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VietNamNews

Trade union officials solve workplace issues

Update: September, 22/2014 - 08:48
Tran Thi Dung (M). — Photo nld.com.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Taiwanese firm Kollan Viet Nam's relationship with its employees has become more harmonious thanks to a programme by the HCM City Federation of Labour to send trade union officials to large companies.

Tran Thi Dung, the official sent to liaise between the company based in Thu Duc District and its workers, said strikes occurred in the past at the company because of conflicts with employers and workers' lack of trust in their trade union. Before the programme was instituted three years ago, companies used to pay the salary of the trade union official, creating an obvious conflict of interest.

Since she was named trade union official by the Federation of Labour and attended training courses, she has managed to garner the trust of both employers and employees.

"My employers understand the role of the union, that it helps their company's development, and the employees also see their right to be protected."

Employees express their opinions and suggestions through the trade union's comments box and hotline, she said. It was through this that the company agreed to increase workers' salaries every two years and extend a contract set to expire if a woman is pregnant, she explained.

The programme has seen trade union officials being sent to companies with a payroll of more than 1,000 to more effectively protect workers' rights.

Nguyen Phuoc Dai, a trade union official sent to the Japan-owned Juki Viet Nam Company, said when there was problem in 2011 he had negotiated with the management to protect the employees' rights.

The management had found that company goods were being stolen and planned to install cameras in the factory floor and workers' changing rooms, which would have violated their privacy. But after the official's negotiations with the general director, the latter agreed not to do so.

When the company faced some difficulties too the trade union persuaded the workers to agree to the management's solutions, Dai said.

Nguyen Thi Thu, chairwoman of the Federation of Labour, said the city has 15 industrial parks and export processing zones with nearly 1,000 enterprises and 268,576 employees.

The programme is imperative for protecting workers' rights, and the city Party Committee has approved funds for its implementation, but only 17 out of 40 firms with 1,000 employees have trade union officials because of several reasons including low salaries, she said.

The Party Committee has approved an increase in their salaries in order to achieve the target of having a trade union official at all foreign companies with more than 1,000 workers, she said.

It would also provide more training courses for trade union's officials, she said.

Dang Ngoc Tung, chairman of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, hailed the programme saying the functioning of trade unions at companies in the IPs and EPZs has made significant progress, and they protect worker's rights at every step.

It is vital to provide more training, especially in negotiation skills, to trade union officials, he said.

He hoped that every firm in the IPs and EPZs would have a trade union.

All companies with more than 30 employees are required to have a trade union.

The Federation of Labour has four offices in the city's 15 IPs and EPZs to assist the trade union officials at companies.

The city has seen the number of strikes go down from 110 in 2011 to just 13 in the first eight months of this year. — VNS

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