HCM City company accused of violating labour law
  • | LD, | February 26, 2014 11:00 AM

A group of employees at Hoang Vinh Kim Ltd., in HCM City sent letters to local authorities in seek of help after they were suspended for asking for a labour contract.


Six employees suspended from even entering workplace

The dispute started in late January, when employees received what they saw as an unfair Tet bonus. The company also refused to pay overtime and paid annual leave.

“When we asked for the reasons behind the company's decision they just said that we do not have any contract and are not entitled to the benefits we were asking for. But, in fact, we have asked several times for a contract," said one employee.

The company then called the workers in to sign a contract, including a minimum wage and a pay scale dependent on skills and seniority. When the employees complained that the contract was unfair because many would actually have had to take a cut in wages and benefits, they refused to sign.

“Then company sent a letter of resignation for us to sign. We refused. Then, while we thought we were still in negotiation, the company suspended all six of us. There are even guards that prevent us from entering the premises," the employee said.

According to Tong Thi My Linh, an employee at the firm, the company made efforts to restrict their employment from other companies in the area.

A company's representative named Nguyen Thi Thuy Huong said that they invited the disgruntled workers to return after the dispute, but the suspended employees were unwilling to work under the original terms, even with pay for days for which they were on suspension.

“We were wrong for not having signed a contract with these employees. We intend to sign contracts with them from the time they started working. We will even cover their social insurance expenses.,"said Huong.

She added, however, that the company would be unwilling to raise the minimum wage to the demands of the suspended employees. They would, she said, be willing to adjust the pay scale depending on skill and seniority.

As far as overtime, she said that there is no way to calculate the figures at this point, and any employee with a complaint should bring it to court.

However the company has made known its attempt to pay the group of employees less than the minimum wage under current regulation.

Nguyen Anh Dung, Deputy Head of District 12 Office of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the suspended staff are in fact employed on a long-term and regular basis and that it is illegal for them not to have labour contracts.

“Payments should be based on bilateral negations. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, payment must be in accordance with the regulations on payments for staff,” Dung added.

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