Vietnamese Female Workers Need More Maternity Leave

HO CHI MINH City, Oct 30 (Bernama) — A survey done at 34 textile and garment, leather-shoe, seafood processing and other factories in 10 provinces has shown that labour policies for women workers are impractical, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported Thursday.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour’s Women Workers’ Welfare Division, which did the survey, found that policies regarding maternity leave and wages during this period were not women-friendly.

Pham Thi Thanh Hong, deputy head of the division, said children were not fed properly during their first six months because their mothers, who were unable to rest or take care of their health, did not secrete enough milk or were at work.

The survey found that with the current four-month leave for women post-delivery, almost 50 percent of women workers were unable to nurse their babies for a full six months.

Nguyen Trong An, deputy director of the Child Care and Protection Department, warned this was causing malnutrition among children in Vietnam.

During the four-month leave period, the employees only receive a salary of 700,000 VND (US$43.7) to 1.2 million VND (US$75) a month. As a result, almost 32 percent of workers want to return to work before the four months are up.

Some enterprises pay an allowance for raising children below one year. Griee River Wood in Binh Duong province pays 50,000 VND per month, Yamaha Motor Vietnam (Hanoi) , and Good Top (HCM City), pay 100,000 VND.

Women workers have asked the division to increase their maternity leave to six months to better care for their children.

Another problem facing women returning to work after delivery is entrusting their children’s care to someone else.

Public kindergartens only take in children aged 18 months or more, Private kindergartens demand 500,000 – 700,000 VND a month, not much less than their mothers’ wage of 1-2 million VND.

Vietnamese Female Workers Need More Maternity Leave

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Hanoi suffers as Vietnam flood toll rises to 55

People struggle through a flooded Hanoi street following heavy rains

People struggle through a flooded Hanoi street following heavy rains

HANOI (AFP) — Floods have killed 55 people in northern and central Vietnam including 18 in the capital Hanoi, which has been hit by the worst flooding in almost 25 years, emergency services said Monday.

Victims have drowned, been struck by falling trees and collapsing buildings or been electrocuted by live power lines, said the National Flood and Storm Prevention Committee.

Rains have lashed central Vietnam for more than a week and left many Hanoi neighbourhoods inundated in muddy waters since Friday, with thousands of residents trapped inside waterlogged homes, many without electricity.

People walk through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

People walk through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

Hanoi families with young children were using canoes and barges made from oil drums, packaging, bathtubs and banana trees to evacuate their television sets, furniture and other valued possessions.

A woman and her motorcycle are carried on a raft through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

A woman and her motorcycle are carried on a raft through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

The severe weather has brought widespread traffic chaos, damaged tens of thousands of homes, destroyed rice fields and threatened dyke systems along the Red River and other waterways.

A dyke broke in Ninh Binh province, a scenic limestone karst region south of Hanoi, on Sunday, killing one of 600 troops deployed for disaster relief there and inundating 10,000 homes near the Hoang Long river, officials said.

“We have been hit by historic floods this year, the worst in decades,” provincial People’s Committee official Tran Van Ha told AFP. “Farmers’ lives have been turned upside down… The roads here have turned into rivers.

People travel on a truck through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

People travel on a truck through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

“The situation has become especially difficult for old people and children, and we fear we will face a serious epidemic when the flood waters recede.”

Among the latest fatalities were eight deaths in Nghe An province, where five children and an old man drowned in floods and two men were electrocuted when they tried to repair the electric system in their flooded home.

In Hanoi, prices for meat and other food have multiplied since the disaster closed many farms, roads and markets. Petrol prices and repair costs for water-damaged motorcycles have also shot up, raising anger over price-gouging.

Television reports have shown people catching fish with nets and rods in city streets under more than one metre (three feet) of dirty water.

Hanoi has been battered by the heaviest rains since 1984, and some outlying areas of the city including southwestern Ha Dong have been cut off for days.

Residents make their way through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

Residents make their way through a flooded street in Hanoi (AFP)

Schools across the capital remained closed Monday, while hospitals reported being crowded by parents with children suffering fevers and chills.

“More children have been admitted since the weekend here, especially children under two years old with diarrhoea and respiratory diseases,” Nguyen Thi Lien of Hanoi’s Central Paediatric Hospital told AFP.

Vietnam’s north-south transport links, including Highway 1 and the national railway line, were severed in many areas.

No immediate relief was in sight amid sporadic rainfalls in the north, said Bui Minh Tang, director of the Meteorological Forecasting Centre.

“The rains could continue for two more days in the north, and some areas of Hanoi could be still by flooded until the end of this week,” he told AFP.

