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 allowances.
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 work.
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.