Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


Responsible Labour Practices in Electronics Industry to Improve Quality and Quantity of Jobs

Posted: Monday, July 02, 2018

This is the recommendation by experts at the High-level Seminar on Strengthening Home - Host Country Policy Dialogue to Maximise Decent Work Impact of FDI/MNEs of Electronics Industry in Vietnam, held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The seminar was sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in the framework of the project “Improving the quality and quantity of jobs through responsible labour practices in Vietnam’s electronics industry.” The project has worked with multinational enterprises (MNEs), direct vendors and social partners to promote the application of principles of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).

The electronics industry has grown rapidly in the past years and become a key industry in the Vietnamese economy. In 2017, the total export value of this sector topped US$71 billion, 2.5 times that of the garment and textile industry and nearly 5 times that of the footwear industry, said the General Statistics Office (GSO). In just five years (2012 - 2017), the number of electronics companies doubled and reached 1,237 in 2015. The number of labourers working in the industry also tripled to 611,492 in 2017 from 238,821 in 2011, according to the GSO business survey.

The project has promoted business dialogues on responsible labour practices and strengthened labour management in the electronics industry in Vietnam since 2016. Deployed supply chain activities connected and impacted businesses at different levels of supply to promote ongoing dialogues at business, sectoral, national and, higher at host/home country levels of multinational enterprises. Dialogues at various levels have fostered joint initiatives and positive actions among all stakeholders towards improving decent work in Vietnam.

In October 2017, the Vietnam Electronic Businesses Alliance was founded to promote socially responsible labour practices. This was an initiative of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam Electronic Industries Association (VEIA), with technical assistance from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The presence of the alliance has encouraged the development of trustworthy dialogue environments for stakeholders in supply chains and the electronics industry, collects and integrates the voice of the electronics sector in broader policy dialogues with other stakeholders and take joint actions to address challenges facing the industry.

Speaking at the seminar, Dr Vu Tien Loc, VCCI President, emphasised: “The exercise of social responsibility in the electronics sector will enhance the competitiveness of this sector. The first and foremost is creating an environment that can attract skilled workers and improve industrial workers’ skills. When they have a good workforce, enterprises will be able to innovate and apply new technologies to supply better products and services for the market. Exercising social responsibility helps businesses develop their brands and gain affection and trust of consumers. And, it can be said that carrying out social responsibility is not a purely ethical activity or charitable society, a cost that businesses must pay, but it is an investment that they can obtain from good carrying out of social responsibility.

The seminar aimed to further strengthen national policy dialogues to maximise impacts of decent work in FDI/MNEs in Vietnam and discuss roles of investing countries in creating decent work in Vietnam, especially when FDI firms overwhelm major export industries such as electronics. This milestone marks the results of the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy to date, to open the door for further progress in upholding socially responsible labour practices in supply chains in Asia in the coming time.


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