Labor disputes and strikes since Jan.1, 1995

Ha Noi, Oct. 23 (VNA) -- Labour disputes and strikes have increased both in number and scale, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Labour Confederation.

There have been over 50,000 labour disputes and 400 strikes nationwide since Viet Nam's Labour Code was introduced on January 1, 1995.

Almost all cases occured in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong, where Korean- and Taiwanese-owned factories are located.

In the third quarter of this year alone, 6,000 workers have taken part in nine strikes in Ho Chi Minh City. The strikes took place at two Taiwanese-owned enterprises, two joint stock companies and five non-State enterprises. The biggest was the strike at Hue Phong Leather Footwear Co. Ltd.

Most of the disputes and strikes concerned violations of labour contracts and collective labour agreements. Most often, the employers was to blame for failing to award legal wages, bonuses, social insurance and working hours.

According to Head of the Legal Department of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) Nguyen Hoa Binh, many enterprises had signed labour contracts that workers misunderstood while other enterprises dismissed workers without proper explaination.

Binh said that more than 90 percent of labour disputes brought before the courts for settlement ended with employers having to re-employ or compensate workers.

To solve the problem, the VGCL held a training course entitled 'Trade unions' role in resolution of labour disputes and strikes" in Ha Noi on Oct. 19 and 20.

Speaking at the training course VGCL Vice President Nguyen An Luong said that strikes had not decreased yet, and that they were getting complicated in some places. Trade unions have not been fully respected, partly because of unionists' poor ability to resolve disputes, he added.

The VGCL Vice President laid stress on the need to improve the skills of unionists, saying that such an improvement would not only help unionists settle strikes, but would also encourage them to participate in the drafting of legal documents relating to labour issues.