in the news 1-3 April 2015

19:32:04 local time map of china CHINA

20150402 * High profile strike at Zhongshan bag manufacturer enters tenth day:

A bitter and at times violent dispute at a Japanese-owned handbag and luggage manufacturer in the Pearl River Delta town of Zhongshan entered its tenth day today.

The strike at the Cuiheng bag factory erupted on 24 March when around 200 workers staged a protest over the non-payment of social security and housing fund contributions, year-end bonuses and other benefits.

Management refused to negotiate, sacked ten of the workers and called the police. About 200 riot police arrived at the factory and clashes ensued during which many workers were injured and 25 were detained.
Some of the workers were subsequently released but activists say four remain in Cuikou police station.
Two other women workers were also briefly detained by police yesterday.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

20:32:04 local time map of korea_n NORTH KOREA

20150401 * S. Korea not budging on Kaesong wage row:

South Korea said Wednesday it will ask the country’s firms at the Gaesong Industrial Complex in writing not to succumb to North Korea’s pressure to raise wages for its workers.

The unification ministry said it will soon send a formal letter to 124 South Korean firms operating in the zone just north of the inter-Korean border.

The move comes as the companies, mostly small and medium-sized, will begin to pay March’s wages to around 53,000 North Korean employees on April 10.

In February, the North decided unilaterally to revise a set of labor rules that included the elevation of the minimum wage for its workers at the Gaesong Industrial Complex from $70.35 to $74 starting in March.
read more.
koreaherald

18:32:04 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150403 * Gov’t agrees with workers on amendment to social insurance:

Workers will receive a one-off social insurance payment after they quit their last jobs if the National Assembly approves an amendment to Article 60 of the 2014 Social Security Law.

Minister and Head of Government Office Nguyen Van Nen said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Government agreed with the change proposed by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

He said that it would put the proposal on the National Assembly agenda meeting next month.

Under the Social Security Law, which takes effect next year, labourers cannot receive one-off social-insurance payments until they retire after quitting their last jobs.
Payments are only made at retirement age, which is 60 years for males and 55 for women.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said the new law was meant to help workers have a monthly income after retirement.
It would also encourage them to keep on paying social insurance payments until they retire.
read more. & read more. & read more.
VNNet VNNews new SAIGON-GPdaily

20150402 * Striking workers at Pou Yuen Plant return to work:

On March 26, thousands of Vietnamese workers at the Taiwanese-owned Pou Yuen Company, a shoe and garment company, started a strike to oppose a new rule on collecting social insurance.

The law originally stated that workers are entitled to a lump sum of social insurance lump 12 months after resigning from a job.
However, the revised law, completed in 2014 and expected to take effect in 2016, states that workers can only earn a payment when they reach retirement age — 60 for men and 55 for women.

Most of the workers are from rural areas so they only work seasonally and collect a big single payment when they return to their hometown.
The workers argued that they could not work or wait without any payment until they reach retirement age.
read more.
DTI

20150402 * Vietnam promises tweak to social insurance policy after wildcat strike:

20150402 THANHNIENews
Workers of Pou Yuen Vietnam gather at their factory on the fifth day of a strike in Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City March 31, 2015.

The central government has pledged to amend Vietnam’s social insurance policy after a controversial rule prompted a week-long wildcat strike of thousands of workers at a Ho Chi Minh City footwear factory.
The government has agreed to request the National Assembly -Vietnam’s legislature – to amend the term in the Social Insurance Law and allow employees to continue receiving lump sum payments if they no longer wish to stay in the state’s pension program, Nguyen Van Nen, Minister and Chairman of the
Government Office, said at a press conference Wednesday.Workers currently have this option.
However, the Social Insurance Law, which will take effect next year, stipulates that they can only get payments after retirement.
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

20150402 * Gov’t to ask legislature to revise social insurance rule over striking workers’ proposal:

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has decided that the government will propose the law-making National Assembly amend a new rule in the 2014 Law on Social Insurance in order to allow employees to take lump-sum social insurance payments when they leave a company, instead of waiting until they reach the age of retirement.

The decision was made at the government’s monthly meeting on Wednesday after Prime Minister Dung and his cabinet considered the proposals of ministries and other relevant agencies, following the strike of tens of thousands of workers at Pou Yuen Vietnam Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese-invested maker of sport shoes and garments for export in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City.

The strike, which has lasted for the past seven days, was triggered by the workers’ discontent with Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance that will prevent them from getting lump-sum social insurance allowance payments when they quit their jobs.
read more.
TUOITREnews

20150402 * Ministry says to listen to striking workers:

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said at an emergency meeting on March 30 that expectations of striking workers would be taken into account when decrees and circulars guiding the social insurance law are drafted.

Big numbers of workers of PouYuen Co. Ltd. in HCMC continued walking off the job on March 30 over concerns about legal changes in the social insurance law.

As observed by the Daily, most of the company’s more than 80,000 workers returned to work on March 30 but they were stopped by a group of workers.

The ministry and the city government held a news briefing on March 30 afternoon to explain Article 60 of the 2014 social insurance law, which has led workers to strike at PouYuen.

According to Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep, compared to the old law, Article 60 encourages workers to accumulate working hours to get pensions and allows workers to accumulate the years in which they pay social insurance. They will get one-off payouts if they have paid premiums for less than 15 years. If the time is more than 15 years, they will get pensions on a monthly basis.

Diep said the new law aims to ensure social security and stable incomes for workers after they retire.
read more.
VNNet

20150401 * Opinions sought for Social Labour Law:

Public comments about the Social Labour Law 2014 will be listened to and collected, Doan Mau Diep, deputy minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, has said.

Speaking at an urgent press conference held in HCM City late on Monday, he said that all opinions and ideas from labourers would be submitted to the Government and National Assembly when they compile the Law’s guiding circulars and decrees.

He said labourers could contact their company’s labour unions if they had ideas or information related to the law’s provisions and regulations.

The urgent press conference was organised after a demonstration was held from last Thursday at the Taiwanese PouYuen Company Ltd in HCM City’s Binh Tan District.

Workers at this leather and footwear company went on strike to show their disagreement with the new Social Labour Law 2014, which is expected to take effect in 2016.

