Strikes increasing daily in Vietnam as inflation soars

Hanoi – About 600 workers at a Vietnam shoe factory went on strike Wednesday over low wages, an official said, on the third consecutive day of new wildcat strikes in Ho Chi Minh City.

Workers at An Phuoc Garment Embroidery Shoes Company said they could not survive on their salaries, said Nguyen Van Tam, deputy chairman of the local People’s Committee.

Official union representatives were negotiating with the company, he said.

On Monday and Tuesday, nearly 1,000 workers at Masan Food Group in the same business park went on strike. The action was called off when the firm agreed to raise monthly wages and allowances by a total of 50 dollars.

On Tuesday, 500 workers at a South Korean-owned company held a wildcat strike asking for wage increases. They returned to work Wednesday after the company agreed to hike salaries.

‘We spend most of our time resolving strikes these days,’ Pham Thanh Xuan, deputy head of Tan Phu Labour Union in Tan Phu District said, adding that about 100 wildcat strikes have been reported in Ho Chi Minh City over the past month.

Under the law, strikes need the permission of the authorities, but Vietnam has already recorded 440 wildcat strikes since January, triple the number in the same period last year due to escalating inflation.

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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