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Improved labour relations expected to curb strikes

Update: April, 10/2014 - 09:00
The plan is aimed at developing and strengthening labour relations in line with the revised Labour Code 2012 and the Law on Trade Unions 2012.— Photo tienphong

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs is drafting a six-year plan beginning this year to improve labour relations and curb illegal strikes.

The draft, which is expected to be approved in June, will be carried out in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, HCM City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong.

The plan is aimed at developing and strengthening labour relations in line with the revised Labour Code 2012 and the Law on Trade Unions 2012.

The model focuses on improving co-operation between Government bodies and trade unions to promote negotiations and labour agreements.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan said that there had been more than 5,000 strikes since 2006.

The strikes did not follow legal guidelines, he said, emphasising the need for a plan to improve labour relations.

Director of the Ministry's Centre to Support the Development of Labour Relations, Nguyen Manh Cuong, said that trade union officials were not equipped with the skills to negotiate labour disputes between employers and employees.

"As a result, employees go on strike to put pressure on their employers to improve working conditions," he said.

He said that in many cases, trade unions failed to put forward a representative to negotiate with employers.

Talks and collective labour agreements had failed to work as effectively as expected.

Cuong said that State labour agencies had not fulfilled their role of guiding, managing and improving labour relations.

However, he remained dubious about the feasibility of the draft that was designed to create stable labour relations within six years without detailed measures.

He urged more specific activities to improve the quality of trade unions.

An official from the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, Nguyen Ngoc Son, agreed with Cuong, saying that it was important to find effective measures to improve trade unions models.

He noted that the work would take time and effort, citing a pilot programme in Binh Duong Province to improve trade unions.

He said that they had instructed workers to establish a trade union and officers to protect workers' rights, negotiate with employers and settle labour disputes.

However, only a few companies had managed to do so.

Son said that trilateral talks between employers, employees and local authorities were needed to change labour relations on a larger scale, and the responsibilities of each party needed to be specified. — VNS

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