in the news 23-26 June 2015

09:49:25 local time map of china CHINA

20150626 * OPEN LETTER TO UNIQLO: Respect labour rights Cut & Run cannot help the workers!:

Regarding the public statement released on 17th June by Fast Retailing, it claims that the company is looking into the reported strike in its supplier Artigas Clothing & Leatherware Factory (hereafter Artigas) and urges Lever Style, which manages Artigas, to have thorough discussion with the workers for a peaceful resolution.

If the situation is not promptly solved, Fast retailing will re-assess the relationship with Lever Style such as ending the partnership.
We recognize the public response made by Fast Retailing and we also agree that ensuring human rights and appropriate working conditions are of the utmost importance.

However, until now, Lever Style still rejects to have any thorough discussion with workers even after the warning from Fast Retailing.
Workers have also released an open letter on the 23rd urging for a fair negotiation with the company about the settlement and compensation of the factory closure. Unfortunately, Lever Style turns a deaf ear to the workers’ rational demands and suppressed the workers actions by calling police to interrupt.

A female worker, aged 50, is still detained since the first day of strike on 8th June. No details about the compensation and social insurance to workers were given.
read more.
SACOM 2

20150622 * Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation:

Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta has long been known as the factory to the world.

However, as production costs have increased over the last few years and economic growth has slowed, thousands of manufacturers have relocated, merged or simply closed down.

In the vast majority of these cases, factory owners or management did not consult the workforce over their relocation plans and simply announced the move as a fait accompli, offering workers only minimal compensation or even nothing at all. In response, workers at many of these factories took collective action in an attempt to force their employer to give them a better deal.

Many of these workers had been employed in the same factory for more than ten or even 20 years; they had established roots in the local community and had children in school.

Any relocation would be a major disruption to their lives.
Moreover, in many cases, their employer had never paid the social insurance, housing fund and other welfare benefits required by law, and as such these workers risked being laid off with no pension or medical insurance and little prospect of finding another job.
For middle-aged workers in particular, there was a compelling incentive to make sure they had everything they were owed before the factory closed down for good.
read more (incl. overview).
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

20150625 * China takes a few tentative steps towards social security reform:

China will lower employers’ contribution rates for work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance from 1 October this year, the State Council announced yesterday, 24 June.

The average contribution rates for work-related injury insurance will be reduced from 1.0 percent to 0.75 percent, and the maximum rate for maternity insurance will fall from 1.0 percent to 0.5 percent, a move which, the State Council said, should save China’s enterprises around 27 billion yuan a year.
The precise contribution rates for the funds will vary according to industry and region.

This proposed adjustment follows an announcement by the State Council on 25 February this year that overall contribution rates for unemployment insurance will fall from 3.0 percent to 2.0 percent.
Both employees and employers contribute towards unemployment insurance but only employers pay for work-related injury and maternity insurance.
read more.
CHINA LABOR Bulletin

20150625 * Technology is more than a fashion trend for firms in garment city:

Rising labor costs and cutthroat competition are forcing the garment industry in Dongguan to invest in robotic technology to increase the bottom line.

High-tech machines from Germany, Italy, the United States and Japan have been installed, along with Chinese lines, as clothing companies struggle to recruit unskilled staff in the battle against cheaper rivals from Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

Located in South China’s Guangdong province, Dongguan is known as the capital of China’s garment industry. Last year, the city’s 520 manufacturers exported $7.5 billion worth of apparel products and fashion accessories, according to Huangpu Customs.
This was a rise of 3.8 percent compared to 2013, but a far cry from 2008 when the city shipped goods worth $113 billion. In a bid to retain global market share, investment has increased and even skilled staff have been trimmed.

“High-end garment machines have become popular with factory owners as they reduce spending on training skilled workers,” Chen Yaohua, chairman of Dongguan Association of Textile and Garment Industry, said. “Most of the factories in Dongguan have installed cloth-making machines imported from Germany, Italy, the US and Japan along with homegrown technology.”

Even so, there are still more than 13,600 unskilled job vacancies in the sector, Li Ganqiu, spokesman for the Dongguan Economic Development, Science and Information Technology Bureau, pointed out.

“Although nearly all the garment factories in the city are equipped with different types of machines and levels of technology, many are still short of hands,” Li said.

Wages have also become a problem.
The average monthly salary of a garment worker soared to about 3,200 yuan ($516) in March, a 12 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Part of the reason for the increase is that factory owners need to pay employees more for working extra shifts.
This comes at a time when cheaper fashion products are rolling off the production lines in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

To combat mounting competition, the industry, which is labor-intensive, has turned to technology.
Garment-making machines can be operated by fewer workers and this can cut costs by more than 30 percent as well as boosting productivity by 40 percent.
read more.
ECNS.CN

20150625 * China to boost textile industry in Xinjiang:

China’s cabinet issued a guideline on Thursday to bolster the textile and garment industry in the western Xinjiang region in the hope of increasing local employment and exports.

The country plans to build Xinjiang into a major textile base by 2020 to facilitate exports to its western neighbors, according to the State Council.

The guideline specifies investment in industrial parks in Aksu, Shihezi, Korla and Alaer, and a focus on clothing, knitting and carpet industries in southern Xinjiang.

A major cotton base that boasts sufficient raw materials and low labor costs, the areas are eyed by the government as the site of a new pillar industry as enterprises in the country’s east have started to transplant factories and explore new markets.
read more. & to read. & to read.
XINHUAnet CHINAORG GLOBALTIMES

20150624 * China’s textile and apparel exports cross $100 billion:

The exports of textiles and apparel from China crossed the $100 billion mark in the first five months of 2015, according to the data released by the General Administration of Customs.

During January-May 2015, China’s total textile and garment exports stood at $103.036 billion, showing a drop of 3.5 per cent year-on-year. Of this, textile exports fell 1.3 per cent to $43.446 billion while clothing exports dropped 5.1 per cent to $59.59 billion.

In terms of RMB, China’s total textile and apparel exports declined 3.4 per cent to 631.86 billion yuan during the five-month period. Category-wise, textile exports decreased 1.2 per cent to 266.468 billion yuan, whereas garment exports were down 5 per cent to 365.392 billion yuan, the data showed.
read more.
VINATEX

20150625 * US, China appear to get little done in removing economic barriers:

The United States and China urged each other on Wednesday to remove barriers to foreign investment, saying that business ties were vital to overall relations, although they appeared to achieve little beyond rhetoric at a high profile three-day meeting that was overshadowed by security rivalries.

Speaking to leading US and Chinese CEOs on the final day of talks in Washington, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said that while investment cooperation had made significant progress, “there are still problems and obstacles and this requires new ways of thinking, cooperation and policy environment.”

While the world’s two largest economies have $590 billion in two-way trade, efforts to secure a bilateral investment treaty have been stalled for seven years.

China upset US firms when it imposed new financial cybersecurity rules that would effectively replace foreign tech products in bank systems after former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed that US spy agencies had planted code in technology exports.
read more.
FREEMALAYSIATODAY

20150626 * The shifting qualities of ‘Made in China’:

The development of manufacturing industry has been a key contributor to China’s economic transformation.
This will be so in China’s next stages of development too.

According to World Bank data, China’s manufacturing industry now accounts for almost 20 percent of global manufacturing output.
This production quantity is impressive, if not staggering, but the macroeconomic factors that led to China’s comparative advantage are now rapidly eroding and giving way to a “new normal”, which is characterized by rising labor and operating costs, persistent periods of sluggish international demand, and an increasingly sophisticated domestic consumer with rising quality standards and rapidly changing tastes.
As a result, domestic manufacturing growth has been slowing at a more rapid rate than the broader economy.

If China’s massive manufacturing base – deliberately developed over many years – to remain a major source of domestic employment and economic activity, it must rapidly transform and upgrade.
To engineer this redirection in the industry, Premier Li Keqiang has put forward a concept dubbed “Made in China 2025”, and the State Council, China’s Cabinet, has set up a leading group for the ambitious plan.
read more.
CHINAORG

09:49:25 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20150624 * ‘Labor inspectors prone to bribes, harassment’:

Labor law enforcers of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are prone to bribes and vulnerable to harassment from erring businessmen and employers, according to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa).

The group said some of its representatives to the joint assessment of DOLE on the establishments around and near the Kentex factory in Valenzuela City experienced being bribed by the employers.

“We have empirical experience where in many instances LLCOs (labor law compliance officers) and labor group representatives were bribed with hard cash during and before the conduct of onsite assessment a few weeks ago,” TUCP-Nagkaisa spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.
read more.
philstarNEW

KENTEX

20150625 * Lawyer: Kentex fire victims’ kin to pursue criminal raps despite P150k settlement:

Families of the Kentex factory fire victims will push through with filing criminal charges against the company despite some receiving compensation for case.

“Nilinaw nila na ang inareglo nila yung civil case lamang at walang makakapigil sa kanila sa pagpatuloy ng kanilang sinampang criminal case sa Office of the Prosecutor ng Valenzuela City,” Atty. Remigio Saladero told GMA News TV’s “Balitanghali” on Thursday.

Kentex Manufacturing Corporation lawyer Atty. Renato Paraiso said earlier that 57 families signed quit-claims, waivers, and releases to receive P151,200.

Saladero admitted that he didn’t know if the waivers precluded the possibility of filing criminal charges against the factory owners, but argued that Kentex did not file their quit-claims to the right group.
read more.
GMAnews

20150625 * KMU: Settlement does not absolve officials of liability:

While respecting the decision of 57 families to accept the settlement offered by Kentex Manufacturing Corp., the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) yesterday said charges against government officials liable over the tragic May 13 fire in Valenzuela City must push through.

KMU chairman Elmer Labog said the private settlement does not absolve officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of their accountability.

He said there is clear accountability on the part of DOLE since it issued the Certificate of Compliance to Kentex while the DILG has jurisdiction over the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Last Tuesday, the families of at least 57 victims agreed to a P151,200 total compensation settlement each, which includes P100,000 in death benefits, P30,000 cash for the identification of the remains of the victims; P10,000 burial assistance; P6,200 for funeral service; and P5,000 travel assistance.
read more.
MaLAYAbusiness INSIGHT

20150624 * Despite reaching settlement with victims’ kin, Kentex not yet off the hook – Baldoz:

Kentex Manufacturing Corp. is not yet off the hook despite the reported decision of some of the victims from its razed factory in Valenzuela City to accept its settlement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a text message, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the agreement did not absolve the rubber footwear company from possible criminal liabilities for its alleged violations of the government laws and regulations.

She said Kentex could still be prosecuted by the government through the Department of Justice (DOJ).

On Tuesday, Kentex announced that at least 57 victims from razed factory last month have already accepted its R151,200 compensation package in exchange for waiving their right to file civil, criminal and administrative charges against its officers and directors.

Baldoz disclosed the government would still have to verify the circumstances surrounding this incident to ensure the settlement was completed without coercion from Kentex.

