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Higher penalties could prompt firms to pay trade union fees

Update: December, 13/2014 - 09:35
According to the Law on Trade Unions, amended in 2012, enterprises must spend 2 per cent of their salary fund on trade union fees. — Photo khatoco
HA NOI (VNS)  — Trade union workers said at a conference last week that the Government should increase penalties for firms that neglect paying union fees.

Enterprises not paying trade union fees should be fined VND1-75 million (US$47-3,500), as opposed to the current VND1-15 million ($47-700), trade union workers said during the event, hosted by the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour.

According to the Law on Trade Unions, amended in 2012, enterprises must spend 2 per cent of their salary fund on trade union fees. The companies must use the fees to pay for employees' funeral expenses, birthdays and other such costs.

Nguyen Duc Y, chairman of the industrial zones' trade union in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, used to be a labour inspector. He said that even after being fined, enterprises still wouldn't pay the union fees, because the fines they faced for violating the law were so low.

"We don't have strict enough measures for punishing enterprises that violate the fee law," he said. "This puts workers at a disadvantage, because they don't get the benefits from the fees."

Agreeing with Y, Mai Thi Kim Hoa, deputy chairwoman of the Tay Ninh Labour Federation, said higher penalties would deter companies from refusing to pay the fees.

However, some trade union workers don't think raising fines is enough.

Cu Phat Nghiep, trade union chairman of Pou Yuen Viet Nam Company in HCM City's Binh Tan District, said some enterprises failed to pay even when forced to pay more. Companies should face more consequences that just administrative fines, he said.

However, some stricter penalties are included in current law. If an enterprise intentionally ignored the fees for a long period of time, it could be sued, said Mai Duc Chinh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. — VNS


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