20:27 (GMT +7) - Wednesday 21/03/2018

Vietnam Today

PM orders support for workers abandoned by South Korean employer

Released at: 15:20, 12/02/2018

PM orders support for workers abandoned by South Korean employer

Hundreds of Texwell Vina workers gathered outside the factory, waiting for their salaries (Photo from cafef.vn)

Director and senior managers at KL Texwell Vina have apparently fled to South Korea.

by Quang Huy

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a statement on February 11 ordering authorities in southern Dong Nai province to support workers abandoned by their South Korean employer just before the Tet holiday.

The South Korean director of KL Texwell Vina, a garment company fully-owned by South Korea’s Kwanglim Group, together with eleven South Korean managers, reportedly left Vietnam on February 8 while still owing VND13.7 billion ($605,540) in salaries to workers. The company also owes VND17.5 billion ($773,500) in social insurance contributions, which haven’t been paid since last August.

Hundreds of Texwell Vina workers gathered outside the factory, located at the Bau Xeo Industrial Zone in Trang Bom district, over the weekend to demand their salaries.

Provincial authorities have agreed to pay half a month’s salary to each worker, Director of the Dong Nai Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Mr. Huynh Van Tinh said, to ensure they are able to celebrate the upcoming holiday. Some 1,900 workers at the garment factory have received a total of VND7 billion ($308,000).

The company’s assets are being seized by authorities and will be sold off to pay the remaining outstanding salaries if the owner fails to return, according to the department.

This is the latest in a series of cases where employers have absconded from Vietnam’s southern industrial zones ahead of Tet in order to avoid paying holiday bonuses to workers.

More than 600 workers at a garment company in Ho Chi Minh City staged a strike for more than a week to demand salaries be paid after their South Korean employer disappeared. A local junior manager reportedly said that the company leaders had not shown up for many days. He estimated that the company now owes more than VND4 billion ($176,140) in wages.

A source from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Social Insurance said the company also owes VND26.6 billion ($1.17 million) in insurance contributions, making it the second-largest debtor in the city.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Labor Federation, at least five businesses still owe wages and social insurance contributions from 2017 to around 900 workers, who are unlikely to be able to celebrate Tet, which starts on February 16.

Another 200 businesses have claimed they had a difficult year and would have problems paying holiday bonuses, it said.

The Fenix Knitting Company in Thu Duc district in Ho Chi Minh City declared bankruptcy last November, owing VND13.5 billion ($596,700) in wages and social insurance contributions to more than 200 workers.

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