in the news 26-30 June 2015

08:31:29 local time map of china CHINA

20150630 * Shanghai protesters fear chemical plant plan still on, despite government claims:

20150630 SCMP
Demonstrators hold banners with slogans to protest against a paraxylene project in Jinshan district in Shanghai last week. Photo: AFP

Residents of Shanghai’s Jinshan district taking part in street protests against rumoured plans for a chemical plant in the area say there is no cause for relief, despite a promise by the government that no such plant will be built.

The residents have been involved in a week-long protest against the rumoured paraxylene project, which they fear would contaminate the environment.
The protest has been covered widely by the international media, but has not featured in mainland outlets due to censorship, protesters say.

“I still have concerns and I don’t trust the government,” said Wang Xuehua, a stay-at-home mother who lives on Dongquan Street in the district. “If the government really means it, they would not have gagged the media and not deleted protest-related [online] posts.”

Used in the manufacture of polyester clothing and plastic bottles, paraxylene is dangerous if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
read more.
SOUTHchinaMORNINGPOST

20150627 * Thousands protest in Shanghai suburb over chemical plant fears:

Thousands of people took to the streets in a distant suburb of Shanghai on Saturday saying they feared the government would build a chemical plant, despite assurances from officials that the plan will not go ahead.

Choking smog and environmental degradation in many parts of China is angering an increasingly educated and affluent urban class. After a series of health scares and accidents there is also deepening public scepticism about the safety of industries ranging from food to energy.

There have been numerous protests in recent years focused on petrochemical plants that produce paraxylene, known as PX, a chemical used in making polyester fibre and plastics.
(…)
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of PX and polyester, vital for the country’s textile and plastics industry.
read more.
HimalayanTimesnew

20150629 * China considering to obtain TPP membership:

China has ‘put out feelers’ to join the Asia-Pacific trade deal, as per the US media which is a breaking news but not a surprise at all for Vietnamese experts.

China will not only need the nod of the US to join TPP but the community of 12 member countries, and China will have to negotiate with each of the 12 countries to obtain TPP membership.
The countries will have the right to set conditions for China, and China will have to pay to join TPP.
read more.
ynfx

20150629 * China will have to pay for TPP membership: experts:

All Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) members, including Vietnam, look at China, which is now considering joining the free trade area, with suspicious eyes.

The US media have quoted President Barack Obama as saying that China has ‘put out feelers’ to join the Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The information, as described by Vietnamese experts, is “breaking news” but “not a surprise” at all.

Bui Kien Thanh, a renowned economist, noted that people have every reason to think that the main goal of a 12-member ‘without-China’ TPP agreement, expected to control 40 percent of the world’s trade, is to confront China. However, anything can happen in a time of globalisation.

The countries initiating the establishment of TPP want to set up a community which can serve as a counterbalance to China to protect them from China’s influence.

China will not only need the nod of the US to join TPP but the community of 12 member countries, and China will have to negotiate with each of the 12 countries to obtain TPP membership.

The countries will have the right to set conditions for China, and China will have to pay to join TPP.

Thanh said it is still unclear what price China will have to pay. However, it is clear that TPP upholds the 12 countries’ interests and protects them from being blocked by China.
read more.
VNNet

08:31:29 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20150630 * 12,000 workers to lose jobs due to Valenzuela fire policy:

Labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) on Tuesday urged Valenzuela City government and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to give assistance to workers displaced by factory closures for not complying with fire safety laws.

“In behalf of the workers who lost their jobs due to city crackdown on workplace fire safety, we appeal to Mayor (Rex) Gatchalian and Labor Secretary (Rosalinda) Baldoz to provide alternative livelihood to workers who fall through the cracks,” TUCP-Nagkaisa spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.

“Most of the workers are informal workers who earn their by the day and by the number of the products they produced,” Tanjusay added.

He estimated that 12,000 workers within the city’s manufacturing sector are bound to lose their jobs due to failure of factory owners to security a Fire Safety and Inspection Certificate within seven days upon inspection on 1,700 manufacturing establishments in the city.
read more.
philstarNEW

20150629 * Workers to receive daily wage increase in Region 10:

The Regional Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of Region 10 has approved a wage order mandating a P12 daily wage increase for all private sector minimum wage earners in the Northern Mindanao, which will take effect on July 3.

RTWPB chairperson Raymundo G. Agravante said in his report the new wage order, Wage Order RX-18, raises the minimum wage in the region to P318 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and to P306 for workers in the agricultural sector under the Category I, which covers the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and the municipalities of Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan, Misamis Oriental.

It also ups the minimum wage rate to P313 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and P301 for workers in the agricultural sector under Category II, which covers the cities of Malaybalay, Valencia, Gingoog, El Salvador, and Ozamiz and the municipalities of Maramag, Quezon, and Manolo Fortich.

In Category III, the new minimum wage rate of P308 applies for workers in the non-agricultural sector and P296 for the agricultural sector in the cities of Oroquieta and Tangub and the municipalities of Lugait, Opol, and Mambajao. Included in this category are all the establishments employing ten workers or less.

For other areas not covered by the three categories, hence falling under Category IV, establishments shall now pay a new minimum wage rate of P303 to workers in the non-agricultural sector and P291 to workers in the agricultural sector.
read more.
gov gazette

20150629 * Workers decry planned SSS increase in contributions:

Workers, especially minimum wage earners, are seeking the intervention of Congress to prevent the Social Security System (SSS) from imposing a planned increase in monthly premiums.

Jayson San Jose, production assistant, admitted receiving a salary below the minimum wage citing that the planned SSS increase in monthly contribution would put a huge dent on his meager income.

San Jose’s complaint was echoed by the other ailing workers who said that they have difficulty in making ends meet with their current monthly take home.
read more.
MANILABULLETIN

20150627 * Defying violence by weaving in the Philippines:

The region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines has suffered from armed rebellion for over four decades, but there is more to Mindanao than war.

Al Jazeera explores the centuries-old tradition of weaving that has helped women to heal their wounds.
see video.
aljazeera

20150626 * Contractualization kills – workers’ groups:

20150627 BULATLAT“It [contractualization] is an alarming business practice: workers both in public and private sectors are forced to work for wages below the meagre minimum wage, with no benefits, no job security and under poor health and safety work conditions.”

In one of the activities marking the 40th day since 72 workers died in Kentex factory fire at Valenzuela, workers groups picketed in front of the Labor Department’s national headquarters in Intramuros this Thursday June 25 to demand a meaningful response to the tragedy from the government.

Carrying a symbolical coffin of the dead workers, members of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and a broad alliance of public and private sector employees under the All Workers’ Unity (AWU) demanded action against the labor department’s policies for contractualization.

The KMU said the Department of Labor and Employment Order No. 18-A Series of 2011, which is the current set of guidelines governing contractual employment, should be junked over what happened in Kentex.

“Kentex shows that the distinction made by the law between illegal ‘labor-only contracting’ and legal ‘job contracting’ is an illusory one.
All forms of contractualization should be banned and the first step should be to junk DO 18-A Series of 2011,” explained Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.

Dangers of being permanent contractual, non-regular workers
Some people have expressed concern over why labor groups bring the issue of Kentex fire deaths to the issue of worsening contractualization.
Some readers of Bulatlat.com have also commented that the Kentex victims’ supporters should focus instead on occupational health and safety and fire safety requirements.
read more.
bulatlat_tagline

KENTEX

20150626 * Prelate urges Kentex fire victims’ kin to push case:

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called on the families of the victims of the workers who were killed in a fire at a slippers factory in Valenzuela City to pursue cases against the government and owner of the establishment. 
CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the families of the 72 fire victims should not neglect seeking justice for their loved ones despite agreeing to the P151,000 settlement with Kentex management.
Bishop Pabillo said the cash settlement will not bring justice to the victims and their families, making the Kentex people and local government accountable for the deaths of the workers.
read more.
philstarNEW

07:31:29 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150629 * Multi-million-USD textile project gets approval in Binh Duong:

A 274 million USD textile project run by a Taiwanese company got an investment certificate from southern Binh Duong province authorities on June 29.

Polytex Far Eastern Co. Ltd, a member of Taiwan’s Far Eastern Group, will spend 274 million USD on phase one of the project, which will cover 99 hectares at the Bau Bang industrial and urban park.

The factory will have an annual capacity of 21,600 tonnes of polyester fibre, 21,600 tonnes of polyester drawn textured yarn, 127 million square metres of knitting fabric and 96,000 square metres of cotton cloth.

When operational, it is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs for local people.

Polytex Far Eastern Chairman Cheng Chen Yu said the Bau Bang industrial park owns favourable investment climate, adding that the Taiwanese group will pour 700 million – 1 billion USD into phase two of the project.
read more.
VIETNAMplus

20150629 * Binh Duong grants investment certificate to Polytex Far Eastern:

Chairman of Binh Duong provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Nam (right) grants the investment certificate to Chairman of the Board of Directors of Polytex Far Eastern Cheng Chen Yu

The People’s Committee of Binh Duong province on June 29 granted an investment certificate to Polytex Far Eastern Vietnam Ltd Company to build a factory producing synthetic fibers.

The first phase of the factory will have an investment of US$274 million, covering an area of 99 hectares at Bau Bang Urban Area and Industrial Park.
read more.
VIETMAZ

20150629 * Workers enjoy one-off insurance pay:

Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Chairman of the National Assembly Office, talks about the National Assembly’s decision to protect workers’ insurance benefits.

The National Assembly has agreed to extend the duration for workers to receive a one time insurance benefit. Can you elaborate on the NA’s decision?

On June 4, deputies were asked to vote on whether to allow workers who had stopped working for one year or not paid enough social insurance to receive a one-off insurance payment. Among the 479 eligible ballots, 411 ballots agreed.

