HA NOI (VNS) — The idea of dropping the Tet bonus and improving worker welfare faces strong opposition from employees as the holiday is approaching.
Tran Van Hoa, an engineer for Samsung Group at Yen Phong Industrial Zone in the northern province of Bac Ninh, said that it was enterprises' responsibility to support their employees and improve their welfare.
"Therefore, enterprises cannot trade the Tet bonus for housing or transportation for workers," Hoa said.
Nguyen Van Anh, a worker at Canon in the Ha Noi Processing Industrial Zone, feared that she would not have enough money to visit her family in her hometown without a Tet bonus.
Her bonus this year would be about VND4.5 million (US$216) according to the company's rules, but that was already barely enough for the 10 days she would not be working.
"Most of the bonus goes to travelling costs, buying presents for the family and living expenses during the holiday. I have to make it on a very tight budget," Anh said.
The Ha Noi Processing Industrial Zone's Labour Union Vice Chairman Nguyen Dinh Thang said that most employees, even those at the managerial level, disagreed with the policy of dropping the Tet bonus.
"The bonus is not only a payment for workers but also a way that employers encourage workers to do a better job," Thang said.
High bonuses in south
Meanwhile, several companies in HCM City and the southern province of Dong Nai have set aside hundreds of billions in Tet bonuses.
Nguyen Tuan Tu, president of the Labour Union of Chanshin Viet Nam in Dong Nai's Thanh Phu Industrial Zone, said that this year the company would distribute VND200 billion ($9.6 million) in bonuses. Each employee with at least one year of work at the company would receive an average of VND15 million ($721).
Taekwang Vina, another Dong Nai-based company, spent VND190 billion ($9.1 million) on Tet bonuses for its 26,000 workers, about VND7 million ($336) per employee.
Le Thi Dung, a worker at Pouyuen Viet Nam in HCM City's Tan Tao Industrial Zone, said that the bonus this year was relatively equal to last year.
"The company made great efforts to ensure the bonus when business this year was pretty dull," Dung said.
Binh Duong Province Labour Confederation Vice Chairman Bui Thanh Nhan said that the confederation planned to continue providing bus tickets for poor workers to travel back to their hometowns, the fifth year it has done so.
"We expect to help about 1,220 workers go back to their hometowns, which are located across the country, from Ha Noi to the central province of Phu Yen," Nhan said.
Ha Noi Labour Federation also announced a plan to transport more than 3,000 poor workers home in nine northern provinces and cities and four central provinces. The free buses will depart on February 15-17. — VNS