Chinese contractor of Hanoi railway pays workers below minimum wage: report

By Thu Hang, Thanh Nien News

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Hanoi's elevated railway under construction. Photo: Ngoc Thang Hanoi's elevated railway under construction. Photo: Ngoc Thang
Many workers were paid only $130 a month while others did not even receive salaries of previous years


A new report from the labor ministry has listed a range of violations committed by a Chinese contractor responsible for building Hanoi's elevated railway, a project already notorious for safety issues and its sluggishness. 
The report said China Railway Sixth Group Co. Ltd. violated various rules regarding wage and insurance payments for its 168 workers, 86 of whom are Chinese while the rest are Vietnamese. 
Notably, the company did not have a fixed salary scale. In the 20 contracts examined by inspectors, the monthly salary was only VND3 million (US$130), 3.2 percent below the official minimum wage for workers in Hanoi. 
The contractor also delayed payments to a number of its workers and did not pay social and unemployment insurance for 28 Vietnamese workers.
The ministry ordered the company to fix the violations by mid-December.
The Chinese company is the main contractor of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Railway, which is one of the main line of Hanoi’s elevated railway project.
It is also notorious for delaying the project, which caused the initial cost of US$552 million to balloon by at least $339 million. Construction was first scheduled to start in August 2008 and finish in November 2013. 
Work however began in October 2011 and at least two serious scaffolding collapses have been reported.
One incident last November killed a bike rider. The other in December smashed several park cars and buried a passing taxi, but the driver and three passengers were rescued.

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