Training on “Textile supply chain and Monitoring compliance with international labor standards compatible with Vietnamese law”
“Trade unions and businesses need to proactively identify risks in employment in their business operations, recognize their role in the responsible business evaluation process in the supply chain, and maintain dialogue with the purchasing business”.
That was the message from the training on “The Textile supply chain and Monitoring compliance with international labor standards compatible with the Vietnamese law” conducted by Center for Development and Integration (CDI) and the Vietnam Textile and Garment Union. There were more than 30 members of the Executive Committee of the Union, managers and personnel of textile enterprises who are members of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Union participated in the event.
At the training session, trainees and lecturers analyzed the global textile and garment supply chain, the participation of Vietnamese enterprises in the chain and the interrelationship among the actors in the supply chain (company purchasers, manufacturing enterprises, transportation companies, unions and workers). Purchasing companies have control over the supply chain, while factories in manufacturing countries such as Vietnam, with limited resources, are mostly performing low-value stages in the supply chain and has no influence on the purchasing company. To get a better position in the supply chain, Vietnamese businesses need to improve their capacity and actively maintain dialogue and negotiation at the facility and with brands.
Ms. Duong Thi Viet Anh – representative of Fair Wear organization emphasized the role of the stakeholders to promote responsible business practices in the supply chain. In this process, the trade union – the employee representative unit has an important role and need to proactively identify labor and environmental risks, advise enterprises on remedial measures and monitor the implementation process.
Trainees were also taught to distinguish between businesses’ social responsibility and human rights responsibility. While social responsibility is voluntary and complementary that separates with the core functions and activities of an enterprise, human rights responsibility requires businesses to review, address actual or potential human rights impacts, and apply policies and practices to business operations and strategies.
Ms. Huynh Thi Thu Nga – compliance expert introduced international labor standards and certifications such as Better Work standards, Fair Wear standards, WRAP certification, SA 8000 standard, Social and Labor Convergence Program (SLCP), etc. and explained in detail the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) that is compatible with with the legal framework of Vietnam.
The training was designed with many group activities interspersed with the sharing part of the lecturer, which helped the participants to understand more about how to identify risks and impacts of business activities in the responsible business evaluation process in the supply chain. The training created an open atmosphere for participants to share the status of implementation of labor standards, good practices and internal challenges of enterprises and unions.
The training program was considered to have brought a lot of new and useful information to the trainees. Participants were particularly interested in the role of trade unions in supervising responsible business, and proposed more detailst on international labor standards, negotiation – communication skills in the workplace and with the purchasing company.
Training on the Textile Supply Chain and Monitoring compliance with international labor standards compatible with Vietnamese law is the first activity in the project “Sustainable Textile Initiative: Together for Change (STITCH)” , a cooperation component between CDI and Vietnam Textile and Garment Union.
The training course is conducted with the following objectives: Vietnam Textile and Garment Trade Union, grassroots Trade Unions and management of related departments in enterprises of Vietnam Textile and Garment Union to better understand on:
● Supply chain, relationship between brand/buyer and supplier/manufacturer;
● Legal frameworks related to Responsible Business Practices in the supply chain, responsible supply chain due diligence steps;
● International labor standards and how compatible they are with Vietnamese labor law and existing policies of enterprises;
● The role of trade unions in participating in monitoring and promoting responsible business practices.
● Trade Union officers understand the relevant legal provisions and are able to bring employee issues into the Workplace Dialogue and Collective Labor Agreement to protect the legitimate rights and interests of employees.