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Cablegate: Usdol Team Produces Ambitious Plan of Action for Work Under the Labor Mou

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


2001HANOI00641 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ3425

PAGE 01 HANOI 00641 01 OF 02 200057Z
ACTION DRL-02

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 EVG-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 DODE-00
DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 OES-01 OIC-02
IRM-00 SS-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 DSCC-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /006W
------------------D45A80 200057Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO DEPTLABOR WASHDC
SECSTATE WASHDC 2291
INFO NSC WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000641

SIPDIS

USDOL FOR ILAB/ JPERLMUTTER, RSHEPARD, GRUSSEL, NSAYRES
STATE PASS USTR
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IL, EB/TPP/BTA/ODC, EB/OIA AND EAP/BCLTV
GENEVA FOR USILO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PREL PHUM ETRD VM LABOR
SUBJECT: USDOL TEAM PRODUCES AMBITIOUS PLAN OF ACTION FOR WORK UNDER THE LABOR MOU

REF: A) 00 HANOI 2590; B) HANOI 145
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00641 01 OF 02 200057Z

1. SUMMARY: THE FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 1 TRIP TO HANOI BY A US
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (USDOL) PROJECT DESIGN TEAM WAS A
SUCCESS. AFTER EXTENSIVE CONSULTATION WITH VIETNAMESE LABOR
OFFICIALS AND THE ILO AND OTHER TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
PROVIDERS, THE TEAM PRODUCED A PACKAGE OF PROJECT DESIGNS
ADDRESSING A NUMBER OF PRIORITY LABOR ISSUES THAT WAS
ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECEIVED BY THE GVN. IF ALL GOES ACCORDING
TO PLAN, SELECTED EXECUTING AGENCIES, SUCH AS THE ILO , WILL
SUBMIT PROJECT PROPOSALS FOR GVN AND USDOL REVIEW BY THE END
OF APRIL AND PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION COULD BEGIN THIS SUMMER.
POST WISHES TO THANK THE PROJECT TEAM FOR ITS FINE WORK AND
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO USG EFFORTS ON THE ISSUE OF LABOR
RIGHTS. END SUMMARY.

2. A USDOL PROJECT DESIGN TEAM VISIT TO HANOI FEBRUARY 26-
MARCH 7 WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS. THEY PRODUCED A PACKAGE OF
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN ALL SIX AREAS OF COOPERATION
OUTLINED IN OUR BILATERAL MOU. THE TEAM, CONSISTING OF GARY
RUSSELL, DIRECTOR FOR MULTILATERAL PROGRAMS AND NICOLE
SAYRES, INTERNATIONAL PROJECT MANAGER, MET EXTENSIVELY WITH
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS AND
SOCIAL AFFAIRS (MOLISA). THEY ALSO MET WITH THE OTHER
SOCIAL PARTNERS - THE VIETNAMESE GENERAL CONFEDERATION OF
LABOR (VGCL) AND THE VIETNAMESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND
INDUSTRY (VCCI)- AS WELL AS THE ILO AND OTHER DONORS
PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN THE LABOR FIELD.

3. THE VISITORS WERE ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECEIVED BY VIETNAMESE
COUNTERPARTS WHO HAD PREPARED AND CLEARED AMONG ALL SOCIAL
PARTNERS A TIGHTLY FOCUSED, PRIORITIZED REQUEST FOR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00641 01 OF 02 200057Z
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE MOU. VICE MINISTER NGUYEN
LUONG TRAO FURTHER CLARIFIED GVN DESIRES AND PRIORITIES IN
THE OPENING MEETING. FOLLOW-UP MEETINGS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL
MOLISA DEPARTMENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR EACH FUNCTIONAL AREA AS
WELL AS THOSE WITH THE VGCL AND VCCI REINFORCED AND PROVIDED
FURTHER DETAIL TO THE ORIGINAL REQUEST. DONOR
REPRESENTATIVES DOCUMENTED VIETNAM'S PROGRESS IN A NUMBER OF
GENERALLY SUCCESSFUL LABOR PROJECTS AND ASSESSED WHERE USDOL
ASSISTANCE MIGHT BEST BE ALLOCATED.

