Vietnam begins inspection of garment sector for compliance with labor laws

By Minh Hung, Thanh Nien News

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Workers at a tailoring company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh Workers at a tailoring company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh

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The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has announced a major inspection of the garment industry to check for compliance of labor regulations.
The inspection, supported by the International Labor Organization, would be carried out in 12 cities and provinces by October, the ministry said at the launch of the campaign in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.
It will focus on overtime work, salaries and allowances, safety equipment, emergency exits, electricity risks, work environment and plans and training for labor safety.
Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said, “Earlier inspections found that most FDI enterprises follow relevant regulations while many others do not have safe working environment.
“Common violations include lack of periodic medical check-ups for workers and lack of emergency exits.”
Phan Dang Tho, deputy chief inspector of the ministry, said companies in the sector should improve working conditions.
“There are some factories with more than 5,000 workers but only five toilets.”
Many companies skip medical check-ups though many workers’ health worsens over the years, he said.
“The inspection will focus on the compliance of relevant regulations so that the relationship between employers and workers could improve.”
Phan Dang Tho, deputy chief inspector at the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, has called for improving working conditions at garment factories. Photo: Minh Hung
At the launch of the inspection campaign, Nguyen Phi Ho of the HCMC Labor Union, said the ministry should also look at child labor.
According to the ILO, 1.75 million Vietnamese children, or nearly 10 percent of those aged 5-17, work.
Three in every five of them are between 15 and 17, and nearly 85 of them live in the countryside, according to a report released in June.
Vietnam has around 6,000 garment and tailoring companies with more than 2.5 million workers, who account for 25 percent of all factory workers in the country.

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