Vietnam

Garment and textile is the second biggest exporting industry in Vietnam, after electronics, accounting for 15 percent of the country’s GDP1 and 14 percent of its total exports in 2015. The U.S is the biggest market for garment exports from Vietnam followed by Japan and the EU.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) remains the only recognised union organisation. This means freedom of association has been the most challenging area in terms of labour rights for Vietnam. Factory unions are mostly dependent on management and incapable of independently representing workers in negotiations with employers. Social dialogue at the workplace is encouraged by law but has not been effectively practised due to union weakness. This, together with a lack of effective grievance mechanisms, can result in wildcat strikes (members of a union striking without the union’s approval or support) or workers leaving the factory instead of communicating about their labour rights.

Excessive overtime in Vietnamese garment factories continues to be one of the most prominent violations of workers’ rights, according to Fair Wear Foundation’s (FWF) audits. Workers rely heavily on wages earned during overtime hours, and not receiving the correct overtime premiums has a severe impact on workers’ monthly income. Reducing excessive overtime in the Vietnamese garment industry remains one of the biggest challenges for brands and factories in Vietnam.

Vietnam has become an increasingly important garment exporting country, particularly for the outdoor, sports and shoes sector. The ratification of the Free Trade Agreement between Europe and Vietnam and the US and Vietnam will possibly create an even larger boost for doing business in Vietnam. The fact that Vietnam has made extensive labour rights commitments under the trade agreements opens up the opportunities for a major revision of the labour legislation, especially in terms of freedom of association and collective bargaining.

In January 2016, as a result of research and consultation through a tripartite National Wage Council, the Vietnamese government raised the minimum wage levels to between €94 and €137, according to region. Even though this tripartite structure is promising and sets a good example for other Asian production countries, the challenge remains to include factory workers in collective bargaining and wage negotiations. The newly set minimum wage is a big step in the right direction, but does not yet meet the living wages benchmarks conducted by local stakeholders.

Other common issues found in FWF audits show incomplete labour contracts, resignation policies that are not correctly implemented and low awareness among workers of their rights and responsibilities. Vietnamese garment in general have improved health and safety standards and are improving their internal compliance system.

In 2016 there are 23 Fair Wear Foundation members sourcing from approximately 175 factories in Vietnam. Most of these factories are located in or around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City producing clothing, shoes and outdoor goods.

FWF has a local audit team in Ho Chi Minh City with an additional worker interviewer and complaints handler in Hanoi. FWF has established contact the employers association VCCI and a limited number of grassroots labour NGOs in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phuong.

In 2016 Fair Wear Foundation’s activities in Vietnam will focus on the implementation of the Workplace Education Programme, to raise awareness on labour rights and grievance mechanisms. Trainings will be arranged for both management and workers over the year. Fair Wear Foundation and its partners FNV Mondiaal and CNV Internationaal have been selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a five year Strategic partnership starting in 2016 as part of its “Dialogue and Dissent” policy framework. The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of trade unions and labour related NGOs by enhancing their understanding of international RMG supply chains, access to critical information and know-how. This programme further defines FWF’s activities in Vietnam for the coming 5 years, focusing on the areas of Living Wages, Social Dialogue and Gender Based Violence in the textile industry.

 

For questions about FWF’s work in Vietnam, please contact Annabel Meurs.

 

Indicators

  1. FWF active since: 2006
  2. Complaints handler: yes
  3. Audit teams: 1
  4. FWF members sourcing: 23
  5. Number of suppliers: 175
  6. Human development rank: 116
  7. Min. wage: €94 to €137
  8. GDP per capita per year(PPP$): 5 125
  9. Income equality value (Gini): 35.6
  10. Population below 1.25$/day: 2.4%
  11. Global gender gap index: 76
  12. Child labour (5-14 years): 7%
  13. Trade union situation

Resources

Resources related to Vietnam

Vietnam Complaint Jack Wolfskin, Schöffel Sportbekleidung March 2017

Initial Report of A Complaint at a Factory in Vietnam Supplying Jack date: 25/04/2017Read more

Vietnam Complaint Jack Wolfskin, Schöffel Dec. 2016

FINAL REPORT OF A COMPLAINT AT A FACTORY IN VIETNAM SUPPLYINg Jack date: 13/03/2017Read more

Vietnam Country Plan 2015

Country Plan Vietnam 2015 In 2015 Fair Wear Foundation has twenty a date: 21/12/2011Read more

