Trade union’s stronger engagement in protecting migrant and guest workers’ rights and interests was sought during a conference held in Hanoi on November 28.

Representatives from local trade unions, labour export agencies and organisations together reviewed the outcomes and shortcomings of labour export activities of Vietnam over the past years.

They proposed enhancing the coordination between trade unions and relevant organisations in and outside the country in assisting and protecting contracted Vietnamese workers abroad.

A pilot programme should be conducted with Malaysia , they proposed, stressing the need to speed up the process to sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in protecting migrant workers with the Malaysian Trade Union Congress.

During event, jointly held by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), the participants also pointed out that the trade unions should continue popularising legal regulations related to guest labourers.

The unions should collaborate closely with State agencies and the Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply in monitoring and inspecting the execution of laws among enterprises exporting workers, they said.

Labour export is defined by the Party and State as a long-term important strategy serving the country’s national construction and international cooperation.

The VGCL always sees Vietnamese guest workers an indispensable part of the country’s workforce and gives much attention to protecting them.

According to the Overseas Workers Management Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, in October 2014, 7,774 Vietnamese were sent to work abroad. Taiwan ( China ) remained the largest labour market, receiving 3,878 Vietnamese workers, followed by Japan with 1,784 workers.

In the first 10 months of this year, 91,143 Vietnamese workers went to work in other countries, exceeding the 2014 plan by 4.76 percent.-VNA