22:08:18 local time CHINA
20150415 * Chinese textile mills go green, save $14.7 mn annually:
Over 30 Chinese textile mills, many of which create clothing for major high-volume apparel brands and retailers are saving $14.7 million annually by adopting simple efficiency measures in their production processes, according to a new analysis by an American environmental action organisation – Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
In a statement, the NRDC said these improvements have dramatically reduced the pollution generated by these mills, cutting up to 36 per cent of water use and 22 per cent of energy use per mill and a total of at least 400 tons of chemicals.
The 33 mills are part of NRDC’s Clean By Design programme, a global model for manufacturing sustainability that is working with major fashion retailers and designers to green the fashion supply chain industry-wide.
21:08:18 local time VIET NAM
20150414 * Vietnam to develop skilled, not cheap, labour:
Vietnam is moving away from a “cheap labour” workforce to one more skilled to better compete in a climate of global integration, a senior industry minister said.
Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh told a US Congress delegation that cheap labour proved to be Vietnam’s advantage when the country initially entered integration in order to attract foreign investment, but the country was moving towards improving the quality of its workforce.
Anh said Vietnam will pay more attention to the development of high-tech industry, focusing on competitive products, along with boosting the development of precision engineering, electronics, the environment, and consumer goods industries in the next five years.
20150415 * “Yarn forward” principle drives capital flow to fiber projects:
The Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation (CSFC), after successfully issuing 5 million shares last December, has decided to list its shares on the bourse this June.
CSFC is one of the very few fiber manufacturers listing shares on the stock market. Its customers are not only final product users, but fabric manufacturers as well.
Thanh Cong Joint Stock Co (TCM) is another fiber manufacturer on the bourse. However, TCM’s major products are garments; it makes fiber only to get the best out of the closed production line.
There are few Vietnamese companies like CSFC, but this will change in the near future when Vietnam signs the TPP, which will apply the “yarn forward” principle in the textile and garment sector.
Under this principle, preferential tax rates will be applied to products made of fiber sourced from TPP countries.
This means that Vietnamese products will not be able to enjoy preferential tax rates if it continues using materials from China.
As a result, analysts say that Vietnamese have begun pouring money into fiber projects.
20150414 * Vinatex strives to perfect supply chain:
The government is stepping up efforts to help the textile and garment sector effectively seize the golden opportunities brought about by Vietnam’s future signing of diverse free trade agreements with the international community.
Earlier this month, Vinatex International Joint Stock Company (VTJ), a member of state giant Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), and its Japanese partner Toms Limited had inked a joint venture (JV) agreement to build a textile-dyeing-garment complex in the central region province of Quang Tri’s Hai Lang district.
Accordingly, the JV complex aims to produce elastic T-shirts, a key item of Toms Limited, at the Dien Sanh industrial cluster. The complex is planned to operate a complete production model, capable of processing goods from start to finish.
The project, worth $12 million in total investment capital, will consist of three plants: a textile dyeing plant with an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes of knitted fabrics, a garment plant producing more than 10 million items a year and a waste-water treatment plant with a daily capacity of 1,200 cubic metres.
20150415 * Indian, Vietnamese garment firms tie up:
The Indian Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) has announced a tie-up with lingerie maker Anh Khoa Production and Trading Co. Ltd.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on the occasion of a visit by Smita Pant, the Indian consul in Ho Chi Minh City, to the Sai Gon Fabric and Garment Accessories Expo (Sai Gon Tex) which ended in the city on April 12.
Under the deal, Anh Khoa will import materials from SRTEPC members.
21:08:18 local time LAOS
20150415 * Lao t-shirt makers eye New Year sales:
Moonphor, a unique Lao t-shirt maker, looks set to launch a larger branch of its retail t-shirt shop in Vientiane, following the positive reaction from local customers.
22:08:18 local time MALAYSIA
20150414 * Minimum Wage: 191 Investigation Papers Open, 118 Brought To Court:
A total of 191 investigation papers were opened on the failure to implement the minimum wage since Jan 1 last year to March this year, with 118 of them taken to court.
Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Muttalib told the Dewan Negara today, from the total, 64 cases were prosecuted involving fines totalling RM211,600.
“The Labour Court has also decided on 1,260 cases with claims amounting to RM20.5 million.
“The court has since 2014 to March this year also ordered RM1.746 million to be paid to the workers,” he said in the question and answer session.
21:08:18 local time THAILAND
* FitFlop unflappable about Thailand investment scheme:
The Primer Group of Companies, a Philippines lifestyle fashion company, believes sales of FitFlop shoes in Asia-Pacific this year will outpace last year’s with Thailand driving growth.
Camille Karaan, deputy director and vice-president of Primer International Management Ltd, the operator of FitFlop shops in Asia-Pacific, said despite the Thai economy slowing it would maintain its investment in the Thai market, particularly for exclusive product designs.
“Thailand is still a strategic market for FitFlop. Not only are Thai women interested in fashion but the country is also popular with tourists,” she said.
The company started producing exclusive shoe designs for Thailand three years ago, which received a warm response from Asean customers, particularly the Shasha collection.
About 150,000 pairs of Shasha sandals were sold in Asia-Pacific last year, compared with a record high of 100,000 pairs for its regular collections.
