in the news 20-24 March 2015

12:30:00 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150324 * Roadmap to adjust business minimum wage:

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has ordered the design of a roadmap to adjust the minimum wage for businesses in line with their respective manufacturing sectors.

The minimum wage adjustment is made annually but has yet to satisfy workers’ needs, especially those paid through the State budget.

Therefore, the Deputy PM, who is also Head of the National Steering Committee on salary reform and social insurance, directed ministries to study and propose an adequate level of payment for joint-stock businesses in which the State holds a dominant stake.
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VOVonline VIETNAMplus

20150323 * Vinatex to build factory complex in Quang Nam:

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) will commence the construction of a factory complex in the central Quang Nam province on March 25, reports

Spread over 20ha in Que Son district, the 1.14 trillion VND (53.5 million USD) project will include a fibre factory that will produce 4,600 tonnes of products per year, a textile and dyeing factory with a 5,000 – tonne annual capacity, and Huong An garment factory with 20 knitwear production lines, which will produce 20 to 25 million products per year.

Vinatex will also build a factory that will treat 5,000cu.m of wastewater per day to serve the production needs at the complex.
After it becomes operational, the complex will supply materials to cities and provinces nationwide, including Da Nang, Phu Yen and Ha Tinh.
It will also create diversified and high-quality textile and garment products to meet the domestic and export market demands.
read more.

20150323 * Vietnam Predicted to Be Next Asian Tiger:

Perched along one of the world’s most crucial shipping routes, and with a young and growing population, Vietnam is — once again — being tipped for economic lift-off, after years of disappointment.

Money pouring into the Southeast Asian economy from the likes of manufacturers Samsung Electronics and Intel is giving Vietnam a second run at becoming Asia’s next tiger economy.

The country’s “Doi Moi” market opening in the 1980s ushered in spurts of growth in excess of 7 percent that waned in recent years after a pile-up of bad debt at state-owned enterprises.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the country has the potential to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies over the period to 2050.

Not only is the Southeast Asian nation gaining ground as a cheaper manufacturing alternative to neighboring China, Vietnam is also a politically palatable destination for Japanese firms boosting investment in the region amid recurring Sino-Japan spats.

“It is quite possible that Vietnam could become the fastest-growing economy in Asia,” said Vikram Nehru, a senior associate in the Asia Program and Bakrie Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
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12:30:00 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150321 * Fake IDs Make Mockery of Factory Age Rules:

20150321 CD
Workers stream out of the New Star Shoes factory in Sihanoukville last month. (Jamie Elliott/The Cambodia Daily)

On a dusty highway on the edge of this port city, thousands of young women and a few hundred young men block evening traffic as they stream out of the New Star Shoes factory.

“There is almost no one aged over 25 at this factory,” says Ath Thorn, head of the country’s largest independent trade union. “This is good for the company, because young women are afraid to organize a union and don’t have children.”

Nearly all the workers who agreed to be interviewed last month at bustling roadside cafes near the factory in Muoy commune said they were aged between 16 and 18.

“I’m not happy working here, but I have no choice,” said a 16-year-old worker, who has spent six days a week behind a New Star sewing machine after starting work at the factory seven months ago using fake identification documents.

But according to Moeun Tola, head of the labor program at the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), it is common practice at New Star—and factories across the country—to employ underage workers who use fake identification to meet age requirements.

“Because the manufacturers don’t want to abide by the rules for juvenile workers, they accept falsified documents and pretend not to know that workers are under 18,” Mr. Tola said.
Mr. Tola at CLEC said due to widespread poverty in the country, it is inevitable that some families will chose to send their daughters to work in factories once they become “juveniles.” But that is not justification for factories to claim ignorance as they flout the law by failing to provide proper protection to those young workers, he added.

Factories in the country, and the brands they source from, are well aware that fake identification is a problem in the country’s garment factories, but a young and compliant workforce is expedient for employers, said Dave Welsh, country director for the Solidarity Center, a U.S. based labor rights group.

“Any major brand who says they are unaware of the connection between the fake ID problem and the underage worker problem are either being untruthful or admitting that they cannot monitor an industry where a given brand is only invested in 20 or 30 factories,” he said.
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13:30:00 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20150323 * Sritex Reports Jump In Profits in 2014:

Manufacturing of Garments Inside a Sritex Textile Factory As GDP Predicted To Expand
Workers sew military uniforms at Sritex’s factory in Sukoharjo, Central Java. (Bloomberg Photo/Dadang Tri)

Indonesia’s leading garment manufacturer, Sri Rejeki Isman, posted strong profit growth last year after rising sales.

The listed company said in a financial report published in Investor Daily newspaper on Monday that net income rose 51 percent to $44.76 million in 2014 from $29.6 it posted a year before.

The sales of the Solo, Central Java-based company commonly known as Sritex grew 23.06 percent to $554.62 million last year. The company’s net costs rose by 22 percent to $432.2 million during the same period.
to read.

12:30:00 local time map of thailand THAILAND

20150321 * Martial law not the only problem plaguing our SEZs:

Thailand is struggling to get special economic zones off the ground

A few days ago, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was reported to be “acknowledging” problems facing Thailand’s special economic zones.

But as expected, only the “usual suspect” was discussed when he met with members of the Policy Committee on Special Economic Zone Development.

The meeting focused only on the impact of martial law, and that might belie the impression those responsible for Thailand’s SEZs want to create – that everyone is on top of the scheme and ready to go for the kill.

