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Vietnamese-owned rubber plantations looking to hire

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Ith Samheng meets with Leng Rithy and his Vietnamese delegation at the labour ministry. Labour Ministry

Vietnamese-owned rubber plantations looking to hire

Vietnamese-owned rubber plantations in the Kingdom’s northeast are short on workers and are looking to recruit as many as 105,000 of them from now until the end of 2021.

The plantation owners announced their intention to enlist more workers during a meeting on Wednesday with the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng.

The Vietnamese delegation at the meeting was composed of representatives from the Vietnamese Rubber Plantation Association (VRPA) Cambodia, Vietnamese Businessmen’s Club in Cambodia, Agri Bank, the Vietnamese Embassy and Tha Di Subsidiary Company, among others.

The plantations are located in Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Kratie provinces.

VRPA Cambodia president Leng Rithy said the Rubber Plantation Industrial Alliance of Tha Di Subsidiary Company and the Vietnamese Rubber Plantation Company in Cambodia will need an additional 105,000 workers from now until 2021, adding that at least 9,000 are needed immediately.

“Some rubber plantations workers are paid only 800,000 riel ($200) a month. At our plantations, a resin collector can earn between one million and 1.5 million riel ($250-$375). The workers are given proper accommodation and don’t pay for electricity,” he said.

Rithy thanked the government for helping and supporting Vietnamese businesses and investment here.

In a Facebook post, Sam Heng expressed satisfaction with the level of Vietnamese investment in the country, particularly in agriculture.

He said Vietnamese companies looking to expand their workforce should promote the positions through the National Employment Agency (NEA) in the provinces.

Sam Heng noted that Cambodia boasts a workforce of 10 million people, with four million in the agriculture sector.

NGO Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights’ executive director of anti-trafficking, Moeurn Tola, said: “Working conditions at these Vietnamese-owned plantations may not be as good as you think. That might be why they are having difficulties recruiting.”

Tola called for a minimum wage in the rubber sector to ensure workers can earn a living.

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