“They (Kentex) can present quit claim as proof of payment and workers will be asked to appear to confirm that the act was done voluntarily. This is without prejudice to the criminal case to be filed by DOJ,” Baldoz said.
read more.
MANILABULLETIN

20150624 * Kentex still liable amid settlement with victims’ families:

Kentex Manufacturing Corp. is still not off the hook yet despite the reported decision of some of the victims from its razed factory in Valenzuela City to accept its settlement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a text message, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the agreement does not absolve the rubber footwear company from its possible criminal liabilities for its alleged violations of the government laws and regulations.
read more.
MANILABULLETIN

20150624 * 57 families of Kentex fire dead settle as firm insists ‘no liability’:

Families of 57 of the 72 persons who died in the country’s worst factory fire have dropped their claims against Kentex Manufacturing in exchange for a P151,200 settlement, a company lawyer said Tuesday.

The families of more of the workers who died in the May 13 fire at the two-story factory in Valenzuela City are expected eventually to agree to the settlement, said lawyer Renato Paraiso as he maintained that Kentex was not to blame for the blaze since it was started by sparks from welders hired from a third company to repair a gate.

“We have no liability regarding what happened. It is just the moral obligation of the management in looking after the workers,” he said.

The fire at the rubber slippers factory, which claimed 72 lives, sparked outrage over the allegedly unsafe conditions which contributed to the high death toll.

Labor groups also denounced Kentex for relying on contract laborers who were not paid regular salaries.
read more.
interaksyon

20150624 * More bones, body parts found in debris of burned Kentex factory:

Authorities have found more bones and body parts more than a month after the fire gutted a rubber slipper factory that killed 72 people in Valenzuela City.

According to Senior Supt. Emmanuel Aranas, deputy chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, they have recovered bones and body parts last Saturday and Monday afternoon under the roof of the building that crashed during the fire.

However, he told the Camanava Press Corps that it would be difficult for them to quickly identify the sexual characteristics of the recovered body parts.

The PNP decided to return to the site inside the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. compound on Tatalon Street, Barangay Ugong after two families sought assistance in locating the bodies of two more workers who might have also been trapped in the collapsing roof.
read more.
tribune

20150623 * Kentex factory fire probe to continue even after settlement –Palace:

The government will continue its investigation on the deadly Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela last May even after some of the victims’ relatives agreed to settle with the company, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In a text message, deputy presidential spokesperson Usec. Abigail Valte acknowledged the victims’ families have the prerogative to accept any settlement.
“It must be respected,” Valte told reporters.

The Palace official, however, said that the victims’ families’ decision to settle with Kentex will not affect the government’s ongoing probe on the fire incident, which left over 70 people dead.

“Any settlement cannot bind government in as far as investigations on violations of existing rules and regulations are concerned,” Valte said.
read more. & read more. & read more.
GMAnews MANILABULLETIN philstarNEW

20150623 * Kentex victims’ settlement won’t stop probe on deadly fire:

The government probe on the deadly May 13 factory fire in Valenzuela will continue despite the victims’ settlement with Kentex Manufacturing Corp., Malacañang said Tuesday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace respects the decision of the 57 fire victims’ families to agree to a total compensation package worth P151,200 each.

But the families’ settlement will not stop government from investigating the tragedy.

“The prerogative to accept any settlement belongs to the victims’ families and it must be respected. However, any settlement cannot bind government as far investigations on violations of existing rules and regulations are concerned,” Valte said in a text message to reporters.

The investigation of a government task force found earlier that the Kentex fire was caused by sparks from the welding operation near the factory door which ignited chemicals that were stored in the area.
read more.
philstarNEW

20150623 * Victims of worst Philippine factory fire settle for $3,360:

Families of 57 of the dead in the Philippines’ worst factory fire have dropped their claims against the company in exchange for a 151,200-peso ($3,360) settlement, a company lawyer said Tuesday.

Families of more of the workers who died in the May 13 fire at the two-storey Kentex Manufacturing factory in suburban Manila are expected eventually to agree to the settlement, said Kentex lawyer Renato Paraiso.

The fire at the factory which makes rubber slippers claimed 72 lives and sparked outrage over the allegedly unsafe conditions which contributed to the high death toll.

Labour groups also denounced Kentex for relying on contract labourers who were not paid regular salaries.

However Paraiso said the settlement includes a waiver against any further claims against Kentex.
“More or less, we gave them what is due to them,” he told AFP.
read more. & read more. & read more.& read more.
BangkokPostNEW ManilaSTANDARDtoday ABS CBN tribune

08:49:25 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150625 * Work-related lung disorders affect many:

Nearly 28,000 people suffer from occupational diseases in Viet Nam, reports released at a scientific conference on lung cancer and work-related lung diseases in Ha Noi said on Wednesday.

The number could be higher, the reports at the conference organised by the National Lung Hospital said, adding there were six work-related lung diseases.

Nearly 2 million workers, or nearly four per cent of the country’s workers, underwent health examination in 2012, the health ministry (MoH) said.
read more.
VNNews new

20150626 * Apparel sector looks to US$27.5 billion exports this year:

Vietnam’s apparel exports have slowed this year compared to last year but the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) is pinning high hopes that the industry can achieve export revenue of around US$27.5 billion this year.

The target was unveiled by Vinatex’s general director Nguyen Tien Truong at a review meeting in Hanoi last week, VietnamPlus reports.

According to Vinatex, Vietnam’s apparel shipments this year have increased 10.26% year-on-year to US$12.8 billion. The growth is lower than the 19% recorded last year.

The United States is the biggest export market for Vietnamese apparel as it has imported apparel worth US$5.18 billion this year, up more than 11% over a year ago and accounting for 42% of Vietnam’s total apparel exports.

Apparel revenue from the European Union has gone up by 8.2% year-on-year to US$1.45 billion.
Apparel exports to Japan and South Korea have reached US$1.3 billion and US$948 million in the January-June respectively.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 26/6 (12th item). & read more.
VNNet VIETNAMplus

20150625 * Garment exports rise in first six months:

20150625 VNNews
Vinatex earned $1.7 billion from exports in the first six months of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

The value of Viet Nam’s textile and garment exports reached US$12.18 billion in the first six months of this year, the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) said.

It was a 10.26 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.

The United States continued to be the largest importer of Viet Nam’s textile and garment products, accounting for 42 per cent of the national total export value of $5.18 billion, a surge of 11.01 per cent.
It was followed by the European Union, which imported $1.45 billion worth of Vietnamese apparel, up 8.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the value of Vietnamese textile and garment exports to Japan and South Korea reached $1.3 billion and $948 million, respectively, Vinatex said. Exports to Japan and South Korea in the first half of this year were expected to grow 7.3 per cent and 8.33 per cent, respectively, against the same period last year.

Vinatex said Viet Nam was the second largest garment and textile exporter in Japan and South Korea after China, and that the nation was continuing to expand its market share in these countries.

Vinatex earned $1.7 billion from exports in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 10.7 per cent. The group’s total revenue hit VND24.2 trillion ($1.12 billion) during the period, up 9.6 per cent, it said.
read more.
VNNews new

20150624 * Vietnam Becomes World’s Fourth Largest Garment Exporter:

Vietnam is now the fourth largest textile exporter in the world with US$12.18 billion earned from these products in the first six months of this year, according to the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).

The figure represented a 10.26 per cent increase from the same period last year, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

The US, South Korea and the European Union were the biggest importers of Vietnamese products, posting growth rates of 11.01 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively, against the same period last year.

Vinatex General Director Le Tien Truong said the results are a positive sign which will enable Vietnam’s garment industry to achieve its set target of US$27 billion to US$27.5 billion in export value this year.
read more. & read more.& read more. & read more.
VIETNAMplus VNNet  BERNAMA ynfx

20150623 * Vietnam amends unpopular social-insurance law:

Vietnam’s National Assembly has backtracked on a controversial social-insurance law that sparked massive protests earlier this year.

The lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution allowing labourers to receive a one-time payment when they resigned instead of getting a monthly allowance when they retire, the government said on its website late Monday.

Last year, the Communist Party-dominated assembly passed a social-insurance law that requires labourers to wait until their retirement age — 60 for men and 55 for women — to get the allowance, saying the government wants the workers to have a stable life after their retirement.
That law would have taken effect Jan 1.

In March, tens of thousands of workers at a major footwear factory in southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City went on a week-long strike to protest the law.
They said they preferred the lump sum to help pay for their daily needs while seeking new jobs.

The stoppage at the Taiwanese-owned factory producing shoes for Nike and Adidas was a rare challenge to communist authorities over policy issues, although strikes over low pay and poor working conditions are common.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

20150626 * EU warns FTA means VN reform:

Once the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement (FTA) is signed, Viet Nam will need to renovate its economic policies and institutions and be prepared for agreement enforcement, said Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen yesterday.

Speaking at a workshop on the FTA, jointly held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and the Danish Embassy, Nielsen said that challenges accompanied the agreement, including requirements to improve product quality, competitiveness and the business and investment climate.
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VNNews new NHANDAN VIETNAMplus

20150625 * Exports to EU to increase 10% by 2025:

As a result of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), experts at a seminar on June 25 in Hanoi said the trade boom shows no signs of abating anytime soon and Vietnam’s exports to the EU could very well increase by 10% over the next ten years.

Speaking at the seminar,Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) President Nguyen Dinh Cung underscored the importance of institutional reforms in the country and the international economic integration process.
read more.
VOVonline

20150625 * EU-funded project helps boost Vietnam-EU trade ties:

The European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), which aims to enhance Vietnam’s international trade integration and boost Vietnam-EU trade ties, recorded positive results, heard a seminar in Hanoi on June 25.

Addressing the event, which was co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the European Union to review the implementation of the project, Director of the Ministry’s Department of Trade Promotion and EU-MUTRAP Director Buy Huy Son said through various activities, the project helped improve the building of trade and investment policies in Vietnam.

It also assisted Vietnam in promoting its trade links with the EU and other partners, thus boosting the country’s global integration.
read more.
VIETNAMplus

20150624 * Good progress on Vietnam-EU free trade deal:

The progress on and quality of negotiations for an EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) have been ensured, making the target for the conclusion of the talks feasible, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said following his working session with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom in Brussels on June 23.

The two sides are coming close to completing the talks three years after the launch of negotiations and 13 official negotiation rounds and a number of mid-term ones, the minister said.

The efforts of Vietnam ’s negotiation team have paid off, he said, adding that there are few remaining issues in the talks.
read more.
VIETNAMplus

08:49:25 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150624 * Trade Unions Agree on $177 Wage Demand:

A group of nine trade unions representing some of the country’s 700,000 garment workers agreed on Monday to push for a $177 monthly minimum wage for the sector during fast-approaching negotiations, matching the figure they unsuccessfully lobbied for last year.

A group of nine trade unions representing some of the country’s 700,000 garment workers agreed on Monday to push for a $177 monthly minimum wage for the sector during fast-approaching negotiations, matching the figure they unsuccessfully lobbied for last year.

The Labor Ministry raised the minimum wage from $100 to $128 in December, disappointing some unions but appeasing them enough to stave off the crippling strikes and protests that hit the multibillion-dollar sector in late 2013.

Unions, employers and the government are set to start the monthslong process of setting next year’s minimum wage in a few weeks. Nine of the country’s independent unions met in Phnom Penh on Monday to set their demands.

“We have decided to discuss $177 with the government and employers,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, the largest independent union in the country.

“We chose this number because there was a study that found out how much workers need to cover their expenses,” said Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina, who joined the meeting.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150626 * Factory Truck Crashes Into Protesting Workers, Injuring Four:

A man was arrested Thursday after he plowed his truck into a group of protesting workers at a South Korean-owned garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, seriously injuring four women, one of whom was pregnant, officials said.

