The state of workers’ strike continued into the third day on January 10 at a factory in Vietnam’s southern province of Dong Nai owned by Pouchen Group, the world’s largest footwear manufacturer in Taiwan, because workers were not satisfied with the New Year (Tet) bonuses.
According to Taiwan News, 14,000 factory employees went on strike on Friday (January 7) due to the Taiwanese company’s decision to cut Tet bonuses.
Previously, Pouchen Vietnam Co., Ltd. announced that employees must work for a full year to be rewarded with an additional month’s salary (13th-month salary) and this bonus gradually increases to 1.54-month salary depending on working seniority, equivalent to VND5-20 million.
Last year, Pouchen Vietnam’s highest bonus was 1.9 months’ salary, and before that was 2.2 months’ salary, according to Thanh Nien.
Pouchen workers started a strike at noon on January 7 to demand that the Taiwanese company keep the same Tet bonus as last year.
On January 9, Pouchen issued a notice calling for workers to return to work and said that it would not change the previously offered Tet bonus.
“We hope employees understand for the company when affected by the 4th Covid-19 pandemic, the company has devoted all its efforts to take care of the workers’ lives and made constant efforts to maintain their comfort lives,” Thanh Nien quoted the notice as saying.
Explaining the changes in Pouchen’s Tet bonus, Mr. Wu Ming-ying, Chairman of the Dong Nai Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, said that the business of Taiwanese enterprises was not good in the past year. In addition, businesses are forced to comply with epidemic prevention measures required by the Vietnamese government, affecting profits, CNA reported.
Mr. Wu said he believes most Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam are willing to share profits with employees, but the unexpected pandemic has adversely affected their profits and bonuses. He expressed hope that all sides will understand each other, and that the Vietnamese government will support Pouchen Group in communicating with workers to end the strike.
Pouchen is the leading manufacturer for many major international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Timberland, and Salomon. In Vietnam, the group has factories in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Tien Giang.