A group of angry workers gathered around the Ho Chi Minh City factory of an Austrian garment manufacturer on Tuesday seeking to recover around US$42,500 in unpaid salaries and social insurance after hearing that their foreign boss had fled the country.
Workers in the crowd claimed they've spent the past two months trying to recover the money, to no avail, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Wednesday.
Neither the Austrian boss, Harald Biebl, nor any Vietnamese representatives have showed up at Bach Hop, the Vietnamese branch of garment firm Biebl Design Firmenpark in District 6, the paper said.
Attempts to call numbers listed for the Biebl Design Company were unsuccessful. An email sent to an address allegedly belonged to Mr. Biebl also failed to go through.
Workers gathered around his District 6 facility said the building now contains little more than stacks of empty cardboard boxes. The group said they began noticing problems in June when the company seemed to run out of money to sustain its operations.
Local labor officials said that by the end of July, the company owed more than 100 workers VND586 million ($27,800) in social insurance payments and more than VND310 million ($14,700) in unpaid wages.
They company had been deducting social insurance contributions from workers’ salaries monthly but had failed to submit them to local social insurers since April.
Ngo Thanh Bac, vice chairman of District 6 Labor Union, said the company’s executives have fled the country.
“We’ve contacted the company’s representatives and the Austrian boss many times but received no responses,” Bac said.