About 500 workers from the S.H. International garment factory in Pur Senchey have been on strike since May 28 after the South Korean manager abandoned the factory without paying workers for the month of May, said Hing Bunthoeun, vice president of the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit.

On Thursday morning, about 100 garment workers were blocking the gate to the factory when a company representative appeared with an injunction from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordering them to return to work, angering the group further, said Phann Yoeun, 36, who was among the protesters.

“They called us back to work, but no one paid us. How can we work?” she said.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150624 * W&D garment strike settled:

About two weeks after walking off the job, some 1,700 workers at a Phnom Penh garment factory said they would return to work after management agreed to several concessions.

About two weeks after walking off the job, some 1,700 workers at a Phnom Penh garment factory said they would return to work after management agreed to several concessions.

In addition to conceding to 10 of the workers’ 12 demands, W&D (Cambodia) Co in the capital’s Meanchey district agreed to drop criminal complaints against union representatives, said Sous Daro, president of the Cambodian Workers Union Federation at W&D.

“We agreed to end the strike after the company agreed to withdraw its complaint against 13 union members in the factory, who were accused of provoking a protest and damage of factory property,” Daro said.

“All the workers agreed to return to work tomorrow.”
Meas Sareth, administrative manager at W&D, declined to comment yesterday.
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PPP new

20150626 * Cold-case union killings to be probed:

The government has formed a special inter-ministerial commission to investigate the murders of three union leaders, including the slaying of former Free Trade Union (FTU) president Chea Vichea, whose brother and successor was yesterday among voices cynical of the move.

The directive, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 and obtained yesterday, assigns seven high-ranking officials from seven different ministries to investigate the deaths of Vichea, assassinated in January 2004, as well as FTU factory presidents Ros Sovannareth and Hy Vuthy, shot dead in May 2004 and February 2007, respectively.

Authorities have long faced local and international pressure to bring the perpetrators to justice for the slayings, which have been linked to the trio’s union activities.

Opposition-aligned Vichea, the high-profile victim who helped establish the FTU with now-opposition leader Sam Rainsy, was gunned down in broad daylight by two men near Phnom Penh’s Wat Langka pagoda.

National Police Commissioner General Neth Savoeun and military police Commander Sao Sokha – both ranking police officials at the time of the murders – have been tapped for the team, which, according to the document, will be led by a yet-to-be-named secretary of state from the Interior Ministry.
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PPP new Cambodia_Daily_logo KHMERTIMES

20150624 * More talk, fewer strikes: study:

In a new study of Cambodia’s garment and footwear industry, the independent conflict resolution Arbitration Council has found that labour strikes are often triggered by factors that could be avoided through better communication between workers and management.

Data from the study – which will be published next month – was presented to union, civil society, factory and government representatives last week, at a convention on labour relations in the Kingdom’s largest export industry.

“The primary aim is to assist parties in being better able to resolve disputes without escalating to strike action,” Men Nimmith, executive director of the Arbitration Council, said in a statement.

“By analysing the industrial relations community’s views on strikes, we can have a better idea of how to improve labour relations.”
read more.
PPP new

20150512 SAY NO Cambodia

20150624 * CPP Lawmakers Press Ahead With NGO Law:

20150624 CD
Protesters opposed to a draft law regulating the country’s NGOs march away from the National Assembly, where parliament’s permanent committee met Tuesday morning to discuss the legislation. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

More than 100 protesters rallied outside the National Assembly on Tuesday morning as opposition lawmakers made an unsuccessful effort to block their ruling-party counterparts from pushing ahead with a contentious law to regulate the hundreds of NGOs in the country.

“We will not vote for any political parties who raise their hands to vote for the law on associations and non-governmental organizations,” said Vorn Pao, a prominent labor leader who was among those leading the demonstration.

But just as the Council of Ministers approved the law earlier this month despite vocal opposition from NGO leaders and the international community, CPP lawmakers on the National Assembly’s 13-member permanent committee Tuesday decided to move forward with the controversial legislation.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150624 * CPP-run commissions alone to review LANGO:

Hours after hundreds of protesters at the National Assembly called for the withdrawal of the controversial draft law on associations and non-governmental organisations (LANGO), the legislative body announced that only ruling CPP-led commissions would be reviewing the heavily criticised bill.

National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun said the Commission on the Interior, National Defense and Civil Service Administration; the Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media; and the Commission on Legislation and Justice have been chosen to review the legislation.

“If the laws are bad, we have to return them to the government, and if the laws are acceptable, we forward them to the National Assembly to adopt,” he said.
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PPP new

* Let’s See ‘NGO Law’ for What It Is: a Muzzle on Dissenting Voices:

After much public discussion, and following your article, “CPP Lawmakers Press Ahead with NGO Law” (Cambodia Daily dated 24 June, 2015), LICADHO wishes to address a general misunderstanding of the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO).

LANGO is not a simply an “NGO law” impacting a few hundred NGOs. The law’s mandatory registration provisions apply to any group of people who join together to pursue any common cause, no matter their purpose or level of organization. Given the political context in Cambodia, we view this as a concerted effort to stop grassroots and community based organizations in their tracks. No registration, no community based organizations, no voices.

LANGO’s threat cannot be understated. The law will give the government ultimate control over who can operate as citizens’ groups and community based organizations.
If the authorities don’t like what you are doing, they will stop you, weaken your organization, and blacklist your leaders. These are not benign requirements to sign a register and provide some bank statements.

The real purpose of this law is to exercise control over groups of citizens who want to speak out.

LANGO will firmly establish the Ministry of the Interior as a gatekeeper, registering only those domestic NGOs and associations it deems fit and criminalizing the activities of all unregistered groups.
read more.
licadho

09:49:25 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20150623 * Indonesian yarn markers want safeguard duty on yarn imports:

Yarn producers in Indonesia have urged the government to impose a temporary safeguard duty on imported yarn, which they claim is severely damaging the local producers.

Local yarns, especially made of polyester, were unable to compete with the cheaper imported yarns due to their high cost of production.

Redma G Wirawasta, secretary-general The Asosiasi Produsen Synthetic Fiber Indonesia (APSyFI) stated on 22 June that many overseas yarn producers, facing weak global demand, dumped their goods on the Indonesian market and sell them at prices lower that local produce.
Redma added that with the temporary safeguard duty, local downstream textile companies would use locally made yarn products.

He said, “We have seen a rising demand for textile and garment products in recent years as our middle-class population has grown.
But most of the garments use large amounts of imported yarns. We hope that the government helps the yarn producers until there is a stable supply and demand in the global market.”
read more.
ynfx

08:49:25 local time map of thailand THAILAND

20150626 * PM brushes aside wage rise demand:

Take country’s needs into account, he says

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

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

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

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

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

20150626 * Prayut rules out increase in daily minimum wage:

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

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

20150625 * Activists rally Thursday for 20% wage hike:

Minimum pay fails to keep up with inflation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20150624 * Floating wage plan falls to earth:

The business sector has urged the government to delay a floating minimum wage plan or any policy that would push the daily wage above 300 baht, as it would push consumer prices higher and have a negative impact on the economy, says the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB).

Industries (FTI), a component of the committee, said the FTI had worked with the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) on the issue by conducting a survey and questioning 1,303 companies.

The poll found 21.8% disagreed with the plan to float the minimum daily wage or raise the wage above 300 baht.

Moreover, 18.2% said the daily wage for skilled labour should be increased appropriately, while 15.5% said wages should be based on the cost of living in each province.

Another 13.6% said the government should ask for comments from the business sector before taking any decision to raise the minimum wage.
read more.
BangkokPostNEW

20150624 * FTI calls for any wage hike to be considered province by province:

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has called for the government to set up a tripartite committee to consider changes in the minimum wage on a provincial basis, while most enterprises want to delay a wage hike amidst uncertainty about recovering growth and concern over the impact of drought.

The FTI’s Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) dropped to a one-year low in May, when the decline from 86.2 to 85.4 points was the fifth consecutive monthly fall.“The minimum wage should be maintained in the current economic circumstances.

If a change is to be made, it must be considered by all parties, while many factors should be given weight, including inflation, each province’s situation, labour capability, and supply and demand,” FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said yesterday.

(…)
As to wage adjustment, the FTI chairman suggested that a tripartite committee composed of representatives from the government, employers and employees should consider any increase in the minimum wage, and that a single figure should not be imposed nationwide.
read more.
theNATIONnew

08:19:25 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150626 * Proposed K3600 minimum wage draws mixed response from workers, employers:

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

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

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

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

20150625 * National minimum wage proposal agreed at K3600:

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

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

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

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

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

20150624 * Govt to Opt for Middle Ground on Minimum Wage Demands:

A two-day workshop in Rangoon has failed to find common ground between workers’ representatives and employers, as the Burmese government prepares to implement an official minimum wage in the coming months.

The National Committee on Minimum Wage, which met on Wednesday at Rangoon’s Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, expects to unveil an interim minimum wage proposal before the end of June, which will give employer and labor groups 60 days to lodge complaints before a final decision is approved by the Union government.

Labor unions on Wednesday pushed for a 4000 kyats (US$3.60) daily base rate, while garment factory owners at the meeting held firm to a daily rate of 2500 kyats ($2.25). Employer groups are also calling for different minimum wages across other industries.

Myo Aung, director-general of the Department of Labor, proposed a floor wage of 3600 kyats (US$3.25), reflecting a consensus proposal arrived at by state and divisional labor departments, but failed to satisfy either side. Nonetheless, a member of the committee told The Irrawaddy that “it will likely be that amount”.

The Union Parliament passed a Minimum Wage Law in March 2013. It took until January this year for the Ministry of Labor to begin a household expenses survey that will be used to assist in formulating the minimum wage.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

20150624 * Wage war:

20150624 dvb
Rangoon factory conditions (PHOTO: DVB)

Negotiations are currently being held in Rangoon which may pave the way for an official minimum wage in Burma.

A workshop between employees’ representatives, international labour organisations, government officials and the parliament-appointed National Committee for National Wage (NCNW) began on Sunday at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and was expected to continue through Wednesday.

On the first day of the workshop, workers’ leaders urged the NCNW to propose a basic minimum wage of 4,000 kyat (US$4) per day across the board. In response, employers’ representatives suggested varying minimum wages dependent on work category.

Based on consensus from the workshop, the NCNW is due to recommend a minimum wage plan that should become official after approval by the government and parliament.

According to official accounts, Burma’s legal minimum wage is currently set at 15,000 kyat (US$15) a month for salaried public employees and 500 kyat ($0.50) per day for day labourers. However this is widely ignored throughout the country, and little if any enforcement exists to guarantee employers will pay minimum wages.
read more.
dvb

20150623 * Bosses demand time to set minimum wage:

The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association demanded time to fix a minimum wage as workers called for Ks4,000 a day at a workshop at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yangon.

The minister and deputy ministers for labour, employment and social security, a presidential adviser, worker representatives, employers, international observers and civil society organisations attended the two-day event.

Dr Zar Ni Thway from the Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar said: “I proposed a fixed minimum wage of Ks4,000 or more.
Workers are facing skyrocketing commodity prices and rising rents.
Ks3,000 for the clothing factory workers is not enough.

