2,000 workers strike at South Korean garment plant in Vietnam

Hanoi – Nearly 2,000 workers at a South Korean-owned garment factory in Vietnam were holding the second day of a wildcat strike over low wages, an official said Thursday.

The employees at Ivory Garment Company ‘said they could not survive on the salary levels the company is paying,’ said Nguyen Thi Hang, chairwoman of Vu Thu Town in Thai Binh Province.

‘They are protesting peacefully,’ she added.

Workers asked the company to raise four different kinds of bonuses, including increasing overtime pay from 10 dollars to 20 dollars per month, and bonuses for senior staff from 1 dollar to 2.5 dollars per month.

On Wednesday, the company said it would meet the demands but the strikers refused to resume work until there was an official written agreement.

At the moment the starting monthly salary at the plant is 1.5 million dong (75 dollars). Those who have worked at the plant for five years get 2 million dong (100 dollars).

An official at the company refused to comment on the strike when contacted by the German Press Agency dpa.

As rising inflation continues to hit the country’s poorest, experts have said more workers are likely to strike over low pay this year.

The government said it planned to contain inflation at 8 per cent last year, but it hit 13.29 per cent for the first half of 2011.
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