143,000 workers return to HCMC post-Covid

By Hong Chieu   October 16, 2021 | 03:07 am PT
143,000 workers return to HCMC post-Covid
Vehicles are stuck in traffic near a checkpoint in Tien Giang's Chau Thanh District, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
Over 143,000 workers have returned to HCMC for work, with more expected to show up in the coming days.

Le Minh Tan, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, on Friday said despite their return, the city still lacks around 60,000 workers in hi-tech areas, especially in fields like textiles and food.

"We are determined to create clear frameworks and hope localities provide opportunities for workers to return to work," he said.

In Dong Nai, around 82 percent of businesses have resumed operations. Companies are also allowing workers to return home after work, instead of making them stay as a coronavirus restriction. More workers are returning to work every day, with over half of the workforce having already done so.

Dong Nai has also agreed with Ho Chi Minh City regarding transportation methods to bring workers back to work, which include personal vehicles. The Dong Nai labor department has also requested authorities to invest more into job centers to attract more staff.

Huynh Thi Thu Trang, director of the Binh Phuoc labor department, said most businesses in the province have also resumed production once workers have been vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot. Around 55,000 workers in Binh Phuoc are still staying off work with no salary however, she added.

Binh Phuoc is trying to bring back 25,000 workers this month, before bringing in the rest in November, Trang said, adding thousands of businesses are recruiting.

In the past months, workers have left big cities to return to their hometowns in droves, according to Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affais Dao Ngoc Dung. Most are informal workers and those working outside of the FDI sector. In HCMC alone, around 600,000 have already left the city to go back home, he added.

Dong Nai, Binh Duong and HCMC, all considered industrial powerhouses with millions of workers in southern Vietnam, should report on their labor situations, Dung requested. They need to clearly state which fields are lacking in labor, among other data points, so authorities could distribute the workforce efficiently.

As HCMC and several neighboring localities began to ease coronavirus restrictions starting October, many workers have decided to go back to their hometowns as they have run out of resources to sustain themselves in the cities. Businesses are now trying to call them back to resume production as Vietnam enters a "new normal" to adapt to Covid-19.

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