There will be discontent from some businesses if different rates are set.”
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said: “Fixing a minimum wage should use simple, clear-cut methods to harmonise economic and social development. In addition, it needs to take account of families’ living costs.”
read more.
Eleven

07:49:25 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150626 * US report focuses on extrajudicial killing, disappearance:

The United States has said extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, some restrictions on online speech and the press, poor working conditions and labour rights were the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year.

While political affiliation was sometimes a factor in the arrest and prosecution of members of the opposition parties, the government did not prosecute individuals solely on political charges, the US said in a new report on human rights.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150624 * Delay in enacting labour rules in BD annoys EU:

EU trade boss may skip Sustainability Compact meet 

Repeated ‘failure’ in enacting enforcement rules on Bangladesh Labour Law and government-BGMEA joint repugnance for the activities of Accord seem to have strained the country’s relations with the European Union.

Official sources said the displeasure of the EU was hinted at a recent meeting between officials of Bangladesh embassy in Brussels and office of the Directorate-General (DG) for Trade of the European Commission.

They said commercial counsellor at the Bangladesh mission Tapan Kanti Ghosh recently met the European trade officials to discuss attendance of EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström at a review meeting marking the second anniversary of Sustainable Compact sometime in October in Dhaka.

However, he was hinted that ensuring attendance of the trade commissioner would be ‘almost impossible’ unless the gazette of rules on implementation of Bangladesh Labour Law is published before July 8.
(…)
“Unless it is done before 8 July–the second anniversary of adoption of the Sustainability Compact–ensuring the participation of Trade Commissioner would be almost impossible,” he said.
read more.
FE bd

20150626 * Experts want end to global buyers’ control over apparel prices:

Buyers cut RMG price by 7% in last few years

Experts on Thursday observed that the prices of apparel products decreased significantly on the international market in last couple of years as the global buyers controlled the market and mounted pressure on suppliers to lower the prices.

They suggested that the governments of the supplier countries should break the monopsony power of the global buyers as the power instigated unfair competition among the suppliers.

They also urged the US government to play a role in raising the prices of the Bangladeshi apparel products in its market.
(…)
According to the research by Mark, the prices of apparels also declined below the level required to ensure worker rights.
He said the buyers were getting benefits of the decreased prices of apparel products not the consumers.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150626 * Buyers’ ‘monopsony’ in US causes price fall of BD RMG:

The US apparel buyers are still dominating in fixing prices of garment items, which are declining in their market since 2000, said a US researcher in his paper, presented on Thursday.

Associate Professor Mark Anner attributed the ‘monopsony’ of the big buyers for the declining price trend of apparel products.

‘Monopsony’ is a market condition similar to monopoly, except that a large buyer not seller controls a major proportion of the market, and drives the prices down. It is sometimes referred to as buyer’s monopoly.

Mr Anner of Penn State University of US said these while presenting his research paper – “Prices and Development in the Global Apparel Industry: Bangladesh in Comparative Perspective” – at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) headquarters in the city.
read more.
FE bd

20150626 * American retailers lowering prices of Bangladeshi apparel:

The American retailers have progressively been lowering the prices they pay for Bangladeshi garment items, a recent study found.

For instance, trousers, the most popular export item from Bangladesh to the US, saw its prices decline 40.89 percent between 2000 and 2014, said Mark Anner, an associate professor of the Pennsylvania State University, who conducted the study.

Anner compared the import prices of items from top 20 of the US’s sourcing nations like China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Mexico and India between 1989 and 2014.
(…)

He also said Bangladesh will face further competition in the US market if the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is finalised, as the top 10 garment items from both of Bangladesh and Vietnam are the same.

Vietnam is the only garment producing country that is included in the proposed TPP.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150626 * Cotton trousers prices down by 41% in US market in 14 years:

The prices of men and boys cotton trousers produced by Bangladeshi RMG factories have gradually declined in US market over the years due to monopsony of the buyers, a study has revealed.

The study on “Prices and Development in the Global Apparel Industry: Bangladesh in Comparative Perspective” revealed the fact.

Mark Anner, associate professor, Penn State University, unveiled his study report at BGMEA headquarters yesterday.

According to the study, prices of men and boys cotton trousers exported to the US market declined by 40.89% in the last 14 years.

The prices of the clothing have been taken into account as Bangladesh is the number one exporter of those items to the US market.

In terms of square metre, China is the second exporter while Mexico is third.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150625 * Conspiracy on against RMG sector, warns Amu:

Exportable products are no longer required international certification as the local accreditation is recognised globally, a minister said.

“Local businesses now can take globally-accepted standardised calibration certificates for their products from the local accreditation authority. They don’t need to seek international certification,” Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said.

In the past, local exporters used to rely on foreign countries for such costly certification to export their products as the local calibration certificates weren’t recognised internationally.

The minister said Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) will now issue the calibration certificate after securing accreditation recently from the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (APLAC) to do so.
(…)
“Bangladesh has many competitors in international trade. These competing countries are not sitting idle. They’re trying to establish their own national standards infrastructure alongside improving quality of their own products,” he said.

Citing the example of ready-made garment, Mr Amu said the competing countries continue to hatch conspiracy against Bangladesh’s apparel products.
read more.
FE bd

20150624 * RMG factory inspection initiative hits 1,000-mark:

The government’s efforts to inspect readymade garment (RMG) factories for structural, fire and electrical safety have reached a 1,000-factory mark.

Following the Rana Plaza collapse, the immediate priority was to carry out safety inspections of all the 3,508 export-oriented RMG factories throughout Bangladesh.

Till date, some 2,904 RMG factories have been inspected of which 1,000 fall under the government’s National Initiative under the Tripartite Plan of Action, supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with backing from Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, according to ILO.

A further 1,904 factories have been inspected by the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
In all, 604 factories from the original list remain to be inspected.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
dailyboserverbd UNBnew the DAILYSTAR new 2015 NEWAGEnew BSSnew

20150626 * Accord concerned about slow progress in fixing factories:

The Accord, a platform of the EU based apparel buyers and global trade unions, has expressed its concern over the slow progress in remediation in many of its inspected garment factories.

It has also requested the government to issue the Bangladesh Labour Act implementing rules attaching top priority, the platform said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The statement issued following the Accord’s Steering Committee’s  meetings with the IndustryAll Bangladesh Council federations, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the International Labour Organisation, foreign embassies and high commissions, and the Accord Advisory Board to discuss progress and way-forward amongst signatory representatives and key Bangladeshi constituents in Dhaka.

“Accord signatory companies and all factories covered by the Accord need to expedite their efforts to stick to the agreed timeline in the CAPs (corrective action plan) and ensure that any reasons for delays are taken away,” the statement said.

The Accord will also step up its own efforts to accelerate the pace and level of remediation in these factories, where execution of the remediation is inadequate or too far behind schedule, it added.
read more.
FE bd

20150625 * Accord Statement on Steering Committee Meetings Bangladesh:

Accord Steering Committee Meetings In Bangladesh Focuses On Accelerating Remediation And Strengthening Efforts To Make RMG Factories Safe

The Steering Committee of the Accord held meetings in Dhaka from 22nd to 24th June to discuss progress and ways forward amongst signatory representatives and key Bangladeshi constituents.

The Steering Committee reconfirms its commitment to work together with its company and trade union signatories, RMG factories, and other key constituents to implement the Accord agreement and make RMG factories safe.

The Steering Committee is the governing body of the Accord which is currently comprised of representatives of C&A, H&M, Inditex, Otto Group, PVH, Tchibo, global unions IndustriALL and UNI Global, IndustriAll Bangladesh Council, and witness signatories Worker Rights Consortium and the Clean Clothes Campaign.

The Accord Steering Committee met for its quarterly meeting at the Accord office in Dhaka where discussions focused on supporting and accelerating safety remediation at inspected factories, workplace safety and health committees, and support for the National Effort.

The Accord commitment to work with all key constituents was reconfirmed in meetings with the Industrial Bangladesh Council federations, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the International Labour Organisation, foreign Embassies and High Commissions, and the Accord Advisory Board.

An open and constructive discussion was held with the BMGEA to discuss their concerns and a mutual commitment was expressed to strengthen the relationship and continue the dialogue in good faith.
(…)
The Accord is preparing for another important element of the Accord; the establishment of functioning, worker-management Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committees in the Accord covered factories.

The Accord will continue to operate in accordance with the Bangladeshi law, and in line with the recommendation of the EU Sustainability Compact urges the Government of Bangladesh to issue the Bangladesh Labour Act implementing rules as a matter of highest priority.
read more.
ACCORD

20150624 * BGMEA wants its rep in Accord steering body:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Tuesday demanded inclusion of its representative in the steering committee of the Accord, the platform of European buyers and retailers, to reduce the gap between the BGMEA and Accord that became visible in recent time regarding safety operation.

In a meeting with the Accord, the BGMEA president Md Atiqul Islam said that there are some misunderstandings between the two parties on various aspects as there is no direct representation of the BGMEA in the Accord.

Following the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the EU brands and retailers formed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh with a commitment of upgrading member factories to meet international fire and safety standards.

Accord has inspected about 1,300 factories from which its members source their products and is working to implement corrective action plan.

‘The Accord should include the BGMEA representative in its steering committee to reduce the gap between the factory owners and the retailers’ platform.
Nowadays the misunderstanding is increasing as factory owners have no scope to discuss their concerns with the Accord directly,’ the BGMEA president told reporters after the meeting.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150624 * Accord assures BGMEA of following law of land:

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has assured Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) of duly following the law of the land during its operational activities in the country.

The assurance came at a meeting between BGMEA and visiting members of Accord Steering Committee held at BGMEA headquarters in the city yesterday.

“From now, the Accord will follow the law of land in its operational activities on structural integrity, fire and electrical safety in Bangladesh,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune, quoting the steering committee members.

In recent time, there were some misunderstanding between the BGMEA and the Accord over some activities of the retailers’ platform, which went beyond its jurisdiction.

“The misunderstanding between the Accord and the BGMEA has been arisen in absence of any representative of the clothing industry in the Accord Steering Committee,” said Islam.
(…)

When Accord mentioned that the factory owners did not apply for any fund from it, the BGMEA leaders said: “The factory owners don’t want to seek any fund directly from the retailers as they feared that it could drive away the buyers.”

To avert this complexity, BGMEA leaders urged the Accord to put more pressures on buyers to pay fund for remediation, said Islam.

In this regard, he also alleged that the factory owners couldn’t implement Corrective Action Plans (CAP) due to fund shortage.

“An Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) committee will be formed soon as per the rules of Amended Labour Act 2013,” he further added.

According to BGMEA, Accords activities beyond law of land include threat to declare a factory non-compliant for not reinstating workers terminated as per law of the country, appointing outsiders as field resource people to raise safety awareness among the workers, Accord’s calls for election to of workers representative to the OSH committee in absence of trade union and advising brands to stop production and pull out orders before the decision of government formed review panel.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150624 * BGMEA wants its rep in Accord steering body:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Tuesday demanded inclusion of its representative in the steering committee of the Accord, the platform of European buyers and retailers, to reduce the gap between the BGMEA and Accord that became visible in recent time regarding safety operation.

In a meeting with the Accord, the BGMEA president Md Atiqul Islam said that there are some misunderstandings between the two parties on various aspects as there is no direct representation of the BGMEA in the Accord.

