Vietnam Hit by Rare Strike at Major Footwear Factory

Thousands of workers at a major factory in southern Vietnam went on strike for a fifth day on Tuesday in protest over social insurance coverage, in rare show of labor unrest in a country positioning itself as a future Asian manufacturing powerhouse. Witnesses in the industrialized suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City said hundreds of workers gathered peacefully inside and outside the factory owned by a footwear maker for firms that include Nike and Adidas and brands like Lacoste, Converse and Reebok. Such companies have helped fuel annual export growth of garments and footwear. The employees are upset about a social insurance law taking effect from 2016, which restricts the scope of entitlements for a lump sum payment if they leave.