Conflict at Samsung’s world largest factory, 11 people hospitalized

VietNamNet Bridge – After guards threw the rice box of a worker to the ground and knocked down another for entering the factory through a wrong gate, hundreds of workers burned motorcycles and houses of guards and attacked mobile police with stones and bricks.

22 motorbikes were burnt in the incident.

22 motorbikes were burnt in the incident.

According to several witnesses, at about 7am on January 9, a construction worker went through the gate of Samsung’s factory project (Samsung’s largest factory in the world) in Yen Binh Industrial Park, Pho Yen district, Thai Nguyen province without wearing his personal card. The guards stopped the worker and beat him. Conflicts occurred and hundreds of workers flocked to intervene in.

Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, a tea seller in front of the Samsung factory project’s gate, said that guards threw the lunch rice box of a senior worker to the ground and knocked down another worker with an electric club for entering the factory through a wrong gate. When other workers asked the guards to take the fainted worker to the hospital, the guards refused. Being so angry, workers attacked these guards.

Being chased, the guards ran into their rooms, which are containers to hide. Workers used gas to burn down about 20 motorbikes and two containers. When mobile police forces came to restore order, workers used bricks to attack them. The conflict sent dozens of people to hospital.

A police official of Thai Nguyen province said that about three hours after the incident, dozens of police officers were able to control the situation.

The authorities in collaboration with Samsung set records of the incident. Managers of the Hanoi-based Hoa Binh Guard Service Company went to Thai Nguyen to settle the incident.

According to Mr. Le Van Minh, an official of Hospital 91, 11 people were hospitalized in the morning but two left after that.

Explaining the cause of incident, workers and local residents confirmed that they were very upset with the guards’ behavior. Previously, workers could take their lunch boxes into the construction site but in the past two days, the guards did not allow them to do so.

Workers had to take their lunch out of the gate or on the roadside. Who did not comply would have their rice boxes thrown to the ground by the guards and were even beaten.

In March 2013 Samsung spent $2 billion to build the Samsung high-tech complex in Thai Nguyen and in October it poured an additional $1.2 billion into the factory–manufacturing ICs and electronic components for mobile phones here.

The world’s largest factory located in Thai Nguyen of Samsung is expected to enter the test production phase in February 2014 and commercially operate in March. Currently, production workers start working here.

Talking to VietNamNet, sources from Thai Nguyen police said that those who participated in the incident would be prosecuted on two counts of “vandalism” and “disturbing public order.”

When the incident happened, in addition to the large number of workers, there were a lot of workers’ relatives. Many people filmed and photographed the incident. The investigating agency will consider these photos and clips as evidence to determine those who directly involved in the incidents.

It is said that the guards involved in the incidents are staff of the Hanoi-based Hoa Binh Guard Service. However, Hoa Binh is not the guard service company that signed a contract with Samsung. The guard service firm that is hired by Samsung “borrowed” some guards from Hoa Binh.

Pho Yen District Chair, Mr. Le Thanh Tuyet, said the incident occurred because guards had outrageous behavior with workers.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hang, Director of Thai Nguyen Province’s Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said that the agency would cooperate with authorities to learn about the incident and protect the rights of workers.

Bricks, stones, burned vehicles at Samsung factory after the incident:

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Three containers, which were the guards' homes, were also burned.

Three containers, which were the guards' homes, were also burned.

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11 people were injured. Compiled by Thu Ly

11 people were injured. Compiled by Thu Ly

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