The martial law is negatively affecting the SEZs, but it is just one of many problems plaguing the SEZs. Prayut vowed to address investors’ concerns regarding martial law, yet he sounded more like someone wanting to say the right thing rather than someone who really knows what needs to be done.
Thailand’s SEZs have been facing an identity crisis, and a comprehensive review of the entire scheme is required.
Just as the existence of martial law can make potential investors sceptical, the lack of clear-cut incentives and management methods can further undermine their confidence.
And the issue of incentives has evolved with time, meaning some old concepts may not work any more. In today’s world, “incentives” have been complicated by access to new technology, cheap labour, labour migration, legal conveniences and political transparency.
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11:30:00 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150322 * Fire guts Ashulia cotton godown:

Fire gutted cotton a cotton godown at Shimultola of Ashulia in Savar, outside the capital early yesterday.

The fire that started at Mannan Bhuyan’s Cotton Godown around 1:20am was doused after three hours efforts, said Fire Service and Civil Defense officials.
However, the reason behind the fire and the extent of damage could not be known immediately, added the officials.
to read.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150324 * Bus torched for hurting 2 RMG workers in Gazipur:

Garment workers torched a bus at Zirani Bazar in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, this morning after the vehicle hit and injured two of their fellows.

One of the injured, Shamim Hossain, a worker of Ha-Meem Group was admitted to Enam Medical College Hospital, while the other whose name could not be known immediately received first aid at a local hospital, police and hospital sources said.
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the DAILYSTAR new 2015 Ittefaq

20150323 * Workforce size falls:

Labour-force participation in productive work in the country has declined to 56.8 per cent, 2.5 percentage point down from the 2010 count.

Such a decline practically in the workforce-by a contrast with the growing size of the population-worries policy researchers.

They call for government action to find out and address the reasons, as it isn’t seen as a good sign for the economy.
read more.
FE bd

20150322 * Textiles identified as major environ, water polluter:

PRI meet pleads for preventive law

20150322 FE
The residents of the city’s Mirhazirbagh Khetpara area stage a protest on Saturday demanding supply of pure drinking water ahead of the World Water Day to be observed today.— FE photo

Toxic discharges from the textiles, especially from dyeing and finishing factories, are contaminating both surface and ground water with serious consequences on life and environment.

Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka Saturday deplored such unscrupulous discharge of untreated life-threatening industrial wastes and highlighted the urgency of preventive government steps to stem the rot.

They specifically suggested strict and effective monitoring of import and distribution of harmful chemicals and rationalisation of taxes and duties for encouraging production of environment-friendly goods and discouraging use of such hazardous chemicals.

The private think-tank Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) organised the seminar on ‘Legal and Regulatory Issues Related to Environmental Sustainability of the Textile Sector’ in collaboration with the IFC (International Finance Corporation)
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FE bd

20150322 * Experts: Frame rules to make textile industry green:

In the wake of increasing demand for green products globally, experts yesterday suggested framing rules for making the textile industry environmental complaint for enhancing its competitiveness and sustainability.

They also made a set of recommendations, including giving financial or fiscal incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to low-cost cleaner production practices and making aware that the reduction of energy consumption can be a real cost-cutter.

“There are lots of regulations but effective implementation of them is important to reduce pollution,” he said.
He expressed disappointment that the water supplied by the government was not drinkable, which is “unfortunate.”
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20150322 * Trade bodies’ faulty list, owners’ non-co-op hinder inspections:

The government and International Labour Organisation-led safety inspection of the readymade garment factories under National Tripartite Plan of Action is being hindered due to non-cooperation of factory owners and inconsistency in information including factory location and contact numbers.

Recently, the ILO informed the government that they found incorrect contact information of 666 factories in the list provided by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

They also alleged that the authorities of at least 62 factories in the list were not cooperating to conduct safety inspections in the units while authorities of 508 factories claimed that their units remained close.
The ILO officials, however, said earlier that the BGMEA and BKMEA collected details of those factories that provided incorrect contract information and sent those to the ILO, but the success rate was very slow.
read more.

20150321 * RMG industry facing daunting challenges:

Ready Made Garments (RMG) industry is one of the oldest and largest export industries.

It is a springboard for national development and often a starter industry for countries engaged in export-oriented industrialisation because of its low fixed costs and emphasis on labour-intensive manufacturing.

RMG industries need more labour and these industries are growing at a faster rate mostly in the populated countries. Bangladesh is a pioneer country in this regard.
This sector provides employment to five million people, mostly women workers, and earns 81 per cent of the total export earnings of the country.
RMG industries have been swaggering in the country since long acting as a catalyst for sustainable development and growth.
read more.
FE bd

20150324 * Denim exporter sees robust growth ahead:

Bangladesh is becoming a major source of denim products as international retailers prefer the country to other destinations for its low prices, said a leading entrepreneur.

Bangladeshi manufacturers are also increasing their production capacities because of the higher demand from foreign customers, said Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim Expert Ltd, a Chittagong-based apparel maker.
Denim will play an important role in raising exports of Bangladesh, which is already the second largest garment exporter worldwide after China, he said.

Currently, 25 denim factories are in operations in Bangladesh.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150322 * Move to freeze bank A/Cs of 123 factories, 385 directors:

Abuse of duty waiver on imports is their offence

Government’s revenue authority has sent a request for freezing the bank accounts of some 123 factories and their 385 directors on charge of abusing duty-free facility on import of raw materials.

Officials said the factories facing action from the customs under the National Board of Revenue (NBR) are mostly from the apparel sector.

They found 82 of the factories at fault from the sector in question.

