The National Wage Council proposed the regional minimum wage be increased by 5.3 percent in 2019 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – All 15 members of the National Wage Council agreed to submit a proposal to the Government to increase the regional minimum wage in 2019 by 5.3 percent during their third meeting in the northern port city of Hai Phong on August 13.

Under the proposal, the minimum salary in region 1, which covers Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Bien Hoa city, Thu Dau Mot city, Vung Tau city, and some rural districts of Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces, will rise by 200,000 VND (8.8 USD) per month.

The rise in region 2, which includes the remaining rural districts of Hanoi and Hai Phong, Hai Duong city, Hung Yen city, and some rural districts of Hung Yen, will be 180,000 VND (7.9 USD) per month.

Meanwhile that of region 3, consisting of the remaining provincial cities, Chi Linh town, and some of the rural districts in Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc provinces, and the remaining localities in region 4 will be 160,000 VND (7 USD) per month.

Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep, who is also President of the National Wage Council, said that the Government aims to create opportunities to negotiate for parties to narrow the gap in their proposals.

In two previous meetings in July, members of the council failed to reach consensus in the regional minimum salary rise for 2019. In the second meeting, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), which represents employers, changed its mind from not making any increase to a 2 percent rise. However the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance proposed a 4 percent rise and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the labourers’ representative,– insisted on an upturn of 8 percent.

VCCI Vice President Hoang Quang Phong said that he is not satisfied with a rise of 5.3 percent because for the business community, this increase would require certain efforts as well as sharing with labourers. It would also force enterprises to cut down unnecessary costs, enhancing their competitiveness and technology to improve productivity, and thus raising their payment capacity.

Director of the Institute of Workers and Trade Unions under the VGCL Vu Quang Tho affirmed that the National Wage Council has put in place the stipulation that following salary adjustments, businesses will not be allowed to cut any extra benefits or incomes ofworkers, such as travel or housing allowances and meal provisions.

The confederation will also strictly supervise the implementation of the new wage amongst businesses. In order to meet the basic requirements of labourers in 2020, their salaries should be increased by 10 percent of the current amount, an issue which will be considered in the next meeting of the council, Tho revealed.–VNA