PORTAL – On the morning of January 16, at Thuan An City, the Provincial Labor Confederation held a meeting between trade union leaders at all levels and employers at garment and wood processing enterprises in the province.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Bui Thanh Nhan - Member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee, Head of the Provincial Party Committee's Mass Mobilization Committee, Ms. Nguyen Kim Loan - Chairwoman of the Provincial Labor Federation, and leaders of the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Social Insurance, banks and credit institutions in the province.
Overview of the meeting.
The wood and garment industries face a shortage of workforce
The wood and garment industries have always been highlights of the province in export turnover. However, in recent years, the global economic crisis has affected the production and business activities of enterprises. In the first eight months of 2023, the export turnover of the wood industry was estimated at over 3,447 million USD, down 19.8% compared to the same period in 2022, accounting for 16.9% of the province's export turnover. Production and business activities of enterprises in the Textile and Garment Association reach about 70% of the 2023 plan.
According to businesses, besides difficulties in orders, they are currently facing a shortage of workforce. The representatives of the Board of Directors of TEKCOM Corporation specializing in manufacturing plywood and kitchen cabinets (Hoi Nghia ward, Tan Uyen City) shared that currently, their number of orders is not stable leading to excess labor when there are no orders and shortage of labor when there are more orders, especially when there are urgent orders. It is difficult to find labor sources when there is an urgent order. It is predicted that after returning home for the Lunar New Year, workers may return to work late or not return at all. Businesses recommend that departments and branches organize Job Fairs in localities to help them quickly access quality labor sources.
The representatives of the Board of Directors of TEKCOM Corporation at the conference.
The representatives of the grassroots trade union proposed at the conference.
A common situation happening in many businesses is that many workers and employees, due to life difficulties and lack of information to access support loans from credit institutions and State banks, have been caught in the "black credit trap". As a result, they are unable to pay and are mentally terrorized by these subjects. Therefore, they have to quit their jobs and flee back to their hometowns which leads to a lack of labor in businesses. Not only laborers, but these subjects also disrupt businesses. Businesses suggest that trade unions and credit institutions need to have more loan support policies to make it easier for workers to access loans. Loan support needs to be oriented, practical, and truly meaningful to help workers overcome difficulties, such as supporting capital for small businesses or buying social housing to stabilize their lives.
Businesses also expressed their concern regarding the policy of relocating enterprises located outside industrial zones and clusters in southern localities to the northern part of the province.
According to businesses, most of their infrastructure has degraded, making it difficult to meet regulations on fire prevention and fighting and on the environment. However, with the relocation policy, they are hesitant about repairing and investing in infrastructure. Besides, workers are also very worried about moving their place of residence, as well as changing their children's school when their workplace is relocated.
Therefore, businesses proposed that the government should have more flexible policies to support them.
Accompany to solve difficulties
In recent years, the government and trade unions of the province have always paid attention to the activities of businesses, as well as the lives of employees.
According to Mr. Pham Van Tuyen – Deputy Director of the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, currently, there is an irregular shortage and surplus of labor, only temporary under short-term contracts of enterprises in the province. As a result, it is difficult to supply labor resources. For the labor market to be more open and flexible, in the coming time, the Department will coordinate with the Provincial Labor Federation to connect information about workforce needs not only in the province but also expand the scope to other localities to better attract and regulate labor resources. However, the province needs to have plans to train and improve skills for employees, improve productivity, reduce labor intensity, and meet labor market needs in the new situation. Besides, recently, many businesses have been using the workforce from labor supply companies. According to surveys, some of those companies and businesses themselves do not properly implement regulations and policies for workers. The Department will soon conduct inspections and examinations of labor supply companies to protect workers' rights. Mr. Pham Van Tuyen suggested businesses not use labor in this form of hiring.
Mr. Pham Van Tuyen - Deputy Director of the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs replies to opinions from business and grassroots unions.
The policy of relocating enterprises located outside industrial zones and clusters in southern localities to the northern part of the province will be implemented according to the roadmap. Currently, the Department of Industry and Trade is advising the Provincial People's Committee (PPC) to develop a set of criteria for businesses that must or must not relocate, which the core criteria are fire prevention and environmental criteria. Only businesses that do not meet those criteria will have to relocate. However, the province also encourages and supports businesses to voluntarily relocate. Along with the relocation of businesses, the province has been building accompanying ecosystems such as housing, healthcare, education, etc. for workers to stabilize their lives.
Regarding the activities of "black credit" organizations, the representatives of Binh Duong Public Security said that in recent times, they have made many plans and measures to destroy many of these groups and subjects in the area. Nevertheless, the cooperation of all sectors as well as all members of society is needed to effectively destroy these target groups. Besides, propaganda and management work of departments and employers is very important which will orient employees to borrow and use the loans for the right purpose in an effective way.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phuoc – Deputy Director of the State Bank of Viet Nam, Binh Duong Branch said that currently, the bank branch has a consumer credit support package of 20,000 billion VND for trade union members and workers which has been deployed to union members and workers in the province. Last year, they provided loans to over 65,000 people with an amount of over 1,200 billion VND.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phuoc – Deputy Director of the State Bank of Viet Nam, Binh Duong Branch speaks at the meeting.
On behalf of the provincial leaders, Mr. Bui Thanh Nhan - Member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee and Head of the Provincial Party Committee's Mass Mobilization Committee recorded and continued to study comments to propose solutions to the PPC. He emphasized that in recent times, the province has always paid attention to the activities of businesses and social security for employees. Typically, it has regularly organized dialogues to listen to businesses and workers; through that, many mechanisms and policies to support businesses and employees have been issued. Especially, during the Lunar New Year 2024, it is expected that the province will take care of about 800,000 union members and workers with a total amount of over 302 billion VND, including many meaningful and practical activities for them. To overcome difficulties in labor resources, he suggested that each business needs to adapt flexibly and proactively to develop, and the workers need to improve their skills and discipline and apply for jobs at enterprises following the province's transformation direction to adapt. He affirmed that for Binh Duong, in addition to businesses coming to invest and develop with the province, "each employee will be an investor of the province".
Mr. Bui Thanh Nhan - Member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee and Head of the Provincial Party Committee's Mass Mobilization Committee concludes the meeting.