More than 5,000 workers staged a stoppage at a leather shoe manufacturing company in Nghe An Province, Vietnam to demand higher wages on Monday, the very first day they went back to work after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Pham Duc Cuong, chairman of the labor confederation of Dien Chau District in the north-central province, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that a task force has worked with representatives of the workers and the company in question, Viet Glory Co. Ltd., after the strike on Monday.
Some of the striking workers complained that the current base salary and seniority allowance are too low, rendering their monthly income insufficient to make ends meet.
“We stopped working because the base salary is too low,” said P.T.T., a 32-year-old worker.
“My total income, including overtime payment and allowances, is just over VND4 million [US$176] a month.
“While prices have escalated, this amount is not enough for me to cover expenses in my family.
“We suggest the company consider raising the base salary to ensure the livelihood of workers.”
This is not the first time that workers at Viet Glory Co. Ltd. have demanded the leather shoe manufacturer adjust payments as they also had staged a similar strike for annual salary, fuel and meal allowances, as well as overtime payment after last year’s Lunar New Year holiday, according to Cuong.
After that, the company added a number of benefits for its workers, such as an attendance allowance, a test allowance, allowances for female employees raising children under six months, hazard pay, and performance bonuses in accordance with the company’s regulations.
“Last year, the company did not establish a labor union so the workers’ own demands were considered valid at that time and the company made corresponding adjustments,” Cuong said.
“Currently, the company’s labor union has collected workers’ opinions for consideration.”
The Dien Chau District labor confederation chairman assessed that Viet Glory Co. Ltd. is one of the firms that pay employees high monthly stipends, ranging from VND5 million ($220) to VND6 million ($264) per person on average.
Viet Glory’s footwear manufacturing and processing factory was established in the district in 2019, with complete foreign capital and an expected capacity of 25 million products a year.