in the news 31 Jan.- 6 Feb. 2015


Our clothing kills

* No one should die for fashion:

In just 90 seconds an eight story sweatshop in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,134 people died.
Most survivors are still injured, some lost limbs.
They can’t work, so their families have no income.For the first time in history, a UN agency set up a ground-breaking compensation scheme.
It’s a model for all future schemes – and incredibly it’s working.All global brands with direct links to the factory have contributed.
All except one.Clothing giant Benetton is refusing.
In days Benetton is launching its spring clothing collection. It’s one of the most important days of the year for their brand to impress customers.
If we shame them with huge public pressure that day, they’ll see their brand is under threat, and be forced to pay up.
Sign the petition to Benetton’s CEO now:

To Benetton CEO Marco Airoldi:

In one of the worst industrial accident of the 21st century, thousands of Rana Plaza garment factory workers were buried alive making clothes for some of the world’s richest corporations.

To date, all major multinational companies with confirmed ties to the Rana Plaza factory have contributed to the Rana Plaza Arrangement compensation scheme for the victims — except Benetton. As citizens of the world, we urge Benetton to join the scheme, so survivors of this horrific disaster receive full compensation.

Read more and please sign the PETITION!


13:52:23 local time map of china CHINA

20150204 * Factory workers sacked for demanding a representative trade union go to arbitration:

Wages, benefits and compensation

A group of 35 workers from the Foshan Arts and Crafts factory (also known as Tongxin Jewellery) attended two separate arbitration hearings on 2 February claiming they had been illegally dismissed after engaging in collective bargaining and demanding that the enterprise trade union better represent the workers.

The morning hearing focused on the main group of 32 workers. The company lawyer claimed that six workers were fired for absenteeism, while the other 26 had not actually been fired but were just not allowed to enter the factory because they did not comply with company rules banning mobile phones.

The dismissed workers were represented by the head of the Laowei Law Firm, Duan Yi, and his colleague Meng Fanqi who argued that the rules on mobile phones had never been implemented until last November when the workers started to question the legitimacy of the factory union.
A few months earlier the workers own democratically-elected representatives had secured a collective bargaining agreement with the company while the union did nothing. Meng added:

The workers announced on 20 November that they would bypass the factory union and hold the first ever staff conference in the factory.
They informed the city and provincial unions in person and invited them to attend and give advice. But on the 27th, the factory hired dozens of security guards to intimidate the workers and stopped them from holding the conference.

The factory then began to lockout workers, saying that people with phones can’t enter the factory, according to company rules, which had never taken effect. Moreover, the factory never consulted the workers or the factory union about these rules.
read more.

20150203 * China still on lookout for foreign prospects:

The new year has barely begun but already the international business news is once again dominated by Chinese companies’ overseas investment and expansion plans.

Just a few days ago came word that Chinese textiles group Ningbo Shantex Co Ltd may make a takeover bid for United Kingdom-based apparel chain Phase Eight. Shantex, which manufactures and exports textile accessories, is already in preliminary talks with Towerbrook, a private equity company that bought Phase Eight in 2011.

Phase Eight was founded in 1979 by Patsy Seddon in London to offer fashionable clothing to sophisticated young suburban mothers.
Chinese companies announced 79 takeover deals in Europe in 2014.
read more.

20150202 * Oerlikon direct Chinese textile industry to replace outdated machinery with latest technologies:

The tenth anniversary edition of the Annual Meeting of China Textile Round-Table Forum took place on 31 January 2015 in Beijing with the motto – China’s Textile Industry under the New Normal.

Georg Stausberg, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment CEO, presented the results of the exclusive study on Sustainable growth through value innovation to more than 300 participants present at the event.

The study investigates the potential savings to the Chinese textile industry if outdated machinery were to be replaced with modernized technologies
Outdated filament spinning technologies in China currently account for 42% of the total energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but can supply only 16% of the total filament production.

Continuous development of Oerlikon Manmade Fibers technologies has generated high economical benefits that include energy savings, reductions in CO2 emissions, land savings and productivity increases, the company reports.
read more.

13:52:23 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20150205 * Garment makers, buyers returning to PH:

Garment manufacturers are coming back to the Philippines to take advantage of the zero duty exports privilege to the wealthy 28-member EU countries under the EU-GSP+ program.

CS Garment Inc., a German-owned T-shirt manufacturer located at the Cavite Economic Zone, was the first to grab this opportunity as it adds 100 sewers to its existing 300 workers.

CS Garment has been in operation at its factory in Rosario, Cavite for the past 25 years and pressed on despite the ups and downs of the country’s garment industry.

Company president Claus Sudhoff, however, said it may not be possible for the industry to fully get back to its peak when it was the country’s second biggest export back in the 2000.
read more.

20150205 * Lack of local textile avert PH from taking full benefits of EU zero tariffs:

Philippine’s inclusion in the EU’s GSP plus provides duty free entry to the EU for some of the most important Philippine exports, including and textiles has come as a gift but there are rules of origin for exports to enter duty free which is preventing the country from enjoying the expanded preferential treatment on exports to the European Union due to absence of local textile industry.

Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said that the requirement is garments should have 60% local content, which the Philippines cannot comply with because it imports its textiles.

Philippines want the EU to waive this requirement as an incentive. Aldaba said that the Philippines will apply for a relaxation of the rules to allow the country to temporarily export to the EU duty-free, while it is building its own textile industry.
read more.

20150202 * PHL abaca fiber likely to see 5.7pc growth in global demand for next 5 years:

Philippines will remain as the world’s top source of abaca, the strongest-known natural fiber, according to TechSci global market research and consulting company as the global demand for Philippine abaca fiber is expected to grow 5.7 percent through 2019.

The UK, Japan and China are the country’s major markets for abaca.

Increasing consumer preference for lifestyle projects will further boost demand for abaca-based products in the coming years.
Moreover with continuing development of fiber-craft industry in the Philippines, the abaca-fiber market has been witnessing a boost due to growing demand for gifts, toys and housewares.

TechSci Research said that the use of abaca in manufacturing specialty paper will also expand the demand for the fiber.

Currently, the Philippines and Ecuador are considered as the two major exporters of abaca fiber as the country accounts for over 80-percent global output of abaca.

To help local farmers cash in on the growing demand for abaca, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said that it is developing appropriate technology to develop a wider range of abaca-based products.
read more.

12:52:23 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150130 * Owner suddenly shuts factory, workers unpaid:

20150130 DTI
Unpaid workers gather at Bay Nguyet Garment Company

Some 150 workers at Bay Nguyet Garment Company Ltd  have been abandoned by their boss, who has disappeared owing them hundreds of millions of VND in unpaid wages.

Owner Chu Thi Minh Nguyet owes her workers about VND600m in back pay. She has not been seen for several days.

Workers gathered on January 29 at the company’s factory at No. 23/3, Trung Lan Village, Ba Diem Commune, Hoc Mon District to discuss what action they could take to recover wages going back to December.

They say Bay Nguyet Garment Company began operations in Hoc Mon District in early 2014, and there had often been problems with late payment of wages. Workers have only received part of their pay for December, with the company promising to pay the balance and wages for January before the Tet holiday.

But the company abruptly closed its doors on January 26 without any official announcement to workers, and when attempts were made to remove machinery on January 27, workers blocked access to the factory and informed local authorities.
read more.

20150204 * Vinatex and Itochu embark on ambitious project:

Vinatex and the Itochu Group, two leading textile and garment makers of Vietnam and Japan, have just inked a framework cooperative agreement on implementing a string of new projects on finished textiles-dyeing products and raw materials in Vietnam.

The string of projects aims to help Vinatex increase its self-reliance on material sources and expand its portfolio of finished textile, dyeing and raw material projects.

The initial stages of the project items are designed to primarily serve Vinatex’s member units.

In last October Itochu spent more than $9 million on buying a 3 per cent stake in its local partner Vinatex when the latter hosted its initial public offering (IPO).

According to Itochu Textile Prominent Asia CEO Shimizu Motonari, Vietnam is an important market in Asia for textile and garment investment, especially appreciating in light of Vietnam’s ongoing negotiations over diverse free trade agreements (FTAs).
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/2 (2nd item). & read more.
VNNet VOVonline

20150202 * Labor demand increases sharply in Dong Nai:

20150202 VNplus
A garment production line (Photo: VNA)

About 500 enterprises in the southern province of Dong Nai need to recruit over 44,000 workers in 2015 due to operation expansion, according to the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The Department revealed that actual demand for laborers is higher than reported, estimating at over 60,000, and apparel, footwear, and mechanics industries require the highest employment.

The Dong Nai Garment Corporation (Donagamex) and the Hwaseung Company, for example, need to hire 2,000 and 1,000 workers, respectively.

Deputy Director of the Department Lam Duy Tin advised enterprises to offer preferential policies on wage and other welfare with a view of avoiding shortage of workers after the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival which falls in mid-February.
read more.

20150201 * Textile firm raises VND119 billion from IPO:

Textile firm Minh Khai under Hanoi May 19 Textile Group (Hatexco) mobilized nearly VND119 billion from the sale of over 1.6 million shares at its  initial public offering (IPO) at the Hanoi Stock Exchange last Friday.

Thirty investors bid for more than 26.7 million shares at the IPO auction, 16 times higher than the volume put up for sale, according to Vietnam News Agency.

Notably, an investor wanted to acquire all the offered volume at the highest bid of VND72,000 per share, seven times higher than the starting price of VND10,100 each.

Closing the auction, three individual investors bought all the 1.6 million shares with the average winning price of VND71,991 per share, and Minh Khai Textile Factory raised earned VND118.7 billion from the auction.
to read in  BUSINESS IN BRIEF. (2nd item).

20150206 * Growth expected in textile, footwear export turnover:

20150206 VNNews
A worker inspects thread at Son Nam Textile and Garment JSC in the northern province of Nam Dinh. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Several Vietnamese companies have received full orders for textile products by the end of the first quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry said that some large firms have also received orders for delivery by the end of the second quarter.

In January, the textile and apparel export turnover was expected to be US$1.9 billion, a 1.2 per cent increase year-over-year.

The output of textile products has increased, compared with January 2014. The production of textiles made from natural fibres is estimated to rise by 9.7 per cent to reach 25.2 million sq. metres, while that of synthetic-fibre and man-made-fibre textiles will see a 14.8 per cent boost to touch 61 million sq. metres.

The turnover of footwear exports is estimated to increase by 23.2 per cent in comparison with January last year, gaining $1.05 billion.
read more.
VNNews new

20150205 * Shoemakers upbeat on prospects for 2015:

With the advent of the TPP in 2015 and the steady shift by leading footwear brands away from China to Vietnam, enhancement of the country’s production capacity and its competitiveness capacity – there is much well founded buoyancy in the footwear sector over prospects for increased prosperity in 2015.

US made footwear accounted for only 2% of the US shoemaking industry in 2014, with the rest coming from imports, mainly Chinese, according to official government statistics.

