Sunday, December 07, 2008

[olympiaworkers] 1,300 manufacturing workers wildcat in Vietnam Dec. 5, 2008

The wildcat strike of more than 200 workers from a company in the central
Quang Ngai Province escalated on Thursday.

Since Thursday morning, around 1,300 South Korean-owned Doosan Vina
Company employees, gathered in front of the company office in the Dung
Quat Economic Zone to emphasize their demand for proper payment of

Workers first walked off the job on Monday, saying Doosan Vina had not
honored its promise to pay a range of allowances and hand out pay rises to
employees once they'd completed four months of service.

"The company's payment policies are inconsistent," one worker said.

Workers hired by the company, which makes cranes, pressure tanks and
filtering devices, during its first days of operation are paid more
than those hired later, the workers said. The workers are also
complaining about the many insults and beatings they've suffered at

Jae Young Kim, the company deputy director, told Quang Ngai
authorities Thursday the language barrier had caused many
misunderstandings between management and the workers. Kim admitted the
company had made some errors with bonus payments but only in a few
cases. He said the company had not awarded pay rises because some
workers were not skilled enough while others were still interns. The
first workers were recruited carefully while those put on later were
not, he said. The company was initially seeking senior and skilled
workers and so offered higher salaries as an incentive, he said.

The workers, however, disagreed with the deputy director and said they
were continuing the strike.

Meanwhile, labor protection and union development were the focus of
a two-day conference held by the Vietnam General Congrederation of
Labor and the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Ho Chi Minh
City Thursday.

Vietnamese workers in private companies often lack of confidence in
labor unions and go on strike spontaneously every time they feel their
rights have been infringed, Jan-Min Sunoo, head consultant of ILO
-Vietnam Labor Relationship project, told the conference.

Sunoo stressed the importance of negotiation, which is used in many
other countries to protect laborers, but was not popular in Vietnam.

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