in the news 14 -21 Dec. 2014

 

10:22:01 local time map of china CHINA

20141219 * Urgent Appeal: Tell Uniqlo and G2000 to Stop Using Violence Against Workers in Artigas Factory:

On 18 December 2014, hundreds of police stormed into the Hong Kong owned Artigas Clothing & Leatherware Company in Shenzhen.

China to disperse workers who have been on strike for nine days to demand their mandatory social insurance and housing provident fund premiums.
Instead of answering the strikers’ request for a negotiation with the employer on 18 December, police were called in to clear the way for the factory management to ship the finished clothing to Uniqlo.
31 leading strikers were arrested and 1 of them was hospitalized for serious injuries in the head, many other workers were injured.

Others, including pregnant women workers were beaten up by the police.
Under custody, the detained workers were pressed by the police to quit the strike. Their colleagues in the factory were intimidated by the management to return to work, and elect the hand-picked persons as bargaining representatives.
The striking workers managed to stand together and forced to sign a “Waive rights Declaration” , All striking workers rejected to sign the declaration, and all the workers were released before midnight after more than 12 hours’ detention.
read more.
HKCTU

20141218 * Violence Against Workers in Artigas Factory:

On 18 December 2014, hundreds of police stormed into Artigas Clothing & Leatherware company in Shenzhen, China to disperse workers who have been on strike for 9 days to demand their mandatory social insurance and housing provident fund premiums.

Instead of answering the strikers’ request for a negotiation with the employer on 18 December, the police went in the morning to take away the leading strikers and assisted the factory management to put the finished clothing on carts for shipping to Uniqlo.
Many workers were arrested and some of them were injured in the clash and forced back to work or intimidated with dismissal.
read more.
HKCTU

20141217 * Solidarity action to support striker in Shenzhen Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear Co. Ltd:

Today (17th December, 2014), 20 representatives from Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), Globalization Monitor (GM), Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union (HKCTU), CUHK Employees General Union, Citybus Limited Employees Union, Union of Hong Kong Dockers, Clothing Industry, Clerical and Retail Trade Employees General Union and Hong Kong liaison office of the International Trade Union Confederation initiated a solidarity action in front of the store of G2000 and UNIQLO in Festival Walk to support the strikers in the factory of Shenzhen Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear, which belongs to a Hong Kong company Lever Style Inc.

The action targets the buyers of Artigas, Hong Kong local brand G2000 and Japanese brand UNIQLO, for their failure to closely monitor the behaviour of the supplier.
To settle the disputes, we urge both the factory and the brands to have equal negotiation with the worker representatives within this week.
During the action, as two shops rejected to send representatives to receive the protest letter, we went inside the stores and put the letter on the cashier before we finished the solidarity action.
read more.
SACOM 2

20141217 * Striking Shenzhen factory workers seek support from municipal trade union:

Close to 1,000 workers at Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear Co. Ltd in Shenzhen have been out on strike for seven days in a bid get the company to address their demands over unpaid social insurance, overtime, and compensation for factory relocation.

The workers issued a request for collective bargaining on 15 December but Artigas, a Hong Kong-owned garment maker that supplies brands such as G2000, Uniqlo, and Baleno did not respond.

In order to increase the pressure on their employer, a group of eight democratically-elected workers’ representatives met with officials from the municipal trade union federation on 16 December to outline their demands and their proposal for collective bargaining.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

20141216 * 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

20141215 * Textile industry at the crossroads of change:

With the average wage of the 23 million textile workers in China reaching $600 a month, garment factory owners are starting to greet each other with a variation of: “Have you moved the factory out of China yet?”

As a labor-intensive industry, garmentmaking faces great pressure as labor costs soar in China.

Wang Tiankai, director of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, says the minimum wage is growing 10 percent a year. “And by only offering the minimum wage, you can never recruit a skilled worker,” Wang says.

Labor costs are not the only challenge: Figures from the council show the momentum of China’s textile industry has slowed significantly since 2011. From 2000 to 2010, average growth was 18.8 percent, but that dropped to 12 percent over the past four years.

The price of high-quality cotton in China is about 30 percent higher than the international level, which caused fiber processing in China to drop by 26 percent last year, the council says.

