Minister guarantees better wage, employment

Higher employment rate and better wages will be main focuses during the new term of the Ministry of Invalids, Labor and Social Affairs, newly-elected minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen has said.

Workers have lunch on a street in Ho Chi Minh City. The Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has promised better wages and working conditions for workers (Photo: Minh Tri)

Chuyen, who was elected to the post during a recent National Assembly session, said the ministry in the coming time will try to create more jobs, help people earn better income and enhance vocational training for labor export.

The ministry has set the goals to create 1.6 million jobs in the coming time, including 90,000 jobs overseas, and reduce the number of families under the poverty line to 11.5 percent in 2012, down around 1.4 percent compared to this year, she said.

Officials from the ministry will tightly supervise if the employers receive their benefits such as proper wages, social insurance, joblessness insurance, proper working and safety conditions.

Chuyen said that the current minimum wage is no longer enough to guarantee people basic living conditions.

Thus, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has proposed to the government a raise to the wage, ranging between VND1.4 million and VND2 million (US$68-97) a month, depending on the regions. The new wages are expected to be effective starting October 1.

Current minimum wages, which were last adjusted on January 1, are between VND830,000-1.35 million ($39.9-65) per month.

“Increasing minimum wages at the present is very important to guarantee basic income and living conditions for people,” Chuyen said.

Given current prices, the proposed wages might not even be able to solve all the spending problems for low-income earners but in the future, the ministry will make the wages enough for each person to have a proper life and be able to take care of another person, she said.

The ministry has sent a statement to cities and provinces asking local governments to instruct businesses to adjust their payment policies after the new wages are approved.

It has also asked businesses to raise meal quality for the workers and ordered inspections into businesses which usually violated labor regulations.

City and provincial governments were asked to control house rent prices for workers, power prices at those houses and maintain the selling of stabilized price products for low-income earners and factory workers.

The minister also promised to better fulfill preferential policies for people who contributed in the war, especially those fighting in the war and exposed to war toxic chemicals.

By Van Phuc – Translated by Cao Minh

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