Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 9: 20150525-now

lw-hr

* A living wage = a human right:

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

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

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

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

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

Site

* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA):

Print

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

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

LW + 220150711

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Manufacturers asks for government mediation regarding minimum wage:

Business owners from the garment and manufacturing industries have asked for government meditation between the Labor Ministry, the manufacturers and the workers in regards to a minimum wage at a meeting held on 10th July at the Garment Manufacturers Association.

The meeting, which barred the entry of all news media, was specifically organized by the Garment Manufacturers Association and attended only by manufacturers to further discuss the current situation, according to SoeHtun, a business owner and a member of the association.

“We, the business owners, feel that the government should also get involved in the equation, instead of just dialogues between the workers and us.
For example, how will the government subsidize us if we agree on the Ks 3600 minimum wage deal?

How about Tax Holidays or will they support SMEs more?
What about reducing costs of transporting goods such as reducing the toll fee for Bayintnaung bridge or even free of charge?
If compromises can be reached, there will no longer be any need for the workers and the business owners to clash.
The employees will be happy while the employers will also be happy since they will be getting back something in return” said SoeHtun.
read more.
Eleven

LW + 220150709-10

19:14:30 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Minimum wages likely to grow 10% next year:

The average minimum wage by region is projected to rise by just over 10% in 2016 thanks to projections of low inflation and lingering challenges for enterprises, according to the chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Vu Tien Loc told reporters about the projection of regional minimum wage rises on the sidelines of a dialogue on labor and wage policies in Hanoi last Friday. The event was organized by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and VCCI.

Loc said Vietnam’s economy has been back to high growth this year but labor productivity has not improved and many enterprises are still struggling with difficulties.
So, employers want an average salary rise of just over 10% for 2016, the same as in 2015.

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Manh Huan, chairman of the National Wage Council, said many participants at the dialogue agreed that the minimum wage by region should not spike strongly due to slow improvements in labor productivity and the low consumer price index.

“Increases of minimum wages by region will help improve the living standards of workers but push up production costs. We should carefully calculate wage rises next year as social insurance premiums are up,” Huan said.

He added next year enterprises will have to pay additional fees for female employees and labor safety and hygiene.
Employers must bear all these fees.  

Loc said regional minimum wage adjustments are an important yet sensitive issue for both the employer and the employee and will impact on the country’s economic growth.
read more.
VNNet

20:14:30 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* ILO Warns Indonesia to Invest in Skilled Labor or Lose Out:

‘Indonesian workers are among the lowest-paid in the world’

Indonesia must strengthen its labor institutions and invest in skills development, the International Labor Organization said in a report released on Thursday, with officials warning that the country should boost skill levels if it wants to benefit from regional economic integration.

In its latest Labor and Social Trends in Indonesia Report, the United Nations agency also says Indonesia should find new engines for growth as it faces economic slowdown.

“The institutions in the Indonesian labor market area are underdeveloped,” said Robert Kyloh, the ILO’s senior specialist for multilateral cooperation. “Indonesia has now reached a level of development where we should be trying to expand these institutions, like the labor inspection system, collective bargaining, and labor courts.”

The report, which focused on the theme of strengthening competitiveness and productivity through decent work, found that Indonesia’s labor market continued to expand over the 2014-15 period, with employment growing and unemployment remaining low despite highly fluid market conditions.

Estimates from August 2014 found that 121.9 million Indonesians were part of the national labor force, just over 48 percent of Indonesia’s total population of 252.7 million.

Minimum wage, or less
Wages remain a crucial issue in the Indonesian labor market, as the number of Indonesians in wage-earning jobs increased to 38 percent of the entire employed population, a significant rise from past years.

“Wage-earning employment and the wages earned during that time, have become very important factors for the Indonesian economy,” said Emma Allen, economist with ILO’s Jakarta office and author of the Labor and Social Trends report.
“As the share of people in wage employment increases, wages will begin to play a very critical role.”
read more.
jak-globe

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Unravelling the minimum wage:

A dozen young women sit on the curb outside a garment factory in Hlaing Tharyar township, holding brightly coloured umbrellas as shelter from the midday sun.

They are hoping to be allowed inside so they can apply for a job. Some already have work nearby, but they have heard the United Knitting Company is offering a relatively high rate for unskilled workers of K90,000 per month, and are hoping to switch.

The standard monthly pay for a semi-skilled garment factory worker in Yangon is K95,000, including a base wage of roughly K40,000, a bonus of around the same value, an award and several payments made at the discretion of the factory owner, according to U Thet Hnin Aung, secretary of the Tai Yi Basic Labour Organisation and a member of the Myanmar Trade Unions Federation.

“They usually pay the bonus, but there is no security. If we’re absent for one day, they can take some of these payments away,” he said.

This is likely to change at the end of next month, when a national tripartite body will finalise details of Myanmar’s first minimum wage.
On June 29, the National Minimum Wage Committee announced a provisional base wage of K3600 per day, and opened a two-month window for comment.

Since then, factory workers and owners have fervently debated this figure, with owners saying they will pay no more than K2500 and workers saying they will agree to a minimum of K4000.
Businesspeople from China and South Korea have threatened to shut their factories in Yangon if the K3600 wage is enacted, saying that costs are already high due to low productivity and poor infrastructure.

