|Work stoppages seen at Phuc Son cement company, Hai Duong province.
More than 1,000 labourers from Phuc Son cement company in the northern province of Hai Duong held work stoppages from July 17-18 in a drastic response to the Taiwan-invested firm’s inadequacies in providing them with sufficient social welfare benefits.
They jointly criticized the cement firm for failing to make overtime payments and annual bonuses as promised and ensure a safe and healthy working environment, and a decent standard of meals.
These strikes follow work stoppages which took place last year in a bid to call upon the firm to tackle the inadequacies.
“Our meals worth VND10,800 (US$0.46) each are of poor quality, while we are working in a hazardous working environment,” a labourer of the firm spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Ngo Duy Hieu, Vice President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, said that more than 67 per cent of the strike actions nationwide originated from disputes related to delayed salary payment, overtime pay, Tet (Lunar New Year) bonus, and others.
Hieu noted that the number of labour strikes has slashed over the past years. Last year, 214 strike actions happened across the country, a sharp drop of 37 per cent on year.
As many as 67 labour strikes occurred nationwide in the first half of this year while most of which were seen in southern localities and foreign-invested firms, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs said in a recent report sent to the Government.
Vietnam Economic Times cited statistics as showing that 17.9 per cent of the total labour strikes during the six-month period were seen at private companies while the rest occurred at foreign direct investment (FDI) firms. The majority of such work stoppages stroke firms invested by the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), and China.
Most of these strikes were found at labour-intensive sectors as garment and textile companies accounted for 28.36 per cent of the total strike actions while those operating in the two fields of plastic and wood production made up 16.42 per cent and 14.93 per cent, respectively. Up to 88.1 per cent of the total happened across southern localities, including Long An, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Ho Chi Minh City.
The ministry said that the strike actions were attributed to employers’ adjustments to salary and perks made without reference to labourers and trade unions.
Local trade unions have been making attempts to improve the quality of collective labour agreements (CLA) with a focus on dealing with workers’ petitions related to salary, allowances, and break time in a proper manner, noted Hieu.