Stay-at-work mode comes in handy for factory staff during Covid outbreak
Companies in southern industrial hub Dong Nai are trying different ways to provide accommodation for workers to contain Covid-19.
With the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak proving unpredictable, companies in industrial zones of Dong Nai Province, neighboring Ho Chi Minh City, have come up with solutions to let their employees remain at work instead of traveling back and forth from their homes each day, which is more likely to increase the risk of infection.
In the past few days, Ocean Coatings Vietnam in Long Thanh Industrial Park has rushed to complete six container rooms to provide makeshift accommodation facilities for its workers.
Starting Monday, all employees will stay in these rooms after work instead of going home.
A container room to provide makeshift accommodation facility for workers at Ocean Coatings Vietnam in Dong Nai Province, June 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nguyet.
Hoang Thi Minh Nguyet, the firm’s human resource director, said all six containers were rented by the company for this particular purpose. Each measures 30 square meters and is modified to have windows aside from being equipped with air conditioning and lighting systems.
One such container room can provide space for 10 people. All stay-at-work employees are supplied with essential products and three meals per day.
Before applying the policy, the company had consulted more than 100 employees.
Those agreeing to stay would follow the policy while those who disagreed could choose to work from home or take a temporary break on minimum wage.
Aside from these two groups, workers required to travel on a frequent basis would be housed in a separate container room placed outside the factory.
All workers must take the new coronavirus test periodically.
Pham Van Cuong, deputy head of the Dong Nai Industrial Zones Authority, said other companies in the province have also made plans to expand the accommodation area for their workers, including Shinpoong Daewoo Pharmaceutical in Bien Hoa Industrial Park 2 and GreenFeed in Song May Industrial Park.
Depending on the size and number of employees, businesses have made different plans for workers to stay on site.
Those with a few hundred workers like Ocean Paint can arrange for all to remain on the premises, but businesses with tens of thousands of workers will have to choose who stay behind, with many living in areas at high risk of Covid-19 infection, he said.
With more than 40,000 laborers, including 2,200 coming from neighboring HCMC and Binh Duong, both hit by Covid-19, Chang Shin Technology Vietnam in Dong Nai’s Vinh Cuu District has offered financial support to help workers find boarding near their factories.
Taekwang Vina Industrial JSC in Bien Hoa 2 IP has 30,000 workers, with 500 residents in Binh Duong and HCMC.
The company has made plans to rent hotel rooms nearby and has already allowed some employees to work from home and others to take time off.
Workers at Taekwang Vina Industrial JSC in Dong Nai Province have their body tempearute screened, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.
Dong Nai now has 1.2 million laborers, including 620,000 workers in 32 industrial parks.
Last Saturday, more than 18,000 staff of Pousung Vietnam in Bau Xeo industrial park of Trang Bom District had to suspend work until further notice after one worker was identified to have had direct contact with a Covid-19 case.
Six days ago, Map Pacific Singapore in Amata industrial park of capital Bien Hoa Town recorded one infection, prompting the entire company to be placed under lockdown.
Early this month, Dong Nai lifted a 21-day self-quarantine regulation for travelers from HCMC after 12-hour application.
The adjustment was made after several officials and business representatives expressed concerns the quarantine rule might disrupt the work of around 16,000 people who travel between the two localities daily.
HCMC is now the second worst hit locality in the ongoing Covid-19 wave that struck Vietnam two months ago, with 1,714 cases, compared to 10,078 nationwide.
Dong Nai has reported three cases as of Monday morning.