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In photos: The wretched lives of migrant construction workers in Ho Chi Minh City

In photos: The wretched lives of migrant construction workers in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 19:12 GMT+7

Many construction workers at a resettlement housing project in District 2 - one area in Ho Chi Minh City where new buildings keep mushrooming - live and work in poor conditions.

The workers, mostly migrants from other provinces, are working at the Binh Khanh resettlement quarter.

 They live in makeshift, shabby compartments with poor hygienic conditions and lack access to clean running water and basic comforts.

With an average monthly salary of around VND2-3 million (up to US$139), they have limited options, and several live with their families at the construction sites.

Most of their kids are deprived of education, as they don’t know where they will move in the coming months.

The workers and their families’ wretched conditions are a stark contrast to the modern look of the houses they help build, and the city’s fast urbanization.

“I have four kids at home to feed. I earn some VND100,000 ($4.6) a day, which is hardly enough to provide for myself and my family. Difficulties mount when the employers delay paying us,” Pham Van Tuan, 43, shared.

They have to work hard in all kinds of elements, and are grilled in the scorching sun for over 10 hours a day.

“My friends who are also construction workers, have to roam from place to place as their bosses can’t pay them,” another worker named Nguyen Van Dang sadly shared.

Hanh, another worker, who has to feed five young kids and his frail wife at home, lamented that he has quit several construction jobs since early this year as the employers delayed paying him.

The workers also face hazardous, life-threatening conditions.

They are poorly equipped with protective gear or are too lazy to use it and risk their lives for starvation wages.

Tuoi Tre

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