Orders rise at footwear, garment factories in HCMC

By Le Tuyet   November 13, 2023 | 11:20 pm PT
Orders rise at footwear, garment factories in HCMC
Garment workers are seen at Nha Be factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong
Factories in Ho Chi Minh City are seeing a rise in orders, which give their employees opportunities to work eight hours plus overtime.

The city’s biggest employer, footwear maker Pouyuen Vietnam, has received more orders in recent weeks and their employees are working 30-60 minutes overtime on certain days.

The company, where nearly 39,000 people work, expects to see stable operation in the remaining months of this year, according to the firm’s labor union chairman Cu Phat Nghiep.

Huynh My Truc, a Pouyuen worker, said that she has been working overtime for 30 minutes almost every day in the last four weeks, and this adds VND1 million ($41) to her VND11 million basic monthly income.

Truc has been working for 20 years in the company and is the only breadwinner of her family, which consists of her and her two children and mother.

"I was worried about being laid off, but when the manager announced that overtime was required, all my concerns were gone."

Another footwear maker in the city, Khai Hoan, has requested over 1,100 employees to work overtime starting from October after asking many of them to take days off in the previous month due to a lack of orders.

Nguyen Thi Thanh, who has been with the firm for five years, remained with the company even when many of her colleagues left due to plunging income.

With 30 hours overtime last month, Thanh earned VND2 million more. She hopes that the extra income will allow her to buy new clothes for her son, who lives in her hometown.

Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, general secretary of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, said that orders have resumed at factories as the end-of-year shopping season approaches, and some companies have ordered their employees to work overtime.

Pham Xuan Hong, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Garments, Textiles, Embroidery, & Knitwear, said that garment factories were now operating at 85-90% of their capacity as orders rise.

Some factories have even received orders for the third quarter of next year, he added.

"Although the recovery will not be as expected, it is still good sign to see orders rise," he said, adding that this meant companies would not have to lay off employees anymore.

The company May Saigon 3, where Hong is the chairman, is now operating at 90% of capacity, and is looking for new customers.

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