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) coming into effect in 2015 and many of the current import tariffs ranging from 3.5 to 57.4% to be abolished, Vietnamese exporters are savouring the growth prospects.
read more.

20150204 * Footwear sector takes steps into New Year:

20150204 VNNews
Leather and footwear exports last year saw a year-on-year growth in most of its markets. The US ranked first with imports of $3.3 billion, up 26.71 per cent over 2013. It was followed by Belgium with $659 million, up 27.68 per cent, and Germany with $600 million, up 31.19 per cent. — Photo VNA

A successful 2014 and the promise of bigger export opportunities has given the domestic leather and footwear industry the confidence to set a US$14 billion export target for this year.

Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, general secretary of the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), told Viet Nam News that the new target marked a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent.

She said last year was a successful year for the industry, with its presence in 47 global markets seeing the total leather, footwear and handbags exports rise 22.5 per cent over 2013 to $12.74 billion, accounting for 8.5 per cent of the nation’s total export turnover.
read more.
VNNews new

12:52:23 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150206 * Workers Say Shuttered Factory Managers Took Them Hostage:

A Chinese-owned garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district locked up about 300 workers for two hours on Wednesday morning to force them to accept reduced salary payouts before it shuttered operations due to financial losses, union officials and the former workers said Thursday.

Managers at the Kui Xing factory, which made pajamas, locked its employees inside the plant at about 9 a.m., when they came to collect their monthly salary, and did not let them out until 11 a.m., when most of them had thumb-printed documents foregoing owed salary, the workers said.

Police were stationed outside the factory throughout the morning.

“About 300 workers were locked up by the factory in order to force the workers to accept their wages and benefits, since they said they cannot operate the factory any more,” said Ry Sithyneth, a Free Trade Union (FTU) official at the factory.
read more.

20150206 * Court Charges Union Leader With Making Threat, Extortion:

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday charged an independent union leader with making a threat accompanied by extortion after he was arrested with 51 bamboo poles while leading a strike of about 100 garment workers on Tuesday.

Deputy municipal prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth said Seang Rithy, head of the Cambodian Labor Solidarity Union Federation, was charged following two days of questioning after he was apprehended outside the Apsara Garment factory in Pur Senchey district.

“We charged him with [making a] threat accompanied by extortion following Article 232 of the Criminal Code,” Mr. Chanpiseth said.

According to Article 232 of the Criminal Code, Mr. Rithy faces six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to 4 million riel (about $1,000) if found guilty of the charges.

Mr. Chanpiseth would not say what type of threat or extortion Mr. Rithy stands accused of making during the protest, in which workers were calling for 11 demands, including a $28 salary increase for all workers.
read more.

20150205 * Six Unionists Arrested, Released In Bavet City Over Incitement:

Six union organizers were arrested in Svay Rieng province Wednesday while distributing letters to workers in an attempt to refute rumors that their union had taken cash in exchange for not protesting over the firing of eight of their members, according to the union and police.

Shortly before 5 p.m., police arrested six members of the Collective Movement of Union of Workers outside the Manhattan Special Economic Zone in Bavet City and brought them in for questioning at the Bavet commune police station, according to Hun Savorn, deputy Bavet City police chief.

“We arrested them at 4:45 p.m. this afternoon because they were sharing the letter to incite the workers to do bad things,” he said. “And those people were acting illegally because they had no permission from authorities to do that.”

Mr. Savorn said the unionists were released at about 6 p.m. after signing a document promising not to distribute letters to workers without permission.

The letter the six were distributing Wednesday, which was printed on the union’s stationery, denied claims that its leader and members had accepted bribes from the Chinese-owned Eastern Industrial Enterprise factory in exchange for accepting the sacking of eight unionists last month.
read more.

20150205 * GMAC calls for law enforcement to ensure garment sector stability:

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has called on all trade unionists to respect the law and halt violence if they want stability in Cambodia’s garment sector.

The appeal was made after one of the union leader led strike outside Apsara Garment Co., Ltd, prompting the factory to halt its process.

Seang Rithy, President of Cambodia Labour Solidarity Union Federation, was arrested Wednesday and sent to a police station after he led protests for four days from 30-31 Jan. and from 3-4 Feb. at Apsara garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.
read more.

20150205 * GMAC tries to discredit union leader at court:

Questioning of a union leader found in possession of about 50 bamboo sticks is scheduled to continue in Phnom Penh Municipal Court today, after his arrest on Tuesday.

Cambodian Labour Solidarity Union Federation president Seang Rithy had 51 bamboo sticks in the trunk of his car as he led a strike at Apsara garment factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district.

Police determined that the sticks were meant to be used as weapons, but Rithy said they were intended for use as poles for small flags.

“Our union does not use violence or incite workers to hold strikes, but the workers asked us to help,” said union vice president Lo Sopheak. “The factory itself hires thugs to use violence against us.”
read more.
PPP new

20150204 * Strike arrest: Union leader busted over bamboo:

Police arrested a labour representative yesterday in front of the capital’s Apsara garment factory and seized 51 bamboo sticks in his possession on suspicions of planned violence.

According to Choam Chao commune deputy criminal police officer Ngo Serey, the arrest was made due to authorities’ belief that the suspect, Solidarity Worker Federation president Sieng Rithy, planned to wreak havoc at the factory.

“When the workers were on strike, the authorities checked and found the sticks in the union president’s car boot and we arrested him,” Serey said.

About 900 striking Apsara workers walked off the job between January 30 and February 3 to demand pay rises and better working conditions.
read more.
PPP new

20150204 * Strike-Leading Union Head Arrested in Phnom Penh:

The pugnacious leader of an independent workers union was arrested outside a garment factory on Phnom Penh’s industrial outskirts Tuesday morning for leading what police described as “illegal striking and an anarchic union.”

Seang Rithy, who heads the Cambodian Labor Solidarity Union Federation, a group that specializes in supporting strike activity, was arrested at about 10 a.m. outside the Cambodian-owned Apsara Garment Factory in Pur Senchey district, according to Choam Chao commune police chief Theng Kosal.

“We had to arrest him at about 10 a.m. because it was illegal striking and an anarchic union,” Mr. Kosal said.

“This union president had plans to transport bamboo sticks to the workers to make violence against the factory,” he added.

“We found 51 bamboo sticks inside his car trunk. It means that he had the intention to make trouble with the factory, and attract more workers to come out and join the protest with them.”

Mr. Kosal said the union leader was sent for questioning at the municipal police headquarters for questioning, where his car and bamboo sticks are being held.

Mr. Rithy’s union claims about 50,000 members across 20 factories, who each pay $0.50 in member fees each month and gain the right to call on the union leaders to help them lead strikes when necessary.
read more.

20150204 * Fainting figures jumped in 2014: government:

Workplace faintings last year jumped more than 100 per cent from 2013, a report from the Ministry of Labour and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) released yesterday says.

A total of 1,806 faintings at workplaces were reported in 2014, a 109 per cent increase from the previous year, when 823 people fainted, says the government report – whose data mirror a Cambodian Labour Federation study released last month.

“I don’t know why I fainted,” said Chan Soth, a garment worker who keeled over on the job last year. “But when I saw my friend – who works with me – faint along with a lot of people, I was dizzy and panicked.
read more.
PPP new

20150203 * Some 1,806 Cambodian garment workers faint last year:

At least 1,806 Cambodian workers in garment and shoe factories fainted in 2014, a 119 percent rise from only 823 in 2013, according to a Labor Ministry’s report released Tuesday.

“Mass fainting occurred at 34 factories last year, up from 15 factories a year earlier,” the report said, adding that “overwork, poor health, poor environment, exposure to chemical substances, and hysteria” were the main causes of the incidents.
read more.

20150203 * Drastic Increase in Fainting Garment Workers in 2014:

The number of garment workers who fainted on the job in 2014 more than doubled from the previous year, according to a report from the National Social Security Fund under supervision of the Labor Ministry.

At least 1,806 garment workers fainted while at work in 2014, compared to 823 in 2013, representing an increase of nearly 120 percent over the period.

Inhalation of chemical fumes was a dominant cause of the reported cases, according to the report issued on Feb. 3.
Additional causes included poor ventilation within factories and the physical and psychological impact of strenuous working conditions and required overtime hours beyond Labor Ministry guidelines.

In addition to poor and unsafe working conditions, the report cited workers’ health issues associated with poor nutrition and a lack of sleep as contributing to the increase in fainting.
read more.

20150203 * Wage wait: Unionists not impressed with promise:

Labour leaders sniffed at the government’s stated commitment yesterday to hike the wage in the garment industry to $160 – by 2018.

On the final day of a three-day congress for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said in a speech that in three years the government intends to impose a roughly $160 minimum monthly wage for garment workers.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen said that … the salary will be increased to … more than $160 per month for the garment workers by 2018,” he said.
The Ministry of Labour set this year’s wage at $128 in November in what was seen as the final figure for 2015 following events of January 3 last year, when military police shot dead at least five people demanding an immediate bump to $160.
read more.
PPP new

20150131 * Bloggers given a taste of real fashion industry:

A Norwegian reality show has gone viral, generating interest worldwide in the plight of Cambodian garment workers

It’s 5:30am and Norwegian fashion bloggers Frida Ottesen, 17, Anniken Englund Jørgesen, 18, and Jens Ludvig Hambro Dysand, 20, are waking up for work.

None got much sleep on the concrete floor of their Cambodian host Sokty’s apartment. And now they’re off to the factory to experience first-hand the work behind their wardrobes.

“You sit in the exact same position and do exactly the same all the time for eight hours,” Ottesen says, halfway through the work day. “If this was my regular work, they should have [paid] €20 per hour.”

But the young Norwegians earn a standard wage of $3 for the day’s work, undertaken as part of the five-episode documentary series Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion, filmed in Cambodia last year. Since it was posted earlier this month, the five-episode web series, funded by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Director Joakim Kleven, 22, told Post Weekend in an online conversation that the recognition came as a surprise. “We could of course not plan for this worldwide interest that we now see,” Kleven said. “But we knew it had potential … and then suddenly the series went viral.”
read more.
PPP new

12:22:23 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150205 * Myanmar garment industry gets ‘Code of Conduct’:

20150205 MIZZIMA
Garment factory workers in Pathein, Ayeyarwady region,Myanmar. Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association has published the country’s first ever Code of Conduct, in a move that aims to set out responsible and ethical business practices for its growing apparel industry, reports Just Style magazine on February 2.

MGMA, which represents around 300 member companies, drafted the code that was released on February 2 with officials from the EU-funded SMART Myanmar programme following a comprehensive series of workshops and meetings with international brands and partners.

The aim of the Code of Conduct is to provide a benchmark for responsible business practices in Myanmar’s garment sector.

The Code comes at a time when Myanmar is working to open up the country as a manufacturing base, but takes into account the concerns voiced on the factory floor. Workers rights activists and factory workers have often complained about the working environment and low wage levels in the factories.
read more.

