Vietnamese clothing companies can predict that for them, 2012 is a difficult year. Many units are still waiting for orders from foreign importers and compete for workers with other units.
The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vinatex) said that only 70% of the companies have orders that continue into the first quarter of this year. Several units have orders that continue into the second and third quarters. Other units can only exercise their strength. Make every effort to find orders for the next few months.
Viet Tien is a large clothing production and export company in Vietnam. The company only has orders for the first quarter of this year. Even if the company is a large production company, it has favorable conditions for good relations with importers.
Pham Van Kiet, deputy general manager of Viet Tien Garment Company, said: "The company is still trying to find more orders for the second quarter of this year." The current situation of the company is completely different from that of previous years. At this time of 2011, Viet Tien received enough orders for the entire year.
Employment is harder and prices remain the same In January 2012, a garment company in Pingyang revealed that the company clenched its teeth and accepted orders from a loyal customer. They had a long and difficult bargain. The representative of the company said that the company accepted the condition of keeping prices unchanged, despite the increase in production costs. However, customers still try to cut prices by several cents. In the end, the company had to accept the order and the price dropped from US$12/piece to US$11.2/piece.
However, even those companies that have enough orders in the first quarter of this year still feel concerned that if customers cancel orders, they will not have jobs and can only make the production lines idle.
Apparel companies have full reason to worry about this because many customers have changed orders in the last few minutes since the second quarter of 2011.
Fan Chunhong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, who claims competition for workers, said that the lack of labor force is based on remission. However, the company is currently facing unhealthy competition in attracting workers.
Some companies try to attract workers by providing high wages. However, they try to deduct workers' wages. If the workers are absent from work for a day, they will be fined 20,000-300,000 VND. In addition, if workers make mistakes or fail to produce enough products, they will be fined.
Although clothing companies are trying to attract workers by providing high wages, Fan Chunhong believes that this is only a temporary measure. In the long run, paying 6 million VND/month of wages will take risks. Clothing companies provide an average salary of 400-4.5 million VND/month.
The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association stated that in Vietnam, only 10% of companies can pay an average of 6 million VND per month, but this includes 13 months of salary, holiday bonuses and benefits.
In January 2012, Vietnam exported apparel products valued at one billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year drop of 12%.
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