These results show that the majority of the lawmakers agreed that workers should be allowed to claim a one-off insurance payment as written in Article 55 of the Law on Social Insurance until 2020. In parallel, Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance will still be in effect in early 2016.

When do you think the National Assembly adopt this Resolution?
read more.
VNNet

20150629 * Vietnam to reduce its reliance on Chinese Textiles:

American trade negotiators demanding Vietnam, a major garments exporter to reduce its reliance on textiles made in China, which isn’t part of the trade pact, to get preferential market access to the U.S.

The Senate is expected to pass on Wednesday legislation to expand President Barack Obama’s trade-negotiating powers after a bruising battle that has put pressure on proponents to show that the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership will create jobs in the U.S.

The U.S., aiming to bolster American exporters, is stipulating that countries joining its new Pacific trade zone cut back on imports from China—a proposal that is meeting resistance from businesses and officials who say it will disrupt global supply chains.
read more.
ynfx

20150627 * Asia to produce over 60% of world’s apparel:

The apparel production scale in Asia will expand 2.4 per cent by 2030, accounting for over 60 per cent of global outputs.

This was announced by chairman of Viet Nam Cotton and Spinning Association (VCOSA) Nguyen Van Tuan at a conference in Ha Noi on Thursday.

At Viet Nam Textile Summit 2015, Tuan said, several free trade agreements such as the trade pacts Viet Nam and South Korea were reached, and they will turn the country into one of the primary destinations of the global supply chain and open up huge opportunities for the domestic garment industry.

In order to effectively grasp these opportunities, the local garment sector should make a greater effort in calling for foreign and domestic investments in its weakest areas, Dang Phuong Dung, deputy vice chairperson and general secretary of Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association said, adding that closer links between garment producers and raw material suppliers are also necessary.

President of the US Fashion Industry Association Julia K Hughes said many US companies are willing to seek supply sources from nations joining the TPP agreement once it takes effect and Viet Nam is ranked highest in terms of the ability to draw new businesses.

According to VCOSA, nine years after joining the World Trade Organisation, the country’s garment-textile sector has increased its market share in the United States to 10 per cent from the previous 3 per cent, second only to China.
read more.
VNNews new

20150630 * VN footwear tops Brazil market:

Viet Nam has become the largest footwear exporter to Brazil, accounting for 52.8 per cent of that country’s market share.

Viet Nam exported US$335.66 million worth of footwear to Brazil last year, the industry and trade’s ministry’s Industrial and Trade Information Centre said, beating Indonesia, China and Paraguay.

During the 2010-14 period, Viet Nam’s footwear exports to Brazil recorded an annual growth of 26 per cent.

The country exported footwear worth $86.90 million to Brazil by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Viet Nam, Indonesia, China and Paraguay, besides Italy are among the major countries exporting footwear to Brazil.
read more.
VNNews new

20150630 * Vietnam-EU FTA talks on track: Minister:

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang has said negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) over a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) are on right track.

Hoang was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying during his Europe trip this week that the two sides are close to concluding the FTA talks in accordance with an agreement signed by leaders of Vietnam and the European Commission during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Europe in October 2014.

Hoang said at his meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Brussels on Tuesday the two sides affirmed the possibility of concluding their talks.

Vietnam and the EU have completed 13 official rounds of negotiations and interim sessions since the two sides announced to launch negotiations in June 2012.

Hoang said there are few differences remaining and that the ministry would work harder to help local enterprises benefit from the trade agreement.
read more.
VNNet

20150628 * Will the TPP spur another wave of US investment?:

Trade between Vietnam and the US has grown exponentially under a bilateral trade pact that went into force in late 2001 and totalled nearly US$11,035 billion as the end of February this year.

The US is also Vietnam’s largest trade partner lagging just behind China, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

However a large number of trade barriers remain between the two countries and many believe these barriers could be eliminated under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which would group Vietnam, the US and ten other nations in a free trade bloc.

There are also those who have suggested that if and when the TPP is approved and comes into full force it would spark a wave of new foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam by US businesses.
read more. & read more. & read more.
VOVonline DTI  VNNet

20150627 * Vietnam expects for TPP at Asia-Pacific foreign trade forum:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is expected to bring great opportunities to Vietnam , connecting the country with Mexico and other member countries, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Linh Lan told the Asia-Pacific Foreign Trade Forum recently held in the central Mexican state of Queretaro.

In her speech entitled “Market regionalisation, the global economic growth factor”, Lan mentioned the two economic blocs impacting Vietnam, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the TPP..

After its entry into ASEAN in1995, Vietnam recorded a gross domestic product growth of 6.77 percent in 1995-2014, higher than a 5.62 percent in 1985-1994, she said, adding during its first year of membership alone, the Vietnamese economy expanded by a record 9.95 percent.

When it comes to TPP, the ambassador said the deal will create the world’s largest free trade area covering a population of over 804 million, or 11.2 percent of the global total, making up 40 percent of the world’s GDP and 30 percent of its exports-imports.
read more.
VIETNAMplus

20150629 * Vietnam has no “spearhead” industry after decades:

Vietnam is considered a special case in the process of industrialization because it still lacks a cutting-edge industry after decades of development.

The report of the Central Economic Committee at the recent workshop “Vietnam’s Industrial Development Policy by 2035: the situation and direction” acknowledged that the world economic crisis and globalization have revealed the slow development of Vietnam, especially its industry.

Vietnam is falling into the middle income trap. Therefore, Vietnam needs to clarify the objective and subjective causes to supplement and perfect its industrial development policy.

According to the review of Vietnam’s development in the past 30 years (1986-2016), experts found many problems, caused by incompetent policies, scattered and decentralized resources. More frankly, industrial policies were not made based on the facts.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the Vietnam industrial development to 2025, with a vision to 2035. Priorities will be given to some selected industries, including processing and manufacturing industry, electronics and telecommunications industries, new energy and renewable energy.
(…)
Textiles and footwear are also industries with competitive advantages in terms of labor, geographical location and the available infrastructure.
These are important factors to develop the supporting industry in the fields of textiles and footwear, to create groundbreaking developments in this field.
read more.
VNNet

20150628 * Vietnam government again urges state firms to speed up privatization:

The managements of state-owned enterprises that fail to privatize and divest from non-core businesses as ordered this year will face “strict” action, a government committee on the restructuring of SOEs said at a meeting in Hanoi last week.

Only 61 SOEs have finished selling stakes to private investors in the first six months, accounting for a mere 21.1 percent of the number of businesses slated for privatization this year, the committee said.

But state-owned conglomerates pulled out of five “sensitive” sectors — real estate, stocks, banking, insurance, and venture funding – selling their stakes for US$176.87 million, or 15 percent of the target.
read more. & read more.
THANHNIENEWS new VOVonline

07:31:29 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150630 * Factory Says Not Responsible For Protesting Workers’ Injuries:

A lawyer for a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, where four women were injured last week when a truck driver slammed into a group of protesters, said Monday the factory was not responsible because the workers had thrown themselves in front of the speeding vehicle.

On Thursday, about 100 protesting garment workers blocked the exit of the South Korean-owned S.H. International garment factory when Kim Sat, 22, drove a truck full of sewing machines into the group.

Mr. Sat was quickly arrested but released the next day because, according to police, the factory had agreed to pay compensation to the workers.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150629 * Employers need to sacrifice too:

Dear Editor,

The Phnom Penh Post article titled Unions agree to push for $177 wage at meet published on June 23 reflects a debate on what should be the appropriate level of the legal minimum wage in Cambodia today.

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, was quoted as saying about the unions’ target that “$177 per month is unreasonable, and much higher than other competing garment manufacturing countries”.

He reportedly added that “current levels are [already] high, and we are not competitive with current levels”.

In reaction to the above assertions by the employers’ representative, I would like to make two remarks.

• Firstly, with regard to the current salaries of Cambodian workers compared with those of their counterparts in other countries, it would be more appropriate to compare real salaries and not nominal salaries.
(…)
Sam Rainsy
Minority leader
Former finance minister

read more.
PPP new

20150626 * Twenty Workers Faint at Garment Factory:

A defective fire alarm at a Southland (Cambodia) Co. Ltd garment factory in Sangkat Chaom Chao led to a panic and a mass fainting episode at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. 

A factory manager said that only five or six workers fainted, but several employees speaking on the condition of anonymity said that between 15 and 20 people passed out, requiring medical attention.
The others refused to continue working and went home for the day.

“The factory [was having] a fire alarm repaired, the fire alarm [started] ringing,” said the manager. “Until workers all calmed down, some workers were very afraid.”

Interviewed employees said some of the victims were carted away in tuk-tuks before the summoned ambulances arrived at the scene.

The factory produces baseball caps. According to shipping data, they are exported to the US, and Ralph Lauren Corporation is one of the factory’s customers – the names of others weren’t immediately available on Friday.

Panic On The Work Floor
A twenty-year-old worker told Khmer Times: “There were around twenty workers fainting.
The emergency bell rang, notifying the problem with electricity. The situation was uncontrollable. Workers just got panicked and rushed out of the factory.”
read more. & read more. & read more.
KHMERTIMES  PPP new Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150629 * Cheap exports, costly imports: Cambodia’s labour dilemma:

Since 2007, when ASEAN member states agreed on the goal of fast-tracking the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, which is expected to deepen market integration across the 10-nation bloc, the free flow of skilled labour – one of the integrations priorities –is expected to be minimal, local experts said.

The notion of labour migration was set in place to increase the mobility of workers to fill shortages in regional markets, allowing workers to have higher earning potential and better opportunities.

