demonstrate in front of the Labour Ministry on September 7 to realise their demands, according to a news agency.
to read.
FE bd

20140830 * Tuba labourers claim to be blacklisted:

The wrongful thing was that the owner was delaying paying the workers their wages

Ex-Tuba Group workers are struggling to stay afloat as their savings run dry and factory owners, they claim, refuse to give them jobs.

The recently laid-off garment workers claim they have been tainted by the tar brush of labour unrest, and are being denied employment at other garment firms.

Former workers of the group said they were denied work by factory owners in Badda, Rampura, Gazipur, Savar, Mirpur and Ashulia.

“I did not do anything wrong by participating in the demonstration. It was an effort to get our due wages and Eid bonus,” Moina Akter, a worker of Bugshan Garments, a sister concern of Tuba Group, told the Dhaka Tribune.

The wrongful thing was that the owner was delaying paying the workers their wages, said Moina.

First we were treated badly by Tuba Group, now we are suffering because we resisted that bad treatment, she added.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140830 * Tuba Group workers want jobs back:

Tuba Group workers yesterday reiterated their demand for immediate cancellation of the bail of Delwar Hossain, owner of the group, in a case filed in connection with the Tazreen Fashions fire.   

The workers also demanded their due bonus, and urged the government to take control of the company and open up employment opportunities for them as some factories under the group shut down without prior notice.

Hundreds of demonstrating workers gathered in front of Jatiya Press Club under the banner “Tuba Group’s Sramik Sangram Committee” to press home their demands.

Doli Akhter, a 30-year-old worker of the group, said she has been struggling to feed her family of five since the closure of the factory she worked at.

“Since the factory closed, I have been applying for jobs at other garment factories, but they have all turned me down after finding that I had worked for Tuba Group. I need a job to feed my family,” she said.
read more.
daily star bd

20140830 * Reopening of Tuba Group factories demanded:

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee and National Garment Workers Federation on Friday demanded reopening of the five garment factories of the group.

Leaders of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee, at a sit-in programme in front of the National Press Club, said that the owners of Tuba Group had shut down its factories through an illegal notice.
They said they would announce tougher programmes if the management did not reopen the factories immediately.
They also demanded cancellation of the bail the court had granted to Tuba Group and Tazreen Fashions owner Delwer Hossain, responsible for the death of 124 workers of the Tazreen Fashions.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140829 * Labour groups rally for reopening Tuba Group factories:

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee and National Garment Workers Federation on Friday at separate programmes in the city demanded reopening of five garment factories of Tuba Group.

The leaders of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee, at a two-hour sit-in programme at 11:00am in front of the National Press Club, demanded immediate reopening of the factories.

The convener of Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee Mushrefa Mishu said, the owners of Tuba Group had shut its factories giving an illegal notice, the committee would announce tougher movement to compel the owners to reopen the factories if the owns does not meet the demand soon.

Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee announced a stage demonstration in front of the labour ministry on September 7 to press the demands of the Tuba workers. They also demanded cancellation of the bail for Tuba Group and Tazreen Fashion owner Delwer Hossain.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140829 * Clear Tuba workers’ back pay or face movement: Mishu:

Garments Sramik Oikya Forum president Moshrefa Mishu on Friday said they will go for tougher programmes if the back of 1,600 Tuba Group workers is not cleared within the next four days.

She announced the ultimatum while addressing a sit-in programme organised by Tuba Group Sramik Sangram Committee in front of the Jatiya Press Club.

Mishu also demanded cancellation of the bail granted to Tuba Group managing director Delwar Hossain, and the reopening of the factories of the group.
read more.
UNBnew

20140902 * Fresh case filed in RMG unrest at Jamgora:

The case was filed with Ashulia police station against 14 people – eight of them named – in connection with an alleged assault on the factory’s Chief Security Officer Altaf Hossain

Tension was renewed at the Designer Jeans garment factory in Ashulia’s Jamgora yesterday as factory authorities filed a fresh case against workers, a move that followed several days of unrest there.

