US embassy cable - 01HANOI641

USDOL TEAM PRODUCES AMBITIOUS PLAN OF ACTION FOR WORK UNDER THE LABOR MOU

Identifier: 01HANOI641
Wikileaks: View 01HANOI641 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2001-03-20 00:48:00
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.


2001HANOI00641 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ3425

PAGE 01        HANOI  00641  01 OF 02  200057Z 
ACTION DRL-02   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    EVG-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  DODE-00  
      DS-00    EAP-00   EB-00    FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   VCE-00   NSAE-00  OES-01   OIC-02   
      IRM-00   SS-00    STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00  DSCC-00  NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /006W
                  ------------------D45A80  200057Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO DEPTLABOR WASHDC
SECSTATE WASHDC 2291
INFO NSC WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000641 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDOL FOR ILAB/ JPERLMUTTER, RSHEPARD, GRUSSEL, NSAYRES 
STATE PASS USTR 
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IL, EB/TPP/BTA/ODC, EB/OIA AND EAP/BCLTV 
GENEVA FOR USILO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB, PREL, PHUM, ETRD, VM, LABOR 
SUBJECT: USDOL TEAM PRODUCES AMBITIOUS PLAN OF ACTION FOR WORK UNDER THE LABOR MOU 
 
REF: A) 00 HANOI 2590; B) HANOI 145 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  00641  01 OF 02  200057Z 
 
1.  SUMMARY: THE FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 1 TRIP TO HANOI BY A US 
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (USDOL) PROJECT DESIGN TEAM WAS A 
SUCCESS.  AFTER EXTENSIVE CONSULTATION WITH VIETNAMESE LABOR 
OFFICIALS AND THE ILO AND OTHER TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 
PROVIDERS, THE TEAM PRODUCED A PACKAGE OF PROJECT DESIGNS 
ADDRESSING A NUMBER OF PRIORITY LABOR ISSUES THAT WAS 
ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECEIVED BY THE GVN.  IF ALL GOES ACCORDING 
TO PLAN, SELECTED EXECUTING AGENCIES, SUCH AS THE ILO , WILL 
SUBMIT PROJECT PROPOSALS FOR GVN AND USDOL REVIEW BY THE END 
OF APRIL AND PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION COULD BEGIN THIS SUMMER. 
POST WISHES TO THANK THE PROJECT TEAM FOR ITS FINE WORK AND 
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO USG EFFORTS ON THE ISSUE OF LABOR 
RIGHTS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. A USDOL PROJECT DESIGN TEAM VISIT TO HANOI FEBRUARY 26- 
MARCH 7 WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS.  THEY PRODUCED A PACKAGE OF 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN ALL SIX AREAS OF COOPERATION 
OUTLINED IN OUR BILATERAL MOU.  THE TEAM, CONSISTING OF GARY 
RUSSELL, DIRECTOR FOR MULTILATERAL PROGRAMS AND NICOLE 
SAYRES, INTERNATIONAL PROJECT MANAGER, MET EXTENSIVELY  WITH 
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS AND 
SOCIAL AFFAIRS (MOLISA).  THEY ALSO MET WITH THE OTHER 
SOCIAL PARTNERS - THE VIETNAMESE GENERAL CONFEDERATION OF 
LABOR (VGCL) AND THE VIETNAMESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND 
INDUSTRY (VCCI)- AS WELL AS THE ILO AND OTHER DONORS 
PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN THE LABOR FIELD. 
 
3. THE VISITORS WERE ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECEIVED BY VIETNAMESE 
COUNTERPARTS WHO HAD PREPARED AND CLEARED AMONG ALL SOCIAL 
PARTNERS A TIGHTLY FOCUSED, PRIORITIZED REQUEST FOR 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  00641  01 OF 02  200057Z 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE MOU.  VICE MINISTER NGUYEN 
LUONG TRAO FURTHER CLARIFIED GVN DESIRES AND PRIORITIES IN 
THE OPENING MEETING.  FOLLOW-UP MEETINGS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL 
MOLISA DEPARTMENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR EACH FUNCTIONAL AREA AS 
WELL AS THOSE WITH THE VGCL AND VCCI REINFORCED AND PROVIDED 
FURTHER DETAIL TO THE ORIGINAL REQUEST.  DONOR 
REPRESENTATIVES DOCUMENTED VIETNAM'S PROGRESS IN A NUMBER OF 
GENERALLY SUCCESSFUL LABOR PROJECTS AND ASSESSED WHERE USDOL 
ASSISTANCE MIGHT BEST BE ALLOCATED. 
 
