VietNamNet Bridge – Over 90 per cent of workers had returned to work following the Tet holiday and only a small number had left their jobs, according to the Ha Noi Industrial Parks – Export Processing Zones’ Trade Union.
Workers at the Garco 10 Company in Ha Noi’s Long Bien District produce clothes on the first working day after the Lunar New Year holiday. Companies have not been hit by the post-holiday worker shortage of previous years.
In previous years, many workers were reluctant to leave their home villages to go back to work in industrial parks after the long holiday, causing problems for their employers.
One of the reasons for their early return, according to many workers and employers, was the fear of losing their jobs during the economic downturn.
On the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, Tran Thi Hoa, a worker at a Ha Noi-based company located in Thang Long Industrial Park, was one of many to return to their rented rooms in Dong Anh District, even though the company did not resume production until the ninth day.
“I started working for the company last June and my salary at that time was around VND5 million (US$240) per month including overtime. However, it has fallen to VND3 million (US$144) now because production demand has dropped,” said Hoa.
At the end of last year, around 2,000 workers left the factory. The company did not dismiss them, but put financial pressure on them until they resigned.
As a result, Hoa felt uncomfortable during Tet and counted down the days before she could return to work.
“Every day, my manager reminds not to make any mistakes or to be absent without reason because we could be fired at any time. I was too scared to ask for any additional time off after Tet,” she said.
According to Dinh Quoc Toan, chairman of the Ha Noi Industrial Parks – Export Processing Zones’ Trade Union, Ha Noi has eight industrial parks and most enterprises resumed business on the ninth day of the first lunar year (February 18).
He attributed the high rate of returning workers to the longer holiday that allowed them more time to rest before going back to work.
Employers also applied various methods to attract workers after Tet including attractive salaries and other social welfare policies such as increased minimum wage, bonus schemes, social and health insurance, and housing and petrol allowances.
The trade union’s statistics showed that this year’s Tet bonus paid by enterprises in the industrial park was basically the same as last year.
Workers in the South were also keen to get back to work after Tet. The rate was reported to be 92 per cent, 94 per cent, and 95 per cent in the provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and HCM City, according to trade unions in southern industrial parks and export zones.
Ho Xuan Lam, office manager of the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA), said that more than 90 per cent of workers returned to work after the long holiday.
In previous years, enterprises had faced severe shortages of workers after Tet.
Lam attributed the high rate of returned workers to a low rate of turnover.
With lower recruitment demand and a preference for young and skilled workers, employment opportunities are limited now, according to Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy head of HEPZA.
Almost all enterprises gave Tet bonuses equal to at least one-month salary to their workers to encourage them return to the company.