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Vietnamese Workers Strike After Company Reduces Wages

A South Korean factory failed to promise better salaries.

One thousand Vietnamese workers in Quang Nam went on strike last week to protest poor wages at Panko Tam Thang textile company, VnExpress International reported.

The Panko Tam Thang textile factory was built last year by South Korea Panko Corporation after a $70 million investment. It is located in the Tam Thang Industrial Zone in Quang Nam province and currently holds an estimated 15,000 jobs.

A workers’ representative said that the subsidiary of South Korea Panko Cooperation promised that workers would be paid 4 million Vietnamese dong (US $179) each month, in addition to housing, lunch and health insurance. The workers’ representative reported that the workers only made 2.9 million Vietnamese dong, despite the company’s pledge to increase wages.

On June 10, workers organized a first strike to protest low wages. In response, Panko Tam Thang textile company reassured that it would address the workers’ concerns about payment. About a month later, on July 7, workers were paid but they realized the company didn’t raise salaries. A second strike was organized by workers on July 9.

“We will discuss the problem with both parties to find a solution,” said Tran Thi Bo, head of the department of labor, invalids and social affairs in Tam Ky. Labor organizations and local authorities from the Quang Nam province have also sent representatives to investigate and problem-solve with both sides.