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DAEWOOSA SAMOA letter by Kiet Van Nguyen

1 DECEMBER, 2000

Federation of Association of
Republic of Vietnam Navy
and Merchant Marine
Kiet Van Nguyen
Vice President in charge of
External Affairs

1 DECEMBER, 2000
Representative George Miller
2205 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2095

Dear Mr. Miller:

My association is concerned for the safety of the Vietnamese workers employed at the Daewoosa Samoa plant in American Samoa. As we understand it, you are on the House Resources Committee and your jurisdiction includes American Samoa. As an unincorporated territory Samoa has its own Constitution. However the 1964 Civil Rights Act does apply.

It is a violation of this act to discriminate against an employee because of their national origin. The Daewoosa plant has, for the second time, withheld payment of wages to the Vietnamese workers while paying the Samoan workers their wages. This disparate treatment has caused a rift to develop between the Samoan and Vietnamese workers. The Samoan plant has exploited this rift and the result has been violence against the Vietnamese workers.

The Vietnamese are smaller than the Samoans and one woman lost an eye and several Vietnamese workers were injured as a result of the violence. The Vietnamese workers are concerned for their safety.

OSHA is investigating the acts of violence and the Samoan attorney general is investigating the underpayment of wages. I believe that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should investigate the civil rights violations due to national origin.

Kiet Van Nguyen

Daewoosa Samoa

Daewoosa operates a sweatshop in American Samoa. On a previous occasion they were investigated for not paying their Vietnamese workers while paying their Samoan workers.

Daewoosa was fined and ordered to pay the Vietnamese workers the pack pay owed. They did not do so. They then began to withold their pay again.

This led to hard feelings between the Vietnamese workers and the Samoan workers. Daewoosa lost no time in exploiting this situation. A much larger and physically stronger Daewoosa supervisor assaulted a frail Vietnamese woman. The Vietnamese workers came to her aid. The Samoan workers attacked the Vietnamese workers. During the resulting melee the Vietnamese woman lost an eye and is permanently blinded in that eye. Several Vietnamese workers were injured.

Vietnamese communities throughout the world responded with outrage to this incident. Kiet Van Nguyen had this letter drafted to Representative George Miller of California. His E-mail is: >George.Miller@mail.house.gov<

We urge you to support these people by contacting your legislative representatives in your area. If you do not know who your representatives are or how to contact them do a search under "contacting the congress". Then click on the map. Be aware that the list is not up to date.

This site includes a link to the representative for American Samoa.

The Honorable Eni F. H. Faleomavaega
United States House of Representatives
2422 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-5201
DC Phone: 202-225-8577 DC Fax: 202-225-8757
His E-mail is >faleomavaega@mail.house.gov<

Sheila L Richardson

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