Ca Mau Province authorities have promised tough action against a Chinese construction contractor for using 1,051 Chinese workers who do not have work permits.
A Chinese worker at the construction site of the Ca Mau Urea Plant Photo: Tuoi Tre
The unauthorized workers at the under-construction Ca Mau Urea Plant may even be expelled if they have not applied yet for work permits.
Nguyen Tien Hai, deputy chairman of the province people’s committee, told Tuoi Tre yesterday that Wu Huan Engineering Co Ltd had failed to comply with Vietnamese work-permit regulations despite warnings by local authorities.
“Whenever we urged them to apply for work permits for their Chinese workers, they sent those workers back to China and got others as a replacement,” Hai said.
The committee had ordered the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to take a tough line with Wu Huan for its prolonged violations, he said.
Vuong Van Cuong, who is in charge of foreign workers at the plant, said that 440 of the Chinese workers did not need work permits since they worked on three-month contracts.
The remaining 611 were in the process of applying for work permits, he said.
The number of Chinese workers would reduce to around 250 when the plant entered the stage of trial operations and hand-over in October-November this year, he added.
Le Thanh Tong, deputy head of the labor department, told Tuoi Tre: “We have instructed, inspected, and penalized [the contractor] many times. We have fulfilled our responsibility.”
In a report to the committee, the department called for stiffening penalties for such violations to deter violators.
A construction site of the Ca Mau Urea Plant, where over 1,000 Chinese workers have no work permit (Photo: VnExpress)
Expulsion may be applied
Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa told Tuoi Tre yesterday that he only got to know about Wu Huan’s violations from Tuoi Tre and was yet to receive a report about it.
Once the ministry got a report from the province, it would instruct the local labor department about what action to take.
“Depending on the nature of violation, the [department] can either give it a warning or recommend expulsion of all workers without permits to the Ministry of Public Security,” Hoa said.
But he admitted there was a loophole in the work-permit issue: “We have not stipulated a time limit for completing the process of obtaining a work permit. Therefore, if the contractors deliberately delayed the process, we will find it difficult to punish them.”