Last week at WRAP, we:
• Certified 21 factories in 10 countries:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.
• Announced four additional fire safety training programs in Chittagong and Dhaka, Bangladesh, to be held in November and December. Previous fire safety trainings were held in September and October of this year.
• Announced a Five-day IRCA Social System Auditor/ Lead Auditor Training Course to be held in Dubai in December.
As a result of continued negotiations between Bangladesh and the United States over the Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (TECF) pact, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs in the U.S. Department of Labor asked an international survey organization, ICF Marco, to conduct a study to determine the existence of child or forced labor in Bangladeshi garment factories. Contention over labor standards is a major barrier to passage of the FECF pact. (Fibre2Fashion)
An estimated 7,000 workers from a shoe factory in Guangdong province protested against wage cuts and staff reductions on Thursday, November 17, after 18 middle management employees were fired due to declining orders from the factory. (Reuters)
Mattel Inc. investigated claims of worker abuse levied by China Labor Watch and determined that the majority of the allegations were unfounded. (Bloomberg)
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology approved its 12th Five-Year Plan for development of the country’s textile industry. The plan will work to upgrade the textile industry in eight areas: branding, development, sustainable development, expansion of industrial parks, technological innovation and more. (Capital Vue)
According to a recently released report, the Dominican Republic has reduced child labor by 14 percent over the past 10 years. At this rate, the worst forms of child labor will be eradicated by 2015 and all forms of exploitation will be eliminated by 2020. (Hispanically Speaking News)
The Egyptian government plans to introduce steps to protect the local textile industry. The Customs Duty Authority will meet this week to revise taxes and duties on textiles, after urging from the Ministry of Industry and the Union of Industries to protect domestic production. (Fibre 2 Fashion)
India’s manufacturing sector is expected to achieve only moderate growth during the last quarter of this year (October-December) when compared to the same period last year. This prediction is consistent with economy wide predictions of a slowdown. (The Hindu Business Line)
Industry leaders and economists have shown support for India’s new manufacturing policy, though they emphasized the need for large-scale job creation. Additionally, some experts expressed that India should adopt a focus on health and safety. (MENAFN)
Spinning and weaving industry experts claim that an energy shortage, which has led the gas supply to be suspended three days per week, has led to a 35 percent decrease in production. Experts predict that the industry has an export capacity of $25 billion but predict that exports will only reach $16 billion this year. (The Express Tribune)
The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) is pressuring the government to revive the domestic manufacturing sector through the creation of a comprehensive roadmap, with a focus on agro-industrial sector, hoping to develop rural areas and employ unskilled workers in the countryside. (Manila Bulletin)
Sri Lanka is on pace to reach its target of $5 billion in apparel exports for 2011, according to the Sri Lanka apparel Exporters Association’s Chairman, Rohan Abeykoon. Thus far, exports have grown at a rate of 45 percent as compared to 2010. (Fiber2Fashion)
Flooding in Thailand continues to affect the global supply chain, affecting companies in the automotive and computer hard-dosh drive sectors including Dell, Toshiba, Western Digital, Toyota and Ford. Thai factories account for 40 percent of the global hard disk drive market. And, while pre-orders mean that the Christmas season may not be affected, supplies will be restricted into 2012. (AFP)
Manufacturing data released Wednesday, November 16, indicated that output from the nation’s factories, utilities and mines rose less than 1 percent (0.7) and factory output alone increased by 0.5 percent in October. This marked the fastest growth in three months. (The Washington Post)
Tom Casey, president of American Apparel, Inc., the manufacturer, distributor and retailer of basic apparel based in Los Angeles, resigned after two years as acting president. (Market Watch)