Vietnam ratifies ILO convention on collective bargaining

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has congratulated Vietnam on its decision to ratify one of the organization’s fundamental conventions to promote collective bargaining.

Vietnam ratifies ILO convention on collective bargaining
A worker in a manufacturing company in Bac Ninh Province. ILO has congratulated Vietnam on its decision to ratify ILO Convention 98

All 452 National Assembly deputies present at the session on June 14 voted yes to the Government dossier for ratification of ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.

Convention 98 is one of the eight ILO core conventions under the ILO's 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work which covers freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the effective abolition of child labor; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

All ILO member states should respect and apply the principles under the 1998 Declaration.

“We congratulate Vietnam on ratifying Convention 98. Not only is this a fundamental right, but also an enabling right that facilitates the achievement of many other labor protections”, said the ILO’s deputy director-general for policy, Deborah Greenfield.

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’ organizations to be free from interference or dominance from each other, and requirements of institutional and legal measures provided by the State to promote collective bargaining.

One significant change Vietnam will need to put in place to comply with this convention is to move away from the current situation in which local trade unions are dominated by management.


“In many factories, it is not hard to find a senior manager or human resources manager also acting as the trade union chair,” said ILO Vietnam director Chang-Hee Lee. “Making unions independent from dominance or interference of management is a key to building harmonious, stable and progressive industrial relations for sustainable development.”

He went on to say that Vietnamese workers, trade unions and employers have already proven their desire for genuine collective bargaining, as shown in the recent breakthrough development of multi-employers’ collective bargaining in the electronics industry in Haiphong, the tourism industry in Danang, and the furniture industry in Binh Duong.

“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,” he added.

The ILO’s eight core conventions, including Convention 98, under the fundamental principles and rights at work, have become a central part of the new generation of free trade agreements, including the CPTPP (The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) and the FTA between the EU and Vietnam, as well as most corporate social responsibility policies of multi-national enterprises.

Convention 98 is the sixth fundamental convention Vietnam has ratified, along with Convention 29 on forced labor, Conventions 100 and 111 on non-discrimination, and Conventions 138 and 182 on child labor. SGT

Thuy Dung

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

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

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

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