In the new law, labourers will no longer receive one-time social insurance payments right after they quit their jobs. The payment would only be given at their age of retirement (60 for males and 55 for females).
read more.
VNNews new

20150331 * Ministry says to listen to striking workers:

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said at an emergency meeting on March 30 that expectations of striking workers would be taken into account when decrees and circulars guiding the social insurance law are drafted.

Big numbers of workers of PouYuen Co. Ltd. in HCMC continued walking off the job on March 30 over concerns about legal changes in the social insurance law.

As observed by the Daily, most of the company’s more than 80,000 workers returned to work on March 30 but they were stopped by a group of workers.

The ministry and the city government held a news briefing on March 30 afternoon to explain Article 60 of the 2014 social insurance law, which has led workers to strike at PouYuen.

According to Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep, compared to the old law, Article 60 encourages workers to accumulate working hours to get pensions and allows workers to accumulate the years in which they pay social insurance.
They will get one-off payouts if they have paid premiums for less than 15 years.
If the time is more than 15 years, they will get pensions on a monthly basis.
read more.
SAIGONTIMES

20150401 * Strike trips up Nike’s Vietnam factory:

20150401 BKP
Workers of Pou Yuen Vietnam gather at their factory on the fifth day of a strike in Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City March 31. Thousands of workers at the major factory in southern Vietnam went on strike in protest over social-insurance cover. (Reuters photo)

Thousands of Vietnamese workers at a major footwear factory were on strike for a sixth day Wednesday over a social-insurance law in a rare challenge to government policy.

Several thousand people at the Taiwanese-owned Pou Yuen factory in southern Ho Chi Minh City began the stoppage last Thursday.
Pou Yuen Vietnam, which employs more than 80,000 workers, is a subsidiary of Pou Chen Group and makes footwear for companies such as Nike and Adidas.

The workers continued the peaceful strike in the factory’s compound Wednesday under a heavy police presence.
They marched along Highway 1 with banners and beating drums on Monday and Tuesday, blocking traffic on the main road artery.

They were protesting a new law, which comes into effect next year and says that workers will get a social insurance monthly allowance when they retire instead of getting a one-time payment if they resign.
The striking workers said that if they quit earlier, they would have to wait until their retirement age — 60 for men and 55 for women — to get the allowance, and they prefer the lump sum to pay for their daily needs while seeking new jobs.

Vietnam is hit by several hundred labour strikes a year, but they are mostly over poor working condition and low pay.
Protests over government policies are rare.

Vice Minister for Labour Doan Mau Diep met with the workers Tuesday and said that his department would propose to allow them to choose whether to get one-time social insurance benefits when they quit or receive them upon retirement.
His words were met with applause from the workers, according to state media reports, but if was not clear that he had persuaded them to stop the strike.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BangkokPostNEW THEHINDUBUSINESS jak-globe

20150331 * New social insurance rule sparks worker strike in Ho Chi Minh City:

Tens of thousands of workers at a Taiwanese-owned company in Ho Chi Minh City have gone on strike over the past several days to object to a new rule that restricts them from getting lump-sum social insurance allowance payments.

The strike began on March 26 and has continued with the participation of nearly 90,000 workers of Pou Yuen Vietnam Co. Ltd., a maker of sport shoes and garments for export in Binh Tan District, Vietnamese media said.
read more. & read-see more (video).
TUOITREnews guardian

20150402 * Despite strike, Vietnam is Asia’s new manufacturing powerhouse:

Workers of Pou Yuen Vietnam gather for a negotiation with labor union officials at their factory on the fifth day of their strike in Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh CityMarch 31, 2015.

Thousands of workers at the major factory in southern Vietnam went on strike for the fifth day on Tuesday in protest over social insurance cover, in rare show of labor unrest in a country positioning itself as a future Asian manufacturing powerhouse.

Witnesses in the industrialized suburbs of Ho Chi Minh Citysaid hundreds of workers massed peacefully inside and outside the factory owned by Pou Yuen Vietnam, a footwear maker for firms that include Nike Inc and Adidas and brands like Lacoste, Converse and Reebok.

If you thought Asia’s manufacturing giants are just China, South Korea and Thailand, say hello to a new one: Vietnam.
Its benchmark purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing has expanded — a reading above 50 — every month since Aug. 2013, according to HSBC and Markit Economics.

20150401 * Vietnamese firms urged to demand TPP transparency, spell out concerns:

Vietnamese businesses must urge the government to make its negotiations for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership transparent and also raise their concerns over the deal, an expert has said.

Pham Duy Nghia, a lecturer at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, said while there have already been 20 rounds of talks since 2010, Vietnamese enterprises do not seem to know how the US-led trade pact would affect them.

“In the US, companies in the pharmaceutical, textile, entertainment, and banking sectors are lobbying for the TPP,” he told a seminar titled “Vietnamese CEOs under pressure from FTAs and TPP” held by the CEO Club in Ho Chi Minh City on March 24.

“Why don’t Vietnamese firms team up and speak up for their rights?
read more.
THANHNIENEWS new

20150401 * Footwear exports surge high:

Footwear exports in the first quarter of this year jumped 19.5% to an estimated value of US$2.5 billion, the highest growth over the last two years, according to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso).

A series of free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU – Vietnam FTA, which soon come into effect will create a motive to attract more investment from foreign and domestic businesses.
read more.
VOVonline

20150401 * Fire destroys Tan Phu mattress workshop:

A huge fire broke out at 6.20pm yesterday in a workshop manufacturing mattresses in Tan Phu District, HCM City.

Initial reports said the fire flared up in the workshop’s store and then spread fast to the neighbouring areas, producing thick smoke.

Terrified workers and residents staying near the workshop were quickly evacuated from the area.

