Vietnamese from All over the World Support Workers in Vietnam


Vietnam Human Rights Network

Press Release

March 24, 2006 

Since the end of 2005, hundreds of thousands of workers in Vietnam have gone on strike. In the beginning, strikes took place only at cities in South Vietnam such as Saigon, Gia Dinh, Bien Hoa, Binh Duong, Can Tho, and My Tho. As time went by, they spread to provinces in Central Vietnam such as Ninh Thuan, Quang Nam and eventually to many areas in North Vietnam like Hai Phong, Quang Ninh etc. 

According to Mr. Le Minh Nguyen, Chairman of the Vietnam Human Rights Network, this is the breaking point for the workers who have lived between the rocks and the hard places for so long, where their rights have been blatantly violated. Although Vietnam's 1992 Constitution states that the Vietnamese Communist Party was the vanguard of the working class and the faithful representative of workers' interests. But, in reality workers suffer inhuman and unfair treatment and severe exploitation under the Vietnamese Communist Regime. 

Despite threats and prohibitions by the government, the strike movement has become widespread. While hundreds of workers who were arrested because of their parts in the strikes could not be accounted for, and whose fate is uncertain, Mr. Tran Duc Luong, president of Vietnam, dutifully sent apologies to the investors from Taiwan and Japan instead of standing up for the exploited workers. 

Facing with this unjust and deplorable situation, the Vietnam Human Rights Network, along with 32 human rights and democracy activists residing in Vietnam and 57 overseas human rights, cultural organizations and the Vietnamese communities worldwide have signed the Statement supporting the peaceful and legitimate strikes of the workers in Vietnam. 

Attached herewith is the Statement made on the 24th of March 2006.






For over four months, since the end or 2005, an unprecedented crisis has spread throughout Vietnam: Hundreds of thousands of workers have gone on strike to demand pay increase, improvement of working condition and an end to exploitation and inhuman and brutal treatment. These strikes first took place at Gia Dinh, Bien Hoa, Binh Duong, Can Tho, My tho and Bac Lieu provinces in South Vietnam, then at Central Vietnam's provinces such as Ninh Thuan and Quang Nam and eventually spread to Hai Phong, Quang Ninh etc. in North Vietnam. 

Vietnam's 1992 Constitution states that the Vietnamese Communist Party is the vanguard of the working class and the faithful representative of workers' interests. But, in reality workers suffer inhuman and degrading treatment and severe exploitation under the Vietnamese Communist Regime. 

Case in point: After the Foreign Investment Law took effect in 1989, the minimum wage was established at VN$625,950.00, equivalent to US$45.00 at the exchange rate of VN$13,910.00 per US dollar. It has been 18 years since, but the minimum wage still remains as it was while the exchange rate increased to over VN$15,900.00 per US dollar and food price has increased 40% due to inflation. With such a low wage workers, more often than not, have had to work 10 hours a day, and at times on Sunday and holidays without extra pay. In addition to unsafe environment, workers are subjected to scolding, beating; forced to stand under scorching sun, pay cuts or to endure blatant violation of human rights. Most workers do not have health and social insurance. 

At present, the Vietnamese Communist Government does not allow the formation of independent labor unions. The only existing labor organization is the government- sanctioned Vietnam Federation of Labour which, in reality, is the Communist Party's tool to monitor and control workers' activities, not to defend and fight for their interests. Not only that, at many places authorities and local Vietnam Federation of Labour collaborate with foreign investors to suppress workers, putting them between the rocks and the hard places. The one to be critically blamed for all of these is the President of Vietnam, Mr. Tran Duc Luong, who instead of defending the rights of the exploited workers, has sent apologies to investors from Taiwan and Japan! 

Facing with this unfair and heart-wrenching situation, we, the undersigned solemnly:  

1.    Support the peaceful, nonviolent strikes by the Vietnamese workers.

2.    Welcome the March 19, 2006 call for support of the on-strike workers by 22 human rights and democracy activists inside Vietnam.

