in the news 20180125 – 20180201


* Vietnam, EFTA hasten signing of free trade pact in the first half of 2018–efta-hasten-signing-of-free-trade-pact-in-the-first-half-of-2018.html

* Vietnam’s exports to US face tough time ahead

* The Netherlands is Việt Nam’s leading importer in EU


 * Nearly 100 garment workers faint in Takeo

* More than 60 factory staff in mass fainting

* Minimum wage law talks conclude

* Minimum wage law to advance to Council of Ministers

* EBA with EU safe: GMAC
Following a report by the European Union on Friday that did not specifically mention or condemned the political situation in the kingdom, local garment manufacturers say the country is no longer at risk of losing its preferential treatment status with the EU.

* New platform to champion sustainable trade globally


* Wage hike to give SMEs tax windfall


* Minimum wage for cotton textile sector proposed at only Tk 5,710

* Announce Tk 16,000 as minimum wage for garment workers

* BGMEA wants to have joint proposal over minimum wage

* RMG workers’ leaders want Tk16,000 as minimum wage
Of Tk16,000 we demand, Tk10,643 has to be fixed as basic wage, Tk4257 as house rents, and Tk1,100 as transportation and medical allowances

* Bangladesh moves to revise minimum wage for garment workers

* Economy’s mainstay and workers’ wage

* UK retailers reluctant to sign up to Bangladesh factory safety deal

* Sainsbury’s quits Accord, M&S, 2 others may follow

* Investors urge major retailers to back RMG workers’ safety

* Preventing fire incidents in RMG sector
In Bangladesh, incidents of fire become frequent during winter. But unlike other natural disasters like flood and cyclone, it can easily be thwarted by taking precautionary measures.

Victims of fire incident remain traumatised for many days and have to undergo a painful process to get recovered.

Victims also incur a considerable amount of financial losses and for the insolvent people, these make a heavy dent in savings and livelihoods.

It is an uphill task for the poor and the working class to bear the cost of treatment for burn injuries.
medicaments are not manufactured locally.
So these are very expensive and a lower-income family barely
affords those medicines….

* 20 hurt as RMG workers clash with BGMEA staff

* Attack at BGMEA building, workers assaulted, 25 injured
Workers of garments factory have allegedly attacked the building of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in the city.

The incident took place at about 12:00 pm on Wednesday (January 31). The RMG workers, however, denied the allegation…..

* Attaining competitiveness in RMG

* Sweater exports on the rise

* Why are woven garment exports falling behind?

* Bangladesh Bank relaxes incentive terms for new RMG market exploration

* Shelving BGMEA polls, govt extends tenure of existing board by 1 more yr


* New report: false promises and restriction of movement in production for Western garment brands
Female migrants employed in India’s garment factories supplying to big international brands like Benetton, C&A, GAP, H&M, Levi’s, M&S and PVH, are subject to conditions of modern slavery.
In Bangalore, India’s biggest garment producing hub, young women are recruited with false promises about wages and benefits, they work in garment factories under high-pressure for low wages.
Their living conditions in hostels are poor and their freedom of movement is severely restricted. Claiming to be eighteen at least, many workers look much younger.

These are some conclusions from the report ‘Labour Without Liberty – Female Migrant Workers in Bangalore’s Garment Industry’.
The study found that five out of the eleven ILO indicators for forced labour exist in the
Bangalore garment industry: abuse of vulnerability, deception as a result of false promises (wages etc.), restriction of movement in the hostel, intimidation and threats, and abusive working and living conditions.
Some of these aspects are also felt to a certain extent by the local workforce, but are more strongly experienced by migrant workers.
full report:
& short version:

* Workers, trade unions take out massive rally

* Against advice, farmers holding on to pest infested cotton crop

 * Continuous fall in exports worries garment makers in Tirupur

* GST refunds delay hits state textile units hard


* Textiles sector seeks a leg up from the government

* ‘Eliminate embedded taxes to boost exports’


* Rs. 6,000-cr. to boost apparel sector: Irani

* Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association demands extension of e-way bill for six months

* Textile traders hail Gujarat govt’s decision exempting fabric from e-way bill

* Tirupur garment makers shift fabric dyeing to Mysuru

* Pre-budget: Leather industry hopes to get more tax relaxations
The leather industry, one of the leading revenue generators for the state, is hoping to get more tax relaxations in the forthcoming budget to help gain dominance in the global market and also tackle Bangladesh market, a newest threat to Indian leather industry…

* Pink bollworm may lower cotton yield


* Bail plea of Baldia factory fire accused dismissed

* Alleged Baldia factory arsonist’s bail plea rejected

* SHC rejects bail plea of Baldia factory fire suspect

* SHC rejects bail plea of Baldia factory fire suspect, asks ATC to speed up case proceedings

* Low wages, child labour, other issues yet to be resolved: minister

* Rabbani wants workers and trade union leaders to unite

* Textile firm says exports to Europe likely to pick up over 200%

* Productivity in the textile industry

* Working mothers and maternity leave


At the recently concluded five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) in the snow-laden Swiss resort town of Davos, synonymous with wealth and prestige, global leaders from business, politics, academia etc, gathered to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world and deliberated on creating a ‘shared future’ for a ‘fractured world’.

Meanwhile in Karachi, 22-year-old factory worker, Syeda Naila, who had never heard of the WEF, wants to know if these rich individuals had talked about ways to increase the “measly” wages of factory workers like her in Pakistan.
“Was someone there who told these people how increasingly difficult it is becoming to live on the money we earn?”
she whispers over phone and then, gathering some courage blurts: “You know it is people like us who make people like them so rich?”

“Inequality is rising by the day and workers are frustrated because they are unable to support the cost of living on their present wages,” says Zehra Khan, general secretary the Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) who sees the chance of workers escaping the cycle of poverty “getting slimmer.”


* Krise bei H&M
 Zerbricht das Familienimperium?
(article in german)–mode-101.html


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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