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Vietnam Labour Update #80

Ngày đăng: 12/10/2020

Report on the impact of COVID-19 on labour and employment in the third quarter of 2020: The General Statistics Office released this report (available in English and Vietnamese) last week. The headline figure is that 31.8 million people aged 15 or over have been negatively affected by COVID-19, through being fired, furloughed, having reduced working hours, or loss of incomes.

108 laid-off workers at Hanoi bia hoi company request help: Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that the Foodstuff Combinatorial Joint Stock Company, (which primarily produces bia hơi—Vietnam's famous draught beer, for those not familiar—and is based in Ha Dong district, Hanoi) announced in August that it was firing 108 workers, including 15 union reps, due to restructuring. Many of the workers have been at the company for 20 to 30 years, and said it would be very hard for them to find other jobs due to their age. Workers said the company had not provided any concrete information about the restructuring, so asked the company to give more details about the changes and why they need to let go of so many workers. The company did not respond, so workers asked the local authorities to get involved.

The Ha Dong district DOLISA office and other related authorities then met with the company management, who explained that the company had been making continuous losses for the last few years. They therefore needed to make changes, and said they had had three meetings with the enterprise-level union in June and July this year, but failed to come to an agreement. Before issuing the decision to fire workers, they had let local DOLISA offices know. The company management also claimed that they had attempted to organise five dialogue sessions with workers, but workers had not attended. Management added that they would pay severance pay to workers. The authorities asked the company to follow the law and to support the laid off workers, especially those who have worked at the company for a long time.

Hanoi rubbish collectors strike: Workers at Minh Quan High Technology Development and Investment, which has responsibility for rubbish collection in Hanoi's Nam Tu Liem district, have been on strike. Unfortunately, there is not that much information about the strike; two articles in An Ninh Tien Te and Doi Song & Phap Luat (both Vietnamese) largely focus on photographs of rubbish piling up throughout the district, saying how inconvenient and unpleasant it is for residents. The articles say that the strike began at the beginning of October, and is over late wage payments. One worker, quoted in the Doi Song & Phap Luat article, says that the company has only just paid July salaries. The worker also said that the company has been slow to pay wages on many occasions, and that this is not the first time that workers have gone on strike over wage arrears. I have been unable to find any information on if or how the strike has been resolved.

Quang Tri bus strike ends: Bus drivers and ticket sellers ended their strike (see last week's newsletter) on the morning of October 6, when bus services resumed again. Dan Tri (Vietnamese) reports that, on October 5, the Quang Tri District Labour Federation met with the company and asked them to quickly resolve the situation so buses could get back to running as normal. On the afternoon of the same day, the company signed an agreement with workers, which included a commitment not to implement the new policy which caused the strike. Based on this, workers returned to work on October 6.

Sanna Khanh Hoa FC dispute ends: Lao Dong (Vietnamese) reports that this dispute, discussed in last week's newsletter, was resolved after the provincial People's Committee stepped in to guarantee that the players would receive the money they were owed. They did indeed play their match against Pho Hien, winning 1-0.

Experiments with multi-employer collective bargaining: The Global Labour Column (English) published an article about this by Do Quynh Chi. It is something I have previously mentioned in this newsletter; see newsletters #16, #22, #64, #75, and #77.

ILO report on grievance handling and sustainable development: This ILO report (available in English and Vietnamese) looks at the case study of Hansae, a garment factory in Ho Chi Minh City's Cu Chi district, which has recruited full time grievance handling staff. A 2016 investigation and report by Worker Rights Consortium (English) into the factory found numerous labour rights violations, including the harassment and abuse of workers, wage theft, poor health and safety, discriminatory firings of pregnant workers, and violations of associational rights.

Source: Vietnam Labour Update by Joe Buckley 

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