11:52:23 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150203 * RMG factories of Bangladesh aren’t paying salaries regularly:

Monthly report of the Prime Minister’s office has revealed that workers of some garments factories of Bangladesh are not drawing wages as per the Government-fixed wage scale.

As per the instructions from the Government, workers should be paid within the first 7 days of the month.
But, the PMO’s report found that more than hundred factory owners didn’t pay workers’ wage of November even in the first fifteen days of December.
However, President of Bangladesh Garments Workers Trade Union Centre, Sadequr Rahman Shamim, said that complaint RMG factories pay their workers regularly, but most of the non-complaint factories delay worker’s salary.
to read.

20150201 * Fire at Savar jute mill:

At least four people were injured in a devastating fire at a textile mill in Ashulia of Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, this afternoon.

The fire broke out at Hoor-e-Shams Composite Textile Mills Ltd locally known as Supreme Jute and Knitex Ltd of Shams Group in Dehora area at about 4:30pm, said Abdul Hamid, senior station officer of Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) Fire Service.

On information, five fire fighting units from different stations rushed to the spot and doused the fire around 6:40pm after one and a half hours of frantic efforts. At least four people were injured in the incident, Hamid said.
The injured were given first aid at local clinics.
He said at least 2000 workers have been working in the factory when the accident took place.
read more. & read more. & read more.  & read more.
daily star bd UNBnew  banglanews24NEW FE bd

20150205 * Assault on garment worker sparks protest:

Workers of a readymade garments factory in Jamirdia area of Bhaluka upazila yesterday staged demonstration, protesting assault on a fellow worker by an official of the factory.

Police quoted witnesses as saying that Sujon, production manager of Saad-Sun Apparels Ltd, allegedly engaged in a scuffle with Akhtar Uddin, a worker of sewing section, over a trifling matter on Tuesday noon.

At around 9:00pm, Sujon along with some other employees of the factory again attacked Akhtar.
Hearing the news, the workers of the factory staged demonstration inside the factory yesterday morning, demanding punishment to the attackers.
They also allegedly attacked some factory officials.

On information, police rushed to the spot, but could not enter the factory due to workers’ agitation.
The workers resumed their duties at around 2:00pm following an assurance given by the factory officials of investigating the matter properly, said Golam Sarwar, officer in-charge of Bhaluka Police Station.
to read.
daily star bd

20150201 * Over (50/100-) 200 RMG workers fall sick in Savar:

Workers fall sick drinking water (DhakaTribune).

More than 200 workers of a readymade garments factory in Savar fell sick on Sunday morning.
But the reason of falling sick could not be known immediately.

Workers of the AKH factory in Rajphulbaria area have been admitted to local hospitals and clinics.

Factory director Sadulla Saju told banglanews that no incident was reported here that make the workers ill. It might be mental problem, he said.

Witnesses said workers fell sick one after another on Sunday morning after joining their daily duties. Following the incident, panic is prevailing among workers.
read more. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW daily star bd DHAKATRIBUNE

20150204 * EPZs to get multi-storey dormitories for female workers :

The government will construct multi-storey dormitories for female workers in each of the eight Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in the country to address their accommodation problem.

The decision was taken at the 33rd meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority  (BEPZA) held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with BEPZA Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhuri said the Bangladesh Bank would finance from its Housing Fund to construct the six-storey dormitories.

He said the meeting also decided to exempt five percent holding tax to BEPZA for the EPZs — Ishwardi, Savar and Nilphamari — situated in the Union Parishads.

Besides, all the foreign investors and foreigners working at the EPZs would get commissionerate facility at 15 percent duty.

Currently, investors from some 37 countries from across the world, including South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, India, the USA, the UK, Malaysia, Germany and host Bangladesh are investing in eight EPZs under Bepza.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
UNBnew FE bd NEWAGEnew prothom

20150205 * Funds for workers’ welfare not a charity:

Welfare of workers in Bangladesh has been a low priority issue for long. A large number of business houses in Bangladesh are yet to give the required attention to the welfare of the workers, especially the low-paid segment.
Possibly that is why the government initiated setting up of the Bangladesh Workers’ Welfare Foundation but visible results are yet to be seen.

The country’s labour law, amended in 2006, however, legally binds a company to keep five per cent of its net profit for the welfare fund of the company and the government’s Workers’ Welfare Foundation.
Happily, the law, revised subsequently in 2013, asked for 10 per cent of the amount to the Foundation while 80 per cent to the company’s own welfare fund.
The remaining 10 per cent is meant for funding recreational activities of the workers.

But a recent press report has brought to the fore the issue again. It found that most of the companies are reluctant to contribute to the Workers’ Welfare Foundation. Only 38 companies contributed to the Foundation in the last nine years and most of these are multinationals.
Is it believable that only 38 companies are making profit in the country?
read more.
FE bd

20150131 * FDI likely in RMG outside EPZs with no string attached:

The government will soon take a decision on allowing foreign investment in readymade garment (RMG) industry outside the export processing zones (EPZs) without any conditions, a move that has been vehemently opposed by local apparel industry owners.

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) will convene a meeting next week with stakeholders to settle the issue of allowing foreign investment outside the EPZs in both high-fashioned and basic garments, according to officials concerned.

Stakeholders in October last had agreed to accept foreign investment outside the EPZs provided those factories will produce fashion items and export those in non-traditional and new markets like Russia, Brazil, China, South Africa, India, Australia and Mexico.

Officials said, the government is under pressure from several countries to allow FDI in basic garments without any condition.

“We will sit with the stakeholders next week to settle the issue,” Commerce Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon told the FE without elaborating.
read more.
FE bd

20150201 * Bangladesh becoming a hub for non-traditional garment products:

Bangladesh has become a hub for technical and non-traditional garment products as international retailers are coming with an increasing number of work orders.

Bangladesh is the second largest garment exporter after China in woven and knitwear segments. Not only that, Bangladesh also supplies military uniforms, travel bags, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor jackets, jute slippers and other jute goods.

“Currently, Bangladeshi factories, especially the ones in export processing zones, are performing well in export of non-traditional items,” an official of Chittagong EPZ said, asking not to be named.

Bangladeshi factories supply uniforms for the British army and French navy, the official said.

Apart from non-traditional and technical garments, some factories in Chittagong EPZ produce computer accessories for renowned brands, wigs, spectacles, frames and lens of spectacles, and selection buttons of vending machines used in Western countries, the official said.

“Very few people know that Bangladesh is the top exporter of army boots for some European nations. The boots are made in the factories housed in the EPZs of Chittagong,” the official said.
read more.
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20150204 * Buyers turning back amid unrest: BTMA:

Country’s ongoing political crisis is affecting the textile industry as the buyers are refraining from placing new orders and also offering lower prices, said the textile mills owners on Tuesday.
They said the prolonged political crisis has been severely hampering the production, but the cost of production remained unchanged which was also affecting the industry.
‘The buyers are afraid of placing new orders as they fear we will not be able to deliver within the deadline,’ Bangladesh Textile Mills Association president Tapan Chowdhury said while announcing the 12th Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition on the day.
He said the buyers were also offering lower prices because of the uncertain situation.
read more.

20150204 * Garment sector losses mounting by the day:

Losses in the garment sector are mounting everyday for the blockade and shutdowns called by the BNP-led alliance, with 23 garment factories reporting losses of $19.02 million between January 14 and February 1.

The amount will be much bigger if the losses of all affected factories are calculated, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

So far, only 23 factories have responded to the platform’s request for quotations of losses incurred for the political turmoil, ongoing since January 6.

The 23 factories had to deal with work order cancellations, discounts for shipment delays, expensive air shipment and transport fares, and vandalism in that period.
read more.
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20150204 * Small garment industries in Syedpur closed for blockade:

More than 400 small garments industries in Syedpur have been forced to discontinue their production due to prolonged blockade imposed by 20-party alliance.

They had to do so as they use leftover cut piece cloths collected from big industries in Dhaka and Chittagong in making products in their garment units.

When contacted Akhtar Hossain Khan, President of Small Garments Industries Association Syedpur said due to non-plying of trucks in the roads they are unable to bring cut piece cloths from Dhaka.
Owner of NR Garments of Nizpara Bangalipur of Syedpur said he established a small garments factory in 2012 at a cost of one million taka to make trousers, jackets, pants and so on but he has to stop production due to non-availability of cut piece cloths which he collects from Dhaka.
He also mentioned that a huge quantity of garments remained unsold in the godown due to blockade.
read more.
FE bd

20150203 * Garment buyers demand solution to political crisis:

They say blockade interrupts their supply chain

Representatives of 65 international retailers, who source garments from Bangladeshi factories, yesterday demanded an immediate solution to the current political crisis, saying the ongoing blockade is interrupting their supply chain.

The retailers and brands expressed the concern at the regular “buyer forum meeting” at Westin Hotel in Dhaka.

“Usually, during this time of the year we discuss with the buyers the future growth plan of garment exports from Bangladesh,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told The Daily Star after the meeting.

“But, now we are discussing how we will cope with the bad situation that stemmed from the political crisis.”

The retailers also demanded the government keep the Dhaka-Chittagong highway free from political violence for the sake of a smooth supply chain, Islam said.
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daily star bd FE bd NEWAGEnew DHAKATRIBUNE

20150202 * Unions express concern on growing political unrest and violence:

The BWI is seriously concerned about the current political turmoil and gridlock in Bangladesh between the ruling party Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the main opposition party, which has resulted in 31 deaths and arrests of more than 7,000 people.

For Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary: “The political unrest and continuing violence has disrupted normal life in Bangladesh and if a solution is not found to the current prevailing situation, there will be loss of jobs and all the socio-economic development in the country shall be relegated to the background.”

“The present situation is negatively impacting on the country’s development and also affecting employment opportunities for workers in the vast informal economy of Bangladesh.
read more.

20150201 * Turmoil puts efforts to find new RMG mkts in jeopardy:

Joint efforts of the government and the apparel makers to explore readymade garment (RMG) markets beyond the traditional ones are set to be in jeopardy if the ongoing political deadlock prolongs further, industry insiders apprehend.

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to some potential non-traditional markets declined while shipments to other emerging markets like India, China, Japan and Russia witnessed a slow pace of growth during the first half of the current fiscal year 2014-15 compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to official data.

The slow export growth in new markets is the result of Tazreen blaze, Rana Plaza building collapse and political impasse in 2013, apparel makers said.

They feared that if the unstable political situation continues further, it would result in further declining trend in growth, especially in the new and emerging markets.
read more.
FE bd

20150203 * Tanneries lose Tk 4.59b due to political unrest:

Hartal and indefinite blockade for nearly a month took its toll on the tannery sector which suffered a loss of about Tk 4.59 billion, tannery leaders said Monday at a press conference.

The Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) organised the press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity to tell the media about their losses during the ongoing unrest.

President Shahin Ahmed said exporters did not receive any order from foreign buyers during the month-long unrest and could not deliver any shipment during the time.
He said they are passing worst time in business in many years.
read more. & read more.

