LĐV – On 11/6 Viet Labor sent a letter, signed jointly 2 organizations in Vietnam, to US Congress about TPP and labor rights in Vietnam. Today Huffington Post newspaper posted the news and at the same time MSNBC TV network interviewed an American friend of Viet Labor. On the same day, Congressman Dan Kildee spoke about TPP on the Michigan newspaper, has mentioned the news that Viet Labor gave him. Viet Labor’s campaign from 2010 on TPP is currently at its peak.
“Vietnamese Government never keeps its promise”
The 8 page letter signed by Viet Labor, Brotherhood for Democracy, and Committee of Support of Independent Labor Unions, wrote “Those congressmen and congresswomen who want to help Vietnamese workers, please keep in mind that the Vietnamese Government never keeps its promise. Please wait for them to release prisoners of conscience, and to make laws to legalise workers’ unions, and then pass the trade promotion authority (TPA) bill”
TPA limits the Congress’ power by allowing the Executive to negotiate the trade aggreements such as TPP. Congress agrees to hold an up-or-down vote on trade agreements without amendments.
After signing the TPP, the Vietnamese Government can still deny its promises. Therefore, the letter requested the US Congress to receive reports every 3 months and quickly urges the US government to intervene if the unions are oppressed. The letter also requested US Congress make laws to force every US company in Vietnam, and every company implementing US foreign aid projects, have to let their staff to form unions.
Huffinton Post’s news
In May, Viet Labor collaborated with Mr Jim Keady of Educating for Justice when he arrived in Saigon, from USA, to learn about the lives of Nike workers. Mr Keady also forwarded the above letter to the press, today the Huffington Post quoted from the letter: “Workers who attempt to exercise their rights are met with verbal and physical threats by hired thugs working in conjunction with factory management and government operatives”. Also today, MSNBC interview Mr Keady on starving wages of Nike workers in Vietnam.
Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan wrote on mlive newspaper yesterday “Many workers in Vietnam continue to work in poor conditions for little pay, no health insurance and are jailed for attempting to organize workers.” Miss Do Thi Minh Hanh already met and sent him the related documents.
Campaign progress since 2010
Because of the importance of the TPP Viet Labor has struggled domestically and has monitored throughoutly the process of TPP since 2010. In 2012, Viet Labor set forth the trade union rights in the TPP talks in Melbourne. In April this year, Viet Labor sent people to the US Embassy in Hanoi to hand in a letter about TPP. In May Miss Do Thi Minh Hanh and Mr Dang Chi Hung and spoke with the Canadian Parliament.