The case was filed with Ashulia police station against 14 people – eight of them named – in connection with an alleged assault on the factory’s Chief Security Officer Altaf Hossain.

Altaf claimed that he fell victim to a sudden attack by several workers of the factory when he visited the nearby Beron area to assess the situation of the protesting workers yesterday morning.

Last Wednesday, workers of the Designer Jeans factory staged a work abstention programme, protesting the dismissal of two of their colleagues – a line chief and an operator both named Jahangir.
The demonstrations became more intense after the factory was closed sine die on Thursday; the police had to step in to remove the protesting workers from in front of the factory.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

201400901 * RMG workers block road in Chittagong:

Police, local administration have been holding a negotiation meeting with the owner till filing of the report

Hundreds of workers of a readymade garment (RMG) factory have blocked the road at Bandartila area in Chittagong city, demanding outstanding salaries and dues.

Sub-Inspector (SI) Kajol Babu of EPZ police station said: “Some 400 workers of Siraj and Sons garments took to the street at Bahadurshah Colony of Bandartila at 4:30pm, demanding their dues.”

“Upon receiving information, the police rushed to the spot and removed the blockade from the road by dispersing the agitating workers around 5pm.”

Police and local administration were holding a negotiation meeting with the owner till filing of the report at 7pm.
to read.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140830 * 260 RMG workers sued in Ashulia:

The false case has been filed in order to harass the workers, says executive director of Bangladesh Central for Worker Solidarity

The authority of a garment factory has sued 260 workers for their alleged involvement with vandalism in Jamgora area of Ashulia.

The administrative officer of Desiner Jeans, Sharif Hossain, filed the case with Ashulia police station on Saturday morning.

The vandalism case was filed against 110 named and 150 unnamed workers, said the official.

Sharif said: “The authority suspended line chief Jahangir along with another worker, whose name is also Jahangir, for violating the rules of factory on Wednesday morning.”

“Following the suspension, the workers staged demonstration, demanding their reappointment. Later, the authority shutdown the factory in face of worker’s agitation on the day.”
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140830 * 138 RMG workers lose jobs for protest:

The authorities of Designer Jeans, a readymade garment (RMG) factory, at Beron in Ashulia near Dhaka, sacked its 138 workers over protesting unfair salary and demanding workers union on Saturday.

Moreover, the authorities also filed cases against 150 workers mentioning 110 names of charge of vandalism, thefts and looting.

However, police is also continuing raids in different parts of Ashulia Industrial Area from then on to nab the workers.
Ashulia Thana Officer-in-Charge Sheikh Badrul Alam said that Sharif Hossain, an administrative officer of Designer Jeans filed the case on Friday night.

But, no worker has been detained yet, he added.
OC informed media that the garment factory was declared closed over workers’ strike protesting unfair salary as well as demanding workers union.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

20140902 * Row among Accord, Alliance, BGMEA affects safety schemes:

The differences among the Accord, the Alliance and the BGMEA over the ongoing garment factory assessment programmes are yet to be resolved, posing a blow to the workplace safety initiatives, sources said.

The latest tussle has surfaced following the Accord’s recent announcement of inspecting the factories, already assessed by the third party auditors of the Alliance. The latter termed it as a ‘setback’ to the safety efforts in local RMG sector, they added.

Alliance Chair Ellen Tauscher in a statement issued on August 28 on its official website said: “This is a setback for garment factory safety efforts in Bangladesh, and is based on incorrect information. The Accord itself has accepted pre-standard inspections conducted by an Accord member brand.”

The Alliance completed its first round of fire, electrical and structural safety inspections in nearly 600 factories. The majority of these inspections were carried out by one of seven qualified audits, she also mentioned.
read more.
FE bd

20140902 * Alliance slams Accord for rejecting inspection by individual brand:

The Alliance, a platform of North American retailers’ group, has termed the European retailers’ group’s announcement of rejecting inspection in common factories by individual retailers in Alliance as ‘a setback for garment factory safety efforts in Bangladesh’.

