More than 500 firms in Vietnam have been hard hit by falling orders, putting some 637,000 workers on the front line, of whom 53,000 have lost their jobs, daily newspaper Vietnam News reported on Thursday.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s business hub, about 102,000 workers have had their work hours cut and 6,000 have been made redundant, local media cited the Department of Policy and Law under the city’s Confederation of Labor as reporting.

Head of the department Nguyen Thanh Do said low-interest bank loans should be made available to help firms in financial difficulty maintain their operations and there should be a large relief package to support affected workers.

At a recent cabinet meeting, Vietnamese Prime Minister called for tough measures to keep the labor market stable as the economy is drawing close to the end of the year.

Vietnam’s export-oriented industries have been heavily impacted by the declining global demand. Its industrial production growth in the first 11 months of this year slowed down due to decreasing demand, rising input costs and a shortage of material supply, according to local media.

Contractors for Nike, Adidas handing out hefty Tet bonuses despite drop in orders, which arms to share the burdens of workers. Pouyuen had earlier announced that 18,000 workers would have to take alternative Saturdays off from December 2022 to February 2023 due to a drop in the number of orders.

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A representative of Pouchen told media that, the raise in Tet bonuses is to help relieve burdens for workers, despite the number of orders dropping towards the end of the year. The representative said there would be more challenges ahead in 2023, but added that he hoped that employees would return to work in the company’s factories.

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