Last week Ms Karaan visited Bangkok to celebrate the launch of FitFlop Blossom, an exclusive collection for 2015. After three to six months in Thailand, the collection will be available in other countries in the region.
FitFlop shoes are available in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Next year, the Primer Group will expand its business to Laos and Cambodia.
19:53:18 local time NEPAL
* Weaving yarns of success:
Allo textile business has economically empowered and upgraded living standards of women of Syaulibang village
The sound of handlooms clacking becomes louder as a group of visitors approach Allo Processing Centre at Syaulibang village in Pyuthan district.
Inside, several women seated in front of wooden looms are expertly moving their hands to turn allo thread into textile; several other women seem busy extracting thread from cooked bark of allo, a wild plant similar to sisnu — also known as Himalayan nettle — which grows at an altitude of 900 to 2,500 metres.
The processing centre — which is, in fact, a small house made of stone — was established around six years ago so that women could come here and weave allo fabric or extract allo yarn.
Since the job of weaving is the bastion of women in this village, many women just drop by at the centre to meet friends, gossip or spend free time.
Around that time, many women of this village were enrolling themselves in a training programme that taught them how to extract yarn from allo plants and turn them into textile.
The programme was launched by Micro-Enterprises Development Programme (MEDEP), a poverty alleviation project promoted by the government and the United Nations Development Programme and funded by the Australian Aid.
These women, who underwent the training, later formed the processing centre, where they started working in groups.
Members of every group here have to collect allo from the nearby forest, turn it into yarn or weave textile.
The yarn is sold to carpet factories or those engaged in allo textile business, while textiles are woven into apparels, like coat, waistcoat and shirt, or accessories, like hand bags and wallets.
By selling these items, women here earn a few hundred rupees every day.
This is a huge cry from the days when they were spending their days tending the farm, livestock or children, without making direct financial contribution to the family.
In that sense, allo textile business has economically empowered women of this village, which now produces 6,000 kg of allo thread per year — around half of which is turned into textile, and the rest is sold to carpet factories.
20:08:18 local time BANGLADESH
20150417 * Govt looks for ways to implement workers’ ration programme:
Factory owners not interested in taking management responsibility
The government is on the lookout for a system through which the rationing programme for the factory workers could be executed, as pledged by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
In a meeting with the state minister for labour Mujibul Haque, representatives of factory owners on Thursday expressed their mixed opinion over the execution process and some of them proposed to provide fair price cards to the workers instead of ration.
According to the ministry officials, the representatives of the employers were not interested to take the management responsibility of the programme in their respective factories.
Owners suggested that the government should take the responsibility of implementing the programme and it should be outside of the factory premises, lest untoward situation might erupt in the factory over the rationing programme, source said.
20150417 * Jute mill workers demand withdrawal of layoff:
Workers on Thursday staged a demonstration pressing for immediate withdrawal of layoff notice issued by the authority of Sagar Jute Spinning Mills at Senhati of Dighalia upazila in Khulna at the night of April 14.
At the demonstration in front of the administration building of the mill, the central bargaining agent leaders said that the layoff notice issued the management of the private mill laying off the workers citing financial crisis was illegal as it was issued without any consultation with the CBA.
When contacted, CBA leader Sheikh Babar Ali said that the management laid off all 3000 permanent and casual workers and the workers were now starving along with the families.
20150416 * Jute workers continue protests:
Workers of state-owned jute mills in Khulna and Jessore formed human chains yesterday to continue protests as part of an 11-day programme announced to highlight their five-point demand.
Yesterday’s protests held in front of the factories demanded a 20% dearness allowance for the workers, adequate allocation in jute sector and payment of overdue wages.
Yesterday was the sixth day of the 11-day programme announced by CBA-Non CBA Oikya Parishad, and the workers also staged demonstrations and held rallies from 10am to 11am.
The rallies were addressed by labour leaders. Workers of Crescent Jute Mill, Platinum Jute Mill, Star Jute Mill, Alim Jute Mill and Eastern Jute Mill in Khulna, and JJI Jute Mill and Carpeting Jute Mill in Jessore joined yesterday’s protests.
The 11-day programme was announced in the wake of falling jute production and shrinking export.
20150417 * Innovation the way to climb the value chain:
Manufacturers investing in design cuts attract new orders and helps buyers as well
We applaud the pro-active approach being shown by Bangladesh’s denim producers in taking their part of the RMG industry forward.
The sector’s hosting of a two day Bangladesh Denim Expo next month to attract global buyers provides a valubale chance for it to showcase maufacturers’ growing involvement in design and innovation.
More Bangladeshi denim manufacturers are successfully investing more in the design and development of new products.
This is helping them move away from a position where designs were solely dictated by buyers to one where they can attract new orders by offering more of their own new designs of denim.
20150416 * RMG units unhappy over addl remediation plan:
A section of readymade garment factory owners has alleged that the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a consortium of North American retailers, is incorporating additional corrective action plan to factories during its follow-up inspection.
The factory owners have recently informed the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association that the inclusion of additional CAP may hamper the smooth progress of remediation process.
The BGMEA last week requested the North American retailers group to limit follow-up visits to factories and not to include additional cap as the factories are implementing CAPs on initial findings.
A senior official of Alliance said that they had received a letter in this regard from the BGMEA and assured the garments factory owners that in the final inspection the Alliance declared factories compliant or noncompliant based on the implementation of corrective action plans on initial findings.
