Mon, Jan 05, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Vietnamese protest shoe factory abuse

AFP , HANOI

Nearly 4,000 workers at a Taiwanese footwear plant in Vietnam have gone on strike to protest alleged ill-treatment by their bosses, state media reported yesterday.

CHINESE BOSSES

The workers, mostly women, said managers from China had beaten and humiliated employees at the Sun Jade company in Thanh Hoa Province, the Thanh Nien daily reported.

Thanh Nien and other local newspapers said the workers had also reported being denied sick leave and days off for deaths in the family, and were often docked an entire month’s pay if they failed to show up.

Company and local trade union officials could not be reached for comment. Reports said it was the plant’s third strike since June.

SLOWDOWN

Last year, as Vietnam was hit by double-digit inflation and an economic slowdown, workers downed tools at hundreds of factories, demanding better pay and conditions.

The Lao Dong daily estimated there were 775 strikes nationwide, mostly in the industrial south, compared to 541 the previous year.

UNREST

Industrial unrest could flare up again before the Tet lunar New Year late this month, a time when workers often ask for extra pay and time off to visit their families.

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