Authorities helpless against runaway FDI investors
  • | nguoilaodong, | November 13, 2018 09:12 AM
Vietnamese authorities are seeking measures to prevent the leaders of foreign-invested companies from fleeing the country while owing salaries to local workers.


Workers at Bumjin Vina hear about legal proceedings

Cho Won Company was set up in 2011 with South Korean businessman Kim Dae Gun as director. However, on October 22, Gun said he planned on going on a business trip then disappeared. One day later, the South Korean production manager was gone. Cho Won Company still owed salaries for September and October along with VND120m (USD5,100) in social insurance.

Nearly 2,000 workers at Texwell Vina Company have been left shocked after its director returned to South Korea, leaving behind over VND16bn (USD681,000) in social insurance debts.

The same incidents also occurred in HCM City and Danang. In late July, hundreds of workers at Taiwanese company, TBO Vina in Danang, gathered to protest after the director ran away while owing salaries for the previous month.

According to the workers, they were promised that their salaries would be fully paid on July 20. However, when the day came, they were allowed to take a leave of absence because the company didn't receive more contracts and the promise was extended to August 1. About 500 workers found out that the company was shut down and the director disappeared after returning to work.

Trade unions have warned that firms who are continually slow in paying workers are likely to have financial problems and the directors may abscond.

Nguyen Tat Nam from the HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said the current legal frameworks were not tight enough and the punishments were too light to be a deterrent. There's no directive document on how to deal with firms that are slow to pay salary or have runaway directors. Local unions have also been blamed for not reporting the situation quick enough.

Statistics from the Management Board of Dong Nai Industrial Zones show that over 100 firms are making losses. The total social insurance debts in September reached over VND550bn (USD23.4m), of which VND243bn are from FDI firms.

When a director ran away, the authorities could only seal up the company's properties to pay workers but the value was often not high enough. The unions have faced various issues in instructing the workers to start legal proceedings.

"The firms should submit a plan on how to use the human resources and set up a contingency fund when they can't pay workers," Nam said.

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