Towards an independent workers’ voice in Vietnam?

Cox, Anne, and Le Queux, Stephane (2023) Towards an independent workers’ voice in Vietnam? Labour and Industry. (In Press)

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The 2019 Vietnamese Labour Law, coming into effect on 1 January 2021, allows for the establishment of workers’ representative organisations, namely Internal Employee Organisations (IEOs), independent from official trade unions of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. This reflects widespread endemic industrial conflicts marked by illegal wildcat strikes led by unofficial workers’ representatives in the absence of effective trade union representation. The new legislative framework can be seen as a significant step towards industrial democracy and there is the potential to see a change of course in Vietnamese industrial relations in regards to representative dynamics at the workplace level, with likely outcomes in terms of working conditions, law enforcement and conflict resolution to be assessed. However, more than two years have transpired since the legislation was enacted, no IEO has been established to date. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of why this is the case. It also demonstrates how the corporatist and authoritarian political system in Vietnam has adapted to sustain its longevity and legitimacy in the era of globalisation. Finally, the paper outlines a research agenda on the conditions of emergence, development and future function of IEOs.

Item ID: 80911
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2325-5676
Keywords: internal employee organisations (IEOs), Labour Law 2019, strikes, Vietnam industrial relations
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 03:05
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350504 Industrial and employee relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1503 Management and productivity > 150301 Industrial relations @ 100%
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