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Cablegate: Next Steps On Labor Cooperation and Dialogue Mou

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

191033Z Jan 01

2001HANOI00145 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ6292

PAGE 01 HANOI 00145 01 OF 02 191043Z
ACTION SSO-00

INFO LOG-00 ANHR-00 EAP-00 EB-00 TEDE-00 LAB-01 SS-00
DRL-02 SAS-00 /003W
------------------B887B3 191043Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO DEPTLABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1782
INFO NSC WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000145

SIPDIS

STATE FOR E U/S LARSON
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IL, EB/TPP/BTA/ODC AND EAP/BCLTV
USDOL FOR ILAB/ JPERLMUTTER, RSHEPARD, NSAYRES
GENEVA FOR USILO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PREL PHUM ETRD VM LABOR
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS ON LABOR COOPERATION AND DIALOGUE MOU

REF: A) 00 HANOI 2590; B) SAYRES/SPECHT EMAIL 01/11/01 AND

PREVIOUS

1. THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST. PLEASE SEE PARAGRAPH 12.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00145 01 OF 02 191043Z
2. LABOR OFFICER MET JANUARY 19 WITH MR. NGUYEN MANH CUONG,
CHIEF OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SECTION OF THE
MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (MOLISA), AND
MS. ROSEMARIE GREVE, THE HANOI-BASED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
ILO, TO DISCUSS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE THE LABOR MOU WITH
VIETNAM AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A PROJECT DESIGN MISSION BY
USDOL OFFICIALS TO HANOI IN FEBRUARY. MOLISA IS EAGER TO
GET THE PROJECT DESIGN PHASE UNDERWAY; EMBASSY ALSO REQUESTS
EARLIEST POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS IMPORTANT MOU.

USDOL VISIT TIMING
------------------

3. POST HAD SUGGESTED THAT A DOL TEAM MIGHT COME THE WEEK OF
FEBRUARY 12 (REF B); HOWEVER, OUR TWO KEY MOLISA
COUNTERPARTS ON THIS PROGRAM, MR. CUONG AND VICE MINISTER
NGUYEN LUONG TRAO HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED THEY MUST ATTEND AN
ASEAN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING THAT WEEK. (DR.
TRAO IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE.) SINCE THE
FOLLOWING WEEK IS A SHORT WEEK DUE TO THE PRESIDENT'S DAY
HOLIDAY AND POST WILL BE HOSTING A LARGE CODEL, WE SETTLED
ON THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 26 AS THE NEXT POSSIBLE WINDOW. AN
ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE THE WEEK OF MARCH 12.

PRIORITIES AND COUNTERPARTS WITHIN MOLISA
----------------------------------------

4. ACCORDING TO CUONG, THE FOLLOWING DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN
TAPPED TO BE USDOL'S COUNTERPARTS IN THE AREAS FOR TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE LISTED IN ANNEX 1 OF THE MOU:

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00145 01 OF 02 191043Z
- DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY ON SKILLS
TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT OF THE
DISABLED, AND CHILD LABOR;

- DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL INSURANCE ON SOCIAL INSURANCE AND
SAFETY NETS;

- LEGAL DEPARTMENT ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW;
AND

- ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL EVILS ON HIV/AIDS WORKPLACE-BASED
PROGRAMS.

5. CUONG HAS INSTRUCTED EACH OF THESE DEPARTMENTS TO
INDICATE THEIR PRIORITIES AND SPECIFIC PROJECT SUGGESTIONS.
HE EXPECTS TO RECEIVE THESE AFTER THE TET HOLIDAY DURING THE
WEEK OF JANUARY 29. HE WILL THEN PRODUCE A UNIFIED RESPONSE
WHICH HE WILL PASS TO POST AND USDOL, ONCE CLEARED BY HIS
SUPERIORS. WHILE THE GVN HOPES TO GET PROJECTS UNDERWAY IN
ALL SIX AREAS IDENTIFIED IN ANNEX 1, HE ANTICIPATES THAT
MOLISA WILL PLACE PRIORITY ON PROJECTS ON SOCIAL INSURANCE
AND SAFETY NETS, SKILLS TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AND
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW (IN THAT ORDER).

BILATERAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS UNDER MOU
---------------------------------------

6. CUONG ALSO PROVIDED HIS VIEWS ON WHAT FOCUS HIS
GOVERNMENT WAS LIKELY TO SUGGEST FOR PROJECTS IN THE AREAS
FOR BILATERAL COOPERATION. WITHIN SKILLS TRAINING AND
EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, MOLISA WOULD WANT A PROJECT AIMED AT
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 00145 01 OF 02 191043Z
IMPROVING THE DELIVERY OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES. MS. GREVE
NOTED THAT THE ILO HAD COMPLETED A PROJECT WHICH HAD
ESTABLISHED PILOT CENTERS RUN BOTH THE VIETNAMESE GENERAL
CONFEDERATION OF LABOR (VGCL) AND MOLISA AND HAD RECENTLY
PRODUCED REPORTS ON THE RESULTS OF THIS WORK WHICH SHE WOULD
SHARE WITH US. (POST WILL POUCH, FAX OR EMAIL, AS
APPROPRIATE, TO USDOL ALL MATERIALS GATHERED THAT MIGHT BE
OF USE IN PREPARING FOR THE TRIP.)

