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Jobs, income down in industrial zones   2009-01-19 - VNS

Many workers at industrial zones in the capital city are set to lose their jobs and others likely to see a drop of 20-40 per cent in their incomes, as the economic downturn worsens, says the Ha Noi Labour Union (HLU).

A union survey finds that many enterprises in the Thang Long Industrial Zone including Nissei Electronic, SC VN and Canon VN Ltd Co have already cut between 100 and 1,200 workers.

The worst-hit industries are those heavily dependent on exports, including textile and garments, leather shoes, wood processing, seafood processing, electronic components and tourism, the union says.

Lower production

The increasing cost of imported inputs as well as high lending interest rates of bank loans have pushed many businesses to lower their production.

The 100 per cent foreign-owned Canon VN Ltd Co which specialises in producing printers for export to Japan, America and Europe can be cited as an example.

With orders from these recession-hit economies dropping significantly, the company has been forced to layoff 1,200 out of its 18,000 staff members last month.

Apart from losing jobs, many workers in the capital city’s industrial parks have had to stop working temporarily or have been given long stretches off work at 70 per cent of their regular pay.

Without working extra shifts, the income of workers has fallen by 20-40 per cent over previous months.

In a novel solution to the economic crisis, Nguyen Huy Vinh, vice president of Toto Company’s Labour Union, has transferred 100 redundant labourers to other jobs including machinery maintenance and industrial hygiene for lower pay of VND1.6-1.7 million (US$94-100) a month. They are expected to move back to their original jobs in February.

Dang Minh Thuan, vice president of Ha Noi Labour Union, says the union will ask the municipal People’s Committee to implement specific measures to mitigate the economic difficulties faced by enterprises and their workers.

For instance, the administration would be urged to create favourable conditions for businesses to expand production, Thuan added.

The administration should also work with the enterprises to ensure the rights of employees during Tet, he said.

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