20150202 * Jute sector’s loss tops Tk 5.0b for turmoil:

Political turmoil has hit exports and local trade of jute hard by 20-30 per cent in the last 26 days, with the sector bleeding an estimated Tk 5.1 billion, insiders said.

According to businesses, August-March is the peak season for jute harvest, trading, mills’ production and exports.

The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Jute Mills Association (BJMA), Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) officials said nearly 249 jute mills in the country have been forced to cut production by 42,000 tonnes owing to the blockade enforced by the BNP-led alliance since January 5.
read more.
FE bd

20150201-03 * Blockade batters Sirajganj handloom industry :

The handloom industry in Sirajganj district has received a shattering blow due to the ongoing countrywide non-stop transport blockade and repeated hartals sponsored by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.

The weavers of the district are counting heavy losses as their crores of taka worth of clothes, including saris, lungis and gamchhas (bathing cotton towels), have remained unsold for almost one month.
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UNBnew prothom FE bd daily star bd

20150201 * Govt has no data of loss in RMG sector for political violence:

The minister for finance, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, on Sunday told parliament that the government had no data on the loss incurred by country’s apparel sector because of the prolonged blockade and strike.
The minister said responding to a supplementary question from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Nazmul Huq Pradhan about the loss incurred by country’s apparel sector per day.
Muhith said the situation mandates conducting a survey to assess the loss.
He was of the opinion that Khaleda Zia was acting like enemy of the state by enforcing strikes and a prolonged blockade.
to read.

20150201 * RMG factory owners to enjoy 4-yr deferred LC payment:

Readymade garment factory owners are going to enjoy four-year deferred letter of credit payment facility in importing capital machinery and five-year repayment facilities for foreign loans in place of existing one year.

According to a recent decision of the Board of Investment and Bangladesh Bank, the garment manufacturers who want to get the opportunity of opening deferred LC for the period of three years more, will have to submit applications to the BoI.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said the owners of readymade garment factories, who wanted to get the opportunity for more than one year in making their deferred payment on import of capital machinery, will have to submit application to Bangladesh Bank.
read more.

20150204 * Textile millers bullish on $50b exports by 2021:

Entrepreneurs cry for infra-utility supports

Entrepreneurs reassure that earning the targeted $50 billion from export of clothing items by 2021 is possible and sought necessary supports like infrastructures, gas and electricity to help it happen.

Leaders of BTMA at a press conference Tuesday said with these supports in place, as the main backward-linkage industry the primary textiles sector would also get opportunities to produce an increased volume of yarn and fabrics which will contribute to the clothing sector as a whole.
read more.
FE bd

20150202 * High duty drag on garment exports to Thailand: MCCI:

A top chamber leader Sunday urged Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh banking on a welter of incentives Dhaka offers to foreign investors.

Syed Nasim Manzur, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Thai investors can tap the investment potentials in the areas of textiles, leather, paper and pulp, energy, tourism, healthcare, agro-based and agro-supporting industries by capitalizing on the country’s comprehensive incentives regime.

His call came when a 25-member Thai business delegation, accompanied by officials from Thai Board of Investment (BoI) and Thai-Bangladesh Business Council (TBBC), held a meeting with the chamber in the city.
read more.
FE bd

20150131 * Govt plans to slash export subsidy on RMG:

The government is planning a 25 per cent slash in export incentives on readymade garments at a time the sector faces setback in retaining its global market share and struggles to cope with non-stop blockades and hartals.

The planned reduction would be made effective on all three categories of apparel exports, as the finance ministry believes the sector alone gobbles up the lion’s share of incentive allocation of the government every year.

The new rates of cash incentive for textiles and apparel sector will be effective from July, a senior finance ministry official said.
Current five per cent export subsidy for all types of export-oriented RMG industries will be reduced to four per cent, another five per cent incentive, only meant for medium and small RMG units, will be slashed to four per cent, and the three per cent incentive now available only for export earnings generated from countries other than the US, Canada and EU, will be trimmed to two per cent.
read more.

20150201 * Training puts industries on strong footing: ILO Expert:

Developing knowledge and understanding for managing the occupational safety and health (OSH) will help the country build up its industries on strong footing, said a specialist of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Speaking at a master trainers’ meeting of mid-level executives and managers, working in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry, Paolo Salvai, Activity Manager of the International Training Centre (ITC) of the ILO, urged the participants to develop culture of practising the safety issues which, he said, would benefit the country ultimately.

The Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) in collaboration with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the International Training Centre (ITC) of the ILO organised the daylong training programme.
read more.
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20150202 * Bangladesh tannery workers pay high price for cheap fashion:

Bangladesh’s leather exports are a billion dollar industry, but tannery workers exposed to toxic chemicals

Bangladesh has become synonymous with cheap, ready-made garments and the high human cost of fast fashion.

In the underground leather tanneries of Dhaka, few safeguards exist for workers. Industrial chemicals are devastating public health and the environment, including the world’s largest river delta.
see video report.

* Interview Trade unionist Nazmul Islam Khan by Chaumtoli Huq:

Trade unionist Nazmul Islam Khan shares his views on the strengths and weakness of the Bangladesh Labor Movement.

Listen here.

11:22:24 local time map of india INDIA

20150205 * Helping women garment-factory workers stand up for their rights:

International consumer activism has helped empower several hundred women, especially in garment factories, which is the second largest sector to employ women.

Several weeks ago, dozens of female factory workers in a small factory in Kerala, were stripped searched – the “humiliating investigation” was carried out because supervisors found a used sanitary napkin in the bathroom. However, the women were gutsy enough ensure that the police took down their complaint.

This is not a solitary incident. Sexually explicit abuses, slapping, pulling of their hair – is a routine treatment meted out to women in factories. Many suffer worse, such as sexual abuse.

However, awareness training programs, which are being adopted by several factories, are changing the scenario for the better. UN Women (India) shares a few responses: “We are so used to hearing abusive language from our supervisors that we had accepted it as given. We now understand that this is harassment,” said one participant. Another admitted: “I now know that a ‘seemingly’ harmless touch or a stare is also harassment,”

These women garment factory workers had participated in an awareness training program, in a project led by Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) which had obtained a grant from the UN Trust Fund.

In India, the garment sector is the second larger employer of women – nearly 1.2 crore women workers constitute 80% of the total workforce in this sector. India is also a dominant garment exporter (exports in 2013 grossed US $ 15.71 billion or Rs 99,240 crore).

Such harassment would never be tolerated in the sale-stores, so why should it be tolerated in the factories where garments are made? – is a question asked by many global brands as they seek solutions aimed at empowering women garment workers.
Egged on by international consumer activism, global brands are moving beyond having code of conduct in place for their overseas suppliers (garment factories in India).
read more.

20150202 * Labour Minister promises to rehabilitate children:

The Union government has taken serious note of child trafficking after the Hyderabad police rescued nearly 400 children from the bangle-making industry in the city and plans to bring all State governments on a common platform to stop the menace.

The Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Bandaru Dattatreya, said he would soon convene an inter-State meeting to work out a time-bound plan to prevent child trafficking.

Mr. Dattatreya said the Ministry would also work in coordination with Bihar and Telangana to rehabilitate every child rescued by the Hyderabad police.
He said it was unfortunate that the industry, famous for crafted bangles in the country and abroad, had employed children for the work. “This is totally unacceptable,” he said.

About 400 children, including 215 from Bihar, were rescued from bangle and footwear-making units in Old City by the police and Labour Department officials during the last one week.
Most children are aged between four and twelve years and hail from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) V. Satyanarayana said the employers paid an advance between 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 to parents.

“A monthly sum of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000 is paid to the parents, depending upon the age and working ability of the child,” he told The Hindu .

The children, hailing from poor families, were denied proper food and accommodation and at times fell ill due to lack of hygiene. At Amannagar, Yaseen Pahelwan rented out his three-storied building to a bangle-making unit and about 150 children were staying on the premises. Closed circuit cameras were installed in the workshops to keep a watch on the children.
read more.

20150201 * Child labourers rescued:

In a joint operation, police and Childline India Foundation NGO partner HELP rescued six child labourers, hailing from Srikakulam, from the railway station here on Saturday.

Ongole II Town CI J. Deva Prabakar said the childrencame by Puri-Tirupati express and were left at the station by a man who had brought them here. The children said they were promised jobs in a spinning mill, with a daily wage of Rs. 150 each, HELP social activist B.V. Sagar said. The children were shifted to ‘Asha Sadan’.
to read.

20150206 * Strike by handloom weavers enters 4th day:

The indefinite strike by over 3,000 handloom weavers demanding 30 per cent hike in wages entered the fourth day in Komarapalayam here on Thursday.

The various fabrics produced here are exported to Malaysia and Singapore and the units employ skilled labours.
Wages are paid to the weaver based on the fabrics and type of work that may be, Rs. 1,250, 1,400 and Rs. 1,500.
But weavers said that the wage was not hiked despite repeated representations to the textile manufacturers.
Hence, they began their indefinite strike from Monday.
Their demands include 30 per cent hike in wages and interference of government officials in sorting out the issue.
to read.

20150203 * 300 shoe unit workers fear they’ll be jobless soon:

A shoe-making company has scaled down operations at Selaqui, within the industrial area of Dehradun, with the aim of shifting to Himanchal Pradesh.

The move would leave over 300 employees jobless. Agitated employees protested on Tuesday, demanding settlement of their wages and the intervention of the state labour department.

Employees claimed the company had been shifting all machines and emptying warehouses of finished goods. These were being transported to Himanchal Pradesh, workers said.

Top management had not mentioned the shift plan to workers, and trouble had been brewing as rumours spread. “There was no communication about the future of the unit here. We had no option but to lock the gate of the company. All of us want to know about the settlement of our wages,” Arvind, an employee, said.

For the past month, workers said they had been noticing how equipment and material had been shifted. Also, manufacturing had been almost halted at the Selaqui facility. What was worse, workers had no clue what was happening.
read more.

20150202 * TNPCB ignored violations by tanneries:

Questions have been raised about the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s virtual clean chit to the tanneries in a report last year after 10 workers died on Friday at a tannery in Ranipet in Vellore district; documents indicate that the Board was giving a long rope to the tanneries and the common effluent treatment plants set up by them.

Documents available with The Hindu show that three municipalities in Vellore questioned the TNPCB’s findings and alleged that the Board had not conducted proper inspections. They also protested against their officials being asked to sign these inspection reports.

The regulatory body may have to answer such tough questions over the tragedy when the Supreme Court resumes its hearing on Tuesday into a case related to the illegal discharge of effluents by tanneries in the area.

PCB officials were also aware for months about the presence of an illegal storage facility. It was from this second secure land fill (SLF) which stored untreated effluents, that the toxic sludge swamped the adjacent unit leading to the disaster.
The facility was possibly used to store the untreated effluents so that it could be dumped elsewhere without incurring operation and maintenance costs.
read more.

