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VN electronics industry growing
Date: 2/2/2018 10:23:16 AM
The number of workers in the electronics industry is on the rise, and e-businesses will be a critical source of employment in the future. However, up to 80 per cent of such firms say they find it difficult to recruit technicians.

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Workers produce electronic components at the Korean firm Bluecom Vina Co., Ltd in the northern city of Hai Phong. 
The statement was made by Dao Quang Vinh, director of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA) at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a conference held in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
In recent years, the electronics industry has grown rapidly and has become one of the most important sectors of Viet Nam’s economy. The growth rate of the electronics industry increased sharply from 7.4 per cent in 2011 to 32.5 per cent in 2015. The development of Viet Nam’s electronics industry is attributed to the large investments from multinational corporations, especially corporations from the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the field of manufacturing electronic components.
According to Vinh, electronics is the largest export sector of Viet Nam. The sector’s export turnover has grown from US$22.9 billion in 2012 to more than $71 billion in 2017. It is now 2.5 times and five times greater than textiles and footwear sectors, respectively. Of the total, 95 per cent of the country’s electronic export turnover is due to foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises. FDI enterprises also excel in terms of technology and labour footprint: the average number of employees at an FDI enterprise is 807 people, compared to 212 at State-owned enterprises and just 25 at the average private sector firms.
The electronics industry is playing an important role in creating jobs, income and developing human resources for Viet Nam, said Chu Thi Lan, ILSSA’s director of Research Centre for Environment and Labour Conditions. Over the last 10 years, the number of e-businesses has significantly increased, from 307 enterprises in 2006 to 1,165 enterprises in 2015. In addition, workers in the electronics industry also rose from 141,780 people in 2009 to 453,181 people in 2016.
However, according to ILSSA’s assessment, the qualifications of labourers working in this sector are not high: 68.75 per cent of the workforce does not have degrees or certificates. This proportion is higher in the FDI sector.
Meanwhile, the recent wave of new technology has rapidly and strongly impacted enterprises in the electronics industry in many ways, increasing competitiveness and labour productivity while reducing production costs and attracting high quality human resources, which will affect workers to some extent, Vinh added.
In order to cope with this situation, Lan suggested said that sustainable development must become the leading strategy of enterprises. Therefore, in addition to investing in production development, ensuring decent jobs for workers is an important responsibility which cannot be ignored. Lan also proposed that e-businesses need to practice corporate social responsibility by adhering to labour standards and labour law enforcement to help promote decent work.

Specifically, electronic businesses should eliminate the use of forced labour and child labour; ensure job security and stable employment; and avoid arbitrary dismissal of labourers above 35 years of age and discrimination against employment and occupation.

60% of electronics firms violate overtime laws

All electronics firms in Vietnam are organising extra shifts and 60 percent are violating overtime work laws, according to figures announced by head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Inspection team, Nguyen Tien Tung at a Wednesday seminar held in Hanoi.

Head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Inspection team, Nguyen Tien Tung, speaks at the seminar held on January 31 in Hanoi

"After carrying out an investigation into 216 electronics firms, we have found 1,794 wrongdoings and proposed fines for 27 enterprises," Tung told the seminar.

"132 firms were found to have violated labour laws as their contracts do not properly state the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees," the inspector added. "All firms have overtime workers while 132 firms have workers do extra hours that exceeded the maximum set by local law." 

Speaking about the causes of the violations, Tung said that both employers and employees were not fully aware of their obligations and rights.

Last November, Sweden’s International POPs Elimination Network and Vietnam’s Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development released a study in which they interviewed 45 female workers at Samsung Electronics Company in Vietnam, concluding that the workers lacked proper labour contracts and were overworked.

"None of the 45 interviewed workers received a copy of their work contracts. All the women said that their work contracts are kept by the company and that they were not given a copy," the study said.

The study also showed that miscarriages were frequent occurrences among Samsung workers because they are overworked while standing and will have their salary cut if they take a break. 

An inspection team from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs then investigated the study and found that both Samsung’s factories in Thai Nguyen and Bac Ninh provinces abused working hours regulations. There are two shifts from 8 am to 8 pm, and then from 8 pm to 8 am. Workers have two days off after working for four consecutive days. Workers normally work 70 hours a week. Meanwhile, the Labour Law 2012 stated that the maximum working time is eight hours a day, 48 hours a week and the night shift working time is from 10 pm to 6 am. Extra shift working time must not exceed 30 hours a month.

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