Saturday, December 3 2016

VietNamNews

Collective bargaining offers workers, employers opportunities to progress

Update: January, 15/2016 - 09:25
Viet Nam's first multi-employer collective agreement was signed yesterday by four tourism enterprises in Da Nang. It is expected to benefit 700 workers in the tourism sector. — Photo laodong.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's first multi-employer collective agreement was signed yesterday by four tourism enterprises in Da Nang. It is expected to benefit 700 workers in the tourism sector.

The agreements include an increase of 3.3 per cent over the Government-designated minimum wage for base wages paid by the four enterprises. They also include improvements in mid-shift meals and other allowances. These will be applied to all four enterprises.

"This is the first time trade unions and employers in Viet Nam have successfully negotiated collective agreements, covering multiple enterprises rather than just one. It is a major innovation in labour relations practices," said Chang-Hee Lee, director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Viet Nam.

He also said that a multi-employer collective agreement can reduce staff turnover and promote stable labour relations.

"Workers will have less incentive to leave one employer for another, as similar conditions apply to all," said the ILO Viet Nam Director. "It is good for workers, as they can enjoy the same working conditions in solidarity with workers across enterprises, and it's good for employers, as they can have more stable labour relations."

The bargaining process for the agreement lasted two months, with many rounds of difficult negotiation where workers and employers participated throughout the process. They had support from the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the ILO.

This kind of democratic practice – collective bargaining – could help Viet Nam successfully implement its Trans-Pacific Partnership obligations as a member state of the ILO, Chang said.

VGCL Vice Chairman Mai Duc Chinh said the practices and lessons learnt from this were important to the VGCL. Lessons included the high level of consultation with the workforce during the process, co-ordination between unions, and bargaining that resulted in base-wage improvement and other benefits. — VNS

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