For the workers, inflation and unstable commodity prices mean they may not be able to survive on less.

On the current wage, many workers in Yangon are forced to live outside factory walls in structures built from bamboo and plastic sheeting.
Some live beside large pools of stagnant water – breeding grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Healthcare options are limited and expensive.
read more.
MMtimesnew

17:44:30 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Labour conference will deliberate on minimum wages’:

Union Minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya on Tuesday stated that the trade unions’ demand to fix minimum wages at Rs.15,000 per month would be discussed at length at the 46{+t}{+h}session of Indian Labour Conference (ILC) to be held at Delhi on July 20 and 21.

He told reporters that the meet would discuss minimum wages and other important issues as part of the two-day deliberations.
State Labour Ministers, representatives of the central trade unions, employers and Union Government officials would attend the meeting, he stated.

The demand of trade unions to fix minimum wages at Rs.15,000 per month would figure prominently at the meet, Mr Dattatreya said, adding that social security of workers and implementation of labour laws would be debated at length.

He further stated that 989 employment exchanges across the country were being upgraded and modernised as National Career Counselling Centres.

Known as “Labour Parliament” of the country, the ILC will also discuss labour law reforms proposed by the Centre, including the Industrial Disputes Act.
to read.
THEHINDU

* Minimum Wages Hiked for Scheduled Workers:

Minister for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya has announced a hike in floor level minimum wages for all the scheduled workers in the country from Rs 137 to Rs 160 because the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from across states have different minimum wages and were often a subject of dispute.

After a two-year stagnation when the minimum wage stayed pegged at Rs 137, this new rule is effective from July 1.
But it appears that for the minimum wage slab to be really effective across all the various job categories — be it repairing parts or making matches — several reforms are needed.
It seems labour reforms are the need of the hour, given the Labour Ministry’s supposed good news.
(…)
The minimum wage implementation, which he opines is already sub-par in the state, could worsen in the light of a loophole in the Child Labour Act amendment which allows children to be a part of these home-based industries like making matches and beedi.
read more.
New-Indian-Express-Group

LW + 220150708

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Govt planning for flight of businesses from the country in response to minimum wage:

“The Myanmar government will not be able to stop business owners from leaving the country in response to the proposed minimum daily wage for labourers set at Ks 3,600 (just over US$3), but the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security will do its best to respond to problems that might rise if these people leave,” said Yangon Region National Minimum Wage Committee chairperson Zaw Aye Maung on July 7.

He also serves as Minister Labour, Employment and Social Security. National Minimum Wage Committee approved a minimum wage of Ks 450 per hour on June 29 – one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.

Although Minimum Wage Law was enacted in 2013, many protests have taken place since then that have prevented the law from being implemented.
Following the committees decision on June 29, disputes erupted between employers and employees, particularly in the garment industry.
read more.
Eleven

17:44:30 local time map of india INDIA

* Fix minimum wages to Rs.15,000: CITU:

B. Mallesh of Industrial Committee, the Centre for India Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded the State government to fix Rs. 15,000 as minimum wage for the workers in industries.

Led by CITU, a large number of workers held dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour (DCL) office in the district headquarters on Tuesday.

“There are 1,315 industries spread across the district and many industries are not implementing minimum wages. Some companies force workers to work for more than 12 hours,” he alleged.
He warned that a huge dharna would be held at the Commissionarate on July 10.
to read.
THEHINDU

LW + 220150707

19:14:30 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam mulls lowest minimum-wage bump in 3 years:

20150707 THANHNIENews
Laborers work at a garment factory in Sai Dong, outside Hanoi, Vietnam, July 1, 2015. Vietnam’s economic growth could rise to 6.5 percent in 2015, beyond the 6.2 percent target, thanks to a solid manufacturing sector, the Finance Ministry said last week, citing a government think tank. Photo: Reuters

Vietnam looks to raise its minimum monthly salary by just above 10 percent next year, the lowest level since 2013, a move that apparently bows to the growing pressure of the corporate sector.

Under a government decree that took effect early this year, Vietnam raised the wage floor to VND2.15-3.1 million (US$101.4-$146.2), or 15 percent, depending on the location.

The government also approved a minimum-wage hike of around 15 percent in 2014.
But at a recent dialogue on wage polices, Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), told the press that his organization proposed an increase of “above 10 percent” to offset the recent currency depreciation and make sure that the salary raise is in line with the current labor productivity.

If the wage hike outpaces productivity, it would affect the operations of businesses and eventually have a bearing on economic growth, he said.
read more. & read more.
THANHNIENEWS new VOVonline

19:14:30 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* ‘Bt300 wage only good for family of 2’:

A family of three may not be able to rise above poverty on just the Bt300 minimum daily wage, a research director on labour development at the Thailand Development Research Institute said yesterday.

