Viet­nam meets de­mands to end strike in shoe fac­to­ries


Work­ers at a ma­jor Viet­namese footwear fac­tory for Nike and adi­das ended a week-long strike Thurs­day af­ter the gov­ern­ment agreed to their de­mands on re­tire­ment pay­outs.

The stop­page by thou­sands of work­ers at the Tai­wanese-owned Pou Yuen fac­tory in south­ern Ho Chi Minh City was a rare chal­lenge to com­mu­nist au­thor­i­ties over pol­icy is­sues, although strikes over poor work­ing con­di­tions and low pay are com­mon.

The work­ers were protest­ing a so­cial in­sur­ance law, which comes into ef­fect next year and says that work­ers will get a so­cial in­sur­ance monthly al­lowance when they re­tire in­stead of get­ting a one­time pay­ment if they re­sign. The work­ers said that if they quit, they would have to wait un­til their re­tire­ment age — 60 for men and 55 for women — to get the al­lowance, and pre­fer the lump sum to pay for their daily needs while seek­ing new jobs.

The strike was peace­ful and ear­lier this week the work­ers blocked a ma­jor high­way, but there was a heavy po­lice pres­ence at the fac­tory.

In a meet­ing chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Tan Dung on Wed­nes­day, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the La­bor Min­istry, the trade union and the Ho Chi Minh City gov­ern­ment pro­posed changes to the law to make it “suit­able to the sit­u­a­tion” and meet the work­ers’ de­mand, the gov­ern­ment said in a state­ment.

The gov­ern­ment will ask the Na­tional As­sem­bly to amend the law that would al­low la­bor­ers to get their re­tire­ment pay­outs at one time or when they re­tire, if they choose so, it said.

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