Workers' Strikes in Vietnam from a Regulatory Perspective
The persistence of factory strikes in Vietnam has strained the country’s industrial relations system. This paper examines workers’ strikes from a regulatory perspective to evaluate the effects and limitations of labour law in establishing harmonious labour relationships. In Vietnam, the Labour Code regulates employment relations on a contractual basis, stipulating certain rights and obligations for both employers and employees. Workers’ struggles for their rights and interests triggered some administrative measures by the state and unions, yet these measures were insufficient to tackle business non-compliance with the law. Based on a case study of a strike-affected enterprise, the analysis shows that employers and workers appeal to different aspects of labour law, which complicates the regulatory effects of strike settlement. The paper argues that labour tensions are symptoms of regulatory loopholes stemming from weaknesses in law enforcement and the ineffectiveness of the law in defending workers’ rights. The outcomes of strike settlement therefore further perpetuate workers’ subordination and workplace injustice.
Asian Studies Review