‘We are giving follow-up findings to some factories to help the factory authorities in ensuring more safe working place in their establishments but the progresses of follow-up corrective actions will not be considered during the final inspection,’ he said.
20150417 * Recouping losses by RMG sector:
Now that the country is experiencing a sense of respite, thanks to the relatively peaceful political environment, it is only likely that the manufacturing and exporting sectors will try to regain the lost momentum in production and marketing.
The country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry, believed to have suffered the most in the political mayhem, should be the one to put all it can in trying to recoup losses of the past months. Given its production scale, millions of workforce and indeed exports, the country’s RMG industry was more vulnerable to shocks from the lingering blockades and hartals.
There are frightening estimates of losses caused by late shipments and cancellation of export orders.
Industry insiders reported of 20-25 per cent production loss during the last three months’ non-stop blockade and political impasse.
Around 40 factories suffered losses amounting to nearly Tk 2.0 billion due to cancellation of orders, discount on account of late shipments, air shipment charges and additional transportation costs during mid January to the third week of February.
This has been reflected in the export figures of the July-March period with both woven and knit products failing to reach their respective growth targets of 3.18 per cent and 5.58 per cent respectively.
20150417 * Canada to boost clothing imports: Envoy:
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said Thursday the government will take initiatives to increase export to Canada.
“Bangladesh wants to increase trade with Canada. The trade relations with Canada are years-old. We will take the initiative to enhance bilateral trade,” he told the journalists after a meeting with Canadian Ambassador Benoit-Pierre Laramee at his secretariat office.
Bangladesh exported ready-made garment (RMG), jute and leather goods and others items to Canada worth US $ 1099.63 million and imported $ 585.50 million during the fiscal year (FY) 2013-14.
Mr Ahmed said that the Canadian envoy has expressed satisfaction over the progress in the clothing industert after the Rana Plaza incident.
He said that Canada is considering importing more clothing items from Bangladesh.
The Canadian envoy said his country has been providing duty free and quota free market facilities to Bangladesh.
read more. & read more.
20150416 * Bangladesh needs profound changes in business environment : US:
The United States on Wednesday reiterated the necessity for bringing profound changes in business environment in Bangladesh.
There is necessity for taking actions including making ‘bureaucratic interaction more user-friendly, over and over again for profound changes in commercial environment,’ US ambassador Marcia S Bernicat said at a meeting hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, widely known as Amcham.
The ambassador said currently bilateral trade is around US$ 6 billion a year. US$ 5 billion of that consists of Bangladeshi exports to the United States, primarily ready-made garments, and US$ 1 billion is in US exports to Bangladesh in a wide-range of sectors ranging from aircraft to chemicals.
The ambassador also stressed the need for improving workers’ rights and creating safe working environment.
‘But spreading the word is not enough; you have to constantly push the envelope forward so that Bangladesh is synonymous with the best work practices and the safest factories.’
20150416 * ETPs key to industrial sustainability:
Bangladesh is projected to achieve middle income status by 2021. In this process, the readymade garment (RMG) sector has a crucial role to play.
It contributes more than 65 per cent of national export earnings and employs around eight million people in Bangladesh.
The RMG sector is being made compliant and environmentally sustainable as the government, retailers, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the overall condition of this sector.
These include zero discharge of hazardous chemicals, Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PACT), establishing biological effluent treatment plant (ETP), through which used water of the factories would be recyclable and establishing central ETP on the basis of the cluster to share the facility among the adjoining factories.
Sustainable industrial growth is a major challenge for development of Bangladesh. Regulatory compliance in the industrial sector is essential for better natural and human environment as well as complies with the international buyer’s requirement.
To meet the national development goals and eco-friendly industrial growth, setting up of ETP will indeed be a step towards building an eco-friendly Bangladesh.
Textile industries produce wastewater, otherwise known as effluent, as a bi-product of their production.
Effluent from the textile industry is a major source of environmental pollution, especially water pollution.
Among various stages of textile production, the operations in the dyeing plants, which include pre-treatments, dyeing and finishing, produce most of the pollution.
But despite these laws, factory owners often show reluctance to invest money in proper treatment because they consider it to be a non-productive use of money in an industry that is still emerging and striving to remain profitable in the highly competitive global market.
Even where industries already have ETPs, there is often the unwillingness to operate the plants correctly because of the high-running costs or the lack of experience to do so effectively.
20150416 * Garment exporters going green to grab more orders:
Bangladesh’s garment sector is moving towards green building initiatives to impress the growing tribe of eco-minded international retailers, and in the process, grab more work orders.
So far, 14 garment factories from Bangladesh have received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Of the factories, five were conferred the platinum status, five gold, one silver and the other three received just the normal certification from the US agency.
20150416 * Trailblazing knit factory readies itself for operation:
US LEED rating awaits ‘green’Plummy
The story starts two years back in a grim background. Fazlul Haque, a business leader, got into odds over the Rana Plaza disaster. That episode is now about to yield a storybook ending in Bangladesh’s highest export-earning sector.
The day was April 24, and Mr Haque was on board a Kathmandu-bound flight to attend an international conference. The news of the plaza collapse was already aired, with the death toll rising by the time. All on a sudden, a passenger came up to Mr Haque and asked: ‘Why you are not in Savar where many garment workers are killed in Rana Plaza collapse?’
