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Vietnamese unions welcome new labour code

3 March, 2020The passing of the new labour code embracing the principle of freedom of association in Vietnam is a decisive step welcomed by IndustriALL Global Union’s Vietnamese affiliates, however the struggle for workers’ rights is to be continued.

In December 2019, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a new labour code which will come into effect in January 2021.

It allows for workers to form independent unions at the workplace; wages to be negotiated between employers and employees/unions, although employers must follow the national minimum wage policy; a cap on overtime (40 hours/month, 200 hours/year, although for textile, garment, footwear and electronics it is 300 hours/year); increased retirement age 60 to 62 years for men, and from 50 to 55 years for women; prohibition of sexual harassment and job discrimination based on race, nationality, ethnic group, gender, marital status, pregnancy, political views, disability, HIV.

Tran Quang Huy, president of Vietnam National Union of Workers in Industry and Trade, says:

"The labour code is quite progressive and provides an opportunity for unions to boost its reform process, promoting the union’s functions and role in protecting workers."

IndustriALL regional secretary Annie Adviento lauded the bold decision that alignes Vietnamese labour laws with ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise.

“The true spirit of freedom of association is ensuring workers have freedom to organize workers without unnecessary interference.”