Hanoi (VNA) – The International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Convention 98 is expected to facilitate the spread of genuine collective bargaining at Vietnamese workplaces and eliminate employers’ interference and dominance on workers’ organisations, heard a workshop in Hanoi on July 6.
 
The workshop was held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to announce Vietnam’s ratification of ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining and look into a draft implementation plan for the convention.
 
The Convention 98 was ratified by Vietnam’s National Assembly in June last year and became effective in the country from July 5.
 
Respecting ILO fundamental conventions is a central requirement of the new generation of free trade agreements of which Vietnam is a member, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). It is also pivotal to the corporate social responsibility policies of many multinational corporations.
 
Adopted in 1949, Convention 98 has three major components to ensure that collective bargaining between workers and employers can take place in an effective manner. They include protection of workers and trade union officers against employers’ acts of discrimination at work, guarantees for workers’ and employers’ organisations to be free from interference or dominance from each other, and the requirement of institutional and legal measures provided by the State to promote collective bargaining.
 
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Quan said Convention 98 is among seven of eight of the fundamental ILO conventions Vietnam has joined. The country is also considering participating in the remaining one – Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise.
 
The Vietnamese NA has also passed the revised Labour Code to bring the domestic legal framework closer to international standards set in the Convention 98, according to Quan. The revised law will take effect at the beginning of 2021.

ILO convention hoped to facilitate genuine collective bargaining at work in Vietnam hinh anh 1The workshop is held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in Hanoi on July 6 to announce Vietnam’s ratification of ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining and look into a draft implementation plan for the convention. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

All standards set in the Convention 98 were codified in the 2019 version of the Labour Code, he affirmed.
 
The deputy minister said some provisions have been amended or added to the revised Labour Code for it to be in line with Convention 98. They include legalising the collective rights of workers’ representative organisations, ensuring well-meaning and voluntary collective bargaining, the protection of workers and trade union officers against employers’ acts of discrimination at work, the protection of workers’ organisations from employers’ interference or dominance, and the guarantee of proper labour dispute resolution processes to promote voluntary collective bargaining, he outlined.
 
They are also the five principles for the implementation of Convention 98, he noted.
 
Quan went on to say that to effectively carry out Convention 98, it is necessary to take concerted action, including disseminating the convention, building feasible and effective models on labour relations based on substantively promoted collective bargaining, improving the capacity of relevant parties and building a database to help with collective bargaining.
 
For his part, Director of ILO Vietnam Chang Hee Lee expressed commitment to stand side-by-side with the Vietnamese Government to carry out Convention 98.
 
“The ratification of Convention 98 will accelerate the spread of genuine collective bargaining for win-win solutions at Vietnamese workplaces, which is likely to result in better working conditions, higher productivity and shared prosperity, contributing to sustainable development,” Lee said.
 
He said the convention is one of eight core conventions stated in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and all ILO members have the obligation to respect and apply the principles stated in the declaration.
 
Vietnam is promoting its global economic integration as well as national industrialisation and modernisation, so participation in Convention 98 is important to all political, legal and socio-economic aspects, he went on.
 
He expected that the fundamental principles of Convention 98 will set a scene for more open dialogues between employers and workers about labour rights, especially against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, he remarked./.

VNA