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National Assembly: Time to approve Vietnam’s accession to ILO’s Convention 98

Most opinions at the debate at the National Assembly on June 7 morning supported Vietnam’s joining Convention 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the application of principles of the right to organise and bargain collectively.

Many deputies said participating in the convention is in line with the Party and State’s policies on international integration in the fields of labour and social affairs, and demonstrates the country’s resolve and efforts to realise labour-related commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as well as obligations as a member state of the ILO.

They were also of the view that membership in the convention will facilitate the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said at the debate that during the process of drafting the proposal on Vietnam’s participation in the convention, ministries had coordinated closely with international partners to review the entire legal system, conditions and standards in Vietnam to assess the necessity, feasibility and specific plans of the accession of the convention.

“At this point, it can be said that it is the right time for Vietnam to join Convention 98; we can effectively enforce stipulations of the convention, and the commitments are fully conformable with Vietnam’s Constitution and laws,” Minister Dung said.

Some deputies expressed concerns about the need to adjust laws and policies on management once other organisations representing labourers are established and operate besides the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL). 

In reply, the minister said the VGCL is a socio-political organisation governed by the Constitution, the Law on Trade Union and related laws, while other organisations of labourers are merely social organisations operating for the only purpose of labour relations.

He said relevant agencies have already worked on plans to revise and supplement related to the right to join and establish organisations representing labourers, conditions on number of members and organisation of labourers’ organisations at grassroots level, and statutes, guidelines and purposes of such organisations, with a view to ensuring their effective operation and the rights and interests of labourers.

Deputy Bui Van Cuong, who is President of the VGCL, informed the NA that the confederation is planning stronger reform to meet international practice and better perform its mission in the new context.

Concluding the discussion, Vice Chairwoman of the NA Tong Thi Phong required the NA’s Committee for External Relations, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, to study the opinions of NA deputies and complete the proposal on accession to Convention 98, in order to submit to the NA for approval on June 14.