Trade union

Trade union needs comprehensive reform to implement FTAs, ILO Conventions: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlights ILO Centenary Declaration when addressing the celebration of 90 years of Viet Nam’s Trade Union in Hanoi on 28 July. ILO Viet Nam Director Chang-Hee Lee was among the prominent guests at the high-level event.

News | 30 July 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressing the event. Photo © Lao Dong/Hai Nguyen
HANOI (ILO News) – The implementation of international labour-related commitments in the new generation of free trade agreements and Conventions of the International Labour Organizations (ILO) requires Viet Nam’s trade union to undertake a comprehensive reform.

The message was delivered by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a high-level event organized in Hanoi on 28 July to celebrate 90 years of Viet Nam’s Trade Union.

The reform is needed so the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) could “continue to maintain and bring into full play its achievements and glorious history over the past 90 years of establishment and development, while reaffirming its leading role in guiding the national workers’ movement in the new context”.

On 28 July 1929, the Northern Red Union, which is now VGCL, was established with Nguyen Duc Canh as its first leader.

After 90 years, the requirements for elevating industrialization, modernization and deepening international integration as well as the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution have put Viet Nam and VGCL in a new situation with both opportunities and challenges, according to the Prime Minister.

VGCL Chairman Bui Van Cuong agreed with this point in his speech. While highlighting the proud achievements of Viet Nam’s Trade Union, he also admitted the current challenges of the organization.

“Viet Nam’s commitment to ensure the establishment and operation of workers’ organizations outside VGCL in the new generation of free trade agreements has put VGCL at unprecedented challenges and requirements,” he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out the action points VGCL should take, in which he highlighted that the organization needs to do well with its core union function of representing and safeguarding the legitimate rights and benefits of workers to be able to win the confidence of workers.

To do this, he requested VGCL to take the lead in proposing recommendations to the State, cooperating with employers’ organizations and encouraging all workers to fully implement the ILO Centenary Declaration which was adopted in June 2019.

Referring to the new Declaration, the Prime Minister emphasized “effective lifelong learning and quality education for all, comprehensive and sustainable social protection, respect for workers’ fundamental rights, an adequate minimum wage, maximum limits on working time, safety and health at work, and work-life balance”.

VGCL has now nearly 10.5 million members across the country. It is one of the tripartite partners of the ILO in Viet Nam, alongside with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Viet Nam Cooperatives Alliance.

At the celebration event, ILO Viet Nam Director Chang-Hee Lee joined other prominent guests, including many politburo members and other high-level leaders of the Party and the Government.

“The ILO congratulates 90 years anniversary of the VGCL, which coincides with the Centenary Year of the ILO. I am sure that, with the proud history of 90 years, VGCL will once again prove that they are true champions of workers in the age of industrial revolution 4.0 and deeper global integration, by representing voices of workers, by initiating voluntary negotiations, and by effectively participating in social dialogue at all levels,” he said.