UPDATE: Production resumes at Vietnam footwear factory
Production has resumed at a footwear factory in Vietnam, which supplies sporting goods majors Adidas, Puma and Asics, after workers took part in a six-day strike over new social insurance legislation.
Workers at Pou Yuen, which is controlled by Yue Yuen, a subsidiary of major footwear manufacturer Pou Chen Group, started striking on Thursday (26 March) over concerns about new social insurance legislation, which is set to take effect across Vietnam in 2016.
Today, Asics told just-style its production has been affected by the strike, which it said started from an area which manufactured shoes for other brands. However, a spokesperson for the brand revealed that production of its shoes resumed this morning.
"We are closely communicating with the factory on this matter to ensure workers are safe from the strike," she said, adding that the factory and Taiwanese government have been in negotiations with the Vietnamese government to solve the issue, but no major progress has been made.
German sportswear firm Puma said it had also been impacted by the industrial action, but yesterday stressed there had been "no impact on deliveries".
Earlier this week, Adidas said it was monitoring the situation and was in "close contact" with Pou Chen, adding: "Pou Chen Group is in discussions with the local government to seek ways to address the concerns expressed by the workers."
Pou Chen Group is the largest branded athletic and casual footwear manufacturer in the world, supplying the likes of Nike, New Balance, Asics, Puma, and Timberland. According to its website, the company produces more than 300m pairs of shoes per year, accounting for around 20% of the combined wholesale value of the global branded athletic and casual footwear market.
Nike, meanwhile, said its namesake and Converse brands do not source from the facilities involved in the industrial action, adding: "There has been no impact to Nike or Converse production at contract factories in Vietnam. We are aware of the situation and will continue to monitor."
Earlier this month, as many as 5,000 Yue Yuen workers were also said to be taking part in a new round of industrial action in China over proposed production changes. This comes less than a year after the company saw thousands of its workers in Gaobu, Guangdong go on strike, with demands for back-pay for past unpaid social insurance, and a 30% pay rise.
After agreeing to provide workers at the Gaobu plant with an additional living allowance of CNY230 (US$36.79) per month, along with an adjusted social security payment plan and post-payment contributions, Yue Yuen estimated the industrial action had cost it around $27m.
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