However, the flow of labour is currently restricted to eight mutual recognised professions that include accountants, architects, dentists, doctors, engineers, nurses, surveyors, and tourism industry workers.
(…)

Sandra d’Amico, managing director of human resource broker HRINC, said that she is also concerned about filling the potential growth in the job market, as incentives to remain in the country do not fall in line with wage earning potential due the lack of skills verification.

While she doubted that the wages earned in Thailand are markedly different then in Cambodia, due to the fact that migrant labour hits an inevitable ceiling and is more dependent on a worker’s geographic location in regards to opportunity, “there needs to be more proactivity in finding ways to build the skills of the workforce for them to take on higher value added jobs,” she said.
read more.
PPP new

20150628 * UN Agencies Welcome Probe into Slaying of Unionists:

The government’s announcement of a new commission to investigate the decade-old murders of members of the Free Trade Union has been welcomed by some and greeted with skepticism by others.

On Saturday two UN agencies – the International Labor Organization and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – released a joint statement supporting the commission.

They “welcome the recent announcement that the Royal Government of Cambodia has established an inter-ministerial commission to investigate the murders of three trade unions leaders,” the statement said.

It also said they “hope that every effort will be made to find the true perpetrators of these crimes and ensure that justice will be finally served.”

Free Trade Union leader Chea Vichea and factory representative Ros Sovannareth were murdered in 2004, while factory representative Hy Vuthy was killed in 2007.

“Suspicious Timing”
William Conklin, country director of the US-based Solidarity Center, said the timing of the government’s announcement was “suspect.”
It came while negotiations for a new minimum wage are underway and a trade union law is being drafted.
read more.
KHMERTIMES

20150512 SAY NO Cambodia

20150630 * March Against Repressive Laws:

At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, in protest against two draft laws, the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law (TUL), hundreds of marchers will make their way towards the National Assembly from four locations in Phnom Penh.

Both laws have been widely criticised in Cambodia and abroad for the threat they represent to Cambodian civil society. LICADHO will be livestreaming events from each of the marches throughout the morning.
more: livestream-overview.
licadho

20150630 * Protesters march over controversial NGO bill:

More than 200 protesters marched to the National Assembly yesterday demanding the withdrawal of the controversial draft law on NGOs and associations.

The protesters, which comprised civil society organisations and monks, warned they would not vote for any political party supporting the law’s passage as it was designed to “serve political interests”.

“If this law is approved, we are all required to register even informal groups.

So a lot of us will not be able to do our duties and the authorities could take legal action against us, and we can be fined or even be jailed,” said Licadho coordinator Am Sam Ath.

According to ruling Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker and Human Rights Commission member Lok Kheng, parliament will hold a consultation with stakeholders in early August after reviewing the law.
read more.
PPP new

20150630 * Gov’t to Stop March Against NGO Law by ‘Any Means’:

NGOs on Monday vowed to press ahead with a protest march through Phnom Penh on Tuesday against a draft law that threatens to rein in the country’s non-government groups and associations despite City Hall’s threat to stop them by “any means.”

In what would be the largest demonstration against the proposed legislation to date, some 600 NGO workers and unionists are planning to converge on the National Assembly from four locations around the city.
They are hoping to convince the ruling CPP to scrap the draft, which they deem unconstitutional and fear the government will use to silence its critics.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150629 * Hun Sen, and Sam Rainsy held talk on NGOS law:

Prime minister Hun Sen and minority leader of the National Assembly Sam Rainsy held talk this morning on the controversy of the draft of law on NGOs, Associations and Unions.

“In the meeting, Samdech Techo Hun Sen states that the existing NGOS, associations, and unions do not worry.
They don’t have to register again.
They will recognize automatically” Sam Rainsy quoted Hun Sen’ voice to the journalists after the meeting.
Last week, Sam Rainsy held talk with representatives of ten NGOs and associations, and reaffirmed his Cambodia National Rescue Party’s strong stance for this draft of law.

At that time, Sam Rainsy said CNRP’s stance is the same the civil societies’ stance ‘don’t want this law’ and pledged to use the culture of dialogue to discuss with Hun Sen, and said in case that Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party don’t change their stance, CNRP’s parliamentarians will continue to debate at the National Assembly’s permanent secretariat.

If there is no outcome, all 55 CNRP’s parliamentarians will consider boycotting the National Assembly’s session.
read more.
CAMHERALD

20150629 * Protesters march over controversial NGO bill:

More than 200 protesters marched to the National Assembly yesterday demanding the withdrawal of the controversial draft law on NGOs and associations.

The protesters, which comprised civil society organisations and monks, warned they would not vote for any political party supporting the law’s passage as it was designed to “serve political interests”.

“If this law is approved, we are all required to register even informal groups.

So a lot of us will not be able to do our duties and the authorities could take legal action against us, and we can be fined or even be jailed,” said Licadho coordinator Am Sam Ath.
read more.
PPP new

20150629 * Hundreds Protest Against Draft NGO Law:

NGOs brought about 300 people together in front of the National Assembly on Sunday to protest the pending passage of a law that would force all non-government groups and associations in the country to register and file regular reports with the state.

Critics of the draft legislation, which is under review at the Assembly ahead of a vote, say overly vague and broad provisions would give the government undue powers to shut down—or deny registration to—groups critical of the ruling CPP or issues the party supports

Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to push the law through the Assembly with or without the opposition, which opposes it.

“I came to join the protest to support the organizations because they work hard to help people,” said Chhay Koeun, who has received help from NGOs in her Phnom Penh neighborhood’s land dispute with a donor-funded railway project backed by the government.
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150629 * Thousands of balloons released across Cambodia in protest against repressive draft laws:

This morning at 10 o’clock, over a hundred community groups, Cambodian NGOs and international NGOs, including Oxfam, Action Aid and Transparency International, held events around Phnom Penh and in 13 provincial towns to protest against the draft the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law.

From offices and other locations they released balloons bearing the message “Say NO to Union, Association and NGO laws”.

The LANGO has been widely condemned for its potential to repress NGOs, informal networks and community groups not favoured by the government.
It is currently under review by three National Assembly commissions after which it is expected to pass to the National Assembly to be voted on.
read more.
licadho

20150628 * Cambodia tells foreign countries not to interfere in affairs over NGO, Trade Union draft bills:

Ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) President and Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appealed to foreign countries not to interfere in his country’s internal affairs over the establishment of the draft laws on Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Associations and on Trade Unions.

Speaking during the 64th anniversary of the CPP founding, Hun Sen said the party supported the creation of the two laws, noting that they would protect the rights, freedom and interests of those organizations as well as public interests while guaranteeing effective functioning of those
organizations in conformity with rule of law and good governance.

“The party resolutely opposes actions of interference from foreign circles into the process, which is a violation on independence and sovereignty of Cambodia, and calls for respect of the Kingdom of Cambodia as a sovereign state and a member of the United Nations,” he said at the event.
read more.
CAMHERALD

08:31:29 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

20150628 * Keep sexual harassment out of the workplace:

Sexual harassment is no longer as clear-cut as it used to be. Today, especially with easy access to social media, even a simple act of communication between two colleagues on a smartphone can be seen as a form of flirtation bordering on sexual harassment.

Labour law experts in the country are now grappling with these new issues and employers and employees alike should pay heed to the new developments.

We must take heed that a working environment characterised by pervasive sexual harassment can make employees uncomfortable.

An office environment that encourages the free flow of jokes with sexual innuendo and the rampant use of coarse language is sending very dangerous signals that may embolden employees, and even the employers to move from words to action.
read more.
thestaronline

20150628 * ‘Workplace sexual harassment a major misconduct’:

Employers have to make it clear that sexual harassment at the workplace is a major form of misconduct, said the Malaysian Employers Federation.

Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said this was because improper and inappropriate behaviour at the workplace lowered morale and interfered with work effectiveness.

“Such behaviour should not be tolerated by any employer,” he said, adding that he believed many cases had gone unreported.

According to the Employment Act, sexual harassment is defined as “any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, visual, gestural or physical, directed at a person which is offensive or humiliating or is a threat to his well-being, arising out of and in the course of his employment”.
read more.
thestaronline

20150630 * Way cleared for TPP:

The much-awaited passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill to United States President Barack Obama is a step forward for the mega-regional Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Industry observers are all for the TPA, as it paves the way for Obama to fast-track any trade agreements without amendments from Congress members.

“With the TPA, negotiating countries for the TPP are more comfortable.

“Without the TPA, Congress would still be able to amend agreements that have already been signed.

“The TPA is an internal thing that the US needs to have,” said an observer.

Negotiations, the person added, were ongoing but no specific dates have been set yet for the next communication.
read more.
thestaronline

08:31:29 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20150630 * Sritex in Talks to Acquire Foreign Retail Clothing Brand:

Indonesian textile manufacturer Sri Rejeki Isman, better known as Sritex, is considering purchasing up to three foreign clothing brands as part of its wider strategy for downstream expansion.

Allan Moran Severino, Sritex’s finance director, said the company had received proposals to go into joint ventures with retailers from Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe, but would not specify.

“We hope to acquire at least one,” he told GlobeAsia in Jakarta on Monday, adding that the company hoped to seal a deal by 2017. “We’re still in the early stage of discussions, but whatever the business scheme, we would want a majority stake.”

He added that Sritex was particularly interested in the European company, which he described only as producing uniforms.

Sritex, Southeast Asia’s biggest textile manufacturer, today operates four main businesses that cover almost the entire range of the garment industry, from thread spinning and weaving to finishing and garments.
It sells yarn, fabrics and apparel to other textile producers and retailers in 55 countries, exporting more than half of its products to companies like Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M and US department store Macy’s.
read more. & read more.
jak-globe jakartapost

07:01:29 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150629 * Minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58:

The country’s minimum wage will be declared by the end of this month, likely to be set in a range of Ks3,200-Ks4,000 per day or approximately US$2.86-$3.58.

