Unions in Australia protest jailings of Vietnamese labour activists

Release date: 10/12/2010

Australian unionists should support the three imprisoned Vietnamese labour activists by joining a LabourStart email campaign, which has already sent more than 4000 protests to the Vietnamese government, the ACTU Executive resolved last week.

 Jailed for nine years after one day trial

And the ACTU is asking Australian union reps in Vietnam to visit the families of the imprisoned activists, and seek to permission to talk directly to the three people sent to jail in October.The ACTU leadership this week heard a report about the October jailings of the labour activists – they were imprisoned for up to nine years after a trial that lasted less than a day.

Join the LabourStart e-mail campaign here - today

Amnesty International has protested vigorously about the unfair trial and the jailings, and LabourStart was asked to activate a campaign on behalf of the worker activists.Now the ACTU leadership has asked affiliates to promote and encourage their members and officials across Australia to join in the online campaign now on LabourStart 

Show support to the imprisoned activists' families and visit the three in jail

The Executive heard a report from the International Committee which has asked the ACTU’s  aid agency APHEDA to arrange for their representative in Vietnam to: 


• Visit members of the three imprisoned labour activists’ families and express the support of the Australian union movement for their current situation;

• Ask permission to visit the three imprisoned labour activists ;

Organised a strike by 10,000 shoe factory workers

The three activists were jailed because they helped to organise a strike by 10,000 workers at the My Phong shoe factory in January this year. In recent years Vietnam has been hit by a wave of wildcat strikes as workers express frustration both against their employers and the state-controlled unions who they believe refuse to stand up for their rights.Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung was given the heaviest sentence of nine years while two others, Doan Huy Chuong and Do Thi Minh Hanh, were each sentenced to seven years in jail, said an official of Tra Vinh people's court in the southern Mekong Delta.

Inform the state-controlled Vietnamese trade unions

The ACTU will approach Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, to inform him of the union movement’s  concerns for the imprisoned workers’ rights activists and the ACTU’s  eagerness to work jointly with the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam on this key human rights issue.The ACTU Executive meeting this week also resolved to contact the state-controlled Vietnamese trade unions – the VCGL -  and inform them of the Australian union movement’s  tradition of supporting free, independent, labour unions promoting the interests of the working class, and support for labour activists and their allies who are prepared to promote this cause, and the cause of working people.


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