Seasonal workers flock to cities as Tết approaches

December, 08/2016 - 09:00

Many rural labourers are flocking into cities, including Hà Nội to work as seasonal labourers ahead of Tết.

Migrant women work as street flower vendors in Hà Nội.— VNS Photo Trương Vị
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI  Tết will arrive in the next two months so foreseeing the increasing demand for employment,  many rural labourers are flocking into cities, including Hà Nội to work as seasonal labourers.  Lê Thị Thắm, a 40-year-old woman, was employed to pluck leaves of peach trees at a garden in the foot of Nhật Tân Bridge. The woman, from the northern province of Hưng Yên, said usually at the end of the year, she and her husband come to the city to work.

Her husband works as a stevedore at Long Biên market and as a xe ôm (motorbike driver) in his spare time. Thắm usually sits at Nhật Tân Road to wait for work. “My new job of plucking leaves from peach trees is easy but the wage is lower than previous jobs I’ve had,” Thắm said.

“My employer provides free meals and accommodation for me, and pays VNĐ200,000 (US$9) per day. The wage will be higher, nearly VNĐ300,000 a day in the days near Tết if I receive more work carrying peach branches for sale at market.”

The woman said she liked this job as it was similar to her farming work at home.  In previous years, she worked as a house cleaner around the Khâm Thiên residential quarter but it was hard while wages were low.

“We’re trying to save about VNĐ10 million for the whole family over Tết, including my parents, parents-in-law, and three children” she said.  “About 25-27 Lunar December, we will stop work and go home to enjoy Tết.”       

Family-helper centres in Hà Nội are also recruiting seasonal labourers because there is great demand for family-helpers over Tết, Nguyễn Yến Trang, head of Vạn Phúc family-helper centre in Hoàng Mai District revealed.     

The salary depends on the work: VNĐ3.5 million - 5 million ($154-230) per month for a fulltime family-helper and VNĐ50,000 ($2.2) per hour for part-time ones.

“We have to look for Tết labourers two or three months early as supply doesn’t meet the increasing demand of seasonal employment,” Trang said.

"Seasonal labourers are mainly college students and rural people so they lack professional skills. Our centre often has to train them for up to three days."

Nguyễn Thị Lan Hương, from the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs said the time near Tết required many labourers for services including sales, workers at flower and bonsai gardens, and transport companies.

During Tết period, the service industry such as restaurants, spas, family-helper and transport companies and consumer goods production need many seasonal labourers, she said.

According to HCM City-based Centre for Human Resources Forecast and Labour Market Information, the labourer market in the city would be stable in the last two months of the Lunar Year. But the demand for seasonal labourers tends to increase by 15-20 per cent in comparison with previous months, meaning the city will need about 25,000 seasonal labourers.

Deputy director of Hà Nội Job Centre, Vũ Quang Thanh said popular jobs attracting many seasonal labourers were in services and trading.

Thanh said his centre usually updated recruitment announcements through job fairs and at the centre’s entrance, aiming to recruit college students and rural people.     

However, he warned “Although the demand for seasonal labourers is big now, there is no change in wage. Rural labourers should be careful in selecting a recruitment centre to avoiding fraudsters.”  VNS