A joint platform for trade union cooperation has been agreed in Vietnam in a move designed to improve the exchange of information and coordination of union activities.

A number of meetings took place earlier this month in Do Son/ Hai Phong City, involving around 70 representatives from the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), IndustriAll Global Union, fellow global union federations (GUFs), and trade union support organisations (TUSSOs).

The meetings have taken place bi-annually since 2006, bringing together the VGCL and its international cooperation partners to coordinate activities to protect and promote workers' rights in Vietnam.

This year, the meeting focused on the trade union reform agenda expected to take place in the coming years. The partners agreed in principle to adopt a joint platform on partnership for trade union development cooperation in Vietnam.

The platform provides common principles for partnership aiming to facilitate effective cooperation in Vietnam with the VGCL, as well as new emerging labour unions in the coming period.

"We appreciate the VGCL's proactive approach to initiate changes in their structure, action plans and strategies in the years to come," said Annie Adviento, IndustriAll regional secretary. "IndustriAll will continue to work with the VGCL and our three affiliates to build strong, democratic and sustainable unions in Vietnam."

The meeting took place at a time when significant reforms in industrial relations are planned. Participants listened to cases of new organising methods and collective bargaining from VGCL. These achievements have been helped by collaboration with international partners as VGCL adapts to the needs of workers in the context of the market economy.

IndustriAll is currently operating a union building project in Vietnam, providing training on collective bargaining for shop stewards or workplace union representatives.