20150201-02 * Ranipet tannery tragedy: Safety trapped in negligence:

Environmentalists say the disaster in the tannery unit which killed 10 workers could have been averted, had there been regular monitoring of the CETP by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

L.C. Mani, deputy secretary, Vellore district unit of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said the mishap brings to fore the “negligence and absence of regular monitoring” by the TNPCB.

The mishap had occurred owing to the poor quality of construction of the storage tank, activists say. Considering the toxic nature of the chemicals used in the tanning process, the TNPCB should have ensured the construction of the tank as per safety norms.

It is worth mentioning here that the sludge comprises toxic chemicals which included sodium chloride, lime, sodium sulphide, chromium sulphate, fat liquor, ammonia, sulphuric acid and dyes.

The mishap had occurred despite the fact that the company that operated the CETP had put in place a zero liquid discharge system about two years ago and a secure land fill for its sludge about seven years ago.
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20150201 * 10 workers killed in Ranipet tannery:

20150201 theHINDU
Fire service personnel with a rescued worker. Photo: Special Arrangement

In the worst tannery disaster in Tamil Nadu, 10 workers were drowned in toxic sludge in the early hours of Saturday at a tannery unit in the Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) Industrial Estate in Ranipet.

Breach in wall
The flood, caused by a breach in the concrete wall of the sludge storage tank of the adjacent Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), caught the workers who were asleep, unawares.

Nine of the dead were from Paschim Medinipur district, police said. They were identified as Abeeb Khan and his two sons Ali Akbar and Ali Ankar of Vidyapur Saltawani; Shajahan and Kutub Khan (brothers); Akram, Eshyam, Pyar and Habeeb, all from Balrampur. G. Sampath of Melvallam, the watchman at the unit, was also killed.

Two other employees, K. Ravi (50), a supervisor and G. Aminul Ali Khan (21) of Balrampur were rescued by fellow workers.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has ordered the closure of the CETP, run by the Ranipet SIDCO Finished Leather Effluent Treatment Company Limited, as well as 79 member-units linked to it, for not following safety norms.
read more. & read more. & read more.
THEHINDU  TOInew  ndtv

20150203 * Govt seeks changes in 20 labour laws:

The Devendra Fadnavis led government has asked the labour department to study 20 laws — some of them over 100 years old — and present a report suggesting changes in 30 days.

The government has formed a committee of six bureaucrats of the department, including thw labour commissioner, and others to prepare a report on some sensitive laws such as minimum wage (1936), contract labour (1970) and Child Labour Act, 1986.

The government issued an order on January 30, in which deputy secretary D S Rajput has asked the members to present the report within 30 days from the formation of the committee.
read more.

20150201 * Govt to amend 20 labour and industrial laws:

In order to make the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ and ‘Digital India’ missions successful, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has set up a committee to amend 20 labour and industrial laws.

The committee headed by labour commissioner will suggest the amendments to the government after studying the laws in detail.

The committee headed by labour commissioner has five other members. Deputy commissioner (administration) in labour commissionerate is the member secretary. Development commissioner, joint secretary (labour), joint secretary (law and judiciary) and AR Laksawar, who is the deputy commissioner (labour).

All the laws and rules governing labour and industrial relations have been covered. The circulars, notifications and government resolutions issued under these laws will also be studied. The main ones include Factory Act, Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, Contract Labour Act, Labour Welfare Fund Act, Industrial Disputes Act, etc.

Rajasthan was the first state to amend the labour laws. It had taken the ordinance path and had received the assent of President of India to the amendments in the labour laws governing Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Contract Labour Act 1970 and Factories Act 1948.

Now, companies in Rajasthan can retrench up to 300 employees without seeking government permission.
Earlier, it was restricted to 100.
It has also introduced a time limit of three years for raising industrial disputes.
The modifications also make it tougher to register labour unions — instead of 15% of workers, now 30% of workers in a factory need to join hands to form a union.
read more.

20150206 * India’s first yarn bank to cater to powerloom weavers:

Hundreds of small and medium powerloom weavers in Surat, the country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) centre, will have direct access to polyester yarn at concessional rates with the setting up of India’s first yarn bank at the powerloom clusters of Ved Road and Pandesara.

The Union ministry of textiles has formed two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) namely Ved Road Art Silk Small Scale Cooperative Federation Limited and Pandesara Weavers Cooperative Society Limited for setting up the yarn banks under the Integrated Scheme for Powerloom Sector Development (ISPSD). Both the yarn banks will be inaugurated in the presence of textile secretary Sanjay Panda and joint secretary Sujit Gulati at a function on Friday.
read more.

20150204 * Knitwear sector unhappy over RBI decision to keep key policy rates unchanged:

‘Unless the interest rates are reduced, SMEs cannot achieve growth’

Entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprises-dominated Tirupur knitwear cluster by and large sounded unhappy over the Reserve Bank of India’s decision, on Tuesday, to keep the key policy repo rate unchanged even though statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) was reduced.

Repo rate
In the monetary policy review, the RBI kept the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility intact at 7.75 per cent and brought down the SLR of the scheduled commercial banks by 50 basis points from 22 per cent to 21.5 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities.
read more.

20150201 * Four sick textile mills to be shifted to Amravati:

In a move that may give the much-needed push to Vidarbha’s cotton economy, four sick textile units – three from Mumbai and one from Solapur – will be shifted to Nandgaonpeth textile zone in Amravati.

The Nitin Gadkari-Devendra Fadnavis duo has once again come to play for the region’s benefit.
Lack of policy and failure of the region’s political leaders till now had led to a situation where more than 80% of cotton produced in Vidarbha was shipped out for processing.
This missing link in the cotton chain – processing and value addition – is expected to make a huge difference to the region where cotton growers were driven to commit suicide because of poor returns in the last two decades.
read more. & read more.
TOInew ynfxlogo

20150206 * Mega textile cluster to come up in Srirampura:

Land has been identified at Srirampura in Mysuru for establishing a mega textile cluster.

The Union government had already given its approval for setting up the textile cluster in Mysuru and had also released Rs. 28 crore towards the facility, according to Pratap Simha, Mysuru MP.

Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar will be visiting Mysuru on February 9 for spot inspection of the proposed land.
He will also discuss the project with the officers concerned, according to a release.
Also, a meeting will be convened with the officers, in which the Minister and Mr. Pratap Simha will participate, the release said.
It will come up in Srirampura
read more.

20150206 * “Set up garment manufacturing units in Perambalur”:

Three buildings ready for occupation, says Collector

Textile companies from Tirupur have evinced interest in opening their readymade garment production units in the district.

“Fine Fit,” a company from Tirupur, has opened its production unit in a rented building (government building) at Padalur.
According to Tamil Selvan, district panchayat Secretary, the company is operating 100 to 150 sewing machines for preparing readymade garments in the rented building.
read more.

20150203 * New draft textile policy of Maharashtra proposes to improve efficiency like China:

The Suresh Halwankar Committee formed to review the existing textile policy of Maharashtra taking into consideration that India are losing out the market to China mainly because it takes nine months for Indian cotton to become a garment.

While in China, it takes just two months because of full-fledged textile hubs and hence recommended establishment of mega-textile hubs spread over 1,000 hectares as against allowing garment factories to come up in a scattered manner.

Halwankar Committee suggested setting up of mega composite hubs which will offer spinning, weaving, processing, designing and garmenting units to cut down on cost and time. The area should have common effluent treatment plants and water recycling plants to minimise damage to the environment. It policy also seeks to reduce power tariff for the sector.

The draft of the new policy which was submitted to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on January 30 talks of adopting a ‘Fibre to Fashion’ approach to turn around the textile sector, which was once blooming in the state.
The draft policy will now be sent to the cabinet for approval.
read more.

20150131 * Maharashtra govt forms committee to push labour reforms:

Asks Labour Commissioner to look into 20 different acts and rules and make recommendations within a month

To push labour reforms, the Maharashtra government has set up a six-member committee, headed by the labour commissioner, to suggest amendments to the labour laws.

The proposed reforms will be part of the Make in Maharashtra and Digital Maharashtra initiatives by the state government under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Make in India project.

The committee will submit its report within a month, the state government said in a notification issued on Friday. The committee will look into about 20 labour Acts and recommend amendments.
read more.

20150131 * Labour unrest at Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills denim plant in Nagpur bring production to a halt:

Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills denim plant at Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra which is equipped with the state of the art machines to produce world class having a capacity to produce 40 million meters of denim per annum has suspended production operations due to labour unrest.

The Company is negotiating with the Workers Union and is reasonably confident of settling the issue at an early date. The Company shall inform the Stock Exchange immediately on restoration of the denim operations in Nagpur .

The denim plant ranks among the best in the world. The blow room line, cards and drawframes are from Trutzschler, Autocore open end are of schalafhorst.
read more.

20150131 * Cotton farmers stage demo at Enumamula:

20150131 theHINDU

Tension prevailed at Enumamula agriculture market with hundreds of cotton farmers staging demonstration demanding procurement that was stalled on Friday.

BJP leader A. Ashok reddy was arrested when he went there to express solidarity to protesting farmers.

Former Minister Baswaraju saraiah, former MP Ponnam Prabhakar and others are staging a demonstration at market. No official was present except polic, who prevented Congress leaders from entering office.

Cong leaders say they will not move until cotton procurement begins.
to read. & read more.

20150204 * India biggest sourcing destination of organic textile to stage first international GOTS conference:

India, the largest producer of organic cotton (around 70 per cent of world production) and also the largest processing and export market of textiles using organic fibres with the most Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certified facilities worldwide will stage the first ever international GOTS conference on 22 May.

The conference aims to raise awareness about organic textiles and provide guidance and technical information about the GOTS standard.

Globally, brands, retailers and consumers are increasingly supporting organic cotton. Merely use of organic fibres is not enough.
To make textiles in a sustainable way they need to focus on aspects such as Environment, Social Responsibility and Economy.
GOTS serves as a reliable tool to implement and evaluate sustainable practices in textile industry since it efficiently covers all the relevant aspects.
read more.

20150203 * 16 % rise in apparel exports:

Readymade garment exports in rupee terms rose by 15.98 per cent to Rs. 73,714 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal from Rs.63,557 crore in the same period in the previous fiscal.

The growth was 14.66 per cent in dollar terms in the said period, according to the Apparel Export Promotion Council. Tirupur Exporters’ Association President A. Sakthivel has said in a press release that knitwear exports from Tirupur, based on data collected from banks, reached Rs.15,000 crore during the reference period. This was nearly 19 per cent more than the same period in 2013.
He was hopeful of exports from Tirupur crossing Rs.21,000 crore in 2014-15.
to read.

20150203 * Entrepreneurs to submit report on financial stress faced by textile units:

Findings of the study will be given to the Finance Ministry

Textile entrepreneurs from Tirupur region is gearing up to submit a report to the Union Finance Ministry on the financial stresses faced by the textile units and on how value-addition could be effectively done to cotton, after carrying out a study with the help of professional agency.