In regard to whether the daily minimum wage should be hiked early next year, Associate Professor Yongyuth Chalamwong said a study by his team found that the current wage could cater for a family of two living above the poverty level anywhere in the country.However, Thailand’s Bt300 wage would not be sufficient over time, as the International Labour Organisation said a worker’s wage must cover two other two family members as well, he said.
An analysis of the Thai poverty level found that families of three in 61 provinces. The people earning the Bt300 wage and having a family of three in municipal areas were living below the poverty line, while those outside municipal areas could support families of three better.In reality, sole income-earners in a family had to do overtime or a sideline job on weekends or have their spouse do a part-time job, he said.
read more.
theNATIONnew

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Minimum wage tug-of-war goes on:

A second trade union has spoken out about the proposal for a 3,600-kyat (US$3.60) minimum wage in Burma, this time the All-Myanmar Network of Trade Unions, which has rejected the offer and called on workers to be prepared to take to the streets in protest.

Trade union leader Hla Hla said on Tuesday that workers’ groups must not back down from their initial demand of 4,000 kyat as a minimum daily wage.

Representatives of garment factories, however, say they cannot afford to pay more than 2,500 kyat as a daily wage for factory workers, and have threatened to close down operations if such salary conditions are enforced.

Speaking as a representative of the All-Myanmar Network of Trade Unions, Hla Hla said, “Nothing will happen to us if they [foreign and domestic garment firms] close down. I would like to remind fellow workers that the operators can’t just pack up and leave just because they cannot pay us the proposed minimum wage. There are regulations that require them to provide severance payments to their workers. If they refuse to do so, we’ll pursue legal channels to get what they owe us.”
read more.
dvb

* Garment manufactures oppose minimum wage increase:

20150707 MIZZIMA

Myanmar’s garment manufacturers have signalled their opposition to a proposed national minimum wage of just over US$3 (S$4.05) per day, claiming the increase it represents could force some factories in the vital economic sector to close Asiaone Business reported on 6 July.

The apparel industry’s resistance to paying the proposed daily minimum wage drew a sharp rebuke from local labour groups, as well as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
“The new minimum wage will still leave workers and their dependents just above the global severe poverty line of US$1.25 per person, and many will still struggle to make ends meet,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow according to the report.
read more.
MIZZAMA new

17:44:30 local time map of india INDIA

* Centre levels the field, hikes national minimum wage floor to Rs. 160/day:

But trade unionscry foul, say many States are paying higher amount

To ensure uniform minimum wages across the country, the Centre has hiked the national floor level from Rs. 137/day to Rs. 160/day with effect from July 1.
Trade unions, however, said the move does not “make sense” as many States, such as Kerala, are already paying a much higher amount.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has written to all the Chief Ministers urging them to take necessary steps to ensure that minimum wage rates of all scheduled employments are not below the national floor of Rs. 160/day, a Labour Ministry statement said on Tuesday.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

* Government Hikes Minimum Wage to Rs. 160 a Day:

After a gap of two years, the government today hiked the minimum wage for workers by Rs. 23 to Rs. 160 a day.

The increased wages will be applicable from July 1.

In a statement, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatraya said the decision to revise upwards the National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) has been taken in view of the increase in retail inflation for industrial workers.

“National Floor Level Minimum Wage has been revised upwards from the existing Rs. 137 to Rs. 160 per day with effect from July 1, 2015,” the release said.
read more.
ndtv

* National Floor Level Minimum Wage Enhanced From Rs.137 To Rs.160 Per Day W.E.F. 01.07.2015:

National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMU) has been revised upwards from existing Rs. 137/- to Rs. 160/-per day w.e.f. 01.07.2015.

In a letter written to all the Chief Ministers and LGs today, Shri Bandaru Dattatraya, the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment has urged to take necessary steps for fixation/revision of the minimum rates of wages in respect of all scheduled employments in State/UT not below the NFLMW of Rs. 160/- per day w.e.f. 01.07.2015.

The Minister has also emphasized to ensure implementation of various provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 so that the objective of ensuring Minimum Wages to workers is fulfilled.

While reviewing the movement of CPI-IW during April 2014 to March 2015 over the period April 2012 to March 2013, it was observed that the average CPI-IW has risen from 215.17 to 250.83, he said.
Accordingly, the NFLMW has been revised upwards from existing Rs. 137/- to Rs. 160/-per day w.e.f. 01.07.2015.

In order to have a uniform wage structure and to reduce the disparity in minimum wages across the country, National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMU) is fixed which also requires to be revised from time to time on the basis of rise in Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW).
The NFLMU was last revised from Rs. 115/- to Rs. 137/- per day with effect from 01.07.2013.
to read.
businessstandard

LW + 220150706

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar trade organization urges employers to make concession over wage issue:

The Confederation of Trade Union of Myanmar (CTUM) has urged factory employers to make concession over the workers’ minimum wage issue, suggesting them to take economic opportunities over the next two to three years into consideration in determining the wage, an official report said Monday.

Calling on factory employers to cooperate with the workers to boost productivity instead of disputing the proposed minimum wage, the CTUM suggested that the move would help them adapt to the country’s changing situation in the years ahead.

Five Myanmar workers’ federations in Yangon last Friday agreed on the government’s recent designation of minimum daily wages, denying to accept further negotiations on the issue.

The workers’ federations called for the formation of a socio- economic committee comprising representatives from the government, employers and employees to seek settlement of the issue.
read more.
CHINAORG

* Trade union backs 3,600-kyat minimum wage:

The Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) has thrown its support behind a government-led proposal for a minimum wage in Burma of 3,600 kyat (US$3.60) a day.

