HCMC's largest garment market operator cuts power to force vendors out

By Thi Ha   July 20, 2022 | 07:37 pm PT
HCMC's largest garment market operator cuts power to force vendors out
Vendors set up signs opposing Satraseco's hike in rent and sanctions against them. Photo acquired by VnExpress
Some 50 out of 140 vendors at Dai Quang Minh, HCMC’s largest garment market, are left without power after refusing to sign new contracts with 50-130 percent higher rents.

Minh, a vendor, said the market operator, Satraseco, has removed the circuit breaker in her shop and locked the way in.

"Their staff told me they have to resort to those methods because I have not paid the rent."

The rent demanded for next year is outrageous and not commensurate with the facilities provided, and would "strangle" vendors who are trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, she said.

Cuong, another vendor facing similar problems, said: "We cannot accept Satraseco’s new rent. It will push us into losses."

Vendors said they plan to take matters into their own hands by calling in locksmiths and electricians.

Speaking to VnExpress, Satraseco CEO Pham The Hanh said shop contracts had expired on June 30, and the vendors neither signed a new one nor moved out.

The company had sent them notices earlier this month, warning it would legally evict them, he said.

Besides, Satraseco is upgrading the market and so has to cut electricity and water, he claimed.

"We have sent notices to both vendors and authorities."

The dispute began in March after Satraseco hiked rents by 50-130 percent from the second half of 2022.

But then it agreed to put off the hike until next year after 90 percent of vendors threatened to shut their shops, but shopkeepers remained unhappy and demanded further talks.

They said the hike was too steep, and the operator should have sought their opinion before raising the rent since many of them had contributed to the construction of the market decades ago.

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