Laos, República Democrática Popular de - Union and party hand in glove (2012)

Given that the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) are so closely knit, the LFTU effectively enables the party to control the workers. In its official declarations, the LFTU frequently speaks of its collaborative role with the government to ensure enforcement of the labour law so that the rights of both workers’ and employers’ are protected and as a formulator of future labour laws and regulations. This quasi-official function of the LFTU means it has a dual role as both a controller as well as a potential protector of labour.

Factory level LFTU representatives are usually LPRP members and/or part of the management. There is little evidence that the union is able to effectively protect workers’ rights in particular in private sector companies.

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