“The minimum wage will be between Ks3,200 and Ks4,000 because it must not be lower than the Asean standard and must not exceed it,” said Labour Minister Aye Myint after the meeting of the Union Committee for Minimum Wage on June 24.

A source said that various figures were proposed at the meeting.

The lowest figure was Ks2,500. Most of the attendees voted for the Ks3,600 rate.
“There is one more step to go before we officially declare it.
Even the agreed-upon amount was the result of intense discussions as it is now greater than the amount set by business owners.
We still have to consider whether overtime wage, which were previously double the wage amount, should be set as 1.5 times the minimum wage.
The amount we settled upon was the result of efforts to please all parties,” said Permanent Secretary of Labour Myo Aung.

The most affected sector is likely garment factories.
In February, workers at garment factories in Shwepyithar Industrial Zone staged protest.
Earning less than Ks100,000 per month at present, they demanded an increase of Ks30,000 in line with the higher cost of living.
A hike in civil servants’ salaries took effect in April. Civil servants with the lowest pay of Ks75,000 a month will get Ks120,000. Those who receive the highest pay of Ks250,000 will get Ks500,000.
read more.
theNATIONnew

20150627 * Gap Inc., H&M Back Labor Reform Initiative:

Global garment retailers Gap Inc. and H&M have stated their support for a United States-led initiative to improve labor rights in Burma’s growing apparel sector.

Gap and H&M, based in the United States and Sweden, respectively, issued a joint statement this week following a stakeholders forum held by the International Labor Organisation in May.
The forum was part of the Initiative on Labour Law Reform and Institutional Capacity Building, first proposed by the United States last year—later backed by Japan, Denmark and the European Union—amid concerns that international buyers returning to the garment sector after years of sanctions would find an environment lacking in guarantees for workers’ rights.

Gap Inc. was the first major American brand to announce that would begin sourcing from Burma following the suspension of sanctions. In June 2014 it began sourcing “Made in Myanmar” clothing for its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands.

H&M placed test orders with factories in Burma in 2013, and is among a raft of major European labels now sourcing from the country.
read more in “The Irrawaddy Business Roundup”. (4th item).
IRRAWADDY

20150626 * Myanmar: New labour force survey addresses data gap:

Reaching high coverage, the first labour force survey in Myanmar in a quarter century will provide results in October that will shape the country’s employment policy.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has expanded its activities in Myanmar and has a significant programme of work in the country.

As Myanmar opens up, ILO News caught up with Debi Mondal, Chief Technical Advisor for the Labour Force Survey Project in Myanmar.

With the field work now completed and results expected this Fall, Mr. Mondal described the national labour force survey he is leading from his base in the capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw.

ILO News: Why is there a need for a labour force survey in Myanmar?
read more.

06:31:29 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150628 * Ctg RMG worker, burnt in gas stove blast, dies:

One of the four garment workers burned in a gas stove fire in Chittagong’s EPZ area last Wednesday has died in a local hospital.

Mohammad Nayan, 17, died at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH)’s burn unit on Saturday evening. Doctor Mrinal Kanti Das said he had suffered 70 per cent burns.

A corrugated tin-roofed colony at Bandartila in the port city’s export processing zone caught fire on Wednesday from a gas stove explosion.
Nayan, his sister Nargis Akter, 20, Mosammat Salma, 21, and her sister Kohinoor Akter, 20, all workers at a ready-made garment (RMG) factory in the EPZ, were burned in the accident, according to a news agency.
to read. & to read.
FE bd bdnews24

20150630 * Pay RMG workers’ wages before Ramadan 20:

20150630 NEWAGE
Garments Shramik Sangram Parishad brings out a procession in the capital on Monday, demanding payment of salaries and bonus of garment factory workers before 20th Ramadan. — New Age photo

Labour rights groups on Monday demanded that the factory owners pay the wages and festival allowances to the readymade garment workers within Ramadan 20.

Under the banner of Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad, several trade union federation forms a human chain in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in the capital to press home their four-point demands.

The labour leaders submitted a memorandum to the BGMEA demanding payment of full wages for the month of June and half for the month of July within Ramadan 20, payment of festival allowances equivalent to one month basic pay and bonus for the sweater factory workers who worked piece rate basis.
They also demanded not to terminate workers from their jobs before Eid-ul-Fitr.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150630 * Trade union leaders demand wages, festival bonus by 20th Ramadan:

Several trade union leaders yesterday demanded payment of wages and festival allowances for the RMG workers by 20th Ramadan to avert untoward incidents. 

They made the demand at a human chain under the banner of Garment Shramik Sangram Parishad in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at Karwan Bazar in the city yesterday.

The programme aimed at mounting pressure on the factory owners to pay wages and bonus within the stated timeline.

Most of the garment workers fail to enjoy Eid with their family members due to either non-payment or delay in payment of wages and festival allowances,” said Taslima Akter, president of Garment Shramik Sanghati.

If any untoward incident or unrest occurs in the RMG sector in the wake of non-payment, the BGMEA, government and the factory owners will have to take the responsibility, she said.

“It is very unfortunate that the amount of festival allowances for RMG workers is yet to be fixed,” said Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, president of Bangladesh Textile Garment Workers Federation.

The present government claims to be worker-friendly, but has so far failed to determine the amount of festival allowances for garment workers though it pays accordingly – equivalent to one month basic pay – for public servants, he added.

The RMG trade union leaders also placed a memorandum to the BGMEA, demanding payment of full wages for the month of June and half for the month of July by 20th Ramadan.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150628-29 * Owners to clear wages by July 15: BGMEA:

Garment makers aim to clear the salaries and allowances of their workers by July 15 to avoid any untoward incident before the Eid festival.

“We have instructed our members to complete the payments by that time,” said Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Azim also said the factory owners will clear salaries by July 10 and festival allowances by July 15.
Last year, nearly 2,000 workers of Tuba Group did not receive their salaries before Eid-ul-Fitr as the owner of the company—Delwar Hossain—was in jail in Tazreen Fashions fire case.

BGMEA and the industrial police have made a list of 45 factories in Dhaka and 29 in Chittagong, which may fail to clear the payments in time due to a cash crunch, he told The Daily Star.

“Our crisis management team is also monitoring the situation so that the workers are paid properly and timely,” Azim said.

Eight regional committees in Dhaka, Savar, Ashulia, Narayanganj and Gazipur have been assigned to monitor the payment situation, Azim said.

As their payments were not cleared, the workers of Tuba Group could not go to their village home during Eid-ul-Fitr last year, and observed hunger strike in front of the factory gate in Dhaka.
“We don’t want any such incident this year. We have also communicated with the central bank so the bank branches remain open to help clear the payments before Eid.”
read more.  & read more. & read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015 UNBnew FE bd

20150627 * Our garment industry at a crossroad:

Manufacturing is now an overwhelmingly salient component of the Bangladesh’s export composition, thanks largely to the rapid expansion of the garment industry.

From a small base of only around US$ 32 million in 1984, garment exports have grown to around US$ 25 billion by 2014, accounting for more than three-quarters of export earnings.

Garment has been an important contributor to growth and employment generation in Bangladesh.
Female participation in the formal labour market underwent a major shift with the rise of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
It provides direct employment to over 4 million people, 70 per cent of whom are female.
More than 50 per cent of the manufacturing labor force is now employed in this sector, and the sector accounts for 30 per cent of the investment in manufacturing.
Therefore, the story of the growth of the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh over the past two decades has been the story of the success of the garment sector.

There is no denying the fact that the success story of the garment industry in Bangladesh lies in its comparative advantage generating from the country’s large pool of unskilled labor.
Considering the fact that Bangladesh’s Asian neighbors and competitors such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China also have large pool of unskilled labour, it is certainly astounding how Bangladesh has been able to retain its comparative advantage till date and has enjoyed continued export growth.
While cheap labor has been the single most important advantage of Bangladesh, the local industry has flourished in spite of numerous challenges, e.g., high cost of doing business, weak infrastructure, weak governance, and labour unrests.

There have been concerns with regard to the compliance issues and the work place safety in the garment industry in Bangladesh, and in the last couple of years these issues have become very critical for the future of this industry.

There is strong international pressure, in the form of the threat of cancelling large preferences in the markets of Western countries, if labour conditions are not improved.
Quality competitiveness is getting increased priorities over price competitiveness, and of course, quality of a product embodies the standard of living of labour being used in the production process.
These concerns should be addressed in a positive way as an opportunity to build industry’s reputation in the global market.
This calls for, among many other things, to deal with labor issues in the garment industry carefully. In this context issues like wage, workplace security, fringe benefits, workplace environment etc. need to be resolved on a priority basis.

Current labor practices prevalent in the garment industry need to be improved in order to make the sector sustainable.
Improvement of the labour condition is closely linked to the enhancement of the productivity of labour.
There is equally a need to invest in training workers to move up to the higher value added garment products.
The BGMEA and the government should collaborate with each other, with help from relevant international agencies, to be able to work effectively in this area.
read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150629 * Tax reduced in RMG sector:

The government reduced the volume of source tax in readymade garments (RMG) sector from proposed one percent to 0.6 percent in the national budget of 2015-16 fiscal year.

At the same time, the value added tax (VAT) in higher education in private sector was also reduced from proposed 10 percent to 7 percent.

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Monday informed the House in his concluding speech on the proposed national budget.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24NEW the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150629 * PM for reducing tax at source in RMG sector:

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, to reduce tax at source in the readymade garment sector from one per cent to 0.60 per from.

The prime minister made the request while speaking in parliament taking part in the budget discussion on Monday.
read more. & read more.
prothom DHAKATRIBUNE

20150628 * Commerce Minister Tofail seeks ‘tolerable’ tax at source for apparel sector:

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has urged Finance Minister AMA Muhith to reduce the 1% tax at source for the apparel sector proposed in the budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Ahmed has sought a ‘tolerable’ rate of the tax at source for the sector.