Following the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the EU brands and retailers formed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh with a commitment of upgrading member factories to meet international fire and safety standards.
(…)
The Accord assured BGMEA that the platform would conduct its safety operation in the readymade garment sector complying with the laws of the land, the BGMEA leaders said.
On the remediation issue, the BGMEA said that factories remained under pressure from the buyers group to replace the fire doors and other safety equipments that had been installed as per the requirements of buyers before the launching of Accord.
read more.
BGMEA

20150624 * No direct communication between BGMEA, Accord!:

The absence of apparel makers’ representation in the Accord’s decision making process has widened communication gap between the two parties, industry leaders said.

“Both BGMEA and Accord’s steering committee have realised that confusion and misunderstanding have surfaced as there is no direct communication between us,” Abdus Salam Murshedy former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told the FE after a committee meeting.

The meeting was held Tuesday between the leaders of the BGMEA and visiting members of the Steering Committee of Accord at the trade group’s headquarters in the city.

BGMEA’s vice presidents Shahidullah Azim and Reaz -bin-Mahmood, its former president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and former vice president Siddiqur Rahman, Philip Chamberlain of C & A, Roger Hubert of H&M, Monika Kemperle of IndustriAll, Jenny Holdcroft from UNI Global Union, Scott Nova of Worker Rights Consortium, Accord’s Executive Director and Chief Safety Officer Rob Wayss and Brad Loewen, among others were present in the meeting.

“If we were in the decision making panel, it would be easier to sort out the problems surfaced following the post inspection activities,” BGMEA President Md Atiqul Islam said.

Giving example of field resource people, engaged by the platform to raise safety awareness among factory workers, he said they are outsiders and often allegedly incite agitation among workers, damaging labour-management relations.

“This is not consistent with law of the land which provides for establishment of safety committee with representatives from factory workforce to raise awareness and enable workers to report safety concerns,” he added.
read more.
FE bd

20150626 * Aleem jute mills workers stage demo in Khulna:

Workers of state-owned Aleem Jute Mills and their families brought out a procession with wooden sticks protesting the government’s decision to privatise the mill on Khulna–Jessore highway in Khulna on Thursday.

The procession was a part of their new seven-day programme.
The seven-day programme was announced at a meeting held under the banner of privatisation resistance committee on Wednesday afternoon at the workers’ union office with its convener Abdur Rashid in the chair.

The seven-day programmes are human chain at 10:00am on Saturday in front of the mill on Khulna–Jessore highway, protest procession on Sunday, Lathi procession on Monday, road and railway blockade on Tuesday, protest rally on Wednesday, railway and highway blockade again on Thursday.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150624 * Jute mills workers observe strike:

About a thousand workers of Bangladesh Jute Mills in Ghorashal industrial area of Polash upazila in Narsingdi observed general strike on jute mill premises on Tuesday demanding implementation of their 11-point demands.

The jute mill workers started the strike around 9.00am.

The workers urged the government to meet their 11-point demands include cancellation of the government decision to privatise the jute mills, separate pay scale, payment of all arrears.

They said that if the government did not meet their 11-point demands they would go for tougher movement.
CBA leader Yusuf Mohammad Ali presided over programme while CBA secretary Aktaruzzaman, workers’ leader Harun-or-Rashid, Gazi Nur-e-Alam spoke, among others.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150623 * Minister: 61 private jute mills under BJMA and BJSA shut:

A total of 61 private jute mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Association and Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association were closed, rendering 56,157 workers unemployed, said Textiles and Jute Minister Emaz Uddin Pramanik.

But no state-owned jute mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation is shut, he said in response to a query in parliament yesterday.

“Of the 61 private mills that are closed now, 35 are under the BJMA while the remaining 26 are under the BJSA.
The number of jute workers without job is 56,157; of them, 47,682 under the BJMA and 8,475 under the BJSA,” said the minister.

Jute, once known as the golden fibre, was also one of the top exports of the country but is no longer so.
read more. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE FE bd

20150626 * Knitwear exporters for immediate release of Tk 16b cash incentives:

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) urged the government on Tuesday to release Tk 16 billion cash incentive for the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 urgently, officials said.

The association has sought the cash incentive with a view to paying the wages, allowance and bonus of workers smoothly before Eid-ul-Fitr. It has also requested the ministry of finance (MoF) seeking the incentive soon to avoid probable worker dissatisfaction, they said.

Generally, exporters of the sector have to face difficulty in paying wages and bonus on the occasion of the holy Eids. There is a provision of providing cash incentive in the first week of every quarter of every FY, sources said.

Now, Eid-ul-Fitr is likely to be held on July 17 or 18 this year subject to the sighting of the moon. So, it will be easy to provide the wages, allowance and bonus of the workers of export-orientated industry if the government releases the cash incentive within the first week of the next month (July), they said.
read more.
FE bd

20150625 * RMG still key to Bangladesh economy:

The readymade garments industry is still fundamental to the prospects of the Bangladesh economy, said a UNTACD report. 

“The RMG industry has been the major driver of the country’s economic development in recent decades and is still fundamental to the prospects of the Bangladesh economy,” said the World Investment Report 2014, which has been published yesterday globally.

The industry is considered the “next stop” for developed-country TNCs that are moving sourcing away from China. Such opportunity is essential for development as Bangladesh needs to create jobs for its growing labour force, the report said.

With the prediction of further growth in the industry and the willingness of developed-country firms to source from Bangladesh, the picture on the demand side seems promising, it added.

According to the report, the sector needs to address constraints on the supply side – its poor infrastructure continues to deter investment in general and FDI in particular.
While at the firm level, one issue concerns the need for better compliance with labour legislation as illustrated by several tragedies in the country’s garment industry.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150625 * Export tax to go down to 0.8%:

The government is likely to reduce tax at source on export of all products by 0.20 percentage points to 0.80 per cent in the budget for the next fiscal year from the proposed 1 per cent, officials of the finance ministry said.

Bowing down to pressure from the exporters, particularly from the readymade garment sector, the government has decided to reduce the export tax, they said.

In the budget proposal before the parliament on June 4, finance minister AMA Muhith proposed an increase of export tax to 1 per cent for apparel and other products from the current 0.30 per cent and 0.60 per cent on export proceeds respectively.

According to the proposal, the tax will be considered as final settlement for all export sectors and the exporters will not need to pay any other tax on their export earnings.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150624 * Readymade garment export from Bangladesh slowing down:

Readymade garment exports from Bangladesh are although growing, but at a slower pace in the current fiscal year, the latest government data shows.

According to Export Promotion Bureau data exports aggregated USD$22.92 billion during the eleven months up to May 2015, registering an increase of 3.4 per cent over the exports of US$22.18 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal. US, Germany and UK were the top markets for Bangladeshi garments.

In 2013-14, clothing exports from Bangladesh had surged 13.8 per cent to US$24.49 billion, compared to US$21.52 billion in 2012-13. For 2014-15, the export target was set at US$13.22 billion for knitwear and US$13.68 billion for woven garments.
read more.
ynfx

20150626 * Garment exports to US will not be hurt by Trans-Pacific agreement: economist:

Bangladesh’s garment exports to American market will not be affected by the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a mega trade deal involving the US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations including Vietnam, its main competitor in apparel trade, an economist said.

The reason being the country is performing well now even after paying a higher duty than Vietnam to the American market, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute, a private think tank.

At present, Bangladesh pays 15.62 percent duty for its garment exports to the US, whereas Vietnam pays 8.38 percent. If the TPP is signed, Vietnam’s garment items will enjoy duty-free access to the US market.

Originally a trade pact envisaged by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, the TPP was transformed in 2008 when the US expressed its interest.

Since then, the TPP has expanded to 12 members, bringing in Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. Most significantly, in 2013, Japan — often considered a free-trade laggard — surprised many by entering the talks.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150624 * The row over Trans-Pacific Partnership:

The much talked-about Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is in jeopardy — so it seems from US Congress’ rejection of the ‘fast track’ mechanism that would have granted President Obama the legal authority to complete the trade deal with his Asia-Pacific allies.

However, this in no way should prompt conclusion on the fate of the long-cherished trade pact.
What observers think is that the speedy process planned to complete the deal has got stalled for the moment, and that the treaty is still a roll of the dice.

The US-engineered TPP, when finalised, will be the all-time largest trade pact.
It is well known for the secrecy with which it has been negotiated for years.
It is believed to set new terms for trade and investment among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

No doubt, these countries constitute a formidable group with an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of nearly $28 trillion, representing roughly 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade.

To many, the proposed pact is a major component of President Obama’s aggressive focus on Asia.
It is seen as a way to bind Pacific trading partners closer to the United States while raising a challenge to China.
It is also seen as a means to address a number of issues that have become stumbling blocks to e-commerce, financial services and cross-border internet communications.
There are also traditional trade issues.
read more.
FE bd

20150625 * Four RMG workers burnt in Chittagong fire:

Four garment workers have sustained burn injuries in a fire that broke out at a residence in Chittagong city’s Bandartila area early Thursday.

Injured Salma, 21, Nargis Akhtar, 20, Kohinur Akhtar, 18 and Md Nayan, 17, were admitted at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH)’s Burnt and Plastic Surgery Unit, said Naik Jahangir Alam of CMCH police outpost.

Of them Nayon sustained 60% burns and his condition was critical, said Naik Jahangir.

He said the fire originated from the gas stove in the kitchen of the workers’ residence in Bandartila area under CEPZ police station during Sehri time.
to read. & read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE the DAILYSTAR new 2015

ez grijs

20150625 * EZs or EPZs to help spur investment?:

In a new move, the government has decided to give no fresh permission for setting up any export processing zone (EPZ) in the private sector. Rather, it will allow more economic zones (EZs) to be set up in the country.

So far, the government has been looking for opportunities to encourage both local and foreign investments in both such zones.
The Private EPZ Cell and the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) were constituted under the Prime Minister’s Office with a view to providing policy- and other-related support for the purpose.

The government has so far announced about the allotment of three EZs to the investors from China, Japan and India. Earlier, the Korean EPZ was set up in Chittagong as a private sector venture.
Of late, the government has, however, decided to downsize this Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ).

Bangladesh needs, at least, an aggregate amount of investments worth $35 billion a year, to help attain its cherished 8.0 per cent annual economic growth rate and graduate itself to a middle-income country by 2021.
read more.
FE bd

20150625 * EPZ exports grow double-digit in Jul-Apr:

Export earnings from the country’s eight export processing zones (EPZs) maintained a substantial growth over the months of current fiscal year (FY), despite a slow trend in the overall overseas sales proceeds, officials said.

They attributed the uninterrupted utility services that helped keep smooth and continuous production and a wide range of diversified products base in the EPZs to better export performance.
(…)
Moreover, EPZ enterprises have made a good name among foreign buyers as a competitive manufacturing base, she said adding that there is no labour unrest as workers are satisfied with the wages and benefits that are higher and better than those in outside industries.

“We provide a one-stop support system – customs, banking and uninterrupted power supply — all can be found under one umbrella that help the companies to meet their lead times,” Ms Nazma said.

The recent political turmoil, that affected the industries outside the EPZs, failed to affect the production inside the EPZ factories, she noted.
read more.
FE bd

RANAPLAZA tekst

* A Rana Plaza win:

In light of a hard-won compensation scheme, Ilona Kelly looks at the human cost behind the garment industry disaster.

