Why workers from some central provinces “boycotted?”
VietNamNet Bridge - Recently, employers in big cities have latently boycott laborers coming from the three central province of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh. In HCM City, the largest city in Vietnam; this situation is no exception.

Regional discrimination, a new phenomenon?
The question is why a large number of workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh are ostracized while many companies lack workers?

Workers are plagued because of ostracism

Ho Chi Minh City has 15 export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial parks (IPs) with hundreds of companies. Each year more workers from other provinces flock to the city to find job. However, in recent time many businesses have latently "avoided" workers from the three above provinces. Consequently, thousands of workers from these provinces have become jobless.

In Linh Trung 2 EPZ in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, each month tens of companies recruit thousands of workers but the refuse to use laborers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh.

Following a worker named Hoang Cong Nghia, from Thanh Hoa province to Linh Trung 2 EPZ to find a job, I really understood the situation.

We went to five companies but only one business received Nghia’s job application. At other firms, the guards immediately returned the application after hearing Nghia’s Thanh Hoa accent.

Nghia said: "When I just came here, many people told me that it would be difficult to find a good job because companies do not want to hire employees from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh. But I thought that in the interview, if I prove my will and industriousness, it would be okay. I did not expect things to be so hard like this. Perhaps I have to find job at companies outside EPZs and IZs."

In the same boat as Nghia, Pham Minh T. from Quy Chau, Nghe An could not hide his worry after a week looking for a job, but only be rejected.

"At home the harvest season ended so I came here to find a job in order to earn some money to send to my family, but I’ve not got a job after several days. There are some companies receiving my application but I’ve not had their feedback yet. My friends said that they have tactfully refused me so I should not expect anymore," T. confided.

Many workers who have worked in EPZs and IPs for a long time said that this situation has happened for a long time, but it became more serious in recent years. For many "sensitive" reasons, most businesses do not recruit workers from the provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh by "default."

Ngo Van H, a worker in Linh Trung 2 EPZssaid: "Now foreign companies are paying attention to the hometown of male workers. If the profile is noted as a resident from one of these provinces, it will be difficult to get a job. They define workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh by many of the "interstitial" measures as: hearing the accent during the interview, checking the resumes and then returning immediately or still receiving the resumes but do not reply.”

Not only businesses but also landlords are also very wary of laborers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh provinces.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hanh, a landlord in Linh Xuan Ward, Thu Duc District, said: "People from the central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh are very hard working but when they take alcohol, they become very aggressive, so they usually make disorder. After several cases like that, landlords have tried to avoid workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh. I always give priority to workers from other provinces to hire rooms. Only when I cannot find renters from other provinces, I accept them but they must write a commitment and pay a deposit."

Many motel managers here praised the workers from these provinces for their hard work but they are afraid of the lifestyle and the temper of these people.

Le Van D, a worker Ky Anh District, Ha Tinh province, who is working in Linh Trung 1 EPZs, said: "It is the fact that workers from these provinces group up for drinking for some time and make clashes, but not all of them are drunk and aggressive. But as people say the same for everyone from these provinces, many innocent workers have suffered."

There’s a fly in the ointment

In fact, part of the workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh have ganged up and caused conflicts in companies. In the Linh Trung 2 EPZ, many workers still "whisper" about thefts of goods or fights at factories, in which those who incite aggression are workers from the three above provinces.

More seriously, workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh took advantage of the large number of workers from these provinces to create large-scale strikes.

K, a worker of a furniture manufacturing company in the Linh Trung 2 EPZ said that in many companies, the percentage of workers from the central region is very high, from 40 to 50 percent. Most of them are from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh. The employers of these firms are always worried that workers from these provinces will excite strikes. To maintain order, some senior workers from these provinces are appointed as managers.

Many workers of the FT Company, which is specialized in producing shoes in Linh Trung 2 EPZ, still remembered a recent incident occurring during a lunch at the company canteen. A number of senior employees from Nghe An drew hundreds of workers to beat guards and smashed the canteen. This company also lost goods for many times, suspected to be stolen by workers. The company’s Trade Union representative said that this was a fact. The company has reported to the HCM City EPZ and IZ Management Authority.

It is easy to see that after the incident, the company has been "afraid" of recruiting workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh although its labor need is always very large. Not only FT but many foreign companies are also very wary with workers from these provinces.

According to Mr. Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy director in charge of labor of the HCM City EPZ, IZ Management Authority, said: "In fact, it is the violation of the Labor Law if companies refuse to recruit workers from certain provinces. However, one thing that must be understood here is that part of the workers have ganged up for their own benefit or to take actions against their employers and this makes foreign enterprises to be "afraid" of using them.”

“To help workers from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh, we have divided them into groups and introduced them to work at EPZs and IPs in various areas but they refused to work there even though the new working places offered high pay and better remuneration," Dinh added.

Translated by Mai Anh
discrimination; recruitment; labor; industrial parks; EPZ; HCM City; foreign firms