Wildcat Strikes and Employment Relations Institutions in Vietnam: Labor's Push from below for Reforms

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.1.03 (Tower One)
Mark Anner, Penn State University, University Park, State College, PA
Vietnam has been facing a sustained wildcat strike wave for much of the past decade. Approximately twenty percent of firms experienced at least one strike in the past three years. The strike wave is largely the result of the inability of employment relations institutions to provide viable mechanisms for addressing harsh working conditions in the burgeoning apparel export sector. The strike wave has been largely successful in achieving some limited economic benefits for workers. More importantly, this paper argues that the strike wave has pushed state and non-state initiatives to develop more effective mechanisms for addressing workplace concerns. These include non-state sanctioned worker-management programs and state-sanctioned ‘dialogue in the workplace’ committees. This paper is based on an analysis of survey data and factory monitoring reports as well as four months of field research in Vietnam in 2011 and 2014.