Taking care of workers: The “key” to maintaining the textile industry’s position

With the attention and care from leadership to the Trade Union, textile workers are becoming more and more attached to the business, ready to strive, improve productivity, quality, thereby contributing to enhancing the brand.


Factory workers in the textile industry

The market is challenging, with few orders and increasing competition. However, for many companies in the textile industry, ensuring income and stabilizing the lives of workers is always the benchmark for evaluating sustainable growth and effectiveness in building brands and increasing supply chain positions.

Many policies to retain workers

In 2023, due to difficult production-business conditions, especially for the fiber sector, many businesses were heavily affected by the continuous fluctuations in raw material prices.

Ms. Đàm Thị Phương Thoa, Head of HR Administration Department, 8-3 Textile Company, shared that due to the difficult production-business situation and decreasing orders, the company has proactively reduced the pace and efficiency of yarn pulling, with an average annual output equal to 80% of actual capacity. As a result, the company has not recruited up to the labor quota, but still flexibly arranged production to ensure income for the workers.

Located in Hưng Yên Province, surrounded by numerous industrial clusters and large industrial parks, 8-3 Textile Company also faces difficulties in recruiting workers, especially technical workers responsible for maintenance. For local workers, as there are many industrial parks in the area with relatively good working conditions, workers have many choices. Therefore, to attract local workers and compensate for labor turnover, the company has implemented multiple welfare policies and bonuses for skilled technical workers.

In addition, for non-technical workers (machine operators), the company has expanded its recruitment in remote areas, especially for workers in maintenance positions. These workers have flexible salary and income mechanisms, with multiple salary levels to periodically or arbitrarily adjust salaries, income, or other welfare policies to encourage workers to improve their skills and contribute innovative ideas beneficial to the company.

Furthermore, regarding skilled workers, 8-3 Textile Company maintains about 50% of its workforce in other localities (Sơn La, Hòa Bình, Nghệ An, Thanh Hóa, etc.), providing support in rental fees, transportation to work, and commute transportation during Tết holiday.

“In addition to individual and position-specific policies, the company has also developed a general policy framework for all workers in the company, such as a green, clean, beautiful factory landscape, regular attention to shift meals; creating a friendly, open work environment with opportunities for workers to maximize their abilities, with salary and income regimes directly tied to efficiency and productivity, as well as regularly keeping up with worker information, thoughts, visiting, encouraging, and timely sharing,” Ms. Hoa shared.

Meanwhile, at Tiền Tiến Garment Joint Stock Company (Vinatex Corporation), worker stability is paramount. Mr. Đào Duy Khánh, Deputy Director of Tiền Tiến Garment Company, shared that in the Tiền Giang area, new worker recruitment is relatively difficult, especially for non-technical workers, as the company has to compete with agricultural and leather footwear processing businesses.

In addition, after recruiting and training skills, labor turnover is also relatively common. Therefore, to allocate production during peak order times and recruit workers for non-technical stages such as packaging and labeling, the company has to hire third-party labor. These companies can provide a sufficient number of non-technical workers according to the company’s needs.

In fact, for workers at the factories, besides discipline and industrial style, they are often constrained by time. Therefore, recruitment in the Mekong Delta region is currently relatively difficult, although there is an abundance of non-technical workers. When another company offers higher income, workers are willing to quit to change jobs.

Many companies reward employees with 2-3 months’ salary for Tết holiday (Photo: Đức Duy/Vietnam+)

Due to these reasons, Mr. Đào Duy Khánh said that in 2023, despite the relatively difficult order situation, with non-busy periods, the company still strives to maintain a reasonable income for the workers to cover their living expenses.

“The company’s leadership is currently considering the plan to reward and celebrate Tết Nguyên Đán in 2024 so that the total income of 2023 can be equivalent to 2022. This is a time when there are favorable orders to retain workers,” Mr. Khánh said.

Mr. Khánh also mentioned that after Tết Nguyên Đán, there tends to be quite a significant labor fluctuation in the southern region, and Tiền Giang is no exception. Therefore, ensuring income for workers is a prerequisite, and the company has proposed approving a plan to possibly reward workers with 2-3 months’ salary to stabilize production and business activities after the lunar new year.

Seizing the opportunity for breakthrough

After a challenging year in 2023, many companies in the textile industry have struggled. Mr. Phạm Xuân Hồng, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Textile – Embroidery Knitting Association, Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Saigon 3 Garment Joint Stock Company, shared that in the Ho Chi Minh City area, many small and medium-sized businesses, including textile companies, have faced significant layoffs due to a lack of production orders.

Therefore, with the market not showing signs of recovery, most companies have not continued to recruit new workers to expand production scale. Most are keeping operations at a minimum to maintain employment for workers.

According to Ms. Phan Lê Diễm Trang, Vice President of the Bình Dương Textile Industry Association, orders for textile businesses are no longer as long and large in scale as before. In the Bình Dương area, 2023 was a relatively challenging year, and many workers returned to their hometowns after temporary living in industrial zones.

However, despite the market fluctuations, workers have understood and shared the difficulties faced by businesses. Everyone hopes that businesses will have orders to maintain production and provide stable income.

For the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), looking back on the past year, Mr. Cao Hữu Hiếu, General Director of Vinatex, stated that good and stable quality is a guarantee for businesses to win orders. Therefore, member units of Vinatex have always identified employee stability as an extremely important issue for the industry because when the market recovers and there is a market and big orders, without labor, nothing can be done.

Greenery implemented in production processes multiplied at Garment 10 Corporation (Photo: Đức Duy/Vietnam+)

Ms. Phạm Thị Thanh Tâm, Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Trade Union, said that during the difficult period like last year, the corporation still spent nearly 110 billion VND taking care of workers. Businesses made efforts to find measures to stabilize employment, lives and take care of workers during Tết Nguyên Đán.

According to preliminary statistics, the average 13th-month salary and Tết bonus for workers are estimated at nearly 16 million VND/person, equivalent to 1.7 monthly salaries.

With the attention and care from leadership to the trade union, textile workers are becoming more attached to businesses, willing to strive, improve productivity and quality, thereby contributing to raising the position of Vietnam’s textile and garment industry on the global map.

Đức Duy

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