He was speaking in the budget discussion in Parliament on Sunday.
read more. & read more.
bdnews24 the DAILYSTAR new 2015

20150628 * $50b RMG export target by 2021:

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed informed the House that the government has targeted to export readymade garments (RMG) to 50 billion USD by 2021.

He said that the RMG export of the country has kept continuity amid a lot of obstacles.

According to the minister, most of the developed nations, except the USA, are importing Bangladesh RMG products in a duty-free quota.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

20150627 * Proposed export source tax likely to be reduced:

The government is likely to reduce the tax at source to 0.80% from the proposed 1% for the fiscal year 2015-16 for all export oriented industries including the readymade garment. 

Officials said the proposed tax could be slashed due to intense opposition by different quarters including the RMG industry people.

“The government has been facing huge pressure from different sectors’ people including those of apparel industry to cut the proposed tax at source rate,” said a finance ministry official asking not to be named.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150629 * Textile, leather sectors to get global green funding:

A Swiss foundation would tie up with Bangladesh Bank (BB) to help explore the opportunities of collaborating on exploring global green fund for sustainable infrastructure focusing on textile and leather sectors.

The Basel-based Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation promotes sustainable and resilient infrastructure through sustainable infrastructure design and financing on a global scale.

Two senior green economy experts – Hans-Peter Egler and Daniel Wiener from ECOS (ecology, economy and social responsibility), a subsidiary of GIB Foundation, discussed the matter with BB Governor Dr Atiur Rahman at a meeting on Tuesday.
read more. & read more.
BSSnew FE bd

20150629 * Weavers busy manufacturing Benarashi sarees in Rangpur:

Weavers of Benarashi palli at Gangachara upazila in Rangpur district are now busy with manufacturing Benarashi sarees, as the holy Eid-ul-Fitr is knocking at the door.

They are working day and night to make different varieties of Benarashi sarees.

There are around 400 handlooms at 100 Benarashi factories in the upazila where about 2400 workers are busy with ‘Belbutti’, ‘Katan’, ‘Nakshi’, ‘Fulkoli’ etc which have huge demands in different areas of the country.

Kashem Mia, owner of a Benarashi factory at Talukhabu village  said he has 6 handlooms.
The workers are much busy making  sarees due to increased demand on the eve of  Eid. T
hey are making sarees according to the demand of the buyers during this peak season.
Those are supplied to Dhaka and other parts of the country, she also said.

Farida Akhter, owner of   Fiyaz Benarashi factory at Habu Tantipara village told The Financial Express that she has around 30 handlooms.
The demand for sarees has increased much ahead of Eid.
The sarees which they make are sold at different rates between Tk 1,500 and Tk 20,000 depending on its designs and qualities.
read more.
FE bd

RANAPLAZA tekst

20150629 * RANA PLAZA DISASTER : Police, jail authorities trade blame over not producing Rana in court:

Police and jail authorities blamed each other as a judicial magistrate’s court in Dhaka on Sunday raised question why prime accused, Sohel Rana, was not produced in the dock for a hearing on two charge sheets filed against him and 41 others.

The senior judicial magistrate, Shahinur Rahman, also deferred until July 8 the hearing on the acceptability of the charge sheets in Rana Plaza disaster cases because of absence of the prime accused, causing further delay in the pre-trial phase of the cases.

June 28 was scheduled for hearing in the acceptability of the charge sheets, the Criminal Investigation Department had submitted on June 1 to the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, relating to Rana Plaza collapse that had killed 1,137 people on April 24, 2013.

The charge sheets accused Shohel Rana and 41 people, including government officials, elected representatives and Awami League leaders for the killings in Savar.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court’s additional public prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul expressed disappointment over Rana not being produced in court and requested the court to seek explanation from the jail authorities.

The district court inspector Asaduzzaman blamed the jail authorities for the failure of not sending the prime accused to the court although the necessary documents were sent to them earlier.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150629 * Hearing on accepting Rana Plaza charge sheets July 8:

A Dhaka court yesterday set July 8 for a hearing on whether it would accept the charge sheets in two cases filed over the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse that killed over 1,135 people.

Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Shahinur Rahman set the date after scrutiniying case documents.

He also issued a show-cause notice to Kashimpur Jail Super for not producing prime accused Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building, before the court during the hearing.
However, other accused in the cases appeared in the court.
read more.
DHAKATRIBUNE

20150628 * Rana Plaza: Order on chargesheet against Sohel Rana, 41 others July 8:

A court here on Sunday fixed July 8 to deliver the order on chargesheet against 41 people, including Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, in two cases filed in connection with the garment factory collapse that killed 1,129 people and injured 2,515 on April 24, 2013.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Shahinur Rahman fixed the date for order after concluding the hearing on the petitions.

On June 1, over two years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police pressed charges against 42 people, including Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, in the two cases.

Assistant Police Super of CID Bijoy Krishna Kar submitted the chargesheets before the GRO (general recording office) concerned of the Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in two separate cases — one filed for killing people and another for violating the building code under the Building Construction Act.

Sohel Rana’s father Abdul Khalek and mother Marjina Begum and 12 government officials were among the charge-sheeted accused.
Besides, 594 people were shown as witnesses in the killing case besides 135 in another case.
read more.
UNBnew

20150628 * Bangladesh completes factory collapse probe:

Court to decide whether to put building owners and several officials on trial for deaths of 1,200 workers in 2013.

The investigation into the deadly collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh has been completed.

Nearly 1,200 garment workers were killed when the Rana Plaza building came crashing down in 2013.

On Sunday, the court adjourned the Rana Plaza court case until July 8 as the accused was not presented to the court.
The court is still to decide whether it will put the building owners and a number of government officials on trial.

Meanwhile, survivors recall their tragic experiences as they continue to suffer from their injuries and feel neglected.
see more video.
aljazeera

20150628 * Rana Plaza: Charge framing hearing Jul 8:

A Dhaka court today set July 8 to begin the hearings on whether charges will be framed against 42 people including Sohel Rana in two cases over Rana Plaza collapse.

The court also issued a show cause notice to Kasimpur prison superintendent on why Sohel Rana was not produced during proceedings today.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Shahinur Rahma passed the orders.

Additional Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul appealed to the court for a show cause notice accusing negligence of the jail authorities in this regard.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
the DAILYSTAR new 2015 DHAKATRIBUNE bdnews24 INDEPENDENT

06:01:29 local time map of india INDIA

20150629-30 * Fire at FCI godown:

Thousands of cotton bales destroyed

Thousands of bales of cotton were reduced to ashes in a major fire that broke out at the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown at Challareddypalem near Vetapalem on Sunday night.

“Ten fire tenders from Prakasam and Guntur districts are fighting the flames where the Cotton Corporation of India has stored the stocks purchased from farmers,” District Fire Officer D. Peddi Reddy said.

Fire tenders from Ongole, Chirala, Tangutur, Addanki, Bapatla, Ponnur and Chilakaluripeta were able to prevent the fire from spreading to adjoining godowns.
to read. & read more.
THEHINDU THEHINDU

20150630 * ‘New textiles policy aims at 35 million jobs’:

The Central government will unveil a new national textiles policy next month that seeks to create 35 million new jobs by attracting foreign investments, a senior ministry official said on Monday.

“The new national textiles policy aims at creating 35 million new jobs by attracting foreign investments. The policy will be announced in July after the Cabinet approval,” Textiles Secretary S. K. Panda told reporters after inaugurating the 61{+s}{+t}National Garment Fair here.

An expert panel had submitted the draft of the new policy, which aims at addressing concerns over lack of enough skilled workforce and labour reforms besides attracting investments and providing a roadmap for the textile and clothing industry.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150630 * ILO’s labour wing questions proposed trade union restrictions:

The govt’s view is that the unions should be representatives of the workers who can negotiate with the management and raise issues concerning them

The labour wing of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Monday raised concerns over the Union government’s proposal to restrict the entry of outsiders into the trade unions.

“The convention clearly states that it should be up to the trade unions to decide about its structures and government shouldn’t interfere. They should play the role of a facilitator,” Raghwan, desk officer for Asia and the Pacific Region of ILO-Bureau for Workers’ Activities (Actrav) told Business Standard.

Raghwan was speaking on the sidelines of the national trade union conference organised by the ILO’s labour wing and Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
read more.
businessstandard

20150629 * CITU warns of prolonged struggle on workers’ plight:

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), affiliated to Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Sunday warned the government of a prolonged struggle if the governments at the State and the Centre do not shun anti-worker policies.

The trade union leaders gave a call to the worker community to be prepared to fight for their rights in the future.

CITU leaders were addressing a public meeting at Adilabad town after their Karmika Porubata bus yatra reached here in the afternoon.
They had earlier addressed similar rallies in Mancherial, Kagaznagar and Utnoor and will be crossing over to Nizamabad in the night.

CITU State general secretary M. Saibabu accused the governments of pursuing anti-worker policies.
He demanded a minimum wage of Rs. 15,000 to workers.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150629 * Team behind India’s labour reforms:

In November, the government had quietly set up a ‘reforms cell’ in the labour ministry, which was mandated to carry out a major revamp of labour laws in the country

During his recent visit to the United States, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed labour one of the key areas where “reforms are absolutely necessary”.

At the Shram Shakti Bhavan, headquarters of the labour ministry, a team of experts and current and former government officials are busy implementing these reforms.

