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Industrial units in Vietnam's HCM City hit by labour shortage

Oct '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Several Vietnamese industries, especially labour-intensive ones like textile, garments and leather, are likely to face a labour shortage when they resume operations after the pandemic gets over. A survey covering 300 companies in early September found that only about 40 per cent of their workers wanted to return to work when the city reopened on October 1.

Many even planned to return after the Lunar New Year in early February next year, the survey by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Associations (HUBA) found.

According to the city’s department of labour, invalids and social affairs, more than half a million migrant workers left the city for their hometowns after the city eased lockdowns, a Vietnamese newspaper reported.

Before the pandemic, the city had nearly 4 million labourers at more than 286,000 businesses, including 320,000 in export processing zones, industrial parks and a high-tech park.

Garment and textile workers have also shifted to other industries in recent years, leaving the sector with a shortage of at least 10 per cent, said Nguyen Thi Thuy, vice president of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Union.

The shortage has increased to 30 per cent from October 1 as workers left the city, stayed at home to look after children since schools are closed or tested COVID positive or are in quarantine.

Thuy hoped the industry would be able to hire workers from now since many service businesses are still closed and would not be competing for labour.

However, when the economy fully recovers, it is going to be difficult for the textile industry to attract workers.

Companies that employed a few hundred workers without labor contracts and did not pay social insurance would have difficulty resuming production, Thuy said.

But foreign-owned enterprises would not have this problem since they have excellent HR policies that foster employee loyalty, he added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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