4. IMPRESSED BY THE WARMTH OF THEIR RECEPTION, THE LEVEL OF
PREPARATION OF THEIR INTERLOCUTORS AT MOLISA AND DONORS'
STATEMENTS THAT THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THE LABOR AREAS WAS
BEING PRODUCTIVELY USED, THE USDOL TEAM FORMED THE OPINION
THAT VIETNAM WILL BE A GOOD PARTNER IN A PROGRAM OF
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND PROPOSED AN AMBITIOUS PACKAGE OF
PROJECTS. THIS PACKAGE AIMS TO ADDRESS CORE LABOR STANDARDS
CONCERNING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOR
AND EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION. THE PACKAGE INCLUDES
PROJECTS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE CENTERS; TO INCREASE
GVN CAPACITY TO DESIGN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND VOLUNTARY
SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES; TO EXPAND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES; TO PROMOTE INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS AND APPLICATION OF CORE LABOR STANDARDS THROUGH
ASSISTANCE IN LABOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND TRIPARTISM; AND
TO ESTABLISH HIV/AIDS WORK-BASED EDUCATION AND PREVENTION
INITIATIVES. THE TOTAL BUDGET FOR THE PACKAGE, WHICH WILL
BE NO LESS THAN US $3 MILLION, WILL BE DETERMINED ONCE THE
FORMAL PROJECT DESIGNS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND APPROVED.
(THE PROJECT PACKAGE WAS FORWARDED TO EAP/BCLTV VIA E-MAIL.)

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 00641 01 OF 02 200057Z
5. THE ILO WILL BE THE EXECUTING AGENCY FOR ALL BUT THE
PROJECTS INVOLVING SOCIAL INSURANCE AND PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES. THE SOCIAL AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROJECT
WILL BE EXECUTED BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SOCIAL
INSURANCE. AND THE VIETNAM ASSOCIATION OF HANDICAPPED, AN
ORGANIZATION WELL KNOWN TO BOTH VIETNAM AND WASHINGTON
AGENCIES, WILL EXECUTE THE PROJECT ON EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES.

6. THE DOL PROJECT DESIGN TEAM DID NOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH
THE FINAL PROJECT SUBJECT UNDER THE LABOR MOU, ELIMINATION
OF ABUSIVE CHILD LABOR, A TOPIC WHICH IS THE RESPONSIBILITY
OF ANOTHER OFFICE AT USDOL. HOWEVER, THE VISITING TEAM DID
CONFIRM THAT THE USDOL WOULD SUPPORT ILO/IPEC EFFORTS IN
CONDUCTING A BASE LINE SURVEY AND DEVELOPING A NATIONAL
ACTION PLAN FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD
LABOR. ACCORDING TO MR. RUSSELL, SOMEONE FROM THE USDOL
OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE PROGRAMS WILL EITHER TRAVEL
HERE SHORTLY AND/OR WORK THROUGH THE ILO REGIONAL OFFICE IN
BANGKOK TO MOVE FORWARD ON THIS PROJECT.

7. THE NEXT STEP IS FOR THE EXECUTING ENTITIES TO DEVELOP
FORMAL PROJECT PROPOSALS IN CONSULTATION WITH MOLISA AND
SUBMIT THEM TO USDOL. TEAM MEMBERS INDICATED THAT THEY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00641 02 OF 02 200057Z
HOPED TO RECEIVE THESE BY LATE APRIL. ONCE USDOL HAS
APPROVED THEM, THEN THE PROJECTS WILL BE PRESENTED TO MOLISA
FOR FINAL APPROVAL. THIS STEP HOPEFULLY WILL BE A FORMALITY
SINCE THE MINISTRY WILL BE INVOLVED IN DRAFTING THE PROJECT
PROPOSALS. MOLISA ONCE AGAIN ASSURED THAT, BECAUSE THIS IS
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH
MOLISA, THESE PROJECTS WILL NOT NEED TO GO THROUGH THE
MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND INVESTMENT'S LONG, ARDUOUS APPROVAL
PROCESS APPLIED TO MUCH DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE. IF ALL GOES
WELL, PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION COULD BEGIN THIS SUMMER.

8. COMMENT: POST WOULD LIKE EXPRESS ITS SINCERE THANKS FOR
THE IMPRESSIVE JOB DONE BY MR. RUSSELL AND MS. SAYRES.
THEY IMPRESSED ALL WHO MET THEM WITH THEIR THOROUGH
PREPARATION AS WELL AS THEIR WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN AND
CONSULT. AS A RESULT THEY PREPARED A TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM THAT MATCHES U.S. GOALS WITH VIETNAMESE OBJECTIVES
IN A WAY THAT COMPLIMENTS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BEING
PROVIDED BY OTHER DONORS. MR. RUSSELL AND MS. SAYRES HAVE
PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN SHAPING THE NASCENT WORKING PARTNERSHIP
BETWEEN THE U.S. AND VIETNAM ON LABOR ISSUES, AND THE
PROJECT PROPOSALS - ONCE IMPLEMENTATION BEGINS - WILL ADD TO
THE CONSIDERABLE DONOR ACTIVITY UNDERWAY IN THIS IMPORTANT
SECTOR OF VIETNAM'S DEVELOPING ECONOMY. END COMMENT.

HARTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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