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Workers scarce as production picks up   2009-09-20 - SGTT, VNA

A garment company in the Mekong Delta  
Many southern businesses ramping up production as the economy recovers say they cannot find enough workers.


The Dong Nai Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the province lacks a workforce of more than 20,000 as factories try to boost production after receiving more orders.

Nguyen Minh Quang, human resource manager at Pou Chen, a shoe maker, said his company needs about 1,000 new workers to add to its staff of 20,000.

While the demand for labor is growing, especially in the seafood, garment and footwear sectors, many businesses say it has become difficult to find workers these days.

Tien Giang-based Hung Vuong Seafood Company said it wants to recruit 1,500 workers for its new factory, set to start production in November. However, even after the company tried to reach out to the labor markets in other provinces, it has failed to find enough employees.

The Song Tien Joint Stock Company, a garment maker also in Tien Giang Province, said they has been looking for 300 seamstresses for months but no one came to apply for the jobs.

According to Tien Giang Province Industrial Zones Authority, factories in the province still need around 3,500 workers but the number of applicants in recent months was really small.

“I just can’t see why it’s so difficult to recruit workers now,” said Nguyen Xuan Truong, deputy head of the authority. “Tien Giang is considered to have a large workforce in the [Mekong Delta] region.”

Similarly, Phan Thanh Phi, head of Long An Province Industrial Zones Authority, said local firms have tried to hire 7,500 workers but only 1,500 jobs were filled.

“Without enough workers, many factories can’t operate at their full capacities,” Phi said, noting the salaries offered by businesses are quite high but still not attractive enough to workers.

Many young people in the countryside just want to find a job in big cities instead of working for factories at home, even if in the cities they only work as waitresses or bricklayers, he said.

The labor department in Dong Nai Province said workforce shortages can lead to more working hours, which is not a good measure to deal with the problem. The department instead suggested businesses try harder to attract enough workers, for example by offering higher salaries and more perks like housing, transportation and welfare benefits.


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