Regional minimum wages may increase by 6.5 per cent in 2018

Vietnam’s National Wage Council, which is made of representatives from local businesses, labor unions and government officials, decided on Monday that the minimum wage next year will be raised to VND2.76-3.98 million ($121-175) per month in rural areas, and slightly more in urban areas. The 6.5 percent rise will be the lowest wage increase in 11 years. The minimum wage is used by businesses to calculate salaries for their workers by multiplying the base level by a coefficient assigned to each worker, based on their skills and experience. Vietnam has been raising this yardstick every year, a policy that has pitted labor groups against employers. The two parties came up with the figure following five weeks of discussions, which started with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry proposing a low offer of 5 percent and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor asking for 13.3 percent. Not everyone was happy with the end result. Mai Duc Chinh, vice chairman of the labor confederation which represents unions across the country, said he had wanted an increase of at least as much as this year, which at 7.3 percent was already the lowest in a decade. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will need to sign off on the proposal, but that is merely a formality. Chinh said that workers will not be able to sustain their basic needs with such a low pay rise. In a survey conducted by Vietnam’s Institute of Workers and Trade Unions in March, a third of…... [read more]

Tough talks over pay raiseThuy Dung HANOI – While employers seek to cap the minimum wage increase for next year at less than 5%, employees are pushing for an 8-10% pay raise, and the wide difference requires another round of negotiations on August 7. The current salary level, according to experts, meets around 90% of the minimum living demand for laborers, said Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) at a meeting of the National Wage Council last Friday. Pay rise to erode competitiveness Meanwhile, local companies want to achieve sustainable growth because any sharp rise in the minimum wage will force them to restructure production, resulting in staff layoffs and creating other social problems, said Phong of VCCI, which represents employers. Phong said the business performance of local enterprises has slightly improved. However, those active in textile-garment, leather-footwear, seafood, and electronics sectors will face adverse effects upon any strong hike in the minimum wage. A report shows there are around 54.4 million employees nationwide, but those having signed labor agreements with enterprises and cooperatives account for a mere 17%. As such, if the minimum wage is adjusted up strongly, other social factors will follow suit – lives of laborers subject to the adjustment and those working in the informal sector will be impacted. Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, said enterprises always regard their employees as a cornerstone to fuel their growth. However, Thuan said, if…... [read more]

At the second debate on regional minimum wage for next year, held by the National Salary Council in Hanoi yesterday, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), which represented employees, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), which represented employers, failed to reach an agreement. The VGCL called for an 8 percent increase from the current minimum wage while the VCCI proposed 5 percent. Regional minimum wage rates are the base rates used for any arrangement between enterprises and employees on salary. The wage rates are paid to employees who work under normal working conditions, meet monthly working hour standards and complete their obligations for agreed work duties. Vietnam currently has four regions ranked according to the socio-economic development level of each region. Region I includes the large districts and towns of Hanoi, Hai Phong, HCM City and Dong Nai, as well as Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Since January 1, 2017, the regional minimum wage rate applicable for employees working for enterprises in Region I is VND3,750,000 per month, in Region II is VND3,320,000 per month, in Region III is VND2,900,000 per month and in Region IV is VND2,580,000 per month. The rates are 7.3 percent higher than in 2016. VCCI Vice Chairman Hoang Quang Phong said the 5 percent increase proposal was made based on assessing more than 30 associations representing employers. Increasing the regional minimum wage would lead to higher production costs for businesses, he said. Experts said the current minimum wage met…... [read more]

Average minimum salary proposed to rise over 15% next year Minh Duc By Minh Duc - The Saigon Times Daily The minimum wage for Zone 1 would rise to VND3.1 million per month if the National Wage Council’s proposal is approved by the Government - Photo: Uyen Vien HANOI – The National Wage Council has agreed on a proposal by representatives of different agencies to increase the 2015 minimum salary by region by an average of 15.1% and the minimum wage for Zone 1 would rise to VND3.1 million if the proposal is approved by the Government. According to the National Wage Council’s proposal, employees in Zone 1 would see their minimum salary up VND400,000 to VND3.1 million per month while the respective amounts in zones 2, 3 and 4 would be VND2.75 million (up VND350,000), VND2.42 million (up VND320,000) and VND2.2 million (up VND300,000). At the council’s meeting in Hanoi on August 6, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor proposed a minimum wage increase of 18.5%. The increase suggested by the council is not at all strange as the regional minimum wage picks up around 15% annually in the past time. Tong Thi Minh, director of the Department of Labor and Wage under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, told the Daily that the proposed hike was seen as acceptable for the employer and the employee. The establishment of the National Wage Council is aimed to propose wage increases based on economic situations, inflation and people’s…... [read more]

Addressing the event, Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), noted that in recent years territorial disputes in the East Sea have not only directly affected the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen, but threatened peace and freedom of navigation of regional countries. “Given this context, it is important to organise an international conference with the participation of leaders, professors, scholars and international law experts who can seek optimum solutions to East Sea-related issues in line with Vietnam’s peace-loving tradition and its peaceful diplomacy,” he said. Professor Nguyen Manh Hung from George Mason University, USA, denounced China’s recent unilateral actions and territorial claims in the East Sea, posing a big threat to regional peace, stability and freedom of navigation, as well as affecting fishermen’s operations at sea. He expressed hope that during the two-day conference scholars will work out viable solutions to support fishermen in operating in their traditional fishing grounds in the East Sea. Dr S.D. Pradhan from Chandighrh University, India’s former deputy national security adviser, pointed out the fact that a number of agreements have been signed by countries to maintain peace, but China paid no heed to these agreements and it carried out provocative actions in the East Sea. To tackle the current dispute, he said the international community should have a stronger voice, forcing parties concerned to fully observe international law. Echoing Pradhan’s view, Professor Ramses Amer, senior researcher of the Centre for Pacific Asia Studies of Stockholm University, suggested that countries…... [read more]

