Vietnam: What is a trade union? Regulations on responsibilities of trade unions

Hi Lawnet, I have the following questions: What is a trade union? What are the regulations on responsibilities of trade unions?- Thanh Hoa (Long An, Vietnam)


Vietnam: What is a trade union? Regulations on responsibilities of trade unions

1. What is a trade union?

According to Article 1 of Vietnam's Law on Trade Union 2012, Trade Unions means a great socio-political organization of the working-class and laborers and are founded on the voluntary basis and are a component part of the political system of the Vietnamese society, placed under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam. 

Trade Unions are representatives of cadres and civil servants, public employees, workers and other laborers (hereinafter referred to as laborers), together with state agencies, economical organizations, social organizations shall care and protect for laborers’ legitimate and legal rights and interests.

Trade Unions join in state management, eco-social management, inspection; examination, supervision of activities of state agencies, organizations, units, enterprises;

And mobilization, propagation for laborers to study, improve knowledge, professional skill, observe law, build and defend the socialist fatherland of Vietnam.

2. Rights and responsibilities of Trade Unions

The rights and responsibilities of trade unions are defined from Article 10 to Article 17 of Vietnam's Law on Trade Union 2012 as follows:

(1) Representation, protection of legal and legitimate rights and interests of laborers

- Guiding, consulting laborers on their rights and obligations upon concluding, performing labor contracts, working contracts with units employing laborers.

- Representing for labor collective in agreement of, conclusion and supervision of the implementation of collective labor accord.

- Participating with units employing laborers to formulate and supervise the implementation of wage scales and wage groups, the labor standards, regulations of wave paying, regulations of reward, labor regulation.

- Dialoguing with units employing laborers to settle problems related to rights and obligations of laborers.

- Organizing of law consulting activities for laborers.

- Taking part in settle labor disputes together with competent agencies, organizations or personals

- Proposing to organizations, competent state agencies for consideration, settlement upon the legal and legitimate rights and interest of labor collective or laborers are breached.

- Representing labor collective to suing at the Court upon the legal and legitimate rights and interest of labor collective are breached; representing laborer to suing at the Court upon the legal and legitimate rights and interest of laborer are breached and being authorezed by laborer.

- Representing labor collective to participate in legal proceeding related to cases of labor, administration, enterprise bankruptcy in order to protect the legal and legitimate rights and interest of labor collective and laborers

- Organization and leadership of strikes as prescribed by law.

(2) Participating in the state management and eco-social management

- Participating with state agencies in formulating policies, law on economy, social, labor, jobs, wage, social insuarence, health insuarance, labor protection and other policies, laws related to Trade Unions, rights and obligations of laborers.

- Coorporating with state agencies to study and apply science, technology, technique on labor protection, formulating standards, regulations on labour security and hygiene.

- Participating with sate agencies in managing on social insuarance, health insurance; settlement of complaints, denunciations of laborers, labor collective as prescribed by law.

- Participating in establishing harmonious, stable and progressive labor relations in agencies, organizations and enterprises.

- Participating in establishing and implementing democratic regulation in agencies, organizations and enterprises.

- Cooporating to organizate emulation movements in the scope of branches, localities, agencies, organizations and enterprises.

(3) Submitting law or ordinance projects and proposing for development of law and policy

- The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour is entitled to submit law or ordinance projects to the National Assembly, The Standing Committee of National Assembly.

- Trade Unions at levels are entitled to propose to competent State agencies for elaboration, admendment, supplemention of policies, laws related to Trade Unions, rights and obligations of laborers.

(4) Participating in session, meetings, and congress

The president of Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, presidents of trade unions at different levels have rights and duties to participate in session, meetings, and congress of concerned agencies, organizations at the same level upon discussing and deciding on problems related to rights and obligations of laborers.

(5) Participating in inspection, examination and supervision of activities of agencies, organizations and enterprises.

- Participating, coorpodorating with competent State agencies to inspect, exeminate, supervise implementation of regimes, policies, laws on labor, trade union, cadres and civil servants, public employees, social insurance, health insurance and other regimes, policies and laws related to rights and obligations of laborers; investigation of labor accident and professional diseases.

- Upon participating, coordinating to inspect, exeminate, supervise according to provisions in clause 1 of this article, Trade Unions have the following rights:

+ Requesting agencies, organizations and enterprises to supply information, documents and analyse concerned problems;

+ Proposing measures to repair shortcomings, prevent violations, remedy damages and handle acts violating to law.

+ In case detecting working place where elements affecting or causing danger to healthy, life of laborers exist, the trade unions are entitled to request agencies, organizations and enterprises, individuals have to immediately implement remedial measures, labor safety assurance; even case operation must provisional interrupted.

(6) Propagation, mobilization, education with respect to laborers

- Propagating lines, guideilines, policies of the Party, State laws related to Trade Unions, laborers; regulation of Trade Union.

- Propagating, mobilizing, educating laborers to study, improve the cultural-political level, specialized and professional skills, and consciousness of compliance with law, regulations, and rules of agencies, organizations and enterprises.

- Propagating, mobilizing, educating laborers in practicing saving, waste fighting, corruption prevention.

(7) Develoment of Trade Union members and primary Trade Unions

- The Trade Unions have rights and responsibilities to develop Trade Union members and primary Trade Unions in agencies, organizations and enterprises.

- The Trade Unions at directly higher level have rights and responsibilities to appoint cadres come agencies, organizations, enterprises to propagate, mobilize, guide laborers in establishment, participation and operation of Trade Union.

(8) Rights and responsibilities of Trade Unions at directly higher level with respect to laborers in agencies, organizations, enterprises where primary Trade Union has not yet been established.

In agencies, organizations, enterprises where primary Trade Union has not yet been established, the Trade Union at directly higher level shall have rights and responsibilities to present, protect the legal and legitimate rights and interests of laborers upon being requested by such laborers.

3. Regulations on the organizational system of Trade Union

According to Article 7 of Vietnam's Law on Trade Union 2012, the organizational system of Trade Union includes Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and Trade Unions at levels as prescribed by The charter of Vietnamese Trade Union.

The primary Trade Unions are constituted in state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, profession-socio-political organization, profession-social organizations, units, enterprises, other organizations employing laborers as prescribed by law on labor, foreign agencies or organizations, international organizations operating in the Vietnamese temporary.

4. Principle of Trade Union organization and operation

Principle of Trade Union organization and operation in Article 6 of Vietnam's Law on Trade Union 2012 are prescribed as follows:

- The Trade Unions shall be established on the voluntary basis, organized and operated under the principle of democratic centralism.

- The Trade Unions shall be organized and operated under the Charter of Vietnamese Trade Union in accordance with lines, guidelines, policies of the Party and law of the State.

Quoc Dat

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