Allen Tauscher, the chair of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, in a statement said the European retailers’ group Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh made the decision of rejecting the inspection of individual retailers based on incorrect information.
Allen’s comments came following an Accord statement which said that the retailers’ group would not accept inspection of common garment factories by individual members of Alliance.

The Accord also said that they would also scrutinise the inspection of common factories by Alliance which it conducted by appointing engineers.
There are around 340 garment factories which are common suppliers to the American and European retailers and individual retailers like Walmart, VS Corporation and GAP completed inspection of more than half of the factories.
Alliance has showed that it completed inspection of 600 factories including the factories inspected by its individual members.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140831 * Accord now dictates fire safety equipment sources:

The government in the budget has also allowed duty-free imports of fire safety equipment

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh – a platform of buyers – has named 22 suppliers for import of fire safety equipment for the country’s readymade garment sector.

Rob Wayss, Accord Bangladesh chapter Executive Director, in response to the BGMEA and the factory owners, the buyers’ platform provided the list of companies through which the RMG factory owners could import safety equipment to install in their factories.

Usually, apparel buyers determine that the manufacturers use raw materials for their products from the companies they choose, but in this case, the buyers’ platform dictated the RMG manufacturers to procure safety equipment from the list of companies it provided.

BGMEA Vice-President Shahidullah Azim echoed the same as Rob, saying the factory owners could avail themselves of the safety appliances from the list of vendors provided.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20140831 * Structural flaws detected in three more RMG units:

Three more garment units have been declared partially closed on safety ground after the inspections of western retailers-appointed engineers detected structural flaws in the factory buildings, sources said.

The government panel has asked the authorities of two units– Love Craft Garments Fabric and Benhid Apparels that were assessed by the Alliance to vacate each of its top floors, they added.

“We have asked Love Craft to immediately evacuate its top floor and also vacate each corner of its remaining five floors,” Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishmetns (DIFE) said.

Central columns of the Benhid Apparels were overstressed and we have asked them to vacate its top floor and keep its rooftop unoccupied he said adding both the authorities have been asked to conduct detailed engineering analysis (DEA) within six weeks.

On the other hand, the authorities of Ethical Garments inspected by the Accord– have closed top four floors out of nine following the recommendation of the Accord.
read more.
FE bd

20140831 * 2 more RMG units partially closed:

The government-set review committee on Saturday asked the authorities of two garment factories — Benhid Apparels and Love Craft Garments — to close parts of their factories as inspection teams of North American retailers’ group found the factory buildings unsafe.

The factories are located in the Dhaka city.
Inspection teams of the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety had found structural flaws in six garment factories in Dhaka and Chittagong and had sent the list to the review committee for the next course of action.

The review committee comprising representatives from the government, Accord on Fire and Building Safety, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, BUET and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association visited the factories and asked the authorities of Benhid Apparels and Love Craft Garments to evacuate top floors of six-storey buildings of the companies.

The units where Alliance found structural flaws are Benhid Apparels, Bonny Apparels, Global Merchants, Love Craft Garments and Ashiana Garments Industries in the Dhaka city and Artistic Apparels Ltd in Chittagong.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20140829 * Alliance hopes Accord will agree:

North American retailers’ group Alliance has formally responded to European clothing brand association Accord’s rejection of Alliance brand’s individual inspection reports on shared factories done before the formation of Alliance.

A statement was issued by Alliance chair Ellen Tauscher and posted on its website on August 28.

Alliance says it “has a strict equivalency process in place requiring that all inspections conducted by our Member Brands meet the harmonised safety Standard agreed to by the Alliance, the Accord and the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) — including those conducted before the new Standard was adopted.”

In addition, it says, its inspections had gone through a rigorous review and quality control process that involved experts and globally reputed quality control firms.

It claims that it reinspected factories whose inspection reports did not meet the harmonised standard.