Comprised of some 500 multinational companies employing approximately 250,000 workers, the electronics industry is the nation’s second largest exporting industry—dominated by brands like Samsung, Fujitsu, Canon, Intel, and Foxconn. Similar to the clothing industry – the number one exporter – the majority of workers are female and a relatively high proportion consist of domestic workers who have migrated from rural to the larger metropolitan areas. “Decent work deficits [DWDs] include occupational health and safety related matters as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, precarious employment contacts, unfair wages and the lack of the right to collectively bargain and associate freely,” Phong underscored. Nevertheless, issues pertaining to noncompliance with national law and international standards continue to be the norm and a fundamental challenge for companies and there is a dire need for improving labour practices. In response to this need, Phong said the VCCI has launched a project to encourage multinational companies to contribute positively to economic and social development through socially responsible labour practices. The program has a special focus on the electronics industry. The VCCI partners in the program include the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, International Labour Organization (ILO) and a raft of business associations. The US$481,822 project entitled ‘More and Better Jobs Through Socially Responsible Labour Practices in Asia’ runs August 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and is funded by the Government of Japan. “We fundamentally believe that taking joint action to renovate the way multinational corporations interact…... [read more]

The meeting held in Hanoi was focused on building a policy framework and coming up with suitable models for social welfare in Vietnam. Mr Huan said that the Vietnamese Government is actively implementing the new law on social insurance, especially voluntary social insurance and unemployment insurance with the aim of ensuring social welfare and assisting workers during the economic downturn. The government is also carrying out national programmes on jobs, poverty reduction and vocational training to help unemployed people, the poor and other disadvantaged groups to stabilize their lives and acquire the necessary skills to re-join the labour market when the economy recovers. At the event, representatives from the MoLISA, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and experts from the International Labour Organization discussed different labour market models being employed in Denmark and Austria.... [read more]

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong praised the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and Hai Duong province for their firm resolve in combating drugs in recent times. He asked them to instruct all grassroots-level agencies to put into action a Political Bureau directive on enhancing the Party leadership’s role in drug prevention and control and distribute the anti-drug law and related legislation amongst their staff. Trade unions should make their employees fully aware of the harmful effects of drugs to their health and strive towards the goal of ‘No drugs in the family, community and workplace,’ said Mr Trong. He asked trade unions to work closely with the police to examine and estimate the number of drug addicts, adopt appropriate models of detoxification and crack down on drug hot spots especially amongst employees to keep the scourge of drugs off the business circle. He urged the trade unions to set up funds for drug and HIV/AIDS control and to encourage enterprises to provide capital and create jobs for detoxified ex-addicts. “The trade unions must cooperate with the relevant ministries and agencies to draw up a drug control programme for their employees in the 2010-2015 period. It should emphasise the employers’ role in fulfilling their social corporate responsibility for employees and their commitment to carrying out HIV/AIDS control programmes,” said the Deputy PM. After the meeting, 190,000 employees took part in a demonstration along major streets in Hai Duong City and at industrial zones in response to…... [read more]

During the course, students exchanged experiences through fact-finding tours to a number of grass roots trade unions and working sessions with businesses leaders and the executive committees of local trade unions. While receiving a delegation of the Lao Federation of Trade Union (LFTU) Central Committee, Vice President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) Nguyen Van Ngang expressed his hope that the Lao trade unionists would apply knowledge gained from the course to the reality in their localities and keep up regular exchanges with their Vietnamese counterparts on issues of mutual concern and those emerging from their work. He said the training course is expected to help Lao trade unionists improve their knowledge and experience in trade union activities.... [read more]

A sponsorship signing ceremony took place in Hanoi on April 1 as part of a two-day seminar held by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to discuss labour relations and modification of Vietnam’s Labour and Trade Union Laws. The money will help the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour strengthen trade unions at grassroots levels and assist the Vietnamese government in devising effective labour institutions - one of the main topics discussed at the seminar. According to surveys by the local Institute of Workers and Trade Unions, most workers at FDI (foreign direct investment) enterprises, especially married ones, have difficult lives. Their average incomes are no higher than those of workers in other businesses, even though they have to work harder and longer. As a result, strikes occur nationwide on various scales every year. Since 1995, there have been nearly 4,000 strikes, all of them spontaneous and none of them complying with the Labour Law. Almost 72 percent of the strikes occurred in the FDI sector and 95 percent of them were related to wages, according to statistics released by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. Meanwhile, trade unionists in non-state businesses are usually amateurs paid only by the company owners, so they are not in a position to vociferously defend the rights of workers. Huynh Than, a participant at the seminar, said trade unions - tools for safeguarding the legitimate rights and benefits of workers - tend to be ignored at…... [read more]




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