Low Tet bonuses stop workers from going home hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The average bonus given to Vietnamese workers for Tet (Lunar New Year), a week-long festival that falls at the end of this month, is 4.9 million VND (218 USD) per worker, almost equivalent to a month’s average salary and 96 percent of last year’s level of 5.1 million VND (227 USD).

The metric was announced recently by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

However, some workers’ bonuses are creating real holiday tension.

Ta Thi Thuy, a garment worker in the southern province of Binh Duong, will not return to her hometown in the central province of Thanh Hoa to enjoy Tet this year as her bonus is simply too small for her to afford the trip.

Thuy’s company, part of the Song Than Industrial Zone, has not officially announced its bonus for the upcoming festival. However, rumour has it that the bonus will equal to last year’s: it will be a month’s salary, 4 million VND.

Thuy broke her leg recently and all of her savings were spent on hospital fees. With low Tet bonus, she was afraid that she would not have enough funds to come back to her hometown.

“Besides funds for travelling, I must buy presents for my family and relatives that could equal my salary of several months,” she said. “I’d love to return home but I would run out of money after the festival, so I will not come back my hometown.

Nguyen Thi Hanh, worker in a garment company in the northern port city of Hai Phong, received an even lower Tet bonus than Thuy.

“After a hard working year, my company rewards us only 100,000 VND (4 USD) and the money is too humble compared to what we had done,” said Hanh.

At present prices, Hanh believes that the Tet bonus is only enough for  her breakfast some days.

The highest Tet bonus recorded for this year was 1 billion VND (44,400 USD). The highest figure last year was for a member of an enterprise funded by foreign direct investment in the northern province of Hai Duon g – 624 million VND (27,700 USD).

The lowest Tet bonus recorded for this year was in a private enterprise in the southern province of Ben Tre and several FDI businesses in Thai Binh, Tay Ninh and Hai Duong provinces – 50,000 VND (2.2 USD) per worker.

Tong Van Lai, deputy director of the Labour and Salary Department under the MoLISA, said that workers with low Tet bonus or no bonus were in enterprises with ineffective production.

“The ministry issued guidelines to enterprises in different parts of the country to join with trade unions and find funding sources for financial support for workers over Tet,” he said.

Phi Ngoc Trinh, Deputy Director of the Ho Guom Garment JSC, said that the company gave annual Tet bonuses to its workers to ensure that everyone could come back to their hometown to enjoy the festival.

The bonus often equals a month’s salary and could be more if company incomes are strong, he said.

Former MoLISA Deputy Minister Pham Minh Huan said that every enterprise took care of their workers in the Tet festival, because they develop best with healthy and happy workers.

Businesses with strong incomes give proper bonus to their workers, and only a small amount of struggling enterprises five their workers low bonus or no bonus, he added.-VNA