|A tenant in her room in Bình Dương Province. Landlords in many localities reduce rent for workers as prices surge. — Photo baobinhduong.vn|
BÌNH DƯƠNG — The surging prices of gasoline, food and services have made the lives of many workers more difficult. But they are not alone.
Individuals and organisations have implemented many programmes to support workers to give them more motivation to overcome difficult circumstances.
Thái Kim Anh, the owner of nearly 100 rooms and stalls for rent in Thủ Dầu Một City, Bình Dương Province, has decided to reduce the rent for workers.
"The price of food and other goods have risen while workers' salaries are little. I helped them by reducing their monthly rent to VNĐ700,000 per month instead of VNĐ1 million," Anh told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
"It's difficult for me, but I can manage it. But it's even harder for the workers who rent my rooms."
When the pandemic broke out in Bình Dương, workers could stay in their rented room without paying for three months, Anh said.
"During difficult times, on receiving the support of the landlords, my wife and I and other people, who left their hometown for Bình Dương Province to find a job, felt thrilled," said Trương Thị Mến, a woman living in one of Anh's rooms.
Phạm Ánh Tuyết, a landlord who owns 150 rooms in Thuận Giao ward, Thuận An City, said she had offered a 50 per cent reduction for tenants until the end of the year.
The price of a 30sq.m room for four people is only VNĐ750,000 per month, Tuyết said.
Statistics from provincial authorities showed landlords of 14,000 rooms in Bình Dương have agreed to reduce rent by 20-50 per cent to help tenants.
The high rent reduction is mostly in Thuận An and Thủ Dầu Một cities and Bến Cát township.
On Hoa Sứ Street, Phú Nhuận District, people can easily see a board with "No increase in price" in front of a rice noodle restaurant.
Nguyễn Thị Minh, a restaurant employee, said raw materials increased by 30-50 per cent since the price of gasoline rose to a record VNĐ30,000 per litre.
"Although we faced many difficulties, we were determined not to raise prices in the past two years. We accept small profits to keep customers and share difficulties with them," Minh said.
On Fridays, "a cheap bread stall" is open for poor workers in Ward 3, Tân Bình District.
"I can save nearly VNĐ20,000 a day as I buy bread here. As the price of everything increases, this bread stall has supported the poor a lot," a scrap collector said.
This model is being rolled out by the local Red Cross Society and residents.
Lê Thị Tuyết Mai, vice chairwoman of the Red Cross Society of Ward 3, said: "To support labourers in difficult circumstances to have breakfast at a low cost, we opened this bread stall. It also helps them to save money for their families. The stall is open every Friday. We will increase the amount of bread in the future so that everyone can buy some. " — VNS