Goverment “Industrial Relations Centres” to tackle labour disputes

Industrial relation has raised concern among foreign investors

The government permitted the establishment of the Industrial Relations Centre, the first of its kind, under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ (Molisa) managerial umbrella. It will be run with state financial support.

City and province-based sub-centres are to follow, ensuring the Centre’s responsibilities are met and all enterprises nationwide reached.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, a Molisa senior official, who is the founder of the Industrial Relations Centre, said that industrial relations units would act as a third party, playing the role of mediator and helping to settle labour disputes arising between employers and employees.

The establishment of such units is among the Vietnamese government’s moves toward better resolving labour disputes, a problem that foreign investors have said hindered their business, thereby affecting the nation’s attractiveness for foreign direct investment.

Last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urgently asked governmental agencies and local governments of 63 cities and provinces across the nation to open regular dialogues, enhance labour policies and establish grassroots trade unions in face of rising labour strikes at foreign invested enterprises (FIEs).

“I have seen the Vietnamese government actively moving to address our labour problems since the middle of the year, and this is a positive signal for us to look favourably upon Vietnam,” said the vice president of the Taiwanese Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (TEEMA), a group of 3,800 company members with giants like Foxconn and Compal. He added that labour strikes in Vietnam would make Taiwanese investors reluctant to enter the country.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment would head the organisation of regular talks with foreign investors, especially employers, using Vietnamese workers in industrial and export processing zones to more quickly address the issues.

Read more …

Government units to tackle labour disputes, Vietnam Investment Review, Feb 17, 2009

Prime Minister’s Action Plan for Harmonious Labor Relations, Stable Investment Environment, Social Order, Prime Minister’s Decision 1129/QD-TTg, 18 Aug 08.

AmCham Letter to Prime Minister re Industrial Relations, May 20, 2008.

AmCham Letter to Labour Relations Committee, November 20, 2008.