Feb 23, 2013

Vietnam - Next to Tet holiday, worry about unemployment comes

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VietNamNet Bridge – After spending a long Tet holiday at ease, people have returned to the normal life with the permanent worry about the unemployment and low pay.

Living in fears of becoming unemployed

On February 17 afternoon, the coaches of the companies in the Thang Long industrial zone in Hanoi have brought their workers back to work from Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces. The Kim Chung commune in Dong Anh district in Hanoi, where most of the immigrant workers live in rent rooms, has become noisy again as the workers have returned.

The luggage that Dong Thi Hanh from Bac Giang province brings with herself when returning to the rent room in Kim Chung commune was very heavy; besides a bag full of clothes, there was also a big bag with sweet potatoes inside.

Hanh said she decided to leave for Hanoi one day earlier than initially planned, so as to prepare well for the first working day of the new year. The neighbors of Hanh also arrived in Hanoi on the same day and they also brought big bags of food – rice, eggs, vegetables, everything they could bring. As everything is expensive in big cities, they have to practice thrift by carrying food from the home village.

Bui Thi Anh Tuyet arrived in Hanoi on Saturday, one day before the first working day of the new year, with a big basket of eggs. Tuyet has been working for a company in the Thang Long industrial zone for six years, earning VND2.5 million a month. Tuyet’s son is small, just seven months old, while her husband got an accident four months ago which broke his leg.

Therefore, the monthly income of VND2.5 million proves to be the only source of income for her family at this moment. However, Tuyet fears that she cannot go to work because she has not found a babysitter to take care for her child. Tuyet has asked her younger sister to stay with her to take care for the child, but this is just a temporary solution.

Tuyet said she is now considering giving up the job at the company and return to the home village to work on the rice fields. However, she would stay in Hanoi, if the company agrees to offer a higher pay level which is high enough for her to pay for room rent and babysitter.

Tuyet can earn VND2.5 million a month only, but she is still luckier than many others, who have been staying redundant.

Nguyen Thi Hien from Phu Tho province, who is now the worker of an electronics company in Thang Long industrial zone, said a lot of workers of the company now work 20 days a month, because there are not enough jobs for all of them.

Hien said that she only spends money to cover the basic needs, while having cut down spending on parties, travel and cinema, which allows her to remit VND800,000 a month to her parents in the home village.

Rooms for rent unoccupied

The signboards with the words “rooms for rent” have been hung along the road from Bau Tay to Bau Dong hamlets of Kim Chung commune. TTM, the owner of 19 rooms for rent in Bau Dong, complained that her five rooms have been left unoccupied.

Showing the empty rooms, TTM said the rooms have been given back by the workers who have become unemployed.

“I have to slash the room rent from VND600,000 to VND550,000. However, the workers still said they cannot afford the rents and they may have to go back to the home village instead of staying in the big city,” she complained.

Tien Phong

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