HCMC works hard to find new jobs for laid-off workers

By Le Tuyet   November 25, 2022 | 04:33 am PT
HCMC works hard to find new jobs for laid-off workers
Workers at Nha Be Garment company. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong
Half a month after losing his job, Nguyen Van Hung, 33, was hired by Thien Loc Shoe Company through the labor department in HCMC’s District 12.

Hung and his wife, natives of Dong Thap Province, had been working for Sun Kyoung Vietnam Garment Co., Ltd. in District 12, but at the beginning of November the company laid them off due to lack of orders.

"Things can be difficult even if one of us loses our job, let alone both," he says. Tet is quickly approaching, and they were under pressure to find a new job right away because of their living expenses and VND3 million (US$120) they had to send to their hometown for their seven-year-old son’s upkeep.

His wife has found a seasonal job at a private sewing factory. After being turned down at a number of places, he was hired by Thien Loc Shoe.

Hung is one of more than 20 workers laid off by Sun Kyoung to be hired by Thien Loc.

The District 12 Bureau of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs had informed the company that some 830 garment workers were out of a job, according to Ha Quang Tuyen, union leader at Thien Loc Shoe Company.

The bureau advised companies to prioritize hiring them and sought information about their recruitment needs.

Thien Loc Shoe Company has around 2,500 employees and have orders until March 2023. In the last few years the company has been needing 150–200 workers to replace those who quit after Tet.

It is one of five companies based in District 12 that have registered with the labor department to hire laid-off workers from Sun Kyoung.

According to Tran Thanh Tho, an official at the bureau, as soon as they learned that Sun Kyoung would be closing down, local officials met with its directors to gather information about the company’s workers. The information was then shared in a social media group in which 1000 local business executives are members, he says.

Nha Be Garment Joint Stock Corporation in District 7, which needs more than 500 new workers, plans to approach people who have been laid off.

For this purpose, over the past month the company union has been in direct contact with the District 7 labor department, the management of the Export Processing Zones - Industrial City and the Vietnam Textile and Garment Union.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Lan, general director of Nha Be Garment Company, skilled workers will have a guaranteed monthly income of 10-15 million, older workers will be given work appropriate for their age and the company is also considering assistance for workers who live far away such as organizing shuttle buses and helping them find accommodation closer to the company.

In nearby Binh Duong Province, around 28,000 people had been laid off from work as of the end of October.

A Labor Union survey found that another 240,000 had their working hours reduced.

Local officials have tried to help the former workers get new jobs.

Nguyen Van Lam, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, city businesses need to hire more than 43,000 workers this year, primarily in the trading and services sectors, to meet the demand for goods and services during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays.

To help workers who have lost their jobs find new ones, labor support units in the city have collaborated with business owners and company trade unions to meet and interview them.

Lam says local authorities need to organize job exchange platforms to better coordinate labor supply and demand.

Recently 1,500 out of 1,800 laid-off workers in Cu Chi District have found new jobs thanks to effective coordination by local authorities.

Le Thi Kieu Phuong, director of the City Employment Service Center, says in 2020, when Pouyuen leather shoe maker and Hue Phong leather shoe factory (Go Vap District) cut thousands of jobs, her staff immediately went to the companies to assist with unemployment benefits and advise workers on how to find new jobs.

The experience from that time has shown that to connect workers with suitable factories, it is necessary to classify workers by age, skill and location, she says.
"Many people think that because workers live in rented accommodation, they can easily move to a new place."

But she points out that moving has an impact on workers’ children and other family members.

So it will be challenging without adequate classification based on the demands and preferences of the workers, she adds.

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