About 112 firefighters were able to extinguish the fire after two hours.
The fire destroyed 700sqm of area, comprising stores and a section of the neighbouring houses. No damage to human life was reported.
The local authority is investigating the cause of the fire. — VNS
to read.
VNNews new

* Do sweatshops make more profits? No.Our new paper from Vietnam shows how helping garment workers helps factories:

Estimating a translog profit function for Vietnamese apparel factories, we jointly test for managerial quality heterogeneity and whether higher quality managers choose more humane working conditions and earn higher profits.
Working conditions are measured from the perspective of workers, based on a
survey of working conditions, the perspective of management, based on a survey of HR managers, and compliance assessments of Better Work Vietnam.
Given the limited number of observations of factory level financial data, factor analysis is used to reduce the number of working conditions variables to three
factors.
Working conditions measured from the perspective of workers is positively correlated with the ratio of revenue to total cost.
The elasticity of the price – cost margin with respect to each of the three working conditions factors is positive and statistically significant.
read more.
bw

18:32:04 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150402 * Equipment on block to meet debts:

Ministry of Labour officials have agreed to allow the selling off of equipment inside a Phnom Penh garment factory, abandoned by its owner at the end of January, to pay money owed to workers, union officials said Tuesday.

Nearly half of about 390 workers at Kui Xing garment factory in the capital’s Chbar Ampov district thumb-printed a request to gut the factory in order to compensate employees for unused annual leave, indemnity and other debts.

“The ministry will let us find buyers or find someone to sell [factory materials] for the workers, but they are creating a committee to prevent cases of fraud,” Rithy Neth of the Free Trade Union – one of seven unions in Kui Xing – said Tuesday. “The committee will include union leaders, workers, district police and Labour Ministry officials.”
read more.
PPP new

19:32:04 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20150401 * Indonesian unions strengthen unity towards IndustriALL goals:

The fight for living wages and sustainable industrial policy advance in Indonesia through two IndustriALL workshops.

Industry in Indonesia is characterized on the one hand by high-tech production involving skilled workers, and on the other low-tech extraction of raw materials. Production relies on imported materials while raw materials are exported.

At the workshop, Industriall Global Union affiliates identified the need for Indonesia to develop connecting industries such as processing and transportation as part of a comprehensive industrial development policy. Corruption is still a huge problem that needs to be addressed in Indonesia and this eats into resources intended for infrastructure improvement.

The Indonesian Government has developed a national development plan for 2011-2025, known as MP3EI, but the unions were not consulted and are largely unaware of it. The plan identifies Java as a centre for industry, while other regions focus on natural resources.
(…)

Living wage
Minimum wages in Indonesia are set at regional level. Unions have managed to win large increases in minimum wages, but they still do not cover a worker’s basic needs.
Inequality is increasing and there are large regional variations in wage levels: one region of Indonesia has the second lowest minimum wage in South East Asia, after Laos.
The government is now proposing to only increase the minimum wage every 5 years with no cost of living increases in between.

Affiliates discussed how the minimum wage does not take account of company profits, which are high compared with wage increases.
read more.
INDUSRIall

18:32:04 local time map of thailand THAILAND

20150402 * FTI rejects proposed wage hike:

The Federation of Thai Industries rejected the tri-partite wage committee’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to Bt360.

Wallop Witanakorn, vice-president of the federation, said that the hike would significantly affect the domestic manufacturing sector and drive investment to neighbouring countries that offer lower wage.

He noted that the committee should take into consideration that the wage was just recently raised to Bt300. At present, several manufacturing firms are operating with lower profits, amid poor economic condition.
to read.
theNATIONnew

20150331 * Workers ask for B360 minimum wage:

20150331 BKP
Workers sew at Ecco’s now-defunct Phichit plant before the company looked to consolidate in November 2013. Ecco offered labourers the choice of moving to work at its main plant in Ayutthaya province. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, one of Thailand’s major labour organisations, has called for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to increase the minimum wage to 360 baht from the current 300 baht per day.

Wilaiwan Sae Tia, president of the TLSC, said higher public utilities charges and rising food prices have increased the cost of living and placed a greater burden on workers.

To compensate for this, the daily labour minimum wage should be increased to 360 baht, she said.

Ms Wilaiwan also called on the government to disband the provincial labour wage committees, saying  they were not able to effectively represent workers; to draw up a clear wage structure; and to create a mechanism to protect workers who have been employed a year or more, to guarantee a regular wage adjustment and welfare benefits.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

20150403 * BOI okays full privileges for 13 industries in five SEZs:

The Board of Investment has approved 13 target industries that will receive full privileges for investing in the five special economic zones (SEZs) along the border areas.

Meanwhile, the BOI aims to approve at least 1,600 projects worth around Bt1.4 trillion this year. It says more than 700 projects worth about Bt117 billion have already been approved in the first three months of 2015.The 13 target industries, which cover 61 sub-industries, that invest in the SEZs in Tak, Sa Kaew, Trat, Mukdahan and Songkhla will receive a maximum of an eight-year corporate-income-tax exemption.
For the following five years, they can enjoy a 50-per-cent income-tax reduction. Industries that are in Group A1 or A2 of the BOI privilege list but are not among the 13 target industries will receive additional income-tax exemptions for three years.
(…)
The 13 industries are: agriculture, fishery and related businesses; ceramics; garments, textiles and leather; home furniture; jewellery and fashion accessories; medical tools; automobiles, engines and parts; electrical appliances and electronics; plastics; medical products; logistics; industrial estates; and activities that support tourism.
read more.
theNATIONnew

18:02:04 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150401 * Myanmar to pursue sustainable garment sector:

Myanmar is projected by Asian Development Bank to be a middle-income country by 2030 as the country’s political and economic arenas undergo reforms to meet new challenges, said Aung Tun Thet, economic adviser to President Thein Sein at a seminar titled “Sustainable Development of Asia’s Garment and Textile Industry” in Yangon.

The seminar was sponsored by the European Union and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

These reforms are also aimed at boosting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, with garment and textile industries being among the major sectors that the government hopes will attract “responsible” investors to ensure that Myanmar’s economic and industrial development are sustainable throughout the coming decades.

According to the president’s economic adviser, the government’s policy is to encourage investors to set aside between one and five per cent of their net profits for corporate social responsibility (CRS) projects, making Myanmar the only Asean member to have adopted such a policy.
(…)
A total of 18 labour laws are in the process of being amended to ensure that foreign investors can effectively create new jobs in Myanmar, he added.