In November, the government had set up a reforms cell in the ministry, mandated to carry out a major revamp of the laws, often termed complex and archaic by industry.
In the eight months since the cell was formed, the government has proposed one of the biggest overhauls in decades and started work on some long-pending demands.
read more.
businessstandard

201506298 * Small Factory Bill likely in Monsoon Session:

The proposed law would mainly combine provisions of various labour laws applicable to small factories at one place

The Small Factory Bill, which seeks to exempt units employing less than 40 workers from 14 labour laws, among others, is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the Monsoon Session starting next month.

“The Small Factory (Facilitation and Regulation of Employment Conditions of Services) Bill is expected in the Monsoon session of Parliament,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told PTI.

The minister said that the bill would be sent for Cabinet approval before the start of Monsoon Session. The session is commencing from July 21.
read more.
businessstandard

20150627 * Centre to bring four labour codes to protect workers:

The Union Labour Ministry proposes to come out with four labour codes in the areas of wages, industrial relations, social security and working conditions to strengthen safety and social security of workers.

“We are going to bring four labour codes. Labour Code is very, very important.
It is going to play a major role.
One will be for wages.
There is complication in wages being paid.
We would like to bring all wages under one code.

“Second is Industrial Relation Code. We will amalgamate all laws.
Third is social security code and fourth one is working conditions and safety. Safety and security of the workers will be strengthened under these codes,” Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya said today.

He was addressing a regional conference of state Labour Ministers and officials from southern states here.
read more.
et

201506298 * Union govt. is spreading false propaganda: CITU:

The Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has criticised the Narendra Modi government for indulging in false propaganda over the Atal Pension Scheme and raising funds from unorganised sector.

“The proposed scheme is through Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority where the contributions are invested in stock market and the returns are given depending on the market value. With market risk involved due to fluctuations, how can the government announce that a guaranteed pension of Rs. 5,000 would be given? This is nothing short of cheating,” S. Prasannakumar, national CITU secretary, said.

Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Kumar expressed concern over the Union government spreading the “false propaganda” through film actor Amitabh Bachchan to hoodwink gullible people.

Nation-wide strike
All the Central Trade Unions will stage a nation-wide strike on September 2 over the Union government’s decision to amend various Labour laws, it’s failure to check price rise, cut in grants for social schemes etc.

“The Union government has reduced its contribution to the midday meal scheme from Rs. 13,000 crore to Rs. 8,000 crore.
Similarly, the allocation to anganwadis have been reduced and attempts were being made to close down as many as 66 social welfare schemes in the guise of ushering in austerity measures,” he said.
to read.
THEHINDU

20150630 * Weavers want State to release recommendations of wage revision committee:

The employees of the handloom weavers’ cooperative societies have urged the government to take steps for the release of the recommendation of the wage revision committee.

The wage agreement for the employees of the handloom weavers expired way back on December 31, 2012. The government soon formed another committee for the revision of wages. The Salem and Tiruchengode Range Handloom Weavers Cooperative Societies Employees Union, at its meeting held here recently, urged the committee to forward its recommendations on wage revision soon.

Till the release of the committee report, the government should direct payment of Rs. 2,000 per month as interim wages, the resolution said.

The meeting demanded the societies to regularise the services of all the workers employed on daily wages and provide them time bound wages.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150630 * HC stays NLC workers’ plan to go on strike for wage revision:

The Madras High Court on Monday granted an interim stay on the strike planned by various workers’ unions of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) from July 2 against the management over wage revision.

When a plea filed by the Chief Regional Manager of Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited seeking to restrain the workers’ unions from proceeding with the strike they had planned to commence on July 2 came up for hearing, Justice T. Raja granted a stay and ordered issuing of notice to the respondents.

The petitioner submitted that though an agreement could not be clinched between the management and the workers’ unions over the wage settlement for the five-year term covering 2012-16, the NLC continued to pay ad-hoc advances to eligible workers from 2012.

Meanwhile, various “non-negotiating” unions made demands to the management making “exorbitant” demands which were directly in conflict with the directives of the Department of Public Enterprises Guidelines on Wage Revision.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150629 * Texprocil seeks incentives for exports to African countries:

Export of value-added cotton textile products such as dyed and printed fabrics and made-ups to African countries will be affected as the new foreign trade policy has removed the benefits extended so far on these exports, according to R.K. Dalmia, chairman of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.

Mr. Dalmia has said in a press release that the newly-introduced Merchandise Exports from India Scheme has allowed duty credit scrip of two per cent, three per cent and five per cent to exports of notified products to specific countries.

However, the scheme does not include export of products such as the dyed and printed cotton fabric and made ups to African countries.
The share of textile exports to African region is less than five per cent now and the potential is huge.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150629 * How e-commerce reshaped the powerloom town of Bhiwandi:

If you live in Mumbai and have shopped online, you could not have missed the references to “Bhiwandi sorting hub” while tracking your order.

Over the past five years, this powerloom town 37km northeast of Mumbai has emerged as a key, if unlikely, hub in the logistics chain serving the region.
(…)
Bhiwandi has always enjoyed a location advantage, sitting astride highways that connect Mumbai, Thane, and the JNPT port.
It had warehouses years ago, too; old-fashioned godowns to store cement and the like.
But those were too few to make a difference to the local economy.

Bhiwandi remained a town of powerlooms, with a largely poor, migrant and Muslim population, and a history of communal riots.
read more. & to read.
et TOInew

20150627 * Bengal pegs Rs 37,000-cr investment in textiles sector:

The West Bengal government hopes to attract around Rs 37,000 crore in the state through 10 textile clusters or parks under integrated textile development project over the next three years.

State MSME secretary Rajiva Sinha, in the presence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said that the project, on PPP model, will provide employment to 6-10 lakh people and incur a total investment of Rs 37,000 crore.
read more.
TOInew

20150629 * Industries start skill training through Sector Skill Councils:

In about a year or so, industries in Coimbatore, be it garment exporters or builders, hope to see improvement in availability of skilled workers and in productivity as many of them are registering with the respective Sector Skill Councils to train the workers.

The Union Government has formed Sector Skill Councils for different verticals – apparel, textiles, gem and jewellery, plumbing, retail, automobile, – under the National Skill Development Corporation.

In Coimbatore, some of the industrial associations have started facilitating individual industries to register with the councils and train their workers.

According to Texpreneurs Forum, 69 textile mills have started training the workers; Southern India Mills’ Association says that about 40 spinning and weaving units have registered under the Pradham Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana; the Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council has trained 10,000 workers so far and plans to train another 50,000 in a year.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150626 * Knitwear exporters urge TN govt to nominate Tirupur for Centre’s smart city programme:

Knitwear exporters have urged the Tamil Nadu government to nominate Tirupur for the central government’s smart city programme.

In a letter to chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) president A Sakthivel said the city, which is the knitwear export hub of India, contributed about 10% of total exports from Tamil Nadu.

The city needed infrastructure development and IT (information technology) facilities for the growth of exports under the smart city programme, he stated.
read more.
TOInew

20150628 * Power intensive industries happy as electricity rates cut in Maharashtra:

Cement, steel and textile units are relieved by the Mahaashtra government’s decision to lower electricity rates which are among the highest in the country.

The state announced a 14% reduction in power tariffs for industries Saturday.

“I am not just happy, I am very happy. It is high times rates were dropped,” said Mohan Gurnani, chief of the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM). “Since 15 years we have been alerting the state government to the perils of rising costs of power in Maharashtra.
There has been an exodus to other states like Gujarat, because of sheer ease of business.
The Inspector Raj and number of permissions required in Maharashtra make it very difficult for new startups as well as existing industries.”
read more.
TOInew

20150630 * Poverty-ridden weavers bid adieu to trade:

Once synonymous with weavers and their beautifully-crafted sarees, Gadwal is no longer the same as nearly 80 per cent of the weaver community has left their traditional craft over the last decade.

While there were around 60,000 to 70,000 weavers in the town once upon a time, there are barely 5,000 now.
The others, thanks to the poor monetary prospects in weaving, have found it more worthwhile to seek employment as daily wage labourers.
Even among the few who continue in the weaving industry, only some work full time manufacturing sarees and dhotis.

Gubba Anjanailu a 49-year-old weaver who left his craft some time ago, now sells peanuts to make a living.
“I was unable to survive on the Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 I used to earn as a weaver. Now, I make Rs 150 to Rs 200 a day and at least am able to make both ends meet,” he said.
(..)
Meanwhile, though the Telangana government has started a pension scheme for weavers, only about 1,500 beneficiaries are receiving the Rs 1,000 monthly pension.
K Mukundam, a weaver, pointed out how they had been assured of receiving Jacquard looms, but the government is yet to keep its promise.
read more.
TOInew

20150628 * CBI issues notices to Cotton Corporation of India:

Corporation asked to disclose details of procurement from at least six market yards

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has served notices on the authorities of the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to disclose details of procurement from at least half-a-dozen market yards in Karimnagar and Warangal districts during 2004-08.

Officials sources in Karimnagar said the CBI issued notices to CCI authorities involved in lifting of stocks from Karimangar, Jammikunta, Gangadhara, Choppadandi and Vemulawada market yards to furnish details pertaining to purchases from farmers during the said period.
It is alleged that the CCI authorities had denied minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers and encouraged traders and commission agents to procure the produce at less than the MSP and dispose it of to the agency in fictitious names for a commission.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150630 * Farmers jittery over loan waiver delay:

Bankers yet to finalise credit plans and sanction fresh loans to beneficiary farmers

Early monsoon rains may have given a promising start to Kharif cultivation, but the delay in flow of institutional credit to the beneficiary farmers of crop loan waiver scheme has certainly dampened their spirits.

The delay in renewal of crop loan accounts of waiver scheme beneficiaries is understood to be a fallout of the delay in holding District Consultative Committee meetings of bankers to finalise the credit plans there.
Renewal of crop loan accounts is mandatory for sanction of fresh short-term production loans, though the officials term it a “purely technical matter”.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150628 * RBI takes up jute industry funding woes with IBA:

Indian Banks Association is of the view that with respect to certain schemes, the jute industry actually gets loans at cheaper rates than that is applicable to any other domestic loans.

