Strike turns violent as 2,000 workers protest at Taiwanese shoe firm

April 17, 2016 | 01:25 am PT
Strike turns violent as 2,000 workers protest at Taiwanese shoe firm
More than 2,000 employees from a Taiwanese shoe company gathered at the factory gate on April 15, and threw rotten eggs and shrimp paste at anyone who crossed the picket line in protest of low salaries and heavy workloads.

Employees at KaiYang have to work for up to 12 straight hours per day but are unable to achieve the unreasonably high targets set by the company, which results in salary deductions.

At the start of the year, the company installed a fingerprint machine to record employees’ work hours, but the machine has broken down many times and workers have not received wages for the days they have been in work.

Workers have petitioned the management board a number of times but the company says there is nothing wrong with the machine.

In addition, workers do not receive unemployment allowances when the firm temporarily lays them off due to a lack of orders.

Workers resorted to throwing rotten eggs and shrimp paste after being attacked by a group of strangers, a female worker said.

The company previously invited two people to represent the employees at talks with Hai Phong’s labor federation to resolve the dispute, but nobody stepped forward.

The company was established in 2004 and has more than 2,700 workers.

Just a few days before the strike, about 1,000 workers at a Korean company in Hai Phong walked off the job to protest against unfair working conditions.

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