The Children Today, Tomorrow the World
Baby. Khánh Minh

Legal Reforms  

1. Viet Nam shall enact the following legal reforms, either by amending existing laws, decrees or regulations or by
issuing new laws, decrees or regulations and shall enact any additional changes required to ensure consistency
across the legal code.  

2. Viet Nam shall ensure that its laws and regulations permit workers, without distinction, employed by an
enterprise to form a grassroots labour union (in Vietnamese to chuc cua nguoi lao dong) of their own choosing
without prior authorisation.  To operate, a grassroots labour union shall register with its choice of either the Viet
Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) or the competent government body.  A grassroots labour union
registered with the competent government body shall have the right autonomously to elect its representatives,
adopt its constitution and rules, organize its administration, including managing its finances and assets, bargain
collectively, and organize and lead strikes and other collective actions related to the occupational and socio-
economic interests of the workers at its enterprise.  For greater certainty, a grassroots labour union registered with
the competent government body shall have no lesser rights in law and practice with regard to the labour rights as
stated in the ILO Declaration than a grassroots labour union under the VGCL. For purposes of this Plan, “labour
law” means all legally binding measures of a Party related to labour, including “labour laws” as defined in Article
19.1.  

A. Ensure the Right of Workers to Freely Form and Join a Labour Union of Their Choosing  

1. Viet Nam shall provide in its law and practice that workers may choose to establish grassroots labour unions
through the VGCL or the competent government body, and shall establish the necessary legal procedures and
registration mechanisms, through decrees or other means, for recognition of a grassroots labor union either by
joining the VGCL or by registration with the competent government body.  Viet Nam shall ensure that the
procedures and mechanisms for registering grassroots labour unions are consistent with the labour rights as stated
in the ILO Declaration, including with respect to transparency, the time periods for processing and membership
requirements, and without prior authorisation or discretion.  

2. Viet Nam shall provide in its law and practice that grassroots labour unions may, if they so choose, form or join
organizations of workers, including across enterprises and at the levels above the enterprise, including the sectoral
and regional levels, consistent with the labour rights as stated in the ILO Declaration and domestic procedures not
inconsistent with those labour rights.  

3. Viet Nam shall ensure in its law and practice that:  

(a) workers and labour unions registered with the competent government body may request and receive technical
assistance and training from any Vietnamese or international worker organization legally operating in Viet Nam;
and  

(b) on that request, such an organization or its representatives can provide the technical assistance and training for
those workers and labour unions, to understand Vietnamese labour law, meet the requirements and procedures for
establishing a labour union, organize a labour union and undertake  labour union activities once organized, including
to bargain collectively, strike, and conduct labour-related collective activities under the ILO Declaration.

B. Ensure labour unions are able to administer their affairs with autonomy  

1. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law does not mandate a labour union registered with the competent government
body to operate according to the Statutes of Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour and that its law provides
the authority to any labour union registered with the competent government body to adopt and operate according
to that union’s own statutes; and Viet Nam shall ensure that its law provides that a grassroots labour union
registered with the competent government body is entitled to collect and manage its membership dues and to
receive the grassroots  union share of the two percent  fee paid by the employer on a non-discriminatory basis.  
Relevant articles in current law include TUL Article 4(8), Article 6(2), Article 26 and Article 27.  

2. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law does not provide for the exclusive privilege of a single labour union to engage
and consult with the relevant authorities and its law provides for such engagement and consultation without
reference to a particular labour union.  Relevant articles in current law include Trade Union Law (TUL) Article 10,
Article 11, Article 12 and Article 13.  

3. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law provides that labour unions registered with the competent government body
have the right to ownership and management of their assets and property.  Relevant articles in current law include
TUL Article 28.  

4. Noting that the Constitution of Viet Nam recognizes only labour unions affiliated with the VGCL as “socio-
political organizations”, Viet Nam shall ensure that its law will not require labour unions registered with the
competent government body to have mandatory political obligations and responsibilities that are inconsistent with
the labour rights as stated in the ILO Declaration.  

5. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law does not require that an upper-level labour union assist a grassroots labour
union in its functions and does specify that an upper-level labour union may do so only on the specific request of a
grassroots labour union.  Relevant articles in current law include Labor Code (LC) Article 188(1) and Article 188
(2).   

