South Korea stops receiving Quang Binh residents after contract breaches

By Hoang Tao   September 20, 2022 | 06:37 pm PT
South Korea stops receiving Quang Binh residents after contract breaches
A group of laborers in Quang Binh Province attend a training course for working in South Korea. Photo by VnExpress/Th.H
With 34 laborers breaking their contracts to stay and work illegally in South Korea, the central province of Quang Binh Province cannot send more workers there.

This March, Quang Binh's Labor Department had recruited 41 people and sent them to work in Yeongju City of South Korea following a program signed between the Vietnamese and South Korean governments.

The chosen workers had to pass an occupational training course and learn Korean to get the job. As contracted, they would work in the agriculture sector for five months at a salary of VND40 million ($1,700) per month.

However, just a few days after they were sent to South Korea, four "escaped." By July 12, ten more had breached their contracts.

Despite this, in July, Yeongju City asked Quang Binh to recruit another 55 workers for the program.

However, by mid-September, as many as 34 of the 41 workers who had been sent to Yeongju in March had breached their contracts.

The South Korean city recently informed Quang Binh that it would stop receiving more workers from the province.

Dinh Thi Ngoc Lan, deputy director of the province's labor department, said local authorities have visited families of workers who broke their contracts, asking them to persuade their relatives into returning home because they will not be protected should they get into any trouble in South Korea.

As of now, South Korean authorities have applied similar suspensions, which will take effect until the end of this year, on eight Vietnamese towns and districts: Chi Linh in the northern province of Hai Duong; Dong Son and Hoang Hoa in the central province of Thanh Hoa Province; Nghi Loc, Cua Lo, Hung Nguyen in the central province of Nghe An; and Nghi Xuan and Cam Xuyen districts in the central province of Ha Tinh.

South Korea had stopped taking Vietnamese workers between 2012 and 2016 for the same reason.

Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of Thanh Hoa's labor department, said in August that in most cases, the workers were able to find other jobs for higher salaries than what they had signed up for.

Despite knowing that their move was illegal, they could not resist offers that were 7-10 times higher than what they could earn in Vietnam, and were willing to take the risks involved.

At the same time, many employers in South Korea want to hire those with expired visas, because it means they do not have to sign contracts and pay insurance for the employees.

Vietnam has regulations to punish such workers, but since they are living abroad, local authorities cannot do anything but approach their families in Vietnam.

More than 600,000 Vietnamese citizens work in 50 countries and territories, including 250,000 in Japan, 230,000 in Taiwan and 40,000 in South Korea.

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