The topics of the discussions among state civil servants and factory workers in the last months of every year, is the salaries and bonuses they expect. However, things prove to be quite different this year. The only thing workers strive want now is that they won’t lose their jobs.

Accepting bigger works and lower pay

The redundancy of workers has existed in every field of the national economy, which is in the economic downturn. Therefore, losing jobs is the risk hung over everyone.

Le Thi Chau in Tan Phu district of HCM City said she has to pay 200,000 dong a week more to the babysitter, because she cannot get home soon to take care for the child.

Chau now has to stay at the factory until 8 pm everyday. “The products have been left unsold; a lot of workers have been laid off. Therefore, those who stay, now have to undertake the works of others as well,” she explained.

In the past, a group of 30 workers was in charge of the business relating works. Since the apparatus ran well, the workers could leave the factory at 5 pm. However, 16 have been laid off, which means that the works have been burdening the 14 ones left.

Chau, who is an accountant, has to check invoices and undertake some other works as well. The receptionist of the company now also has to work as a cleaner as well.

Chau said she really feels tired with the busy working schedule. However, she is luckier than others who have been dismissed, or still working but cannot receive salaries on schedule.

“I dare not think of Tet bonuses. I just try to keep my job,” said Tran Thi Thanh, Head of the Business Management Division of HT Trade and Service Company headquartered in district 5.

The business division had 16 officers in the past, but now has six only. “The company only retains the workers who can find clients and directly bring money to the company,” she explained.

Thanh said that the income here depends on the turnover of the contracts business workers can bring. Since the turnover of the first 10 months of 2012 was just equal to 50 percent of the last year’s. Therefore, Thanh can only receive basic fixed salary - 5.2 million dong a month, with no allowances or extra pay.

Thanh now has to undertake many additional works, while she cannot get any extra pay. But Thanh does not intend to leave the company.

“I don’t think I will find a good job somewhere. All the enterprises in the national economy are facing big difficulties and they try to dismiss workers rather than employing more,” she said.

Nguyen Thi Lien, Chief Accountant of KM Trade Company in Tan Binh district, said she could not imagine that she would be named in the list of personnel to be dismissed, because she has been working for the company for the last tens of years and she is an experienced accountant.

“There are not many works to do now. Therefore, new graduates can also handle with the works,” the director explained to her.

Lien understands that the director would rather employ inexperienced workers and pay low salaries rather than retaining her, an experienced worker but requires high salaries.

Sài Gòn Tiếp Thị - November 18, 2012