The Vietnamese embassy in Algeria has sent officials to solve wage conflicts between a group of Vietnamese workers and their Chinese employer, which have turned violent the past two weeks.
Ambassador Nguyen Van Hiep said his office has also asked the Chinese embassy to intervene, after some Vietnamese workers were reportedly starved and beaten.
He said Hanoi labor exporter Simco Song Da will also send a team to Algeria to solve the problem.
The Hanoi company sent 55 workers to Algeria to work at a construction site in July. Most of the other workers there are Chinese.
They signed in a contract to work eight hours a day. But after a month, the Chinese company unilaterally changed that policy and set a fixed amount of workload for the workers which they had to finish to receive payments.
The Vietnamese workers objected to the new policy and started a wildcat strike on September 15. They were then starved and beaten.
The Vietnamese embassy said it has provided food for the workers and will send two workers to hospital.
“The Chinese company has admitted to beating two Vietnamese,” Hiep said.
But stories from the workers and their families said at least seven of them were caned.
Dau Hoang Anh, a representative of Simco, the labor company, was assaulted in a mob attack by 200 Chinese armed with canes and other weapons.
Pham Viet Huong, deputy director of the Department of Overseas Labor at the labor ministry, said Simco Song Da has to make sure its workers are safe and bring any of them home if they want to.
The company and Vietnamese labor officials only started to take action after the workers called home and their families informed Thanh Nien of the case.
There are around 2,400 Vietnamese working in Algeria.