|Workers at Tien Tien Textile Joint Stock Company in southern Tien Giang Province. Many textile companies are having difficulty getting employees to return to work after the holiday.— VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (VNS) — Lunar New Year (Tet) celebrations may again prove disruptive to the textile industry as companies have previously found it difficult to get employees back to work after the holiday.
While having no problem securing contracts from customers, some companies couldn't muster enough manpower to deliver.
Some had gone so far as to hold onto part of workers' year bonus to force them to return. Textile industry unions have since put an end to the practice, however, saying that companies must pay workers full year bonus before Tet.
Tet season also brings with it a surge in demand for temporary workers to meet demanding end-of-year orders. The pay for such temporary jobs can be significantly higher, tempting quite a few workers to leave their regular jobs to make quick money.
After Tet is also a time when workers look for new beginnings and better jobs elsewhere. In recent years, competition amongst textile companies to attract and keep more of their labour force has increased.
Director General of the Viet Nam Textile Group, Le Tien Truong, said in 2015 the textile industry will require more than 3 million workers. Without a sound strategy to maintain a low turn-over rate, Vietnamese textile companies will have a hard time finding enough labour to fulfill their contracts.
Companies must pay more attention to establishing labour policies that improve workers' benefits such as better compensation practices, better working environments and supporting a robust social life outside of work, said the Truong.
Bui Thi Thu, deputy general director of the Phong Phu Corporation, a company that had 100 per cent of their workers return after previous Tet holidays, said the company hosted sports and cultural events on a regular basis as part of a strategy to retain its labour force.
Phong Phu Corporation even started a housing project for their workers. Workers can either purchase apartments for a discounted price or may rent one from the company at a reduced rate.
Months before this year's Tet, the Thang Loi Textile Corporation started planning how to transport the company's 1,200 workers to their distant hometowns and back for the holiday.
For workers who chose not to go home for Tet, the company has planned new-year events and activities to keep the holiday spirit.
Garment 10 Corporation, one of the largest textile companies in Viet Nam with more 10,000 workers in the industry, has started looking for new solutions to the industry's poor turn-over rate.
Deputy Director General of Garment 10, Than Duc Viet, said that besides improving workers' income and living conditions, the company is accepting that turnover is inevitable and looking to reduce the required training time for new employees.
Viet said with new training methods, it can take as little at one to three months to produce a skilled textile worker. Such measures were taken, he said, to insulate the company's production capacity from major shifts in the labour market. — VNS