Oct 13, 2012

Vietnam - Businesses at their beam-ends, delay salary payment

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VietNamNet Bridge – Unable to sell products and access bank loans, a lot of businesses have come to an impasse. The circumstances are so serious that they even do not have money to pay salaries to workers.

Bich Hoa, an officer of an import-export company in Hanoi, said she has not received the salaries for August and September yet.

Receiving 5 million dong a month, Hoa always has to be economical to reserve money for the family’s most essential needs. However, the company now even does not have money to pay the modest salary to her. As a result, she has to borrow money from their relatives to cover daily expenses.

“I am not sure if I can receive salaries this month,” she complained.

However, Hoa does not intend to take proceedings to demand for salary payment, or quit the job. She knows well that the company does not have money to pay now after a long period of stagnation production and goods unsalability. Hoa also does not think that she would be able to find another job at this moment, when all businesses are in big difficulties and they try to lay off workers.

Mai Trang, an officer of a real estate firm, has not received salaries for the last three months. She gets only 3 million dong a month for the post in the administration department, a very small sum of money which is just enough to cover the basic needs, and no more for saving.

Trang said she has been living off the parents over the last three months while looking for another job, because she does not think the real estate market would recover soon.

Quang Ninh, a worker of the mechanical engineering company in Van Phuc commune of Thanh Tri district in Hanoi, said that the salary payment delay has been so popular for a long time. It’s still unclear when the workers of the company would get salaries for June.

However, Ninh and other workers still have to go working every day. If they don’t, they would be dismissed immediately. Therefore, they would rather not to receive money right now to retain the jobs.

Dinh Thi Anh, an accountant of a car trade company in Tay Ho district in Hanoi, also complains that she has to borrow money to cover daily expenses.

“I have been working there for two years only, and I don’t have savings. The company only pays one or two million dong a month in advance, so I have to live from hand to mouth,” she said.

Anh said that it’s not easy to find jobs at this moment, even though accountancy is believed to be a “hot job.”

It seems that the bosses understand well that their workers would not dare to raise objections to the leadership because of the delayed salary payment. Therefore, they prioritize to use money for other purposes than salary payment.

A director of a media company said he has to “say the truth” to the workers, that the company does not have money to pay salaries now.

“We have mortgaged the head office of the company and the private assets of some managers for bank loans to pay salaries already,” he said.

“I have to inform to the workers about the real situation of the company, so that they can arrange their lives,” he added.

All the workers at the two branches of Best Carings, a home appliance distribution chain, have been informed that they would stay off works for indefinite time.

H said that he still has not got the fixed salaries for August and September, and the commissions for the sales since June, worth nearly 10 million dong.

Bao Han – Yen Ba

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