'Return to work': union tells Taiwanese factory's workers on strike

By Duc Hung   October 5, 2023 | 03:14 pm PT
'Return to work': union tells Taiwanese factory's workers on strike
Deputy chairman of Nghe An’s Labor Union Nguyen Chi Cong (R) speaks with workers of Viet Glory on October 4, 2023 in the central province of Nghe An. Photo by VnExpress/Dieu Hoa
The Labor Union of Nghe An Province has advised thousands of workers who went on strike at Taiwanese footwear maker Viet Glory to resume work.

Representatives of the union and labor authorities met with around 2,000 workers Wednesday at the gate of the factory in the central province after 6,000 of them went on strike Monday afternoon, demanding better treatment and compensation.

Nguyen Chi Cong, deputy chairman of Nghe An’s Labor Union, said that if workers stop working for more than five days they will be treated with disadvantages should the company want to terminate their contract, and authorities will have difficulties protecting them.

"Workers should look at all aspects of the issue to make the right decisions," he added.

The labor union has been working with representatives of Viet Glory for two days to discuss the requests of the workers: a basic salary raise, adjustments of production quotas, improved communication standards, issues regarding taking leave, bonuses, and maternity benefits.

The company has given its response to the demands, but the workers have yet to confirm if they are happy, Cong said.

A representative of the workers on strike said that apart from the eight demands, they want to propose several more, such as gasoline support and seniority-based bonuses.

After an hour talking to authorities, the workers went home at 8 a.m. By the end of Wednesday, they had been on strike for 2.5 days.

In the upcoming days Nghe An union will continue to persuade workers to return to the factory while conducting a comprehensive review at Viet Glory to see if they violate any workers’ rights.

In a document by Viet Glory responding to the workers’ demands, the company agreed to pay support for workers in hazardous environments, and workers would have a 13th month of bonus pay in accordance with the firm’s benefit policies.

The company said it has "resolved and made adjustments" regarding the rest of the demands. The current basic salary of VND4.13 million ($169.26) is legal, and with the current small number of orders, the company cannot adjust that.

The firm did say that working time would be adjusted depending on the production situation, and overtime meetings would also mean overtime pay.

Viet Glory mainly produces footwear for export. The Taiwanese firm has been operating since 2019 and currently has over 6,000 workers. In 2021-2022, thousands of workers went on strike twice, only returning to work after certain demands were met.

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