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Cablegate: Circumstances of Remaining Vietnamese Workers At

VZCZCXRO7060
PP RUEHHM
DE RUEHAM #1262 1151525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241525Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2371
INFO RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY 0039
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY PRIORITY 0001

UNCLAS AMMAN 001262

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

FOR G/TIP, DRL/AWH, NEA/ELA AND EAP/MLS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM TIP JO VM
SUBJECT: CIRCUMSTANCES OF REMAINING VIETNAMESE WORKERS AT
W&D APPAREL

REF: A. AMMAN 976
B. HANOI 400
C. 4/18 ANZALDUA-HATTAYER EMAIL
D. AMMAN 902

1. (SBU) On April 24 PolCouns paid another visit to W&D
Apparel Company in the Tajamouat Qualifying Industrial Zone
(QIZ) to follow up on the conditions of the remaining 101
Vietnamese laborers after the departure from Jordan of over
150 Vietnamese (refs A and B) and in light of continuing
accusations by U.S. NGO Boat People SOS (BPSOS) of labor
abuses at the factory (ref C).

2. (SBU) PolCouns spoke separately in Vietnamese with three
employees (selected by PolCouns) for 15 minutes each: one
from the group of "strikebreakers" who had originally struck
but went back to work in mid-February; and two from the group
of twenty "strikers" who decided to stay after factory
management made certain concessions (ref D). No
representatives of factory management or the GOJ were
present, and the interviews took place in a private office
with no others present.

3. (SBU) The three women provided consistent answers in
response to PolCouns' questions:
- Labor-management relations were satisfactory;
- They were all in possession of their passports;
- GVN representatives who had come to Jordan had told them
that if, in the future, they wanted to be repatriated, they
could be, and all three felt confident that the offer was
real;
- Quality and quantity of food was sufficient, and factory
management had taken steps to ensure that the food was closer
to Vietnamese in style (earlier it had been more Chinese);
- They were working very regular hours (8-12 and 1-5, with
overtime from 6-8, with one day off per week) and being paid
according to their contracts (USD 150 base salary plus
allowances which brought the total to USD 220, with the
potential for more from overtime);
- Overtime was voluntary but taken by nearly all employees
("we came here to work and make money for our families," said
one of the interviewees)
- Many of the workers had mobile phones which they could use
to contact the outside world, should they wish, and felt that
they could contact GVN representatives in Cairo and Vietnam
if the need arose;
- They could come and go freely from the factory during lunch
breaks and on days off.

4. (SBU) Polcouns specifically asked about the accusations
made by BPSOS on April 16 (ref C), i.e. that the remaining
workers wanted to go home, that one of them was pregnant and
in distress, that they have been forced to work extensive
overtime beyond the two hours per day permitted, and that
wages are still being withheld. The three women
categorically denied the accusations.
HALE

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