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Vietnam's Ex-Minister
on Trial
Page 1

Global Counterfeiting Page 1

Canada Pressured
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Chinese Imports
Page 1

Lingerie Thief Arrested
Page 1

Undercover Report
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The American Red Cross

 March 15, 2007                                        Issue #189


16/24

             McPete -Sez, 
    
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Vietnam's Ex-Minister On
                   Trial
Vietnam's former deputy trade minister Mai Van Dau went on trial March 12 after being charged with taking thousands of dollars in bribes from apparel companies exporting to the United States.
Dau is the top ranking official in a group that includes his son Mai Thanh Hai and Le Van Thang, former deputy director of the ministry's Import- Export Department.
Dau was arrested in November 2004, and faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. At the time Vietnamese media said the officials took bribes - worth an estimated US$1.7bn billion from Vietnamese textile and garment producers in return for increased quotas to ship their products to the US.    


5/24  
Sri Lanka Garment Factories'
          Wage Protest
Garment factories in Sri Lanka are protesting against the latest increase in wages announced by the Wages Board for the Garment Manufacturing Trade.
The national body that sets minimum wages in the garment industry has lifted basic salaries to LKR5,000 (US$45.8).
But the garment factories are refusing to accept the wage increase saying the decision was made when garment sector representatives were absent.
"The garment sector was not properly represented in the Wages Board when this decision was made," said Noel Priyatilake, chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporter's Association.
"The Apparel Exporter's Association was not given representation and some individual garment company representatives were also not present when this decision was made," said Priyatilake.
However, trade unions say the private sector was represented by the Employers' Federation of Ceylon - the trade union for employers.


Michelle Landry of Lucy B Lingerie throws the dice at
    Lingerie America's Casino Night in New York.  
See more pictures from Lingerie Americas Show in 
             the March 1st issue of McPete Sez!

                 Photo by Russell VanBrocklen


12/24   
Group Warns of Global
      Counterfeiting
An American anti-piracy group has warned that the Czech Republic and Costa Rica have joined a well-known list of major counterfeit clothing sources that includes China and Brazil. 
And in a report, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition added that the "vast majority" of pirated clothing exported from the Czech Republic was actually made in China, with fake clothing, accessories, sports clothes and shoes being sold from the Czech Republic. 
The coalition said: "The sale of goods is marketed directly to Germans and Austrians who stream over the Czech border to buy cheap counterfeits and pirated wares." 
As regards Costa Rica, it was accused of "seriously increasing counterfeiting activity", with "the Costa Rican government…refusing to take counterfeiting and copyright piracy seriously" by the coalition.
The coalition said Costa Rica especially has become a "major supplier of branded components (including labels and tags) used by counterfeit producers" for products including clothing and shoes. 
This intelligence report has been released by the US Trade Representative's office, which is planning a diplomatic offensive against piracy. 
It also published notes from the American Apparel & Footwear Association on the problem, which has also focused on counterfeiting problems in Costa Rica, along with Brazil, Chile, China, South Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Venezuela. 


9/24              Photographed by Michael Brouwer

SmartSilver & Eco-Fil Yarns
Yarn maker O'Mara Incorporated is to include SmartSilver anti-odor and antimicrobial additives in its Eco-Fil yarns, which are made from 100% recycled post-consumer bottles. 
SmartSilver from NanoHorizons is a nanotechnology treatment that imparts permanent anti odor/antimicrobial properties to natural and synthetic fibers and fabrics. 
The two companies say the yarns enable manufacturers to offer performance apparel that is both high-performance and environmentally responsible.
Dennis Schneider, director, sales and marketing of NanoHorizons, adds that SmartSilver ingredients are made using lower-grade ores from silver mining that would otherwise be disposed of as waste.


              
1/12
      Canada Pressured to 
Restrict Chinese Imports
Canada's parliament has debated a motion to cap the growth of clothing imports from China to 7.5% each year.
The safeguard measure is allowed as part of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). 
The motion also calls on the Canadian government to begin bilateral negotiations with China, similar to those undertaken by the US and EU, to restrict imports of clothing and textiles.
Since January 2002, almost 50,000 jobs have been lost in Canada's apparel industry, with half of those losses in Quebec. 
"Governments of the largest consumer markets in the world, like the US and EU have taken action to ensure their domestic industries and jobs are not swamped by Chinese clothing imports," said Lina Aristeo, director of the Quebec Council of Unite Here Canada. 
The union leader added: "The Minister of Trade must now immediately act to slow the growth of clothing imports from China or the deep job loses in the Canadian apparel industry we have experienced, especially in Quebec, will continue.
   


7/24
Olam Bids for Queensland
             Cotton
Queensland Cotton, Australia's oldest and largest cotton producer, has received a friendly US$104.2m takeover bid from Singapore-based agricultural group Olam.
Olam is one of the world's top five cotton companies with a presence in all key cotton exporting countries except Australia, and the board of Queensland Cotton has recommended that shareholders accept Olam's offer. 
Olam chief executive Sunny Verghese says the company plans to use Queensland Cotton as a springboard to expand into other agricultural commodities in Australia.


17/24
Issuing Visas to Bring Sales Women Into Lingerie Shops
A prominent Qatari has urged the authorities concerned to provide work visas to single women so they can go to Doha and work in shops, especially those selling lingerie. 
It is a matter of great concern that most outlets selling lingerie have male salesmen, which is not a desirable practice in a conservative society like Qatar's, said Hassan Al Jefairi. In a communication addressed to the social affairs division at the Department of Labor, he said that men should not be allowed to work in shops that sell exclusively female garments. 
And, especially if it comes to buying lingerie, a woman would usually avoid visiting a shop which has male sales personnel. "So, give visas to single women so they can not only work in lingerie shops but also in other outlets as well as offices," he said. 
Al Jefairi, who is contesting the April Central Municipal Council (CMC) election from Al Maizer, told a newspaper that the authorities presently give work visas only to single women to work in the hospitality and healthcare industries, education sector and airlines. 
Since single male expatriate workers form a substantial chunk of the local population, the authorities may be fearing social instability if young and unmarried women are allowed to go there and work.
"So, we need to be selective and issue visas to women from good families. Anyway, a woman who is willing to come here and take a job for a monthly salary of QR2,000 or QR2,500 will definitely have a good character, because if she is morally corrupt, she can earn this much money in a day in her home country itself. There is no need for her to look for a job overseas," said an outspoken Al Jefairi. 
As it is, two-thirds of the Qatari population consists of men, so young single males, have little chances of socializing with a woman who is from his country and of his age. 


 2/12
Lingerie Thief Arrested
Police found more than 4,300 pieces of lingerie in the home of a Japanese construction worker who used climbing skills developed on his job to steal women's underwear. 
Police believe that the 54 year old man amassed the 3,977 panties, 355 bras and 10 pairs of stockings over a six-year period. He was arrested in February after he stole underwear from two houses, and police later raided his home.
"Since he was a construction worker, as long as he had a place to put his feet he was able to climb, so he had no trouble getting up to the second floor of apartment buildings," a police spokesman in Hiroshima said.
"He didn't steal any other kinds of clothing. But as long as it was underwear, apparently anything would do," the spokesman added.

 
                             
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