Major garment makers are reacting differently to these challenges. Two main paths have emerged: moving to Africa or Southeast Asia for the low-cost labor, or staying in China to make premium products.
read more.
CHINAORG

20141217 * China’s cotton yield declines in 2014:

China’s cotton yield in 2014 dropped 2.2 percent year on year to 6.16 million tonnes, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.

Cotton field depletion has led to a fall in yield in China, said Song Yuezheng, a senior NBS official.

Nationwide, cotton land declined 2.9 percent in 2014 from the previous year to 63.29 million mu, about 4.2 million hectares, according to the NBS.

The relatively low profitability of cotton and the government’s abolishment of its “temporary purchasing policy” to prop up prices are to blame for the depletion of arable cotton growing areas, said Lian Weiliang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission.
read more.
CHINAORG

10:22:01 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20141220 * Philippines sees more investment opportunities after inclusion to EU’s GPS+:

The Philippine government welcomed Saturday the country’s recent inclusion to the European Union’s ( EU) Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), saying this would open up more investment opportunities for the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the latest development was also an affirmation of the changes that have been happening in the Philippines.

“We certainly welcome and we thank the EU for allowing us to have a greater opportunity for trade and exchange with them,” he said in an interview over a state-run radio station.
read more.
XINHUAnet

09:22:01 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20141214 * Despite some progress, garment factories need to strengthen fire safety:

The latest report by Better Work Vietnam showed that fire safety works in major garment factories in the South have yet to meet the national and international standards despite certain progress.

Major garment factories in the South have shown some improvements in fire safety over the past four years but non-compliance with national and international standards in this area remains persistently high, the latest report by Better Work Vietnam  has shown.

As a partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Better Work Vietnam aims to improve working conditions and promote competitiveness in Viet Nam’s apparel and footwear industries through combined assessment, advisory and training services.

“Fires safety has been a critical issue for many factories in Vietnam over the last few years. Fires can cause great damage to business, not to mention human lives, so this is why we are committed to work with them to make improvements,” said Better Work Viet Nam manager Nguyen Hong Ha.

The annual thematic report, which covers 60 factories that have undergone four annual assessments, shows major improvements in the area of chemical and hazardous substance storage. Non-compliance rates in this area have fallen by almost two thirds between the first assessment in 2011 and the fourth one in 2014.

However, the report reveals that fifty percent of the observed factories did not ensure the accessibility of fire exits. The exits were found to be blocked or locked during working hours, which represents static progress since the second assessment period in 2012 and a deterioration since the first assessment in 2011.
read more.
ILO

09:22:01 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20141217 * Protests to come after several unionists fired:

Workers at a Phnom Penh garment factory yesterday said they will strike to protest the firing of five union members, while a management official defended the dismissals.

More than 2,000 employees at Por Sen Chey district’s Cambo Kotop Ltd will join the protest after the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) members were briefly held by security guards and then fired yesterday, CUMW president Pav Sina said.

“They are free now, but they were fired from the factory without the implementation of legal procedures,” Sina said. “Workers will hold a large demonstration tomorrow [today] to demand the five unionists are reinstated, and the company stops interfering with CUMW.”

Those fired yesterday include CUMW’s president, vice president and secretary-general at the factory.

But Cambo Kotop’s corporate social responsibility manager, who identified himself as Kwak, said the five former employees had interfered with production for the past two weeks and had been warned repeatedly.

The workers are represented by CUMW and the government-leaning Cambodian Union Federation. Complaining that management made it too difficult for employees to switch unions, the CUMW representatives entered other departments and pressured people to stop working, Kwak said.
read more.
PPP new

20141218 * New pact targets child labour:

An agreement regarding child labour in garment factories that will be signed today spells out specific consequences for hiring minors, while also saying that only buyers, garment manufacturers and the government will be notified of cases of child labour in factories.

“Confirmed child labour only is reported to [the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC)], factory buyers, and the Minister of Labour,” reads the protocol that is part of the Agreement on Child Labour Protection.

Janika Simon from Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) said yesterday the condition means BFC will not sound alarms every time they find a case of child labour.
“That would mean that every time we found one, we would have to go to the public,” Simon said.

