Some 1,000 workers at a Taiwan-owned footwear company in Vietnam struck work Thursday with a litany of complaints of ill-treatment by a Chinese supervisor.
Workers from Factory C of the Hong Fu Vietnam Footwear Co. Ltd. in Thanh Hoa Province gathered in front of the company and said the supervisor, a woman identified only as C, had badly insulted many of them.
She only allowed workers to use the toilet once during a shift for not more than five minutes, and infringement of these rules meant a fine, they said.
“The factory is crowded, and we often have to wait to use the toilet. So many workers are fined almost every day,” one worker said.
“According to company regulations, workers who are fined three times will not get any bonus.”
C often threw workers’ products and insulted them for mistakes, they said.
She even slapped many workers in the face with shoes, they claimed.
Officials from the Thanh Hoa Labour Federation arrived to coordinate talks between the company’s managers and the workers.
The Hongfu bosses said later they have suspended C pending an inquiry, and promised to sack her if the workers’ complaints proved to be true.
The company also gave the workers a day off Thursday.
In one incident in 2011, Hongfu dismissed a Chinese supervisor called A Vuong for gluing a Vietnamese woman group leader’s palms together with industrial glue.
The company said later Vuong had been upset at seeing a worker sneakily use glue to fix faulty shoes and took his anger out on the woman, Le Thi Phuong, when she took charge of a shift.
The company had to sack him after authorities called for it following a strike.