Blog: Strike does the trick at Vietnam plant

Joe Ayling | 7 April 2008

A 20,000 worker strike at a Vietnamese footwear plant that supplies Nike grabbed the just-style headlines last week, after prolonged protests and violent incidents resulted in temporary closure.
 
The Taiwanese-owned Ching Luh plant, in southern Long An province, is just one of many Nike suppliers in Southeast Asia and China. Nevertheless, Nike released two statements during the week encouraging a resolution between trade unions and management at the plant, which is one of the company's largest footwear suppliers in Vietnam.
 
The strike began on Monday (31 March), when 20,000 employees aborted work and campaigned for a VND200,000 (US$12.4) increase to their VND930,000 monthly pay.
 
Confusion reigned by Wednesday, as a VND100,000 monthly pay rise offered by management resulted in a mixed response. In the background were reports of violent scuffles breaking out both between workers and the authorities, and amongst workers themselves as some attempted a return to work.
 
The plant remained closed on Friday, pending a re-opening this morning, but the strikes fizzled out as negotiations continued. Although workers also lobbied for better working conditions and an improved lunch offering, it was cash that was key.
 
With a week lost in production, it was an expensive lesson for the plant's owners by this point, and one that other manufacturers will have to learn from next time around. Higher living costs are currently an issue for all Vietnamese people and Nike will be hoping that workers at its other 35 contracted factories there do not have similar plans.
 
It is worth noting that Ching Luh's workers were earning a salary above the country's minimum wage even before the pay rise, so it is clear that rising inflation could give rise to more strikes unless the Vietnamese government steps in fast.
 
Its country is making huge strides in the footwear sector, with exports up 11.2% to US$3.993bn during 2007, compared to 2006, but such growth brings more hurdles to clear - as Ching Luh's management found out to their cost last week.

By Joe Ayling, news editor

Read more below:

VIETNAM: 20,000 workers strike at Nike supplier

VIETNAM: Confusion as Nike supplier strike hits third day

VIETNAM: Plant remains closed after strike at Nike supplier


BLOG

Why digital supply chains are top of mind

Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....

BLOG

Navigating global political frictions and economic uncertainty

As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...

BLOG

Trump and Brexit generate more confusion

Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...

BLOG

Bangladesh works to resolve labour activist issues

The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?