The 11th Congress of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) for the 2013-2018 tenure opened in Hanoi on July 28, aiming to develop a strong contingent of workers and better protect their legitimate rights and interests.

The event was attended by 950 delegates representing nearly eight million trade union members nationwide and delegations from foreign trade union organisations including the World Federation of Trade Unions. On the occasion, 22 international trade union organisations sent greetings to the congress.

A report presented at the congress stressed that during the last five years, trade union organisations nationwide have fulfilled all the major targets set by the 10th congress.

The trade unions at all levels have gathered members’ contributions to the building of hundreds of legal documents, policies, and regulations relating to workers, especially the 2012 Law on Trade Union and the 2012 Labour Code.

The unions have also worked hard to take care of labourers and protect their legitimate rights and interests.

Patriotic emulation campaigns launched by the trade unions have made great contributions to the implementation of socio-economic tasks, with the brightest examples being the construction of Dung Quat oil refinary, Son La hydro power plant, Lai Chau hydro plant and the Ca Mau gas-power-fertiliser plant.

The trade union organisations encouraged and supported fishermen to establish fishing associations in coastal cities and provinces, thus raising the position of the organisation in the society and contributing to defending the country’s sea and island sovereignty.

Addressing the congress, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong stressed that the working class has made great contributions to the country’s revolutionary cause.

Over the last 25 years of the “doi moi” (renewal) process, in parallel with the cause of industrialisation and modernisation, the working class has developed strongly and upheld its role as the leading class of the revolution through its pioneer, the Communist Party of Vietnam, he added.

The Party leader asked the trade unions at all levels, in the next five years, to thoroughly grasp the guiding viewpoints and ideologies of the 11th Party Congress’ Resolution, Political Programme and the Socio-Economic Development Strategy in the New Period as well as a resolution on building the working class while strengthening the industrialisation and modernisation process.

He stressed that in the socialism-oriented market economy, the trade unions should well perform their role as the representative of workers and labourers, protecting their legitimate rights and interests.

They should actively involve in labour negotiations with employers, organise the signing and implementation of collective labour contracts as well as skilfully deal with labour disputes. Those operating in State-owned enterprises should work together with the management in making plans to rearrange production and business for better performance, he added.

The Party chief also urged trade union organisations to pay more attention to promoting the exercise of democracy at grassroots level, strengthen social activities and encourage workers to exercise their right to mastery.

He said the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) should further strengthen itself to match its role as a political-social organisation of a large number of workers, representing their strength, intellectuals and interests.

The Party leader asked the organisation to seek more ways to attract the masses and organise more social activities to gather workers in all economic sectors. At the same time, the VGCL should push for the establishment of trade unions in the private economic sector, joint ventures and foreign-invested economic sector in order to better perform the function of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of workers while acting as a reliable source of support for them to uphold their rights.

The same day, the congress elected the Executive Board of the 11th VGCL and heard a report on amendments and revision to the VGCL Charter.-VNA