4.  IMPRESSED BY THE WARMTH OF THEIR RECEPTION, THE LEVEL OF 
PREPARATION OF THEIR INTERLOCUTORS AT MOLISA AND DONORS' 
STATEMENTS THAT THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THE LABOR AREAS WAS 
BEING PRODUCTIVELY USED, THE USDOL TEAM FORMED THE OPINION 
THAT VIETNAM WILL BE A GOOD PARTNER IN A PROGRAM OF 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND PROPOSED AN AMBITIOUS PACKAGE OF 
PROJECTS.  THIS PACKAGE AIMS TO ADDRESS CORE LABOR STANDARDS 
CONCERNING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOR 
AND EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION.  THE PACKAGE INCLUDES 
PROJECTS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE CENTERS; TO INCREASE 
GVN CAPACITY TO DESIGN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND VOLUNTARY 
SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES; TO EXPAND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES; TO PROMOTE INDUSTRIAL 
RELATIONS AND APPLICATION OF CORE LABOR STANDARDS THROUGH 
ASSISTANCE IN LABOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND TRIPARTISM; AND 
TO ESTABLISH HIV/AIDS WORK-BASED EDUCATION AND PREVENTION 
INITIATIVES.   THE TOTAL BUDGET FOR THE PACKAGE, WHICH WILL 
BE NO LESS THAN US $3 MILLION, WILL BE DETERMINED ONCE THE 
FORMAL PROJECT DESIGNS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND APPROVED. 
(THE PROJECT PACKAGE WAS FORWARDED TO EAP/BCLTV VIA E-MAIL.) 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  00641  01 OF 02  200057Z 
5.  THE ILO WILL BE THE EXECUTING AGENCY FOR ALL BUT THE 
PROJECTS INVOLVING SOCIAL INSURANCE AND PEOPLE WITH 
DISABILITIES.  THE SOCIAL AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROJECT 
WILL BE EXECUTED BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SOCIAL 
INSURANCE.  AND THE VIETNAM ASSOCIATION OF HANDICAPPED, AN 
ORGANIZATION WELL KNOWN TO BOTH VIETNAM AND WASHINGTON 
AGENCIES, WILL EXECUTE THE PROJECT ON EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE 
WITH DISABILITIES. 
 
6.  THE DOL PROJECT DESIGN TEAM DID NOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH 
THE FINAL PROJECT SUBJECT UNDER THE LABOR MOU, ELIMINATION 
OF ABUSIVE CHILD LABOR, A TOPIC WHICH IS THE RESPONSIBILITY 
OF ANOTHER OFFICE AT USDOL.  HOWEVER, THE VISITING TEAM DID 
CONFIRM THAT THE USDOL WOULD SUPPORT ILO/IPEC EFFORTS IN 
CONDUCTING A BASE LINE SURVEY AND DEVELOPING A NATIONAL 
ACTION PLAN FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD 
LABOR.  ACCORDING TO MR. RUSSELL, SOMEONE FROM THE USDOL 
OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE PROGRAMS WILL EITHER TRAVEL 
HERE SHORTLY AND/OR WORK THROUGH THE ILO REGIONAL OFFICE IN 
BANGKOK TO MOVE FORWARD ON THIS PROJECT. 
 
7.  THE NEXT STEP IS FOR THE EXECUTING ENTITIES TO DEVELOP 
FORMAL PROJECT PROPOSALS IN CONSULTATION WITH MOLISA AND 
SUBMIT THEM TO USDOL.  TEAM MEMBERS INDICATED THAT THEY 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  00641  02 OF 02  200057Z 
HOPED TO RECEIVE THESE BY LATE APRIL.  ONCE USDOL HAS 
APPROVED THEM, THEN THE PROJECTS WILL BE PRESENTED TO MOLISA 
FOR FINAL APPROVAL.  THIS STEP HOPEFULLY WILL BE A FORMALITY 
SINCE THE MINISTRY WILL BE INVOLVED IN DRAFTING THE PROJECT 
PROPOSALS.  MOLISA ONCE AGAIN ASSURED THAT, BECAUSE THIS IS 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH 
MOLISA, THESE PROJECTS WILL NOT NEED TO GO THROUGH THE 
MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND INVESTMENT'S LONG, ARDUOUS APPROVAL 
PROCESS APPLIED TO MUCH DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE.  IF ALL GOES 
WELL, PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION COULD BEGIN THIS SUMMER. 
 
8.  COMMENT:  POST WOULD LIKE EXPRESS ITS SINCERE THANKS FOR 
THE IMPRESSIVE JOB DONE BY MR. RUSSELL AND MS. SAYRES. 
THEY IMPRESSED ALL WHO MET THEM WITH THEIR THOROUGH 
PREPARATION AS WELL AS THEIR WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN AND 
CONSULT.  AS A RESULT THEY PREPARED A TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 
PROGRAM THAT MATCHES U.S. GOALS WITH VIETNAMESE OBJECTIVES 
IN A WAY THAT COMPLIMENTS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BEING 
PROVIDED BY OTHER DONORS.  MR. RUSSELL AND MS. SAYRES HAVE 
PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN SHAPING THE NASCENT WORKING PARTNERSHIP 
BETWEEN THE U.S. AND VIETNAM ON LABOR ISSUES, AND THE 
PROJECT PROPOSALS - ONCE IMPLEMENTATION BEGINS - WILL ADD TO 
THE CONSIDERABLE DONOR ACTIVITY UNDERWAY IN THIS IMPORTANT 
SECTOR OF VIETNAM'S DEVELOPING ECONOMY.   END COMMENT. 
 
HARTER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 


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