Receiving Tet bonus, workers cry bitterly
VietNamNet Bridge – In the hard times, many businesses give their employees special Tet gifts like sedge mats, doormats, chili sauce, shorts, incense and even screws.
Workers of a sedge mat enterprise in Thanh Hoa brought their Tet gifts – sedge mats - to sell at the market.
Many people are very surprised knowing that some companies give the above things to their employees as Tet gifts. However, it is a sad fact this year and such Tet bonuses have discouraged both the employers and employees.
In previous years, a handicraft firm in Nga Son district, Thanh Hoa, with over 40 employees, always presented cash as Tet bonus but this year, the company operated at loss, with a lot of inventory products in its warehouses. The manager, therefore, had to give these inventory items to workers as Tet bonuses. Each worker received a pair of sedge mats, a pair of foot mats, a sedge basket and a sedge tea tray.
Ms. Le Thi Mo, a worker of this craft firm, said that she would use these products gradually or present them to her relatives.
Although these Tet bonuses are weird, workers can present them to others. There are “Tet bonuses” that workers can only take home, for example toilet paper, incense, chili sauce and shorts.
Employees of an auto repair shop in Tu Liem district, Hanoi, said that they were not paid for five months and recently, their boss joked that he would give them some screws as Tet bonuses.
An incense enterprise in Dan Phuong district, Hanoi, gave their workers VND100,000 ($5) plus seven packs of incense as Tet bonuses. The firm owner said that during the lunar New Year (Tet), all families have to use incenses so he gave workers some incenses.
A female worker named Binh said that when she received the Tet bonuses, she cried bitterly. "When I received my Tet bonuses, I burst into tears. My husband died in a traffic accident three months ago, leaving all the burden to me. Taking the incenses I felt so unhappy and frustrated because that Tet bonus hit my pain – I had to take the incenses home to burn for my husband…"
Many workers of a construction material company in Thai Nguyen City were so disappointed when they knew their Tet bonuses would be 200 enameled tiles because they cannot use the tiles and they cannot sell them.
This year, granting Tet bonuses with products, not cash has become popular.
Mr. Tong Van Lai, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor and Wage of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that the law does not ban employers from giving Tet bonuses to workers with products so government agencies cannot help workers.
He added that in the present conditions, workers should be also sympathetic with their employers while the employers who give products as Tet bonuses should seek way to motivate and encourage their employees.
Mr. Luu Duc Khai, from the Central Institute for Economic Management said that in the difficult economic times, some companies have to give Tet bonuses with inventory products. This approach is somehow good for employers because they can save some money and can promote the company's brand.
Dr. Vu Dinh Anh, a well-known economist said that giving Tet bonuses with products is nothing funny but it shows the health of the economy and the relations between the employers and employees.
In the current difficult times, sharing and mutual understanding between employees and employers are essential. The bosses should tell their workers about their difficulties to seek sympathy.
In difficult times, Tet bonuses can only be sharing, good wishes and sincerely desires, not necessarily expensive presents.