900 on strike for more toilet time at Vietnam city factory

By Dinh Phu, Thanh Nien News

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Workers on strike at South Korean bag making company Shilla Bags Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City March 13 demanding better meals and more toilet time. Photo by Duc Tien

Around 900 workers at a South Korean bag factory in Ho Chi Minh City went on strike Thursday demanding better food and more toilet time.

The workers of Shilla Bags Vietnam said toilet time is fixed between 8:30 and 10 every morning, meaning five minutes per person.
They share several toilet cards that they must present to the toilet managers and sign their names any time they use the facility.
A worker said many toilets in the women's section were broken, so there’s not enough time for everyone.
Workers also complained about unhygienic meals, with rocks in the rice and maggots in the soy sauce.
They also asked for a new labor union, saying the current one is not made up of employee representatives.
Tran Thanh Tho from the District 12 labor office, who has been assigned with dealing with the strike, said workers are supposed to file a complaint first and go on strike only when their complaint is ignored.
Tho said the company pays salaries based on number of hours worked “so it has to keep tight control.”
The company guard refused to let a Thanh Nien reporter visit the site and said company leaders were absent.

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