Special scheme
The idea of coming out with the report on the issues was consequent to the recent recommendations of Union Textiles Ministry to the Department of Financial Services under the Union Finance Ministry to prepare a special scheme for extension of low interest working capital loan for procurement of cotton by the textile units.

“We will be suggesting to the Finance Ministry the findings of the study which include case studies of various mills that faced problems,” D. Prabhu, secretary of Texpreneurs Forum formed of textile entrepreneurs, which is coordinating the compilation of the report, told The Hindu .
read more.

20150131 * Indian textile mills awaiting government to release pending TUFS subsidy soon:

The Indian textile mills who had made investment for upgrading technology at their existing units as well as to set up new units with state-of-the-art facilities under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) more than three years back are looking for subsidy release now which according to them is worth Rs 2,500-3,000 crore.

The amount is due because of non-payment of subsidies against investments made by textile units during the so-called black-out period (June 20, 2010 to April 27, 2011) as well as errors in reporting of the dole-out amount by banks to the textile commissioner, sources told FE.
read more.

20150202 * Andhra Pradesh leather complex may trigger business migration from Tamil Nadu:

Just months after Nokia and Foxconn exited, and months ahead of a summit to project Tamil Nadu as an investment destination, leather industrialists here are deliberating whether a seaside industrial complex in Andhra Pradesh would fit the bill for expansion or even relocation.

Besides cheaper land, labour and steady power supply , the Krishnapatnam International Leather Complex offers the advantage of safer effluent disposal, a conundrum that shut hundreds of tanneries and made it near-impossible to open a unit in Tamil Nadu later.

From over 825 tanneries in Tamil Nadu about three years ago, the number has dropped to 470 now. Many smaller units that came under the pollution authority’s axe never got back their licences as the effluent treatment systems proved prohibitively costly .
read more.

20150205 * Footwear industry seeks pruning of excise duty:

Industry players say high taxes are giving China the advantage

With the footwear industry growing, manufacturers and retailers say that high taxes are marring the growth of domestic manufacturing and giving an undue advantage to cheap Chinese imports.

“Footwear industry is a low-hanging fruit with a huge potential to grow. Globally, footwear follows textile in terms of growth and we are asking the Centre to provide us with sops equivalent to the textile industry,” Rafique Malik, Chairman, Metro Shoes said.

Malik said that footwear is currently subject to among the highest excise duty slabs across any product category (26-28 per cent of ex-factory price).

He added that the high excise duty is hurting industries, particularly those in the SME space.
read more.

20150202 * Power supply to 98 tanneries stopped for polluting Ganga:

The district administration snapped power supply to 98 tanneries in Jajmau amidst tight security on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

In a high-level meeting held in Lucknow on Saturday, chief secretary Alok Ranjan had cleared the decks for the action.

President of Small Tanners Accociation Hafiz-Ur-Rehman said that the action would render 5,000 people jobless and accused Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) of corrupt practice and harassment. Five days back, the board had issued notice for the closure of these tanneries. Rehman said that the affected tanners would present their viewpoint before NGT in New Delhi on Monday.

Additional District Magistrate, Kanpur, (city) Avinash Singh said that National Green Tribunal (NGT) had recently sent a team comprising central and state pollution board officials to examine the tanneries in Kanpur and the status of pollution of the river.
read more. & read more. & read more.

20150201 * Leather sector to clock $27 bn turnover in 5 yrs:

Industry reported annual growth rate of around 14.77% in the last 5 years

The Indian leather industry is expected to clock $27 billion turnover in the next five years, up from the present $12 billion.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of three-day India International Leather Fair, JS Deepak, additional secretary in the department of commerce, and M Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman of Council for Leather Exports (CLE), said the exports would constitute a major share at $15 billion in the overall target.

Exports presently constitute $5.91 billion in the total leather industry turnover. The industry has recorded a cumulative annual growth rate of 14.77 per cent in the last five years.
read more.

20150201 * Leather industry needs Rs. 1,500-crore investments in 5 years, says ITPO chief:

The Indian leather industry will require over Rs. 1,500 crore of investments in the next five years to develop necessary infrastructure to achieve the targeted $27 billion trade by 2019-20, from the current $12 billion, feels JS Deepak, Chairman and Managing Director, India Trade Promotion Organisation.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday to announce the launch of the 30{+t}{+h}edition of the India International Leather Fair (IILF), he said the government will allocate funds to programmes aimed at augmenting tanning capacity and skill development in the industry, as the leather sector has been notified as a ‘focus sector’ in the ‘Make in India’ programme.
read more.

20150201 * Ranipet tannery tragedy: Safety trapped in negligence:

Environmentalists say the disaster in the tannery unit which killed 10 workers could have been averted, had there been regular monitoring of the CETP by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

L.C. Mani, deputy secretary, Vellore district unit of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said the mishap brings to fore the “negligence and absence of regular monitoring” by the TNPCB.

The mishap had occurred owing to the poor quality of construction of the storage tank, activists say. Considering the toxic nature of the chemicals used in the tanning process, the TNPCB should have ensured the construction of the tank as per safety norms.

It is worth mentioning here that the sludge comprises toxic chemicals which included sodium chloride, lime, sodium sulphide, chromium sulphate, fat liquor, ammonia, sulphuric acid and dyes.
read more.

20150206 * Spinning a yarn:

Rema Kumar’s saris are an ode to the country’s rich textile tradition

Six yards of handwoven cloth, a hundred thousand stories. Rema Kumar, whose love affair with the garment, stretches back as long as she can remember, says, “There is something beautiful and graceful about the sari.

Unfortunately, nowadays, young women wear saris only on an occasion. I wish they wore it more often, it’s so easy to wear and it looks good.”
A textile designer, Rema who grew up and studied in Chennai, worked in Delhi with home furnishings, before venturing into handloom, saris in particular. “I started with saris because there is more drama and innovation possible.
And I wear them regularly too, at least once a week,” she says, adding that she travelled across the country identifying weavers she could work with, “I work with a variety of prints and fabrics —cottons from Andhra Pradesh, tussars from Chhattisgarh, batik work and bhandej from Gujarat, among others,” she says.
It came down to economics, she soon found out, “He could earn Rs. 10,000 in ten days in the butcher shop; the average weaver earns only about Rs. 3000 – Rs. 4000 a month. And it’s hard work; it takes almost half a day to set up a warp.
The weavers want their children to learn computers and work in an office,” she says.
read more.

11:22:24 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150203 * Sri Lankan garment exporters poised to achieve target of USD5bn export revenue this year:

Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters (SLCGE) and its partner Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA) expressed confidence of achieving this year’s government target of USD five billion in export revenue.

According to Sri Lanka garment exporters, they can easily achieve the export target of USD 8.5 B in 2020 if the country is able to sign the agreement with China and tap the Japanese market.
The Chinese market is at present catered to by Vietnam, and Sri Lanka has all the opportunities to penetrate the Chinese market though better quality products though the Chinese were not keen on garments.

SLCGE Manager, Administration, Rohan de Silva told that the apparel sector is keen on signing a Free Trade Agreement with China and at least a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan.
If they could get back the GSP Plus facility, their target would be much easier adding that even without GSP Plus, the sector achieved a target of USD 4.8 bn last November.
read more.

10:52:24 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150202 *‘Cheap labour attracts Chinese investors’:

Director General Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Shahzad Hussain Rana said that cheap and quality labour in Pakistan could attract Chinese investment since labour cost in China had gone up.

Interacting with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Rana said that entrepreneurs should further build rapport with Chinese counterparts to goad investors. He said peaceful environment will greatly be helpful in this.

DG TDAP assured the businesspersons of the authority’s full support to ICCI’s initiatives to improve the country’s trade and exports.

About Pakistan-India trade, the TDAP’s chief said that currently the trade was in India’s favour.
However, Pakistan has good potential to enhance the bilateral trade if India removes all technical barriers, which are acting as main hindrance to promoting trade up to the real potential, he said.
read more.

20150205 * New textile policy likely in two weeks :

20150205 DAWN
— AFP/file

New textile policy is likely to be approved in the next two weeks, said Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan while speaking to exporters at a meeting on Wednesday.

He further stated that despite all handicaps, Pakistan crossed the target of an additional $1.08 billion exports to the European Union within 10 months (January to October 2014) under the GSP Plus scheme.

The figures are encouraging for value-added textile sector as its exports to the EU have shown 25 per cent growth, the minister said, adding it is a great achievement, despite energy shortage and extremism.

Talking about refund payments, the minister stated that the commerce and the textile industry ministries were advocating the case with the finance ministry.

Moreover, the commerce ministry, with US collaboration, is organising a business opportunity conference next month in Islamabad.

On the energy issue, the minister said that the government was working on bridging the gap between demand and supply and has come up with a comprehensive energy policy.
read more. & read more.

20150205 * Textile industry: Punjab minister hails GIZ for social standards support programme:

Punjab Minister for Labour and Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has appreciating the role of German Institute, GIZ in implementation of social standards support program in the textile and garment industry in Punjab.

He said that the way GIZ is involving all the stakeholders in various interventions under the project, like consultation workshops, would go a long way for capacity building of stakeholders.

He was addressing a workshop arranged by GIZ to enhance capacity building by strengthening social standards among stakeholders at IRI Centre Township here on Wednesday.
Highlighting the initiatives of the Government of Punjab, he said that government has ensured to make it compliant to International Labour Standards (ILS) especially under the GSP Plus regime.
read more.

20150205 * Pakistan crosses set target of extra $1 billion export to EU: Khurram:

Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan has said despite all handicaps, Pakistan has crossed the set target of an additional $1 billion export to the EU in just 10 months under the GSP Plus scheme.

Being confronted with severe energy shortage and extremism, it is a great achievement, he said while addressing members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Wednesday.

This is encouraging for all of us as it is slightly beyond the expected growth target that the Ministry of Commerce had set, he added. Referring the Euro Statistics, he briefed that Pakistan’s exports to EU have increased by an additional $1.08 billion from January to October 2014.

The figures are especially encouraging for the value added textile sector as its exports to the EU have shown 25 percent growth which is a pleasant trend. However, he emphasised the need of increase in overall exports of the country.
The Commerce Ministry is in a process to re-design the model of EDF as its previous version is not benefiting the export sector.
The new textile policy will be approved within 15 days and will be implemented soon.
read more. & read more.

20150205 * Yarn import: Textile industry objects to increase in duty:

20150205 TRIBUNE
Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman M Jawed Bilwani on Wednesday said that instead of removing the already imposed 5% import duty, the government is trying to impose more duty at the behest of large spinners. PHOTO: ONLINE

The value-added textile sector has expressed dismay over the proposal of the government to impose an additional import duty on cotton yarn.

Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman M Jawed Bilwani on Wednesday said that instead of removing the already imposed 5% import duty, the government is trying to impose more duty at the behest of large spinners.

“Any additional import duty on yarn will significantly hamper the cost of doing business as the value-added textile sector’s exports are now touching $11.49 billion,” he added.

He objected to the government’s move that did not take the stakeholders on board before deciding on such crucial matters.

