Vietnam

The ITUC does not have an affiliate in Vietnam.

In practice

Freedom of association / Right to organise

Restrictions on workers' right to form and join organizations of their own choosing:

No freedom of association
30-11-2008

Workers do not have the right to form or join a trade union that is not affiliated to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the official labour confederation controlled by the Communist Party. A new generation of trade unionists is emerging however, who do not have such close links to the party, notably in the post and telecommunications sector.

Right to collective bargaining

Restrictions on the principle of free and voluntary bargaining:

Collective bargaining restricted
31-12-2011

Unions affiliated to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) have limited scope for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
given the management domination of the union in many enterprises. Recently, the VGCL statutes were amended in order to limit certain high-ranking managers from serving as union leaders. In its last report, the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
’s Better-Work Vietnam project pointed out that in three quarters of the factories involved in its programme it is not possible for the union to meet with the workers without management being present.

Union representatives often co-opted
30-11-2009

The ability of unions that are affiliated to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) to effectively bargain with management is handicapped by the fact that at many private enterprises, VGCL representatives are either considered by the workers to be close to management or are actually management officials.

Right to strike

Barriers to lawful strike actions:

Drop in the number of wildcat strikes
30-11-2009

Despite the restrictions on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action, 216 wild cat strikes (illegal under the terms of the Labour Code) were carried out in 2009, which was 70% less than in 2008 according to government figures. This fall in the number of wildcat strikes was not due to an improvement in the workers’ situation however, but rather owing to their fear of losing their jobs in the wake of the world economic crisis. According to the government, most strikes took place in foreign-owned enterprises and were in protest at long working hours for low wages, as well as the violation of rights set out in the employment contract.

Official labour confederation criticised for its ineffectiveness
30-11-2009

Strikes in Vietnam are usually called by informal groups of workers, even where there is a VGCL (Vietnam General Confederation of Labour) union delegation. The local authorities and representatives of the official union usually try to hold negotiations between workers and management. However the VGCL mainly takes the interests of the government and the enterprise into account during negotiations. In February, several representatives of the authorities called for a review of the labour legislation in order to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the trade unions. The deputy-director of the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. A) explained that workers go on wild cat strikes because the procedures for organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. a legitimate strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
were too complicated and because workers considered that strikes were the only way to claim their rights and that most of the local trade unions did not fulfil their role of representing members and protecting their rights.

Undue interference by authorities or employers during the course of a strike:

About 1000 illegal strikes
31-01-2011

Workers who take part in strikes that do not have government approval risk sanctions, but the conditions to be met for organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
legally are so restrictive it is almost impossible to respect them. There was a huge increase in the number of illegal strikes during the year from 423 the previous year to nearly 1000 in 2011. Most strikes are linked to the fact that workers wages have not kept up with inflation, which reached 18%.

In its latest report the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
’s Better Work-Vietnam project notes that of the 78 factories involved in its programme, three have refused to reinstate all eligible workers after a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, and one factory punished workers who went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
.

From 24-29 June, over 90,000 workers at the Pou Yuen shoe factory which supplies major footwear brands such as Adidas, went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
to demand better wages. Several sources reported that workers were arrested and/or dismissed following their action.

Undermining of the recourse to strike actions or their effectiveness:

Internet under surveillance to prevent calls for strike action
31-12-2010

The government blocks access to politically sensitive sites. Internet cafe managers are required to monitor and record their customers’ online activity. In April, the Hanoi People’s Committee (the city’s executive organ) issued a legal decision that all internet cafes must install monitoring software approved by the authorities, prohibiting the use of the internet to “call for illegal demonstrations, boycotts, unlawful gatherings for grievances and complaints”.

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