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25 Aug 2023

Le Tuyet, VnExpress

Vietnam: Hundreds of Nobland garment workers protest dismissals, allegedly due to workers' rejection of new productivity-based salary scheme

"Hundreds of workers protest for getting laid off at Nobland", 25 August 2023

Hundreds of workers at South Korean-invested garment firm Nobland Vietnam are protesting the company for firing them because they do not agree with a productivity-based salary scheme.

Workers...gathered at the office of the company...to claim unfair treatment after Nobland last week announced that it would lay off 611 workers, many of them have been with the firm for years.

Starting Monday the company has been calling up groups of workers to tell them that their contract will end in 30 days.

The company gives each laid-off worker at least two months of salary as compensation. They will also receive the salary for every leave day that they did not use.

Post-Covid impact and the global economic crisis has caused a plunge in orders and forced the company to restructure by laying off staff, Nobland told its workers.

But workers claim that the company has an agenda behind the layoff.

"They want to have a reason to lay off senior workers who are being paid by work hours, and that is why they used the term ‘restructuring,’" a worker said, asking to remain anonymous.

She said that many workers who were in the list of being laid off were actually given an option to remain with the company: by agreeing with the productivity-based salary scheme.

There are 30 workers in her unit, but only those who are being paid by work hours are being laid off. Those who have agreed with the productivity-based salary scheme are not fired.

The female worker, who has been with the firm for 17 years, is now receiving a basic monthly salary of VND9 million, but under the new scheme her basic salary will be reduced to VND5 million, same as everyone else.

To have higher pay she will have no choice but to produce more products...

In December 2021, over 1,000 staff at the company went on strike to protest the payment scheme after the company said it would impose it in the following year...

However, a company representative said at the time that the new payment method would help stimulate production and improve output.

If staff work hard and improve their skills, incomes would increase two to three times, the representative said...ers.

The changes in Nobland’s payment scheme, including its layoff plan, have all been reported to labor authorities, said Nguyen Vo Minh Thu, deputy head of Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA).

The labor union of the company has approved the plan, she said.

But as workers went on strike, the labor union of the company Thursday morning requested Nobland leaders to reconsider employees’ demands.

Nobland has not responded to VnExpress’ requests for comments.