Businesses manage in the vortex of the Covid-19 pandemic

VCN - Responding to the complex situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses in HCM City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai have been making efforts to arrange to stabilise production not to disrupt the production chain, supply domestic and export goods.
Workers of Saigon Seafood Trading Company are organised to eat and drink at the factory. Photo: provided by the company
Workers of Saigon Seafood Trading Company are organised to eat and drink at the factory. Photo: provided by the company

Maintain production

After a week of temporarily living at the company, Pham Thuy Giang (37 years old), Press factory worker, Nidec Sankyo Vietnam Company (HCM City Hi-tech Park) shared: "The place is very safe and clean. Every three days, I get tested again, so I can work with peace of mind. For us, at this time, having a job and income is more fortunate than many other workers.”

Luu Kim Hong, Chairman of the trade union of Nidec Sankyo Vietnam Company, said from July 15, nearly 1,000 workers of Nidec Vietnam Company went into production after having to stop production for 10 days due to a Covid-19 infection. The company has arranged for workers "3 on-site" and the salary to receive 100% of the salary and receive a purchase card worth 40,000 VND and allowance of 75,000 VND/day. At the same time, every three days, workers are tested, all expenses paid by the company. For workers, home workers get 70% of salary, isolated F0 - F3 get 70% of salary, do not work and have not tested negative receive regional minimum wage.

After each shift, more than 30 workers of International Industrial Machinery Joint Stock Company (IMAE), headquartered in HCM City, and a mechanical workshop at Tan Dong Hiep B Industrial Park, Di An City, province Binh Duong moved to the canteen prepared by the firm, the meal for one person was 2m away from the other. Dao Quoc Hung, General Director of IMAE, said that as soon as the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the company prepared a "3 on-site" plan for workers, in case the pandemic worsened. The company mobilises workers to stay at the factory, all transactions related to the transaction are done online, absolutely "no one goes in or out". The company arranges three meals a day, the sleeping place is arranged with blankets, mosquito nets and full necessities for workers.

In Dong Nai, Toget Vietnam Joint Stock Company based in Tay Hoa commune, Trang Bom district also organised the production workers to stay at the company. In addition to preparing accommodation for this company, it also provides 1 million VND/month/person. With office staff, the company allows to work from home with full salary.

Pham Thanh Truc, deputy head of the management board of HCM City Industrial and Export Processing Zones (Hepza), said that thanks to the strengthening of pandemic prevention and control, the number of infections has decreased by an average 30 cases per day. By the end of July 21, there were 618/2,100 enterprises registered for production activities under the motto "3 on-site" and "one road, two destinations". Specialised agencies also appraised 479 firms, of which 414 were eligible and 56 had to stop operating due to ineligibility.

Per the Management Board of Binh Duong Industrial Parks, by the end of July 18, Binh Duong had 615 companies in industrial zones in the province registered for 90,365 workers to stay at the factory to work during the period of social distancing. Of these, 587 enterprises implement the "3 on-site" option and 28 businesses implement the "1 road, 2 destinations" option.

Risk of supply chain disruption

The arrangement of "3 on-site" and "1 road, 2 destinations" of firms face many difficulties, especially enterprises with many employees but do not have a large area for employees to eat and drink on-site. If the business rents out accommodation, it will incur additional transportation costs and then add staff to monitor workers after working hours to ensure employees do not leave the accommodation.

On July 21, the Trade Union of Pousung Vietnam Co., Ltd (Bau Xeo Industrial Park, Trang Bom District, Dong Nai) suspended the company's operations and let more than 25,000 employees take a break from July 22 to the end of the day. Similarly, Dona Standard Shoes Co., Ltd (Xuan Loc district) with nearly 30,000 workers also announced the suspension of operations from July 22 to July 28. In addition, other firms such as Hwaesung Vina (Nhon Trach district) have also suspended operations and temporarily laid off 15,000 employees from July 22 to August 1. The reason given by the businesses is to temporarily take a break to plan pandemic prevention at the company due to the large number of workers. Therefore, the "3 on-site" and "1 road, 2 destinations" arrangement faces many difficulties.

Cu Phat Nghiep, Chairman of the trade union of Pouyuen Vietnam Company, Binh Tan District, HCM City, an enterprise with 60,000 workers, one of the largest in HCM City, said recently, the enterprise had to decide to stop production for 10 days to ensure the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 for workers. The company is under a lot of pressure on delivery contracts. However, considering the "3 on-site" criterion, it cannot be met because if only a third of the capacity is operated, it is also necessary to ensure accommodation and rest for some 20,000 people. This cannot be done right away.

Chu Tien Dzung, Chairman of HCM City Business Association (HUBA), said while being heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the supply chain was broken, many firms still tried to implement "3 on-site". However, maintaining production and business in the condition of "3 on-site" and "1 road, 2 destinations" is even tougher because many problems arise such as: businesses rent many hotels, have to pick up workers, etc. employees in many different positions, so it is not possible to transport workers from the factory to the concentrated living quarters; in the transportation of raw materials and goods, as well as the organisation of purchasing and importing goods, and especially stress in taking care and stabilising enterprises.

According to Dzung, with the current situation, the risk the supply chain in the domestic market is broken is increasing, enterprises are forced to import foreign materials for production, domestic suppliers will lose market share. Therefore, it is recommended the authorities quickly guide businesses to implement "3 on-site" to be more convenient in organising activities during this difficult period. Along with that, removing difficulties in the circulation, transportation of goods, raw materials, warehousing, and supporting the recovery of domestic supply chains; provide capital, tax debt relief policy.

By Thu Diu/ Huu Tuc

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