The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV) recently signed a statement on joint initiative to address COVID-19 impact on workers and businesses of the textile-garment and leather- footwear-handbag industries in Vietnam.
The organisations called for building an agenda and a road map involving social partners wishing to join hands to overcome the crisis and develop sustainable and prosperous industries.
They recommended investing in strategic partnerships and promoting social dialogue that suits the context in Vietnam and international labour standards, according to Vietnamese media reports.
According to VGCL Vice president Ngo Duy Hieu, the pandemic has affected employment in these sectors, with more than a million of the 4.3 million employees turning jobless while the rest have worked at only 50-60 per cent of their capacity, thereby decreasing their incomes.
In 2020, the export turnover of the textile-garment industry is forecast to drop by $8.5 billion while that of the leather-footwear-handbag sector may fall by $5.5 billion. Due to COVID-19, shipments to the European Union alone by both industries are projected to decrease by nearly $5 billion this year.