Customs Bond Commissionerate, Dhaka, has detected the factories, mostly located in Dhaka Division, which allegedly abused the duty waiver on import of raw materials.
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FE bd the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150324 * RMG owners need to do more to improve working condition:

Canadian HC says at briefing

Canadian high commissioner Benoit Pierre Laramee on Monday said more works were needed to be done in the readymade garment sector in Bangladesh to improve working condition and to make the sector more competitive.

‘The recognition and protection of the rights of workers will be a key factor for the sustainability and productivity,’ he said at a press briefing following a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in the city.

The envoy urged the BGMEA to continue its role in helping to improve working condition in the RMG sector and said that the creation of re-employment opportunities for the Rana Plaza victims was required.
read more.

20150324 * Call for strategy to make RMG sector ready for duty regime:

‘We are able to take challenge in future as Bangladesh has 35 years of experience’

Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Pierre Laramee urged Bangladesh to set strategy to manage the RMG sector as it won’t get duty-free market access during the transition from a low- to middle-income country.

The Canadian envoy came up with the call at a meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at its headquarters in the city yesterday.

Bangladesh’s RMG sector has set target to export $50bn apparel products by 2021. It will contribute towards the broader vision of Bangladesh reaching middle-income status, said Laramee.
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20150324 * Stop repeat of 2nd Rana Plaza:

Canadian envoy tells BGMEA

Canadian high commissioner to Dhaka Benoit Pierre Laramee Monday called upon the apparel apex body to facilitate the garment factories inspection programme especially carried out under the national initiative.

His call came after allegation surfaced over non-cooperation from many garment units as the factory safety drive by the government and International Labour Organization has kicked into full momentum.

The envoy also placed importance on effective and meaningful social dialogue between the industry, government and workers to ensure a culture of safety, transparency and accountability, saying those would create value for the country’s readymade garment sector.

“…BGMEA’s role is to issue export licences to those factories that undergo structural, fire and electrical inspections,” Mr Laramee said.

“This is important to ensure compliance with safety standards but, more importantly, to ensure that a second Rana Plaza tragedy never happens again,” he said.
read more.
FE bd

20150323 * Useful dialogue among partners to create value for BD RMG: Canada:

‘It’s time to strategise, plan on how it’ll manage RMG sector’

Appreciating Bangladesh’s progress in the RMG sector, Canadian High Commissioner in Dhaka Benoit Pierre Laramee on Monday laid emphasis on ‘effective and meaningful’ social dialogue among industry, government and workers for its further growth.

“The effective and meaningful social dialogue will help ensure a culture of safety, transparency and accountability,” the envoy said adding that these are examples of factors that would create value for Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector.

The Canadian High Commissioner was addressing a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at the BGMEA Bhaban in the city.
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20150324 * Future bright for apparel exports to Canada: envoy:

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Canada have been on the rise in the last five years due to duty benefits, newly appointed Canadian High Commissioner in Dhaka Benoit Pierre Laramee said yesterday.

Canada is a bright spot for Bangladeshi apparel, with garment and textile products making up a bulk of Canada’s imports from Bangladesh, Laramee said.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150321 * Call to remove barriers:

Global Cotton Summit begins

A two-day international cotton summit began in Dhaka  Friday with a call to remove all barriers relating to cotton trade and establish good networking in cotton value chain.

Textiles and Jute Minister Mohammad Emaze Uddin Pramanik formally inaugurated the summit styled “Global Cotton Summit Bangladesh 2015” at a city hotel pledging all financial supports to develop the country’s textile and clothing industry.

Bangladesh is one of the leading countries in textile world and more than 80 percent of its export earnings come from this sector.
“But unfortunately we have to import more than 90 of cotton to meet the local as well as export demands,” said the minister hopping that the summit will open up a new opportunity in fulfilling the gap.

Since Bangladesh is not a cotton growing country, it has to import huge quality of cotton especially from India, central Asia, USA, Brazil, Australia and Africa.
“But the outsourcing is not always smooth and very often makes big impact due to fluctuation of cotton prices in international market,” said Tapan Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) while addressing the inaugural session.
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FE bd BSSnew

20150323 * Take specific reports, steps on BJMCs problems:

The parliamentary standing committee on textiles and jute ministry suggested take specific presentations on the existing problems of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and their solutions from the authorities concerned for making it self-sufficient and financially viable.

The Jatiyo Sangsad (JS) body also recommended taking realistic steps by formulating a far-sighted plan to save the jute industry from substantial loss.

The suggestions came at the committee’s 8th meeting at the parliament building on Sunday with its chairman Saber Hossain Chowdhury in the chair.

In the meeting the members were dissatisfied over the ministry’s presentation on the progress in taking various steps to revive jute sector. The steps were taken in line with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directives to officials during her visit to the ministry in October 2014. She is scheduled to sit with BJMC officials on April 12.
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FE bd

20150321 * All-out support to be given for jute industry expansion, says minister:

Textile and jute minister Md Emaz Uddin Paramanik on Friday said the government was committed to provide all-out cooperation to business community for the expansion of cotton industry in the country.

‘Business community will be given all-out support for the expansion of cotton industry because this vibrant cotton industry is needed for the economic progress of the country,’ said the minister while speaking as chief guest at the opening session of the two-day ‘Global Cotton Summit Bangladesh 2015’ at a city hotel.
read more.

20150322 * Expand farming, invest in R&D to meet 30pc national cotton demand:

Bangladesh has the potential to produce 30 per cent of its cotton demand by expanding cultivation and investing in research and development, an expert said Saturday.

The optimistic views came on the concluding day of the Global Cotton Summit held in the city, jointly organised by Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA) and Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA).

Dr Md Farid Uddin, executive director of Bangladesh Cotton Development Board (CDB), said that it is possible to grow 30 per cent of the demand-or 1.4 to 1.5 million bales worth Tk100 billion-if 0.2-0.25 million hectares of land could be brought under farming.