“It was really embarrassing for me although I was not an office bearer of any garment trade bodies at the time,” recalls Mr Haque. “The man demanded that I should stay there.”
Fazlul Haque, a former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), finally skipped the man. But it made a deep impression on him.
“I deeply felt that, as a garment entrepreneur, I have to do something,” he continues.
“Later we decided to set up a knit factory without harming the environment and ensuring maximum comfort for the workers.”
* Globalisation of production 1 – Changes in the world of work:
An important aspect of economic globalisation is the globalisation of the process of production.
With the gradual dismantling of trade barriers, and capital flows becoming easier, globalisation of the process of production has also become easier.
It is no longer necessary to produce goods in one location. Even though a product may bear the mark of being produced in a particular country, its components may have been produced in different locations.
This is particularly the case with high-tech products for which R&D (research and development) is usually carried out in developed countries, components are made in other countries, and the final assembly may be done in yet another country.
This approach is also used in producing labour-intensive goods like garments, shoes, etc. – with designs provided by developed countries, components produced by some countries and the final production undertaken in some others.
Thus, globalisation of production involves splitting of the global value chain into different components and their handling in an integrated manner irrespective of where they are produced.
Its success depends critically on several conditions including the technical capacity of the producers of components and of firms to assemble them, the availability of workers with necessary skills, and the ability of managers to ensure delivery according to strict time schedule (the so-called “just-in-time delivery”).
In some cases, e.g., for basic consumer goods like garments and shoes, the skills required are rather basic while in the case of others like electronics and their components, parts of capital goods, etc., higher-level skills are required.
But what is regarded as key is the flexibility with which labour can be employed and their low cost. Of course, the arrangement has its positive as well as negative aspects.
* Globalisation of production 2 – Is race to the bottom inevitable?:
For the workers in the current stage of globalisation of production, the danger of a race to the bottom seems real.
On the other hand, given the potential benefits of globalised production, one could argue (and indeed hope) that that does not have to be the only consequence.
The prevailing gloomy scenario is mainly due to a misplaced emphasis on a static and narrow interpretation of competitiveness in terms of financial costs of per unit of production.
And the adoption of a slightly longer term and broader perspective could perhaps lead to a different situation.
Why is a static view of competitiveness inadequate even from the point of view of profitability and competitiveness?
The simple reason is that competitive edge based on low cost of unskilled labour does not last indefinitely.
Once surplus labour is exhausted, and labour market tightens up, an economy will be required to adopt other means of maintaining competitiveness.
Even while surplus labour exists and it is possible to keep production lines operational without raising real wages, there is often a cost in terms of productivity and efficiency of workers.
Likewise, unsafe and poor work environments also may have negative consequences for productivity.
While happy workers are likely to be more productive, safe and healthy places of work can be more conducive to improvement in productivity.
20150416 * Lily Gomes, Champion of Bangladesh Garment Workers:
In the hours and days after the multistory Rana Plaza building collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh, Solidarity Center Senior Program Officer Lily Gomes was an ever-present figure in the hospitals, where she went from bed to bed checking on injured workers and offering support.
She also visited workers at their homes, to offer assistance and to document details of the world’s deadliest garment factory disaster.
Providing emergency aid is one of a multitude of duties Gomes has undertaken since joining the Solidarity Center’s Dhaka office in 1996.
Trainer, union organizer, curriculum developer, gender specialist and financial program monitor—over the years, Gomes has carried out these roles and many more, earning a doctorate in sociology from Jadavpur University in India along the way.
Now, she has a new title: Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C.
“This is the time clearly to focus on women garment workers to have them in leading positions,” Gomes says of her plans while in residence.
During her five month-long Reagan-Fascell fellowship, she will develop a gender policy guideline for advancing women’s leadership among trade unions within Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) industry.
“This is the time for women to express their voices.”
She brings to the fellowship a rare range and depth of experience. Gomes was among Solidarity Center staff aiding garment workers forming their first women-led union in 1996.
“I was with them day and night,” she says, recounting the long hours involved in creating the Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation (BIGUF), a milestone achievement not only for worker rights but one that “initiated the idea that women should be the main leadership to reflect the workers in the RMG industry in Bangladesh.”
20150416 * ‘Workers’ Voices’ Documentary Uses Personal Stories to Highlight Women’s Leadership in Bangladeshi Garment Industry:
Bengali-American human rights lawyer and former General Counsel to the New York City Public Advocate office, Chaumtoli Huq, has partnered with documentary filmmaker Mohammad Romel to create “Workers’ Voices” (Sramik Awaaz).
The documentary focuses on female organizing in the Bangladeshi garment industry.
For more than 15 years, Huq, also editor of the blog Law@theMargins, has worked on labor issues in the U.S., including starting the first South Asian Workers Project, which provides legal services to low-wage South Asian workers.
The impetus for the documentary came in August 2014 when Huq became researching the working conditions of garment industry workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
According to Huq’s blog, the documentary aims to highlight the organizing efforts in the garment industry, efforts by workers to educate others on their trade union rights in developing female leadership in the union, as well as ways allies abroad can show solidarity.