The labour minister said a successful garment and textile sector is essential to Myanmar’s continued industrialisation effort since it could draw big foreign investment as well as create many jobs, as evidenced by new factories and FDI currently entering the country.
read more.
theNATIONnew

20150331 * Investment law ‘could lead to human rights problems’:

Myanmar’s government has failed to engage in meaningful public consultation on a draft investment law that could have a profound impact on human rights in the country, Human Rights Watch said March 26. 

The government should extend its March 26, 2015 deadline for public comments and engage in genuine consultations with civil society organizations before submitting the draft law to parliament, the US-based NGO said.

The law seeks to encourage international investment and business in Myanmar.

“The new investment law will be a legal cornerstone of Burma’s efforts to reengage with the global economy and international investors, yet the government’s public consultations have been deeply inadequate,” said Ms Jessica Evans, senior international financial institutions advocate at Human Rights Watch. “If not carefully crafted, the law could make it difficult for the government to pass regulations to protect human rights and prevent environmental harm.”
read more.
MIZZAMA new

20150331 * Building trade unions in Myanmar:

Hear Maung Maung, president of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), talk about the challenges of building well functioning industrial relations in Myanmar.

Maung Maung is president of the CTUM, to which 50 per cent of the country’s unions belong. He spent 24 years in exile before he was allowed to return to Myanmar in 2012. Maung Maung is also a member of the governing board of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as one of 14 representing labour.

There needs to be understanding of industrial relations. You need lots of help raising the awareness and also on developing the skills on organizing and standards regarding health and safety, minimum wage, decent work. So we still have lots of work to to.
see video.
INDUSRIall

17:32:04 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150402 * NGWF demand withdrawal of cases against Grameen Knitwear workers:

Leaders and activists of the National Garment Workers Federation formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the capital on Wednesday, demanding withdrawal of the cases field against 300 workers of Grameen Knitwear. 

They formed the one-hour human chain at 12:00noon.
NGWF general secretary Safia Parvin alleged that the authorities of Grameen Knitwear closed the factory on March 12 and on March 14 and field cases against their 300 workers.
Later, they reopened the factory on March 25, but they did not allow the workers to join their workplace, Safia said.
Chaired by NGWF vice-president Faruque Khan, the human chain was addressed, among others, by its leaders Nurun Nahar, Arifa Akter and Mohammad Rafique. The human chain was followed by a procession.
to read.
NEWAGEnew

20150401 * Workers demand reinstatement their job:

20150401 NGWFbd 2
The human chain demand on Grameen Knitwear Ltd workers.

20150401 NGWFbd 1
Workers demand reinstatement their job.
Via twitter @NGWF_BD
NGWFbd

20150403 * RMG factory shut as 100 workers fall sick after ‘eating its snacks’:

The authorities of a garment factory in Kashimpur of Gazipur shut down the factory yesterday after over a hundred of its workers fell sick allegedly after eating snacks provided by the factory management on Wednesday night.

About a hundred workers of Turag Garments and Hosiery Mills Ltd were hospitalised yesterday morning, said hospital sources.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150402-03 * Over 100 RMG workers fall sick in Ashulia:

More than one hundred workers of a garment factory have fallen sick after eating foods and drinking water provided by the authorities of the factory in Ashulia of Savar early Thursday.

The sick workers of Turag Garments were admitted to local hospitals and clinics, including Laili Clinic, Bangladesh Korean Hospital, Jahanara Hospital, Nasiruddin Medical Diagnostic Centers, and Tabattuli Clinic.

Many workers told the Dhaka Tribune that they began to feel sick after eating snacks at the factory around 1am.

Some 200 workers were given bananas, bread and eggs for snacks on that night, they said.

Within a few minutes of eating the foods and drinking the water, some of them fainted on the floor, vomiting and feeling dizzy, said Morzina Akter, a worker of the factory, who also fell sick.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE  NEWAGEnew banglanews24NEW INDEPENDENT FE bd

20150401 * Evicted 300 families form human chain demanding rehabilitation:

Several hundred affected families formed a human chain at Chowmuhani Bazar of Begumganj upazila in Noakhali on Wednesday demanding their rehabilitation as they were evicted by the Delta Jute Mills Authorities.

The affected families alleged that the mill authorities acquired their land and made an agreement with them that they would not evict them without rehabilitation.
But the mill authorities broke all their terms and conditions and evicted them during the reign of the last caretaker government in 2011, the demonstrators said.
to read in News in Brief.
NEWAGEnew

20150403 * Jute acreage, output fell drastically in 2014:

The acreage and output of jute in 2014 was the lowest in five years, according to the Department of Agriculture Extension.

Due to falling prices there has been a steady decline in farmers’ interest in growing jute since 2011, said DAE officials.

In 2014, jute output stood at 75.01 lakh bales against the government set target of 80.14 lakh bales.
Jute acreage in the year stood at 6.73 lakh hectares against the target of 7.57 lakh hectares set by the government, said officials.
Import of low quality seeds mostly from India also discouraged the farmers to grow the cash crop, they said.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150403 * $500m ‘green fund’ for textile sector:

The Bangladesh Bank has stepped in to fight the pollution generated by the country’s textile industry, says the World Bank.

Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), has recently announced the central bank’s plans to earmark $500 million of low-cost “green fund” for textile factories to adopt eco-friendly technologies and practices.
(…)
Washing, dyeing, and finishing (WDF) activities are a key pillar of the country’s economy: 1,700 WDF units and 200,000 workers contribute a net value added of up to 20 per cent to the textile value chain.

Despite their profitability, WDF factories are the second biggest polluter in the country, consuming an annual 1,500 billion liters of groundwater and relying on inadequate wastewater treatment.
Many mills use 250 to 300 liters of water per kilogram of fabric, far beyond the global best practice of 50 liters per kilogram or less, the statement said.
read more.
INDEPENDENT

20150401 * NBR to avoid double audit of export-oriented industries:

The National Board of Revenue has instructed its two field offices to avoid double audit of the export-oriented industries, mainly readymade garment factories, to reduce hassle of the exporters, officials said.