In a press release on Sunday, the CTUM said that it welcomed the proposal submitted last week by the National Committee for Minimum Wage (NCMW), recommending to the Ministry of Labour a minimum national daily wage of 3,600 kyat for an eight-hour working day.

“We also agree with the fact that the minimum wage will apply nationwide regardless of the different sectors,” it said.

The NCMW proposal followed two years of negotiations, culminating in a workshop in Rangoon last week involving garment factories’ representatives, workers groups, employers’ associations and government officials.
read more.
dvb

* Wage war heats up:

Workers are up in arms for a pay hike, but higher wages may hurt investment climate

Low wages in Myanmar, now among the lowest in Asean, have been mentioned as the primary advantage for companies planning to locate their manufacturing plants in the country.

Many companies have taken advantage of the situation.
The number of foreign-owned factories has been on the rise, despite the existence of major challenges, such as poor infrastructure throughout Myanmar.

According to data provided by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), 407 companies have invested a total of US$4.42 billion in the manufacturing sector, or 9.56 per cent of combined foreign investment in the country, as of May this year.

This amount reflects a 17.55 per cent increase from the $3.76 billion in investment in the manufacturing sector at the end of 2014. In terms of the number of investors, the figure rose by 13 per cent from 360.

More companies have committed to pour more investment into the sector, as the total number of foreign companies with permission at the end of May stayed at 497.
Together, they promised a combined investment of $5.65 billion, which would account for 10 per cent of the total foreign investment permitted.
read more.
theNATIONnew

LW + 2

20150704

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Labour organizations: don’t view Myanmar workers as slaves:

As well as setting a minimum wage of Ks.3600 (U.S $ 3.2) per day, other benefits obtained by workers are needed in order need to see Myanmar workers as human beings instead of being seen as slaves, according to labour organizations at a news briefing on July 3.

The minimum wage for garment factory workers is less than the lowest minimum wage of government staff, and workers are demanding other benefits such as transportation fees, living expenses, and to get the opportunity to train while working.
They have also asked for Ks.10000 per year.
If the government agrees to their demands, they will also agree to the government’s proposal of Ks. 3600, according to press brief made on July 3.

The press brief was held at the headquarters of Myanmar Workers Union in Insein, Yangon.
It was attended by representatives from five federations, the Myanmar Farmers’ Agriculture and Production Federation, Myanmar Workers’ Union, Myanmar’s Teacher’s Federation, Myanmar Seafarer Federation, and the Network for Migrant Workers.

“According to surveys made in Yangon and the rest of Myanmar, various options such as Ks. 5600, Ks. 6000, Ks. 7000 and Ks. 8500 per day were put forward. But, these five workers’ federations have to choose the most suitable and the most feasible amount of Ks. 500 per hour for 8 hours per day (i.e.: Ks.4000) were set,” said the Chairman of Myanmar Workers’ Union, Aung Lin.
read more.
Eleven

20150704 * Myanmar workers nod on minimum daily wage:

Five Myanmar workers’  federations in Yangon on Friday agreed on the government’s recent designation of minimum daily wages as a final stage of negotiation, saying that there will be no further negotiation on the issue.

In its announcement over their stance on the issue, the five workers’ federations stressed the need to form a socio-economic committee comprising representatives from the government, employers and employees.

The five workers’ federations include Agriculture and Farmer Federation of Myanmar (AFFM), Myanmar Trade Union Federation (MTUF) , Myanmar Teachers’ Federation (MTF), Myanmar Maritime Workers’ Federation (MMWF) and Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN).

On June 29,  the government decided to designate 3,600 kyats ( about 3.27 U.S. dollars) as the proposed minimum daily wage for all workers in the country after conclusion of one year’s coordination between the government, employers and labor representatives.
However, Myanmar’s garment entrepreneurs on Thursday objected the proposed minimum rate, saying that the issue will be submitted to the regional authorities for further action.
to read.
KHMERTIMES

LW + 2

20150703

19:14:30 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* High minimum wage hurts competitiveness:

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter from Sam Rainsy, minority leader of the National Assembly published on June 29.

Excellency Sam Rainsy noted that “it would be only fair and socially responsible to recognise that,
in terms of living standard, Cambodian workers still have a long way to catch up with their
counterparts in many countries, especially Vietnam”.

This comment was made with reference to my statement in an earlier article that the current minimum
wage in the garment and footwear sector in Cambodia is already high and that demands for $177 per
month are unreasonable and will hurt the sector’s global competitiveness.

My comments referred to the economic realities of the wage demands, while his remarks focused on the
social aspect.

Ideally, we would like to pay our employees more and continue to receive orders from the buyers.
(…)
Ken Loo
Secretary-general
GMAC
read more.
PPP new

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* 200,000 jobs at stake as garment factories threaten closures:

The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) has threatened to close down factories if the proposed 3,600 kyat (US$3.60) per day minimum wage is approved by the Burmese government.

Representatives of Chinese- and South Korean-owned garment factories at an MGMA meeting on Thursday said they would shut down their businesses by September if the minimum wage proposed earlier this week by the National Committee for Minimum Wage (NCMW) were adopted.

