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Largest strike in HCM City
(TF-AMW)
Mon, Jul 31, 2006

Largest strike in HCM City

29/12/2005

VietNamNet – HCM City’s largest ever strike occurred at foreign-owned Freetrend Company in Linh Trung Export Processing Zone 1, Thu Duc District yesterday.

On the morning of December 28, around 18,000 Freetrend employees went on strike asking for higher wages. The peak of the strike occurred while waiting for a conclusion to negotiations with company managers, during which dozens of extremist workers demolished glass windows, other enterprises, and stole products. Police had to intervene to control the situation.

According to workers, in November 2005 Freeland announced wage increases of 30% for all employees, to be applied as of January 2006; however, later the company announced a maximum increase of just VND100,000/person, which employees considered an incorrect assessment of their skills and contribution, particularly veteran employees.

Up until December 28, when the strike occurred, the company announced that it would pursue its new policy. On the day Freetrend managers met with representatives of the Trade Union and Labour Management Department of Linh Trung EPZ 1 to discuss the issue and they reached a new agreement, more suitable to the real situation.

According to a trade union official, the strike attracted the highest number of participating workers to date in HCM City.

Khiet Nhu

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HCMC to enforce labour unions

 31/12/2005

The HCM City Industrial Park and Export Processing Zone Authority (HEPZA) would revoke the licence of any enterprise that fails to establish a labour union, said an official.

Vu Van Hoa, head of HEPZA, said the establishment of a labour union at enterprises in the city's 15 industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZs) was still low.

Of 802 enterprises in the city's IPs and EPZs, only 346 have established labour unions, or 43% of the total enterprises there.

"Enterprises have not lived up to flieir responsibility of establishing labour unions to ensure the lives of employees and to stabilise and develop facilities for production," Hoa said.

They have not fully explored the perspective that labour unions serve to form a bridge, linking relationships between employee and employer, he said.

Hoa said several enterprises had operated for many years without establishing a labour union.

He also attributed the lack in unions to the fact that HEPZA has not been actively disseminating the idea, or dealing with enterprises that are reluctant to establish a union.

As well, IPs and EPZs had a shortage of human sources to propagate and guide enterprises to establish labour unions, Hoa said.

He said the HCM City Party Committee, HEPZA, and existing unions of the city's IPs and EPZs had recently met employers to call on them to establish labour unions.

HEPZA was responsible for initially issuing enterprise licences, and have the right to revoke licenses of those that refuse to adhere to regulations on starting a labour union, or that drag out the process, Hoa said.

(Source: Viet Nam News)


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