A historic day today in Hanoi for the Vietnam export industries: in the presence of numerous press a joint statement was signed by Vietnamese employers’ organizations VITAS and LEFASO, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry VCCI and the national trade union VGCL. The statement observes the negative impact on Vietnam's garment and shoe industries over the COVID 19 pandemic and points out an action plan towards a sustainable industry ratifying international conventions, and compliable with the socially responsible requirements. CNV Internationaal supported the realization of the statement by facilitating a social dialogue between the different stakeholders. With the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement going into effect in August 2020, the statement is a great impulse to help Vietnam’s export industry to grow and innovate in a sustainable and responsible matter.
Since COVID-19 has hit Vietnam, it has had profound impact on the economy of Vietnam, Asia, and the world, especially the labor-intensive and key export industries such as garment and textile, leather and footwear sectors. According to the employers' organizations, the orders of April 2020 and May 2020 of the industry have decreased by 20% and 50% respectively. Most of the affected businesses and workers report that they have not been able to get access to support package of the Vietnamese Government. Moreover, support from the EU to Vietnam’s supply chains are necessary and urgent because 1 million workers have lost their jobs and income.
Promoting Social Dialogue
Under this context, with technical support of CNV Internationaal, social partners VITAS, LEFASO, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry VCCI, and Vietnam General Confederation of Labour VGCL worked – through social dialogue - together to find common ground and solutions to overcome the crisis. Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, (CNV Internationaal Coordinator Vietnam): “This statement gives an excellent example of effective Social Dialogue. CNV Internationaal is committed to continue supporting and working with the stakeholders to overcome the crisis and promoting social dialogue within the garment sector and beyond.”
Call for action
The statement is a call for action to partners in the European Union and the Vietnamese Government to invest in strategic partnerships to promote social dialogue in line with international labour standards. It further request investment in the education of the workers and making them more employable. The stakeholders also ask for timely and substantive support for workers and businesses affected by the COVID 19 pandemic, with easily accessible and simplified procedures. In conclusion the Vietnamese partners aim to become an innovative industry able to produce more sustainable and ecological products and production methods.
Towards a social industry
Vietnam is an important source country for the European garment industry. A substantial percentage of the textile in the European market is produced in Vietnam. Never before the different stakeholders signed a joint statement. CNV will continue supporting the social dialogue in Vietnam. We count on the partners in joint forces towards a social and fair industry.
Publication date 22 06 2020