Since many garment factories do not put as much as focus as they should on worker conditions, one of the integral parts of the garment-making process, Huq highlights female workers who were putting forth extraordinary efforts to improve their working conditions despite challenges such as extreme poverty, familial barriers including violence, and threats made by garment factory owners.
“It struck me that while I could write about these stories, which I do as a lawyer, activist, and scholar, it would not be as powerful as hearing from workers themselves,” Huq said. “As an advocate, my job [is] to facilitate a process so that those who are most impacted are made visible. The impetus was really the workers.”
One such woman, Anju Begum, discussed the role of women in the labor moment in the video clip below.
As the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers’ Federation (BGIWF) trade union leader, Begum, was trained by the BGIWF and now consciously advocates for the importance of women’s leadership.
What struck Huq during this interview with Begum was the collaborative and cooperative nature of her leadership efforts.
“She is not saying, ‘I am [a] leader, follow me.’ She is saying: ‘now that I am a leader, I have a responsibility to lift others up to be leaders,’” Huq said.
“Its a more collective approach to leadership, than a hierarchal one. I think the feminist movement, often influenced by elite women can learn from this style of leadership.”
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE
20150415 * Rana Plaza investigators get more time:
The investigating officer (IO), probing the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building at Dhaka’s Savar, has been granted more time to submit his report to the court.
The court of Dhaka’s Chief Judicial Magistrate granted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bijay Krishna Kar five more weeks to file the report after he sought an extension on Wednesday.
Kar, an official of the police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), was asked to submit his reports on May 21.
20150415 * Court grants more time to Rana Plaza collapse investigator to file report:
The investigating officer (IO), probing the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building at Dhaka’s Savar, has been granted more time to submit his report to the court.
The court of Dhaka’s Chief Judicial Magistrate granted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bijay Krishna Kar five more weeks to file the report after he sought an extension on Wednesday.
Kar, an official of the police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), was asked to submit his reports on May 21.
On Apr 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Savar, which housed five garment factories, collapsed.
Official figures put the death toll at 1,135, mostly workers of the garment factories. At least 2,458 people were rescued from the rubbles.
Two cases were filed over the incident—one over death due to negligence and the other under the building code.
The court had earlier sought explanations from the IO over the delay. ASP Kar told the court that the chargesheet would be filed as soon as possible.
State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had said in April 2014 that the police would complete the investigation ‘very soon’.
19:38:18 local time INDIA
20150415 * Fire in tannery leaves two labourers dead:
Two labourers were burnt alive in a devastating fire in a tannery in Jajmau area on Tuesday morning.
As many as six labourers were working in the factory when fire broke out. Two workers were caught in the flames and four succeeded in coming out. Sunil (23) and Shivbali (50) lost their lives.
Over two dozen fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. Army and RAF had to be called to battle the blaze. The cause of the fire is not yet known but sources said that short-circuit in cable junction may be the reason.
Sunil was a resident of Jajmau while Shivbali, survived by his wife Gulabi and five daughters, hailed from Ballia district. He was residing with his family in Ratiram Ka Purwa in Unnao district.
Jajmau area houses more than 400 big and small tanneries and chemical godowns.
“There were six people inside the tannery belonging to Anees, a resident of KDA Colony in Jajmau.
The labourers who managed to escape, said that the fire was caused after sparks in cable junction near the stairs.
The flames spread on the first floor of the unit. Twenty two fire tenders from across five fire stations of the district tried to douse the flames,” a senior fire official.
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20150415 * Child labour in Gujarat’s cotton factories: Will Modi stop it?:
We have been told that Narendra Modi is a decisive leader to the extent of being authoritarian, dictatorial but one who delivers.
That has been the USP on which his spin doctors have built the entire Modi myth on. It resonates in various fora, starting from his lecture at Shri Ram College, New Delhi, to wherever else he moves in the country.
The media have kept us ignorant of many issues that have gripped Gujarat since 2002, where his performance is supposed to be the guide to the voters to determine if he is fit to be the steward of the country.
We did not know that Modi had a law in place mandating 50 percent seats in local bodies for women.
We did not know that the woman governor Kamal Beniwal had held back her ascent to it.
To my mind, Narendra Modi has an opportunity to prove that he is indeed the person who he says he is, as much as his followers do, thanks to a CNN-IBN expose on how cotton ginning factories in Kadi, a town north of Ahmedabad, have been employing children smuggled in from Rajasthan in hazardous conditions.
They are legally speaking underaged to be labouring, inhale cotton dust, and get underpaid.
20150417 * Wage talks fail:
With the talks between the district administration, manufacturers, power loom owners and workers over the wage hike issue failed, the next talks were scheduled for April 20.
Power loom workers
Demanding hike in wages, power loom workers in Pallipalayam and Komarapalayam were protesting for the past few months.
They began their indefinite strike on April 8.
However, Industries Minister P. Thangamani had requested them to postpone their strike and workers have rescheduled it for April 26.
20150417 * Power-loom owners call for indefinite shutdown:
32,000 weavers to become jobless
With the tussle between the weavers and the powerloom owners continuing over increasing the wage, over 32,000 weavers of Rabakavi and Banahatti towns of the district are feared to go jobless with owners calling for shutdown of work for indefinite period from Friday.
About eight thousand looms of the twin-town may stop functioning with the owners not ready to meet the demand of the weavers citing increased cost of production and reducing market for the textile products as the reasons.
