“If we go to the bathroom too many times during the day, we get a warning. If we get two warnings, we get a yellow card, and we get a pay cut. If we get another yellow card, we have to leave the company altogether. Bathroom time is pre-determined as between 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. In this company that around 1000 people work, there are only 10 bathrooms and in a production line where 80 to 100 people are placed, there are only three bathroom cards. If you want to go to the bathroom, you must take one of the cards with you.”
This is the human rights violation that Korean companies that are outsourcing to Vietnam are committing to the local employees. On June 1, Corporation Human Rights Network revealed “2014 Outsourced Korean Corporation Human Rights Research Report: Vietnam” which deals with human rights violation by Korean companies who outsourced to Vietnam last December.
According to the report, there are currently about 3000 Korean companies who have outsourced to Vietnam. However, many of them are in trouble for violating human rights.
News 1 reported that the Vietnamese Labor Union had about 800 strikes against Korean companies since 2009, and most of them had to do with labor law violation.
Specifically, there were 18 cases where conflict arose because of payment issues. The issues included not complying with the newly raised minimum wage or not paying a promised bonus.
There were also overtime work issues. A corporation forced their employees to work 110 to 120 hours of overtime in one month, while another forced their employees to work 20 hours a day.
According to lawyer Kim Jong Chul who participated in investigations, “This abuse of power of Korean corporations is a violation of labor laws in Vietnam.” He added, “We have to be more vigilant about whether Korean corporations are protecting the human rights of their employees.”
*Featured image is not directly related to the article. It shows President Park visiting a Korean company's factory in Vietnam in September 2013.