16,000 footwear company workers end strike

By Le Tuyet, Phuoc Tuan   January 12, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
16,000 footwear company workers end strike
Workers at the Pou Chen Vietnam factory in Dong Nai return to work on January 12, 2021, following a four-day strike over Tet bonus cut. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong
Around 16,000 workers of Taiwanese-invested footwear maker Pou Chen Vietnam, a Nike contract manufacturer, have returned to work after four days of strike over Tet bonuses.

Nguyen Tan Phap, head of the labor union at Pou Chen Vietnam, located in Dong Nai’s capital town Bien Hoa, said Wednesday that most workers have returned to their stations, ending their strike. He did not elaborate.

The workers had struck work to protest the company’s decision to pay less bonus than last year for the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival. Tet, the most important festival in Vietnam, falls early February this year.

A worker had said the company announced that employees who have worked for it a full year or more will be given Tet bonuses of 1-1.54 months’ salary – around VND5 million ($217) to nearly VND20 million. The highest bonus in 2021 was 1.87 months’ salary, and in previous years, 2.2 months.

"With this (coefficient), the Tet bonus in 2022 will be lower than before."

Explaining the drop in bonuses, Tsai Ming Jyh, director of Pou Chen Vietnam, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had forced the factory to close down, affecting its revenue and profits. However, the firm had still given workers part of their salaries for nearly three months during the closure.

This year’s Tet bonus was discussed by the firm and the labor union, he added.

Pou Chen Vietnam in Bien Hoa, part of Taiwan’s Pou Chen Group, has around 16,000 workers. The group has seven other factories in several southern Vietnam localities, totaling over 130,000 workers. It plans to give workers over VND1.2 trillion ($52.8 million) in Tet bonus this year.

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