C. Worker representation in non-unionized workplaces  

Viet Nam shall ensure that its law does not require that an upper-level labour union represent non-unionized
workers and does provide that an upper-level labour union can  represent non-unionized workers only upon the
request of those non-unionized workers and only with respect to that worker or those workers who have
specifically requested such assistance.  Relevant articles in current law include LC Article 188(3) and Article 210
(2).   

D. Selection of union officials  

Viet Nam shall ensure that its law provides that: (1) all labour union officials on an executive board are elected by
that labour union’s membership; and (2) the executive body can employ persons to assist with labour union
activities.  Relevant articles in current law include TUL Article 4(4) and Article 4(5).

E.  Interference in organizational activity  

1. Viet Nam shall ensure, for purposes of protecting the interests of the employees, including in collective
bargaining, that, in its law and practice, it distinguishes between employees and those who have the interests of the
employer, and prohibits employer interference with labour unions, consistent with the labour rights as stated in the
ILO Declaration, while also respecting labour union rights of managerial and supervisory employees.  

2. Viet Nam shall revise Article 24 of Decree 95/2013/ND-CP to expand protection against anti-union
discrimination, including element of good faith bargaining, and sanctions sufficient to deter violations.

F. Consistency of other laws  

Viet Nam shall ensure that no laws or legal instruments, or provisions therein, such as the law on association, are
applied or amended in a manner to undermine labour union-related activity, including organizing labour unions,
collective bargaining and strikes, or assisting with those activities, as provided in the LC, TUL and other
Vietnamese labour-related laws.   

G. Scope of strikes  

1. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law allows for rights-based strikes, consistent with ILO guidance.  Relevant
articles in current law include LC Article 215(1).  

2. Viet Nam shall ensure that its law provides for 50 percent plus one of the Executive Committee to be required to
approve a strike.  Relevant articles in current law include LC Article 212 and Article 213(1).

3. Acknowledging that collective bargaining at the sectoral level and for more than one enterprise is recognised
under the LC Viet Nam shall ensure that strikes are permitted when organized for workers of different enterprises
at the same levels at which collective bargaining is permitted under law, subject to compliance with domestic
procedures that are not inconsistent with the labour rights as stated in the ILO Declaration.  Relevant articles in
current law include LC Article 215(2).  

4. Viet Nam shall amend Decree 41/2013/ND-CP to delete Article 2.1.b of the Decree and the resultant list of
affected entities to ensure that strikes are permitted in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas and supply and
production of gas.   

5.  Viet Nam shall amend Decree 46/2013/ND-CP to delete Article 8.1.   

H. Forced Labour  

1. Viet Nam shall provide by decree that forced labour as referred to in LC Article 3(10) includes “debt bondage”.

2. Viet Nam shall amend relevant Penal Code (PC) articles to apply appropriate criminal sanctions for the use of
forced labour.  

3. Viet Nam shall amend all relevant provisions, including the legal instruments implementing the law on drug
control and law on administrative sanctions, to ensure that treatment in drug rehabilitation centers is medically
appropriate and does not subject patients to conditions of forced or compulsory labour, consistent with
international standards, and to require that drug abuser entry be voluntary or based on a court decision.   

I. Discrimination  

1. Viet Nam shall issue clarifying policy guidance explaining the application of LC Article 8 to make clear that the
law prohibits discrimination based on color, race and national extraction.  

2. Viet Nam shall amend its law to prohibit discrimination in “all aspects of employment.”  Relevant articles include
LC Article 8.  

3. Viet Nam shall amend LC Article 160 to protect the occupational safety and health of women workers while
removing prohibitions on women engaging in specified occupations.    

III. Institutional Reforms and Capacity Building  

Viet Nam shall undertake necessary institutional changes and capacity building to implement the amended laws and
regulations, including: establish new administrative functions, procedures and mechanisms; expand and adequately
training the labor inspectorate and relevant criminal system authorities to effectively enforce the amended laws and
regulations; and provide the necessary resources, including hire additional staff as needed to implement these
changes.   

A. TPP National Contact Point  

1. Viet Nam shall designate the appropriate office as its contact point under Article 19.10 (Contact Point) and
ensure its adequate staffing.  

2. Viet Nam shall establish and disseminate administrative procedures for the receipt and consideration of public
submissions as provided for in Article 19.9 (Public Submissions).   

