Archive for the ‘minimum wage’ Category

Vietnam: 20,000 Vietnamese Workers Go On Strike At Nike Contract Factory

April 1, 2008
HANOI, VIETNAM: More than 20,000 Vietnamese workers have walked off the job at a Taiwanese-owned plant that makes shoes for Nike Inc., demanding higher pay to keep pace with skyrocketing prices, officials said Tuesday (1 Apr).

The workers at Ching Luh plant, in southern Long An province, went on strike Monday (31 Mar). They want a 20% bump to their US$59 average monthly salaries along with better lunches at the company cafeteria, said Nguyen Van Thua, an official with the province’s trade union.The plant has been making sneakers since 2002 and employs about 21,000 workers, most of them young rural women. The company is paying the workers 14% more than minimum wage, but soaring inflation is eroding their earnings, Thua said.”The company has followed the Vietnamese laws in paying their workers, but given the fact that consumer prices are soaring day by day, the workers have had troubles with their daily expenses,” Thua said.

Nike factory workers in Vietnam

Nike is one of the biggest private
employers in Vietnam

Nike officials did not immediately respond to questions about the strike.

Ching Luh plant is one of 10 factories that contract with Nike to produce sneakers in Vietnam.

Consumer prices in Vietnam are 19% higher than they were a year ago, according to government figures. Hanoi responded in January by increasing the minimum wage foreign-owned companies are required to pay by roughly 13%.

As inflation has picked up in recent years, strikes have become more common, with workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions. (AP)
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From the BBC

More than 20,000 workers at a factory in Vietnam that makes shoes for Nike have gone on strike demanding higher pay to cope with rising inflation.

The average monthly salary at the Taiwanese-owned plant is about $59 (£30), 14% more than the minimum wage.

The workers, who produce about 12% of the 75 million pairs of shoes made for Nike in Vietnam a year, want a 20% pay rise and better canteen lunches.

Strikes in Vietnam are becoming more common as living costs have surged.

Last November, workers at a South-Korean-owned Nike factory in Vietnam walked out in a similar pay dispute.

Nike spokesman Chris Helzer said: “We recognize the impact that rising inflation has had on the people of Vietnam, and hope the situation will be resolved quickly and amicably.”

Inflation currently stands at about 9.2% after rising 10% last year.

The strike affects the Ching Luh plant in the southern part of the country. It is one of 10 factories in Vietnam that produces footwear for US athletics giant Nike.

Japan’s economic boom preys on young working poor

February 7, 2008
By Harumi Ozawa

TOKYO (AFP) – When Shuichiro Sekine tried out one of the new jobs being created in Japan, the world’s second richest country, he found himself at a warehouse sifting through industrial debris by hand.
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“I was told to get on a mountain of industrial waste, full of a foul odour and dust, and separate it piece by piece by hand,” said union activist Sekine, recalling his undercover investigation.

“I was sent to a workplace like that as a total layman, without any instructions or safety measures,” he said. “Then I was told it was my own responsibility to protect myself.”

For an eight-hour day of tough, dangerous work in suburban Tokyo, Sekine earned 6,900 yen (60.50 dollars), just more than the minimum wage, after the company that dispatched him deducted a 500-yen commission.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080206/lf_afp/
japaneconomypoverty_080206160506

Key Setbacks Dim Luster of Democrats’ Year

December 20, 2007

 By Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 20, 2007; Page A01

The first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years limped out of Washington last night with a lengthy list of accomplishments, from the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards in a generation to the first minimum-wage hike in a decade.

But Democrats’ failure to address the central issues that swept them to power left even the most partisan of them dissatisfied and Congress mired at a historic low in public esteem.

Handed control of Congress last year after making promises to end the war in Iraq, restore fiscal discipline in Washington and check President Bush’s powers, Democrats instead closed the first session of the 110th Congress yesterday with House votes that sent Bush $70 billion in war funding, with no strings attached, and a $50 billion alternative-minimum-tax measure that shattered their pledge not to add to the federal budget deficit.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902643.html?hpid=topnews

Human rights questions remain for China

July 25, 2007

HONG KONG, China (CNN) — With a year to go before the 2008 Olympics get under way, questions linger over China’s efforts to improve its human rights record.

Read it all:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/
24/china.promises/index.html?section=cnn_latest