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|After social distancing had been lifted in most areas, companies are using every available tool to reattract old and new labourers to restart operations. Photo: Le Toan|
Nike’s chief sustainability officer Noel Kinder shared at a meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the sidelines of the COP26 summit in Glasgow last week that all of Nike’s nearly 200 factories in localities across Vietnam had returned to production. Vietnam is the operations hub of Nike suppliers such as Taekwang Vina JSC, Chang Shin Vietnam Co., Ltd., Viet Tien Garment Corporation, and Freetrend Industrial Vietnam Co., Ltd., among others.
Manufacturers like Nike have been making strenuous efforts to prepare the essential conditions to resume operations, one of which is the preparation in the labour force – made harder thanks to various travel restrictions that are being partially kept alive and other bureaucratic hurdles. But they are doing what they can to entice workers to join them.
Dinh Sy Phuc, chairman of the trade union of the South Korean textile firm Taekwang Vina JSC told VIR, “In order to encourage labourers to come back to work, our company committed to keeping salaries at the same level as before lockdowns. In addition, we offered another $104 per person to everyone to better their situation.”
Taekwang Vina is one of the largest partners of Nike, producing over 50 million of the over 70 million pairs of shoes that Nike orders from facilities all over the world.
“We are eager to work with localities to improve vaccination processes, which is a crucial condition to ensure employees can come back to work,” Phuc said.
Besides that, the company has been posting job vacancies with attractive incomes. In addition, the company will offer $21.75 for every employee who successfully introduces a new worker to the company.
Meanwhile, Chang Shin Vietnam Co., Ltd. is picking up employees who had to return to their hometowns during the pandemic. The company reaches out to employees before hiring transport vehicles to pick them up. At the facility, it will also continue to maintain safe operations and ask the province to accelerate vaccinations programmes.
Similarly, other companies are also offering bonuses to employees to motivate them to return. Like Taekwang Vina, Sharp is also giving out an additional month’s salary for returnees, as is Ho Tho Textile and Garment. Meanwhile, Ford has distributed care packages including vitamins and hand gel while Daphaco opened its wallet to purchase laptops for the children of workers so that they can more easily participate in online-based education.
According to a survey covering the third quarter of 2021 by Navigos and featuring 400 businesses and 1,200 employees, 56.7 per cent of enterprises will recruit immediately after operations are normalised. Of note is that nearly half of enterprises did not cut personnel at all, and kept salaries and benefits in 2021 higher than in 2020.
Statistics from the Dong Nai Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs show that the province had 40,000 people return to their homes elsewhere during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported that only 135,000 employees are left in the city’s industrial zones, less than half of the normal figure.
Cities and provinces are also making efforts to support enterprises in filling job vacancies. Thanh Hoa Labour Federation reported that the province currently has 50 foreign-invested enterprises with recruitment demand of 35,000 people. The federation is cooperating with the Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs and companies to disseminate information about vacancies and support those who would like to fill them.
Statistics from the Nghe An Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs show that since the beginning of the year, 92,000 people have returned to their hometowns, with over 66,000 coming from the south alone. The department’s deputy director Bui Van Hung said in an online meeting on October 12 that 45,000 people had registered to work in the province’s industrial zones.
“The department is making efforts to connect these people with enterprises. At present, 57 enterprises in the province want to recruit 15,000 employees at a monthly salary ranging from $215 to $1,300 each,” Hung said.
“We are working with the province’s Employment Service Centre and enterprises to organise job sessions in districts and communes,” Hung added. “We are also constantly updating recruitment information and work closely with the Employment Service Centre to offer consultancy for prospective workers on social media apps.”
Nghe An People’s Committee, meanwhile, is creating new jobs for about 210,000 employees over the next five years, in addition to offering training programmes for workers.