Vietnamese workers might get 17 pct pay increase in 2014

TN News

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Vietnam's labor ministry has suggested that the government raise the minimum wage in the corporate sector 14-17 percent next year, a hike far below what the national labor union has asked for.

A Tuoi Tre report Friday cited an official from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs as confirming that the proposed wages range between VND1.9 million to VND2.7 million (US$89-127) a person a month depending on regions, up VND250.000-350.000 ($11.86-16.60) a month from the current range.

The new wages would still not meet basic living standards, estimated by Vietnam General Confederation of Labo at more than VND2.4-4.1 million a person a month.

Earlier the union had suggested that minimum wages should be increased 21-32 percent next year, or 24-36 percent to meet at least 75 percent of the basic living needs.

But the plans were balked at by business associations and the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which said companies are still in turmoil.

A survey on more than 1,000 factory workers in Ho Chi Minh City released at a conference held by the labor union last month showed that 20 percent of them skipped at least one meal a day as they tried to tighten their belt by spending less than 27 percent of their income, or around VND700,000 a month, on food.

One consequence of the hunger choice is that 80 percent of labor accidents happened before meals as the workers were starving, the survey found.

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