US embassy cable - 01HANOI145

NEXT STEPS ON LABOR COOPERATION AND DIALOGUE MOU

Identifier: 01HANOI145
Wikileaks: View 01HANOI145 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2001-01-19 10:33:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ELAB PREL PHUM ETRD VM LABOR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

191033Z Jan 01

2001HANOI00145 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ6292

PAGE 01        HANOI  00145  01 OF 02  191043Z 
ACTION SSO-00   

INFO  LOG-00   ANHR-00  EAP-00   EB-00    TEDE-00  LAB-01   SS-00    
      DRL-02   SAS-00     /003W
                  ------------------B887B3  191043Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO DEPTLABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1782
INFO NSC WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000145 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR E U/S LARSON 
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IL, EB/TPP/BTA/ODC AND EAP/BCLTV 
USDOL FOR ILAB/ JPERLMUTTER, RSHEPARD, NSAYRES 
GENEVA FOR USILO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB, PREL, PHUM, ETRD, VM, LABOR 
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS ON LABOR COOPERATION AND DIALOGUE MOU 
 
REF: A) 00 HANOI 2590; B) SAYRES/SPECHT EMAIL 01/11/01 AND 
 
PREVIOUS 
 
1. THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST.  PLEASE SEE PARAGRAPH 12. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  00145  01 OF 02  191043Z 
2.  LABOR OFFICER MET JANUARY 19 WITH MR. NGUYEN MANH CUONG, 
CHIEF OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SECTION OF THE 
MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (MOLISA), AND 
MS. ROSEMARIE GREVE, THE HANOI-BASED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE 
ILO, TO DISCUSS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE THE LABOR MOU WITH 
VIETNAM AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A PROJECT DESIGN MISSION BY 
USDOL OFFICIALS TO HANOI IN FEBRUARY.  MOLISA IS EAGER TO 
GET THE PROJECT DESIGN PHASE UNDERWAY; EMBASSY ALSO REQUESTS 
EARLIEST POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS IMPORTANT MOU. 
 
USDOL VISIT TIMING 
------------------ 
 
3. POST HAD SUGGESTED THAT A DOL TEAM MIGHT COME THE WEEK OF 
FEBRUARY 12 (REF B); HOWEVER, OUR TWO KEY MOLISA 
COUNTERPARTS ON THIS PROGRAM, MR. CUONG AND VICE MINISTER 
NGUYEN LUONG TRAO HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED THEY MUST ATTEND AN 
ASEAN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING THAT WEEK. (DR. 
TRAO IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE.)  SINCE THE 
FOLLOWING WEEK IS A SHORT WEEK DUE TO THE PRESIDENT'S DAY 
HOLIDAY AND POST WILL BE HOSTING A LARGE CODEL, WE SETTLED 
ON THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 26 AS THE NEXT POSSIBLE WINDOW.  AN 
ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE THE WEEK OF MARCH 12. 
 
PRIORITIES AND COUNTERPARTS WITHIN MOLISA 
---------------------------------------- 
 
4.  ACCORDING TO CUONG, THE FOLLOWING DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN 
TAPPED TO BE USDOL'S COUNTERPARTS IN THE AREAS FOR TECHNICAL 
ASSISTANCE LISTED IN ANNEX 1 OF THE MOU: 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00145  01 OF 02  191043Z 
- DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY ON SKILLS 
TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT OF THE 
DISABLED, AND CHILD LABOR; 
 
- DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL INSURANCE ON SOCIAL INSURANCE AND 
SAFETY NETS; 
 
- LEGAL DEPARTMENT ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW; 
AND 
 
- ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL EVILS ON HIV/AIDS WORKPLACE-BASED 
PROGRAMS. 
 
