Thursday, February 2, 2017

Our Final Day

January 17, 2017

Today marks our final day in Vietnam. We began with Julissa's final presentation on Labor Law and Reform in Vietnam. She first described Vietnam's current labor law in comparison with US labor law and international labor standards. From this, she discussed areas of reform, specifically in regards to freedom of association. A particular area of concern with FOA pertains to reforming the VGCL while at the same time allowing for independent trade unions. An unregulated wave of labor organizing could lead to fragmentation and even weaker labor representation while too much centralization in the VGCL could stifle independent unions and constrict worker voice.

Julissa leading a discussion of Labor Law

After Julissa's presentation, we met with Lan Anh from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). She shared with us VCCI's work in representing employer's interests and promoting business friendly regulation. After meeting with Lan Anh, we met with Ha Dang from RESPECT Vietnam. She shared with us her program on integrated conflict management. She also spoke about anti-Chinese riots that had taken place two years ago.

Meeting with Lan Anh

Meeting with Ha Dang

After our meetings, we left TDTU to head to the marina for a dinner cruise with another Cornell program investigating climate change in the Mekong Delta. The cruise was a wonderful opportunity to see the Saigon skyline while enjoying our last meal with the TDTU students. The general feeling was bittersweet - happy about learning so much and meeting so many new people yet sad at having to leave our new friends. Vietnam has a special place in all our hearts and we look forward to staying in touch and hopefully coming back in the future.

The Saigon Skyline

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