Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Violence continues at economic zone in Vietnam

Le Xuan Ly (L) and Tran Van At under treatment at the Dung Quat Hospital after they were attacked by a group of workers
A group of workers attacked and seriously injured two managers last Friday as a deputy police chief said authorities could not control the continuing violence at the Dung Quat Economic Zone.

Le Xuan Ly suffered a laceration to his head and his finger was almost severed while Tran Van At also suffered a nearly-severed finger after a group of Post Lilama Company workers attacked the two managers at their company housing unit.

“Over the last two days, they’ve even threatened to kill us at the hospital,” Ly said Monday at the economic zone’s hospital in the central province of Quang Ngai.

The conflict began when Ly, the managing engineer of a construction site, accused eight of his workers for skipping shifts after check-in.

On the Friday he was attacked, Ly said the workers in question had skipped work repeatedly over the last two months.

Tran Van At was one of Ly’s assistants.

Dung Quat Economic Zone police interrogated two of the suspects Monday.

Police responded to another call from Post Lilama employees Monday morning to apprehend a group of six workers who were waiting outside the company site to ambush other workers as revenge for a deadly fight on May 1.

Mai Duc Truong, a worker at Post Lilama Company, was stabbed to death by a group of workers who attacked several patrons and staff at the 24H restaurant, which is inside the economic zone.

“We can’t control the fighting here – it’s too large an area and we lack personnel,” said Phan Thanh Phuong, deputy chief of police in the economic zone.

“It’s very difficult to control the workers because they aren’t from around here and are only doing short-term work without contracts,” he said.

Located 870 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, Dung Quat Economic Zone is home to many petrochemical and heavy industry projects, including the country’s first oil refinery.

The zone has been dogged by violence and robberies for over a year.