Alliance thinks Accord’s rejection of Alliance brand’s individual inspection report is based on misleading information and is a setback for garment factory safety efforts in Bangladesh.
read more.
bdnews24

* Garment export: Canadian GPT and US GSP:

The value of Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) export to Canada has crossed one billion in the 2013-14 fiscal. Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 1.099 billion to Canada in the last fiscal and US$ 1.001 billion of them were garment products.

Among the garments, about 55 per cent were woven products and the rest were knit items.

Bangladesh’s garment exports to Canada were worth US$ 595.55 million in fiscal 2009-10, which rose to US$ 1001.97 million in 2013-14, according to the data of the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh.
So, the garment exports to Canada surged by 68.24 per cent in the last five years mainly due to price competitiveness of Bangladeshi products and duty-benefit in the North American country.
read more.
FE bd

20140901 * Automated issuance of GSP certificates from today:

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is set to introduce automated issuance of generalised system of preference (GSP) certificates from today (Monday) to check forgery in getting GSP facilities, sources said.

The GSP automation software will connect National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Bank for online verification of respective documents in order to determine the veracity of each consignment for which GSP certificate would be issued.

The software will also provide access to European Commission (EC) and European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) for online verification of exported cargoes and GSP certificates.

The GSP is a trade arrangement through which the European Union (EU) provides preferential access of 176 developing countries to its market and territories including Bangladesh in the form of reduced tariffs for their goods.
read more.
FE bd

* Gazipur RMG factory fined Tk 1m:

The Department of Environment (DoE) has fined the authorities of a readymade garment (RMG) factory Tk 1 million (10 lakh) for polluting the environment in Keoa area in Sreepur Upazila.

A team of DoE led by Md Alamgir, director (Monitoring & Enforcement) of its Dhaka headquarters, visited Fakhruddin Textile Mills Ltd in Keoa on Saturday and fined the authorities of the garment factory following a hearing on Sunday.
During the hearing, the authorities of the RMG unit sought an apology and pledged a commitment to take preventive measures in this regard, according to a news agency.
to read.
FE bd

            THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

20140829 * Compensate Rana Plaza victims adequately: rally:

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati on Thursday at a rally in the city called on the government and garment factory owners to give adequate compensation to family members of the victims of Rana Plaza collapse.

They also called on the government to stop harassment on the affected workers’ family members and ensure exemplary punishment to those the responsible for the building collapse.

Garment Sramik Sanghati organised the rally in front of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association Bhaban at Kawranbazar. Rana Plaza collapsed on August 24, in 2013, at Savar Bus Stand, killing 1,170 people and wounding several hundred, most of them garment workers.

Taslima Akhter Lima, the coordinator of Sramik Sanghati, demanded adequate compensation for family members of the affected workers. She demanded disbursement of money from the prime minister’s fund which has already grown to Tk 105 crore.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
NEWAGEnew UNBnew FE bd

18:42:43 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20140903 * Second anniversary: SHC asks about compensation for victims of Baldia inferno:

20140903 TRIBUNE
Two years after one of the biggest industrial disasters in Pakistan, the Sindh High Court wants to know what authorities have done to give justice to the heirs of the 259 workers who were killed in the Baldia factory fire. PHOTO: FILE

As the second anniversary of one of the country’s biggest industrial disasters, the Baldia factory inferno, approaches the court wants to know what the authorities have done to assist the legal heirs of the victims and the survivors. The incident had claimed the lives of 259 labourers in a deadly factory inferno in Karachi in 2012.

On Tuesday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the federal and provincial authorities to explain how much of the monetary compensation pledged by the authorities had been provided and whether the charred bodies had been identified or not.

Headed by SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, the bench was hearing two miscellaneous applications pleading to question the authorities regarding the payment of monetary compensation.

A deadly fire at the Ali Enterprises had killed 259 workers, including women and youngsters, who were trapped inside the locked premises on September 11, 2012.

