VGCL/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminars in Vietnam

Group photo of seminar participants in Hanoi

JILAF, together with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), held industrial relations and labour policy seminars in Hanoi on December 16–17 and Ho Chi Minh City on December 19–20. The seminar in Hanoi was attended by 39 people, and the one in Ho Chi Minh City by 40 people.

The year 2019 was a transition period for Vietnam. Convention No. 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (“Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining”) was ratified in June; ILO Convention No. 87 (“Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize”) is in the process of ratification; and the revised labour code, which includes the freedom of association, was promulgated on December 16. Amid these developments, the VGCL is focusing much effort on organization strengthening and expansion. Against this background, in this seminar JILAF shared information mainly about the experience of Japanese trade unions relating to organization.

In both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, JILAF gave three lectures titled “The Role of the Japanese Labour Movement and Issues,” “The Organization Policy of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and Organizational Composition,” and “Toward a 10-Million-Strong RENGO---The Present State of Organization Expansion and Issues.” Participants asked questions and made comments on a wide range of issues, including (1) conditions for the establishment of trade unions in Japan, (2) the method of labour-management negotiations in companies with multiple trade unions, (3) the method of management of independent trade unions (trade unions not affiliated with a national center), and (4) the role of organizers and the know-how that they should possess.

There was also a lecture by Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Son, Deputy Drector of the VGCL’s Organizing Department, on “The Organizational Setup of Trade Unions in Vietnam.” Noting the differences in the trade union framework between Japan and Vietnam, Deputy Director Son spoke about the organizational issues facing the VGCL at present and the skills required of trade union officials from now on (know-how relating to organization and the ability to listen to and bring together the voices of workers).

In both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, after the lectures the participants divided into three groups for group discussions on the themes of “Toward the building of better trade unions for workers” and “Proposals for the organization of company-based unions.” They also compiled and presented action plans, which were specific and positive and included such suggestions as (1) listen closely to the voices and opinions of workers and adopt a labour-management consultation system like Japan’s; (2) establish a stable financial base so that trade unions can be independent of employers; (3) foster trust with workers through transparency in the use of union dues; (4) hold seminars to upgrade the skills of trade union officials; and (5) cooperate in productivity improvement for the mutual benefit of both labour and management. The seminars in the two cities ended with JILAF and the VGCL urging the participants to put their action plans into practice.

Schedule

DateContents
12/16MonIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar in Hanoi (day 1)
12/17TueIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar in Hanoi (day 2)
12/18WedTransfer
12/19ThuIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar in Ho Chi Minh City (day 1)
12/20FriIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar in Ho Chi Minh City (day 2)

Photos of the Participants

Scene of JILAF lecture at the Hanoi seminar

Scene of VGCL lecture at the Hanoi seminar

Compilation of action plan at the Hanoi seminar

Presentation of action plan by a participant at the Hanoi seminar

Opening address by JILAF Executive Director Masayuki Shiota at the seminar in Ho Chi Minh City

Scene of venue at the seminar in Ho Chi Minh City

Group photo of participants at the seminar in Ho Chi Minh City

Question from a participant at the seminar in Ho Chi Minh City

Presentation of action plan by a participant at the seminar in Ho Chi Minh City