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Minimum wages continue to rise in low cost sourcing countries

Minimum wages continue to rise in low cost sourcing countries | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Minimum wages are increasing in low cost global sourcing countries including China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil.
AMRC Hong Kong's insight:
Indonesian employers allowed by law to delay the wage increase
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Asian Labour Update
Labour News Across Asia
Curated by AMRC Hong Kong
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Rights-Based Financing for Rights-Based Social Protection in Southeast Asia

Rights-Based Financing for Rights-Based Social Protection in Southeast Asia | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

For social protection to be truly rights-based, the manner by which it is financed should also be rights-based.  A rights-based financing for rights-based social protection would mean that financing should come primarily from the government funds to counter IFIs’ involvement in social protection and the financialisation of social protection funds. This would entail realignment of public funds from defence spending and debt servicing to social protection programmes as well as exit from loan-induced social protection models. Overall, a rights-based social protection prioritises the needs of the marginalised workers over the capitalist interests. In this regard, the states should ensure that its economic development agenda is people-centred and not biased towards the interests of big capitalists that disregard people’s rights, lives, and livelihood.

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[Philippines] Labor group condemns spate of harassment of unionists, labor activists

[Philippines] Labor group condemns spate of harassment of unionists, labor activists | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

We condemn the spate of harassment being done by the military on trade unionists and activists. We find this renewed harassment, red baiting and threatening of trade unions based in Metro Manila very alarming

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Mass fainting at Cambodian garment factories renews concerns

Mass fainting at Cambodian garment factories renews concerns | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Nearly 200 Cambodian garment workers have been hospitalised after a new spate of mass fainting at factories this week, officials said Wednesday, renewing concerns about conditions in the kingdom's crucial textile industry.

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ATNC Conference to be held in Bangkok, 22-24 October 2015

ATNC Conference to be held in Bangkok, 22-24 October 2015 | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Save the Date

ATNC Conference

22-24 October 2015

Bangkok, Thailand


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The Neglected Street Vendors of India

The Neglected Street Vendors of India | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it


"It's a daily fight for survival. Sometimes I feel like just giving it all up and getting back to farming." -- Jignesh, a young street vendor who migrated from Gujarat to New Delhi to provide for his family

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Pakistan: Baba Jan contests election from jail

Pakistan: Baba Jan contests election from jail | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence.

This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail.

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China’s Factory Workers Are Becoming More Restive

China’s Factory Workers Are Becoming More Restive | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Most demands are over unpaid wages, under-paid wages or poor work conditions, due to employers breaching the law. Workers take to the streets only when management and local authorities ignore their grievances. They block roads, forcing authorities to pay attention. In the first quarter of 2015, 11 large factory strikes in Guangdong escalated into violence between workers and police, estimates one Hong Kong NGO.


Unlike workers in other Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, Chinese workers had not challenged government policies – targeting the government for an increase in the legal minimum wage or asking to eliminate China’s household registration system that consigns migrant workers to temporary residence in cities and denies them access to public services. They had not demanded a right to set up alternatives to inactive branches of China’s one official trade union run by the government, which normally lets factory managers select union representatives.

 

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Statement of the fact-finding team on the Kentex Factory Fire [Philippines]

Statement of the fact-finding team on the Kentex Factory Fire [Philippines] | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Seventy-two (72) workers, many of whom were women, were burned to death and 20 more are still missing in the biggest factory fire that hit the Philippines – the fire that gutted the factory of Kentex Manufacturing Incorporated last May 13, 2015.  


The tragedy was caused by several violations that include:

  • Mishandling of the chemical Super Seal, which is used as a rubber emulsifier. 
  • Absence of proper labeling and awareness of the nature of the said chemical. 
  • Absence of proper smoke and fire alarm and apparent absence of fire and safety drill among the workers. 
  • Absence of fire exits. 

We demand:

  • Justice for Kentex workers and other victims of OHS Standards violations!
  • Strict Enforcement of Occupational Health and Safety Standards, not Joint Assessment or Self-Regulations!
  • Hold DOLE accountable for the Kentex Tragedy!
  • Penalize and criminalize the violators of Occupational Health and Safety Standards!
  • End impunity of OHS violations in the Philippines!
  • Repeal DO 131-13! Pass Workers SHIELD!
  • Struggle against Contractualization! Workers fight for Wages, Jobs and Rights!


Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research
Kilusang Mayo Uno

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Labor dept’s neglect of health, safety blamed in ‘biggest fire casualty’ at slippers factory, Philippines

Labor dept’s neglect of health, safety blamed in ‘biggest fire casualty’ at slippers factory, Philippines | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

The workers had nowhere to jump to, and they also could not have escaped the building because of the steel windows, the thick glass, and a layer of chicken wire

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[Malaysia] Workers have right to protest, says MTUC

[Malaysia] Workers have right to protest, says MTUC | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Union busting has led to the lack of recognition of trade unions by employers, leading to a controlled and unjust working system, said the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).