Participants at the meeting unanimously objected to the NCMW’s 3,600-kyat-per-day recommendation, saying it would be unaffordable.

Speaking to DVB on Friday, MGMA Secretary Khin Khin Nwe said, “We already promised to honour a minimum wage of 2,500 kyat. My point is that everyone wants to give their employees higher pay.
It’s not for a lack of generosity, but simply because it is not affordable for us [manufacturers and factory owners].”

MGMA claims to represent about 300 firms, mostly garment factories, which employ upwards of 200,000 workers.
In a news release on its website on Tuesday, the owners association reacted to what it noted would be a “colossal” increase in pay.
read more.
dvb

* Garment manufacturers threaten to close factories if minimum wage implemented:

Several Chinese and South Korean garment manufacturers have threatened to shut down their factories and leave the country if the Myanmar government institutes a minimum daily wage of Ks 3,600 (just over US$3).

They manufacturers announced these conditions during a meeting of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) in Yangon yesterday.

Sandar, the managing director of the Myanmar Apparel Co Ltd and Pearl Garment and local representative for a Chinese investment group, was the first to threaten to close her factory in response to the new minimum wage.

Won Ho Seo, chairperson of the Korean Garment Manufacturers Association, said Korean manufacturers would also close their factories following the Chinese, citing the likelihood of labour protests as the reason.

After the meeting, the Chinese Investors Association issued a statement in opposition to the proposed minimum wage.
read more.
Eleven

* Garment Industry Rejects Minimum Wage Proposal:

Garment manufacturers in Rangoon announced that they will push back against a minimum wage proposed by the Burmese government, claiming they cannot afford to pay laborers the 3,600 kyats (US$3.24) per eight-hour day recommended by an expert committee.

More than 150 members of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) convened on Thursday to discuss the proposal, which was announced earlier this week by Burma’s National Minimum Wage Committee.

Following two years of research and analysis, the committee settled on the number based on  recommendations by both unions and employers against escalating commodity prices in Burma’s emerging market.

Once approved, the wage would apply to all sectors with the exception of small and family-owned businesses employing less than 15 people.

The committee’s memo, published in state media, invited individuals and organizations to submit appeals and recommendations within two weeks, after which a stakeholder meeting will be held before a wage is officially enacted.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

* Myanmar: Employers Must Accept Minimum Wage:

Trade unions have reacted angrily to threats by Myanmar manufacturing companies, backed by Korean and Chinese business interests, to close around 100 factories if a minimum wage is introduced.

The government has announced a minimum wage of US$3.20 per day following a year of consultations between unions, government and employers.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “The new minimum wage will still leave workers and their dependents just above the global severe poverty line of US$1.25 per person, and many will still struggle to make ends meet.

Now, just like the American Chamber of Commerce’s global campaign to undermine minimum wages and decent work, some companies in Myanmar are trying to stop workers getting even that basic level of income in order to survive.
read more.

* Labour unions, employers to fight minimum wage proposal:

In a strictly temporary marriage of convenience, both labour and some employer representatives are criticising the government’s announcement last week that the minimum wage should be K3600 (about US$3.20) for an eight-hour day.

Labour says it is not enough. Management says it’s too much.

The Myanmar Trade Unions Federation (MTUF) has been compiling letters of complaint ever since the government’s June 29 announcement of the minimum wage, which was set following a two-day meeting in Yangon between stakeholders.

Two months of consultation over the figure will be held before the issue goes to parliament for a final decision.

“We will submit complaints from all over the country in time for the deadline,” said U Tun Wai, vice chair of the MTUF.

Labour sources said within three days of the announcement more than 200 complaints were collected from workers saying the daily minimum should be set at K4000.

“Even K4000 would not be enough,” said U Tun Wai, adding that the minimum should be based on civil-service pay rates.
read more.
MMtimesnew

* Garment factories vote against proposed minimum wage:

Myanmar garment factory owners on Thursday unanimously voted against a proposed minimum wage set at K3,600 for an eight-hour day, promising to send their objections to the National Minimum Wage Committee within two weeks.

The vote was done by more than 200 businessmen from 145 garment factories attending a meeting at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, at which they discussed the challenges they face in meeting the proposed minimum wage, which was announced by the government on 29 June.
There are about 300 garment factories in Myanmar.

Garment industry bosses had offered a wage of K2,500 during the 22-23 June negotiation between the employers and employees, but the two sides could not reach an agreement during the talks sponsored by the government.

The employers cannot agree to the proposed minimum wage because the garment cutting, measuring and packaging industry does not depend on working hours but rather on productivity, said Daw Khaing Khaing Nwe, secretary of the Myanmar Garment Manufactures Association.
read more.
globalnewlightMyanmar

LW + 2

20150702

20:14:30 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Reg X workers get P12 wage hike:

The Regional Wage and Productivity Board of Region 10 has approved a P12 daily wage increase for all private sector minimum workers in the Northern Mindanao effective July 3, according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

“This is the 18th  wage increase in Region 10 since R.A. 6727, or The Wage Rationalization Act, became a law on 9 June 1989,” Baldoz said.

