Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of workers in HCM City have lost their jobs or have had their wages reduced.
They have had to find other jobs to make a living or reduce spending as much as possible to survive.
Not being able to afford their lives with a monthly salary of VND3-4 million, many workers have returned home or become small traders to earn extra income. Thu An, a footwear worker in Linh Trung Export Processing Zone, Thu Duc, is a typical example.
Thu An, from the southern province of An Giang, said that she has been a worker for nearly 20 years. In recent months, her company has been operating in moderation. Her income has dropped to VND5 million per month while she has to feed three children. Her husband also took a break from work as his company cut its payroll. He is now a part-time building worker. After her shift, Thu An sells banh trang tron (mixed rice paper) to earn extra income.
Nguyen Van Khanh, another footwear worker in HCM City’s Linh Trung export processing zone, is in a similar situation. When Covid-19 occurred, his company gave workers days off, but then they had to lay off a number of workers.
Khanh lost his job but he could not return to his hometown: "We had to leave the countryside to the city for a job. I would starve to death if I returned to my hometown without money," Khanh said.
Khanh has become a vegetable trader. Every day he goes to a vegetable wholesale market to buy vegetables and then sells them to workers in Linh Trung export processing zone. He earns about VND100,000 per day, enough to cover food and accommodation expenses.
Khanh said life is difficult for all workers. They have to cut daily spending as much as possible to survive. Having extra work is the wish of all workers at Linh Trung export processing zone.
Workers after their shift at Linh Trung export processing zone, Thu Duc district.
Thu An sells banh trang (rice paper) after work
Thu An's family lives in a very small room.
Workers leaves Thu Duc export processing zone at night.
A market serving workers of Thu Duc export processing zone.
As of September, 31.8 million above-15-year-old labourers in Vietnam were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with either job losses, reduced working hours and income or rotational leave.