Vietnamese workers end strike after Taiwan company hikes wages

Hanoi – About 1,300 employees at a Taiwan-owned footwear factory in northern Vietnam returned to work Wednesday after the company agreed to increase their monthly salary.

Workers at Stateway Vietnam Footwear in Hai Phong city went on strike Tuesday demanding an additional 18 dollars a month to 88 dollars, an official of the company’s personnel department said.

Under Vietnamese law, strikes must be approved by local authorities and the government-affiliated national trade union. In practice, virtually all strikes take place without such approval.

On April 21, the Ministry of Labour admitted the current regulations have failed to tackle labour strikes because they did not guarantee the rights of workers.

The ministry urged changes to protect workers and so reduce the number of strikes.

Ministry figures showed official strikes dropped from 650 in 2008 to 216 in 2009. Most involved companies in the textile and garment sectors.

There are no official statistics on the number of wildcat strikes, but trend upwards as inflation which reached nearly 10 per cent for the first four months of 2011.

Local media reported more than 100 unofficial strikes have occurred so far this year.

Most grievances involved wages, social insurance, welfare and compensation.

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