They said that the revenue board has recently issued an order instructing the field
offices to maintain transparency in conducting audit of the export-oriented industries.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150401 * FBCCI chief sanguine about $50b garment exports:

Bangladesh’s apparel exports will hit US$50 billion in the foreseeable future, the head of apex trade body said.

Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that the country has established itself as a model for development in the world.

“Bangladesh continues to grow and the women engaged in the readymade garment sector are playing a pivotal role in this regard. It is the main driving force of our economy,” he said.
read more.
FE bd

20150401 * New challenge to garment sector: Sri Lanka:

Bangladesh’s apparel sector is set to face yet another challenge as its close competitor Sri Lanka is lobbying for duty benefits from the European Union.

The two parties held a meeting in Colombo last week, where they discussed the possibility of revival of the ‘Generalised System of Preferences Plus’ status for Sri Lanka.

The island nation lost its GSP Plus status in 2010 after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) alleged violations of human rights during the civil war.

However, given the political commitment by the new Sri Lankan government, the EU decided to consider the case under a special monitoring process.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

    THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

20150401 * Primark pays out 668 Rana Plaza victims:

Primark has completed paying over 95 percent of long-term compensations to 668 Rana Plaza disaster victims, who were workers of New Wave Bottoms, a supplier of the British retailer.

The retailer made the payments through Brac Bank and bKash to the family members of the dead and injured workers of New Wave Bottoms, Primark said in a statement yesterday.

“There are a very small number of claimants yet to receive compensation because either the individuals require a high level of support and/ or the victims and/or their dependants have only very recently come forward,” Primark said.

“This approach to compensation involved medical and vulnerability assessments.”
(…)
Primark’s total aid stands at $14 million. The company has additionally made a payment of $1 million to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, chaired by the International Labour Organisation, for distribution to workers in its competitors’ supply chain, according to the statement.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

17:02:04 local time map of india INDIA

* Mind the gap:  Living Wages report:

How the global brands are not doing enough to ensure a dignified life for workers in the garment and electronics industry in India.

This report is a joint effort of Future in Our Hands (Framtiden i våre hender), Norway and Civil Initiatives for Development and Peace (Cividep), India, both civil society organizations working for fair distribution of wealth globally through respect for the rights of workers and communities.

The study compares working conditions and wages in two different global supply chains that cater to the European market with links to South India – the garment industry in Bangalore that produces apparel for well-known European retailers including H&M, a Swedish multinational, and Norwegian Varner Group as also the electronics industry in Sriperumbudur (near Chennai) where electronics companies Dell and Samsung (USA and Korea respectively) are manufacturing their products.

The report concludes that the working conditions in both supply chains are below universally recognized standards set by International Labour Organization (ILO) in many aspects and the wages these workers are paid cannot be termed as a ‘living wage’.

Also the study shows that working conditions in all the five factories cannot yet be termed as “Decent work” a concept created by the ILO and which stands for the right of employment in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

The report highlights the working conditions at five factories in the garment and electronics sector, it compares consumption and expenditure pattern of workers in the two sectors, also to what extent they need to take up loans for various reasons and purposes, as well as their thoughts of the future.
read more.
  Framtiden

20150402 * Minimum wages hiked by 5% in Delhi:

The new financial year has started with a roughly 5% increase in minimum wages for all categories of labourers in the city.

The government notified revised monthly wages for “unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled” workers on Wednesday.
The wage structure applies to eight-and-a-half hours of daily work. Employers violating the rule will face action from the department of labour.

The minimum wages for unskilled workers such as security guards, gardeners, peons and car cleaners will increase from Rs 8,632 to Rs 9,048 per month.
For semi-skilled workers—fitters and welders—wages will increase from Rs 9,542 to Rs 10,010 per month. For skilled labour, like drivers, tailors and masons, the new minimum wage is Rs 10,998 per month, up from Rs 10,478.
read more. & read more.
TOInew THEHINDU

20150401 * Girl workers physically, sexually exploited, reveals survey:

A study on the health status of adolescent girls working in the textile mills under the controversial ‘Sumangali Scheme’ or ‘Thirumagal Thirumana Thittam’ has revealed that most of them working in hostile working conditions are being physically and sexually exploited.

On studying the case of 193 girls from the district, including 44 girls still working in textile mills in western Tamil Nadu under ‘Sumangali Scheme,’ ‘Vaan Muhil’, a Palayamkottai-based NGO, believes that collective intervention by various arms of the government alone can stop the poor adolescent girls from being physically and mentally preyed upon by employers and their subordinates.

Under this scheme, girls from poor families are approached by brokers of textile mills, who lure the parents with the promise that the girls would be given a lump sum of Rs. 30,000 at the end of the contract period of three or four years besides the daily wages, boarding and lodging.
However, the young workforce, mostly in the age group of 13 to 18 years, is forced to work in hostile working conditions for longer duration.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150401 * ATF trade unions sternly oppose move to lease out mill by govt:

The trade union of the mills has sternly opposed the government’s move to lease out the State-run Anglo French Textile (ATF) mills to private players.

Instead, the trade union has suggested that the government develop a textile park by combining all the three Textile mills — AFT Mills, Swadeshi Cotton Mills (SCM) and the Bharathi Textile Mills (BTM) — and produce garments.

AITUC submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister N Rangasamy seeking his intervention for dropping it. V S Abisegham, AITUC general secretary, stated that two-member private party from Northern India visited the mill on Monday and held a four-hour discussion with the management for leasing out the mill.
read more.
ynfx

20150402 * ‘Change in labour laws will create bonded labourers’:

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a dharna at NTR Circle, protesting against the amendment that were brought in the labour laws by the State government. The CPI (M) activists burnt the copies of the Amendment Bills.

Addressing the gathering on Wednesday, CPI (M) district secretary R. Raghu said that the government had introduced the amendment bills at the fag end of the Assembly session, accusing it of not giving much scope for discussion in the Assembly and passing the Bill in an undemocratic manner, he said.

“The government has amended labour laws without a second thought.
Not less than 80 per cent of the working class will become bonded labourers .
The government amended 25K of the Act facilitating the factories to appoint and dismissal of the workers at their will,” he said.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150401 * Labour department seeks industry views on changes in laws:

The deputy labour commissioner’s office has invited suggestions from industrial organisations and workers’ unions over amendments required in various laws by the state labour department.

