In-depth
Workers tricked by fraudulent labour export companies
  • By Hoang Lam | dtinews.vn | April 17, 2013 09:42 PM

People in the central province of Nghe An are being cheated by illegal labour export companies who abandon them in Angola.

 

 Workers have to stay in cramped places

Since March, Nghe An Province authorities registered four deaths of guest workers in Angola because of illness. The fees to go to Angola reach up to USD5,000-7,000 and the workers had to stay in cramped accommodation with poor food.

Late in 2012, Hoang Van Thang was introduced by an acquaintance to go to Angola at a cost of VND140 million. He was promised he would have a stable job in construction with a starting wage of USD800 per month, lodging and proper contracts.

Thang borrowed VND60 million from relatives and VND60 million more from banks. Thang was still accepted because the acquaintance said he could repay the debt via wage deductions.

However, his dream was totally destroyed after arriving in Angola. "We didn't have jobs and had to wait for ten days in a holding place. After many people opposed the long wait, we were led to the nearby construction sites to work as additional workers," Thang said, "My wage is about USD25 per day."

Phung Ba Ngoc, a labourer returned after three months in Angola said, "The people who sent us here denied their responsibilities once we started to look for jobs on our own. However, we still have to earn money to somehow to repay our debts."

When Thang's parents knew about his situation, they called the acquaintance but no one answered. "We knew each other so my family didn't sign a contract. Now we really don't know what to do. I told Thang to return to Vietnam several times but he doesn’t dare to because of the debt." Thang's mother said.

Nguyen Thi Mai, a local in Hung Nguyen District and her children was in great difficulties after her husband died in Angola on April 12. She has a VND100 million debt and now she needs VND600-700 million to get his body home. According to Mai, she might have to sell their land.

 

 Mai was shocked by her husband's death

After four deaths of Vietnamese labourers in Angola, many other workers started to ask their families to send plane tickets for them to return. "Although I've stayed in Angola for nearly a year, I'm still unable to pay all of my debts. But I have to go home or my life will be ended by robbers or malaria." a worker said.

Bui Nguyen Lan, head of Nghe An Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said they have not given any permission to send workers to Angola.

"It is estimated that Nghe An Province has about 500 illegal export workers in Angola and seven have died. But it's very difficult for us to interfere because the people went there to work illegally on their own. We hope that the press will bring these illegal works of companies to light." Lan said.

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