On April 28, 2017, IDEA Limited Company signed a contract to rent about 20 hectares of land in Tan Tao IZ with an estimated lease fee of about VND500 billion ($20 million). The land plot will house a footwear plant. The project may be divided into several phases, but in the first phase, IDEA will lease 6.5ha only.
According to a source of VIR, the investor of this footwear factory project is actively finishing the necessary procedures, and if all goes well, the project is expected to receive the investment certificate soon.
“With the aim of stable manufacturing and sustainable development, we hope to create new footwear chain as well as enhance product quality. Thus, to reach this aim, we decided to build a new plant in Tan Tan IZ,” Yeo Cheng Wu, representative of Pou Chen Group, said.
Pou Chen Group is a footwear manufacturing giant also responsible for the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) for numerous famous footwear brands in the world, such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, and New Balance.
Pou Chen Group entered Vietnam in 1994 with the first plant located in the southern province of Dong Nai. By the end of 2016, Pou Chen Group had seven sizable plants located in five cities and provinces in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Tien Giang, Tay Ninh, and Long An. Its total investment in Vietnam has reached more than $1 billion and it has created jobs for more than 200,000 Vietnamese people.
However, in recent years, Pou Chen’s Vietnamese workers have gone on strike several times. In particular, on February 27, 2016, about 17,000 workers in Pou Chen’s footwear factory in Dong Nai went on strike to protest a new rule they deemed unfair and unreasonable.
Strikers said the company was bleeding them dry with the new regulation, which punishes workers who take off four days or more a year by withholding their year-end bonuses, according to a report by Lao Dong newspaper.
After three days of strike, leaders of Pou Chen’s factory in Dong Nai rescinded the new regulation and agreed to pay the strikers’ salary for the three days to call them back to work.
Previously, in March 2015, about 90,000 of Pou Chen’ workers in Ho Chi Minh City have gone on strike to oppose a new regulation under which they would not be allowed to take a lump-sum social insurance allowance after resigning from the company.
Similarly, in 2011 and 2010, there were also strikes in different cities and provinces of Vietnam due to numerous conflicts between workers and Pou Chen, involving the benefits of both parties.