Thousands choose to work during the Tet break


Doan Tran Nhiem from central Binh Dinh province and his wife Nguyen Thi Thu Tra from northern Hung Yen province are both employed by Nidec Vietnam Co., Ltd. at Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Thu Duc City.

Married for 10 years and raising two children, this Tetwhich the Vietnamese call the Lunar New Year holiday, is the third time they have been away from home.

“The two previous times I didn’t go back to my hometown because my wife had just given birth, but this year it’s a financial issue,” Nhiem explained.

Workers at Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Thu Duc City celebrate Tet on February 1, 2022 before starting work. Photo by VnExpress/Le Tuyet

In mid-July last year, when the Covid-19 epidemic in HCMC reached its peak, the city administration asked companies to retain workers to ensure production continued and, at the same time , reduce the risk of spreading infection.

As Nhiem had registered to stay at work, his wife took leave to care for their two children. As a result, the family’s income was cut in half until October, when the town finally reopened as the outbreak subsided.

Shortly after the restrictions were lifted, his family took turns getting infected and were therefore isolated for several weeks.

It was not until the beginning of this year that Nhiem and Tra were able to return to work.

A month ago, the factory announced that it would maintain production during the Tet break, which officially lasts nine days until February 6

As announced by their company, wages would be increased by 300% in five days before and during Tet and 200% within five days. In addition, each worker would receive 200,000 VND in cash every day.

It didn’t take long for Nhiem and his wife to decide to work Tet.

They arranged to tape their shifts so that one of them could stay home with their children.

Another example is Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga, 30, who works at Furukawa Automotive Parts Vietnam Co., Ltd (FAPV) in District 7’s Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.

Originally from HCMC, Nga said many of his colleagues are migrants who have decided to stay in the city to work Tet.

In total, no less than 3,000 workers, or half of the FAPV employees, applied to work during Tet.

Workers at Furukawa Automotive Parts Vietnam Co., Ltd (FAPV) in HCMC District 7 eat lunch while staying at work during the Tet break, February 2022. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong

Workers at Furukawa Automotive Parts Vietnam Co., Ltd (FAPV) in HCMC District 7 eat lunch while staying at work during the Tet break, February 2022. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong

Hoang Xuan Thai, chairman of the company’s union, said it was the first time the company had maintained production across Tet.

Last year, the latest outbreak at HCMC forced it to suspend operations and operate at half capacity. As a result, many orders have been delayed. Therefore, the company had to speed up production progress, Thai said.

Workers will receive payment three times higher than normal when working Tethe added.

At Nidec Vietnam Corporation’s technical center in Thu Duc city, more than 2,500 workers stayed at work on the holiday.

The company also needs to ramp up production to compensate for Covid disruptions.

Nguyen Minh Duc, an official with the Saigon Hi-Tech Park union, said about 5,000 factory workers have registered to work during Tet.

“After a long period of disruption due to the pandemic, companies are accelerating progress as workers seek to earn more after such a difficult year.”

HCMC was the epicenter of the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam. The city was subjected to various restriction measures from May to September.


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