20150619 HEATHERSTILWELL
© Heather Stilwell

In a rare victory for workers’ rights, all those affected by the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in 2013 will receive full compensation for loss of income and medical care.

The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund – set up by the International Labour Organization in January 2014 to collect compensation for victims and their families – reached its funding target of $30 million in June, with a final, large anonymous donation.

‘This compensation will help each person to sustain their lives – enabling some to continue to send their kids to school and, at the very least, now no-one will starve,’ said Kalpona Akter, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity.
(…)

Asha Khatun
Asha started working at Rana Plaza 6 months before the collapse. She worked every day from 8am until 5pm, and most days would work overtime until 9 or 10pm.

She earned around 3,000 taka ($40) a month, but with overtime she could double her earnings to around 6,500 taka ($83).
(…)

Asha was forced to start working, but soon the building started to shake. As it crumbled, Asha remembers the bodies of women falling around her and seeing the body of her dead auntie.

Then a stone fell on Asha and everything went black. Asha was the main earner for her mother, father and younger sister, and now the family is desperately struggling to get by.

Asha has received compensation for her injuries, but says it’s only been enough to cover her medical costs.
Two years after the collapse, Asha says she still can’t eat properly and she feels pain in her head and chest.
She is too weak to stand for long periods, so she no longer leaves the house. Asha says she has no hope of getting her life back.

‘I feel like I’m living like a dead person. It would have been better if I died, because now I’m a burden to my family.’
(…)

Mossamat Jomela and Mossamat Surjo
Eighteen-year-old Parvina was working on the 4th floor of the building the day Rana Plaza collapsed, but her body has never been found.

Jomela says she tried everything to find her daughter, and long after the factory collapsed she would still bring Parvina’s clothes to the site to try to match them to clothes buried in the rubble. All Jomela found was her daughter’s cell phone.

Jomela says she received 45,000 taka ($575) compensation, but was forced to move away from her home because she could no longer afford to live there.
She says she feels hopeless, but travelled the 8 hours from her new home to be at the Rana Plaza site for the 2-year anniversary and to continue the search for her daughter.

Mossamat Sharbanu
A
fter the building collapsed, Sharbanu was trapped under the rubble for 2 days. She said it was so dark that she thought she had gone blind. She sustained a head injury, lost much of the skin on her back, and still feels pain in her stomach and legs.

Sharbanu was given 45,000 taka compensation ($575), but all of the money has gone to treat her injuries. Sharbanu and her 2-year-old daughter Mohmmad Shaon (bottom right) now live off the earnings of Sharbanu’s husband Mohammad Mominul Islam (left), a rickshaw driver.
(…)

Shahana Akter
22-year-old Polly Akter (pictured right) started working at Rana Plaza when she was 18 years old because her family was struggling with debt. After the factory collapsed, Polly’s mother Shahana waited 7 days before rescuers found her daughter’s body beneath the rubble.

Shahana was given a compensation payment for her daughter’s death, but is still struggling to support herself and her 4 other daughters, one of whom was also injured in the collapse.

The two daughters’ factory work was the main source of income for the family, but Shanana says she won’t let any of her daughters work in the factories again.
(…)

Rashida Begum
Rashida Begum (right) had been working at Rana Plaza for 5 years before the factory collapsed. As the building started to fall, Rashida ran to the stairs, but couldn’t get out.

She ran to the window, but was too scared to jump because it looked like the others were falling to their death.
Rashida thinks she eventually fell out of the window, but doesn’t remember anything until she woke up in the hospital, where she stayed for 15 days.

Rashida is still haunted by what happened to her.
She says she is too scared to be alone, and when she sleeps she has nightmares that everything is caving in on her and she is drowning.
She tried to work at another factory, but her injuries prevent her from working properly, so Rashida was let go.
read more.
NEWINTERNATIONALIST

07:19:25 local time map of india INDIA

20150625 * Government proposes major overhaul of labour laws:

In the biggest overhaul of labour laws, the government proposes to loosen strict hire-and-fire rules, make it tougher for workers to form unions as well as raise by three times the severance package to protect employee interest, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said.

As part of plan to make it easier to do business in the country and create jobs, the Labour Ministry has drafted a bill to integrate three laws — Trade Unions Act, Industrial Disputes Act and Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act — into a single code for industrial relations, the minister said.

“Labour reforms are needed in the present context to make conducive environment for business to flourish and create harmonious atmosphere between industry and workers because our main purpose is that employability should be increased,” he said.
read more.
et

20150625 * Law against child labour to be more strict: Bandaru Dattatreya:

Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya today said more teeth will be provided to the existing laws against child labour and a rehabilitation fund will be set up for children rescued from exploitation.

“A bill will be brought during the Monsoon session of the Parliament to make the existing laws against child labour stricter,” the minister of state for Labour and Employment (Independent charge) told reporters here.

Dattatreya, who was here to participate in the convention of labour ministers from eastern states, said another bill would be brought to set up a rehabilitation fund for the children rescued from exploitation.
read more.
et

20150625 * Textile industries offer sops to retain women employees:

To bring down attrition and increase productivity of women employees, textile industries in the state are taking slew of measures.

From building housing facilities to providing creches for kids, the textile companies are doing every bit to keep women employees on their roll.
This has resulted in increase of women employees in textile sector in state by 30% in last five years double the national average of 15%.

The industry experts believe that better work environment, consistent income and several incentives by employers is attracting women into textile industry, especially in garment and fabric sections.

City based Arvind Ltd is planning to set up a dormitory-based manufacturing facility in its upcoming apparel park in Dehgam in a bid to scale up manufacturing and increase productivity.
The facility will house around 10,000 women who will be employed in the manufacturing facility.
The company also provides creches and other incentives to women employees.
read more.
TOInew

20150625 * Sircilla weavers may wriggle out of crisis soon:

Government exploring options to help mitigate weavers’ plight

The Telangana government has been considering the option of State-owned enterprises like the Road Transport Corporation (RTC) and Singareni Collieries procuring dress material for their employees from the powerloom weavers of Sircilla.

The initiative is aimed at mitigating the plight of weavers who have been incurring losses due to rise in production cost which in turn has made them incapable of competing with the owners of modern mills.

IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao, who represents the Sircilla Assembly constituency, is holding discussions with the managements of the two organisations and also with the authorities of school education and Integrated Child Development Services in this regard.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150626 * Textile quality testing lab remaining underutilised:

Sophisticated facilities for testing textile qualities at the laboratory of the Textile Committee (TC) unit here under the Textile Ministry remain underutilised because of lack of awareness among industry and the authorities concerned.

Though the TC lab has state-of-the art equipment for testing qualities of textiles and other products, they are yet to be fully utilised because of lack of awareness in the State about the facilities.
The facilities at the lab ranged from chromatographic equipment for measuring even minute presence of toxic chemicals in textile products to weather-o-metre that can test the colour fastness of fabrics.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150624 * Programme to train workers in apparel sector:

The Apparel, Made Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council plans to train 50,000 to 60,000 workers in the garment, made-up and home furnishing units in a year.

Sakthivel, chairman of the council, told presspersons here on Tuesday that the garment units in Tirupur are facing shortage of nearly 50,000 workers now.
The apparel sector in the country faces shortage of 30,000-40,000 master trainers.

The council has training manual for 45 skills and the training duration ranges from 30 days to 60 days under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
If certified after training, the workers are expected to have nearly 10 per cent advantage over other workers in their wages.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150624 * Jail-made shirts in Kerala:

A new brand of cost-effective readymade shirts, sewn by prisoners, will be launched during the Onam festival season in Kerala.

After its popular low-cost chapatti-chicken curry combo and three-fold umbrellas, the Poojappura Central Prison here has forayed into garment business by manufacturing readymade cotton shirts under the brand name ‘Samraksha.’ Around 20 inmates had been given training in shirt-making.
In the first phase, each shirt will cost Rs. 260.
to read. & read more.
THEHINDU TOInew

20150623 * RMG exports from India jumped 33% in FY15 and is likely to continue the uptrend:

As per the latest data of Ministry of Textiles, India’s exports of readymade garments jumped 33 per cent from INR72,592 crore in 2013-14 to INR96,523 crore in 2014-15.

Experts opine that the stupendous uptrend will continue for the next three years. The expectation is based on three fundamentals.
One, export incentives from the government, second, revival in demand from major markets such as US and Europe and, three, increase in manufacturing costs in China.

In the new trade policy, the government has provided export incentives to the tune of 5-6 per cent to garments exporters and this has gone down well with garment exporters.
This is one of the chief reasons why textiles companies are finding it relevant and profitable to export garments than raw materials.
read more.
ynfx

20150625 * Doon’s Tibetan apron-makers take to power looms:

Aprons.
That’s the latest sector which has had to make serious changes to deal with competition from China.

With Tibetan women’s aprons, made in China, flooding the market, the famous Tibetan handicrafts makers of Dehradun are about to switch to power-looms to compete.

In Tibetan culture all married women wear pangden, a striped and colourful woolen apron. Chinese-made pangdens have made a splash among the community in Dehradun which today numbers more than 10,000, as well as Tibetan expatriates in other Indian cities.

Dehradun’s own pangden makers work from the ground floor of the Tibetan settlement office on Sahastradhara road.
The large room, over 3,000 sq feet in area, has 37 women weavers toiling on their handlooms silently.
Numerous unfinished pangden are strewn all over the place.
All this will change shortly. “We are planning to set up a power loom soon to increase production of our aprons manifold. We are tying up with firms to buy the machines,” said Kesang Wangdu, the unit’s manager.
read more.
TOInew

ez grijs

20150626 * Plea to include Tirupur in smart city project:

Knitwear exporters have made a representation to Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa requesting the State government to make a recommendation for inclusion of Tirupur in the smart city programme.
“We have a made a formal representation in the wake of Central Government asking Tamil Nadu to nominate 12 cities that need to be developed as Smart Cities,” said A. Sakthivel, president of Tirupur Exporters’ Association.

According to knitwear exporters here, inclusion of Tirupur in the smart city project can trigger an exponential growth in knitwear exports from the cluster.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150625 * Kinfra to set up footwear park at Ramanattukara:

The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) will set up a footwear park in a 30-acre plot at Ramanattukara in the outskirts of the city.

The project will be implemented in association with the footwear cluster community under the mega leather cluster scheme of the Centre. It is expected to be completed at a cost of Rs.107.01 crore in two years.

As part of this, the Kinfra will organise a business-to-business meet with stakeholders at Taj Hotel here on Thursday, K.N. Srikumar, Senior Media Advisor, Kinfra, said.
He said that the park would have facilities for manufacturing footwear and raw materials needed for the industry.
It would also have allied industrial units based on leather.
It was expected to emerge as a big support for the 200 footwear manufacturing units in north Kerala and provide direct employment to 2,000 people and indirect employment to over 3,500.
read more. & read more.
THEHINDU TOInew

07:19:25 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150624 * Emperor’s new clothes: Pathfinder Foundation’s Economic Blueprint:

The Pathfinder Foundation’s prescriptions in its recent report, ‘Charting the Way Forward: Prosperity for All’ are a blueprint for the failed neoliberal policies of the past and would lead to prosperity for a few and misery for many.