Secretary-general N Gopal Kishnam said there were instances where employers had denied workers' their rights by having one-on-one negotiations with union members.

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Workers rally on May Day around the world – in pictures

Workers rally on May Day around the world – in pictures | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it


Leftwing groups and trade unions are staging rallies to mark International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day. The day commemorates workers’ struggle for better conditions in industrialised countries in the 19th century 

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Rana Plaza: Victims of Fashion [Bangladesh]

On April 24, 2013 a building in Bangladesh called Rana Plaza collapsed and killed 1034 garment workers and injured over 2500. The film “Rana Plaza Victims of Fashion” commemorates the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse and looks into the greater issues of worker, worker’s safety and collective bargaining in Bangladesh. A Canadian delegation hear the stories from workers, the Bangladesh government and the International community supporting the workers in their efforts to gain the ability to collective bargain a fair wage and a safe work place, through The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

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Fast Food Global Action in Manila, Philippines

FAST food workers are demanding respect for their rights that are being withheld from them by fast food chains whose overarching goal is to further amass super profits. This is done by shortchanging the workers through low wages along with “charity” or unpaid turnover work, measly benefits, contractual jobs or those with no security of tenure coupled with “zero hour” contracts and union busting, according to the newly organized Respect Fast Food Workers Alliance (RESPECT!).

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“GLOBAL SOLIDARITY ACTION TO SUPPORT ARTIGAS' WORKERS”- Response to Fast Retailing Statement

“GLOBAL SOLIDARITY ACTION TO SUPPORT ARTIGAS' WORKERS”- Response to Fast Retailing Statement | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Taking social responsibilities is not talking without ACTION


Instead of merely issuing statements of concern, we would like to urge Fast Retailing to take a firm stance on ensuring labour rights are being respected in her entire supply chain:

 

1)      Immediate action to solicit and arrange collective negotiation meeting between the management and workers on equal terms, and send representatives to attend the meeting;

2)      Carefully examined the complaints which are put forward by the Artigas workers, conduct an independent investigation, and contact workers directly;

3)      Immediately instruct the management to repay all severance and social security contribution arrears according to law;

4)      Assist to release Wu Weihua from detention.

 

Facebook page link

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=875600719199663&id=868031946623207&substory_index=0

 
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Call for Papers - Asian Labour Review

Call for Papers - Asian Labour Review | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Asian Labour Review is prepared to provide a forum for a new generation of labour researchers who are willing to work with ground movements and be part of it. We are pleased to offer an outlet to make a stronger network of new generation academics and activists working on Asian labour.

The editors of Asian Labour Review welcome submissions of paper from those who work for different research institutions, universities, development agencies, NGOs and think-thanks, and trade unions, but also from individual researchers in national and international labour and solidarity movements, international campaigning and private-led development initiatives on labour standards. For the first issue, papers must be received by 15 August 2015. Papers should be emailed to ALR editors at editor@asianlabourreview.org

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‘The Bottom Up’ International Labour Solidarity: Victims’ Organizing in the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims

The network has membership from similar networks in Europe and US and the Asian network members join the meetings of the European and US counterparts. It has also built systematically into a strong solidarity networks. In the recent Asian network meeting in Bangkok, 2013, ANROEV members proposed the formation of a global grassroots network that would bring tougher the global grassroots movement and make their voice even stronger. In principle, the proposal has agreed both by the European and the US networks, however, to make it truly global it also needs members from Africa and Latin America which would be its next task. At the policy level, there have been many promises made to improve health and safety, starting with a Beijing declaration of “Occupational Safety for all” in 1994 by the World Health Organization. International Labor Organization in 2008,  also makes similar promises in a nicely worded ‘Seoul Declaration’ that “calls for a preventative safety and health culture, which gives the right to a safe and healthy environment and which is respected at all national levels”. However at ground level it seems nothing has changed, despite these wonderful promises.


Two decades after the deadly fires of Kader and Zhili, we have seen even worse fires in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Though these international UN bodies seem to have membership from the sates, yet there is the exclusion of the main beneficiaries in this decision-making process- the victims and the workers who are getting exposed. The complete failure of health and safety at all levels is because of failure of grassroots democracy; the where absence of unions, the working class has almost no representation at any level of the decision-making process. Moreover, the impacted population and the victims, who are marginalized in this process, do not have any democratic space to express themselves. In this regard, the victims organizing and the Asian network play an important role in bringing the voices of the impacted workers to the surface. They have realized the only themselves can change their situation, and all they need is some space, where they can exert and express themselves. The network has helped them in this process by providing them some platform and they are leading what has a potential to become a global solidarity network.

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President Aquino: Ensure Criminal Prosecution of Owners of Kentex, Top gov't Officials Responsible for the Kentex factory fire!

President Aquino: Ensure Criminal Prosecution of Owners of Kentex, Top gov't Officials Responsible for the Kentex factory fire! | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Please sign; lend your solidarity


Justice for Kentex Workers! Ensure criminal prosecution of Kentex factory owners! Discharge from post Sec. Baldoz, Roxas, top officials of DOLE, DILG and BFP! Just compensation to Kentex fire victims and workers! Pass Workers SHIELD Bill!

