Typhoon Damrey costs Khánh Hòa workers their jobs
Viet Nam News KHÁNH HÒA — It has been a fortnight since the Damrey storm swept over Khánh Hòa Province. But employees of local companies are still grappling with an uncertain future, as the textile factories, cashew processing plants and seafood farms where they worked were seriously damaged by the storm.
Lê Đình Nhật Tân, director of Sao Việt Company Limited in Vạn Ninh Commune, said he expected the worst for his 4,000 square metre factory.
“Half of the facilities were severely destroyed in the storm, including collapsed depots and commodities. We have not yet estimated the damage. The company has to stop operating,” he said.
An entire 9,000 square metre factory run by Thanh Khuê collapsed completely in the storm. Their handmade rattan and wood products were all soaked by the flood waters, so export contracts had to be cancelled.
Nguyễn Thị Khuê, the company’s director, worried about the future. .
“Three facilities were terribly damaged and our products were all destroyed. We even cannot measure the devastation,” she added.
Ngọc Trai Sài Gòn Company Limited lost 20,000 mussels hangers and 20 ships to the storm’s huge tidal waves.
According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, 17 out of 19 companies in the industrial zones of Diên Phú and Đắc Lộc in Nha Trang City were unroofed by strong winds. The same thing happened to companies in Ninh Hoà and Vạn Ninh Communes. They will have to halt production for up to six months to restore the facilities.
Worker copes with the aftermath
For Đinh Thị Phương Thảo of Ninh Hòa Town, a job at Nha Trang Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company provided a stable income and ability to plan for the future. Standing in front of her newly built house, now just rubble, she told the Người lao động (The Labourer) Newspaper about how the company’s temporary closure has affected her.
“I was shocked hearing that the factory will be closed for repairs. Without a house and job, how can I earn money to feed my child?” she said.
Thảo is in her seventh month of pregnancy.
Leaders of the company, however, said that nearly 1,000 workers will have to stay at home until at least November 30th.
At Sao Việt Company, production has been postponed until after the Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) Holiday.
“Six hundred workers and 1,000 collaborative households work for us. At present, only 100 workers are still completing the remaining tasks. The others have to temporarily leave their jobs with the modest financial support we can offer,” said Tân.
Recently, Khánh Hòa Province officials visited eight heavily damaged companies in the locality. According to their estimations, 5,000 workers have lost their jobs, and 1,500 of them also saw their houses destroyed in the disaster.
Nguyễn Thị Hằng, deputy head of the provincial Confederation of Labour, said that the province officials were seeking ways to support workers.
“The current solution is to pay the minimum wage. Also, trade unions help provide accommodation for workers and call for support from other organisations to help them stabilize their lives after the storm,” she said. — VNS