Labor unrest, poor working conditions, labor movement, umbrella organization, total membership
The official labor organization in North Vietnam is the Vietnam General Confederation of Trade Unions, founded in Hanoi in 1946. After the country was reunified, the organization absorbed the South Vietnam Trade Union Federation. The confederation is an umbrella organization overseeing the activity of specialized labor unions in Vietnam, such as the National Union of Building Workers. By the mid-1990s the confederation contained more than 50 labor unions with a total membership of more than 4 million. As in all Communist systems, the labor movement in Vietnam is under strict party supervision. Labor unrest, including unsanctioned strikes, has increased since the doi moi reforms were launched in 1986. Much of the hostility fueling this unrest results from poor working conditions and low salaries in foreign-owned enterprises.
Vietnamís labor force numbered 40 million in 1996. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing employed 69 percent of the workforce in 1997; the services sector employed 19 percent; and industry employed 10 percent.
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