FIEs’ rising strikes prompt union review

Apr 25, 2011. The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour’s Policy and Law Division head Nguyen Duy Uy said new regulations on inspecting foreign-invested enterprises’ (FIEs) trade union organisations were to be proposed as part of amendments to the existing Trade Union Law. These amendments would be tabled at the National Assembly meeting in October.

Uy said only 30 per cent of Vietnam’s total 4,500 FIEs had trade union organisations in charge of protecting workers’ interests.

A Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) survey conducted over 1,500 local enterprises and FIEs in 2009 showed that one-third of them had no trade union organisations.

“That is why labour disputes and strikes throughout Vietnam are on the rise and are becoming more complicated and serious,” Uy said.
Since 1995, Vietnam saw more than 3,840 strikes, with 424 taking place in 2010 and over 220 in 2011’s first three months. Over 80 per cent of the strikes were at FIEs.

For example, southern Dong Nai province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA) director Le Thi My Phuong told VIR that the province witnessed over 100 strikes in 2010 and over 60 strikes since early this year. Most of them were triggered by FIEs’ workers.

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