To achieve the goal, the head of the board said it needs to adopt time-befitting action plan to conduct more research and expand farming.
read more.
FE bd

20150324 * Signing of $1.2b loan with JICA unlikely this month:

Political deadlock cited as key reason for delay

Confirmation of Japanese nearly US$1.20 billion worth of soft loan for five development projects in Bangladesh under an aid package is likely to be delayed due to the prevailing political deadlock in the country, officials said Monday.

“The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)-offered nearly $ 1.2 billion loan was to be signed by March this year. But it may not be possible this month. Political impasse in Bangladesh is a key reason for the delay in the loan confirmation,” said a senior official of the ministry of finance (MoF).

Earlier, the Japanese donor JICA completed negotiations with the Bangladesh government a couple of months back and assured it of confirming the loan by March this year.
Government officials said the main objective of the proposed Japanese financial support is to develop an exclusive SEZ in Chittagong to bring in Japanese investment.
read more.
FE bd

20150320 * Rana Plaza survivor arrested for seeking justice:

On Thursday 12 March, I joined a demonstration in front of The Children’s Place’s headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey, to call on the retail company to pay the compensation it owes to the survivors and families of the 1,138 workers killed in the Rana Plaza building collapse, in April 2013 ˗ the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry.

The Children’s Place was one of the major brands employing workers in the building at the time it crumbled to ruins, but so far it has only contributed a mere US$ 450,000 to the Rana Plaza Donors’ Trust Fund.

According to the International Labor Rights Forum, this is seven to fifteen times less than what other large companies have contributed to the fund ˗ and half of what The Children’s Place CEO Jane Elfers earned in 2012 alone.

In a letter to Elfers, 18-year-old Rana Plaza survivor Mahinur Begun writes:

“It has been nearly two years that I cannot work in another factory. The reason is that I am still sick and going through trauma.
I tried to get another job but when I got the job, every single moment of the disaster kept coming back to me as a series of pictures.
At this moment, without a job or money, I am spending my days in a miserable condition.
Myself and the rest of the Rana Plaza survivors are still waiting to receive our full compensation. At this moment there is a US$9 million gap and we believe that The Children’s Place can pay this money.”

But instead of listening to this brave young woman who travelled all the way from Bangladesh to hand over the letter, she and 26 more of us were arrested, handcuffed, and charged with trespassing.

By doing so, The Children’s Place showed their true colours, as well as their cruel and irresponsible corporate behaviour.
read more.


20150323 * Court orders further probe into Tazreen fire:

A court in Dhaka on Sunday asked Criminal Investigation Department to carry out further investigation in one of two cases filed over the Tazreen Fashions fire incident in 2012.

Dhaka’s Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam passed the order after accepting an application filed by Matikul Islam, brother of a female RMG worker who died in the incident that killed over 112.

The court also asked CID to submit the investigation report before the court, in the case, on April 22. On May 29, 2013, RMG worker Rehena Akhter’s brother Matikul Islam filed a murder case against Delwar Hossain, owner of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd, and some unnamed other people.

The plaintiff mentioned in the case statement that the main accused Delwar had ordered that fire be set to the garment factory. further alleged that Delwar had hid Rehena’ dead body.
read more.

20150323 * Court directs CID to probe disappearance of worker:

A Dhaka court yesterday directed the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation into the disappearance of a garment worker in the Tazreen Fashions fire in November 2012.

Rehena Begum, who worked at the finishing section of Tazreen Fashions Ltd, has been missing since the fire on November 24.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam passed the order after Rehena’s brother Abdul Matin filed a no-confidence petition against the police report in this connection.

The court also asked CID’s Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Monsur Ali Mondol to submit a probe report to it by April 22.
On September 23 last year, Md Azharul Islam Sarkar, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, submitted a probe report without any investigation into the matter.
On May 29 of 2013, Abdul Matin sued the owner of Tazreen Fashions, Delwar Hossain, and 30 others for their gross negligence which resulted in the death of his sister.
After the fire, Matin searched for his sister but did not find his sister or her body.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150323 * CID ordered to re-investigate the Tazreen fire incident:

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Criminal Investigation Department to conduct further investigations in a case filed over the Tazreen Fashions fire incident in 2012, and submit the report by April 22.

Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Kazi Shahidul Islam passed the order, granting the prosecution’s no-confidence petition filed against the final investigation report submitted by CID that found the allegations against the defendants were not true.

On May 29, 2013, a person named Matinul Islam had filed a murder case with the chief judicial magistrate’s court against the owner of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd, Delwer Hossain, and some unnamed people.
The complainant alleged that the main accused Delwer had intended to burn the factory. The resulting fire killed 117 people.
read more.

11:00:00 local time map of india INDIA

20150324 * Leather factory gutted:

A fire broke out in a leather factory at Topsia around 5pm. About 17 fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flames.

However, local residents complained that there was a delay on part of the fire engines to reach the spot. The fire fighters had a tough time trying to control the fire as the entire area was engulfed in smoke.

The leaping flames created panic among the workers at Topsia Road. It gutted leather goods and some machinery, which were stored in the factory.

Fire safety officials, however, could not ascertain the cause of the fire. Forensic experts will visit the factory on Tuesday.
read more.

20150320 * Panel to study minimum wages in Delhi:

Delhi government today announced that it would form a committee to study minimum wages in the national capital.

Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai, at a public hearing, directed officials to ensure that wages are paid to all workers at least as per the minimum notified rates.

