On the 25th of September 2014, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia (RLS SEA) organized together with the Institute of scientific socialism from the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA-IS), the second part of the seminar tour “On social and trade union policies in Vietnam”. The international workshop on “Trade Union and Labor – Experiences of Germany and practices in Vietnam” was opened by Nadja Charaby (Regional Representative RLS SEA), Prof. Dr. Bui Thi Ngoc Lan (Vice Chairwoman of NAPA-IS) and Prof. Dr. Nguyen An Ninh (Researcher of NAPA-IS).
Prof. emerit. Helga Spindler (University of Duisburg-Essen) started the workshop with her lecture about: “Individual labor law, social fallback system and social minimum standards in Germany”. Therefore she gave an overview of the present Germanstatus quo anddiscussed thedivision of responsibilities between federal statesandmunicipalities in Germany. Sheoutlinedtheexistinglegal frameworkandexplainedthe relevant laws, such as young person’s employment act, maternity protection, statutory minimum leave, working time act, public unemployment insurance, long-term care insurance and accident insurance. Finally Prof. emerit. Spindler sketched the allocation of social benefits in the federal budget.
The second lecture of Prof. Dr. Vu Quang Tho (Institute of Labour and Trade Union) was held under the title: “The role of the State, trade union in protecting Vietnamese labour”. First of all Prof. Dr. Vu Quang Tho pointed out the influence of the Vietnamese trade unions on the legislation process. Therefore he highlighted parts of the constitution, the labour code, the trade union act and the insurance act. In the second part of his lecture, he went on to the role of trade unions for the protection of workers’ rights, he outlined the main problems and showed the associated claims.
In an intermediate discussion concerning the first two lectures the topics: varied interpretations of strikes, differences between wild-cat and legal strikes and the differences and similarities between Germany and Vietnam were taken up.
In the following lecture: “The German education system, with a focus on vocational training and a view to advanced vocational training and retraining” Karl Heinz Heinemann (Chair of the Board of RLS NRW) explained the differences, advantages and disadvantages between the dual system, the vocational education school system and the transition system in Germany. Conclusively he clarified the existing selectivity of the German education system which still puts children of households with a lower education level in a disadvantaged position.
Following Heinemann’s presentation the lecture by Trinh Thu Nga (Institute for Social and Labour Sciences) was concerned with the topic: “Vocational training system in Vietnam and career development for employees”. Introducing she explained the Vietnamese legal framework and outlined the system of vocational training in Vietnam. Finally she illustrated the rural deficits in vocational training, the aggravated access for minorities and the lack of qualification for trade unionists.
With his presentation “About the education program in Vietnam´s trade union” Mr. Tran Huy Vi (Rector of Hanoi Trade Union School) started in the second part of the workshop. With a special focus on the feasibility in practice he displayed two main points in the educational work. Firstly, the skills and competencies of trade unionists and employees should be increased. Secondly he emphasized the spreading of legal knowledge within the employees and trade unions as a central point in the education work.
In the following discussion the topics of German workers councils, the shape and especially the causes and backgrounds of strikes in Vietnam were discussed. The last part of the workshop consisted of two lectures with a focus on labour rights and working realities of women. Therefore Mareen Heying (Stipend holder RLS and editor of the feminist magazine WIR Frauen) started a presentation with the topic: “Working realities of women in the Federal Republic of Germany. Feminist and unionist demands for an emancipated labour market”. Heying explained the historical development of women-political and feminist movements in Germany and went on to the current situation of the labour market and the grind out rights such as the maternity protection.
Corresponding, the last lecture of Dr. Nguyen Thi Ha (Institute of Scientific Socialism) dealt with the theme: “Women labour and missions for Vietnam´s trade union at present”. In the first part of her lecture, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ha, described the general situation of women in Vietnam and the current legal situation. In the second part of her presentation, she went into detail about the role of trade unions for the emancipation of women in Vietnam.
The final discussion handled with the issues: female migrant workers in Germany, domestic violence against women and sexual assaults at the workplace. Summarizing and recapitulating the International Workshop was concluded by Nadja Charaby, Prof. Dr. Bui Thi Ngoc Lan and Prof. Dr. Nguyen An Ninh.