Da Nang workers go on strike for end-of-year payment, bonus

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More than 700 garment workers at a South Korean firm in Da Nang went on a wildcat strike Tuesday (January 25) asking for their salaries and Tet bonus with the country's most important festival just a week away.


The workers of Ba Sao Garment Company filed a complaint asking the company leaders to announce the amount of Tet bonus by January 29, four days before the holiday.


Pham Thi Hoan, one of the workers, said she hasn't heard the company say anything about their December salary and the Tet bonus. "We don't know how to go home for Tet now," Hoan told local news website Dan Tri.


The Da Nang Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has asked the company to pay the salaries for December and let the workers receive half to 70 percent of the January salaries in advance to spend on the holiday.


Le Minh Hung, in charge of salary and social insurance issues at the department, said the unit had asked companies in the city to submit their salary and bonus payment plans as well as announce it to their workers by January 15.


Among the complaints that workers made were bad-quality lunches, too many extra shifts and no guarantee of social insurance though they have paid for it regularly for the past two years.


The company directors blamed the Da Nang Social Insurance Company for their lateness in giving the workers their social insurance books.


But an investigation found that the books could not be delivered as the company still owed VND203 million ($10,400) in workers' social insurance payments to the insurer, and this denied several female workers pregnancy support that they were entitled to.


Hung asked the company to pay the social insurance dues in 30 days.


The directors also blamed the supplier for the quality of lunch, saying the value for each portion had been increased from VND7,000 (US$0.36) to VND8,000 since early this year.


Investigators from the city labor department also found out some workers in the company were being paid below minimum wages.


They also summoned several workers for further investigation about extra shifts and said punitive action will be taken against the company if necessary.


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