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Rising worker activism in 'world's workshop' challenges China

Rising worker activism in 'world's workshop' challenges China | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

As workers gathered around a table in a cheap restaurant to discuss strike action against their shoe factory bosses, Chinese police barged in and dragged away their leaders.

More than 2,000 employees at the plant -- which counts foreign brands including Coach among its customers, according to workers -- had downed tools, camping out on brightly coloured mats to demand unpaid benefits.

"They burst through the door and told us not to move," a female worker told AFP. Several said police had beaten them, and one woman wore a large bandage covering injuries on her back.

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Stop causing more karoshi with zero overtime pay, people protest against labor deregulations [Japan]

Stop causing more karoshi with zero overtime pay, people protest against labor deregulations [Japan] | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Nearly 2,500 people joined a rally on May 14 in Tokyo to speak against labor deregulations under Abe government that is feared to increase more karoshi. Unionists from across Japan and across different confederations of Japans labor unions--Rengo, Zenroren and Zenrokyoexpressed their concerns and anger over the dispatch law, which is expected to create more casual workers, and lifting eight-hour work restrictions. Deregulating labor standards law and overtime work restrictions is a backward move, TERANISHI Shoko, whose husband committed suicide over 4,000 hours of work a year, spoke. I want the government to aim for zero karoshi rather than zero overtime pay so as never to see another family like us saddened by a loss of family members.

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Industrial Action of CX Flight Attendant Union [Hong Kong)

Industrial Action of CX Flight Attendant Union [Hong Kong) | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Cathay Pacific Flight Attendant Union (FAU) is affiliated with HKCTU, and ITF. On May 19 2015, it held EGM to decide on two motions: 1) to agree the Airport Sit in and 2) authorize ExCo to escalate further industrial action if needed. The EGM of FAU was attended by more than 600 members and the two motions were adopted. A Marathon Sit In began after EGM and bus will be arrange for Members to proceed to the HK airport.

 

According to the FAU, Cathay Pacific Airways has been named Caring Company for 13th consecutive years by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS).  However, what’s behind the scene is absolutely on the contrary - i.e. endless dictatorship and oppression.  Below are some recent examples:

 

1. 11% discrepancy of salary increment for Cabin Crew who have their contract renewal in the same month, under the same employment condition.

2. Disregarded her own laid down policy and the agreement signed with the Union in calculating the outport meal allowance.

3. Removal of full coverage in legal support to Cabin Crew when handling unruly passengers.

 

FAU is calling for public support for their demands and collecting signature to their petition: https://goo.gl/uB1lDS  

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Auto parts firm MD booked for harassment, 125 workers held [India]

Auto parts firm MD booked for harassment, 125 workers held [India] | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Around hundred workers of NVH India Auto Parts Private Limited, a Korean firm at Irungattukottai, went on strike in Jan 2015 alleging ill-treatment by the management. The workers also circulated a video showing a Korean official of the firm dragging the worker, which went viral on social media.

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No to oil palm plantations in the Philippines!

No to oil palm plantations in the Philippines! | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it


We gather here today to register the following calls:

End corporate-driven land grabbing! 
Uphold the people’s right to food, no to land use and crop conversion! 
Respect indigenous people’s right to a self-determined development! 
Respect labor rights, uphold workers’ right to organize unions and collective bargaining inside oil palm plantations and oil mills! 
Stop human rights violations, pull out military troops from oil-palm operation-affected communities! 
Ban hazardous chemicals and pesticide, uphold people’s right to health and a safe environment! 
Genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, now!

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Protest Statement to Malaysian Authority against the Arrests of the Activists


We strongly condemn the arrests of activists and protesters who took part in the May Day Rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There are at least 29 people being arrested, including Arutchelvan (Secretary-General of Socialist Party of Malaysia), Ambiga Sreenevasan (Former President of Malaysian Bar Council), and Anthony Loke (Seremban's Member of Parliament). 

We believe that the arrests are politically motivated and intended to silence the opposition against the newly introduced policy on regressive Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.

We urge the government of Malaysia to:
- Release all May Day protesters immediately and unconditionally.
- Stop the crackdown against the activist and the right to freedom of assembly.
- Suspend the implementation of the GST.
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Under The Same Sky, We Have One May Day! HAPPY LABOUR DAY!

Under the same sky, we have one May Day... Happy Labor Day!

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Dockers in Hong Kong port get 5.5% pay raise, Union “unrespected!”

Dockers in Hong Kong port get 5.5% pay raise, Union “unrespected!” | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Subcontractors in Hong Kong dockside revealed pay raise of 5.5% for 2015. The spokesperson of the Union of Hong Kong Dockers said, “We are feeling regretted and unrespected”. The Union will have an internal discussion whether further action will trigger shortly. The Union demand for 8.5% pay raise for this year.

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