He said that the spinners always voiced their support for a free market economy. Now just for their benefit, they are going against the principles of free market economy and are misguiding the government.
read more.

20150202 * Gas supply to textile sector hit by pipeline blast:

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) drastically reduced supplies to the textile sector in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after terrorists blew up a 24-inch diameter gas pipeline in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti before dawn on Sunday.

The action was taken when the system suddenly lost 25 million cubic feet of gas.

A massive fire caused by the blast led to suspension of supply to the compressor of the gas purification plant. The shortage of gas affected Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some other parts of the country.

“Look, the incident has caused a reduction of 25 million cubic feet of gas in our system. Although gas supply to domestic consumers has remained unaffected, the blast caused shortage for the textile sector. So we have reduced gas supplies to the sector from six to four hours,” SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed told Dawn.
read more.

20150201 * Trading difficulties: Hostile conditions sink another foreign entity:

After doing business in Pakistan for six years, Kanati Clothing Company – an apparel-maker and retailer based in Ontario, Canada – has decided to leave the country mainly due to the energy crisis and frequent disruption of the supply chain.

“There are numerous reasons that contributed to our inability to continue business in Pakistan,” said Kanati Co-founder Liam Massaubi, while talking to The Express Tribune. “We have to meet strict deadlines but energy issues, transportation issues and continuous supply chain disruptions were creating problems for us.”

The company was producing its label in Pakistan through its partners mainly in Lahore and Karachi. The entity also represents other small and medium-sized private labels that manufacture through it.
read more.

20150201 * Western companies moving out of Pakistan due to unfriendly business environment:

It is the ease of conducting business more than just the increasing cost of doing business that is forcing many western companies to drive away from Pakistan.

Many companies find problems with the speed in which tasks are accomplished in Pakistan. With an energy crisis leaving many without power for hours a day and oil and gas shortages as just the tip of the iceberg; it is corruption that many are finding a problem in Pakistan.

Walt Disney pulled approximately$200 Million dollars worth of yearly textile production from Pakistan and put the country on a banned list of approved supplier countries. The company labeled Pakistan as a risk to their flow of business.

Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products in a statement said that after much thought and discussion, they felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with their supply chain.

He added that the decision is based on a recent report from the World Bank, which assesses how countries are governed, using metrics like accountability, corruption and violence, among others.

Last week Canadian menswear label and retailer Kanati Co. also announced major losses in Pakistan due to corruption, extended down-times and supply chain issues.

As an organization that serves clients globally, hence they can’t afford the disruption and down time in Pakistan. Their clients depend on a fast and reliable service.
They can no longer wait and hope for improvements in Pakistan said company co-founder Liam Massaubi.
read more.

20150201 * GSP-Plus status: President FCCI hails 21 percent increase in textile export:

Phenomenal increase of 21% in textile export to European Union (EU) countries during 2014 after the grant of GSP-Plus status is very encouraging , however diversification of export is imperative to fully harvest the benefit of this facility, said Engineer Rizwan Ashraf, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).

Addressing a seminar on GSP-Plus organised by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in FCCI, here today; he said that despite of energy crisis and financial crunch, the increase in export is indicative of the exceptional capabilities and hard work of our exporters.
He said that now we have to make reinvigorated efforts to give our exports yet another quantum jump during the current year.

Commenting on the GSP-P status, he said that entire benefits of withdrawal or decrease in duties have been enjoyed by the EU importers, but on the other hand the cost of doing business for Pakistani exporters has been increased as they have to ensure compliance’s of 27 different conventions and protocols.
He said that a portion of financial benefits of duty free import should also be passed on to the Pakistani Exporters.
read more.

20150131 * Textiles’ Rs205b stuck up with FBR:

20150131 theNATION

The value-added textile sector is facing serious financial crisis, because more than Rs 205 billion of the value-added textile chain has been stuck up with the government.

The industry representatives said that the Federal Board of Revenue still withholds more than Rs.13 billion under Drawback on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) claims and about Rs.17 billion sales tax under refund claims, causing immense problems to cash-starved industry.

They said that the sector’s production could grow by over 80pc provided stuck up funds were released immediately. They said that the country has failed to improve its textile exports despite getting the status of GSP plus.

The textile export fell by six per cent last month. On the other hand, India had provided full support to its textile sector, giving financial incentives and discount on the import of machinery so that the country could compete with Pakistani goods in the international markets.

India gave maximum incentives to its industry after Pakistan got the status of GSP plus, he said and demanded of the government to increase monetary support to the ailing sector.
PRGMEA Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that millions of rupees refunds of ST and Customs Rebates payable to the exporters have been held up despite firm assurance by the govt that all refunds of the exporters would be cleared by Sept, 2014.
read more.

20150131-0204 * Pakistani value-added textile sector in immense problem as Rs 205 bn refund claims stuck up with FBR:

Pakistan value-added textile sector hamstrung by cash crunch as more than Rs 205 billion refunds has been stuck up with the government. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) still withholds more than Rs 13 billion under Drawback on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) claims and about Rs 17 billion sales taxes under refund claims, causing immense problems to the textile industry, according to Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).

PRGMEA central chairman Ijaz Khokhar and vice chairman north zone Malik Naseer in a joint statement said that millions of rupees refunds of ST and Customs rebates payable to the exporters have been held up despite firm assurance by the government all refunds of the exporters would be cleared by September 2014.
read more. & read more.
ynfxlogo  NATIONnew

20150131 * PTC employees:

Pakistan Textile City (PTC) was established by the government to develop a world class industrial zone for the promotion of the textile industry.

The basic idea was to create 80,000 employment opportunities.
However, it is still non-operational due to some technical reasons and approvals.
The management is now planning to lay off many employees who have been associated with PTC since its creation.

They all are hardworking and committed workers, who made their utmost efforts to make the project operational but now they would become the victim of policy issues. There is no one who can raise voice in favour of these poor souls.
They worked hard but were not rewarded; rather they are being fired. I request the management and government to please look into the matter and compensate the dedicated employees.
to read.
daily times PK

20150204 * Pollution: ‘Tanneries’ waste damaging environment’:

Discharge of untreated waste water by nearly 350 tanneries in Sialkot has become a major problem in the city, WWF Water Security and Stewardship Manager Ali Hasnain Sayed said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a seminar to raise awareness regarding the impact of leather tanneries on the environment.

The WWF-Pakistan and the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) had arranged the event at the SCCI auditorium.

Sayed told participants of the seminar about a water stewardship project that he said was aimed at reducing practices causing pollution and introducing mechanisms to check pollution. The project would help the industry meet global trade standards set by the World Trade Organisation, he said.
read more.

20150202 * ‘Energy crisis damaging leather industry’:

Pakistan Tanners’ Association Central Chairman Agha Saiddain has said that the energy crisis, especially in Punjab, has caused substantial damage to the third major foreign exchange earning leather industry, as the sector has become uncompetitive both locally and internationally.

He said this while addressing an emergent meeting of the PTA Central Executive Committee, which was attended by the country’s leading tanners.
He said that the majority of tanning units are facing complete closures due to zero availability of gas and prolonged power breakdowns in the province as use of furnace oil for boiler heating has become unviable.

“The government can save this important industry by offering a relief package by up to five percent as provided in Bangladesh and India so that the industry could tackle the setbacks caused by power and gas outages,” he said.
“The tanning industry is on the verge of collapse and needs government’s support for its survival.”
read more.

20150205 * Pakistan value added sector against additional duty on import of cotton yarn:

Pakistan already has 5 percent import duty on import of cotton yarn with the government’s proposal of additional import duty the value added textile sector will be unable to import cotton yarn from India, as it will greatly increase their cost of doing business.

Textile value added sector flayed government’s proposal imposing additional duty on import of cotton yarn from India.

Value added textile sector would find it expensive to import yarn from India, which otherwise they could import if there was absolutely no duty imposed by the government thereby greatly enhancing their exports.
read more. & read more.
ynfxlogo thenewspk

10:52:24 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

20150205 * World Bank Panel: For Uzbekistan Forced Labor, No Probe Needed:

More than a year after hearing from alleged victims of systematic forced labor in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan, the World Bank decided late last month that it would not investigate their complaints.

The decision came despite the findings of an internal oversight panel, which determined in 2013 that a $100 million bank project had a “plausible” link to forced labor.

Human rights activists on Monday denounced the decision, saying it favored the promises of bank managers, who are responsible for the project, over the injury to victims.
The experiences of the victims “should have been central in their minds,” said Jessica Evans, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Every autumn, the authoritarian Central Asian nation drives as many as a million of its able-bodied people — teenagers and adults, thousands of doctors, teachers and others — into vast cotton fields that produce the world’s fifth-largest export cotton crop.
Failure to comply, or to pick enough cotton, reportedly can lead to arrest, fines, pay cuts, demotions and firings.
Classrooms can sit empty and some understaffed hospitals are unable to treat patients due to the mobilization, according to Human Rights Watch.
read more.

20150202 * World Bank Rejects Child and Forced Labor Probe:

The World Bank has declined a request by human rights campaigners to investigate whether its agricultural projects contribute to the use of forced and child labor in Uzbekistan.

Yet it has acknowledged that farms benefiting from its assistance might be forcing adults and children to work against their will.

There is a “residual possibility that there can be child and/or forced labor on farms receiving project support,” the World Bank’s Inspection Panel (which handles complaints about projects) said in a ruling delivered in December and approved by the board on January 23. “Hence, there was a plausibility that the project could contribute to perpetuating the harm of child and forced labor.”

The oversight body declined to launch an official probe, however, on the grounds that measures are being taken to tackle forced and child labor in Uzbekistan.

“This decision calls into question the Inspection Panel’s commitment to stand with communities to end abuse,” said Jessica Evans of Human Rights Watch.

The ruling is “shocking,” added Umida Niyazova, director of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, in a statement e-mailed by the Cotton Campaign.
read more.

20150130 * The Government of Uzbekistan Continues Trafficking in Persons:

Today, the Cotton Campaign submitted evidence to the United States government in support of maintaining the government of Uzbekistan in the lowest ranking in the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), which will be released in June.

The State Department’s annual TIP Report placed Uzbekistan in the lowest category, Tier 3, in 2013, and maintained the placement in 2014. Tier 3 is reserved for governments that do not comply with minimum standards to combat human trafficking and fail to take adequate steps to address the problem, and it carries the possibility of sanctions.

In 2014, the government of Uzbekistan not only failed to make serious progress to curb forced labor during the 2014 cotton harvest but continued to organize, orchestrate and benefit from it.
The government used coercion to oblige farmers to fulfill production quotas and other citizens to fulfill harvest quotas under threat of penalty.
Following international pressure, the government ended the nationwide mobilization of children to harvest cotton in 2014 but increased the forced mobilization of adults to compensate.
read more.


20150202 * Ethical fashion: saving South Africa’s clothing industry:

Strong unions and a new generation of environmentally conscious designers may be the key to ending factory closures

Cape Town’s long-established garment industry was severely damaged in the 1990s when the free market policies of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) opened South Africa’s economy to an influx of imported goods and competition from Asia.