B. Industrial Relations Activities  

1.  Viet Nam shall designate the competent government body and establish appropriate administrative processes
within the competent government body, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and
Departments of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISAs), as applicable, to apply legal reforms on and to
ensure:  

(a) registration of grassroots labour unions consistent with Section II.A. of this Plan;   

(b) workers’ right to strike; and  

(c) effective recognition and protection of the right to bargain collectively.  

2. Viet Nam shall establish industrial relations bodies and mechanisms, which shall provide mediation and
conciliation services and develop and implement training programs for the resolution of disputes between workers
and employers, consistent with LC Article 235(4), Article 72, Articles 195 through 198 and Articles 203 through
205.

3. Viet Nam shall designate and train an adequate number of personnel within MOLISA and DOLISAs and other
appropriate bodies, as applicable, to implement the processes in paragraphs B.1 and 2.

C. Labor Inspection Capacity  

1. Viet Nam shall revise internal inspection and other enforcement procedures for the labor inspectorate of
MOLISA and DOLISAs to ensure effective enforcement of the new legal provisions and train all relevant MOLISA
and DOLISAs personnel on the new provisions and procedures.  

2. Viet Nam shall establish and implement an effective complaint mechanism in MOLISA and DOLISAs for
workers to inform those authorities confidentially and anonymously of violations of the new legal provisions that
includes, at a minimum, procedures for referring complaints to labor inspectors for follow up and for documenting
and tracking the follow-up inspections and investigations conducted, including status, violations identified, fines
and sanctions levied and remediation.  

3. Viet Nam shall allocate sufficient resources necessary for MOLISA’s and DOLISAs’ enforcement of labor law,
including 750-800 permanent labor inspectors for MOLISA by the end of 2016 and 1200 by the end of 2020, up
from the existing 500.   

D. Implementation of Procedures  

Viet Nam shall develop and implement procedures, as needed, and train relevant local and national personnel
responsible for criminal and civil law enforcement, both on the new legal reforms and procedures to ensure the
exercise of labour union-related activity provided in the LC, TUL and other Vietnamese labour-related laws, as well
as on the criminal prosecution of the use of forced labour.   

E. Forced and Child Labour  

1. Recognising that Viet Nam publicly released the National Child Labour Survey, including the findings and
methodology, Viet Nam shall:  

(a) Develop and implement a strategy for targeting inspection and other enforcement activities to sectors where
forced labour or child labour has been identified through the National Child Labour Survey or otherwise, including
at informal work sites and sub-contractors in the garment industry.  

(b) Allow independent experts legally operating in Viet Nam to carry out research studies in sectors where forced
labour or child labour has been identified and to publicly release their findings, source data and methodology.  

2. Viet Nam shall take action, through MOLISA and other relevant ministries and departments, to ensure that
treatment in drug rehabilitation centers is medically appropriate consistent with international standards, requires
that drug abuser entry be voluntary or based on a court decision, and does not subject patients to conditions of
forced or compulsory labour, including by establishing and implementing a mechanism for regular monitoring and
public reporting by technical experts.     

IV. Transparency and Sharing of Information  

A. Budget Information

Viet Nam shall publicly disclose the annual MOLISA budget, including to the extent practicable disaggregated
information on resource allocations and staffing related to the implementation of commitments made in this Plan.  

B. Public Comment  

1. Viet Nam shall provide for public comment, consistent with its existing procedures, the draft laws and
regulations that result from the commitments in this Plan.  

2. Viet Nam shall, consistent with its existing procedures, publicly post on the MOLISA or other applicable agency
website the final legal instruments after their issuance.  

3. Viet Nam shall make publicly available every six months for 10 years after the date of entry into force of the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement between the United States and Viet Nam, the following:  

(a) Detailed information on the status and final outcomes of applications for labour union registration, including the
time taken to process the applications and the basis for denial, if applicable, as well as detailed information on
collective bargaining agreements concluded and strikes declared.  

(b) Statistics on the number of inspections and investigations conducted by MOLISA and DOLISAs, disaggregated
by region, sector and  internationally recognised labour right listed in Article 19.1 (Definitions), as well as statistics
on the outcomes of the inspections and investigations, including confirmed violations, fines and sanctions levied,
and remediation.


                                                                                                                 
Source from USTR, 2/2016