According to a senior government official, as per minimum notified rates in city, Rs 8,086 is paid to unskilled worker while semi-skilled worker can be given Rs 8,918. Besides, Rs 9,802 can be paid to skilled worker.

“The committee, which will also have around two MLAs as its members, will soon be formed. It will study and come up with new minimum wages in Delhi,” the official said.
read more.

20150321 * Unions say wage panel defunct:

Trade union leaders made a shocking revelation at the first “jan sunvai” of the labour department since the AAP government took charge.

The Minimum Wages Advisory Board, meant for reviewing and revising the wage structure for skilled and unskilled labour, has not had a proper meeting since 1995 and been almost defunct for quite sometime now.

Stunned to hear about the defunct Board, labour minister Gopal Rai issued directions to officers that steps be taken to revive the Board so that review of wages can be done at the earliest and people are paid their dues.

Representatives of over 150 trade unions told the open house that the revised minimum wages notifications over the past years were largely based on addition of dearness allowance on the basis of the Centre’s inflation index.
They sought a real time revision of minimum wages after a thorough review.
read more.

20150322 * Trade unions call for structural changes in labour sector:

Trade unions and organisations representing labourers on Friday made a fervent plea for bringing about “structural changes” in the labour sector in the Capital in order to protect the interests of the working class, especially in the unorganised and construction segments.

They also laid emphasis on strict compliance with the labour laws.

Representatives of trade unions, who attended a Jan Sunwai programme addressed by Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai, said the newly elected Aam Aadmi Party government must accord the highest priority to labour welfare, as the working class’ support had played a crucial role in the party coming to power with an absolute majority.

A cross section of trade unions, such as Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, AITUC, INTUC and Delhi Labour Union, took part in the two-hour-long interactive session at Shah Auditorium in Civil Lines here primarily aimed at providing a platform to labour representatives to air their grievances and finding ways to resolve them.
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20150322-23 * Changes in EPF, Child Labour Acts may be tabled next month:

Govt is also working to extend social security to unorganised sector workers

The Centre is likely to introduce two Bills in the Parliament session next month to amend EPF and Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in Hyderabad today.

Observing that changes are required in different laws in public interest, he said amendments are proposed in the EPF Act to benefit more workmen.

The proposed amendments to the Child Labour Act would be discussed with the inter-ministerial group, said Dattatreya, who holds independent charge of the Labour Ministry.

The government is keen on improving the ease of doing business in the country, but there will be no compromise on the rights and security of workmen, he said.
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businessstandard THEHINDU et

20150321 * Global markets eye Indian apparels:

Bangladesh, China out of focus

Indian apparel exporters will savour a sweet time soon with the disruption in production in Bangladesh due to political turmoil and the rising cost of garment produce in China, according to report by The Economic Times of India.

Orders are being diverted to India from these nations for high-value garments, which is likely to help the Indian apparel exports that has clocked a 13.4 per cent growth in dollar terms in April-February of FY15.

Talking to ET, DK Nair, secretary general of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) said: “The apparel exports have shown an encouraging growth in the current fiscal. The political turmoil as well as safety and security issues in Bangladesh have emerged as a major problem for the garment industry there.”

Some of the global buyers of Bangladesh are now showing interest to purchase garments from India. The United States’ (US) demand is also showing recovery though demand from the European Union (EU) n still remains muted.

Garment exports stood at $1,538 million in February with an increase of 8.7 per cent against the corresponding month in 2014.
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FE bd et bdnews24

20150323 * Modern technologies can help textile industry save water: Paul Hulme:

Textile industry, one of the most water-intensive industries, can incorporate new-age processing methods such as digital printing, waterless dyeing technology, etc to conserve water

The textile industry is the backbone of many developing economies. It is also heavily reliant on water.

New technologies and simple fixes are helping mills remain competitive while reducing their dependence on water and contributing to a better environment.

From farm to factory to your favourite store, your new cotton T-shirt required approximately 2,650 litres of water to grow, produce and transport.

A substantial proportion of this water usage – 20 percent and more when using conventional methods – is used in just the dyeing phase of the process. Up to 100 litres of fresh water, and very high amount of energy, is required to dye just one kilogram of cotton fabric.

Much of this water ends up contaminated by the salt used to promote the absorption of the dye.
read more.

20150324 * Denial of ‘third party exports’ benefits under EPCG scheme worries entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs in textile sector are worried over the denial of permission for ‘third party exports’ for satisfying the export obligations under Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme in various cases.

Machinery import
The said rule allowing ‘third party exports’ was making it possible for those units such as spinning and wet processing firms along the garment production chain to import machinery under the EPCG scheme without duty.
read more.

20150320 * Exporters appeal to PM on signing FTA:

The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European Union to facilitate an impetus to the growth of apparel exports from clusters such as Tirupur to EU countries.

A Sakthivel, president of TEA, pointed out that nations falling under the ambit of European Union were traditionally the strong markets for Indian apparel manufacturers.
“Almost 42 per cent of the readymade garments exports from the country and 55 per cent of the exports from Tirupur are bound for EU nations and moreover, the business relations have improved with buyers in Europe in the recent years.
read more.

20150320 * WTO members ask India to remove export sops to textiles, apparel:

WTO member countries including the US, Turkey and Japan, have asked India to phase out export subsidies on textiles and the apparel sectors, Parliament was informed today.

As per the WTO data for 2006 and 2007, India has crossed the threshold limit (exports reaching 3.25 per cent threshold of the world trade) consecutively for two years in these sectors, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“In the WTO subsidies committee meetings, the WTO member countries, in particular the US supported by European Union, Turkey, Japan and others have urged phasing out of export subsidies by India for the textiles and the apparel sectors,” she said.
read more.