While vague and superficial in its analysis and conclusions, the Pathfinder Report’s conceptualization of structural changes to Sri Lanka’s economy has many faulty if not dangerous assumptions.

In particular, the report proposes cutting back on state budgets while promoting labour regimes that will further undermine workers’ rights and incomes.

These ideas will only consolidate tendencies of political decay in Sri Lanka, further removing citizens from decisions made by economic ‘experts’.
Finding alternatives then must inevitably expose the hoary claims in the report that are being rejected around the world in the wake of economic crisis.

Financialisation and austerity
While the Pathfinder Report talks about the success of the East and Southeast Asian economies as a model for Sri Lanka’s development, it does not consider the earlier role of the state and public sector during their high growth period in those countries and their subsequent domination by global finance which led to the East Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s.

The report highlights that Sri Lanka is “increasingly exposed to the discipline imposed by rating agencies and international capital markets”, while simultaneously calling for “financial sector consolidation”, “capital market development”, “encouraging angel investors and venture capitalists”, “developing the mortgage industry” and “boosting the pension industry”.
In other words, these are the very processes of financialisation that will put Sri Lanka further at the mercy of rating agencies and capital markets, increasing the possibility of devastating crises.

Concurrently, the Pathfinder Report proposes austerity, in the form of budget cuts to control government spending, which coincidentally is now being promoted in Southern Europe in the wake of financial crisis.

In the case of the East Asian export-oriented countries, new thinking is beginning to question the orthodox assumption that such countries must force lean budgets on their citizens, particularly as consumer demand dries up in the West.
The report does not address the possible consequences of austerity including increasing inequality and crippling poverty.
read more.
MIRRORBUSINESS

20150623 * 100 Sri Lankan garment workers hospitalized due to food poisoning:

Around 100 employees of a local garment factory in Avisawella in the outskirts of capital Colombo were admitted to hospital on Tuesday due to food poisoning, the police media unit said.

A police officer from the unit told Xinhua that the employees had fallen ill after consuming food from the factory on Monday afternoon and had been rushed to the Avisawella Base Hospital on Tuesday.

Local police are conducting further investigations into the incident.
to read.
CHINAORG

* This government is not allowed to violate the fundamental right of forming trade unions- Wasantha Samarasinghe:

The president of Inter Company Employees’ Union comrade Wasantha Samarasinghe states that present Maithripala-Ranil good governance government is in a state of abolishing the democracy of forming trade unions by violating the fundamental rights.

He stated at a media conference held in Colombo on 14th the Lanka Hospitals which is a semi government organization suppressed the employees and did not recognize the trade union of more than 1300 employees who contribute for the millions of income of the institution.

He further stated that if the president Mr. Maithripala Sirisena would not intervene to solve this issue of suppression of the formation of trade unions, the issue would have to be taken up to the International Labour Summit and requested from the president to solve the issue without ignoring the victory given by the people.

He expressed that the 6.5 million employees of private sector demanded Rs2500 increased from the budget, and though the government pledged to pay Rs1500, the minimum salary of salary controlling councils had not been mention on gazette.
read more.
unions LANKA

06:49:25 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150624-25 * ‘Third-degree fire’ breaks out in Karachi warehouse:

Fire tenders from the whole city were called as fire fighters attempted to extinguish what they called a third-degree fire that broke out in a warehouse in Shershah commercial area of Karachi on Wednesday, Express News reported.

According to reports, the fire broke out at 6am in Ghosia warehouse where shoe material and textile goods had been stored and it soon engulfed two other nearby warehouses.
(…)

The fire caused damage to the warehouse building causing cracks in it and gutted goods worth millions of rupees, reports said.

The fire fighters were having difficulties extinguishing the fire due to shortage of water and lack of access inside the factory building, fire brigade officials said and added that there was no fire-fighting equipment in the warehouse at the time of the fire.

Meanwhile, assistance was sought from the Civil Aviation Authority, the Karachi Port Trust and the Pakistan Navy to put out the fire, said the officials.

Shopkeepers said they noticed the fire as they reached the market in the morning and informed authorities.

No casualties were reported during the incident, however, fire fighters were still trying to overcome the fire.
read more. & read more. & read more.
thenewspk

20150625 * Economic ties: New trade policy framework to be unveiled next month:

Recognising the need for a revised trade policy framework, Federal Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the Ministry of Commerce has finalised the draft and will announce it next month.

Under the new guidelines, the export target had been set at $40 billion annually and “we expect to increase it to $50 billion annually by 2018,” said Khan.

“Nevertheless, this is subject to approval of the federal cabinet and it can increase or decrease.”

He said the government’s focus was on enhancing regional trade and it had welcomed any opportunity to enter into free trade agreements (FTA) with central Asian states in an effort to strengthen trade and commerce.
(…)
Work on second phase of the free trade agreement with China was also under way and these steps would improve market access for Pakistan’s textile products, he said.
read more.

20150625 * Govt must save textile exports: PTEA:

20150625 DAWN
Pakistan exported textile goods worth $1.12bn in May—White Star/File

The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) on Wednesday urged the federal government to save textile exports from consistent decline, both in terms of value and quantity.

PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha and Vice-Chairman Rizwan Riaz Saigal, in a joint statement said that achieving targets to double textile exports appeared to be a herculean task in the perspective of 5.91 per cent drop in textile exports in May over the same month of previous fiscal year.

Giving details, they said that Pakistan exported textile goods worth $1.12 billion in May against exports of $1.19bn in the same month of last year which showed decline of 5.88pc.
read more. & read more.
DAWNnew thenewspk

20150625 * Massive decline in exports likely to continue: PTEA:

“Massive decline in textile exports in May 2015 is alarming and this trend is likely to continue in future unless the industrial crisis would be addressed.” Sohail Pasha, Chairman and Rizwan Riaz Saigal, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) stated this while talking to newsmen here on Wednesday.

They said that government’s target to double textile exports appears to be a herculean task in the perspective of 5.91 percent drop in textile exports in May over the same month of previous year.

Numbers of coming months might be even worse, as the textile industry, particularly in Punjab is in grip of severe crisis.
Giving details, they said that country exported textile goods worth US 1.12 billion dollars in May as compared to exports of US 1.19 billion dollars in same month of last year showing a hectic decline of 5.91 percent.

Textile exports were also down by 1.70 percent on comparison with July-May period of previous fiscal, they added.
Export of value added items witnessed negative growth as cotton cloth down by 15.70 percent, knitwear 11.32 percent, bed wear 9.80 percent and towels 9.23 percent.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150624 * Venting out: Textile exporters foresee fresh fall in exports:

In an ominous warning, value-added textile exporters have cautioned the government to address the central problems of the industry or the current drop in exports may widen further in the next fiscal year.

“The government needs to address major taxation issues with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to at least stop the current dip in textile exports,” Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani told The Express Tribune.

He said that the textile exports of Pakistan got a boost of 13% due to import duty concessions under the European Union’s (EU) Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme in the outgoing fiscal year.

Looking at the expected 2% drop in exports, one can safely say that if there was no GSP scheme, textile exports would have seen a significant drop of 15% in fiscal year 2015.

“I fear Pakistan’s textile exports may drop by more than 15% in the next fiscal year if the situation persists,” Bilwani said, adding that both the finance minister and FBR are not realising the gravity of the problems.
read more.

20150624 * Introducing an innovative trade policy:

Pakistan’s list of exportable surpluses has remained static since almost the 1980s.

In fact, over the last few years we have lost our traditional markets for sports and surgical goods and carpets.

And even for the dream market that we believe would open up for Pakistan after the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we have nothing more than textiles, leather, fisheries, food products, marble and minerals to export to China and to the Central Asian countries.

China-Pakistan free trade and currency swap agreements would surely help, but only marginally.
read more.

06:49:25 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

20150625 * New cotton press production plant opens in Tashkent:

Sinocot Tashkent Cotton has launched a machine-building plant on production of equipment for cotton industry.

According to Uzpakhtasanoat association, one of the founders of the joint venture, the plant was built on the basis of the former tractor plant in Tashkent.
The cost of the first phase of the project is $3.5 million, according to Jahon news agency.
The company started production of heavy hydraulic presses for cotton gin plants.

Estimated capacity is 20 presses a year and 10 units of equipment for packaging of lint (cotton linters, short — up to 15 mm — fiber obtained after the separation of long fibers).
Later on, the plant plans to produce other equipment including the cotton gin.
to read.
AKIpress

ETHIOPIA

20150624 * Chinese diplomat calls for collaboration in exploring business opportunities in Ethiopia:

Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, La Yifan, has called on foreign diplomats and business leaders in the country to work together to explore and exploit the business opportunities in the East African state.

Speaking later Tuesday at a dinner reception organized on the premises of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the Ambassador noted that diplomacy plays important role in helping investors conduct successful businesses in overseas markets.

The event has attracted foreign diplomats, foreign investors and business leaders in Ethiopia.

Reiterating that Ethiopia has been registering fast economic growth with success also in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs), La emphasized on the need to have collaboration among diplomats and investors of different countries towards exploring and making use of the ample investment opportunities being created in the country.

Exemplifying his remarks, particularly with a Turkish textile factory in Ethiopia, which imports raw material from and exports its finished products to different countries, the Ambassador presented situations whereby countries could cooperate on foreign businesses in a single country.
read more.
XINHUAnet

map of asia ASIA

20150626 * Congress gives Obama fast-track trade talk power:

After weeks of legislative clashes Congress handed U.S. President Barack Obama a major policy victory Wednesday, giving him authority to rapidly conclude a Pacific trade accord vehemently opposed by many in his party.

Bucking political tradition, the Democratic president relied on his Republican rivals to help realize the top economic priority of his second term: creating a 12-nation trans-Pacific free-trade area aimed at opening new markets for U.S. exports in countries like Japan, Chile, Australia and Vietnam.

Obama’s own party has rebelled, worried about a repeat of the 1990s North American Free Trade Agreement, which led to large numbers of manufacturing jobs going to Mexico, where labor costs were dramatically lower.

But after a major trade package including so-called trade promotion authority (TPA) stalled in Congress this month, the White House and Republican leaders secured the necessary votes to advance at least the TPA measure.
read more.
china post

20150624 * US Senate vote clears path for anti-China trade bill:

With a 60-37 vote Tuesday to end debate and force a vote on “fast-track” authority for President Obama, the US Senate has revived trade legislation sought by the White House and backed by most congressional Republicans.

Final passage of the bill by the Senate is expected on Wednesday, with the outcome of that vote considered a foregone conclusion.
The House of Representatives approved the legislation on June 18 by a narrow 218-208 margin.
The Senate vote came only 10 days after the House temporarily blocked action on the legislation when liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans joined forces to defeat a key element of the trade bill, Trade Adjustment Assistance for displaced workers.

What followed was a period of intense collaboration and coordination between the Obama White House and the two top Republican leaders in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, to find a different legislative path to accomplish the goal of enacting Trade Promotion Authority, the formal name for “fast-track” negotiating authority.

Under “fast-track,” Congress agrees to an up-or-down vote on any trade agreement brought to it by the president, without amendments or procedural delays such as filibusters.
The current bill would provide “fast-track” authority for five years, including the remainder of Obama’s term and the first three years of his successor in the White House.
read more.
WORLDSOCIALIST

20150623 * US & Vietnam Labor Advocates Say Senate Must Vote NO on Fast Track:

When President Obama spoke at Nike’s headquarters in May to promote the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact, each of us was shocked given our first-hand knowledge of Nike’s consistently poor treatment of its workers overseas.