3.    Demand the Vietnamese Communist Government to:

a.    Immediately and unconditionally release all the workers who were arrested because of their participation in the strikes,

b.    Promptly change labor laws concordantly to international standards relating to workers' protection, minimum wage that reflects the economic condition and cost of living, reasonable social and health insurance and retirement benefits.

c.    Respect human rights, especially the workers' rights to form independent labor unions in order to defend and protect their legitimate interests.

4.    Request privately owned and state-owned enterprises to respect international labor codes and standard practices, to humanly and justly treat as well as respect the dignity of their employees.

5.    Request the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) to actively assist the Vietnamese workers in their efforts to organize independent labor unions.


Simultaneously circulated in Vietnam and oversea on the 24th of March, 2006



Human Rights & Democracy Activists in Vietnam


1.     Rev. Nguyen Cao Loc, Hue

2.     Le Quang Liem, Hoa Hao Buddhist Congregation of Vietnam

 3.     Rev. Chan Tin, Catholic Church, Saigon

4.     Prof. Hoang Minh Chinh, Hanoi

5.     Rev. Le Van Cao, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

6.     Hoang Tien, writer, Hanoi

7.     Rev. Ho Van Quy, Catholic Church, Quang Tri

8.     Prof. Tran Khue

9.     Rev. Nguyen Huu Giai, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

10.   Pham Que Duong, Hanoi

11.   Rev. Hoang Can, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

12.   Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang, Menonite Church, Saigon

13.   Rev. Nguyen Van Hung, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

14.   Ven. Nguyen Van Tho, Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, Dong Thap

15.   Rev. Le Van Nghiem, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

16.   Ven. Le Van Sach, Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, Vinh Long

17.   Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, Catholic Church, Hue

18.   Prof. Nguyen Chinh Ket, Saigon

19.   Rev. Cai Hong Phuong, Catholic Church, Hue

20.   Phuong Nam Do Nam Hai,  Saigon

21.   Rev. Phan Phuoc, Thua Thien

22.   Nguyen Khac Toan, Hanoi

23.   Rev. Tong Thanh Trong, Thua Thien

24.   Nguyen Binh Thanh, Hue

25.   Rev. Phan Van Loi, Catholic Church, Hue

26.   Le Le Hang, Hue

27.   Rev. Le Ngoc Buu, Catholic Church, Hue

28.   Tran Kim Lien, Quang Binh

29.   Rev. Tran Van Quy, Catholic Church in Phu Cam, Hue

30.   Vu Thuy Ha, Hanoi

31.   Rev. Ngo Thanh Son, Catholic Church, Thua Thien

32.   Bui Kim Ngan, Hanoi

33.   Tran Anh Kim, Thai Binh


Human Rights, Religious, Cultural Organizations & Vietnamese Communities Overseas