The agreement, which is scheduled to be signed by BFC and GMAC officials this afternoon, reinforces previous laws and memoranda of understanding, while also dictating the reporting processes and monitoring.
read more.
PPP new

20141217 * Garment Factories Commit to Boost Vigilance on Child Labor:

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) will on Thursday sign an agreement to work with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Better Factories Cambodia program to stamp out the use of child labor in the garment sector, the organizations announced Tuesday.

Van Sou Ieng, the chairman of GMAC, which represents the country’s 500 exporting garment factories, said in a statement that the group already has a “zero tolerance policy” on child labor.

“This agreement further solidifies our commitment and provides a positive remediation for those underage workers that slip through the crack and are found working in our member factories,” he said.

However, child labor remains a problem both in the garment sector and beyond.

Last year, the ILO said more than 10 percent of the 430,000 Cambodian children between the ages of 5 and 17 could be defined as child laborers.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20141217 * ILO, Cambodian garment manufacturers group to join hands to eliminate child labour:

The International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) will sign an agreement on Thursday, aiming to abolish child labour in Cambodia’ s garment industry, said a join news statement Tuesday.

“The agreement emphasizes collaboration between BFC and GMAC in the process of identifying and remediating any confirmed cases of child labour,” the statement said.

“When workers under the age of 15 are identified, they are offered access to suitable vocational training institutes and are paid the equivalent of their average monthly factory pay until they reach 15,” it added.
read more.
KHMERTIMES

09:22:01 local time map of thailand THAILAND

20141218 * New report to mark International Migrant Day:

To mark the United Nation’s International Migrant Day, Clean Clothes Campaign released a new report in conjunction with the MAP Foundation outlining the gross violations of labour rights among migrant workers in the Thai apparel industry.

Although migrant workers are currently entitled to the minimum wage of 300 THB (7.27 EUR) a day, they are typically paid between 150-180 THB (3.6-4.36 EUR) per day, according to interviews carried out by the MAP Foundation for this report.
The sum of 300 THB also falls short of a living wage, and is insufficient to sustain a worker and her family.

“The research we conducted illustrates just how badly migrant workers are treated. They are working long hours for wages that do not even meet their basic needs.
Thai labour laws are violated as there is little enforcement from labour agencies and because of migrants’ precarious state,” said Brahm Press Executive Director of MAP Foundation.
read more.
CCC

10:22:01 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20141215 * 1 million workers strike across Indonesia:

On 10 December, 1 million members of Indonesian trade union confederations KSPI, KSBSI and KSPSI went on strike demanding wage increases after president Joko Widodo upped fuel prices. In Jakarta 50,000 people marched to the President’s Palace to voice their demands.

The day of action follows on demonstrations one week earlier, where unions reacted to the new minimum wage for 2015. Minimum wage in Indonesia is set according to the province of the country.

On 10 December three of Indonesia’s trade union confederations KSPI, KSBSI, KSPSI organized a national strike, involving around 1 million union members in large cities in the country. In Jakarta alone, around 50,000 workers demonstrated on the streets.
The unions are opposed to price increase on fuel introduced by the president. The hike will effectively mean that workers lose 50 per cent of their purchasing power.
Unions are urging Governors of every province to increase the minimum wage to USD 272,7 and to increase the number of items for living cost calculation from 60 to 84 items.

A pension reform was agreed to enter into force on 1 July 2015, but there are growing concerns on what how it will be implemented.
Said Iqbal, president of trade union confederation KSPI, says:
“The law already exists, what we need is for the government to make a decree so that the law can be implemented. Once it is implemented, 44 million workers will benefit from the pension system.”
read more.
INDUSRIall

08:22:01 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20141219 * Global retailers: $50bn RMG export target achievable:

‘The Summit has opened our eyes for the future of Bangladesh’s RMG sector after participating in the event and having visit to several factories’

Bangladesh’s target for $50-billion export by 2021 is possible to achieve as the country has capacity to embrace global demands with its huge workforce, said leading global retailers.

The retailers that participated in the three-day “Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014” expressed their opinion in a feedback to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association through emails, BGMEA Vice-President Shahidullah Azim told the Dhaka Tribune.

“The Summit has opened our eyes for the future of Bangladesh’s RMG sector after participating in the event and having visit to several factories,” Azim said, quoting retailers and participants.

Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions do not depict the real picture of apparel industry, there is something unique in the sector, which can meet the global demands for quality products, Azim said, referring to retailers.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20141220 * Bangladesh left out of US GSP review:

Tofail Ahmed says there is no possibility of GSP review as it expired last year and GSP would not be given to anyone

Bangladesh has not been included in the list of countries now under review of the US GSP programme that could alter their beneficiary status.

The GSP status of Bangladesh as also other countries has been suspended in June last year, followin which the US authorities were reviewing the worker rights, child labour, intellectual property rights, or arbitral awards issues to consider reinstating the trade preferences.

Since the suspension of the GSP programme, a number of countries continued to be reviewed that could alter their beneficiary status, according to the latest Trade Policy Review of US by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But in the review list Bangladesh was not included.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

          THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

20141221 * Rana Plaza missing workers’ list sent to DCs for cross checking:

The government has sent a list of 169 workers missing since Rana Plaza collapse to 57 deputy commissioners for cross checking in their districts.

In October, the list was prepared by a committee led by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The committee members were drawn from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Dhaka district administration and the trade unions. In October, the committee had sent the list to the labour ministry for further verification of 24 claims.

The committee told the government that it was sanguine that the first 135 workers on the list was indeed missing.
Though the committee called for the verification of only 24 claims, the labour ministry sent the full list to the district administrations for the final scrutiny, labour ministry
joint secretary Faizur Rahman told New Age Saturday.
After the final verification, he said, the list will be sent to the prime minister office for the payment of the compensations to the victims’ families.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

07:52:01 local time map of india INDIA

20141217 * 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

20141220 * Labour problem, no production in Angus Jute Mill:

Labour problem caused no production at Angus Jute Mill at Bhadreswar in Hooghly district today, a high official of the mill said.

The management decided not to allow two daily wage labourers to work because of indiscipline and following this other workers too did not attend their duties, the official said.

Deputy Labour Commissioner, Chandarnagar, Tirthankar Sengupta said he did not receive any suspension of work notice from Angus Jute Mill.

Earlier, the management had decided that 54 daily labourers would not be allowed to work as demand was less, Chandarnagar SDO Piyush Pandey said.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

07:52:01 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20141216 * Tell shoe giant Bata to live up to their corporate responsibility!:

In December 2013, close to 200 workers were dismissed at the Sri Lankan shoe factory that at that time had mainly been producing for show giant Bata.

Since August 2012, the factory also owes the workers an agreed pay rise. Instead of stepping up for the workers to reach a resolution of this labor rights conflict, Bata ended its commercial relationship with the factory and left the workers that had been producing their shoes out in the cold.
Join our action and tell Bata to stop stepping on worker’s rights now!
See Video.
CCC

20141215 * Join our action: Tell Bata to stop cut-and-run Sri Lanka:

20141215 CCC 2

Bata admits to a cut-and-run after a conflict in one of the factories in Sri Lanka which made their shoes.

One year ago, close to 200 workers were fired after they complained about not getting their salary increases. Join our action, tell Bata on facebook and rate Bata on their own rating page: http://on.fb.me/1sc8n9w

The management told other factories not to hire us again. They described us as trouble makers and saboteurs. But this factory [wa]s like our home, we worked there for more than ten years. And now we are unemployed.’  – Ex Bata worker -.
read more.
CCC

20141205 *Swiss shoe giant falls into disrepute: Dismissals instead of pay rise at former Bata supplier in Sri Lanka:

A year ago today, close to 200 workers were dismissed at the Sri Lankan shoe factory Palla & Co due to union activities and protests over outstanding wage increments.

At that time, the factory had mainly been producing for Bata. Instead of engaging in the resolution of the labor rights conflict, the formerly Czech enterprise now head-quartered in Switzerland is shirking its responsibility.

In August 2012, shoe giant Bata which operates in 60 countries and employs more than 34,000 people worldwide, was the main buyer of Palla & Co., a factory located in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zone.
At that time, the shoe factory first refused to pay its workers the agreed-upon, half-yearly wage increments.
One year later, in July 2013, the workers went on strike to demand their pay increase.