Board chairman Raymundo Agravante said the minimum wage in the region was raised to P318 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and to P306 for workers in the agricultural sector under Category I, which covers the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and the municipalities of Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan, Misamis Oriental.
read more.
ManilaSTANDARDtoday

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Myanmar unions win first minimum wage:

Three years after unions were made legal in Myanmar, their fight for a minimum wage delivered a victory on 29 June.

The country’s first-ever minimum wage of 3,600 kyatts per day is equal to US$3.2.

The union demand had been 4,000 kyatts per day, while employers lobbied for 2,500 kyatts. Government’s proposal of 3,600 has been accepted by the unions and will be signed into law following a two-month period for comments.

The figure is based on an eight-hour working day and has national coverage. While final clarification is needed on workers’ entitlement to paid leave, the new minimum wage is higher than the US$68 monthly wage of Bangladesh.

Employers are still lobbying for the right not to pay workers for Sundays.
The minimum wage will be applicable for workplaces with at least 15 employees. The union demand had been for the wage to apply to workplaces with 5 employees, and that demand will remain in the evaluation of the minimum wage after 12 months.
read more.
INDUSRIall

LW + 2

20150701

19:14:30 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Private sector poll finds opposition to hike in minimum wage next year:

The daily minimum wage of Bt300 should be maintained next year, while any future changes should be determined on a provincial basis, according to a significant body of opinion in the private sector.

A survey by the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand found that others also favoured that the determination of the minimum wage should be based on business categories and the standard of labour skills, as well as being in line with the market mechanism.

Moreover, the government should conduct a comprehensive study of the impacts of the current Bt300 wage on the economy and labour productivity, chamber vice chairman Bhumindr Harinsuit said yesterday.

The chamber offered these views based on its survey of 218 business operators nationwide from June 1 to 20, in which opinions were sought on the setting of the daily minimum wage for 2016.
The survey was jointly conducted with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
read more.
theNATIONnew

LW + 2

20150630

20:14:30 local time map of china CHINA

* Wage growth for China’s lowest-paid workers continues to lag behind:

Wage growth for China’s lowest-paid workers continued to slow in the first half of this year with less than a third of the 32 regions with the authority to set their own minimum wage levels announcing an increase.

According to data collected by CLB from official media and government sources, as of 1 July, only ten provinces and municipalities had increased the minimum wage, the most significant region being Guangdong, where a 19 percent increase on average went into effect on 1 May.

However Guangdong’s increase came a full two years after its previous increase in 2013. Photo below shows a recruitment poster for a Guangzhou restaurant where cleaners can earn around 2,500 yuan per month.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

19:14:30 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Ministry hints at wage hike, firms seek delay:

The Labour Ministry has sent a signal a minimum-wage increase is possible next year after receiving proposals from provincial wage committees.

“There’s no question 300 baht [a day] has become the minimum. But when to increase the wage, where it will apply and by how much will be later finalised by the central wage committee in August,” said Labour Ministry permanent secretary Nakorn Silpa-archa on Tuesday.

“From what we heard from operators, 90% of them said the rate should not be raised now,” he said.

“Everything will be clear in August. The new minimum rate need not take effect on Jan 1. In fact, if it’s raised, operators will be informed two months in advance.”
(…)
Meanwhile, labour groups insist the minimum wage be raised to 360 baht a day nationwide.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* 3,600 Kyat Daily Minimum Wage Proposed for All Sectors:

Burma’s National Minimum Wage Committee proposed on Monday that the country’s minimum wage be set at 3,600 kyats (US$3.24) for an eight-hour day.

Organizations and individuals will have a two-week window to submit feedback on the proposal before the wage can be enacted.

If approved, the proposed wage—which amounts to less that 50 cents per hour—will be applied across all sectors nationwide, with the exception of certain small and family businesses.

After the feedback window closes, state- and division-level wage committee members will review public input and submit it to the national committee within 30 days.

The national wage committee will then convene with government, industry and labor force stakeholders to reach a final decision within 60 days of Monday’s announcement.
Once the wage is approved by the committee and the Union government, the Minimum Wage Law, approved in early 2013, will immediately take effect.
The amount will be assessed and adjusted at least once within its first two years.
read more.& read more.
IRRAWADDY dvb

LW + 2

20150628-29

20:14:30 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Workers to receive daily wage increase in Region 10:

The Regional Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of Region 10 has approved a wage order mandating a P12 daily wage increase for all private sector minimum wage earners in the Northern Mindanao, which will take effect on July 3.

RTWPB chairperson Raymundo G. Agravante said in his report the new wage order, Wage Order RX-18, raises the minimum wage in the region to P318 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and to P306 for workers in the agricultural sector under the Category I, which covers the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and the municipalities of Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan, Misamis Oriental.

It also ups the minimum wage rate to P313 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and P301 for workers in the agricultural sector under Category II, which covers the cities of Malaybalay, Valencia, Gingoog, El Salvador, and Ozamiz and the municipalities of Maramag, Quezon, and Manolo Fortich.

In Category III, the new minimum wage rate of P308 applies for workers in the non-agricultural sector and P296 for the agricultural sector in the cities of Oroquieta and Tangub and the municipalities of Lugait, Opol, and Mambajao. Included in this category are all the establishments employing ten workers or less.

