Labour inspection

Campaign improves law compliance in Dong Nai’s woodwork industry

The 2019 Labour Inspection Campaign included a mix of inspection, training and communication activities which engaged employers and workers in the industry nationwide to raise their awareness of the importance of labour law compliance.

News | 12 January 2020
DONG NAI (ILO News) – The 2019 Labour Inspection Campaign helped the wood industry in the southern province of Dong Nai improve law compliance for better competitiveness in the global supply chains.

During the national campaign, which focused its support in this industrial hub, training and awareness raising activities were organized for 120 biggest woodwork companies in the province and inspection was carried out at 49 enterprises.

Addressing an event summing up the campaign in Dong Nai on 10 January, Nguyen Van Canh, provincial chief labour inspector said that all the companies “had compliance issues” but they have been improved thanks to the campaign.

Nearly three-fourths of the inspected companies violated regulations on overtime caps, whereas other main non-compliance areas included severance allowances, uses of personal protection equipment and regular health checks for workers.

Many employers also failed to organize genuine social dialogues between the management and workers, or categorize workers in hazardous jobs which did not allow them to receive higher benefits including better wages, more leave days and early retirement.

Budget constraints, inadequate understandings of labour laws and intention to lower production costs were the major factors leading to the widespread non-compliance in the province’s key export industry.

The campaign resulted in 19 administration fines totaled of VND868 million (US$37,400).

“So far the majority of the inspected companies have fixed their issues following the recommendations by the inspectors,” said Canh.

The 2019 labour inspection campaign helped to improve industrial relations in the provincial woodwork industry, create better working conditions for workers and contributed to business development, he added.

Woodwork workers at San Lim Company join an event to raise awareness on labour laws. 

Kicked off in March 2019, the campaign was conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the US-funded New Industrial Relations Framework project.

The woodwork industry is a key export sector of Viet Nam with the total export value of nearly $8.5 billion in 2018. The figure is expected to double in the next 5 years.

“The 2019 labour inspection campaign focused on the woodwork sector because non-compliance can have direct negative impacts on the lives of many workers in this industry,” said Do Thi Thu Huong, the ILO project’s national coordinator. “The working conditions of female and male workers can affect the industry’s sustainable development if they are not timely improved.”

The campaign included a mix of inspection, training and communication activities which engaged employers and workers in the industry nationwide to raise their awareness of the importance of labour law compliance.

Mobile-based quiz for workers

As part of the campaign, 2,500 workers at San Lim Company in Dong Nai had better understandings of labour laws through a month-long quiz using mobile platform organized at the end of 2019.

Booklets, audio messages broadcast through speakers were used to provide information to workers who participated in the quiz through their mobile phone texts.

Winners of the contest wait for their turn to collect their prizes. 

Prizes were given to the winners at the award ceremony organized on 11 January 2020.

Five individuals and teams won the overall trophies wheares a total of 59 daily prizes and 24 weekly prizes were given to participants.

Bui Van Nghia, a worker, said that he learned a lot about his legitimate rights from the contest.

“I had never been aware that it is not allowed to do overtime of more than 300 hours per year. Now I know,” he said.

* Funding for the New Industrial Relations Framework project is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL- 29690-16-75-K-11. This material does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the United States Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the United States Government. One hundred percentage of the total costs of the project or program is financed with Federal funds, for a total of 4 million dollars.