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90,000 Vietnamese Workers on Strike at Factory That Supplies Nike, Adidas

Changes to social insurance laws have sparked a massive worker’s strike in Saigon’s Binh Tan District, shutting down a garment factory that makes shoes and clothes for companies including Nike and Adidas.

The strike began on March 26 and has grown to include as many as 90,000 workers at the factory operated by the Vietnamese subsidiary of Taiwanese company Pou Yuen, reports Bloomberg.

The dispute stems from a new regulation in Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance that will go into effect on January 1, 2016. Under the new regulation, workers will be unable to collect their social insurance allowance in a lump sum after resigning from their jobs. While some will still be eligible for the one-time payment, many would not be able to receive full compensation until they reached retirement age (60-years-old for men and 50-years-old for women).

"None of us has a house," striking worker Nguyen Van Thu, 28, told Bloomberg. "When we can't work, we want to get our social insurance all at once so we can build a house for the family. We struggle to make a living. We have to pay for all kinds of insurance, and we're afraid we'll lose it under the new law."

Pou Yuen’s stocks have taken a hit since the strike began with the company’s shares sliding 6.9% on Tuesday, the sharpest drop since last April.

According to Tuoi Tre, citing VN Express, representatives of the district’s labor authorities were rebutted when they advised workers to resume work.

[Image via Lao Dong]

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