7. IN THE AREA OF SOCIAL INSURANCE, MOLISA IS LIKELY TO
SEEK ASSISTANCE TO STRENGTHEN ADMINISTRATION AND EXPAND
COVERAGE OF THE EXISTING SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEME AND TO
DEVELOP UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WHICH THE GVN DOES NOT
CURRENTLY PROVIDE. AFTER LABOR OFF NOTED THAT USDOL DID NOT
RUN THE U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM BUT DID HAVE
JURISDICTION OVER VARIOUS ISSUES HAVING TO DO WITH PENSIONS,
CUONG NOTED THAT ONE TOPIC OF INTEREST WAS HOW TO PROMOTE
AND DEVELOP "VOLUNTARY SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES" (READ
PENSIONS) AND PERSONAL RETIREMENT SAVINGS. THE ILO
REPRESENTATIVE NOTED THAT THE ILO WOULD SOON RELEASE THE
RESULTS OF ITS RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECT ON SOCIAL
INSURANCE AND SAID THAT A MEETING WAS SCHEDULED IN MID-
FEBRUARY TO DISCUSS THESE RESULTS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR
THE NEW LAW ON SOCIAL INSURANCE, THE FIRST DRAFT OF WHICH IS
DUE OCTOBER THIS YEAR. SHE PROMISED TO PROVIDE POST A COPY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00145 02 OF 02 191043Z
OF THE REPORT AND A READ OUT ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE
NEW LAW.

8. WITH RESPECT TO PROJECTS IN THE AREA OF EMPLOYMENT OF
THE DISABLED, MOLISA WILL PROBABLY WANT TO FOCUS ON
IMPROVING IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING
POLICIES AND ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE THE POLICIES THEMSELVES.
MS. GREVE NOTED THAT THE ILO WAS DEVELOPING A PROJECT ON
MAINSTREAMING THE DISABLED INTO THE WORKPLACE.

PROGRAMS IMPLEMENTED THROUGH THE ILO
------------------------------------

9. MS. GREVE INFORMED US THAT SHE HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED TO GO
FORWARD ON PROGRAMS ON HIV/AIDS WORKPLACE-BASED PROGRAMS AND
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND LABOR LAW WHICH COULD BE SUBMITTED
FOR FUNDING IN PART OR IN WHOLE UNDER THE MOU. IN THE CASE
OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS/LABOR LAW, ILO HEADQUARTERS HAS SET
A DEADLINE OF MARCH FOR COMPLETION OF A PROJECT DESIGN.
WHILE WORK HAS NOT YET STARTED IN EARNEST, THE ILO WILL
CONCENTRATE ON CAPACITY BUILDING IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING,
ENTERPRISE LEVEL EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER RELATIONS IN FOREIGN
ENTERPRISES, AND EMPLOYER ASSOCIATIONS AT THE LOCAL AND
PROVINCIAL LEVEL.

10. WITH RESPECT TO A WORKPLACE-BASED HIV/AIDS PROJECT, A
PROPOSAL IS CURRENTLY BEING FORMULATED WHICH ENVISIONS FOUR
DISTINCT ACTIVITIES: DISSEMINATING INFORMATION ABOUT
EMPLOYER BEST PRACTICES DRAWN FROM PROGRAMS ALREADY IN PLACE
IN VARIOUS FOREIGN AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES; EDUCATING
LABOR INSPECTORS TO ENCOURAGE NON-DISCRIMINATION;
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00145 02 OF 02 191043Z
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION AT EMPLOYMENT CENTERS AIMED AT
YOUTH; AND PROVIDING INFORMATION VIA RURAL HOUSEHOLD
ENTERPRISE MICRO-CREDIT PROGRAMS AIMED AT GETTING THE AIDS
PREVENTION MESSAGES TO RURAL POPULATIONS THAT ARE OFTEN AT
RISK AFTER THEY MIGRATE TO THE CITIES.

11. ANY CHILD LABOR PROGRAM UNDER THE MOU WOULD BE DONE
UNDER AN ILO PROJECT ALREADY UNDERWAY, ACCORDING TO MS.
GREVE. NOW THAT SOME PRELIMINARY WORK HAD BEEN COMPLETED,
THE NEXT STEP IN THE PROJECT WOULD BE DESIGN A PROGRAM THAT
WOULD BE THE BASIS FOR AN MOU BETWEEN THE ILO AND THE GVN
WHICH BOTH PARTIES HOPE TO SIGN LATER THIS YEAR. WHILE
THERE WAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF FUNDING FOR THIS STAGE OF THE
PROJECT FROM THE GENERAL FUND, MS. GREVE ANTICIPATED THAT
THE ILO WOULD BE SEEKING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM DONORS.

ACTION REQUEST
--------------

12. FEBRUARY AND MARCH ARE SHAPING UP TO BE BUSY MONTHS FOR
BOTH THE GVN AND THE EMBASSY. THE GVN IS INCREASINGLY
PREOCCUPIED WITH POLITICAL PREPARATIONS FOR THE 9TH PARTY
CONGRESS WHICH NOW LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE HELD IN APRIL. FOR
ITS PART, THE EMBASSY'S CALENDAR IS ALSO FILLING UP.
NONETHELESS, MOLISA AND THE EMBASSY WANT TO PROCEED WITH
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MOU AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE. IN ORDER
TO FACILITATE PREPARATIONS DURING THIS BUSY PERIOD, WE ASK
THAT USDOL ADVISE SOONEST OF PROPOSED DATES FOR A PROJECT
DESIGN MISSION AS WELL AS SUBSTANTIVE AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT
POST CAN PROVIDE. WE WISH TO COORDINATE VERY CLOSELY WITH
USDOL TO ASSURE WE ACHIEVE MAXIMUM PROGRESS DURING THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 00145 02 OF 02 191043Z
VISIT.
PETERSON

UNCLASSIFIED

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