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Viets sent to Soviet bloc to help in labor shortage

Hanoi is airlifting tens of thousands of workers to the labor-hungry factories of the Soviet bloc, partly to repay Moscow for its massive economic and military assistance, Western diplomats said.

Eastern Europe desperately needs workers, and Vietnam has both an unemployment problem and a huge foreign debt that's being paid off by exporting the labor.

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The diplomats said an estimated 50,000 Vietnamese ''guest workers'' were already working in Soviet, East German, and Bulgarian factories.

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