As the country's commercial and industrial hub, HCM City has also taken the lead in taking care of its labour force, according priority to improving workers' living standards, a senior official said last week.
HCM CITY — As the country's commercial and industrial hub, HCM City has also taken the lead in taking care of its labour force, according priority to improving workers' living standards, a senior official said last week.
|Workers of Tan Thuan Industrial Park shop at a fair held by the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority. This is one of the measures to help improve workers' living standards. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong |
Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA), told the Vietnam News Agency in an interview that providing accommodation to workers has always been treated as an urgent task by city authorities.
HCM City, where the country's first EPZ was established in 1991, now has three EPZs and 12 IPs that accommodate 1,200 enterprises on more than 3,500 ha. Together, they employ over 275,000 workers.
These workers have contributed significantly to the city's development, with the industrial and construction sectors accounting for 4.42 per cent of the 10.3 per cent GDP growth rate and the per capita income of US$3,220 posted by HCM City in 2011.
The city currently has nine dormitories accommodating over 9,000 workers. These include the one run by Nissei Electric Viet Nam Company, which accommodates 1,000 workers at the Linh Trung IP; Sadeco's dormitory with 1,700 workers at the Tan Thuan IP in District 7; the dormitory of the export processing company Cau Tre in District 6; and another maintained by the Ky Nghe Do Thanh JSC in Cu Chi District.
Dinh said more than 6,300 other workers will be accommodated in the city's Tan Tao, Linh Trung, Tan Thoi Hiep and Le Minh Xuan industrial parks by late 2012 and early 2013.
In addition to these accommodations, district authorities have asked owners of boarding houses not to raise rents paid by workers and allow them to pay electricity and water bills at subsidised prices set by the Government.
The city authority has also paid attention to building kindergartens for workers' children. HEPZA has asked the city authority to grant thousands of square metres in several IPs to build nursing schools and day care centres for workers' children.
Several clinics have been built in the Tan Thuan, Le Minh Xuan, Tan Tao and Tan Binh IPs to provide health care for workers. The authorities at IPs and EPZs have also co-operated with hospitals to provide medical exams and treatment of gynaecological problems for female workers.
HEPZA has also asked employers to improve quality of workers' meals and conducted inspections on food hygiene and safety at kitchens run by enterprises.
The IP authority has established mini-marts and convenience stories at IPs and EPZs and co-operated with business associations to set up mobile shops selling goods under the city's price stabilisation programme to IP workers.
Pham Xuan Thanh, chairman of the Labour Federation at Legamex JSC under Gia Dinh Textile and Garment Co., said, "Taking care of labourers means to take care of the benefits of an enterprise."
He said Legamex has constantly worked to improve employee's living standards and raise their incomes.
Thanh said that in 2011, despite difficulties facing the company, Legamex workers earned an average salary of VND4.8 million (US$230), up 51.56 per cent over 2010. Dinh said the labour force has played a very important role in HCM City's socio-economic development and a leading role in the city's industrialisation and modernisation process.
But they also need higher education and additional training to improve their skills.
A survey conducted by HEPZA showed that over 70 per cent of workers and employees at EPZs and IPs in HCM City would like to study in colleges and universities and take IT and foreign language classes
More than 6,000 outstanding workers have been sent to parent companies in other countries for training courses which aim to build them into future managers, replacing the current crop of foreign managers at their companies in Viet Nam.
Nguyen Thanh Hiep, head of the Vocational Training Division under HCM City's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said they have asked district authorities and employers to enhance training for workers and at the same time, co-operate with universities and vocational centres to improve workers' skills. The enterprises have also been asked to promote skilled workers to higher positions, he said. — VNS