Vietnam labour survey takes foreign firms to task
HANOI - A survey of foreign-invested firms
operating in Vietnam has shown many fail to abide by labour
regulations, do not have insurance policies for employees and treat
women rudely, official media reported.
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in a report obtained by Reuters on
Friday said such problems at foreign-invested firms had led to a rise in
The foreign-invested sector accounted for 50 to 55 percent of all
worker strikes last year, compared with 35 to 40 percent in 1997, it
said. The number of strikes was not given.
The foreign-invested sector in communist-ruled Vietnam generally
refers to companies licensed to do business such as joint ventures, to
100-percent owned foreign entities and to branch offices of banks and
A survey of 100 foreign-invested businesses indicated more than 90
did not strictly observe recruitment procedures, VNA said.
A number of businesses also forced employees to work extra shifts
without overtime payments and set tasks that could not be met, said the
survey, conducted by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social
Employees in most such businesses had not yet obtained their insurance
policies and some female workers were treated rudely, it added
without giving details.
A labour ministry official said he could not immediately give details of
More than 230,000 people worked at 1,500 foreign-invested
businesses, the report said.
Some foreign companies have laid off workers and scaled back
operations in Vietnam because of the region's economic crisis and the
country's own obstacles such as widespread bureaucracy.
VNA said trade unions had yet to fulfill their role of protecting
legitimate interests of workers in foreign-invested firms. Late last year
Vietnam's main trade union said it aimed for a presence in all foreign
firms in the country.
Another reason for labour strikes were occasional violations of
working rules by Vietnamese employees, VNA said.
Reuters - February 19, 1999.