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ACTU hosts Vietnamese trade union leaders03 August 2012
Mr. Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) has led a high-level delegation visiting ACTU and national union leaders in Melbourne, and SA Unions in Adelaide.
The delegation visited Sydney on 2-3 August and was hosted by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).
The ACTU signed a memorandum of friendship with VGCL in 1990, and this has been renewed in 1997 and 2011.
The delegation was able to discuss workers' rights issues in Australia and Vietnam, and was able to explain the gains they have made in the recent adoption by the Vietnamese National Assembly of new Labour and Trade Union legislation. For example, paid maternity leave has been extended to six months. The Australian and Vietnamese trade union leaders also discussed impact of trade agreements on working people.
The delegation also visited the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute to learn about Australian and international experiences.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA met with the delegation in Sydney, and discussed our current cooperation. Two significant training projects, supported by volunteer trade union trainers from Australia, aim to strengthen trade union organising and negotiating capacities at enterprise and district levels. These projects are funded by the Finnish trade union movement and Finnish government, and by the US government through the ILO.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA has long supported occupational health and safety training with VGCL and also HIV education for workers. A key partnership involves building the capacities in Vietnam to prevent asbestos disease.
Other current projects in Vietnam address gender rights and training of people with disabilities, including people with HIV and people affected by Agent Orange.
Several Australian unions have run partnership programs over many years with VGCL and its affiliates, including MUA, AMWU, CFMEU, CPSU and AEU.
The VGCL now has 7.5 million members in 63 provincial and city Labour Federations and twenty national unions.
Vietnamese unions have joined or are discussing affiliating with several Global Union Federations (GUFs), including Union Network International (UNI), Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI), International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), Education International (EI), and two of the GUFs which have now combined to form IndustriALL - the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) and the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
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