This is part of the government’s decision to make amendments to various acts implemented by the labour department of the state government to implement “Make in Maharashtra” and “Digital India” missions in the state.

“The state government has decided to make some amendments to various laws implemented by its labour department.
A committee has been set up for this under the chairmanship of the state labour commissioner.
In accordance with the committee, we have invited suggestions from all industrial associations and workers’ unions related to the reforms or amendments required in various laws and acts.
The suggestions from the industry and workers’ organisations will be sent to the committee. We are expected to get the suggestions within a couple of weeks,” deputy labour commissioner R S Jadhav told TOI.
read more.
TOInew

20150403 * AFT mill staff lay siege:

The workers of Anglo French Textile (ATF) Mills on Thursday laid a siege to the mill premises to show their opposition to the government’s proposed move to lease it out to private players.

Members of Organised Anglo-French Mills Employees’ Federation assembled here and raised slogans against the move.

The AITUC has sent a memorandum to Chief Minister N. Rangasamy seeking his intervention in dropping the move. AITUC General Secretary V.S. Abisegham, said a two-member private party from north India had visited the mill on Monday and held discussion with the management for leasing out the mill.
to read.
THEHINDU

20150402-03 * Textiles sector disappointed, says hasn’t got its due:

The new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) announced by the government on Wednesday has left the textile sector disappointed.

“The government has fairly ignored the textile and clothing sector, the second-largest employment provider in the country and whose contribution to the country’s growth has been well recognised by the Economic Survey.
In terms of strengthening the manufacturing base, promoting exports and generating employment, the sector hasn’t got its due in the FTP,” said R K Dalmia, chairman of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.
read more. & read more.
businessstandard THEHINDU

20150402 * Budget no cheer for handloom weavers:

The federation has demanded increase in subsidy of yarn from 10% at present to 20% and establishment of raw material banks in each district, particularly those with high concentration of weavers

The All Odisha Devanga Mahasangha (AODM), the federation of traditional weavers in the state, has decried the Union Budget for neglecting the handloom sector.

While prime minister, Narendra Modi sent out the right vibes to encourage the manufacturing sector through his ‘Make in India’ campaign, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has ignored this aspect and has not announced any special support to the handloom sector, said AODM president T Gopi.
Read our full coverage on Union Budget

“After agriculture, it is the handloom sector which provides the highest employment to the people. Around one million weaver families are there in the state.
The handloom industries in the country, particularly in the state, need adequate support from the government.
But the sector seems to have been totally ignored in the Budget”, he stated.
read more.
businessstandard

20150402 * Sops for SEZs in government’s export boost:

The government on Wednesday announced a slew of incentives and new institutional mechanisms as part of the new Foreign Trade Policy to nearly double country’s goods and services exports to $900 billion by 2019-2020.

Unveiling the much-delayed five-year FTP (2015-2020), commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the policy is being aligned with the government’s key programmes like Make in India and Digital India to boost manufacturing, job creation and to improve ease of doing business.

The government is also contemplating tariff rationalisation to raise India’s share in the global trade from 2% to 3.5% by 2020.

Sitharaman said the FTP, her first trade policy, will incorporate various incentive schemes to introduce Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) to boost outward shipments.

“FTP lays down a roadmap for India’s global trade engagement in the coming years. India will become a significant participant in world trade by 2020,” she said, adding that the sops include reduction of export obligation under the EPCG scheme and extension of all export benefits to units within the special economic zones (SEZs).

Industry chambers said the said the new policy will improve ease of doing business, reduce transaction costs and provide “breathing space” to SEZs. They also demanded that the interest subvention scheme for the export sector should be announced immediately. The scheme lapsed last April.
read more.
TOInew

20150401 * Foreign trade policy to be announced today:

​The Government will spell out measures to boost manufacturing and services exports in the five-year Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) to be announced this evening.

The Commerce and Industries Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, is expected to come up with schemes that would promote exports of items, many from labour-intensive sectors such as textiles, leather and handicrafts, to key buyers such as the EU and the US. Potential markets in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe will also be targetted.

The policy will be announced for the period 2015-20.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

20150402 * 20 clusters to be formed in Tirupur:

In a significant move, the Tirupur Thozhil Pathukappu Kuzhu, a forum of different stakeholders in Tirupur textile industry, is all set to facilitate creation of clusters within Tirupur to promote lean manufacturing practices and help the industrial units increase competitiveness.

Assistance
“We are planning to form a minimum of 20 clusters by bringing together units under respective segments of the textile production chain to constitute a cluster and help them avail government assistance to get trained on lean manufacturing practices under a consortium approach.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150401 * Freight forwarders’ strike affects movement of apparel goods:

Movement of apparel consignments from Tirupur knitwear cluster to various destinations within the country were severely disrupted as freight forwarders affiliated to Tirupur District Goods Transport Association observed a 24-hour strike on Monday.

About Rs 2.5 crore worth of apparels got stuck here due to the strike, industry sources said.

S. K. Manikavasagan, secretary of Tirupur District Goods Transport Association, told The Hindu that the 24-hour strike that began at 6 a.m. on Monday was to express the displeasure over certain acts of commercial tax officials that cause hindrance to smooth movement of cargoes.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150401 * India’s cotton exports to slump 41% as China buys less:

Cotton exports from India, the world’s biggest producer and second biggest seller, are expected to fall 41 per cent to a five-year low of 7 million bales this crop year ending September as top buyer China curbs purchases, a government official said.

Bulging world stockpiles and waning demand from China – intent on supporting its own growers – are hurting state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), which is set to suffer its steepest loss in at least six years from sales in the current season.
read more. & read more.
et businessstandard

20150331 * Cotton body cuts output estimate:

Cotton production for the season ending September has been pruned by 10 lakh bales (lb) to 390 lb due to unseasonal rain and erratic monsoon.

Addressing the media after the second Cotton Advisory Board meeting held here on Tuesday, Kiran Soni Gupta, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, said cotton output has been revised downward compared with the October projections, keeping the arrival trend in the market and feedback from the trade.

