Conference hears that enterprises, workers, and the State must work together to limit the occurrence of workplace disputes.
A cooperative mechanism between workers, enterprises, and the State is needed to prevent labor disputes and strikes, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, told a conference on creating harmonious labor relations to prevent labor disputes held last week in northern Thanh Hoa province.
According to VCCI, in the first half of this year there were 235 labor disputes leading to strike action in the country, 59 more than in the same period of last year, with 80 per cent being found in the south.
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Trung from the Thanh Hoa Provincial Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs said that over the last five years there have been 30 labor disputes interrupting operations in the province. Twenty-five disputes, or 83.3 per cent of the total, happened at foreign enterprises.
He pointed to several factors, including workers not following labor contracts, unclear labor contracts, extensions to probationary periods, and salary, bonus, and social insurance underpayments.
The labor federation in southern Binh Duong province, meanwhile, said that employers do not fully understand stipulations on negotiating with employees at work, have not fully taken care of their employees, and have lacked transparency about benefits to workers.
Authorities were also said to not take full responsibility in matters such as inspecting and punishing enterprises that have violated the law due to a shortage of human resources. Legal loopholes and the absence of any particular guidance in the Labor Law also create confusion among enterprises.
Chairman of the Tien Son Thanh Hoa Joint Stock Company, Mr. Trinh Xuan Lam, said that foreign enterprises need to find consensus among employees and employers. He pointed to differences in culture resulting in employers scarcely understanding their employees, while employers have low levels of knowledge and life skills. At his company there are 8,000 rural workers with low levels of knowledge and life skills and they more easily follow the misbehavior of others.
To gain harmonious relations between employers and employees, employers should report any problems to authorities so a solution may be identified, Mr. Trung suggested. Furthermore, employers should encourage the establishment of labor unions at their companies, especially foreign companies. Authorities, meanwhile, should guide enterprises in introducing new policies regarding salary and social insurance.
The Chairman of the union at Sakurai Vietnam, Mr. Luong Van Phuong, said that direct negotiations between employers and employees play an important role in resolving labor disputes. A framework for resolving labor dispute is also required, he believes.