For other areas not covered by the three categories, hence falling under Category IV, establishments shall now pay a new minimum wage rate of P303 to workers in the non-agricultural sector and P291 to workers in the agricultural sector.
read more.
gov gazette

19:14:30 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Employers need to sacrifice too:

Dear Editor,

The Phnom Penh Post article titled Unions agree to push for $177 wage at meet published on June 23 reflects a debate on what should be the appropriate level of the legal minimum wage in Cambodia today.

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, was quoted as saying about the unions’ target that “$177 per month is unreasonable, and much higher than other competing garment manufacturing countries”.

He reportedly added that “current levels are [already] high, and we are not competitive with current levels”.

In reaction to the above assertions by the employers’ representative, I would like to make two remarks.

• Firstly, with regard to the current salaries of Cambodian workers compared with those of their counterparts in other countries, it would be more appropriate to compare real salaries and not nominal salaries.
(…)
Sam Rainsy
Minority leader
Former finance minister

read more.
PPP new

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58:

The country’s minimum wage will be declared by the end of this month, likely to be set in a range of Ks3,200-Ks4,000 per day or approximately US$2.86-$3.58.

“The minimum wage will be between Ks3,200 and Ks4,000 because it must not be lower than the Asean standard and must not exceed it,” said Labour Minister Aye Myint after the meeting of the Union Committee for Minimum Wage on June 24.

A source said that various figures were proposed at the meeting.

The lowest figure was Ks2,500. Most of the attendees voted for the Ks3,600 rate.
“There is one more step to go before we officially declare it.
Even the agreed-upon amount was the result of intense discussions as it is now greater than the amount set by business owners.
We still have to consider whether overtime wage, which were previously double the wage amount, should be set as 1.5 times the minimum wage.
The amount we settled upon was the result of efforts to please all parties,” said Permanent Secretary of Labour Myo Aung.

The most affected sector is likely garment factories.
In February, workers at garment factories in Shwepyithar Industrial Zone staged protest.
Earning less than Ks100,000 per month at present, they demanded an increase of Ks30,000 in line with the higher cost of living.
A hike in civil servants’ salaries took effect in April. Civil servants with the lowest pay of Ks75,000 a month will get Ks120,000. Those who receive the highest pay of Ks250,000 will get Ks500,000.
read more.
theNATIONnew

17:44:30 local time map of india INDIA

* CITU warns of prolonged struggle on workers’ plight:

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), affiliated to Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Sunday warned the government of a prolonged struggle if the governments at the State and the Centre do not shun anti-worker policies.

The trade union leaders gave a call to the worker community to be prepared to fight for their rights in the future.

CITU leaders were addressing a public meeting at Adilabad town after their Karmika Porubata bus yatra reached here in the afternoon.
They had earlier addressed similar rallies in Mancherial, Kagaznagar and Utnoor and will be crossing over to Nizamabad in the night.

CITU State general secretary M. Saibabu accused the governments of pursuing anti-worker policies.
He demanded a minimum wage of Rs. 15,000 to workers.
read more.
THEHINDU

LW + 2

20150626

19:14:30 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* PM brushes aside wage rise demand:

Take country’s needs into account, he says

20150626 BKP
Workers rallied to demand a rise in the minimum wage and price controls on basic goods, but Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha waved away the demands as unrealistic. (Post Today photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha brushed aside labour networks’ calls to raise the minimum daily wage to 360 baht, saying the country’s needs should also be taken into account.

He was speaking Thursday after a meeting with the Policy Committee on the Special Economic Development Zone.

Earlier, labour groups led by Wilaiwan Sae Tia, president of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC), gathered at the Royal Plaza to press their demands, and later proceeded to Government House to submit the wage rise petition to the prime minister.

Gen Prayut said he wanted labour networks to understand the country’s situation rather than put pressure on him for a wage rise, or urge workers to stage protests.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

20150626 * Prayut rules out increase in daily minimum wage:

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed yesterday that the daily minimum wage would not be hiked, as doing so it would require a large budget.

Earlier yesterday, 150 labour activists led by the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and the State Enterprise Labour Relations Committee submitted a demand for the daily minimum wage to be increased from Bt300 to Bt360 to the prime minister, who is also chief of the National Council for Peace and Order.They also opposed the idea of wage payment by regions, saying it could cause inequity and workers migrating to higher-paying areas. Kamol Suksomboon, an adviser a PM’s Office minister, accepted their letter on behalf of Prayut.
to read.
theNATIONnew

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Proposed K3600 minimum wage draws mixed response from workers, employers:

Garment workers and small businesses have given a mixed reaction to a proposal to set the national minimum daily wage at K3600 (US$3.20), with employers saying they will continue to campaign against it.

The National Committee on the Minimum Wage – which includes ministries, employers and labour organisations – thrashed out a long-awaited agreement on June 24, settling on K3600 a day, according to participants, although the figure has not yet been officially announced.

All sides have two months to respond to the proposal before the issue goes to parliament, which first passed a law calling for a minimum wage in 2013.

