Companies warned about massive layoffs of workers over 35

VietNamNet Bridge - Real wages in Vietnam have increased by 8 percent per annum, higher than the GDP growth rate, while regional minimum wages have increased by 12.2 percent per annum, higher than the labor productivity increase. Dang Duc Dam, a renowned economist, former deputy head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said the minimum wage in Vietnam has been increasing steadily by over 12 percent in the last two years. However, the minimum wages are not high enough to cover workers’ basic needs. Minimum wages are related to living standards, labor productivity and enterprises’ competitiveness. It is a difficult problem to be solved for all countries, including Vietnam. The Vietnam Labor Federation and business owner representatives argue about the minimum wage increases every year. While the former insists on raising the minimum wage because the levels are not high enough to cover basic needs, business owners threaten to cut the labor force if the production costs increase because of higher labor costs.While the former insists on raising the minimum wage because the levels are not high enough to cover basic needs, business owners threaten to cut the labor force if the production costs increase because of higher labor costs. However, Dam commented that in Vietnam the real wage increase is higher than the GDP growth rate and the minimum wage increase is higher than labor productivity (12.2 percent vs 4.2 percent). Ha Noi Moi reported that though the decision about the minimum wage increase for 2017 has…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The 7.3 percent increase in the minimum wage increase for 2017 is the smallest increase in the last decade but businesses still do not like it. The minimum wages would be VND3.75 million, VND3.1 million, VND2.7 million and VND2.4 million for Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively, once the plan gets government approval. Mai Duc Chinh, deputy chair of the Vietnam Labor Federation, said he was not satisfied with the modest increase. “We wished to see the 8.5 percent increase at minimum, while we initially proposed 11.11 percent increase after calculating laborers’ expenditure and their basic needs,” he said. Chinh cited a federation’s survey as reporting that 14 percent of workers said their salaries were not high enough to cover basic needs, while 35 percent said they could live with the salaries but suffered hardships. At least 35 percent said the salaries were “enough for subsistence’ and only 14 percent said they could save a little money. The 7.3 percent increase in the minimum wage increase for 2017 is the smallest increase in the last decade but businesses still do not like it. “The current low salaries makes life hard for workers in industrial zones,” he commented. However, even the modest salary increases put a heavy burden on business owners, who are exhausted after experiencing the recession. According to the National Wages Council, with the 7.3 percent wage increase, businesses’ expenses would increase by 0.31 percent. The additional expenses businesses have to pay are expected to…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has reported that 70 percent of businesses are unprofitable, but the General Department of Taxation (GDT) said it does not know where the figure comes from. VCCI, while objecting to the Vietnam Labor Federation’s proposal on raising the minimum wage by 16.8 percent, warned that the high wage increase will push businesses, 70 percent of which are now unprofitable, against the wall. VCCI, which represents employers, and the labor federation, which represents workers, could not reach common ground at the National Wage Council’s second working session to discuss the 2016 minimum wage policy. A VCCI representative said the minimum wage increase would force businesses to scale down production. If so, the unemployment rate would increase, causing social uncertainties. When asked about the figure released by VCCI that 70 percent of businesses are unprofitable, the official said the figure was in the annual Vietnam Business Report compiled by the VCCI’s Legal Department and Business Development Institute. He also said that the exact number of businesses making profit and taking losses can be found at GDT of the Ministry of Finance. However, Le Thi Thuy, a senior official of GDT, said: "I don’t know where the VCCI cited the figure". According to Thuy, under the old regulations, GDT could have collected information about the performance of every quarter through business income reports. However, the regulations have been removed since late 2014, and now businesses have to submit the reports annually, not…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - Government agencies cannot agree on a minimum wage, and continue to argue about whether the current minimum wage can cover the basic needs of workers. Agencies still unable to solve minimum-wage issue The National Assembly has assigned the government to implement a wage reform program under which the minimum wage will be raised step by step to a level high enough to cover basic needs. The Vietnam Labor Federation suggested an intensive program implementation method with a 20-30 percent increase per annum, so as to reach the goal by 2018. Meanwhile, business owners do not support the proposal. "We think it is necessary to reconsider the criteria for ‘minimum living standard’," said Nguyen Xuan Duong, chair of the Hung Yen Garment JSC. "The labor federation says one worker needs to feed one dependent person. I think it is unreasonable," he said. The businessman went on to say that one laborer works for over 40 years on average, and it will be unreasonable to think that he will feed one child for all these 40 years. "I think one laborer only feeds one dependent person for 18 years, not 42 years, as currently supposed," Duong said. If so, the money for one laborer to feed one dependent person during his working life will be just 0.319 of his total wage, not 0.7 as currently applied. If the inflation rate is 7 percent annually in 2014-2018 as predicted by consultants, the minimum living standard for Zone 1 would be…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - Every year, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and relevant agencies discuss the minimum wage increase, but both businesses and workers have not seen benefits. In late July, the National Wage Council, comprising representatives from MOLISA, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam Labor Federation, will convene a meeting to discuss the adjustment of minimum wages for 2016, before a report will be submitted to the government in October. Chu Van An, deputy general director of Minh Phu Seafood Group, complained that the rapid minimum wage increases in recent years have seriously affected the seafood exporters’ competitiveness. An said Minh Phu’s 15,000 workers now can receive pay of VND5-5.3 million a month, which is nearly double the required minimum wage. Therefore, the minimum wage increase will not bring any benefits to workers and businesses, while it will do harm because it will push essential goods’ prices up by 20-30 percent. Meanwhile, the minimum wage increase will make businesses suffer, because they will have to pay more for insurance premiums and other expenses. In 2015, as the minimum wage has increased by 15 percent over 2014, the total expenses Minh Phu pays for social, healthcare and unemployment insurance premiums has risen by 35 percent. Truong Van Cam from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) noted that since 2010, fees relating to laborers increased once every two years. And if the regional minimum wage increases again, this will be far…... [read more]