Vietnam Country Study 2015

Vietnam Country Study 2015 update The Vietnam country study prese date: 21/12/2011Read more

Vietnam Complaint Outdoor & Sports Company November 2016

Initial report complaint at a factory in Vietnam supplying Outdoor & date: 17/11/2016Read more

Vietnam Complaint Outdoor & Sports Company November 2016

Final REPORT OF A COMPLAINT AT A FACTORY IN VIETNAM SUPPLYING OUTDOO date: 09/03/2017Read more

Vietnam Complaint Deuter November 2015

Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Deu date: 28/03/2014Read more

Vietnam Complaint Jack Wolkskin and Schoeffel October 2015

Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Wol date: 15/02/2015Read more

Vietnam Complaint Vaude August 2016

Final report of complaint in Vietnam at a factory where VAUDE source date: 27/10/2016Read more

Vietnam Complaint Vaude December 2011

Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Vaud date: 16/12/2011Read more

Vietnam Complaint Vaude December 2012

Final REPORT OF COMPLAINT IN Vietnam AT FACTORY THAT SUPPLIES Vau date: 01/06/2012Read more

Vietnam Complaint Vaude Sept 2016

Final report of complaint at a factory in Vietnam supplying VAUDE A date: 26/01/2017Read more

Members in Vietnam

Projects

Projects in Vietnam

Workplace Education Programme

FWF members aim for more than participating in auditing. FWF’s Workplace Education Programme (WEP) provides short, targeted onsite training for managers, supervisors and workers. The training aims to raise awareness about the various labour standards and effective methods for communicating about problems and resolving disputes. Managers, supervisors and workers also learn about FWF’s complaints mechanism.

Go to WEP

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Most of FWF's work is focused on four priority countries: Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey. Around 80% of FWF member production comes from these four countries.

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Albania

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Fair Wear is not active in Albania

4 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Albania

Algeria

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1 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Algeria

Argentina

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1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Argentina

Austria

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8 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Austria

Bangladesh

FWF's 2014 country plan for Bangladesh can be downloaded here. The ... more

Fair Wear is active in Bangladesh

205 factories work with FWF members

17 FWF members source in Bangladesh

29 complaints

1 FWF projects

Belarus

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2 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Belarus

Belgium

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4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Belgium

Bolivia

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1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Fair Wear is not active in Bosnia and Herzegovina

10 factories work with FWF members

7 FWF members source in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

The predominant part of the apparel producing companies in Bulgaria... more

Fair Wear is active in Bulgaria

30 factories work with FWF members

13 FWF members source in Bulgaria

1 complaints

1 FWF projects

Cambodia

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Fair Wear is not active in Cambodia

11 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Cambodia

China

China is, still, the largest exporter of garment products. 2014 wit... more

Fair Wear is active in China

726 factories work with FWF members

56 FWF members source in China

52 complaints

2 FWF projects

Croatia

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Fair Wear is not active in Croatia

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Croatia

Czech Republic

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14 factories work with FWF members

7 FWF members source in Czech Republic

Egypt

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2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Egypt

Estonia

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4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Estonia

Ethiopia

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1 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Ethiopia

Fiji

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Fair Wear is not active in Fiji

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Fiji

France

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Fair Wear is not active in France

20 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in France

Germany

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Fair Wear is not active in Germany

50 factories work with FWF members

17 FWF members source in Germany

1 complaints

Greece

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Fair Wear is not active in Greece

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Greece

Hong Kong

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Fair Wear is not active in Hong Kong

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Hong Kong

Hungary

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Fair Wear is not active in Hungary

21 factories work with FWF members

13 FWF members source in Hungary

India

The textile and garment industry plays an important role in India... more

Fair Wear is active in India

206 factories work with FWF members

36 FWF members source in India

33 complaints

1 FWF projects

Indonesia

Indonesia’s manufacturing sector generates around a fifth of the ... more

Fair Wear is active in Indonesia

24 factories work with FWF members

10 FWF members source in Indonesia

1 complaints

1 FWF projects

Israel

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Fair Wear is not active in Israel

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Israel

Italy

ITALY While considered a low risk country, in the past few years w... more

Fair Wear is not active in Italy

150 factories work with FWF members

20 FWF members source in Italy

2 complaints

Jamaica

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Fair Wear is not active in Jamaica

