Last update 5/9/2012 9:28:00 AM (GMT+7)

Russian firm offers deal to guest workers

VietNamNet BridgeThe Russian shoe company at the centre of claims of mistreatment of Vietnamese labourers wants to keep employing the workers and has offered to draw up new contracts to address their complaints.

The Vietnamese labourers went on strike last week and complained to their families on the phone from Ekaterinburg - the city situated in the central part of Russia, that they were being forced to work up to 13 hours a day in poor conditions without being paid.

The labourers said they had had enough and wanted to come home. Their case sparked an investigation into their situation by the Viet Nam Embassy to Russia.

And embassy spokesman said yesterday they had asked the leather shoe making company, L.E.O. Pard, to clarify the terms of workers' contracts, including salary, labour conditions, medical services and accommodation.

The embassy had also asked for a response to the claims of discrimination between the Vietnamese and workers from other countries.

The spokesman said the company had responded that it wanted the Vietnamese to remain on the payroll and would work with them to compile new labour contracts that would be more detailed and would ensure their legal rights.

The embassy had confirmed the Vietnamese labourers were working for the company legally but they had negotiated their contracts with a labour broker named Nguyen Van Dung instead of a regular Vietnamese labour export company. The were all from the northern provinces of Ha Nam, Hung Yen and Bac Giang

The embassy spokesman said the Vietnamese labourers had gone on strike and demanded to return Viet Nam because of "differences between the terms of salary and labour conditions on paper and in reality".

Previously, the Vietnamese labourers and Dung had agreed on the terms but Dung had failed listen to the concerns of the Vietnamese and to co-operate with the company to find solutions to their problems.

This was compounded by the language barrier and the lack of information about labour conditions.

The embassy had asked Dung to explain the situation and to clarify the terms of contracts that he committed to the Vietnamese labourers before taking them to Russia and to take responsibility to ensure the legal rights of the Vietnamese labourers.

The embassy had also asked the Vietnamese Association in Ekaterinburg to help the Vietnamese labourers deal with the company.

The embassy would keep an eye on the situation and team up with local agencies to look after the rights of the Vietnamese labourers, the spokesman said.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News