Vietnamese workers at electronics plant strike for higher pay, more benefits

Action at Cresyn Hanoi in Bac Ninh province follows a successful strike at a footwear maker in central Vietnam.
Workers at the Cresyn Hanoi Co ., Ltd. electronics factory in Bac Ninh province, east of Vietnam's capital Hanoi, strike for higher wages and other perks, Feb. 14, 2021.
Photo courtesy of Tien Phong

More than 2,000 workers at a Korean electronics company factory in Vietnam’s Red River Delta went on strike on Monday, following a successful worker action at another foreign-owned plant in the country, local media reported.

Employees at Cresyn Hanoi Co., Ltd. in the Bac Ninh province are demanding wage increases, meal allowances and bonuses for working on Vietnam’s Reunification Day on April 30 and Labor Day on May 1, according to Vietnamese daily newspaper Tien Phong.

The factory employs a total of 3,500 workers, according to VietnamCredit, a business information provider in Vietnam. The company’s website said the plant makes seven million Bluetooth headsets and data link cables a month.

Workers are also want the company to pay employees based on the number of years they have worked. Furloughed employees would earn 70 percent of their base salary, under the workers’ demands.

They also asked management to create a COVID-19 testing calendar, provide more worker uniforms, and expand the company parking lot.

Representatives from the province’s Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Public Security Department asked the company to make sure it is adhering to Vietnamese labor laws on annual raises, overtime pay and worker seniority.

Cresyn Hanoi immediately addressed some issues as it reviews costlier wage increases. The company agreed to test workers weekly for the COVID-19 virus, increase employees’ meal allowances, replace worker uniforms each year, and expand the parking area.

Cresyn Hanoi said it would respond to worker demands for higher base pay, allowances, and bonuses by Feb. 25.

The strike comes on the heels of a successful strike by workers at Viet Glory Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese-owned footwear manufacturer in central Vietnam’s Nghe An province. The company ceded to demands by its 5,000-strong workforce to increase salaries and provide extra pay for long-term workers, along with other benefits, according to state media.

A Viet Glory worker told RFA on Monday that he was resuming work after the strike and that he and his colleagues were pleased that their demands had been met.

“We will probably get a new salary from next month on with a 6 percent increase in base salary,” said the employee, who declined to give his name in order to speak freely. “In general, we are excited about the pay raise, and everyone is happy because we have not gotten a pay raise in several years.”

RFA reported on Feb. 8 that Viet Glory’s more than 5,000 workers had gone on strike at noon the previous day to demand higher salaries and protest against a harsh work environment.

In response, the company said it would increase workers’ fuel allowance to 260,000 dong (U.S. $11) from 200,000 dong a month, and their meal allowance to 20,000 dong from 18,000 dong a month. The company also said it would pay male workers with children under 5 years old a child allowance of 50,000 dong a month.

Viet Glory initially refused to increase base salaries and seniority allowance, however.

But on Feb. 12, Viet Glory relented and agreed to a 6 percent salary increase as of Feb. 1. It also granted a seniority allowance to employees who have worked for the company for at least a year.

The monthly seniority allowance is 30,000 dong per year worked. Those who reach their seventh year with the company will receive a monthly seniority allowance of 210,000 dong.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Anna Vu. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.


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