2,500 Vietnamese workers strike at Chinese toy factory

By Hai Binh   October 5, 2016 | 02:22 am PT
2,500 Vietnamese workers strike at Chinese toy factory
Workers protest heavy workload at a Chinese firm in Nghe An Province on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress
The company requires each team of 60 workers to churn out 77 teddy bears every hour, a task they call 'impossible.'

More than 2,500 workers at a Chinese toy factory in the central province of Nghe An continued the third day of their wildcat strike on Wednesday to protest what they call unreasonably heavy workload and other unfair policies.

The workers carried banners and placards and crowded the street in front of Matrix Vinh Ltd.

Dozens of police officers were sent to the site to prevent chaos.

The workers said they went on strike after they filed complaints to the company leaders about the poor working conditions but no action was taken.

Thuy, a 28-year-old worker, said the company requires each team of around 60 workers to make 77 teddy bears every one hour.

“The demand is impossible to meet, and we kept being scolded by the bosses,” she said.

Those doing a good job received little bonus, the workers said.

Other complaints were about small lunch allowances of only around half a dollar a person, a short lunch break and inadequate toilets.

The workers, representing 80 percent of the staff, said they will continue the strike on Thursday.

Le Ngoc Hoa, vice chairman of Nghe An, said the province has met with the Chinese managers of the company and urged them to reach an agreement with the workers.

Matrix Vinh opened in Nghe An in 2011, producing toys for markets such as Canada, Hong Kong and the U.S.

All strikes in Vietnam are wildcat. A total of 245 wildcat strikes took place across the country last year with disgruntled workers demanding better pay and working conditions and protesting against overtime.

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