Worthy of being the best representative organisation of workers

Ninety years ago, Tong Cong Hoi Do Bac Ky (the predecessor of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour - VGCL) was founded at house number 5 of Hang Non Street in Hanoi on July 28, 1929, under the direction of the Communist Party of Indochina. Since then, Vietnamese workers have officially had a political organisation that represents their will and aspirations. The Vietnamese working class has grown mature, and from then on the country’s workers’ movement has been put under the leadership of a political party.

Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Bui Van Cuong presents gifts to poor workers in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. (Photo: laodong.vn)
Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Bui Van Cuong presents gifts to poor workers in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. (Photo: laodong.vn)

Throughout the 90 years of formation and development, the Vietnam Trade Union, led and trained by the Party and Uncle Ho, has constantly grown, become mature and made worthy contributions to the great victory of the Vietnamese revolution. The generations of Vietnamese workers and labourers have trained unceasingly, worked diligently and creatively, fought bravely and significantly devoted themselves to the cause of national liberation and building and defending a socialist Vietnam. From occupying a small part of the country’s labour structure and working mainly in plantations, mines and small factories, the working class has now become a powerful and pioneering force in the cause of renewal, with increasingly significant contributions to national development. Trade union organisations not only represent the legitimate rights and interests of employees, but also gather and educate workers to strive for the ideals of socialism and for the prosperity of the country.

Looking back on the past 90-year journey, with both hardships and significant achievements, we have become even prouder of the glorious traditions of the working class and the Vietnam Trade Union. Those are the traditions of passionate patriotism, absolute loyalty to the Party’s ideals, solidarity and mutual love, and unceasing efforts to rise above difficulties. Those valuable traditions have been fostered by generations of trade union officials and members. We express our infinite gratitude to President Ho Chi Minh, a genius leader of the Vietnamese Party and people and a great teacher of the Vietnamese Revolution and working class. He joined the Party to lead the Vietnam Trade Union and train generations of trade union officials and members to become the meritorious individuals who tirelessly strived for the ideals of national independence and socialism. In addition, the care from the Party and State, the effective facilitation and cooperation from ministries, branches, mass unions, socio-economic organisations, intellectuals, scientists and trade union officials through the periods, as well as the unyielding and relentless struggle of each union member, have contributed significantly to the common achievements of the Vietnam Trade Union.

Today, amid the profound and rapid changes in the international context, especially the impacts of the increasingly extensive international integration process, the fourth Industrial Revolution is significantly affecting the production, life, and employment of workers. Countries are extensively involved in global production networks and value chains, making competition for high-quality human resources grow fierce. With Vietnam participating in many new-generation free trade agreements, its trade union organisation and operations have approached closer to international standards. Therefore, the requirements of union members and workers for trade union organisations are getting higher and higher, and their voluntariness in joining trade unions is becoming more and more obvious, especially with there being more choices. The aforementioned reality brings about both opportunities and advantages for trade union activities, while setting new requirements for trade union organisation, requiring the Vietnam Trade Union to maximise the efficiency of guidelines, mechanisms and policies of the Party and State dedicated to workers, labourers and the Vietnam Trade Union. The Resolution No. 20-NQ/TW adopted at the sixth plenum of the 10th tenure Party Central Committee on January 28, 2008, and resolutions of plenums of the 12th tenure Party Central Committee, which have set out many major guidelines and stances on developing the country, building the political system and caring for the building of the strong Vietnamese working class and trade union organisations, are the magnetic needle for the operations of the Vietnam Trade Union in the new period, creating new resources to ensure that trade union is truly the best representative organisation of workers.

With the honour of receiving the Ho Chi Minh Order, a noble award from the State, trade union organisations need to be more aware of their missions to build the Vietnamese working class and the cause of national development in the new period. New times, opportunities and challenges require trade union organisations at all levels to focus on diversifying and improving efficiency of activities to care for the benefits of union members, while reforming their social operational mechanism in the direction of contributing to ensuring social security rights. In addition, trade union organisations should improve their representative capabilities in protecting the legitimate rights and interests of employees, continue to renovate their organisational model as well as their operational content and methods, and focus on the work of developing trade union members.

Despite the numerous difficulties and challenges ahead, with the traditions of the Vietnamese working class and the Vietnam Trade Union, Vietnam’s trade union organisations will continue to make greater contributions to the revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation. They will also strive to be truly worthy of being a reliable supporter of the Party, serving as a factor contributing to building the solidarity, creativity, discipline, strength, will and aspiration of the working class and all labourers, and unceasingly rising above poverty and backwardness to successfully build a strong Vietnam with wealthy people and democratic, fair and civilised society.