Vietnam Labour Update #84

Ngày đăng: 09/11/2020

Da Nang bus workers go on strike: Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that drivers and other employees for Quang An 1, which runs buses in Da Nang, have only been paid one month's salary since June; their June salaries were finally paid in October. They were told that July salaries would also be paid in October, but workers have not yet received these. Workers are facing hardships due to the failure to pay salaries, made worse by the COVID-19 situation—Da Nang was at the centre of the second wave—and the recent storms and flooding. Some workers have had to borrow money to survive.

In addition, the director of the Hai Chau district social security office (a district of Da Nang) said that the company owes 15 months of unpaid social security contributions, totalling over 4.8 billion dong. Workers' contributions have been deducted from their salaries but the company has not paid these to the fund. There have been cases where workers have been ill or pregnant but, as the company had not paid social security, they could not get any assistance with health costs. Other times, workers have been killed in accidents but the families did not receive any payouts due to the company's refusal to pay social security. The Da Nang social security and DOLISA offices have tried many times to get the company to pay, but it has not. They are now working with the police to sue the company for its refusal to pay social security contributions.

Phap Luat Online (Vietnamese) and a later article in Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that, as of this morning (November 9), workers have gone on strike to demands their wages and social security. Workers at this company have been on strike a number of times before over wage and social security arrears (see newsletters #36 and #41).

Quang Ninh mine accident kills one worker and injures another: Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that at 5am on November 4, a group of four workers employed by Mao Khe Coal (part of Vinacomin, a state-owned mining conglomerate) were working in a coalmine in Quang Ninh province (in northeast Vietnam), when a coal landslide killed the team leader and injured one other worker. The company is coordinating with the Quang Ninh workplace accident investigation team to investigate the accident and support the family of the deceased.

Quang Ninh quarry accident kills two workers: Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that on November 7, on a site of the Cam Pha Building Materials Production and Stone Exploitation Joint Stock Company (headquartered in Quang Hanh district, Cam Pha city, Quang Ninh province, in northeast Vietnam), two workers were killed by falling rocks. Today (November 9), the Quang Ninh provincial police said they have taken one person into custody, charged with violating labour safety regulations.

Update on 116 Civil Engineering Construction company case: An update on this case, discussed in newsletters #59 and #60, in which the company had forced workers to pay to retire. Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that the company has now committed to paying two workers the money they are owed, in monthly installments. In October, workers received the correct amount.

Update on Duy Tan University case: An update on this case, discussed in newsletters #81 and #82. Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that the Da Nang DOLISA office has asked D. X. Kh, whose case was discussed in newsletter #82, to provide evidence that he was unlawfully fired, as part of the department's investigation. Duy Tan University has denied the charges brought against it by Kh. that the university did not provide him with a contract, unlawfully fired him, and withheld his documents.

MOLISA requests not to raise the minimum wage, or legislate for an hourly minimum wage, in 2021: Before the COVID-19 outbreak, MOLISA was formally tasked by the government with drafting legislation to raise the minimum wage for 2021, and with legislating for an hourly minimum wage (currently, minimum wages are calculated on a monthly basis). As reported in Nguoi Lao Dong (Vietnamese), however, MOLISA has now formally asked the government for permission to not do either, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in line with the decision made by the National Wage Council earlier in the year, which decided not to increase minimum wages in 2021 (see newsletters #66, #71 and #74). Instead, MOLISA has suggested that it carry out research to increase the minimum wage at an appropriate time in 2021, which is expected to be in quarter III. A later article in Lao Dong (Vietnamese) quoted various experts saying that the priority is to protect jobs, which would be lost by raising the minimum wage.

Remittances predicted to fall for first time in 11 years: As reported in a number of places including VN Express International (English) and VnEconomy (Vietnamese), a recent World Bank report has predicted that remittances to Vietnam will fall to $15.7 billion this year (equivalent to 5.8% of GDP), a 7.6% drop from $17 billion in 2019 (equivalent to 6.5% of GDP). This is the first time remittances to the country have fallen since 2009. Despite this, Vietnam will remain the world's 9th biggest remittance beneficiary. The predicted fall in Vietnam is less than global remittances as a whole, which are predicted to fall 14%. The main reasons are the economic impacts of COVID-19: less people migrating for work, and falling incomes for those who are abroad. The Vn Economy article mentions the plunge in oil prices, which has led to significant falls in income for migrant workers in oil producing countries.

Source: Joe Buckley

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