(VOVworld) - 22 ship owners and fishermen were honored and presented with gifts at a ceremony held in Da Nang City on Tuesday for their contribution to the local economy and national maritime sovereignty protection. These individuals have been persistent in fishing at the Hoang Sa fishing ground despite the presence of Chinese vessels which have harassed and rammed the Vietnamese boats to drive them away from their traditional fishing ground. Nguyen Van Dong is a fisherman from Son Tra district, Da Nang city: "We are very happy to receive support from the community, which will help us buy needed fishing equipment. We fishermen will do our best to protect Vietnam's traditional fishing ground." The event was co-organized by Da Nang City's Labor Federation and Farmers Association as part of the Vietnam Labor Federation's Program entitled "Sentiments for Hoang Sa and Truong Sa".... [read more]

On the afternoon of August 15th 2013, Lao Dong Newspaper Golden Heart Fund in collaboration with the Federation of Labor in Khanh Hoa held a ceremony to present insurance cards for 22 ship owners and 110 fishermen in the Nha Trang city, Cam Ranh city and Ninh Hoa town. The total value of the insurance to be awarded in this period was VND 100 million, in which hull insurance and risks insurance cards for fishing vessels valued VND 3,465,000 million/ insurance, personal accident insurance worth VND 50 million/person/year for the crew on board. This activity is done from the fund "Fishing nets of love for fishermen in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Island" launched by the Vietnam Labor Federation to share the difficulties, support and facilitate to fishermen who contribute to defending national sovereignty over the sea and islands of Viet Nam. It is known that in August 2013, Federation of Labor in Khanh Hoa will coordinate with the relevant departments continue to plan presenting insurance cards for 100 fishing boats and 1,000 fishermen of Khanh Hoa province from the expenditure of the program "Fishing nets of love for fishermen in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Island". MY HAU From 2012, the Lao Dong Newspaper Golden Heart Fund has supported Khanh Hoa Province with more than VND 1 billion with activities: supporting for 5 ship owners who met accidents and lost their ships; 1 fisherman died; 1,500 life jackets and 250 emergency medicine cabinets...... [read more]

