Pandemic to cause migrant workers to stay back in HCMC for Tet

By Ha An   January 21, 2021 | 08:01 pm PT
Pandemic to cause migrant workers to stay back in HCMC for Tet
Workers at a company in Binh Tan District, HCMC, June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Le Tuyet.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the recent severe floods in the central region mean many workers in HCMC will not return home for the Lunar New Year next month.

Huynh Van Tuan, chairman of the trade union affiliated to the HCMC Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA), said more than 193,000 workers from northern and central provinces and cities would remain back in the city during the festival, 20 percent more than last year.

The Lunar New Year festival, or Tet, is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It comes in mid-February this year.

Last year the pandemic had caused many workers to lose their jobs, and they took the opportunity to visit home, Tuan said.

The historic floods and landslides throughout October last year caused significant financial losses to many families and many workers now want to stay back in the city to save the travel expenses and find casual work during the festival to earn an extra income.

"Normally, just half the workers in the city stay back for Tet, but this year more have registered to stay," Tuan said.

According to HEPZA, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused 1,560 businesses in the city to cut their payroll by almost 15,000. Of them, 133 reduced their Tet bonuses while five have said they would not pay a bonus.

Nationwide, 32.1 million workers aged 15 or above either lost their jobs or had their working hours cut in 2020.

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