Cotton imports estimate has been increased to 8 lb against 7 lb projected at the last CAB meeting as the country had already imported 5 lb till February end, she said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS businessstandard THEHINDU

20150401 * Fire in Gandhi Nagar cloth market:

Three suffer burns; 30 fire tenders work for 4 hours to douse blaze

A major fire broke out in the famous cloth market of Gandhi Nagar. According to fire officials, three persons suffered minor burn injuries while three shops were gutted. Valuables worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed.
“A call was received at 3:15 p.m. Around 30 fire tenders were pressed into service and it took four hours to douse the blaze,” said an official of the Delhi Fire Service .
According to the police, the fire started at a kerosene depot on the ground floor of a three-storey building located at Pratap Gali, which houses a garment warehouse on the first and second floor.
“People present inside the building were evacuated,” the official added.
The oil depot made it difficult for the fire officials to douse the blaze and garments lying on the first floor added to their woes.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150401 * TNPCB officials booked under Corruption Act:

The two Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials, who were arrested by CB-CID police in connection with the wall collapse of a Secure Landfill Facility (SLF) at Ranipet SIDCO Industrial Estate, have been booked under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 as they accepted bribe from the effluent treatment company for not taking action against irregularities.

Ten workers died in the January 31 accident.
On Monday, the police arrested P. Kamaraj (50), district environmental engineer and M. Muralidharan (48), assistant environmental engineer of Vellore – who were placed under suspension by the TNPCB.

The wall of an additional “unauthorised” SLF at the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) operated by Ranipet SIDCO Finished Leather Effluent Treatment (RSFLET) Company Limited collapsed, drowning 10 workers of an adjacent leather company under toxic sludge.
read more.
THEHINDU

17:02:04 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150403 * EU – Sri lanka to work out Terms of Reference:

The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka have started the process that may lead to the readmission of Sri Lanka to the status of GSP+.

Ugo Astuto, the Acting Managing Director of the Asia and Pacific Division of the European External Action Service, at a media briefing today told the Journalists that the GSP+ benefit is effective on the compliance of 27 UN conventions relating to human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance.
read more.
slgov

20150402 * Sri Lanka should look at regional trade and be less Europe centric: Official:

Sri Lanka should look at diversifying its export market from its Europe centric and north American trade habits and move towards exploring a more lucrative regional export markets, a senior official said.

“That Europe centrist approach is still there in Sri Lanka, simply because it is the number one market in Sri Lanka and still continues to be so, followed by north America but we have very good market opportunities in the region,” R.D.S Kumararatne, director general, Department of Commerce Sri Lanka said.

“India has 300 million people who are from the new upper income, middle class and their consumption patterns have drastically changed and they are looking for new products,”

“Exporters should be aware and explore the possibilities in the SAFTA. This agreement gives market access to seven countries in the region.”
(…)

The European Union (EU) is Sri Lanka’s largest export destination, absorbing 36 per cent of its exports.

Textiles and clothing account for more than half of Sri Lanka’s export value with machinery, rubber-based goods, jewellery and agricultural products making up for the rest.
read more.
LankaBusiness

20150331 * EU considering Sri Lanka’s request to grant GSP+ concession, lift ban on fish exports:

The European Union is reevaluating Sri Lanka’s request to grant the GSP plus concession for its exports to EU and to lift the restrictions imposed on export of fish products.

European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka, David Daly expressing deep appreciation over the new government’s policies on improving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today, said the EU is seriously considering Sri Lanka’s request.
(…)

The EU withdrew the GSP Plus facility in August 2010 claiming Sri Lanka’s failure to comply with the eligibility criteria that included the implementation of international human rights conventions.

Sri Lanka’s apparel sector was mostly benefited by the EU’s GSP Plus facility and had lost considerable revenue on apparel exports over the past few years because of losing GSP plus.
read more.
colombo

16:32:04 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150402 * Unpaid labourers take to the streets:

A large number of labourers of two textile mills held a protest demonstration and blocked the traffic on Faisalabad Road due to non-payment of their salaries and other dues.

The labourers led by their leaders Safdar Ali and Usman stopped their routine works in the factories and came on the roads, chanting slogans against the factories’ administrations.
The union leaders while addressing the protesters said the industrialists were sucking their blood without giving salaries and other dues due to which they have face starvation.
They termed it violation of their fundamental rights and a criminal act.
They warned the both industries should release their dues within one week otherwise they would hold province wide strike.
read more.
NATIONnew

20150401 * Govt withholds notifications of new textile policy:

The government is delaying to issue notification for Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), hindering the industry from undertaking BMR and fresh investment initiatives for textile industry.

The federal government has withheld the notifications of initiatives under the Textile Policy 2014-19, to avail the terms of Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).
Consequently, serious structural imbalances have occurred across the textile value chain, as 25% of the basic textile worth $4 billion is being exported annually without converting into garments due to the non-existence of backward and forward linkages to add value up to $15 billion exports.
read more.
NATIONnew

20150403 * Prime Minister urged to appoint minister for textile:

The absence of a textile minister and the proposed merger of textile and commerce ministry under the Ministry of Commerce is creating uncertainty and negatively affecting the major export earner of the country, sources told to Business Recorder.

Official sources said the ministry”s performance lacked co-ordination after Senator Abbas Khan Afridi left as Minister last month on completion of his tenure as senator and no new appointment has so far been made to fill the slot.
Most of the important decisions regarding textile policy, Export Development Fund (EDF) and budget preparation exercise for the next financial year are hanging in the balance.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER BUSINESSRECORDER

20150401 * Aptma slams delay in technology fund scheme:

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has lamented the inordinate delay in the issuance of notification for Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).

In a press release issued on Tuesday, Aptma Chairman S M Tanveer said that the delay was hindering the BMR and fresh investment in the textile industry.

“There has been no meaningful up-gradation in the sector since 2006. Consequently, serious structural imbalances have occurred across the textile value chain, as 25 per cent of the basic textile worth $4 billion is being exported annually without value addition. The restructuring would create jobs,” he said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DAWNnew thenewspk BUSINESSRECORDER

20150403 * Rates soar on sustained demand by spinners:

Prices extended overnight gains on the cotton market on Thursday as ginners were not ready to oblige mills and spinners, anticipating further rise in the coming days, dealers said.

