Vietnamese enterprises are increasingly paying attention to corporate social responsibility, since it not only benefits staff members but also the firms themselves.

Since 2008, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and the Confederation of German Trade Unions have been carrying out a project to enhance the role of trade unions in promoting corporate social responsibility in the southern province of Dong Nai.

After seven years, the number of participating firms has increased from 3 to 50.

The working environment and living conditions for workers have improved significantly, boosting staff-employer relations and increasing the companies’ reputation.

Participating in the project since 2012, TaekwangVina Company in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park in Bien Hoa city has noticed improvements in the relations between employers and employees, as well as an annual revenue growth rate of more than 12 percent.

Dinh Sy Phuc, Chairman of the company’s trade union, said the union had chosen some key issues out of a list of 12 social responsibilities to persuade the employers to follow as part of the project.

Since then, the company has agreed to increase leave allowances and bonuses, built a health clinic for staff and employed 300 people with disabilities, while also providing support for parents of young children and serving breakfast for more than 24,000 employees.

A low-cost supermarket has also been set up, allowing employees to pay later once their salary is paid, which is proving cost and time effective, whilst also helping with household budgeting, Phuc said.

Meanwhile, Nec Tokin Electronics Vietnam in Bien Hoa city has planted trees on their factory grounds, installed a low-cost drinks vending machine and set up a games and karaoke room for employees to relax in after work.

According to Nguyen Thi Nhu Y, Vice President of the Dong Nai Confederation of Labour, corporate social responsibility in these localities has improved substantially, making practical contributions to the community.

However, she also pointed out that a number of companies continued to ignore their responsibilities and even violated the Labour Law.

In the future, the province will implement measures encouraging companies to adapt policies that improve working and living conditions, she said.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, Vice President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, said the success of the project in Dong Nai would be shared during an upcoming conference on international experience.-VNA