Taiwanese firm asks 2,500 employees to resume work

By Sen    August 19, 2019 | 06:20 am PT
Taiwanese firm asks 2,500 employees to resume work
Kai Yang Company workers attend a meeting with the firm's new management board in Kien An District, Hai Phong City, on August 19, 2019. Photo taken from Kai Yang Vietnam Facebook group.
Footwear maker Kai Yang whose former executives fled the country has promised to pay dues and asked 2,500 plus workers to return.

The new executives of the Taiwanese company in Hai Phong City’s Kien An District on Monday invited the unpaid workers to resume work, said a report on the government portal.

At a meeting between the firm's new management and employees, Jenny Koo, Chairman of H&S Company Limited, which has taken over Kai Yang, said she and her partners will do their best to pay 50 percent of all workers’ July salary this week and the rest in the following week.

The workers will return to work Tuesday, after a week of unemployment following Kai Yang’s former Taiwanese boss Huang Shang Che and 17 compatriots leaving the country without notice on August 11.

As of Monday, the exact amount owed the employees had not been calculated.

H&S Company Limited, a South Korean company, is one of the partners and investors in Kai Yang.

The workers were very happy with the new development. On the company’s official Facebook page called Kai Yang Vietnam, which has both workers and executives as members, the updated news was received with positive comments.

Last Monday morning, over 2,500 Kai Yang workers were caught off guard on finding their workplace sealed by a local bank to secure mortgaged assets. It was only then they learnt then that their boss and his assistants had fled the country without notice.

The workers said their basic monthly salary was VND3.74 million ($161). They also complained that they received meager bonuses and were not given the contracted vacation time or working conditions.

The Kai Yang Company, making footwear for export, began operations in 2005. In April 2016, hundreds of its employees struck work, demanding better benefits.

A recent report by the Ministry of Labor, Invalid and Social Affairs noted there were 67 strikes in the first half of this year, one less than in the same period last year, mostly demanding better pay and food.

82 percent of workers' strikes in January-June happened in foreign invested companies. South Korean and Taiwanese companies accounted for 16 strikes each, Chinese firms for 10 and Japanese companies for four.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor last year published a study on minimum wages and cost of living after polling over 3,000 workers in 150 different businesses.

Of them, 26.5 percent said they were "barely getting by" while 12.5 percent said their incomes were not enough to support their families and they had to work overtime or do additional jobs to make ends meet.

The government raises minimum wages every year. The wages were raised 5.3 percent this year to VND2.92 million - 4.18 million ($125-179) depending on the region.

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