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Landlords hungry for tenants blockade factory in central Vietnam

By Hai Binh   June 23, 2016 | 02:46 am PT
Buses carrying hundreds of migrant workers to a factory on Wednesday were stopped by angry out-of-pocket locals demanding the employees take up lodgings with them.

Dozens of buses carrying workers to an electronic appliance factory in the central province of Nghe An had to stop several hundred meters short of the site forcing hundreds of workers to walk the final stretch to the industrial park.

Female worker Dong, who was on one of the buses, said she had been working at the industrial park for nearly a year with a meager monthly income of VND3 million ($130).

She cannot afford to rent a house or a room near the park, so to save money, she and her workmates chipped in to hire buses to get to work.

“Over the last two days, local people have blockaded the road, forcing us to either change buses or walk a long distance to the factory. They even threatened people who asked for a lift on a motorbike,” said Dong.

Some local people in Nghi Xa Commune, Nghi Loc District earlier this month sent a request to bus drivers asking them to stop transporting workers to the industrial park.

They explained that they had put up their houses as collateral for bank loans to build rooms for rent.

However, with more and more workers taking buses from home to the park, these rooms have been left vacant.

“Bus operators must stop picking up workers [in the industrial park]. In seven days [after our notification], we will send people to block the road and take more serious measures. If it comes to that, we will not be responsible for what might happen,” said the statement.


Hundreds of migrant workers went to work on Wednesday by bus as usual only to find the road to their workplace had been blocked by local people living nearby. Photo by VnExpress/H.B.

The road blockade has created public disorder and traffic congestion.

The incident started on Monday when some enraged locals incited the crowd to come out and prevent buses from entering Nam Cam Industrial Oark, said Colonel Nguyen Trong Tue, chief of police in Nghi Loc District.

Police have arrested four people for creating public disorder.

Local authorities have tried to talk to the locals and explain why blocking the road is wrong, said Hoang Duy Duong, chief of police in Nghi Xa Commune.

He added that local people have built more than 1,000 rooms for rent.

Nam Cam Industrial Park, located next to National Highway 1A 18 kilometers north of Vinh City, is home to many factories involved in automobile assembly, steel manufacturing and food processing.

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