Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan has asked HCM City's leaders to find land in industrial parks and export processing zones (EPZs) to build boarding houses, cultural houses for workers, and kindergartens for their children.
The city should set aside a land fund for building such facilities when zoning an industrial park and export processing zone, she said.
Last Friday, Doan visited the Tan Thuan IP to survey the working conditions and incomes of workers in the city's IPs and EPZs.
Vu Van Hoa, head of the city's Industrial Parks and Export Processing Zones Authority (HEPZA), said most workers had to live in boarding houses built by local households as the city has only had seven boarding-house complexes for 7,000 workers.
Another nine boarding house projects, with a total capacity of accommodating 14,000 workers, are under construction.
The city's 14 IPs and EPZs have attracted 998 companies with a total of 260,000 workers.
Vuong Phuoc Thien, chairman of the Trade Union of the city's IPs and EPZs, said salaries were not keeping up with the cost of living.
"To improve their incomes, workers have to work overtime and do additional work," Thien said.
Hua Ngoc Thuan, deputy chairman of the city's People Committee, said the monthly average income of workers at foreign-invested companies was VND2.8 – 3.2 million (US$130-$150) while it was VND2.7-3 million at domestic companies.
To help workers reduce their difficulties, the city's Party Committee, People's Committee and unions have implemented several measures, including encouraging landlords not to hike rents and selling price-stabilised goods to workers, Thuan said.
Doan said companies also had to bear responsibility for the low salaries.
Many companies continued to expand their production, but were not increasing salaries or bonuses.
Doan said the Government would review salary policies and adjust them to ensure a decent standard of living for workers.
On the same day, Doan also met with the city's Labour Federation to discuss the Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor (CEP Fund).
Since being set up in 1991, the fund has provided loans worth a total of VND7.9 trillion ($3.77 million) for 1.5 million poor households to conduct business.
Doan told the city's Party Committee and People's Committee to continue advancing capital for the fund so that it could expand and create favourable conditions for more poor people to access loans. — VNS