Strikes drop as negotiation skills improve

The number of strikes in the garment industry fell from 38 in 2011 to 10 in 2014 in the province. — Photo laodong

HCM CITY (VNS) — The number of labour strikes has fallen at garment companies as a result of training offered by provincial Labour Federations to local companies’ trade unions, Dang Tan Dat, deputy head of the provincial Federation of Labour’s laws and policies division, said.

Since 2009, the training project has taken place in the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and HCM City.

It is conducted by the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour with sponsorship from the International Labour Organisation and International NGO Union Aid Abroad APHEDA.

The number of strikes in the garment industry fell from 38 in 2011 to 10 in 2014 in the province, said Dat.

The project is called Strengthening Trade Union Capacity and Better Work Viet Nam.

It aims to improve the lives and working conditions of garment workers in Viet Nam through the development of a strong, representative and responsive labour movement, Hoang Thi Le Hang, country manager of Viet Nam–based Union Aid Abroad APHEDA, speaking at a recent conference about the programme.

The project also targets improved adherence to national labour laws and international labour standards.

Trade unions at companies receive training in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law, and help in negotiation skills and labour agreements to ensure workers’ rights, said Hang.

Dat, of the provincial Labour Federation, said that trade unions now work with managers to find ways to deal with workers’ complaints in a timely fashion.

Many firms have adjusted provisions in labour agreements, including more benefits for workers.

Since the project began in 2009, many garment companies have been offering health exams for employees twice a year instead of once a year.

Mai Duc Chinh, vice chairman of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, said the project would continue to be implemented in the provinces of Hai Duong, Tay Ninh and Long An and in Ha Noi through 2016.

The garment export industry is worth US$17.9 billion annually, accounting for 15 per cent of total exports in Viet Nam. — VNS

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