20150321 * Telangana govt will not impose VAT on textile traders:

The Telangana government will not impose value added tax (VAT) on textile traders, commercial taxes minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav has said.
Yadav was speaking on the occasion of Secunderabad Cloth Merchants’ Association general secretary Chira Srikanth and 500 others joining TRS party, last week, according to regional media reports.
The minister said there is no point in taxing small traders, and added that he had even opposed VAT imposition by the previous government on textile traders.
read more.

20150321 * Order to pollution board: Inspect tanneries along Ganga in two Weeks, says NGT:

National Green Tribunal on Friday gave the Central Pollution Control Board and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board two weeks to complete inspection of 700 tanneries located on the banks of the Ganga in Kanpur area and submit its report.

In January, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had warned it would order closure of these tanneries if they did not comply with prescribed standards.

The green court had said these tanneries were one of the “highest sources of pollution” and warned that “life of millions cannot be put at stake”.
read more.

20150321 * Set up separate textile board: knitwear makers:

Knitwear manufacturers here have asked the State Government to set up a State Textiles Board, and formulate a separate textile policy for Tamil Nadu.

In a memorandum sent to Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam, the industrialists said that a Textiles Board, and a textile policy would help the government give a focused approach to the development of textile industry.

A. Sakthivel, president of Tirupur Exporters Association, was of the opinion that the State textile policy should provide 5 per cent interest subsidy, and 10 per cent capital subsidy towards modernisation and expansion of capacity in existing units — similar to the textile policies of Gujarat and Maharastra Governments.
read more.

20150321 * Powerloom estate in Imphal to soon turn into reality:

The State Industries Department had in 2013-13 prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and sent it to the Union Ministry of Textile proposing for setting up an “apparel garment making and power loom estate” in the State which will be soon turning into reality as the foundation laying ceremony will be held at the City Convention in Imphal.

Union Minister of State for Textile (independent charge) Santosh Gangwar is all set to lay the foundation stone of the powerloom estate proposed to be set up at Lamboikhongnangkhong in Imphal West on March 24 .

According to Industries department sources, a total of 201 semi-automatic power loom units are to be installed at the proposed power loom estate at a total cost of 3.6 crore. Each semi-automatic powerloom costs Rs 1.82 lakh.
read more.

20150322 * 40% rise in farmer suicides in Maharashtra:

He had his hopes pinned on his tiny field of jowar.
Sandeep Shinde had carefully nurtured it after the drought singed his cotton crop last October.

Yet days before the new crop was due for harvest last week, the rain pelted down hard.
The jowar stalks collapsed into the mud and the grain turned black. A few hours later, the 27-year-old hung himself with a nylon rope from a tree in his field in Patoda taluka.

Shinde had not managed a decent crop in the last three years in this arid belt, running up debts of 1.2 lakh.
The drought and bouts of rain wrecked his chances of breaking even. “He was worried about his loans and talked of migrating,” says family friend Rajabhau Deshmukh.

His widow Shobha is anxious about her four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. “I cannot even afford milk for the children,” she says.
read more.

11:00:00 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150321 * EFC addresses unions and govt. on demand for private sector wage hike:

“Don’t set house on fire by trying to heat your food when the oven is hot”

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) last week wrote to the major trade union organization it deals with, with copies to the prime minister, finance minister, justice and labour relations minister, deputy minister of policy development and economic affairs (Dr. Harsha de Silva) and all relevant officials expressing concern over the demand for government intervention in private sector wages.

“We Employers are conscious that you are ‘trying to heat your food when the oven is hot.’ Doing so, in this instance, would set the house on fire!,” Mr. Ravi Peiris, Director General of the EFC said.

The letter made the point that that the unions are justifying the demand on the basis that the government had granted a salary increase to its employees. Comparing public sector wage fixation to that of the private sector “is worse than comparing apples with oranges,” he said.
read more.

20150322 * GSP+ Recovery Process Begins Tomorrow:

Brussels taskforce to arrive in Colombo After months of speculation, the European Union has announced that the GSP Plus recovery process will begin with the arrival of the EU Trade Working Group (TWG) in Colombo tomorrow, March 23.

The discussions will begin on Tuesday, March 24, says David Daly, EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

“GSP Plus is not something that we can tick-off as an achievement under the 100-Day program and is not a simple exercise.
GSP Plus is about Sri Lanka’s compliance with 27 international conventions.
I am pleased to inform you that the EU Trade Working Group (TWG), a senior delegation on GSP Plus, led by a very senior trade official of EU, will be here from Monday, March 23 onwards and the GSP Plus discussions will start on Tuesday, March 24. We should celebrate that through next week’s TWG, we have started the discussion process,” said  the EU Ambassador David Daly in Colombo.
read more.

20150323 * Sri Lankan textiles & garment exports grow 9.4% in 2014:

The export of textiles and garments from Sri Lanka increased by 9.4 per cent to US$ 4.929 billion in 2014, compared to exports of $4.508 billion made in 2013, according to the data from the Economics Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The 9.4 per cent growth rate registered by the textiles and garment exports was greater than 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent growth rates witnessed by Sri Lankan industrial exports and total exports during the year, the data showed.
Textiles and clothing accounted for 59.75 per cent of Sri Lankan industrial exports and 44.34 per cent of all exports made by Sri Lanka in 2014.
read more.

10:30:00 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150323 * A challenging year for Nishat Mills:

Falling cotton prices, reversal in China’s cotton-stockpiling policy and a depreciating euro have remained the cause of concern for the country’s largest listed textile composite, Nishat Mills.

