in the news 9-15 March 2018


* Trump eyes tariffs on up to $60 billion Chinese goods: Tech, telecom, apparel targeted
….Higher tariffs on these products would “hurt American families,” said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

“We’re not talking about fancy cashmere sweaters, we’re talking about cotton T-Shirts and jeans and shoes that kids wear for back-to-school,” she added. “Alarm bells are ringing.” …


* KMU charges: women doubly oppressed now


* 600 workers abandoned by Texwell Vina find new jobs

* Vietnamese workers find new jobs after S Korean boss disappears owing $1.37 mil

* Province budget to pay for workers’ social insurance
The People’s Committee of southern Đồng Nai Province on Sunday decided to spend VNĐ1.4 billion (US$61,500) from its budget to pay for the social insurance of workers of a garment company.
The director of KL Texwell Vina has fled to South Korea.

Nguyễn Hòa Hiệp, vice chairwoman of the committee, said the payment aimed to make the workers eligible for unemployment insurance benefits….

* Female workers still barred from some jobs

* Reform may see labourers paid for their productivity

* CPTPP to remove cross-border transaction barriers

* The CPTPP is not just TPP version 2.0

* State earned VNĐ49.2 billion from IPO of VTRI


* Workers fired after trying to unionise

* Putting a price on gender parity
Cambodia’s women face growing pay gap, limits on opportunities

* Strikes down, but advocates, officials differ on significance

* Discrepancy among ministries over garment data

* Early data show decline in garment sector growth

* Garment worker dies in crash, 46 others injured


* Clean Clothes Campaign files complaint against Adidas for breaching OECD guidelines in Indonesia


* Women’s empowerment has far to go in Myanmar

* Microfinance institution goes digital to educate migrant factory workers


* 25 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops

* RMG workers block road for due wages

* TRADE UNION REGISTRATION: Govt to lower workers’ representation threshold

* Little room for female garment workers in superior role: Study

* Women leadership needed in RMG factories

* 124 RMG units run in risky buildings

* Fire breaks out at Savar RMG factories

* RMG factory catches fire in Ashulia

* Fire breaks out in Narsingdi jute mill

* NBR expands duty benefit on import of RMG fire safety tools


* 2 garment workers die of food poisoning

* Mysterious death of 2 garment workers


* Trump’s trade war drumbeats may reach B’desh RMG sector

* Apparel exports to new markets on the rise:

* Decent job, living standards linked to attaining SDGs


* Non-payment Of Minimum Wages Termed As Unconscionable And Unpardonable By The Delhi High Court

* Fewer industrial strikes but drop in number of workers, factories in Maharashtra


* Soon, Bengaluru to get garment university

* Technical textiles is the future, embrace it, entrepreneurs told

* Textile ministry launches study on MMF sector

* How labour regulations affect manufacturing in India


* Textile processors want to procure water from other sources

* Rs 100 crore apparel super hub to come up at Telangana’s Sircilla–hub-to-come-up-at-telanganas-sircilla-1786795.html


* Cotton farmers worried about declining price

* Govt cuts Bt cotton seed price to Rs 740/packet

* Government slashes Bt cotton seed rates, royalties after farmers’ protests

* India cuts Monsanto’s GM cotton seed royalty, may trigger another row

* Govt forms panel to probe illegal cultivation of HT Cotton

* NGOs lead way for prevention of bollworm attack on cotton

* Month before cotton sowing, spurious seeds on agriculture departmen’s radar

* Month before sowing, panic over spurious cotton seeds

* Cotton output estimates lowered further in Punjab, Haryana



* Fire erupts in textile factory

* Lack of safety measures: Two labourers die and four injured in cylinder blast

* Factory guard kills labour leader – Case against three for killing trade union leader

* Power loom workers protest against non-arrest of killers
Power loom workers took out a rally at Gojra on Sunday to protest police’s failure in arresting a power loom factory owner and his two accomplices who allegedly shot dead a labour leader Abdul Khaliq Sher three days ago.
Addressing at the Malkanwala Chowk, the speakers lambasted the police.