  1. Le Minh Nguyen and Nguyen Thanh Trang, Vietnam Human Rights Network
  2. Le Quang Dat, Overseas Vietnamese Buddhist Youth Congregation, Southern California
  3. Tran Van Gioi, Republic of Vietnam Veterans Association, Connecticut, USA
  4. Dr. Lam Thu Van. Center of Democracy for Vietnam, Montreal, Canada
  5. Do Nhu Dien, The Vietnamese Laity Movement in the Diaspora, San Diego, USA
  6. Le Cong Nghiep, Vietnamese Federation of San Diego, San Diego, USA
  7. Trinh Ngoc Anh, Radio Hoa Mai, California, USA
  8. Nguyen Hong Lien, Council for Human Rights in Vietnam, New York, USA
  9. Bui Hong Quynh, Youth Club for Huamn Rights, Sacramento, California, USA
  10. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan, International Committee for Freedom, Virginia, USA
  11. Ho Minh Chau, Hoa Hao Buddhist Church in Europe, Paris, France
  12. Dr. Phan Van Song, Protestant Church, Southern Central Region, France
  13. Nguyen Phuc Tung, Vietnamese Association of Val de Marne, France
  14. Prof. Nguyen Thanh Van, Paris, France
  15. Dr. Nguyen Van Tran, Paris, France
  16. Tran Tu Thanh, Vietnam Helsinki, Washington, D.C., USA
  17. Nguyen Van Tan, Vietnamese Community of Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
  18. Rev. Nguyen Huu Le, Catholic Church of New Zealand
  19. Thai Hoa To, Vietnamese Community of Dallas, Texas, USA
  20. Dr. Nguyen Manh Tien and Doan Viet Trung, Vietnamese Community of Australia
  21. Pham Ngoc Cuu, Vietnamese Community of Central Florida, USA
  22. Nguyen Van Chinh, Vietnamese Community of Wichita, Kansas, USA
  23. Nguyen Khac Vinh, Vietnamese Community of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA
  24. Huynh Luong Thien, Vietnamese Artists Movement, San Francisco, California, USA
  25. Nguyen Xuan Hung, Vietnamese Community of Forth Worth, Texas, USA
  26. Nguyen Minh Can, writer, Moscow, Russia
  27. Bui Lan Huong, AKA reporter Hoang Dung, Moscow, Russia
  28. Attorney Dao Tang Duc, Vietnamese Federation for Democracy, Australia
  29. Nguyen Van Tanh, Vietnamese Community of New York, New York, USA
  30. Tran Anh Tuyet, Seattle, Washington, USA
  31. Vu Thu Hien, writer, Paris, France
  32. Bui Tin, reporter, Paris, France
  33. Nguyen Ngoc & Le Nhan Quyen, Vietnamese League for Human Rights, Swisszerland
  34. Nguyen Hoang Bao Viet, CEVEX – Swisszerland
  35. Dr. au Duong The, Federation of Democracy and Development for Vietnam, Germany
  36. Ngo Thi Hien, Committee for Religious Freedom of Vietnam, Maryland, USA
  37. Jackie Bong Wright, Vietnamese American League of Voters, Virginia, USA
  38. Chu Ba Yen, Florida Viet Bao monthly magazine, Florida, USA
  39. Most Venerable Thich Chon Thanh, Vietnamese Buddhist leader, California, USA
  40. Dr. Lam Le Trinh, Human Rights Quarterly Review, Huntington Beach, California
  41. Nguyen Trong Can, Vietnamese Community of San Antonio, Texas, USA
  42. Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, Vietnamese Community of Southern California, USA
  43. Tang Phuoc Trong, Vietnamese Community of Washington State, USA
  44. Nguyen Ngoc Anh, Vietnamese Community of Arizona State, USA
  45. Nguyen Chi Thien & Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Vietnam Human Rights Network, California
  46. Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Bich, National Congress of Vietnamese in America
  47. Dr. Ma Xai, Hoa Hao Buddhist Church of Florida, Florida, USA
  48. Mac Hong Quang & Tran Manh, Vietnamese Community in America
  49. Phan Van Dao, Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia, USA
  50. Doan Lien Tho, Vietnamese American League of Voters, Pennsylvania, USA
  51. Prof. Doan Viet Hoat, Catholic University, Washington, D.C., USA
  52. Prof. Nguyen Quoc Khai, Vietnam Review, Inc., Maryland, USA
  53. Le Minh Khoi, Movement of Young Democrats, Toronto, Canada
  54. Tran minh Xuan, Mekong Publishing House, California, USA
  55. Truong The Lai & Nguyen Van Tiet, Alumni Association of the Institute of National Administration, Toronto, Canada
  56. Dr. Do Van Hoi, International Movement for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, Florida, USA
  57. Pham Hoang, Center of Democracy for Vietnam and Canh En magazine
  58. Rev. Dinh Xuan Long, Catholic Church of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  59. Nguyen Cong Bang, People’s Party, California, USA
  60. Khuong Tu Dan, Carolina, USA
  61. Tran Minh Thanh, Vietnam Human Rights Committee, Toronto, Canada
  62. Nguyen Viet Ninh, Montreal, Canada
  63. Lam Thien Huong, Vietnamese Community of Connecticut, USA




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