NML has resultantly underperformed the benchmark KSE100 index by 7pc since June 2014.
However, revenues are likely to improve from FY15 onwards due to the management’s continuing efforts to tap new markets, rising production capacities, GSP Plus status and positive implications of the new domestic textile policy.
read more.

20150324 * Claims filing: PRGMEA urges ministry to extend date:

The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (South Zone) has urged the Ministry of Textile Industry to extend the date to file the claims under notification no. 1(41) TID/14-RDA till May 31, 2015 due to lengthy procedure and frequent changes by RDA cell in online submission of claims for which members are facing problems to file their online claims.

PRGMEA said that exporters are filing two years data of exports for shipments made during 2013-14 if increased beyond 10 percent over last years’ exports ie 2013-14 which comprising hundreds and thousands shipments during the years, while procedure to submit claims is quite lengthy.

He requested the Mintex/RDA Cell to extend the date in the larger interest of the Member exporters who are eligible to get incentive under DLTL Scheme 2014-15.-PR
to read.

20150321 * Korea wants more trade with Pakistan:

Korean Ambassador Dr Jong Song Hwan has stressed the need for joint ventures with Pakistan in the textile sector.

Addressing textile exporters on Friday, he said it was a matter of concern that Pakistani exports to Korea were declining.
Similarly, exports from Korea to Pakistan had gone down by three per cent in 2013 and six per cent in 2014 while exports from Pakistan to Korea had decreased by 33 per cent in 2013 and another cut by 23 per cent in 2014.

He said Korea had marked Pakistan as priority destination for its investment and businesses. He expressed optimism that trade ties would deepen as both governments were taking the required measures.

Pakistan is the fourth largest quality cotton grower and eighth largest textile exporter country while Korea is known for its best textile machinery.
read more. & read more.

20150324 * Government seeks to levy standard ST on cotton in budget: Rs 50 billion revenue eyed:

The government seeks to impose a standard sales tax on cotton in the budget 2015-16 with a view to generating about Rs 50 billion revenue, official sources told Business Recorder.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of a high-level committee of secretaries, held in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reviewing certain SROs to finalise the list of such orders as budget date is approaching. According to sources, a menu of budget proposals was shared with all the participants for generating revenue for the financial year 2015-16.

Currently, sales tax exemption is available on local cotton and a 5 percent sales tax is applicable on the import of cotton. However, in the upcoming budget, the government has proposed imposition of sales tax on it (local/supply stage).
read more.

20150321 * Improving quality: Production of clean cotton stressed:

Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the demand of quality-conscious international market and must make strides to promote production of clean cotton, said Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah.

Speaking at a ceremony to award certificates to 40 cotton selectors upon completion of their four-week training at the Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) Multan, he said, “We must adopt cotton grading, free it from contamination to further improve quality and avoid trouble in exporting cotton, yarn and fabric in coming years.”
read more.


20150322 * Court seeks information on reinvestigation into Baldia factory case:

20150322 DAWN
Public prosecutor says that he is unaware of any reinvestigation in to the Baldia factory fire case.— AFP/file

A sessions court asked on Saturday a prosecutor to inform it whether reinvestigation was ordered into the Baldia factory fire case after the defence moved an application to stop the proceedings.

The owner of the industrial unit, Abdul Aziz Bhaila, and his two sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, general manager Mansoor and three gatekeepers have been booked in the tragic incident in which over 250 workers were burnt alive in September 2012.

When the case came up for hearing before additional district and sessions judge (west) Naushaba Kazi on Saturday, one of the defence lawyers moved an application asking the court to stop the proceedings since the case was being reinvestigated.

However, the public prosecutor said that he was unaware of any reinvestigation. The court asked the prosecutor to find out whether the case was being reinvestigated and inform it on the next hearing.

The court expressed its displeasure after it was informed that the Bhaila brothers did not turn up yet again and sent applications through their counsel for condonation of their absence on the ground that they were abroad.
read more.

20150322 * Baldia factory fire case: Trial court not informed about new JIT:

The Baldia factory fire case has seen its fair share of dramatic revelations and twists. Recently, the Sindh government ordered the constitution of a new joint investigation team to probe the incident.

The trial court has, however, been kept in the dark by the prosecution regarding these developments.

The district West court was asked by the counsel representing the accused factory owners on Saturday to stop the proceedings of the case until the new JIT formed under the Rapid Response Force chief, DIG Aftab Pathan, furnished its report.

The judge responded, however, that the court was not informed about any such development yet. She then questioned the newly-appointed special public prosecutor, Chaudhry Arshad Gill, if he had any such information.
He replied in the negative. “I have only heard about it,” he said. The investigation officer of the case, SI Jahanzeb, also said that a new JIT had been formed.
read more.

20150321 * Influential person demanded accountant of his choice in factory:

Target killers – Umair Siddiqui, Zubair and Faisal Mota, murderer of Geo News Reporter Wali Khan Babar – arrested by Rangers during a recent raid in Karachi, have disclosed that an influential personality had demanded extortion money of Rs20 crores (Rs200 million) from the Baldia Town factory and appointment of accountant of his choice.

Sources said during investigations the accused disclosed that the factory management had approached a cleric, who is a close aide of the influential personality, to settle the matter.
read more.

20150320 * NLF demands arrest of culprits:

The National Labour Federation (NLF) here on Thursday took out a protest rally to demand arrest of culprits involved in burning to death over 250 workers in Baldia Town factory fire incident in Karachi.

NLF central president Shamsur Rehman Swati, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Islamabad ameer Zubair Farooq Khan, NLF president for Rawalpindi and Islamabad Saqlain Bhatti and others addressed participants of the rally.