Subsequently, 15 union officials and 179 workers were dismissed. Some were later reinstated under the intolerable condition that they refrain from any future union activities.
More than 100 workers are still fighting for reinstatement.
They are facing severe problems to find other jobs because the management of Palla & Co allegedly asked other factories not to recruit their former workers.
read more.
CCC

07:22:01 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20141220 * Labour leaders for new inspectors:

The labour inspector with provision of the surprise visits of the industries and other workplaces should be revived in all the provinces to ensure health and safety of the workers.

When the labour inspection system was working properly in Sindh, no such a big factory incident happened, but since the system is not working properly so deadly incidents like Baldia factory fire happened in 2013 in which over 255 workers lost their lives. Unfortunately, after that incident no measure has been taken to prevent such incidents.

Senior lawyer Fasial Siddiqi said this while speaking at launch ceremony of a documentary “Workplace Safety in Pakistan” and a comprehensive report of the “Roundtable on Strategies for Accountability and Decent Work Conditions in the Apparel and Garment Industry in South Asia” held at Kathmandu early this year, at a local hotel Friday.
to read.
PAKOBSERVER

20141217 * Backbone of industry: Female cotton-pickers call for recognition:

20141218 TRIBUNE
Female cotton-pickers can be seen working in the fields. These women are paid less than Rs150 for each day spent picking cotton in the relentless heat and are not recognised as formal workers under the Labour Act. PHOTO: FILE

The billion-dollar textile industry of Pakistan rests on the shoulders of women who are paid less than Rs150 for each day they spend picking cotton in the scorching heat. These women do not even receive the courtesy of being considered formal workers under the Labour Act.

This was highlighted at a provincial dialogue titled ‘The Issues of Women Cotton-Pickers: Discussing Policy and Legal Perspectives’ on Tuesday. Those present included seven female cotton-pickers from rural Sindh, invited to Karachi by the Sindh Community Foundation (SCF).

Standing out from the crowd in her vibrant ghagra choli and colourful bangles running from wrist to elbow, Maasi Padmi, who came from Miranpur, discussed her predicament with The Express Tribune. “Women need to fight for their rights on their own because the male farmers usually side with the landlords,” she stressed.

According to her, two to four women pick cotton all day and the landlord comes and takes it away in the evening without even telling them the weight of the gathered crop. “He pays us between Rs1,000 and Rs1,500 for the week, which we divide among ourselves. How are we supposed to pay for our children’s medical treatment or our daughters’ weddings?”
read more.
tribune

20141221 * November textile exports up 13.02 percent YoY:

Textile exports from the country surged by 13.02 percent in November 2014 as compared to the corresponding period of last year, according to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The provisional data for November 2014 released by PBS showed that the total textile exports were recorded at $1,128 million in November 2014, up by 13.02 percent over $998 million for the same month of last fiscal year.

Detailed analysis of the commodities showed that ten textile products witnessed positive growth among all textile group in November 2014 as compared to November 2013 which included cotton yarn which witnessed positive growth 31.49 percent to $181 million in November 2014 over $138 million same month last of the year.
A growth of 1.77 percent in the export of cotton cloth was recorded during the period under review, rising from $191 million in November 2013 to $194 million in November 2014.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20141219 * Textile exporters worry about GSP Plus perks :

The lifting of the ban on executions has perturbed textile exporters, especially those who have major exports to the European Union (EU), as they fear Pakistan may lose duty benefits that it enjoys under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus scheme.

However, some economic analysts are of the view that the country will successfully convince the EU not to suspend its GSP scheme.

The EU approved the GSP Plus scheme in January this year for a period of 10 years as an incentive for ensuring good governance and sustainable development.

To a question, Federal Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir on Thursday said that in 27 conventions of the UN, there is no undertaking on death penalty moratorium and the government’s decision to hang terrorists will not have any adverse implications for the GSP Plus scheme.

Some exporters believe that the government can convince the European Union that Pakistan has no other option but to hang the
convicted terrorists.

“Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in the market. The textile exporters are worried as they fear that Pakistan may lose trade concessions under the GSP Plus Scheme,” a readymade garment exporter from Karachi said.
read more.
tribune

20141220 * ‘Laws, inspections a must for better workers’ safety’:

An effective labour inspectorate, complete with surprise visits and legislation implementation, needs to be introduced if we are to ever ensure proper health and safety of Pakistan’s workers, senior lawyer Faisal Siddiqi said on Friday while speaking at a ceremony held to launch a documentary and report related to workplace safety measures.

“New labour inspectors must be recruited and trained at the earliest,” he said, adding that no major factory disasters had been witnessed in Sindh when the labour inspection system was being properly managed.

“Since the system was abandoned, deadly incidents such as the Baldia factory fire have taken place. Unfortunately, we still have not taken any solid preventive measures,” Siddiqui told the audience gathered for the launch of the documentary, “Workplace Safety in Pakistan”, and a comprehensive report of the “Roundtable on Strategies for Accountability and Decent Work Conditions in the Apparel and Garment Industry in South Asia” that was held in Kathmandu early this year.

“The Baldia fire was the worst such incident in the world, which called not only for local action against the factory owners and relevant government institutions but also international accountability.”

He underlined the need for public mobilisation on the problems of workers. Siddiqui said Pakistani judiciary had been helpful in provision of compensation to the families of the 255 Baldia victims.

“The provision of compensation to the victims’ families shows that we have a good social security system in place which needs to be protected. Such a system does not exist anywhere in South Asia. In Bangladesh, workers are facing grave hardships after the Rana Plaza and other similar incidents,” said Siddiqui.

Karamat Ali, chief executive of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), said health and safety was a serious issue in Pakistan that had never been seriously addressed by the government.
“Factories are constructed like jails, especially textile mills,” he said. He said there was a need for solidarity at the South Asian level. Earlier this year, PILER had organised a regional roundtable in Kathmandu to discuss problems of garment workers and, as a result, a network of textile garment workers has been formed.
read more.
thenewspk

20141220 * Documenting Pakistan’s perilous workplaces:

A documentary focusing on the Baldia factory fire, titled “Workplace Safety in Pakistan”, made by progressive student activist Naghma Iqtidar was screened at a hotel on Friday.

The event organised by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) was followed by a lively discussion.

Naghma while addressing the audience highlighted the plight of the labourers in Pakistan with respect to the minimal safety measures provided to them. Keeping in view the deplorable conditions, she added that accidents occur on a daily basis but due to weak legislation and rampant corruption factory owners were seldom penalised.

“Workers are pressurised to work for long hours and are even denied minimum wages announced by the government,” this condition, Naghma added was increasing in South Asia day by day.

Piler Chief Executive Karamat Ali further added that the factories had no proper ventilation system neither temperature control. He claimed that at least 75 per cent of factory workers in Pakistan get injured on a daily basis.
read more.
thenewspk

    BALDIA FACTORY FIRE

20141219 * German retailer KiK targeted by families of fire victims:

More than two years after 259 garment workers died in a devastating factory fire in Pakistan, victims’ families have issued a legal notice against German retailer KiK demanding it pays compensation.

Relatives of five workers who perished in the Ali Enterprises fire in Baldia Town, Karachi have sent the legal notice to Germany’s biggest discount textile chain through a German lawyer. KiK was the factory’s only known customer.

In January 2013, KiK signed a compensation agreement with the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research to make an initial compensation of US$1 million to victims but the company has continuously delayed the payments under various pretexts.

KiK claims to take to control of the enforcement of labour laws and security standards of its suppliers. However, according to reports doors were locked and windows barred at the Ali Enterprises factory with victims unable to escape the fire.

At a Karachi rally organized by IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), and the Baldia Factory Fire Affectees Association on 14 December, speakers called on KIK to pay compensation as per International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.
read more.
INDUSRIall

20141215 * Baldia factory fire tragedy: German firm urged to pay compensation:

20141215 DAWN
Family members of the Baldia Town factory fire victims stage a protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday. Photo by White Star.

A number of families of the Baldia factory fire victims took out a rally from Regal Chowk to the Karachi Pressclub on Sunday to urge German textile discounter KIK to pay compensation as per rules of the International Labour Organisation.

For the past few weeks, the families of the Baldia fire victims have been holding protest demonstrations and consultation meetings to discuss the compensation the provincial and federal governments owed to them as well as to push international organisations to honour the agreements made with labour rights groups.