The factory owners, Abdul Aziz Bhaila, and his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, have been named in FIR 343 of 2012, registered at the SITE-B police station under Sections 435, 436, 337, 322, 302 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Later, the court had ordered the owners’ release after the police investigator excluded murder charges from the case.

Days before the families are set to mark the second anniversary, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), has filed two applications in court.

Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, a representative of the labour rights group, requested the court to direct the federal government and the provincial labour secretary to submit proof that Rs400,000 had been given to the family of  each victim as announced by the Prime Minister.

He said that the authorities should also be asked to explain why this amount had not been provided to the families of 45 victims.
read more.
tribune

20140903 * Factory fire victims to approach court for compensation:

Represen-tatives of a European organisation are currently in Karachi to hold meetings with the families of the Baldia Town factory fire victims, it emerged on Tuesday.

Medico International Organisation’s representative Thomas Siebert met around 25 families of those killed in the Baldia factory fire to discuss filing of court cases for compensation.

Speaking about it over the phone, the executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), Karamat Ali, said: “Families are being advised on how to go about filing individual cases. Two to three people will be nominated from the 25 [families] who will file court cases to get compensation.”

But Mr Ali along with the counsel for the victims is waiting to get the collective compensation from a German firm, KIK.

“The company went back on its word after signing a memorandum of understanding with the labour organisations to support a long-term compensation for the families of the victims,” he said.
read more.
DAWNnew

20140903 * SHC seeks Baldia fire victims’ DNA tests report:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the chief secretary on Tuesday to submit a report on the DNA tests conducted for ascertaining the identities of the Baldia fire factory victims whose bodies could not be identified.

The court was hearing an application filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research seeking the compliance of the court orders issued on March 12 last year wherein the chief secretary was told to conduct DNA tests of the unidentified bodies prior to their burial.

Piler and others had filed a petition in the high court for the formation of a judicial commission that could fix identify the people responsible for the fire at Ali Enterprise factory on September 11, 2012 in which around 289 people were killed.

Faisal Siddiqui, the petitioner’s counsel, submitted that the court had also directed the labour secretary and the federal law officer to submit a report on the details of compensation money and pension benefits given to the heirs of the victims.
read more.
thenewspk

————–

20140903 * Victory for 12 workers and trade unionists in Pakistan:

Twelve garment workers and trade union activists of the Power Loom Mazdoor Union in Pakistan were finally acquitted on August 29, 2014 after a trial that had dragged on for more than two years.

In 2012, the twelve workers were accused of extortion and terrorism under the Pakistani Anti-Terrorist Act for engaging in union activities.
Six of them were arrested and severely tortured at a local police station in Karachi. They were later released on bail. All 12 of them then faced long trial with more than 100 hearings.
The acquittal is now hoped to set a precedent for other cases and promote the respect for human and labor rights in Pakistan.

Clean Clothes Campaign supported the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) of Pakistan on this case and brought the workers’ struggles and the trial to the attention of European Union Delegation to Pakistan.
to read.& Related content: Workers tortured for ‘extortion’.
CCC

————

* Industrialists want end to mismatch in energy supplies:

APTMA Punjab chairman says many textile mills closing down one shift, laying off workers

Many textile mills are closing down one shift and laying off textile workers in Punjab due to 10 hours load shedding and mismatch in energy supplies.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Punjab Chairman S M Tanveer has urged the government to end the mismatch in electricity and gas supply to the Punjab-based textile industry for the continuity of production activities.
He said the production activities were badly affected due to the prolonged mismatch in energy supplies.
read more. & read more.
daily times PK BUSINESSRECORDER

* PTEA voices concern over drop in July export:

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has expressed deep concerns over drop of 7.89 percent in exports in July 2014 despite the availability of GSP Plus benefit.

Unprecedented energy shortage was the prime reason behind the substantial drop in exports.

Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood Chairman and Adil Tahir Vice Chairman of the Association said that export numbers in coming months might be even worse as the textile industry in Punjab has been deprived of its basic fuels; and textile exports witnessed 2.37 percent decline in July over same month of outgoing fiscal.
Energy shortage is the prime cause of decline in exports as 50% of production capacity of textile industry is dysfunctional due to short supply of electricity and gas.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER tribune

* Apparel exports to EU up 25.18 percent in Jan-June:

Apparel exports to the European Union (EU) countries surged by 25.18 percent in value and 26.17 percent in volume during January to June 2014 as the country netted export worth 865.962 million Euro, industry officials said on Monday.

Though Pakistan posted highest growth in apparel exports to the EU during January-June 2014 compared with all other major exporters, it’s per kg value at 10.66 Euro for garments and knitwear remained lowest amongst its major competitors, they added.
read more.
thenewspk

===========

 

* Note from the editor:

Due to various maintenance work there will be no bulletin published,
for a period, a while.

Unless there is breaking news, or a special event,
announced via twitter: @DressedStripped and the newsletter
(for those who are subscribed).
Sincere apologies, hope to see you back soon,
j.
DUCS-twitter

 

 

map of Asia

INFO:

There are updates under “special overviews”:

* TAZREEN Fire Part 2 20 November 2013- NOW

* TUBA Garment Workers Strike & Tazreen bail 20140724-now

* The BALDIA (& Lahore) Fire September 2012 –PART 3 20121120- NOW

* Cambodian Garment Workers: $160 We Need! Part 4 20140523- now

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

* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 5 20140502- now

HEADLINES:

CAMBODIA
* Union Leaders Charged Over Nationwide Protests
* Charges in strike violence surface
* Yakjin factory under review
* Protest Continues as Shoe Factory Spurns Talks
* Workers’ wage to rise to USD 110 per month in 2015

* Thousands Strike Over Pay at Kompong Cham Garment Factory
* Strikers vow to continue protesting
* Yakjin factory under review
* Workers in Kompong Chhnang End Protest
* Unions Must Have Factory Sign-Off to Register New Branches
* Workers injured in truck crash
* BetterFactories Media Updates 2 September

BANGLADESH
* Mirpur Factory Fire Shows Poor Safety Standards; Badda Factory Protests Show Poor Security for Workers
* Mirpur RMG fire doused
* Garment factory in Mirpur catches fire
* Fire at Dhaka RMG factory
* Incentives being finalised to help snare investors in EZs
* EPZ investors worried over trade union
* Labor Dispatches: Tuba Group Workers’ Struggle Gestures Towards a Broader Labor Movement
* Clear Tuba workers’ back pay within 3-day: Mishu
* Tuba labourers claim to be blacklisted
* Tuba Group workers want jobs back
* Reopening of Tuba Group factories demanded
* Labour groups rally for reopening Tuba Group factories
* Clear Tuba workers’ back pay or face movement: Mishu
* Fresh case filed in RMG unrest at Jamgora
* RMG workers block road in Chittagong
* 260 RMG workers sued in Ashulia
* 138 RMG workers lose jobs for protest
* Row among Accord, Alliance, BGMEA affects safety schemes
* Alliance slams Accord for rejecting inspection by individual brand
* Accord now dictates fire safety equipment sources
* Structural flaws detected in three more RMG units
* 2 more RMG units partially closed
* Alliance hopes Accord will agree
* Garment export: Canadian GPT and US GSP
* Automated issuance of GSP certificates from today
* Gazipur RMG factory fined Tk 1m
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Compensate Rana Plaza victims adequately: rally

PAKISTAN
* Second anniversary: SHC asks about compensation for victims of Baldia inferno
* Factory fire victims to approach court for compensation
* SHC seeks Baldia fire victims’ DNA tests report

* Victory for 12 workers and trade unionists in Pakistan

* Industrialists want end to mismatch in energy supplies
* PTEA voices concern over drop in July export
* Apparel exports to EU up 25.18 percent in Jan-June

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

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