|A worker at the Vĩ Nam Việt Co Ltd (VinaVit), a screw manufacturer in the Lê Minh Xuân industrial project, Bình Chánh District. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu|
HÀ NỘI — With average monthly income of VNĐ5.5 million (US$261), nearly half of workers in Việt Nam felt that their income was enough to cover basic living expenses, according to a recent wage survey.
The survey on wage, income and life quality of workers in 2018 was released yesterday by the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour.
The average income for 2018 increased by 1.4 per cent compared to last year, with 84.4 per cent coming from basic salary.
According to the survey, 43.7 per cent of workers said their income was just enough, down 7.6 per cent compared to 2017.
Some 26.5 per cent said they need to be thrifty in their spending, while 12.5 per cent said they need to work extra hours to cover living expenditures (up 0.5 per cent compared to last year). Only 17.4 per cent of the respondents claimed they have money to spare, a slight increase of 1.3 per cent compared to 2017.
Around one third (32.1 per cent) of workers said their household earns enough money to deposit on average VNĐ 1.5 million in saving accounts for illnesses, accidents, unemployment, or for holiday spending and their children’s education.
However, the survey found that money remains a challenge for workers, with 25.7 per cent not happy with their low salary and lack of opportunities to earn extra income.
While issues like excessive hours, salary not being commensurate with the labour, a lack of transparency in wage policies, or businesses’ failure to carry out pay rises, didn’t receive a huge number of complaints, a substantial number of workers still brought these issues up, issues that can lead to strikes.
According to the confederation, in the first half of 2018, 131 strikes occurred, with 78.6 per cent taking place in foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises and in the garment and textile industry (36.6 per cent), followed by footwear and electronics.
Enterprises in the public sector performed better in raising employees’ salary periodically, but the period might be up to 2-3 years, longer than enterprises in private sector, which usually raise salary on a yearly basis, the survey concluded.
The Institute of Workers and Trade Union surveyed workers’ unions across 23 provinces, cities with high concentration of workers such as Hà Nội, HCM City, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng, Bình Dương, as well as in construction and railways sectors. The institute also sent out more than 3,000 open question forms for workers in 150 enterprises.
This was the largest scale survey the institute has conducted, with the number of respondents increasing threefold compared to other years, Vũ Quang Thọ, director of institute, said. — VNS