HCM CITY — Most companies in HCM City have resumed work after Tet (the Lunar New Year), but face the usual labour shortage that plagues them at this time of the year when many workers decide to stay back in their hometown rather than return to big cities.
More than 60 per cent of workers in the city's industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZs) are migrant workers.
Companies in the IPs and EPZs face a shortfall of 5,000 workers, mostly in the textile and garment, electronics, and engineering sectors, according to the Employment Service Centre of the HCM City Industrial Parks and Export Processing Zones Authority (HEPZA).
Nguyen Thanh Tung, director of the HEPZA Employment Service Centre, said, however, they were less apprehensive this year than in the past.
Many of them had only 50 per cent of their workers back on the first day especially since there was a big problem returning to the city because of blocked roads, a HEPZA official said.
But companies that paid good salaries and bonuses, offered good working conditions, showed concern about workers' personal lives, and, especially, got them bus and train tickets saw a higher proportion reporting for work, the official said.
To ensure workers returned to work after the Lunar New Year holiday, many firms offered them sops like "lucky money" on the first day of work and even a half month's salary in advance.
Before closing, many companies also paid Tet bonuses and bus and train fares for workers returning home.
This year many businesses, especially in the services and retail sectors, opened unusually early after the Lunar New Year.
Several supermarkets like Big C and Vinatex Mart, for instance, opened on the second or third day of the year (January 24 or 25), attracting a large number of customers.
Huynh Tan Kiet, chairman of the Dong Nai Labour Union, said most firms in the southern province reopened on Monday.
"Unlike in previous years, when just a small number of workers reported for work on the first day, around 80 per cent worked on the opening day."
Several companies in Bien Hoa, Amata, and Loteco industrial parks reported up to 85 per cent attendance, he said.
As of Monday, no company had reports of workers quitting, according to the Dong Nai Province Labour Union.
In Ba Ria –Vung Tau Province, companies operating in the leather, shoes, garment, and seafood processing sectors have resumed work but remain worried because a large number of workers returned home for Tet.
Bui Thanh Nhan, chairman of the Binh Duong Province Trade Union of Industrial Parks, said 75 per cent of workers at IPs had returned to work after Tet. — VNS