The result was mass factory closures. According to Statistics South Africa, garment industry jobs fell from 220,000 in 2002 to 100,000 in 2011. Cape Town’s Salt River neighbourhood is now scattered with former garment factories converted into foreign-owned call centres or simply lying empty.

Now, however, the race is on to save the industry and Cape Town is emerging as a design capital and manufacturing hub with a refreshing difference – it has safe workplaces and a desire to share the stories of its garment workers.

A key driver of change is the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU). Tired of retailers shipping millions of tonnes of clothes halfway round the world, SACTWU has a buy local policy.
To promote this, the union runs shops that stock “Made in South Africa” clothing and is famous for its Spring Queen Pageant in which garment workers model clothes they have made.
read more.


20150204 * Turkish clothing firm shows interest in Kenyan textile and apparel sector:

LC Waikiki, Turkey based clothing firm that operates in over 20 countries across the globe, has expressed its interest to invest in Kenyan textile and apparel sector as it offers a world class investment location with competitive advantage to boost Nairobi’s efforts to grow the textile and apparel sector.

The company is in discussion with leading shopping malls, namely, The Junction, Two Rivers and Garden City, in a bid to acquire retail shops. Kenya is on the charm offensive to win big in the textile sector.

Adan Mohamed, Kenya’s Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, said in a statement issued in Nairobi after he met with LC Waikiki CEO Smail K Sac in Turkey that Kenya plans to set up special economic zones to help woo global textile and apparel firms to position the East African nation as a manufacturing hub.
read more.


20150206 * Mexico rescues 129 workers ‘abused’ by S Korean firm:

Mexican authorities have rescued 129 workers, including six children, who said they were physically and sexually abused at a garment firm run by South Koreans, officials said on Thursday.

Four South Korean nationals have been handed over to prosecutors in the western state of Jalisco after workers identified them as the owners or managers of the company named Yes International, the National Migration Institute (INM) said.

Authorities raided the company in the town of Zapopan on Wednesday after receiving an anonymous tip, INM coordinator Ardelio Vargas Fosado told reporters, describing the South Koreans as a “gang of suspected human traffickers.”

Officials rescued 121 women and eight men, including six minors who were 16 and 17 years old.
read more.


20150204 * Farmers in US, India and China to cut cotton acreage as prices slump:

According to reports, cotton farmers in US will probably cut down acreage to the lowest since 2009 after prices slumped in January to a five-year low.

Plantings is predicted to drop to 9.73 million acres in the season beginning 1 August, from 11.04 million a year earlier, as farmers will switch to other crops including peanuts.
The National Cotton Council is set to release its planting-intentions survey on 7 February.

Farmers in India and China are also slated to cut acreage, reducing thus the next global harvest by more than 6 per cent to 24.6 million tonnes, the lowest in six years, the International Cotton Advisory Committee said early this month. Output will trail consumption by about 100,000 tonnes, the ICAC said.
read more.

20150203 * FluoroCouncil Releases Guidance On Best Environmental Practices For The Global Apparel Industry:

The FluoroCouncil has released a guidance document for the global apparel industry to provide an overview of Best Environmental Practices to help mills and finishers minimize waste and environmental releases, while also keeping desirable fluorinated product performance in the textile. 

The FluoroCouncil is a global organization representing the world’s leading FluoroTechnology companies.

The document, “Guidance for Best Environmental Practices (BEP) for the Global Apparel Industry: Including Focus on Fluorinated Repellent Products,” outlines practical steps to implement Best Environmental Practices for fluorinated durable water repellent (DWR) products in the apparel industry.  It is available in English, Chinese, Japanese and German.
read more.

20150205 * “Fair wage, decent wage, living wage…” Six things you need to know:

What is a fair wage and what can fashion factories, brands and consumers do to make sure workers receive one? Experts share their thoughts

Is a fair wage the same as a living wage?

“Fair wage, decent wage, living wage… it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s about paying workers enough so that they can cover the basic costs required for a dignified, healthy life,” says Sabita Banerji, Ethical Trading Initiative.

Some countries have a legal minimum wage, but this does not always reflect either a living or a fair wage, and there is a difference between the two, explains IndustriALL Global Union’s Monika Kemperle. “A living wage is a wage on which a worker and his or her family can live off. A fair wage does not always include the living costs for the dependents.”

So, who should take responsibility for paying more for fairer wages: factories, brands or consumers?
All of them. No one player in the fashion industry can ensure garment workers are paid a fair wage – change can only come through the combined efforts of factory owners, brands and consumers.

“The factory owners must take labour cost into their calculations and make sure their workers get a living wage. Brands need then to accept that labour costs are included in the manufacturing cost. And consumers must be aware of the real price of a piece of clothing,” says Kemperle.
read more.



map of Asia

For the latest news see tweets below and @DressedStripped (on twitter).

There are updates under ‘special overviews’:

* The BALDIA (& Lahore) Fire September 2012 –PART 4 20150113- NOW

* TAZREEN Fire Part 2 20 November 2013- NOW

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


Our clothing kills
* No one should die for fashion

* Factory workers sacked for demanding a representative trade union go to arbitration
* China still on lookout for foreign prospects
* Oerlikon direct Chinese textile industry to replace outdated machinery with latest technologies

* Garment makers, buyers returning to PH
* Lack of local textile avert PH from taking full benefits of EU zero tariffs
* PHL abaca fiber likely to see 5.7pc growth in global demand for next 5 years

* Owner suddenly shuts factory, workers unpaid
* Vinatex and Itochu embark on ambitious project
* Labor demand increases sharply in Dong Nai
* Textile firm raises VND119 billion from IPO
* Growth expected in textile, footwear export turnover
* Shoemakers upbeat on prospects for 2015
* Footwear sector takes steps into New Year

* Workers Say Shuttered Factory Managers Took Them Hostage
* Court Charges Union Leader With Making Threat, Extortion
* Six Unionists Arrested, Released In Bavet City Over Incitement
* GMAC calls for law enforcement to ensure garment sector stability
* GMAC tries to discredit union leader at court
* Strike arrest: Union leader busted over bamboo
* Strike-Leading Union Head Arrested in Phnom Penh
* Fainting figures jumped in 2014: government
* Some 1,806 Cambodian garment workers faint last year
* Drastic Increase in Fainting Garment Workers in 2014
* Wage wait: Unionists not impressed with promise
* Bloggers given a taste of real fashion industry

* Myanmar garment industry gets ‘Code of Conduct’

* RMG factories of Bangladesh aren’t paying salaries regularly
* Fire at Savar jute mill
* Assault on garment worker sparks protest
* Over (50/100-) 200 RMG workers fall sick in Savar
* EPZs to get multi-storey dormitories for female workers
* Funds for workers’ welfare not a charity
* FDI likely in RMG outside EPZs with no string attached
* Bangladesh becoming a hub for non-traditional garment products
* Buyers turning back amid unrest: BTMA
* Garment sector losses mounting by the day
* Small garment industries in Syedpur closed for blockade
* Garment buyers demand solution to political crisis
* Unions express concern on growing political unrest and violence
* Turmoil puts efforts to find new RMG mkts in jeopardy
* Tanneries lose Tk 4.59b due to political unrest
* Jute sector’s loss tops Tk 5.0b for turmoil
* Blockade batters Sirajganj handloom industry
* Govt has no data of loss in RMG sector for political violence
* RMG factory owners to enjoy 4-yr deferred LC payment
* Textile millers bullish on $50b exports by 2021
* High duty drag on garment exports to Thailand: MCCI
* Govt plans to slash export subsidy on RMG
* Training puts industries on strong footing: ILO Expert
* Bangladesh tannery workers pay high price for cheap fashion
* Interview Trade unionist Nazmul Islam Khan by Chaumtoli Huq

* Helping women garment-factory workers stand up for their rights
* Labour Minister promises to rehabilitate children
* Child labourers rescued
* Strike by handloom weavers enters 4th day
* 300 shoe unit workers fear they’ll be jobless soon
* TNPCB ignored violations by tanneries
* Ranipet tannery tragedy: Safety trapped in negligence
* 10 workers killed in Ranipet tannery
* Govt seeks changes in 20 labour laws
* Govt to amend 20 labour and industrial laws
* India’s first yarn bank to cater to powerloom weavers
* Knitwear sector unhappy over RBI decision to keep key policy rates unchanged
* Four sick textile mills to be shifted to Amravati
* Mega textile cluster to come up in Srirampura
* “Set up garment manufacturing units in Perambalur”
* New draft textile policy of Maharashtra proposes to improve efficiency like China
* Maharashtra govt forms committee to push labour reforms
* Labour unrest at Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills denim plant in Nagpur bring production to a halt
* Cotton farmers stage demo at Enumamula
* India biggest sourcing destination of organic textile to stage first international GOTS conference
* 16 % rise in apparel exports
* Entrepreneurs to submit report on financial stress faced by textile units
* Indian textile mills awaiting government to release pending TUFS subsidy soon
* Andhra Pradesh leather complex may trigger business migration from Tamil Nadu
* Footwear industry seeks pruning of excise duty
* Power supply to 98 tanneries stopped for polluting Ganga
* Leather sector to clock $27 bn turnover in 5 yrs
* Leather industry needs Rs. 1,500-crore investments in 5 years, says ITPO chief
* Ranipet tannery tragedy: Safety trapped in negligence
* Spinning a yarn

* Sri Lankan garment exporters poised to achieve target of USD5bn export revenue this year

*‘Cheap labour attracts Chinese investors’
* New textile policy likely in two weeks
* Textile industry: Punjab minister hails GIZ for social standards support programme
* Pakistan crosses set target of extra $1 billion export to EU: Khurram
* Yarn import: Textile industry objects to increase in duty
* Gas supply to textile sector hit by pipeline blast
* Trading difficulties: Hostile conditions sink another foreign entity
* Western companies moving out of Pakistan due to unfriendly business environment
* GSP-Plus status: President FCCI hails 21 percent increase in textile export
* Textiles’ Rs205b stuck up with FBR
* Pakistani value-added textile sector in immense problem as Rs 205 bn refund claims stuck up with FBR
* PTC employees
* Pollution: ‘Tanneries’ waste damaging environment’
* ‘Energy crisis damaging leather industry’
* Pakistan value added sector against additional duty on import of cotton yarn

* World Bank Panel: For Uzbekistan Forced Labor, No Probe Needed
* World Bank Rejects Child and Forced Labor Probe
* The Government of Uzbekistan Continues Trafficking in Persons

* Ethical fashion: saving South Africa’s clothing industry

* Turkish clothing firm shows interest in Kenyan textile and apparel sector

* Mexico rescues 129 workers ‘abused’ by S Korean firm

* Farmers in US, India and China to cut cotton acreage as prices slump
* FluoroCouncil Releases Guidance On Best Environmental Practices For The Global Apparel Industry
* “Fair wage, decent wage, living wage…” Six things you need to know

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