Bac Lieu seafood firms disobey law on workers

Update: March, 03/2015 - 09:47

BAC LIEU (VNS) — The seafood industry in the Mekong Delta's Bac Lieu Province commonly committed Labour Law violations such as hiring without signing contracts and not paying premiums for workers' insurance, local authorities found in an investigation.

More than ten thousand workers, two thirds of them women, at 35 seafood factories in the province were being victimised despite authorities' efforts to reinforce labour regulations.

Factories often avoided paying fees and other obligations by only giving workers short-term labour contracts – up to three months.

"The majority of them started working for those factories as seasonal workers without ever entering in a contract," said Vo Duy Khanh, secretary of Tan Phong Ward's Youth Organisation. "It made protecting their rights and benefits very difficult."

A dozen seafood factories operate in Tan Phong Ward, and employ a total of 6,000.

Local authorities' recent investigation revealed that most factories were found with Labour Law violations during the hiring process.

As more and more young workers leave their hometowns to seek jobs in cities, local businesses have had to come up with new ways to keep them around.

Youth associations often held job fairs in collaboration with local businesses, but equipping them with legal knowledge to help them protect themselves had never been a top priority.

Also, youth associations have not made efforts to follow through and ensure businesses fulfilled their contractual duties.

"Once local businesses and workers reached an agreement, many youth associations considered their responsibility over," said Truong Hong Trang, the provincial youth association's secretary. "Because of this way of thinking, they didn't try to see if agreed terms were fulfilled after."

The province and the local department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs were preparing to open information seminars on workers' rights, she said.

Youth associations will also be charged with the task of overseeing and reinforcing regulations set out in the country's Labour Law. — VNS