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Vietnam workers head home for new year

People prepare to take train at the Hanoi Station for return to their countryside to celebrate the traditional Tet festival. Photo by Viet Nam News

Publication Date : 08-02-2013


Industrial park workers and migrant workers in urban areas are making their journeys home to celebrate Tet with support from their employers or labour unions, while local governments and businesses are also giving food and supplies to disadvantaged families around the country to help guarantee a happy holiday.

A chartered train carrying about 400 workers of Samsung Vina Electronics Co Ltd left from the northern province of Bac Ninh Province on its way to the central province of Thanh Hoa on Wednesday, one of six trains that the company chartered to take 5,000 workers south to their hometowns in Thanh Hoa and Nghe An.

The other five trains left yesterday, with travellers receiving special gifts from the Viet Nam Railway Administration. Trains will again pick up workers to return to work again next Friday and Saturday.

Hanoi Passenger Railway Transportation Company Deputy Director Nguyen Van Binh said that his company’s cooperation with Samsung Vina was beneficial for all parties, ensuring that Samsung would have its full workforce in place after the Tet holiday was over.

“Enterprises in Vietnam often struggle to find workers in the weeks immediately following the holiday as workers choose to remain in their home provinces or find work elsewhere,” Binh noted.

The Samsung railway charter was so effective this year that similar arrangements are expected to be made by companies in industrial zones in Bien Hoa and Hai Duong provinces next year to transport workers to and from home during Tet, he said.

The Labour Union in the southern province of Binh Duong last Tuesday also arranged free bus rides for 600 industrial park workers, many of whom hail from northern or central provinces. Local businesses in the province also provided 15,000 free bus tickets for industrial park workers.

“On average, each bus ticket costs 1-1.7 million dong ($50-80) for these poor workers to return to their hometowns,” said the deputy head of the union, Bui Thanh Nhan.

Gifts for the poor

To help ensure that disadvantaged households can enjoy the holiday, local authorities in the northern province of Vinh Phuc have also spent 14 billion dong (US$672,000) on Tet gifts for around 2,800 families, war invalids, and Vietnamese heroic mothers in the province.

In the central city of Danang, about 1,000 banh chung (sticky rice cakes) have been distributed to poor children. Ho Thi Kim Ngan, who works for a janitorial service company there, said that she felt encouraged to receive gifts from the local authorities.

Nearly 5,000 Tet gifts for the underprivileged have also been distributed in the central province of Quang Ngai.

Also in Binh Duong, 500 people worked yesterday to make 7,200 tet cakes to give to underprivileged kids. The cake is another traditional treat mostly popular in southern Viet Nam, made from glutinous rice and meat rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, cylindrical shape.

The HCM City chapter of the Viet Nam Red Cross Society has also spent 23.6 billion dong ($1.13 million) on gifts and cash for the disadvantaged. Poor families, orphans, and people with disabilities, as well as Agent Orange victims in Ho Chi Minh City and outlying areas have received a total of 60,500 gifts, according to chapter chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hue.

Earlier last month, the Red Cross chapter also gave 1,200 Tet gifts to Vietnamese families living in Cambodia.


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