VietNamNet Bridge – Big cities, which once fed whole families of immigrant workers, have turned out to be the severe land for them in the current economic crisis. Returning to home villages and working on rice fields proves to be the only choice for them now.
Home villages – the safest shelters for workers
Quy, a woman from Nam Dinh, had been living well in Hanoi by vending fruits for the last five years until the economic downturn broke out.
“I have to go to every corner of the street to sell fruits every day. However, the sales have been going very slowly, since people cut down expenses. Now I can earn some tens thousands of dong or 100,000 dong a day at maximum,” she complained.
The uncertain and low income does not allow Quy to afford the room rent, electricity and water bills. She also cannot save any money these months to remit to their children in the home village. Therefore, she has decided to come back to the home in the countryside as the last resort.
“The income from the rice fields in the village won’t be enough to feed us. However, they would still give rice. Meanwhile, I would be able to live together with my husband and children, and I won’t have to pay for house rent,” she explained her decision.
Than and his wife have been living in Hanoi for more than 10 years, the time long enough to become Hanoians. However, they now also think of leaving Hanoi, where they cannot find jobs every day.
They once lived very well in Hanoi. Than worked as a porter, while his wife worked as housemaid. The jobs brought the income high enough to pay for daily meals and grow up their children in the home village.
Than complained that sometimes he has to stay idle because there is no job. Meanwhile, he has to spend at least one million dong a month for room rent, electricity and water bills.
He thinks that it would be better for him to open a small grocery in the home village. If his wife works in the rice fields, they would get some extra money.
A lot of immigrant freelancers, who have been burdened by the high subsistence allowances in cities, now think of coming back to the home villages to “seek shelter”.
Huynh, a freelancer who has always been present at the Phung Khoang labor market, said at least, farmers would not starve to death in the home villages, because they can make rice and grow vegetables. Meanwhile, in big cities, no money means no meal.
Leaving industrial factories for rice fields
Not only freelancers, but workers in industrial factories also have to come back to home villages to earn their living.
Loan from Thai Binh province, who was once a worker at a footwear factory in the Song Than 1 industrial zone in Binh Duong province, has to return to the home village four months ago because she could not find a job there.
Loan was among the workers who were laid off in a company’s strategy to cut down the labor force. At first, Loan tried to stay in Binh Duong, hoping to have another job opportunity. She worked as a waitress for a street rice shop and received 2 million dong for this.
“The sum of money is just big enough to pay for food and room rent. I could not save any money to give to my parents,” she said.
“Therefore, I decided to return to home village. I plan to set up a tailoring shop to earn my living,” she added.