TET bonus problems contribute to strikes in southern provinces

Jan 1, 2010. Last week, about 20,000 workers of South Korean shoe maker Taekwang Vina Industrial Company in Dong Nai province’s Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park staged a one-day strike demanding fatter salaries and bonuses for Vietnam’s Tet traditional festival.

They also demanded the company improve their meal quality and allow them to go home sooner to welcome Tet.

At the same time, more than 4,000 workers of South Korean garment maker Namyang International Vietnam Company in this province’s
Amata Industrial Park launched a strike demanding better salaries and Tet bonuses.

“Such strikes are just among many other ones to be launched in the coming time when Tet is drawing nearer in Dong Nai, especially at industrial parks. This time is sensitive, because many employers do not want to give Tet bonuses to their workers,” said Vo Thanh Lap, head of Dong Nai province’s Industrial Park Authority.

Recently, over 6,000 workers of Taiwanese-backed garment maker Han Son Vina Company in Binh Duong province’s Song Than 1 Industrial Park went on strike demanding a pay rise of VND300,000 ($ 15.3) per month.

“The workers also required the company to announce specific Tet bonus figures,” said Tran Van Lieu, head of Binh Duong province’s Industrial Park Authority.

He said only 30 per cent of the 1,050 foreign enterprises in the province’s industrial parks had their own trade unions, which were in charge of protecting workers’ benefits.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the levels of Tet bonus for workers at foreign enterprises in 2010 would average VND3.3 million ($ 169) and VND2.2 million ($ 113), respectively, per worker.

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