The protesters carried banners and placards inscribed with demands for arrest of murderers of 259 workers and announcement of compensation for heirs of victims. Shamsur Rehman Swati said that mass killing of poor workers by the agents of ‘Bhatta Mafia’ was black day for the working class and labourers who lost their 259 colleagues in tragic fire incident.
He said the culprits involved in the incident should be arrested and taken to task.

Zubair Farooq Khan said the concerned authorities should immediately take action on findings of the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT). “Despite the JIT report, so far no action has been taken against the culprits,” he said.
read more.


* Building Hope and Opportunity: The Al Hassan Workers’ Center:

80% of workers in Jordan’s garment industry come from abroad.
A workers’ centre aims to improve their conditions.

Tens of thousands of workers are employed in Jordan’s fast-growing garment sector.

Eighty percent of these workers are migrants. In an effort to improve their living and working conditions, the International Labour Organization initiated the establishment of a workers’ center in the largest industrial zone in Jordan.
read & see more. (video).


* This Is How Globalized Capitalism Operates Today:

The history of wage struggle in Cambodia is a case study for the history of global capitalism as a whole.

Here’s how it works: Multi-national corporations exploit workers in the most exploitable countries, producing goods at rock-bottom prices that are sold for sky-high profits in affluent countries.

When the workers protest the injustice, the armed force of the state *always* intervenes to protect the interests of the capitalist ownership class and maintain the on-going exploitation.
This is why many workers around the world know capitalism viscerally as a system that rob workers at gun point.

This capitalist system of exploitation could not continue to exist without the armed intervention of the state.
Without the police brutally cracking down on workers, businesses would have long ago started paying workers living, dignified wages and many would likely become worker-owned and managed.
So much for free markets.
read & see more (video). & read more.
filmsforaction labour behind the label



13:30:00 local time map of china CHINA

20150320 * Denim Blues:

The Chinese city of Xintang, known as the world’s jeans capital, is home to an industry tainted by labour rights abuses.

What does it take to produce a pair of jeans?

101 East travels to the Chinese city of Xintang, known as the jeans capital of the world, and exposes a dirty, dangerous industry.

We find workers risking their health while sandblasting jeans, a controversial process that makes denim look fashionably worn but which causes irreversible damage to workers’ lungs.

We witness the devastating destruction the denim industry is wreaking on the environment.

Several big-name brands, including Levi Strauss, have pledged to end sandblasting, but this undercover investigation reveals that the harmful practice continues in China, putting workers’ lives at risk.
read more & see full videoreport.
ALJAZEERA 101aljazeera


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

* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 6 20150324- now


* Roadmap to adjust business minimum wage
* Vinatex to build factory complex in Quang Nam
* Vietnam Predicted to Be Next Asian Tiger

* Fake IDs Make Mockery of Factory Age Rules

* Sritex Reports Jump In Profits in 2014

* Martial law not the only problem plaguing our SEZs

* Fire guts Ashulia cotton godown
* Bus torched for hurting 2 RMG workers in Gazipur
* Workforce size falls
* Textiles identified as major environ, water polluter
* Experts: Frame rules to make textile industry green
* Trade bodies’ faulty list, owners’ non-co-op hinder inspections
* RMG industry facing daunting challenges
* Denim exporter sees robust growth ahead
* Move to freeze bank A/Cs of 123 factories, 385 directors
* RMG owners need to do more to improve working condition
* Call for strategy to make RMG sector ready for duty regime
* Stop repeat of 2nd Rana Plaza
* Useful dialogue among partners to create value for BD RMG: Canada
* Future bright for apparel exports to Canada: envoy
* Call to remove barriers
* Take specific reports, steps on BJMCs problems
* All-out support to be given for jute industry expansion, says minister
* Expand farming, invest in R&D to meet 30pc national cotton demand
* Signing of $1.2b loan with JICA unlikely this month
* Rana Plaza survivor arrested for seeking justice
* Court orders further probe into Tazreen fire
* Court directs CID to probe disappearance of worker
* CID ordered to re-investigate the Tazreen fire incident

* Leather factory gutted
* Panel to study minimum wages in Delhi
* Unions say wage panel defunct
* Trade unions call for structural changes in labour sector
* Changes in EPF, Child Labour Acts may be tabled next month
* Global markets eye Indian apparels
* Modern technologies can help textile industry save water: Paul Hulme
* Denial of ‘third party exports’ benefits under EPCG scheme worries entrepreneurs
* Exporters appeal to PM on signing FTA
* WTO members ask India to remove export sops to textiles, apparel
* Telangana govt will not impose VAT on textile traders
* Order to pollution board: Inspect tanneries along Ganga in two Weeks, says NGT
* Set up separate textile board: knitwear makers
* Powerloom estate in Imphal to soon turn into reality
* 40% rise in farmer suicides in Maharashtra

* EFC addresses unions and govt. on demand for private sector wage hike
* GSP+ Recovery Process Begins Tomorrow
* Sri Lankan textiles & garment exports grow 9.4% in 2014

* A challenging year for Nishat Mills
* Claims filing: PRGMEA urges ministry to extend date
* Korea wants more trade with Pakistan
* Government seeks to levy standard ST on cotton in budget: Rs 50 billion revenue eyed
* Improving quality: Production of clean cotton stressed
* Court seeks information on reinvestigation into Baldia factory case
* Baldia factory fire case: Trial court not informed about new JIT
* Influential person demanded accountant of his choice in factory
* NLF demands arrest of culprits

* Building Hope and Opportunity: The Al Hassan Workers’ Center

* This Is How Globalized Capitalism Operates Today

* Denim Blues

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