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EU's Chinese Imports Monitored 
Thru 2008
Page 1

Textile Mill Kills 10
Page 1

 Hurley's Mastectomy Swimwear
Page 1

2007 Contours International Lingerie Awards 
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The American Red Cross

     October 15, 2007                                        Issue #203


6/24

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       EU's Chinese Imports
    Monitored Thru 2008
The European Commission confirmed it is to monitor Chinese textile and clothing exports to the EU until the end of 2008 in an attempt to ensure a smooth transition to quota free trade over the course of the next year.
The "joint import surveillance" scheme will begin once import growth caps on ten categories of textiles and clothing from China expire at the end of 2007. 
The new "double checking system" will track Chinese export licenses and European export permits in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the "bra wars" fiasco of two years ago, when millions of Chinese-made clothes stranded in ports and at sea after new quota limits agreed in June 2005 were rapidly exceeded. The garments were only released after another agreement was negotiated.
Although today's deal does not limit how much China can export it will ensure "predictability for EU businesses" the EC said.
It will also provide a clear picture of trade patterns for eight of the ten categories covered by import quotas agreed in 2005 - T-shirts, pullovers, men's trousers, blouses, dresses, bras, bed linen and flax yarn - to make sure there is no surge in shipments of these products.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said the agreement will provide "a clear picture of future developments as we make the final step to free global trade in textiles and clothing."
Observers had been expecting all quotas on Chinese textiles to be lifted as originally planned for the start of 2008, after EU officials in July urged importers, retailers and textile producers - and the Chinese - to help ensure there were no problems.
Some European manufacturers feared they would have to compete with a flood of cheap Chinese bras and T-shirts when quotas were lifted. Euratex, the European apparel and textile organization, said it welcomed the EC's decision as "the most practical means of contributing to the smooth transition to quota free trade during the course of 2008."
Speaking in Milan Euratex president Michele Tronconi added that monitoring trade flows from China " also provides the opportunity, should the need arise, to seek early redress, and thus to avoid a re-run of the events of summer 2005." 
European textile and clothing producers could call on Brussels to impose new trade barriers to slow textile and clothing imports, such as safeguard or anti-dumping measures.


19/24  

Textile Mill Kills 10 in India
Ten people have died in a fire at a textile mill in Haryana, India, it has been reported.
The fire broke out early on in the morning on October 7, and could be the result of a short circuit.
According to local reports, the factory's owner was arrested for alleged negligence following the incident.


2/24   
Sri Lanka Pushes for 
     Wage Increases
Sri Lanka's Apparel Industry Labor Rights Movement (ALaRM), a coalition of trade unions and labor rights organizations in Sri Lanka, is mobilizing garment workers to push for wage increases over the next few months.
The demands are for an immediate LKR2,500 (US$22) salary increase, taking them closer towards a 'living wage'. 
The country's living wage threshold is estimated at LKR12,504 per month for garment workers living in free trade zone areas, and LKR10,183 for those outside trade zones.
Workers' rights groups, however, say that most still earn below LKR10,000 even with overtime, and are living under poor conditions as 
a result. 
"The workers get by, because most of the factories provide at least one meal. But they still have to get their own meals as well and other things they need. So they are cutting down on their food when they don't earn enough to cover their expenses," said Ashila Mapalagama, a legal coordinator at Right to Life, a member of ALaRM. 
Sri Lanka's apparel industry representative body, the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), said that most garment factories cannot afford the demanded pay increases.
The basic wage of garment workers was increased last year to LKR6,000 per month. 
But JAAF says the total take-home wage of workers is higher than the basic wage because of production incentives. The cost for factories, says JAAF, is even higher because factories also spend on other types of worker welfare measures like free or subsidized meals. 
Furthermore, JAAF is calling on the government to reduce the rate of inflation that is pushing workers in Sri Lanka to demand large wage increases.


23/24              Photographed by Lawrence O. Brown

      Hurley's Mastectomy
           Swimwear 
Elizabeth Hurley is creating a range of swimwear for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery. 
The disease is a cause close to Hurley's heart after her maternal grandmother died from breast cancer, and she's determined to help women with mastectomies look great on the beach. 
She says, "We are looking to develop some swimsuits for women who have had mastectomies; I'm hoping to have them ready by next year." 
      

21/24  
    
Lejaby For Sale
Warnaco Group-owned French lingerie business Lejaby has been put up 
for sale with Goldman Sachs appointed to find a buyer.
The US-based apparel maker and marketer said it was exploring strategic options for Lejaby as it shifted its focus to labels like Calvin Klein in September.
Lejaby staff representatives were told of the sale decision at a recent meeting of the company's works council. However, no information was given on the timetable of the sale or of potential buyers. 
Warnaco had tried to sell the company in 2001 but could not obtain its asking price
France's second leading lingerie maker behind Chantelle, Lejaby employs around 600 staff and posted a 2006 turnover of EUR71m. It has four plants in France turning out mid to top of the range underwear and also has production centers abroad including Tunisia and south-east Asia. 
After Dim-Playtex, Aubade et Barbara, Lejaby will be the fourth French company in the lingerie sector to change ownership in the last two years.


4/12
Textile Plant Closes, 4000
              Jobs Lost
United Nigeria Textile has closed down with the loss of 4,000 jobs, due to an instable market environment and rising costs, it has been reported.
According to a local paper the company made the announcement in Kaduna on October 8.
Its management has urged Nigeria's federal government to rescue the textile industries and avert further closures. 
Production seems to have plummeted in the country, with employment numbers falling from around 250,000 in the 1980s, to 28,000 now.

 
                             
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