13th Vietnam Trade Union Congress Discusses Three Breakthroughs
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) on November 22 announced information about the 13th Vietnam Trade Union Congress in Hanoi.
Proposal to raise the regional minimum wage by more than 25%
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Manh Kien, deputy head of the Department of Propaganda and Education of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor said that the 13th Congress of the Vietnam Trade Union, term 2023-2028, is an important political event of the working class and the Confederation. It is an extensive political activity among officials, union members, and workers nationwide.
The 13th Congress of the Vietnam Trade Union takes place at a time when union members and workers across the country, together with the Party, the people, and the army, strive to take advantage of opportunities, to overcome all difficulties and challenges. They are determined to successfully implement the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress, Resolution No. 02-NQ/TW dated June 12, 2021, of the Politburo on "Innovating the organization and operations of VGCL in the new situation."
Nguyen Manh Kien said that the past term (12th Congress) of the VGCL achieved many good results. During the term, there were over 300 documents of comments, recommendations, and proposals to the Party and State on contents related to the legal and legitimate rights, interests of workers, and trade union activities.
“In the past five years, the VGCL proposed to raise the regional minimum wage by 25.34%. Dialogue and collective bargaining activities have been enhanced and there have been many innovations," Nguyen Manh Kien said.
|Nguyen Manh Kien, deputy head of the Department of Propaganda and Education of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor spoke at the meeting. Photo: N.H
During the 2018-2023 term, 15,832 new collective labor agreements were signed, bringing the total number of agreements to 42,550, reaching 72.12% of the total number of established enterprises. There are 22 collective labor agreements with 224 participating businesses, units and 119,336 employee beneficiaries.
Legal consulting activities have been promoted with more than 333,200 consulting cases for more than 1.13 million union members and workers. The VGCL participated in resolving labor disputes for more than 12,300 people and supported more than 7,700 workers in court. The VGCL represented 4,700 workers suing individual labor disputes, helping them receive compensation of more than VND64 billion (US$2.63 million).
|The 13th Vietnam Trade Union Congress will take place from December 1-3, at the National Convention Center, Hanoi. The Congress convened 1,100 delegates.
The VGCL deployed many new models in taking care of the lives of union members and workers. It participated in preventing and fighting Covid-19, accompanying union members and workers affected by the pandemic. Patriotic emulation movements have also been widely deployed, continuing to innovate in content and form.
In the past five years, the country had an additional 4,460,933 trade union members, establishing 24,320 grassroots trade unions. As of June 2023, the whole country has more than 123,100 grassroots trade unions and 11,072,214 trade union members, an increase of more than 1 million union members compared to the beginning of the term. More than 30 million union members and workers in difficult circumstances were encouraged, and given Tet gifts worth over VND28,000 billion (US$1.15 million).
Identifying breakthroughs in collective bargaining
Ngo Duy Hieu, vice president of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, affirmed that the 2018-2023 term is a special term for the VGCL. At the end of 2019 and early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, affecting the lives of workers. Many international conflicts take place with global impacts. During this term, the National Assembly promulgated the Labor Code 2019 with advantages but also posed many challenges for trade unions. It includes content allowing units to establish organizations to represent workers.
|Ngo Duy Hieu, vice president of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, provided information at the meeting. Photo: N.H
However, with the efforts of union officials, union members, and workers, the activities continue to have important changes, especially in representing, and protecting the legal and legitimate rights and interests of union members and workers," Ngo Duy Hieu said.
Assessing the contents that will be discussed at the 13th Trade Union Congress, Ngo Duy Hieu said, "The union will promote dialogue and negotiation, with the focus being on salary dialogue. This is one of three breakthrough points discussed at the Congress."
Ngo Duy Hieu said the lack of jobs has been greatly affecting the lives of workers. Unemployment and underemployment rates tend to increase. “Therefore, a key task of the trade union in the coming time is to create jobs for workers. The next task is to solve the problem of wages and housing for workers," Ngo Duy Hieu said.
|Information about the activities of the 13th Vietnam Trade Union Congress was announced. Photo: N.H
To perform this task well, Vice President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor said “This is a difficult task, requiring perseverance, ingenuity, and depending on reality to achieve the goal. In addition, trade unions at all levels also need to pay attention to negotiating bonuses and welfare regimes for employees."
In addition to the content of collective bargaining, delegates attending the 13th Congress will focus on discussing two other contents that are determined to be groundbreaking. These contents include developing union members and establishing grassroots unions in non-state enterprises, building a team of grassroots union presidents to meet task requirements, especially presidents at enterprises outside the state sector.
|The 13th Vietnam Trade Union Congress will have ten thematic forums to discuss major issues facing trade unions, such as mobilizing workers to join trade unions, improving the quality of the team of grassroots trade union presidents, promoting dialogue, negotiation, and signing of collective labor agreements, especially on wages and working conditions.
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