Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — South Korea will temporarily stop receiving workers from 44 districts and towns in 10 Vietnamese provinces and cities, a document released by the labour ministry last Friday said.
The 10 provinces and cities are Nghệ An, Thanh Hóa, Hà Tĩnh and Hà Nội, besides Hải Dương, Thái Bình, Nam Định and Bắc Ninh, as well as Quảng Bình and Hưng Yên.
The reason behind the Korean decision is that many workers, who worked under the Employment Permit System (EPS), overstay in South Korea after their contracts end, ignoring all efforts by Việt Nam and South Korea to encourage them to return home.
The Nghệ An Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said more than 500 workers from the said provinces lived illegally in South Korea in August 2012, comprising more than 70 per cent of the total workers whose contracts had expired.
As of the end of October 2014, the contracts of 173 workers has expired, but nearly half of them overstayed and lived illegally in Korea.
As of the end of February this year, 1,450 illegal workers from Nghệ An Province stayed in South Korea, leading the list of illegal Vietnamese workers in that country.
Statistics of the Quảng Bình Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed that in 2012, more than 90 per cent of the workers, whose contracts had expired, overstayed in South Korea.
Nguyễn Văn Trung from Nghệ An Province, an illegal worker who was deported form Korea, told the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper that workers did not want to return to Việt Nam after the end of their contracts because the salary in South Korea was very attractive.
Each worker could earn several million đồng per month (VNĐ1 million is equal to US$40), whereas in Việt Nam, their income was unstable, Trung said.
Workers are even willing to pay a penalty to be able to stay in South Korea.
Moreover, some workers had paid a lot of money to go abroad, so they wanted to stay on in Korea.
South Korea used to receive 10,000-20,000 Vietnamese workers per year under the EPS, and the workers sent about $700 million to Việt Nam per year. In the last three years, this country hires only 3,000 to 3,500 Vietnamese workers a year, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. — VNS