The matter of wage has cropped up again after the end of the two-year agreement between weavers and owners.
It has been the system for years that owners increase the wage after every two years.
Now, with the expiry of the agreement, the weavers are demanding an increase in the wage.
“For years, the owners have been increasing the wage by 30 to 50 per cent, but this time, the owners say they cannot increase the wage by more than five per cent.
How can we accept this offer, especially when the cost of living has increased”, said, Mallikarjun Jumanal, leader of the weavers.
He said that the weavers are demanding a 30 per cent increase wage.
20150415 * Low wages do not deter handloom workers:
Poor wages and fall in patronage do not deter them from sticking their profession they had inherited from their forefathers, despite the fact that a good number of looms had been idling.
Scores of handloom workers at the foot of Tirueengoimalai on the Tiruchi-Thottiyam highway have been toiling hard preparing the yarn or handloom cloth to be supplied to Athur.
M. Selvi, manager of Sri Maragatheswari Handloom Weavers’ Association, said the handloom industry was in doldrums because of serious fall in wages.
Left with no option, the labourers were still adhering to the trade as they were not familiar with any other skill for taking up alternative livelihood.
A. Saravanamuthu, a labourer, says handloom cloth involved a series of intricate and conventional methods – right from preparing the yarn up to spraying of rice gruel for ensuring its quality.
20150417 * Eight sectors generate 1.17 lakh jobs in October-December quarter: Government:
Eight select sectors including IT, textiles and gems & jewellery generated 1.17 lakh jobs during the October-December period of 2014, a government survey said.
“At overall level, employment has increased by 1.17 lakh during the quarter ended December 2014 over September 2014,” a Labour Bureau quarterly report on change in employment in select sectors for October-December 2014 said.
The IT/BPOs sector generated 89,000 new jobs during the December quarter over July-September period of 2014, followed by 79,000 in textile segment including apparel sector and 1,000 in leather industry.
20150416 * Indian firms are not creating enough jobs and reason is restrictive labour laws:
Arvind Panagariya, the vice-chairman of the NITI Ayog, recently said that Indian companies do not invest in industries which have the potential to employ a lot of people or what economists refer to as labour-intensive sectors.
“Here is my charge to you: if I look around, none of you invest in industries, in sectors that would generate lots of employment; all of you just run away from hiring purpose,” Panagariya said.
Every month more than a million Indians are entering the workforce. As Panagariya put it: “Every year, 12 million enter the labour force. What is your plan for the country so that more people are employed? We really need to think. You know the ground conditions; why you are not investing in sectors which are more labour-intensive such as food processing, electronic assembly, leather products.”
The labour laws in India remain very restrictive. In their book India’s Tryst with Destiny Jagdish Bhagwati and Panagariya recount a story told to them by economist Ajay Shah.
Shah asked a leading Indian industrialist about why he did not enter the apparel sector, given that he was already backward integrated and made yarn and cloth. “The industrialist replied that with the low profit margins in apparel, this would be worth while only if he operated on the scale of 100,000 workers. But this would not be practical in view of India’s restrictive labour laws.”
The textile sector is a very good example where most Indian firms continue to remain small. As many as 92.4% of workers in this sector work with small firms which have 49 or less workers.
Now compare this to China where large and medium firms make up around 87.7% of the employment in the apparel sector.
20150414 * Labour Ministry proposes single Labour Code on wages:
The Labour Ministry has proposed to come out with a single Labour Code on Wages by amalgamating provisions of various relevant laws.
“The Ministry of Labour & Employment has proposed to come out with a Labour Code on Wages by amalgamating the relevant provisions of the Minimum Wages Act 1948, The Payment of Wages Act 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act 1965, and The Equal Remuneration Act 1976,” an official statement said.
20150415 * Raw material shortage stares textile mills:
Industry body wants CCI to release more bales of cotton
Textile mills in Telangana are running out of cotton, creating a raw material crisis that will spell doom for thousands of their workers unless the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) bails them out with more bales.
“The raw material stocks at many of the 32 mills are barely enough for ten days,” says Sushil Sancheti, treasurer of Telangana Spinning & Textile Mills Association (TSTMA).
20150414 * AP CM invites Chinese firms to set up industrial parks:
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has invited Chinese firms to set up industrial parks and take up infrastructure development in the State.
Several MoUs were inked by the State and also by some of the touring companies.
During a meeting with China Harbour Engineering Company, its Chairman Mo Wenhe said, “We are looking forward to fostering great business relationship with your country. Our roads business is worth $60 billion.”
20150415 * MoUs planned by apparel sector skill council:
Apparel, Made-ups and Home furnishing Sector Skill Council (AHHSSC) is to sign two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with two Canadian institutions with an aim to seek expertise from them and upgrade the skill of workers in apparel sector in the country.
The Council’s chairman, Arumugam Sakthivel, who is also the president of Tirupur Exporters Association, will sign the MoUs with Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology at Ontario in Canada and Canada India Education Council, a not-for-profit organisation, on April 15 in Canada.
20150410 * Banana fibre fabric may usher new fashion trend:
A fabric made out from banana fibre could well be the next green apparel of the future. Researchers at MS University’s department of clothing and textile have designed woven and non-woven fabrics of the fibre obtained from pseudo stem of the banana plant.