They warned of coming on the streets daily if the alleged killers are not arrested. Victim Abdul Khaliq Sher was a labour leader and he went to the power loom factory of accused M Jamil at Chak 367/JB for his union matters.

He exchanged harsh words with the accused persons who shot him dead.
Police had registered a case but failed to arrest the accused persons yet.
(2nd item:

* Disappearing textiles

* Only value-addition to help textile exports pick up lost threads

* Sindh urged to turn policy draft into law for HBWs
Recently, a famous clothing brand faced social media rage amidst allegations of inhumane work conditions, but there are several small clothing and other brands treating brutally home-based workers.
These brands have not yet even formally employed the workers, but they outsource the work to women and pay them a meager amount, with no facilities….

* Home-based workers suffer as Sindh keeps delaying legislation

* Hidden workers
It is an undeniable truth that women account for a large portion of our massive informal economy and, in an already unregulated sector prone to labour violations, are among its most vulnerable workers.
Yet women workers — on our farms, in our factories and fisheries, as domestic workers in our homes or as bonded labour at brick kilns — are routinely taken for granted, and perhaps none more so than the millions of unseen, uncounted home-based workers.

It is these women in particular who were highlighted by the Women’s Action Forum and other women’s and labour rights organisations recently in Lahore.
Within the fragmented informal value chain, home-based workers are generally paid per piece for low-value work, with no guaranteed minimum wage, monthly income, social security or benefits that workers are entitled to….

* Amend labour laws to make them ILO-complant, activists ask MPAs

* Civil society calls for amending labour laws to comply with ILO conventions

* WAF highlights plight of home-based workers
….“They are denied their basic rights. Even the home-based workers’ policy is toothless and the government is being inefficient and lazy in implementing it fully.”…

* Feature: Women in Pakistan eager to work despite social, cultural barriers

* HBWWF statement on International Working Women Day Rally 
– End discriminatory laws against women; accept them as equal citizens
– Announced HBWs Act and accept them as labour, demands rally

A big rally staged by the Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) here Thursday demanded to end all discriminatory laws against women, and accept them as equal citizens.

The rally was held on the occasion of the international women’s day and it was led by HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan.
Thousands of women workers, representatives of trade unions and social and political organizations attended the rally that marched from the M.A Jinnah Road and ended at the Karachi Press Club.

The speakers said that the society could only be made democratic and
progressive by ending discriminatory laws and biased attitudes against
They said the Pakistani women, especially the women workers have been struggling against the society that it based on exploitation.
The working women of this country are celebrating their international day in
very difficult conditions.
They like the working women of other countries are also braving multiple exploitations.

On one hand there are reactionary traditions, customs and old thinking that have kept the women in slavery chains and on the other hand the women workers are braving the wors exploitation of the capitalist system, in which they are given lesser wages as compared to wages of male workers and they have to work for more

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), in industries of textiles, garments and footwear the difference between wages of male and female workers is 64.5% which is largest in whole world.
However, according to a report of Oxfam on international level the pay gap is
23% which is increasing continuously and it would take 170 years to end this gap.

The speakers said the harassment of women at workplace has become a
In Pakistan the women, especially girls and non-Muslim women have been braving mental, physical and sexual torture in factories and farms.
This menace is on the rise.
When they demand their due rights, the feudal lords, mills owners and the management take coercive actions against them.
Sadly, there is no section in the labor laws of this country to end harassment of women at workplace.

They said today we cannot forget the great revolutionary woman, Comrade
TahiraMazhar Ali under whose leadership the international women’s day was
observed first time in Pakistan on March 08, 1948 and a new torch was
raised for the rights of women.
This struggle was continued by Mai Bakhtawar, Comrade Shanta and Asma Jahangir. Mai Bakhtawar struggled against feudal lords, Comrade Shanta against the capitalists and Comrad Afzal Tauseef and Asma Jahangir against dictatorship.

