After almost 4 months of closures, factories in Vietnam struggled to reopen and return to production. Just one month after the government allowed factories to reopen, officials reported only 46% of the pre-pandemic workforce had returned to industrial zones but nearly 100% of workers in factories using WOVO, in those same industrial zones, had returned.
Photo Courtesy of ILO Asia-Pacific
Anxious to Return to Work, Many Workers Remained Unvaccinated + Isolated
In October 2021, the Vietnamese government lifted strict COVID measures, allowing for factories to reopen if returning workers were vaccinated. But with only 29% of the population vaccinated this was a challenging task.
While most factories struggled to communicate with workers offsite and support vaccinations and the return to work, factories with WOVO were able to communicate directly with workers, no matter where they were, provide support and get them back to work faster.
The results were clear, by November, government officials reported only 54% of workers had returned to the industrial zones. In the same industrial zones, factories using WOVO reported 95% of workers had returned.
This case study highlights how a footwear factory with over 11,000 employees successfully reopened and addressed workers challenges at scale using WOVO.
Factory closures led to immense economic hardship for workers. Many workers were anxious to return, but were left isolated in their hometowns with no access to vaccinations and thus no ability to return to work.
As a result, factories in Vietnam with WOVO saw a huge increase in messages from workers. 70% of messages in late 2021, were from workers concerned about; access to the vaccine, and compensation from the government and factories for workdays missed due to quarantine.
WOVO helped factories connect with workers who had not yet returned, disseminate information to all workers no matter where they were and to quickly assess where additional support was needed.
Informing, Responding to + Supporting Workers
The factory recognized there were several critical issues facing workers’ return and so set up a team dedicated to responding to workers + resolving issues within 24 hours.
Using WOVO’s company announcement feature, factory management was able to timely inform workers about updates from the Government and the factory regarding the financial aids and the paperwork requirements.
Working with Worker Representatives to Help Financial Needs + Compensate for Workdays Missed due to COVID
Most workers were concerned about loss of earnings during factory’s COVID closure. Management empathized and understood the concern, but had also faced significant loss during the closure, still management wanted to support workers. They established a tri-party meeting, including factory management, workers and union representatives to discuss salary adjustment and additional compensation.
The factory then used WOVO to announce the changes. This helped reassure workers who were nervous about returning that their needs would be met.
Using Worker Surveys to Better Understand Worker Needs
Using WOVO’s Worker Surveys, management sent surveys to understand workers’ vaccination status, general health and plans to return to the factory. Following the survey management was able to:
- Plan better for production and compensation
- Able to help workers who did not have access to vaccines get access
Helping Workers Get Access to Vaccines
To support workers’ return to work, the factory contacted the local health centers and arranged vaccination schedules for workers who were not able to get access at their hometown.
As a result, 95% of workers were fully vaccinated and 80% were able to receive a 4th shot, allowing them to return to work faster + safer.
A Win-Win. Clear Improved Outcomes for Workers + Clear Financial Returns For Factories.
Factories using WOVO were able to ensure worker safety, address concerns of financial loss and get workers back to work faster. Workers felt heard, supported and engaged. Factories with WOVO were able get back to pre-pandemic production levels and meet client needs faster.
Labor Solutions, a social enterprise, leverages technology to connect, engage and educate workers to build resilient supply chains. Over a million and a half workers in 25 countries have access to Labor Solutions’ worker engagement platform, WOVO.