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Eight officials suspended for wage abuse

Eight officials suspended for wage abuse

Friday, September 06, 2013, 15:51 GMT+7

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee chairman, Le Hoang Quan, on Wednesday issued a decision to suspend eight officials at four public service companies for an investigation into their abuse of wages, through which one of them paid himself up to US$123,600 per year.

>> City leader asks penalty for grossly-overpaid welfare CEOs >> Vietnam Prime Minister’s monthly salary is $805: Gov’t office>> Abusing wage fund, directors pocket $123,000 as yearly salary

The suspended officials include four chairmen of the boards of management and four directors at the HCMC Urban Drainage Co Ltd, Saigon Traffic Works One-Member Co Ltd, HCMC Public Lighting Co Ltd, and HCMC Green Tree and Park Co Ltd. The city Party Committee and the Transport Department’s Party Committee have also suspended Party positions held by three of these eight officials.  The suspensions are necessary for investigation into their wrongdoings related to wage fund usage to enrich themselves while affecting hundreds of workers. As exposed in a conclusion released by HCMC deputy chairman Le Manh Ha on August 26, these companies belong to the public service section of the city, but their board of directors have breached the labor regulations and abused their wage fund to pay high salaries for themselves and others in 2012. For example, at the HCMC Urban Drainage Company Limited, the yearly salary of the director was VND2.6 billion, or over VND200 million ($9,400) per month, 41 times the income of a low-level worker, while that of chief accountant was VND1.67 billion per year.

At the HCMC Public Lighting Company Limited, the salary of the director was lower, VND2.2 billion, and that of the chief account was 1.7 billion.

According to investigations, the total amount of money that has been spent wrongly and has to be recovered from the three companies amounts to VND7.454 billion ($351,600), including VND3.2 billion  from the HCMC Urban Drainage Co Ltd; VND2.5 billion from HCMC Public Lighting Co Ltd, VND1.2 billion from HCMC Green Tree and Park Co Ltd, and VND554 million must be recovered from Saigon Traffic Works Co Ltd.

As of September 4, a total of VND3.554 billion has been recovered from three of the four companies, and this process is ongoing.Breaking the Law The HCMC Public Lighting Co Ltd only abused its wage fund to pay a high salary to its key officials, while the other three have seriously violated the Labor Code, according to the city People's Committee. Specifically, they signed contracts with a term of under three months with people who were qualified as regular workers, and signed contracts with definite terms with people who were qualified for indefinite contracts.

Such wrongdoings have affected the rights and interests of 1,079 laborers, including 518 at HCMC Urban Drainage Co Ltd; 214 at Saigon Traffic Works Co Ltd, and 347 at HCMC Green Tree and Park Co Ltd. All workers affected by violations related to the wage funds at these companies must be reimbursed satisfactorily, for example compensation in the form of social insurance and other benefits, city deputy chairman Le Manh Ha said.

Ha also demanded that these companies build and apply a wage system that ensures equality between direct and indirect workers.

“Frankly speaking, the biggest offense committed by them [the leaders of the four companies] is abusing the wage fund of laborers to make themselves rich”, HCMC People’s Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said at a meeting of the People's Committee on August 29.

“This wrongdoing must be strictly punished. It is not acceptable that they simply return to the wage fund these amounts that they have received illegitimately,” the chairman said.

Tuoi Tre

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