Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — The strike by hundreds of workers of a hospital over unpaid salaries in the central Nghệ An Province entered its third day today.
About 200 doctors and nurses have been on strike at the Thành An – Sài Gòn private hospital in Vinh since Sunday, forcing the hospital to temporarily shut down all clinical rooms and the pharmacy.
Twenty-five-year-old Phan Trọng Toàn told online newspaper Vietnamnet that he had signed a work contract with the hospital in May 2015 for a monthly wage of VNĐ1.7 million (US$76.5).
Toàn has been working at the hospital for 14 months now, but he has been paid for just four months. The hospital owes him VNĐ17 million for the rest 10 months.
All doctors and nurses participating in the strike have not received their salaries for several months, ranging between seven to 10 months.
Worse, many hospital staff said they had paid VNĐ50 million to VNĐ100 million just to get a job at the Thành An – Sài Gòn hospital.
A hospital worker Nguyễn Thị Quỳnh Trang said she was forced to give a so-called deposit fee of VNĐ70 million to be allowed to work at the hospital.
“I had worked for only a few months when the hospital stopped paying wages,” she said.
About 100 employees who reportedly paid such deposits are asking the hospital for a refund, according to Lao động (Labours) newspaper.
Thành An-Sài Gòn Director Nguyễn Đình Khang acknowledged the non-payment of salaries, and said the hospital was “having a lot of difficulties”.
Regarding the deposits, Khang said they were used for training the staff and were also a kind of “assurance fee to make the workers stay and work at the hospital for a long-term period.”
Nghệ An Medical Labour Union Chairwoman Võ Thị Hằng said the union had been asking the hospital for months to pay the overdue wages to no avail.
She said the provincial health department has warned the hospital to settle all late payments by August 10, failing which it would face the risk of being shut down. — VNS