The garment sector was one of the areas where debate was fiercest, with employers calling for a minimum wage as low as K2500 while workers demanded K4000.
read more.
MMtimesnew

LW + 2

20150625

19:14:30 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Activists rally Thursday for 20% wage hike:

Minimum pay fails to keep up with inflation

Labour groups are demanding a 20% hike in minimum wages for blue-collar workers to be applied nationwide, and today plan to march to Government House to submit a statement to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, according to the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee.

The 300-baht minimum daily wage has been in place for almost three years, during which time the costs of living have soared, said the committee’s president, Wilaiwan Sae Tia.

Labour groups, who have asked the Ministry of Labour to raise the daily minimum wage from 300 to 360 baht, will gather at the Royal Plaza at 9.30am to reaffirm their call. They will then proceed to Government House to present the statement to the premier.

The 300-baht wage minimum, which was enacted during the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, was unprecedented in Thailand.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

20150625 * Labour umbrella group calls for minimum daily wage increase to Bt360:

Some 150 labour activists led by the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and the State Enterprise Labour Relations Committee Thursday submitted their demand for a daily minimum wage increase to the prime minister and chief of the National Council for Peace and Order.

They called for an increase from Bt300 to Bt360. Kamol Suksomboon, an advisor the a PM’s Office minister, came out to take up their letter on behalf the prime minister.
to read.
theNATIONnew

18:44:30 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* National minimum wage proposal agreed at K3600:

20150625 MMTIMES
Workers sew garments at a factory in Yangon. (Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times)

A national committee yesterday proposed a nationwide minimum daily wage of K3600 (US$3.20) for all workers at the conclusion of a year of often heated debate between the government, employers and labour representatives.

A union representative and a Kayin State labour ministry official, both members of the national minimum wage committee, disclosed the figure to The Myanmar Times on the final day of a closed-door meeting in Yangon that appeared to deal a blow in particular to the garment industry.

Minister for Labour and committee chair U Aye Myint declined to confirm the amount.
He told The Myanmar Times that the minimum wage might be set between K3200 and K4000 and that the exact figure would be officially announced over the next days.

“It is sure that the minimum wage cannot be less than K3000, even if we can’t say how much it is fixed exactly at this moment,” he told a press conference after the meeting.
read more.
MMtimesnew

LW + 2

See more in Part 8

.

 

map of Asia

* INTRO- INFO about Living Wage

* A living wage = a human right
* The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)

* Overview of Articles in the News:
20150711
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Manufacturers asks for government mediation regarding minimum wage

20150709-10
VIET NAM
* Minimum wages likely to grow 10% next year

INDONESIA
* ILO Warns Indonesia to Invest in Skilled Labor or Lose Out:

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Unravelling the minimum wage

INDIA
* ‘Labour conference will deliberate on minimum wages’
* Minimum Wages Hiked for Scheduled Workers

20150708
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Govt planning for flight of businesses from the country in response to minimum wage

INDIA
* Fix minimum wages to Rs.15,000: CITU

20150707
VIET NAM
* Vietnam mulls lowest minimum-wage bump in 3 years

THAILAND
* ‘Bt300 wage only good for family of 2’

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Minimum wage tug-of-war goes on
* Garment manufactures oppose minimum wage increase

INDIA
* Centre levels the field, hikes national minimum wage floor to Rs. 160/day
* Government Hikes Minimum Wage to Rs. 160 a Day
* National Floor Level Minimum Wage Enhanced From Rs.137 To Rs.160 Per Day W.E.F. 01.07.2015:

20150706
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar trade organization urges employers to make concession over wage issue
* Trade union backs 3,600-kyat minimum wage
* Wage war heats up

20150704
BURMA/MYANMAR
* Labour organizations: don’t view Myanmar workers as slaves
* Myanmar workers nod on minimum daily wage

20150703
CAMBODIA
* High minimum wage hurts competitiveness

BURMA/MYANMAR
* 200,000 jobs at stake as garment factories threaten closures
* Garment manufacturers threaten to close factories if minimum wage implemented
* Garment Industry Rejects Minimum Wage Proposal
* Myanmar: Employers Must Accept Minimum Wage
* Labour unions, employers to fight minimum wage proposal
* Garment factories vote against proposed minimum wage

20150702
PHILIPPINES
* Reg X workers get P12 wage hike

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar unions win first minimum wage

20150701
THAILAND
* Private sector poll finds opposition to hike in minimum wage next year

20150630
CHINA
* Wage growth for China’s lowest-paid workers continues to lag behind

THAILAND
* Ministry hints at wage hike, firms seek delay:

BURMA/MYANMAR
* 3,600 Kyat Daily Minimum Wage Proposed for All Sectors

20150628-29
PHILIPPINES
* Workers to receive daily wage increase in Region 10

CAMBODIA
* Employers need to sacrifice too

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58

INDIA
* CITU warns of prolonged struggle on workers’ plight

20150626
THAILAND
* PM brushes aside wage rise demand
* Prayut rules out increase in daily minimum wage

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Proposed K3600 minimum wage draws mixed response from workers, employers

20150626
THAILAND
* Activists rally Thursday for 20% wage hike
* Labour umbrella group calls for minimum daily wage increase to Bt360

BURMA/MYANMAR
* National minimum wage proposal agreed at K3600

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