17,000 shoe factory workers strike in southern Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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Around 17,000 workers of Pouchen company in Dong Nai Province go on strike on Thursday. Photo: Le Lam Around 17,000 workers of Pouchen company in Dong Nai Province go on strike on Thursday. Photo: Le Lam

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Thousands of workers at a Taiwanese footwear factory in southern Vietnam were on strike for a second day on Friday to protest a new rule that they have called unfair and unreasonable. 
The 17,000 workers, out of a total of 21,600 workers of the Pouchen shoe company in Dong Nai Province, are expected to resume the strike next week. 
Strikers said the company is bleeding them dry with the new regulation, which punishes workers who take four days off or more a year by withholding their year-end bonuses, according to a Lao Dong Newspaper report.
In Vietnam, employees are entitled to at least 12 days of fully paid annual leave. 
On Thursday, the company's management agreed to discuss and explain the new regulations later, asking the strikers to return to work the next day. 
The strike continued on Friday as workers demanded the regulation be reviewed and changed immediately. 
At around 2 p.m. on Friday, there was a clash between an unidentified man and a group of workers. Three strikers were injured, including a 31-year-old woman.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc An, director of the labor confederation in Dong Nai's Bien Hoa Town, told Thanh Nien that her office is working out a solution with Pouchen’s managers.
“We are waiting for a decision from the parent company,” said An.

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