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Foreign factories in the north scramble to hire workers as Covid spreads

By Dat Nguyen, Ha Mai   February 27, 2022 | 05:35 pm PT
Foreign factories in the north scramble to hire workers as Covid spreads
A person is interviewed online for an accountant position in Hanoi, February 24, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Foreign factories in northern Vietnam are recruiting workers in large numbers to ensure they have enough bodies as an increasing number of people contract Covid-19.

At Japanese factory equipment manufacturer Osco International in Hanoi, 20 out of 200 employees are currently infected.

"As these employees have to stay at home, others are working overtime to ensure the supply chain operates normally," a spokesperson for its factory in Hoai Duc District told VnExpress International.

At the Bac Thang Long Industrial Zone in Hanoi, a company that makes car parts has seen 40 percent of its workforce go down with Covid.

A spokesperson said, requesting that the company not be named: "The increase in F0 cases has affected our production. Some units have seen productivity decrease by 10 percent."

The company is hiring temporary workers to make up for the labor shortage, but with Covid spreading in Hanoi, the management is concerned that newcomers will infect old ones.

"Due to the severe shortage of workers, we have to ask even those who had been in contact with Covid cases to come to work if they do not show symptoms," the spokesperson said.

Workers are seen at a factory of Hosiden in Bac Giang Province in October 2021. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Government Portal

Workers are seen at a factory of Hosiden in Bac Giang Province in October 2021. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Government Portal

The two companies are among many in the north scrambling to hire workers.

On Sunday, Vietnam recorded the highest number of Covid cases in a single day: 86,966. In the last seven days it has been nearly 52,000 a day on average.

It has been attributed to the government telling people to live with Covid and resumes all economic activities, including tourism and international travel, to revive the economy after two years of restrictions.

The Hanoi employment exchange, in partnership with its counterparts in six other northern localities, is looking for over 19,300 workers and conducting interviews online.

Factories in Bac Giang Province, where eight industrial parks are located, are looking for over 35,000 workers this quarter.

One of them, Japanese electronic components manufacturer Hosiden, said nearly 500 of its 5,200 workers contracted Covid this month.

Every day there are dozens of new cases, and since the absence of a single worker could affect an entire production line, it is rushing to hire more, chairman of its labor union, Nguyen Van Tan, said.

Another reason for the rush is that 10 percent of employees did not return to work after the Lunar New Year holidays earlier this month, he said.

The company has lowered its requirement so that any candidate who is literate could apply, and offers to subsidize house rent, he said.

In Hanoi, a Japanese electronics manufacturer has seen Covid ravage up to two thirds of some departments.

"We are recruiting new employees with a contract period of six months to make up for the temporary labor shortage," a spokesperson said, requesting that her company not be named.

She also said a referral bonus of VND1.5 million ($66) is offered to employees who successfully refer someone.

Vu Quang Thanh, deputy director of the Hanoi employment exchange, expected companies to continue hiring in large numbers as the economy recovers from Covid.

 
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