The fabric, say researchers, can be cheaper than cotton and linen if produced on a mass scale.
“We have been successful in making woven and non-woven fabrics from the banana fibre. We treated the long length banana fibres with chemicals and oils to soften it to make it more flexible. After the treatment, the fibres were cut into staple length and twisted with semi-synthetic or regenerated fibres to develop a range of fabric,” said Amrita Doshi, who conducted the study under the guidance of professor Anjali Karolia.
“The strong and durable banana fibres are creamy white to brown in colour. Fabrics made out of the fibre possess good luster, light weight and have faster moisture absorption. This woven fabric looks similar to linen,” Doshi told TOI.
20150417 * Colours of the loom:
Blood red and parrot green in handloom? A new project threads a dramatic palette of colours into the white and cream of Kerala handloom
Handloom fabrics have a distinct identity.
They have a history, they are deeply connected to the lives of weaving communities and they speak of a skill handed down generations.
Designers over the years have played with the immense possibilities of handloom, reinventing and re-packaging it.
The latest twist to the handloom comes from Vimala Viswambharan and her daughter-in-law Rasmi Poduval.
The duo from Thrissur has interpreted the Kerala handloom in a unique way in their new prêt line, ‘Kaithari’.
The project looks at the Kerala handloom in an entirely different light.
“Handloom in Kerala is associated with the staple cream and gold colour combination. We have introduced a dramatic palette of colours.
Think blood red, parrot green… in handloom,” she says.
19:08:18 local time PAKISTAN
20150417 * Textile industry: Punjab extending all possible facilities: minister:
Punjab Labour Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has said that the Punjab government is taking all-out measures to exploit the opportunity of GSP Plus status and extending all possible facilities to textile industry to enhance existing export volume.
While addressing a meeting at Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Thursday, he said that no doubt, energy plays a major role for the socio economic development and crisis ridden industrial sector is facing multiple challenges.
“We are working to bridge the huge gap between demand and supply and comprehensive strategy has been chalked out to overcome energy challenges, he added.
20150416 * Appointment of textile minister urged:
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to appoint a federal minister to oversee the Ministry of Textile Industry, a statement said on Wednesday.
Opposing the move to merge the Ministry of Textile Industry with the Ministry of Commerce, Aptma Chairman S M Tanveer said the merger will be counterproductive, as the Textile Ministry was formed to facilitate and resolve the issues of the textile industry.
20150416 * APTMA for continuation of MINTEX as separate Ministry:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman S. M. Tanveer has urged Premier Nawaz Sharif to appoint a federal minister to oversee the Ministry of Textile Industry but criticised a move merging the Ministry of Textile Industry with that of commerce for not being “prudent”.
He said the Ministry of Textile Industry was formed to resolve issues of the textile industry. “Presently, the textile industry, the mainstay of the economy, is passing through a turbulent phase.
Textile mills are closing down their operations because of becoming unviable and of various reasons concerning energy insecurity, un-affordability and the high costs of business.
20150417 * Spinners keep chasing quality lint amid short supply:
Steadier trend persisted on the cotton market on Thursday as the spinners kept purchasing of quality lint despite short supply, dealers said on Thursday.
The official spot rate was unchanged at Rs 5300, dealers said. In the ready session, around 4,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 4600 and Rs 5600, they said.
The prices of seed cotton in Sindh were at Rs 1900 and Rs 2500 and in Punjab rates were at Rs 2200 and Rs 3000, they said.
20150414 * OTML closes textile unit, intends de-listing from bourses:
Olympia Textiles Mills Limited (OTML) has permanently closed its spinning unit due to adverse economic conditions prevailing in country and intended to de-list shares of Company from stock exchanges of Pakistan.
The management of Company informed its stakeholders through a notice to Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Monday sponsors believed since the spinning unit was not viable and they did not see it being operational in near future, therefore sponsors were willing to buyback shares at a price of Rs 935 per share from all shareholders of OTML from stock exchanges in the country.
Company will appoint a purchase agent to oversee and mange buy-back process in due course of time, if transaction is approved and processed by regulatory authorities.
The Company citing prolonged load shedding of electricity, depreciating rupee and strong competition in textile sector from other countries as some of the major factors that cast significant doubts on viability of spinning textile sector.
20150415 * KCA opposes sales tax on raw cotton:
The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) opposed the proposed standard sales tax on cotton to generate around Rs50 billion in the next fiscal year, said a statement on Tuesday.
The Karachi Cotton Associationchairman Amin Hashwani said such proposals discourage production and smooth flow of exports, running counter to the government policy to encourage cotton trade in the country.
“Sales tax generally is not imposed on raw cotton globally,” he said.
20150416 * PTA urges government to address leather industry’s issues:
Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Muhammad Musaddiq, has urged the government to take stock of the situation causing decline in export of the valued-added leather industry and increasing cost of doing business as well as lesser compatibility against competitors.
Expressing concern over downward trend in export of leather and leather products from Pakistan despite the award of GSP plus status to Pakistan, Muhammad Musaddiq recommend the government to issue instructions to the ministries of commerce, finance as well as Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for taking immediate necessary steps to remove the hurdles faced by the exporters of leather industry and frame business-friendly polices.
