HCM CITY — Trade unions at all levels need to take drastic measures to improve workers' meals at companies by ensuring employers pay at least VNĐ20,000-25,000 (US$0.85-1.07) for them, a roundtable held by the HCM City Federation of Labour heard on Thursday.
With the rising cost of living, the meals procured for workers at an average price of VNĐ15,000 do not provide nutrition, safety or hygiene requirements, delegates said.
Decent meals are essential to ensure health as well as productivity, Trần Đức Tài, deputy head of the Tân Bình District Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Office, said.
Trade unions need to work with employers to develop workplace meal programmes that provide decent food to employees, he said.
Activities to raise awareness of food quality need to be frequently carried out, he said.
Lê Anh Tuấn, deputy head of policy at the federation, said employers and trade unions are trying to improve the quality of workers' meals, which is in fact a major concern for the former.
Enterprises support a canteen or sign contracts with outside caterers to provide meals to workers, and those that cannot do so pay employees an allowance, he said.
Trade unions have made the workplace meal part of the dialogue and collective bargaining between employers and employees, he added.
Lê Thị Mỹ Châu, trade union president at the MeKong Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital, said the hospital provides meals to employees that cost an average of VNĐ41,000 each and meet nutrition, food safety and hygiene criteria. —VNS
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