Workers of Son Hat Fashion Company Limited are ready for work on the first working day of the new year. (Photo: SGGP)Preparation for the first shift
On February 16 (the fifth day of the first month in the lunar calendar), the family of Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, whose hometown is in Vinh Long Province, arrived at the boarding room in Binh Chanh District. The boarding house where she lives has also been crowded again. She was afraid of traffic congestion when many people flock back to HCMC on the last days of the Tet holiday. Besides, she wanted to prepare everything well for a smooth first working day of the new year. “For us, an over-a-week Tet holiday in our hometown is enough. I heard that my company would conduct medical declarations for those who returned home for the Tet holidays, so my family tried to come back to HCMC early to prepare everything well for the first shift of the year,” Mrs. Hien said.
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Anh Trang and her husband - workers of PouYuen Vietnam Co., Ltd, whose hometown is in Kien Giang Province, have also been present in HCMC to be ready to return to work. Mrs. Trang said that every year they go to the city one or two days earlier to both rearrange their boarding room and pull themselves together after a long Tet holiday to focus highly on work in the first days of the new year. “During the Tet holiday, our daily activities were a bit disturbed as we often stay up late and wake up late. Now we return to the city a few days earlier to balance our daily activities so that when going back to work, it will not affect the general work,” Ms. Trang shared.
According to Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Union President of Dai Dung Metallic Manufacture Construction & Trade Co., Ltd in Binh Chanh District, more than 70 percent of the company's workers would start working on the sixth day of the first month in the lunar calendar. To motivate its workers, on the first working day of the new year, the company’s Board of Directors would give lucky money to all workers present at the factory. “Every year, the workers from the Western provinces will be present for the first shift of the new year. By the eighth day of the first month in the lunar calendar, workers from farther provinces will fully return to the company. The labor shortage at the beginning of the year will be about 10 percent,” Mr. Hung informed.
At Saigon Food Joint Stock Company, on the first opening day of the factory after the Tet holidays, more than 10 percent of workers have started production. This company has organized buses to bring workers back to work, which will depart on the 10th day of the first month in the lunar calendar in Thanh Hoa Province. Thanks to the care regimes and the preparation of buses to transport workers after the Tet holiday, the labor shortage at the company is fairly low.
Ensuring the Covid-19 pandemic prevention
According to Mr. Cu Phat Nghiep, Union President of PouYuen Vietnam Co., Ltd., this year, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many company workers stayed in HCMC to celebrate the Lunar New Year. However, the company also proactively informed its workers to extend the time going back to the company to avoid gathering too many people at once, affecting the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, in the context that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to recur, the company also facilitates the settlement of annual leave for employees who want to take extra leave to arrange family work.
“It is expected that this year, about 90 percent of workers will return to work right after the Tet holiday. Of which, about 80 percent will return on the sixth day and the rest will be scattered from the seventh to the 11th of the first month in the lunar calendar. Nearly the remaining 10 percent will be allowed to take annual leave by the company to arrange the family work and will return to work after the annual leave ends. The company has created the maximum conditions for its employees to have the most cheerful and exciting attitude when they embark on the job. By doing so, the labor efficiency will be ensured,” Mr. Cu Phat Nghiep shared.
Mr. Nguyen Van Hai, President of the Confederation of Labor of Binh Tan District, said that this year, many workers of enterprises in Binh Tan District stayed in the city for the Tet celebration. After the Lunar New Year, most enterprises were assured when the number of employees returning to work met the production requirements. Moreover, in the general situation caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and in comparison with the general level, the salaries and bonuses at the end of the year were relatively good, so it is also a motivation for employees to trust and attach with their companies. To adapt to the "new normal" situation, the Confederation of Labor of the district plans to set up online markets at enterprises. This is a shopping service that helps to encourage workers and make them feel secure to work.
According to Mr. Huynh Van Tuan, Union President of the HCMC Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority, on February 17, about 40 percent of enterprises in the export processing zones and industrial parks resumed operations. During the Tet holiday, over 75 percent of workers did not return home, so it is expected that the labor shortage would be insignificant. Also because of the pandemic situation, enterprises all informed their workers to make medical declarations after returning to HCMC for work. Some enterprises also require workers returning from the Covid-19-hit areas to have certificates issued by medical facilities and strictly enforce the isolation. Besides, enterprises also proactively equip devices for temperature measurement and disinfection, as well as require workers to wear face masks and take measures to prevent Covid-19 seriously.
By Thu Huong, Thai Phuong – Translated by Gia Bao