20150416 * PTA voices concern over persistent decline in FDI:
The Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) has expressed concern over a persistent decline in foreign direct investment from 3.67 percent of the gross domestic product in 2007 to 0.55 percent in 2013, with minimum 0.38 percent in 2012, while there has been hardly any significant joint venture during the past couple of years, mainly because of lacking advantageous policies.
PTA former chairman Agha Saiddain told this to Business Recorder here on Wednesday.
“As far as exports of leather and leather products are concerned, China, India and Bangladesh registered a considerable increase of four percent, 18 percent and 32 percent.
Pakistan’s leather exports have declined by 1.63 percent during the July-February 2014-15, compared to the corresponding period of last year.
If revolutionary changes will not be introduced, the country could become dependent and perpetual borrower forever,” he mentioned.
* Yarn spinning rapidly expanding in South & Southeast Asia:
Yarn spinning is rapidly expanding in South and Southeast Asia and is expected to continue on the same lines in near future, according to the latest report on ‘Cotton: World Market and Trends’ released by the US department of agriculture.
Owing to growth in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, yarn spinning in South and Southeast Asia overtook Chinese yarn spinning in 2011-12, and it has been rising ever since.
With nearly two-fifths of consumption, any policy change in China was likely to impact globally.
This pushed yarn spinning into other nearby markets.
19:08:18 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbek government forces over one million to harvest cotton in 2014 – report – TRFN:
The Uzbek government forced into labour more than one million people in the 2014 cotton harvest, while officials siphoned off profits at unprecedented levels, a rights group said on Monday.
More public service workers were forced to pick cotton in the two-month harvest than in previous years, putting a strain on essential services like health care and education, according to a report by Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF).
“Schools and health clinics cannot function with so many staff sent to pick cotton,” said Nadejda Atayeva, president of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia.
* Uzbek-German Human Rights Forum Lambasts Tashkent Over Cotton Harvesting:
The Uzbek-German Forum For Human Rights (UGF) has criticized Uzbek authorities for forcing “more than 1 million” Uzbeks to pick cotton in 2014.
In its report issued on April 13, the Germany-based group said that Uzbek officials continued “to extort individuals and businesses, including multinational companies, at a larger scale as part of the annual Uzbek cotton harvest.”
According to the report, at least 17 people died and many were injured during the harvest season last year.
Workers toiled in the fields for 10 hours a day with little rest and no days off, and their living quarters were often unheated, overcrowded, and lacking clean water and washing facilities.
* Turkey country study 2015:
Responsible for a large proportion of Turkey’s total export, the garment industry is the country’s second largest industry, with the european union as the biggest purchaser.
Although the industry is familiar with international workplace standards and the audits of international buyers, improvements are still needed in many aspects of its labour conditions.
Small and medium-sized factories with a wide sub-contractor chain dominate the industry, with the working conditions deteriorating throughout the supply chain.
The industry is well aware of the issue of unregistered employment.
It is estimated that almost 60% of the total workforce in the industry is unregistered.
This results in workers who are unable to assert their rights to social security, job security, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.
read more and download the study here.
20150415 * Memorandum of Protest: Good Hope Centre Saga-SACTWU to Protest against City:
Memorandum of Protest: Good Hope Centre Saga-SACTWU to Protest against City
Delivered to the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Ms. Patricia De Lille, by the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU)
Wednesday 15 April 2015.
We, some recent contestants of the SACTWU Annual Spring Queen Pageant and joined by a number of our duly elected shop stewards, are gathered here today on behalf of our 30 000 members in the Western Cape, to express our disappointment and dissatisfaction at the City of Cape Town’s unilaterally imposed plans to outsource the Good Hope Centre.
This is, at this stage, just a ‘Warning Protest’. Hence we have kept it small for now.
For decades, we have hosted our Annual Spring Queen Pageant in the Good Hope Centre.
Thousands of clothing, textile and leather workers participate in this event very year.
Our event is now under threat, and stand the danger of not being hosted this year, during its 40th anniversary.
Our members, clothing, textile and leather workers from the poorest parts of the City, do not accept the high-handed unilateral manner in which a premier event of workers who make such an important contribution to the local Provincial economy, has been bluntly shunned.
read more. & read -see more.
20150414 * Good Hope Centre Saga: SACTWU to protest against city:
SACTWU TO PROTEST AGAINST CITY
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has submitted an application to protest against the City of Cape Town.
The submission comes after the City announced that it has outsourced the Good Hope Centre to a Film Company for the next three to five years. Many organisations make use of the Good Hope Centre and were not consulted on this decision.
SACTWU hosts its annual Spring Queen at the Good Hope Centre and has done so since the inception of the event. This year is the Spring Queen’s 40th anniversary and have now been left without a venue. Thousands of clothing, textile and leather workers participate in our Spring Queen event, every year.
We are very disappointed in this decision and will take to the streets.
We reject that there was no consultation with key users and stakeholders.
* Ethiopia sets $1 billion target for textile export:
Ethiopia’s Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI) has forecast $ one billion in annual revenue from textile and garment export during the second phase of the growth and transformation plan (GTP II), according to media reports in the country.
In a bid to make the nation the major exporter of textile products, the government has extended attractive incentive packages to boost production of the manufacturing industry subsector.
According to the director general, more than 152 new investments are expected during the second growth and transformation plan, while at least $ one billion is anticipated from the sector’s export. The GTP II is also expected to create more than 170,000 job opportunities.