Question 170. What should an Employer do to encourage an Employee to join the grassroots trade union?


The grassroots trade union acts as a representative to protect lawful rights and interests of its trade union members and the Employees; participates, negotiates, signs and monitors the execution of the CLA, salary scale and table, labour norms, regulations on payment of salary and bonus, ILR, democratic regulations in the enterprise, agency or organisation; participates in support for labour dispute resolution; dialogue and cooperation with the Employer to build a harmonious, stable and progressive labour relations in the enterprise, agency or organisation.

However, some Employees now do not want to join the grassroots trade union because they do not see the important benefits that a grassroots trade union member is entitled to. It may be because the grassroots trade union is not strong, mostly takes the Employer’ side as its executive board members are paid directly by the Employer, and does not faithfully protect the Employee’ right and interest; the grassroots trade union is not active or its activities are largely symbolic with no realistic goals, not helpful for the Employee; the grassroots trade union is too separate from the collective of the Employee, does not have mutual connections or understandings etc. Therefore, the Employee thinks that joining the grassroots trade union is just a loss of time and money, which discourages him or her from joining the union.

To encourage the Employee to join the grassroots trade union, the Employer and the Grassroots TUEC need to make them aware of the benefits that a grassroots trade union member is entitled to, and the grassroots trade union itself must devise effective work plans which are helpful for the members in particular and the Employee in general. Specifically, as follows:

  1. Rights and interests which a trade union member is entitled to

The Employer and the grassroots TUEC need to make the Employee aware of the rights and interests that a trade union member is entitled to:

1.1 After becoming a trade union member, an Employee will have very important rights, such as[1]:

  • Participate in the formulation of, contribute ideas to approve or disapprove internal regulations which influence the rights and interests of Employees (such as ILR, CLA, bonus regulations, salary scale and table); and
  • Provide opinions, participate in the organising and leading of strikes at the enterprise.

1.2 The Employee will be protected by the grassroots trade union if his or her legitimate right and interest are violated

When the Employee’ legitimate rights and interests are violated, the grassroots trade union will support and advise him or her on the issue, provide free of charge assistance with issues related to the labour law and trade union, and represent him or her in a lawsuit about labour dispute.

1.3 The Employee will get mental and material support from the grassroots trade union

Every month, the grassroots trade union retains 71% of the trade union expenditure contributed by the Employer, 60% of the trade union fees contributed by trade union members, and 100% other collections to develop the activities of the grassroots trade union and the Employee in the enterprise[2]. Annually, the rates of reserved budget above increase by 1% until they reach 75%[3]. After becoming grassroots trade union members, the Employee will be supported with expenditure in cultural, sport, and tourist activities, especially in the protection of legitimate rights and interests of grassroots trade union members.

1.4 The grassroots trade union creates the balance of interest and position between the Employer and the Employee

The Employee’ participation in the trade union means that he or she will be in a collective struggle for a greater interest for the Employee. If each of them struggles for the individual interest, the Employee will be at a disadvantage before the Employer. This is a global trend and especially popular in developed countries.

Therefore, the Employer and the grassroots TUEC need to make the Employee aware that he or she should join the grassroots trade union as it will be beneficial to him or her.

2. The grassroots trade union needs to devise effective and realistic work plans

The grassroots trade union must fulfil its role as an organisation representing and protecting the best interest of its members in particular and of all Employees in general in the enterprise’s dialogues and help build the CLA. The grassroots trade union can propose regulations that are more beneficial to the Employees who are trade union members. The grassroots trade union also needs to have realistic and helpful activities and movements, such as visiting the Employees when they are ill, supporting trade union members when they are in hardship, holding helpful entertainment activities. As a result, Employees will trust and understand that participation in the grassroots trade union is not a time-consuming and meaningless thing, but brings about mental and material benefits, and is a place to turn to when they are in trouble.

[1] Article 18 of the Law on Trade Union

[2] Article 21.1 of Decision No. 1909/QD-TLD dated 19/12/2016 and Part III.1.1 of Decision No. 1355/QD-TLD dated 01/10/2020

[3] Part III.1.b of Resolution No. 07b/NQ-TLD dated 21/01/2016