5.  CUONG HAS INSTRUCTED EACH OF THESE DEPARTMENTS TO 
INDICATE THEIR PRIORITIES AND SPECIFIC PROJECT SUGGESTIONS. 
HE EXPECTS TO RECEIVE THESE AFTER THE TET HOLIDAY DURING THE 
WEEK OF JANUARY 29.  HE WILL THEN PRODUCE A UNIFIED RESPONSE 
WHICH HE WILL PASS TO POST AND USDOL, ONCE CLEARED BY HIS 
SUPERIORS.  WHILE THE GVN HOPES TO GET PROJECTS UNDERWAY IN 
ALL SIX AREAS IDENTIFIED IN ANNEX 1, HE ANTICIPATES THAT 
MOLISA WILL PLACE PRIORITY ON PROJECTS ON SOCIAL INSURANCE 
AND SAFETY NETS, SKILLS TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AND 
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW (IN THAT ORDER). 
 
BILATERAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS UNDER MOU 
--------------------------------------- 
 
6.  CUONG ALSO PROVIDED HIS VIEWS ON WHAT FOCUS HIS 
GOVERNMENT WAS LIKELY TO SUGGEST FOR PROJECTS IN THE AREAS 
FOR BILATERAL COOPERATION.  WITHIN SKILLS TRAINING AND 
EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, MOLISA WOULD WANT A PROJECT AIMED AT 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  00145  01 OF 02  191043Z 
IMPROVING THE DELIVERY OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.  MS.  GREVE 
NOTED THAT THE ILO HAD COMPLETED A PROJECT WHICH HAD 
ESTABLISHED PILOT CENTERS RUN BOTH THE VIETNAMESE GENERAL 
CONFEDERATION OF LABOR (VGCL) AND MOLISA AND HAD RECENTLY 
PRODUCED REPORTS ON THE RESULTS OF THIS WORK WHICH SHE WOULD 
SHARE WITH US. (POST WILL POUCH, FAX OR EMAIL, AS 
APPROPRIATE, TO USDOL ALL MATERIALS GATHERED THAT MIGHT BE 
OF USE IN PREPARING FOR THE TRIP.) 
 
7.  IN THE AREA OF SOCIAL INSURANCE, MOLISA IS LIKELY TO 
SEEK ASSISTANCE TO STRENGTHEN ADMINISTRATION AND EXPAND 
COVERAGE OF THE EXISTING SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEME AND TO 
DEVELOP UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WHICH THE GVN DOES NOT 
CURRENTLY PROVIDE.  AFTER LABOR OFF NOTED THAT USDOL DID NOT 
RUN THE U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM BUT DID HAVE 
JURISDICTION OVER VARIOUS ISSUES HAVING TO DO WITH PENSIONS, 
CUONG NOTED THAT ONE TOPIC OF INTEREST WAS HOW TO PROMOTE 
AND DEVELOP "VOLUNTARY SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES" (READ 
PENSIONS) AND PERSONAL RETIREMENT SAVINGS.  THE ILO 
REPRESENTATIVE NOTED THAT THE ILO WOULD SOON RELEASE THE 
RESULTS OF ITS RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECT ON SOCIAL 
INSURANCE AND SAID THAT A MEETING WAS SCHEDULED IN MID- 
FEBRUARY TO DISCUSS THESE RESULTS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR 
THE NEW LAW ON SOCIAL INSURANCE, THE FIRST DRAFT OF WHICH IS 
DUE OCTOBER THIS YEAR.  SHE PROMISED TO PROVIDE POST A COPY 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  00145  02 OF 02  191043Z 
OF THE REPORT AND A READ OUT ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE 
NEW LAW. 
 
8.  WITH RESPECT TO PROJECTS IN THE AREA OF EMPLOYMENT OF 
THE DISABLED, MOLISA WILL PROBABLY WANT TO FOCUS ON 
IMPROVING IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING 
POLICIES AND ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE THE POLICIES THEMSELVES. 
MS. GREVE NOTED THAT THE ILO WAS DEVELOPING A PROJECT ON 
MAINSTREAMING THE DISABLED INTO THE WORKPLACE. 
 