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Jamaica

1 complaints

Jordan

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Fair Wear is not active in Jordan

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Jordan

Lao People´s Democratic Republic

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Fair Wear is not active in Lao People´s Democratic Republic

6 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Lao People´s Democratic Republic

Latvia

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Fair Wear is not active in Latvia

7 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Latvia

Lithuania

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Fair Wear is not active in Lithuania

52 factories work with FWF members

15 FWF members source in Lithuania

Macedonia

FWF began working in Macedonia in 2003. The garment industry is a v... more

Fair Wear is active in Macedonia

30 factories work with FWF members

10 FWF members source in Macedonia

2 complaints

1 FWF projects

Madagascar

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Fair Wear is not active in Madagascar

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Madagascar

Malaysia

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Fair Wear is not active in Malaysia

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Malaysia

Moldova

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Fair Wear is not active in Moldova

7 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Moldova

Mongolia

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Fair Wear is not active in Mongolia

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Mongolia

Morocco

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Fair Wear is not active in Morocco

11 factories work with FWF members

10 FWF members source in Morocco

1 complaints

Myanmar

While Myanmar has demonstrated significant progress on civil and po... more

Fair Wear is active in Myanmar

18 factories work with FWF members

11 FWF members source in Myanmar

5 complaints

1 FWF projects

Nepal

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Fair Wear is not active in Nepal

2 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Nepal

Netherlands

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Fair Wear is not active in Netherlands

15 factories work with FWF members

10 FWF members source in Netherlands

2 complaints

New Zealand

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Fair Wear is not active in New Zealand

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in New Zealand

Pakistan

FWF is not active in Pakistan. However, one of FWF's strategic part... more

Fair Wear is not active in Pakistan

32 factories work with FWF members

12 FWF members source in Pakistan

1 complaints

Peru

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Fair Wear is not active in Peru

15 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Peru

Philippines

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Fair Wear is not active in Philippines

1 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Philippines

Poland

Poland falls under FWF’s low-risk policy. This means that members... more

Fair Wear is not active in Poland

50 factories work with FWF members

23 FWF members source in Poland

Portugal

Portugal falls under FWF’s low-risk policy. This means that membe... more

Fair Wear is not active in Portugal

138 factories work with FWF members

34 FWF members source in Portugal

Republic of Korea

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Fair Wear is not active in Republic of Korea

5 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Republic of Korea

Romania

The textile and garment industry is one of the most important secto... more

Fair Wear is active in Romania

55 factories work with FWF members

20 FWF members source in Romania

2 complaints

1 FWF projects

Russian Federation

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Fair Wear is not active in Russian Federation

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Russian Federation

Serbia

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Fair Wear is not active in Serbia

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Serbia

Slovakia

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Fair Wear is not active in Slovakia

18 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Slovakia

Slovenia

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Fair Wear is not active in Slovenia

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Slovenia

Spain

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Fair Wear is not active in Spain

8 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Spain

Sri Lanka

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Fair Wear is not active in Sri Lanka

4 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Sri Lanka

Sweden

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Fair Wear is not active in Sweden

5 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Sweden

Switzerland

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Fair Wear is not active in Switzerland

8 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Switzerland

Taiwan

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Fair Wear is not active in Taiwan

4 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Taiwan

Thailand

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Fair Wear is not active in Thailand

10 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Thailand

1 complaints

Tunisia

Tunisia is among the world’s leading suppliers of clothing, an in... more

Fair Wear is active in Tunisia

56 factories work with FWF members

14 FWF members source in Tunisia

5 complaints

1 FWF projects

Turkey

Turkey is the fifth biggest supplier country for FWF members. Produ... more

Fair Wear is active in Turkey

155 factories work with FWF members

38 FWF members source in Turkey

30 complaints

1 FWF projects

Ukraine

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Fair Wear is not active in Ukraine

9 factories work with FWF members

7 FWF members source in Ukraine

1 complaints

United Arab Emirates

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Fair Wear is not active in United Arab Emirates

3 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

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Fair Wear is not active in United Kingdom

4 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in United Kingdom

United States

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Fair Wear is not active in United States

3 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in United States

Vietnam

Garment and textile is the second biggest exporting industry in Vie... more

Fair Wear is active in Vietnam

107 factories work with FWF members

20 FWF members source in Vietnam

7 complaints

1 FWF projects