Vietnam Trade Union promotes its tradition to contribute to national renewal

Sunday, 2019-07-28 14:17:39
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Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Bui Van Cuong (second, from the left) talks with female workers at the North Thang Long Industrial Park in Hanoi. (Photo: NDO/Dang Thanh Ha)
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NDO – The Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Bui Van Cuong, has shared with Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent Dang Thanh Ha on the Vietnam Trade Union (VTU) developments and the worker’s movement in Vietnam, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the VTU’s establishment (July 28, 1929-2019).

Over the past nine decades, the worker class and the VTU at all levels in Vietnam have constantly developed and matured in both quality and quantity, always standing at the centre of the country's major events, with worthy contributions to the great victory of the Vietnamese revolution. Reviewing the milestones of the development of the worker class and the VTU over the past 90 years, Cuong said that the formation and development of the VTU was closely associated with the worker’s movement and the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

On July 28, 1929, at the house of No. 15 Hang Non street, Hanoi, under the direction of Indochina Communist Party, the Tonkin Red Federation of Trade Unions, the forerunner of the VTU, was established. Under the leadership of the Party, the Red Federation gathered workers, the main force of the Vietnamese revolution, to create the Nghe Tinh Soviet movement from 1930 to 1931. Since then, the VTU has truly been the solidarity centre of Vietnamese workers participating in political and armed struggles in multiple revolutionary movements. With more than 200,000 members in 1945, the union members became the core force of the 1945 August Revolution that gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first farmer-worker State in Southeast Asia.

In the early years of the country's independence, the VTU and Vietnamese worker class made important contributions to the protection and promotion of the fruits of the revolution, with active participation in the first general election of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. During the two resistance wars, against the French colonialists and the American imperialists, they also contributed significantly to the victories over colonialists and imperialists to reunite the nation.

During the period when the country was moving to socialism, the VTU focused on mobilising workers, employees and labourers to emulate labour movements, participate in economic development, and promote industrialisation by taking the lead in implementing the three major economic programmes set by the Party. During the Doi Moi (renovation) period, the worker class and VTU have always been at the front line, being the pioneering force in the national cause of industrialisation and modernisation. Over the past 30 years of the national renewal, through seven congresses, the union and the worker class have developed comprehensively and are present in all professions and economic sectors, contributing greatly for the cause of national construction and defence.

At a recent national conference on the VTU’s 90 years of construction and development, leaders, scientists and trade union officials affirmed the outstanding contributions of the VTU to the nation over the past nine decades, while summarising five major lessons for the organisation. Firstly, the VTU maintains its nature, which steadfastly aims at national independence and socialism under the Party’s leadership, and applies in a creative manner the Party’s viewpoints and policies in its operation.

Secondly, the VTU closely attaches with workers and resolutely represents, cares and protects the legitimate interests of union members, while acting according to the motto that the union belongs to workers, is run by workers and serves workers. Thirdly, the VTU steadily bases on the Party's ideological foundation and the revolutionary stance to stay close to the reality of the workers' movement, as well as constantly perfecting its organisation and innovating operating methods to swiftly and effectively respond to the requirements of political tasks in each period. Fourthly, the VTU focuses on building its qualified staff, considering it a direct determinant of the success of the trade union movement. Fifthly, the VTU attaches the interests of the worker class and the nation with the common interests of international workers, while combining the strength of the Vietnamese worker’s and union movements with the that of the world trade union and worker’s movements for peace, friendship, justice, cooperation and development.

“These valuable lessons will continue to serve as a platform for the VTU to overcome all challenges and difficulties and to continue innovating and take solid steps in the new development stage of the organisation,” Cuong affirmed.

With the current period seeing the country strongly develop towards a socialist-oriented market economy, with accelerated industrialisation, modernisation and extensive international integration, combined with the strong impact of the fourth Industrial Revolution, the VTU has to innovate strongly, Cuong stated, adding that the task that the VTU should focus on in the near future is restructuring its tasks, organisation, apparatus, human resources and operating mode to match new requirements.

Trade unions at all levels should regularly and synchronously improve the quality of communications and education, contributing to the improvement of political stand, professional qualifications, occupational skills and discipline for labourers, thus building a working class that is really a pioneering force for the revolution and plays a decisive role in the success of the national industrialisation and modernisation.

The VTU should also focus on implementing basic and core functions of trade unions, which are representing, taking care of and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of workers, considering this as a key factor to attract a large number of workers to voluntarily join, support and trust in the trade unions. In particular, it should focus on strongly reforming the working content and method of trade union activities towards putting employees at the centre, operating mainly in the grassroots level and serving labourers.

Completing the organisational model and building trade union staff with qualified capacity is another task. The trade union apparatus at all levels should be designed in a streamlined, effective and efficient manner, while its staff should be professional, enthusiastic and responsible to meet the increasing requirements during the promotion of industrialisation and modernisation.

The VTU also needs to actively advising the relevant authorities on new issues and new developments in the worker and trade union movements, while at the same time proactively promoting international integration and international cooperation to support trade union activities.