PROGRAMS IMPLEMENTED THROUGH THE ILO 
------------------------------------ 
 
9.  MS. GREVE INFORMED US THAT SHE HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED TO GO 
FORWARD ON PROGRAMS ON HIV/AIDS WORKPLACE-BASED PROGRAMS AND 
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW WHICH COULD BE SUBMITTED 
FOR FUNDING IN PART OR IN WHOLE UNDER THE MOU.  IN THE CASE 
OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS/LABOR LAW, ILO HEADQUARTERS HAS SET 
A DEADLINE OF MARCH FOR COMPLETION OF A PROJECT DESIGN. 
WHILE WORK HAS NOT YET STARTED IN EARNEST, THE ILO WILL 
CONCENTRATE ON CAPACITY BUILDING IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, 
ENTERPRISE LEVEL EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER RELATIONS IN FOREIGN 
ENTERPRISES, AND EMPLOYER ASSOCIATIONS AT THE LOCAL AND 
PROVINCIAL LEVEL. 
 
10.  WITH RESPECT TO A WORKPLACE-BASED HIV/AIDS PROJECT, A 
PROPOSAL IS CURRENTLY BEING FORMULATED WHICH ENVISIONS FOUR 
DISTINCT ACTIVITIES: DISSEMINATING INFORMATION ABOUT 
EMPLOYER BEST PRACTICES DRAWN FROM PROGRAMS ALREADY IN PLACE 
IN VARIOUS FOREIGN AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES; EDUCATING 
LABOR INSPECTORS TO ENCOURAGE NON-DISCRIMINATION; 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00145  02 OF 02  191043Z 
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION AT EMPLOYMENT CENTERS AIMED AT 
YOUTH; AND PROVIDING INFORMATION VIA RURAL HOUSEHOLD 
ENTERPRISE MICRO-CREDIT PROGRAMS AIMED AT GETTING THE AIDS 
PREVENTION MESSAGES TO RURAL POPULATIONS THAT ARE OFTEN AT 
RISK AFTER THEY MIGRATE TO THE CITIES. 
 
11. ANY CHILD LABOR PROGRAM UNDER THE MOU WOULD BE DONE 
UNDER AN ILO PROJECT ALREADY UNDERWAY, ACCORDING TO MS. 
GREVE.  NOW THAT SOME PRELIMINARY WORK HAD BEEN COMPLETED, 
THE NEXT STEP IN THE PROJECT WOULD BE DESIGN A PROGRAM THAT 
WOULD BE THE BASIS FOR AN MOU BETWEEN THE ILO AND THE GVN 
WHICH BOTH PARTIES HOPE TO SIGN LATER THIS YEAR.  WHILE 
THERE WAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF FUNDING FOR THIS STAGE OF THE 
PROJECT FROM THE GENERAL FUND, MS. GREVE ANTICIPATED THAT 
THE ILO WOULD BE SEEKING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM DONORS. 
 
ACTION REQUEST 
-------------- 
 
12.  FEBRUARY AND MARCH ARE SHAPING UP TO BE BUSY MONTHS FOR 
BOTH THE GVN AND THE EMBASSY.  THE GVN IS INCREASINGLY 
PREOCCUPIED WITH POLITICAL PREPARATIONS FOR THE 9TH PARTY 
CONGRESS WHICH NOW LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE HELD IN APRIL.  FOR 
ITS PART, THE EMBASSY'S CALENDAR IS ALSO FILLING UP. 
NONETHELESS, MOLISA AND THE EMBASSY WANT TO PROCEED WITH 
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MOU AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE.  IN ORDER 
TO FACILITATE PREPARATIONS DURING THIS BUSY PERIOD, WE ASK 
THAT USDOL ADVISE SOONEST OF PROPOSED DATES FOR A PROJECT 
DESIGN MISSION AS WELL AS SUBSTANTIVE AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT 
POST CAN PROVIDE.  WE WISH TO COORDINATE VERY CLOSELY WITH 
USDOL TO ASSURE WE ACHIEVE MAXIMUM PROGRESS DURING THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  00145  02 OF 02  191043Z 
VISIT. 
PETERSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 


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