They said the exploitation of women is not limited to tribal and feudal societies, but the capitalism has created the worst forms of the exploitation of women.
Against this exploitation, the women workers belonging to the textile sector had started their historic struggle in New York in 1857, and to remember this struggle the day of the 8th March is celebrated in whole world as international day of women.

Though 161 years had passed of start of this struggle but the international capitalist
system has given women nothing saving poverty, hunger, diseases, joblessness and economic slavery.
As per an estimate women are 75% of the poor population.
This is the cruelty of the capitalistsystem that according to McKinsey Global Institute 2015 report, the women are not given wages of 10 trillion dollars every year for their work and services at home.

The capitalists in order to maximize their profits are shifting the nature work to the non-formal sector and resultantly the work has shifted from the factories to homes in the form of home-based work.
However, these home based workers who are about 12million in number, mostly women, are not recognized as workers under the law.
They are not included in collective bargaining, social security, EOBI, health and safety and are deprived ofall basic rights which the other workers in formal industries avail legally and constitutionally.

It is the historic achievement of Pakistani women workers that they organized themselves for getting their due rights and established the first federation of the home based women workers of Pakistan, Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF).

Due to their continues struggle, the government of Sindh in November 2016
accepted the home based workers as workers and announced a policy for home
based workers and drafted a law in this regard.
When this law in enacted by the Sindh assembly, more than 5 million home based workers in Sindh would be included in the legal definition of worker and they would get all legal rights and privileges like other workers.

In January 2014, under the Sindh Industrial Relation Act (SIRA 2013) the first labor union of peasants of Sindh, Sindh Agriculture General Workers Union was registered and 40percent of its members are women farmers.
This union works in18 districts of Sindh province. These achievements show that
the rights could be obtained through organization and the day of March 8, 2018 is the day to pledge that the struggle against the injustice and exploitation based system would continue with organizing workers with a revolutionary awareness.

On the occasion, the home based women demanded that:
* Government of Sindh should announce the law for home based workers as soon as possible and Pakistan should rectify the homework convention 177 of the International Labor Organization.

* The feudal and tribal system should be ended from the country, as this system has kept women enslaved for centuries.

* All anti women traditions should be ended, discrimination to women, KaroKari, WataSata and honor killings should be ended.

* The legal system should be improved and its access to common citizens ensured.

* Effective legislation should be carried out to end the religious extremism and it should also be implemented.

* There should be equal wages for equal work and the wages of workers should be increased.

* The maternity and post maternity leaves of women workers should be increased and also implemented.

* The women should be given representation in all elected institution on the basis of their ratio in population.

Those spoke included HBWWF central general secretary Zehra Khan, Saira Khan
of United HB Workers Union, ShabnamAzam, National Trade Union Federation
deputy general secretary Nasir Mansoor, President RafiqBaloch, SabhagiBheel
of Sindh Agricultural General Workers Union, Mushtaq Ali Shan, HabibuddinJunedi of Sindh LaborSolidarity Committee, HBWWF Sanghar SajidaKausar, ShahidaParven, KausarPerveen, Home Based Bangle Workers Union’s Jameela Abdul Latif, Shakeela Khan.

Representatives of social and political organization also shown their solidarity with the working class women including veteran labour leaders Usman Baloch, Communist party of Pakistan leader Comrade Rashid Taj, Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party, Aslam Khokar, Jammu Kashmir Peoples National Party leader Sultan Mahmood, MazharHussain, Faisal Edhi and Saba Edhi from Edhi Foundation, Social Activist Jibran Nasir, Writer Comrade Zubair-ur Rahman, AslamKhokar and others.

* Women Day observed, more power to women stressed

* International Women’s Day: Celebrations, protests call for equal participation

* International Women’s Day observed across Pakistan

* Need stressed to empower women

* No country for working women

* A hard country for working women


* Expensive fashion from cheap production – hunger wages for seamstresses
(=Teure Mode aus Billigproduktion – Hungerlöhne für Näherinnen)

For little money, international fashion companies have their high-priced goods produced in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Laws are disregarded, seamstresses work under difficult conditions and earn starvation wages.
Video report in german:


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I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

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