The rally was organised by the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and a advocacy group for the families of the victims named the Baldia Factory Fire Affectees Association.

Speekers told the participants in the rally that their main concern at the moment was the reluctance of the Germany-based company KIK, to pay compensation.

Head of the association, Mohammad Jabir, who lost his son in the fire, said real estate developer Malik Riaz has announced a compensation which had not yet been paid.
read more.
DAWNnew

from ducs 1

SOMEWHERE

Somewhere

Somewhere there are countries
Landscapes
Mountains
Rivers
Deserts, Jungles
Cities, Centers, Theaters
People
Somewhere there are worlds

Listening to the
Mountains of histories, experiences
Rivers of feelings (showing the currents)
Deserts of suffocating heat, drought, deadly, apathetic

But who listens?

Who climb the mountains Anyone looking for a getaway in the mountains
Who seeks the source
Who brings what refreshment, life

Who listens?

To a person’s history, experiences, feelings, thinking
Who takes the time
Who provides the space

Who can really tell, let be
Who dares

Who dares to listen

Do you have time or are you too busy

For the other
for yourself

What does it mean solidarity

Somewehere there are countries
Landscapes
Mountains
Rivers
Deserts, Jungles
Cities, Centers, Theaters
People

Somewhere there are worlds
Inside the other
Somewhere
Inside yourself

Somewhere
Somehow
You are

&

Vulnerable
Many people live in fear of the violence by governments and employers, bosses
Many people live from day to day to survive
Many people (workers) live in a apathy

These people have a right to be heard,
They are
They must not be ignored

 

from editor

* message from ducs:

Attempts have been made to re-activate the daily publication of the bulletin, -through other ways of working/searching-, but so far not with enough success.

So, due to this and other reasons the publishing of the (almost) daily bulletin will be stopped for a longer period of time.
Maybe next year it starts it again.
Apologies.

(The website- archives and special overviews remains online.)

DUCS-twitter

 

map of Asia

INFO:

There are UPDATES under “special overviews”:

* Cambodian Garment Workers: Provide Basic Wage $177 20140909-now

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 7: 20140824 – now

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

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* Urgent Appeal: Tell Uniqlo and G2000 to Stop Using Violence Against Workers in Artigas Factory
* Violence Against Workers in Artigas Factory
* Solidarity action to support striker in Shenzhen Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear Co. Ltd
* Striking Shenzhen factory workers seek support from municipal trade union
* Increases in China’s minimum wage begin to stall in 2014
* Textile industry at the crossroads of change
* China’s cotton yield declines in 2014

PHILIPPINES
* Philippines sees more investment opportunities after inclusion to EU’s GPS+

VIET NAM
* Despite some progress, garment factories need to strengthen fire safety:

CAMBODIA
* Protests to come after several unionists fired
* New pact targets child labour
* Garment Factories Commit to Boost Vigilance on Child Labor
* ILO, Cambodian garment manufacturers group to join hands to eliminate child labour

THAILAND
* New report to mark International Migrant Day

INDONESIA
* 1 million workers strike across Indonesia

BANGLADESH
* Global retailers: $50bn RMG export target achievable
* Bangladesh left out of US GSP review
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Rana Plaza missing workers’ list sent to DCs for cross checking

INDIA
* Powerloom weavers to go on strike from Dec. 29
* Labour problem, no production in Angus Jute Mill

SRI LANKA
* Tell shoe giant Bata to live up to their corporate responsibility!
* Join our action: Tell Bata to stop cut-and-run Sri Lanka
* Swiss shoe giant falls into disrepute: Dismissals instead of pay rise at former Bata supplier in Sri Lanka

PAKISTAN
* Labour leaders for new inspectors
* Backbone of industry: Female cotton-pickers call for recognition
* November textile exports up 13.02 percent YoY
* Textile exporters worry about GSP Plus perks
* ‘Laws, inspections a must for better workers’ safety’
* Documenting Pakistan’s perilous workplaces
BALDIA FACTORY FIRE:
* German retailer KiK targeted by families of fire victims
* Baldia factory fire tragedy: German firm urged to pay compensation

SOMEWHERE
——————-
* message from ducs

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