The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India has taken up the issue regarding the funding problems of the jute industry with the Indian Banks Association, after the 125-year old flagged this issue with RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, seeking his intervention to improve the outlook of the bankers towards the traditional industry.

However its pleas seemed to have fallen flat.
The central bank has told the industry that the matter was taken up with the Indian Banks Association, which said that banks were open to finance new machinery for the jute industry subject to the proposal’s viability.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150630 * India-EU free trade pact talks may re-start in Aug:

Important to focus on such agreements to accelerate exports, says Rajeev Kher

Negotiations on the India-EU free trade agreement, stalled for over two years, are likely to re-start in August, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said.

India may also be able to conclude a free trade pact with Australia by the year-end.

Kher said the time was ripe for a free trade pact with the EU as exports from both sides were not growing because of the economic uncertainty in the Zone.

“Sectors like textile and leather have taken a beating in the EU. If we can get them to reduce tariffs in these items as part of the trade pact, it would push exports,” he said at an interaction with the media on Monday.
read more.
THEHINDUBUSINESS

20150630 * Foreign law firms will soon carry out arbitration in India:

The Centre will in a phased manner soon open up India’s non-litigious services and international arbitration legal services to foreign law firms.

The Centre will in a phased manner soon open up India’s non-litigious services and international arbitration legal services to foreign law firms.

The proposal for the reform will be put up for approval in early July to a Committee of Secretaries after which it will be taken up by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Bar Council of India, which regulates the legal fraternity, and the Society of Indian Law Firms, which represents the interests of large law firms, have, in principle, agreed to the proposal,” Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told presspersons on Monday.

The government was keen on announcing the liberalised policy in January during the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama. However, the move was postponed after resistance from the domestic legal services industry.

After two years, India and the European Union will resume negotiations in August on the proposed Free Trade Agreement.
“Both sides have agreed that negotiators must meet … The EU chief negotiator will be available for negotiations sometime in August,” he said.

Mr. Kher said the time to move on the proposed agreement was right as exports and imports with the EU were shrinking.
Textiles and leather sectors are taking a beating [in the EU markets].
So by reducing tariffs, you can get greater market access,” he said.
India’s textile exports to the EU are about $3 billion a year.

The India-EU trade talks were launched in June 2007, but the agreement has missed several deadlines as the EU is not satisfied with India’s offers in areas such as government purchases, liberalisation in multi-brand retail, labour and environment-related norms and market access for automobiles and wines and spirits.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150630 * Chinese investors bullish:

Taking ahead the commitments made during chief minister Anandiben Patel’s recent visit to the land of the dragon, the Chinese have started acquiring land near Ahmedabad and Vadodara for textile and industrial parks respectively.

The land acquisition is being done through the China Development Bank.

China Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Ltd (CSMEIL) signed an agreement with Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) and Gujarat Government to set up an industrial park (worth Rs 10,000 crore).
The agreement was inked in May during the CM’s China visit.
The Chinese companies will initially set up a textile park in Sanand and later a general industrial park.

A 30 member delegation from the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) led by president Xudang Wang was in Ahmedabad on Monday and is exploring investment opportunities and co-operation in various sectors.
This is the second such delegation in the city.

“Follow up on discussions that took place during CM’s visit to China have started. A high-level delegation of China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CASME) was in Gujarat a few days ago.
Chinese investors have already started buying land near Ahmedabad for a textile park and industrial park in Vadodara,” Arvind Aggarwal, additional chief secretary, industry and mines department, government of Gujarat, said on the sidelines of an interactive session organized by GCCI and FICCI.
read more.
TOInew

06:01:29 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150630 * Ceylon Chamber conducts study on ‘global and local apparel sector’:

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has conducted a statistical analysis on the Global Apparel sector along with a look at Sri Lanka’s Apparel sector’s performance.

The study titled ‘Apparel Sector Statistical Analysis 2014,’ compiled by the Chambers Business Information Division, has covered a number of topics of importance.

The analysis covers area such as, ‘Industry Insights,’ ‘Scale of Global Apparel Industry’, Apparel Spending Per Capita’, ‘The value of Global Textile and Apparel Exports’, ‘Local Apparel industry Overview’, “Local Apparel Exports from January – December 2014’ and ‘Overall Export and Import Destinations of Sri Lanka’ among many other areas.
The analysis is an ideal tool for the companies engaged in the industry to understand the latest trends and also study the historical behavior of the sector, which will help them to plan out strategies.
read more.
dailynewsSL

20150627 * GSP plus by year end – Ajith:

Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday said that they were hopeful and confident of obtaining Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus by the end of this year.

He also said the ban on fish exports by the European Union (EU) would also be lifted very soon.
Perera was addressing the media at the Government Information Department yesterday.

“During discussions with EU senior officials in Colombo recently, the officials explained that Sri Lanka could easily obtain GSP Plus if regulations are followed,” he said.
read more.
dailynewsSL

20150625 * ‘SL’s exporters eagerly awaiting news of GSP+’:

‘The exporters of Sri Lanka, are eagerly awaiting news of GSP+ with the aim of further boosting their sales by capitalizing on the available opportunities, the newly appointed chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA) Anil Wettewe said, addressing the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Association recently.

Speaking to the media at the event, the chairman of SLASA expressed the Association’s willingness to embrace GSP+ and also expressed his wish that the talks concerned would end in a beneficial way for the country.

“The need of the hour are FTAs and Trade concessions, not only the GSP+ but we need to look closely at all other countries, including USA, Japan and the BRIC Wettewa said.
(…)
Speaking about the apparel trade in Sri Lanka, the SLASA chairman said that despite other challenges, the apparel trade has been able to maintain solidity in recent years.
He added that the apparel trade in Sri Lanka, will be facing new challenges in the coming years, but highlighted that if they are able to maintain good sustainability, it would act as a much better stance against future challenges.
He also asserted that cheap labour will be a thing of the past in Sri Lanka, in comparison to some of their competitors.
read more.
island

20150630 * Sri Lanka’s Textured Jersey Lanka to buy Indian knit fabric manufacturer for US$ 15 million:

Sri Lanka’s knitted fabric manufacturer Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) said it will acquire a controlling stake in an Indian knit fabric manufacturer, Ocean India (private) Limited for US$ 15 million.

The TJL, subject to obtaining necessary corporate and regulatory approval, will buy all 35.63 million shares of Ocean Mauritius Ltd., the parent firm of Ocean India, which operates a knit fabric manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam, India.
read more.
colombo

05:31:29 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150629 * Millions fear losing jobs as textile industry decides to wrap up:

APTMA chairman says they are closing down mills voluntarily as they don’t want confrontation with govt

Owing to steep increase in the cost of doing business in the country, textile mills have decided to close down the production industry voluntarily.

Textile millers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Karachi have decided to close down operations voluntarily and lay off millions of workers, as they have nothing to offer their international buyers against the regional competitors.

An emergent General Body meeting of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has deliberated upon the adverse circumstances and found it unfeasible to incur losses by operating mills partially. APTMA Chairman SM Tanveer said that at the general body of their association many millers decided on their own to put their operations off voluntarily because of the viability issue.
“We do not want confrontation with the government therefore we are closing down mills voluntarily,” he said.

According to him, the cost of doing business in textile industry has hit through the roof.

Meanwhile, the burden of incidental taxes, provincial cess, system inefficiencies and punitive withholding tax regime has added fuel to the fire.
“Thus, the business of textile industry has become unviable in Pakistan,” he lamented.
He said the government has not brought the unorganized sectors into tax net and billing the textile industry.
All these incidentals and punitive measures have hit the sustainability of textile industry in Pakistan.
read more.
daily times PK

20150630 * No minister for four months: government paying little or no attention to textile sector:

It seems that the government is least interested to improve textile sector in the face of gradual decline in exports, as there is no minister for the last four months, which is further accumulating the problems, official sources revealed.

The ministry lacks co-ordination without the head to run its affairs. Senator Abbas Khan Afridi left as Minister on completion of his tenure as Senator in March but no new appointment has so far been made to fill the slot.
Most of the important decisions regarding textile policy such as Export Development Fund (EDF) and energy crisis are hanging in the balance.

The call by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) to close down the textile is an alarm bell for the authorities concerned.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), country’s textile exports for the month of May 2015 lowered by 2.85 percent year-on-year against May 2014.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150630 * The APTMA signal:

Should worry pro-industry government

This, of course, is not something Ishaq Dar’s rhetoric will be able to gloss over easily.

Textiles take the lead in our export mix because we have never been able to add value to manufacturing and industry.
That is one reason, among scores of others, that the rest of the region grows faster than Pakistan.
Most economies are more diversified precisely because of the value-add feature; once exports increase the burden on the deficit is more evenly spread, and there is a wider range of options, including a more dynamic human resource band, to restructure the economy.
read more.
paktodaynew

20150629 * Textile millers threaten to shut mills:

20150629 NATION

The emergent meeting of the general body of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association has decided to close down the textile industry of Pakistan voluntarily, finding it unfeasible to incur losses due to limited supply of gas and power to the industry. 

APTMA Chairman SM Tanveer said the member mills have decided on their own to put their operations off voluntarily because of the viability issue.
“We do not want confrontation with the government therefore we are closing down mills voluntarily,” he said.

According to him, the cost of doing business in textile industry has hit through the roof.
Meanwhile, the burden of incidental taxes, provincial cess, system inefficiencies and punitive withholding tax regime has added fuel to the fire.
“Thus, the business of textile industry has become unviable in Pakistan,” he lamented.