In Indonesia, Nike has 168,000 workers who are paid a paltry $212 a month. Here Nike has busted unions, refused to pay even the minimum wage, has verbally and physically threatened workers for exercising their fundament right to freely associate, and they have cheated workers of millions of dollars in overtime pay.
Along with the labor rights violations, Nike has also been dumping and burning scrap shoe rubber in Indonesian villages for 25 years – pumping toxins and carcinogens into the air, water, and soil.

In Malaysia, Nike has been found guilty of employing thousands of illegally trafficked workers.
These workers had their passports confiscated to prevent them running away to get help or to find a better job.
For years, Nike turned a blind eye on this issue until we brought the matter to prime-time TV and forced them to address it.

In Vietnam, the situation is even worse.
This is important in the current political context because Vietnam is seen as the linchpin of the TPP deal and Nike is the largest private employer in Vietnam with 330,000 workers.

Here, workers are paid $132 per month.
Because of Nike’s poverty wage, many workers cannot afford their basic needs, most distressingly, childcare.
They are forced to leave their babies and young children with grandparents in their home villages while they migrate to cities to work.
If they are lucky, they see their children a few times a year.
Along with poor wages, workers in Vietnam deal with verbal abuse, inhuman production quotas, and one worker reported that because of restrictions on the use of toilets at work, a co-worker wet her pants on the production line despite repeated requests to her supervisor for a bathroom break.
read more.
dailykos

* Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations:

While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch.

The emails give a rare and fascinating perspective on how policy is developed in the trade office.

Years into the negotiation, the TPP is said to be nearing completion and is the subject of a US congressional debate over renewal of fast-track negotiating authority for the president (limiting Congress to a yes or no vote).

But the TPP text has never been made available to the public of the countries negotiating it, except through periodic leaks of parts of the text, making these emails timely for the debate.

Through a US Freedom of Information Act request, Intellectual Property Watch has obtained some 400 pages of email traffic between USTR officials and industry advisors.
Most of the content of the emails is redacted (blacked out), but they still give insight into the process.
read more.
IP-WATCH

GLOBAL

20150625 * Garment Workers’ Lives Are Worth More Than Fashion Industry Profits:

This month, in response to union requests, Cambodia’s government is scheduling more talks to address garment workers’ demands for a pay increase to $177 a month.

Low pay and horrible working conditions are a worldwide problem for garment workers. The workers are the only variable in the textile supply chain that can be manipulated by clothing brands for increased profit at the cost of human worth.

In 2014, Cambodia’s government security forces killed five when they attacked garment workers while they were protesting low pay. It is one in a string of tragedies worldwide that have hit garment workers hard.

The broken fashion supply chain system makes trillions in revenue for major brands while paying the workers pennies, with some making as little as $3 per day. Others work long hours in poor conditions.

In 2012, the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan burned and the flames engulfed workers, killing close to 300.
Also, in 2012, a fire at Tazreen Fashion factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which at the time was making clothes for major brands like Sears and Walmart, killed 112 employees.
In 2013, a building (Rana Plaza) collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,134 people.

According to a new documentary that premiered in May, called The True Cost, the rising cost of textile manufacturing is human dignity and human life.
They are not measured in profit and loss statements, but the losses are devastating on many levels.
According to the documentary’s director Andrew Morgan, business practices in the textile industry have become a moral issue.
The documentary highlights the plight of garment workers, and the dilemma of factory owners who can lose business if they do not concede to the low-ball demands of the powerful fashion brands.

Labor intensive industries, like fashion, are more sensitive to the costs of labor.
read more.
huffpost

20150623 * IndustriALL at the International Labour Conference:

IndustriALL Global Union joined nearly 4500 delegates from 169 countries attending the 104th International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland from 1 to 13 June. 

The Committee is a tripartite body with representatives from workers, employers and governments.

Of particular interest for IndustriALL were cases regarding the non observance of Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and the Right to Organize, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Mexico and Swaziland.
(…)

Worker statements illustrated the serious challenges that lie ahead in putting Bangladesh in line with the Convention 87, ranging from legal problems, issues with EPZs (export processing zones), anti-union discrimination and violence, and trade union registration, among other factors.

IndustriALL denounced anti-union violence in Bangladesh with particular reference to the case caught on camera of two female union leaders getting beaten up at a factory owned by the Azim Group.
read more.
INDUSRIall

20150623 * fwf guides garment brands within bounds of competition law:

Garment brands can safely move forward on collectively raising wages in factories within the bounds of competition law. That is clear from a unique ´Dos and Don’ts´ document that FWF published on Tuesday. 

Calls for collaboration between brands on increasing prices at their suppliers often set off alarm bells with garment brands´ legal teams. FWF called upon the expertise of competition specialists at leading law firm Arnold & Porter to help push past this major obstacle to action on living wages.

Arnold & Porter show that as long as garment brands take some key precautions, their efforts to raise wages collectively do not present a serious risk with regard to competition law.

Rules of the game
FWF published two documents for its member brands to explain the legal considerations and outline the Dos and Don’ts when working together to raise wages in factories. ‘This legal guidance represents a huge step forward for all of us working on living wages for garment workers,’ explains Anne Lally, FWF’s advisor on living wages on the FWF Living Wage Portal. ‘It ensures that we now know the rules of the game.  And what’s clear is that there is a lot of space to maneuver.’
read more.
fairwear

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map of Asia

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

There are updates under ‘special overviews’:

* Philippene footwear Factory fire 20150513-now
&
* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 6 20150324- now

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* OPEN LETTER TO UNIQLO: Respect labour rights Cut & Run cannot help the workers!
* Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation
* China takes a few tentative steps towards social security reform
* Technology is more than a fashion trend for firms in garment city
* China to boost textile industry in Xinjiang
* China’s textile and apparel exports cross $100 billion
* US, China appear to get little done in removing economic barriers
* The shifting qualities of ‘Made in China’

PHLIPPINES
* ‘Labor inspectors prone to bribes, harassment’
* Lawyer: Kentex fire victims’ kin to pursue criminal raps despite P150k settlement
* KMU: Settlement does not absolve officials of liability
* Despite reaching settlement with victims’ kin, Kentex not yet off the hook – Baldoz
* Kentex still liable amid settlement with victims’ families
* 57 families of Kentex fire dead settle as firm insists ‘no liability’
* More bones, body parts found in debris of burned Kentex factory
* Kentex factory fire probe to continue even after settlement –Palace
* Kentex victims’ settlement won’t stop probe on deadly fire
* Victims of worst Philippine factory fire settle for $3,360

VIET NAM
* Work-related lung disorders affect many
* Apparel sector looks to US$27.5 billion exports this year
* Garment exports rise in first six months
* Vietnam Becomes World’s Fourth Largest Garment Exporter
* Vietnam amends unpopular social-insurance law
* EU warns FTA means VN reform
* Exports to EU to increase 10% by 2025
* EU-funded project helps boost Vietnam-EU trade ties
* Good progress on Vietnam-EU free trade deal

CAMBODIA
* Trade Unions Agree on $177 Wage Demand
* Factory Truck Crashes Into Protesting Workers, Injuring Four
* W&D garment strike settled
* Cold-case union killings to be probed
* More talk, fewer strikes: study
* CPP Lawmakers Press Ahead With NGO Law
* CPP-run commissions alone to review LANGO
* Let’s See ‘NGO Law’ for What It Is: a Muzzle on Dissenting Voices

INDONESIA
* Indonesian yarn markers want safeguard duty on yarn imports

THAILAND
* PM brushes aside wage rise demand
* Prayut rules out increase in daily minimum wage
* Activists rally Thursday for 20% wage hike
* Labour umbrella group calls for minimum daily wage increase to Bt360
* Floating wage plan falls to earth
* FTI calls for any wage hike to be considered province by province

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Proposed K3600 minimum wage draws mixed response from workers, employers
* National minimum wage proposal agreed at K3600
* Govt to Opt for Middle Ground on Minimum Wage Demands
* Wage war
* Bosses demand time to set minimum wage

BANGLADESH
* US report focuses on extrajudicial killing, disappearance
* Delay in enacting labour rules in BD annoys EU
* Experts want end to global buyers’ control over apparel prices
* Buyers’ ‘monopsony’ in US causes price fall of BD RMG
* American retailers lowering prices of Bangladeshi apparel
* Cotton trousers prices down by 41% in US market in 14 years
* Conspiracy on against RMG sector, warns Amu
* RMG factory inspection initiative hits 1,000-mark
* Accord concerned about slow progress in fixing factories
* Accord Statement on Steering Committee Meetings Bangladesh
* BGMEA wants its rep in Accord steering body
* Accord assures BGMEA of following law of land
* BGMEA wants its rep in Accord steering body
* No direct communication between BGMEA, Accord!
* Aleem jute mills workers stage demo in Khulna
* Jute mills workers observe strike
* Minister: 61 private jute mills under BJMA and BJSA shut
* Knitwear exporters for immediate release of Tk 16b cash incentives
* RMG still key to Bangladesh economy
* Export tax to go down to 0.8%
* Readymade garment export from Bangladesh slowing down
* Garment exports to US will not be hurt by Trans-Pacific agreement: economist
* The row over Trans-Pacific Partnership
* Four RMG workers burnt in Chittagong fire
* EZs or EPZs to help spur investment?
* EPZ exports grow double-digit in Jul-Apr
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* A Rana Plaza win

INDIA
* Government proposes major overhaul of labour laws
* Law against child labour to be more strict: Bandaru Dattatreya
* Textile industries offer sops to retain women employees
* Sircilla weavers may wriggle out of crisis soon
* Textile quality testing lab remaining underutilised
* Programme to train workers in apparel sector
* Jail-made shirts in Kerala
* RMG exports from India jumped 33% in FY15 and is likely to continue the uptrend
* Doon’s Tibetan apron-makers take to power looms
* Plea to include Tirupur in smart city project
* Kinfra to set up footwear park at Ramanattukara

SRI LANKA
* Emperor’s new clothes: Pathfinder Foundation’s Economic Blueprint
* 100 Sri Lankan garment workers hospitalized due to food poisoning
* This government is not allowed to violate the fundamental right of forming trade unions- Wasantha
Samarasinghe

PAKISTAN
* ‘Third-degree fire’ breaks out in Karachi warehouse
* Economic ties: New trade policy framework to be unveiled next month
* Govt must save textile exports: PTEA
* Massive decline in exports likely to continue: PTEA
* Venting out: Textile exporters foresee fresh fall in exports
* Introducing an innovative trade policy

UZBEKISTAN
* New cotton press production plant opens in Tashkent

ETHIOPIA
* Chinese diplomat calls for collaboration in exploring business opportunities in Ethiopia

ASIA
* Congress gives Obama fast-track trade talk power
* US Senate vote clears path for anti-China trade bill
* US & Vietnam Labor Advocates Say Senate Must Vote NO on Fast Track
* Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

GLOBAL
* Garment Workers’ Lives Are Worth More Than Fashion Industry Profits
* IndustriALL at the International Labour Conference
* fwf guides garment brands within bounds of competition law

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