“We are already at the end of the normal rainy season, and it is very unusual that the rains have been so heavy and lasted so long this year.”

Vietnam, a country of 86 million, gets lashed by typhoons and tropical storms every year, mostly along the central coast.

Last year, six major storms from the South China Sea battered Vietnam, killing more than 435 people in floods and landslides, displacing thousands and leaving vast central areas inundated for months, the government said.

AFP: Hanoi suffers as Vietnam flood toll rises to 55

44 Dead in Vietnam After Week of Heavy Floods

By VOA News
02 November 2008

A flooded street in Hanoi, 02 Nov 2008 (AP)

A flooded street in Hanoi, 02 Nov 2008 (AP)

The reports say at least 17 people have died in the capital, Hanoi, alone.

Many of the streets in the downtown are remain under water. Food prices are soaring as heavy seasonal rains have ruined crops and stalled transportation systems.

Authorities say more rain is expected in the coming days. They say the country is experiencing its heaviest rainfall in more than 20 years. Parts of the country have seen more than 30 centimeters of rain in a single day.

The central province of Nghe An also has been hard-hit, with at least 11 people killed in the floods.

VOA News – 44 Dead in Vietnam After Week of Heavy Floods

Vietnam capital under water as death toll hits 17

A bicyclist goes through a flooded street in Hanoi,Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008. Heavy rains and floods have killed 24 people in Vietnam this week, including four who died Friday in Hanoi as the worst rains in more than two decades lashed the capital. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

A bicyclist goes through a flooded street in Hanoi,Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008. Heavy rains and floods have killed 24 people in Vietnam this week, including four who died Friday in Hanoi as the worst rains in more than two decades lashed the capital. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Much of Vietnam’s capital remained under water Sunday as the death toll from the city’s worst flooding in two decades climbed to 17, disaster officials and state media reported.

Floods caused by heavy rain have killed at least 44 people across northern and central Vietnam in the past week and sent food prices skyrocketing in Hanoi as much of the capital’s transportation system ground to a standstill.

Rain had stopped falling by Sunday morning and waters were receding in Hanoi, but many of the city’s streets remained submerged under up to three feet of water.

“I had to stay in my office for two days because I did not want to swim home in dirty water. It is a total nightmare,” said Nguyen Ngoc Khiem, 29, a businessman.

More rain was expected in the city in the next few days, according to the national forecaster.

With the vast Mekong River delta in the south and many lakes and rivers throughout the country, Vietnam is prone to floods, which kill hundreds each year. However, this week’s floods were the worst to hit the capital in more than 20 years.

Thirteen more bodies were recovered in Hanoi on Saturday, bringing the city’s death toll from the floods to 17, the VietNamNet news Web site quoted police as saying. One person was reported missing.

Three people were washed away Friday in the northern provinces of Hoa Binh and Phu Tho, disaster officials said. Two were reported missing in Vinh Phuc province.

In central Vietnam, the death toll from a week of flooding stood at 24, with one person missing.

“Water levels are lower now after a week of inundating thousands of homes. People have begun to return to their homes,” said Nguyen Van Vinh, an official in the central province of Nghe An, where 12 people were killed including four children who were swept away while walking home from school.

Authorities in the region are rushing food and medicine to villagers in the area, Vinh said.

The Associated Press: Vietnam capital under water as death toll hits 17

Flooding kills four in Hanoi

Saturday, November 01, 2008

HANOI — At least four people have died in floods in what has been the worst weather in more than 20 years in Hanoi, a disaster official said Saturday, as parts of the Vietnamese capital remained under water.

Victims Friday included an eight-year-old boy, said Nguyen The Hung from the National Flood and Storm Prevention Committee, adding it was the heaviest rain in Hanoi since 1984.

“Over the past few days, we had forecast rains in the capital, but we didn’t think it would be so strong,” the official told AFP, comparing some streets of Hanoi to “small rivers” and saying numerous houses had been flooded.

A man carries his girlfriend on his shoulders along a flooded street in Hanoi on Saturday (Reuters)

A man carries his girlfriend on his shoulders along a flooded street in Hanoi on Saturday (Reuters)

Heavy rain, forecast to continue all weekend, had caused traffic chaos in Hanoi Friday, leaving many people stranded as flood waters soaked their motorcycle engines.

There were similar scenes on Saturday.

Disaster officials said Friday that at least 19 people had died in floods over the past week in central Vietnam.

Vietnam gets lashed by typhoons, tropical storms and heavy rains every year. According to government figures, floods and landslides in Vietnam last year left 435 people dead and missing.

Flooding kills four in Hanoi