Free Viet Labor Federation (Viet Labor) To President Barack Obama - Dân Làm Báo

Free Viet Labor Federation (Viet Labor) To President Barack Obama

Ho Chi Minh City, 20.04.2016

Free Viet Labor Federation (Viet Labor)
To President Barack Obama
On your next visit to Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Dear Mr President,

We understand that you will visit Vietnam in May 2016.

On this occasion, Viet Labor would like to request you to defend the Vietnamese working class and its workers from the harsh treatment by the Vietnamese government (regime) which always propagates that it is a government for the people and by the people and it is thousands of times better than a capitalist government.

Dear Mr President,

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed on 4 February 2016 by 12 countries including Vietnam in Auckland, New Zealand. TPP's purposes are to promote economic integration to liberalise trade and investment, bring economic growth and social benefits, to create new opportunities for workers and businesses, to contribute to raising living standards, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and to promote sustainable growth.

Article 19 of TPP affirms that all Parties respect and allow workers to form their independent workers' unions. Labor rights belong to workers in a normal country. But in Vietnam, since 1945, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Vietnamese worker class does not have that right. Vietnamese worker class must be member of the Vietnam General Federation of Labor (VGFL) which is led by the CPV; VGCL’s president is a member of the CPV’s central committee, and all branches are led by CPV members and are tightly controlled by the CPV.

After TPP was signed workers should be informed of the detailed agreements especially Article 19 by state-owned media. Instead almost all state-owned media have been silent on the issue.

We, members of Viet Labor, must approach and provide the workers TPP-related information about their responsibilities, rights and benefits. We have tried our best. Beside being been to the factory floor we have printed and distributed to workers thousands of ex-prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s comments on TPP. Our efforts have been met with barricade and brutal suppression.

After TPP was signed Viet Labor members have been closely monitored and threatened by secret police. Miss Do Thi Minh Hanh and Mr Truong Minh Duc were brutally beaten when they and lawyers helped workers with legal matters. Mr Hoang Binh was brutally beaten when he was distributing ex-prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s comments on TPP.

Miss Do Thi Minh Hanh and Mr Truong Minh Duc were imprisoned in their own homes by secret police for several months. Other Viet Labor members have been brutally beaten. Factory workers who are on strike for their rights are also brutally beaten.

What is the main agenda of the Vietnamese government when signing the TPP? Will TPP benefit Vietnamese people or a selected group of people?

Dear Mr President,

From the general media we understand that on your next meeting the Vietnamese leadership wants USA recognise that Vietnam has a market economy and USA lift weapon embargo.

Is the market economy in Vietnam beneficial for a selected group of CPV-related people? The market economy in Vietnam only legalises the VGFL. Independent workers’ unions cannot exist.

If the weapon embargo is lifted, will the Vietnamese government (regime) buy US arms to shoot thousands of striking workers? 

Dear Mr President,

On your official visit to Vietnam Viet Labor would very much like to ask you, with power of the most important strategic partner to Vietnam, request the Vietnamese government (regime) to

- Stop all barricade and brutal suppression to Viet Labor and its members. Provide legality for Viet Labor to publicly help the workers to form independent workers’ unions according to TPP’s Article 19.

- Immediately release from prison two Viet Labor members, Mr Doan Huy Chuong and Mr Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung who have been jailed under severe condition. Disclose all information about Mr Le Tri Tue, Vice-president of Vietnam Independent Unions (formed on the 20th of October 2006), who was abducted and disappeared since 2007.

- Allow media to publish all TPP-related information, especially Article 19 which promotes the formation of independent workers’ unions, to Vietnam public.

Thank you very much Mr President.

God bless you and your family.

On behalf of Viet Labor,
Ms Do Thi Minh Hanh

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