The official spot rate was higher by Rs 50 to Rs 5200, dealers said. In the ready session, around 6,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 5000 and Rs 5475, they said.

The prices of seed cotton in Sindh were at Rs 1800 and Rs 2400 and in Punjab rates were at Rs 2000 and Rs 2800, they said.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150401 * Cotton prices surge on strong demand:

Cotton prices surged up to a new high on strong demand from spinners provoked by dwindling stocks held by ginners for the current season’s crop.

Though there is slow off-take of cotton yarn, depleted cotton stocks with ginners are creating panic buying from needy spinners who are eager to replenish their stocks.

The rising tension in the Middle East owing to Yemen crisis has started jolting world markets, including cotton, as prices stared to move down. However, prices in domestic market moved higher owing to short supply of quality lint and dwindling stocks.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DAWNnew thenewspk ynfx

       THE BALDIA FACTORY FIRE

20150403 * JIT clears Shakeel alias Chhota in Baldia factory fire case:

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) interrogating Shakeel alias Chhota, declared him innocent late on Thursday night, in the Baldia factory fire case.

The JIT deemed the statements of the accused to be against the facts.

Police had arrested Shakeel on March 22 and had claimed that, in his confession he admitted that he along with other accomplices set fire to Baldia factory in which more than 250 workers were burnt alive.

According to police, Shakeel was apprehended from the precincts of Preedy Police Station.

The accused said he along with his accomplices loaded a chemical container onto a vehicle and carried it to Baldia town to set the target on fire.
He said that they first tied the factory’s security guard and then ignited fire near its power generator.
to read.
thenewspk

SOUTH AFRICA

20150401 * Centralised State Procurement:

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) congratulates National Treasury on the new centralised tender portal, etenders.gov.za, which is supposed to ‘go live’ today.

It is a major step forward towards a more effective and more transparent tender system.
For SACTWU, the etender portal is a significant first step. However we believe that even greater benefits can be attained if procurement itself – particularly of clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) products – are centralised.
We urge National Treasury to adopt this practice for CTFL products without delay.

At present, State procurement is an extremely decentralised activity in which many hundreds of different public institutions are enabled to procure goods and services.
Up until now these institutions have advertised their tenders in a chaotic array of media – on websites, newspapers, provincial bulletins, and the government tender bulletin.
It has been an extremely challenging task for any interested party (whether a business wishing to supply government or a trade union wishing to monitor government spending) to simply determine at any moment in time exactly what kinds of goods and services the State requires.
It has also not been possible to track how and to whom tenders are awarded, since this information is very poorly published.
read more.
SACTWU

 

 

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

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 8: 20150302-NOW

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* High profile strike at Zhongshan bag manufacturer enters tenth day

NORTH KOREA
* S. Korea not budging on Kaesong wage row

VIET NAM
* Gov’t agrees with workers on amendment to social insurance
* Striking workers at Pou Yuen Plant return to work
* Vietnam promises tweak to social insurance policy after wildcat strike
* Gov’t to ask legislature to revise social insurance rule over striking workers’ proposal
* Ministry says to listen to striking workers
* Opinions sought for Social Labour Law
* Ministry says to listen to striking workers
* Strike trips up Nike’s Vietnam factory
* New social insurance rule sparks worker strike in Ho Chi Minh City
* Despite strike, Vietnam is Asia’s new manufacturing powerhouse
* Vietnamese firms urged to demand TPP transparency, spell out concerns
* Footwear exports surge high
* Fire destroys Tan Phu mattress workshop
* Do sweatshops make more profits?

CAMBODIA
* Equipment on block to meet debts

INDONESIA
* Indonesian unions strengthen unity towards IndustriALL goals

THAILAND
* FTI rejects proposed wage hike
* Workers ask for B360 minimum wage
* BOI okays full privileges for 13 industries in five SEZs

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Myanmar to pursue sustainable garment sector
* Investment law ‘could lead to human rights problems’
* Building trade unions in Myanmar

BANGLADESH
* NGWF demand withdrawal of cases against Grameen Knitwear workers
* Workers demand reinstatement their job
* RMG factory shut as 100 workers fall sick after ‘eating its snacks’
* Over 100 RMG workers fall sick in Ashulia
* Evicted 300 families form human chain demanding rehabilitation
* Jute acreage, output fell drastically in 2014
* $500m ‘green fund’ for textile sector
* NBR to avoid double audit of export-oriented industries
* FBCCI chief sanguine about $50b garment exports
* New challenge to garment sector: Sri Lanka
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* Primark pays out 668 Rana Plaza victims

INDIA
* Mind the gap: Living Wages report
* Minimum wages hiked by 5% in Delhi
* Girl workers physically, sexually exploited, reveals survey
* ATF trade unions sternly oppose move to lease out mill by govt
* ‘Change in labour laws will create bonded labourers’
* Labour department seeks industry views on changes in laws
* AFT mill staff lay siege
* Textiles sector disappointed, says hasn’t got its due
* Budget no cheer for handloom weavers
* Sops for SEZs in government’s export boost
* Foreign trade policy to be announced today
* 20 clusters to be formed in Tirupur
* Freight forwarders’ strike affects movement of apparel goods
* India’s cotton exports to slump 41% as China buys less
* Cotton body cuts output estimate
* Fire in Gandhi Nagar cloth market
* TNPCB officials booked under Corruption Act

SRI LANKA
* EU – Sri lanka to work out Terms of Reference
* Sri Lanka should look at regional trade and be less Europe centric: Official
* EU considering Sri Lanka’s request to grant GSP+ concession, lift ban on fish exports

PAKISTAN
* Unpaid labourers take to the streets
* Govt withholds notifications of new textile policy
* Prime Minister urged to appoint minister for textile
* Aptma slams delay in technology fund scheme
* Rates soar on sustained demand by spinners
* Cotton prices surge on strong demand
THE BALDIA FACTORY FIRE:
* JIT clears Shakeel alias Chhota in Baldia factory fire case

SOUTH AFRICA
* Centralised State Procurement

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