Workers' minimum salaries, which have been applied since Jan this year, meet only around 50% of their minimum living levels, according to a survey by the Vietnam Labor Federation reported at an Apr 12 workshop. With their minimum pay fluctuating from two million dong (US$97) to less than five million dong, the workers are always on a shoestring and work up to 12 hours a day to earn some more. They rent cheap, shabby rooms and cut daily expenses to the minium. The workers, most of whom are migrants, suffer serious malnutrition and other health risks. According to a 2010 survey on 402 workers in HCMC, 19.2 % of them suffer serious anemia and up to 70 % have iod deficiency. Workers' minimum salaries: a thorny problem Le Xuan Thanh, from the Ministry of Labor, War Veterans and Social Affairs, admitted the fact that when the ministry launched its salary reform in 2003 with the minimum salary being VND290,000, the minimum living level then was over VND500,000. "The goal that minimum salaries can suffice workers' living demands by 2015 remains far-fetched," said Thanh. According to a survey launched by the ministry, up to 94% of workers now work overtime to provide for themselves and their family. "Since 1993, minimum salaries have been raised several times, but living levels have yet to be improved due to high inflation rates. The minimum salaries Vietnam applied in the first place are far too low, so no matter how hard we try, our minimum…... [read more]

On March 16th, after two days promptly and positively working, the 9th Phu Yen Provincial Trade Union Congress, 2013-2018 term was concluded successfully.   Secretary of Party Committee, Mr. Dao Tan Loc awarding Phu Yen Trade union with the baldachinbearing the words "Unity, innovation, creativity, building strong the labour class and trade unions to meet the requirements of national industrialization and modernization" . The Congress focused on assessing the situation of workers, officers, employees, results in implementing the Resolution of the 8th Congress- Phu Yen Trade Union in 2008-2013 term; ratifying Resolution of the 9th Phu Yen Trade Union Congress in 2013-2018 term. The Congress ratified a number of following key targets in 2013-2018 term: striving to admit from 6,000 to 7,000 trade union members; every year introducing at least 1,000 elite members for the Party to consider for admission; striving for 100% of the enterprises operating in the industrial zone, the national businesses, stock enterprises to establish unions when being realized eligible; every year, 80-85% officers-laborers are recognized as advanced laborers; 15% to 20% of emulation soldiers at the units, 90% of advanced labor collectives, among whom 40% to 50% of excellent labor collectives; ... At the Congress, the Provincial Labor Federation honoredly received the leading flag of emulation movement by the government, the excellent emulation flag of the Vietnam Labor Federation. The State President awarded Third-class Labor Medal to comrade Huynh Trong Danh, Chairman of the Provincial Labor Federation; the Prime Minister awarded certificates of merit to three…... [read more]

Women are paid, on average, only 75 percent of men's wages in Vietnam, the International Labor Organization said. Between 2008 and 2011 the male-female income gap widened by 2 percent, Tim De Meyer, a senior ILO specialist, said. This was unlike in most parts of the world where the gap shrunk during the period, he said. Women make less than men in all but two sectors, logistics and housework, Nguyen Kim Lan, ILO national project coordinator, said. She said the wage disparity is found at all education levels and in the state, private, and foreign sectors. Some companies are not keen on employing women, saying they tend to devote more time for family than work, she said.   Fewer opportunities mean many women are forced into low-paid jobs, she said. Vu Quang Thanh, deputy director of an employment agency in Hanoi, said most men would rather choose strenuous jobs in difficult environments rather than low-paying ones. Dang Quang Dieu, head of the Vietnam Labor Federation's Institute of Labor and Trade Union, said since women can do as well as men in almost every job, the disparity in wages discourages many of them from working. Meyer said Vietnam should force employers "to pay [male and female workers] equally for equal work" as stipulated in the Labor Law. The average wage in the country was US$1,540 last year. Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment... [read more]

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