Anxious HCMC companies support workers amid closures to keep them

By Le Tuyet   October 6, 2021 | 12:22 pm GMT+7
Anxious HCMC companies support workers amid closures to keep them
A worker is seen at Datalogic's factory in HCMC's Thu Duc City. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong
Many HCMC companies have been providing financial and other support to their workers to keep them in the city amid the long closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanh Cong Textile Garment Investment Trading in Tan Phu District has seen 85 percent of its 4,400 employees return to work since Oct. 4, a high ratio amid the labor shortage plaguing the country’s biggest city as workers, after losing their livelihoods for months, left for their hometowns after the lockdown was lifted on October 1.

The reason for this high rate is that the company’s policies made them feel secure, Nguyen Huu Tuan, its HR director, said.

In mid-July, when Thanh Cong got a limited number of employees working on-site as required by authorities, it still paid nearly 2,600 workers a minimum salary.

It also assisted them with paperwork to get government relief payments, financially assisted pregnant workers, those with young children and those who had contracted Covid-19.

After it resumed operations it paid the first week’s salary in advance besides VND1 million ($43.92) for each month workers were furloughed because of the pandemic.

"Workers, instead of packing their stuff and leaving the city, are told to install a travel tracking app on their phone and complete green pass requirements so they can return to work," Tuan said.

A worker is seen at Thanh Cong Textile Garment Investment Trading in Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong

A worker is seen at Thanh Cong Textile Garment Investment Trading in Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong

Workers have been leaving the city in droves as they are unable to pay rents and job prospects are uncertain after months of social distancing.

There were over 288,000 workers at industrial parks and zones last month, but the figure has now dropped to 135,000, according to official data.

Employers have been working hard to retain workers.

Even during its three months of closure, footwear maker Freetrend Vietnam paid its 21,000 employees a minimum wage of over VND4 million a month.

It is set to resume production on Oct. 11, and is reviewing workers’ criteria to acquire green passes and providing them with financial support so that they would remain in the city, Lieu Quang Vinh, chairman of its labor union, said.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, deputy chairwoman of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Trade Union, said many companies are giving their employees food for the first 10 days after resuming work.

Around 70 percent of the union’s members are ready to resume work, she said.

But it is not only employers who are anxious to mitigate the looming labor shortage.

The HCMC Federation of Labor has provided support worth VND40 billion to its members facing difficulties, deputy chairman Pham Chi Tam said.

If employees resume work this month they would only receive their salaries next month, making early support vital, he added.

The city is also providing financial support.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has provided over VND12 trillion worth of relief and is planning to provide another VND7.3 trillion to benefit around 7.3 million people.

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Minh Tan said: "Cash support is a short-term solution. In the long run businesses need to quickly stabilize operations so workers can have security. This is the best way to keep workers in the city".

 
 
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