He said the government has not brought the unorganised sectors into tax net and billing the textile industry. All these incidentals and punitive measures have hit the sustainability of textile industry in Pakistan.
read more.
NATIONnew

20150629 * Aptma decides to shut textile mills:

The Chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Mr S.M. Tanveer, said on Sunday that the association had decided to ‘voluntarily’ close down the textile industry because of the losses it had been suffering.

“An emergency meeting of Aptma’s general body has deliberated on the adverse circumstances and found it unfeasible to incur losses by operating mills partially,” Mr Tanveer said in a statement.

According to the Aptma chairman, the cost of doing business in the textile sector has gone through the roof and the burden of incidental taxes, provincial cess, system inefficiencies and the punitive withholding tax regime have added fuel to the fire.
read more. & read more.
DAWNnew daily times PK

20150629 * Millers decide to shut down units voluntarily: APTMA:

Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association S M Tanveer has said that an emergent meeting of the general body of Association has decided to close down the textile industry of Pakistan voluntarily.

“An Emergent General Body meeting has deliberated upon the adverse circumstances and found it unfeasible to incur losses by operating mills partially,” he added.

He said the mills have decided on their own to put their operations off voluntarily because of the viability issue. “We do not want confrontation with the government therefore we are closing down mills voluntarily,” he said.

According to him, the cost of doing business in textile industry has hit through the roof. Meanwhile, the burden of incidental taxes, provincial cess, system inefficiencies and punitive withholding tax regime has added fuel to the fire. “Thus, the business of textile industry has become unviable in Pakistan,” he lamented.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER daily times PK

20150629 * Data analytics: Health and safety take front seat at Labour Department:

“Over the past few years, health and safety have emerged as a major workplace issue,” Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) joint director Zulfiqar Shah told The Express Tribune on Friday.

He said the 2012 Baldia fire incident in Karachi and the shoe factory fire in Lahore had revealed the importance of identifying and registering such units.

Shah said the shoe factory in Lahore had been functioning in a residential area.  He said no measures had been taken to ensure that it adhered with health and safety regulations.

The Labour Department has also taken up the issues of health and safety.
The department resumed inspections in 2012.
These developments have been complemented by the establishment of the Labour Market Information and Resource Centre in 2011.
One of the chief functions of the centre is to computerise the data obtained in inspections and place it online.
read more.

BURKINA FASO

* West African Country Dumps Monsanto’s GM Cotton, Seeks Compensation:

Joining the expanding list of GMO rejections

20150626 cotton

Due to ‘disappointing yields and poor quality cotton fiber,” the country of Burkina Faso in West Africa is ditching Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton.

Jeune Afrique reports that Interprofessional Cotton in Burkina Faso has decided to phase out the use of Monsanto’s GMO cotton seeds over the next three years. This is a group of cotton farmers, banks, research institutions, private stakeholders and the government.
It isn’t just cotton farmers that are complaining about Monsanto’s GM cotton, though.

Interprofessional Cotton members include the Société burkinabè des fibres textiles (Sofitex), Faso Coton, and the Société cotonnière du Gourma (Socoma, subsidiary of the French group Geocoton).

All of these groups have complained that Monsanto’s GM cotton did not produce quality cotton fiber, and farmers have experienced lower yields than with non-GM cotton.
The group will also seek compensation from Monsanto for lower yields they experienced since the 2008 growing season.

The group is denouncing its contract with Monsanto due to the lower quality performance of the GM cotton, and also lower yields.

Advocates of GM cotton state that they have increased agricultural production by more than US$98 billion and saved an estimated 473 million kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed in the US, but critics question their environmental, social, and economic impacts – with good reason.
Among the complaints are that GM cotton has caused superweeds, and driven Indian farmers to suicide.
read more.
naturalsociety

SOUTH AFRICA

* SACTWU Settles Footwear Sector Wage Negotiations:

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union
(SACTWU) has settled its 2015 wage negotiations in the footwear sector.

The agreement was finalised on Friday, under the auspices of the National
Bargaining Council for the Leather Manufacturing Industry of South Africa.

The agreement was concluded with the Southern African Footwear & Leather
Industries Association (SAFLIA), which is the employer organisation in the
industry.

The wage increase is 7.5.%, and will come into effect on 1st July this year.
The agreement is for a 12 month period.

The agreement also makes provision for improvements in shop stewards’ time
off for trade union activities and in the agency fee provisions applicable
to the sector.
to read.
SACTWU

.

map of Asia

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

There are updates under ‘special overviews’:

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 8: 20150302-NOW
&
* Philippene footwear Factory fire 20150513-now
&
* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 6 20150324- now

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* Shanghai protesters fear chemical plant plan still on, despite government claims
* Thousands protest in Shanghai suburb over chemical plant fears
* China considering to obtain TPP membership
* China will have to pay for TPP membership: experts

PHLIPPINES
* 12,000 workers to lose jobs due to Valenzuela fire policy
* Workers to receive daily wage increase in Region 10
* Workers decry planned SSS increase in contributions
* Defying violence by weaving in the Philippines
* Contractualization kills – workers’ groups
* Prelate urges Kentex fire victims’ kin to push case

VIET NAM
* Multi-million-USD textile project gets approval in Binh Duong
* Binh Duong grants investment certificate to Polytex Far Eastern
* Workers enjoy one-off insurance pay
* Vietnam to reduce its reliance on Chinese Textiles
* Asia to produce over 60% of world’s apparel
* VN footwear tops Brazil market
* Vietnam-EU FTA talks on track: Minister
* Will the TPP spur another wave of US investment?
* Vietnam expects for TPP at Asia-Pacific foreign trade forum
* Vietnam has no “spearhead” industry after decades
* Vietnam government again urges state firms to speed up privatization

CAMBODIA
* Factory Says Not Responsible For Protesting Workers’ Injuries
* Employers need to sacrifice too
* Twenty Workers Faint at Garment Factory
* Cheap exports, costly imports: Cambodia’s labour dilemma
* UN Agencies Welcome Probe into Slaying of Unionists
* March Against Repressive Laws
* Protesters march over controversial NGO bill
* Gov’t to Stop March Against NGO Law by ‘Any Means’
* Hun Sen, and Sam Rainsy held talk on NGOS law
* Protesters march over controversial NGO bill
* Hundreds Protest Against Draft NGO Law
* Thousands of balloons released across Cambodia in protest against repressive draft laws
* Cambodia tells foreign countries not to interfere in affairs over NGO, Trade Union draft bills

MALAYSIA
* Keep sexual harassment out of the workplace
* ‘Workplace sexual harassment a major misconduct’
* Way cleared for TPP

INDONESIA
* Sritex in Talks to Acquire Foreign Retail Clothing Brand

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58
* Gap Inc., H&M Back Labor Reform Initiative
* Myanmar: New labour force survey addresses data gap

BANGLADESH
* Ctg RMG worker, burnt in gas stove blast, dies
* Pay RMG workers’ wages before Ramadan 20
* Trade union leaders demand wages, festival bonus by 20th Ramadan
* Owners to clear wages by July 15: BGMEA
* Our garment industry at a crossroad
* Tax reduced in RMG sector
* PM for reducing tax at source in RMG sector
* Commerce Minister Tofail seeks ‘tolerable’ tax at source for apparel sector
* $50b RMG export target by 2021
* Proposed export source tax likely to be reduced
* Textile, leather sectors to get global green funding
* Weavers busy manufacturing Benarashi sarees in Rangpur
THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE:
* RANA PLAZA DISASTER : Police, jail authorities trade blame over not producing Rana in court:
* Hearing on accepting Rana Plaza charge sheets July 8
* Rana Plaza: Order on chargesheet against Sohel Rana, 41 others July 8
* Bangladesh completes factory collapse probe
* Rana Plaza: Charge framing hearing Jul 8

INDIA
* Fire at FCI godown
* ‘New textiles policy aims at 35 million jobs’
* ILO’s labour wing questions proposed trade union restrictions
* CITU warns of prolonged struggle on workers’ plight
* Team behind India’s labour reforms
* Small Factory Bill likely in Monsoon Session
* Centre to bring four labour codes to protect workers
* Union govt. is spreading false propaganda: CITU
* Weavers want State to release recommendations of wage revision committee
* HC stays NLC workers’ plan to go on strike for wage revision
* Texprocil seeks incentives for exports to African countries
* How e-commerce reshaped the powerloom town of Bhiwandi
* Bengal pegs Rs 37,000-cr investment in textiles sector
* Industries start skill training through Sector Skill Councils
* Knitwear exporters urge TN govt to nominate Tirupur for Centre’s smart city programme
* Power intensive industries happy as electricity rates cut in Maharashtra
* Poverty-ridden weavers bid adieu to trade
* CBI issues notices to Cotton Corporation of India
* Farmers jittery over loan waiver delay
* RBI takes up jute industry funding woes with IBA
* India-EU free trade pact talks may re-start in Aug
* Foreign law firms will soon carry out arbitration in India
* Chinese investors bullish

SRI LANKA
* Ceylon Chamber conducts study on ‘global and local apparel sector’
* GSP plus by year end – Ajith
* ‘SL’s exporters eagerly awaiting news of GSP+’
* Sri Lanka’s Textured Jersey Lanka to buy Indian knit fabric manufacturer for US$ 15 million

PAKISTAN
* Millions fear losing jobs as textile industry decides to wrap up
* No minister for four months: government paying little or no attention to textile sector:
* The APTMA signal
* Textile millers threaten to shut mills
* Aptma decides to shut textile mills
* Millers decide to shut down units voluntarily: APTMA
* Data analytics: Health and safety take front seat at Labour Department:

BURKINA FASO
* West African Country Dumps Monsanto’s GM Cotton, Seeks Compensation

SOUTH AFRICA
* SACTWU Settles Footwear Sector Wage Negotiations

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