A just transition

Trade unions support efforts to green Viet Nam’s chemical and pharmaceutical industry

Trade union members learn new skills to support a Just Transition in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

News | Hanoi, Viet Nam | 15 March 2023
Trade union members and ILO staff visit the Casumina company to see how it is working towards a Just Transition. © ILO
HO CHI MINH CITY, Viet Nam (ILO News) – Trade unionists, mainly from chemical companies in southern Viet Nam took part in training recently that will help them support the industry as it transitions towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

The Green Jobs and Just Transition Capacity-Building Training took place in Ho Chi Minh City on 27-28 February 2023, with some 20 trade union members taking part. Held by the ILO and Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the training was assisted by the Vietnam National Union of Workers in Industry and Trade (VUIT) and supported by the ILO-Japan partnership programme.

The event introduced participants to the Just Transition planning process and the ILO Toolkit to practically apply the ILO Guidelines for their respective workplaces. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) system and regulations on the safe use of chemicals and occupational safety and health (OSH) requirements in Viet Nam were also discussed.

“Just Transition is not only about environmental issues, but also about the socioeconomic impacts on all stakeholders. Thus, Just Transition will contribute to promoting corporate competitiveness, equality and social justice in the transition process,” said Vu Truong Son, Vice President, VUIT.

The “ILO Guidelines on Just Transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all”, were adopted by representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations in 2015. They provide both a policy framework and a practical tool to help countries manage the transition towards low-carbon economies.

Pong-Sul Ahn, ILO Regional Specialist on Workers’ Education, highlighted the unpredictable climate and its impacts on workplaces and soceity. He emphasized how social dialogue is key to adopt ILO’s Just Transition Guidelines and successfully facilitate the transition.

Participants also undertook a study visit to Binh Duong province, where they visited tyre manufacturer Casumina. There, they were able to witness working conditions and the Just Transition process taking place in the factory.

The training was part of a series of collaborative activities with the VGCL undertaken by the ILO’s “Making Just Transition Work through Stronger Workers’ Organizations in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries” project.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry has one of the highest environmental footprints in Viet Nam due to unsystematic treatment of wastewater and disposal of chemical substances. The southern region of Viet Nam has a high density of chemical industrial clusters.

Participants at the Green Jobs and Just Transition Capacity-Building Training. © ILO

For further information please contact:

Pong-Sul Ahn
Regional Specialist in Workers' Education
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Email: ahn@ilo.org

Eric Roeder
ILO Technical Specialist on Green Jobs, Climate Action and Resilience through Just Transition - Asia Pacific Region
Email: roeder@ilo.org