Workers apathetic about wage hike

VietNamNet Bridge – Workers are showing apathy toward the Vietnam National Wage Council’s effort to seek public opinion on how much the minimum wage should be increased by in 2015 due to it likely having little impact on their socio-economic status.

Workers, minimum wage, higher salary, social insurance

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) asserted that the base wage should not be increased by more than 12 per cent. This figure was calculated based on GDP and inflation.

Disagreeing with the VCCI, Mai Duc Chinh, deputy general director of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, insisted that the wage must increase by more than 12 per cent because “only in that way will workers’ lives be improved.”

Workers seem to care little about the upcoming pay rise.

Bui Thi Thuong, a 27-year-old worker at ASTI Electronics Ltd., said the increase would not affect her higher than base monthly wage of VND3 million (around $95) but said she “will have to pay more social insurance while not receiving a higher salary.”

Nguyen Thi Thuan, an employee of Canon Vietnam said, “Rather than the retirement pension being raised, the minimum salary is being increased, our wages would be better if it stayed the same. Workers suffer from a higher living cost regardless of the minimum wage going up.”

Businesses are also concerned about the minimum wage adjustment. According to representatives of Phu Minh Quang Ltd., based in Ho Chi Minh City, and Tien Son Viglacera JSC, based in Bac Ninh, wage increases will raise input costs, making firms struggle against mounting competition.

Conversely, Nguyen Quang Tho, head of the Institute for Workers and Trade Unions of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, supported the wage increase.

According to his survey of 1,500 workers in 12 cities, more than 13 per cent thought their wages were inadequate, 25 per cent lived frugally and nearly 50 per cent though their salary was just enough to cover basic needs.

“Increasing the minimum wage plays an important role in assuring a reasonable standard of living for workers,” Tho emphasised.


Workers, minimum wage, higher salary, social insurance